Talk:Wikifiction (In-universe encyclopedia)

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Scope[edit]

It seems like this project's scope would be virtually unlimited, resulting in potentially hundreds of millions of articles. There are over a hundred thousand articles on Wookieepedia alone. Granted, few fictional milieus have the same scope as Star Wars, but it still seems like this wiki could quickly grow to unmanageable proportions.

This wiki would also seem to duplicate the work of many other longstanding and successful wikis, not all of them on Wikia. I see three ways to address that: 1) import the content of those wikis under their free licenses; 2) duplicate the information found in those wikis without directly copying the prose; or 3) ignore certain fictional properties that already have well-developed external wikis. None of those seems ideal, but I'm curious which one the project proposers favor, and why.

-- LtPowers (talk) 17:30, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

@LtPowers: Options 1 or 2 seem best to me for comprehensiveness. As for the problem of hundreds of millions or articles, consider this: I'm estimating based on some quick calculations that there are about 207,000 articles on fictional works out there. Say we have, say, 20 articles on for the people in a given work of fiction, 10 for places, and 5 for objects/substances, and lesser people/places/things are merged with larger articles. This equates to 7,245,000 articles. Big, but not "hundreds of millions" of pages. Even if the notability guidelines for works are more relaxed (they don't absolutely have to be), and the number doubles, it's still only 14,490,000 articles, about one order of magnitude off "hundreds of millions". --Jakob (Scream about the things I've broken) 18:04, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
"lesser people/places/things are merged with larger articles" -- well, that's the key, isn't it? That's akin to the approach taken by Wikipedia, and very different from the approach taken by most fiction wikis. It does answer the question of how you intend to deal with article proliferation, but it raises additional issues -- namely, if the approach is that similar to Wikipedia's, how do you plan to deal with overlap? How will the Wikifiction article on Tasha Yar compare to Wikipedia's, and how will it compare to Memory-Alpha's? What will set Wikifiction apart? LtPowers (talk) 20:33, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
@LtPowers:"lesser" has a different meaning on WF than WP. What I mean by lesser characters are really minor characters, like those who only make a single brief appearance. WF Articles on characters would mostly describe their role in the fictional work, not in the real world, as is supposed to be mostly the case on WP. i.e., it would look kind of like the memory-alpha page (but without the annoying ads Face-smile.svg). --Jakob (Scream about the things I've broken) 20:49, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Also, all but the largest and best-organized wikia wikis do not have sources. Wikifiction would have references indicating exactly where in the work (or other source) a given claim is made. --Jakob (Scream about the things I've broken) 20:56, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

Wikicanon[edit]

I allready propose for this wiki, it was called Wikicanon, but I have to stop this and request for delete the proposal. Main reason was a warning about copyright policy on en.wikipedia, which actually forbid to make such wiki-genre (AFAIK). May some enlightened people, who understand wiki-copyright policy, explain, if it is possible or not to create such wiki? --Silesianus (talk) 10:54, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

So no opinion on this serious problem? Here is the page I was talking about. Citation:
As the Wikipedia servers are located in the U.S. state of Florida, Wikipedia articles must conform to U.S. copyright laws. It has been held in a number of court cases that any work which re-tells original ideas from a fictional source, in sufficient quantity without adding information about that work, or in some way analysing and explaining it, may be construed as a derivative work or a copyright violation. This may apply irrespective of the way information is presented, in or out of the respective fictional universe, or in some entirely different form such as a quizbook or "encyclopedia galactica". Information about copyrighted fictional worlds and plots of works of fiction can be provided only under a claim of fair use, and Wikipedia's fair-use policy advocates minimal extent of use. Many works of fiction covered by Wikipedia are protected by copyright. Some works are sufficiently old that their copyright has expired, or the rights may have been released in some way, such as under the GFDL, or into the public domain.
and
Wikipedia's fair-use policy: the amount of copyrighted work used should be as little as possible.

So I would like to know the opinion of the proposer on this subject. Thanks --Silesianus (talk) 08:43, 24 September 2013 (UTC)

So, how can all the fiction wikis on Wikia be licensed under the CC-BY-SA? --Jakob (Scream about the things I've broken) 12:49, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
Well, Wikia wikis obviously donť need to follow Wikimedia (or more specifically Wikipedia) rules :) --Silesianus (talk) 06:48, 25 September 2013 (UTC)

3 improvements[edit]

I think it is a good idea, but there are some points that do not convince me:

1) the pornography: I think the pornographic fictions should be expressly excluded, for preventing legal problems and for safeguarding the children;

2) the name: I think "Wikinarrative" would be a better and more international name (the equivalent of the English adjective "narrative" are the follower: in French: "narratif/narrative", in Spanish, Portuguese and Italian "narrativa", in Romanian "narativ/narativa", in Croatian "narativan");

3) the round brackets: I think it is necessary to specify all article must have, between round brackets, the fictional/narrative Universe of reference (that is the fictional/narrative work by which they derive), for avoiding mistakes and confusions.

--Mikelo Gulhi (talk) 16:07, 21 September 2013 (UTC)

@Mikelo Gulhi: Thanks for your comments. I'll respond to them here. 1) While I'm not a fan of having such content lying around, there are no legal problems as long as it does not involve children. Also, no one gives a hoot about the many vile images on Wikipedia and the tens of thousands more on Wikimedia Commons, so no one will censor Wikifiction either. 2) I see your point, but "fiction" also reads as fiction or similar in many languages with Latin script, according to google translate. 3) Yes, disambiguation will be used where needed, but only if needed. --Jakob (Scream about the things I've broken) 17:27, 21 September 2013 (UTC)

I don't understand[edit]

sorry for my englishFor what I understand, this futur project would merge, said Wookiepedia and Tolkien Gateway ?

  • How could the reader know to which work the article refers? It will need an introduction line who cannot adopt an internal point of view, to indicate clearly if we speak of Star Wars or of Middle-earth. So, an introduction like wikipedia...
  • What will be exactly the scope of this project? I agree that if the notability guidelines isn't very clear, we can speak of hundred of millions of articles here. If there are notability guidelines, what are they going to be? If sources are required, it will be exactly like notability on wikipedia. So it means rewriting wikipedia with another point of view?
  • what will be exactly the difference between a good article on WP and a good article on Wikifiction? As I understand it, wikifiction cannot contain external information (because that would require an external point of view). So a good article on wikifiction would equal at best a stub or a start article on WP?
  • who would want to contribute here? I contribute to specialized wikis, for what I cannot say on wikipedia. But I know that specialized wikis have difficulties to find contributors. Like projects on wikipedia have difficulties to find contributors. Let us be honest: we will be happy if some stubs on fictional subjects were complete, even written with an internal point of view (it's easier to rephrase than to write when we aren't specialists). But even on wikipedia, with all its visibility, we still have hundred and hundred incomplete stubs. How can a wiki like wikifiction emerge, between the competition of wikipedia and of specialized wikis?

I don't understand what could be the interest of wikifiction. For me, it's better treated on Wikipedia or on specialized and already existing wikis. And if we want to merged those specialized wikis, we will need to respect their licences. And they aren't all on GFDL + CC-BY-SA 3.0... --Harmonia Amanda (talk) 21:01, 24 September 2013 (UTC)

  • How could the reader know to which work the article refers?
  • I don't think it would be an external point of view to say "Mordor is a place in Middle-Earth" on the first sentence of the Mordor article. Also, I'll point to the existing project Wikiquote to explain encyclopedic first sentences. Wikiquote articles often contain a sentence or two (example) that states what the subject is.
  • What will be exactly the scope of this project?
  • I think it would be best to create notability guidelines when/if the project is launched. But I would suggest that a mention in significant sources would be enough to indicate notability, although such sources would probably not be included in the article. The sources for the content itself don't necessarily have to be independent; if we have an article on a novel, it's fine (and typical) if the novel itself is the main source. Minor characters, places, and objects, the kind that are typically merged or redirected on Wikipedia, would be allowed to have whole articles on Wikifiction.
  • who would want to contribute here?
  • Probably, anyone who is interested in some fictional universe would contribute, at least to pages pertaining to that fictional universe. On the other hand, if X and Y are fictional universes, then only fans of X will be likely to contribute to x.wikia.com and only fans of Y will be likely to contribute to y.wikia.com.
  • And if we want to merged those specialized wikis, we will need to respect their licences.
  • If some fiction wiki is copyrighted, we can just write our own articles.

--Jakob (Scream about the things I've broken) 21:39, 24 September 2013 (UTC)

Than you, but I don't think it answer all my questions.
  • When I know what « Middle-earth » refers to, I will have more difficulties said whith « in Émeraude » or « in Belkiras », if no one indicate clearly the work/world it belongs to. So you agree that we will need a introduction which say « in the work of J. R. R. Tolkien » (external), and not only internal introdction? Wikiquote does external introductions.
  • I think we need to think about notability guidelines before the project is launched, because it impact considerably the viability of the project. If primary sources are acceptable, we effectively speak of hundred of millions of articles. I can easely imagine ten thousand article for Middle-earth, wookiepedia already contains more than an hundred thousands articles... and that's two world/works. If I understand, every work can have its wikifiction page about its characters or locations? Even if we restraint to solely works which fits the wikipedia notability guidelines, it's just huge. Can you imagine all shakespearian characters, all Alexandre Dumas characters, all comic books characters?! And add the locations... If wikifiction works, it will be absolutely gigantic, much more than wikipedia. And if it (probably) doesn't work, it will be just too huge for anyone to control.
  • Yes, of course wikifiction will have some contributors. But I don't think it will have many of them. It's so much more easy to complete an existing wiki, than to create one from scratch. Active contributors will probably continue what they are actually doing: complete wikipedia. On french WP, we have a really active project:Tolkien ; I work here since five years. Half the articles of the project are still stubs, even if we did some colossal work. So to begin anew? On a project with less visibility? No, thank you... And you underestime, in my humble opinion, the communities. Many specialized wikis are joined with a forum, for example. It's not easy to merge two communities (for Tolkien, in english : Tolkien Gateway, LotR wikia, TheTolkienWiki, Encyclopedia of Arda...). They are few contributors active in more than one or two projects. Why would they want to go specifically on wikifiction when there is much more efficient and already existing wikis with this goal?
  • This is linked with the question of contributors: if wikifiction start from scratch, it will need many contributors, if only to manage copyrights violations (good luck to forbid to copy official summaries!). And if it starts from scratch, why would it be attractive for potential contributors? they would be better of wikipedia or specialized wikis. And an internal project will need illustrations. For :en:, all is good, laws allows the fair use. It's strictly forbidden for french, for example...
Maybe wikifiction is viable, but for now, I am not convinced of that, and the vague answers doesn't really reassure me. What wikifiction brings besides what already exists? (and why didn't you answer about the difference between a wikifiction's article and a long stub on wikipedia?)
--Harmonia Amanda (talk) 23:19, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
On my Wikia about fictional universes (Kánon Wiki) I use templates at the beginning of each article (exanples: [1] or [2]), so it is easy to recognize a franchise. --Silesianus (talk) 09:17, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
But here you speak of franchises or of famous works who had been adapted. It's doable for Star Wars, Star Trek, etc. It is still doable for each fictional work? A template for each shakespearian play? We will need some external content, to know of what we speak. I am not against that. I just say that the actual definition of wikifiction can't work. aybe another guideline about internal/external point of view can be written (maybe "a short external introduction and an article with an internal point of view"...).
And what will we do for the contradctions? For example successives versions of a texte, canon vs. fanon, canonical works who are later discarded, adaptations of works (Peter Jackson's films of Middle-earth contradicts frequently Tolkien's works...).
Wikifiction maybe viable, but many questions need still answers. --Harmonia Amanda (talk) 10:00, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
Well firstly would be nice, if somebody competent (e.g. foundation lawyers) answers my question (above) about fair use fiction policy. Is even possible to have such wiki in foundation wikifamily? That's the utterly fundamental question. --Silesianus (talk) 10:47, 25 September 2013 (UTC)

Canon vs fanon[edit]

I see in the introduction to this proposal, the comment about sources being "either from the fiction itself or from sources that discuss them". Despite the later admonition against fanfiction, this still raises the question of fanon. Where would you draw the line? Many fans of particular fictional universes expect to see certain fanon content, and they would likely be documenting their fanon in your cited "...sources that discuss..." these fictional worlds. An article could easily cite a source that includes both canon and fanon that are tightly intertwined and hard to distinguish from each other. I foresee many edit wars over what is and isn't considered to be "canonical" for a particular fandom. AugurNZ 09:39, 25 September 2013 (UTC)

External/Internal[edit]

I would find a limitation against external voice to be too restrictive. Perhaps you might want to break internal/external into different namespaces (yuck), but much of what I love about sites like these is seeing how real-world and in-universe stuff cross-over, intersect, or even collide. A prohibition against out-of-universe content would be turn this into just a boring discussion board in my mind. And what about serious articles discussing Star Wars tech vs. Star Trek tech (for example)? There are TV shows (Modern Marvels on Discovery Channel) that have done pieces about that sort of thing. I think those definitely have a place somewhere in a wiki concerned with fictional universes. Willscrlt ( Talk | w:en | com | b:en ) 08:14, 28 September 2013 (UTC)

Names, Scope, Wholesale Harvesting of Content, and Repercussions[edit]

When I read the proposal title "WikiFiction", I immediately thought "Cool. A wiki for aspiring writers to self-publish their fiction. Or maybe a wiki where people collaborate together to write a complete work of fiction (short stories, plays, etc.). I was a little disappointed to discover it was a site for collecting fiction universe information. I see the point in it, but it seems like there are plenty of good sites for Harry Potter, StarTrekWars (grin), and so on out there. Can a WMF site really do it that much better than those other guys? WP is an 800-pound gorilla. If it decides to seriously get behind this concept, promote it, and successfully pull it off, it could generate a lot of bad feelings. Let's say that I was an editor of a the Wikia site called Kingdom of Blah (and I really hope that's not a real name). I, along with a few dozen other people, gave up trying to write articles about KoB over on WP, because of their pesky rules about w:WP:RS, notability, and so forth. We started a Wikia, and it is just about the way we like it. Being good people, we licensed our work under CC-BY-SA. Now WF comes along and copies all of our work, forking our site. We never expected that the 800-pound gorilla would steal all of our work, slap it up on their new site to give themselves some instant content, and then slap some new policies on making changes to it. Meanwhile, our KoB wiki, and maybe many other Wikia fiction wikis see a loss of active editors, because the small number of editors have been fractured. Disillusioned, the KoB folks give up, and go away. Meanwhile, the KoB articles on WF stagnate, and nobody much cares anymore.

Maybe I am greatly overestimating how much WF might decimate the market of other wikis out there. Maybe I'm also overestimating the level of resentment against WP policies (and future WF policies) in non-WMF wikis. Maybe people will be so happy with their current wikis that nobody will come to WF, and WF will just sit there without an editor base to generate new material. I don't know. I just feel that if WF wants to go into this realm of information, they should do so with great respect for the existing work that is out there. Instead of wholesale forking of information, write new and interesting articles. Reference existing wikis and other fan sites that have a lot of good information, rather than trying to essentially steal (it's not theft if it follows the license, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't feel like theft to those whose work has been re-used en masse).

Instead of looking to the body of work already out there, look to to the various WPs edit histories. Find the users who have had their edits reverted for being too much original research, too in-universe, and put in too much detailed information about a fictional universe. Then, reach out to them. Tell them that WMF has started a new wiki where exactly that kind of original, detailed, in-universe information is encouraged and even requested. See what these people can come up with. Also, let the Wikia (and other) sites know about the project, and invite them to port over some of their information to WF, and encourage them to do the reverse. Provide an open exchange of article information and promote a sharing of editors and resources, both of which are in limited supplies. We currently promote when an article topic has more information on a sister WMF wiki. We could do the same with other wikis that have achieved certain levels of maturity (article counts, number of editors, certain policies and guidelines in place that are compatible with WF's own, etc.). Then, you might see a slower kick off than you would with a wholesale raping and plundering of competitor sites, but by building up good rapport and lots of respect with partner sites, you might get long-term sustainable growth and a healthy editing community. Willscrlt ( Talk | w:en | com | b:en ) 08:14, 28 September 2013 (UTC)

I completely agree with you. --TheMillionRabbit 18:36, 30 September 2013 (UTC)

No one say WMF is going to copy all those wikia sites into it even in case this project will go onto launch......C933103 (talk) 19:26, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

Types of fictional places[edit]

  • Fantasy and science fiction stuff
  • Ordinary fiction set in a fictional place such as Grover's Corners of Wikipedia:Our Town or Portween of Wikipedia:Doc Martin (actually a fictional name for the setting of a film made in a real place) or in a transmogrified real place such as the New York City of Wikipedia:Winter's Tale (novel). Or subtle variations such as between the setting of The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson and the actual Denver neighborhoods, and bus lines, as they were.
  • Aliases used in non-fiction works, such as Wikipedia:Middletown studies. Fred Bauder (talk) 07:12, 10 May 2017 (UTC)

Reference work or fan fun[edit]

At a minimum accurate encyclopedia standard information, but as much fan fun as people want to have. Fred Bauder (talk) 07:46, 10 May 2017 (UTC)