|This page in a nutshell: Focus on article improvement, not deletion.|
Wikipedia has been built by the work of millions of dollars and thousands of people. Since its inception in 2001 it has grown to enormous size. In that time, two general wikiphilosophies have formed: deletionism and inclusionism. There are problems with both philosophies, and of course there are other philosophies. Nevertheless, this essay is meant to demonstrate that the inclusionism is less harmful / more beneficial to the wiki comunity than deletionism.
Article deletion involves the very hard and dedicated work of admins and others to remove content from Wikipedia. This includes removing vandalism, blocking trolls, and archiving talk pages - but also includes deleting "non-notable" articles, "unimportant" categories and other things that people spend their hours putting together. It is simply wrong of our community to allow people to waste their time fighting to keep/remove content. If someone thinks something is important, it is factually correct, and if they are willing to spend their precious time developing it, we should facilitate that development - not stifle it.
It is true that more articles and more categories means more server space is used, and potentially more server bandwidth - however, more content means potentially more useful information - and thus Wikipedia is generally more useful with more content. Also, while Wikipedia has more contributors now than ever - it is in the most dire need of more. There is so much to work on on Wikipedia, and we can't do that work if we scare away contributors by hassling them and deleting their work.
Of course, in theory, that work will eventually get done, but the time it takes to happen will be much longer.
Thus, the biggest problem with focusing on deletion is the huge amount of wasted hours - people working to improve Wikipedia by making content are thwarted by people working to improve Wikipedia by deleting content. There are millions of manhours lost doing such things, and it is quite simply a tragedy. If those that delete content instead worked to improve content on Wikipedia, we might get featured quality articles twice as often than we do now.
Of course, all this is not meant to say that we should keep all articles. Articles that are simple vandalism or obvious spam should be deleted. But for many articles, there are other alternatives to deletion that are more constructive, such as merging, adding onto stub artiles, finding sources, fixing wording, line-item deletion, moving it to a more suitable wiki, or simple editing. If an article is written in good faith, a significant case should be required to delete the article.
- The Pure wiki deletion system - a deletion system based on natural wiki process rather than by a comittee of administrators.
- WP:Article Rescue Squadron
- Arguments to avoid in deletion discussions
- Deletion policy
- Deletion precedents
- Deletion process
- Deletion review
- Deletion review guide
- Guide to deletion
- Introduction to deletion process
- There is no deadline
- The Heymann Standard
- Essays, etc.