Saturday, May 17, 2014

Day 22 of 30: Too Good for Answers; Too Good for Wikipedia

This is Day 22 of the 30-day blogging challenge. Pushing for the last extra

It's Toot Your Own Horn Day at Mr.BurkeMath because if you don't toot it, no one else will. Sitting around waiting to get yourself discovered is a great way to keep a private journal that no one knows anything about. Tooting your own horn gets you some attention, although sometimes it just gets you the horn slapped out of your hands.

Two "f'rinstances": first, years ago, I decided that I needed to get my webcomic listed with anyplace that lists webcomics. I thought that (x, why?) was too special to keep it a secret among a handful of friends and relatives. (Even my students didn't know too much about it.) I got listed in a few of them, but I couldn't crack the biggest one: wikipedia. Note: I'm deliberately neither highlighting the name nor adding a link. You know where it is if you want to go there.)

They have a big, long list of comics. Many older than mine, which makes sense because if not for them, I wouldn't have thought about it in the first place. But look at the list and you'll see that many of the old-timers, the classics have completed their runs. I've been about this for going one seven years now, which is a long time to invest in a hobby using technology that's ever-changing, ever-advancing. There are only a relative handful listed after my debut, but the key thing is that they are after my debut. What the heck?

Granted, some of them are by industry people who moved onto the web. Some by artists who just started something new, but have been around. But some were just by regular guys who just struck a nerve with the right people, I'm guessing. Anyway, if they could get into wikipedia's list, surely, I could. (Yes, I called you "surely".) So I edited the page and added myself. Nope, that didn't work. I was deleted with the reason, "Only comics with their own wiki page could be added to the list" (paraphrasing).

Easy fix. I created a page and imported my wiki page from (the good one, not the one with the typo in the address). Not so fast. The page was nominated for rapid deletion (avoiding the usual deletion process with, presumably, takes more time. I'm not famous enough? Maybe I'm just too good to be listed in wikipedia after seven years.

Go ahead. Just try to add me, wikipedia. Someone try adding me to your webcomic list. I'm still too good for you!

The crazy part of all this? I'm actually listing in wikipedia on the GURPS Autoduel page, which was actually deleted years ago and replaced with either a stub or just a mention on the list of GURPS books. The page is actually out of date because its details only the first edition of the book and makes no mention in the article of the second edition. However, the thumbnail is the cover of the Second Edition book, which I was the co-author of. I'm listed as Designer, which is a little overblown, but I'll take it. My name is in red, meaning that I don't have a personal page. I've been tempted to add one ... but I don't want it marked for rapid deletion.

Second, was looking for math contributors. At least, it said it was looking for math contributors. They made me jump through a couple of hoops, submit a sample article, sign in and answer a bunch of questions, ask a bunch of questions for others to answer ... That last one was no easy task. Just about any math-related question and even non-math-related questions that I could think of had already been asked in one form or another, so they didn't count.

In the end, they decided to go another way. They didn't just pick different contributors; they just changed what they were looking for. And I wasn't it. I didn't have enough exposure for them. Or maybe, just maybe ... I was just too good for them and would have made the rest of their stuff look weak in comparison. Yeah, that's the ticket.

I decided to show them a think or two. (Yes, I typed "think" on purpose.) I stuck around and answered even more questions, raising my profile, showing off my knowledge and letting them know what they passed up on. And then I realized, I was giving it away for free! That's fine for me to do here, but not there.

So I keep it here. That helps me fill up 30 posts in 30 days after all.

A third site I'd like to mention, and let me state that I have no problem with them whatsoever: TV Tropes. Warning: I will not be held responsible for the hours you lose reading that site. It's a fun page. It was used, abused, avoided, averted, inverted and reverted by the master of comics at Irregular Webcomic, David Morgan-Mar. His comics would reference various tropes whenever he took one and stretched it out beyond recognition, and then one of his regular readers with add a notation to the trope linking his comic to that page! That was dedication, and Mr. Morgan-Mar deserved it for what he inspired. Envy much? Yeah, I have. I would love to be included in a TV Tropes listing, any of them. I know I've used some tropes -- I've been called on it in the past. However, I don't want to become a member just to add my own stuff. That's a little wrong.

And I'm afraid of any rapid deletions.


Gregory Taylor said...

Good job on getting the word out there, at least! I suppose on the one hand, at least you got the Wiki-folk to pay attention to you. I added a little 'webcomic' stub for myself over at TV Tropes 2 years ago, and it's still toiling away in obscurity. It amuses me that it's smaller than an entry for a comic that seemed to last less than a dozen episodes and is now gone. Well, amuses and saddens. Suspect you don't have to worry about deletion there.

As I recall, you're also linked over at "" - quick check and yes, you even have a prime position... well done starting your title with a bracket! You may be doing more right than you think. All the best going forwards.

(x, why?) said...

The parentheses were definitely a happy accident. I seen others come and go and take advantage of this "loophole" by starting their titles with *,#,! Or even " for no apparent reason. They even come before 0.

On the other hand, they title is horrible for search engines.