A Refection on Wikis

A Refection on Wikis
Photo by Oberon Copeland @veryinformed.com / Unsplash

For the wiki article, I contributed a section on remediation. It was one of the topics that we had to write a journal for that I felt confident doing since I got a high grade on the journal post for the week. I was surprised coming in late that no one had made a section on that yet, especially since the section on user-experience is lengthy. Topics like accessibility and IA fit under remediation because both are relevant to media and how it can change over time.

I also worked to incorporate pictures and diagrams through the article. The article is LENGTHY, and it’s black text on a white background. By adding in supportive images, it provided a break in the article content that is needed for a subject like ours. The length of each subsection within a section is short and brief, which is good for scannability, but if you go in reading it all in one, your eyes get blurry and you lose your place.

In addition to adding in images, I went through the article to find spots where a “Citation Needed” was being generated and added in a citation that was missing. To do this, I read through the section that was missing the cite and looked for a footnote that my other colleague used in the section. Then, I went and read the section of the book or webpage that they are referencing to see if the section that needs to be cited is a paraphrase of the previously cited source. My thinking is that what they are saying that needs citing may also be in the source used.

What I learned from contributing to this wiki is that as a group we could have communicated better as a class. We can see each other’s changes on the LitWiki page and when they were done, but communicating through the page is kind of stilted. I have confidence that the article is great, but if someone in class had stepped up and taken point, then the article could be better. I’ve only spoken with one classmate continuously through the semester. I learned this week that my classmate’s mother died this semester. Getting into the project late was my fault, but trying to find a thing to do within the project was overwhelming. I didn't want to step on anyone's toes or change up something that was better written than what I could write.

If I were to do this project again (and fingers-crossed I don’t because I hope to walk next week!), knowing what I do now I would personally take point on the project to make sure we are all on the same page and communicating with each other. We have Microsoft Teams for free through the university and we could have utilized it to speak with each other.

To answer the final question, I use Wikipedia for everything. If I have a question or want to know something, when I Google it the Wikipedia article for it is the first thing I click. Textbooks are produced for people who are trying to make a subject their career. Wikipedia is run by and created for those who just want to know who played Sweeney Todd in the 2005 Broadway revival of the play (it was Michael Cerviris).

What I mean by that is that wikis are important to the dissemination of knowledge because they put complicated subjects into words that everyone can understand. And that’s really the whole point of technical writing in a digital world.

Erin Byington

Erin Byington

I am a graduate student at Middle Georgia State University. I am working on my Master's in Professional and Technical Writing.
Warner Robins, GA