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My Wikiphilosophy[edit]

I strongly believe in the project known as Wikipedia. I think it has the power to change the world: indeed, it has already started to do so. While it has a few problems, overall it is on the right course and growing into a better and more comprehensive collection of knowledge everyday. I don't like calling it an "encyclopedia", as that word has a lot associated with it that does not represent what Wikipedia is.


I spend a lot of time on Articles for Deletion (AFD). The reason is simple: this is where I feel I can do the most good. If I can spend 5 minutes and help save an article that 100 people have spent many, many hours on, then I've done a lot more for Wikipedia than five minutes of editing an article would. Oftentimes I end up editing some of the articles nominated as well. Changing a poorly-written mess that was nominated for deletion into a well-written article is great way to make Wikipedia better. I still do a good bit of editing of non-AFD articles, but I consider AFD to be of higher importance.


In looking over some of my votes on AFD (and my votes are never simply votes, I feel strongly that both sides should always state some reason), some might consider me an inclusionist, because I often vote to keep things that other people want to delete. I do consider myself an inclusionist, despite the fact that the word has become a stereotype and almost an epitath, such as "liberal" in many parts of the US. My definition of an inclusionist follows.

An inclusionist:

  • Believes in Wikipedia, and recognizes its potential.
  • Believes that stubs and small ugly articles are a good thing, for articles tend to get better over time, not worse.
  • Always assumes good faith. Articles are innocent until proven guilty.
  • Recognizes that Wikipedia is not paper, and is much more than an encylopedia. We're not bound to only covering the most "important" or the most "talked about" subjects, but can devote pages to the tree frogs, 18th century war ships, and Internet memes. We can not only cover things only written about before in small, obscure publications, but can expand greatly upon them, and link them all together. We can add context to things, and cover current events as they happen. No publishing deadlines, no page limits, no reason to avoid linking to an audio file.
  • Supports deletion, but only as a last step. Every effort should be made to save the article, by rewriting, by using the talk page, by tagging with things like {{cleanup}} or {{expert}}, and by merging as needed.
  • Respects opposing viewpoints, follows policy, and accepts consensus.
  • Always gives a reason when voting in AFD, whether 'keep" or "delete".
  • Has no problem tagging things as a speedy delete as needed, or bringing something to AFD.

Keeping it fun[edit]

In addition to keeping WP:CIVIL, I try to maintain a sense of humor about things here at Wikpedia. I see lots of Wikistress, especially in the Wikipedia namespace. That's a shame, because editing this great experiment should be fun. And even when not fun, it should be rewarding, in knowing that you are helping to make the world a better place. It should never be stressful. If it is, take a break. The come back and hit the "Random Page" link and make some easy changes. There, don't you feel better? :)


I don't particularly see the need for the level of detail given on many userpages. As someone once said, Wikipedia is not a free web hosting service. [1] The whole userbox fiasco is a case in point. What I want to know is what the user feels about Wikipedia. What are their favorite parts? How do they like to help out? What articles are they working on? While I feel a sense of community is important, having categories of users linked by userboxes is the wrong way to do it. Instead, participate on the talk pages, both at the articles and on the Wikipedia section.

Vandalism fighting[edit]

I am not a vandal fighter. There are lots of people who do a lot of this, and spend time watching Recent Changes, and racking up lots of page edits. I am not one of them. Not that I won't revert vandalism when I come aross it, but I feel my time, energy, and skills are better suited to editing articles. Typically I hit the Random Page link and see what comes up. Surprisingly often, the page that arrives needs *something* done, even if its only a Wikignome like minor edit - disambig, fixing dates, etc. Not only does this tend to expose articles that may have been overlooked and in need of a good cleanup, but it exposes me to many topics I might otherwise never learn about.

Linking dates[edit]

One of the biggest techincal shortcomings of Wikipedia is that the date preference has the same markup as internal linking. In other words, the only way to make January 1, 1970 appear to be people as they prefer via date formatting is to make it a list. As if this was not bad enough, it had caused the unfortunate habit to develop of linking all date parts. Hence, one of the wikignome like things I tend to do when hitting random pages is to remove lone years, lone months, and lone days (yes, I've seen people link words like "Friday"). Call it my current pet peeve. :)

Thanks for reading this far, or at least taking the time to skip to the bottom. :) Feel free to ask me anything you want on my talk page. - Turnstep


Been very bust in real life lately, so not much time for Wikipedia. On the plus side, one of the things I am busy with is learning the MediaWiki codebase and adding features to it. :) Turnstep 23:31, 23 April 2006 (UTC)