Shyamsunder Panchavati

Shyamsunder Panchavati
Linkedin now a follower of Shyam on twitter

Friday, November 4, 2016

My million page views on wikiHow is more a benevolence of the wikiHow staff and readers than an achievement. Please read how.... 11-04

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My million page views on wikiHow is more a benevolence of the wikiHow staff and readers than an achievement. Please read how.... 

When I joined wikiHow in 2010 April, I was unsure of my capacity to write “How to” articles. I had always depended on people to do things for me. I was not able to do even simple things like making coffee, cook food, gardening or excel in any sports activity, music, painting. Absolutely nothing, there was nothing, no activity where I excelled. I never did any “Do it yourself” (DIY) activity.

Then how on the earth could I teach people DIY, or write articles on that subject????

I still joined, read a few wikiHow articles, practiced my articles on “Sandbox”, but I was not satisfied with my efforts and quality of the output. I even seriously thought of just remaining on wikiHow as a reader, writing on wikiHow, I thought was beyond me. But, then, the yearning to become an author on wikiHow was too irresistible for me to ignore.

I took the plunge.

Just two days after joining, with a lot of apprehension, I published my article on wikiHow. The title was How to Retain Self Esteem During Unemployment” and believe me, my own Self Esteem was very low at the time of writing. Needless to say, it was not up to wikiHow standards or norms. Senior editors were very kind to me. They not only put up with my indiscretion, but also did a lot of handholding and walking me through.

It was the same with some other initial articles too. Some were even marked for deletion. There was debate among the senior editors and I also chipped in with my views and justification. There was voting among the editors and fortunately every time, the majority voted to retain the articles.

Over the period of time, I picked up the art of writing on wikiHow (Actually, it wasn’t all that difficult, I had made a heavy weather of simple task.)

My articles were getting published, but still, not one was featured. That worried me no end. I wrote to them and they referred me to the wikiHow coach. The coach was very kind and cooperative, she said that my articles were quality, and could with some improvement be featured.

We started the process. She selected the article How to Impart STEM Education to Your Children" for the process. We had some mail interactions and then a skype interaction. She suggested some modifications, improvement and evolution in quality. I agreed to all her suggestions. The process for featuring the article started and article was featured on 30-09-2010.

The following is the message I conveyed to my readers on the discussion page after the article was featured.

“Thanks, WikiHow community for first awarding the rising star and then deciding to feature it on wikiHow home page on 2010-09-30. I request the readers to follow the reference links and read the exhaustive material available. Whatever could be included in the article as per the format has been included. But this is not the last word on the subject. The article can be considered an instigation, initiation and an invitation for the editors, contributors and readers to start a healthy discussion on the subject.

I will be away on a tour of the campuses, and can respond only on 4th October (if necessary). I want this page itself to become a useful resource for reference on this subject.

I second Eric's suggestion and invitation to readers to collaborate to make this article even better.

happy reading,


To say I was elated, would be a huge understatement. I got inspired, motivated and wrote 15 articles in first year itself. wikiHow thought the articles were excellent and contributed to a better world and I was awarded ‘Barn Star’ by wikiHow. The CEO Jack Herrick took time to write a nice message on my blog where I published to image of the Barn Star.

His one-line message…

 Congrats on the Barnstar award! Thanks for making wikiHow better! 

 After that I received a number of messages, likes, and shares,  from him, but this will remain the ultimate for me always.

Totally, I wrote 23 articles on wikiHow. 8 were featured, and, I got 5 Rising stars and 8 ‘Thumsup’ for my edits.

My wikiHow Stats

437 Article Edits
1,011,104 Article Views.   

Before this article is construed as an exercise in self glorification, let me explain, the purpose is
purely to state that it is not difficult to write and be read on wikiHow. Anything I can do, can be done by anyone, and in a better way too. (My exalted ignorance levels have been elaborated sufficiently in the beginning of the article itself.)

Please don’t let go, your pedagogues’ skills un-imparted. If you can do something, the world should know. Even simple fixes in the house will interest people and be of immense help to them.  Signup on wikiHow, read articles on “How to start an article on wikiHow” learn about the format prerequisites, and start an article.

Best of everything to you,

Best Wishes,


 P.S. You can view the names of the articles and page views details HERE.

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