Request to Wikipedians for BBC Documentary

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Request to Wikipedians for BBC Documentary

Cathy Edwards
> Dear Wikipedians,
>
> We're making a 4-part documentary series marking 20 years of the World
> Wide Web, Digital Revolution. ). This comprises an interactive website
> (http://www.bbc.co.uk/digitalrevolution/), and four documentaries for
> broadcast on BBC Two at the beginning of 2010, in the UK and across
> the world.
>
> Our first programme, provisionally titled "The Great Levelling", asks
> questions about the power shifts and democratisation the Web has
> brought about. A major part of this programme centres around Wikipedia
> - as a community project which really brings these kinds of issues
> alive. We're interviewing Jimmy Wales, as well as a couple of US
> Wikipedia contributors, one of whom has written a lot of articles as a
> lay expert, and another who has helped monitor dodgy edits by e.g. big
> business / politicians.
>
> To add to and enrich the programme we'd really love to interview a UK
> Wikipedian. We're looking for a passionate Deletionist - someone who
> identifies with the goals of Deletionism to create a high quality
> encyclopaedia, and does a lot of this kind of quality control
> themselves - perhaps someone who is a member of the Association of
> Deletionist Wikipedians.
>
> It sounds like this debate peaked a couple of years ago, but we are
> taking a historical approach - have you been involved in this debate
> in the past? Or, I understand a hot topic of debate at the moment is
> biographies of living people. Do you have strong feelings about how
> much this should be regulated - how high the threshold for inclusion
> should be?
>
> If you can help us, and would like to be involved in the debate, it'd
> be really great to hear from you. Either reply to the list, or to me
> at [hidden email], or by phone - 07800 794299.
>
> Best wishes,
>
> Cathy
>
> Cathy Edwards
> Digital Revolution
> Room MC4 C6, BBC Media Centre, 201 Wood Lane, London, W12 7TQ
> M 07800 794299
>
> digital revolution (working title) is an open and collaborative
> documentary about how the web is changing our lives
> join the conversation on the web at www.bbc.co.uk/digitalrevolution or
> follow us on twitter @BBCDigRev
>

http://www.bbc.co.uk/
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Re: Request to Wikipedians for BBC Documentary

David Gerard-2
2009/8/12 Cathy Edwards <[hidden email]>:

>> To add to and enrich the programme we'd really love to interview a UK
>> Wikipedian. We're looking for a passionate Deletionist - someone who
>> identifies with the goals of Deletionism to create a high quality
>> encyclopaedia, and does a lot of this kind of quality control
>> themselves - perhaps someone who is a member of the Association of
>> Deletionist Wikipedians.


Does such a person actually exist, self-identified? It appears from
similar discussion on wikimediauk-l that it doesn't, in fact.

(I suspect some corners of the media won't care, and we actually
considered picking someone to claim to be a "deletionist" and go on
programmes talking sense instead. This is an eample of the interests
of the media *not* being the interests of the encylcopedia at al, and
us having to work around that.)

Some seem to call others "deletionists" for deleting stuff that they
don't like. But as someone who's generally fairly inclusionist (and
has been called a "radical inclusionist" and gone "wtf" at the
notion), I can tell you that reviewing 24 hours of
[[Special:Newpages]] will convince you that lots of pages deserve
death by cleansing fire as absolutely quickly as possible.

So we're talking about increasingly fine gradations. And basically,
the media has seized upon this as an interesting and story-worthy idea
about four or five years after anyone actually working on Wikipedia
cared.


- d.

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Re: Request to Wikipedians for BBC Documentary

FT2
On a spectrum of "what belongs in Wikipedia", the majority of experienced
editors these days probably fall in a similar area that agrees not
everything belongs in Wikipedia. Not every building, person, business,
fictional character, news item, minor band, aspiring politician, has a
place. There are graduations around exactly where the specific line gets
drawn in certain areas, but by and large that was an open issue long ago,
mostly old and archaic these days. Ina manner of speech, we've agreed that
the middle ages ended around 1500 - 1600. While occasionally its an issue
"which side should this item fall into", mostly the criteria are agreed, the
broad conclusions drawn.

FT2





On Thu, Aug 13, 2009 at 10:04 PM, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:

> 2009/8/12 Cathy Edwards <[hidden email]>:
>
> >> To add to and enrich the programme we'd really love to interview a UK
> >> Wikipedian. We're looking for a passionate Deletionist - someone who
> >> identifies with the goals of Deletionism to create a high quality
> >> encyclopaedia, and does a lot of this kind of quality control
> >> themselves - perhaps someone who is a member of the Association of
> >> Deletionist Wikipedians.
>
>
> Does such a person actually exist, self-identified? It appears from
> similar discussion on wikimediauk-l that it doesn't, in fact.
>
> (I suspect some corners of the media won't care, and we actually
> considered picking someone to claim to be a "deletionist" and go on
> programmes talking sense instead. This is an eample of the interests
> of the media *not* being the interests of the encylcopedia at al, and
> us having to work around that.)
>
> Some seem to call others "deletionists" for deleting stuff that they
> don't like. But as someone who's generally fairly inclusionist (and
> has been called a "radical inclusionist" and gone "wtf" at the
> notion), I can tell you that reviewing 24 hours of
> [[Special:Newpages]] will convince you that lots of pages deserve
> death by cleansing fire as absolutely quickly as possible.
>
> So we're talking about increasingly fine gradations. And basically,
> the media has seized upon this as an interesting and story-worthy idea
> about four or five years after anyone actually working on Wikipedia
> cared.
>
>
> - d.
>
> _______________________________________________
> WikiEN-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l
>
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Re: Request to Wikipedians for BBC Documentary

Surreptitiousness
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
David Gerard wrote:

> 2009/8/12 Cathy Edwards <[hidden email]>:
>
>  
>>> To add to and enrich the programme we'd really love to interview a UK
>>> Wikipedian. We're looking for a passionate Deletionist - someone who
>>> identifies with the goals of Deletionism to create a high quality
>>> encyclopaedia, and does a lot of this kind of quality control
>>> themselves - perhaps someone who is a member of the Association of
>>> Deletionist Wikipedians.
>>>      
>
>
> Does such a person actually exist, self-identified? It appears from
> similar discussion on wikimediauk-l that it doesn't, in fact.
Closest I could find is [[User:Jfdwolff]], who is a member of Association of
Deletionist Wikipedians since 2004.  He's a dutch doctor but UK resident.


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Re: Inclusion and deletion of Mayors

WJhonson
In reply to this post by FT2
Forking the last discussion, many moons ago I had worked on John Laird
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Laird_(California)

You'll notice that he was Mayor of Santa Cruz for two terms.  Just on a
lark I scanned for other Mayors of Santa Cruz and came up with a
half-dozen or so and some that could probably be worked up with various
decent sources.  In fact a few of them, I'm surprised that we don't yet
have an article about.

At any rate, I'm sure nobody would object to having the list of Mayors
of San Francisco for example with an article about each (where we could
find good sources), but how small do we want to go?  In terms of actual
articles, boxes, categories about political figures?  A list of all
mayors of a city like Tacoma Washington with a population of about
300,000 ?

Santa Cruz only has a population of about 75,000.  John Laird just
happens to be more than normally famous because he went on to bigger
things.

Will Johnson

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Re: Request to Wikipedians for BBC Documentary

FT2
In reply to this post by Surreptitiousness
Something like deletionism/inclusionism would only really be useful in terms
of "phases Wikipedia has gone through" or "issues that its editors had to
resolve on the way". There's a lot of those.

On Thu, Aug 13, 2009 at 10:37 PM, Surreptitiousness <
[hidden email]> wrote:

> David Gerard wrote:
> > 2009/8/12 Cathy Edwards <[hidden email]>:
> >
> >
> >>> To add to and enrich the programme we'd really love to interview a UK
> >>> Wikipedian. We're looking for a passionate Deletionist - someone who
> >>> identifies with the goals of Deletionism to create a high quality
> >>> encyclopaedia, and does a lot of this kind of quality control
> >>> themselves - perhaps someone who is a member of the Association of
> >>> Deletionist Wikipedians.
> >>>
> >
> >
> > Does such a person actually exist, self-identified? It appears from
> > similar discussion on wikimediauk-l that it doesn't, in fact.
> Closest I could find is [[User:Jfdwolff]], who is a member of Association
> of
> Deletionist Wikipedians since 2004.  He's a dutch doctor but UK resident.
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> WikiEN-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l
>
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Re: Request to Wikipedians for BBC Documentary

Andrew Gray-3
In reply to this post by FT2
2009/8/13 FT2 <[hidden email]>:
> On a spectrum of "what belongs in Wikipedia", the majority of experienced
> editors these days probably fall in a similar area that agrees not
> everything belongs in Wikipedia. Not every building, person, business,
> fictional character, news item, minor band, aspiring politician, has a
> place. There are graduations around exactly where the specific line gets
> drawn in certain areas, but by and large that was an open issue long ago,

It's interesting to note that, on the whole, everyone is an
inclusionist about something, and a deletionist about something else.

There's hardly anyone so big on inclusion that they won't occasionally
say "god, no, please, delete that article on a collapsed band from
1973 which once opened for someone you've heard of"; conversely, the
people who spend a lot of time sending material to AFD as "nn, delete"
will have their little pet hobbies of writing articles on a topic that
you or I might consider insanely overspecific and not worth keeping.

The way the deletionism-inclusionism debate *now* seems focused is
things like minor BLPs. There's a thriving debate there, still, if you
want to look for it.

--
- Andrew Gray
  [hidden email]

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Re: Request to Wikipedians for BBC Documentary

Thomas Dalton
2009/8/13 Andrew Gray <[hidden email]>:
> The way the deletionism-inclusionism debate *now* seems focused is
> things like minor BLPs. There's a thriving debate there, still, if you
> want to look for it.

Indeed, the debate have moved from general arguments about overall
philosophy to specific arguments about where to draw the line in
specific topics.

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Re: Inclusion... Deletion... and whatnot

WJhonson
In reply to this post by Andrew Gray-3
-----Original Message-----
From: Andrew Gray <[hidden email]>
To: English Wikipedia <[hidden email]>
Sent: Thu, Aug 13, 2009 2:59 pm
Subject: Re: [WikiEN-l] Request to Wikipedians for BBC Documentary


It's interesting to note that, on the whole, everyone is an
inclusionist about something, and a deletionist about something else.

There's hardly anyone so big on inclusion that they won't occasionally
say "god, no, please, delete that article on a collapsed band from
1973 which once opened for someone you've heard of"; conversely, the
people who spend a lot of time sending material to AFD as "nn, delete"
will have their little pet hobbies of writing articles on a topic that
you or I might consider insanely overspecific and not worth keeping.>>
-------------

For example, I sometimes try to sell vintage audio components.
Do you know how *difficult* it can be to find specification details on
something that's been out-of-production for 25 years or more?
It would be nice if our articles on say Bose speakers or Pioneer
stereos would include a list of EVERY component ever made by the
companies and the weight, dimension and audio specifications of each of
those....

*Runs for cover*

Will Johnson



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Re: Request to Wikipedians for BBC Documentary

Peter Coombe
In reply to this post by Cathy Edwards
2009/8/12 Cathy Edwards <[hidden email]>:

>> Dear Wikipedians,
>>
>> We're making a 4-part documentary series marking 20 years of the World
>> Wide Web, Digital Revolution. ). This comprises an interactive website
>> (http://www.bbc.co.uk/digitalrevolution/), and four documentaries for
>> broadcast on BBC Two at the beginning of 2010, in the UK and across
>> the world.
>>
>> Our first programme, provisionally titled "The Great Levelling", asks
>> questions about the power shifts and democratisation the Web has
>> brought about. A major part of this programme centres around Wikipedia
>> - as a community project which really brings these kinds of issues
>> alive. We're interviewing Jimmy Wales, as well as a couple of US
>> Wikipedia contributors, one of whom has written a lot of articles as a
>> lay expert, and another who has helped monitor dodgy edits by e.g. big
>> business / politicians.
>>
>> To add to and enrich the programme we'd really love to interview a UK
>> Wikipedian. We're looking for a passionate Deletionist - someone who
>> identifies with the goals of Deletionism to create a high quality
>> encyclopaedia, and does a lot of this kind of quality control
>> themselves - perhaps someone who is a member of the Association of
>> Deletionist Wikipedians.
>>
>> It sounds like this debate peaked a couple of years ago, but we are
>> taking a historical approach - have you been involved in this debate
>> in the past? Or, I understand a hot topic of debate at the moment is
>> biographies of living people. Do you have strong feelings about how
>> much this should be regulated - how high the threshold for inclusion
>> should be?
>>
>> If you can help us, and would like to be involved in the debate, it'd
>> be really great to hear from you. Either reply to the list, or to me
>> at [hidden email], or by phone - 07800 794299.
>>
>> Best wishes,
>>
>> Cathy
>>
>> Cathy Edwards
>> Digital Revolution
>> Room MC4 C6, BBC Media Centre, 201 Wood Lane, London, W12 7TQ
>> M 07800 794299
>>
>> digital revolution (working title) is an open and collaborative
>> documentary about how the web is changing our lives
>> join the conversation on the web at www.bbc.co.uk/digitalrevolution or
>> follow us on twitter @BBCDigRev
>>

If the "Association of Wikipedians Who Dislike Making Broad Judgments
About the Worthiness of a General Category of Article, and Who Are in
Favor of the Deletion of Some Particularly Bad Articles, but That
Doesn't Mean They Are Deletionists" gets a mention, I'll be very happy
:)

http://snurl.com/pvcl8

Pete / the wub

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Re: Request to Wikipedians for BBC Documentary

Cathy Edwards
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
Thanks so much to everyone who replied to my email about finding a
'deletionist' (for want of a better word). It's been really useful to
hear your takes on the subject. The main points that have become clear
to me from this discussion on and offlist is that

1. The inclusionist / deletionist debate peaked a few years ago
2. BLPs are perhaps the area where the inclusionist/deletionist debate
is most vibrant - for various reasons
3. A strong argument that remains for adopting a slightly more
deletionist attitude is that some WP users go to it as a primary source
for vital information (e.g. medical advice).

To address these briefly: as I mentioned in my first mail the programme
takes a historical look at the first 20 years of the World Wide Web - so
hopefully the Wikipedia deletionist / inclusionist issue is legitimate
from that perspective - would you agree? The timing of the PARC press
release http://asc-parc.blogspot.com/ which triggered the Guaridan
article coincidied unexpectedly with my request to you, but our
programme won't go out until early next year, so for us it's not so much
a question of seizing on a newsworthy story, as reflecting on how
Wikipedia has been shaped since its inception. The feeling from the
programme team is that debates over criteria for inclusion - all the
issues that surround adding content/deleting/reverting edits/controlling
vandalism - are really fundamental to an understanding of what Wikipedia
is.

It's great to hear about the issues surrounding BLPS, and thanks to all
those who pointed me in this direction and explained the subject so
lucidly.

"Deletionism" is clearly a contentious term, but from what I've read and
heard there are still arguments in favour of more rigurous control of
what qualifies for inclusion. Libel/offence in BLPs, and the question of
WP being used for medical advice are two big arguments in favour of this
- are there others which some of you would also consider still current?

It's be great to hear more of your thoughts on this - if you want to
join the debate on our blog we're really really keen for people to
contribute, precisely so we can try to include the issues that are
important to you, and so you can help us NOT be misleading! There are
several posts on the blog about Wikipedia - here's Jimmy Wales's post
for example
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/digitalrevolution/2009/07/what-was-my-goal-wh
en-i-came-u.shtml. Enjoy!

Best wishes,

Cathy

Cathy Edwards
Digital Revolution
Room MC4 C6, BBC Media Centre, 201 Wood Lane, London, W12 7TQ
T  0208 008 3985

digital revolution (working title) is an open and collaborative
documentary about how the web is changing our lives
join the conversation on the web at www.bbc.co.uk/digitalrevolution or
follow us on twitter @BBCDigRev


-----Original Message-----
From: David Gerard [mailto:[hidden email]]
Sent: 13 August 2009 22:05
To: English Wikipedia
Cc: Cathy Edwards
Subject: Re: [WikiEN-l] Request to Wikipedians for BBC Documentary

2009/8/12 Cathy Edwards <[hidden email]>:

>> To add to and enrich the programme we'd really love to interview a UK

>> Wikipedian. We're looking for a passionate Deletionist - someone who
>> identifies with the goals of Deletionism to create a high quality
>> encyclopaedia, and does a lot of this kind of quality control
>> themselves - perhaps someone who is a member of the Association of
>> Deletionist Wikipedians.


Does such a person actually exist, self-identified? It appears from
similar discussion on wikimediauk-l that it doesn't, in fact.

(I suspect some corners of the media won't care, and we actually
considered picking someone to claim to be a "deletionist" and go on
programmes talking sense instead. This is an eample of the interests of
the media *not* being the interests of the encylcopedia at al, and us
having to work around that.)

Some seem to call others "deletionists" for deleting stuff that they
don't like. But as someone who's generally fairly inclusionist (and has
been called a "radical inclusionist" and gone "wtf" at the notion), I
can tell you that reviewing 24 hours of [[Special:Newpages]] will
convince you that lots of pages deserve death by cleansing fire as
absolutely quickly as possible.

So we're talking about increasingly fine gradations. And basically, the
media has seized upon this as an interesting and story-worthy idea about
four or five years after anyone actually working on Wikipedia cared.


- d.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/
This e-mail (and any attachments) is confidential and may contain personal views which are not the views of the BBC unless specifically stated.
If you have received it in error, please delete it from your system.
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Re: Request to Wikipedians for BBC Documentary

Carcharoth
On Mon, Aug 17, 2009 at 5:47 PM, Cathy Edwards<[hidden email]> wrote:

<snip>

> 1. The inclusionist / deletionist debate peaked a few years ago

It did? Maybe I haven't been paying attention. I was under the
impression that notability guidelines were still a topic of heated
debate as regards articles on fiction topics. Or has a guideline
finally been thrashed out?

In other areas, yes, I think the inclusionist/deletionist debate has
stabilised. But maybe not. What may have happened is that people are
now better at identifying and rescuing articles with potential, and
that might have been due to increasing availability of sources online.
During the existing lifetime of Wikipedia, it is interesting to note
how certain areas of the internet grew at the same time. Was this
serendipity (chosing the right time to start Wikipedia) or something
more?

Carcharoth

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Re: Request to Wikipedians for BBC Documentary

Thomas Dalton
2009/8/17 Carcharoth <[hidden email]>:

> On Mon, Aug 17, 2009 at 5:47 PM, Cathy Edwards<[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> <snip>
>
>> 1. The inclusionist / deletionist debate peaked a few years ago
>
> It did? Maybe I haven't been paying attention. I was under the
> impression that notability guidelines were still a topic of heated
> debate as regards articles on fiction topics. Or has a guideline
> finally been thrashed out?

The original debate was global, there were people that believed our
standards should be much stricter all over and there were people the
believed our standards should be much more relaxed all over. That
global debate finished years ago, there are now separate debates
regarding different topics (BLPs and fiction are the two main ones, I
think). Classifying people as "inclusionist" or "deletionist" doesn't
work in the current environment since someone might be on one side for
one topic and the other for others.

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Re: Request to Wikipedians for BBC Documentary

brock.weller@gmail.com
The 'deletionists' (and I use that word somewhat ironically, we don't have
meetings or leaders or even a philosophy beyond 'improve the encyclopedia')
vs the 'inclusionists' (I always thought that word was chosen as a catch-all
to cast the other side as slightly evil, much like you can't help but feel
slightly guilty voting against 'pro-life', even though you know the label
was picked for exactly those reasons) is, in my opinion, actually a shining
example of the wiki process and I'm glad it was chosen as at least one of
the topics. Deep seated disagreements over the project were solved by
consensus building and community, resulting in sensible guidelines that
helps us keep the vast majority of utter crap out of the 'pedia, while users
who enjoy the work organize teams hunting for that diamond in the rough to
polish and display. Everyone's happy, and the community solved it. Great
subject.

On Mon, Aug 17, 2009 at 10:29 AM, Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]>wrote:

> 2009/8/17 Carcharoth <[hidden email]>:
> > On Mon, Aug 17, 2009 at 5:47 PM, Cathy Edwards<[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> >
> > <snip>
> >
> >> 1. The inclusionist / deletionist debate peaked a few years ago
> >
> > It did? Maybe I haven't been paying attention. I was under the
> > impression that notability guidelines were still a topic of heated
> > debate as regards articles on fiction topics. Or has a guideline
> > finally been thrashed out?
>
> The original debate was global, there were people that believed our
> standards should be much stricter all over and there were people the
> believed our standards should be much more relaxed all over. That
> global debate finished years ago, there are now separate debates
> regarding different topics (BLPs and fiction are the two main ones, I
> think). Classifying people as "inclusionist" or "deletionist" doesn't
> work in the current environment since someone might be on one side for
> one topic and the other for others.
>
> _______________________________________________
> WikiEN-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l
>



--
-Brock
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Re: Request to Wikipedians for BBC Documentary

Cathy Edwards
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
This is all so interesting - thanks.

I think I have a good idea why BLP are a hot topic of debate in this
area, but why do you think fiction is contentious - because it's in
danger of unbalancing the encyclopedia?

-----Original Message-----
From: [hidden email]
[mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Thomas Dalton
Sent: 17 August 2009 18:29
To: English Wikipedia
Subject: Re: [WikiEN-l] Request to Wikipedians for BBC Documentary

2009/8/17 Carcharoth <[hidden email]>:
> On Mon, Aug 17, 2009 at 5:47 PM, Cathy
Edwards<[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> <snip>
>
>> 1. The inclusionist / deletionist debate peaked a few years ago
>
> It did? Maybe I haven't been paying attention. I was under the
> impression that notability guidelines were still a topic of heated
> debate as regards articles on fiction topics. Or has a guideline
> finally been thrashed out?

The original debate was global, there were people that believed our
standards should be much stricter all over and there were people the
believed our standards should be much more relaxed all over. That global
debate finished years ago, there are now separate debates regarding
different topics (BLPs and fiction are the two main ones, I think).
Classifying people as "inclusionist" or "deletionist" doesn't work in
the current environment since someone might be on one side for one topic
and the other for others.

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Re: Request to Wikipedians for BBC Documentary

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by brock.weller@gmail.com
2009/8/18 Brock Weller <[hidden email]>:

> The 'deletionists' (and I use that word somewhat ironically, we don't have
> meetings or leaders or even a philosophy beyond 'improve the encyclopedia')
> vs the 'inclusionists' (I always thought that word was chosen as a catch-all
> to cast the other side as slightly evil, much like you can't help but feel
> slightly guilty voting against 'pro-life', even though you know the label
> was picked for exactly those reasons) is, in my opinion, actually a shining
> example of the wiki process and I'm glad it was chosen as at least one of
> the topics. Deep seated disagreements over the project were solved by
> consensus building and community, resulting in sensible guidelines that
> helps us keep the vast majority of utter crap out of the 'pedia, while users
> who enjoy the work organize teams hunting for that diamond in the rough to
> polish and display. Everyone's happy, and the community solved it. Great
> subject.

Well said. That debate was resolved back in the days when we actually
reached consensus occasionally! There are too many people for that to
work, these days. However hard you try, you never find a solution that
everyone will accept.

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Re: Request to Wikipedians for BBC Documentary

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by Cathy Edwards
2009/8/18 Cathy Edwards <[hidden email]>:
> This is all so interesting - thanks.
>
> I think I have a good idea why BLP are a hot topic of debate in this
> area, but why do you think fiction is contentious - because it's in
> danger of unbalancing the encyclopedia?

Good question. I think it is because fictional topics are very
polarising when it comes to the question of how interesting they are.
Fans of that particular work find every aspect of it extremely
interesting, people that don't watch that show/read that series of
books/whatever find it all extremely boring. There isn't much of a
middle ground. It is difficult for the extremes to move towards the
middle when there isn't anyone there, and that is what is required to
reach a consensus.

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Re: Request to Wikipedians for BBC Documentary

Charles Matthews
In reply to this post by Cathy Edwards
Cathy Edwards wrote:
> This is all so interesting - thanks.
>
> I think I have a good idea why BLP are a hot topic of debate in this
> area, but why do you think fiction is contentious - because it's in
> danger of unbalancing the encyclopedia?
>  
[[Wikipedia:Notability (fiction)]] indicates some of the sore points. It
is not about whether "Pride or Prejudice" is notable: there is no
problem establishing that to everyone's satisfaction. We do have an
article [[Fitzwilliam Darcy]]. The kinds of problems that arise in
general are:

*What if the article on Mr. Darcy were written in an in-universe view,
in other words not offering the perspective with the fourth wall removed?
*What if [[Category:Jane Austen characters]] got out of hand, with very
minor characters featuring?
*What if there were not enough critical literature to make articles
(yet), and people ended up improvising their own theories?

Only the second of these is likely to matter with Janeite Wikipedians.
We would then say "merge the info back into [[Pride and Prejudice]]".
That could get too long (it's actually only a sensible 36K). For fiction
articles that are very long, we are supposed to apply
[[Wikipedia:Summary style]], in other words put subtopics on separate
pages. But the notability guide says "notability is not inherited". This
is where some people get stuck. Minor characters or lesser topics in a
fictional universe get merged into a page, and can't get moved out again
unless the subtopic itself is inherently notable.

So (as I understand it, and I'm no expert on this) fiction in general
can have problems with all three of the bullets; and only for the first
is there necessarily a decent editorial solution that would satisfy all
"inclusionist" views.

Charles








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Re: Request to Wikipedians for BBC Documentary

Charles Matthews
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
Thomas Dalton wrote:
> Well said. That debate was resolved back in the days when we actually
> reached consensus occasionally! There are too many people for that to
> work, these days. However hard you try, you never find a solution that
> everyone will accept.
>  
Hmmm, that seems to assume consensus = no yelling, rather than 80%
support or whatever. As if special interest groups can always block
change. (Now that rings a bell, but we need to be careful about the
retrospective history.)

Charles


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Re: Request to Wikipedians for BBC Documentary

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by Charles Matthews
2009/8/18 Charles Matthews <[hidden email]>:
> *What if the article on Mr. Darcy were written in an in-universe view,
> in other words not offering the perspective with the fourth wall removed?

I think we've pretty much reached a consensus there. While some people
write from an in-universe perspective, there haven't been many
objections recently to people going through a rewriting it.

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