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

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.



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