[Foundation-l] [Wikipedia-l] school articles : enough

David Monniaux David.Monniaux at free.fr
Thu Jan 25 12:17:38 UTC 2007

Lars Aronsson a écrit :
> In any written text (see [[en:Zipf's law]]), of all the words used 
> (the vocabulary), about half of them will occurr only once.  If 
> the same mathematical distribution is applicable to topics in an 
> encyclopedia, about half of all articles in Wikipedia are at the 
> very thinnest end of the tail.  If we were to use visitor 
> statistics to cut away the least notable topics, we could easily 
> cut away half of our stock.  And that's hardly what we want.
> So is there any other math we could do here?
Perhaps a notion of service:

A Wikipedia article is interesting if it offers a service supplemental
to what is available, say, from the subject's official site. If the
article is just a copy of the information in the official site, with
unprovable anecdotes thrown in, then it does not offer a service.

Also, with respect to schools, the thing is that Wikipedia is not a
directory. It does not aim to index every company, individual etc. in
the world. So we have to resort to measurements of what makes somebody
or some institution "special".

*Some* highschools are special. Some have inordinate numbers of alumni
going into high positions. Some frequently appear in the press, in
novels, etc. Some have exceptional characteristics. These should have

But there's no reason we should have an article on my neighbouring
highschool, unless we also want articles on every company or organization...

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