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

Yao Ziyuan yaoziyuan at gmail.com
Mon Jan 23 00:30:19 UTC 2012

On Mon, Jan 23, 2012 at 8:16 AM, MZMcBride <z at mzmcbride.com> wrote:
> 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).

That outside group could be Google (Google Groups in particular).

> 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.

Many MediaWiki extensions already do this. As said in my original message:

There are many MediaWiki extensions that can add a comment section to
every Wikipedia article. Just go to
http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension_Matrix/AllExtensions and
search for "comment" or "discussion".

> MZMcBride
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