The power of trivia exists in many ways on Wikipedia. One way, trivia about obscure topics, is something Wikipedia is well known for with articles about various cartoon characters and the like. Another way is via trivia within articles about standard topics such as information about some celebrity eating at a cafe in Small Town, USA. This type of trivia is discouraged, often deleted, and often gets re-added later. But we’re trying to write an encyclopedia, so technically it shouldn’t be in the pedia.

Another, and encouraged form or trivia, is through the Did You Know program that encourages article creation and massive expansion with the reward of featuring the article on Wikipedia’s main page. Trivia is encouraged via the “hook” that is usually an interesting (i.e. trivial) bit from the article. Although a spot on the main page is not in the class of honors such as a Nobel Prize, it is a nice reward, and leads to many extra page views for the article. For instance the Alvin T. Smith House in Forest Grove was featured last March and received 5,000 hits the day it was featured on the main page, which is a bit more than the 5-10 per day it usually gets.

Last year, WikiProject Oregon had 153 DYKs, or just under one every two days. That’s pretty good, and a decent increase from 2007. This year, my hope is we can get it to once every other day, or about 183. Right now, through 18 days we 10, so we are on pace.

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