[Foundation-l] Is popularity a good thing for us?

Brian McNeil brian.mcneil at wikinewsie.org
Mon Dec 17 11:03:19 UTC 2007

Thomas Dalton wrote:

>It's an excellent point. I thought about it a few months ago and
>considered proposing a new policy banning anything under a week old
>from being included in Wikipedia articles (actually, it was a little
>more complicated than that, but that's the gist of it). It would help
>Wikinews, and would also reduce the number of articles which are a
>succession of "As June 2006 ..." paragraphs. Current events are not
>encyclopaedic and it's impossible to write a good encyclopaedia
>article as soon as something happens, since all the required sources
>haven't been written yet (you have a handful of newspaper articles
>which you can simply rewrite and that's it). I ended up not proposing
>it because I didn't think I was enthusiastic enough about it to
>survive the torture of trying to get it approved. Anyone think it's
>worth a shot?

First off, this sounds like an excellent idea for all language variants of
Wikipedia to consider and perhaps adopt. Obvious exceptions would be things
like deaths where you don't wait to put the appropriate date in the
Wikipedia article - but you don't turn it into an obituary either. You do
the obit. on Wikinews, and *you can prepare that in advance* on Wikinews.
[This may sound gruesome, but in reality someone could start a prepared
story for Terry Pratchett's obit today as he's announced he has early-onset
Alzheimer's. The media reports and quotes from the man made today will be
relevant to the final article when he does pass on.]

Scaling back to something less ambitious would be linking directly from the
Wikipedia main page's in the news section to appropriate Wikinews articles.
At the moment, at least on en., Wikinews has one link in the in the news
section which leads to the main page. This simple step might encourage more
Wikipedians to dip their toe in the Wikinews waters and see that it can be a
little different contributing on a sister project, perhaps even what some
may have experienced when Wikipedia was much smaller and there was more
uncharted territory to explore.

I'd be delighted to see anything done that raises the profile of Wikinews on
Wikipedia and encourages people to try another project. A
Wikipedian-specific introduction would be a start as citation methods differ
and there needs to be a big warning that everything published appears on the
main page (this may change if we're getting 50 articles a day). So, if you
want to progress on this my first suggestion is to find some victims, er...
Wikipedians :) who can be persuaded to give Wikinews a shot. Then a
structure and set of messages can be developed to make it easier for
Wikipedians to transition to writing news and later incorporating it into
Wikipedia when things have calmed down and the event can be considered

If you raise anything on Wikipedia about this, please let at least myself
know - or bring it up on the Wikinews-l list. I'd like to encourage some of
our editors who are more frequent Wikipedia editors than myself to give

Brian McNeil

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