Just forget the words and sing along

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Ode to Wikipedia

Ahh, Wikipedia. I like to think of it as the repository of the world's knowledge. And it's easy to get carried away on it. You just click and click and click...you could start by reading the entry on the Care Bears and you might wind up at an entry that's very NSFW.

Like today, I was randomly clicking around and I found myself at the wikipedia entry for NAIT, that grand ol' school that certified me as a radio professional-type. I see that, on the NAIT entry, there's a little blurb about NAIT's radio station, NR92.

Clearly, this will not do.

NR92 needs its own Wikipedia entry.

And so, it is on my "to do" list for Wikipedia entries to write.

My top priorities right now, though, are beefing up the entries for Athabasca and Pembina River Provincial Park.

I've been talking about the Athabasca one ever since I arrived here a year and a half ago. The most hardcore I got into it was around six months ago. I went down to the Athabasca Archives to see what they would recommend for a local history book. After spending an hour chatting with the town's archivist, I went next door to the library and got the book: Athabasca Landing: An Illustrated History.

As the archivist explained to me, most think that Athabasca started in 1915, but it didn't. Athabasca was just incorporated as a town in 1915. Many agree that Athabasca really began in 1877. The Hudson's Bay Company thought that that bend in the Athabasca River along the Athabasca Landing Trail would be a good place for a storage shed. So they built one there. And the town slowly grew around the shed.

Now see, right away, that's a better history than what's at the Wikipedia entry. The Wikipedia entry has a semi-drunken rambling about how Athabasca was never a part of Rupert's Land.

And of course, Pembina River Provincial Park. It sits right next to my loving hometown of Entwistle, and as such, I want to do it justice. The article there is OK, but it can be so much better. No where does it make mention of one of the park's best-known landmarks...a series of concrete pillars, that are all that remain of a massive wooden railway trestle that was quite active in the 1910's.

Or it doesn't even get into the park's history! Pembina River Provincial Park actually started as a work relief camp, founded in the Great Depression. The camp was shut down and the land converted to a provincial park in 1951.

But of course, in order to do this properly, you've got to research the hell of it. I find that Wikipedia entries aren't messed with that much if it's researched to pieces.

And of course, this all began when I wrote the entry for my hometown of Entwistle. I did research the bejesus out of it. And I'm still quite proud of it. but, you've got to look at it for what it is: the product of an unemployed man with far too much time on his hands.

That's why all these Wikipedia entries are a hobby that I haven't really started. All that research takes a long time.... And, as I've blogged in the past, being a radio news reporter actually means I spend a lot of my day typing in front of a computer. It's not really waht I want to do in my down time....

But still. I must do it some day. The world needs to know about NR92.

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