Wikipedia and writers form one of the great complicated relationships of the twenty-first century. In one sense we were made for each other. The writer can look up pretty much anything from his/her desk. Without moving butt from chair or self from coffee shop, we can find the answer to just about any issue that is troubling us. Can’t we?
Well, actually, we can mostly find AN answer. Our instinct is to trust it. And in some areas that instinct turns out to be absolutely right. The trouble is, telling which areas.
I was reminded of this by one of BBC radio’s occasional master strokes of a programme, this week. Of which, more later.
And true or false is not the only risk. For anyone (like me) who is an inveterate seeker out of overgrown paths and hidden corners, Wikipedia is a brilliant, informative, inspiring … TIME SUCK.
How often, when you’re writing a blog or preparing something for social media, do you tell yourself you need to include an image? Most of the time, I’d guess. But finding appropriate images can be difficult. Certainly time-consuming.
And even when you’ve found one, can you legally use it?
This one on the right, of a glorious beach in north-west Scotland, is fine because I took it myself. My copyright. No problem.
That’s my first tip. Tip #1 Use your own pics whenever you can. And if you’re worried about other people snaffling them, make sure you mark them as your copyright. (I don’t do that, normally, but in this instance, I have. Note to self: I probably should claim copyright routinely though I’m already partly covered by Tip #2 below.) Continue reading →