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Zer Netmouse
October 31st, 2009
02:56 pm


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As if to prove the point -Plan 9 Publishing article nominated for deletion
A few days ago I posted a request for comment on wikipedia's efforts to convert more readers into editors. In one of the comments, alicebentley brought my attention to this post, expressing frustration that an article for the comic Wapsi Square, had reappeared after an earlier deletion and was almost immediately nominated for deletion again. (note: the author seemed equally unhappy about both the re-creation and the proposed deletion of the article).

Against the expressed wishes of that post, I found myself defending the article's importance on the wikipedia discussion of whether or not to delete the page. Then I went to look at the behavior of the wikipedia editor who had nominated it to be deleted, Guest9999. He had also nominated another webcomic article to be deleted, about The Suburban Jungle. That one didn't seem *as* significant as Wapsi Square, but it's a Furry webcomic and they don't get a lot of media attention. That doesn't mean they aren't as significant as, say, a specific episode or character of a major TV show, many of which have their own wikipedia pages.

Later, however, I noticed that Guest9999 had also proposed the page for Plan 9 Publishing for deletion. Again without bothering to tag the page for lack of citations. I joined the debate on that deletion with a will; I have books on my shelves from Plan 9 publishing, and know from interactions with Pete Abrams at Michigan cons years ago how influential that company (the original publisher of Sluggy Freelance paperbacks) was. However, I've also noted from another comment on my request for comments that webcomics are an area not strongly supported on wikipedia, since a series of past conflicts about material being deleted discouraged people from trying. So I don't know how many active editors would actually be willing to join the debate, which basically stems from Guest9999's inability to find 'independent, reliable sources' to verify the article.

Which is really just another side of the 'Notability' debate, but with a new way of arguing that not being covered in traditional media means something doesn't deserve to have an article.

(5 comments | Leave a comment)

(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
Date:November 1st, 2009 12:37 am (UTC)
I think Paul Taylor (writer and artist of Wapsi Square) has a pretty representative take on Wikipedia for those who haven't decided to play this demanding and often nasty editing game: They just don't even want to hear about the battle between the people who find the information useful and the people who think it shouldn't be there. Those conversations can be depressing and insulting and are pretty much guaranteed to be embarrassing even if people speak up in favor of the material.

I really just don't get the logic behind deleting pages, unless the editors want to come right out and admit it's just their way to throw their weight around. Is Wikipedia running out of server space? Is there some ranking system where articles are judged to more or less significant than others, and then everyone under some (undefined and constantly changing) line is deleted?

Suburban Jungle may not be the most famous of the numerous early webcomics, but what harm does it do to *anyone* to have a page of information about it?

[User Picture]
Date:November 1st, 2009 02:32 am (UTC)
For fuck's sake, webcomics are the kind of popcult thing sensible people use Wikipedia for.

I keep trying to make up with Wikipedia, and Wikipedia keeps defeating my attempts. Honest to god, it's a system designed to reward shitty human beings for being shitty.
Date:November 1st, 2009 05:01 am (UTC)
As for deleting information within an article. It's reasonable to keep the basic article a reasonable length giving more wordage to the major aspects of the subject. However there is no reason why information considered less important should be deleted: just move it further down in the article. This is basic journalism!

Or, condense the less important information and make it a link to a treatment in more detail elsewhere (on or off Wikipedia).

As long as the pro-deletion policy seems to prevail, there seems little point in spending one's energy to add more information.
[User Picture]
Date:November 2nd, 2009 01:07 am (UTC)
The whole thing -- why should an article be deleted at all?

Sure, possibly mark that it has no references/sources or something. But if someone has spent the time to input that information -- and others to edit/correct it -- why delete?

Cause really, I just can't see there being an issue with storage space. Terabytes of disk are dirt cheap, and this is mostly text -- which takes up almost no space.

And that pushes me away. You have, essentially, infinite space to store your encyclopedia data, you should never delete anything.
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