How many Wikipeders does it take to Change a Light Bulb?

  • 1 User to start a article.
  • 1 editor to tag it with the “No original research” template. (Without giving a reason)
  • 3 users to find citations for the article.
  • 1 editor to claim it violates the Wikipedia “Neutral Point of View policy”. (without giving a reason).
  • The original user to ask why he thinks this way on the talk page.
  • 5 users to find occurrences of changing a light bulb in popular culture.
  • 1 anonymous user to correct an “it’s” to “its”.
  • 1 editor to revert it.
  • 1 editor to revert the revert because it was a real typo.
  • 10 users to rant in the talk page that Changing a lightbulb is not notable enough.
  • 10 Wikipeders to start similar articles in French, German, Spanish, Catalan, Esperanto, Ido, Hebrew, Klingon, Mandarin Chinese, and other languages.
  • 10 more people to periodically keep the articles in sync with the English version.
  • Starting the cycle again on the localised wikipedias.
  • 1 Person to argue that the article should be merged into the main article about the inventor of the lightbulb.
  • 5 People to argue on the talk-page who the inventor of the lightbulb was.
  • 1 Person to start a wikiquote page about changing lightbulbs.
  • 1 Person to add it to wikibook.
  • 4 persons to gradually delete content from the section about “choosing a good chair”, until it only reads “choose a good chair.”
  • 1 person to write it again.
  • 1 deletionist to remove the article due to all of its perceived problems.
  • 3 months from now:
  • 1 different user to feel the absence of the Changing_a_Light_Bulb article, create it and start the cycle all over again.

About this Document

Copyright and License

This document is Copyright by Shlomi Fish, 2009, and is available under the terms of either the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License 3.0 Unported (or at your option any later version) or alternatively the GNU Free Documentation License, version 1.3 (or at your option any later version).


The main inspiration for this document has been the document “How Many Newsgroup Readers does it Take to Change a Lightbulb?” whose origins are unknown. Some of my recent exposure to being a Wikipedia contributor inspired me to create an adaptation of this to the world of the English Wikipedia. Note that I still find Wikipedia an indispensable resource and enjoy contributing to it, and approve of it as a whole, despite the many problems that it constantly faces in its daily maintenance (and which are being handled mostly fine).

A similar feature is Eric Lippert’s “How many Microsoft employees does it take to change a lightbulb?”, which seems to have also provided some inspiration for me (albeit a more subliminal one). While being based on something real, it is kind-of amusing .

Other Wikipedia Humour

Similar Bits Elsewhere