[Wikipedia-l] Wikigeology and other future projects

Michael Snow wikipedia at earthlink.net
Thu Sep 16 04:13:37 UTC 2004

Daniel Mayer wrote:

>One question: 
>Is the level of detail in this article: 
>appropriate for Wikipedia? Or would it be better to have such an article in a
>Wikigeology project? I would certainly hate to see similarly detailed [[Biology
>of ...]] articles not be created for species in Wikipedia because the same
>content is in Wikispecies. Or worse, for them to exist in both and thus half
>the contributor base working on each of them. 
The article is perfectly suitable for Wikipedia, which is why it's a 
Featured Article. No doubt that's the conclusion you intend for us to 
draw. What I would expect to have in a Wikigeology project is more data 
rather than prose. Things like precise measurements of different strata 
and substrata at various precise locations, or results of radioactive or 
carbon dating from specific samples (the exact data might be different, 
I'm just guessing and I'm no geologist). The data could be meaningful 
regardless of language, though presumably some agreed standard language 
would be necessary for a framework.

This is similar to my understanding of Wikispecies will be. Indeed, that 
is what Wikispecies will have to be in order to succeed, and even then 
success is not guaranteed. If Wikispecies does not establish an 
independent justification for existence, it simply will not attract 
enough interest because the bulk of contributors will not bother to redo 
their Wikipedia work elsewhere.

The community's real decisions are often not made in these discussions, 
or in the pronouncements of the Board, but because people "vote with 
their feet", or in this case their hands at the keyboard. That is why 
all this debate, however acrimonious, is not really decisive in saying 
there is or is not a consensus for Wikispecies. The consensus will only 
be seen over time, and is sometimes easier to find by listening and 
watching than by arguing. Our representatives on the Board try hard to 
do that, though perhaps they might have deliberated a little longer and 
done more to prepare the ground for this new project.

--Michael Snow

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