[Foundation-l] Cross-wiki articles

Robert Rohde rarohde at gmail.com
Sat May 2 23:51:48 UTC 2009

On Sat, May 2, 2009 at 11:09 AM, Yoni Weiden <yonidebest at gmail.com> wrote:
> The question is - shouldn't there be one set of standards for all
> Wikipedias? I think it is "unfair" that I can read about Simpsons episodes
> in the English Wikipedia, while those how speak Hebrew cannot.

The German Wikipedia has always had much tighter inclusion criteria
than English.  While English is open to having an article on every
Pokemon, every episode of the Simpsons, and lots of other pop culture,
German has defined inclusion criteria that are much more like a
traditional encyclopedia in scope.  As a result, they have
significantly fewer topics.

Andrew Lih, author the Wikipedia Revolution, pointed out a consequence
of this that I had never appreciated.  Because German is much more
"encyclopedic" in scope and appearance, they also get taken more
seriously and are seen as more reliable.  (Flagged revisions and other
tighter editorial controls also help.)  As a result they have an
easier time approaching governments and others for assistance, such as
arranging image donations.

Historically, I've always felt more was generally better, but this
helped me realize there can also be advantages to choosing to focus on

Back to the original question, given that there do exist substantial
differences in inclusion criteria even amongst the largest projects,
any attempt to standardize at this point would be massively disruptive
to someone, and so it is probably not a good idea.

-Robert Rohde

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