Saturday, July 21, 2012

Why I edit station articles

I do a lot of editing on Wikipedia. A whole lot of editing - to the tune of 3500+ edits, plus 5300 more on Commons. Although I do a variety of work on there, most of my edits - particularly large, content-adding ones - are on articles about train stations. Most are about Boston's subway and commuter rail systems, though I do others when interested.

You probably don't understand why. I mean, of all the things to focus on, why train stations? With the exception of the big downtown ones, no one cares much about them. They're often just bare concrete platforms.

A few minutes ago, I showed my girlfriend what the Lawrence station article looked like before and after I edited it. Her response regarding the old version: "It's so boring."

My reply was this:

Yeah.

And I hate that.

I mean, the mass-produced articles aren't horrible. They're better than nothing, most have pictures (often thanks to me...) and they've got the basic info.

But every station has a history.

Often, there was - or is - a beautiful old depot.

Sometimes, there are remains hidden in the bushes, or down the line.

Every station has a story, and I am the electronic bard.


That's why I do it - it's always the history. Even new stations have a history - a former station on the same site, or the struggle to get a station at all. I aim to collect those stories, to tell them for the world to hear.

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