Wikipedia:The world will not end tomorrow
|This page is an essay, containing the advice or opinions of one or more Wikipedia contributors. Essays are not Wikipedia policies or guidelines. Some essays represent widespread norms; others only represent minority viewpoints.||
To paraphrase Brooks Hatlen: the world has got itself in a big damn hurry. But no matter how quickly you can make a million, order a pizza through your TV or die of swine flu, achieving notability is still usually a process, rarely an event.
An encyclopedia should not begin to move at lightning speed to keep up with the rat race. Indeed, as a record of history it must necessarily be a few steps behind current events, watching, listening, pondering, arguing, digesting the output of humanity. Even when a subject's notability is not in question, our policies on original research require us to wait for reliable secondary sources to come to full fruition before we even get our boots on. As one editor put it, Wikipedia should generally be "behind the ball—that is: we don't lead, we follow". Of course, some topics attract instant or rapid notability and extensive secondary analysis, for example a new royal birth or the Islam vs Denmark cartoon controversy. But these are exceptions and anyone or anything whose rise to fame was not marked with a story on the Nine O'Clock News should be prepared to wait, to ease into being notable.
In short, the world will not end tomorrow. If it does, we don't need Wikipedia. If it doesn't, and if Wikipedia is to be a long-term, respected and reliably informative entity—perhaps even "the Encyclopedia of the Future"—then we can afford to take our time when deciding on what is allowed in, and when we open the door.
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