Share your corner of Mexico to the world through Wikipedia

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Mexico Expat Forum for Expats Living in Mexico With an area of two million square kilometers, Mexico is the fifth largest country in the Americas and has a larger population of US and Canadian expats than any other country.

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Share your corner of Mexico to the world through Wikipedia


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Old 25th July 2012, 08:44 PM
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Saludos!

Im a US expat in Mexico City, living here and working as an English teacher for 9 years now. Ive also been an active "Wikipedian" since 2007 and have even incorporated contributing to the world's largest encyclopedia into my classes! The Foundation behind Wikipedia published a nice article about this in its blog. I cant put in urls.. but you can Google "Wikipedia as a foreign culture" to find it.

I have found working with Wikipedia very rewarding. Although I am not paid for the articles I write or the fotos I contribute, it has given me a niche at work and I now network with museum and other cultural institutions in Mexico and abroad! These include the Museo de Arte Popular and the Museo del Objeto del Objeto in Mexico City as well as Garros Gallery , the Smithsonian, the British Museum and many many more.

As much as I and my students have done, there is so much more. Coverage of Mexico in English and other language Wikipedias is poor and I know many of us here would love the world to see Mexico as we do, instead of just the violence on the news.

Im hoping to find some expats like myself who have some time to spend doing this. (Its not a bad way to improve your Spanish too, especially if you research info in Spanish to write in your language) while learning more about what surrounds you!

Please dont hesitate to contact me with questions. My last name is Thelmadatter (I mistyped it when I registered) and very easy to Google!
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Old 25th July 2012, 10:32 PM
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I want to second this call for participation. Thelmadatter is a friend of mine online and in real life, and she has done a fantastic job organizing and writing for Wikipedia.

I suggested to her that she post in this forum because I know that there are a lot of you here that are enthusiastic about the part of Mexico that you have gotten to know well, and this is a chance to share your love and knowledge with the world.
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Old 26th July 2012, 01:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maesonna View Post
I want to second this call for participation. Thelmadatter is a friend of mine online and in real life, and she has done a fantastic job organizing and writing for Wikipedia.

I suggested to her that she post in this forum because I know that there are a lot of you here that are enthusiastic about the part of Mexico that you have gotten to know well, and this is a chance to share your love and knowledge with the world.
A problem which I believe exists at Wiki is inaccurate or biased information uploaded by people for various reasons. As important it may be to post things I think it's equally as important to edit/remove the inaccuracies. Wiki shouldn't be relied on as the absolute authority on any topic. The information is only as good as the people and the intent of the people who upload the text.

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Old 26th July 2012, 03:05 AM
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i too am a big fan of wikipedia, but as longford notes, it must be taken with a grain of salt. (or two. is the salt supposed to balance out the acidic nature? in this case, i'm probably being too much of a word-nerd. i often do.)
IMO the fault - if you can call it that - lies not with the wiki, but with people who believe everything they see on the internet.
Wikipedia, by and large, is a fantastic resource for learning the basics about almost anything. anyone who takes every item as the final word is not really doing research, they are taking the easy way out.

the people who contribute to it should be appreciated for their efforts.
their work is a huge contribution to the free flow of information and knowledge.
(i often cite the wiki as my source for info.)
and you can't paint them all with the same brush. 'one bad apple' and all that.
i'm guessing the bad info there is rare, and the contributors who are accurate do a service for us all.

as a well known Know-It-All, i would never try to be a contributor, because i'm too lazy to do it right, and i hate doing things wrong.

Thelmadatter, you have my undying gratitude. without you and people like you i would be even more ignorant than i am.
thanks to the wiki, i'm a little less stupid than i used to be.

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Old 26th July 2012, 04:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Longford View Post
A problem which I believe exists at Wiki is inaccurate or biased information uploaded by people for various reasons. As important it may be to post things I think it's equally as important to edit/remove the inaccuracies. Wiki shouldn't be relied on as the absolute authority on any topic. The information is only as good as the people and the intent of the people who upload the text.
People like to criticize Wiki because many assume that since anyone can contribute, it can't be accurate. However, tests of its accuracy find that it is quite comparable to other former sources like Encyclopedia Britannica. A number of independent groups have examined the question of its accuracy, and there is a Wikipedia page on the accuracy of Wikipedia.

There was a radio station in San Francisco that used to end every newscast with the quip, "If you don't like the news, go out and make some of your own." This certainly applies to Wikipedia. If you find something you know to be in error or misleading, then fix it. Unlike the person that started this thread, I cannot claim to have contributed a lot of wiki pages, however, I have corrected or added information to over 50 of them.

Like any other source, it is wise to think critically about anything you read on Wikipedia and if it is important, check other sources, but it is an amazing resource.

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Old 26th July 2012, 12:19 PM
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I love Wikipedia - with all its shortcomings, it is still the most significant contribution in the world about anything, including Mexico

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexico

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Old 26th July 2012, 04:13 PM
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As noted above, if you have knowledge that there are errors in Wikipedia information, you can change it.

Be prepared, however, to have it changed back if your changes are based on opinion, not fact. They realy are NOT the same thing.

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Old 26th July 2012, 05:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TundraGreen View Post
People like to criticize Wiki because many assume that since anyone can contribute, it can't be accurate. However, tests of its accuracy find that it is quite comparable to other former sources like Encyclopedia Britannica.
I frequently consult Wiki, and as you suggest I consult more than one source for information I place a high importance on. I don't share the same confidence you hae in Wiki when you compare it to Encyclopedia Britannica. However, I recognize that history (and "facts") are told through the lenses of the authors. And, as we understand, just because someone writes something that "something" isn't always accurate. Thanks.

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Old 26th July 2012, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Longford View Post
I frequently consult Wiki, and as you suggest I consult more than one source for information I place a high importance on. I don't share the same confidence you hae in Wiki when you compare it to Encyclopedia Britannica. However, I recognize that history (and "facts") are told through the lenses of the authors. And, as we understand, just because someone writes something that "something" isn't always accurate. Thanks.
I wasn't expressing a blind confidence in Wikipedia. I was reflecting what I have read about tests that have been done by independent groups. If you have seen other tests that suggest Wikipedia is less reliable than Encyclopedia Britannica, I would be interested in looking at them.

Incidentally, Encyclopedia Britannica just recently stopped publication. When my kids were young, we bought a set of printed encyclopedias at a garage sale. I think it was the World Book. That is a tradition that has disappeared.

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Old 26th July 2012, 10:28 PM
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The idea of calling on members of this forum to participate is to invite anyone who wishes to go to the page on your corner of Mexico (if there is one) and check it out. If there are errors, you can correct them. If there are important elements missing, you can add them. You can do this whatever may be your opinion of Wikipedia. If the article was written by a “bird of passage” who has never lived in your part of Mexico, your contribution will surely improve it.

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