I can't figure out why I can't get the Roland Robinson entry to stop showing up in the "What links here" section of this site. I thought I had already changed the link in that article to Memphis to be to Memphis, Tennessee. User:Bebop 21:32, 19 Nov 2004 (UTC)
The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.
Memphis currently redirects to the second. Previous discussions on the Memphis talk page have concluded that there is no single primary topic. Multiple moves either way have recurred in the past, as can be seen in the move log and revision histories. Night w (talk) 05:39, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
January (during this time, Memphis → Memphis, Tennessee)
Oppose Tennessee city appears to be the primary topic, by traffic stats and by incoming links when this was first discussed. The arguments there for determining primary topic by age, historical significance, and cultural significance are erroneous -- WP:PRIMARYTOPIC is determined by readership usage, not by age of the topic (and Memphis, Tennessee also has current cultural significance). It is possible that extended hatnote on Memphis, Tennessee, since it links directly to Memphis, Egypt as well as to the disambiguation page, is skewing the stats. It seems unlikely, given the proportions of reader of the Tennessee article using the redirect, but it's possible. If we'd like to determine, then the hatnote could either be rewritten to use a redirect like Memphis (Egypt) or a new redirect, or to link only to the disambiguation page (which would inconvenience readers in the meantime). After a period of several months, we could check the stats on that set up. -- JHunterJ (talk) 12:19, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
Primary topic is determined by consensus, not statistics. Arguments about age, historical significance, and cultural significance are completely valid considerations. older ≠ wiser 12:55, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
I know they're determined by consensus, and informed by statistics, which is why I listed them here so editors could be easily informed. Usage is the completely valid consideration according to WP:PRIMARYTOPIC; the others are not, unless that guidelines needs to be changed. I don't think the guideline needs to be changed. -- JHunterJ (talk) 12:59, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
There is nothing in the guideline that precludes consideration of factors other than statistics. To introduce such a prohibition would be a significant change to the guideline and one that I would vehemently oppose. older ≠ wiser 13:09, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
WP:PRIMARYTOPIC: "Although a term may potentially refer to more than one topic, it is often the case that one of these topics is highly likely – much more likely than any other, and more likely than all the others combined – to be the subject being sought when a reader clicks the "Go" button for that term. If there is such a topic, then it is called the primary topic....". Much more likely, not much older or much more historical or much more culturally relevant instead. Yes, you can use other factors besides those listed to determine likelihood, but you shouldn't confuse what the readers are looking for with what the editors think the readers should be looking for. -- JHunterJ (talk) 13:32, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
And don't forget: There are no absolute rules for determining primary topics; decisions are made by discussion between editors, often as a result of a requested move. If there is extended discussion about which article truly is the primary topic, that may be a sign that there is in fact no primary topic. The guideline does not indicate a preference for page view statistics or a deprecation of other considerations. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia not only a website, and disambiguation is not merely a matter of page view optimization. Of course where other considerations are not supported by objective measures (such as search results) and there is a clear difference in traffic statistics, that would also need to be taken into consideration. older ≠ wiser 14:16, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
Not forgotten. The guideline does indeed indicate a preference for three aspects of determining likelihood, although other methods for determining likelihood could be used. However, other methods for determining likelihood have not been brought up here, and methods for determining which topic is older are unrelated to likelihood. Trying to read guidelines that talk about likelihood and usage as actually meaning age and historical significance shouldn't need to be explicitly deprecated -- the language is clear enough, and this isn't a legal forum where we have to list every inclusion and exclusion explicitly. -- JHunterJ (talk) 19:52, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
I don't read the guideline as implying any such preference for determining likelihood in the same way as you seem to. The crystal clear part of the guideline is that determining a primary topic requires consensus -- and the basis for such consensus is not constrained to page view statistics and is in fact not really under any constraint at all. older ≠ wiser 23:13, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
Yes, consensus as to what the most likely or most used topic is, not consensus on what the oldest topic is. "Determined by consensus" is not an escape clause for blockading guidelines. -- JHunterJ (talk) 00:38, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
Consensus is required to establish a primary topic and objections can take many forms. Just because you don't happen to agree with them doesn't mean they are blockading guidelines. older ≠ wiser 03:23, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
If the objections take forms other than "the proposed primary topic isn't much more used/likely than another", then it's not just I who "happens" to disagree with them -- the guidelines disagree with them as well. This includes objections of "there's another topic that's older than the proposed primary topic". -- JHunterJ (talk) 11:59, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
That's one way to look at it. However, guidelines are not binding laws and if editors have well-reasoned objections in a specific case, those objections carry more weight than wikilawyering over interpretations of guideline language. older ≠ wiser 12:40, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
Suggesting the guidelines be followed is not wikilawyering. -- JHunterJ (talk) 15:01, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
Interpreting the guidelines such that other valid considerations can be disregarded is. older ≠ wiser 21:12, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
Invalid considerations, such as age, should be disregarded. -- JHunterJ (talk) 23:03, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
Was I talking about age? Age of what? Age of the article or the topic? If by age you mean historical significance or relative longevity of the topic it might be worth considering. I would not categorically rule it out. older ≠ wiser 23:49, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
Yes, of the topic, at the top of this thread.. And yes, it might be worth considering in as much as it impacts use or likelihood, not on its own. -- JHunterJ (talk) 00:48, 16 February 2010 (UTC)
Ah yes, I carelessly copied and pasted what you had written. I would not have mentioned age alone as being of any great significance. older ≠ wiser 01:47, 16 February 2010 (UTC)
Multiple moves of the current dab page have already been conducted in the past, with a number of editors proposing a redirect to either of the two pages, clearly showing that a dispute exists as to which is the primary topic. The Egyptian city is hugely famous all over the world—I don't see how that can't be taken into account. On the other hand, the U.S. city is a medium-sized city of very little note outside its country's borders. Traffic stats can easily be put down to the fact that the majority of Wikipedia users are in the United States. Night w (talk) 15:48, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
Dab pages are primarily intended to help with navigation, not to indicate world-wide fame, impressiveness, etc. As an aid to navigation, it should reflect the uses that the readers put it to. If a substantial number of people entering Memphis are looking for Tennessee, no matter where they are from, it should be the primary topic. The statistics seem to support that the Tennessee city is significantly more often the article being searched for, but that is open to some interpretation. (John User:Jwytalk) 19:36, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia is first and foremost an encyclopedia, not only a website. Disambiguation is not only about optimizing traffic. In this particular case, I'm inclined to agree, though I'm not completely persuaded, that the Tennessee city is the primary topic. But the point remains that page view traffic is only one aspect to consider. older ≠ wiser 23:13, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
Absolutely. And if there were some other evidence or rationale or aspect presented that indicated another topic was more used or more likely, we'd consider that too. So far, none has been presented. -- JHunterJ (talk) 00:40, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
The consideration is not whether anything else is more likely -- but whether the Tennessee city is so overwhelmingly more likely that it is worth inconveniencing anyone looking for one of the other meanings. older ≠ wiser 03:19, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
Agreed, both are considerations. One determines if there's a different primary topic. If none are much more used than any other, then there's no primary topic. -- JHunterJ (talk) 11:59, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
O/w, could you summarize here the reasons for your position? So far, on this page, its only "don't use the statistics so much" and "its moved a lot" with only ancillary mention of other reasons. Perhaps there are many in the archives, but what are your current thoughts on this. (John User:Jwytalk) 16:53, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
I haven't taken any position on this specific case. My points relate to careless rhetoric that implies the only thing that matters in determining primary topic is page traffic statistics. Factors such as historical significance or cultural significance are appropriate to consider when discussing whether there is primary topic. older ≠ wiser 21:12, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
But they are not appropriate when discussing what the reader is likely to be looking for (that is, the primary topic) unless some additional information about how the age or historicity is actually contributing to the likelihood in a particular case is supplied. Often, older topics are less likely to be the primary topic, since the searches are occurring in the present. And as I mentioned earlier, discussion about changes to the guidelines apart from this specific case should take place on the guideline's Talk page. Making your position about that here, it can seem like you're taking a position on this specific case. -- JHunterJ (talk) 23:03, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
Agreed that unsupported claims are of little use. But the goal of writing an encyclopedia is not identical with the task of optimizing page traffic. The disambiguation guideline does not prioritize page view traffic over other consideration. older ≠ wiser 23:49, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
But since o other consideration of usage or likelihood has been brought up here (unless you count Rennell435's anecdote that it's not what they expect, which is easily counterbalanced by my anecdote that it is what I'd expect), I am not sure what you are arguing against. Traffic stats are useful in that they are (a) easy to get, (b) objective, and (c) very good indications of usage and likelihood. That's why I post them first in these discussions. -- JHunterJ (talk) 00:48, 16 February 2010 (UTC)
Well, it's not like the topic hasn't come up before. Details such as one being a UNESCO world heritage site with a few millennia of history and the other a mid-sized regional city might be worth considering in terms of encyclopedic content. Because some statistic happens to be easy doesn't necessarily equate to a very good indications of usage and likelihood. older ≠ wiser 01:47, 16 February 2010 (UTC)
It doesn't necessarily equate, right, which is why I listed it separately. It isn't related to its ease of acquisition; that it is a very good indicator is an additional benefit. No one is suggesting that encyclopedic content be reduced; the world heritage site and the few millenniums of history etc. should of course be captured in the encyclopedia. In an appropriately-named article. And the article names should facilitate the readers. By putting the primary topic (if any) for an ambiguous name at the base name. And the primary topic is determined by likelihood of reader use. You're conflating guidelines on content (articles) and guidelines on navigation (disambiguation), although I know you know the difference. -- JHunterJ (talk) 02:23, 16 February 2010 (UTC)
Weak support as it makes sense, and usage stats only show a 3:1 usage preference when discounting the unqualified redirect. 184.108.40.206 (talk) 06:46, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
I think you're doing the math wrong. (54458-10332)/12375 is 3.57:1, or 4:1 if you want to round it, but the unqualified redirect absolutely should be counted -- those are the readers we're trying to figure out how best to serve. You've got 10332 readers hitting the name "Memphis". 1044 hit the dab page, presumably after first hitting the redirect, so again presumably they don't want either Tenn or Egypt. Like I said earlier, the extended hatnote on the Tenn article makes determining who meant the Egypt site after hitting "Memphis" harder to determine, and if we think that it's possible that, of the remaining 9288, the ones who meant Egypt make up a majority of the 12034 who reached Egypt without a different redirect, we can check that by leaving this as is and using another redirect to see how the readers are using it. I don't think it's needed, though -- the split is likely in the same ballpark as the page traffic split, 4.4:1, or 340% more traffic to Tenn than to Egypt. -- JHunterJ (talk) 12:14, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
Support. I don't think traffic numbers should be the sole decider of what is "primary". And 12,000+ is definitely no number to be ignored; that's a good stack of people having to load a sizeable page on some other topic before getting where they want. I've personally never heard of Memphis, Tennessee and if I typed "Memphis" into a search box, I'd expect to get to something on Egypt. But type in "Memphis" at Britannica or Encylopedia.com and you get multiple links to click on. That seems like it's the fair way to go for everyone, as dab pages are quicker to load. Rennell435 (talk) 13:23, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
Nobody's ignoring 12K+; we're comparing it to the much more used numbers for Tenn to see that there is a primary topic for "Memphis". You can still get multiple links to click on on Wikipedia too, by searching Wikipedia search. Any time there's a primary topic for a title, there will be a stack of people who have to go through it to get to the page they want; that doesn't mean there should never be a primary topic. -- JHunterJ (talk) 15:01, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
Oppose per JHunterJ and traffic stats indicating the Tennessee city is the primary topic. Propaniac (talk) 16:44, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
Oppose redirect should point to the most likely page that is being searched for. Rreagan007 (talk) 16:14, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
Oppose Memphis, Tennessee is clearly the primary topic and the main object of most hits for "Memphis". The "Memphis" article should therefore redirect there, not be a disambig page itself. However, the disambig page should be the only one linked to by the hatnote in the Memphis, Tennessee article. The extended hatnote needs to go away. -- Otto (talk) 18:41, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
Also need to state that the obvious attempt here to paint Memphis, Tennessee as a mid-sized regional city of no importance is silly and shows obvious bias.
Memphis, Tennessee is a hugely important and famous city. Firstly, it's not "mid-sized", it's the 20th largest city in the country, with a population of 1.2 million+ in the metro area. As for fame, it's the birthplace of Rock and Roll. Elvis. Sun Studio. Beale Street. The list of famous people from Memphis has 186 people on it.
Memphis, Egypt, on the other hand, has been dead and empty for over 1300 years and is of little interest to anybody other than historians. It's so little known about that tourists to Memphis, Tennessee often ask why we built our arena in the shape of a pyramid.
Search-wise, even Google knows better. Search for "memphis". Ignoring the wikipedia entries, only one of the results on the first page is talking about anything in Egypt. Page after page of results refers to Memphis, Tennessee in some form or fashion. All the news articles are referring to Memphis, TN. All the blogs linked to are Memphis, TN blogs.
Memphis, Tennessee is clearly the primary topic and city of more importance in today's world. Wikipedia may be an encyclopedia first and foremost, but that doesn't mean that it must be out of touch with current events as well. -- Otto (talk) 19:11, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
Oppose Memphis, Tennessee - according to the statistics - is the primary topic. The way it is as of now is the way I support. That is not because I set up the redirect two years ago, it is because it made and still makes the most sense to me. I do not at all want to undermine the historical nor cultural importance of Memphis, Egypt. Because of its importance Memphis, TN was named after that Egyptian metropolis. What I consider important in Wikipedia is user-friendliness. If the vast majority of users are looking for Memphis, TN when they type in "Memphis", then the users have made the decision. The way the redirect is set up is also more practical for the user, considering the statistics. What does the user do? They type in "Memphis" and hit [Enter] and the majority is at the page they want to see already. If the redirects are changed, the user types "Memphis", finds the redirect page and has to click on the desired topic to get to the page they want to see. So changing the redirect means one click more for most users. Leaving the redirects as they are does not eliminate the secondary topic Memphis, Egypt. At the very top of the Memphis, TN page there is the direct link to our Memphis, Egypt article and the link to the disambiguation page for those who still not have found the Memphis they were looking for. No information is lost and all Memphis related topics are still in very easy reach and very accessible for our users. doxTxob \ talk 01:24, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.