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

GerardM gerard.meijssen at gmail.com
Mon Dec 17 11:25:00 UTC 2007

One of the moments when Wikipedia shines is when a major news item breaks. A
thing where the news is the instigator and where the background articles of
Wikipedia make the difference. Good examples were the tsunami, the death of
the old, and the coronation of the new pope among others. They resulted in a
massive amount of traffic for the Wikipedias. This is exactly where
Wikipedia makes a difference, it is also what our "colleagues" cannot do.

There are philosophical reasons to exclude news material from Wikipedia, but
doing so is clearly detrimental to Wikipedia. Wikinews does not have the
exposure that Wikipedia has. It will not get people searching for
newsupdates as it happens on Wikipedia. Wikinews has policies that are
unknown and unfamiliar to Wikipedians.  In a perfect world the news would be
in Wikinews, animals and plants in Wikispecies ... but that is not the
reality of things in reality you find them in Wikipedia as well.


On Dec 17, 2007 12:03 PM, Brian McNeil <brian.mcneil at wikinewsie.org> wrote:

> 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
> historical.
> 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
> input.
> Brian McNeil
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