My Experience With Wikipedia

TLDR; The platform treats newbies like shit. 🚪

Three years ago, I was blocked completely from editing any articles on Wikipedia due to choosing a bad username (“FVCproductions” sounded like an organization – which I totally understood) and coming off as promotional in my first edit since I was trying to create a page for Fullstack Academy (this irked me because I used the same existing language for another coding bootcamp that was on Wikipedia at the time).

Now last spring in a Connective Media class at Cornell Tech, the professor actually invited a member of the Wikimedia foundation which is basically a nonprofit dedicated to maintaining Wikipedia and all related entities. Now this guy literally told us that Wikipedia has one of the poorest on-boarding processes ever and that a lot more people could probably be contributing if it was dramatically improved.

I think to myself hell yeah it could be improved! In my first interaction with Wikipedia, I wasn’t given any warning or feedback – I was just blocked. There could have been an on-boarding process forced on me as it should have with me being a first time contributor.

So now, after three whole years of not caring enough whether I was banned, I finally decided to change my username and make the plea for why I deserve to get unblocked.

And I still get some strongly worded BS.

The overall process made me feel ashamed, misinformed and overall not welcome at all and unfortuntaely or not, I don’t see myself ever contributing to the platform for these reasons.

Needless to say, I have strongly disliked Wikipedia ever since that experience and now have this terribly misguided image of it in my head being run by a bunch of male jerks.