David Monniaux wrote:
But there's no reason we should have an article on
highschool, unless we also want articles on every company or organization...
However, this "unless" is problematic. A printed encyclopedia in
20 volumes can only contain so many articles, and has to cut off
the long tail. Wikipedia is far bigger and steadily growing.
Small towns with 25,000 inhabitants in Sweden would never have an
article in Encyclopaedia Britannica, but now have articles in the
English Wikipedia, and everybody seem to agree that they *are*
sufficiently notable. So where is the limit drawn? Should the
three schools in that town also have articles? Maybe the answer
is: Not now, when Wikipedia only has 1.6 million articles, because
these schools are not among the 1.6 million most notable objects
in this world. But in five years time, when Wikipedia has 20
million articles, this might be different.
Maybe if the article is added now, and in five years time it is
still one of the least used ones, ranking not 1.6M but 20M, then
we know that now was not the right time to add this article? In
that case, notability is not a property of the topic itself, but
an issue in which order to add articles to Wikipedia. But it is
difficult to assess today if a topic has rank 20M when Wikipedia
only has 1.6M articles.
Can we compute a rank of how much each article is used now, and
relate this to how many articles existed at the time when each
article was created? Then we would know how premature the
addition of each article was.
Again, my position is not that of judging what should be included
now. I'm only trying to understand the math behind this.
Lars Aronsson (lars(a)aronsson.se)
Aronsson Datateknik - http://aronsson.se