Jun 8, 2008

Wacky Orphan Film Wiki

They call this irony, right?


This is a screen shot of what appears at the head of the Wikipedia entry for 'Orphan film.' At least as of today.

The folks over at Wikipedia.org have a project to get their orphaned articles interconnected with other entries. (Is there something wrong with being a stand-alone subject? There are some advantages to linear thinking, which is what comes from traditional text more easily than from hypertext, where one idea clicks to another -- though you haven't even gotten through the first paragraph of the thing you were looking up.)

But I digress.

The irony gets richer, because this (below) is where Wikipedians take clickers interested in helping to solve the problem of having thousands of orphaned articles and images just sitting around. (Any moving images?)

Here's a screenshot of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Orphan
taken today.

The Orphanage. The metaphor is endlessly adaptable. In 2001, the VP for Research at USC helped Orphan faculty members (Julie Hubbert, Laura Kissel, and me) gear up a Web presence for access to the fruits that the Orphan Film Symposium was bearing. We, of course, called it the orphanage. It's still online, "archiving" some valuable work; but the Big Idea got cut off at the knees early on -- due to an event too ludicrous and painful to retell (and no fault of the VP's).

Well, as the Wikians at Project Orphanage say (above), "de-orphaning [!?!] is a difficult task." Not as hard as preserving or making a film, I take it. But I understand where the Wikkans are coming from.


I stumbled on all this while I was editing the entry on Helen Hill. Someone started it just 10 days after her death. It's been added to fairly steadily, but there was still so much to say.