[WikiEN-l] deletionism in popular culture

Charles Matthews charles.r.matthews at ntlworld.com
Fri Oct 2 20:09:24 UTC 2009

Gwern Branwen wrote:

 >Charles Matthews wrote
>> Counterfactually, suppose you had a team of "universal" researchers you
>> could assign to work on articles. What relative weight would you give to
>> various types of work?  

> I realize it isn't one of your options, but if I really had such a 
> crack team? I'd dispatch them to AfD. 
Oh, but it was meant to be a sub-option of "(d) researching for articles 
where the initial submission was clearly under-researched". Because the 
discussion is meant to be about rescuable articles. And if the topic is 
just nonsense, you can't rescue it with refs. It seems clearly wrong to 
wait for the AfD nomination before upgrading, so this is the broad form 
of class of articles that we are thinking about here.
> All the other areas are ones where effort would be repaid with no 
> multipliers. In a way, if an article hasn't been created on an old 
> topic yet (your red links, your topic lists), then that alone shows it 
> isn't important. Likewise, if a longstanding article needs work, then 
> doesn't its longstandingness show that it isn't apparently all *that* 
> awful because someone would've fixed it up if it was so bad and they 
> cared about it? 
Tell me this isn't true. No, really, encyclopedias do not consist of 
"important" topics only. And in fact being comprehensive is our 
strongest suit anyway. (And don't tell me there are no important 
geographical articles we're missing, because that is definitely false.)

The article that gets of the order of a few thousand hits a year may not 
look like much to a traffic snob. The point I would like to make is that 
50,000 of those make up a huge total number of hits.
> Worse is Better. Nobody will think better of Wikipedia if some old 
> article gets a dozen references and some tags removed. But the editors 
> of an article *will* remember it if an angel swooped in and saved 
> their article and laid the groundwork for improvements.
Depends on your priorities. It being all about editors and not at all 
about readers is not what I believe, certainly.


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