There have been lots of stories this week about how the volunteers who police and edit Wikipedia are scarpering like woodlice from an upturned brick.
A study (oh, those ’studies’, what would we bloggers do without them? Probably go outside and have ‘real experiences’. Yikes) published in Madrid has found that in the first three months of 2009, the site lost more than 49,000 volunteers, compared to only 4,900 in the same period last year.
Apparently, it’s not the case that editors are no longer drawn to working on the free encyclopedia, but that they are defecting more quickly than in previous years. People are still visiting it (God knows we are still visiting) but with fewer people policing it, the whole site will become even more unreliable.
Which brings me to my story. A few years ago, while working in Leeds, a colleague of mine made a small adjustment to NME editor and genuine twonk Conor McNicholas’ Wikipedia page. The addition read:
“He is rumored to have married Nell Frizzell in January 2007 and has since divorced her and stole her bike.”
Now, being a unreconstructed narcissist, I have occasionally googled myself. Well, it’s always nice to hear that some disaffected teenager thinks you are a ‘bastard Tory boy wanker’, isn’t it? (Thank you, Vice). And occasionally this little Wikipedia entry pops up.
I have to admit, I am rather proud. Proud to think that a man who tweets things like this:
“Driving home in a mad white E Class luxo-barge listening to Big Pink. You know what? This is turning out alright.”
and the buttock wrenchingly awful:
“GTR is epic. Warp-drive fast. Spits and growls but protects you like a mother wolf.”
will, in some dusty, dank, forgotten corner of the internet always be associated with post-nuptially stealing my bike. As a commenter on Stereogum put it; ‘childish, but fun’.