March 04, 2009

My _Guardian_ column on Wikipedia Inclusionism vs. Deletionism (vs. Wikia)

"In the end, it's actually about money"

"One of the perennial debates about Wikipedia is 'inclusionism' v 'deletionism', which revolves around what topics should be covered."

The title isn't mine, but it does capture the ideas. I do hope people grasp that the "money" part is meant to be a multilayered observation, connecting the two concepts explored - an examination of the costs that every article creates, and the pressures of commercialization. Not something silly, like a potential strawman of deletionism being a plot to enrich Wikia's digital-sharecropping gains.

I quote with attribution and permission two very active Wikipedia editors being critical of Jimmy Wales. So it'll be interesting to see how that affects the article's perception in Wikipedia cabals, err, circles. I've been derided as a "media troll", but I've sourced some of the criticism here to "insiders", so maybe that'll matter (or not ...).

[For all columns, see the page Seth Finkelstein |]

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in press , wikia , wikipedia | on March 04, 2009 04:18 PM (Infothought permalink)
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Seth, don't forget Angela Beesley when documenting how Wikia principals "use" Wikimedia projects to promote Wikia and adversely manipulate valid competitors. Here is just one small "memory hole" example of how Beesley would rather the world not see what she's up to:

Posted by: Gregory Kohs at March 5, 2009 09:00 AM

Self indulgent anecdote...

I was an enthusiastic wikipedia editor, working on many pages. Until one day, one page that I was rather fond of and put a lot of work into was up for deletion. I did my part and argued for keeping it, but in the end, it was gone.

I know when I'm not wanted. I discovered a love for making videos and got into YouTube when it was cool back in 2006. That kick-in-the-pants of seeing my beloved article deleted really bought it home to me that work was unappreciated, so it all worked out in the end.

(PS, I may told this story here before, as I'm holding a bit of a grudge, but I couldn't find it on google. Sorry if this is a re-post.)

Posted by: Bill P. Godfrey at March 6, 2009 08:59 AM