Proposal:Apply levels of importance

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  1. Achieve continued growth in readership
  2. Focus on quality content
  3. Increase Participation
  4. Stabilize and improve the infrastructure
  5. Encourage Innovation

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Wikipedia has a lot of very valuable and significant information. Much of it is relevant to a large portion of the world's population, or to the advancement of human knowledge. But a lot of it isn't.


wikipedians once used to say: "all articles must get featured". Wiki-projects had a better idea: the importance of all articles should be estimated, and more important ones should get featured. "stub to featured" rating is now being done for all articles. but importance rating is only done by the wikiprojects. now it must be done by the wikipedia, and not the projects.

Objectivity can become more difficult of course, but Wikipedia itself is proof that in most cases it can be applied in a practical manner.

what is importance rating?

very significant articles would have a rank of 1. For example an article on World War II, or an article on Albert Einstein. Less significant ones would then be ranked, 2, 3, 4, ... Either 5 or perhaps 10 levels should suffice. For a 1 to 5 ranking the number of articles in each rank is likely to vary exponentially. For example...

  • Rank 1: 0.1%
  • Rank 2: 0.7%
  • Rank 3: 3.2%
  • Rank 4: 16%
  • Rank 5: 80%

Initially all article would be unranked, but over time most articles would find their appropriate place. It may even be possible to generate an initial ranking based on hits.

Article ranking could then be used as a criteria in search and also for generating random pages.

Guidelines would need to be very clear on what is significant. An Euro-American-centric world view should not dominate. But once again Wikipedia already proves that this can work, as it gives previously unseen recognition to the significant contribution of for example, Arab and Asian philosophers, mathematicians, and scientists.


There was a time when selecting Random Page would bring up an interesting article most of the time. Whilst the number of articles continues to increase, the overall quality and significance of articles has declined. Random Pages now are often of very limited interest and likely to be little more than stubs.

As a demonstration here are the first few articles given in a quick random sample, along with a proposed rank (based on 1..5) ...

  • Khoutsiri is a town in the Kalahari desert of western Botswana (stub - 5)
  • Lisa Sheridan (born 5 December 1974) in Macon, Georgia, is an American actress... (4)
  • René Wheeler (February 8, 1912 - December 11 - 2000) was a French screenwriter... (stub - 5)
  • Robert Marcato (born 21 November 1983) was a cast member... (4)
  • Software tools for molecular microscopy (redirect - 5)
  • USS Evans (list - 5)
  • Lufia: The Legend Returns (4)
  • Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception (list - 5)
  • Braojos is a municipality of the Community of Madrid, Spain. (stub - 5)
  • Bear Creek, Pennsylvania (disambig - 5)
  • 1989 Super Bowl of Poker (4)
  • 36th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment (stub - 5)


It took 64 random pages before an article worthy of a 3 was found (Battle of Cyzicus).

Key Questions

Can a communal objectivity be established?

Potential Costs

Development requirements should be minimal, under 3 staff months. Initial rank could be established from hit counts, and then adjusted by contributors.


Community Discussion

Do you have a thought about this proposal? A suggestion? Discuss this proposal by going to Proposal Talk:Apply levels of importance.

Want to work on this proposal?

  1. Vibhijain 14:53, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
  2. .. Sign your name here!