[Wikimedia-l] crazy deletionists!

Thomas Morton morton.thomas at googlemail.com
Tue Jul 3 13:56:05 UTC 2012

On 3 July 2012 14:49, Svip <svippy at gmail.com> wrote:

> On 3 July 2012 15:35, Tarc Meridian <tarc at hotmail.com> wrote:
> > Same for some politicians, such as every Thanksgiving some poor
> > sod gets to stand outside the White House gate and breathlessly
> > report what is on the President's table, or at XMas the reports of
> > what the First Family bought each other.  Reliably sourced?  Yes.
> > Encyclopedic worthiness of "White House Thanksgiving 2009
> > Dinner Table" ?  None at all.
> Is it not about time that we stop calling Wikipedia an encyclopaedia,
> because it is really not?  One might argue that Wikipedia has changed
> the definition of what an encyclopaedia is,

I prefer the latter; because it sets the distinction of being a work of

Really, Wikipedia hasn't redefined "encyclopaedia"; what it has done is
demonstrated that encyclopaedia's of an unprecedented scale can be written.

Our coverage is significantly wider than other encyclopaedias - but still
very narrow (biased heavily toward current events in the Western world).

What does 'encyclopaedic worthiness' even mean?  If Wikipedia is an
> encyclopaedia, then all those niche-wikis are encyclopaedia too.  Then
> suddenly if there is a White House wiki, then surely "White House
> Thanksgiving 2009 Dinner Table" becomes 'encyclopaedic worthiness'
> within that scope.

It's about levels of detail; if the WH Thanksgiving dinner was a matter of
ongoing interest then it should certainly be mentioned (probably in the WH
article, or something). But specific details of food served  each year,
etc, are happily left to the source material. Which is the point of a
summary resource.

> It is hard to say where the line goes.  I agree that _just_ because
> something is reliably sourced, does not make it worthy for an entire
> Wikipedia article.  But _what_ does make it worthy of Wikipedia's
> attention?

This is the crux of the problem. Our notability guidelines don't help
define a line between what should be included and what shouldn't. Many many
many things can be written about that would pass GNG. As Hammersoft points
out, if we take this article as notable then there are several other JB on
XYZ articles that could be written,

Question is; do we need that level of detail.

Decisions over levels of detail are haphazard and varying across all of
Wikipedia, to the extent that no one can answer this question.


More information about the Wikimedia-l mailing list