Welcome to The Wikipedian!
If you’re reading this (and I suspect that you are) then you have found The Wikipedian, a blog by William Beutler written specifically for the non-insider — that is to say, the non-Wikipedian. In conjunction with this blog I maintain two Twitter accounts: @wikipedian, an automated stream of social media links related to Wikipedia, and @thewikipedian, hand-tweeted highlights of Wikipedia news and commentary.
Significant blog posts include:
- The So-Called Fight Over Barack Obama’s Wikipedia Article – March 2009
- Did Rep. Hinojosa Get a Free Pass on Biased Wikipedia Edits? – March 2009
- Microsoft Closes Encarta, But this Doesn’t Have to be the End – April 2009
- Newyorkbrad on “the BLP Problem” – May 2009
- Words and Deeds: Wikipedia and the Virginia Governor’s Race – June 2009
- The King of Wikipedia Traffic – June 2009
Like many, I began with simple changes to existing articles. Beyond that I continued with simple spelling, grammar and formatting corrections, which led to more substantial contributions to existing articles and, eventually, creating new ones. (Of course, I still like to fix spelling and formatting.) Although edit counts alone present an incomplete picture of ones’ contribution, as of the third quarter of 2010 I have made nearly 1,700 edits across more than 600 articles.
Articles I have created include:
- Tom Peterson – onetime TV icon and retailer in Portland, Oregon
- Busboys and Poets – restaurant / bookstore chain in Washington, DC
- Thomas Boylston Adams – youngest son of John Adams
- British Rail sandwich – a staple of British humor more than it is the cuisine
I have also developed best practices for participating in the development of Wikipedia articles about subjects where I have a potential conflict of interest, such as clients of my former employer, New Media Strategies. While such editing activity is generally discouraged, and generally with good reason, my contributions are always done in accordance with Wikipedia site policies, including full disclosure. My goal has been and will always be to improve such articles while working within consensus. (I also created the article New Media Strategies).
I am open to media inquiries. My Wikipedia expertise pertains to site culture, editing disputes and political activity on Wikipedia. If you have any questions about Wikipedia, please feel free to inquire at thewikipedianblog [@] gmail.com.
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Boilerplate in third person
William Beutler is writer and consultant living in Washington, DC.
Previously he was Innovation Manager with the Public Affairs team, then Senior Strategist on the Strategies & Insights team, of New Media Strategies, an online marketing and strategic consulting firm. From 2007-08 he was a member of the web team for the Fred Thompson presidential campaign.
As a journalist from 2002 through 2006, Mr. Beutler was a Senior Writer with National Journal’s Hotline, where he co-created and wrote The Blogometer. His freelance work has appeared in the National Journal, Washington Examiner, Washington Monthly and Weekly Standard. He holds a degree in English from the University of Oregon, where he also served two years as editor-in-chief of the student-run Oregon Commentator.
He has also appeared on KCRW’s “To the Point”, “The Radio Factor” with Bill O’Reilly and (in a non-bluffing capacity) NPR’s “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me!” He also occasionally writes at Blog P.I. and the Washington Canard, but most of the time you can find him on Twitter as @williambeutler.