Jump to content

Responses to How to Build Wikipedia, Appreciate Idiosyncracy

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki

Responses to How to Build Wikipedia
Be in Charge and Be Humble Understand Bias Appreciate Idiosyncracy Redesign the Wikipedia Software as a Community Make Big Plans on Wikipedia Avoid Cabals Follow the Spirit of the GFDL Be Respectful but Firm

Appreciate Idiosyncracy


Consensus is critical to Wikipedia, which means both that people should expect to be mercilessly edited, but also that people shouldn't believe that they are the final arbiters of what is the One True Wikipedia (the one person who can reasonably make that claim, LMS, is a shining example of allowing the community to shape his expectations of what Wikipedia is and should be).

The "rules" of Wikipedia (e.g. Wikipedia is not a dictionary) should not be used as reasons to violently delete other people's work. Rather, if you believe in the rules, you should attempt to convert those people to your view. Use words, not force.

As happens in any community, there is definitely a conflict between purity and diversity going on here. I think (almost) everyone is aware that this project is about knowledge. However, maybe not everyone agrees on what constitutes (useful) knowledge and what does not. Larry has proposed that what we want is adequately important synthetic human knowledge, both declarative and procedural (see Larry Sanger/What is an encyclopedia). A key issue is on what basis must one judge.

A related issue concerns the fact that we're building an encyclopedia, but a different kind of encyclopedia. What do we want to keep from traditional encyclopedias? What should we do without? What do we want to add, and why? (hypertext links, for instance, are extremely valuable). In my opinion, the answers to these questions cannot be found solely by looking at how traditional encyclopedias do their thing. --Seb

"The 'rules' of Wikipedia ... should not be used as reasons to violently delete other people's work."

- However, we also shouldn't accept a defense of patent nonsense or other non-encyclopedic material with
"Well, it's my idea of 'work'."

See also : Wikipedia commentary