Like most Wiki-Editors, I rather accidently discovered Wikipedia as a useful resource for finding detailed and fairly reliable information while doing Yahoo! and Google internet searches on various subjects. I started to notice a trend that Wikipedia articles frequently appeared at the top of the search results, and it seemed to be a very user-friendly system. I found the cross-referencing internal and external links to related information, articles, and reference sources were very satisfying.
Before long, I took notice of the "edit this page" tab and "edit" links on the articles, and realized that these articles were not only written and edited by a cross section of professionals in the field, but also by ordinary people - and anyone could contribute more information or edit that which was posted by others. At first that seemed extraordinarily risky - and somewhat dubious. Around mid-October 2005, I began to gather the courage to anonymously fix minor typographical errors I would randomly discover. In some cases, if I thought the "wording" seemed a bit rough, overly complicated, disorganized, or amateurish, I would try a little wordsmithing to try to improve things for the better good. I figured my rather expensive education "qualified" me for such work. By November 2005, through the Holidays, I began making what I felt were more significant improvements: adding important missing information, and deleting useless trivial matter, spam, unencyclopedic speculation, and negative, non-neutral point of view material that seemed to me to be slanderous, rude, extraordinarily cynical, showing chronic negativity, one-sided, biased, overly politicized, agenda-driven, or far off-subject.
One day, I discovered that a couple of my edits were reverted to an earlier version by an "administrator" (or someone else), so I began to study the "Wiki-rules" more carefully. I still think one or two of those reversions or deletions might have been a bit of a drive-by edit - and a discussion and compromise would have been a better approach. I think the reason my edits were sometimes abruptly undone was because my edits were posted anonymously, by my IP address. It seemed that anonymous posts seem to carry a bit less authority than those by registered users. In any case, by early January 2006, I began acting as a sort of de-facto "anonymous administrator" - repairing occasional "vandalism" in some articles where I felt I had some "sweat-equity" and/or some professional interest.
Eventually I noticed that the IP address shown for my edits changed from day to day, as I would shut down the computer from time to time, and my internet service provider would assign a new IP address at almost every reboot. Alarmingly, sometimes I noticed when I checked "my" IP history (contributions and "talk"), that someone else had previously used the same IP. And sometimes, to my horror, I was assigned the same IP as a known vandal who had been warned off or blocked repeatedly, and so some of my "high quality" edits appeared to be generated by a known vandal! Since I did not want to risk associating my otherwise well intended edits and my "good anonymous (albeit variable) IP editor name" with any vandals, I decided (January 7th) to officially register one of my local nicknames as a Wiki Editor.
Pages on my Watch List (20 Feb 2008): 1500+ - I really need to cut back
Edit Count (on 20 Feb 2009): 7100 on 1500 different pages - whoa!
Ranked as the 3446th most prolific editor in Wikipedia with 6437 non-bot edits - according to List of Wikipedians by number of edits, as of January 2008 (after apparently peaking at no. 3212 in Sept 2007)
As a reasonably mature and even-tempered adult (and a highly educated professional with multiple degrees in engineering, along with deep studies in science, health, and literature, and continuing education in many subjects), I would like to someday become registered as a Wiki Administrator, as soon as peer-consensus allows. What I can say for myself is that I believe I have made what I consider to be many outstanding, well informed, and concise contributions which have (mostly) stood the test of time (along with perhaps a few boo-boos on the way) - on various subjects where believe I have some personal or professional interest and expertise. This along with plenty of random minor typo corrections and wordsmithing, and I have already engaged in considerable anti-vandalism reversions and warnings and notification efforts, albeit some were under anonymous IP addresses, since October 2005. I have also taken on the task of searching for reliable and authoritative external references, for citations in subjects where there seems to be disagreement or controversy. I have also been seeking out high quality images to improve the look of articles, replacing inadequate-looking or amateurish ones - but careful to note their copyright status and source information for anything I upload to the system. My pet peeve is the excessive wasted white space that tends to accumulate around lengthy TOC tables and oversized images and info boxes. That plus my wide-screen monitor stretches articles from side to side, so what looks great on my screen, looks terrible on someone else's, and vice-versa. Ah well.
The work never stops, and continuous improvement is my credo. I would like to think I'll start to be considered for an appointment as an Administrator in 2007, as other Users see my work and decide it is worthy.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the pages I cannot edit, The courage to edit the pages I can, And the wisdom to know the difference.
Thank you T-dot for your high quality edits. Your tireless contributions and strive for increasing the standard of our articles is truly appreciated. Keep up the good work! Thank you, Signaturebrendel 03:18, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
For many contributions with limited reward (especially your work with car related pages), I present you with this Original Barnstar. Sharkface217 01:05, 1 November 2006 (UTC)
The Barnstar of Diligence
I, GoldenIrish present you the Barnstar of Diligence for helping me in my time of need. In my eyes you are truly the greatest editor and/or article writer on wiki.GoldenIrish 19:23, 15 April 2007 (UTC)