So what do all these have in common? They have a new face on Wikipedia.
Anyway, Lei tells a terrific story of a woman who faces off with the government over religious instruction in her son's school in the mid-1940's in Illinois. We skeptics should be ashamed at the condition Lei found the page in before she started working on it. Is this how we treat our representatives? If we don't show them respect, why should we expect people outside our community to show them respect? Thanks to Lei and the GSoW team, we now have McCollum's Wiki Back.
Leo IgweThis page was in very sorry shape when Vera de Kok first took it on as you can see here. Brian Engler uploaded an image he took at TAM 2012. Then Nathan Miller finished it up with a total re-write. Much improved, great teamwork all. Current Page
The Igwe release hit the front page of Wikipedia as a Did You Know in Feburary. For regular followers of this blog you know that getting the front page for 8 hours is a big deal. An extra effort is required to make it happen, and only brand new pages (no more than 5 days) or newly expanded pages within 5 days of its re-release are given that honor. When I say expanded, I mean really expanded. When you look at the before and after of Igwe's page you will see what I mean. Only well-written and scrutinized articles are allowed.
The Igwe page received 3,607 views on that day. That is about 3,550% above what is normal for page views.
That number is only a part of the story. Igwe's article discusses other human rights groups doing similar work. During the DYK for Igwe's article, the pages for Stepping Stones Nigeria received a 1,652% daily increase. That's a measurable effect to show how well we are raising awareness. The article on Witch Children in Africa, which receives virtually no traffic, received 4,339 visitors during that day.
Skeptical organizations receive extra attention from these Did You Know? features as well. The Center For Inquiry article's daily traffic spiked by 33%, and daily visits to the James Randi Educational Foundation article grew by 20%.
Military Association of Atheists and FreethinkersFrederick Green along with some help from the team took on the rewrite of the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers page. Here is the before and now the after.
Because we expanded the article enough we were able to ask for a DYK, which appeared on the front page of Wikipedia on March 10, 2013. Stats show a spike of 2,565 views.
The hook we used was this one... DYK ... that the Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers provides "atheists in foxholes" with advocacy, community and education?
The atheists in foxhole page received 1709 views when normally it receives about 250 each day.
Prothero's page received only 1,120 views (probably because of the timing of the DYK). Gould's page received a 50% increase in views, and the punctuated equilibrium page spiked with a 300% increase.
I got several suggestions and started to compile a list. One of these citations wouldn't be enough alone, but several all together shows that there is a concurrence within the scientific skepticism community that Maher's anti-vax propaganda is dangerous. So I added a criticism section to the Maher page. Here is the page as I left it that night.
The reason why I say this was working backwards, is because I was starting with a good citation from a notable person/place and then I took a look around WP and found a place to leave it. Just the opposite of what most editors do. Trust me this is much simpler to do this way.
Leaving these edits, will expose people who are not necessarily in the skeptic community to the video/podcast/blog. And not just for some arbitrary moment on a Facebook feed. But every day, every month, every year (as long as they aren't removed). And how many potential views are we talking about? I'll leave you to play with this graph, but at the time of this writing the Maher page is receiving about 100K views each month. Over a million views each year. Quite a sizable difference from the 20 +/- views it would have received on my Facebook feed.
I wonder if Maher had been following the changes to his Wikipedia page? He came out with this while I was writing this blog. Religion, it's like Wikipedia.