December 14, 2011

Too many words and not enough money…

Filed under: Uncategorized — carrite @ 10:01 am

Wednesday morning.

I spent more time than I’d like at Articles for Deletion this morning. Inspired by Wikimedia Foundation chief Sue Gardner, I’ve been trying to pick up the signs on who is a serious newcomer whose work is swept up in the AfD vortex and to help walk them through the process. The number of long-term editors at Wikipedia is in serious decline, and research seems to indicate that the Newbies are getting turned off by the highly-automated and impersonal deletion process.

It sounds like a simple thing to get around by writing a quick note, but in actuality it’s more like writing a 1,000 word essay every day. I did one yesterday and was able to harvest some content from that. Tomorrow I’ll have two old essays to mine, and so forth, so it should get easier over time. But it’s still a real time commitment.

My theory: the serious new content contributors can be spotted by the way that they try to footnote.

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I was up until 2 am last night looking at press photos for sale on ebay. One of the little-known consequences of the much-heralded “death of newspapers” is that a few very serious photo “morgues” have been sold to the market, and there are dealers breaking up this material piece-by-piece. I’m sure they’re getting rich at it, and good for them. There’s material going on the market now hailing from papers in Baltimore, Detroit, and Chicago. LOTS of material, I’m talking tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of images.

The prices range from about $10 to about $30 a shot for most images. The nice price is about $15 and rare images of some of the more popular figures — like Leon Trotsky, for instance — will bring $50 or $60.

Anyway, instead of running my usual search for COMMUNIS* or SOCIALIS*, I figured out last night that I could select my favorite photo dealer and search their inventory by date. I found a couple amazing things that I wouldn’t have otherwise: Chicago Federation of Labor leader John Fitzpatrick in 1919, when he was heading the Great Steel Strike, one of the American Legionaires that was wounded in the infamous 1919 Centralia Massacre of members of the IWW, a shot of Elizabeth Gurley Flynn in 1915, when she was a young organizer for the IWW… I also grabbed a picture of CPUSA leader Gus Hall from 1937, when he was a young CIO organizer.

Truly amazing shit.

I spent the limit and went to sleep.

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We’re having a new refrigerator delivered today. It’s really disrupting my ability to get serious about getting to work on the Ellen Dawson bio. It’s time to do that, regardless…


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