2022:Submissions/Depths of Wikipedia: the encyclopedia's funniest jokes and the role of well-placed jest

From Wikimania

  • Language: English
  • Status:

Speaker(s)[edit source]

Annie Rauwerda

Abstract[edit source]

Whether or not we're trying to sprinkle in humor or not, the article mainspace can be very funny. At least people on social media seem to think so! From List of sexually active popes to the four-panel masterpiece that is the photos in the High five article, Wikipedia's got the weird, the wonderful, and the kooky.
Sometimes, it's the *funny* aspects that catch the interest of a reader, probing them to wonder what it's like to create an online encyclopedia. How do we 1) harness social media to attract editors and 2) distinguish instances of well-placed jest from distracting riffraff?
In this talk, I'll display funny Wikipedia snippets and finish with a brief discussion of humor's role in the Wikipedia project.

Learning Outcomes[edit source]

1) A robust encyclopedia reflects the world, complete with its goofiest corners. I'll run through a handful of the funniest topics on Wikipedia and I hope viewers take away laughter/delight
2) Thoughtful humor has a place in academic and encyclopedic writing. Patrolling for vandalism is one thing; patrolling for the faintest whiff of joy is another
3) I've attracted about a million followers, most of whom are not regular contributors. Let's work together to convert Wikipedia fans into Wikipedia editors

Biography[edit source]

Annie Rauwerda is a writer, Wikipedian, and recent graduate from the University of Michigan. Since April 2020, she has posted quirky or interesting Wikipedia rarities as \Depths of Wikipedia\ on Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok and has attracted about a million followers.