TE1: Wikipedia Edits

In the History Course of HIST 8500 at Clemson University, we were tasked with editing the code of a wikipedia article that we felt we were a semi-expert in. My initial thought was that I would edit the articles for the film pages of The Beguiled (1971) and The Beguiled (2017). My aim was to highlight the disparities between the two movies, with a particular focus on the absence of the character Hallie, portrayed by Mae Mercer, in the 2017 adaptationThis content added, however, appeared to lean more towards “independent research” rather than being substantiated by other sources. Consequently, less than an hour later my edits and code was taken down completely, the code edit history is displayed below.

After this slight failure of a Wikipedia contribution, I looked back at other research I had done in the past, and was drawn to a book review I did my Freshman year of undergrad at Georgia College and State University in my historical research and methods course. At this point in my academic life, I was interested in female abolitionists in the mid nineteenth centuries, and found a great respect for Lucretia Coffin Mott and found myself reading Lucretia Mott’s Heresy: Abolition and Women’s Rights in Nineteenth-Century America authored by Carol Faulkner. I wrote a book review on this for class, and chose some of the fact about her early life, and her abolitionist acts into the code of Mott’s Wikipedia page.

In my first edit, I wanted to provide more insight into her early life as a Preacher within the Quaker faith. I changed the “Ministry’ section of the article, specifying that she embarked on her journey through preaching and teaching at the young age of 28, specifically within “The Society of Friends”. Presented below is the original code I introduced to the page, followed by the adjustments made by a moderator less than a day later. These changes made by the moderator were to integrate more continuity between the individual authors/editors providing facts for the article, the words within the paragraphs tend to not flow well together when the authors are not all working together to create a rhythmic paragraph. These moderators editing the flow of paragraphs are apt to happen, in order to provide an accessible experience to those browsing the website.

Her first preaching profession was in a sect called "The Society of Friends”, when she was 28 years old.<ref>Carol Faulkner, Lucretia Mott's Heresy: Abolition and Women's Rights in Nineteenth-century America (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011), 38.  </ref>

In terms of my short list of contributions to Wikipedia, I think the addition of Jane Johnson to Mott’s wikipedia page was my favorite. Not only was Mott an intellectual abolitionist, but physically made a difference in the lives of recently freed-men/women. There was a sub-section again, this one being called “Underground Railroad and Other Activities”, where I felt her involvement with Jane Johnson was appropriate to add. I decided to add Mott’s engagement in the relocation and transportation of Jane Johnson after her emancipation in the mid 1800s. Again, like my “ministry” additions, they were reworded and shuffled around, in order to fit the sequential writing style of many wikipedia articles, and to the likening of the moderator of the site itself. Again, the code, and then the changed end result article are listed below.

An example of other activities within the abolitionist realm is the personal transportation of self-emancipated slave [[Jane Johnson (slave)]] from her enslavement to freedom in Pennsylvania in the year 1855 with a plethora of other female abolitionists. <ref>Carol Faulkner, Lucretia Mott's Heresy: Abolition and Women's Rights in Nineteenth-century America (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011), 165-167. </ref>

In the end, I don’t believe I will continue the editorial of Wikipedia articles as a contributor. I think at my young age, and short stay in academia so far, I don’t feel adequately qualified or provide enough expertise in any particular historical (or even non-historical topic) to feel share information I could prove regularly. Perhaps, once I become more versed in a smaller, more focused historical field, where my level of information is more so than those already contributions to those topics. To me, it seemed like a considerable difference if I edited anything, and that I felt incredibly pressured to make it perfect. for some reason, I felt incredibly timid about the whole assignment. After, however, I realized how well patrolled the edits were, and that if there is anything not up to par it is immediately expunged by the moderators. Overall, this was a great integration into the easier form of ‘coding’ than the HTML and CSS we did the next week.

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