Real Insights Blog

Constant Beginnings: On the art of scheduling and the ease of Wikipedia

In this post, Gilded Lily Productions’ Karen Hoy shares a few thoughts on mindful scheduling and the merits of Wikipedia over “proper” research. On the Art of Scheduling There was a useful ...
October 15, 2009

In this post, Gilded Lily Productions’ Karen Hoy shares a few thoughts on mindful scheduling and the merits of Wikipedia over “proper” research.

On the Art of Scheduling
There was a useful interview with BBC head of arts commissioning Mark Bell in yesterday’s Guardian media pages. See it here.

Among other things, he discusses the scheduling of BBC2 general arts program The Culture Show, championing its move from late night to 7 p.m. It’s a change that I appreciated as a viewer, so I agree with Mark. I love my arts, but I’m not hardcore enough to always watch it very late, when the melatonin is setting in for the night. The brain needs to switch off by then, even if the telly doesn’t (Hello FX). I was surprised at how much more I enjoyed the same content at 7pm, when the brain is still interested in learning things. Now I’ll even rush home for The Culture Show. Part of the art is the fantastically sculptural dresses and jewelry as worn by other-worldly co-host Lauren Laverne. That makes The Culture Show worth a peek at any time.

And on the ever-present temptation of Wikipedia:

I’ve been doing some background research on a new history idea today. I found a short paragraph in a historical novel, that was so evocative and precise I wondered whether it was a “true” detail. It described a notebook belonging to a young girl, and some lines she wrote in it. ‘Gosh,’ I found myself thinking, ‘wouldn’t it be amazing to come across her actual notes in a museum archive somewhere? That would be such a buzz.’

In continuing my very general reading, it was time to hit Google. The inevitable first link to follow up was Wikipedia. It just sits staring at you in the first page of your first “search” and you’re desperate to do something more original, but of course you click on it, just to get it out of the way, and then get on to “proper” research.

Remember, this is still just general background research, nothing specific at all. And there on the first page, in a window, is a summary of the historical reference, with a photographic portrait of the child, and a facsimile of the notebook. It’s just too easy!

I’m grateful for Wikipedia, really. It hasn’t completely replaced libraries, archives, real books, and direct info from the experts, and never completely will. But it sometimes feels like a bit of a spoilsport… like someone who “helps you” with the crossword when you want to think a bit more for yourself first!

Karen Hoy is Development Producer/Writer at UK-based development house Gilded Lily Productions.

About The Author
Meagan Kashty is an associate editor of realscreen, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Meagan is an award-winning business journalist. Prior to joining the realscreen team, Meagan was online editor of Canadian Grocer, named Magazine of the Year at the 2015 Canadian Business Media Awards. She can be reached at mkashty@brunico.com, and you can follow her on Twitter @MegKashty

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