Wis[s]e Words

Ceci n'est pas un blog

Wed 16 May 2007

James Nicoll is being deleted!

Don't worry, it's only his Wikipedia entry that's under threat from overzealous editors, on the grounds that he's "non noticable", which more and more these days is Wikipedia speak for "I never heard of him and I can't be bothered to find out more about him". If you look at the entry's editing history as well, you see a pattern emerging in which the same editor first prunes it down until it's almost worthless and then nominates it for deletion because there's nothing interesting in the remaining article.

In all, this little kerfuffle seems to be exactly what drove Teresa Nielsen Hayden to give up on Wikipedia. The vinegar pissers are in control, the people who'd rather delete articles than create them, the people with no humour but with an inflated sense of importance and with the time to watch Wikipedia 24/7 and gain power. Wikipedia rewards those users who dedicate themselve to doing cleanup more than it rewards users who dedicate themselves to writing articles, partially because doing cleanup gians you a lot of edits, fast, which is considered important in an user and partially because the Wikipedia culture as a whole is so wary about vandalism and abuse after the horrid experience it has gone through the past few years when it grew too large too quickly. In the process the baby got thrown out with the bathwater and it is now possible for people who literally contribute nothing but delete and noticability notices to Wikipedia to be elected to positions of power.

The pendulum needs to swing back, to a culture more open to less serious entries you wouldn't find in the Encyclopedia Brittanica, which is less obsessed with citations and has a better grip on how to handle those parts of culture mainly found online, like James Nicoll. The first step should be death to noticability!

UPDATE: see also Irregular Webcomic.

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Posted by Martin Wisse at 12:52AM EDT [ Permalink] End of post.

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