Feedback from New Editors

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