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They were the ones picked last for teams and were the smartest kids in the class. Those are our people.
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My photo is not here
My uncle took this picture of me on Thanksgiving 2012 but the process of uploading and getting his permission on file is just too complicated. Plus my photo can be used for any purpose if I put it on Commons. So I just asked someone I knew from message boards to put it on his site.
Why the name?
In the first email I ever sent (before I had an email address of my own), "vchimpanzee" ended up being what I typed on the subject line. I didn't know how to correct the typo, but that was okay. It gave me an idea for an email address.
The email was in reference to a format change on WNMX in 1997. I congratulated the station on the talented music director they had hired and recommended he go on the late-night talk shows. I like adult standards, easy listening and classic country and some music in other format categories as well.
What activities lead me to edit?
For several years I regarded Wikipedia as a reliable source and it was my primary resource for looking information up online. One day I found an error, and that was the beginning of my contributions. Even today I mostly look up information on Wikipedia (and often make minor corrections), and if I'm at home I avoid going to nearly all other sites to prevent potential problems, but if I can't find what I want on Wikipedia and end up searching elsewhere, I often summarize what I have found and where I have found it in the appropriate article when I believe Wikipedia needs the information--provided I am following the rules. Other changes I might make such as adding redirects help to make topics easier to search for using search engines, since search engines aren't human and don't understand what we are looking for. At first I mainly created or added to articles on radio, because I felt a source was needed for finding information about all radio stations, and apparently those involved with WikiProject:Radio agree. These days I occasionally create articles but it usually takes time to make sure the article is ready, and sometimes I don't want to spend the time.
I read three magazines at libraries--Billboard, Advertising Age and Broadcasting & Cable. The third one I mostly look at online because of a PDF database of articles which is just like reading the real magazine. And while I do, I find topics that should be addressed or covered in more detail on Wikipedia. Billboard has a regular online database, and I sometimes see articles there with details that should go on Wikipedia.
I used to read six online newspapers each day (but now four charge for more than a certain number of articles a month; getting around this means visiting various libraries). Maybe "read" isn't the right term, because this took maybe 30 minutes. The only paper I really read is The Charlotte Observer, which I pay to get home delivered the old-fashioned way. I rarely go to that paper's web site but if I see something I believe ought to go on Wikipedia, I might go to the web site to make sure I contribute a link to the article, which won't work after a certain period of time but it'll help people verify the article exists. The other papers I look at have local news, comic strips and syndicated columns not in the Observer. Five of the papers (including the ones that now charge for their web sites) I see at libraries every two weeks (one I see every two months for Sundays and once a year on microfilm, just to make sure, at the beach), but looking at specific stories online helps me get through the papers faster when I look at them for real. The original purpose of looking at the papers online was to make sure I saved articles for printout while they were still free, rather than spending money to copy them from the real paper or taking notes from them that would be hard to figure out later. Instead of paying to print out each article when I see it (I don't have a printer at home), I save articles to an email to myself which is later combined with other emails to myself and printed out as one long email. There is also the risk the library won't have one of the actual papers. And for one of the six papers, there is no other library to go to if it's missing (when I go to the mountains the library where I go doesn't have the microfilm and I'm not going to the one that does), so I have to have seen the articles in each paper online while they were free. And since this paper now charges for looking at more than a certain number of its articles per month, and I do not have free access to their archives as I do for the archives of other papers (see below) it is unlikely Wikipedia will benefit from any local information there unless someone else contributes it. This is a slight risk for the other papers but I can usually see papers I missed at another library. Sometimes while looking at these papers online, I see articles (including national news) that contain information that should go on Wikipedia. To save time, I might copy the information into an email and edit Wikipedia later, so this explains why the accessdate isn't the date of the edit in some cases.
What editing do I do?
I don't formally participate in the recent changes patrol, but I watch articles I've recently contributed to, though only in my contributions history. Sometimes I don't see a change for a while. Once my last contribution is no longer recent, I tend to forget the articles, and that includes articles I created which I should probably monitor more closely. I also create lots of Redirects because they are helpful in locating information that might be hard to find in a normal Google search where Google doesn't know what you're looking for, or even in a Wikipedia search where the result you want might not come up. The truth is that most of those redirects are articles that will come up first or second in a Wikipedia search, so all I'm really doing is saving the person one mouse click--or maybe I'm keeping Wikipedia's servers from searching. If a search engine doesn't turn up the results I want because what I want has nothing to do with what shows up in the search, I can occasionally improve the search engine results through my contribution and make it easier for the next person.
I also fix a lot of typos (too many of those end up being ones I made, usually recently) or punctuation or grammar problems. Occasionally I find these when I make a mistake in a search.
How do I have all this time?
The reason I have so much time to work on Wikipedia: I inherited enough money to live on if I'm cautious, though I didn't have my own computer and I'm lucky several area libraries, mostly at colleges, have more computers than they need, provided I arrive at the right time. The colleges also have great online resources not available to everyone which give me some advantages in doing research. One of the colleges is close enough that some parts of the campus are farther from the library than my house is, but they limit my online time while two other college libraries within driving distance did not, though they do now.
What is my philosophy?
I believe in adding more information than necessary because it can always be deleted if not right for Wikipedia. If new information is not added when it is easy to find, it might be hard to find later. Also, I support the idea of trivia sections in articles because I enjoy reading these, and it might be hard to find the same information elsewhere online. If I am at home, then I don't dare go to other sites to find such information, so I really hope the supporters of trivia in Wikipedia prevail.
Wait, he has a degree in WHAT?
I have a couple of bachelor's degrees, but despite having an accounting degree I'm lucky to be able to do my taxes. Anyone who answers questions on the Computing Reference Desk knows my computer science degree didn't help me much either, though computers were very different when I got the degree. I mention the degrees because they may be helpful to me in editing certain articles. My general college education has been most helpful, though.
Where do I edit and why?
As of July 15, 2008, I have my own computer. I had the Internet installed on the afternoon of August 5, 2008. For that reason I can be here to edit even on holidays when libraries are closed. However, to keep my computer running smoothly I avoid going to more than a few select sites at home. I look at certain online newspapers at home if the college library nearby is closed. If I find something Wikipedia needs on one of those days I can add it.
As of January 1, 2009, NewsBank, one of the most useful online resources that allowed me to contribute to Wikipedia, was dropped by most of the libraries I go to. The explanation given was that the resource cost 15 percent of the budget but generated only 3 percent of the usage. I could pay for the same information, but I choose not to.
Six months later I found that another online resource may have much of the same information, since the search function seems to be working better.
In November 2010 I discovered that a library I go to frequently once again has NewsBank. But it's not in the budget so right now they seem to be getting it for free. How long they'll have it I don't know but my contributions will go way down when they don't.
Help desk and Teahouse
As of 2012, I look at Help Desk questions that were asked at least one or two days earlier. While looking at archived questions I noticed a few never got answers or the questions were misinterpreted but I could have answered correctly in some of these cases. I don't visit Wikipedia often enough to really help out on that page, and the others who do answer questions do a better job than I would. I have so far made an attempt to answer numerous questions that had not been answered, but sometimes I can't figure out answers.
Late in 2012, because the New contributors' help page was merged with the Teahouse, I ended up visiting the Teahouse regularly. I now answer more questions there than on the Help Desk due to the different order of the questions, but I don't get there nearly often enough to do much.
|/American_Plastic_ Bricks||/Michael_Lucarelli||All my subpages||/Template:Vendetta||/Club Crackers||/Volt (soft drink)||/Michael Gerst|