Wikipedia's destiny

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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

Mark
Michael Snow wrote:

>If the history of webcomics has not yet been written, that would be a
>good reason to write it on Wikipedia.
>
That seems directly contrary to the long-established "no original
research" policy.  When it comes to history articles, Wikipedia is not
the place to publish novel historical narratives of any sort, whether
they be on the Cold War or on webcomics, but a place to document
*existing* historical narratives.

To quote some verbiage from the policy page that's been there nearly
forever:

"If you have an idea that you think should become part of the corpus of
knowledge that is Wikipedia, the best approach is to arrange to have
your results published in a peer-reviewed journal or reputable news
outlet, and then document your work in an appropriately non-partisan
manner."

-Mark

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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

David Gerard-2
In reply to this post by Joshua Griisser
>"If you have an idea that you think should become part of the corpus of
>knowledge that is Wikipedia, the best approach is to arrange to have
>your results published in a peer-reviewed journal or reputable news
>outlet, and then document your work in an appropriately non-partisan
>manner."


    http://www.english.ufl.edu/imagetext/

See what I mean about the dangers of reasoning from personal
ignorance? Now I eagerly await objections that don't boil down to "but
webcomics are worse for Wikipedia than Pokemon."

(Part of the webcomics debacle was an attempt to get Snowspinner
excluded from webcomics deletion discussions because as an expert he
was obviously biased on the subject. Not in any particular direction,
but *by being an expert*.)


- d.
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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

Steve Bennett-4
In reply to this post by Mark
On 2/27/06, Delirium <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >If the history of webcomics has not yet been written, that would be a
> >good reason to write it on Wikipedia.
> >
> That seems directly contrary to the long-established "no original
> research" policy.  When it comes to history articles, Wikipedia is not
> the place to publish novel historical narratives of any sort, whether
> they be on the Cold War or on webcomics, but a place to document
> *existing* historical narratives.

Isn't "novel" the key word here? There is nothing particularly novel
about compiling a list of brief, sourced,  synopses of every work by a
major author, for example. Stating that increasingly frequent
references to the devil were caused by the author's impotence might
well be "novel".

A measure of "novelness" might be how likely another editor is to
dispute the accuracy of your compilation. It seems quite likely to me
that one can compile an undisputed history of webcomics. And should.

> "If you have an idea that you think should become part of the corpus of
> knowledge that is Wikipedia, the best approach is to arrange to have
> your results published in a peer-reviewed journal or reputable news
> outlet, and then document your work in an appropriately non-partisan
> manner."

That's consistent with my view. If you wish to contribute unpublished
information about the history of any webcomic, Wikipedia is not the
place. But if you just want to compile published information from
various places into one complete record, then within various
constraints, Wikipedia is a great place for that.

IMHO.

Steve
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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

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

>>"If you have an idea that you think should become part of the corpus of
>>knowledge that is Wikipedia, the best approach is to arrange to have
>>your results published in a peer-reviewed journal or reputable news
>>outlet, and then document your work in an appropriately non-partisan
>>manner."
>>    
>>
>
>
>    http://www.english.ufl.edu/imagetext/
>
>See what I mean about the dangers of reasoning from personal
>ignorance? Now I eagerly await objections that don't boil down to "but
>webcomics are worse for Wikipedia than Pokemon."
>  
>
Assuming that was directed at me, then I'm not sure what you mean about
"the dangers of reasoning from personal ignorance".  I was arguing
against the general principle that we ought to write novel histories in
cases where existing ones don't exist.  If in this particular case one
does exist, then of course that doesn't apply.

-Mark

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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

Fred Bauder
In reply to this post by Mark
I think we need to adopt standards of what is an acceptable source  
which is in accord with the nature of the subject. In this case, it  
is not going to be a book published by the Oxford University Press,  
blogs may have to serve, as well as comixs websites. The alternative  
is to drastically trim our popular culture coverage, which is one of  
the bright spots of Wikipedia, if sometimes considered eccentric and  
unscholarly.

Fred

On Feb 27, 2006, at 8:46 AM, Delirium wrote:

> Michael Snow wrote:
>
>
>> If the history of webcomics has not yet been written, that would be a
>> good reason to write it on Wikipedia.
>>
>>
> That seems directly contrary to the long-established "no original
> research" policy.  When it comes to history articles, Wikipedia is not
> the place to publish novel historical narratives of any sort, whether
> they be on the Cold War or on webcomics, but a place to document
> *existing* historical narratives.
>
> To quote some verbiage from the policy page that's been there nearly
> forever:
>
> "If you have an idea that you think should become part of the  
> corpus of
> knowledge that is Wikipedia, the best approach is to arrange to have
> your results published in a peer-reviewed journal or reputable news
> outlet, and then document your work in an appropriately non-partisan
> manner."
>
> -Mark
>
> _______________________________________________
> WikiEN-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
> http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l
>

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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

Tony Sidaway-3
In reply to this post by Steve Block-3
On 2/27/06, Steve Block <[hidden email]> wrote:
>  But given Burns' writing on webcomics is
> online, it makes it hard to quantify the credentials of his asserted
> claim to expertness.

This is what the arbitration committee had to say about Eric Burns in
a finding of fact in the Webcomics case:

"Eric Burns is an established writer on webcomics who has a history of
published writing in comics, short fiction, role-playing games,
magazines, and poetry. He is a columnist for Comixpedia and an
occasional writer for the Webcomics Examiner, and runs his own
comic-oriented blog, Websnark."

I note from his Wikipedia article that he holds a BA Cum Laude in
English Literature.  He worked on games and publications for Steve
Jackson Games.  So he has a lot more qualifications to write about
writing than just being a blogger.
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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

David Gerard-2
In reply to this post by Joshua Griisser
Fred Bauder wrote:

>I think we need to adopt standards of what is an acceptable source
>which is in accord with the nature of the subject. In this case, it
>is not going to be a book published by the Oxford University Press,
>blogs may have to serve, as well as comixs websites. The alternative
>is to drastically trim our popular culture coverage, which is one of
>the bright spots of Wikipedia, if sometimes considered eccentric and
>unscholarly.


Yes. Hard policy for this sort of thing would produce ridiculous
results;  we can't formulate more than guidelines, to be applied
according to editorial judgement. If an editor has that judgement,
they can reasonably judge if a given source is rubbish or not; if they
don't, no amount of guidelines can give it to them. You can't
Taylorise clue.

Are John Lee's featured articles on Beatles songs entirely written
using peer-reviewed academic journals as sources? Of course not.

(And in my experience as what sociologists use as a primary source
[music journalism], peer-reviewed academia on pop music is an
incredibly low-quality source of information or indeed clue.)


- d.
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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

David Gerard-2
In reply to this post by Joshua Griisser
Tony Sidaway wrote:
>On 2/27/06, Steve Block <steve.block at myrealbox.com> wrote:

>>  But given Burns' writing on webcomics is
>> online, it makes it hard to quantify the credentials of his asserted
>> claim to expertness.

>"Eric Burns is an established writer on webcomics who has a history of
>published writing in comics, short fiction, role-playing games,
>magazines, and poetry. He is a columnist for Comixpedia and an
>occasional writer for the Webcomics Examiner, and runs his own
>comic-oriented blog, Websnark."
>I note from his Wikipedia article that he holds a BA Cum Laude in
>English Literature.  He worked on games and publications for Steve
>Jackson Games.  So he has a lot more qualifications to write about
>writing than just being a blogger.


* d, nn, never heard of him myself, webcomics aren't encyclopedic,
here's some tortured justifications that I think sound better - ~~~~


- d.
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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

David Gerard-2
In reply to this post by Joshua Griisser
Delirium wrote:

>>    http://www.english.ufl.edu/imagetext/
>>See what I mean about the dangers of reasoning from personal
>>ignorance? Now I eagerly await objections that don't boil down to "but
>>webcomics are worse for Wikipedia than Pokemon."

>Assuming that was directed at me, then I'm not sure what you mean about
>"the dangers of reasoning from personal ignorance".


I meant the implication that there was not and could not be an actual
academic peer-reviewed journal of webcomics, which has come up a bit
in this thread - that's definitely arguing from personal ignorance.


>I was arguing
>against the general principle that we ought to write novel histories in
>cases where existing ones don't exist.  If in this particular case one
>does exist, then of course that doesn't apply.


Of course. Every crank has fifty references for their original
research stitched together in a novel fashion, but that doesn't make
it not original research.


- d.
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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

Steve Bennett-4
In reply to this post by Fred Bauder
On 2/27/06, Fred Bauder <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I think we need to adopt standards of what is an acceptable source
> which is in accord with the nature of the subject. In this case, it
> is not going to be a book published by the Oxford University Press,
> blogs may have to serve, as well as comixs websites. The alternative
> is to drastically trim our popular culture coverage, which is one of
> the bright spots of Wikipedia, if sometimes considered eccentric and
> unscholarly.

Rather than having fixed standards, let's just use common sense:

Factually correct, unsourced information is better than no information.
Information sourced to a blog is better than unsourced information.
Information sourced to paper is better than info sourced to a blog.
Information sourced to a peer-reviewed journal is even better...

If a blog on webcomics is the best we have, it's the best we have.
It's not like someone was saying "That guy is wrong, there's another
blog which completely contradicts him".

Am I way of base with believing that uncontroversial information
should just be left? Sources are nice, but if everyone agrees that the
information is correct, what is to be gained by removing it, or
bickering over the quality of the source?

Steve
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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

Steve Block-3
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
David Gerard wrote:

>> "If you have an idea that you think should become part of the corpus of
>> knowledge that is Wikipedia, the best approach is to arrange to have
>> your results published in a peer-reviewed journal or reputable news
>> outlet, and then document your work in an appropriately non-partisan
>> manner."
>
>
>     http://www.english.ufl.edu/imagetext/
>
> See what I mean about the dangers of reasoning from personal
> ignorance? Now I eagerly await objections that don't boil down to "but
> webcomics are worse for Wikipedia than Pokemon."
>
> (Part of the webcomics debacle was an attempt to get Snowspinner
> excluded from webcomics deletion discussions because as an expert he
> was obviously biased on the subject. Not in any particular direction,
> but *by being an expert*.)

ImageText isn't a webcomics specific journal, and isn't the only comics
journal out there, there's a lot of comics theory published in the
Journal of Popular Culture and more importantly The International
Journal of Comic Art, as well as The Comics Journal, which covers web
comics.  I fail to see what your point is David, and how it relates to
the comments it purports to respond to.  It seems to support them
entirley, by arguing that such sources do exist which allow articles to
be written.


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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

Steve Block-3
In reply to this post by Steve Bennett-4
Steve Bennett wrote:

> On 2/27/06, Delirium <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>> If the history of webcomics has not yet been written, that would be a
>>> good reason to write it on Wikipedia.
>>>
>> That seems directly contrary to the long-established "no original
>> research" policy.  When it comes to history articles, Wikipedia is not
>> the place to publish novel historical narratives of any sort, whether
>> they be on the Cold War or on webcomics, but a place to document
>> *existing* historical narratives.
>
> Isn't "novel" the key word here? There is nothing particularly novel
> about compiling a list of brief, sourced,  synopses of every work by a
> major author, for example. Stating that increasingly frequent
> references to the devil were caused by the author's impotence might
> well be "novel".
>
> A measure of "novelness" might be how likely another editor is to
> dispute the accuracy of your compilation. It seems quite likely to me
> that one can compile an undisputed history of webcomics. And should.

I don't think one could compile an undisputed history of webcomics, but
I do think a disputed one would be even more worthwhile.  The problems
come in deciding which is the first webcomic, defining what a webcomic
is, and in deciding on which strips are of merit to include.  But those
are disputes which will help build a better article, as long as all
inclusions are built on reliable sources.



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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

Tony Sidaway-3
In reply to this post by Steve Bennett-4
On 2/27/06, Steve Bennett <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Am I way of base with believing that uncontroversial information
> should just be left? Sources are nice, but if everyone agrees that the
> information is correct, what is to be gained by removing it, or
> bickering over the quality of the source?
>

This seems to ignore the observable fact that, for some Wikipedians,
deletion of articles on popular culture, or in common parlance,
"cruft", is seen as an end in itself.  The strategy being followed
seems to be to systematically raise the verifiability standards to
exclude online sources, then denude the article of such sources, then
move to delete the article on the grounds that it is unverifiable.
Another technique is to browbeat those with whom one disagrees,
repeating false claims that their opinion may be ignored.

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Neglected_Mario_Characters&diff=40975904&oldid=40974390

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Neglected_Mario_Characters&diff=41164075&oldid=41160901

In short, the deletion process continues to be a disgrace and breed
the worst kind of incivility.
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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

Philip Sandifer-2
In reply to this post by Steve Block-3

On Feb 27, 2006, at 11:29 AM, Steve Block wrote:

>
> ImageText isn't a webcomics specific journal, and isn't the only  
> comics
> journal out there, there's a lot of comics theory published in the
> Journal of Popular Culture and more importantly The International
> Journal of Comic Art, as well as The Comics Journal, which covers web
> comics.  I fail to see what your point is David, and how it relates to
> the comments it purports to respond to.  It seems to support them
> entirley, by arguing that such sources do exist which allow  
> articles to
> be written.

Personally, I consider Journal of Popular Culture to be the limit  
case when I say that all peer-reviewed articles should have a  
Wikipedia article either on them or their author. It's just... not  
very good.

Comics Journal is miles from peer reviewed.

IJOCA is worth noting as a comics journal, though to my knowledge  
they've never touched webcomics, have they? I confess, I don't pick  
them up, though I have a review coming out in them that I should  
probably grab one of these days.

-Phil
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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

Steve Bennett-4
In reply to this post by Steve Block-3
On 2/27/06, Steve Block <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I don't think one could compile an undisputed history of webcomics, but
> I do think a disputed one would be even more worthwhile.  The problems
> come in deciding which is the first webcomic, defining what a webcomic

That's not really a problem: "The first webcomic is disputed, but most
sources agree that it is one of the following three..."

> is, and in deciding on which strips are of merit to include.  But those

Sure, but deciding what to include is hardly unique to this particular
problem. Nor is defining what *is* and *isn't* anything.

> are disputes which will help build a better article, as long as all
> inclusions are built on reliable sources.

Steve
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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

Philip Sandifer-2
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2

On Feb 27, 2006, at 11:17 AM, David Gerard wrote:

>
> I meant the implication that there was not and could not be an actual
> academic peer-reviewed journal of webcomics, which has come up a bit
> in this thread - that's definitely arguing from personal ignorance.

To be fair, ImageTexT not a journal of webcomics - it's a journal of  
comics and animation in general, broadly construed, that has  
published what is, to my knowledge, the only peer-reviewed piece on  
webcomics.

The journal on webcomics is the Webcomics Examiner, which is not peer  
reviewed, though it is run by Joe Zabel, an artist who has worked  
with Harvey Pekar on American Splendor,

I've worked on both, as it happens.

Another note is that I just got done with the 4th annual comics  
conference here at UF, and though no papers were presented on  
webcomics (Which is in part, I suspect, because the topic - Comics  
and Childhood - didn't really lend itself to those papers), I can  
tell you that webcomics and digital distribution were on a LOT of  
people's minds in Q&A, and there's a strong push for the 2008  
conference to be on digital comics.

What it comes down to is this:

Is there a systematic peer-reviewed academic study and classification  
of webcomics at present? No.

Is there a systematic popular academic study and classification of  
webcomics at present? Yes.

Is it any good? Yes.

Are webcomics something of concern to comics scholarship? Yes, though  
few people in the (fairly small) field of comic studies have them as  
a primary focus. That said, few people have post-war newspaper strips  
as a primary focus. So we should get right on deleting [[Calvin and  
Hobbes]].

None of which is the real question. The real question is:

Has the webcomics community developed a sufficient non-promotional  
body of thought to be taken seriously in its self-assessment of what  
its important parts are?

Between the Examiner, the academic attention, the division of the  
community into profitable syndicates, and people like Eric Burns, the  
answer is, frankly, an unequivocal yes.

-Phil
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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

Charles Matthews
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
"David Gerard" wrote

> (And in my experience as what sociologists use as a primary source
> [music journalism], peer-reviewed academia on pop music is an
> incredibly low-quality source of information or indeed clue.)

That rings true.  I don't particularly want to wade through yards of
well-footnoted stuff on Jimi Hendrix or Captain Beefheart, which is all
drivel and wrong and written by someone who couldn't hum a twelve-bar to
save their life.

You could look at it this way, though.  If WP manages to evolve a credible,
principles model of how to document and categorise and calibrate popular
culture, and exhibitis it in action on its (certainly wide) range of
included topics, then that could be a huge achievement in itself.  One does
have to bear in mind the basic principles: Sturgeon's Law on 90% of
everything; Simon Frith on popular culture being defined by anyone being
allowed their taste in the matter; objections to canon-formation; original
research being the inevitable condition of the author; ephemerality of much
of the interest.

Charles



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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

Steve Block-3
In reply to this post by Tony Sidaway-3
Tony Sidaway wrote:

> On 2/27/06, Steve Block <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>  But given Burns' writing on webcomics is
>> online, it makes it hard to quantify the credentials of his asserted
>> claim to expertness.
>
> This is what the arbitration committee had to say about Eric Burns in
> a finding of fact in the Webcomics case:
>
> "Eric Burns is an established writer on webcomics who has a history of
> published writing in comics, short fiction, role-playing games,
> magazines, and poetry. He is a columnist for Comixpedia and an
> occasional writer for the Webcomics Examiner, and runs his own
> comic-oriented blog, Websnark."
>
> I note from his Wikipedia article that he holds a BA Cum Laude in
> English Literature.  He worked on games and publications for Steve
> Jackson Games.  So he has a lot more qualifications to write about
> writing than just being a blogger.

Tony, you're arguing across me.  As per my comments above, they make no
claim as to his degree of expertness.  Actually, nothing there
contradicts what I said above, since Comixpedia and the Webcomics
Examiner are online magazines.  As webcomics is a form of comics, which
is a separate art-form from writing, where-in it has been argued the
writing is subservient to the art; to quote Samuel R. Delaney for
example, "the writer works for the artist, in the same that the writer
in a movie works for the director."  Delaney also notes that comics
shouldn't be read, they should be looked at, again making the point that
the art is primary.  Now like I say, it's hard to quantify Burns'
qualifications; he majored in English Lit, not comics.  He's also an
advocate.  I have no problem sourcing Burns' opinion from his blog;  I
have a problem sourcing it as fact, or in accepting Burns' statements as
an arbitrary ruling.

That's not to say that I disagree with the arbcom ruling.  That said, I
have to ask, am I not afforded the same opportunity as Snowspinner to
stand up and claim myself as an expert in the field?

Steve block


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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

Phil Boswell
In reply to this post by Tony Sidaway-3
"Tony Sidaway" <[hidden email]> wrote in
message news:[hidden email]...

> On 2/27/06, Steve Bennett
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Am I way of base with believing that uncontroversial information
>> should just be left? Sources are nice, but if everyone agrees that the
>> information is correct, what is to be gained by removing it, or
>> bickering over the quality of the source?
> This seems to ignore the observable fact that, for some Wikipedians,
> deletion of articles on popular culture, or in common parlance,
> "cruft", is seen as an end in itself.  The strategy being followed
> seems to be to systematically raise the verifiability standards to
> exclude online sources, then denude the article of such sources, then
> move to delete the article on the grounds that it is unverifiable.
> Another technique is to browbeat those with whom one disagrees,
> repeating false claims that their opinion may be ignored.
[snip]
> In short, the deletion process continues to be a disgrace and breed
> the worst kind of incivility.

Even better some clowns^Wpeople are now suggesting that since they have
driven some webcomics off to Comixpedia, all the rest can safely follow
them...
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia%3AArticles_for_deletion%2FNeglected_Mario_Characters&diff=41115907&oldid=41110586 
is a fine example.

I find the nominator's habit of jumping all over every single keep vote (bar
one AFAICT) rather offensive also.
--
Phil
[[en:User:Phil Boswell]]



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Re: Wikipedia's destiny

Steve Block-3
In reply to this post by Steve Bennett-4
Steve Bennett wrote:

> On 2/27/06, Steve Block <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> I don't think one could compile an undisputed history of webcomics, but
>> I do think a disputed one would be even more worthwhile.  The problems
>> come in deciding which is the first webcomic, defining what a webcomic
>
> That's not really a problem: "The first webcomic is disputed, but most
> sources agree that it is one of the following three..."
>
>> is, and in deciding on which strips are of merit to include.  But those
>
> Sure, but deciding what to include is hardly unique to this particular
> problem. Nor is defining what *is* and *isn't* anything.
>
>> are disputes which will help build a better article, as long as all
>> inclusions are built on reliable sources.

Exactly.  See my last statement above.  You're not disagreeing with or
arguing against anything I wrote.  You're agreeing with it.


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