[WikiEN-l] My favorite Wikipedia article ever

John Lee johnleemk at gmail.com
Sun Jul 8 10:06:32 UTC 2007

On 7/8/07, Ian Woollard <ian.woollard at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 07/07/07, Rob <gamaliel8 at gmail.com> wrote:
> > On 7/7/07, Bryan Derksen <bryan.derksen at shaw.ca> wrote:
> > > One of my old favorites is up for deletion right now, for the fourth
> > > time, and looks likely to go the way of the dodo this time around.
> > > <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optimus_Prime_%28person%29>. Just in
> time
> > > for the release of the new Transformers movie, too.
> > >
> > > It was heavily referenced, non-controversial, and a fun little piece
> of
> > > trivia. I really don't understand why some editors feel the need to
> get
> > > rid of such stuff. There are days that Wikipedia makes me depressed.
> >
> > Why can't it be heavily referenced, non-controversial, fun little
> > piece of trivia in the article for the character?  Why do we need an
> > article just for him or for every fun little piece of trivia someone
> > comes across?
> Trivia is by definition... trivial. Do we want a trivial encyclopedia?
> I would say not.
> You can imagine information like a web, with connections between
> pieces of information. In this case the web only connects to Optimus
> Prime, the toy so it's sort of like a dead end in terms of the
> connections; because the person probably isn't otherwise notable. I
> could understand if it was in the Optimus Prime article, but even then
> it's still essentially trivia.
> I think we mostly want an encyclopaedia with articles with lots of
> connections between things; something that is fairly cut-off like this
> is probably not notable.

Absolutely. I think that those who argue anything backed by reliable sources
ought to be kept have forgotten that an encyclopaedia has a specific
purpose, and that Wikipedia is not the only project which can accept this
information. If you look at things from a macro perspective, what project is
best placed to house a particular article? In the case of Optimus Prime, I
think the best place is Wikinews, because this person is known mainly for
changing his name to Optimus Prime - something widely reported by news
outlets, but almost certain to be nothing more than a footnote in proper
secondary sources such as books. We need to be more willing to embrace the
perspective that Wikimedia projects are for housing information, but that
different projects are meant for different types of information.

Having said that, we need to improve the transwiki process. It has not
changed at all since I became an admin over three years ago, and it has
always been one of the most tedious parts of closing AfDs. (I remember the
time I had to transwiki a gallery of images to Commons/Wikibooks...it was


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