User talk:Zephoria

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Hello, Zephoria, and welcome to Wikipedia! Thank you for your contributions. I hope you like the place and decide to stay. Here are a few good links for newcomers:

I hope you enjoy editing here and being a Wikipedian! Please sign your name on talk pages using four tildes (~~~~); this will automatically produce your name and the date. If you need help, check out Wikipedia:Where to ask a question, ask me on my talk page, or place {{helpme}} on your talk page and someone will show up shortly to answer your questions. Again, welcome!  --Idont Havaname 20:15, 5 November 2005 (UTC)


Hi Danah, we chatted briefly at the end of your talk at AAAS in St. Louis -- you had some very interesting data! If there's any way that I can return the favor and help you come up to speed on Wikipedia culture, please let me know. --Elonka 20:29, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Thanks Elonka! Actually, what has always interested me is when Wikipedia succeeds and when its mechanisms are flawed. I've never gotten involved in editing articles, but have had lengthy conversations with Wikipedians and my old officemate visualized the site. --Zephoria 20:35, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
Heh, I was actually wondering if some of the battle over your own article was as a "test" of the Wikipedia system. So, I'm willing to argue Wikipedia policy, chapter and verse, to give you a good introduction.  ;) You've already seen the Deletion Review process. The way things are heading now with the lowercase issue, if it gets pushed, is going to lead to a full out RfC (Request for Comment). Though I have to caution you that this might be more negative attention than you want. For now, my honest best advice, is to keep in mind that Wikipedia culture moves very slowly -- though things may happen very rapidly in Instant Messaging, on Wikipedia, decisions can take weeks to make. One editor will post a question, and there'll be this tortoise-like pondering of it, as other editors pop in, maybe one every couple days, to give their own opinion. After a few weeks of this, a decision may get made. And in the meantime, any hyper-active editors who try to jump in and make immediate changes, tend to get perceived with great negativity. There are also policies about revert wars, where if someone gets *too* hyper about making repeated changes to a page within 24 hours, they get locked out for a "cooling off" period. Other issues to stay aware of: Autobiographical changes are greeted with *enormous* skepticism, because of the amount of spam that gets thrown at Wikipedia. I can easily point you at many examples of people trying to use Wikipedia as a self-promotional vehicle, and the rapidity with which their information gets deleted. There are many Wikipedia editors whose primary goal in life seems to be rooting out spam, and removing anything from Wikipedia that they don't deem as "encyclopedic." See Inclusionism v. Deletionism. Oh, and one other piece of advice: dropping Jimbo's name is not a plus -- in fact, in some areas of Wikipedia, it's an instant way to make enemies and get changes reverted. --Elonka 20:57, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
Up until today, i have not participated in the discussion so there's no way of seeing my participation as a "test", but i have been observing the entire process closely with researcher eyes. And i've been less than thrilled at what i've watched unfold. I'm very interested in the potential of Wikipedia and very disturbed to see it move in certain directions because policy trumps quality. Encyclopedias involved research - they do not depend on mainstream media for their sources. A media-centric Wikipedia is quite contradictory to an encyclopedia. As far as your advice, Jimmy is a dear friend of mine and the person that i talk about Wikipedia with the most. His vision frames this project and he is undeniably the public representative and, thus, held publicly accountable for when Wikipedia is perceived as moving in problematic directions. I don't care if discussing his POV gains me enemies; i do think it's critical to resolve the values that he espouses publicly with the practices on the ground. --Zephoria 23:09, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
Oh my. So you're planning on personally taking on the task of championing Jimbo's vision, by starting with your own bio article?  ;) I have to ask: As an academic, have you ever run into the situation of learning that it's difficult to objectively observe and research something with which you are closely associated? I understand the value of digging into a culture yourself (as a professional online community manager for the last 15 years, that's one of the reasons that I'm here too), but I'd be very cautious, myself, about writing an article on Wikipedia based on what I thought about the judgment of people who were editing the Elonka Dunin bio.  ;) I've had my own moments of, "What the hell are they thinking, isn't it obvious that that's wrong?"  ;) So, just as some friendly advice, you might get better data off of observing this type of debate on someone else's bio, instead of your own. I'd also strongly recommend getting more familiar with Wikipedia communication style, because right now it's going to be immediately obvious to any experienced Wikipedia editor reviewing your page, that despite the fact that you've had a Wikipedia account for years, you're still not very comfortable with the interface, and you're kind of stumbling around. Which isn't necessarily a problem for most people -- everybody has to start somewhere. But you've presented yourself as an "authority" on Wikipedia in the past, and to anyone who wants to dig into your editing history, it will rapidly become painfully obvious that you're not as good at Wikipedia as was implied. So I'd be cautious about how you present yourself. --Elonka 23:57, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
I have never tried to present myself as an expert on Wikipedia so i'm not sure where you're getting that impression. I have critiqued its end-result in academic contexts and championed its value in getting information across barriers. My analyses of Wikipedia have been solely on the resultant text. I'm not looking to dig into the culture of production here nor am i trying to collect data. What i was observing with my own article was a discussion about a topic that i know very intimately. Sometimes, being very close to the material is the best way of seeing how biases emerge. I learned this when i started working with the press as well and had a voice in trying to get information through. It disappoints me continuously to see the politics and biases in such information distribution channels. My (mistaken?) impression was that Wikipedia was not duplicating these biases. --Zephoria 02:39, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
January 4, 2005, "Academia and Wikipedia", which is currently being used as a reference at the article on Wikipedia. --Elonka 02:48, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
Yes, that is a blog post that i wrote critiquing the use of Wikipedia in academic contexts and the challenges of educating students who interpret all articles as equal. Since then, i have been convinced that the standard for development is encyclopedic, but i have not been convinced that Wikipedia should be evaluated as an encyclopedia. What has emerged in this discussion is a confirmation of that view; the process is far less rigorous than that of an encyclopedia. All that said, this is a blog entry, a public critique, not an academic analysis where i purport to be an authority on Wikipedia or talk about the culture of Wikipedia - i spoke as an academic and TA based on classroom observations of usage. As i stated in the entry, i am a frequent user of Wikipedia and i edited a set of anthropology articles a while back - basic stubs and stupid stuff. (Thankfully, most of them have long since been improved.) There is a big difference between academic articles that are researched and blog entries based on experience. This goes back to the core of our discussion - what constitutes a legitimizing venue? How does my blog make me an expert on Wikipedia but not on myself? How does the media make me an expert on something but not refereed publications? And the bigger question is why are you trying to espouse Wikipedia's practices and demean me as an outsider rather than welcome critiques that might improve the system and processes? I'm not engaging here for my own gain - i'd prefer to have the entry be deleted. I'm engaging because i'm bothered by what i'm seeing and i want to see the system improved. --Zephoria 03:16, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
(sigh) I am not trying to demean you, I am trying to save you grief. I got involved with your article as a professional courtesy, because I saw it was in trouble, I knew it was probably heading for a deletion review, and I saw that the main people trying to save it (including one person who I know through the game industry, which is why my attention was drawn to the article in the first place), were stumbling and making a lot of newbie mistakes that were going to make the problem worse. So I stepped in to rescue and help mentor. I'm trying to teach you the language that will help you to best communicate on Wikipedia, which (call me crazy) I thought you would be interested in learning, considering your areas of expertise. To be clear: Your article was never a personal issue with me. I am not active on Friendster or MySpace, and I didn't even recognize your name when I first started this project. Then after I started doing research, I realized that I'd heard you speak at the AAAS conference (I was a speaker there too), and had chatted with you for a couple minutes, so that helped give me a bit more context for working on the article. As for your "critiques", they would have a lot more weight if they were about other articles than your own. To be honest, the more that you complain about your own article, without putting in any effort on other Wikipedia articles in the meantime[1], it looks even worse, and reinforces the perception that the article is just being used as a promotional vehicle, which is going to cause further problems for it (and you) down the line, as it is setting off "self-advertisement / spam" flags. And no, that's not a threat from me, but a heartfelt caution from someone who's got her own hard-won experience about dealing with the Wikipedia culture. As for "improving systems and processes," I assure you that your complaining to me, or on your talk page, has little to no effect. If you want to improve Wikipedia policies, I recommend getting involved in the discussions on the *Policy* talk pages. In summary: I would be happiest if you would perceive me as an ally and a resource, but you seem to have projected some sort of authority figure mantle on me, so that may not be possible anymore. My inclination at this point is to step away -- Wikipedia is a big place, with thousands of other articles that I can be spending time on. --Elonka 05:31, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Mizuko Ito[edit]

hi Zeph, Mizuko Ito is being proposed for deletion via afd. i thought you'd want to know. --Buridan 16:33, 3 May 2007 (UTC)


Ms boyd, you will no doubt be pleased to know that I have overruled the debate on naming your article. Since it is your legal name, it is right and rational that the article be named danah boyd (although, for technical reasons, it is found at /wiki/Danah_boyd). DS 01:11, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

  • Thank you. I find the whole thing very confusing and bothersome TBH. - zephoria 21:29, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

AfD nomination of Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies[edit]

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An editor has nominated one or more articles which you have created or worked on, for deletion. The nominated article is Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies. We appreciate your contributions, but the nominator doesn't believe that the article satisfies Wikipedia's criteria for inclusion and has explained why in his/her nomination (see also Wikipedia:Notability and "What Wikipedia is not").

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Please note: This is an automatic notification by a bot. I have nothing to do with this article or the deletion nomination, and can't do anything about it. --Erwin85Bot (talk) 01:07, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

Nothing to hide argument[edit]

Hi, danah!

I found one of your editorials in the Dallas Morning News, and I also found it on a website "Zephoria" - Is this your personal website? I linked to the DMN editorial at Nothing to hide argument. WhisperToMe (talk) 20:20, 26 June 2013 (UTC)