Evan Ratliff

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w:Evan Ratliff is a recently-created Wikipedia article about an eclectic journalist that a few of us are following. The article is being used to test Wikipedia's policy and process for deletions. The article was deleted once and carried a deletion tag for a few hours. Now we are watching to see how the article and the unique current event that it describes are playing out both in its article history and on the web.

Curator: CQ (yeoman)

Article seed[edit]

Evan Ratliff from Wired Magazine is conducting an experiment by seemingly vanishing as far as knowledge of his physical whereabouts.[1]. Wired has offered a $5000 reward for anyone who can find him. He is still "on the grid" and at large but communicating with his followers on Twitter. [2] The publicity stunt may be to call attention to Internet related unemployment. [3] The Google Wave development group has even proposed using the phenomenal ploy as a test case for the new technology pushing the frontier of real-time web activity. [4] Ratliff is using his specially created blog to taunt the "hunters" [5]. Facebook groups have emerged to team up and find him [6] or to help him remain at large [7]

New top matter added[edit]

5 hours and 20 minutes later, Top matter was added by w:User:Shreevatsa to improve the article's relevance and notability. The second deletion tag was removed and the {{current}} tag and the seed portion were moved to a new section titled, Experiment.

Introduction: "Evan Ratliff is a contributor to Wired Magazine and one of the coauthors of Safe: the race to protect ourselves in a newly dangerous world.[8] His article The Zombie Hunters: On the trail of cyberextortionists, written for The New Yorker in 2005,[9] was featured in The best of technology writing 2006.[10]"

As a current event[edit]

w:User:SmackBot updated the {{current}} tag with the date {{Current section|date=August 2009}} One question now is if Evan's experiment is notable enough for the Portal:Current events/Science and technology.

So far - so good CQ 21:04, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

Evidently not according to w:User:Yellowdesk


suggestions please

Evan found[edit]

An anonymous user posted He was tracked to and found on September 8, 2009 in New Orleans by @vanishteam, a group participating in the challenge to find him[13]. The post included an inline reference.

  • The next several edits by this user convert the Experiment section from present to past tense.
  • ...


  1. Wired.com/vanish
  2. @theativist (Evan Ratliff's Twitter account)
  3. Where in the world is Evan Ratliff?
  4. Google Wave API group post
  5. EvanOffGrid Blog
  6. The Search for Evan Ratliff
  7. Run, Evan, Run!
  8. Martha Baer; Katrina Heron; Oliver Morton; Evan Ratliff (2005), Safe: the race to protect ourselves in a newly dangerous world, HarperCollins, ISBN 9780060577155, http://books.google.com/books?id=YlvvzkXSXiAC 
  9. http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2005/10/10/051010fa_fact
  10. Brendan I. Koerner, ed. (2006), The best of technology writing 2006, University of Michigan Press, ISBN 9780472031955, http://books.google.com/books?id=HWlhWVD4gdYC&pg=PA264&dq=evan-ratliff 
  11. Catch This Writer If You Can and Win $5k ABC News, Aug. 26, 2009
  12. Where in the world is Evan Ratliff?
  13. [1]


w:User talk:CQ shows how a user is notified by the bots and humans doing the deletions. 18:09, 23 August 2009 (UTC)