Talk:Marshall Poe

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The Atlantic article[edit]

Mr. Poe has written a long and fascinating article for The Atlantic Monthly about the history and aims of Wikipedia, titled "The Hive". There are also a couple of in-depth sidebars, including "Common Knowledge", an interview with Poe about the article and Wikipedia, and "A Closer Look at the Neutral Point of View (NPOV)". — Catherine\talk 04:20, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Ah, you beat me to it. Also listed at Wikipedia:Press_coverage. GChriss <always listening><c> 05:10, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
They should probably be added to "selected publications". Wikibofh(talk) 15:45, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Meh. He's apparently a regular columnist, so the mention in the article proper seems fine. Note that his name rings a bell, I think I talked with him two years ago. -- Zanimum 17:30, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
1 year. Do we have a more exact birthdate? --LA2 12:23 pm, 5 August 2006, Saturday (6 years, 5 months, 17 days ago) (UTC+1)
Here we go. I temporarily blocked someone who shared his IP address, after they deleted the entire Hurricane Katrina article. He calmly assured me he wasn't involved. -- Zanimum 17:32, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Interesting article indeed. The moral for me being of course, "if a line-and-a-half article mentions the subject being a magazine columnist, bear in mind who'll be drafting any in-print account of AfD'ing it". (I notice he doesn't mention anything at all about the "I Was There" Wiki Memoir project, which is what seemed fishy about the whole affair to me, as I mentioned at the time. Or come to that, WP:AUTO.) Very illuminating contribution to the history of the Wales/Sanger axis (as per several other recent articles, and mailing lists, ibid). But I should probably be working on my userpage, now that I've been Atlantic-dotted, shouldn't I? Alai 18:42, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

User:Jacoplane is nice... Great article by the way, Mr. Poe! Ajaxfan 01:00, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

In the Atlantic interview, Poe admits "I'm 44", which would place the birthyear at 1962 +/- 1 year. Do we have a more exact birthdate? --LA2 11:23, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

Hi Everyone. Thanks for the comments and, more generally, your good work on Wikipedia. Much appreciated. I hope you liked the article. Alai, no love lost, my friend. The AfD nomination was a pretty good call in my opinion! BTW1: I was born on December 29, 1961. That may not be good enough, but trust me, it's true. BTW2: how do I add that cool little time stamp thingy to my comments? (e.g. "11:23, 5 August 2006 (UTC)") --User:MarshallPoe.
You end your posting with four tilde characters: ~~~~ You can try this in "preview" before you "save". --LA2 15:00, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
LA2, you beat me to it! Now, should there be a reference in Marshall's biography to his article on Sigismund von Herberstein being cited in the Wikipedia article? Caliban 15:22, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
I also enjoyed the article. I hadn't heard the quote from Jimbo where he said the purpose of Wikipedia is "fun for the contributors". I'll surely be sharing the piece with others. Thanks! Cacophony 06:13, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
I'd like to thank you as well for the article; it was certainly one of most comprehensive and balanced that I've read. Of course, I probably should have bought the magazine instead of thanking you for free here ; ) Joshdboz 22:24, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

Hi everyone, good article, indeed. Read like a crime story at times. What struck me most, though, was that, when it came to criticism of Wikipedia towards the end of the article, many issues were discussed briefly but one. Has someone come up with the question not whether it does not have the authority of expertise but whether it maybe one day have too much authority? Meaning, that it could monopolize as the one and only quick, sort of reliable, easy to read etc. internet source of reference? Quoting Poe: ". . . much of the Internet is a chaotic mess and therefore useless, whereas Wikipedia is well ordered and hence very useful." Maybe people do want their dictionaries back, want one truth to rely on, but not bother to open heavy books and flip through a heap of pages.

I am just making a point that I hope loads of other webpages on knowledge will be around for a long time, no matter how huge Wikipedia grows, and these others will get many hits, as well. To save the multiple views, not just within the Wikipedia Community. I hope Poe agrees on that. I would post this argument on the criticism page as well, if you please conduct me to exactly the right spot, since I am just entering the contribution scene. Thanks! --— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 05:14, 26 August 2006


I have reinserted a formulation that I had tried previously. Every attempt to remove all reference to the Wikipedia articles as WP:NSR has resulted in a prompt reintroduction by another user. The formulation in which I mentioned Wikipedia as one of two examples for the articles Mr. Poe has written, with a reference link to the list of his Atlantic articles resulted in no edits to this article for three days. Jeandré removed the examples as NSR, and someone immediately added direct links to the article and it's been a back and forth ever since. Clearly, Wikipedians cannot live without a reference to the article on Wikipedia and I feel that the current formulation minimizes the navel-gazing and preempts the slow motion edit war. I would suggest removing the examples in a couple months when people's attention has shifted, but propose keeping this formulation as a compromise in the meantime. In any case, I will refrain from editing this article in the future. - BT 19:13, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

A Dissenting Opinion[edit]

An editor has inserted a comment asserting that Poe's Atlantic Monthly article "The Hive" is a "minor article" and insisting that no one link this article to his bio. On the contrary, the article is a major piece on a contemporary topic in a preeminent publication and therefore worthy of a link. If Poe's obscure works on Russian history deserve linkage, then so does this. --— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 02:34, 18 September 2006

I have to agree with the unsigned opinion here. While perhaps not worthy of mention in the text, there's no reason we can't include a simple external link, which I will do. While we should be cautious against the temptation for meta-commentary that is so prevalent in Wikipedia, we should also not through that very caution veer into the opposite extreme by banning all mention of a major article on a major topic for a major publication. Gamaliel 21:31, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
I arrived here because of "The Hive" which I believe it to be a terrific piece of work on contemporary history.--Granludo 08:51, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
Just to say that "The Hive" is even a required text for our English 101 class (talk) 21:18, 15 October 2016 (UTC)

What's the end point/goal of WP?[edit]

The Poe article on WP addresses the question: "What's the end point/goal of WP?" Answer: it is laying claim to a vast region of the internet. But won't it go further - organising the entire internet, by way of the expanding number of sub-pages and mini-topics with their relevant external links? Yahoo does it top down, Google bottom up, WP from the inside out. If anyone has it, I'd appreciate a link to any page that addresses these ideas. Anyway, the article was a pleasure to read.--Shtove 16:39, 31 October 2006 (UTC)


Hello. I read your article in The Atlantic, and I thought it was great. You used your knowledge of Wikipedia well, and you proved your extastential writing abilities. You have the talent, and you use it very well.

Thanks. -- — Preceding unsigned comment added by Seabird111 (talkcontribs) 19:22, 28 April 2007}

I read your article in the Atlantic and I loved it. It has been really usefull for my phd thesis. Thanks and congratulations for being here inmortalized. --Granludo 08:49, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

Sigismund von Herberstein disappears again[edit]

I'd like to restore the following passage to the article. It may have been dropped accidentally.

Poe's own work has brought back from obscurity the writings of the16th-century Austrian diplomat Sigismund von Herberstein, who was one of the first European ethnographers of Russia.

Also, the forthcoming book listed in the references, a concise history of Russia to be published by Cambridge U.P., should be dropped per WP:CRYSTAL. Notable forthcoming books (commented on by third parties) can be included, but no-one has cited any commentary on this book. EdJohnston (talk) 15:56, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

Yes it should be restored as it was that article on WP that got him interested in WP in the first place. RedJ 17 (talk) 02:02, 17 November 2010 (UTC)


There's been some changes in this article to Greece and Greek history that are very much out of place. Poe is a scholar of Russian history and not Greek history. I've made some corrections (including putting the reference in about Obama as I've read Poe's piece about playing basketball with Obama), but much of this biography is beyond my knowledge. Someone else is going to have to check this article. There is little text here that I trust. RedJ 17 (talk) 02:02, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

Unnecessary bolding of New Books Network[edit]

I have rewritten this entry and added citations to back up what it says. Today I removed the bolding from New Books Network because it is unnecessary and a violation of Wiki style. Bwark (talk) 21:41, 1 January 2015 (UTC)

Hi there Bwark and others who may be interested! As the one who bolded "New Books Network" I disagree that it was unnecessary. My reasoning was that as I had made the redirect of New Books Network (to #REDIRECT Marshall Poe#New Books Network). The Marshall Poe page should reflect that as per Wikipedia:Redirect#What needs to be done on pages that are targets of redirects?, the Principle of least astonishment which recommends bolding the term that led to the redirect.
Therefore I respectfully request the reinstatement of said edit, unless there's something I've missed.
PS Bwark. I only came across this comment by looking at your edit history. I would recommend using the comment line when making reverts, as you do on your other edits. DadaNeem (talk) 00:01, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for the clarification. I still think the use of bolding for the New Books Network is heavy-handed because redirected readers can see at a glance that they have arrived at a section that is clearly headed New Books Network. We have to give readers some credit. On the other hand, a reader who has not been redirected might wonder why these titles are bolded when others in the article aren't. They stand out like a sore thumb and undermine confidence in the editing consistency of the whole entry. Bwark (talk) 15:59, 2 January 2015 (UTC)

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