Wikipedia talk:Improve this article about Wikipedia

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Fact checking[edit]

I've never heard of Jimbo's plans for a Wiki-constitution, a Wiki-Bible and Wiki-poetry. Can someone confirm that? Tuf-Kat 18:21, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

Haven't heard of it either, perhaps it's a misquote and jimbo was just naming the possibilities, or perhaps this is just the first time he's telling the world about it. A wiki-bible seems utterly batshit though, I don't see how that would work.
Remove it as unreferenced? --fvw* 18:30, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
Removed. I think that was one of the original authors little jokes. JesseW, the juggling janitor 18:43, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

Aren't some of the facts wrong?, such as "200,000 volunteers", there are 444,413, and "over a million entries", we have 736,800. Martin 19:08, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

Yup. I'm updating, but I had to remove the pyramids sentence. I like that stat, is there a source for it somewhere, or another flashy one? - Trevor MacInnis(Talk | Contribs) 19:26, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
I changed the "over a million entries" to "over 700,000". If we count all languages, I there are over a million, but that's hardly a fair comparison since the comparison to Britanica only refers to Britanica in english. Either way, we're kicking their ass. :) Maybe this is one of the aforementioned intentional mistakes? --best, kevin ···Kzollman | Talk··· 19:29, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
Actually, if I recall well, the first draft mentionned 400,000 entries. All languages together are now over 2 million articles ;-). notafish }<';> 19:35, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
btw, Britannica has about 10,000 plus articles that we don't. I know this from the no-longer-in-existence project to make them, so its not all rosey. Martin 20:17, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
I was thinking of mentioning the project, but I decided since it's legal status was unclear, I wouldn't. JesseW, the juggling janitor 20:57, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
Making entries on the same subject, even with the same name, as entries in another encyclopedia, has no legal ramifications whatever, as long as the entries aren't copies of the entries in the other encyclopedia. --Tony SidawayTalk 12:16, 22 September 2005 (UTC)

An idea to replace the bit about the pyramids: I seem to recall a long time ago someone calculated that the work done by Wikipedians amounted to about 240 full-time authors working on an encyclopedia. Does anyone have any idea about how to update that stat? How many writers/factcheckers/copyeditors does Brittanica have? Also, this is already quite a bit longer than the original. I wonder if there's a length limit. Tuf-Kat 20:01, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

Notafish - as you put up the original version - when is this going to be published? I understand if the journalist doesn't want to reveal eis name or where it is going to be published, but I'm curious when it will be finalized... JesseW, the juggling janitor 20:14, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

The "where" is important, too: which country; what publication; dead tree, on-line, or both. Context is king. It seems a little strange for a journalist to want us to write into a vacuum, as it were. Hajor 21:15, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
I will reveal the following: publication in the US, sometimes this week the article will be frozen (protected) by an admin here so as to allow the magazine to get a "stable version". Unles Jimbo is back from wherever he is and can freeze it himself. Please make sure the article does not get too long though. The magazine won't be able to print it all and will have to trim if it gets huge. It should not get much bigger than the first version.:-) notafish }<';> 22:26, 20 September 2005 (UTC) (PS. JesseW, it's notafish, with just a little tiny n *smiles*)


I've gone through the article and fixed (I hope) all of the major grammatical and punctuation errors, and I've run it MS Word SpellCheck (not that that is too efficient.) I hope everything is correct. Also, should we expand this article to include mention of talk pages and other stuff, or would that be getting too complicated? Flcelloguy | A note? | Desk 21:52, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

As mentioned above we can't let the article get too big. There are a lot of aspects I'd like to mention, but we have to remember, this is not exactly a regular article which we can add as much as we want (and then spin off to more pages, subpages, etc...). The purpose of this is to make his magazine article as accurate and honest as possible, not write a completly different one. - Trevor MacInnis(Talk | Contribs) 22:38, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

Bush and the Emperor[edit]

Is this right? I don't pay attention to the Bush article, and I remember that the new Pope's article keeps getting vandalized this way. Is this one of those little gems left for us, or can someone else verify this regular vandalism? --best, kevin ···Kzollman | Talk··· 22:47, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

I fixed it already and provided a source. Zach (Sound Off) 23:13, 20 September 2005 (UTC)


Needs some format work. Redwolf24 (talk) 22:59, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

Be skeptical![edit]

Don't forget that this article has mistakes on purpose. We shouldn't forget to fact-check. For instance, did Jimbo really start an adult web portal (dunno)? Is he really a fan of Ayn Rand (yes) and paranormal phenomena (dunno)? If there doesn't seem to be a credible source for something, it's probably made up. --Ashenai 23:57, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

Adult web portal, yes: Bomis. Adding that link to article - shoulda thought of that. ~~ N (t/c) 00:06, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
I was being skeptical while you were leaving this message - I edited those very lines. It was probably a paranormal phenomenon of some type that caused this... Mindmatrix 00:08, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
It might be better off not mentioned, who knows. ~~ N (t/c) 00:08, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

Ah, I didn't realize that errors were introduced on purpose...(I should read the instructions, *goes back to look for errors*). By the way, does anyone else think the ending is sappy and an example of annoying journalism? Anyone else think we should switch it to possible future plans (pushing to 1.0, CD copies, etc). What about mentioning the GFDL license? Also did Wales really say, "But on a deeper level, there is something profoundly political about what we’re saying – which is that everybody should have access to information" I can't find any reference to it online (unless it happened during their private interview, in which case we can't verify it). Broken S 00:41, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

I've heard him say that or something very similar more than once, so it's most likely a legitimate quote. Angela.
I like the ending, sappy journalism sells for a reason. --best, kevin ···Kzollman | Talk··· 00:54, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

Editing notes[edit]

I've added a section on editing notes, where we can pre-instruct folks about the article. It is quickly turning into an exhaustive, comprehensive redo of the [[Wikipedia]] article, which is a bad thing.

It would help to know the publication name (can we say it - Esquire) and to give a rough word count. I know these are not usual parameters for Wikipedians, but writing this article is very different than writing a WP article. I would also highly recommend reading the original article, or this turns into Telephone (game). --- Fuzheado | Talk 00:49, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

In this vein I vote we remove the bit about administrators, I think very few of the public will care. --best, kevin ···Kzollman | Talk··· 00:57, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
Agreed, this article is already about 50% longer than it started out. The administrators paragraph can go. Taco Deposit | Talk-o to Taco 01:56, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
The current version mentions an average article length of 2500 characters - I don't think most people will care. We should convert this to words. What's a good approximation - 5chars/word? That's 500 words per article. Mindmatrix 01:03, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

Now that it's not a secret, shouldn't the introduction be edited to contain the name of the magazine and author? I'd do it myself but there's a comment telling me not to edit it. Taco Deposit | Talk-o to Taco 01:57, 21 September 2005 (UTC)


TacoDeposit restored this:

The site can sometimes seem helpless against the hordes of nitwits who sabatoge entries, adding five extra nipples to Edward Munch's Madonna, calling James Baldwin one of Hollywood's beloved Baldwin brothers, or saying that Henry David Thoreau "went into the woods and made love to trees. No kidding. He actually had sexual intercourse with them.

I assumed that had been removed because it was made up. Is there any source for any of this happening? Angela. 01:18, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

I just took him at his word. If he made them up, by all means remove them. Taco Deposit | Talk-o to Taco 01:21, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
Okay, it doesn't look like those edits actually happened. But the lines are funny. Isn't there some way to leave them in without claiming they actually happened? Taco Deposit | Talk-o to Taco 01:30, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
Well, one of us could go and commit them. Then it would be true and could be included. That's probably not what you had in mind, though. Aquillion 06:59, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
Also the piramids and vin diesel comments are unverified. Even if they are correct, they were based on the incorrect number in the original (200,000 users instead of the accurate 400,000+). It is a funny joke, but I think its one of those things for us to catch. I'll remove this sentence again. --best, kevin ···Kzollman | Talk··· 01:33, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
...too late... I beat you to it. →Raul654 01:35, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
Damn you wiki! Nevermind, this framework is terrible... :) --best, kevin ···Kzollman | Talk··· 01:59, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

Okay, but just remember this is an Esquire article, not a Wikipedia article. We don't need to keep the language as sterile here as we would in the encyclopedia. Taco Deposit | Talk-o to Taco 01:38, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

Perhaps some better examples of petty vandalism can be found, but I've removed the original since it seems likely it was just made up. Angela. 02:35, 22 September 2005 (UTC)

Major edits[edit]

I've reduced the word count from 1216 to 801 after cutting major portions. I hope we can keep these out, in general. REMOVED WERE:

  • Explanation of administrators - too much detail for a newbie magazine article
  • Featured articles - Ibid.
  • German C't comparison - too much research cited in one article, and it's about German Wikipedia. Sorry no offense to DE!
  • MKULTRA example - obscure acronym as first example bad idea, better to go with dwarf tossing. :)
  • Gun politics and Jimbo - I don't think "GUNS!" is the first thing you think of with Jimbo.

-- Fuzheado | Talk 03:17, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

Intro misses the point[edit]

Fuzheado has removed as "awkward" the example of Project MKULTRA as an article that Britannica doesn't have. This reduces the intro to a list of silly examples, where any intelligent reader is likely to ask: "So what? Nobody needs these articles anyway." The Wikipedia perspective on things should be broader than this. Britannica doesn't just lack nonsense articles. If we simply replace the original article's list of nonsense articles with a list of nonsense articles of our own, we miss an important opportunity to highlight that fact while simultaneously summing up our own work with examples of mere silliness.

My version listed as example articles: MKULTRA, Holy Prepuce, dwarf tossing, and Xenu. I can make a case for the inclusion of each of these:

  • MKULTRA is a well-documented government programme involving tests on human subjects without their knowledge or informed consent, spanning two decades. Yet Britannica does not mention it with a single word (nor does it mention the highly significant FBI programme COINTELPRO, which dealt with "political radicals" such as Martin Luther King Jr., or the infamous Operation Northwoods proposal). MKULTRA is a featured article and was on the Main Page.
  • The Holy Prepuce article, too, was a featured article on the Main Page. The worship of the foreskin as a relic is historically well-established. It is an excellent example of an article that points out a fact about a mainstream religion that many might find offensive -- which is, however, nevertheless a fact. Xenu falls into the same category, was also on the Main Page, but deals with a modern cult. These examples show that in spite of its responsibility to be neutral, Wikipedia can report facts which are inconveniencing some people.
  • The dwarf tossing article is an example of silliness, but not entirely so, as it contains information about how this "sport" has been outlawed in some countries.

For Xenu and MKULTRA, one can certainly make a case that they should be in Britannica -- but they aren't. In contrast, the current selection -- exploding whale, vampire watermelons and dwarf tossing -- is almost pure silliness, which nobody would really expect to find in a traditional encyclopedia. The vampire watermelon description as "a Balkan belief" is also somewhat wacky, as of course it is a fringe belief, and even as such, probably more of a joke than anything else. It's easy to make fun of some alleged crazy belief by faraway foreigners. It takes more guts to point out ridiculous notions of Catholicism or Scientology.

I'm going to revisit this article tomorrow. As it stands, it's rapidly developing into something bland and generic, half lame humor and the other half a regurgitation of facts from the Wikipedia article. Of course, it's difficult to agree on matters such as this, and NPOV is of little help for an article that is not merely a description, but also analysis and commentary. Without an agreement about the slant and direction of the article, generic blandness may very well be the only survivable option.--Eloquence* 03:28, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

Given that the Balkan "belief" in vampire watermelons is tracable to but a single source, I agree it hardly seems like an appropriate example to use. - Nunh-huh 03:45, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
I agree about the examples - they're not intellectually challenging or engaging for the reader. I'd include Xenu at the least, one of MKULTRA or the Holy Prepuce, and perhaps one of the sillier articles. Of course, we could find an entirely different set of articles to list - we have a choice from over 700,000! Mindmatrix 03:48, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
I've always rather liked History of elephants in Europe, but your mileage may differ.... or have a look at Wikipedia:Unusual_articles - Nunh-huh 03:53, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

Erik, I agree with you that the current list (and the original list by the Esquire journalist) is too whimsical and makes Wikipedia seem like a kooky pop encyclopedia. My only real issue with MKULTRA is that it required such a long explanation that it didn't flow well at the beginning of the piece.

"..about Project MKULTRA, the CIA's infamous mind control program."

In fact, it may have the opposite problem, we sound like the X-Files tinfoil hat conspiracy theory encyclopedia. So we should have some topics that will impress the reader rather than simply making them giggle. Let's revisit the original list:

...Exploding Whales. There’s nothing on Troll Metal (rock music about goblins that eat Christians), autofellatio (a form of masturbation that be traced to the Egyptian creation myth) or Dr. Bombay (the physician warlock on Bewitched).

That's actually not a bad range of topics. We have to work harder to get a list of topics that better showcase Wikipedia's ability to stay current and to cover topics outside the boring/mainstream. Fuzheado | Talk 04:12, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

Right. While I like the entertaining voice of the original article, it seems to overlook the more obvious stuff. Does the latest edition of Encarta have an article on Hurricane Katrina or any mention at all of the death of Simon Wiesenthal? — Mark (Mkmcconn) ** 05:09, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
Troll metal really oughtn't be mentioned. Actually, it ought to be deleted, IMO. I had replaced it with nerdcore hip hop, which is at least a widely recognized genre consisting of more than three bands, but that got edited out somewhere. I agree we ought to be including some current eventsy stuff like Katrina -- do we know when this is going to press? Next week? Next month? Next year sometime? Tuf-Kat 05:48, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
I also agree that we need to include how successfully Wikipedia can cover current events. A good example would be the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake which gained a lot of praise at the time by various (online) media. CheekyMonkey 11:26, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

Maybe I'm being partisan in favor of myself. When I first read the article, I felt that the opening paragraph was the harshest sort of left -handed compliment: calling us a great collection of nonsense, grandiose boasts and dubious information. I replaced it:

Do you know that with Encyclopædia Britannica's 100,000 articles opened, you stand before a narrowed entrance to the present world?

EB is the most reputable general encyclopedia in the world,

the "Sum of Human Knowledge"

and yet it does not have an article on Hurricane Katrina ("of course not", the reader thinks, "it hadn't happened by the time the 100,000th article was written). Precisely the point.

its latest edition ... [also] lacks an article on dwarf tossing

"Is this knowledge?" the reader will ask. Not according to venerable EB. The point again, said as briefly as it can be put. Does the version that replaced mine really do that as well, or is it a random list (no offense, please) that obscures the point? Furthermore, it is not accurate. It's not true that Encarta has "no information" on Katrina, etc. (see their article on New Orleans, for example). In addition, there has been a call to abandon "neutrality", which I find very interesting, and a bit disillusioning. I recognize that this is not an encyclopedia article (my intro wasn't written as though it were), but if this is an article written by the community, it will not reflect this community or the process by which wiki - this wiki - accomplishes things, if the only "non-negotiable" is abandoned.

Only one encyclopedia dares boast that it is as wide as your mind: Wikipedia ... written and edited entirely by volunteers who flock to the site, eager to share their studies gathered from around the world — and some of it is even accurate.

I don't know. Maybe my prose was too purple for the Esquire, or anywhere else; but I think that I was farther out of the gate earlier, and on a better track. Those are my opinions of how to make sure that the intro doesn't miss the point. — Mark (Mkmcconn) ** 15:16, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

Acceptable Material for the Article[edit]

Are we giving Esquire only the official tour, or are we going to allow it to see the dark underbelly? --Zephram Stark 04:42, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

What dark underbelly? There is no dark underbelly! --Maru (talk) 04:45, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
There are several assumptions in the article that come straight from Wikipedia official rhetoric, and not from the actual structure or practices of the project. For instance, the assumption in this phrase is factually incorrect: "bottom-up model of writing an encyclopedia." The official tour makes it look like control of content is bottom-up, but the power structure is a rigid hierarchy. Lowly editors can do the work, but approval always comes from above. Anything that is deemed unacceptable by a few of the most powerful players is stripped without being replaced by anything better, and without any practicable method of user oversight. This might not seem so bad except that these top players have a stated agenda to promote certain ideologies. I would be happy to give anyone the underbelly tour if they want, or they can see for themselves by simply trying to add something factually correct to a controversial article like "terrorism." --Zephram Stark 432-224-6991 13:44, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
Stop trolling. Or perhaps this [1] is the dark underbelly you'd like to be exposed. Carbonite | Talk 13:58, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
You know, I never thought anything like this was possible before I came here. I bought the whole package: hook, line and sinker. Coming from a Jewish family, I believed that people were out to get us for no reason—-they were just evil. Conspiracy theorists who claimed we controlled the media and Hollywood were off their rocker—-Jews don't control information and strip facts from history. It was absurd. Yet, when I watched shows like Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice, I seemed to have no historical context for what was going on. Why hadn't I learned about these European ghettos in school? I started to see why, when I came here and watched Jayjg and his pals go around stripping everything from any article that showed Israel in a negative light. If the researchers tried to put it back, Jayjg or SlimVirgin would use their administrative powers to "perma-block" the person under the guise of "trolling" (as you have claimed above). People who called foul were labeled "sockpuppets" (as you and your pals have also done). Since there is no editor oversight for administrators, appeals to other administrators go on the administrator board or to the WikiEN-l mailing list. Besides the obvious conflict of interest this creates, the WikiEN-l mailing list is moderated by some of the same individuals that strip truthful and relevant information from Wikipedia. (Yes, I have examples.) Instead of emails going out in a timely fashion, or sometimes at all, anyone outside of the loyal group of administrator gets "Your message to WikiEN-l awaits moderator approval" until the date gets so old that it will be pages down in anyone's inbox. At times like this, I'm really glad my family is part of the winning side. --Zephram Stark 432-224-6991 14:50, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
Do you have anything to say about the actual article, or are you just inappropriately using this project to vent your petty zealot grievances? Have you apologised for your bigoted remark, by the way (see wikien disn.)? -St|eve 19:41, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
As I'm sure you know, I edited the article before you. You use this word "bigoted," but I do not think it means what you think it means. --Zephram Stark 20:10, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
While you're thumbing through the dictionary, maybe you should look up the word "zealot" too. --Zephram Stark 20:16, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
Zealot: a 1st century CE Jewish member of the Zealot political group. Known for their advocacy of the violent expulsion of the Romans, and their assasination tactics.
That better not be a personal attack... --Maru (talk) 20:30, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
You'll have to ask Steve. He's the one who said it, but Steve also wants me to apologize for insinuating that Jews have sex. I happen to have first-hand knowledge that Jews have sex because otherwise I wouldn't be here. I don't know what the mating habits of Jews have to do with this article anyway. --Zephram Stark 00:46, 22 September 2005 (UTC)

Some article ideas[edit]

FYI, some articles for which Britannica and Encarta don't have entries:


I have added Wikisource to the list of sibling projects, and a sentence about the comprehensivenessApwoolrich 08:00, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

I think we have a wonderful opportunity here to correct errors[edit]

1. Bomis is not a "porn portal" (the original). Bomis is not a "profitable pornagraphic destination" (the current version, misspelling and all). I am very unhappy that this characterization has spilled over from trolls into the mainstream media, only to be echoed by Wikipedians.

2. The idea that I made a pile of money and then turned to pursuing my passions of Ayn Rand, constitutional law, and free knowledge to the world is just ludicrous beyond belief. The only reason Ayn Rand and constitutional law are in the article about me is that people were able to find out about those things online. That I collect wine and like The Simpsons are equally true, but no one says that I pursue them as passions.

Some mention of Ayn Rand is appropriate, I suppose, but there is absolutely no meaningful sense in which one can say I have "devoted all my time" to my interest as a passion, not since graduate school at least.

If there is something outside Wikipedia which would in any way count as a "passion" in the relevant sense intended by this article, it is raising my profoundly gifted daughter, and studying eductional theory.

--Jimbo Wales 09:15, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

With regards to your second point - I originally added the info about Ayn Rand and constitutional law from the artcile about you to replace "facts" that you pursued paranormal phenomena etc. that were in the original draft. That is, I replaced clearly incorrect information with something that was more factually correct, though not necessarily relevant. That's the whole point of WP, is it not? Marginal improvements over time add up. Don't worry, we're working on it... Mindmatrix 13:43, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
Isn't giving away the answers considered cheating? I thought the point of the experiment was to see if the system worked without crib notes. I submit that Wikipedia would work in the way Mindmatrix suggests if it were truly thousands of people concentrating on making marginal improvements. The concept of Wikipedia is incredibly great, but the hierarchal implementation that it actually follows gives stewardship of the articles to a few powerful administrators, thus allowing corruption and incompetence to override the project. --Zephram Stark 432-224-6991 Don't shoot the messenger. 16:17, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

Comment #2[edit]

I suggest that when this is finalised and the text locked a summary is produced about the numbers of edits and the numbers of editors involved. Maybe the printed version mught include a screenshot of part of the history page to show the progress of the work. Apwoolrich 13:19, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

I think it would be funny if the article actually did have a byline. Including the original author and every user in the history (written in incredibly small type of course, for effect). I think that the last comment would make that a neat bit of irony. --best, kevin ···Kzollman | Talk··· 16:26, 21 September 2005 (UTC)


How will references be presented in the magazine I wonder. Should we changes the article over to footnotes instead of having a www link in the article and in the ref section? - Trevor MacInnis(Talk | Contribs) 15:16, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

number of languages[edit]

Wikipedia:Multilingual_coordination gives 106 Wikipedias. Which is the right figure? Apwoolrich 18:48, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

And that page links to m:List of Wikipedias which states there are 204!? Argh! - Trevor MacInnis(Talk | Contribs) 19:20, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
I will ask Angela :)Apwoolrich 19:24, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
It depends which statistics you want to use. There's any number between 7 and 210. Special:SiteMatrix lists over 200 (I don't know if this is all of them), but of course many of those haven't got a single article yet. If you want to count active ones, then what is active? More than 50 articles, more than 1000? Perhaps they're only encyclopedias (as opposed to projects to build encyclopedias) after 100,000, which means there are only 7. The 106 figure probably comes from those with more than 100 articles. Angela. 19:57, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
Doesn't that figure also include Wikipedias like the Simple English one, though? - jredmond 20:50, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
Yes, probably, but it's not an exact number anyway. I'd just say "over 100" since there are more than hundred with 100 articles (which is some sign the wiki was active at some stage if not now) and avoids the number going too quickly out of date. Angela. 02:50, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
That works for me. Thanks, Angela! - jredmond 15:22, 22 September 2005 (UTC)

WTH is the size supposed to be?[edit]

I reverted because I thought your version was unnecessarily terse and narrow, ("contemplate") while the other was informal and broad ("you could go your whole life..." [2] -St|eve 18:52, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

No problem about the reversion. I'm currently looking for sections of the article to reduce because some people feel it's too long, and that seemed like a good candidate. Mindmatrix 18:58, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

I would suggest that "reduction" is a destructive thing to do while in the process of constructing an article. Why not make a subpage where people can work on a reduced version. Its also not clear if the magazine will keep its original word-count limits or if it can jump the piece. -St|eve 19:02, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
Actually, the size limit is clearly stated in the Editing Notes:
Don't grow the article too long - wiki isn't paper, but this article will be printed on paper
The original word count is 709 words; the current word count is near 1200. It's already been mentioned on the talk page that the article should be reduced somewhat, and I don't think there's any reason to fork it. That just creates more work later. Mindmatrix 19:12, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
Or maybe it was in the edit summaries... Mindmatrix 19:25, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
What is the actual size limit anyway? Are you and others assuming that the 7xx number is binding? Mag articles often go to the thousands of words. -St|eve 19:17, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
I don't know. But the author will likely include the original text, the new version, and probably an article about this experience. We should consider those factors when editing this article. Mindmatrix 19:20, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
And the author wrote his article with a specific size in mind. Perhaps his is half the space he is given and "ours" will be the other half. That leads me to believe we should go no more bigger than his. - Trevor MacInnis(Talk | Contribs) 19:23, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
Not being a member of the legal profession, I'm not familiar with this Esquire publication. What it sounds like is that the journo has already interviewed our illustrious founder, plans to write that up as a multi-page article, and plans to use this before-and-after as an illustrative sidebar. If those are fair assumptions, we should be writing accordingly. Hajor 19:33, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
I think you both miss the entire point. Why would he include "both" when the edited version covers it? Youre both assuming that the size is too big as it is. Maybe its too small? Maybe its a 7000 word article, with a moderate blurb on the front page, and a nice, hefty payoff for its "author?" -St|eve 19:37, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
Steve, that assumption (at least on my part) comes from The article will be printed in an upcoming story about Wikipedia as a before and after to illustrate the power of collaborative editing (emphasis mine) on the project page. That certainly makes it sound like both are going in the final magazine. Hajor 19:48, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
If you follow that a bit further, in the first quoted paragraph is this:
[The magazine] would print the before and after versions of the article.
I think that's quite definitive. Mindmatrix 19:55, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
Whatever. That doesnt say a damn thing about size constraints, or what such constraints might be. -St|eve 20:06, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
The size shouldn't stray too far from the original. If the "after" version ends up being too long for their space constraints, it'll be trimmed; I don't know what the exact constraints are, though. Mindspillage (spill yours?) 21:06, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

Two things. First, Esquire isn't a law mag (I think thats what you meant Hajor), it's a mens fashion magazine. Sort of like a male version of Vogue (magazine). As such its focus is on cloths, sex, etc. This article will probably be in the small section about technology or internet or something. It definitely not a major piece and I doubt it will even be mentioned on the cover (no offence to the author, I just understand that Wikipedia doesn't sell magazines, sex does). Second, I understand we have no idea about its size in the mag but we have to go on the infomation we're given, and what we can infer by it. If we wanted to we could just present the page that already exists at Wikipedia and call it a night, but I think an article inspired by the original and not straying too far from the intended voice of the piece (i.e. informative, but not too in depth, and with a touch of humour) is the way to go. - Trevor MacInnis(Talk | Contribs) 20:27, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

The article is growing ... duller by the minute. It reads like an ecyclopedia. — Mark (Mkmcconn) ** 22:28, 21 September 2005 (UTC)


Is this article supposed to be formal writing or not? If it is, all references to "you" (3rd person) should be removed; I'd already removed that before, but they seem to have been added back in. Second, if it is formal writing, contractions shouldn't be used. Even if the writing is informal and is for a magazine, I would still oppose the use of third person at the beginning. Flcelloguy | A note? | Desk 20:44, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

You didnt read the intro did you? -St|eve 21:08, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
Actually, I did, and I know that it's going to be in a magazine. Let me rephrase that: Even if it is informal writing and it is in a magazine, I still oppose the use of third person at the beginning. Sorry that I didn't make myself clear the first time. Flcelloguy | A note? | Desk | WS 21:26, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
I agree with eliminating some of the "your's". "Your average corporate encyclopedia", "your printed version of" etc. can all go. Especially if there are sentences such as the very first one. "If you have recently taken a look...". Now I'm confused. If the first sentence means the author is talking directly to me, then do the two examples above mean that it is "my" average corporate encyclopedia? That's the way it sounds and that's why I'm taking it out. - Trevor MacInnis(Talk | Contribs) 21:54, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

Bold suggestion[edit]

36 hours in, we've lost the plot. Stylistically, it's no longer reads like a magazine piece: compare the tone of the article as it now stands to the journalist's original draft: we've encylopedia-ized it, with exception of the one or two sparks of feature-writing flair that still shine through. We're linking to things, instead of explaining them in context (there's no linking in Esquire magazine). Is a reference to a "stub" page going to be useful to a casual magazine reader? In terms of its content, it's lost the flow of the first version: for instance, two paragraphs on the problem of vandalism, separated by a paragraph on the problem of imbalances in subject-matter coverage. And this is not helped by the fact that, as seen above, we can't even agree on such basic ground-rules as the required length. The bold suggestion? Revert to the first version, correct the errors of style and content, and try again, but more slowly, with an ear for the article as a whole, following the KISS principle. Or am I overstating the problem? Can the article as it stands still be rescued? Hajor 23:15, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

Hajor, I think you're right. I already did a major cull 24 hours ago to go from 1200 to 800 words. This is clearly a case of too many cooks, because this is:
  1. By design, not an encyclopedia article
  2. Primarily a printed product with a space constraint
  3. Deadline oriented
We should do another major cull, get rid of the subheadings. The original didn't have it, and Esquire typically doesn't do that. I'm not sure why we have two versions now with a "reduced" version. We should hit the reboot button and go back to something 12 hours old. Fuzheado | Talk 23:25, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
I'll do that. --Maru (talk) 23:51, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

I think most of the major problems lie in the second section. It gives too much information which can't be explained in the article and contains most of the particularly dry material. Also, I think forking is an incredibly bad idea and the fork should be deleted. No need to make this more difficult for ourselves. — Laura Scudder | Talk 00:20, 22 September 2005 (UTC)

Phew. Glad to hear I wasn't the only editor with those concerns. Hajor 00:37, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
Now that we're done with the research, it becomes a matter of style. Style is best created by one or two people and approved by multiple editors. Why don't we each create a fork, using as much of the research as we can, but making it stylish. After that, we can vote on the best one. --Zephram Stark 00:53, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
It makes it particularly hard to find a good working method, since we don't know exactly what deadline we're working with. The said, "sometime this week" they'll take what is there and use it. That's a pretty dicey situation. We may have to think about real "approved" or locked revisions that are coherent at some point. Fuzheado | Talk 01:42, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
I think the author may have been looking to use Wikipedia as a fact checker, not as a co-author. The last two sentences certainly give that impression. Perhaps we should leave the style alone concentrate on verifying facts only. --Zephram Stark 01:55, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
Zephram, that's a good point. Perhaps we should make an executive decision and say that the main goals are to correct typos and factual errors, provide more lucid/prominent examples, and finally to make compelling additions that support the main story, but a major rewrite is not part of the exercise. Fuzheado | Talk 02:08, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
To clarify for Zephram, the official instructions as to how much should be changed were just what's in the intro: "The community should feel free to make as many changes as they want. The more, the better in my opinion." As to the closing time, yes, "sometime this week": to avoid people rushing to make changes (for better or for worse!) just before the deadline. Mindspillage (spill yours?) 02:33, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
The original email said the aim was to rewrite it, not just copyedit it. Angela. 02:35, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
Sure, we can rewrite it, but just by reading the two versions (before and after the massive rv), and keeping in mind the intended audience and purpose of the article, I believe the new version is much better. I'm hopeing that the massive change in tone doesn't happen again and am not above reverting changes that, while factualy correct, are not in the best interests of the experiment. - Trevor MacInnis(Talk | Contribs) 03:29, 22 September 2005 (UTC)


We're really not sure at what point Esquire is going to grab a version of this page for publication. We only know that it will be this week. Therefore, I've started a new Revisions section at the top of the article, which points to snapshots that are extensively spellchecked and evaluated for coherence. This can serve as the "last stable version" that can be safely grabbed, while we're venturing to make bold changes on the current version.

Think of it as an alpha test of a model that might be useful for Wikipedia 1.0. -- Fuzheado | Talk 06:26, 22 September 2005 (UTC)

Volunteer hackers?[edit]

Perhaps "programmers" would be better - I leave it to the folks who write the code to parse out. Also, some subheaders would be nice - and a (pd) image or two, just to show off (who knows if they'll print it, tho). -- BD2412 talk 09:51, 22 September 2005 (UTC)

I agree with the changed to "programmers". I've removed the train wreck image though. This wasn't a featured picture, and didn't seem relevant or significant. I'm sure there's something more suitable that could be used. Angela. 18:46, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
I had included this image in particular because it is most definitely in the public domain, and because it's an interesting tidbit, in the spirit of the random selection of interesting tidbits that introduce the article. I think a picture "wakes up" the page a little (the logo really doesn't do it) - after all, this is for Esquire, which is a glossy magazine which does put lots of pictures in its articles. Also, Wikipedia typically has pictures in its better articles. I think catchy subheaders would snap it up a bit as well. What do you think? -- BD2412 talk 02:18, 23 September 2005 (UTC)
I think something that has been featured or something that is relevant would be better. A black and white image that can be found anywhere (ie- it wasn't taken by a Wikipedian) doesn't seem the best we have to offer. I don't think we should add subheaders - they weren't in the original and don't seem very typical for such a short magazine article. Angela. 02:24, 23 September 2005 (UTC)
Some of the award winning photos that SJ showed at Wikimania might be appropriate. Fuzheado | Talk 03:00, 23 September 2005 (UTC)
It's a relatively short piece - one will do. -- BD2412 talk 03:03, 23 September 2005 (UTC)

I don't think it's just me[edit]

Every time I come back to this article, a number of people have dropped by and entered a paragraph or two about their favorite things. This is not how journalism is done. We should be paring down for readability, not adding content. This current version is immeasurably worse than any previous incarnation I have seen, to the point where I think it would be better to just do a revert to a random earlier version. --Tony SidawayTalk 12:19, 22 September 2005 (UTC)

It's not just you. The only way this will work is if each editor can look at the article from the point of view of an Esquire reader and honestly say, "This overall article is better than the last version." If anyone cannot say that, they should revert it or fix it so that it actually is better.
How is this different from the original concept of Wikipedia? It's not, but it is much different than practice. Esquire Magazine is famous for these types of (what I'll call) tests of integrity. Their interviews give just enough rope to let the interviewee hang himself. The implied question in giving us this article is how well our implementation coincides with our principles. Our finished product will show the extent that we allow our egos to override the quality of the piece. --Zephram Stark 14:46, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
Not sure. The current version is much improved from the version that provoked my "bold suggestion" above, in terms of content, style and balance. IMHO and all that, of course. Hajor 14:53, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
It is better than before the revert, without doubt. But, given its brief space it over-emphasizes our ways to police chaos. The first paragraph is still filled with a random list of tantalizing silliness, instead of main page features like current events (in addition). Also, the article does not mention the power to organize articles by anniversary and category, or peer review, Featured Articles, community-building. It has returned to lean-ness and punch, which is encouraging. — Mark (Mkmcconn) ** 15:37, 22 September 2005 (UTC)

Time's up![edit]

Frozen at 16:00 UTC. Here's the diff: [3] Mindspillage (spill yours?) 16:13, 22 September 2005 (UTC)

I think that went pretty well. Perhaps we should have an ongoing article that any magazine or newspaper can print with a twenty-four hour notice. We would lock it from editing, to avoid vandalism, at the end of the twenty-four hour period, but otherwise allow editors to update it continuously. Doing so would show the true power of Wikipedia mass-edits over time. --Zephram Stark 16:43, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
Ugh. ... you would think that with the unexpected freezing that someone would have been checking the spelling constantly; From the article: "or just correctting an error.". In any case, we should generate some stats for the magazine, for example: Peak article size, number of edits, total number of editors. I think we should unprotect this when it hits the press.. It would be amusing to see it inflate back to 1200 words or whatever it was. :) --Gmaxwell 16:46, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
"or just correctting an error" was in purpose, pity it was corrected... :) ≈ jossi ≈
I ran the text through the Unix wc command a few times; peak for the tested revisions was 1280 words and 17 paragraphs. The final article was decent, though I could do without statements like letting anyone and their dog... - it has a tally of 870 words in 16 paragraphs, or 829 words if you exclude the image caption. Mindmatrix 17:35, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
Why do our wc counts differ? After cutting out the caption I get 787 words. --Gmaxwell 17:40, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
I'm not sure, but it may be that pasting into my xterm was buggy - I got a few extra newlines (for example: To\nbago's) which may have inflated the count. Stupid technology :-) Mindmatrix 20:49, 22 September 2005 (UTC)

Well done, all. This does seem to have gone quite well. JesseW, the juggling janitor 17:53, 22 September 2005 (UTC)

False alarm[edit]

Never mind, we have some more time on this after all. But don't wait too long to make your changes... Mindspillage (spill yours?) 18:47, 22 September 2005 (UTC)

Keep it punchy![edit]

Don't forget to keep it punchy. There really is no excuse for passive voice or weasel-wordage on this -- Cimon avaro; on a pogostick. 20:26, 22 September 2005 (UTC)

I'm fine with the revert; what I put in was over the moon. But, as it stands this article fizzles out. Is there no way to break free of talking about how Wikipedia works, even to the very end? Can't we say what it means for how people get and grow information? — Mark (Mkmcconn) ** 23:06, 22 September 2005 (UTC)

Yeah, I agree with that. How about something inspiring about how wikipedia makes knowledge free for everyone (we needn't even mention what sort of free we mean, it's all good)? --fvw* 23:08, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
The most significant thing about Wikipedia is concisely expressed as, "the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit." "Anyone" means me. "Free" means, free to take, and free to add to. — Mark (Mkmcconn) ** 23:11, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
Ahh, but the whole free-to-edit thing is merely a tool, our end goal is making a freely distributable encyclopaedia (It's in the wikimedia foundation goals somewhere I think). Anyway, I don't really consider the anyone-can-edit the best part of wikipedia, that's just how we managed to create this freely distributable encyclopaedia. --fvw* 23:15, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
Surprise. We disagree. What is information? Don't I need to read it? Editing is reading. Editing creates better information. — Mark (Mkmcconn) ** 23:30, 22 September 2005 (UTC)

Number of wikipedia articles[edit]

We are nearly at 740,000 and may well breach it when this is frozen. A while back I wrote 'over 730,000' here, but is was deleted for some reason. There is no need to sell ourselves short, so I urge that at the time of freezing this is finally updated. Apwoolrich 19:43, 22 September 2005 (UTC)


I understand that Nupedia had its problems, but difficult and dull sounds a little harsh - especially the dull part. CheekyMonkey 23:32, 22 September 2005 (UTC)

I agree; it isn't dull reading. It didn't seem like a dull idea, either. But, maybe that's Jimbo's opinion - or not - is it hearsay? made up? — Mark (Mkmcconn) ** 23:37, 22 September 2005 (UTC)

Feature article, not Linux Journal[edit]

Folks, tech oriented, inside jargon keeps creeping back into this article. Let's make sure words like transparency, markup and GFDL are avoided. Fuzheado | Talk 00:21, 23 September 2005 (UTC)

Are we done with this, or is it still open? ≈ jossi ≈ 00:40, 23 September 2005 (UTC)
Still open, or open again really. And I'd just like to say I agree fully with Fuzheado. Perhaps even "top-down" is too much? --fvw* 00:48, 23 September 2005 (UTC)
I agree. I'm not sure the general public knows what we're talking about in terms of top-down versus bottom-up. Fuzheado | Talk 01:00, 23 September 2005 (UTC)

Quotation about the washroom comparison[edit]

In the link supplied in the article, it does not seem to mention the word "Washroom" at all. I do remember reading this somewhere, although I can't remember where. Can anyone help out here? --HappyCamper 01:25, 23 September 2005 (UTC)

Try this link that was a reply to McHenry [4]. I believe he said this: "The user who visits Wikipedia to learn about some subject, to confirm some matter of fact, is rather in the position of a visitor to a public restroom. It may be obviously dirty, so that he knows to exercise great care, or it may seem fairly clean, so that he may be lulled into a false sense of security. What he certainly does not know is who has used the facilities before him." -- Fuzheado | Talk 01:49, 23 September 2005 (UTC)
It's in the article link, but he uses the term "public restroom," not washroom. -- Norvy (talk) 03:06, 23 September 2005 (UTC)

Confusing examples[edit]

Can anyone explain why these examples are useful or relevant? I'm not sure I understand:

Anyone who wants to learn about Thomas Jefferson's slave Sally Hemings, the 1755 Lisbon earthquake, or Trinidad and Tobago's Democratic Labour Party will find detailed articles with extensive references.

-- Fuzheado | Talk 02:03, 23 September 2005 (UTC)

They're examples of the type of serious subject one may want to read about in an encyclopedia and which are treated well in Wikipedia. You could pick more boring ones, but I think these are interesting and may motivate the reader to actually compare Wikipedia to other encyclopedias. Other good articles in that category could be found in WP:FA. Personally, I also like Milgram experiment, as it receives no coverage in Britannica or Encarta. I'm against dumbing down the article further, though.--Eloquence* 02:12, 23 September 2005 (UTC)


Bomis' relation to Wikipedia is already over-emphasized by the press. It isn't relevant to Wikipedia, especially not in an article that is meant to be focusing on the current site, not the history. I can not understand why it has been re-added here, especially with the implication that the babe report (which no longer exists) was ever the most relevant part of the site. Angela. 03:32, 23 September 2005 (UTC)

Ang, I know what you're saying. And typically I would agree. But if there ever was a time that Bomis Babe Report could be mentioned in passing without judgment being passed, I think an experimental Esquire article would be it. The fact that it was in the original, with a "porn" label, would mean taking it out might appear like whitewashing. Also, in Jimbo's previous edits, he had not deleted it but rather, amended it. At this point, but I'm highly in favor of keeping it, but I'm willing to be persuaded otherwise. PS: also remember our dinner conversation in London about exactly this type of thing. :) -- Fuzheado | Talk 03:43, 23 September 2005 (UTC)
I agree it has very little to do with Wikipedia, but that bit is about Jimbo and what he did before wikipedia. It's fine there. --fvw* 03:45, 23 September 2005 (UTC)
I don't much care one way or another, but I wish people would make an effort to get their facts right when talking about Bomis. At the very least, people should read and understand our own article about the company.
First of all, apparently partially as a result of the work on this article, the main Bomis adult websites have been turned off. You can still access them through the Internet Archive; see the links at Bomis. There were two main adult-oriented sites: the Babe Report, a free blog, and Bomis Premium, a paysite. The latter featured nudie photos of many famous porn stars. (Jimbo once posed with two clothed "Bomis Babes" on a yacht, a cool photo that has sadly been taken down. [Update: It's still on Uncyclopedia :-)]
For some time, Bomis offered a "Bomis browser", now it has its own "Bomis toolbar". How these tools made money, I don't know. Bomis also provides webmail. Aside from that, Bomis makes money by selling ads on "web rings" around popular search terms. While nominally a community site, most or all rings seem to be maintained by Tim Shell (as you can find by clicking a few "E-mail ringmaster" links). Among these are loads of webrings about porn stars leading directly to hardcore pornography, frequently updated (as recently as 9/21). Jimmy has variously stated that advertising is where most of Bomis' income comes from. No surprise: getting a decent Google ranking for an important search term can lead to significant advertising exposure. The focus here seems to be not just porn, it's just that porn searches are obviously very popular.
Bomis also appears to be associated with The Babe Engine, but the only record of that is a link from Bomis, and the fact that its nameservers are and The Bomis Babe Report seems to have been little more than a hobby, primarily by Tim Shell, and a bit of PR for Bomis Premium. So while it's appropriate for Esquire, it overemphasizes its significance and fame.
The important facts are, from what I can see: Bomis makes money selling ads around popular search terms, including searches for hardcore pornography. Until recently, it made some money with an adult paysite. The Babe Report is of marginal significance. Again, I don't care whether any of this information is included or not. I do hope, however, that people will always be able to consult Wikipedia itself to find out the facts about Bomis.--Eloquence* 04:33, 23 September 2005 (UTC)

The hawks[edit]

For some reason the "watching like hawks" thing seems to come back into the article time and time again. It sounds sort of silly to me, couldn't we just say it's watched? --fvw* 03:50, 23 September 2005 (UTC)

We're trying to liven up the article, which means hyperbole and metaphors should be freely employed. Compare to the original, and you'll see we're quickly descending into a dry, textbook article. Reverse thrusters! Fuzheado | Talk 03:56, 23 September 2005 (UTC)
Let's not say "monitored" like hawks, though. Hawks don't monitor. - Nunh-huh 03:57, 23 September 2005 (UTC)
It's not a nice comparison, cliché, not an accurate image of recent changes, and I don't think it livens up the article. Surely there is some phrase which can be found that wouldn't be removed by 3 different people. Angela. 04:00, 23 September 2005 (UTC)
"changes are scrutinised (scrutinized?) meticulously"? Not strictly true, but I think it's better than the hawks. --fvw* 04:03, 23 September 2005 (UTC)
Depressing. Folks seem resigned to making this read like a business report. Fuzheado | Talk 04:17, 23 September 2005 (UTC)
Have you ever read Esquire? It's ridiculously filled with nonsense phrases like that. Our article is way too dull compared to the average Esquire article, which has at least 6 hyperboles, metaphors, or general postmodern nonsense per sentence. — BRIAN0918 • 2005-10-3 09:35

Writing Samples[edit]

Since it's always good to know the context and audience, I've assemebled some typical Esquire pages on this subpage: Writing Samples. -- Fuzheado | Talk 04:26, 23 September 2005 (UTC)

Give yourself a pat on the back[edit]

Game over, man! Game over! Well done, everybody. That's one respectable article. --Maru (talk) 05:37, 23 September 2005 (UTC)

From the mailinglist[edit]

Hello Wikipedians,

I just wanted to thank you all so much for participating in this
experiment. It was absolutely fascinating. I was riveted to my
computer, pressing refresh every 45 seconds to see the next iteration.
And the next and the next. For the last few days, my wife has been what
you might call a Wikipedia Widow.

I feel like I should submit all my articles to the community to get
them Wikipedia-ized. I can't wait to print this in Esquire magazine.

Thanks again.

AJ Jacobs

Article Statistics[edit]

Some basic stats about the article:

  • Total edits: 532
    • User edits: 525
    • Anon edits: 7
  • Unique editors: 75
  • Byline: Amaurea, Android79, Angela, Antandrus, Apwoolrich, Aquillion, Arwel Parry, Ashenai, BD2412, Beland, Bratsche, BrokenSegue, CanadaGirl, Carbonite, CatherineMunro, Cberlet, ChrisO, Cimon avaro, DavidWBrooks, Dmcdevit, Dtobias, Duk, Eloquence, Everyking, Flcelloguy, FreplySpang, Fuzheado, Fvw, Grue, Hajor, HappyCamper, JYolkowski, Jayjg, Jeffrey O. Gustafson, JesseW, Jimbo Wales, Jmabel, Jossifresco, Jredmond, KF, Kelly Martin, Kosebamse, Kzollman, Lexor, Llywrch, Lotsofissues, Lubaf, Mark, Marudubshinki, Meelar, Mindmatrix, Mindspillage, Mkmcconn, Nickptar, Norvy, Notafish, Nunh-huh, Raul654, Robdurbar, RoseParks, SPUI, Snowspinner, Stevertigo, TUF-KAT, TacoDeposit, TheoClarke, Tony Sidaway, Trevor macinnis, Zephram Stark, Zscout370,,,,,

-- Fuzheado | Talk 08:47, 23 September 2005 (UTC)

So much for a byline as long as the article itsself. Thanks for the tally though. --fvw* 08:49, 23 September 2005 (UTC)

WikiOndemand project?[edit]

This was indeed fun. I liked most the fact that we had (a) a deadline and (b) a specific audience. I propose a new wiki project wikiOndemand. Newspapers, magazines, TV, etc. can send their requests for articles. Turnaround 72 hrs. --≈ jossi ≈ 14:55, 23 September 2005 (UTC)

I think that's an excellent idea! --Ashenai 14:58, 23 September 2005 (UTC)
Only if the Foundation gets some cash for it! --Apwoolrich 20:27, 23 September 2005 (UTC)
Also an excellent idea, if there are no yucky legal problems with that. I'm not a lawyer, but I imagine it could well be problematic, seeing as how we can't really guarantee any sort of result. But if doable, this could be neat. :) --Ashenai 20:29, 23 September 2005 (UTC)
I worry that this is far too blatantly commercial. Most Wikipedians are motivated by altruistic/ethical/philosophical considerations; editing articles the chief benefit of which will flow not to other users or readers but to corporate entities might not fall into that purview. This was a good publicity stunt, but don't mistake it for anything else. --Maru (talk) 20:33, 23 September 2005 (UTC)
I do see your point... but:
  • Wikipedia is badly in need of money for hardware. Yeah, I started with the pragmatic reason. More idealistic reasons coming up. :)
  • The Wikimedia Foundation is as non-evil as a "corporate entity" can get. From the Wikimedia Foundation bylaws:
"The property of this corporation is irrevocably dedicated to charitable purposes and no part of the net income or assets of this corporation can ever inure to the benefit of any director, officer or members thereof or to the benefit of any private individual."
  • Wikipedians who are uncomfortable with the idea of participating in something like this... won't participate. But if we can donate money to Wikimedia, why shouldn't we be able to donate our labor? From an ethical POV, I don't see how it is any worse.
Buh. Just figured out that by "corporate entities", you meant the corporations commissioning the articles, not Wikimedia. Strike two of my points, the case is indeed a lot less black-and-white than I supposed. I don't want to see a WikiSweatshop, either. :) --Ashenai 21:37, 23 September 2005 (UTC)
Again, I'm not at all sure how this looks, legally. But from an idealistic/moral/ethical POV, to me, it seems as pure as the driven snow. Or at least, no less pure than simply donating money. --Ashenai 20:43, 23 September 2005 (UTC)
I would respectfully disagree with Apwoolrich and Maru.... These media outlets are used to pay $$ for good articles, so money should be involved. This can be done in a way that respects the voluntary aspects of the community:
  • We do this in a new project (not wikipedia)
  • All proceeds can go to a group of charities chosen by contributing editors (not Wikimedia Foundation)
  • Only those editors interested participate
≈ jossi ≈ 21:39, 23 September 2005 (UTC)
I think this project has shown that there are people who would help produce an article for a news source right here on the wiki without any promise of money. Why would they decide to go somewhere else and pay for it? -- Norvy (talk) 16:03, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
That leaves unanswered one question: would we/they (new project) be able to muster this kind of effort for a regular sucession of articles, not just a one off stunt/novelty? --Maru (talk) 21:43, 23 September 2005 (UTC)
That question, my friend, can only be asked after the fact. Same as asking four years ago, "Can an encyclopedia based on a wiki, really work? What would people give of their free time to edit articles?" ≈ jossi ≈ 21:52, 23 September 2005 (UTC)
Which could have been answerd by pointing at paralells such as Linux or the GNU project. AFAIK, there are no parallels in which volunteers give of their time and expertise to directly (not indirectly, like in Free Software examples) help corporations profit; and in which the corporations donate to a charity in payment for the donated expertise and time. You are welcome to find a parallel though. I just cannot think of any. --Maru (talk) 22:02, 23 September 2005 (UTC)

Jacobs is the editor, not a reporter[edit]

And also an author with an interest in encyclopedias.

lots of issues | leave me a message 08:21, 24 September 2005 (UTC)

Factual error[edit]

"Wiki" is not Hawaiian for "quick". "Wiki wiki" is. AxelBoldt 02:53, 29 September 2005 (UTC)

The lead for Wiki and the Hawaiian dictionary linked therein [5] seem to indicate that wiki is preferred. Not that I'm an expert. -- Norvy (talk) 03:13, 29 September 2005 (UTC)
Oh, ok, then I retract my objection and happily claim the opposite :-) AxelBoldt 16:46, 29 September 2005 (UTC)
Wiki wiki is slang for a nooner. (No, I don't have source for that.) --Zephram Stark 20:32, 29 September 2005 (UTC)

??? No emphasis on "anyone can edit" ???[edit]

The current (and apparently final) version of this article places no positive emphasis at all on the fact that anyone can edit Wikipedia. It makes it sound like these "volunteers" are all scholars or people who somehow had to sign up. The only reference to "anyone can edit" is in a negative sense: "letting anyone and his dog edit articles". The least we could have done is stick in something at the end encouraging the many readers of Esquire to go to Wikipedia and click "edit this page". That's the whole point of publicity, and I think we've failed in that respect. — BRIAN0918 • 2005-10-3 02:29

Brian, that is indeed one of the problems of folks who are too close to the situation writing the article. Fuzheado | Talk 05:35, 3 October 2005 (UTC)
The article is also rather dull compared to the average Esquire article, in which every single sentence has at least 3 and more likely 12 fluff nonsense phrases. (The only article I've ever read was about the Z machine, into which, apparently, "some people even inject their god"). — BRIAN0918 • 2005-10-3 09:41

Esquire article[edit]

Apparently, the article will be available in two days (link). Access is by subscription, or for a fee (US $2.95). It'd be nice if they placed this article in their "Available" material instead of the "Member" material. Anyway, just thought I'd let everyone know. Mindmatrix 21:13, 24 November 2005 (UTC)

Esquire article now freely available[edit]

It's here. I heard about it thourgh the Signpost. JesseW, the juggling janitor 21:59, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

Editprotected request[edit]


Should be categorized. Suggest adding to Category:Wikipedia in the media. -- œ 23:13, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done — {{Nihiltres|talk|edits}} 02:34, 7 July 2009 (UTC)