[WikiEN-l] Rootology's new site

Mark Gallagher m.g.gallagher at student.canberra.edu.au
Wed Jul 4 10:24:03 UTC 2007

G'day Michael,

> The place to discuss problems is within the project. Creating new sites that
> back-stab (ok I agree there is a way to debate on that site) is just boring.

That strikes me as a bit simplistic, for two reasons:

   1) People will want to discuss Wikipedia without actually hopping into
      the project.  There's nothing wrong with that.

   2) Many of the people who want to highlight problems with Wikipedia
      cannot do so within the project, because they've been banned, or
      for one reason or another they aren't taken seriously any longer.

At present the majority of external criticism of Wikipedia is rather, 
well, *crap*, because it's in the press and the journo didn't bother to 
come to grips with what's going on before submitting his story ("You can 
hack Wikipedia!  Think of the children!"), or because it's written by 
someone who was quite deservedly banned for being a Dick.

I've yet to see someone banned for being a Dick who was not, in fact, a 
Dick.  This, obviously, causes some problems for the Dick and his 
followers, who find they can't do anything to get us to pay attention to 
their legitimate gripes (I'm pretending for the sake of argument that 
Rootology has a legitimate gripe).  It's getting so that even extreme 
measures, like dressing in drag and changing your name to Cassandra, is 
not enough to get people to listen to what you have to say.  In such a 
case, setting up a site somewhere for people to come chat about 
Wikipedia and maybe even come up with solutions from outside --- since 
you can't get arrested inside --- could be seen as a Good Thing.

In practice, of course, a group of Dicks complaining that Wikipedia is 
unfair to Dicks doesn't amount to much.  But in theory ... it's 
beautiful.  Can you see it?  It's full of stars!

> And despite all its good intentions the talk pages are meant to provoke.

The talk pages of WikiAbuse?

> Leave the project and slag it off, it doesn't help anybody, it just shows
> the conceit some ppl have for their own opinion. Will they have sysops, i
> seriously doubt it.

Some people leave the project and slag it off because they're Dicks, or 
because they have mental problems.  Others have legitimate gripes and 
can't get a hearing on Wikipedia (in theory; I haven't seen it in 
practice, but I know my fellow editors enough to know it's very probable 
that it has happened and will happen again).  Others just like being 
cruel for no good reason, and see Wikipedia as a target just as juicy as 
goth girls or LiveJournal freaks or bad spellers or furries.  I don't 
see the utility of saying "don't slag us off" to the people who mock us 
for saying things like that.

As for: will WikiAbuse have sysops?  If the project grows as much as I 
assume Joe wants it to, it will almost certainly attract sysops, for the 
same reason Wikipedia did.

(A minor stylistic point.  Please don't say "ppl" or anything like that 
on the mailing list.  That's all right for IM or IRC or politics, where 
you try to say as much as possible as quickly as possible in the hopes 
that some of it will somehow impress, but on the list we like to adopt a 
more steady, sedate, dignified pace, and to make fun of people who spell 
as if they've spent too much time involved with IM or IRC or politics).


Mark Gallagher
"'Yes, sir,' said Jeeves in a low, cold voice, as if he had been bitten 
in the leg by a personal friend."
- P G Wodehouse, /Carry On, Jeeves/

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