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Wikipedia – too much detail? September 29, 2007

Posted by Al in : interesting,website , trackback

It seems as though there is a debate raging within the main group of Wikipedia contributors, moderators and administrators about whether articles should be restricted to large subjects which can offer quality information, or whether anyone should be able to create an article on anything they like. This was put to the test 2 weeks ago when Jim Wales, who is the creator of the Wikipedia, created a tiny article on an insignificant butcher shop and restaurant in South Africa. This was deleted within an hour, by a young administrator, as an unnecessary piece with “no assertion of importance/significance.” Since that deletion debate has raged throughout the backend of the site: should quality be put before freedom of posting, and who should define what is important enough to be included.

If storage was infinite, and cheap enough; and if search technology was good enough to produce the article you need every time, then I’d be quite happy for anybody to post any article they like. However, if Wikipedia is to maintain any of it’s hard fought for credibility, then some editing needs to be done to keep it manageable and usable. If the one line article that Jim Wales posted on Mzoli’s Meats stayed as a one line article, then it would definitely deserve to be deleted as a waste of space on Wikipedia. As the article did not suggest it had any intention to grow into something more meaningful, then it probably deserved to be deleted, but since it was only given 22 minutes to grow, maybe there should be a grace period for new articles to allow them a chance to develop.

On a lighter note: here’s a list of the 8 most needlessly detailed Wikipedia articles. The commentary is good, but the articles are incredibly pointless.


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