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Our Love/Hate Relationship With Wikipedia

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the who-you-callin'-non-notable? dept.

The Media 244

netbuzz points us to a somewhat snarky Washington Post article about the Wikipedians' work in upholding a minimum standard of "notability" for the collaborative encyclopedia. Here's his take on the Post's bemusement from a NetworkWorld blog: "The Washington Post this morning gets its snickers at the Wikipedians who do the best they can to apply the minimum 'notability' standards needed to keep the online encyclopedia's 1.5 million English entries relatively free of worthless junk. 'It's also safe to assume these are people with a lot of time on their hands,' the Post writer notes... These are people doing a truly thankless job... and they deserve a few thank-yous."

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244 comments

It's not thankless (5, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | more than 7 years ago | (#17091880)

Most wikipedia editors you ever interact with are really quite nice. Wikipedia has a good sense of community. There's also a bit of personal satisfaction of knowing that you're slowly helping expand the ammount of freely available public knowledge, without the cruft.

Re:It's not thankless (4, Interesting)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092072)

"freely available public knowledge, without the cruft."- why would The Washington Post which makes it's money and reputation on charging for the distribution of knowledge, ever endorse that?

Re:It's not thankless (4, Insightful)

EMeta (860558) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092322)

The Post (and most newspapers) make a very small percentage of their revenue on subscription. Far more comes from advertisements; which is of course why most larger cities have free papers of some sort.

Re:It's not thankless (1, Interesting)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092378)

The Washington Post makes money by publishing interesting articles written by individual writers. Individual writers make money by writing on topics that interest readers, often by doing nothing more than sharing their opinions on things, albeit eloquently expressed opinions. The problem with the question your asking is that there's an implied idea behind it that "The Washington Post" has opinions and an agenda. Your question is unanswerable because it's asking for the opinions and motives of a thing, which has none, rather than asking about the opinions and motives of the various people in question (which almost certainly differ). There are numerous reasons why that particular writer might endorse that (personally held beliefs), why the editors might publish it (increase readership, satisfy the writer who writes other things they like more and they don't want to reject the few things they don't, look like they encourage diversity of opinion, etc), all of which would combine to cause the publication to contain opinions that are contrary to the best interests of the publication, because the publication itself puts no thought into this at all, everything happens on an individual level, with each person making decisions to benefit themselves, not the publication.

Re:It's not thankless (2, Insightful)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092878)

The Washington Post is a business. Part of big business is to down-play the publicly perceived value of your competition, the editors and writers both know this. They also know that Wiki doesn't mail you a check for expressing your eloquent opinions. While it would be nice if mass media was based on giving unbiased information to a well informed public, that ideal has been quite eroded in the last 25 years. Read all about it. http://www.consortiumnews.com/2000/032000a.html [consortiumnews.com]

Re:It's not thankless (5, Insightful)

Golias (176380) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092592)

The real question here is:

Why is cruft a problem???

If somebody publishes a 15,000-word wiki on the 1970s NBC show "Cliffhangers", it's not like Wikipedia suddenly takes up more space on my bookshelf. Personally, I love that there's so much obscure crap on Wikipedia. Somebody on Fark mentioned some way-out there pop culture reference I never heard of, and Wiki has me up-to-speed in a matter of seconds. How can this possibly be a Bad Thing?

(Unless you are a journalist for a dying media with an axe to grind, that is...)

Re:It's not thankless (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#17093006)

I couldn't agree more. Wikipedia went down in my estimation when they started aggressively pruning. A couple of articles I regularly used for reference suddenly vanished because the topics weren't 'notable.' Oh, and once they were deleted, non-admins then couldn't even read the old version. In my opinion, if a single user (other than the author) finds a Wikipedia entry useful then it has value and shouldn't be deleted.

One of the biggest advantages that Wikipedia has is that it can have a much larger scope than any print publication ever could, and it seems silly to squander this.

Re:It's not thankless (2, Informative)

rgmoore (133276) | more than 7 years ago | (#17093022)

Why is cruft a problem???

Because there are still limits on the system. If you let each person, group, and event in the world have a page on Wikipedia, you'll have serious problems telling them all apart. As an example, there are 38 people on Wikipedia named John Smith, and more with some variant on the name, like Johnny or Jon. And that's after trying to eliminate nobodies. If they let anyone with that name have a page, it would be a nightmare to tell them all apart.

Then there's the problem of how to get an accurate entry on an unimportant topic. Wikipedia depends on collaborative editing to ensure factual accuracy, but that depends on having plenty of contributors. The fewer people there are contributing to a page, the more likely it is to have unrecognized factual or interpretive errors. A page with only one contributor can say literally anything about its subject, which is exactly how a number of serious errors have gotten into Wikipedia. A noteworthiness requirement is a reasonable way of guarding against that problem.

Re:It's not thankless (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092770)

They do charge, yes, but the charge is mainly to the advertisers -- much like online. What you pay for a newspaper subscription only covers the distribution infrastructure. You likely pay for distribution of your online news as well, unless you have free internet access. The benefit of the latter is obviously that you get as much information as you like from as many sources as you like. The benefit of the former is that it's conveniently portable and the signal to noise ratio is usually a bit better.

Re:It's not thankless (4, Informative)

fm6 (162816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092738)

Without the cruft? Your definition of non-cruft would seem to be very broad.

"Nice" or not, most Wikipedia editors I worked with had very set notions about the "right" way to do things. Even if you have the official guidelines on your side, it's very hard to get anybody to change their minds. When I participated in the "request for deletion" discussions (I think they're called something else now) people mostly had their notions of what was notable and what wasn't, and that was that. Sometimes they'd even refuse to explain their opinions.

It really doesn't matter whether the discussion are polite or not, because they never go anywhere. It's a myth that Wikipedia is edited by consensus. Content is controlled by those who outstubborn everybody else.

Repeating the same mistake (5, Insightful)

dgg3565 (963614) | more than 7 years ago | (#17091892)

Didn't the MSM take something of a similar attitude toward blogs once they first emerged as a real force? And Wikipedia has been gaining "critical mass" in the same way blogs did a two or three years past. Setting all that aside, the tone of the article is somewhat unprofessional if your evaluating a new idea.

Re:Repeating the same mistake (1)

infaustus (936456) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092152)

The article is from the Style section, which is more for entertainment than for information.

Re:Repeating the same mistake (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17092330)

"if your evaluating a new idea."

For the love of god I wish people would get this right. It's you're. As in: you are.

Your is possessive. As in: your computer just crashed.

Wikipedia critics miss the point, or do they? (3, Insightful)

gondwannabe (1028488) | more than 7 years ago | (#17093000)

Academics who sniff at Wik's uncredentialed content certainly don't get it. But the loudest Wik snipers are undoubtedly scared to death of the incredible magnet that the site has become.

Don't put Wik into the encyclopedia box. It's really a social knowledge network where opinion is just as entertaining as fact. It's engaging and addictive, especially around controversial topics. I think I spend more time on the Discussion pages than on the main pages. I enjoy (like many, I suspect) anonymously correcting little spelling, usage and grammar errors in Wik, just for the pleasure of it. I may never author an entry, but I'm Wikipedian, too.

Another key element of Wikipedia is its utility as a portal. I want to investigate a topic - click - there it is, ragged or elegant, but replete with interesting debate, useful links to current, socially vetted sources, etc. It is rich because it is messy. Messiness is info-liberation.

Wikipedia is probably more a threat to Yahoo and even Google than anyone else. I wouldn't mind if Wik was commercialised. This may be more productive than trying to police commercial messages and links out of Wik content.

The language nazi says: (3, Informative)

s20451 (410424) | more than 7 years ago | (#17091926)

Here's his take on the Post's bemusement from a NetworkWorld blog:

"Bemuse" is a synonym for "confuse". It is not a synonym for "amuse".

Yes, yes ... evolving language, etc.

Re:The language nazi says: (5, Informative)

john_sheu (755802) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092202)

From Merriam-Webster's:

bemuse
1 : to make confused : PUZZLE, BEWILDER
2 : to occupy the attention of : DISTRACT, ABSORB
3 : to cause to have feelings of wry or tolerant amusement

Re:The language nazi is over reacting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17092264)

I agree, confuse more than amuse, but also "amaze,..., stun" which is the way I read it. (remember to cite your sources) http://thesaurus.reference.com/browse/bemuse [reference.com]

Re:The language nazi says: (2, Funny)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#17093014)

Cmuse me?

Shit Casserole (0, Flamebait)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 7 years ago | (#17091934)

These are people doing a truly thankless job... and they deserve a few thank-yous

Like a shit casserole, the thanklessness of the job is irrelevant. The good intentions of a chef cannot overcome the poor choice of ingredients. In the case of Wikipedia, the poor choice was in an anarchic methodology that assumes a consensus of anonymity can product accuracy.

Re:Shit Casserole (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 7 years ago | (#17091974)

"an anarchic methodology that assumes a consensus of anonymity can product accuracy"

I find it hardly surprising that the people who complain most about Wikipedia know so little about it.

Re:Shit Casserole (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17091992)

an anarchic methodology that assumes a consensus of anonymity can product accuracy.

That's hardly an inaccurate assumption. For example if myself and other AC's came to a consensus that you are a asshole, I'm sure that would be accurate.

Re:Shit Casserole (2, Interesting)

arivanov (12034) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092036)

Funnily enough, it can on non-contentious subjects where there is a general consensus. For example if we look at the T-34, the Halifax bomber and a few other I have looked up lately, the quality of the articles and their objectiveness is quite impressive (I am familiar with the subject matter enough to catch mistakes in these).

The anarchical approach fails the moment it gets into a contentious subject or when facing with a well organised system hell bent on putting their side of the story through. Articles on some of the more corrupt US congresscritters are a good example of this. Creationism, Life/Choice and a few others are also in this category.

A mixture of anarchy and order for the contentious ones is possibly the best solution.

Shit Casserole My Arse! (2, Insightful)

syousef (465911) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092058)

Don't hold back. Tell us what you really think about Wikipedia.

IMHO the problem with wikipedia is that they included the prefix -pedia in their name. Wikipedia is not an encyclopedia. It's more a global store of knowledge - a wiki - and ideas of varying quality will creep in much more than a published encyclopedia. Claims that anarchistic editing makes for higher accuracy than a published book are just unrealistic - when you set up such expectations and they are dashed you get very vocal critics of wikipedia such as yourself. If you treat it like a published work of course you'll be disappointed. Even with a published work you should check and re-check any fact you read if it's at all important. With wikipedia this is even more true since anyone can contribute not just recognised experts. To call it a shit casserole though is going way too far. It's an excellent free resource if all you want is a general idea on a topic or if that information is for interest and not something you'll base work or important decisions on.

Re:Shit Casserole My Arse! (1)

danielk1982 (868580) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092084)

suffix -pedia

Re:Shit Casserole My Arse! (1)

bgerlich (1035008) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092174)

Hey last time I checked encyclopedia is derived from greek and it means (not literally) "general knowledge", so Wikipedia has every right to call itself that. If someone uses the argument that meaning of the words evolve then I send this one right back at you and Wikipedia is redefining the meaning of the word "encyclopedia" for the 21st century.

Re:Shit Casserole My Arse! (1)

Petrushka (815171) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092588)

Hey last time I checked encyclopedia is derived from greek and it means (not literally) "general knowledge",

Just an FYI: "-pedia" (Greek paideia) means "education".

Re:Shit Casserole My Arse! (3, Insightful)

yusing (216625) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092486)

Re the (suffix) -pedia :

Let's suppose for a second that America is sometimes called a democracy for real reasons, not just to snow the untutored. We've never been a democracy, nor are all men (treated) equal, nor did the slaves enjoy life, liberty, pursuit.

And yet the ideal remains: it's a work in progress. In the same way, the founders and workers of Wikipedia would like to see it approach -pedia stature, if asymptotically. In some (more empirical) areas it already are one.

Those who sniffle about its lack of hi-bred values (like adequate citation) are probably the same people who snicker at the suckers who believed the democracy ploy. And yet, who knows, we may get there yet.

Re:Shit Casserole (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17092454)

Yes, this is needed exactly the reason why Wikipedia has been completely unsuccessful. I mean, hardly anybody's even HEARD of it!

Re:Shit Casserole (0, Offtopic)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092554)

Sheesh.

1: The measure of a chef is how good he can make ANY ingredients. If Emeril couldn't turn stale bread and barely-edible beef into a good meal, he wouldn't have a show.

2: Regarding your sig, the American left stands for liberty, community, and equality. It only seems like they're only negative because the Right doesn't give them any credit for their good ideas, so after the third or fourth co-opted idea they stopped offering any new ones until the next administration change.

Why? (1, Insightful)

Jott42 (702470) | more than 7 years ago | (#17091994)

I do not see the need for the stringent notability criterion on Wikipedia: it is not as that the book will be to thick and expensive to sell if every article would be allowed to stay. (Bandwidth-costs must outweigh the cost for harddisks as it is mainly text.) What would be the harm of being a repisotory of every article that somebody had the energy to write? Still keeping the wiki methid: anybody can correct any article at any time. (I do not see the reason for necessarily keeping the articles short, either. A long article is better than a short one, just make sure that there is a good summary in the beginning. This would also allow for giving opposing theories some space.)

Re:Why? (4, Insightful)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092056)

What would be the harm of being a repisotory of every article that somebody had the energy to write?

Because we already have the web at large for that. The point of an Encyclopedia is not be the repository of all knowledge, but to be a summary of all notable subjects. The "repository of all knowledge" IS all published knowledge.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17092102)

Except that as I see it now the whole thing is a cluster fuck in terms of notability, if you either get an admin or enough people to agree with you it's notable (or not notable) no matter what it is. I personally laugh at the webcomic entries as by wikipedia's OWN standards 99% of them shouldn't be there. Its hilarious because they're now a self consistent set of notability, no single article (not counting the truly shitty ones) can be deleted (they are, people bitch and they're back inside of a week) because then it's hypocritical given all the other webcomic articles still being there.

Re:Why? (3, Insightful)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092186)

Except that as I see it now the whole thing is a cluster fuck in terms of notability

Wait, something created by humans is not perfect? GOOD LORD!

I personally laugh at the webcomic entries as by wikipedia's OWN standards 99% of them shouldn't be there.

The question is notability. If they have sufficient readership (or links, based on Googling, for example), then they probably belong there.

If your web comic isn't getting enough people thinking it's notable and campaigning for it, then yes, it probably isn't. Sorry about that. Keep working on it...

Re:Why? (1)

usermilk (149572) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092070)

Amen to that. It makes no sense to delete a stub or "unnoatable person" on Wikipedia. The only real justification would be so that people feel special when they are included in Wikipedia and that is conceited.

Re:Why? (1)

ronanbear (924575) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092164)

It's better just to delete the spam references to such non notable people in otherwise informative articles.

That is a much more serious problem because it undermines good articles if they become filled up with references and sections about unimportant events, people and places.

Re:Why? (2, Informative)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092154)

Because most of them will be unverifiable and probably down right wrong. IF there are no outside sources for verification and only 1000 people in the world who know anything of the article's subject then you have a single person writing the article probably. Not to mention that the larger the wikipedia the more energy is needed just to maintain some sort of coherence in the articles and remove obviously wrong crap (which means other articles will suffer as this is a finite resource).

I'd prefer a limited wikipedia with good articles to one with everything where half the stuff is utter shit.

That's the only valid reason. (2, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092302)

This is really the only good reason for the "notability" standards, IMO. It doesn't 'hurt' WP to have articles on obscure subjects, except insofar as they become impossible to verify once you get below a certain 'critical mass' where you can reasonably expect to find people who are going to know something about the subject.

Part of the benefit of Wikipedia is that it has articles on a wide variety of things, far more than a paper encyclopedia ever could. If I wanted to read Encyclopedia Britannica, I'd just go and read it. One of the reasons I search WP is because it has far more content, on a wider variety of things, than a traditional encyclopedia would.

The only reason to eliminate articles is when they're such small niche topics, that they necessarily represent the views of only a small number of people.

Let me be the first to say (0, Troll)

OffTheLip (636691) | more than 7 years ago | (#17091996)

thank you, thank you and thank you. Really, I mean it. Flame on!

slashdot entry (2, Interesting)

Mushdot (943219) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092040)

I don't see why there can't be room for any kind of articles as you only come across what you search for - it's not like you are holding a 1 metre thick book where you have to wade through a million random articles to find what you want. Although initially sceptical of Wikipedia I do actually find it quite useful these days as a starting point for many a piece of research.


Funnily enough, the slashdot subculture section has become a victim and been removed. It's through that article on Wikipedia that I got a grip on the untold jokes/cliche's that abound here.

Re:slashdot entry (4, Informative)

mdd4696 (1017728) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092214)

If anyone and anything were given articles on Wikipedia, you *would* have to wade through millions of junk articles to find what you want.

One important requirement for articles on Wikipedia is that they are verifiable. That means providing sources for the information in the article, allowing others to ensure that the article is accurate. If there are no published sources which contain information on the subject of the article, there would be no way of evaluating it. I doubt that the authors of an article on some kid's garage band could provide a reference from outside of their circle of family and friends.

Wikipedia is a tertiary source. Not a primary source, not a secondary source. Articles on Wikipedia are written about what is already published elsewhere. This is an attempt to keep Wikipedia neutral, and minimize the influence that a particular editor's biases might have.

Re:slashdot entry (5, Informative)

interiot (50685) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092326)

One answer is that there are many wikis [wikipedia.org] out there. For almost everything that Wikipedia says it's not [wikipedia.org] , there's another wiki out there that will cover the information you're interested in working on. For many of them, Wikimedia itself hosts those wikis, so it's not always a matter of DELETE DELETE, sometimes it's a matter of finding the right wiki. For instance, Wikipedia might not like to have really detailed programming guides on its site, but the content would be perfectly suitable for Wikimedia's Wikibooks. Wikipedia is a little too straight-laced sometimes, but there's Uncyclopedia if you want to add a joke to an article or otherwise go overboard with a subject. Wikibooks no longer takes game walkthroughs, but there's Strategy wiki for that.

To avoid Vandalism (0, Troll)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092068)

I would like to see them get rid of anonymous edits. And also make the registration process effort consuming. Only people with accounts should be able to edit, set the minimum age to 21. Hells, why not link it up to the drivers license numbers. Cut the vandalism in half and you'll save alot of good wikipedians time.

Re:To avoid Vandalism (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092198)

I would have to agree on not allowing anonymous edits.. not sure about having to give a driver's license number, but hell, manual/telephone verification could be an idea... worked for bbsing back in the day.

Re:To avoid Vandalism (1)

yusing (216625) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092626)

I'd rather not have to sign in to fix a typo or clarify a phrase. IF anonymity encourages vandalism, it also encourages contributions that would not otherwise be made.

As for telephone verification ... who's going to do the vetting? "BBS days" were a whole different world, and the number of social engineers is WAY up these days.

Re:To avoid Vandalism (2, Insightful)

fimbulvetr (598306) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092872)

Maybe that could do it...Limit anonymous edits to changing +/50 characters or something.

Then you could have a Special page for all anonymous edits done, with a diff so it'd make it easy to find vandalism.

It still keeps the barrier to edit low so people can fix typos and bad grammar, but it doesn't let them post/remove entire articles/paragraphs. Also prevent page creation and deletion. Seems reasonable to me.

Re:To avoid Vandalism (4, Insightful)

Zorglub1234 (794962) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092222)

Hells, why not link it up to the drivers license numbers.

Why should I prove that I know how to drive in order to edit Wikipedia ?

More generally, you are assuming that anonymous editors, people younger than 21 and people without a drivers license/ID currently bring more bad things than good things to Wikipedia. You may be right, but I don't see any reason to believe it just because you say it. Many anonymous editors make excellent contributions to Wikipedia, as do a lot of teenagers. What is the point of cutting down vandalism if we lose more valuable content simultaneously ?

Zorglub

Re:To avoid Vandalism (1)

lordofthechia (598872) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092402)

Hmmm.. Make anonymous edits get queued till someone who's registered can validate them? Once validated they can be posted.

If you don't want your comments screened first then register. Though I agree, requiring a Driver's license may be a bit much.

Re:To avoid Vandalism (1)

yusing (216625) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092656)

Punishing all teens for the idiocy of a few is an idiotic solution. Wikipedia is the sort of place that a SMART teen might WANT to hang out; that should be encouraged. Like copy-protection, your blanket solution punishes the innocent most.

Re:To avoid Vandalism (1)

Cygnus78 (628037) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092902)

Many anonymous editors make excellent contributions to Wikipedia

Yes, and I remember this article that found out that it was often the anonymous edits that added the actual content to Wikipedia while the registered accounts merly acted as a big cleanup crew, fixing spelling errors and moving stuff around.

Re:To avoid Vandalism (5, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092430)

Wikipedia is the 1994 USENET in 2006.

People exaggerate its flaws and underplay its usefulness, but everyone secretly knows it's the number one site on the 'net to start at if you need any kind of information.

People will propose stuff like what you've done. Some will, however, respond by pointing out that Wikipedia's fluidity and usefulness is actually directly proportional to the ease of access, and so any attempt to moderate it is doomed to failure. Others will run off and start their own forks, which will have all the heavy handed moderation supposedly necessary, and each will fail miserably.

Then, over time, the spammers and others with a commercial interest in vandalising Wikipedia will rise. Wikipedia's usefulness will start to drop. People will be turned off by it as a useful resource. And, many, hopefully many, many, years from now, it'll live on as a wasteland, a sad relic of an idealistic age.

But for now, it's the number one site on the 'net to start at if you need any kind of information, and just like Google Groups keeps the good in Usenet alive today, archives of Wikipedia will be awesome for "those in the know" in 2018.

Re:To avoid Vandalism (1)

saforrest (184929) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092742)

And also make the registration process effort consuming. Only people with accounts should be able to edit, set the minimum age to 21.

Vandalism happens, and would whether or not accounts were required. I don't really understand why people have such a hard time with anonymous edits. Fully open editing, which includes spontaneous anonymous edits, are exactly how Wikipedia got so huge in the first place.

Wikipedia entered mainstream consciousness by adopting a radically open position. Why is that now, that is finally is mainstream, that people consistently want to change the very thing that led to its success?

I've yet to see any evidence that the number of vandals is rising faster than the number of "honest" users. If vandalism was such a problem that it undermined the whole effort, don't you think Wikipedia would simply have never got off the ground in the first place?

Hells, why not link it up to the drivers license numbers.

Let's see, the first premise there is that any adult would-be-Wikipedian has a driver's licence. Even if this were the case, we would need to authenticate every sort of driver's licence from everyplace on Earth, since edits to Wikipedia can come from anywhere. Then there is the constant risk of exposing this data to would-be-identity thieves.

Finally, there is the fact that users with accounts have, as of now, a degree of anonymity in the sense that the only information presented to the world is what they choose to. Their IP addresses are exposed only to admins. This would be lost with your proposed system. I don't see why we should not allow edits from reasonable people who don't want to expose personal details.

To summarize, Wikipedia's success is due to its radical openness. The reports criticizing this position have (in my opinion) not exposed fundamental weaknesses in the system, but reflect simply a reactionary position towards it. To change the model would be to shut off Wikipedia's engine of growth. Don't change what ain't broke.

Re:To avoid Vandalism (1)

Iriestx (1033648) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092744)

I don't live in the US and don't have or need a 'drivers license.' Why should I not be able to contribute?

Sounds like Wikipedia needs to study a few ideas (3, Insightful)

HarryCaul (25943) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092074)


First among them, The Long Tail, and why it would benefit the site to take advantage of it rather than ignore it.

The whole "notability" criteria seems very much like 1980s thinking. So many lessons of the internet being ignored there.

Re:Sounds like Wikipedia needs to study a few idea (1)

Jott42 (702470) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092118)

Exactly! The removal of "non-notable" articles makes Wikipedia less usable, not more.
(And to argue that the non-notable information is available on the internet anyway is strange: in that case we don't need Wikipedia at all, as we have Gooogle.)

Re:Sounds like Wikipedia needs to study a few idea (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092248)

Sometimes brevity is a virtue.. Yes you can search, and the tools we have today are incredible, but ultimately there is a big pile of information to slog through, and the less slogging you have to do to get to information you want the better.

It's akin to "feature bloat" in computer programs. Yeah some of those whiz-bang features might be useful to a handful of people, but to the majority they just clutter up the interface and can potentially slow the program down. Encyclopedias should give you a brief overview, ie what most people want to know, and then point you elsewhere for more information if you desire it.

Re:Sounds like Wikipedia needs to study a few idea (4, Insightful)

llywrch (9023) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092846)

You're missing the point of notability. Obscure subjects can be notable, for the simple reason that "notability" on Wikipedia is a shorthand for whether it's believable that someone would actually want to read an article on the subject in question. All species of life are considered notable, for example, as are items in a few other areas.

The concept of "notability" was created because Wikipedia is constantly bombarded with new articles about someone's significant other, garage bands who have yet to relase an album, businesses looking for free advertising, and crackpot theories. Some people think that having an article on Wikipedia is a passport to fame & credibility. What we try to do on Wikipedia is report what other people believe is notable. And most -- I'll freely admit, not all, we do make mistakes -- of the articles that fail the notability guidelines are obviously of no interest except to a very few people -- if anyone beyond it's original author.

We are not an arbitor of importance: we're just trying to write an encyclopedia about topics people want to read, not include every last possible scrap of information conceivable. Unfortunately, with Wikipedia's high Alexa rating, too many people think that an Wikipedia leads to fame.

Geoff

Re:Sounds like Wikipedia needs to study a few idea (1)

anaesthetica (596507) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092954)

First among them, The Long Tail, and why it would benefit the site to take advantage of it rather than ignore it.

Believe me, Wikipedia understands the long tail. They have over 1.5 million articles in the English language encyclopedia alone, dramatically outpacing every other available encyclopedia. They built their entire model on the long tail.

However, in an effort to be a reliable source of information they have standards like "verifiability". Some topics are too obscure to be able to be independently verified and cited. If a source cannot be verified and cited by secondary sources then it's not notable enough to be included. Promotional information, articles written by their own authors, or articles about obscure or local phenomena that don't have any news/history book/other coverage are simply not something that can be included.

The reasons for a notability requirement (4, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092094)

With notability comes verifiability. If I submit a Wikipedia article about my cat, filled with adorable pictures and tales of the cat's day-by-day exploits, it may fit into the "room for everything" model that some snubbed band members might believe is right, but who's to say that all that drivel about my cat isn't just a bunch of lies? But if it turns out that I'm the President of the United States, then my cat [wikipedia.org] becomes notable, because there are undoubtedly numerous verifiable news reports from reputable agencies detailing various events in the life of my cat.

It amuses me that most of the people complaining about the "notability" requirement are the same people whose vanity-based Wikipedia articles were seen for what they are - self-aggrandizement - and subsequently removed.

Also, for the record, I don't have a cat.

Re:The reasons for a notability requirement (1)

Jott42 (702470) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092156)

And I have never had a Wikipedia article about myself. But please tell me: what is the harm if I would put up an article about my (hypothetical) cat, filled with lies? As the cat does not exist, it would not really matter. And very few, if any, would find and read the article. And any outrageous claims that would surface to the general knowledge, could easily be corrected by other editors.

Re:The reasons for a notability requirement (1)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092224)

And I have never had a Wikipedia article about myself. But please tell me: what is the harm if I would put up an article about my (hypothetical) cat, filled with lies? As the cat does not exist, it would not really matter. And very few, if any, would find and read the article. And any outrageous claims that would surface to the general knowledge, could easily be corrected by other editors.


OK, how about we take a cat, and write a Wikipedia article on that cat, and THEN we put the cat in a steel box with a bit of radioactive material and a geiger counter...

Re:The reasons for a notability requirement (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092228)

In other words, if a lie falls in the forest, will anybody catch it?

You wouldn't expect that from an encyclopedia, would you? I mean, somewhere hidden in that shelf full of dusty volumes might be an article about some Britannica editor's cat. And while you may not care about the cat - and might not ever see that article - you still expect everything in that encyclopedia to be true, whether you can personally verify it or not.

Well, Wikipedia is an encyclopedia also. By its wiki nature, the truthfulness (truthiness?) of it is in constant flux, but part of the goal of the project is that everything in Wikipedia must be true. Just because that goal is unlikely ever to be completed (because of constant poor edits, the ever-marching progress of time, etc.) doesn't mean that Wikipedia should just say "screw it" and let people put up whatever crap they want to.

There are other rules on Wikipedia that are somewhat related, such as neutral point of view [wikipedia.org] , no original research [wikipedia.org] , and the "What Wikipedia is Not" [wikipedia.org] page. These rules almost always have their roots in encouraging the verifiability of information posted to articles, and verifiability has its roots in attempting to encyclopedize just the facts (ma'am).

Re:The reasons for a notability requirement (1)

Jott42 (702470) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092272)

OK. Point taken. Lets remove the outright lies, and only keep the things that are verifiable. That will let existing rock bands keep their pages. Where is the problem then? (I am not arguing against neutral point of view.)

Re:The reasons for a notability requirement (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092298)

How do we know whether the material in the "Megatronic Flying Squid Faces from Hell" article is true, or whether the band even exists? Once you've removed all the unverifiable stuff, there would be no article left, and that's why such articles get deleted.

Re:The reasons for a notability requirement (2, Insightful)

Jott42 (702470) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092396)

Verifieable how? Websearches exlusivly? In published works? In any language? Or verifiable by interviewing the subject? Which the definition of verifiability are you arguing? The band can easily pass the Wipipedia definition and still get removed, if all the articles are published locally in Ottawa and not available on the web, as the US editors will find nothing about them in their local newspapers. But they may very well still have a verifiable existance.

Re:The reasons for a notability requirement (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092538)

If you're an Ottawanian (?) and want to go to the library to research an article in a reputable source of information like the local newspaper, more power to you. Just remember to cite the source so that someone else can go verify it if they want. There are numerous articles on Wikipedia whose sources are not online.

Interviewing the subject of an article would not be sufficient to be considered verifiable, unless you got your interview published in a reputable external source. There's a rule against putting original research on Wikipedia - you have to get your research published in a reputable source first, and then you can put that on Wikipedia.

Re:The reasons for a notability requirement (1)

Jott42 (702470) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092604)

So why then do you need the notability criterion in addition to the verifiability? It takes care of all things in Wikipedia beign "true". The search engine takes care of finding the article you are looking for. (There could be a problem of several people having the same name, but a ranking score could solve that.)

Re:The reasons for a notability requirement (1)

yusing (216625) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092726)

But some things aren't "verifiable"... like well-informed opinions, and theories... that need to be in encyclopedias.

Who's going to decide what the "outright lies" are? That might take an expert. If the subject is obscure, there might not *be* any experts.

You're only substituting a worse problem.

Re:The reasons for a notability requirement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17092318)

What I expect from E. Brittanica and from Wikipedia is very different things...

Re:The reasons for a notability requirement (1)

yusing (216625) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092682)

Old-fashioned encyclopedias were just as open to errors and lies, only they were concocted by experts.

I prefer transparent errors and lies to misinformation skillfully concocted to protect reputations and warp reality for the benefit of the "expert" class.

Re:The reasons for a notability requirement (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092236)

It matters because Wikipedia is not Blogspot or Livejournal, and filling up WP with garbage is not cool.

Re:The reasons for a notability requirement (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17092168)

Also, for the record, I don't have a cat. You do now.

Re:The reasons for a notability requirement (1)

interiot (50685) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092226)

For what it's worth, the set of topics that are Notable is a subset of the topics that are Verifiable... they're not the same thing. [1] [wikipedia.org] Verifiable facts include that 923049123581435834435803984 is an integer, the data on my passport, and the gross income of Walmart in February 1982. However, most of those aren't generally considered encyclopedic, and if we open up the possibility for storing all those, Wikipedia would eventually have over a billion pages, and it might be hard to maintain all of them (rarely-read articles are spam and vandal magnets as it is). And in the case of integers, it's not possible to have enough space to store all of them. [2] [wikipedia.org]

As an aside, Citizendium has decided to not use Notability as an inclusion criteria, but rather to focus more on whether an article is maintainable. Presumably with restricted logins, spam and vandalism will be much less of a problem, so this might work for them.

Re:The reasons for a notability requirement (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092274)

There are other policies that distinguish topics whose non-notability is evident by their non-verifiability from those whose non-notability is simply because there are better ways to present information. For example, Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information [wikipedia.org] . Sure, 923049123581435834435803984 may be an integer, but that information is already conveyed on the page for integer [wikipedia.org] by definition. In fact, many integers do have their own articles, in particular those with unusual properties [wikipedia.org] that aren't covered elsewhere.

The point is that the type of article whose notability almost always comes into dispute (ending up on Articles for Deletion) becomes disputed because there is no way to verify the material in the article. The other articles you're talking about usually end up merged into other articles by a very obvious consensus of the people interested in commenting in the deletion discussion.

Re:The reasons for a notability requirement (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17092296)

wiki facts and NPOV is determined by mob politics and mob violence.

The fact is that Wikipedia is ruled over by people with more available time than the people that somehow get overruled. This means that wiki facts are facts as decided by people with more available time than people that get overruled. Perhaps those were people that actually work in the knowledge domain and have jobs in that knowledge domain.

Hence, wikipedia politics wiki facts is complete crap.

However, as a troll, it makes it very easy to fuck with their heads.

Just insert {{NPOV}} and {{NOT NOTABLE}} and {{SCIENTOLOGIST}} and the like wherever you want.

Fuck the wikipedia and frankly fuck it for good cause. NPOV never was and never will be and fuck anyone over that claims they have the NPOV, they frankly are either just stupid fucks or grabbing for power.

Re:The reasons for a notability requirement (1)

yusing (216625) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092810)

NPOV is one of the funnier, more ironic things about Wikipedia. Is there or has there ever been a human being with a "neutral point-of-view"? If so, would they be passionate enough to write encyclopedia articles?

You're right that -for now- the mobs have too much power. And NPOV is WAY TOO SUBTLE for most mobsters to understand. But I like to think that the situation is much like what happened early on with the internet: when millions of newbies first hit the 'net, they were like vandals, they had TERRIBLE manners. Most were quickly subdued by the adults on the forums they wanted to hang out on, and learned to have some manners or get lost. The same thing needs to happen on WP.

Rather than leave forever (just until you forget the source of your pain), please come back when you can and help civilize.

For example, some people who've done a lot of work on pages think they own them; they're confused, and will need to be gently disabused of their confusion. Wait 6 months or a year, then quietly come back and make the necessary changes.

Re:The reasons for a notability requirement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17092570)

Also, for the record, I don't have a cat.
Funny, wikipedia says otherwise.

Re:The reasons for a notability requirement (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092620)


With notability comes verifiability.


This may be true. But it has no bearing on notability. I assume the point of "notability" is to prevent Wikipedia from morphing into a social networking or advertising site.

Wiktionary defines Notable as "Worthy of notice; remarkable; memorable; noted or distinguished." Note there are two alternative definitions within this definition: a normative one ("You should take notice of George Orwell") and descriptive/empirical one ("Jango Fett is a noted fictional character in the minds of many people."). It seems to me that a bias towards a descriptive stanard of notability is reasonable in a project like Wikipedia. This greatly increases its usefulness, because there are plenty of reference works out there that reflect the pririties of a "serious" editorial viewpoint.

This may deny the Wikipedia a degree of gravitas, that is true. But the set of "serious" topics is not identical to the set of "useful" topics -- it's a subset. It may be just as useful for me to have a reference work with a biographical entry of every character in the Marvel Comics universe as one that lists every spoken language in the Indian subcontinent. Maybe more useful on a day to day basis.

If I had to choose between a law which outlawed reference works on comic book characters and one that outlawed information on languages spoken in a geographical area, naturally I'd prefer to outlaw the more frivolous type of reference. Banning that information would cause less harm.

But we don't have to ban information just because it is not "serious".

The President's cat example is a good one. I can't imagine ever wanting to read about any such thing. But there are lots of people who do; there are probably even people who write books about the history of pet keeping by presidents. Information about your cat might be interesting to those people, but it not of unique interest to them. If it were of unique interest, it would by definition be notable.

notability != verifiability (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17092848)

With notability comes verifiability.

But there is already a verifiability [wikipedia.org] criterion that Wikipedia articles must satisfy to be included, so why would you need a notability criterion on top of that?

Missing the important news (4, Informative)

tttonyyy (726776) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092130)

Slashdot, in true tradition, misses the current happenings in Wikipedia world.

The big story at the moment about linking to external videos on YouTube [wikipedia.org] (and other video sources).

This is all started with Fox serving takedown notices to Quicksilverscreen [quicksilverscreen.com] for linking to YouTube videos, under the assertion that linking to copyright infringing material is, in itself, illegal. Hence the repercussions for Wikipedia (and, pretty much any site governed by US law).

C'mon slashdot, keep up!

Re:Missing the important news (2, Informative)

interiot (50685) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092266)

The legal issues weren't the only issue with YouTube links. YouTube links are generally not reliable sources (just because a video has the CNN logo in the corner doesn't mean the video hasn't been modified or fabricated, whereas if it comes from cnn.com, that's much less likely to happen). Also, Wikipedia in general tries to be very respectful of copyright. WP:EL [wikipedia.org] does mention the contributory infringement issue, but as much as we internally argue over fair use gray areas and open content, it seems like it's part of the culture to avoid copyvio issues.

Notability isn't enforced strictly enough (4, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092140)

Wikipedia's problem is bloat. Most of the articles about anything important were created before article 500,000. At 1.5 million, most of the articles are junk. It's bottom-feeder stuff now.

Popular culture is a significant problem. There are far too many Star {Wars|Trek|Gate} articles. There's a Wikipedia article for every Star Wars comic book. For a while, someone was trying to create one for each character in each story in each comic book, but that was beaten back.

Then there's the ongoing effort to put every musical composition available in Wikipedia. A wiki is the wrong tool for that job. CDDB/Gracenote and IMDB have real databases for that sort of information, with useful linking and searching, but Wikipedia doesn't have the structure for that.

Wikipedia bloat impacts quality. It takes a huge number of contributors just to undo vandalism and clean up messes. Those contributors are now stuck cleaning up a mountain of dreck. They're falling behind.

That's hard on a volunteer effort. There are a few editors for whom Wikipedia is their day job, but the only one known to be full time is a political lobbyist. The thing just isn't staffed to deal with all the dreck.

Re:Notability isn't enforced strictly enough (3, Insightful)

AlGrinch (1018644) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092216)

I use wikipedia all the time. I thoroughly enjoy the information. I think it is a great of example of what is good about the internet. A community of people donating the time and knowledge to betterment of us all. Like any source of information you must be a critical thinker and verify its validity, yet I find it to be very good for the most part. I would consider being critical if I was paying to use the service. I find it unreasonable to be too critical of something that is free.

Re:Notability isn't enforced strictly enough (4, Insightful)

stud9920 (236753) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092998)

Popular culture is a significant problem. There are far too many Star {Wars|Trek|Gate} articles. There's a Wikipedia article for every Star Wars comic book. For a while, someone was trying to create one for each character in each story in each comic book, but that was beaten back.
How better would the Wikipedia be if these articles were not present ? That's the point of an Internet encyclopedia : information that is not pertinent to YOU does not hurt financially or otherwise by just being there.

If some music nerd wants me to know John Lennon was wearing green socks on 4 April 1967 when he recorded A Day in the Life, it's not going to change dramatically the price of the Wikipedia. Heck, if I clicked through the hierarchy until I reached the article "Clothing of John Lennon during the SPLHCB session of 4 April 1967", I may be the only person who ever clicks the links, so it's virtually costless.

What if that data was actually in the "Great Britain" article because the music nerd thinks everyone who is interested in Great Britain should know about the colour of the socks of John Lennon during each recording session of Sergeant Pepper ? Guess what, YOU can edit the page to remove it (most authors won't actually mind) or move it to a more appropriate page (most authors would understand).

IMO there is no such thing as too much information.

I'm notable (4, Interesting)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092158)

According to the strictest definition of Wikipedia's notability guides [wikipedia.org] , I'm apparently notable by Google. Searching for my real name shows mostly matches for me, and a few hundred of them at that; that's a specific notability criteria [wikipedia.org] .

I've also published 4 LWN.net articles; but that's not a direct route to fame. Also I'm Security+ certified; apparently CompTIA claims that over 25,000 people hold the cert, which is fewer than Mensa can claim (I'm part of a small but well-known group in the market?).

On the other hand, I'm jobless and have no real achievements. I speak a lot on mailing lists and publish articles and such and sometimes get a little attention. Be careful how you define "Notable."

Re:I'm notable (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17092756)

According to the strictest definition of Wikipedia's notability guides [wikipedia.org], I'm apparently notable by Google. Searching for my real name shows mostly matches for me...

[...]

I speak a lot on mailing lists and publish articles and such and sometimes get a little attention. Be careful how you define "Notable."

Dig deeper and you'll find exclusions for things such as blogs and other 'end-user' created content. The guidelines are meant as a guage for editors and not absolute rules... every situation is different and should be judged accordingly.

The question is, why is this noteable to the WP? (4, Interesting)

maidix (803080) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092180)

What Wikipedia editors determined wasn't worthy of an entry, Washington Post editors deemed worthy of an article. Much like in the accuracy comparison with Encyclopedia Brittanica, Wikipedia has once again demonstrated that they are the ones practicing higher standards. Sure, the newspapers and the encyclopedias and everyone else who's losing eyeballs to Wikipedia will tell us all why it can't happen... each and every day that it's happening.

Admitting there are checks and balances? (2, Interesting)

Ronald Dumsfeld (723277) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092250)

Whilst the casual description of the deletion process, illustrated with random examples, is presented in a fairly lighthearted manner, it is an admission that there are some quality procedures in place at Wikipedia.

You do have to wonder if they chose their examples to try and give them the notability they lack.

Washington Post gets its facts wrong--twice (4, Informative)

Arnold Reinhold (539934) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092258)

The Post article quotes Jimmy Wales as saying that the decision to exclude an article is based on "a discussion among known editors." The article goes on to ask who those editors are and answers its own question "these editors are called 'administrators' and they get their jobs after being nominated and voted in by the great mass of Wikipedia contributors." Well, that is wrong on two counts. The discussions on deleting articles are in no way restricted to admins. Admins do determine what the consensus of the discussion is after a fixed time period and have access to the tools to actually delete the article, but they have no special role in the discussion. The second error concerns how admins are selected. There is no vote by "by the great mass of Wikipedia contributors." There is a nomination and review process and the final decision is made by an even smaller group known as "bureaucrats." See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Requests_fo r_adminship [wikipedia.org] . That's two errors in a single paragraph, but I suppose with tight budgets in the newspaper business these days, they can't afford the kind of scrutiny for accuracy that Wikipedia articles get.

A fun protest example (1)

The Empiricist (854346) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092310)

One of the more entertaining protests against a set of deletions (for the topics Operation CWAL and Byeard Maggott) was an episode of The Maggott Show [ghazporkindustrial.com] that criticized Wikipedia's deletion policies and the application of those policies by one of its editors. Byeard Maggott, the creator of the series, told the Wikipedia editor about the episode, starting an entertaining dialogue [wikipedia.org] , during which the editor pointed out that he is called much worse things than jackass "on a regular basis by those who dislike [his] opinions on road safety issues.

here's what their policy really is (1)

rjnagle (122374) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092478)

I have a beef with their vanity page/notability policies. If they were more candid, they would make this their policy:
We at Wikipedia honestly have no idea which people deserve a wiki page and which do not. We have no criteria about how to judge which poets, programmers, bloggers, painters, philosophers, singers, musicians, sculptors or choreographers will be worth remembering 100 years from now. For that reason, any profile of you without a link to any corporate product will automatically be deleted. However, if you have participated in a gangbang on camera [wikipedia.org] , been a short-lived Internet phenomena [wikipedia.org] , been accused of a heinous crime, [wikipedia.org] or had your dog poop on a subway, [wikipedia.org] heck, that's good enough for us! Join the club!

Spam (1)

ms1234 (211056) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092598)

When do we start to see spam in Wikipedia? I guess that will be the final blow for "everyone-can-edit-it".

Re:Spam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17092694)

If the mass addition of irrelevant external links to multiple articles counts as spam, Wikipedia has had it for years. It's a recognized issue, and there are measures in place to try to prevent it (such as a blacklist, which prevents certain URLs from being added to pages).

Re:Spam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17092708)

Already in there. Check out the "See Also" links - full of spam MFA sites

Re:Spam (1)

lazycam (1007621) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092754)

Knock on wood... Don't say that. You'll just encourage someone to do it. I'd prefer not to read about Viagra and penny stocks when I'm trying to look up a bio on Linus.

When has having time on your hands become a sin? (1)

Diomidis Spinellis (661697) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092800)

The original article sneeringly states:
It's also safe to assume these are people with a lot of time on their hands.
It looks like the Washington Post's columnist thinks that having free time on your hands that you can dispense as you please, perhaps even helping volunteer efforts like Wikipedia, is the beginning of a slippery slope. I guess he's worrying will come next. Free thought?

Look Whos Talking (1)

flyneye (84093) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092830)

C'mon, this is the Washington Post.Who really cares what the National Enquirer for Liberals has to say.Drive-by Media takes a swipe at Wikipedia.Wikipedia has a much larger readership than they.Unprofessional jealousy.This shouldn't even be news on /. which also probably has a larger readership.A barrage of editorials from us should put them back in a realistic perspective.Some sillyass reporter had to fill some space and Bigfoot isn't news anymore.

 

Copies of answers.com and howstuffworks.com (1)

heroine (1220) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092844)

They do a good job of reformatting answers.com and howstuffworks.com. It shows how reformatting other text from answers.com and howstuffworks.com is now more valuable than writing original text.

Wikipedia Becomming Elistist (2, Interesting)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092864)

In their effort to better mirror "published" references, wikipedia staff has of late been acting very elitist. They will remove material that is not cited in published sources. That is very anti-web. Publishing is old-school. Authors of newer information are not even bother to publish anymore because it is easier to stick it on the web (perhaps with ads to make a buck).

If they want to give special status or marks to citations of published material, that is fine with me. However, deletion of non-published material is going overboard. Status: okay. Deletion: Not.

Time for a wikipedia revolt.

Too heavy handed (1)

dyftm (880762) | more than 7 years ago | (#17092888)

I wrote an article about a useful program, blogged on Lifehacker [wikipedia.org] amongst other blogs (presumably then, lifehacker is considered notable), however apparently blogs aren't sufficient for establishing notability. Nor are high numbers of downloads. It seems like on one hand, they are encouraging participation by anyone, and on the other hand putting the same things down saying that it has to be reported by traditional media to make it notable.
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