Wikipedia Contributions and The Old Web

It was back in 2013 that I first found myself editing some Wikipedia pages. Occasionally I would come across I topic I could add something to (in one case a whole paragraph), but generally it’s little corrections I make here and there, like a space between the end of a word and the quotation number; little things that jump out at me and scream “correct meeee!”

When I first signed up to WordPress to make these additions and corrections I pondered the formalities, in a silly way, and blogged about them, producing a ‘Big Bang Theory’ Room Mate Agreement-style… agreement.

Often I find myself delving into the ‘Talk’ pages and in doing so I often come across more insight than I glean from the actual page itself. The problem I see here is that I come across such old statements that make a topic feel stagnant; it’s like coming across an old website (that you know is old from the style of the pages), which can have some charm about them, but on WordPress where the theme is “up-to-date” such content and comments, with those glaring dates from yonks ago, give a dull feeling about things.

In many ways the internet now feels like an old place to me; I remember when it was new and fresh and there wasn’t really any old content or old websites to be found. A couple of weeks ago I came across a guy’s personal website after he was made SETI@home user of the day; it reminded me of the time I was SETI@home user of the day, and in what he conveyed through his now old website and his statements there I saw myself; I saw all the trivial stuff I’ve published online. In some ways I have become pretty self-conscious about what I post online, not only because of how it might be read by others, but because I know in a year-or-so’s time I’ll come across it again and decide to clear it out… it’s what I do to try and ensure what I have online isn’t another one of those old websites.

A month or so ago I found myself travelling along some random roads on Google Street View. I had found a touristy spot in America that claimed to be one of those “most southern points…” or something like that, which was similar to near where I live where there are claims to be “the most northern points…” so even though there is a thousand miles between these two places, they are worlds apart, I could see some similarities. As I travelled along these roads I would see strangers standing around, who had been caught observing the Google Street View vehicle as it passed them; I pondered about these immortalised souls, looking at the date stamp of the image, and thinking about how much time had passed in that person’s life, and my own, especially since I was whittling away my time travelling random roads on Google Maps.

And then there is Second Life where I have been a visitor for over five years. Again, travelling roads, albeit actual virtual and imaginary ones, passing time, and now reaching a point of perspective that makes me see how old and dated some parts look, or how they look the same as the time when I first discovered them all those years back. The paths look old and while some will reminisce with fondness and visit places of old with a smile, I find myself not wanting to waste any more time viewing trivialities, especially not ones I’ve seen before. The physical roads (even virtual ones) may be the same they were five+ years ago, or old and dilapidated, or old and revamped, but this is irrelevant to my journey which continues forth, ideally stepping my foot forward onto something new, my internal view having the perspective it couldn’t have gained without having already travelled that road before.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s