Because my studies currently center around Philadelphia’s LGBTQ+ history, contributing to a related Wikipedia page seemed like an excellent crowdsourcing opportunity. I chose to contribute to the Annual Reminders Wikipedia entry, which provides resources for those curious about one of Philadelphia’s earliest Gay Rights demonstrations. My first task was adding Marc Stein’s City of Sisterly and Brotherly Loves to the resource list at the bottom of the page. In the edit tab, I saw how other sources were written out and followed their example, which simplified matters greatly.
I also corrected a link while on the Annual Reminders Wikipedia page. One footnotes contained a broken link to an article covering the dedication of the Annual Reminder state historical marker. I copied the broken link and pasted it in the WayBack machine search bar, and then pasted a link to the Wayback Machine’s copy of that article. To do this, I clicked the related “edit section” link, deleted the old link in the coding and replaced it with the link to the related WayBack page.
My final contribution to the Annual Reminders Wikipedia page was adding Alaina Noland’s related Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia article to the page’s resource list. This became tricky, because all other resources listed were books, so where before I had examples for how to code a resource properly, this time I had to work by trial and error. This ties into larger issues I have with Wikipedia, which I will address later. Although that lack of reference complicated my addition to the page, I was still able to parse through it and create a resource on that list that matched the format of all others listed.
What I like best about Wikipedia, is that it is an excellent preliminary resource for researchers new to a topic. One can visit a certain page, read a subject overview, and find several footnotes to sources that one can later incorporate or use as a connection to other sources. I also appreciate that while it relies on input from anyone who might have knowledge of a subject, there are parameters by which the Wikipedia staff reviews those additions. I think this is an excellent use of crowdsourcing because it is, as far as I know, non-exploitative in its expectations of contributors, nor does it give contributors absolute control. For the purposes of this website I think this structure works well. I also like that my contributions are open for anyone to access. What I disliked most was the coding format, and how, if you create a page from scratch, you must design everything yourself with no real reference, save for other completed pages. I also had difficulty establishing what I could edit in which sections. I wanted to add a footnote to the Noland article initially, but when that became confusing I settled for adding it to the resource list at the bottom. Still, despite these problems, I maintain that Wikipedia is an excellent, though not infallible, crowdsourcing site.