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I think Wikimedia should adopt the concept of "adjunct wikis." These would be Wikis which are not Wikimedia Projects, and are not sponsored or endorsed (exactly) by Wikimedia, but which are simply the designated, preferred places for content that does not fit into another Wikimedia Project.
Example the First
(A much worse example than the second, but my original idea.)
I came up with the idea while perusing the Wikipedia joke pages. There are a lot of them. An unsightly, ungainly number of them, taking up who-knows-how-many mB of space. It's cool to not just obliterate that stuff, but it's a pain to read/navigate those pages, and even more of a pain to move the stuff there in the first place.
The thing is, there's already a wiki out there that's seen as the primary source of that sort of content: Uncyclopedia. It would be nice if it were (in Uncyclopedia's words) an "ignorable policy" of Wikipedia for nonsense content to be moved there. Rather than deciphering the appropriate procedure on the joke pages, someone would just go to the corresponding Uncyclopedia page and insert at will.
Example the Second
(A much better example.)
As has been noted more places than I care to cite, Wikipedians tend to go into non-encyclopedic detail about certain types of content -- science fiction franchises, game show rules, etc. Several franchises have their own wikis that are often pointed to from Wikipedia. Star Wars wiki, Star Trek wiki, etc. etc. etc.
Now, it's nice that those places exist to take some of the cruft off Wikipedia, but it's not so nice that all that work/"research"/writing is being dispersed across the web. That's part of Wikimedia's deal, right? Centralizing all this stuff?
I'm about to start a wiki that I hope to be a central repository for the minutiae of these franchises, and even possibly historical data that just doesn't fit into another project (a great example of which is here).
True, this is a bit self-serving, but I think it'd be a Good Thing for Wikipedia(ns) for Wikimedia to have a single wiki that it points to and says "We don't run it, but THAT is a great place for this kind of stuff."
Many of these have since been gathered under the Wikia umbrella.
- As previously stated, designated Adjunct Wikis would prevent the dispersion of a lot of hard work and research.
- With sufficient disclaimers, it would remove an unwanted burden from Wikimedia without costing it anything, or making it take an unsuited Project under its aegis
- References to adjunct wikis could be standardized and templated, for a more consistent "This is Wikipedia" feel, rather than "This page is a product of Star Trek Wiki people --- go [there] for more."
- Linking to other wikis --- particularly Uncyclopedia --- would have to be handled delicately and with much disclaiming, to make it clear that the destination is NOT a Wikimedia Project.
- There might need to be a new policy for how one applies for Adjunct Wiki status
- Particularly, it should state that fewer Adjuncts are better, as one of the main benefits is to prevent dispersion of work and information.