[Foundation-l] Adding a comment section under every Wikipedia article

MZMcBride z at mzmcbride.com
Mon Jan 23 00:16:25 UTC 2012

Yao Ziyuan wrote:
> This merit is even more evident when the topic is very specialized,
> e.g. [[Phonological history of English low back vowels]]. I bet there
> isn't a forum on the Web dedicated to this very specialized topic, and
> even if there is one, it can be very hard to find it with Google
> (because it may use a slightly different term to describe this topic).
> However, if every Wikipedia article has a corresponding comment
> section (actually a forum), people with this special interest
> ("phonological history of English low back vowels") will know where to
> go to find each other, forming a "special interest group" (SIG).

I think it's an interesting idea for an outside group to take on. It'd be
trivial to re-use Wikimedia's content (page titles or page titles + page
text) to create a discussion forum for all kinds of neat articles. But given
the cost-benefit analysis for the Wikimedia Foundation getting involved, I
don't see it as a very good idea. Lots of costs (implementation and
development of the software, monitoring comments, page load increase, etc.)
and not many benefits (see below).

While I appreciate your optimistic view of comments on the Internet, I'm
generally of the view that the Web needs fewer comment sections, not more.
Has anyone ever found (for example) a YouTube comment insightful or useful?
Ever? Occasionally a news site with some kind of noise filter (up-votes or
the like) can produce an occasional comment that's not completely awful and
useless. Most comment sections are filled with vile language (if people are
paying viewing the content) or spam (if people aren't).

It's certainly a reasonable idea for a MediaWiki extension, if such an
extension doesn't exist already.


More information about the wikimedia-l mailing list