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This page is no longer "live". Please do not edit it further. Ongoing work is at Wikipedia:WikiProject countering systemic bias. -- Jmabel 21:02, Oct 4, 2004 (UTC)

note: i no longer contribute to Wikipedia, so it would be better if this page is moved to another location. see "xed comments" for my final ideas on this project below [Written by User:Xed. [[User:Poccil|Peter O. (Talk)]] 02:34, Oct 4, 2004 (UTC)]

Page moved. [[User:Poccil|Peter O. (Talk)]] 02:34, Oct 4, 2004 (UTC)

Committee Regarding Overcoming Serious Systemic Bias On Wikipedia

'Thinking outside the Wikibox' - User:Filiocht


This page is for people who have signed up to help create a beta version of a section which helps to reduce Wikipedia's inherent structural biases by providing easier access to 'less-travelled' articles.


Demographics of Wikipedia[edit]

In order to figure out the biases of Wikipedia, a rough idea of the demographics of en Wikipedia is required. In Replies_to_common_objections#Systemic_bias, it states:

  • As of May 2004, we think our largest bias is that we are biased in favour of Western topics, and particularly topics relevant to English-speaking nations such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and so on. Also, many of our contributors are "geeks" of various descriptions: hackers, scientists/academics and so on, and as such, our science and technology coverage is far deeper and broader than our arts and humanities coverage. That said, Wikipedia now seems to be expanding more rapidly in the latter areas than in the former.

To me, the humanities issue seems less of of an issue than when the above was written. I contributed to to Wikipedia's own page, saying:

  • Like all collaborative projects, Wikipedia has an built-in bias derived from the demographic make-up of its participants. In Wikipedia's case, this manifests itself in a tendency towards creating articles that relate to the interests of computer literate North Americans, and to a lesser extent Europeans.

I could have pointed out that Wikipedians are not only computer literate, but also probably heavier internet users than most other people, and tend to get more of their information from the Web. Jmabel says:

  • so many Wikipedians are interested in technology, technological topics are disproportionately well covered. Ditto science fiction. Ditto libertarianism.

All of these susbjects Jmabel notes are worth covering. However, the purpose of CROSSBOW is to give people a chance to cover less-travelled subjects. If anyone could provide more information on the demographics of en Wikipedia, please add to this section. --Xed 12:39, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)

While I don't think anyone has done a survey, I believe that Wikipedia runs at least 4-1 male; I haven't encountered any self-identified African-Americans, although I presume there are a few; I haven't encountered any self-identified Native Americans, although I presume there are at least a few people with significant Native American ancestry (although perhaps not who heavily identify with that ancestry). Also, there seems to be an age-bulge in roughly 18-40; my personal view is that for an encyclopedia, the lack of any large number of people younger than that is no calamity (the ones with the skills do find us), but the lack of those of us older can be, especially on political topics. There is a strong resulting bias toward the politics of the moment ratner than a longer-term view. -- Jmabel 18:31, Sep 22, 2004 (UTC)

Hi -- I'm a self-identified African-American -- see Wikipedia:Facebook. Cheers, BCorr|Брайен 18:34, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Content of CROSSBOW section[edit]

(to expand) The content of CROSSBOW would include links to Wikipedia articles which counter-act the effects of the systemic bias. --Xed 12:39, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)

to add - method of choosing articles.

I recommend taking a look at the Irish wikipedians' notice board which appears to be thriving. CROSSBOW, or whatever we end up calling it, would work well if we all discussed particular articles that were examples of Wikipedia's systemic bias, and came to a conclusion about which one we need to work on, then do some research, expand the article and when it reaches a decent standard move on to the next one. It would be a sort of parallel collaboration of the week amongst a group of users who had decided they wanted to work on a specific type of article. I would like to nominate Congo Civil War as the first article to be tackled. There may need to be a debate on what to call it, and then perhaps we could come up with a to-do list and maybe a list of associated articles that also need writing before the real work begins. This article has also been nominated on COTW and has gathered quite a bit of support, as well as being held up as an example in recent discussions held on the village pump. — Trilobite (Talk) 19:56, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I really like the idea of working on an underdeveloped article together and turning it into a featured article. This should be our goal, another goal could be promoting CB (Crossbow) articles, that is articles we feel really need work, for COTW. This way we have other Wikipedians doing the work for us ;) -- Solitude 21:32, Sep 22, 2004 (UTC)
The way COTW works lends itself to working on articles that are under represented on Wikipedia. I think that it is one part of Wikipedia that already works to balance systemic bias. But every now and then though it would be worthwhile pushing a particular article if only to drum more interest in the project. What seems more sensible is to follow the example of the Wikipedia:Irish wikipedians' notice board and have our own collaboration of the week :ChrisG 21:24, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Additionally looking at the Wikipedia:Irish wikipedians' notice board its clear that they are really a Wikiproject but haven't realized it yet. They are doing all the work on the talk page, without setting up a formal wikiproject. Bringing together the two ideas could be quite powerful. Set up a formal wikiproject and then have spirited and regular debate on the talk page. We already have the comments made on this page to get us going. :ChrisG 21:36, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Nice to find out what it is we are! My own feeling is that WP:COTW as it is now actually reinforces systemic bias because so many candidates are quickly tagged as being of too narrow a focus. An alternative COTW based on need to have rather than popularity is definitely one way for this project to go, and I agree that for this grouping having that as part of a formal Wikiproject would make a lot of sense, although I'm not so sure that it would work for the Irish COTW effort. Filiocht 13:35, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)

The more I think about it, the more I conclude that the Regional wikipedian notice board model is a big part of the way to go. There could be a Category:Special interest wikipedian notice boards with members including Wikipedia:Asia topics wikipedians' notice board, Wikipedia:Africa topics wikipedians' notice board, Wikipedia:Women's studies wikipedians' notice board, Wikipedia:Humanities topics wikipedians' notice board, and so on. A todo list on the project page, discussion on the talk page and a COTW subpage and away you go. Filiocht 14:06, 1 Oct 2004 (UTC)

And that might be part of the reason why three new ones popped up just this week. [[User:Poccil|Peter O. (Talk)]] 20:41, Oct 2, 2004 (UTC)

Design of CROSSBOW section[edit]

(to expand) The design would be the same or similar to the boxes found on the Wikipedia:Community_Portal page. --Xed 12:39, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I would suggest taking a serious look at a well-run WikiProject like Wikipedia:WikiProject Seattle or Wikipedia:WikiProject Philosophy. -- Jmabel 18:39, Sep 22, 2004 (UTC)

Yup, thats looking pretty good, I think we can copy that over for the most part. -- Solitude 21:28, Sep 22, 2004 (UTC)

Does anyone see a reason not to structure this effort, at least initially, as a WikiProject? -- Jmabel 05:23, Sep 23, 2004 (UTC)

& I think Irish wikipedians' notice board is another pretty good model of how to do this, too. That or a Wikiproject. But please let's quickly lose this cliquish, obscure "CROSBOW" acronym and call this what it is: Countering systemic bias. We want people to be able to search on "systemic" or "bias" and find it easily. -- Jmabel 07:30, Sep 23, 2004 (UTC)

See my freshly posted comment above in Content section. Wikipedia:Countering systemic bias could be a general introduction and a list of the available notice boards, with an invitation to create new ones. Filiocht 14:09, 1 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Taking advantage of non-English content[edit]

I'd like to urge everyone to consider that one way to address this, at least in part, is through Wikipedia:Translation into English. Do you read other languages well enough to translate? Sign up as a translator and/or take on some of the translation backlog. Do you read other languages a little, but not well enough to translate? Spend some of your time browsing foreign-language Wikipedias looking for material that needs translations and make translation requests. It's especially worth looking at other languages' featured articles. -- Jmabel 18:36, Sep 22, 2004 (UTC)

The same thing occurred to me, but there is the problem that most of the other langauge Wikipedias are tiny compared to en:. Not only that, but the further we go from the developed world the smaller the Wikipedias get. As an example, there are 190 million native speakers of Bengali and only 70 million of Italian, but while it: has 25,000 articles, bn: is an empty vessel. A major problem is that the English Wikipedia often appears to take precedence over all others; for a start we have www.wikipedia.org redirecting to en.wikipedia.org, but there are other issues. The "who cares?" attitude of some of the people with power on Wikipedia resulted in a major fork of the Spanish Wikipedia some time ago, a matter unresolved to this day and not often discussed here in the complacent world of en:. If you have a look through the relevant pages on meta: you will see that there have been various attempts to redress the balance but they have all been met with apathy. I brought up a possible solution to one of the issues here but got nowhere. The only real way to get the non-English Wikipedias flourishing is to recruit people who speak other languages. Translating what we've already got can only go so far. I have translated about five not particularly massive articles from es: in the past, but Jmabel's post has prompted me to go out looking for more, and I will have a go with fr: as well. — Trilobite (Talk) 20:23, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Even if the others are smaller than en:, wouldn't tens of thousands of new articles from a dozen or more Wikipedias written from the perspective of different nations make a serious contribution to this effort? And BTW, regarding the Spanish fork, it was a matter of extremely intense debate, and is a continuing topic. Attemps were made to rejoin es: with the separate Spanish Wiktionary, but now both exist, and it comes up all the time in terms of fears of it ever happening again. Thanks, BCorr|Брайен 21:28, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Just out of interest, I took a look at Wikipedia's French edition to find out what it says about the Wright Brothers - s subject I know a little about. Here's Google Translate's version of the French entry:
'They are known to have improved the flight of aircraft heavier than the air thanks to their systemic approach of the problem. Their contribution will be to have carried out the first flight controlled by the coupling of the warping of the wings (precursory of the ailerons) and of the rudder. Their exploit will be known later in Europe a few years and will contribute to the foundation of the first school of aviation in Pau in Provence. The Americans even regard them (wrongly) as the inventors of the first plane (cf Clément Ader). Originating in Dayton in Ohio, where they had a workshop of bicycles, their first flight proceeded in Kitty Hawk in North Carolina on December 17, 1903. To protect the rights on their invention, only few witnesses attended their first flights. As an indication, the first flight of the Wright brothers was made over a length slightly lower than the scale of a Boeing 747 current.'
Based on this sample of one t seems that the systemic bias also applies (in this case in spades!) to other languages, so we obviously have to be careful here. Jerry cornelius 04:52, 25 Sep 2004 (UTC)


A draft manifesto for this project: feel free to edit in place. -- Jmabel 08:16, Sep 23, 2004 (UTC)

Wikipedia has a number of systemic biases, mostly deriving from the demographics of our participant base, the heavy bias towards online research, and the (generally commendable) tendency to "write what you know". Systemic bias is not to be confused with systematic bias. The latter just means "thoroughgoing bias". Systemic bias means that there are structural reasons why Wikipedia gives certain topics much better coverage than others.

As of this writing, Wikipedia is disproportionately white and male; disproportionately American; disproportionately written by people from white collar backgrounds. We do not think this is a result of a conspiracy — it is largely a result of self-selection — but it has effects not all of which are beneficial, and which need to be looked at and (in some cases) countered.

Wikipedia is biased toward over-inclusion of certain material pertaining to (for example) science fiction, contemporary youth culture, contemporary U.S. and UK culture in general, and anything already well covered in the English-language portion of the Internet. These excessive inclusions are relatively harmless: at worst, people look at some of these articles and say "this is silly, why is it in an encyclopedia?"

Of far greater (and more detrimental) consequence, these same biases lead to minimal or non-existent treatment of topics of great importance. One example is that, as of this writing, the Congo Civil War, possibly the largest war since World War II has claimed over 3 million lives, but one would be hard pressed to learn much about it from Wikipedia. In fact, there is more information on a fictional plant.

An example list of poor treatment due to this bias would include (in no particular order):

  • Africa and the 'third word' generally, in all of its aspects
  • Asia - particularly 'underdeveloped' countries
  • Humanities subjects (is this really underrepresented? -- Jmabel 22:16, Sep 23, 2004 (UTC))
  • Art and Design subjects (is this really underrepresented? -- Jmabel 22:16, Sep 23, 2004 (UTC))
  • Female oriented/dominated subjects - Feminism, Women authors, Nursing, Fashion
  • Foreign literature (particularly writers whose work is unavailable or not widely available in English)
  • Agricultural and horticultural studies
  • Non-white figures in the U.S., UK, etc.
  • Subjects which would normally be longer in other encyclopaedias (is this really worth distinguishing as a separate category? -- Jmabel 18:18, Sep 23, 2004 (UTC))

Systemic biases are not easily addressed. We will need a variety of strategies. Among those are:

  • Identify existing structures that can help in promoting this effort — e.g. Collaboration of the week, the translation page, cleanup — or can serve as models: the Irish wikipedians' notice board, WikiProject Philosophy, etc.
  • Create new structures to coordinate our efforts toward countering systematic bias.
  • Create an infrastructure for recruitment and support of contributors outside the present Wikipedia mainstream. For example, this could include active outreach to Historically black colleges and universities in the U.S. and to colleges and universities in various countries of the British Commonwealth.
  • Identify subject-matter areas and specific articles that have been neglected due to systemic bias and which ought to be written, added to, or otherwise improved.
  • Collaborate on producing such articles.

Wikipedia is an evolving project. While some of its biases — e.g. a preference for online sources — are probably inherent, others — generally the demographic ones — need not be. However, they will not be overcome by wishful thinking. We need to devote active effort to these matters, rather than keep doing the same thing and expect different results.


Strategy and tactics[edit]


Existing structures that can help[edit]


I think we should add relevant links to other wikiprojects to the relevant lists we create; to draw their attention to systemic bias within their projects. This project is about as much pointing out the lack to other wikipedians in their area of expertise and interest as doing all the work ourselves or finding other writers :ChrisG 21:48, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)

New structures to coordinate our efforts[edit]



I think an inevitable consequence of creating a successful project would be the creation of such projects. But lets get this project set up and working properly first. These are medium term aims.

:ChrisG 21:38, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)


Infrastructures for recruitment[edit]

Are there models for this? At the very least, we need to come up with a good contact letter.

We might be able to get much already-published material "donated" to Wikipedia. Does anyone have any experience with approaching people about releasing existing materials under GFDL?

I don't have any experience of GFDL, but here's another thought on recruitment. How about a 'pyramid' structure, involving librarians? I'm thinking of Africa - I know Tanzania a little - but it could be applied to other regions or subject areas. If we could find someone who was wiliing to be the Wikipedia champion for Africa - perhaps a senior librarian at a university - they could use their own networks to recruit other librarians from individual countries. These librarians could then find academics or students to contribute to and write entries - or write them themselves. Strikes me that this might be a good way of spreading the wikipedia meme providing that we can find a good champion to kick things off. Perhaps to reduce the reliance on single individuals we need more than one champion - e.g. for diffent regions of Africa. My starting point for suggesting this is that I think - having put ot a few feelers here in the UK - that general awareness of wikipedia amongst the public and academics is very low at present. Jerry cornelius 08:28, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)

The quick and dirty method of getting the right kind of people, would be to set up the project, and then use blogs and more radical websites and eventually a slashdot article to drum up interest from people who have not yet thought about contributing to Wikipedia. It might take a while to teach some of the people NPOV; because it will take a while for some of them to realize we are talking about systemic, not systematic bias, but it would be worth it. :ChrisG 21:57, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Possible target areas for recruitment[edit]

Infrastructures for support of non-mainstream Wikipedians[edit]

Are there models/examples for this?

  • Would it be possible to create a Wikipedia terminal that could be cheaply and easily placed in a high traffic area, like a mall, library or school? This would allow people who normally wouldn't be aware of the Wikipedia to see it and potentially contribute.

Subject-matter areas and specific articles[edit]

  • Africa and the 'third word' generally, in all of its aspects
  • Asia - particularly 'underdeveloped' countries
  • Humanities subjects
  • Art and Design subjects
    • Ballet: last I checked, it was underdeveloped. [[User:Poccil|Peter O. (Talk)]] 20:08, Oct 1, 2004 (UTC)
  • Female oriented/dominated subjects - Feminism, Women authors, Nursing, Fashion
    • Djuna Barnes: major woman modernist: short article.
    • H.D.: ditto
    • Bennett College: one of only two historically black women's colleges remaining in the U.S.; we have no article —Bsktcase 20:58, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)
    • Princess Marie of Edinburgh (Queen Marie of Romania): a rather important intellectual and political figure, gets short shrift.
    • Judy Chicago, arguably the U.S.'s most famous specifically feminist artist, we have a tiny stub.
    • Jill Ker Conway, author, first woman president of Smith College; no article
    • Mary Daly, major feminist thinker, we have little but a list of publications
    • Andrea Dworkin, major feminist thinker, we have little but a list of publications
    • Betty Friedan: we accurately call her "one of the most influential feminists of the late 20th Century"... and we give her a stub.
    • P. J. Harvey, first-rate rock musician, short article
    • Joan Jett, pioneering woman rock performer, very politically active, you'd never know it from our short article
    • Catharine MacKinnon, major feminist thinker, we have a stub
    • Silvina Ocampo, Argentine intellectual. We have a reasonable short article on her sister, Victoria Ocampo
    • Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein: reasonable article on the book, but not much on her.
    • Smith College: one of the two most prominent remaining private women's liberal arts colleges in the U.S.; basically a stub plus an un-annotated short list of prominent graduates.
    • Spelman College: the largest and best-known of only two historically black women's colleges remaining in the U.S.; we have a stub —Bsktcase 20:58, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)
    • Oriana Fallaci: prominent Italian journalist and author. Little though I like her remarks on contemporary Islam, she certainly deserves more of an article. We mostly have a bibliography, quotations, and links. -- Jmabel 22:59, Sep 23, 2004 (UTC)
    • Patti Smith, a major figure in the history of rock music, we have a short article.
    • Olympia Snowe: prominent U.S. Senator, little more than a stub
    • Wellesley College: one of the two most prominent remaining private women's liberal arts colleges in the U.S.; basically a stub plus an un-annotated short list of prominent graduates.
    • Mia Zapata, highly respected (albeit not nationally famous) rock musician, murdered in 1993. That's about all our page says: nothing really about her music and nothing about the massive amount of work on women's self-defense done by Home Alive, founded in her memory.
    • List of women poets
  • Foreign literature (particularly writers whose work is unavailable or not widely available in English)
  • Agricultural and horticultural studies
  • Non-white figures (and other topics) in the U.S., UK, etc.
    • Romare Bearden - Notable African-American artist, stub
    • Black History Month - nonexistent
    • H. Rap Brown: civil rights and black power leader (later gone bad), little more than a stub
    • Stokely Carmichael: civil rights and black power leader, little more than a stub
    • Eldridge Cleaver: Black Panther, complicated, interesting life story that we only hint at.
    • Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: Afro-British composer: stub
    • George Jackson - Black Panther militant, little more than a stub
    • Robert Johnson - Our article accurately describes him as "probably the most influential delta blues singer and guitarist in history" (and, I would add, a damned fine songwriter, based on what little he recorded of his own songs), but it doesn't go into much analysis of his lyrics or music
    • Jacob Lawrence - Notable African-American artist, little more than a stub
    • Leadbelly - rivaled in his generation only by Woody Guthrie as a writer of folk songs and a conduit from folk culture into popular culture: little more than a stub
    • Jill Nelson - prominent contemporary African-American journalist and writer, no article.
    • Edgar Nixon - another major civil rights leader. We have a stub.
    • Pullman Company - 100 years ago, the single largest employer of African-Americans and a key in creating the Black middle class. Current article just more than a stub, doesn't mention Robert Todd Lincoln (George Pullman's successor running the company).
    • A. Philip Randolph - we have a moderately good article on a man who was arguably the most important civil rights leader of his generation.
    • Roy Wilkins: civil rights leader: no article!
    • Roger Wilkins: ditto, except he is alive and very active, very well-known
    • Young Lords: New York area Puerto Rican street gang circa 1970, moved at least for a while towards trying to become a Puerto Rican equivalent of the Black Panthers
  • Subjects which would normally be longer in other encyclopaedias
Given the bias derived from internet use, I believe people from countries not on this list can be ignored as CROSSBOW subjects. The same is true of history, places, politics - only countries on this list should be covered. --Xed 00:52, 24 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Target countries[edit]

An excellent map of media bias can be seem here, courtesy of Ethan Zuckerman. He has also written an essay which deals with many relevant issues. --Xed 02:04, 24 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I suggest countries not on the Bottom 100 lists below should be ignored when choosing CROSSBOW subjects:

  • Do I understand the previous comment to mean that you feel this project should not be looking at neglected aspects of women's history, African-American history, etc.? -- Jmabel 03:21, Sep 24, 2004 (UTC)
Women exist in the countries below. And they certainly are very neglected aspects of women's history. And American history seems well within the bias zone. For focus, the crossbow should aim at the bulls-eye. --Xed 04:08, 24 Sep 2004 (UTC)
OK, since you are doing this in your personal pages rather than as a WikiProject, I guess you get to call the shots. Sounds like you will not be focused on areas where I have expertise, either in the subject matter or in whom we might recruit. I'll just duck out of this. Best of luck. -- Jmabel 18:40, Sep 24, 2004 (UTC)
I agree with Jmabel, there should not be 'hard' requirements for our subjects, topics should be chosen on individual basis. I also assume we are aiming for this to become a community effort (isn't it already?), even if it is located on a user page right now. -- Solitude 14:55, Sep 27, 2004 (UTC)
I think that Xed meant to say countries not in the bottom 100 should not be a specific focus of this project. To be honest we will be creating lists of so many articles we should probably start with the bottom 10 and then gradually expand the lists. Don't forget there are other systemic biases other than by nation. :ChrisG 21:43, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Media bias[edit]

Bottom 10 for Newspaper circulation (per capita)]]

Bottom 100

Internet users[edit]

Bottom 10 for Internet users (per capita)]]

Bottom 100

Access to computers[edit]

Bottom 10 for personal computers (per capita)]]

Bottom 100 --Xed 02:04, 24 Sep 2004 (UTC)

A stray anonymous remark[edit]

Monkeys will always be monkeys and time has moved on. We are, as usual, in epoch making times and all the words in the world will not make a jot of difference. Trust in the 'gods' you believe in and hope for the best.


Part of the proposed strategy is to get our existing participant base writing about topics they have not been writing about. In many cases, this will go against the maxim of "write what you know." I, for one, strongly suggest that when writing about an area where you are not expert, be uncommonly scrupulous about citing sources. It is sheer hell trying to reconcile conflicting versions of a story when you have no way to assess the provenance of the information. -- Jmabel 22:16, Sep 23, 2004 (UTC)

Part of the proposed strategy is to recruit people who have not yet been active in Wikipedia and are not typical of who has already been involved. If we succeed in this, expect conflict, not only on specific factual matters, but on our methods of doing things. I have no specific expectations, just going on my past experience in these things. Expect that we will need new infrastructures to support a new group of participants. Again, I have no specifics in mind, just don't expect this to be easy. -- Jmabel 22:16, Sep 23, 2004 (UTC)

Useful resources[edit]

Don't forget public domain resources:

Xed comments[edit]

Since I am no longer going to edit Wikipedia, I thought I'd better give a rough idea of how I see CROSSBOW working. Ethan Zuckerman has supplied me with a list of companies that he has calculated receive least attention: Benin Burkina Faso Burundi Cameroon Central African Republic Chad Comoros Congo Dem. Rep. Congo Rep. Cote d'Ivoire Ethiopia Gambia Georgia Guinea Guinea Bissau Kyrgyzstan Madagascar Malawi Mali Mozambique Myanmar Niger Papua New Guinea Suriname Tajikistan Tanzania Togo Turkmenistan Western Sahara

(29 countries)

I suggest the CROSSBOW section be made up of 5 columns, with 5 items in each column. This would be a box on the 'Community portal page'. (A link would go to a more detailed page like the Irish wikipedians' notice board)

Three of the columns should have as the first item one of the countries above. The remaining items in these columns should relate to this country, with items 2 and 3 being the History and Politics of that country. The next column would have the name of a popular language (other than english) used by Wikipedia (German, Spanish, Japanese etc), and below it 4 subjects which have more detailed entries in that language than in English. The fifth column would be.... I don't know.

So it would look roughly like:

Benin         Burkina Faso  Burundi       German        ?
Politics of   Politics of   Politics of   ?             ? 
History of    History of    History of    ?             ?
Person?       Person?       Person?       ?             ?
Politician?   Politician?   Politician?   ?             ? 

The countries would rotate every week, so that the next group of countries would be Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad. As would the 4th column language.--Xed 02:08, 4 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Where do we go from here?[edit]

I see Xed has bowed out. I also gather that there was no consensus behind his notion that this project should be limited exclusively to areas where happen to have no expertise. So I'm back.

Earlier, I proposed three models:

  1. Just maintain a task list
  2. Make this a full-fledged WikiProject
  3. Spin out multiple WikiProjects

I personally think the third possibility would be too ambitious for the short run, but I could go equally happily with either of the others. Can we try to get a quick "show of hands"? -- Jmabel 03:20, Oct 4, 2004 (UTC)

QuickPoll 1[edit]

Just maintain a task list.

  • OK
    • Jmabel 03:20, Oct 4, 2004 (UTC)
  • No, I'd be against this

Make this a full-fledged WikiProject.

We are ready to start multiple WikiProjects.

  • OK
  • No, I'd be against this
    • Jmabel 03:20, Oct 4, 2004 (UTC)

feel free to add other possibilities above here


<copied from my talk page -- Jmabel 18:08, Oct 4, 2004 (UTC)>

  • I don't think there is a need for a poll. I think there is already enough interest that we could start a wikiproject and work out what we are doing with it as we go along. There is already copious commentary and ideas; and so the need and interest is clearly established. I would have got started on the project already, but out of politeness I was waiting for either you or Xed to take the lead. A poll would have been necessary to sort out differences between the two of you, but since Xed is dropping out there is no need. Polls should take place, but they should be set up as part of the project, not before it.
  • Name of project. Previously the discussion was between CROSSBOW and Countering Systemic bias. Adding Addressing Systemic bias just confuses the issue. I think there was already agreement behind Countering systemic bias; and certainly for including systemic bias in the title.

I've produced a draft version of the Wikiproject main page here.. I would envisage keeping the CROSSBOW page as an archive. What do you think?  :ChrisG 13:39, 4 Oct 2004 (UTC)

<end copied from my talk page -- Jmabel 18:08, Oct 4, 2004 (UTC)>

The name of this thing[edit]

I'd really like to get away from the name "CROSSBOW". It seems a very unlikely -- even counterproductive -- name for a project intended, among other things, to recruit non-Anglo and non-white contributors. A crossbow is an artifact most people associated with medieval Europe. Again, I'd like to see if we have consensus on this.

QuickPoll 2[edit]

Keep the name CROSSBOW

  • OK
  • No, I'd be against this
    • Jmabel 03:20, Oct 4, 2004 (UTC)

Call it "Addressing Systemic Bias"

  • OK
    • Jmabel 03:20, Oct 4, 2004 (UTC)
  • No, I'd be against this

Call it "Countering Systemic Bias"

  • OK
  • No, I'd be against this

Call it something else with "Systemic Bias" in the name

  • OK
    • Jmabel 03:20, Oct 4, 2004 (UTC)
  • No, I'd be against this

feel free to add other possibilities above here