User talk:Reno Chris

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License tagging for Image:Varis mcguin damali.jpg[edit]

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Spam?[edit]

Hello! The article on Garnet is on my watchlist because I added a reference to it being Connecticut's state mineral to it the other day. I recently noticed this edit. Are you sure they're spam links? I visited the websites and they look like the references they're alleged to be. Not being an expert of any sort on gemstones, it's entirely possible that I'm missing something obvious, but those links you deleted here and from other gemstone pages look legitimate to me. Please enlighten me if I'm wrong! Have a great day!--Elipongo (Talk|contribs) 06:43, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Hi! I am basically going through and eliminating pages of commercial sites which have been appended onto mineral Wikipedia pages to pull viewers off Wikipedia. Yes indeed, they have a partial page or so of standard mineralogical data or other basic information - nothing new or unusual, simple textbook suff easily available. Then with their bit of info, they have a whole bunch of ad links, product offering links and other links to pull users and add Google PageRank to their sites. This is a commercial use of Wikipedia for advertising purposes, which is not allowed. In spite of having a little bit of data, these links fall under the definition of spam. Almost all these same Wiki pages also have a link to mindat.org - a non commercial site with exactly the same basic mineralogical info. Many of the Wikipedia pages themselves have just as much info as the ad/spam pages. - Chris — Preceding unsigned comment added by Reno Chris (talkcontribs) 07:04, 8 January 2007

It seems you have been removing some valid references in your haste to "get even". The Webmineral site is a valuable database and has been used extensively as a reference. It is supported by some advertizing, but not glaringly so. The Mineral Galleries site has also been used as a reference. It contains valid data - although I had used it less over the past year due to the increase in advertizing. On the Phillipsite article you simply removed the reference/ tag and left the footnote hanging. Several of those edits removing references are quite simply vandalism. I am aware that I removed the link you added to the turquoise page, please note that adding external links to your own website definetely qualifies as spam. Stop removing references or you may be blocked. If you feel a site is too commercial, then discuss it here or on the talk page of the article in question.
On a lighter note, thanks for uploading the great Variscite image, it is a good addition to the article. Vsmith 01:16, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Greetings to VSmith: I would like to talk about this - and I am sure we can all keep it fully civil - this is not some personal thing. I don’t want to argue, but I would like to discuss it. I am actually kind of surprised at your response - before I touched anything, I looked and saw that you have historically removed many spam references in the past (by the way, thanks for your efforts to keep wiki a quality site). The sites I removed did vary somewhat in commercial content, but I was surprised you specifically supported the Mineral Gallery pages. Many of the Mineral Gallery (AKA Amethyst Gallery) contained perhaps two or three hundred words of the most very basic info, copied out of a handy reference book of which there are many, much of which simply repeated what was already in the Wiki page like the chemical formula, SG, RI, crystal habit, streak color, etc. Fully 2/3 of the page was ads, with multiple links to products for sale, company logos, Google Adsense blocks and other commercial stuff. Although they contained some valid data, these pages were very glaringly commercial, and clearly placed to advertise and promote sales. I honestly cannot see how you could possibly support those pages as not being overly commercial. Its true that some of the Mineral Gallery pages were maybe only 2/3 content and 1/3 ads, but the company logos, Google Adsense blocks, links to stuff for sale, and strong commercial promotion was still exactly the same. They were the most commercial of all the several sites that were prevalent on a large number of the mineral pages. Webmineral was better, but still very commercial. I took a look at the Webmineral link on the current page for Zoisite (I did not change or disturb it) and found 20 commercial links to the web pages of folks who sell mineral specimens and related items, including a big banner ad at right at the top of the page, the very first thing the user sees. Are 20 commercial links including a banner ad at the top of the page acceptable?

I understand that placement of commercial web pages with advertising on Wikipedia can be controversial, and folks disagree on how much advertising is OK. I do stand by my earlier statement that in spite of having a little bit of genuine data, these links are largely commercial and fall under the definition of spam. Almost all these same Wiki mineral pages also have a link to mindat.org - a non commercial site with exactly the same basic mineralogical info. I also know even some places like GIA are in business to make money and do provide services and products for sale (and I did not touch their links). I'll also admit I've seen some links that seem to have worse commercialism in other areas of wiki, but did not remove them as these places were not in my area of expertise and I did not feel comfortable to do so.

You are right that I should have gone back to handle the one dangling link in the zeolite pages. However, simply because a commercial link is incorporated into a reference does not make it any better. You would know better than I, but I think it is Wiki policy that web pages are not in themselves considered "authoritative" as a reference. I also cut out several broken links that went nowhere and apparently had not been checked in a while.

Anyway, to wind up all of my long-winded response, I would like to hear more of your thoughts on this. I promise to do nothing further without discussion and the formation of some sort of consensus.

I actually would like to continue contributing here - you can check my contributions. I see that the web link was the only thing you cut - I also posted a picture to the turquoise page as well. I do have formal training, including a bachelors degree from the Mackey school of Mines here in Reno, experience in the mining industry, and more than 25 years experience field collecting minerals of various types.

Reno Chris Reno Chris 07:02, 10 January 2007 (UTC) PS - I didn't know if you wanted to continue this on my page or yours, so I did both for now, but if you'd prefer one or other, let me know and we'll do that.

Let's keep the talk thread here for continuity. One of the major problems with your deletions was that you were removing references (in some cases the only refs for an article) from articles. In many cases the websites listed were the direct source of the data added to or used in the original writing of the article. Simply removing references without analysis of what part of the article was directly supported by the ref is ill-advised. I will agree that much of the data in the various online databases is available (perhaps better) in text references and I alomost always add a standard mineralogy text as a ref, if the mineral is covered by a text I have available, in addition to online refs.
Easy verifiability: the online databses, Mindat, Webmineral, Mineral galleries and more recently the U of A PDF files, are readily verifiable by anyone with web access - far easier than trekking to a library to check a text ref. Many readers may live out in the boonies like me and not have ready access to text refs.
I consider Webmineral to be on par with Mindat, maybe even better for consistency, but use both as they complement each other (and sometimes disagree). The one glaring adv at the top of Webmineral pages is easy to live with (they've gotta pay the bills) and don't seem to be pushing their own stock of crystals. Webmineral and Mindat both list sources of minerals at or near the bottom of the page, but are not in the selling business themselves as far as I have noticed. Given all that I will continue to use both as references and will resist attempts to remove them.
Mineral galleries has become a problem. About 12 to 18 months ago they changed their format to include more glaring advertizing and about that time I began to stop using their site as a reference unless they provided material not readily available elsewhere. Some of their write-ups are quite good and provide different perspectives on some minerals. However, I seldom use them now. Back in 2004 when I began adding a bunch of short mineral articles to wikipedia I did use all three online databases quite heavily. Over the past 2-3 years both wikipedia and my editing have matured a bit and I'm more careful about refs now. Many of my early articles are in need of reworking and could be re-referenced as well, I would not object to a thoughtful removal of the mineral galleries links as long as they are replaced by good refs and don't leave material unreferenced. Ah, so much to do :-)
I truly welcome another knowledgeable geology type editor here, feel free to rewrite and improve existing article and add new ones - your images are great. And - yes add good references for the articles you edit, just please don't go on a reference deletion spree again.
I spent a couple of weeks at Mackey in Reno back in 1975 or (76?) at a short course on volcanism while I was an active copper geologist in southern Arizona. I was working on a place called Red Mountain - pile of heavily altered andesites with an interesting rhyolite plug exposed on one cliff, which happed to be setting above a deep glob of copper. Anyway the big mines in Chile & Peru opened about that time and shut the project down - I moved on to other things (as far as I know that glob of copper is still there ... hmm :-)
Cheers, Vsmith 03:33, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Greetings: Well, I have been a lot slower than I expected getting back to this... You never know about old deposits. If its unclaimed, you might go back and throw a few claims on the deposit with the price of Copper these days. Anyway, I added a couple photos, some info on source locations, and a couple book references to the tourmaline page. I'm planning to go over to the Mackey School of Mines tomorrow and take some pictures in their mineral museum, The mineral specimens on display might make for some good photo additions. The problem with commercialism is drawing a line. You cannot have a standard of no commercial ads whatsoever, as you'd eliminate mindat and everyone else. On the other hand, there is certainly a point where it becomes too intrusive and heavy. I think the commercial exposure should be evaluated from the point of view of the average user. I dont know that it matters much to the normal user if a site is selling advertising space to others or selling their own goods - the view of the site to the user is exactly the same. I would think the goal would be that any advertisment would be unobtrusive and easily ignored if the average viewer chooses to do so. So where does one draw the line? Its a difficult question - well, thats why there is no easy, universal answer. Best wishes, Reno Chris 07:40, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

License tagging for Image:Benitoite09.jpg[edit]

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NowCommons: Image:Calcite09.jpg[edit]

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