I know people in many fields with great technical expertise. people who 
published articles on Science and Nature basically, and in the end I think they 
are probably qualified to have an idea of what a good encyclopedia should be. 
The point is that these people open wiki for topics far away from their area, 
most of the time they look also for "pop" topics. Finding pop culture is what 
makes them stay and grow interest as much as everything else. It's when they 
find a deleted ye useful page of something of interest for some internal reason 
they think wikipedia it's not worth spending time on. 

Based on that experience, in all the discussions when people who claim that 
this focus on such pop information lower our image or damage our workflow, I 
always question where these opinions come from and if they are peer-reviewed. I 
am a scientist, I look at data. it has been years people are claiming the 
"popmaggedon" of wikipedia is soon, and in the meantime its overall quality on 
very specific topic is still increasing.

A balanced encyclopedia comes from trying to fill the gaps, all information are 
useful in that direction. As long as someone else is studying missing links, 
pages existing in other languages, encouraging what editors want and so on, 
your idea is just part of patchwork. I cannot peer-review such statement, but 
at least i can tell you it is said by someone who never edited a "pop" article 
in all his wikipedia life and manage projects of outreach in organic chemistry 
or biophysics, to name the last ones. So I hope that it gives a hint that is 
probably fine.
Go on and explore.



    Il lunedì 11 marzo 2019, 10:08:23 CET, Vi to <vituzzu.w...@gmail.com> ha 
scritto:  
 
 That's an unstable process on a long-term, with popular topics
cannibalizing resources. Top read articles are already about two or three
sports, some TV series and three or four music topics.
These are also the most popular topics among editors but if you'll start
focusing energies on these already popular topics you'll end up having no
resources to be spent on "female combatants during Russian civil war",
"near to extinction languages in Brazil", "computational chemestry in late
XX century".

The way we self-identify as a project  deeply affects our results:
promoting the idea of Wikipedia as "the pop encyclopedia" (instead of "the
free encyclopedia embedding pop topics") will weaken our commitment to
diversity and quality.

Also, topic popularity is mutable on a daily basis and it's driven by a
very narrow number of media (basically Google/YouTube and Facebook) which
will gain a complete influence over us.

To me the mission of an encyclopedia is providing the *knowledge* (not
*information*) which is worth collecting and preserving. The information
people need/want is likely to be a subset of this.

If Wikipedia is also an educational medium we should find a way to ask the
ordes of people looking for new mr. Trump's bizarreness "hey, do you know
the background of India-Pakistan conflicts?"

Vito

Il giorno lun 11 mar 2019 alle ore 06:19 David Goodman <dgge...@gmail.com>
ha scritto:

> The idea of an encyclopedia is to provide the information people need or
> want  that's appropriate to the format. It would be useful to see what they
> want that is appropriate but we do not have -- and also useful to see what
> they look for that isn't appropriate for us. Within what's appropriate, I
> see no reason why selection of topics should not be driven by reader
> interests as much as by editor interests. Our purpose is not to practice
> our writing skills for our own benefit.
>
> On Sun, Mar 10, 2019 at 6:58 PM Vi to <vituzzu.w...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > The idea of a popularity-driven encyclopaedia scares 😱
> >
> > Vito
> >
> > Il giorno dom 10 mar 2019 alle ore 22:26 Gerard Meijssen <
> > gerard.meijs...@gmail.com> ha scritto:
> >
> > > Hoi,
> > > I have been thinking about it.. There is a place for research but
> really
> > > why can we not have the data that allows us to seek out what people are
> > > actually looking for and do not find.. Why can we not promote what
> proves
> > > to be of interest [1] ?
> > > Thanks,
> > >      GerardM
> > >
> > > [1]
> > >
> > >
> >
> https://ultimategerardm.blogspot.com/2019/03/a-marketing-approach-to-what-it-is-that.html
> > >
> > > On Wed, 6 Mar 2019 at 22:13, Leila Zia <le...@wikimedia.org> wrote:
> > >
> > > > Hi all,
> > > >
> > > > As I mentioned in an earlier thread [1], we will be running reader
> > > > surveys across a number of Wikipedia languages to learn about the
> > > > reader needs and motivations in these languages as well as some of
> > > > their demographic information (and perhaps the correlations between
> > > > demographics and user motivations and characteristics).
> > > >
> > > > If your language community is interested to have statistics on the
> > > > distribution of reader gender, age, education, native language, and
> > > > geographic region (rural/urban) in your language (and depending on
> how
> > > > much data we collect in your language, perhaps more insights), this
> is
> > > > your chance to indicate interest at:
> > > >
> > > >
> > >
> >
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Research_talk:Characterizing_Wikipedia_Reader_Behaviour/Demographics_and_Wikipedia_use_cases#Interested_languages
> > > >
> > > > I initially communicated 2019-02-15 as the deadline to sign up. Since
> > > > then, we have run a pilot test on enwiki and we are investigating
> some
> > > > of the results to see if any changes in the survey questions are
> > > > needed. You have now time until 2019-03-15 to indicate interest.
> > > >
> > > > As always: this call is primarily a service to your language
> > > > community. If you like it, take action on it. If you don't, no action
> > > > is needed. :)
> > > >
> > > > Best,
> > > > Leila
> > > >
> > > > [1]
> > > >
> > >
> >
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2019-February/091762.html
> > > >
> > > > _______________________________________________
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>
> --
> David Goodman
>
> DGG at the enWP
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:DGG
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:DGG
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