Mention of wiki in articles
|(English) This is an essay. It expresses the opinions and ideas of some Wikimedians but may not have wide support. This is not policy on Meta, but it may be a policy or guideline on other Wikimedia projects. Feel free to update this page as needed, or use the discussion page to propose major changes.|
The mention of wiki in articles is especially important to take seriously.
The wiki process, software, and outputs (including the Wikipedia and Wiktionary) are the subject of a great deal of study, attention, and loyalty by a larger and larger group of people every day. The vast majority of them are editing at least a few articles, and so the odds that one of them will edit your article is greater all the time. Here are some important guidelines to keep in mind:
First, wiki can be an example of both 'good' and 'bad' things. While it is true that ideally wiki is based on w:consensus decision making, from time to time it also denigrates into a w:flame war or w:cluster fuck. Articles on all three concepts would be well within their rights to cite wiki as an example. If someone removed, for instance, a link in an article explaining "cluster fuck" and citing Wikipedia as actually 'being' one, it is especially important to put it back, and continue to assert that Wikipedia has these undesirable characteristics. Else Wikipedia can never improve, denial spreads, and ideology (in this case of Wikipedia promoters) is allowed to triumph over neutrality. Wikipedia has no credibility if it cannot discuss itself with the same even-handedness as it discusses everything else. It is extremely important for newcomers to understand this, and not to accept the groupthink of the 'community' (some would say 'cabal' or 'militia') of early contributors.
Second, wiki changes, and despite the desire to change it in certain ways, it is changing in its own way. Keeping articles that mention the Wikipedia up to date is especially important. As it grows, it is likely to provide examples of w:collaboration, perhaps w:constitutional government, and even w:collective intelligence. It is also certain to provide examples of w:groupthink, w:flame war, w:cluster fuck, etc.. If something happens in the wiki process that you think is an example of something, well, you are better off describing it as such, and forcing others to agree or edit until you come to a w:consensus.
Remember: if Wikipedia is not honest about what itself 'is' at any given moment, then it cannot be trusted to be honest about what anything else is. Wikipedia is not a w:carceral state casting light on everything outside itself, while rejecting scrutiny on what it is, and what's inside. It is supposed to be a model of w:transparency and of w:consensus.
If it's not, then, your first duty as a supporter of wiki is to state that fact clearly, where it can be read and understood as some kind of example.
A list of contexts in which Wikipedia discusses Wikipedia is available as 'what it is' - or perhaps 'what it thinks it is'. This lists all the noteworthy articles and contexts in which the project itself has been defined and discussed, used as an example, slandered, libelled, abused and etc. - consider carefully what it's actually doing, and what purpose mention of wiki in articles is serving, before you use wiki as an example.