There is a fascinating paradigm on WikiAnswers that I often think about when I am busy recruiting new Supervisors to the ranks. It is the incredible number of Contributors who are doing many good things (literally on a mass scale) – quietly below the radar. They are the quiet storms that help make WikiAnswers an incredible knowledge resource. Like invisible troops, they wiki day in and day out in virtual silence – asking nothing in return. Our Featured Contributor of the Week happens to be an important part of this paradigm – this secret society of sorts – a magnificent Supervisor who has and continues to do great things…like a quiet storm. Introducing Shadowfox…
How did you originally hear about WikiAnswers?
I discovered Answers.com first, a few years ago and used it regularly to search for information I needed. Over time, I noticed a link to WikiAnswers. I wasn’t quite sure how the site operated, so I took a look around. I was impressed with the neat organisation of the site and was intrigued with the sorts of questions asked. After browsing around for a little while, I found my calling – the Pokemon category! Finding a place where I could detail the knowledge I had built up on Pokemon over the years had me hooked. I signed up right away.
Explain your user name.
My user name can be interpreted a few ways and this has caused some confusion with a few people. It’s great I can clear this up! When I signed up on WikiAnswers, I had no idea as what to put down as a user name. I mulled over it for awhile and eventually concluded that I should put down something which expressed my personality. I immediately found two words which described me quite well – shadow and fox. ‘Shadow’ as I am a very quiet girl but also quite mysterious. I don’t give much about myself away. I also am more of a night person (although one can argue that shadows don’t exist at night; poetic license is a wonderful thing). I chose ‘fox’ as my other personality-describing word, as I have been interested in the animal symbol of the fox for awhile now. Doing some research, I have come to realise that the fox stands for walking in between two worlds and patience, among the more usual images that come to mind of a cunning or sly natured person. I have these traits so the name suits me well.
Shadowfox, I also found, was a type of Zoid. At the time I made my user name I didn’t know this. There’s no double meaning to my user name, I just created it by looking at my personality.
What motivates you to volunteer your time to the WikiAnswers community?
I think it’s that the more questions I answer, the better my writing becomes and the more I remember about Pokemon. Some answers do require some flicking through notes on my part, but after an hour of answering, I start to remember things better which not only helps me but WikiAnswers, too. I also use it as a sort of practice for exams. It’s really strange to say that Pokemon helped improved my writing skills! Over time, I developed my method of answering questions (most notably addressing all possibilities in a question) which helped me when I had to write essays for my subjects. Being a person who wants to start a career in writing, this is important to me.
There is a sense of accomplishment or at least contentment when I look at all the answers I have given. It is nice to know that I have helped someone and that I have shared my knowledge. This, combined with the fact that my writing is improved through contributions, keeps me coming back to WikiAnswers again and again.
What are your areas of expertise?
My area of expertise is anything Pokemon. Particularly, I have an extensive knowledge of the Pokemon RPGs for handheld consoles – for example Pokemon Diamond or Pokemon Crystal. I know quite a bit about the Pokemon anime as well, not to mention the mechanics of the other games although I haven’t played them fully. Most of my expertise lies in the later generation games (although if you were to ask me about Red version, I could still answer with complete confidance). I supervise the Pokemon FireRed and LeafGreen, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon and Pokemon Ranger FAQs. However, I can answer on every Pokemon category except for Pokemon XD and Colosseum and Battle Revolution.
What is your favorite WikiAnswers feature?
Sometimes you can’t give all the information necessary for a question or there is a way of explaining something which can’t be included due to site restrictions. For this reason my favourite WikiAnswers feature is the related questions and related links functions. There is a much better flow in navigation when relevant questions are linked to each other. There is also a greater way of providing resources in a neat and clean way instead of pasting a URL in or as an answer. These options are immensly useful.
What has been the funniest question you’ve seen or your funniest experience on WikiAnswers?
The Harmless Nonsense category (which does not exist anymore) offered so many hilarious answers to incomplete questions. The funniest answer was to a question along the lines of “Why did the chicken cross the road?” The user who answered it included a very long list of absolutely funny possibilities from religious motives to answers with puns.
My funniest experience on WikiAnswers would be my first encounter with alternate wordings for questions. There was a Pokemon question which had a lot of alternate wordings which were actually different questions. I spent a lot of time splitting these questions and then merging them only to find hours later that there was a split AND merge option.
Share a random fact (or two) about yourself.
I enjoy playing the piano although, since I have not been taught and have no grasp of musical notation, I find that I play by ear and have learnt many pieces by listening to someone play and mimicking their sound. I have also read a lot into ancient mythology (particularly Greek and Roman beliefs) including gods and mythical creatures. It is interesting to see all the intertwined stories and how they have influenced modern times – from characters in novels to brand names.