[Foundation-l] [EWW] Edit Wikipedia Week
moreschiwikiman at hotmail.co.uk
Tue Nov 20 17:49:15 UTC 2007
This vulgar monstrosity got my blood boiling. Who the hell thought this one up? Clearly, not someone who spends half their day fighting in the dirty, blood-bespattered trenches of the never-ending Wikipedia-wars.
Look, the plain fact is that we don't want more people adding their own junk to the English Wikipedia. Out of the 2 million articles there, under 5000 have got any sort of quality control tag attached to them (FA, GA), and even those often have very severe problems. 5000 out of 2 million? Is that anything to be proud of? The rest? God help us. Even ostensibly decent-looking articles simply fall apart when any sort of critical scrutiny is applied to them - the version of [[Johann Adolph Hasse]] copied over in whole from 1911 Britannica may have looked quite nice, but Christ only knows how many goddamned lies it contained until I rewrote the thing from scratch. Same with [[Gluck]], which I'm currently having to do exactly the same with. More seriously, poke around in the history of [[Russia]], a plausible-seeming piece of well-tuned nonsense, cobbled together from an ultra-nationalist viewpoint from online encyclopaedias and newspapers, that absolutely falls in on itself when even semi-expert eyes look at the beast. I could easily cite perhaps a couple of million - quite literally - more examples of decent-looking Wikipedia articles that are, in fact, absolute crap. Wikipedia, the encyclopaedia written by the rabble, isn't working. Hell, I haven't even got on to the user conduct problems - trying to maintain control over enwiki isn't a question of helping the encyclopaedia along, it's a question of riot control while dodging the shit flung at you from 3 sides. So what's the solution?
The solution we propose is to get more of the faex populi editing Wikipedia. Oh, please - this is so bad it's almost funny. Most people I know, who I would not trust with an encyclopaedia any more than I would trust Jack the Ripper with my adolescent sister, don't know you can edit WP so easily, despite using it daily. Thank heaven! Why let them in on the great secret? Why? Oh why? Hell, they're not even bad people - they'd just be hopelessly incompetent at writing an encyclopaedia. Let the racaille stick to real life - please don't let them near an encyclopaedia! We don't need more half-informed plebians copying 1911 (or worse, Catholic bile from 1913) in, or adding their own speculatory trivia, or propagating yet nationalist myths, or moronically repeating the latest pseudoscientific junk they heard from Mrs Jones at No.12 (why, how well did homeopathy work for her! Must be something in that, then, eh?). What we need, need so badly we're screaming for them, are people with time and access to decent sources, sources printed (hopefully), and printed by well-respected publishers. People are prepared to spend time painstakingly writing quality articles from the sources - not fools who merely rabidly repeat the latest malicious gossip off the intarwebz.
So, by all means, have your "Edit Wikipedia Week". I'll participate with unbelievable enthusiasm - but I'll be picking who I encourage to edit Wikipedia with incredible care and caution - and even then, you've still got the problem that the work of one honest man can so easily be trashed by two rogues (anyone remember stable versions - 'pon my word, I do declare I'd almost forgotten them. Stable versions seem to be rather like this year's audit - never finished). At a time when Wikipedia's reputation in academia is in the shitter - and to most noble people of quality, this is what really hurts - we invite more of the village idiots into the online city? The horror, the horror!
Odi profanum vulgus et arceo.
> Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2007 14:58:35 +0100
> From: christophe.henner at gmail.com
> To: foundation-l at lists.wikimedia.org
> Subject: [Foundation-l] [EWW] Edit Wikipedia Week
> Dear community,
> Few days ago a pretty neat idea was proposed, an idea which could
> involves all of the community members, all of you: the "Edit Wikipedia
> Week". That week will take place from December 3 to 8, 2007 and the
> concept is pretty simple: you, as a community member, will have the
> chance to spread the word about how to edit Wikipedia or learn how to
> work on one of the other sister projects. We want it to be a worldwide
> event, and why not, transforming it into an annual event.
> Everyone can be involved in helping to stage a bunch of "Edit
> Wikipedia Week" events during that week. The idea is to stage outreach
> events around the world designed to encourage people to participate in
> the projects.
> The events can be practically anything – big or small. It doesn't
> matter how simple they seem to be, everything counts. You can talk
> about the project at a local school; get yourself booked for a
> television appearance; have a chat for a local photography club about
> the advantages of contributing to Commons; organize a marathon weekend
> for translations; discuss the different uses of the WikiPolicies to a
> group of regular users you know in your place, recruit new people to
> help you launch a WikiProject, or even just teach your mom how to
> press a button, edit an article and save. Simple steps that will help
> the world to know just what are we doing here, and why are we doing
> it. Anything you think will improve the projects is valid: the idea is
> to reach out to people who don't edit, or have no idea what Wikipedia
> is, and encourage them to contribute on the project.
> Edit Wikipedia Week is intended to be an experiment. The premise is
> that anyone can organize an event for Edit Wikipedia Week, and it can
> take whatever form makes sense to them. You don't need a permission,
> it's a community event: feel free to just participate.
> There are no fixed rules, except the following:
> * Spread the word as you see it fit in your language community,
> local chapter, project, family etc.
> * Make sure to record the ideas that are developed in your
> community, local chapter, project, family etc, in order to share your
> experiences with all of us.
> * Start your own Edit Wikipedia week metapage in your own
> language, if you consider it useful to promote and monitor the ideas.
> Spread knowledge. Spread the Wiki love. :)
> Please translate this mail as much as you can, and spread it all
> around you. Your local mailing lists, your local village pump, your
> blog, etc...
> * See http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Edit_Wikipedia_Week for more informations
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