Feedback from New Editors

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No, please. That would destroy the whole point of its being a wiki and would definitively pinch off growth to a trickle. And illustrates fairly neatly the jump from "Vandals are a problem" to biting newcomers.

In addition, Wikipedia really needs to decide whether it wants continuing growth in number of articles, coverage of topics impacted by systemic bias, and for that matter expansion of placeholder 1-line stubs on things nobody has got around to yet - or whether it's more important to emulate Britannica and say "Can't have everything, quality is more important" and thereby lose unknown quantities of stuff none of the existing power editors knows about. I find the latter boring - that's why I edit.

Also, you're agreeing with my point about there being significant multi-ID use; which significantly messes up the stats.

I wish there were more here - and in other discussions - about the "Do we want new articles" issue. There's a widespread belief, not only among "deletionists", that the easy/needed/important articles have been written. That is simply not so. There are a staggering number of redlinks in medieval and renaissance history. Several Olympic medallists have fallen to the scythe of the recent unreferenced BLP deletion pushes, and looking at the NewPages page, I see specialists creating vast numbers of articles on older sports figures and figures in non-Olympic sports, so I know there are still gaps in our sports coverage. I know there are redlinks for older seasons in certain leagues and circuits. Despite the predictable problem of PR people creating articles on businesses, I know we are spotty on businesses, too, especially those that went out of business or were bought up more than a decade or two ago - in general, recentism is a big problem, but there are any number of reference works and other sources that make remedying it in such areas as sport and business not very hard. In addition, I find foreign-language Wikipedias a tremendous source of ideas for articles, and that goes double for the non-English Wikipedias, which started later. But it also goes for en., where our coverage of German and French companies is shockingly bad. (And not only companies. en.wikipedia has only 2 articles on stations on the Vienna U-Bahn.) Then there are all the landmark buildings in every country, all the pre-20th-century literary works ... redlinks abound. Also, new notable people and topics are emerging all the time. Not just news events, but tv and movie stars, technology products, styles of music . . . it would be easier if the newspapers weren't so determined to prevent us from seeing them online and using them for refs, but it really isn't that hard to see that we have only scratched the surface of the mineface here.

The projects seem at times to only pay lip service to the "It's about content" mantra. And I repeat, "content" does include expanding those placeholder stubs. They're an embarrassment.

Yngvadottir03:38, 15 March 2011

Actually, Yngvadottir, the "low-hanging fruit" metaphor works exactly well for the "medieval and renaissance history. Several Olympic medallists have fallen to the scythe of the recent unreferenced BLP deletion pushes". In order to write articles on these subjects, one cannot simply rely on Google searches or plundering an encyclopedia or two for material. One has to go to the library (you know, that building most towns have that is full of books & magazines), & do research. Doing that is hard -- sometimes harder than the writing -- often is unsuccessful, & until you learn enough about the subject is too often just wandering around in the darkness & hoping you don't fall into a ditch.

But the education system is supposed teach people how to do research, but apparently don't any more -- if they ever did. Anyone here under 25 living in the US even hear about the Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature? (Last time I asked for it in a library, the clerk wasn't even sure if it was even published.) Or has anyone been told that there are bibliographical tools for a variety of subjects, like arts & literature, & for history?

I doubt professors & teachers would be so hard on Wikipedia & its failings if they realized its being written by their own students, who are applying the exact skills they have learned. They could fix many of Wikipedia's errors before they were made if they taught the skills Wikipedia editors depend on -- but don't have.

Llywrch06:03, 15 March 2011

That's what we need. Articles on stations of the Viennese U-bahn?

TCO06:30, 15 March 2011

What is your point? I honestly can't tell if you are agreeing with me, disagreeing with me, or just finding an opportunity to make a joke.

Llywrch14:45, 15 March 2011
 

It's an example of something where there are a large number of articles missing. I could have given 2 more recondite examples from my areas of interest '-) In some of these areas, redlinks are there. In others, you see a list in unmarked text. I've also had the experience of writing an article and then when I click "What links here" I find there had been half a dozen redlinks that I hadn't known about.

My point is that the common argument that the encyclopedia is almost complete is codswallop based on a very blinkered and parochial view that doesn't even extend to looking at the actual encyclopedia to see redlinks. And I admit I don't even haunt the pages on members of governments, on the geography of Africa or Asia, on the hard sciences or on schools of philosophy.

There are also very real issues with the notability requirement and the deprecation of fringe beliefs bashing into the stated aim of reducing entrenched bias. I think the notability standards need revisiting, and I know that one thing that happens to the type of new editor who wants to create articles is that very often their topic is sneered at. But the idea that en.wikipedia already has articles on most of what is notable - an idea that I am seeing here is also being invoked on some other wikipedias - is just as much a canard as the one that new article creators always choose to write on worthless topics. Not interesting to you personally =/= not worthy of an encyclopedia article, and an encyclopedia should have articles on things that a reader knows little about or hasn't even heard of. That's what it's for, looking things up! It is not for testifying that something has been written about in a lot of other places.

Yngvadottir17:00, 15 March 2011