Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: An okay sort of day

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  • tim kong,

    Ahh - so that makes some sense then.

    Is then the main article?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Meetup

    If so, that makes more sense.

    Seems to me that the arguing of semantics and some fine splitting of hairs is causing grief. Which is possibly inherent in something such as wikipedia.

    I didn't mean to pick out Simon, lin or gadfium for criticism, hope it didn't come across that way.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 153 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I didn't mean to pick out Simon, lin or gadfium for criticism, hope it didn't come across that way.

    Nope. It's turned into an interesting observation, to which others have provided context.

    I'm actually dubious about pseudonyms - I think it encourages the unhelpful development of personae - but I'll let gadfium off, because he's pretty cool. And he looks like his name ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Aaron Dick,

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 14 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I 'm super-glad that I've been able to sit down with my kids and research stuff that is, in the scheme of things, trivial: yes, it's good that there's a place where every pokemon is named. And where porn stars have articles.

    I have to ask the obvious question... you research porn stars with your kids? You don't want to leave that until after they've gone to bed?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • James Green,

    Ahh - so that makes some sense then.

    Is then the main article?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Meetup

    If so, that makes more sense.

    That's still not quite an article (although it is more formal). You'll see it still has "project page" at the top left. As a rule if it has a colon in the url, then it is not an article. The "Wikipedia:" means it's a project page, "Talk:" makes it a talk page, and there are also Category, Template, and Image pages (probably among others).

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 703 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Wikipedia has its strengths, and its weaknesses. And the weakness is that anyone with an agenda, if they work hard enough, and play within the rules, has a reasonable chance of compromising the content of the project to fit their particular worldview. Several articles I've edited have been taken over by a troll with more time or energy than I have to devote to the articles, and consequently are structured around dubious sources, while keeping out information that challenges these sources.

    Wikipedia works because there are millions of 'good' editors, and a minority of people with a barrow to push. If useful contributors diminish however, the project will fall or fork.

    Check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algerian_Civil_War for just one example. It was pretty much written by one expert, who no longer has the time to contribute... the results are evident.

    Is Wikipedia a success? It's far to early to say.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • izogi,

    I think I also struggle a little bit with the detailed sourcing thing, because it's not something you do in journalism (I did no university study either). To me, a nicely written article with lots of external links is more useful than a piece of crap that's been sourced up the wazoo.

    I think this is a lot of the reason why I don't spend as much time editing Wikipedia articles any more. One thing I've enjoyed about Wikipedia has been the ability to quickly get useful information about casual topics that don't tend to have authoritative sources. I won't cite Wikipedia or rely on it for something critical without independently checking the facts, but I still use it frequently for quick reference. By the standard of the current policies, though, I suspect that the majority of Wikipedia articles probably shouldn't be there. Just knowing that makes it less motivating for me to edit, because for many topics, the standards are too high for the time I want to spend, and it'll be a matter of time before someone decides it's not worth having.

    That said, for topics that don't fit well into this model, the same foundation hosts several other sites, none of which, unfortunately, are well known. If you have a current event, a lot of people might argue that it fits better into Wikinews than Wikipedia. (Note: Even Wikinews policy suggests that you request an interview rather than write an article about an event you were involved in.) Similarly, Wikipedia has policies against writing instructional text, but that same text might fit well into Wikiversity or Wikibooks.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1142 posts Report Reply

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