Photo: Flickr user lifeontheedge

Monday, October 09, 2006

Funny NYTimes piece on Articles for Deletion. (Diane Farrell's been restored, though.)


Anonymous said...


I recently read Richard Lanham's excellent book "The Attention Economy" (2006) and he makes a case that in an environment where information is unlimited, and the only limiting factor is people's attention (eyeballs) - the question of notability becomes very serious - how do you decide what is really notable when there are no traditional limitations of paper and shelf space? He predicts that in time it will become a much more serious debate - notability on Wikipedia is the number one debate in Article for Deletions (I think like %80 of all AfD's are about notability). They are like style wars, really passionate. I think notability is a fundamental axis of the online world that is under-reported and will be where a lot of the public discourse happens going into the future - Wikipedia AfD's and "notability wars" are kind of foreshadowing a larger trend.

(stbalbach from metafilter)

Ben Yates said...

The path I'd like to see is a bunch of third-party filtering tools springing up -- right now, wikipedia-the-encyclopedia is pretty much synonymous with wikipedia-the-website, but the latter is really just an interface to the former: one of many possible interfaces.

Wikipedia is really a collection of content, and as such it's incredibly durable and repurposable. One thing that will make it even more durable and useful is to have a more diverse ecosystem of interfaces. Because wikimedia's a nonprofit, this should happen pretty naturally over time -- the main bottlenecks right now are attitudes (everyone except scammers is afraid to resuse or mashup content, even freely licenced content) and programming talent (i.e. the lack of a really useful API).

Once stops being the gateway, the pressure should lessen for AfD to be the be-all and end-all arbitror of notability. Instead, there will be many, smaller arbitrors.