What do you do with your free time? Play video games, surf reddit, drink too much? Well, Justin Knapp edits Wikipedia – a lot. This one-man truth squad has just hit a inarguably impressive milestone. As of now, Knapp (user: koavf) is the only person in the world who has logged over 1 million edits on Wikipedia.
If you’re thinking that’s a lot, you’re right. That’s an almost inconceivable number.
According to his Wikipedia user page, Knapp is a 30-year-old philosophy and political science grad and longtime Hoosier – as he was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. He once met Kurt Vonnegut in 2004, so he has that going for him. He’s a self-described “Christian radical” who advocates pacifism, free speech, and gun control. He’s drug-free and vegan, and his favorite color is red. And apparently, he’s a DuckDuckDuckGo user.
Here’s what he has to say about his editing strengths and weaknesses:
In terms of my editing strengths, I think that I am generally good at things like adding categories, media, references, and templates; copyediting and formatting; suggesting structures to articles or adding links; and sometimes at adding prose. That is my weakest area by far—the actual content of the text—and the part that I struggle with the most when attempting to get articles to good or featured status.
In terms of his writing style, he says he doesn’t like ending sentences in prepositions and he prefers the serial (oxford) comma. All of this is important, because this is the guy who is most actively shaping what you read in your daily visits to Wikipedia.
But back to the accomplishment, and what an accomplishment it is. It was first recognized by user TonyThe Tiger on Wednesday, where she was presented the “Special Barnstar” award. He went on to receive the Golden Wiki award as well.
But the biggest award must be the fact that April 20th (yes, 4/20) has been declared and Wikipedia holiday: Justin Knapp day.
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales issued a decree earlier today:
As you will see at Wikipedia:Justin Knapp Day, and per the tradition described at Wikipedia:Wikipedia holidays, I have in your honor declared today to be Justin Knapp Day! This is the highest award I can bestow on-wiki, and this is the first time in several years that I have done it, and the first time it has gone to someone who was not a developer. You rock! -Jimbo Wales
So, how did Knapp make it to one million?
“Being suddenly and involuntarily unemployed will do that to you,” he said.