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David Cannon
With my wife and son, 2002
~Personal Details~
Full name: David John Deane Cannon
Date of birth: November 17, 1965
Hometown: Raumati, on New Zealand's Kapiti Coast
Wife: Yeon-Kyung (Mary) Jung (since 18 November 1995); one son, Richard (born 14 October 1996)
Interests: History, Languages (especially Esperanto) and linguistics, Chess and Chess Variants, Religion, Politics, and International Affairs
Occupations: Amway distributor, language tutor, international homestay consultant
Religion: Born-again Christian
Politics: Centre-right (political compass)
User number: 36171
Writing interests: Fiji, Lebanon, Religion
Wikipedistic orientation: Moderate Inclusionist
en This user is a native speaker of English.
eo-2 Ĉi tiu uzanto povas komuniki per meza nivelo de Esperanto.
ko-1 이 사용자는 간단한국어를 말할 수 있습니다.
~My contributions (to 30 May 2015)~
  • All edits: 25003
    • Live edits: 23875
    • Deleted edits: 1128
  • Article space edits (live): 16528
  • Unique pages: 5050

Figures are for original contributions and rewrites, with other major edits in parentheses.

~Important milestones~
Articles created:
Edit count:
Unique pages:

There are now 4,880,776 articles in the English Wikipedia, of which more than 600 are mostly my own work.

What I'm doing on Wikipedia

I am a former Wikiholic who was once in the top 200 editors by edit count (if you ignore the bots). I have made more than 25,000 edits to over 5,000 unique pages, and on 14 September 2006, when my edit count had just passed 20,000, Daniel Bryant awarded me the Tireless Contributor Barnstar.

I have been a registered member of the Wikipedia community since January 2 2004 - when the total article count was still under 200,000. I actually discovered Wikipedia late in 2001 or early in 2002, curiously enough through the Esperanta Vikipedio, while searching the web for Esperanto resources, which were then scanty. I did not sign up, however; I was a slow starter in recognizing the value of the project. I rediscovered Wikipedia in late October 2003, while doing a Google search for materials relating to Soong Mei-ling (Madame Chiang Kai-shek), following her recent death at the age of 106. This time, I began to rate the project a little more highly. I made a few anonymous edits here and there, before deciding to "commit myself" by registering formally on the second day of 2004.

My contributions

By 4 November 2006, I had clocked up more than 23,000 edits to more than five thousand unique pages. Time constraints curtailed my participation from early 2007, however, and over the next eight years (April 2007 through April 2015), I made only 552 edits in total. I returned to the project in May 2015 and have begun to make a modest contribution. However, I am unlikely ever again to be as as prolific on Wikipedia as I once was. Long gone are the days when I was listed in the top 200 editors; I am no longer even in the top two thousand, nor do I ever expect to be again.

Over 16,500 of my 25,000-plus edits are in the main article space. Although the great majority of my edits have involved maintenance work, I was also one of the heavier contributors of full-length articles; there are over 600 that are mostly my own work, and over 80 others to which I made a major contribution.

I joined Wikipedia back in the days of heady excitement. I suppose I could say that I was one of the pioneers — although not a part of the earliest group that laid the foundation, I was part of the second wave of editors who got the project off the ground. In the three years in which I was most active, the English Wikipedia grew from fewer than 200,000 articles to over a million, and its Alexa ranking, which had just broken into the top thousand, soared to the top ten. I was far from being the only Wikipedian who stayed up all night to finish articles and start new ones; we competed with one another to turn out articles and proudly called ourselves Wikiholics. Those days are over, and a generation has grown up that takes Wikipedia, the largest information base on the planet, for granted. I am proud to have been part of the generation that turned what sceptics called an impossible utopian dream into reality.

As a young Wikipedian, I publicly announced my ambition to become the undisputed number-one contributor of quality articles. Although I fell short, I gave it my best shot and have no regrets.

Fiji project

Over 70 percent of the articles to which I made a significant contribution were connected with the Fiji project I undertook in February 2004. Almost 95 percent of these articles were either original contributions, or articles that I more or less completely rewrote; when I joined Wikipedia there was so little material on that topic that I had to start almost from scratch. Whoever contributes to Fiji-related articles in the future will not have that problem!

I had two main reasons for undertaking the Fiji project. First of all, I have a passionate interest in that country, although I have yet to visit it. Secondly, it was often said that the English Wikipedia had a built-in bias towards countries with a high number of internet users, among whom English is natively or at least competently spoken, although this charge is less common now than it was when I was new to Wikipedia. Wikipedias in other languages reflect a similar bias towards countries where they are widely spoken by a large population with internet access. Every Wikipedia has a dearth of articles about small nations, especially of those that do not use the language of the particular Wikipedia project in question. The only solution to this imbalance is for Wikipedians to take an interest in smaller nations and adopt them. As of now, the project is still far from finished, but it is now up to others - principally Wikipedians from Fiji itself - to take the project to the next level. In future years, when my frenetic work schedule abates, I'll be back to lend them a helping hand.

Even now, I would estimate that 70-80 percent of Wikipedia's Fiji-related material is my own work, but this figure is decreasing. I am delighted that a significant number of articles have been added by other contributors. Laulad (formerly Sanaya) has submitted and edited articles on Lauan chiefs, while Girmitya has put a lot of research into the history of the Indo-Fijian community and has written articles about some of its leading personalities and organizations. Xorkl000 (who kindly awarded me the Barnstar of National Merit on 25 September 2005 for my work on Fiji) continues to keep an eye on Fiji-related topics for factual inaccuracies and POV. In addition, a number of users have made anonymous contributions. So, the Fijian "department" on Wikipedia is no longer such a lonely place to work.

Other Wiki-roles

Of course, there were a number of other topics to which I turned whenever I needed a wikiholiday from my Fiji project. Most of these concerned political affairs and biographies. In the second half of 2004, I took some time out to cover the Pitcairn sexual assault trial of 2004, which shook the tiny island to the core, and of necessity added some touches to related articles as well. In addition, I spent quite some time in early 2005 updating a considerable number of Lebanese-related articles, and also contributed some of my own, as the national uprising known as the Cedar Revolution stimulated worldwide public interest and brought about an urgent need for a comprehensive, reliable, and up-to-date resource. Unfortunately, I found that many of the articles concerning Lebanon were two or three years out of date, many were biased towards a particular POV, and some were downright inaccurate. Worst of all, many significant political figures and movements in Lebanon were not documented in Wikipedia. I decided to play a part in rectifying that situation. By the end of 2005, there were over 40 Lebanese articles that I had edited significantly; of these, about 25 were mostly my own work.

I also helped out on the Multilingual statistics page. I designed one of the tables found there and redesigned two of the others. I helped to keep an eye on the monthly statistics for the 200 or so languages in which Wikipedia operates. At first, I updated the statistics every month, but as the number of languages that needed checking grew, the sheer volume of work forced me to cut back. For a couple of years, I updated it twice a year. From now on, it will probably be once a year, unless somebody else wants to do it more often.

One topic about which you might expect to find material written by me is New Zealand, but there are a mere handful of New Zealand-related articles that I had anything to do with. This is not for lack of interest in my homeland, but mostly an acknowledgement that there were always a considerable number of eminently qualified Wikipedians from New Zealand working in that department. As my own time was limited at the best of times, I prefered to leave it to them pursue what they did so well, while I concentrated on filling gaps in the content, such as Fiji-related material, in which fewer writers were taking an interest.

Sister projects

I had a passion not only for Wikipedia, but for its "sister projects" as well. Time constraints prevented me from playing as active a role in them as I would have liked; I never had enough time to do everything that I wanted to do for Wikipedia, let alone for the sister projects. Nevertheless, I made more than 500 edits on Wikiquote, where I compiled quotes for about 50 individuals, and also uploaded a number of documents to Wikisource. I contributed 3 reports to Wikinews. I also made the odd contribution to Wikipedias in other languages, but gave up submitting electronically translated articles when I found that machines produced too many errors. One Italian kindly told me that the translation device I used was a "terrible fish."


I became a sysop, otherwise called an Administrator, on 3 July 2004 - six months to the day after I became a Wikipedian. I expressed my thanks here to the 23 people who recognized my passion for this project and voted for me. I feel honoured to have a role in building this incredible online resource, which I envisage as ultimately consisting of literally billions of articles worked on by millions of editors in the world's 6,500 languages. As of 29 May 2015, the total Wikipedia project consists of over 35 million articles in 288 languages. That is indeed a great achievement that all of us should be proud of, but the time will come when we will look back and see it as no more than a small stepping stone to something that will have grown so huge that we cannot presently conceive of it.

A certain creative tension exists among Wikipedians who describe themselves as inclusionists and deletionists, respectively. I long avoided taking a stand, concurring with Australian evangelist John Smith's summarizing of his own political inclinations as a bird that has both a right wing and a left wing. I would now say, however, that with the passage of time, I came to lean more towards the inclusionist position, though not rabidly so. Even now, I have a few "deletionist quirks," especially when it comes to material that I consider to be pornographic. I take a negative view of editors, whom I consider vandals, who insist on uploading reviews (euphemistically code-named "articles") on every latest pornographic movie that hits the video industry.

Other projects

A multitude of wiki projects now dot the internet, many if not most of them using Mediawiki software and emulating the administrative structure pioneered by Wikipedia. I welcome that, and participate in a number of them, including Wikimapia, a project to annotate Google Maps with notes contributed by users through a wiki interface. I am sceptical, however, of projects whose stated aims are to supplant Wikipedia, such as Larry Sanger's Citizendium project, a proposed fork and supposed "improvement" of Wikipedia. In 2007 I wrote: “Its restrictive editorial policy is likely to stifle development, and the abolition of categories is a retrograde step. What the organizers of Citizendium are forgetting is that an encyclopedia is written by editors, but for readers, and their proposal to abolish an invaluable aid to navigation, thereby making each article its own stand-alone category (as they put it) will do nothing to create a user-friendly interface.

“But perhaps the most serious oversight on the part of the Citizendium people is that initial perfection rarely wins in the market place. The now-forgotten Beta video system and the Apple computer were superior to the VHS and IBM models, respectively. Endless fine-tuning tends to create projects that are artistically beautiful, but unworkable, and I suspect that Citizendium will be no exception. Its greatest weakness will be its initial inability to attract a large pool of contributors. A larger number of lurkers from Wikipedia will, however, peruse the newly created articles on Citizendium and scavenge them. Given the public profile of Wikipedia, readers are far more likely to find the articles on Wikipedia than where they are originally posted, and Citizendium editors will be left wondering what they are working for and why.

“I mean no ill will towards Citizendium or the people involved in the project. But my doubts are real, and, I think, well-founded. I feel differently about projects like Wikinfo, whose editorial policy is designed to allow points of view not permitted on Wikipedia, thereby providing an alternative resource that complements Wikipedia without attempting to replace it, as is seen in the continued participation in Wikipedia by Fred Bauder, Wikinfo's founder. Larry Sanger, by contrast, has severed his links with Wikipedia. All the best to him - but I honestly think the best for him is to go back to the drawing board and redesign his project fundamentally.”

Update — 30 May 2015: I made that judgement eight years ago. I don't mean to sound uncharitable, but I think time has indeed shown that Citizendium was a lost cause, stillborn from the very beginning. Sanger himself withdrew from the project in 2009. Almost a decade old, the site — when it operates at all(!) hosts under 20,000 articles, less than one percent of which have passed the absurd vetting process. Looking for information on Citizendium is like picking up a random shell on the beach on the off-chance that it might contain a gold coin. In short, Citizendium is a total joke. I remember getting letters from some of the Citizendium guys inviting me to join the project; I'm glad I didn't waste my time.


A Barnstar! Awarded for work of Fiji related articles.

Someone had to do it eventually, so here it is for your work on Fiji.

--Xorkl000 11:21, 25 September 2005 (UTC)
Tireless Contributor Barnstar.gif
The Tireless Contributor Barnstar
I notice from your userpage that, as of today, you have made 20,000 edits on the English Wikipedia. This is an extraordinary effort, and I am happy to present you the Tireless Contributor Barnstar for your unwavering additions to Wikipedia, which are of both the highest level of quantity and, most importantly, quality. Daniel.Bryant 09:46, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

Articles (Index)

Created by me
Edited by me
Reorganized by me
Rewritten by me
Translated by me
My deleted articles

All my subpages
My old talk pages : 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008-2014
My interwiki user pages
My interwiki links (log in)

My Wikipedia page
My Meta page
Wikimedia Incubator

Amway Wiki
Chess Variants
Live Journal
Zillions of Games

Format header
My biotable template
My index template
My barnstars template
My sandbox
::X's Tools
::HTML to wiki converter
::Wikipedia's Alexa ranking

::Fijian biographies
::Lebanese biographies
::Political biographies
::Religious leaders
Lists of related topics
Nations of the world (articles)
::*New Zealand
::*South Africa
Political topics
Religious topics
Wikipedians I'd like to thank
Miscellaneous articles

Christianity in Korea
David Yonggi Cho
Pitcairn rape trial of 2004
Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara
Reconciliaiton and Unity Commission of Fiji
Yoido Full Gospel Church

Everything I write is about something that interests me, so in one sense every article is special. There are, however, a few articles I've worked on that I am particularly proud of.

The article about Ratu Mara appeared on the Main Page, at the time of his death in April 2004. This was the first time one of my articles appeared there.

I first wrote the Christianity in Korea article as a university assignment back in 1988. It was one of the few things that I ever got Grade A for. Only a minor update was required to turn it into a Wikipedia article.

::*List of Fijians | p | s
::*List of Fiji-related topics
::*List of Lebanon-related topics
::*Wikiproject Fiji
::*Wikipedias - language list
::*Wikipedias - test wikis
::*Multilingual statistics
::*Milestone statistics
::*Monthly statistics
::*New articles (monthly)
::*Wikipedians by edit count
::*Oceania portal
::*Requests for adminship

Category:Fiji stubs

All red links:
::List of Fiji-related topics
::List of Lebanon-related topics
::Open Brethren

Expand, update, or rewrite:
::Demographics of Fiji

Pending articles:
::Matteus van der Steen
::Johnson Philip
::Christian Brethren Church of New Zealand
::Christian Community Churches of Australia

  • (original) : articles originally authored by me — though they may have been significantly changed by others since then.
  • (rewrite) : articles started by others, but which I have so completely reworked that they amount to original articles of mine.
  • (major edit) : articles written originally by others, but which I have substantially edited.
  • (reorganized) : a series of articles; numerous paragraphs from one article have been moved to another in the same series.
  • (translated) :articles electronically translated from Wikipedia articles in other languages.
Multi-licensed with the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike License versions 1.0 and 2.0
I agree to multi-license my text contributions, unless otherwise stated, under Wikipedia's copyright terms and the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license version 1.0 and version 2.0. Please be aware that other contributors might not do the same, so if you want to use my contributions under the Creative Commons terms, please check the CC dual-license and Multi-licensing guides.