Thanet Star

Wikipedia and the "Open Documentation" of Thanet

The Wikipedia is a large public encyclopedia that anyone can edit. It is hoped that by having so many eyes looking at the articles that the quality will slowly improve. This appears to be largely the case.

The has a large number of pages on the subject of and things in Thanet (such as Thanet College, The Scenic Railway and Invicta FM to name but a few). In this article I hope to give a general overview to the articles and the nature of the Wikipedia (for those who have yet to discover it).

The List of people in Thanet details an overview of famous or notable persons that lived in or visited Thanet. People include Karl Marx, Charles Dickens, Gary Rhodes, Siouxsie Sioux, T.S. Eliot and a host of others.

Thanet itself has two articles dedicated to it Isle of Thanet and Thanet (district). The first is an overview of the area while the second is an overview of the area as a political entity. The political subject is further covered in South Thanet and North Thanet. TDC even get a mention (15 in fact).

Our two MPs Stephen Ladyman (south) and Rogar Gale (North) both have a page as do (now) our two "blogging councillers" and who are not (yet) reprisented evenly in the wikipedia. Of the four only the Simon Moores article has a photograph.

David Green was not mentioned in the Wikipedia at all prior to this review but Simon Moores is listed. I have added a starter entry for David Green which I would encourage local readers to add to - see it here.

Interestingly Simon's entry seems to have been written by himself. I'm not suggesting that this is bad and I would never suggest that this was against any guidelines anywhere (Writing an autobiography on Wikipedia is strongly discouraged - wikipedia guidelines). Nor could I possibly risk being sued (or threatened again) by locals by my suggesting about this anything with the word in it. Equally I am not going to draw lines between these dots and his anti activities. I totally deny any suggestion that I even so much as thought such things or might say such things but, on the other hand, if you want to do that...

localised paranoia aside there are a number of articles within the Wikipedia that are short. Wikipedia calls these "stubs". Stubs are not bad but are considered to be full articles in waiting. A starting point if you like.

Stubs are a great place for you to contribute as very little has been said. Some deserving articles include Monkton which has little said about it, Turner Gallery which has no text of note at all and Sarre.

Slightly more interesting are the stubs for the likes of Westwood Cross which while not a full article has a lively history. The issue here is not so much that people are not adding to the article but that they are adding things better added to blogs than encyclopedias. I noticed that the accuracy of the item was not 100% so some interested locals might want to give it the once over.

There are over 15 more Wikipedia pages that on the Subject of Thanet and that which is in Thanet. Sadly there simply is not room to talk about them all in just one article. I will be revisiting this subject to cover the remaining pages and with a little group effort to see how some of these articles have matured. Only you can do that.

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Public Comments

This Normal comment was left by Adem [score: 0]:

I went through a period up adding lots of things to Wikipedia. Not always great chunks of information and usually just photos and minor edits, but it was slightly addictive. I did however always try and add to the stubs so that there was some element of information on them.

I haven't done anything for a while but maybe I'll have a see if there is anything.

Some of the Thanet Bloggers have a great deal of local information and it would be great if this could be moved into Wikipedia.
17/02/2008 08:38:43

This Normal comment was left by Matt B [score: 0]:

I totally agree. Imagine if a fraction of the resources of, say Micheal Child or Simon Moores were to be added... Thanet would be placed well into the spotlight.

I'm actually surprised that no member of the council has seen that Thanet could benefit as a whole from a massive and well written write up on every topic. But that's TDC for you I guess... bless 'em, they don't really understand these things.
17/02/2008 08:49:37

This Normal comment was left by Adem [score: 0]:

Awhile back Kevin from 'Skin of Stars' set about extending the Ramsgate article and quite a few people chipped in on that.

I think if people have something to focus on then it makes it much easier and things get done a lot quicker.
19/02/2008 10:01:21

This Normal comment was left by Matt B [score: 0]:

That's quite true. Perhaps we should "sponser" an article a month or something like that?
24/02/2008 07:48:20
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