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Have you written for Wikipedia on jazz artists?

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I am curious to know who have made contributions to Wikipedia articles on jazz artists. 

I have done this a few times.  In fact, just today I added about six sentences to the article on Joe Lovano.

I have never started an entry from scratch, but I contributed a great deal to the article on Randy Weston.

Others are Kenny Burrell and Charles Lloyd.

I really should do it more often.  Many entries could be better-written, better organized, and more thorough.

How about you?  

 

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I have not but I have been intending to create a Percy France entry from all of the info and knowledge I have garnered in the last 2 years or so (and would be another way to make people aware of percyfrance.info ).  So I am wondering about the process:

Do you have to be a donor to Wikipedia?

Is it truly a matter of writing something up adding footnotes and submitting? What is their process of approval/publishing? I know its supposed to be collaborative but what does that mean when the rubber meets the road?

Thanks.

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Now looking at some of these Wiki pages, most of my sources are from the website which they may or may not accept for reliability. Who knows if they even think PF is worth of a Wiki entry.  I think I'll get to this when I get to it.

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Not sure what the deal is in creating a new entry.  I would think you could create whatever you desire. 

I don't know all the tricks when it comes to notes and links.  

My understanding is that almost anything goes on Wikipedia, which is why some people very much distrust it.  But it is read very heavily, and people are always going in to correct, amend, and add to the articles.  

 

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I recently attempted making a change to the "Nessa Records" page (I did not create it, but have edited) and got this response -

Hello, and welcome to Wikipedia. This is a message letting you know that one or more of your recent edits to Nessa Records have been undone by an automated computer program called ClueBot NG.

 

Thank you. ClueBot NG (talk) 02:56, 18 September 2021 (UTC)

 

Edited by Chuck Nessa

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Wikipedia is a waste of time. Some complete idiot wrote an article about the public radio station where I worked for 26 years. I removed the erroneous material and added the true history of the station. I later found that an editor had restored some of the false information. like the mention of another local station that was booted by NPR for not following its carriage agreement, instead it read that they had agreed to give up the programming. I had the info because another station manager in our university system was on the panel that booted them.

 

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Ive written some articles for the Dutch wiki when I was around 14 years old. Stuff for some more obscure artists that did not have an entry. They were very, very subjective haha. I was writing stuff like: Red Callender is one of the most under appreciated bassists from the swing era and Tatum teamed up for he was one of the few bass players that could keep up with him….

I remember it has been there for a while for nobody was checking these kind of entries

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I once corrected an article on Wikipedia and they deleted it and sent me the same rude message that Chuck got, so I'm not going to do it again.

Their website is very handy for "neutral" topics, but I strongly dislike them, for reasons I won't go into on this site.

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Wikipedia is handy as a first step into finding about a topic but I don’t consider it reliable. 

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This reminds me of some of the contributors on Discogs, who go ballistic if you dare add album to a release without citing a “reliable” source. Somehow allmusic.com isn’t considered reliable yet fan websites and others are.

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I guess I have had better experiences than others.  Regarding the Lovano article, I have received no messages from Wikipedia and no words have been changed or deleted.

 

 

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At least the goalie hasn’t been credited as a jazz journalist there yet…

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Today, and for the last couple of days, Wikipedia has been nagging for a donation.

Take a hike, Charlie.

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For the last two or three weeks, Wikipedia has continued to beg for money. They fill the screen with it, and pester you, and it's hard to get to what you want. I don't like them, but it's hard to avoid them when searching online.

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I do a great job at avoiding Wikipedia, the same way I avoid Google.

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Biggest problem is that many Wikipedia authors seem to be allergic to library visits. Internet sources only. They would have to leave their seats to check the book or magazine sources you quote.

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The problem is that many books these days are not edited well at all and full of typos and outright factual errors. My favorite was an author of a jazz book who liked to throw in trivia, like one subject “born in Lynchburg, Virginia, home of Jack Daniel’s.”

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I always try to fix obvious errors when I see them, and often try to straighten out the tortured prose and cracked chronologies that result from having way too many cooks (with English obviously not being a first, or second, language for many of them). Sometimes I even add a bit of sourced background material to flesh out bare-bones entries. Fortunately, most jazz articles aren't subject to the seemingly endless agenda-driven edit wars that affect so many Wiki entries on political and historical subjects, and serve to bend them further and further away from truth and accuracy.

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They are horrible when it comes to political things, or the Scriptures. And they have a dominance like Amazon.

To be fair, I find them useful for "neutral" bits of information.

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Well it is mostly free. Free = no moderating = shanty town but I do find it useful and have scrubbed up a few sites where they lack recordings

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During my two year Judee Sill obsession, I did a lot of research on her and her jazz pianist husband, Bob Harris. I wound up correcting a lot of the mistakes they made on both of them.

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On 12.12.2021 at 0:00 AM, Ken Dryden said:

The problem is that many books these days are not edited well at all and full of typos and outright factual errors. My favorite was an author of a jazz book who liked to throw in trivia, like one subject “born in Lynchburg, Virginia, home of Jack Daniel’s.”

Unfortunately just as true (particularly as far as factual accuracy goes) for non-fiction books far outside the realm of music or, more specifically, jazz.

I think one of the main problems with this is that many publishers prefer to stick with "name" authors who over time are called in to write on an increasingly wide range of subjects they just are NO real experts on. Which means the names of these authors crop up on an endless array of subtopics within a broader specialist or niche area that these authors in the long run just are unable to constantly cover with the required attention to detail (or willingness to really leave NO stone unturned to get the facts and contexts right - as this willingness of course would require them not just to do exhaustive research of their own but to continually question their OWN "expertise" on the subject during the gestation of the book). And the end results turn out accordingly if you look and read closely ...
On the other hand, there are people out there who would be real experts on the respective subjects and could teach many name authors a lesson or two on factual and contextual accuracy and completeness, but they are no professional or "name" authors. So they either do no have the clout and behind-the-scenes networking to get the publishers to farm ouot the job to THEM (an unwillingness to the detriment of the end result) - or their writing style just is awkward and heavy-handed just BECAUSE they are no professional authors. You can know as much about a subject (that is a hobby of yours) as you like but if your everyday job is very, very far removed from working with WORDS your results all too often are bound to be awkward and not all that readable, unfortunately, because writing WELL in all respects and for all purposes of publication DOES take some specialist competence. In some of the latter cases some publishers would be well off if they got some decent proofreading stage into the project (because the core material would be second to none, warts of the "non-pro" authors 'n'all) but it seems this is a dying art (or profession?) too.  

And of course the same problems plague Wikipedia too where there evidently are many who love to cover a particular subject and know a lot about it but just do not have a way with words and texts to make their stuff truly readable, focused and compehensible. And "peer reviews" do not always help much in that respect either becaue many peers aren't much better.

Edited by Big Beat Steve

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Publishing houses used to have in-house editors who worked on books. Jazz authors would benefit from asking fellow jazz journalists to proof read their work. I have done so unofficially for two jazz biographies. One author was surprised when I submitted two pages of corrections the morning after I obtained the advance draft. I did this while being out of town without access to my resources at home. Double-checking names, dates, song titles, songwriters and record labels is bound to find errors that the author missed. This remark is not intended as criticism, anyone who has rewritten numerous drafts of an extended piece finds it harder to spot errors after awhile. 

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I for one know about the difficulty to spot errors - in the case of a non-fiction book I worked on recently I spotted one obvious, glaring and actually unforgivable error on the part of the author only when I did the FOURTH proofreading of my translation of that particular book. But overall this was not even the tip of the iceberg ... ;)

As for authors asking fellow experts for proofreading, I did this (unofficially as a favor to the author) on two books in a field where the author and me were hobbyist experts (one of those relatively rare cases where an expert on the subject actually got to write the book instead of a "name" author), and yet I came up with numerous factual corrections that found their way into the book. But in these cases many of these were a matter of fine-combing the text for the full accuracy of the facts, not a matter of setting the author straight in the first place and having to do basic corrections. I often refer to one of those books (beyond the coverage of the historical contents it is a reference book and therefore heavy on - often minute - facts) and still find that I should have clarified and modified quite a few more details to weed out any remaining ambiguities and omissions that might get less informed readers on the wrong track when they use it for reference. So yes - nobody's perfect and everyone's knowledge in any specialist field evolves ...

In general it really seems to me that the sensitivity and willingness to "getting your facts right" has lost much of its mandatory character in the writing trade ...
...either because, like I hinted at above, the double and cross-checking everything that goes with this approach would require the author to consistently ask himself "can I be sure of my facts or do I know that I don't know"" (to put it bluntly), or
... because while you of course cannot cram EVERY fact and piece of information into a book or even magazine feature (because it would end up way too long and fat) and therefore you have to trim down and weed out what you include and what you omit this does NOT mean that just because you cannot include everything the remaining facts by necessity must be incorrect just because they are incomplete (i.e not hyper detailed). A competent author can present even all of the incomplete and thinned-out facts correctly without causing the omissions to give a false slant or interpretation to the retained facts and statements. But this seems to be too lofty an aim with quite a few authors these days ...:(

Edited by Big Beat Steve

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