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Why Wikipedia Articles Vary So Much In Quality

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the shoulder-to-shoulder dept.

The Internet 160

Hugh Pickens writes "A new study shows that the patterns of collaboration among Wikipedia contributors directly affect the quality of an article. 'These collaboration patterns either help increase quality or are detrimental to data quality,' says Sudha Ram at the University of Arizona. Wikipedia has an internal quality rating system for entries, with featured articles at the top, followed by A, B, and C-level entries. Ram and graduate student Jun Liu randomly collected 400 articles at each quality level. 'We used data mining techniques and identified various patterns of collaboration based on the provenance or, more specifically, who does what to Wikipedia articles,' says Ram. The researchers identified seven specific roles that Wikipedia contributors play (PDF starting on page 175): Casual Contributor, Starter, Cleaner, Copy Editor, Content Justifier, Watchdog, and All-round Editor. Starters, for example, create sentences but seldom engage in other actions. Content justifiers create sentences and justify them with resources and links. The all-round contributors perform many different functions. 'We then clustered the articles based on these roles and examined the collaboration patterns within each cluster to see what kind of quality resulted,' says Ram. 'We found that all-round contributors dominated the best-quality entries. In the entries with the lowest quality, starters and casual contributors dominated.'"

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Really? (5, Funny)

d34dluk3 (1659991) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383274)

Articles written by experienced people with a wide array of skills are stronger than those written by novices? Never could have guessed.

Why does my shit vary so much in quality? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31383286)

I sat naked on the bench in the health club locker room, staring at the tiles on the floor between my feet, but really looking at nothing. I was waiting for Barack to decide to come up and talk to me. He was this muscular teenage nigger who frequented the club and had ruined my life in the last few weeks. I was ordered to sit naked on the bench without a towel or anything to cover my nakedness. I had to keep my legs spread and my cock and balls visible for the anyone in the locker room who wanted a look. I knew instantly that it had been a mistake to sign up at the inner city health club which was eighty percent black, but it was near my house and cheap which was even more important.

The harassment had started on my first visit. Dark skinned, muscular black boys bouncing around the locker room with their huge dicks and pendulous sacks of balls swinging, high fiving each other and laughing and rapping, and there I was, this moderately built white guy of thirty two.

I will never forget coming back from the shower and one chocolate skinned thug of about eighteen let out a "weeeeeeeow" kind of sound and then said very loudly to me, loudly enough for all his pals to hear, "White man, how the hell can you fuck wit such a small dick?" They all roared with laughter and I turned bright red. Before I left that first time, I met Barack. He eased up to me while I was packing my gym bag. He is one good looking darkie, I will say that for him. He flashed me a big white toothed smile and said he hoped I wasn't thinking of quitting the club. He said he was friends with the manager and they had my address and shit, and it would be really unfortunate if I decided to quit. Then he laid one large basketball player sized hand on my shoulder and said that he would see me at the same time the next day.

Well, that's how it started. It got worse each time I went to the club. Barack and the other niggers got me to get towels for them, had me scrub their backs in the shower, even made me pick their dirty stinking jock straps up off the floor. They sent their filthy jocks and socks home with me to wash for them.

Now let me state here once and for all, that I am in no way at all gay. I don't think I ever even had a gay thought. So all of this really repulsed me. They would brush up against me so their big fat black dicks rubbed my body. They would make constant jokes about me being a faggot.

So I had it out with Barack. I told him I was a single parent with a thirteen year old daughter and in no way gay, and I wanted to quit the club. That mention of my daughter was the biggest mistake of my life. Barack demanded to see a photo of her. Her name is Crissy. After that, all they talked about was "Crissy the Cunt" in the locker room.

"Some fourteen year old school boy probably shoving his dick in her right now while you is at da club." They would say things like that. Barack would ask, "Do you suppose she had ever sucked black dick?" I told them she was totally innocent, and they should keep their foul mouths to themselves. They beat the shit out of me.

I didn't go to the club for a week. All the windows were broken on my car, and my newspaper was stolen, and somebody pissed all over our door. I received a package at work, and when I opened it, there was a pile of shit in a box. I was going nuts with anguish. I thought of going to the police, but I knew I would face even worse if I did. So I went back to the club. That was two months ago. A lot had happened in those two months.

Now I sat waiting for Barack to speak with me. He walked up, stark naked. The first thing I saw were his huge brown feet next to me. I looked up at his long muscular legs. How could I miss the seven inch flaccid dick, thick as a flashlight and the ball sack that looked like it had oranges in it. It was fucking obscene. His stomach was hard and tight. His ass was one of those round tight nigger bubble butts. His chest well defined with large nipples. He had a killer smile, thick nigger lips, and dark flashing eyes that often looked drugged. He had only recently gotten out of reform school for molesting a girl on the playground.

"So, my man, how's that little dick of yours hangin'?"

I spread my legs wider so he could see my pathetic shriveled white prick and small ball sack. If I didn't keep myself on display for them at all times, they would have a wet towel snapping session where my scrotum was the target. It hurt like hell and was totally humiliating.

"So, bro, is everything set up for tomorrow?" He stood close to me...so close that his huge flaccid hunk of fuck meat brushed my shoulder. His dick was so huge, it was just fucking obscene, and that was in its flaccid state. He had not showered yet, and his body reeked of the nigger stink of his workout.

"Please. Please don't do this. I know I agreed, but that was after you had beaten me almost senseless. Please, isn't there some other way?"

He lifted one leg and put his foot on the bench next to me. His gigantic balls swung back and forth in their fleshy sack.

"Dere is no other fucking way, man. You don't wanna even think of what we gonna do to you next time you disobeys us. Dere is no other way. Now it so happens dat I needs me a new girlfriend, and your pretty little daughter fills da bill."

I felt my stomach turn over. I tried to relax, to breath deeply, but I felt like I was choking. This teenage nigger thug was talking about my daughter. My little Crissy. My thirteen year old angel. He had announced to me that he wanted her to become his girlfriend! Jesus Christ!

At first I had bluntly refused, letting my anger and disgust show. All the niggers in the club gathered around me, about fifteen of them, and Barack announced that I was racially prejudiced and didn't want him dating his white daughter. They started to slap and punch me.

"It's not that. Honest to God, I swear, it's not that you are black. It's that she is only thirteen. She's my innocent baby!"

Barack roared with laughter. "Any bitch of thirteen is totally ready for dick! She probably sucking da boys at school every day anyway by now." He looked at the photo of her which he had taken from me. "Yeah, she got real cocksucker lips, she shore do!"

"Oh God no, she's just a baby." I was crying in front of all of them.

"No, daddy, you gots it wrong. She is a babe...not a baby. Dat pretty little pussy is ready for some nigger popping!" Half the niggers surrounding me were getting hard ons, and I don't there there was one under eight and a half inches.

For weeks I had argued, begged, pleaded, tried to bargain with Barack, but he only wanted one thing. My daughter's virgin pussy. Once I stood up to them and told them I would go to the police. They had dragged me naked and screaming into the health club bathroom and forced me to eat turds out of the toilet bowl. I was sick for two days. The next time I went to the club, Barack had made me suck his dick. That was the first time I saw it erect. Over twelve inches of throbbing leaking nigger cock. I had a panic attack and literally tried to run out of the club. They held me down on a bench and Barack fed me his black fuck meat. His balls almost suffocated me. His dick choked me. He even made me suck his ass. What could I do? I agreed to let them have my daughter. I know, I am an awful man. A sinner. It is unforgivable, but I am scared out of my wits.

"So, tomorrow, I comes over to yo house dressed up real good. You introduce me to yo bitch daughter. Now when I sees her, dis is how I wants her dressed. A very tight tee shirt dat says printed on it, "I Love Nigga Dick!" She will wear no bra under it so I can see the tips of her budding little titties through the material. Den she is to wear her nice pleated cheer leader skirt like in da photo, only I don want her to wear no panties under it. From now on, yo daughter is forbidden to ever wear any panties. We want dat fresh young cunt and ass ready and available at all times. I want you to have some really top drawer booze at yo house ready for me. I am not sure what I will want, so you better have enough to satisfy me, whatever my taste might be. Who da fuck knows, I may want a cosmo, or maybe some of dat Louis XIII Brandy dat costs three hundred dollars. You better have it all. After I has a drink, you pretty little bitch and I gonna sit on da couch and get acquainted. Dat means you as da daddy get to watch me finger her cunt and play wit her titties. You gets to see her meet my big fat old dick and even lick and suck it a little. I always insists on sex on da first date, cause how else you know how a bitch perform, right? Shit, I insist on sex on every date. I mean dat is da only reason for da fucking date..to plow some pussy! Right? Otherwise I'd rather hang wit da home boys. Now she gonna be a little uptight and scared at firs...right? Specially when she see my dick and she know dat huge motherfucker is gonna plow her virgin twat! Oh yea, if she got any hair on her cunt yet, you make sure she shave it all off before tomorrow. I wanna see bald thirteen year old pussy."

While he said all of this to me at the health club, his dick got thicker and thicker and long strings of pre-fuck started to hang from the fat pisshole.

"Please don't hurt her...please." I was shaking in my naked agony.

"Hurt her? No why the fuck would I hurt my new girlfriend? I gonna love her. I gonna show her da pleasures of lovemaking. Shore, it gonna hurt a little da first time I ram my twelve and a half inch motherfucking dick balls deep into her tight little teenage pussy. Shore it gonna hurt when I pounds her as hard as I can, and den pull out and shove it as hard as I can up her little asshole. Shore dat gonna hurt a little, but dat is jus' part of growin' up. A her daddy, you understand dat. Right? Better to hab some nice boy like me who wants her for his girlfriend fucking her, den every boy at school who don't give a shit about her.

"Now don't you worry, I gonna take her into the bedroom to fuck her cunt and ass. I think dat is private. I mean, you can watch da first time she suck my balls and lick my dick and such. But fucking is between a guy and his girlfriend. I wants you dere at the start...at the sucking part, cause she is gonna be scared like I say, and you can calm her. Tell her it is a natural part of life, and she just gotta learn to please a man. She, she shoulda learned dat couple of years ago already. She is a late bloomer.

Now I am gonna want to use her bedroom for da first fuck,cause I wants to fuck her little bitch body in her teenage bed, wit all her teenage shit around. It will be so hot. But den, I is moving into your master bedroom. You can sleep on da couch. I wants a nice big bed and luxury for future fucks. I gotta fuck at least three times a day, usually more. Now of course I still going to be bangin' other cunt, but I will fuck your daughter regularly cause she is my number one girlfriend. My special bitch. I ain't gonna introduce her to my bros until after I fuck her for a week or so. Den when she broken in, I gonna share her with all da boys from dis here health club. Dere about twenty of us here as you know, so she gonna be pretty busy sucking nigga dick and getting ass and cunt fucked. We gonna do mos' of it over at yo house. You have lots of food dere at all times fo my brothers when dey comes over to fuck your daughter. Since she be fucking most every day all day and night from now on, I suggest you apply to home school her. Dat way, she don't even need to think about school and she can concentrate on nigga cock all da time."

"Please, please use condoms...." I had tears running down my face.

Barack roared with laughter. "Condoms? Shit...no. We never use condoms. It ruins da fuck. Dat little bitch gonna be pregnant in a couple of weeks at mos'. You gonna be da grand daddy of a nigga chile! And who knows. She young. If she stay tight enough and cute enough, maybe we fuck her for three or four years, you know, pass her around, pimp her out. Shit, she still young enough. She could hab five or six nigga babies! We don' allow no abortions. She gonna breed. Now my brothers and daddy be comin' over lots to fuck her too, so you better have lots of keys to yo house made, or jus' leave the fucking place unlocked. She don't leave da house without permission. I would hate it for both of you if some black bro comes over for a good hard fuck, and she not dere! Now I know you worried about her. Don' be. After a few days of getting nigga dick, she gonna love it so much, dat all she gonna live for. I seen it in young white bitches lots of times. Someday she gonna thank you for all dis. I mean how many girls her age so lucky to get ten to fifteen black cocks a day? Long as her pussy and asshole hold up, she be happy. One thing, she gonna hab to be a really good cocksucker, cause One thig is dat when da boys in my hood meet up wit guys from other gangs...we got dis thing. We hab our girlfriends suck da cocks of all da members of the other gangs, as kind of a peace signal, you know, a sign dat we is kewl and everything is okay. So she gonna pretty much hab a dick in her mouth twenty-four seven for da next few months. She gonna be sucking on nigga dick even when she getting fucked by my bros. Dis house gonna be pretty packed full of black boys! Now, after a bitch has sucked fifteen to twenty dicks a day, she often get a real tired jaw and swollen lips and a sore tongue, so you gonna have to tell her no matter how tired she get, da last dick of da day she suck, gets jus' as good a suck as da first one in da morning. You gotta make sue she understand that. I can't have no bad reports from rival gangs dat my bitch can't suck!

Now we gots one more problem. Da little bitch gonna be so busy getting fucked and sucking dick, she ain't gonna hab no proper time to clean up da dicks after dey fuck her cunt and ass! You know it da bitch's job to clean a dick wit her mouth after a brother fuck her. I mean, you can't expect a brother to walk around wit pussy slime or ass juice on his dick. But she gonna be so busy, she ain't always gonna hab time to clean up, so you my friend is going to have to step up to da plate to help her. You gonna be the official dick cleaner. You gonna lick and suck da dicks clean after dey fuck yo bitch of a daughter. I want you naked on you hands and knees at all times around da house, ready to lick and suck dick clean. And you gonna do a fine job too, I just know it. You get all dat stink off da cock. Maybe you can entertain da brothers waiting next in line to fuck yo daughter too by lickig dere balls and assholes. I never thought of dat until just now. Hot damn, dat is a good idea, ain't it? So dey don't get bored while dey waitin. And den, to keep your daughter fresh and tight, after every three or four fucks, you gonna crawl in and suck the nigga cum right outta her pussy and asshole. Think how great dat is. You gonna get to suck some thirteen year old pussy and asshole! How lucky is dat? You gonna clean out her cunt real good with yo tongue so it is ready for da next nigga.

We gonna be da happiest family you ever seen! Now come on, white boy, suck my dick, can't you see it dripping all over da floor?"

I put my mouth over the head of the huge leaking hunk of fuckmeat, and resigned myself and my daughter to our new destiny.

Political Correctness and Wikipedia (1, Redundant)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 4 years ago | (#31385188)

The so-called "study" is a farce.

There is no mentioned of articles which fit the "PC" criteria that are filled with lies and deceits, such as one article where the government of a certain country has posted, blaming every problem they have on their former British colonial masters.

There is no "collaboration" whatsoever, in term of the Wikipedia readers/editors, for every time anyone tried to edit that said article will get nullified, as the government of that country has employed a "cyber patrol" group which will erase all the edited versions of the article and re-post with the "original".

That article is still in Wikipedia, as we speak.

Still filled with lies and hatreds.

Still blaming every single problem on their former British colonial masters.

But that article is Political Correct, though, for it's the British (Whites) are being blamed, and it's the non-Whites who are doing the blaming.

So it stays, in Wikipedia.

Re:Really? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31383404)

Also updates vary. For example:

Christina_Applegate [wikipedia.org]

Current career

Applegate starred in the ABC comedy, Samantha Who?, until it was canceled on May 18, 2009. The series costarred Jean Smart, Jennifer Esposito, and Melissa McCarthy. The series was about a 30-year-old who, after a hit-and-run accident, develops amnesia and has to rediscover her life, her relationships, and herself.[9] Shortly after the cancellation was announced, Applegate began a campaign to get the show back into production,[10] which was unsuccessful.

Applegate will play Elizabeth Montgomery of Bewitched fame, who died of colorectal cancer, in the upcoming film Everything Is Going to Be Just Fine, due to be released in 2009.

In January 2009, Applegate appeared with her TV brother David Faustino (Bud Bundy from Married with Children) in an episode of Faustino's show Starving.[11]

Within two lines of each other, one article is talking about the future tense in 2009 and the past tense in 2009. Anyone editing the article as a whole would notice this. When, however, you have people editing piece by piece, simple mistakes can be made like that.

Also, it doesn't help that I am too lazy to edit the changes myself. Leave it up to the snobby community. I've tried to contribute before, it was the last time I made that mistake.

Re:Really? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31383480)

Because 90% of Wikipedia is dead. People drive-by now and then and drop in a sentence or fix a spelling error, but for the most part nobody is editing the articles unless it's a politically contentious topic.

The fun part was writing the articles in the first place, now phase is over, nobody wants to be Wikipedia's janitorial crew and deal with the super-aspbergers that populate that place. Which is why Wikipedia is doomed to a slow bit-rot into irrelevance.

Quality isn't such a simple metric, never will be (3, Insightful)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383636)

You can easily have an extremely high quality, 100% accurate and in-depth Wikipedia article without a single external reference. Therefore, the entire analysis is bullshit.

Which is about what I've come to expect from anything that tries to meta Wikipedia.

It's a mish-mosh. As long as article creation and revision is open, it will remain one. Legitimate attempts to characterize any article's quality can only be done by a true expert in the subject matter at hand, if one can even be found. Which is why Wikipedia's resident pedants utterly foul up so many excellent contributions.

A-, B- and C-class articles, my ass.

Re:Quality isn't such a simple metric, never will (3, Insightful)

Homburg (213427) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383876)

You can easily have an extremely high quality, 100% accurate and in-depth Wikipedia article without a single external reference.

No, you can't. Without references, a reader has no way of knowing whether the article is accurate or not; and an editor who writes an article who is unfamiliar with the references that could be cited is unlikely to be sufficiently knowledgeable to genuinely produce a high-quality article.

Re:Quality isn't such a simple metric, never will (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31384208)

And what's to say any references are accurate? They're "accurate" because they have some references, as well?

In reality, references don't mean a fucking thing. This may be hard for you to understand, if you've spent most of your life in academia, and that's all you know.

Getting published isn't about the quality of your work. It's generally a mix of saying the right things (ie. backing up the position of other "scientists" to help increase their chance of getting funding, regardless of how correct their research is), knowing the right people, and in the worst case, just having enough money to publish your work on your own.

The idiots who scream "CITATIONS NEEDED!" are absolutely pathetic. If you filter your citations well, you can get any article to say anything you want. And it just has to be correct, because it has citations and references, RIGHT?

Re:Quality isn't such a simple metric, never will (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31384484)

And what's to say any references are accurate? They're "accurate" because they have some references, as well?

Nobody with half a brain thinks that this is the case. The whole point of references is that they allow you to *check* the accuracy of a statement, or at least determine its source.

Suppose I'm interested in learning about the atmosphere of the Moon. One anonymous person says it's a rich CNOH atmosphere just like that of the earth. Another anonymous person says that it's insignificant, almost nonexistent. How am I to distinguish between these two statements? Without references, I'm in a chattering wilderness. With references, I can determine that the latter statement comes from NASA, which actually sent people and instruments there, while the former is the opinion of some basement-dwelling neckbeard with an unfilled clozapine prescription and some noxious BO. That helps, doesn't it?

Getting published [is] generally a mix of saying the right things (ie. backing up the position of other "scientists" to help increase their chance of getting funding, regardless of how correct their research is)

This is a joke, right? The truly interesting studies *undermine* established positions.

and in the worst case, just having enough money to publish your work on your own.

Nope. No self-published person is ever taken seriously, for better or for worse.

If you filter your citations well, you can get any article to say anything you want.

And the whole point of Wikipedia is that someone else can come along and say "You used selective citations, fuckhead."

Re:Quality isn't such a simple metric, never will (3, Insightful)

jbolden (176878) | more than 4 years ago | (#31384452)

Take a look at the math articles. Heck most of the original content like episodes of BattleStar Galactica, information about cartoon characters or fringe political movements didn't have high quality references. Wikipedia built itself by specializing in materials for which only so / so or no references existed. Articles on wikipedia were higher quality that the same material on the same topics anywhere else.

Re:Quality isn't such a simple metric, never will (3, Funny)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#31384094)

You can easily have an extremely high quality, 100% accurate and in-depth Wikipedia article without a single external reference.

[Citation needed.] :-P

Re:Quality isn't such a simple metric, never will (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31384616)

It's a mish-mosh. As long as article creation and revision is open, it will remain one. Legitimate attempts to characterize any article's quality can only be done by a true expert in the subject matter at hand, if one can even be found

We're talking about simple grammatical problems, awkward sentence structure, and the like, all of which Wikipedia is rife with. If people aren't even bothering to do simple copy-editing, the article is in in decline and a very long way from needing the assistance of a subject matter expert.

Re:Really? (2, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383742)

Because 90% of Wikipedia is dead. People drive-by now and then and drop in a sentence or fix a spelling error, but for the most part nobody is editing the articles unless it's a politically contentious topic.

The fun part was writing the articles in the first place, now phase is over, nobody wants to be Wikipedia's janitorial crew and deal with the super-aspbergers that populate that place. Which is why Wikipedia is doomed to a slow bit-rot into irrelevance.

While true, one might say that stasis is the proper state for a repository of knowledge. Why should articles be under continual maintenance when the subject area is for the most part static?

Politics, religion, and anything that passes for either are the least desirable things for Wiki. Any articles dealing in either area are essentially useless, bias magnets.

But there is very little new information on the vast majority of subjects, so having 90% of them "dead" is just fine.

Equally nonsensical are the seemingly random insertion of [citation needed] tags on things that are matters of public record. Often these are used to cast doubt on an article where there is no question of fact. (I've even seen them inserted after well known figures middle name, as if there were some question what the middle name was).

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31385326)

> Why should articles be under continual maintenance when the subject area is for the most part static?

That's a good question. The issue is that Wikipedia's policies do nothing to assure that an article will actually improve over time. Many of them are getting steadily worse.

Re:Really? (2, Insightful)

rm999 (775449) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383872)

"Which is why Wikipedia is doomed to a slow bit-rot into irrelevance."

Wikipedia is still one of the most popular websites on the internet - claiming it is dead or dying is premature and probably wrong. There are more than enough editors to maintain the vast majority of popular articles. More esoteric topical articles such as a living actress will become stale every now and then (this has always been true on Wikipedia), but established topics have, well... established articles. And these types of articles will make up the core of any encyclopedia.

I like analogies: Wikipedia is like a large city that has been planned and built in the last six years. Nothing will ever destroy the large, bustling downtown. For example, the "World War II" building is already constructed. A random bum can't come by and knock it down, but he can pee on the side of the door and annoy some people. Some passerby will clean it up in about 10 seconds. The younger, more active parts of town will constantly have new buildings coming up and being destroyed, but most visitors don't come to see these parts. And hey, if someone visits this part of town and sees a broken door, he can fix it in about 5 minutes. As long as the Wikipedia city is the best city in the world, the number of casual visitors like this will grow, not fall.

Re:Really? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31384726)

Actually, your analogy is wrong. It's the older, established boring Wikipedia neighborhoods where you can shit in the middle of the street and the turd will be there 6 months later. Places like articles on old computer software, or mid-sized towns, or automotive models.

There is very little editing activity on topics that are non-controversial and don't have any political or nationalistic angles. Many of these articles are simply terrible, yet still end up as top google results. And the edit histories show nothing major has changed for 2-3 years.

That tells me that Wikipedia is prime to be "taken down" by a peer reviewed competitor (or simply by someone who can bother with basic copy-editing). Either Wikipedia provides that service themselves, for example by cleaning up and freezing articles, or eventually someone else will do it for them.

Re:Really? (2, Insightful)

jbolden (176878) | more than 4 years ago | (#31384428)

Agreed, though it doesn't have to be that way. I see articles that need to be created or extensive revised all the time. But 4 years ago people worked together to create content. Now they work together to destroy content.

Re:Really? (2, Insightful)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 4 years ago | (#31384910)

Because 90% of Wikipedia is dead. People drive-by now and then and drop in a sentence or fix a spelling error, but for the most part nobody is editing the articles unless it's a politically contentious topic.

Oh come on. 90% of articles probably concern topics that are either "finished" or are part of a domain in which scholarship is currently very slow moving. Once an article on a particular deceased author is written for example it shouldn't be updated unless some new insights are gained at some point. Likewise for some scientists and theories which have been superseded or are well established. Knowledge doesn't "bit-rot".

Re:Really? (1)

Redlazer (786403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31385086)

Wikipedia is still the only realistic place to go for the sort of information. The answer is the same everything else: Don't be an idiot, and make sure it's verified. I care about facts, not grammar, and so long as there's a citation I can verify myself.

You can't complain about Wikipedia being inaccurate on a whole. Each article varies, and thats the point. Anything that a lot of people know about, is specific and accurate, and since there's lots of people, many articles that I'm going to be looking at will be good enough for me to learn at least some basic information. It is an excellent jumping point for learning, and it needs to be thought of like that, not like "The World Immutable Answerbook."

Thats what the Pocket Reference book is for.

Re:Really? (2, Funny)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383576)

In January 2010, Apple announced the iPad.
The iPad is a tablet form factor computer due to be released in 2010.

Within one line of each other, one post is talking about the past tense in 2010 and the future tense in 2010... Oh, the horror!

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31383680)

My goodness. I killed Christina Applegate.

Invalid URL
The requested URL "/wiki/Christina_Applegate", is invalid.

Reference #9.2f1a1918.1267911250.45a41b4d

My apologies, Kelly Bundy!

Re:Really? (1)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383492)

Yes, the article seems to be just stating the obvious.

"casual contributor" is defined, apparently, a somebody who adds text, but not citations or links. An "A" quality article is defined as one, among other things, incorporating a lot of citations and links. Surprise, the casual contributors mostly contribute to articles that aren't "A" quality!

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31383690)

I've made a few 1-2 sentence "casual contributions" as a way of getting my toe in the water. To my surprise, when I checked back a couple months later most had been improved by links, footnotes, and/or formatting (made into a bulleted list or table). So the "many eyeballs" theory seems to have worked in these cases. Yeah, I chose articles that either weren't A quality, or incomplete appendices of good quality articles.

Re:Really? (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383584)

Articles written by experienced people with a wide array of skills are stronger than those written by novices? Never could have guessed.

That's the beauty of data mining; you can find things out that would have otherwise been totally unknown. TFA states that they will next be applying these techniques to determine whether water is wet...

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31383890)

My fave is the Sunday School Bible Stories passed off as "History" by the Bible thumpers.

Quality? You can't get better than the Word of God.

Re:Really? (2, Insightful)

Homburg (213427) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383902)

You might think this is obvious, but any Slashdot article on Wikipedia inevitably includes lots of comments saying "My drive-by edit was reverted and I'm never contributing again and Wikipedia is dying." Lots of people on Slashdot do seem to think that an agglomeration of off-the-cuff edits could somehow produce quality articles.

Re:Really? (1)

shallot (172865) | more than 4 years ago | (#31384138)

You might think this is obvious, but any Slashdot article on Wikipedia inevitably includes lots of comments saying "My drive-by edit was reverted and I'm never contributing again and Wikipedia is dying."

I wouldn't go so far to support the unsupported generalization in the rest of your post, but this part does seem to be true, and it's becoming really annoying.

This attitude appears so prevalent at times that we actually see such completely anecdotal posts, painfully devoid of anything resembling a rational argumentation common in the technical community, get upvoted as "Insightful" or "Informative", and a lot. A google search gave me an example within fifteen seconds: a comment with score +5, Informative [slashdot.org] containing a completely anonymized anecdote without so much as a single reference to what was talked about so that the readers can actually try and judge for themselves. (Sure, there's some non-trivial information in the comment, but is that really substantial enough for a maximum informative rating?!)

One almost gets the impression that Wikipedia is the new Microsoft ;)

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31385100)

As lazy as it is to write up a stub, at least it is adding something. Even if it's nothing more than a basic outline, it still provides the framework with which an article can be expounded upon.

The annoying part is the people that go about removing it are just as lazy if not moreso. Instead of trying to find the sources needed to validate it and actually contribute to making the article useful, they would rather just delete it instead.

This is why casual contributors tend to give up fairly quickly after dealing with deletionists and why even relevant articles relating to fairly new subjects (which may not be in traditionally published books yet) tend to go missing. Eventually the resources that tend to be more cutting edge move away from wikipedia and into the blogosphere where the signal to noise ratio is much less useful. (This also hinders future research, because now one has to deal with a minefield of keyword spammers when using search engines instead of getting the more concise and relevant information first.) It really is a shame, because Wikipedia could be better if those constantly bitching about lack of references would only bother to do some research and validation themselves.

Re:Really? (1)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 4 years ago | (#31385444)

One almost gets the impression that Wikipedia is the new Microsoft ;)

There's just a lot of people repeating the "LOL Wikipedia" line, so it's not surprising people pick it up seemingly randomly. It's easy to reinforce because there is a nugget of truth to it.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31383994)

Never could have guessed

Citation please

Re:Really? (1)

Zorque (894011) | more than 4 years ago | (#31384030)

That, or articles written by people with the most hours logged writing fanfiction about the subject.

Re:Really? (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 4 years ago | (#31384570)

Practice makes perfect?

Oh. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31383282)

I always figured that some of the articles were poor because they were written by Americans, rather than much more intelligent Europeans or Asians.

Missing role: deleters (4, Insightful)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383298)

Seriously, I'm encountering more and more 'deleted' articles when I search Wikipedia.

Can someone stop deleters? Or at least offer an option to view deleted articles (Deletionpedia works only for English language).

Re:Missing role: deleters (4, Funny)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383506)

Exactly. And then these people who revert -any- change without even looking at it. What? An anonymous contributor added a few words to make a phrase make since? Revert it!

Re:Missing role: deleters (1)

bunratty (545641) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383546)

And then there are those people who don't bother to even read the policies and guidelines of Wikipedia, such as assume good faith [wikipedia.org] . Their edits are often reverted.

Re:Missing role: deleters (3, Insightful)

LinuxIsGarbage (1658307) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383650)

Exactly. And then these people who revert -any- change without even looking at it. What? An anonymous contributor added a few words to make a phrase make sense? Revert it!

Reason for edit: Change a word to make a phrase make since

;)

Re:Missing role: deleters (3, Funny)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383676)

Reverted. I wrote that so it must be perfect! How dare someone have the -audacity- to change one of my words on -my- article! What is the world coming to? An encyclopedia where the masses can edit it!?

Re:Missing role: deleters (3, Funny)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383802)

Audacity is open source, so anyone can have it.

Here's my citation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audacity [wikipedia.org]

Re:Missing role: deleters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31383682)

a phrase make since? Revert it!

I hate to tell you but I have an idea why your comments get reverted...

Re:Missing role: deleters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31384392)

WhooooooOOOOOOooosh.

I knew this one was going to fly directly over somebody.

Re:Missing role: deleters (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31383510)

They're only looking at people who contribute, not at the people who destroy.

I'm with you on the deletionist troll issue though. Many interesting articles have been deleted outright and many wiki pages for interesting projects are deleted, just because someone, somewhere hasn't heard of it.
The deletionism also makes the whole Wikipedia experience that much more annoying, because when you click on a link for &Name, obviously expecting a meaningful answer to how it ties into this article, you instead get referred to a page that is of absolutely no use, and offers information like sun is hot.

I realize this is not the best of explanations but it's what I got out. Take it or leave it.

Re:Missing role: deleters (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31383666)

Deletionpedia [dbatley.com] archives deleted wikipedia pages. Unfortunately, the site is mostly not working at the moment but they do say they're continuing to archive deleted pages while they get the site up again.

Re:Missing role: deleters (4, Insightful)

thelamecamel (561865) | more than 4 years ago | (#31384286)

Yes, this is really quite pathetic. On several occasions now I have wanted some information on a particular topic (e.g. a shitty old game I picked up, my mobile phone, or even a description of lemon party). I go to the wikipedia page, I can tell that several people went to the effort of writing an entry on that topic but the page was deleted by someone who decided that no-one would ever want to see that information. This is arrogance in the extreme - destroying some people's work because they incorrectly assumed that no-one would ever want to see it. Was the article getting in the way before it was deleted?!

Surely Wikipedia could have a link to view pages that were 'deleted' for non-notability - what would be so bad about that?

Re:Missing role: deleters (3, Insightful)

moogsynth (1264404) | more than 4 years ago | (#31384716)

It's much worse than that. Articles aren't deleted because people assume no-one will want to look at them. Articles with hundreds, even thousands of hits a month are commonly deleted because they are seen as not being notable enough for inclusion. The reasons why are usually because there aren't enough sources to prove that the article in question is notable, or the sources are of a sketchy nature (blogs and the like). The actual guidelines themselves say that articles should have the best citations that people can find--often enough mentions on blogs simply have to do. The notability guidelines are being taken as literal truth by a huge number of wikilawyers, who will mercilessly use it as a weapon to nominate articles for deletion. They'll then use other trollish guidelines as absolute law to rubbish the citations people dig up to try and save the article from being deleted. I've seen it happen way too many times now, and I just don't have the patience to dealwith these sorts of fuckwits.

Re:Missing role: deleters (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#31384736)

Well, I just browsed through the list of articles proposed for deletion on Wikipedia. A lot of it, I'd say about 70% or so was articles about people or bands/albums/songs to be deleted on notability grounds. The rest were a mixed bag of general cleanup. The question is, notable compared to what? I can assure you that of all the samples I looked at, none would have qualified for an encyclopedia entry. None were anyone I'd be surprised to find missing.

I think if you want to include people of less notability, you have to just not have a notability criteria. FIDE has a list of 100,000 chess players? Sure whatever, drop them in. I want to add my elementary school class, drop them in. If I just want to list people out of the phone book living in my area, drop them in. If I want to add my whole family of obscure people from my genealogy project, drop them in. Every person that's played a sport at any level where they bothered taking names, drop them in. Every person ever mentioned in any news paper article or failed the first round of idol tryouts, drop them in. Maybe that'll be useful, maybe it'll just be a tangled mess of weird information, duplicate entries of same person or entries mixing up several people with the same name, shameless self-promotion, vandalism and harassment. I guess it's worth a try, I'm just not sure wikipedia is the place to try it.

Why Wikipedia Articles Vary So Much In Quality ? (1, Funny)

Saija (1114681) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383394)

[Citation Needed]

Re:Why Wikipedia Articles Vary So Much In Quality (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31383470)

It IS the citation. Your post is neither funny nor insightful.

Re:Why Wikipedia Articles Vary So Much In Quality (2, Funny)

Saija (1114681) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383478)

So what? delete it

Re:Why Wikipedia Articles Vary So Much In Quality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31383556)

Delete you.

Re:Why Wikipedia Articles Vary So Much In Quality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31383838)

If only I could.

Re:Why Wikipedia Articles Vary So Much In Quality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31383586)

I wish I had the points to mod you up and Saija down. [Citation Needed] is a painfully overused meme in the best of cases, but it doesn't even make any sense here.

Re:Why Wikipedia Articles Vary So Much In Quality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31384190)

[Citation Needed]

Maybe looking at it the wrong way? (3, Interesting)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383424)

I know I'm more likely to "casually contribute" to Wikipedia on a low-quality article. Maybe the casual contributors just don't see the point of changing anything in an article that's already had a lot of attention?

Re:Maybe looking at it the wrong way? (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 4 years ago | (#31385044)

True, and at a certain point the casual contributor no longer has anything to add and the very knowledgeable have to move in for any contributions to made and move the article from "just ok" to "good" and beyond. It's very unlikely because of demographics a good all-rounder with a lot of knowledge of a topic will move in and create an article from scratch. The casuals are more likely to get there first.

Quality Ratings (4, Insightful)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383468)

I think there may be a possible flaw in using Wikipedia's internal quality rating. It measures adherence to wikipedia standards... but that may not necessarily be the same thing as actual quality.

In that scheme, excellent articles with posters who tend to brush up against some of wikipedia's more picky guidelines, would be rated lower. It's minor, because in general wikipedia's guidelines are there to make better articles, but it sometimes happens.

It's like defining intelligence as the ability to do well on intelligence tests. It's certainly related, and there's not much of a better alternative, but you have to remember you aren't measuring the trait directly.

Re:Quality Ratings (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31383664)

So your wordy post was just saying that such objective measures work well, but aren't perfect?

Re:Quality Ratings (3, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383668)

That flaw has always been there, and similar was included in every version of every printed encyclopedia. It's hard to get around that without thousands of editors working full time. The premise of Wikipedia is good, but if you want to trust some information you found on the Internet... errrmm, you need to validate it, corroborate it, and research it yourself if necessary. For me, Wikipedia makes a great starting point to learn about something, just as any single book on any given subject is a good place to *start*. The principle of trust but verify applies for many things, but caveat emptor equally applies. Personally, much of the content of Wikipedia is better than asking Yahoo! Answers and others. meh, it's a thing. If you were supposed to get all your answers from a single source, god wouldn't have made Al Gore invent the Internet. Get off my lawn!

Re:Quality Ratings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31384270)

I wrote a wikipedia article once. It was on a subject I have passing knowledge of, plus an academic paper on it. I took a slight editorial position, based more on how I presented the facts than on an obvious bias to someone who didn't know the topic, but the content was entirely factual. I looked at it recently (a few years later). It had been touched by several all-round editors.

By deleting some of the material they had removed my bias. They had also reworded things, to the extent that they had inadvertently changed the meaning and it was no longer factually correct. They hadn't inserted any citations (say, to the paper I had combined with my experience to write the original article). I left it as is.

I consider wikipedia editors to be destroyers of knowledge, and I still use wikipedia, but I don't ever expect it to do better than mostly right, most of the time.

Because different people write the entries? (2, Insightful)

Threni (635302) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383494)

I've seen some shocking entries, but I can't commit to spending the 20 hours or so it'd take to write a new, decent article from scratch. I guess some people can't tell that the articles suck and go ahead and quote them or whatever.

Re:Because different people write the entries? (2, Informative)

bunratty (545641) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383590)

Why not take a few seconds to tag the article as needing cleanup [wikipedia.org] , then letting the lazyweb do the work? Remember, it takes all kinds of editors to write good articles. You can focus on the work that's easiest for you.

Quality (4, Funny)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383500)

Wikipedia is great for anything involving mathematics or Star Wars. Everything else seems kind of suspect to me.

Re:Quality (3, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383544)

As opposed to? You know, I've come to the conclusion that Wikipedia is a lot more reliable, current and useful than a Google search. How many of us when going through links find the majority of them to be old (circa 1998) sites using outdated layouts, outdated information, etc. And it isn't like print media is much better. Really, Wikipedia is a great source to find needed information (note that accurate information is often unimportant compared to what the masses think) that you would spend days hunting down on Google and in libraries.

Re:Quality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31383812)

Really, Wikipedia is a great source to find needed information (note that accurate information is often unimportant compared to what the masses think) that you would spend days hunting down on Google and in libraries.

Really? I tend to find a relevant Wikipedia article (as well as other relevant links) at the top of my Google searches anyway. I'm not sure why you would need to spend days searching. Of course if you're only looking for the Wikipedia article anyway then it makes sense to start at Wikipedia but that's goes for any favored source.

Re:Quality (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 4 years ago | (#31384110)

Google's pagerank algorithm gives a boost to older pages (and maybe pages that aren't edited frequently). Makes sense, the page has been around a while, has lots of inbound links, so it must be authoritative, right? Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

Re:Quality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31385006)

How many of us when going through links find the majority of them to be old (circa 1998) sites using outdated layouts, outdated information, etc.

Actually, I rarely find anything that is more than a couple years old when searching. It is a bit nostalgic locating old site, but remember that most "public" sites back then were hosted on geocities (now defunct), xanga pages and webring hosting space. Remember webrings? Click here for the next 5 pages on the ring! Back before search tools were advanced, webrings helped you amass information on topics. Anyway, Google's results these days are too cluttered with blog posts, forum posts and article-wear media contributed by people who are not exactly experts. It may work when you're searching for driver help under ubuntu, but not when you want to find explanations on deriving relativity equations.

Wikipedia is a great source to find needed information (note that accurate information is often unimportant compared to what the masses think) that you would spend days hunting down on Google and in libraries.

Pagerank is nice in putting wikipedia pages as first or second results. When I want a thesaurus, acronym expansion or quick explanation on an unknown topic, I query the browser's built-in search with "[topic] wiki."

Wikis are the only mainstream web "environments" still implementing the spirit of providing relevant hypertext links for both related AND tangential topics. Seeing a weird word in an article and having a link to another HTML page hosted on the same servers with a standard presentation layer gives you confort. Hell, every geek eventually gets sucked into the tvtropes site and spends hours trapped. I'm not providing a link because direct linking will just prove my point.

My experience with WikiPedia (5, Insightful)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383594)

Articles dominated by one or two "keepers" tend to be the most biased and lowest quality. Quality edits are tossed aside merely because they do not meet the agenda wanted by the keepers.

Just like academia. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31383818)

Wikipedia is basically just the online equivalent of academia. You have a small number of "experts" whom nobody can question, even when they're clearly wrong. After all, they've built a "successful" career around being experts, often bringing in huge sums of money, so how can they possibly not be correct? Oh, and they always have citations, because most of their "work" consists of them citing one another.

Thankfully, they die off eventually. But that usually just means that a small number of successor "experts" take their place, bringing with them the same bullshit as their predecessors.

Re:My experience with WikiPedia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31384292)

This is a major part of the problem. Bono was given as being both from Finglas and Ballymun when most everyone knew he was not but because most online sources did not correctly have him being from Glasnevin this was not acknowledged for ages.

Re:My experience with WikiPedia (2, Informative)

bunratty (545641) | more than 4 years ago | (#31384622)

Why not seek dispute resolution [wikipedia.org] in these cases?

Wikipedia's Editors (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383616)

I think the main problem with Wikipedia is it went from "an encyclopedia where you -might- find something of interest" to "a place you can find anything!" to now "a place where you can possibly find some things but if we don't like it, it gets deleted and we don't want your help unless you feel like reading 22342342343 policies, follow them exactly and patrol "your" page constantly". Seriously, Wikipedia 2-3 years ago was a lot better than Wikipedia now. Why is it that editors think deleting articles somehow makes it better? Especially since Wikipedia is online and a few new articles don't translate to (much) extra load?

On the Nose (4, Insightful)

Alaren (682568) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383832)

To this I would add that Wikipedia's policies make it very difficult for Wikipedia to be anything more than a web aggregator and pop-culture barometer.

I remember years ago reading Wikipedia articles that were written by experts in the relevant field. Much of their work was destroyed as people went through asking for citations to third-party sources--and since most of the relevant citations would have to come from print material only available at large university libraries, rather than seek out original sources various contributors eventually whittled those articles down to nothing.

I still use Wikipedia to satisfy trivial inquiries, but it's nowhere near as useful as it used to be.

Re:On the Nose (1)

gsslay (807818) | more than 4 years ago | (#31384230)

articles that were written by experts in the relevant field.

And how did you know they were experts? Other than them telling you of course. Cos you can totally believe what people tell you about themselves on the internet.

Degrees to Source (2, Informative)

Alaren (682568) | more than 4 years ago | (#31384284)

Well, I vaguely remember a great big "outing" of one big Wikipedia contributor who claimed to be an expert in all sorts of stuff but who turned out to have hardly any education at all. So your point is well taken.

But it seems to me that injecting the additional level of, "Blog X says Professor Y is an expert, so he's an expert for purposes of Wikipedia" is not an improvement over "Professor Y says he's an expert who contributes directly to Wikipedia."

In other words, the question of who is an expert is always with us--but the earlier (original?) approach seems to me more susceptible to eventual correction.

Re:On the Nose (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 4 years ago | (#31385190)

I remember years ago reading Wikipedia articles that were written by experts in the relevant field. Much of their work was destroyed as people went through asking for citations to third-party sources--and since most of the relevant citations would have to come from print material only available at large university libraries, rather than seek out original sources various contributors eventually whittled those articles down to nothing.

That's a real dilemma though. Do you accept on faith that un-cited information from an anonymous source because it looks right ? Complete nonsense [museumofhoaxes.com] can be made to sound good. Or do you accept only a more limited set of information for which you can at least validate the sources so you have a fighting chance ? The only optimal solution would be to offer both with the article with citations being the preferred one but that adds unwanted complexity and cost.

Personally I think your expert friends should have just linked their sources from the get-go. Linking is what the web was built on in the first place for pete's sake.

Re:Wikipedia's Editors (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31383914)

Why is it that editors think deleting articles somehow makes it better?

Various reasons I expect but ONE of them is that some of the other editors think that Wikipedia is a great place to write stuff about innocent private people without referencing it to anything. This is one of Wikipedia's biggest problems - people who want to a) play at being a virtual peeping tom and b) share the dirt with the rest of the world. People you wouldn't tolerate offline but who thrive off the pseudonymity of places like Wikipedia. Thankfully there are people on Wikipedia with enough of a social conscience to clear some of that crap up.

Re:Wikipedia's Editors (0)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383970)

Such as? Really, the most useful information that I found deleted was on Fire Emblem (a J-RPG) it contained a lot of useful information on things it was inspired from and things that were inspired by it, references to mythology and certain references to common characters/themes. While one might argue that it doesn't "belong" on Wikipedia, it was well sourced, and today I can't even find it on Deletionpedia.

Re:Wikipedia's Editors (4, Insightful)

rm999 (775449) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383962)

It's funny, some comments in here complain that many articles have gotten stale and aren't well-maintained. Others, like yours, complain that there aren't enough articles. These two complaints are at odds with each other - a fixed number of editors can either maintain a smaller, more important set of articles, or can devote their time to starting and watching new articles. Your criticism is largely overblown too: there are, on average, over 1000 new articles a day. I'd like to see any print Encyclopedia do this in a year.

Frankly, I prefer less but higher-quality articles, because it minimizes the amount of misinformation (one of the biggest plagues in early Wikipedia). It helps minimize the number of esoteric articles from being started and then forgotten. The only real rule you need to know when starting an article is notability: the 22342342343 policies are only in place to remove subjectivity from the process. Common sense can get you most of the way there, but if you are in the habit of starting articles understanding the five "general notability guideline" will save you a lot of hassle. And only takes about five minutes.

Re:Wikipedia's Editors (3, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#31384122)

But what do we -gain- for deleting every long article on every Pokemon in existence? Does it really matter if we have a single article for each episode of Keeping Up Appearances? In a print encyclopedia its easy to say that yes it does matter because extra pages translates to extra costs, however, with Wikipedia it doesn't. Yes, it may use a few -kilobytes- of disk space and if its really as obscure as everyone says, there won't be any extra bandwidth costs.

Re:Wikipedia's Editors (1)

LoverOfJoy (820058) | more than 4 years ago | (#31384354)

I agree with you. I think the way to approach that balance with quality is to flag the fluff stuff that would have been deleted as fluff stuff with a large bold warning that information may not be accurate or well written. Perhaps you could even prevent any quality section article from linking to a fluff section article.

Re:Wikipedia's Editors (1)

rm999 (775449) | more than 4 years ago | (#31384946)

I don't specifically know about the Pokemon case, but I see several Pokemon species have their own pages and the rest have their own sections on "List of Pokemon" pages. I suspect that the deletions were due to this notability guideline (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/What_Wikipedia_is_not#Wikipedia_is_not_an_indiscriminate_collection_of_information or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/What_Wikipedia_is_not#Wikipedia_is_not_a_manual.2C_guidebook.2C_textbook.2C_or_scientific_journal [wikipedia.org] ). I agree that when articles get close to the line it becomes subjective, and some decisions are too deletionist - I'm personally on the fence in this case - but the vast majority of deletion cases are clear-cut.

I know there are a couple of comprehensive Pokemon wikis already, so I don't really see the problem. Comprehensive sources will always be better than Wikipedia. For example, tens of thousands of books have been written on WWII, but the total articles about WWII on Wikipedia would probably fit in under a dozen. Wikipedia should NOT be a superset of all information, otherwise it would become unmanageable and unwieldy. At over 3.3 million articles it's already pretty damn close.

Re:Wikipedia's Editors (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#31385314)

But the thing is, if it is high quality information -why- does it need to be deleted? The advantage to Wikipedia isn't that the information is always high quality but rather

A) It is one source for -everything- you don't have to hunt for 234242344 other sites to get the information
B) No ads
C) Fast loading
D) Easy URLs, its pretty easy to find what article without having to find /blog/php?=323423A34234F324234ABC342

Re:Wikipedia's Editors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31384014)

Why is it that editors think deleting articles somehow makes it better?

That policy is a brain-turd of some moron who doesn't think properly (The Notability Policy). It's born of the fact that a traditional encyclopaedia is on paper, paper costs money which restricts the size so you can't include everything. Whilst Wikipedia does still have storage, bandwidth and power costs, those are way less then a printed encyclopaedia yet they still feel they need this shit [probably as some sort of "legitimacy" crutch].

To be clear, deleting articles by some nobody who wrote about themselves (Save your Facebook crap for Farcebook itself, thanks) is fine but impersonal topics and trivia like obscure TV shows and other junk should be fair game, even if only a few hundred people have even heard of it.

Re:Wikipedia's Editors (4, Informative)

gsslay (807818) | more than 4 years ago | (#31384318)

Why is it that editors think deleting articles somehow makes it better?

Because ;

- if the quality of Wikipedia is measured by averaging the quality of all its articles, deleting the crap raises the quality of Wikipedia.
- crap inevitably attracts more crap. If the crap articles weren't deleted they would multiply.
- crap pages, written by people who mistake Wikipedia for a free web-host for their fan site, give Wikipedia a bad name.
- if you can't find the good articles for stumbling over the crap, you're likely to stop looking and go some place else.

If crap pages weren't deleted Wikipedia would drown under them. Regardless of infinite disk space, or unlimited bandwidth. Wikipedia is essentially a database. If you fill a database with too much garbage it becomes useless, no matter how much data of true value in in there also. The noise to signal ratio becomes unbearable.

Re:Wikipedia's Editors (3, Insightful)

grcumb (781340) | more than 4 years ago | (#31385558)

Why is it that editors think deleting articles somehow makes it better?

Because ;

- if the quality of Wikipedia is measured by averaging the quality of all its articles, deleting the crap raises the quality of Wikipedia....

[Emphasis mine.]

Wow. So in your mind, 'not notable' is equivalent to 'crap'. That's quite a leap.

Perhaps you should make that case first before you embark on any other argument.

the notability requirement killed wikipedia (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31385134)

The notability requirement killed wikipedia. Encouraging people to provide ever better sources is something I agree with but to delete articles because the sources "aren't good enough" is ridiculous. Maybe for the George Bush article there ought to be some sort of minimum requirement but for an article on an alien race in a science fiction show? If the best source you have for a particular claim is an episode of that show than I don't see what the problem is. Besides, I'd consider an episode to be a better source, anyway, then a newsweek.com article on the show by someone who doesn't even watch it.

At the rate wikipedia is going, you're going to need sources just to prove what the sources say. Like if you have access to an article behind a paywall, wikipedia's liable to, at some point, say that you're claim that that's what the article says is insufficient - that you need to provide another source to "prove" what the article behind the paywall says.

is very nice (0, Offtopic)

dafid (1761256) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383618)

your artikel is very usefull for me.thanks

"Study" (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383648)

It sounds like articles cared for by people that stick around turn out better than ones edited by drive-by people, eh?

Interesting and all, but you know, this sorta studies get cited to support all kindsa wackjob social "theories", don't they? I mean, citing such studies are deemed "rigor" and whatnot.

Less deletion (2, Insightful)

KarlIsNotMyName (1529477) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383748)

I'm with the rest who say too many articles are being deleted. Several times I've been able to, or thought I was able to, find an article on a subject I was wanting information on. Then all I get is a deleted page, with no way to see what was deleted, and about as much clarity as to why it was deleted. At least send me to the page where you explain and quote why and what you deleted.

Preferably if you have more knowledge on the subject, write a better article and put up that as a replacement. Empty pages benefit no one. And no, there aren't any subjects too small. If they are too small for their own page, put them together with whatever else they belong, and point me to that material when you delete the former main article.

Re:Less deletion (1)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 4 years ago | (#31385294)

That's happened to me like 3 times, ever. And I've always agreed that the subject wasn't that important.

back in the day (3, Informative)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383754)

there was a book called the cathedral and the bazaar

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cathedral_and_the_Bazaar [wikipedia.org]

it delineates the difference between bottom up and top down organization, specifically in regards to software development models like linux versus gnu

obviously, this overlaps thematically with wikipedia in that wikipedia was once a bazaar, and is now becoming a cathedral

regardless of which model is better for wikipedia, the pluses and minuses of the cathedral versus the bazaar models of software development should be instructive for what exactly wikipedia is winning, and losing, in its trade off between bazaar and cathedral

One key flaw (3, Interesting)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31383928)

The study wasn't exactly complete. First, they only looked at Featured quality articles, A-class, B-class, and C-class. They totally neglected GA-class [wikipedia.org] , of which there are currently over 8,000 of those. Secondly, FA-class and GA-class are handled differently than A, B, and C-classes. FA and GA are Wikipedia-wide assessment systems, with specific criteria that must be adhered to in order for articles to get listed there. FA is pretty rigorous, and only the best of the best get through after having been nitpicked, often far too much (yes, stupid crap like commas and en-dashes). GA is a bit less rigorous, with a review by only one editor being required for listing. And yes, this one editor system has been criticized in the past; though there is a GA reassessment system, and the community has gone through a pretty thorough system of GA sweeps, getting rid of some of the older GAs that were passed before the current criteria were enforced better.

A, B, and C-class assessments are not Wikipedia-wide. They are assessed by individual Wikiprojects (of which there are literally hundreds of these). And each Wikiproject has their own standard of what it considers A, B, and C. Some Wikiprojects are much easier, others are more rigorous (like WikiProject Military history [wikipedia.org] ). Furthermore, C-class is relatively new, having been created just within the past two years or so; so there's probably still a lot of B-class articles that should be C-class.

Re:One key flaw (4, Insightful)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#31384232)

What the holy shit are you talking about?

Maybe the study should have been, "why are people working with Wikipedia completely unable to communicate in English to other people?" Shit, at the very least, why not tell us what your constantly-used GA and FA acronyms actually *mean*.

Anybody care to translate that into English?

Re:One key flaw (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31384634)

It should be obvious they refer to "Featured Articles" and "Good Articles." Maybe you missed the part where he wrote:

The study wasn't exactly complete. First, they only looked at Featured quality articles, A-class, B-class, and C-class. They totally neglected GA-class, of which there are currently over 8,000 of those.

And then actually linked [wikipedia.org] to the section on Good Articles?

Next time pause for a second and READ and THINK before lashing out, or just take your pils and keep quiet.

Roles (3, Informative)

lyinhart (1352173) | more than 4 years ago | (#31384072)

In the five years that I've been a Wikipedia editor, I've played most of these roles, but right now I'm definitely a watchdog. I primarily revert vandalism. It's a good way to stay out of edits wars. At this point, most of the stuff on Wikipedia is way too messy to clean up and/or improve. I'd rather clean up Cowboys Stadium on any given Sunday in the Fall than clean up content on Wikipedia. As for deletionists? They deal with the administrative (sigh) aspect of Wikipedia, while this study seems to be driven mainly on the content itself.

Countless egos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31384222)

I can count how many huge egos are on there.
The amount of in-fighting is pretty high too.
If you are a new contributor to the site, good luck actually fitting in, you will be pushed aside by all the elitist asses who think they are god.

Article stalking theives. These are the ones who stalk and revert any edits by people, then end up adding it later on in their own words.

Delete-happy idiots that end up causing delete-revert wars.

Revert and ask questions later.
These fuckers are the worst. They have single-handedly ruined Wikipedia.
The other things don't even compare to the idiots going around reverting every single change just because.

Wikipedia was fine a few years back, but now it is just out of control.

Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31384238)

So, you allow random people to write and edit articles, and the result is a wide variation in their quality?

Next week, can we have a paper explaining the defecation habits of bears?

Why Wikipedia Articles Vary So Much In Quality? (1)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 4 years ago | (#31385012)

Why do Wikipedia Articles Vary So Much In Quality?

My initial reaction was because it's a free encyclopedia that anybody can edit.

the problem with wikipedia (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31385020)

What really gets me about wikipedia is stuff like I Am Rich [wikipedia.org] . Nominated for deletion, the consensus wound up being to keep it. Not to redirect it but to keep it. Then, the nominator, having failed in his attempt to delete it, merges it, despite consensus to the contrary, into App Store [wikipedia.org] . Later, another user comes along and deletes it, saying it's "not important [wikipedia.org] ".

But wait - it gets better! The same guy nominates Heavy Metal (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) [wikipedia.org] for deletion and fails in his attempt. So what does he do? Merges every episode, save that one, into List of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles episodes [wikipedia.org] . You see - this user knows he couldn't get consensus by an AfD so he engages in backroom deals to gain support.

It's interesting to note that this same user also completely and wantonly disregards the rules. When a vote to delete an article has concluded, you're not supposed to edit it, anymore, and yet they do it [wikipedia.org] and get away scott free with it.

Of course, none of this tops Torchic [wikipedia.org] . A front page featured article with 20 paragraphs and 46 citations now reduced to redirecting to a list of pokemon, with 2-3 paragraphs (depending on whether or not a one sentence paragraph counts) and no citations. Amazing stuff.

reversions drove me away (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31385354)

I have tried to add info to some wikipedia articles because of errors or because I'm an expert on some facet and the changes are always reverted - so I will never bother to edit an article

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