Tag Archive | Wikipedia

Five Years of Tuesday Newsday

A Bloggers Life

January 11, 2022

When, on January 10, 2017, I posted my first Tuesday Newsday, I had no idea that five years later, I could say I’ve written 248 weekly articles which average about 1,000 words each. For those keeping score at home that is a quarter of a million words. Guess I’ve had something to say.

Every so often I get into a discussion with someone about my blog and why I started writing it.

Back in the fall of 2016, I was actively looking for a publisher for my novels. Friends of mine, Jim and Sandy, suggested that I go with them to Portland and meet their friend, Judith Glad, who had published several novels of her own AND also published novels for a handful of other authors.

So off we went. We had lunch with Judith (or ‘Jude’ as they affectionately call her) and she and I sat down that day and discussed writing and publishing and what our particular journey’s looked like. It was a delightful adventure.

Author Judith Glad

One of the topics which came up was whether or not I had a webpage.

“No!” I exclaimed. “I haven’t published any of my novels. What would be the purpose?”

Jude gently explained that, as a writer, you still create the webpage and then it is ‘ready’ when you do get to the point of publishing your books.

This made total sense to me: do those things you will want to have in place for when you do publish.

Even though my books were not quite in line with the type of books she and her daughter’s publishing company takes on, I left that day feeling buoyed and determined to launch my own webpage and blog.

In early January I created an account on WordPress and started the painstakingly slow task of building my own webpage.

The first article was all about Jim Croce, whose birthday was January 10. It was a grand total of 348 words long.

The subject of my first post, Jim Croce

Since that first, rather short, article, I’ve developed a template of sorts as to how I approach most weeks. I search the web for things which occurred on the particular date. Last week, for example, I learned the patent for the roller skate was granted on January 4th and it piqued my interest enough that I decided to write about it. I try to look for topics which I can relate to my own experiences since a huge part of each week’s article is making the connection to something personal for me or others.

And I always mention the Infallible Wikipedia. One of my favorite weeks was a year ago on January 15 when I wrote all about… the Infallible Wikipedia! For those that do not know WHY I refer to it as the Infallible Wikipedia, be sure to visit my post which explains it: https://barbaradevore.com/2021/01/12/the-infallible-wikipedia/

The Infallible Wikipedia logo

Now, for those keeping score, those 248 posts represent about 68 percent of the number of days in a year. By my calculations I will have a post for every day of the year in a little over two years from now… or will I? That’s where this has gotten tricky. Thanks to Leap Years, there are some dates which simply do not fall on a Tuesday within my time frame and, of course, others which already have articles for that date but will soon have a second Tuesday.

In 2024, the Tuesdays start to repeat themselves. I wrote articles for March 5, 12, 19, and 26, for example, in 2019. Yet, those dates once again fall on Tuesdays and I can’t usurp the old articles for new ones. And what about those other dates which will be skipped over? Surely they deserve their moment of glory?

What to do, what to do? I’m actually still debating that question.

This was something I did not consider when I started writing Tuesday Newsday. Of course the reason for doing the webpage, originally, was to create a place where I could share when and where people could get my books. Obviously I have to make sure to have the first book – at least – published by then!

Creating my author’s webpage has truly brought me joy. It’s become, in many ways, a vehicle by which to pluck snippets of memories; captured in words for my children and others who might have a glimpse of what the world looked like five, ten, twenty, or more years ago.

That, more than anything, appeals to this historian’s heart. As one ages you realize that the world is NOT the same as it was when you were a child or even a young adult.

Pe0rhaps my favorite author, Laura Ingalls Wilder, captured that sentiment in the last section of her first book Little House In the Big Woods:

“When the fiddle had stopped singing Laura called out softly, ‘What are days of auld lang syne, Pa?’

One of the wonderful Garth William’s illustrations from Little House In the Big Woods

‘They are the days of a long time ago, Laura,’ Pa said. ‘Go to sleep, now.’

But Laura lay awake a little while, listening to Pa’s fiddle softly playing and to the lonely sound of the wind in the Big Woods. She looked at Pa sitting on the bench by the hearth, the firelight gleaming on his brown hair and beard and glistening on the honey-brown fiddle. She looked at Ma, gently rocking and knitting.

She thought to herself, ‘This is now.’

She was glad that the cosy house, and Pa and Ma and the firelight and the music, were now. They could not be forgotten, she thought, because now is now. It can never be a long time ago.”

But, alas, the days of our childhood disappear into the mists of time, and one day you wake up and you’re 25 or 45 or 65 and your head is filled with bits and pieces of memories and of people and times gone by.

Thank you to my many readers for indulging me these past five years. None of us know what next year or the year after that, or even the next week might bring. So do that thing which brings you joy and fulfillment!

My little corner of the world where imagination takes flight.

As always a link or two:

Although I didn’t get into the weeds on blogging and how many blogs there are, the Infallible Wikipedia does, in fact, have a page about it for those who wish to learn more:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog

The author who encouraged me to start my own webpage/blog:

http://www.judithbglad.com/

There appear to be a few ‘big boys’ who host web pages, including the one I chose, WordPress:

www.wordpress.com

The Infallible Wikipedia

The World’s greatest Encyclopedia

January 12, 2021

Back when the internet first started there was an explosion of new programs and new concepts. Connections were slow and done only via dial up. Pretty much anyone over the age of 40 no doubt recalls the noise the computer made as it connected you right before the computer generated AOL voice intoned, “You’ve got mail.”

Wikipedia’s familiar logo

In those days, all of our information came from traditional sources like newspapers, television, and books. Who among us – having grown up in the 1950’s through to the 1980’s – did NOT have a set of encyclopedias we used for research when those pesky term papers were due?

The physical encyclopedia was replaced in the late 1990’s by a CD program you loaded whenever you needed information. But it was not long – with the advent of higher speed internet and improvements in technology – a few people figured out that the internet itself was the most massive library in the world. Enter The Infallible Wikipedia.

It was on January 12, 2001, when Wikipedia was registered as a business. The rest, as one might say, is history.

In the early days there were a number of online encyclopedias which popped up. Several of those were offshoots from traditional encyclopedias. But they could not keep up with Wikipedia’s unique structure.

From The Infallible Wikpedia about The Infallible Wikipedia:

“Wikipedia is a multilingual open-collaborative online encyclopedia created and maintained by a community of volunteer editors using a wiki-based editing system. It is one of the 15 most popular websites as ranked by Alexa, as of January 2021 and The Economist magazine placed it as the “13th-most-visited place on the web”. Featuring no advertisements, it is hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation, an American non-profit organization funded primarily through donations.

A person reading a Wikipedia article. From http://www.playfm.gr

Wikipedia was launched on January 15, 2001, by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger. Sanger coined its name as a portmanteau of “wiki” and “encyclopedia.” It was initially an English-language encyclopedia, but versions in other languages were quickly developed. With 6.2 million articles, the English Wikipedia is the largest of the more than 300 Wikipedia encyclopedias. Overall, Wikipedia comprises more than 55 million articles, attracting 1.7 billion unique visitors per month. (snip)

 In 2006, Time magazine stated that the open-door policy of allowing anyone to edit had made Wikipedia the biggest and possibly the best encyclopedia in the world, and was a testament to the vision of Jimmy Wales. The project’s reputation improved further in the 2010s as it increased efforts to improve its quality and reliability, based on its unique structure, curation and absence of commercial bias.”

Since its founding, Wikipedia has done much to improve accuracy. That said – as with everything – it is up to each researcher to verify their sources. I have found that the links at the bottom of each Wikipedia article is a good place to start.

A set of traditional encyclopedias

For me – as an information junkie – I love that Wikipedia exists. While it doesn’t have articles on every topic in the world, the amount it does have is stunning. My parents’ set of 1950 something Encyclopedia Americanas can’t even begin to compare.

By the time I was using our family’s Encyclopedia set they were at least 10 to 15 years out of date

I do think I must credit my son with coining the phrase ‘The Infallible Wikipedia’ It was likely around 2002 or 2003 – as Wikipedia was just starting to take off – when our family became aware of the site. Every time one of us would often go to the internet in search of information, it seemed as if Wikipedia would be one of the hits. Because of the unique way Wikipedia uses its volunteer editors, however, one never knew if the information one found was accurate or not.

So my son started referring to any information we found on the site as being Infallible. Of course it was anything but Infallible.

The nickname stuck and not a one of us: hubby, son, or daughter, refers to Wikipedia without adding the moniker ‘Infallible.’

Four years ago when I wrote my very first blog post about musical legend Jim Croce, here’s what I said:

“You can visit the Jim Croce website for more information: http://jimcroce.com/ and there’s always the infallible Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Croce

Since that day – January 10, 2017 – I have now written 198 blog posts. And every single one of them references “The Infallible Wikipedia” in some way. There have been a few occasions where The Infallible Wikipedia was silent on the topic I chose. But, fortunately for me and my loyal readers, those occasions are rare.

Although it may sound like I’m mocking it, I’m not. Wikipedia is an amazing resource and it sure beats the heck out of trying to find relevant information in a 20 year old encyclopedia or searching through card catalogs at the library, both being methods I had to use during  youth and into adulthood.

So it is with great sincerity that I wish a Happy 20th anniversary to the Amazing, Helpful, Incredible, Irreplaceable, Infallible Wikipedia.