|I have been a Wikipedian since August 24, 2003, and a sysop since September 30, 2004. I have served as a CheckUser and Oversighter and have twice served on the Arbitration Committee. I served one term on the Wikimedia Foundation's Ombudsman commission (2007–2009). I was also a founding member of the Audit Subcommittee.
My primary areas of interest are the British peerage, mid-nineteenth century British politics, railway networks, and the intellectual history of the Kaiserreich army. These days I mainly edit articles relating to railroads, professional baseball and college football. Sometimes I upload pictures that I've taken while travelling abroad; I've included a few at right. I've also been known to clear up the random Star Wars-related article that floats my way.
I have an abiding love for the idea of open encyclopedia edited by everyone. To me, it aims at the heights envisioned by Hegel and John Stuart Mill; total knowledge based upon the foundation of as many voices as possible. If that is your goal then you are my ally in this endeavour.
My real name is Charles and I graduated from Kalamazoo College in 2005. I'm married, employed, and a loyal fan of the Detroit Tigers (next year!) Further details are not forthcoming because my private existence is utterly boring and unimportant (really, it is, and I defy anyone to prove otherwise).
With five years of editing approaching things seem to have come full circle--I'm back to straight article editing and taking no share in the administration of the project. That aspect stopped being fun a long time ago; eventually I decided that I didn't owe anyone. Four years as a sysop, two years doing checkuser, a year as an arbitrator--ought to be enough for anyone. In five years you see a lot of people come and go. I've lost count of the people I considered friends (perhaps colleague is a better word) who left and did not return, whether they were fed up with vandalism, sick of arguing with people, tired of the incessant trivial bickering, disillusioned with the project's purpose or management, or simply no longer able to devote the time that this project demands (if you've drunk the Kool-Aid).
I suspect many editors have a come-to-Jesus moment in which they ask just why they spend their off-hours plugging away at this Sisyphean task. By my count I've had three. Each time I changed the way I interact with the project; usually this meant withdrawing from administration and focusing on
good works editing. I can look at my contributions and see periods of intense administrative activity; there are websites proffering statistics which prove I've been a major contributor on various noticeboards. There's also a malicious (and true) rumor that I used to read wikien-l, and at times send mail to that list. This all seems very alien now. Does this mean that in six months I'll recover my fighting spirit and throw my hat in the ring for Arbcom, or run for bureaucrat again, or push some major policy change?
I hope not. It always ends in tears.