User:Robert K S

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I'm concerned about the blighting trend of plastering template tags at the tops of articles all over the encyclopedia.[edit]

I've elaborated arguments against the "drive-by tagging" phenomenon, and proposed the solution, here (now archived). Hint: it involves leaving talk content to talk space. Seems sensible, yeah?

I've been told that this opinion is "a minority position" and that "there is consensus that tags are acceptable in article space". I'm not convinced either of these statements is true. Here are some excerpts from the above-linked discussion. But more important than the number of editors who agree on this is the strength of the rationale, which I find to be harmonious with official policy and guidelines.

  • "'s really been striking me lately that the cleanup templates are getting out of hand. ... The widespread use of cleanup tags in article space seems to violate one of the basic principles of WP, which is that WP is not supposed to be self-referential." User:Nareek
  • "The proliferation of tags bothers me... how about helping make the page better like the rest of us rather than just throwing tags around?" User:UnitedStatesian
  • "The fundamental concept of Wikipedia is that anyone can write and improve articles. And if that message is not clear enough, that is a concern for the overall design of this website. ...such messages should go on talk pages." User:Kildor
  • "I very much agree that tagging does not work well at the moment. It is like red-pencil annotations in traditional paper-based editing and does not belong in the main online version which is, de facto, our current best effort." User:Colonel Warden
  • "I agree with [Robert]. If an article needs tagging to show other editors a particular deficiency, we should do so on the talk page to avoid distracting the reader... editors are not the primary audience for an encyclopedia article." User:VinceBowdren
  • " first choices to remove would be 'orphan'--a bot placed category for articles with three or fewer incoming links that is of no use whatever to any actual reader, and 'deadend' for ones with no links to other articles--something which is obvious enough." User:DGG
  • "[C]leanup templates would be better placed on article talk pages, rather than added to the mainspace articles themselves". User:Gavin.collins (Arriving at the same conclusion as me independentlyNumerous other editors agreed, though some did not, with the result being no consensus.)
  • "Tag graffiti is a significant problem in Wikipedia." User:Therefore (Independent conclusion)
  • "Robert makes a very strong case. ... It would be easier ... if it had been decided in the beginning that Improvement tags should go on the Talk Pages. We tend to maintain what we are used to." GeorgeLouis [1]
  • "I'm also concerned by the drive-by tagging which is occurring more and more frequently on WP. Anyone can just add a clean-up tag on an article; the tag doesn't improve the content in any way, and more and more often I'm noticing many of the tags are inappropriate from the very beginning, or are left on for too long." User:Firsfron

User:Shanes also wrote a screed against tags as far back as 2006, though the problem has gotten significantly worse since that time, and continues to do so, with some users assuming that template tags are sanctioned by some guideline or policy when, in fact, there has never been any sitewide discussion on the issue as there has been with many other structural/institutional elements of the site.

Robert's Empirical Law of Wikipedia-Editing Effect on Work Productivity[edit]

"Work productivity for a person for a given month is inversely proportional to the person's number of Wikipedia edits for that month."

Likely areas of contribution[edit]

I may be able to initiate or enhance articles in the following topics, having studied and collected materials in these areas:


William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905) - A Young Girl Defending Herself Against Eros (1880).jpg

I enjoy travel and have been fortunate enough to recently visit the following places outside the United States:

I make my home in Cleveland, Ohio and try to spend as much time as I can in Los Angeles, California, where I went to college at the University of Southern California. I lived in Paris for half of 2007.

Little touches[edit]

I have met and/or sighted in person (as at a lecture, concert, art exhibition, book signing, rally, etc.) the following more or less notable individuals:

Bonnie Dunbar, Buzz Aldrin, John Glenn, Robert Crippen, Nichelle Nichols, Whitney Houston, Whitley Strieber, Peter Frampton, George H. W. Bush, Ralph Nader, Drew Casper, Harlan Ellison, Tony Kushner, Bob Saget, Sean Astin, Nolan Bushnell, George Lucas, Lawrence Kasdan, Frank Darabont, Wolfgang Petersen, Leonard Nimoy, Colin Powell, Richard Dreyfuss, Spike Lee, Jason Alexander, Gary Oldman, Charles Fleischer, Nelson Gidding, Larry David, Tomlinson Holman, David S. Goyer, Stefan Avalos, Paul Debevec, Stephen Hawking, Sidney Poitier, Kathleen Antonelli, Arthur and Alice Burks, Herman Goldstine, Jean Bartik, Roman Coppola, Pete Docter, Paul McCartney, Harvey Pekar, Kurt Vonnegut, Simon & Garfunkel, The Everly Brothers, John Kerry, John Edwards, Bruce Springsteen, Les Paul, Matisyahu, Ringo Starr, Jerome Vered, Jared Diamond, Han Myeong Sook, John G. Webster, Bob Harris, Ken Jennings, Richard Cordray, Ian Hunter, Donald Pettit, George Voinovich, Louis Stokes, General William Suter, John Roberts, John Paul Stevens, Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, David Souter, Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Samuel Alito, Crispin Glover, Phil Donahue, Marlo Thomas, Dennis Kucinich, Elizabeth Kucinich, Newt Gingrich, Hillary Clinton, Sherrod Brown, Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Marcia Fudge, Joel Hodgson, Trace Beaulieu, J. Elvis Weinstein, Frank Conniff, Mary Jo Pehl, Alex Trebek, Johnny Gilbert, Len Wein, Edgar Winter, Rick Derringer, Gary Wright, Gregg Bissonette, Richard Page, Wally Palmar, Stephen Gard, Sonia Sotomayor, Eric Brown, Maureen O'Connor, Caldwell Esselstyn, Lee Fisher, Lawrence Lessig, John Dean, Connie Schultz, Frank Abignale, Stephanie Wilson, Iris DeMent

...and probably a few others I can't think of at the moment. (The above doesn't count "star sightings," though I'm pretty sure Michael Keaton once waved "hi" to me, and I literally rubbed elbows with Kevin Costner on the red carpet. And there was the time I chatted on the phone with Yoko Ono. And I keep running into Billy Zane at the oddest places.)

Useful Wikipedia links[edit]

  • The Wikipedia Manual of Style, for when you want to know whether periods and commas go inside or outside of quotation marks (outside!), or how many spaces to leave between sentences (one or two, it doesn't matter!)
  • Wikipedia:Purge, for instructions on how to purge cached pages and images


Here's how to use templates to cite sources:

Here's how to use templates to quote:

Here are some useful template messages:

Concept explanations[edit]

Here's a great link to send those who are having a hard time understanding the concept of Wikipedia: