Author: Anja Schmelzle

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My First Wikipedia Article – “Behind the Scenes”

I’ve always used Wikipedia a lot (who doesn’t?) but I’ve never thought about writing my own article. However, I decided to attend a course called Constructing Knowledge in the Digital Age: Wikipedia’s Contribution to the Humanities this semester. Not knowing what this course would actually look like I considered it more innovative than the typical “Shakespeare classes” and I told myself: Try it! First of all I had to realize that I actually knew nothing about the encyclopedia that felt so familiar and furthermore the question if I’ll ever write an article for Wikipedia was answered for me: I will.

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Comparison of the English and German Wikipedia articles about the Renaissance

For our blog post, we compared the articles about “The Renaissance” versus “Die Renaissance” in the English and German Wikipedia. Both articles were created separately instead of one being the translation of the other. They both were released in their first versions in September and October 2001. Since then, they both have developed from single sentences into “good articles” but not yet “featured articles”. Taking a closer look at the articles’ history reveals the genesis of good articles: Numerous people worked together to improve the articles from short and rather incomplete first versions (German and English first article) to good...