Edit-A-Thon #1

This was my first time at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and also my first time at an edit-a-thon.  Probably the most striking thing about having the edit-a-thon in the museum was how cool it was to be around the subjects (sort of) that I was writing about.  It was also a very interesting environment with all of the Wikipedians there, as well as other people interested in the subjects and the museum’s resources on the subjects.

During the edit-a-thon, I chose to work on the Wikipedia page for Arline Fisch, who is an American artist, working in metal and jewelry.  The first thing I did was add an info box.  Most of the other pages Screen Shot 2014-02-17 at 11.47.01 PMhad an info box, and I really wanted to get some practice making an info box so that I could use it in the future.  I also added citations, of which there were very few when I first started work on the article.  Here, it did help to be in the library, because I picked up a tip from one of the Wikipedians present in the room.  He mentioned that when looking for citations for facts in an article, rather than starting a search for scratch, use references already present in the article, as they quite possibly could contain the information you were looking for.  The tip, I realize, is sort of a no-brainer, but it hadn’t occurred to me and it made sense that someone experienced with these things would have figured out an efficient way to do them.

I also added a redirect page for Arline Fisch (Arline M. Fisch), which I Screen Shot 2014-02-17 at 11.54.44 PMnoticed a number of other articles were linking to (red links).  This is probably a relatively insignificant page in the grand scheme of Wikipedia, but it was really cool to create my own page for the first time, and also good to get practice with redirects.  Overall, redirects and info boxes were definitely two new skills I added during the edit-a-thon.

It made sense to me why edit-a-thons are organized when I saw how the group of people can facilitate better editing endeavors.  That being said, one thing that I thought could be added is a demonstration of some skills involved with editing a page.  For each event, maybe a few skills (like making redirects or info boxes) could be highlighted.  Obviously not every event is going to be half made up of students relatively new to Wikipedia, but even then, maybe some resources a particularly relevant reference to the subject could be focused on to help facilitate editing even more.

First Edit-a-thon Reflection

It was my first time to the Smithsonian American Art Museum. And personally I have to say it’s my favorite Smithsonian place(including the Zoo). It has so many cool art pieces there, and unlike the “serious art” I used to see, the paintings and art pieces are closer to people.  A thing that I really want to mention is some pieces are creepy, but in a beautiful way. I would definitely go back to that museum and tell more my friends about it.

After the tour when I went back to the edit room I saw Jim(I didn’t catch his last name), Wikipedia username: duckduckstop was on the Jaen Patchett article I’m contributing and searching for her pictures. So I came to talk to him about my idea of how to make her article better, and most important of all, I really wish I can put her photo on her Wikipedia. He first showed me how to find copyright free photos on Google search. After we got no luck for Patchett’s photo. He told me about the fair use of the people photos for their profile pages. And  how to deal with the situations of the profile photo of a public figure who was dead. So Jean Patchett’s situation who died a decade ago and the photo is for her profile use, it is okay to put one photo of her there without the ownership of the copyright.

Then I wanted to edit the page of Nancy Grossman. I want to see if there is some of her collections that are in the museum so I can go and take photos to put in her article. She actually has five art pieces in the museum but they are all not for show. Then I tried to edit another artist Romaine Brooks with Joyce Lu. We went to took photos of her painting, then we found out that if the art is published after 1920, we cannot put up on the Wikipedia because of the copyright thing.

I filmed a package for this meetup with my voice-over. I tried to upload to Wikicommons and put on our meetup page. But the Wikicommons seemed like were having a hard time processing longer video, I waited for ten minutes and it was still processing. I will try again tomorrow to see if I can do that.

Basically, I used what I learned from the classes before,  and I would want to know more about the fair use right and copyright. We are now editing Wikipedia and in many situations we would need to put up photos that are not taken by us but we want to put them their for the sake of the better construction of the article.

Reflections on Smithsonian American Art Museum Edit-a-thon

JoseOur last class meeting at the Smithsonian American Art Museum was another reminded of how amazing and resource rich this particular Smithsonian is. I’ve always passed this located on my way to the Verizon Center or Shake Shake, but my first time visiting wasn’t until this last MLK holiday, where I went with my mom to see the  civil right’s exhibit and One Life: Martin Luther King Jr photo gallery. During my first visit, I was drawn to the museum’s Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art which offered a diverse display of what it is to be Latino in the United States.  The impact of visiting that exhibit was why I decided to contribute to the article on the 18th century Puerto Rican artist José Campeche.

My contributions ranged from updating sources, imbedding a fluid gallery that incorporated the image files that the article had originally displayed.  And replacing a list of his works with a condensed version that only included what the American Art Museum had in its collection. Unfortunately for me, participating in this Edit-a-thon didn’t help much, since no one else volunteered (or I wasn’t contacted directly) to help edit José Campeche’s article, and the curators didn’t have a file with any historical information on him. So my duty was to exhaust all of the reputable sources I could find on the internet.

Editing artist’s pages, however, was an interesting exercise because I had to figure out which of his works should be displayed and how.  I eventually opted to create a smaller gallery that I noticed other pages incorporated in order to give a general idea of the types of work a particular artist produced.  I believe pairing off before meeting for an Edit-a-thon, and doing preliminary research beforehand would have made the day a little more productive for me. That way, no one is accidentally left alone to work on an article and partners can decide what information should be included and how it should be worded a lot quicker.

Like I mentioned before, it was hard researching José Campeche since his legacy is surrounded by mystery.  I learned that his possessions were later destroyed in a fire after he passed away, so his narrative relies heavily on his art.

Edit-a-thon Reflection

Last Tuesday was my first visit to the American Art Museum. I have little experience with art, especially American art as I only studied it in high school where there was a stronger focus on European art. I learned about different types of art I had never heard of before while touring the museum and researching an artist for the article I was editing. I was interested in the process of displaying the artwork- I thought it was great that visitors can see people working on framing and preserving the works for display upstairs.

Since I don’t have much experience with American art, I picked a folder at random from the back table. It was biographical information for the artist Paul Cadmus. In the edit-a-thon page, it was noted that Cadmus’ page needed a stronger biography, not just a list of his work. I added to the education and life/career sections of the existing Wikipedia article. I used the information from the folder pulled by the museum and various Internet sources to fact check and cite information.

The museum atmosphere definitely helped during the edit-a-thon. We could upload pictures from the museum and use their current information to update the articles easily. Our guide, Bridget, mentioned that museums are an informal way to learn, and the edit-a-thon matched that idea. Seasoned editors were there to assist us in a relaxed setting where we could get the museum’s current information and put it on one of the most popular sites in the world. Being together helped rookies like me get a better sense of how important editing correctly is.

Most of my editing was similar to things I learned in the first few assignments.  I added links and improved the information and sentence structure similar to what I have done for the first two assignments.

I enjoyed the relaxed nature of this edit-a-thon, but it would be interesting to see what a more structured format would be like. Maybe grouping people specifically for adding photos and other media or arrange groups to work on a specific article. I liked the freedom to choose what you want to work on but I think more collaboration would happen if groups were created.

In future edit-a-thons I would like to become more comfortable with citing information. My knowledge improved at this one, but citing from multiple sources was difficult and I think I need a firmer understanding of it. I would also like to learn more about the information at the museum. The quick tour was great but I wished it had been longer. I understand the class has time constraints but maybe have a longer option for a tour if students could get there earlier.

Overall I think it was a great first experience at an edit-a-thon and I look forward to the next one.

Edit-a-thon Reflection

I enjoy edit-a-thon experiences so much because I never think about sitting around the huge table and working on the same project with many people from different areas.

It’s my first time ever been to American Art Museum, the gallery is so beautiful that I could see paintings for centuries.

To be honest, it’s my first time went to Museum after live in America. It’s not as crowded as in China. I like our guide so much, she leads us to see the popular paintings and tells us why she like them. I could remember one picture is famous for the color skills in that time. If she didn’t point out for me it’s hardly for me to know the background behind it.

Compared with normal articles, edit-a-thon in Art Museum is a very big challenge for me. First of all, I do not familiar with the topic. I am not major in art or history. So all the information I need to learn come from website. However, according to the workers in the museum, even the sentences from official site of Art Museum, I cannot quote them directly. But I am glad I still made a few changes in that three hours.

Here is all the links of differences.

John Valentine Haidt: I quote the cities he used to studied. Through editing, I just learnt from one Wiki video that for the articles inside Wikipedia, I can just add two square brackets instead of insert a link. It’s really a quick way to make a change.

One more change about John Valentine Haidt is he started painting when he was 45 years old. Though it just a simple sentence but it takes me half an hour to find our what does wiki needs. And I need to find out almost all articles about his life and see which part cannot find on Wikipedia, it’s not easy to do so.

Asher Brown Durand: I add a video of his painting with the voice of our guide. So people could get a better knowledge about what kind of paintings he did. Compared with images, video have more story telling ability. I felt lucky that I take a camera that day.

James Hampton: It’s the second video I made for edit-a-thon experiences. However, when I want to double check the article, it already delete by  someone already. He said I violate copyright issue. Actually I am not, because the video is made by myself, I upload it to Wikicommon, so it should not be violate anything. I will leave him a message and ask why.

In general, edit-a-thon is very interesting experiences so far. Instead of sitting in the classroom. I can talk with different people, though we don’t know each other but we work as a team. It feels awesome! In addition, when I editing articles, I sat in Smithsonian American Art Museum, If I want to know more about an artist, I just walk outside and get a look, or ask worker directly, it’s really very convenient. It just like I sit in front of Tiananmen Square and editing the article of Tiananmen on Wikipedia. I cannot wait to have more edit-a-thon experiences in the future!



Reflections from First Edit-a-thon

Though D.C. is home to many amazing museums, The American Art Museum is my favorite museum so I was very excited to have my first edit-a-thon there. I really liked how the edit-a-thon began with a tour of the Luce Foundation Center. I’ve always found that portion of the museum to be very interesting in terms of the actual artwork as well as design/layout of the room. I also always forget that anyone can go there to study or do work…definitely need to do that soon!

To begin my contributions, I visited the Wikipedia meet-up page for the edit-a-thon where I looked at the list of articles that needed help. I chose to edit the article on the female metal artist Arline Fisch and picked up a folder with reference materials about her. I added her birth date to the information box, and then I added more information to the list of colleges and universities that Fisch attended. I quickly discovered that Arline Fisch was a popular article for many people and experienced lots of conflict in editing because as I was editing a section so was someone else in the room so I decided to move on to another article that was not receiving as much attention.

The next article I decided to work on was for another female artist named Beverly Pepper. Once again, I grabbed folder with reference materials about Pepper, and I went through all of the research, determining what needed to be added to her Wikipedia article. I ended up adding information about her early life as a painter and how a trip to Cambodia sparked her interest in sculpting, which she continued to pursue for he rest of her career. I also added information to the field portion of Pepper’s information box. I wanted to reference my the material that I added to Pepper’s article, but I could not find Pepper’s bibliography on the American Art Museum’s website. I was confused and frustrated by this (especially as I tried to look it up some more after the edit-a-thon), and if time hadn’t run out, I would have liked to review with the museum’s employees how to reference the materials they gave us.

In between edits, I engaged in conversation with one of the Wikipedia experts, Chandler Wiland. She was very sweet and had a lot of great stories to share about herself and her experiences with Wikipedia editing. I found this to be the most rewarding part of the edit-a-thon. I was surprised that, despite being a nurse and having no prior experience in digital crowd sourcing, Chandler was very active in the Wikimedia DC community and enjoyed going to edit-a-thins not just for the editing but also to meet other academics and engage in interesting discussions with them.

Overall, I enjoyed the edit-a-thon experience, but because no clear instructions were given, I don’t think I was as productive. I spent a lot of time deciding which articles to edit, what information I should add (as others were simultaneously editing the same section) and how to reference the materials that the museum provided. I regret not bringing a camera with me to the edit-a-thon. While adding information to the artists’ biography and career is important, I think it is also essential to add images of the artwork and the artist, and in taking pictures of the artwork, I would have taken more advantage of the unique access we had to the museum and its resources. In addition, I did not learn any new skills from the edit-a-thon; I was so overwhelmed by the unstructured environment of the edit-a-thon that I only made edits that I was familiar with from prior experiences.

For future edit-a-thons, it would be helpful for the professor and Wikipedia experts to assign specific tasks and challenges and for future hosts to review how to reference any materials they may give us in the editing process.

Edit a thon 1

During the edit-a-thon at the American Art Museum I learned a lot of new thing about Wikipedia and the museum itself. Before the edit-a-thon I had never been to the American Art Museum.  I Didn’t relize how large and detailed the collection of art their was. I thought that the Lucas foundation center was particularly interesting because of the amount of visible archives that were accessible to the public.
For the edit-a-thon I decided to focus on an American Sculptor named Ferdinand Pettrich. Ferdinand Pettrich’s wiki article was underdeveloped with its information and it didn’t have much media or references to the artist’s work. I decided to contribute to the article by adding a list of the artist’s work and also adding a few pictures of the sculptures since most of the work was in the museum. At first I wanted to take pictures of the work that was in the museum and then add my own pictures to the article. Then I realized that there were already, well-done detailed pictures of the sculptures on the museum web site.  While I was trying to add some pictures to wiki commons; I learn about the copyright statues of the pictures. I learned that I was able to use the pictures if the art was over 100 years old. I also learned about the different copy right tags that must be used when adding to the wiki commons. I had to use the {{PD-US}}  and the {{PD-old}} tag to prove that the images were ok to use. In the future I would like to learn more about copyright issues with museums and wiki commons. I also think that it would be nice to have the option to pre-select a topic or article before going into an edit-a-thon because that would give more time for editing and using the resources available.

Edit-a-Thon Reflection

This past Tuesday, I made my first ever visit to the American Art Museum for my introduction to the world of Edit-a-Thons. As I briefly roamed the museum before the event began, I was taken aback by the wing of miniature sculptures and molds, as well as the mere sprawl and scope of the museum itself. If the Edit-a-Thon accomplished anything,  it was convincing me that a follow-up visit to the museum is an absolute must.

When it came time to partake in the actual Edit-a-Thon, I decided to work on the page for American folk artist John William “Uncle Jack” Dey. The article was initially labeled an “orphan,” meaning that no other articles on Wikipedia linked to it.  Not sure of where to start, I consulted some museum documents on his background and notable works. From these documents, I was able to take away some clear articles where a Dey inclusion would feel natural: his hometown of Phoebus, Virginia and his genre of speciality, folk art. On these articles, I was able to include him as a notable resident and figure, respectively.

The museum’s resources also helped lead me to the remaining two articles I linked Dey’s page to. I learned that one of Dey’s most notable works (as notable as a folk work can be, that is) is entitled Adam and Eve Leave Eden. As I suspected, there is an entire art and literature section on the Adam and Eve article, providing me with another place to link to Dey’s work. Finally, once I learned which Dey pieces were displayed in the American Art Museum, I included his name amongst the artists featured in the museum’s collections.

While I enjoyed the Edit-a-Thon, my task did not allow me to build very much on the editing skills I had already attained. This was due primarily to the nature of fixing an orphan article, although I did value learning exactly what an orphan article is and how to repair it. In the future, I will probably look for a task that is a little more comprehensive or even forces me to create a new article. Building an article from scratch seems both daunting and exciting, and an Edit-a-Thon feels like an appropriate occasion to tackle that challenge.


Reflections: Edit-A-Thon at Smithsonian American Art Museum

Last week, our class met at the Smithsonian American Art Museum  to participate in our first edit-a-thon. A few members of the Wikimedia DC chapter, the chief digital officer of the Freer-Sackler Galleries and a representative from the National Museum of the American Indian joined us as well. Last year I wrote a few gallery reviews about exhibits at the American Art Museum for a reporting class, so this was not my first visit. However, I have never explored the visible archives section in the Luce Foundation Center before, and found it interesting to tour the rows of artwork and artifacts here.

Screen-shot of my Instagram post about our first Wikipedia edit-a-thon at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Screen-shot of my Instagram post about our first Wikipedia edit-a-thon at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Professor Lih began the event, explaining that edit-a-thons have no firm agenda. He noted that the organizer usually lists pages to work on, but suggests that editors dedicate their time to something that sparks the most interest on the Meetup page, or in this case within the gallery itself.

During this edit-a-thon, I focused on contributing multimedia to areas related to American Art. I downloaded the free Wikimedia Commons app to my iPhone, excited to contribute to a realm of Wikipedia lacking useful material. I enjoyed exploring the museum and learning new skills beyond those in Assignments 1 and 2. I think edit-a-thons in the future could be divided into teams. (We could work together like we did in class on the Satya Nadella article.) This would limit the independence of editing that I find unconstructive. I believe pairing up into groups of two or three would enhance the learning experience.

American Art Museum, Sports Portrait Gallery
American Art Museum, Sports Portrait Gallery

I feel as though the laid-back nature of the edit-a-thon is what makes it unique to be involved in. I look forward to next week’s session at the Archives Museum because I am a history buff, and cannot wait to see the documents we will be in close contact with! Below are a few of the images I captured with my mobile device and uploaded to Commons with the touch of a button. I chose to take these images specifically because they can be added to biographical pages on Wikipedia as a simple supplement.

Don’t you love technology?

A sculpture of Rachel Carson.
A sculpture of Rachel Carson.
Portrait of Clement Greenberg,
Portrait of Clement Greenberg,
A photo of a Dollhouse constructed by Miriam Shapiro. A student in our class requested I take a photo to supplement the article she was editing on Shapiro. Wiki-teamwork at its finest.
A photo of a Dollhouse constructed by Miriam Shapiro. A student in our class requested I take a photo to supplement the article she was editing on Shapiro. Wiki-teamwork at its finest.

Reflections on American Art Museum Edit-A-Thon

Last week I participated in my first ever edit-a-thon with my Wikipedia and Public Knowledge class from American University at the American Art Museum.

This was my second time at the American Art Museum, but my first with a class. It was really helpful having a museum staff to go to when I had questions. They provided important insight that made participating in the edit-a-thon more efficient.

It was neat sitting around the table with all the participants of the edit-a-thon. It was one of the most collaborative processes I’ve seen. Everyone was so helpful and willing to share their knowledge on the project.

I had class right before the edit-a-thon so I missed the tour of the museum. When I got there I originally chose to add the necessary infoboxes to wikipedia pages. I noticed we were missing a lot of pictures for the pages my classmates were working on, so Bailey and I set out to take the pictures that were needed around the museum.

Before setting out to take pictures around the museum, I downloaded the free Wikimedia Commons app from iTunes. This app allows people to take photos within the app and upload them straight to Wikimedia Commons. I added a brief title and description about each painting that I took a photo of. The app also allows you to choose one of three licensing options. I chose the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 licensing option.

The only thing I’m slightly confused about regarding the app is the permission settings. When I looked up on of the photos I uploaded to Wikimedia Commons straight from the app it said the media file was missing evidence of permission. This only showed up on one of the photos I uploaded so I’m going to go back and retrace what I did differently in uploading that photo then when I uploaded the other three photos.

I really enjoyed using the app. It was easy to use and navigate. I plan on using it in the future to take photos for my World Heritage Site WikiProject when I travel to Peru in March.

Being at the museum really helped make the edit-a-thon more thorough. I like the fact that if we needed a photo and can’t find it in commons we were able to just go take it ourselves. It was also helpful having the museum staff there to answer questions.