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This is the user page for Jayne Cravens.
I really hope I have done this user page correctly! I'm not sure I'm doing things right when I'm trying to contribute information to Wikipedia.
About Me (Jayne Cravens)
I am an internationally-recognized professional with more than 20 years of experience, primarily regarding communications, community/volunteer involvement, and capacity-building for nonprofit organizations, non-governmental organizations/civil society, government-based community programs, and corporate philanthropy programs. I am most well-known online regarding my research and promotion of online volunteering. My book, The LAST Virtual Volunteering Guidebook: Fully Integrating Online Service into Volunteer Involvement, was published in January 2014. I also recently provided advice and research regarding the online volunteering component of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative, through People In Aid and France Volontaire (Nov. 2013–April 2014), and provided research regarding Internet-mediated volunteering (virtual volunteering, online volunteering, microvolunteering, crowd-sourcing, etc.) in the countries of the European Union for the ICT4EMPL Future Work project, undertaken by the European Commission / Joint Research Centre / Institute for Prospective Technological Studies / Information Society Unit. An additional goal of the research is to explore how this might provide opportunities for entrepreneurship and employment, skills and social inclusion, and transition from education to employment for young people. Work included creation of a wiki regarding virtual volunteering and related issues in EU countries.
In November 2010, I received a VERA (Volunteer Excellence Recognition Award) from Business Council for Peace (BPEACE), a USA-based nonprofit that recruits business professionals to help entrepreneurs in countries emerging from war, like Rwanda and Afghanistan, to create and expand businesses and employment (particularly for women). In March 2003, I was a co-winner of the Dewey Winburne Community Service Award, presented at a special ceremony in Austin, Texas, at the conclusion of the Texas Interactive Media (TIM) Awards Ceremony. Dewey Winburne served as one of the original co-founders of what is now known as the SXSW Interactive Festival. I was once named one of the Top 25 Women on the Web by San Francisico Women on the Web, and I was an active member of HerDomain. I'm on oh-so-many online discussion groups -- more than I care to name here.
I am originally from Henderson, Kentucky. I still have family in Spottsville, Beals, Baskett, and Reed). From February 2005 through most of April 2009, I lived in Germany, mostly in a small village south of Remagen. I am now back in the USA, living in the Portland/Salem Oregon area UTC-8. I am oh-so-happily married to Stefan Dietz.
Will I ever be a professor at Scuffletown Community College?
How I Use Wikipedia
I frequently look up subjects on Wikipedia for a quick overview about a particular topic or a definition. It's great for that. However, I don't quote from Wikipedia in my articles, as I cannot trust the accuracy of entries entirely. If I want to quote information in an article I'm writing, or ensure information is accurate, I look for the source that the Wikipedia page cites for the information I need, I double-check that source myself, and then use that original source, rather than Wikipedia. I encourage my students to do the same.
As a long-time researcher and promoter of online volunteering, I am very interested in how Wikipedia involves volunteers for most of the content of this web site. I monitor media and blogs regarding Wikipedia's involvement of its community members in contributing to the content of the site and in decisions regarding how Wikipedia operates. I use Wikipedia as one model of online volunteering in presentations I make. I just wish Wikipedia would link to the Wikipedia virtual volunteering page on the About Wikipedia page (they won't even link their page to the volunteer page!).
As a Wikipedia contributor: I began the original Wikipedia page on online volunteering. I have frequently encouraged volunteer managers and researchers, via various online discussion groups and my own blog, to contribute to the page but, so far, they have not done so and, therefore, I've remained the primary author (and am criticized as having a conflict of interest). I also started the Knowbility page, the page for the Congressional Motorcycle Safety Caucus and the page for San Francisco Women of the Web.
I also contributed a lot of information to the page on theater as a tool for development in 2006 (particularly the references), per my research in pursuit of my Master's Degree at Open University. You can view my own research regarding theater as a tool for development, as well as my experience studying with Open University.
I've been contributing to Wikipedia to 2005, though I'm hardly a "super user." You can see a list of my contributions. The contribution as an individual volunteer that I was most proud of for a long time was correcting the description of the novel Elmer Gantry such that it summarized the book rather than only the film. Many have edited the summary since then (and it's not nearly as good as my version, ofcourse), but I'm glad to have gotten the book much more talked about (it's so overshadowed by the film, and that's so unfair -- the film is terrific, but the book is one of the greatest American works ever, in my opinion).
My Thoughts About Wikipedia
What I like about Wikipedia:
- The volume of information (zowie!)
- The clean, simple design of the web site, which makes it oh-so-simple to navigate
- It's "low-tech" style (can be used on a low-end computer)
- The increased use by many users to cite sources (versus when the site first started)
- More often than not, it does give me the general definition or description or summary of something I was looking for
What I don't like about Wikipedia:
- How difficult it is to edit pages
- How difficult it is for a non-"techie" user to find guidance to appropriately edit pages
- How often strongly-opinionated contributors dominate entries; people with vendettas and personal grudges, being more persistent, "win" any edit wars with others, regardless of whose information may be more accurate
- How rude many Wikipedia users can be to those seeking help or trying to participate as Wikipedians
- That there is no referee for edit wars/disputes between users regarding what a page should say
- How unclear it can be regarding the rules for editing. I don't understand how making a page more accurate or more full of info can get a person in trouble because that person happens to be an expert on the subject - that's NOT "conflict of interest"!
- The widespread inaccurate or incomplete information, and the lack of acknowledgment regarding this lack of quality control)
- The shrug-of-shoulders response by Wikipedia leadership that seems to accompany acknowledgment of inaccurate information
Contacting Me (Jayne Cravens)
I do not log in to Wikipedia regularly. Therefore, if you send me a message via Wikipedia, I may not get it for months. It's much better to email me directly if you really want to get in touch with me.