INDIANAPOLIS (AP) —Justin Knapp often lies on his reclining bed with a computer on his lap.
In one window of his screen, he likely is listening to alternative music or watching an independent film.
In another window, he is adding to what has become his own world record.
In that window is the Wikipedia website, where the 30-year-old Indianapolis man has been a volunteer editor and contributor since 2004. After hundreds of hours spent on the vast online encyclopedia, Knapp has reached a staggering number: 1.1 million.
That is the number of edits he has made on different articles. This makes the lifelong Hoosier the world's top contributor for Wikipedia, Wikipedia says.
It also, quite possibly, makes Knapp the hardest-working man on the Internet.
Knapp spends hours – sometimes up to 16 a day – editing one Wikipedia article after another. The articles are usually about philosophy, politics, religion, history and popular culture. Why would someone do this voluntarily for years?
Because reading and writing are his much-loved hobbies – even if they entail hours of sifting through countless errors, from small misspellings and grammatical mistakes to outright vandalism. This kind of work, he said, relaxes him.
Knapp's friends admire his stock of general knowledge. But Knapp says he's no one special. While he has bachelor's degrees in political science and philosophy from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, he lives off a few odd jobs here and there, once as a pizza delivery driver.
“I'm really an unspectacular person,” Knapp said. “I'm always poor.” For this, he blames his “own laziness and stupidity.”
As a child, Knapp had been known to notice little details, such as the different textures, colors, sizes and shapes of the rocks in his grandmother's driveway. “These things fascinate me,” Knapp said. “If you can reflect upon what you already know, rearrange knowledge or find connections between or out of the information you already know, that's fascinating to me.”
Setting a world record was never Knapp's intention when he started volunteering for Wikipedia, though he already has done that. Knapp now tops a list of Wikipedia's army of 5,000 volunteer editors and contributors from around the globe.
“My goal is to help spread free knowledge,” he said. “I didn't set out to get a million edits, nor did I stop once I got there,” he added. “I believe in some of the values, like sharing and open-access knowledge.”
He said it's his way of helping people who consume information on a Web resource such as Wikipedia, where everyone can add, change or delete information.
“Wikipedia is like everything else. It's as reliable as your critical-thinking skills,” he said. “You're responsible for what you read.”
Knapp recently went back to school — this time to get a bachelor's degree in nursing. He hopes it will give him some kind of stability.
As for Wikipedia, Knapp said he doesn't plan on stopping anytime soon.
His latest edit count: 1,102,320. And counting.