My name is Trollderella, I came here looking for information on the 'Endurance', found that I actually know more about it than is listed here, and got hooked immediately into adding it! Great job folks, what a cool idea!
The three content policies: Wikipedia:No original research, Wikipedia:Verifiability, Wikipedia:Neutral point of view. Also useful as guidelines are: Wikipedia:Reliable sources, Wikipedia:Cite sources.
Jimbo Wales claims here that " 'fame' and 'importance' are not the right words to use, they are merely rough approximations to what we're really interested in, which is verifiability and NPOV. . . Consider an obscure scientific concept, 'Qubit Field Theory' -- 24 hits on google. I'd say that not more than a few thousand people in the world have heard of it, and not more than a few dozen understand it. (I certainly don't.) It is not famous and it is arguably not important, but I think that no one would serious question that it is valid material for an encyclopedia. What is it that makes this encyclopedic? It is that it is information which is verifiable and which can be easily presented in an NPOV fashion. (Though perhaps only as a stub, of course, since it's very complicated and not many people would know how to express it clearly in layperson's terms.)"
Q. Why don't you like the term 'notability'?
- A. The issue of 'what is worth noting', or what subjects are worthy to go in, is essentially an excercise in point of view. What is notable to a student of local politics, an astronomer, and a Japanese toy collector, will be very different. For that matter, the point of view of a historian in 100 years time on what is 'notable' will be very different. We have the luxury of not having to choose which audience we write for. As long as everything we write is a verifiable fact, or attributed view, we can afford to keep it. See below for a side issue on source material.
Q. Why do you vote to keep so much stuff on AFD?
- A. I believe that Wikipedia is big enough to be both a general encyclopedia, and and encyclopedia of (for example) astronomy, food, Japanese TV tie-in toys, local politics, and US pop-culture. I don't think that we have to choose which ones we need to accomodate, and, indeed, I believe that doing so would be imposing our point of view on others, both now, and in the future.
Q. Doesn't that mean you want to keep everything, even articles about my cat?
- A. No. I believe that everything that stays needs to be verifiable fact, and not raw source information (we have WikiSource for that). That will exclude most cats, fire hydrants, bands without any CDs or gigs and many other things people worry about.
Q. But doesn't that mean we will have an article for every episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer?
- A. Maybe, but, if each one is contextualised, and contains verifiable information that someone cares enough to include, then why not? No one else has to read it, and it's not like Wikipedia is paper, or anything like that. Server space is cheap, we can afford to be the go-to resource for all kinds of specializations, including US pop-culture. The important thing is that it be verifiably factual.
Q. Doesn't that mean that you want to keep useless stubs?
- A. I think that stubs that do not grow over a period of time should be merged into a next level higher article, to the extent that they contain verifiable information that is not simply a statement taken from a source document. For example, a stub of an actor that was only ever in one movie could be moved and redirected to the movie they were in. A stub of a fire hydrant that says nothing except its location could be deleted, because there is nothing verifiable about it that is not a repetition of the source document (the local fire department's list of fire hydrants).