Monday, October 27, 2008

Wikipedia pages on obscure fish

One of my habits that I haven't decided whether to call a bad habit or a good habit is my tendency to get involved in projects online to either increase the amount of knowledge available on the internet or order it better. There are many examples of me doing this, including: being a top reviewer at, adding close to a hundred varieties of watermelon to Cornell's page on Vegetable Varieties, and getting over 25000 karma on before the fact I spent too much time reading newspaper articles from there drove me to stop going to the site or reading newspapers all together.

One I haven't done much of that might be interesting is writing wikipedia pages. While Physics and Engineering nerds have pretty much completely populated the topics I know anything about the same is not true of biology. For whatever reason Biology nerds have left a lot of room for additions, particularly when it comes to pages for species. I can guarantee that if you walk into an average pet store you will see many species that do not currently have a wikipedia page.

A year or so ago I noticed the lack of red abalone page, so I sat down and made one. Now if you do a search for red abalone on google, that is the third hit. That is probably the most credibility I can hope for in my writing. Today I noticed that there is an almost complete lack of pages for common fish in saltwater aquariums. I made a page for Pseudochromis Fridmani, but found dozens of common fish that completely lack a page. It is actually quite a challenge because most sources give information about how to raise one in an aquarium, and not how they live in the wild. Therefore you have little choice but to focus on those issues. Luckily if you create a page where one did not exist, other people who never would have bothered with the subject come and edit the page. That happened with the red abalone page I wrote quite quickly.

Not even the yellowtail damselfish, Chrysiptera parasema has a page so it will take some time before I get the site to be anything like an authority on the subject. Maybe if I am unemployed for long I will add that to my list of hobbies to take on. It does appear though that they acknowledge the lack of information, and are trying to actively improve the page.

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