These Teenage Railfans are Wikipedia Supercontributors – NY Times & NY1

Shaul Picker is a Wikipedia supercontributor who edits under the alias Key Gardens 613. Photo by Elizabeth Bick.

I wrote for the New York Times about two of the most prolific Wikipedia editors involved in the NYC Public Transportation WikiProject.

Ryan Ng is a 19-year-old freshman at Baruch College in Manhattan. He studies finance, lives at home with his parents in Queens and is a member of the college’s “League of Legends” video game club. But in the somewhat fanatical world of Wikipedia supercontributors, he is best known by his alias, Epicgenius.

As Epicgenius, Mr. Ng has made over 180,000 edits to Wikipedia and created more than 17,000 pages for the site. Most of his work is in the service of his particular fixation: updating the articles associated with all 472 stations of the New York Subway system.

But Mr. Ng is not alone in his initiative or even the only teenager. He’s joined by Shaul Picker.

Shaul Picker is a 17-year-old senior at the Academy of American Studies who edits under the username Kew Gardens 613 — after the Queens neighborhood where he lives. Like Mr. Ng, he began seriously editing Wikipedia in eighth grade. “Some of my edits at the beginning were not constructive at all,” he said. “I’ve become a better writer through Wikipedia, definitely.”

It was such a treat to write this feature, my first for the Times. Read the full article here.

UPDATE: Ryan and Shaul had the opportunity to appear on channel NY1 to talk about their Wikipedia work after my New York Times was published. Watch their fantastic interview.

Ryan Ng and Shaul Picker appeared on channel NY1 after the New York Times story.
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