The man who Edits the Internet...

http://www.pressconnects.com/article/20120611/NEWS01/206110320/Meet-man-who-edits-Internet?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE&nclick_check=1

  	 			INDIANAPOLIS — Justin Knapp often lies on his reclining bed with a [computer](http://www.pressconnects.com/article/20120611/NEWS01/206110320/Meet-man-who-edits-Internet?odyssey=tab%7Ctopnews%7Ctext%7CFRONTPAGE&nclick_check=1#) on his lap. In one window of his screen, he likely is listening to alternative music or watching an independent film.

In another window, he is adding to what has become his own world record.
In that window is the Wikipedia website, where the 30-year-old Indianapolis man has been a volunteer editor and contributor since 2004. After hundreds of hours spent on the vast online encyclopedia, Knapp has reached a staggering number: 1.1 million.
That is the number of edits he has made on different articles. This makes the lifelong Hoosier the world’s top contributor for Wikipedia, Wikipedia says.
It also, quite possibly, makes Knapp the hardest-working man on the Internet.
Knapp spends hours — sometimes up to 16 a day — editing one Wikipedia article after another. The articles are usually about philosophy, politics, religion, history and popular culture.
Other times, he writes articles and bibliographies on people who interest him. Like the late English journalist and novelist George Orwell, whose Wikipedia bibliography includes an extensive list of his work: poems, essay collections, articles, book reviews — published and unpublished. Knapp said he spent about 100 hours on that one.
It’s a grueling task for someone to do for one day, let alone for eight years. But Knapp’s friends are hardly surprised.
“It’s usually the sort of thing that Justin would do,” said Margaret Ferguson, Knapp’s former professor and the chairwoman of the Department of Political Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
So why would someone do this voluntarily for years?
Because reading and writing are his much-loved hobbies — even if they entail hours of sifting through countless errors, from small misspellings and grammatical mistakes to outright vandalism.
This kind of work, he said, relaxes him.
‘An unspectacular person’

Knapp’s friends admire his stock of general knowledge. Ferguson said he was a brilliant student.
But Knapp says he’s no one special.
There isn’t an M.D. or a Ph.D. trailing his name or any kind of professional titles preceding it. And while he has bachelor’s degrees in political science and philosophy from IUPUI, he hasn’t put them to use. Instead, he lives off a few odd jobs here and there, once as a pizza delivery driver.
“I’m really an unspectacular person,” Knapp said. “I’m always poor.”
For this, he blames his “own laziness and stupidity.”
The only son of working-class parents, Knapp seemed to have drifted through college without a clear direction of where he was headed.
He became a research assistant and then an office assistant after graduating. He worked at a rehabilitation facility for special-needs children. Nowadays, he hauls gravel and baby-sits for friends for a few bucks.
“It’s simply not knowing what I want to do with my life,” he said, “or where I’m good at.”
Those who know him, however, would disagree.
“He is more capable than anyone I know of starting an engaging conversation with absolutely any type of person, no matter how different or similar to him they are,” said Joseph Kilbourn, a childhood friend who has known Knapp for about 15 years. “He’s an academic who always has this encyclopedic knowledge but still can relate to anyone and talk about anything.”
Conversations with strangers begin with “Hey, how’s it going?” but usually end with deeper talks about their lives, their beliefs or, if they are from another country, their culture.
If he runs into a street preacher, he likely will end up in a religious debate.
Once, Knapp recalled, when he was at a Cinco de Mayo party, he talked to a couple of strangers about Spanish influence on Mexican culture and tradition and 20th century Iberian history.
“He’s great at interviewing people,” Kilbourn said. “He’s almost like Socrates. He can ask people questions and get to the root of things. He can always work his way into a deep discussion.”
No plans to stop

Setting a world record was never Knapp’s intention when he started volunteering for Wikipedia, though he already has done that. Knapp now tops a list of Wikipedia’s army of 5,000 volunteer editors and contributors from around the globe.
“My goal is to help spread free knowledge,” he said.
“I didn’t set out to get a million edits, nor did I stop once I got there,” he added. “I believe in some of the values, like sharing and open-access knowledge.”
He said it’s his way of helping people who consume information on a Web resource such as Wikipedia, where everyone can add, change or delete information.
“Wikipedia is like everything else. It’s as reliable as your critical-thinking skills,” he said. “You’re responsible for what you read.”
His work — and commitment — recently caught the eyes of several technology and news websites from around the globe.
Gizmodo, a technology blog, dubbed him “Wikipedia’s Flat Broke Superstar.” The Mark News, a Canadian news website, called him “Internet Hero.” Philosophy Now, a London-based magazine, had a recent article titled “A Grateful World Celebrates Justin Knapp Day.”
Despite the attention, one fact doesn’t change.
Knapp still lacks a full-time job and spends most of his time working for free.
What’s next for him?
Well, for one, he recently went back to school — this time to get a bachelor’s degree in nursing. He hopes it will give him some kind of stability.
As for Wikipedia, Knapp said he doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon.
His latest edit count: 1,102,320.
And counting.
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So he has no steady employement, yet he sits on the computer all day editing Wikipedia articles…

Who wants to volunteer 60hrs. a week just to edit this site?

I’d look like the GIF right above me.

He looks exactly like what I thought he would look like, heh.

Lol… Yup exactly what I pictured

Yeah, what kind of dumb asshole volunteers his free time to make a website better for other people.

Wait

Doh’

It’s kind of sad too, because from the sounds of it, he’s intelligent and could possibly do something very worthwhile with his life.

I’m guessing none of you spend 60hrs/week doing it though.

:werd: Indeed.

Who’s to say this isn’t worthwhile? He’s spreading knowledge to millions of people…much like a best selling author would, or on a smaller level a teacher or professor. I say good for him for not letting money/fame/whatever influence his interests, however I also think Wikipedia should pay him for all his work.

I’ve made maybe 20 16 wikipedia edits and I thought that was a lot of work. Especially understanding the format and pseudo BB code they use. I enjoy doing stuff like that, making sites/forums/databases better for other people. Especially if it’s something that has helped me that could help other people. Or if it was a rare find that other people might not find so easily. With that said there is no way I could (even though I probably have at some point) do that for 8 hours a day every day.