Re: [WikiEN-l] Stopping the presses:, Britannica to stop printing books

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Re: [WikiEN-l] Stopping the presses:, Britannica to stop printing books

Robin McCain-2
Why did the articles in Brittania keep getting shorter? Because printing
on paper costs money. Storage on the Internet is  free by comparison. -
So why do our editors insist on reducing what might be an interesting
article down to something so brief it might as well be on paper in a
book that will be recycled in a few years - or deleting content completely?

This whole idea of editing for brevity and notability came from the
TRADITIONAL encyclopedia business...  Wikipedia was supposed to be the
opposite - big enough to include anything of importance to people.

It is socially and historically interesting to compare very old edition
of Brittanica to a newer edition. For example: an entry on battleships
would evolve from a discussion of wooden ships powered by sail that
enforced seapower of an empire to sidewheelers, to iron ships fired by
coal to the current thinking that battleships are too expensive. In an
online encyclopedia it is possible to include all these articles side by
side into a section on the evolution of battleships.

I find it bizarre that inclusion of information of local importance is
encouraged in the internationalized local language wikipediae but
discouraged in the U.S. English wikipedia.  So events of local interest
in a town in Romania are desirable but the same cannot be said of a
similar event in San Jose, California.

On 3/14/2012 1:15 AM, [hidden email] wrote:
> But I started getting frustrated with them when I was about 12 or 13,
> because the shorter articles rarely answered the questions I had, and I
> never happened t be looking up something with one of the longer articles...

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Re: [WikiEN-l] Stopping the presses:, Britannica to stop printing books

Ziko van Dijk-2
Dear Robin,

There are several reasons for making a text not too long. Pity with
the reader is one of them.

I personally try to be reluctant with generalizations about Wikipeda
language versions. They usually are not true. It's often like the
thing that the grass in the neighbour's yard is greener.

Kind regards
Ziko



Robin:
I find it bizarre that inclusion of information of local importance is
encouraged in the internationalized local language wikipediae but
discouraged in the U.S. English wikipedia.  So events of local
interest in a town in Romania are desirable but the same cannot be
said of a similar event in San Jose, California.




2012/3/14 Robin McCain <[hidden email]>:

> Why did the articles in Brittania keep getting shorter? Because printing on
> paper costs money. Storage on the Internet is  free by comparison. - So why
> do our editors insist on reducing what might be an interesting article down
> to something so brief it might as well be on paper in a book that will be
> recycled in a few years - or deleting content completely?
>
> This whole idea of editing for brevity and notability came from the
> TRADITIONAL encyclopedia business...  Wikipedia was supposed to be the
> opposite - big enough to include anything of importance to people.
>
> It is socially and historically interesting to compare very old edition of
> Brittanica to a newer edition. For example: an entry on battleships would
> evolve from a discussion of wooden ships powered by sail that enforced
> seapower of an empire to sidewheelers, to iron ships fired by coal to the
> current thinking that battleships are too expensive. In an online
> encyclopedia it is possible to include all these articles side by side into
> a section on the evolution of battleships.
>
> I find it bizarre that inclusion of information of local importance is
> encouraged in the internationalized local language wikipediae but
> discouraged in the U.S. English wikipedia.  So events of local interest in a
> town in Romania are desirable but the same cannot be said of a similar event
> in San Jose, California.
>
> On 3/14/2012 1:15 AM, [hidden email] wrote:
>>
>> But I started getting frustrated with them when I was about 12 or 13,
>> because the shorter articles rarely answered the questions I had, and I
>> never happened t be looking up something with one of the longer
>> articles...
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l



--

-----------------------------------------------------------
Vereniging Wikimedia Nederland
dr. Ziko van Dijk, voorzitter
http://wmnederland.nl/
-----------------------------------------------------------

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Re: [WikiEN-l] Stopping the presses:, Britannica to stop printing books

Robin McCain-2
In reply to this post by Robin McCain-2
I don't think it is pity to reduce an 800 word article down to under 200
words. Instead of something readable you end up either with a Who's Who
entry - filled with insider abbreviations and obscure wording that must
be decoded or something so bland it has no value to anyone intrested
enough to look it up.

On 3/14/2012 4:41 PM, [hidden email] wrote:
> Dear Robin,
>
> There are several reasons for making a text not too long. Pity with
> the reader is one of them.
My point here is that even Brittanica is inherently very English
centric. Why should an obscure ficticious 17th century event in the U.K.
be of more value than an equally obscure event in Honduras (or
wherever)? If I were living in Honduras, I'd be much more interested in
MY local history - which is quite likely to be relevant to my situation
instead of something in a country I'd never visited. Inverting the
situation - If I visit the U.K. I want to be able to access information
on the event in the U.K. but I don't care about Honduras.  This is an
ordinary person's perspective - not that of a scholar searching for
obscure information wherever it may be.

> I personally try to be reluctant with generalizations about Wikipeda
> language versions. They usually are not true. It's often like the
> thing that the grass in the neighbour's yard is greener.

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Re: [WikiEN-l] Stopping the presses:, Britannica to stop printing books

Svip
In reply to this post by Robin McCain-2
On 14 March 2012 17:34, Robin McCain <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I find it bizarre that inclusion of information of local importance is
> encouraged in the internationalized local language wikipediae but
> discouraged in the U.S. English wikipedia.

What U.S. English Wikipedia?  I have read plenty of articles in
English on that Wikipedia.

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Re: [WikiEN-l] Stopping the presses:, Britannica to stop printing books

metasj
In reply to this post by Robin McCain-2
On Wed, Mar 14, 2012 at 12:34 PM, Robin McCain <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I find it bizarre that inclusion of information of local importance is
> encouraged in the internationalized local language wikipediae but
> discouraged in the U.S. English wikipedia.  So events of local interest in a
> town in Romania are desirable but the same cannot be said of a similar event
> in San Jose, California.

In general I think we should be relaxing notability guidelines so that
we can cover increasingly local knowledge, while improving our
browsing and review tools -- so people can both visually perceive the
spectrum of notability (from hyperlocal to epochally historic) and
more effectively review topics that have coverage in more local and
less globally-reputable sources.

Small wikis don't need to worry about the side effects of having a
large database with limited tools to review it.

S

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Re: [WikiEN-l] Stopping the presses:, Britannica to stop printing books

geni
In reply to this post by Robin McCain-2
On 14 March 2012 16:34, Robin McCain <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I find it bizarre that inclusion of information of local importance is
> encouraged in the internationalized local language wikipediae but
> discouraged in the U.S. English wikipedia.  So events of local interest in a
> town in Romania are desirable but the same cannot be said of a similar event
> in San Jose, California.


Local events in western countries are pretty easy to cover within
wikipedia's rules. A mix of local news and the local history mob
usually sees that there are plenty of sources.

On the other hand writing about Odek (Joseph Kony's home village) is
pretty much impossible.

--
geni

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Re: [WikiEN-l] Stopping the presses:, Britannica to stop printing books

David Goodman-2
For English, and other languages also:

What I suggest is a '''Wikipedia Two''  - an encyclopedia supplement
where the standard of notability  is much relaxed, but which will be
different from Wikia by still requiring  Verifiability and NPOV. It
would include the lower levels of barely  notable articles in
Wikipedia, and  a good deal of what we do not let in.

It would for example include both high schools and elementary schools.
It would include college athletes. It would include political
candidates. It would include neighborhood businesses, and fire
departments.  It would include individual asteroids.  It would include
streets--and also villages. It would include ever ball game in a
season.   It would include anyone who had a credited role in a film,
or any named character in one--both the ones we currently leave out,
and the ones we put in.

This should satisfy both the inclusionists and the deletionists. The
deletionists would have this material out of Wikipedia, the
inclusionists would have it not rejected. Newcomers would have an open
and accepting place for a initial experience.

But it would be interesting to see the results of a search option:
Do you want to see everything (WP+WP2), or only the really notable (WP)?
Anyone care to guess which people would choose?



On Thu, Mar 15, 2012 at 4:07 AM, geni <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On 14 March 2012 16:34, Robin McCain <[hidden email]> wrote:
David Goodman

DGG at the enWP
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:DGG
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:DGG

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Re: [WikiEN-l] Stopping the presses:, Britannica to stop printing books

Chris Keating-2
In reply to this post by Robin McCain-2
>
>
>
> It is socially and historically interesting to compare very old edition of
> Brittanica to a newer edition. For example: an entry on battleships would
> evolve from a discussion of wooden ships powered by sail that enforced
> seapower of an empire to sidewheelers, to iron ships fired by coal to the
> current thinking that battleships are too expensive. In an online
> encyclopedia it is possible to include all these articles side by side into
> a section on the evolution of battleships.


Well, I'm glad to see someone's reading those articles :-)

Chris
(the main author of the English Wikipedia articles on Battleship, Ironclad
warship, Pre-Dreadnought, and Dreadnought....)
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