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This user is no longer active on Wikipedia.

I've been thinking about this for a while, and though I love this project, I'm burned out by what a nasty place it's become. Wikipedia does great good in the world, I think, but I don't have the energy to keep editing it for now. Thanks to everybody for all their great work here and all the good times.

Update: Since I've gotten some questions via e-mail, here's a few words to clarify my going.

About Me

About me[edit]

Kindness Campaign This user is a member of the Kindness Campaign.
Crystal Clear app tutorials.png This user has created 320 articles on Wikipedia.
Symbol question.svg This user has written or expanded 101 articles featured in the Did You Know section on the Main Page.
Gnome globe current event.svg This user successfully nominated or updated 41 articles featured in the In The News section on the Main Page.
Symbol support vote.svg This user has contributed to
50 Good Articles on Wikipedia.
Symbol support vote.svg This user has reviewed 358 Good Article nominations on Wikipedia.
Cscr-featured.svg This user has contributed to Featured List on Wikipedia.

I specialize in articles related to human rights or press freedom cases, particularly Amnesty International prisoners of conscience, and am an active participant at WikiProject Human Rights--you can read an interview with me about that here. A writer for VICE once called my account "the digitized poltergeist of Richard Holbrooke", a description which caused Mrs. Khazar a good deal of amusement. My favorite individual article that I've worked on is Eleanor Roosevelt, which I helped to bring to Good Article (GA) status; Anonymous (group), which I also brought to GA status, is one of the 200 most popular articles on Wikipedia.

I used to be an international development worker and have lived on a few different continents; I also have a literature PhD and worked for several years as a professor, and even wrote a few articles for paper encyclopedias before these largely disappeared. After a severe disability left me mostly bed-bound, though, I thought Wikipedia was my best outlet to keep contributing to education. Between health issues and my future Wikipedian Little Miss Khazar, never be surprised if I disappear mid-discussion or just Wikignome for a day or two.

I'm always glad to help other users, new or old, so don't hesitate to drop a note to my talk page with a request, even if we've never met before. If it's in my area of interest, I'll lend a hand; if it's not, I'll try to point you to someone else who can. Collaboration is the best part of Wikipedia.

Goals for 2013[edit]

My goals for 2013 are to review 365 GA nominations (one per day) and to bring the 10 most popular articles of WP Human Rights up to GA status. This list fluctuates from month to month, so I'm sticking with the December 2012 list to make this goal possible:

  1. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi Good article (a GA before I began this project)
  2. Anonymous (group) Good article
  3. Nelson Mandela Good article
  4. Martin Luther King, Jr. Good article
  5. United States Bill of Rights Good article
  6. Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution Good article
  7. First Amendment to the United States Constitution Good article
  8. Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution Good article
  9. United Nations
  10. The Holocaust

As a bonus, I also got five others from the top 100 up to GA. (The numbers are the ranks the month they were promoted):

Based on the success of this year's experiment, I may make it a five-year goal to fill in the full top 100.

A challenge, and the Million Award[edit]

Improving Wikipedia's important articles

Here's an essay worth your time to read. It argues that Wikipedia tends to reward users for the number of articles improved rather than importance of articles improved (measured either by popularity or WikiProject rankings). This leads to massive improvement of low-importance, rarely viewed content, while important articles languish because they are time-consuming to revise and therefore less "profitable" in community incentives (DYK credits, GA and FA stars, etc.).

This isn't intended to slag editors on obscure topics, who include some of my favorite Wikipedians; I write a lot of rarely-viewed stuff myself. But after twelve years as an encyclopedia, it really is embarrassing that we haven't brought our most important and most read content to minimal standards. I think TCO makes a good case that we should start focusing on article importance rather than quantity. As a small contribution in this direction, I recently created the Million Award to recognize editors who work on our most-read content.