Toby Young, Wikipedia and the 583 entry edits
ONE of the tiresome chores of life is maintaining the polish on one’s public profile. Don’t I know it, poppets! If anyone doubts this, check out Toby Young’s impressively anal attention to detail in his Wikipedia entry. Since January 2012 to the present (alone), he has made about 60 corrections, amendments and emendations.
Some are perfectly understandable. On 28 August 2013, for instance, he added an apostrophe to Earl’s Court. And on 27 April 2012, he deleted the word “stint” to avoid repetition. I like this. Editing is a much neglected art. Other edits suggest a dynamic growth in minor celebrity selfie-dom. On 2 August of this year he writes: “I deleted the ref to my father cos it implies I was the beneficiary of nepotism which I wasn’t. The admissions tutor later told me that Brasenose were legally obliged to honour the mistaken offer. Nowt to do with my dad.”
My favourite, of 25 March 2013, reads: “I deleted the last line as it was clearly inserted by a political enemy. I write six or seven pieces a week. Why single this one out?”
One or two may be of interest to any future biographer of this titan of bloggers, commentators and things called free schools: “I corrected ‘brief time at Cambridge’ to ‘two years at Cambridge’ and deleted ‘early stages’ since, in fact, I abandoned my doctorate after two years.”
The entries go back quite some way. 14 July 2009 offers a glimpse of a fast-changing journalistic life: “I’ve updated a few career details. I no longer write a column for the Standard and now write a restaurant column for the Independent on Sunday. How do I change the summary at the top?” In November 2009, he excelled himself with 19 revisions.
Not all the interventions are Toby’s by any means. But here are some fascinating stats:
Total number of revisions: 583 (since 2004)
Average number of edits per year: 64.11
Number of edits in last year: 98
Number of users: 215 (!)
This last figure is testament to Toby’s interest value to embryonic biographers – some among these “users” will have probably inserted a few of the “facts” he has had to correct. However the top user is… Toby Young! He has made 194 edits since 2007. The average time between his edits is: 1 week, 5 days, 4 hours, 44 minutes, 32 seconds.
Frankly, I’m impressed. How does this delightful Libran find the time?
Toby’s Wikipedia entry, click here. Stats obtained via the “view history” link
More from the Madame here.