[Foundation-l] [EWW] Edit Wikipedia Week

Marco Chiesa chiesa.marco at gmail.com
Tue Nov 20 18:14:07 UTC 2007

Christiano Moreschi ha scritto:
> 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?
Well, I guess apart from Jimbo and a bunch of people we all started 
editing Wikipedia because we heard about it somewhere.And I'm pretty 
sure quite a few of us would look back at our early edits and say "Uhm 
that was crap". And since, as you say, we have to deal with a lot of 
crap, maybe it's a good idea to have more manpower. Do you want to 
improve the entry about Gluck? Maybe it's a good idea to target some 
student of History of Music, or some music society. And if you look at 
the first edit of a random featured article, you have a good chance it 
was crap or maybe a very short stub. Target people you think are likely 
to make good contributions, and teach them how to edit, and we may end 
up with a better encyclopaedia. Scare people off, you'll get read of 
good contributors rather than vandals and trolls.


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