From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Why I rarely edit anymore

From 2008-2015, I was an avid editor of Wikipedia, generating just under 40,000 page edits. Wikipedia was a major part of my life for most of this period (with a couple periods where I took a couple months off mixed in). I touched nearly every corner of the encyclopedia, ranging from consensus building to anti-vandalism to improving semi-automated typo correction tools, to name a few of my earlier efforts. Eventually, I got heavily involved in "saving" poor articles, usually written by new users, that were clearly notable subjects but flagged for deletion. In addition to improving the articles I often attempted to encourage the creator to stick around and learn Wikipedia editing despite their (presumably) unpleasant introduction to the encyclopedia. Lastly, I got heavily involved with the in the news section of the mainpage, and with article creation in general. This is were I found the greatest joy and I became the creator, or otherwise significantly contributed to between 400 and 500 articles, earning more than 100 DYK credits. Along the way, I was nominated for and became an administrator.

Then it all stopped. Since 2016, I've only made occasional edits as I was reading an article for other reasons. Why did this happen? In truth there were a variety of reasons - my son was growing up, my career became more involved, I became more interested in advocacy in my writing (which was not appropriate for Wikipedia of course) - but a major one was I got burned out on dealing with nasty people. While most Wikipedia "super editors" were perfectly nice people, I had multiple encounters with people who thought they were "above the law" so to speak and treated others with contempt when making even routine copy edits to "their" articles. And frankly, they were right - certain people who contributed a lot of content were allowed to be combative, rude, and downright nasty on talk pages without any real consequence. Sure, they would never be made admins, but they still had implicit permission to trample on new (and even experienced) users who got in their way. Over time this wore on me, and slowly I backed away until finally I just stopped edited suddenlt, but for no particular reason (i.e. there was no specific last straw).

So there you have it - the reason I stopped making Wikipedia article. I leave this here in case anyone was still watching my user page and wondering what happened years later. (Although most the names I remembered interacting with regularly seem to also have gone inactive.) The rest of the page is my former description from when I was active.

First, a bit about me...

My name is Thaddeus and I live in Columbus, Ohio with my wife and son. My father, George Billman, is a noted physiology professor. (After years of experience on Wikipedia, I wrote his biography.) I, however, chose to take a different path in life. I initially went to college to study computer science, before dropping out after a year to concentrate on day trading and my business ambitions. After ten years or so of supporting myself primarily by running an online bookstore, I returned to school to pursue a dual degree in actuarial science and business. After graduating, I worked for an insurance company for several years before switching to a non-profit addressing homelessness.

My interests are diverse, spanning from linguistics and statistics to college basketball and The Olympics. I am a huge fan of Butler basketball, although I did not attend the university for my schooling. I enjoy history and science, and regularly write computer code for fun. I have spent several years devoted to chess and then poker, but rarely play either anymore. My current gaming obsession is Dominion.

Above and beyond all these things, I am a devout Christian and try to live my life accordingly. I very much believe in 1 Peter 3:15-16 (NRSV):

As such, I have extensive knowledge in Christian apologetics. I am always happy to discuss my faith with anyone, and answer any questions in public or private. That said, evangelical outreach is certainly not my purpose for being here. I have very rarely edited articles related to Christianity. I have not refrained from such editing because I'm afraid of bias; I'm confident that I could write balanced, encyclopedic articles on Christian subjects. However, when I write about Christian subjects, I prefer to write persuasive pieces.

Some info about my editing...

I have been editing Wikipedia since 2008, although I took a two year break from early 2010 to early 2012 (with a couple false restarts mixed in). Despite my diverse interests, only a small percentage of total editing falls under any subject previously mentioned. I have dabbled in nearly every major area of Wikipedia. My earliest efforts focused largely on correcting spelling & grammar errors and reversion of vandalism. From there, I got into writing bots to automate tedious tasks and patrolling proposed deletions (PRODs) to find articles worth saving. An (outdated) log of my proposed deletion activity can be found at User:ThaddeusB/PROD Log.

My early content work was mostly saving articles from deletion - either via PROD or via AfD. Eventually, I got heavily involved In the news section of the main page and the current events portal. The majority of my content work relates to current events in some way. A partial log of content work can be found at User:ThaddeusB/Content log.

Along the way, I have done at least some work in almost every area of Wikipedia. If you can think of it, I've probably dabbled in it at some point. The motto that ties all my efforts together is: "do it right, or don't do it at all." I try to treat every edit as if it was the utmost importance. Incremental article improvements are great, but I personally feel compelled to improve an article as much as I can once I start on it.

I used to spend a good amount of time on the bureaucratic areas of Wikipedia, but have found that usually it is more efficient just to fix things rather than debate about problems. Don't get me wrong, work in places such as ANI serves a valuable purpose, it just doesn't interest me that much anymore. However, I have recently become more involved with Article for Creation, and remain active in In The News, both of which necessitate some political interaction from time-to-time.

My first official (logged-in) edit was to Asafa Powell on August 18, 2008. On September 4, 2009, I received my first good article credit on an article (Household Hacker, since demoted) for which I was the primary contributor. I now have written 9 good articles. I have more than 110 DYKs and more than 160 ITNs to my credit.

I have created two barnstars: the Swine Flu Barnstar and the Zoroastrianism Barnstar. I have made over 200 improvements to RegExTypoFix and have written four approved bots:

On July 29, 2009, I was promoted to administrator by a 117-2-7 vote. Some people find the process stressful, but for me it was one of my proudest moments on Wikipedia. The outpouring of support from the community was surprising and overwhelming. I only hope I have lived up to expectations in the years since.

View my edit count and other stats

Things I might be able to help you with...

One of the greatest strengths of Wikipedia is its collaborative nature. Each editor is free to work on what they are best at/like the most, and leave the tasks they don't like to someone else. Maybe I can help by doing a task you don't want to do, but would like to see completed. I like to think I do most things well, whether it be writing, organizing, copy editing, etc. I also like to just give advice (when its desired).

One of my greatest strengths is writing "intelligent" bots. It is a major misconception that computer programs can't make good decisions. This misconception leads to 1) people only requesting bots to do very simple tasks and 2) fear of bots that propose to do more. I wish to fight this misconception and bring semi-intelligent bots to Wikipedia whenever I can. For me, it is far more interesting to create a bot that can (for example) determine what category an uncategorized article should be added to than to create a bot that simply adds {{uncategorized}}. So, if you have a large-scale task you want done feel free to ask me even if you think it may be difficult for a bot to do.

I am not a professional graphic designer or anything, but I do like to dabble occasionally. If there is a barnstar or other simple graphic you'd like to see made, feel free to ask.

I have access to several hundred premium content databases, and most mainstream scientific journals on a wide variety of subjects. I also have access to full text news articles via Factiva, LexisNexis, and NewsBank. As such, if there is an article or specific subject matter you are looking for, let me know. In many cases, I can email you a copy of text you might otherwise not have access to.

Feel free to contact me via email with anything you don't want on wiki for whatever reason.

About me:
This user is a Christian.
This user is married.
This user is a former administrator on the English Wikipedia (verify).
This user is a BotOp on the English Wikipedia.
PerlThis user is just another Perl hacker.
I've spent a lot of time on:
This user is a member of the Wikipedia Typo Team.
This user edits and assesses articles
in the Article Incubator.
This user contributes to the In the news section of the main page.
This user rescues articles for the Article Rescue Squadron.
This user shares at the Resource Exchange.
Areas of focus for content work:
This user is a member of the
Atari task force.

Useful Stuff[edit]

Editing Help/Guideline Useful Tools


Some people think awards are pointless, but I consider them extremely valuable. Creating\preserving useful content for future readers is my primary motivation, but peer recognition is a definite second. I work hard on Wikipedia; realizing that people consider my efforts valuable keeps me going. My sincere thank yous go out everyone who was provided an award listed below, and also to everyone who has acknowledged my efforts in a more subtle way.

This editor is a
Veteran Editor IV
and is entitled to display
Gold Editor Star.
Veteran Editor IV
Veteran Editor IV
I'm shocked that you haven't recieved this yet. (X! · talk)  · @232  ·  04:34, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
Awarded to ThaddeusB for the strongest contribution of in the news articles in the 2012 WikiCup. J Milburn (talk · contribs) and The ed17 (talk · contribs) 16:32, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
Awarded to ThaddeusB, for the strongest contribution of news articles in the 2013 WikiCup. J Milburn (talk · contribs) and The ed17 (talk · contribs) 11:47, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
Awarded to ThaddeusB for the strongest contribution of in the news articles in the 2014 WikiCup. J Milburn (talk · contribs), The ed17 (talk · contribs) and Miyagawa (talk · contribs) 20:51, 4 November 2014 (UTC)
This user played a significant role in helping Isaac E. Smith graduate from incubation.
This user played a significant role in helping Simbo Olorunfemi graduate from incubation.
This user played a significant role in helping Drs. Foster & Smith graduate from incubation.
Awarded to ThaddeusB, who scored the most points for In The News in any individual round of the 2015 WikiCup. Figureskatingfan (talk · contribs), Sturmvogel 66 (talk · contribs) and Miyagawa (talk · contribs) Miyagawa (talk) 20:02, 8 November 2015 (UTC)
The 25 DYK Creation and Expansion Medal
Well you have so many barnstars, but you haven't got one of these! your ITN contributions are impressive, as is the wikicup, and now you have this medal for 25 DYKs! Thanks from me and the wiki Victuallers (talk) 17:09, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
The 50 DYK Creation and Expansion Medal
Please accept this belated barnstar. Thanks for your tireless contributions to the DYK project and Wikipedia in general! Zanhe (talk) 01:55, 2 February 2014 (UTC)
The 100 DYK Creation and Expansion Medal
Well done for creating 100 Did You Knows and contributing to the DYK project. This is great way to show off new articles and you have created 100 of them. You, @Northamerica1000: and @Orygun: join the club that includes @GaryColemanFan:, @Czar:, @Dravecky:, @Cirt: and @Wetman:. I am sure they will welcome you, but obviously they need to watch out as you make it first to 200. Thanks from the project, me and the wiki. Victuallers (talk) 12:10, 1 February 2016 (UTC)

User:ThaddeusB has been identified as an Awesome Wikipedian,
and therefore, I've officially declared today as ThaddeusB's day!
For being such a beautiful person and great Wikipedian,
enjoy being the Star of the day, dear ThaddeusB!

00:19, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

A record of your Day will always be kept here.

prima help
Thank you for quality articles related to the latest news, such as prima ballerina Maria Tallchief, with a dedication as if it was your one and only topic, for faithfully searching for the most concise wording of her achievements, for your "intelligent bots" and generous offer of help, - repeating: you are an awesome Wikipedian (17 November 2009)!

--Gerda Arendt (talk) 06:03, 5 May 2013 (UTC)

Congratulations! For your help with California Chrome, you have received a pony! Ponies are cute, intelligent, cuddly, friendly (most of the time, though with notable exceptions), promote good will, encourage patience, and enjoy carrots. Treat your pony with respect and he will be your faithful friend! Montanabw(talk) 06:52, 8 June 2014 (UTC)

To send a pony or a treat to other wonderful and responsible editors, click here.

The Minor Barnstar
For your excellent work helping to keep wikipedia clean of typos! QueenCake (talk) 19:48, 1 February 2009 (UTC)
The da Vinci Barnstar
For creating a bot that will single-handedly prevent a whole slew of dead reference links. Great job! Anomie 01:25, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
The Barnstar of Diligence
For keeping a watchful eye on the 2009 swine flu related articles, and the even-keeled sensibility you bring to the hourly "emergencies" that arise at the article/template talk pages. Regards. Abecedare (talk) 00:50, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
The Article Rescue Barnstar
Thank you so, so much for providing the reliable sources that saved nigahiga from deletion and, in other words, one of the articles I most wanted to get created. I was tempted to give you a cookie but this barnstar is far more appropriate. (Sorry for not formatting this properly; I'm still a wiki formatting dunce.) Clem (talk) 04:43, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
The Original Barnstar
I award this Barnstar to ThaddeusB for their great efforts in maintaining deletion quality standards and helping new users. --Hell In A Bucket (talk) 18:43, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
The Cool Barnstar Award
I award you this Cool Barnstar. Your continued efforts to keep the encyclopedia growing, in the face of so many who act as if it is complete, is not always an easy task. When editors feel new articles should spring into existance already perfect, in contravention to Wikpedia's knowing that is not expected to be perfect, your efforts let newcomers know that their contributions are welcomed. MichaelQSchmidt (talk) 06:19, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
The Special Barnstar
This is being presented in appreciation of the positive contributions that you bring to Wikipedia. Thank you! Pastor Theo (talk) 01:49, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
The Article Rescue Barnstar
This barnstar is awarded to administrator ThaddeusB, for his continued service in making Wikipedia more encyclopedic and working to preserve other editors contributions. Thank you. Ikip (talk) 22:30, 16 August 2009 (UTC)
The Article Rescue Barnstar
For your excellent prod work. Joe Chill (talk) 18:36, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
The Wikipedia Bot Builder Award
For the impressive coding of The Auto-categorizing Robot, and the time you put into Wikipedia bots, I Kingpin13 (talk), present ThaddeusB with The Bot Builder Award. Keep it up :) - Kingpin13 (talk) 17:06, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
The da Vinci Barnstar
For your exemplary work in creating and improving the WebCiteBOT.Blargh29 (talk) 05:20, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
The da Vinci Barnstar
What Blargh29 said! --Elvey (talk) 22:12, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
Valued Contributor Award
You have been identified as a valued contributor and your efforts are appreciated. We are honored to present you with the Valued Contributor Award and we thank you for donating your time, expertise and effort to Wikipedia. Keep up the good work. Thanks. (more details)
Welcome back, ThaddeusB. We missed you very dearly. It's true, we missed WebCiteBOT, but we missed you even more. You are a great Admin and have been very helpful to the project. We dearly missed all your contributions and input. Thank you so much for coming back and for all your help. We really value having you here. Thanks. - Hydroxonium (H3O+) 01:05, 23 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for your contribution to the Apodaca prison riot! I wanted to write stuff in it today but school work has been keeping me busy. It's greatly appreciated! Keep it up. ComputerJA (talk) 06:01, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
The Civility Barnstar
thanks for resoring my work OrenBochman (talk) 22:11, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
The Brilliant Idea Barnstar
I, Abhijay give ThaddeusB this barnstar for his efforts to pass my nomination about the Afghanistan Avalanche by creating an article about it that would eventually be posted in the In The News Section. Cheers and Salutations! Abhijay What did I do this time? 02:39, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
The Original Barnstar
Thanks for clearing up the auto archiving thing on my talk page! pluma 00:28, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
astrum horrei - The Original Gratuitous Barnstar of RM Consensus
everybody pat their own back. Nicely conducted everyone - I take back my grumpiness at Jeffro. In ictu oculi (talk) 14:00, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
Here's a taco for your hard work! Thank you for giving me some advice when I came to your talk page. Keep it up and stay in touch. Take care! ComputerJA (talk) 05:25, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
The Admin's Barnstar
I thereby award you with The Admin's Barnstar for closing discussions listed at the Requests for closure subpage of the Administrators' noticeboard. Keep up the good work and happy editing. Regards, Armbrust, B.Ed. WrestleMania XXVIII The Undertaker 20–0 06:44, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
The Minor Barnstar
This barnstar is awarded to ThaddeusB for copy editing at least one article in the GOCE July copy edit drive. Thank you for participating! Dianna (talk) 00:58, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
The Invisible Barnstar
Your recognition for 2 GA reviews at the last June-July GAN Review Round. Regards. — ΛΧΣ21 16:24, 23 September 2012 (UTC)
The Good Article Barnstar
I, Bstephens393, award you this GA barnstar for your outstanding contributions in making Forced abortion of Feng Jianmei a Good Article. Bstephens393 (talk) 20:59, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
The Oklahoma Barnstar
this Barnstar is awarded for exemplary work on expanding Maria Tallchief and shepherding it through the ITN process μηδείς (talk) 19:12, 15 April 2013 (UTC)
for you marked improvement of the Maria Tallchief biography. Slowking4Farmbrough's revenge †@1₭ 22:04, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
hey there nice to see ya sticking around Hell In A Bucket (talk) 02:15, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
The Original Barnstar
For improving Eurasiatic languages ahead of my efforts, and doing it better than I would have done. Richard Keatinge (talk) 09:24, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for boldly making a closing decision on the Alex Ferguson ITNC. LukeSurl t c 14:37, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
The In The News Barnstar
For your ongoing efforts at broadening coverage there beyond the usual death & destruction with a side of sport. Much appreciated! Espresso Addict (talk) 12:45, 10 May 2013 (UTC)
The Editor's Barnstar
Eocypselus rowei Nicely done. 7&6=thirteen () 16:04, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
Great work on 2013 World Table Tennis Championships! LukeSurl t c 21:20, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
The International People's Pork Domination Barnstar
Thank you for your nomination of the Shuanghui article for In the News. I am glad I could add to everyone's understanding of commerce. Geraldshields11 (talk) 18:36, 31 May 2013 (UTC)
The Barnstar of Diplomacy
Thaddeus, "The Barnstar of Diplomacy is awarded to users who have helped to resolve, peacefully, conflicts on Wikipedia." This is to recognize you for your great efforts in resolving a highly contentious issue at Nik Wallenda. Your patience, courtesy, and fairness in bringing the matter to resolution is very much appreciated. Thank you for being such a wonderful editor! (talk) 05:33, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
The Good Article Barnstar
Congratulations for your work on Death of Jairo Mora Sandoval; it is now considered a Good Article! It was a pleasure to work with you. Keep up the good work. Happy editing! ComputerJA () 02:53, 8 July 2013 (UTC)
The Tireless Contributor Barnstar
For your diligence in general, and your recent updates to Palmasola in particular μηδείς (talk) 19:08, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for taking the initiative to create an article suitable for the "Lab grown Vagina implant" news story!
Balaenoptera musculus (talk) 20:14, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
The Original Barnstar
This is just to say thank you for all you have done from start to finish to make this article 2014 Chibok kidnapping to come in the homepage. Cheers! Ashish Lohorung (talk) 14:38, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
The Special Barnstar
For reviewing 2 GAN's (for a total of 14 points) during the March 2014 Backlog Drive! Dom497 (talk) 00:47, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
The Teamwork Barnstar
For being part of the Review Team during the March 2014 Backlog Drive! Dom497 (talk) 00:48, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
The Admin's Barnstar
Thank you for closing the controversial Jews and Communism AfD before the debates concerning it got out of hand. I think you made the right decision Drowninginlimbo (talk) 17:55, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
Well done on your diligent work cleaning up the recent AfC kerfuffle. LukeSurl t c 14:28, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
The Special Barnstar
For your contribution to Internshala. Mr RD 15:59, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
The Original Barnstar
For your work on improving Casey Kasem. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 02:10, 20 June 2014 (UTC)

Seconded, Stephen 03:12, 20 June 2014 (UTC)

Thirded :) Mohamed CJ (talk) 03:35, 20 June 2014 (UTC)
Fourthed. One hopes that it's a suitable demonstration to those who clamoured for its instant inclusion that a concerted effort to improve the quality can produce good results in a reasonably short period of time, instead of moaning about it not being posted for three days. The Rambling Man (talk) 06:55, 20 June 2014 (UTC)
The Tireless Contributor Barnstar
Just to say thank you for all your hard work at ITN, especially in improving articles so that they can appear on the main page. BencherliteTalk 11:13, 20 June 2014 (UTC)
The Tireless Contributor Barnstar
I'm copping Bencherlite's barnstar and thanking you for your work on the Casey Kasem article. It's improved substantially since his death; I was following his case while he was alive and noted the article's poor quality, and it's very nice to see how far it's come. Keep it up. Tezero (talk) 20:18, 21 June 2014 (UTC)
The Tireless Contributor Barnstar
For one of the best DYKs I've seen in a long time - the catchy piece on those new species epitomises what makes that section excel. hamiltonstone (talk) 04:04, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
Your Featured picture candidate has been promoted
Your nomination for featured picture status, File:Dicaeum celebicum compared to Dicaeum kuehni (vertical).jpg, gained a consensus of support, and has been promoted. If you would like to nominate another image, please do so at Wikipedia:Featured picture candidates. Armbrust The Homunculus 12:51, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
The AFC Backlog Buster Barnstar

Congratulations, ThaddeusB! You're receiving the The Articles for Creation Barnstar because you got more than 175 points during the recent AFC Backlog elimination drive in June 2014! Thank you for you contributions to Wikipedia at-large and helping to keep the backlog down. We hope you continue reviewing submissions and stay in touch at the talk page. Thank you and keep up the good work! (tJosve05a (c) 23:51, 31 July 2014 (UTC)

The Teamwork Barnstar
A barnstar to you for re-reviewing at least 25 user reviews during the WikiProject Articles for creation June 2014 Backlog Elimination Drive. Thanks for contributing to the backlog elimination drive!
Posted by (tJosve05a (c) on 08:41, 29 October 2014 (UTC), on behalf of WikiProject Articles for creation
The Articles for Creation barnstar
Keep up the good work in AFC Becky Sayles (talk) 02:40, 1 January 2015 (UTC)
The Barnstar of Diplomacy
Thanks for your contribution in Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Ahmad Keshvari. AliAkar (talk) 14:53, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
The Admin's Barnstar
You truly deserve this barnstar. You are very polite. Dormantos (talk) 06:54, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
The Random Acts of Kindness Barnstar
For you intervention in the mess which went on the Spoorthi article. And going the extra mile and taking the new editor, Merinsan, under your wing. Nicely done.Onel5969 (talk) 19:21, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
ITN for 2015 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship Game
Well done! It's been tough to get college sports on the ticker, with Europeans lacking knowledge of its importance and dismissing it as "amateur". You did a great job with this nomination! – Muboshgu (talk) 17:39, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
What a Brilliant Idea Barnstar
Hey Thaddeus, just wanted to say thanks for inspiring me. Your decision to create The Boat Race 2014 has led me, with the help of numerous other editors, to create the 160 other Boat Race articles and take them all to GA, and three of those to WP:FA. A labour of love, inspired by you. Cheers! The Rambling Man (talk) 15:57, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
The Original Barnstar
Per this -The Herald the joy of the LORDmy strength 07:01, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for nominating the Peter Gay article. That was my first ITN! TeriEmbrey (talk) 14:31, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
You are doing an excellent job, brother...... Kc avatar (talk) 12:56, 18 October 2015 (UTC)