Hi! I am an occasional editor of Wikipedia, I read it a lot, I edit sometimes, and I am at all not familiar with bureaucracies and rules Wikipedia community has developed through years (call me lazy, but they simply always look too scary and too many for me to even start reading them, walls and walls of text). When I interact with Wikipedia I thus try to assume what reasonable rules for creating a collaborative source of all human knowledge would be.
As such I would like to share one positive feedback and one negative feedback (frustration). The latter comes from my surprise between what I would assume rules would be and what I have experienced. I am sharing this to help prevent similar frustrations to other editors who maybe be less persistent than me and just give up. I am also guessing this has come up again and again in the past. Anyway. First the positive feedback. I love the visual editor! I finally switched to it and I am not going back! This is a life saver for somebody who just occasionally edits Wikipedia. No need to anymore guess if I should use single [ ] or double [[ ]]. No need to try to remember the syntax for references every time when I am editing Wikipedia after few months pause. Great job! But the negative feedback comes from me getting too enthusiastic about my new visual editor experience and I decided to create some my own new articles instead of just editing existing ones. The result was that one of such articles was speedily deleted without any due process, because it was deemed insignificant, no discussion, in a day. The whole notion of insignificant and not notable articles comes to me as a surprise. It seems to me as a legacy of printed encyclopedias which were limited in number of pages printed. But an online encyclopedia? How is this possible? Why I have problems with this: I created an English article which is significant at least for people in Slovenia, with references to local news articles. How can other editors who might not know the subject, and are not from Slovenia, decide that this is not significant and just delete a page, without even starting a discussion? I commented on the talk page citing reasons and it was simply ignored, and everything deleted? Why is not enough to put a notice there to improve the article? Allow others to add content, explain more, give their input? So, a general question is: how can we build a global encyclopedia with editors who does not understand significance of a particular article in a local environment? Why are articles simply deleted instead of guiding users on how to improve them? Why there is no process involved where interested people could discuss why is something significant? A voting process where people could say "oh, I care about this"? Furthermore, everything happened in a day. There are timezones involved, some of us have to do other things in our lives. Are you sure that such short deadlines really foster global community? If this is something which is regularly done at Wikipedia, I think that this is coming from a big position of privilege. Of editors who can be in front of their computers the whole day and engage in editing the Wikipedia all the time. Not everyone can afford that. Especially looking at this globally. One day notice? This is crazy. But my main issue is conceptual. Why is there such a rule in the first place? Why are we deleting anything except for things which are not true? Is Internet too small to have all human knowledge in one place? Why it is a problem if some Wikipedia article is cared by "only" 100 people? 1000 people? Will it run out of disk space? I think this comes from the reason that we are trying to copy what is encyclopedia too much without adapting the idea to the 21st century. It is like academic papers which had selection because it was costly to print it, but in 21st century we can have then academic journals which simply accept all submissions, only that they are technically sound (in case of Wikipedia, that they have structure of an encyclopedia article, with all other rules about the content of the article, and references). See Plos One: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PLOS_ONE This revolutionized academia. And I think Wikipedia should do a similar thing. One reason I found is that the issue why deleting articles is that there is a limited attention of editors. If there are too many articles editors would not be able to maintain good quality for all of them. I cannot agree with this argument. This is the most short-sighted argument ever. First, all articles start by being low quality and then they improve. Second, by allowing new articles to exist, you are also getting new editors who care about those new articles. The article I created? Guess what, you would have at least one editor (me) who would care about it. Now you have 0.5 editor less (me) who cares about anything else less now. This is a feedback loop. More content you allow, more editors you will have. Invite people to write about fiction they love, local spaces, local events, everything. If it is true, if it has a form of an encyclopedia article, why it could not exist? We could create special tags instead deletion or a warning at the top of the article: "Warning: article has a small readerbase and might lack in quality. Be extra wary of potential untruths and errors in the article." Done. Wikipedia grows, Wikipedia is happy, and new editors do not get frustrated. So simple. Yes, people will say. But we are building encyclopedia. Encyclopedia has to have only notable entries. Yes. In 20st century and before. Maybe it is time we reinvent encyclopedia? And maybe we are doing more than just encyclopedia, but "a collaborative source of all human knowledge", in a form of encyclopedia. I just hope this rule does not exist only so that Wikia has a business model. You remove pages from Wikipedia so that people have to go to Wikia. Why? Why introducing artificial scarcity? Without such rules to back them up, trigger happy editors would not be deleting articles. Instead, editors like me would have time and opportunity to improve them, and articles might through time be proven significant because people would stumble upon them and you would see stats of readerbase. Now, nobody can know how many readers are in fact searching for that article on Google but cannot find it. I know it is impossible to change anything in how Wikipedia operates. It is just too big and has too big momentum in a way it is already doing things. But please please consider changing this rules. No need for deletion. Just mark them. Grey them out. Let's have another state between "existing" and "non-existing". Like "articles in limbo". They are not part of encyclopedia, but they are part of human knowledge. We are unsure about them. Thanks for your attention, to those who managed to read through my long rant. Sorry. Mitar -- http://mitar.tnode.com/ https://twitter.com/mitar_m _______________________________________________ Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines New messages to: Wikimediafirstname.lastname@example.org Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:wikimedia-l-requ...@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>