Wikipedia talk:An article about yourself isn't necessarily a good thing

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A breeding ground for ideas and development of policy[edit]

Essays are places where ideas can be tried out, unlike when editing policy pages. Those articles are difficult to alter for good reason, so it becomes difficult to try a new idea to see what it looks like. Here we can do that. We have more artistic license to try out new ideas and wordings, to experiment, and to attack the problem from different angles, all of which would not be allowed on a policy page. We don't have to be politically correct here. This essay doesn't have to match exactly with existing policy. Only by stretching the existing mold can improvements be made, and we are always interested in improving policies and guidelines. In that spirit I encourage all contributors here to be creative and dare to seek to improve on the status quo. -- Brangifer (talk) 19:06, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

Change doesn't equal improvement[edit]

While it is true that improvement cannot occur without change, lots of change can occur without real improvement. Sometimes it takes time and real experimentation to discover whether a change is going to result in improvement, and since humans have a natural tendency to reject change on first acquaintance, patience must be allowed to reign. Give things a chance and see what happens. On this essay no effect on policy is occurring, so there is no danger. If this essay produces ideas that might be useful as an adjunct to or alteration of existing policies, then that will happen on the policy talk page. -- Brangifer (talk) 21:01, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

Need for a LEAD[edit]

We need a short LEAD based on the essay's contents. Some things that need mentioning and development are why this essay even exists:

  • NPOV requires balanced coverage, so existing negative information will find its way into articles if it's reliably sourced. The need for this essay is basically all because of NPOV.
  • Wikipedia gets enormous coverage, which places its articles at or near the top of search findings.
  • Mirrors of Wikipedia abound and they are not controlled by Wikipedia. They often contain copies of old, very out of date articles, including even possibly unsourced libelous content that was immeditely deleted, but not before a mirror copy was made.
  • No legal threats places further limitations on what offended people can do.
  • etc. etc. more ideas

Brangifer (talk)

I thought the lead to this essay was pretty good. Of course, a lot has been added (by me and others) since then. If anyone has great ideas on how to improve this, go for it! Sebwite (talk) 05:20, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
I hadn't thought of it as a lead until the fourth (newest) heading was added, which automatically created a TOC, and everything before that is considered the lead. The lead should be much shorter, maybe one or two sentences per paragraph of text in the body of the article, IOW a brief summation. BTW, the first heading is a fourth(?) level heading (3 x =) instead of a third level heading. Is that on purpose? -- Brangifer (talk) 05:32, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
I have made an attempt. If it's too harsh or it left something out of importance, by all means fix it. Nothing's in stone here! -- Brangifer (talk) 07:28, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
After I saw this, it made me realize that the way this essay began before sounds pretty good. It gives it a kind of humurous-sounding start.
Still, I have not ditched the new lead you wrote. It is really good, and deserves to stay. Rather, I have moved it several paragraphs down to where it seems to make sense.
Be aware, I have also made some other changes in the same edit, so if you disagree and wish to revert, please make a completely independent edit, no an undo. Sebwite (talk) 17:12, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

Title change?[edit]

I wonder if the title is a bit too clumsy? IMHO, by changing only one or two words, it can be improved:

  • "An article about yourself is nothing to be proud of desire"

How does that sound? I'd like to hear some thoughts and other suggestions. -- Brangifer (talk) 07:32, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

I would have to think about it. It is a hard call at the moment. Anyway, I have reserved the shortcut WP:DESIRE for this just in case. Sebwite (talk) 17:15, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
Ah! Thinking ahead. I like that! -- Brangifer (talk) 18:01, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
Could it be something more like "...is nothing to necessarily be proud of"? It is not set in stone that you should not be proud of your article, only that it is not necessarily positive. --Cyclopiatalk 20:11, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
That is indeed true. I just wish we could shorten it somehow and still get the gist of this. -- Brangifer (talk) 01:12, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
I wouldn't worry too much about length if there are shortcuts. Still, we are in no hurry to rename this, so we can wait until someone has just the right idea for a new title. Sebwite (talk) 01:15, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
What about a title like Wikipedia:Do you really want an article about yourself? - The essay should be, as far as I can see, a primer to answer to this question. My previous deletion nomination was mostly based on the fact that this title, and the early versions of the essay, seemed to bluntly put as fact that a bio in WP is a shame. Now it is more balanced, but the title still is not. --Cyclopiatalk 15:09, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
That sounds pretty good to me. Let's hear what others think. -- Brangifer (talk) 15:33, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
That's a possibility. I would have to think about it. As I did with WP:DESIRE, I have also reserved WP:REALLY and WP:WANT for shortcuts just in case. Sebwite (talk) 16:00, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

New section: Some comforting thoughts[edit]

To bring some balance and much-needed hope to this essay, I have created a new section:

I hope it meets with approval. -- Brangifer (talk) 19:15, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

I think it's a good idea. I was reading this essay and felt like it was overly pessimistic and put undue weight on the darker side of having a Wikipedia article about oneself, and then I got to that section and felt like it dealt with that issue by portraying the other side. It seems to me that that section makes this essay pretty well balanced. BreakfastJr (talk) 07:41, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

AfD ends with Withdrawn[edit]

AfD ends with withdrawn (snowball keep):

Brangifer (talk) 01:09, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

Inappropriate person[edit]

This essay opens by assuming a lot about you, things which may or may not be true. Unfortunately, much of the claims of this essay are still true even if those assumptions are not. For example, even if you don't "like the attention", don't "like to be noticed", and even if you do already "understand the principles of Wikipedia" including NPOV that doesn't mean an article about yourself is something to be proud of, that Charles Manson isn't notorious for being a murder, or that Michael Phelps's bong photo isn't mentioned in his Wikipedia article. Of course if you're not a jackass like this essay says you are, then you have little reason to trust not only it's claims but it's main argument. If you are, well, its probably too late. Hyacinth (talk) 03:52, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

Deletionpedia[edit]

Apparently has not been used for some time. The front page notes downtime and that it has not been edited since 05 Feb 2009 and a cursory glance showed me lots of articles from 2008 but no more recent.. Eugene-elgato (talk) 16:57, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

I wouldn't per se classify this as a Notability essay.[edit]

Doesn't seem the topic is really "Notability" but I would agree it should be linked to from Notability...just a thought.   गीता Brother Can You Spare A Dime - Unsparingly correcting sloppy thinking Brothercanyouspareadime (talk) 21:28, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

Bad Title and Bad Lead[edit]

I really think this could be a very useful essay, but the title and the lead really do it a disservice. I know that the idea of changing just the title has been discussed, but it seems that discussion has gone stale, and I believe it is not just the title, but the title and the lead together which is problematic. First, the title. In English, the phrase "nothing to be proud of" has a strong connotation of "something to be ashamed of." I think we all can agree that many of the living people who have Wikipedia articles about them (most of whom did not write them) have nothing to be ashamed of just because they find an article about themselves. Next, the lead. It says "so, you like the attention. You like to be noticed. You very badly want to be the featured subject of a Wikipedia article. You consider that to be highly prestigious." It basically accuses anyone who might be flattered by finding a Wikipedia article about themselves, or who might think their accomplishments are notable enough to merit one is an attention-seeking narcissist. This sentence is unnecessarily snarky, insulting, and fails to assume good faith. A much better title for the essay would be "An article about yourself isn't necessarily a good thing" or "An article about yourself can be a mixed blessing." Then the lead should be scrapped entirely, and a new one written in a neutral, mature tone along the lines of "Living persons may believe that their accomplishments are notable enough to merit a Wikipedia article, indeed may validate their accomplishments, however due to the Wikipedia policy of neutral point of view, a Wikipedia article cannot be used as a promotional device for a living person, and indeed negative information about that person will also be included if it is notable and verifiable.." Something like that. Mmyers1976 (talk) 21:42, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

I agree with the idea of changing the title, and I have wanted to for a long time. I just don't know what is a better title, and I have been waiting for some suggestions. I like some of yours. Some slight variations of yours may also be good. If you or anyone else can think of some good suggestions, please let everyone know. Sebwite (talk) 01:08, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Although this conversation in 2 years stale, I'd like to echo the above sentiments. Joefromrandb (talk) 22:52, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
I absolutely agree as well, which is why I made this edit. I would totally support any change to the title especially. I might make a few changes to the lede right now. MidnightRequestLine (talk) 23:04, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
Even when I created this essay several years back, I didn't think this was the best possible title when I named it. It was just the only one I could think of at the time. I was hoping that others might have some better ideas. But in the years since, I have moved on to other things, and thought little about this essay. Sebwite (talk) 04:47, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
I went ahead and moved it. I wouldn't be surprised if it gets reverted fairly quickly, but at least the ball is rolling. Joefromrandb (talk) 12:21, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
I, the creator, actually like this new title a lot. If it gets reverted, it won't be by me. I may at most try to simplify the title based around these words if I can think of a way to. Sebwite (talk) 19:31, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
Sounds good. The title was, of course, suggested by MMyers1976 2 years ago. I don't know if xe is still active here; I'll ping the talk page. Joefromrandb (talk) 06:46, 20 April 2013 (UTC)