Mark Gritter (markgritter) wrote,
Mark Gritter

My $0.02 on Wikipedia

Wikipedia has a problem.

Part of the problem is that many users of (and contributors to) Wikipedia have different aims in mind than the founders and Wikipedia "specialists". The latter insist that Wikipedia is an encylopedia and should contain encyclopedic content. The former just want to look up and write topics of interest to them.

The other part, though, is that the Wikipedia community has decided to confront the challenge of freely-editable articles by establishing notability and referencing requirements that severely restrict what should (not "can") go in an article. Having allowed everyone access to the text of the articles, Wikipedia now insists that content can only come from reliable sources. (I can see the point, actually. An unverified anecdote about Sergey Brin doesn't belong in an article, or at least can't be trusted.) In a sense they have turned over editorial control to mainstream media and publishing, rather than letting individual contributors make decisions about what is notable or true.

So we get a blowup about web comic entries. And authors who aren't allowed to put in details of their own biographies.

There IS some serious fancruft going on here. Regardless of whether the article is deemed to be notable or not, this and many other webcomic-related articles have articles in size and depth which are grossly disproportionate to their notability and importance. Why should a webcomic, produced as a hobby, and having a limited readership in the thousands of tens of thousands, contain plot summaries and character descriptions with far more clarity than is present in the articles of most major motion pictures and nationally syndicated television programs? -- "NetOracle"

But what, really, do you expect? Articles get written by people who care about the topic. If the market for attention is directed at articles that aren't "notable", maybe your definition needs changing.

Tags: rant
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