Do the categories of ?minor? and ?major? have any meaning within the emergent digital and socially edited public sphere? While these terms have specific meaning within the field of literary studies, especially when referring a text?s own relation to the literary canon, their use within other spaces, such as digital texts, remains vague. I?m interested in analyzing these categories through editorial decisions make on Wikipedia. The Wikimedia software developed for, and by, users of Wikipedia makes available these categorical distinctions by enable editors to mark their contributions as either ?minor? or ?major.? What might it mean for an editor of Wikipedia to mark a change as minor? Is there any such thing as a minor article? Can subversive information modify an article by in a sense, ?becoming minor??
The Wikipedia article ?Wikipedia:How to edit a page?  states the policy regarding minor edits: ?A minor edit is a version that the editor believes requires no review and could never be the subject of a dispute.? A minor edit , therefore, is a change that the editor (you must be a registered user in order to mark your edits as minor) regards as ?factual? and not contested. The section of this article on major edits describes these as those that affect ?the meaning of an article is major (not minor), even if the edit is a single word.? (italics in original) It is, therefore, not length of text or reorganization of information, but a change in meaning that constitutes a major edit.
I have a few thoughts on how these tags work and more broadly how the concept of "minor" functions in Wikipedia. For example, articles are often deleted for lack of notability. Do any HASTAC folks have experience with marking edits to Wikipedia and thoughts on the category of minor and major?