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

GerardM gerard.meijssen at gmail.com
Mon Dec 17 19:23:01 UTC 2007

Ok lets be blunt... you said it "Wikipedia coverage is better". This is the
proof of the pudding. People flock to Wikipedia to learn about news. People
read Wikipedia to get background information to the news, sex and sports
(this in no particular order). Wikipedia is not good at sex; boring
encyclopaedic, for sport you will find articles that are great if you want
background to sports. However for news it shines. You get one article for a
news event and it tells the whole story. GREAT.

This is not what Wikinews does. That is fine. But when you suggest that
Wikipedia should not do news, to me that is you being silly. It does do news
and it does do news in a way Wikinews does apparently  not do it. Wikinews
does news in the traditional way. That is fine. Wikinews was created because
people suggested that there should be a project about news. That is fine.
But in marked difference to Wiktionary, the project was not created because
Wikipedia did not want to do news any more. So when you whine that these
evil people at Wikipedia do not understand the difference between a news
source and an encyclopaedic source, in my opinion you have fallen in the
trap of not understanding what Wikipedia does and. What you need to do is to
carve out a niche for Wikinews. In my opinion this is happening because
Wikinews does things that Wikipedia does not do. (a good example .. the
Reggie Bibbs feature).

What you Wikinewsies should do is not compete with Wikipedia as a news
source but make Wikinews relevant in its own right; complement Wikipedia.
When you get sufficient cloud and make Wikipedia less relevant as a news
source GREAT. But you have to earn it.

In the mean time you do not impress me when you insist on Wikipedia not
doing the one thing they do superbly.



On Dec 17, 2007 7:18 PM, Brian McNeil <brian.mcneil at wikinewsie.org> wrote:

> -----Original Message-----
> From: foundation-l-bounces at lists.wikimedia.org
> [mailto:foundation-l-bounces at lists.wikimedia.org] On Behalf Of Robert
> Rohde
> Sent: 17 December 2007 18:43
> To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List
> Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Is popularity a good thing for us?
> On Dec 17, 2007 8:53 AM, Thomas Dalton <thomas.dalton at gmail.com> wrote:
> > On 17/12/2007, GerardM <gerard.meijssen at gmail.com> wrote:
> > > Hoi,
> > > This is an argument that points in two directions. If you know
> anything
> > > about me, you know that you arguing my typical case. :) You are
> battling
> > a
> > > turf war, is it Wikinews or Wikipedia that can do news. You want to
> take
> > > away from  Wikipedia something that Wikipedia excells in. So make them
> > an
> > > offer that they cannot refuse.
> >
> > Why should Wikinews have to give Wikipedia something in return for the
> > news articles? We should be working together here, not competing...
> >
> >
> At the risk of being blunt, I believe Wikipedia coverage of current events
> is often intrinsically superior to Wikinews.  This is a side effect of the
> fact that Wikinews "publishes" and locks articles, so Wikinews often lacks
> comprehensive coverage of news events which unfold over several days.  In
> the best cases there is a series of overlapping articles, but Wikipedia
> provides a single, comprehensive article that I often find much more
> useful
> in understanding current events.
> Not to mention that I've seen Wikinewsies fight to protect "published"
> material that contained serious material errors or lacked meaningful
> objectivity.  The publish and protect process at Wikinews eliminates one
> of
> the best aspects of the wiki in my opinion.
> I have no objection to Wikinews doing what it is doing as long as it does
> not interfere with other projects.  However, if it were presented as a
> choice of either Wikinews covers current events OR Wikipedia covers
> current
> events, then I would happily eliminate Wikinews entirely rather than
> remove
> current events from Wikipedia.  So, you can take that as a very strong
> statement that I am opposed to removing current events from Wikipedia (as
> some in this thread suggested).  Much better that we keep doing as we are
> now and try for a happy coexistence.
> ----
> I will be blunt, no risk about it. Wikipedia coverage is better because of
> people having the attitude you exhibit here and saying "Why have sister
> projects"?
> Wikipedia is not, and should not attempt to be, a news source. If you
> can't
> accept that news coverage is incomplete and *not encyclopaedic* then you
> don't understand the differences between the projects.
> I don't want to get dragged into a prolonged flame war on the subject, but
> I
> agree wholeheartedly with the philosophy that Wikipedia should not try to
> act as a news source.
> Someone dies? The facts (date/time/cause) go on Wikipedia. The obit goes
> on
> Wikinews.
> Some politician is embroiled in a scandal? Wikipedia should not speculate
> but defer coverage until closer to consensus.
> If these two examples seem unreasonable, then I think people are viewing
> Wikipedia as the be-all-and-end-all of online references and, whether they
> mean to or not, disparaging the efforts of Wikinews contributors who -
> from
> my experience - often set themselves near-unreachable goals of
> impartiality.
> As an aside, I am disgusted that Wikinews can interview figures such as Al
> Sharpton and be dismissed by Wikimedians who could use the sister
> project's
> original reporting as a source.
> Brian McNeil
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