I am a Wikipedian. He has that right. Wikipedia has a HUGE bias toward online sources, as a practical matter, rather than toward print sources. That's not official policy on Wikipedia. Wikipedia policy makes clear that it is perfectly okay to cite a book that is a reliable source on other grounds, even if the book is very hard for any other Wikipedian to find in a library or as a used book. But the practical thing that happens on Wikipedia is that most articles are based on sources that Google can find, and many articles that are otherwise well sourced will be doubted if editors can't find any confirmation of their content on Google.
Basically Google's ability to serve up what humankind has put onto the public-visible World Web Wide limits the development of Wikipedia. I learned to do research the old-fashioned way, at a university with a huge library, and began using online databases there as a student job back in the 1970s. Today I can look things up with practiced facility online, but I still find that looking around in a library full of dead-tree books can turn up all kinds of information that has never been online. It takes both kinds of research to build a good encyclopedia.
Just for fun, take a look at how Wikipedia describes what Wikipedians should be here to do as encyclopedia editors,
as well as its description of what Wikipedia is not.
I submitted that article to HN. It got a few of upvotes but was then flag-killed. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6047531
I submitted it because it's a pretty thorough article. It's not a stub of nonsense; they talk about some of the research behind the intense arguments that can result from hanging a roll "the wrong way".
I learnt to always leave a comment about why I submitted an article if I think it's going to be flagged.
Edit: It may even be a biological instinct.
PS: This comment is probably a perfect example, now that I think of it.
He also probably got a pass because the article was created by an established editor rather than a brand new user. Given enough time though, I'm sure some editor might've seen it and would have put the notability template that exists on the page now.
Dig into the depths of Wikipedia and I can guarantee you'll find tons of non-notable articles that no one bothered to bring up for deletion, but is headlined with cleanup templates. Heck, just the other day I saw an article that tried to pass for notability by indiscriminately littering the page with citations that just barely mentioned the subjects' name. All it takes is one well-meaning editor to double-check any dubious claims by looking at their citations and making sure they are reliable.
It's a bit silly to make it sound like he gamed the system. He didn't pass the notability test; it just wasn't administered yet. The editors that worked on his behalf were well-versed in the rules and they worked within them, acknowledging that the article might not last. You either get a speedy deletion of something obvious in the new queue or you get discussions for deletion for things that aren't apparently notable to someone else.
Precisely. The moment someone goes and checks the citations, it turns out they're mostly junk: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletio...
This stuck around for the same reason hoaxes stick around: it looked vaguely legitimate so nobody bothered looking in-depth or nominating it for deletion.
This is the biggest deal that no one else is realizing. The rest is basically in the details. Not only did an established editor create the page, but the expertise in formatting, properly citing (or at least making it look like it), and writing correct verbosity that imitates a very professional and 'notable' wikipedia article is what made this fly under the radar. A quick skim of the article leaves absolutely no suspicion to the even partially trained eye (I'm not some power editor on Wikipedia, but I do edit/am active).
> There are very few Web 2.0 features. Social features are primitive: readers cannot make an easy list of their favorites, nor can they share to Facebook or Twitter with a single click. It’s as if the past ten years of progress had never happened.
I wouldn't put it like that. One of the nice things about wikipedia is that if a subject qualifies to have an article at all, it can have a nice detailed article.
(Primary known example is myself, BTW. I'm mentioned in 2 articles that I'm aware of.)
I guess if you're common enough and it's known that you're the same person in more than one place, a red link is a step up from plain text.
Note the word "summary". An encyclopedia entry is supposed to be a summary of the topic. It is not a news archive.
I wrote the first draft of this page in 2004 as a result of an interest in Victorian lunar observers (long story). This minor Victorian astronomer produced an important moon map and contributed serious work on celestial mechanics that was rendered obsolete by Ernest Brown's major improvement in lunar ephemeris computation.
The subsequent history shows a purposeful improvement in the page and adds a couple of references. I think the current version of the page is better than the one I contributed.
I'm wondering if the wikipedia process sort of mostly works but gets derailed around notability/contentious issues?
>> (He has since asked that I leave his Wikipedia username out of this story.)
>> That editor... had expanded my page significantly...
Linking directly to the page, with the editor's name on it, at that time just after said editor had made those significant changes.
So yes, I guess he did keep the name out of the article, but it was only one click to find it out. Is this good? Unless the guy's reason for not wanting his name in the article was just so this article didn't show up in search results for his user name, and doesn't actually care that people connect his edits to the page with personal interaction with the subject of the page, then this seems kind of unethical to me.
This despite NY Times, citations, multiple prior incumbents listed, and at least one existing "red link" reference to th individual.
I've tossed in a few more buckets of links and noted various other bits as mentioned above. We'll see how it works out....
After writing on the editor's page and showing him enough news headlines, I convinced him it was legitimate.
But then, weren't they all (8 in 8 years).
Adding another 8 references seemed to help. They actually trimmed that down by a couple in the publishing process:
I suspect that this belated effort to quiet everything down will just make for an even noisier and messier debate.
By the sounds of things, this article didn't actually pass Wikipedia's notability test - it's just that nobody put it to that test by nominating it for deletion (i.e. nobody thought it was suspicious).
This leads to some distortions and a lot of frustration. It might be why WP has a problem keeping technical editors around.
In the actual definition of notability, it is made clear that the policy is purely about verifiability: something is notable when we can say more than a couple verifiable things about it. However, because the policy is named notability, the AFD (articles for deletion) threads very often contain systematic mention of how noteworthy an effect is "within the [whatever] community".
I never really followed up on it, but I wanted to see whether I could game the system in the reverse way. Coming from a physics background, in college I wrote up some drafts about a fake physics concept, including some thought into using @cornell.edu emails to create a fake arxiv.org LaTeX article or two. The idea was to combine this with links to 404'ed pages, some fake blog articles across the Internet authored by me, and some
The actual concept was going to be something like "Tenacity (science)" which was going to explain that NASA researchers had discovered some unexplained and hard-to-causally-model (but extremely predictable) force which makes orbital rocketry more energy-expensive than "the calculations" would give you. Models would be proposed requiring, say, Kerr metric general relativity solutions to Earth's gravity (hence trying to determine whether the core of the Earth was actually a spinning black hole) or strange drag forces going like v^1.5 or v^3 or something. The joke was that the actual genesis of the phrase was a 2005 Homestar Runner cartoon where a character named Strong Bad is sitting in a foil-lines cardboard box pretending that he is involved in a space program. "Got to... escape... Earth's... tenacity..." he says as if straining under a heavy weight.
Someone is doing things very wrong then, because I've seen a lot of over-specialized but completely verifiable information get removed from Wikipedia. The reasoning was entirely based on noteworthiness.
You can see this on HN. Three of the top five links on HN right now are companies using their blogs to advertise on HN. As marketing on HN becomes important for startups the submission process stops being part of our defense for quality. Eventually we are democratically choosing our front page from submissions that bypassed our democracy, like an election in Hong Kong of presidential candidates selected by China, or a parody of democracy.
Pages without references get pruned pretty quickly.
In your scenario, you'd have to get published first, then put this fact in the appropriate page, then reference the published research.
Of course, some things fall through the cracks & editors of some pages are more vigilant than others.
(tried, but failed, to find the link just now.)
Essentially, the article on Roth's book The Human Stain (an excellent book by the way) cited a New York Times critic as saying that the main character may have been inspired by a particular person. Roth's agent attempted to remove this (Roth says that he was not inspired by this person). However, there was no published source that indicated that Roth felt this way, just Roth's agent's communication with Wikipedia volunteers. So Roth published an article in The New Yorker as a means of establishing a published source that could be used to refute the claim.
I think the ultimate resolution was to say something like "New York Times critic says Roth was inspired by... but Roth says..."
This is a case where both sides were partially right. It's perfectly encyclopedic to note that a major critic believes that an author was inspired by a particular person. However, there should have been a better mechanism for the author to establish his own version of the story.
But it gets into complicated areas. Should Wikipedia just take anything that an agent sends at face value? Isn't it possible that a person isn't the best source on biography (plenty of people have self-serving and inaccurate views on themselves). Wikipedia's general philosophy is to look at what reliable sources say and summarize them rather than trying to make judgements about who is right and wrong and I think the resolution of citing both sources and letting readers decide was reasonable.
Not for long, I would bet.
He is, after all, the only australian freelance journalist whose essay on how his own wikipedia page bypassed the wikipedia notability filters spurred on a debate on his own notability. The delicious (and unique) recursive meta here is, IMO, more than enough to keep the page.
Should not, right?
The wayback machine just captured it once, and that was after the deletion.
I hate articles about Wikipedia.
I've written mountains of highly regarded essays and articles, generally on the topics of mental illness - I have Bipolar-Type Schizoaffective Disorder - as well as software engineering.
My essay Living with Schizoaffective Disorder is on a reading list that the California State Department of Mental Health distributes to its county clinics.
(I write this as someone who has written a lot on my website for free and not published anything in a paid forum.)
Despite that, the simple fact that I choose to self-publish - or rather, refuse to permit dead-tree publication - is regarded as making me non-notable.
There are lots of wikipedia articles about dead-tree writers whose work is arguably far less notable than my own.
That substantially misrepresents the reasoning given in the deletion discussion: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion...
It wasn't that your work was self-published that made you non-notable, its that there wasn't substantial outside coverage in reliable secondary sources that would justify a biography.