Since May 2018 I have spent considerable amounts of my spare time on a hobby, genealogy, and also studying the history of the people, businesses, and places that I knew as a child. I have been accumulating this information in a Wikipedia-style website that uses the same MediaWiki engine. I call it Curriepedia, and it’s at https://curriepedia.org.
I love reading biographies of famous people on Wikipedia. I feel that its 3rd-party characteristic voice and listing of its sources, and narrative format, are absolutely the perfect way to learn about a topic in-depth. It only lacks the ability to convey emotional depth and humour, but this is not really necessary for my purpose. I find this format much more interesting than the usual family tree websites that offer a rigid tree-like structure to add pictures and information to. Since there are only a few hundred people, and the data never changes, it just needs to be fleshed out more and more, it is not much of a burden to maintain the structure of a Wikipedia article, and so the time saved by auto-generating this content from the family tree websites is outweighed by the lack of readability of their format and the strictness.
It originally started from the work my Uncle Bill did on the family tree. It’s now expanded to hundreds of articles, on my relatives on both sides of my family, my childhood friends, business I visited, people I found influential (e.g. Dolores Niskanen or Marshall T. Savage). I find the eminent readability of the style encourages me to visit and make small edits on a nearly daily basis. Regularily I become seized with interest in a particular place or person, and then I become obsessed until I learn everything I can and document it. Only then does the feeling subside. I have very little control over these mini-obsessions.
I’m quite proud that for most of these little-known people and places, Curriepedia is now the top Google search hit for them. For some people, I’d like to think that writing articles about them has essentially resurrected their memory and their deeds from the “ether of time” and brought them back to life in some sense.
I have intentionally omitted particularly embarrassing or sensitive information about particular people, as a compromise of decency and collegiality and to preserve friendships, over a steadfast dedication to truth and completeness.