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Let TallahasseeWiki's No. 1 Tourguide Show You Around Town

Thomas Andrew Gustafson

There’s a quick way for anyone to add to or edit the city of Tallahassee. The website TallahasseeWiki has entries for everything from popular restaurants to the hidden treasures like Governor’s Park. And a good chunk of it is thanks to TallahasseeWiki’s number one contributor.

“I’m Judy Westbrook and if I had a title I guess it would be a retired busy-body.” Says Westbrook

She moved to Tallahassee a few years ago. She heard the city was one of the 10 best places to retire.

“I like this place. It’s been good for me. It’s not just been good in the sense that I can get out. We’ve got so many incredible parks in this area. This to me is a treasure trove.” Says Westbrook.

Since moving to the area, Westbrook has volunteered with several organizations because, she says, she loves learning new things all the time. Last summer she attended a Wiki Camp hosted by the public forum group Village Square. The group created TallahasseeWiki and was holding workshops on how to write wiki pages.

“And I kinda got involved because it intrigued me. And it’s been kinda fun because I’ve had to think about places I’ve been, how would I describe them to somebody that’s never been here and how would I get them there.” Says Westbrook.

She started with things she’d come across in daily life.

“My dogs getting old. You need a vet. So I thought, ‘ah ha!’ The light went off. People moving here might need to know where are veterinarian services. There is an emergency care for your pets.” Says Westbrook.

She’s contributed more than 50 pages so far. But anyone can create and edit pages on TallahasseeWiki. Village Square Executive Director Liz Joyner says, the website is supposed to bring neighbors together to share information with one another.

“For me, I love Tallahassee more. I have found myself, you know, driving down the street and seeing a new business and thinking of it in an entirely different way. Thinking, ‘okay, there’s somebody trying to make it. I should get that up on the Wiki.” Says Joyner.

Joyner hopes if more contributors like Judy Westbrook come along, others will come to love the city more too.

“I think that’s very often what happens in this projects, is you find someone who starts to really breathe life into it and all of a sudden it’s really an organic thing that belongs to the community.” Says Joyner.

Before the Wiki Camps last summer, there were barely 100 posts. Now there are almost 450. Those numbers still aren’t as high as some other local wikis across the nation. But Joyner hopes that will change.

“Nobody should be afraid of trying this out. There’s no mistake you can make that messes things up. It is really easy.” Says Joyner.

As for Judy Westbrook, she already knows what her next topic will be.

“Right now, I’m working on dance groups, because a lot of people are interested in dance. Not just in watching it but there’s groups that will teach you the old-timey dances. My dining room table got these piles. This one’s wiki, this one’s wiki in the future.” Westbrook Says.

There will be another Wiki Camp next summer in Tallahassee. Though Joyner says, The Village Square may start holding workshops before then if enough people are interested.

For more news updates follow Thomas Andrew Gustafson on Twitter @tandrewgus