Category Archives: Assignment 6

Assignment 6 – Edit-a-thon at NMAI

NCAA Mens Basketball tournament



For our group, we looked at the NCAA men’s basketball 2014 Wikipedia page. One of the first things that we noticed about the page was that it was created all the way back in 2007.

We were able to track the wikipeida traffic so we decided to base our data chart on the Wikipedia traffic. We also were able to track the Google search popularity of NCAA Men’s Basketball over time, So we included both on our data chart.   One challenge was that many of the sites that would allow us to track the social media trends, asked us to pay. Also many of the statistics that we did find, were based on one day or included other rending topics that were unrelated


Lola, Jeremy, Mackenzie

Washington Navy Yard Shooting Coverage Timeline

By: Taylor Shaw, Merissa Thomas, Hufsa Kamal and Mia Miller


Our group compared the evolution of social media, Wikipedia articles and news reports as it relates to the D.C. Navy Yard Shooting.

Our x-axis show the timeline of events. Our y-axis shows the level of intensity of coverage.

Aaron Alexis opened fire at 8:16 a.m. on September 16, 2013. The first report came from a tweet from the Washington Post and the Huffington Post at 8:17 a.m.  We predict that Twitter was the first line of communication to the public. It’s quick, simple and allows the viewers to be updated in real-time.

As more people heard of the shooting, this allowed a Wikipedia page to be created at about 9:03 a.m., moments after the suspect Aaron Alexis engaged with law enforcement.

As the timeline progresses and news developed, the Washington Post published an a few minutes after Alexis was shot by police. Live coverage of the event also began.

The interesting aspect of our timeline and the news coverage is the speculations surrounding the shooting. The news was constantly changing as the story developed. The change in information was also reflected on the Wikipedia page.

Breaking news sometimes gets a bad reputation. It’s easy to make a mistake in news coverage if you are reporting information as it happens.

Each platform,  continued to increase as the story developed. Many people retweeted content posted by news organizations. They also added commentary about their views or about the coverage of the event.

After sending a tweet about the first shoot out at the Navy Yard, The Washington Post was able to produce incremental reporting as they learned more about the events. When they had enough information, they were able to produce a short online story and develop the story as the timeline progressed and facts were confirmed.


NMAI Edit-a-thon

At the National Museum of the American Indian, I started editing Rick Bartow’s Wikipedia page. The page was a very simple listing of his education and some of his work. I picked his page at random on the list, interested in learning about an artist I had never heard of before.

The museum’s librarian was incredibly helpful to me. She had pulled the museum’s files on him and an incredibly detailed biography on his early life and artistic works. Through this very detailed biography, I started pulling the most important instances in his life to add to the “personal life” section of his Wikipedia page. This was the section I spent the most time on while at the museum. I worked on adding more to his background and education- I thought it was important to include more information about his Native American heritage and how he fell in love with art.

One of the Smithsonian’s employees who works with media content, told me about a YouTube series they did on Rick Bartow’s sculpture on display outside at the NMAI. There was also a lot of information in the three YouTube videos about the artist and his aesthetic. It would be great to incorporate these videos into Bartow’s Wikipedia page to add multi-media. The Smithsonian has so much video footage that could be uploaded and made safe to use in the commons. It was also great to work with the knowledgeable Smithsonian staff to bring better content to Wikipedia.

Since there is so much controversy surrounding the NMAI at the museum’s historical content and narrative, it was great to contribute to the museum’s goal of spreading more information about the lesser known Native American artists. The NMAI also did a great job of fostering a collaborative environment by providing us with great materials and helping us find the artists’ work within the museum. This was my favorite edit-a-thon so far!

Edit-athon at NMAI

During my time at The National Museum of the American Indian I did backtracking for The California Gold Rush.

The first thing that I noticed about this article was that it became a featured article in 2007. This was also when the spike of edits occurred the most, 2006 and 20007. Because of this I was wondering what could possible be wrong with article if it has been featured for over 5 years? After looking more closely at the article I began to see things that would make the article possibly problematic.


I found out that this article was connected to cultural wikiprojects such as Old West, Mexican American, Asian American, and Latinos. All of those cultural histories are affected by the Gold rush but there were no Native American Projects associated with the Article. This is surprising because the Native American were the people primarily effected by the Gold Rush.

Section in the article:

There is a section called Conflict with Native Americans in the article. This section is clear that the Native Americans struggled during the time of the Gold rush due to racism, and sickness. I did realize however, that this section could use much more detail. There was not much detail on specific tribes or specific historical events that happened during the time.

Talk page:

On the talk page I noticed a conversation entitle Government Sponsored Genocide of Indians. In this conversation an anonymous user said that a “PBS documentary on the Gold Rush, stated that county seats offered $100/head of each Indian, no matter if man, woman or child. Furthermore it stated that the counties were reimbursed by the state. Question: who put that policy in place?” User NorCalHistory replied saying, “I’m not aware of any such “policy” – perhaps an isolated instance (and I’m not aware of anything along these lines either).” This conversation happened 2007 around the time that the article was promoted to a featured article. There is never a clear conclusion to this question addressed on the talk page or the article itself.

Who are the main contributors:

User,NorCalHistory was the biggest contributor and advocate to the page. This user is from California and is clearly into history of California. Because of this users extreme love of California history, he or she might be biased towards their view of California rather than someone else who is ether not from California or at least not as big of a fan of California.

Overall I think that the main issue with this page is the lack of Native American influence and the lack of  big Contributors other than NorCalHistory. Because of this there is less detail and perspective on Native Americans than there really should be.


NMAI: Edit-a-thon

I remember when my mom and I decided to visit the newly opened National Museum of the American Indian, back when I was in Middle School. We anticipated an in-depth collection of the various tribes and communities who had been for centuries, silenced. Unfortunately, what we saw was a fantastically designed building filled with a couple of boats and an overpriced food court. Disappointedly, we walked up the winding staircases to each floor and left about an hour later with no real narrative heard. I wondered why there were so few artifacts in the one national museum whose only task was to collect and display native american “culture”. I asked myself, why  they failed so horribly? It wasn’t until our class meeting a few weeks ago that I learned of the institutional racism, and politics behind “national” museums and their collection of relics that stifled their exhibits.

I was thrilled to be a part of this exciting assignment, whose purpose was to give  a voice to various marginalized and forgotten communities. I decided to create a Wikipedia article on Lillian Pitt, a female mixed media artist who specializes in ceramic masks, and iconography of the land (Warm Springs Reservation) her ancestors cultivated. The museum had an entire folder committed to her to strides to recover her community, and I felt privileged to at least start a page, for others to complete. I made sure to include an info box, and a broad section for her background, iconography and her most notable collaborations with other Native American artists and activists. It is important to feature her charity and community work, and give a sense of the expansive community she represents. I was glad to come across her website which had a lot of in-depth information on her previous work. And I plan to list all of her achievements, which deserve to be broadcasted into Wikipedia.

See below for the article I started!

Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 11.55.52 PM Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 11.56.10 PM


NMAI Edit-a-Thon

The trip to the National Museum of the American Indian was very exciting; out of all the sites we’ve been to so far, this may have been my favorite.  I really liked the space and thought that the way that each separate exhibit seemed to have its own style was really cool.  I also really enjoyed the talk on the two Native American photographers.  I still don’t think I fully understand the intricacies of silver-plated photography (if that is even the right name) but I thought that, aside from just being really cool to look at, they both made really strong statements about Native American history.

Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 11.36.01 PM
Date and outcome of the disastrous 2006 reassessment.

I chose to do some backtracking on the Battle of Little Bighorn, which, as it turns out, has a rather long and checkered past.  By 2006, it was already considered a “Good Article,” and by looking at its archived past, we can see that it was in pretty good shape.  However, on November 18, 2006 — judgement day, if you will, the tide turned against the page and, under review, it was “delisted” and lost it’s good article status.  Since then there have been two attempts to get it re-added, but to no avail.

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An anonymous user questions the deletion of his “essay” on non-combatants, clearly not understanding that terming it an essay already casts doubt on its acceptability under Wikipedia encyclopedic standards.

The page has also been subject to some heated debate.  One centered around a lengthy and detailed section on the role of non-combatants in the battle.  One user had submitted what he referred to as “an essay” on the subject, only to have it removed by another user.  The other user, sensei48, argued that it required deletion, on the grounds that its length was out of proportion with its importance, that it included speculation, and that it used an inappropriate tone.  Sensei48, it should be noted, is the page’s most prolific editor, and he dominates the talk page.  Almost every conversation is started by or contributed to by him.  Unfortunately his user page does not offer much information on him, but I have to assume that the battle holds some significance for him.  Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 11.58.05 PMOther debates have gone on over the way in Custer’s troops marched (could it be compared to that of Ancient Roman soldiers?), whether the battle was a “decisive” victory for the Native Americans who fought, and the section on alleged survivors of the battle.


NMAI Edit-a-thon Reflection

Prior to this edit-a-thon, I had never been to the National Museum of the American Indian. To be honest, I did not even know this museum existed. I did some research on the museum beforehand to get a feel for what I was going in to. Despite reading about some negative reactions and critical response regarding the museums exhibits, I personally feel such a museum is essential and am glad that I now know about it.

As I first approached from outside, I was stunned by how cool the museum looks. When I think of Smithsonian museums, I never really think about the actual buildings exhibits are housed in, but when it comes to NMAI it is impossible not to. It is just such a beautiful building. Once inside the edit-a-thon, I was really appreciative of how helpful the staff was. They were all really friendly and incredibly informative. That’s honestly one of my favorite parts of these edit-a-thons. Our class gets to pair up with so many interesting GLAM institutions here in D.C., and every time we get to experience these institutions in ways most people don’t. The behind-the-scenes involvement this class offers just adds a whole new element to this class that I personally think is exceptional.

Now to my editing… After a few weeks of edit-a-thons, I’ve finally figured out exactly when I need to leave a museum in order to get back to campus in time for my next class. With that in mind, I knew I would have to the museum by 4:30pm. With the presentations and everything, that didn’t leave much time to do research and edit substantially so instead I decided to audit the Trail of Tears wiki page. I chose to do this because I thought with my limited time, I could focus solely on research rather than combining research and edits. Though I think this was the right move, I don’t think I realized just how involved this process was. When we talked about this idea of museums not necessarily being aware of their institution’s/exhibits’/topic area’s Wikipedia presence, I sort of questioned, “why not?” In my head, it seemed pretty simple to check up on. But in practice, looking at the content, editors, edit history, and metrics for several different Wikipedia pages is really involved. I was thankful I was only doing one page for this particular edit-a-thon.

Here are a few brief notes and basic data gathered through visual and metric analysis:
1. The article is available in 26 languages other than English
2. The Dutch “Trail of Tears” article is a featured article
3. The page has a hatnote in the section title “Legal Background
4. There are only seven users who have made more than 50 edits
-Two of those seven are bots
-Names of other top contributors: Vsmith, Robfergusonjr, Dbaba, Kevin Myers, Kbh3rd

Page View Stats
1. Viewed 79,215 times in the last 30 days
2. Usually gets between 2,000 and 4,000 views on weekdays (Mon-Fri)
3. Consistent trend of significantly fewer views on Saturdays and Sundays
-Perhaps this correlates with the school week? Students looking up info for school?

I think this trend is the most interesting thing I found out about this page. I wonder if there are other tools to further explore when/where people are checking out this topic. I would be very interested in learning why this page consistently gets less views on the weekends.

NMAI Edit-a-thon

Having heard about the National Museum of the American Indian for years, I was looking forward to visiting for the first time. During our time at the museum, I decided to edit the article on Edgar Heap of Birds. Edgar Heap of Birds, or Hock E. Aye VI, is known for filling a variety of different roles including artist, musician and Native American political advocate. I choose to edit this article specifically because, having previously never heard of Edgar Heap of Birds, I was excited to learn about him.

Unlike the previous edit-a-thons, where I started from scratch, Edgar Heap of Birds’ article already contained a good amount of information. The article contained an info box, a photo that adhered to Creative Commons guidelines, and sections on “Early Life,” “Professional Career,” and “Awards.” However, the article was poorly sourced and had passages directed copy and pasted from external websites. In addition, the reference section was awkward and split between five different sections. The majority of changes I made involved correcting these issues.

To avoid plagiarism, I edited several sections of the narrative so they were not an explicate replicate of the source website. I also updated narrative but added internal links to other Wiki articles.

I updated the expansive references sections by consolidating the different sections, namely the “Notes” and “References” sections. I also added content from the sites listed in the “External links” section and then moved these links from this section to the “References” section.

 Here is the section before:Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 10.50.13 PM


Here is the section after:

Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 11.29.49 PM

Although I did not have a lot of time to work on the article during the edit-a-thon itself, I was impressed both with the willingness for the NMAI staff to help out with the article and the variety of sources the staff had available to share with me. During my time at the museum I was provided with a book and a list of YouTube videos, both pertaining to Edgar Heap of Birds.

Overall, I enjoyed my first visit to the NMAI and I look forward to visiting again!


I was excited to visit the National Museum of American Indian’s for last week edit-a-thon. I admit that it is the most beautiful museum I’ve even seen before. The building attracted me  immediately and I couldn’t stop taking pictures. Our class was held on the fourth floor and it’s amazing to look down the building from the top. The museum gave me such a deep impression that I fell in love with it immediately.

Victoria and I were partners but we were interested in different people so we worked on different project. The woman I edited is Emmi Whitehorse. Emmi is a Native American painter. This project was different than the last one I edited because Emmi is alive and still working. She will mostly likely contribute to future exhibitions. I was really surprised that a famous Native American painter would have so little information about her. People should be able to Google her name and learn about her on Wikipedia. I think the article needs more editing than any other articles I have worked on. I can’t wait to get started.

I started editing Emmi’s page by adding her educational experiences. I was lucky and found all of the information I needed from the book the museum official gave us. I was also able to see a book she published several years ago. However, it’s too bad my major is not art, because I felt very unqualified to describe the painting style Emmi used.

I was also able to find a comprehensive portfolio or resume of her work. I found all of the exhibitions she took part in. I put all the exhibitions on her main page, those in museums and galleries, solo and group, so people could see what she did and see her achievements from such a long list of exhibitions.

I am so glad that I could take part in the museum edit-a-thon activity. When I edit an article about a woman who is still alive, it’s a totally different feeling from editing the people dead for years. I feel an even greater responsibility to double check before I put information on Wikipedia, because while I doubt Emmi will search for herself, if she does I want the information to be correct on Wiki. I would not want her to be disappointed if she found errors on her main page, so I was even more careful to check the information.

With only a few weeks left this semester, I wish I could go to more museums and have more edit-a-thon experiences with my classmates, professor, and the staff from the museums.


National Museum of the American Indian Edit-A-Thon

I really enjoyed visiting the National Museum of the American Indian on Tuesday, April 1st. This was my second visit, but first visit with a class. It’s such a beautiful building and is organized differently from most stereotypical museums. It’s more of a cultural immersion center. You can really tell that a lot planning and time went into this building down to the type of food they serve in the cafeteria, which are delicious American Indian inspired cuisines. The NMAI really rolled out the red carpet for us. The speakers were all not only really informative, but interesting too. I learned a lot about photography and different methods for developing film. The NMAI employees seemed to love their jobs, which made me want to contribute more so I’ve decided to continue working on my NMAI editing assignment for my final project.

At NMAI, Bailey and I worked together on creating a Wikipedia page for the photographer Will Wilson since he didn’t already have one. We went through the process of creating a page and deciding what to do since there was already another Will Wilson Wikipedia page. After researching to make sure Will does refer to himself by Will and not William and talking with Professor Lih we’re going to title his page “Will Wilson (photographer).”

We realized we didn’t have enough time to finish completing the basics of his Wikipedia page so we decided to start creating his page using the Sandbox. The Sandbox feature has been nice for adding more information that I found around the web, but that isn’t ready to go live yet.

I’m excited to reach out to him for more information and hope to set up a Skype interview to get more information to add to his page. I’d like to add an edited version of the interview to his Wikipedia page with his permission to give the page more details that can’t be found just by Googling him.