Proposal:Create Scientific, Popular and Hobby encyclopedia levels

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Every proposal should be tied to one of the strategic priorities below.

Edit this page to help identify the priorities related to this proposal!

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

Art Unbound 20:05, 28 August 2009 (UTC)


Split the encyclopedia immediately at the highest level, the homepage. Show both readers and users the way they want to go from the beginning. One road goes to the scientific, state-of-the-art encyclopedia, one goes to popular science and one goes to hobbies. Categorize through the same three channels. The fourth channel will be participation and contact.


This encyclopedia is about everything, now show both readers and users that they can choose their way through the labyrinth. If they want knowledge about their films, their favourite books or diners, make them follow the yellow brick road. If they want to learn about local history, archeology, animal species, languages, the global climate in a fairly open way, enough to open their horizon, let them follow the green road. If they want to get specialized information - or write such - they go the red road. And if they're looking for information about this organization, their road will be blue.


My view is, that we cannot maintain 3 million articles all in the same way. Or 1 million in German or 550,000 in Dutch. We're going to have quality discussions that we can't resolve, and ultimately we're going to see that cherished encyclopedia crumble.

I also think that to maintain this encyclopedia, we'll have to think about new ways to present it. The Reader's Digest is definitely out. We must renew our presentation to stay in the picture.

If you grasp the main idea, please join the discussion page. This is not about peer review or the Sanger-Wales controversy. It is about presentation in the first place, readability and controllability in the next place. We want every volunteer to find the spot they want and we want every reader to find the subject they want. Next, we want a presentation that fits readers and comforts users. The idea is to make this a three-way encyclopedia with a fitting presentation.

Key Questions

The key question is definitely going to be: how to split those 3 million articles into three main roads. My answer is: it will work out during the action. Many categories can simply be replaced as a whole and many new articles will be obvious finds.

The idea is pretty revolutionary. I'm asking you: think out of the box. Make this encyclopedia truly an everyman's property.

Potential Costs

The proposal might take a huge amount of volunteer energy. At the maximum, the entire building of categorization would have to be reworked. I don't think it will come to that. The idea is to place one categorization level on top of the existing structure, stemming from the home page. From there, you would go the encyclopedia road that you like.

At the same time, there is a nice challenge for designers and developers. You will have to find a way to that yellow, green, red and blue road and blend them into the existing structure.


These proposals obviously contain some parts of my proposal:

However, I don't think they have the reach the this proposal has. You might also compare the following proposals concerned with peer review:

Possibly, the following proposals have the same thinking-out-of-the-box quality:

Please read the discussion pages for reasons why this proposal differs from those named before. The intention of this proposal is not to go back to a professional or peer review level.

Community Discussion

Do you have a thought about this proposal? A suggestion? Discuss this proposal by going to Proposal talk:Create Scientific, Popular and Hobby encyclopedia levels.

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