Tuesday, May 06, 2008

as seen on wikipedia



A great thing about the Creative Commons license is that you never know where your stuff will turn up next, or who will use it, or what they'll use it for. Case in point: I recently noticed that a couple of my photos on Flickr were getting hits from Wikipedia. After a bit of poking around, I was surprised to see photos I'd taken gracing a couple of Wikipedia pages. Which is perfectly fine with me -- Creative Commons and all that -- it's just kind of surprising. Does that mean I've finally hit the big time, after years of toiling in the dusty backwaters of blogospace (to coin a mixed metaphor)? Or is it a sign Wikipedia's in even more trouble than I thought? I really don't know what to make of it all.

So check out the articles on Mill Ends Park and O'Bryant Square. The O'Bryant Square article is poorly written and uninformative, and uses one of my Holga photos of the place, if you can believe that. I'm half-tempted to sign up and edit the article myself, but so far I've managed to avoid getting sucked into that particular vortex of the Interwebs. Once you start messing around on Wikipedia, I imagine there's no end to it. There's always another poorly-written article to clean up, or tag with the omnipresent "does not cite references" warning, and there's always a pointless interpersonal flamewar to join. In many ways, Wikipedia seems to be the Usenet of the 21st century. I don't mean that in a derogatory sense, or at least not entirely in a derogatory sense.

A search on Wikimedia Commons shows that over time, over a dozen photos of mine have been uploaded by various people, although most don't appear in actual WP articles, at least that I'm aware of. (I've also added the tag 'wikipedia' to the original photos on Flickr, FWIW)

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