Wikipedia talk:Requests for mediation/Lost episodes

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with unanimous agreement on a set of principles covering editing of Lost episode articles
This mediation case is closed. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this case page.


Thank you all for agreeing to mediate this issue at hand, which is namely to find consensus on how the episodes of Lost should be written about. From what I can tell, the two opposing viewpoints are basically whether each episode should have its own article, or be grouped with other articles from the same season. Currently, I've seen it done both ways on Wikipedia. However, I saw a proposal before (I cannot seem to find it now, and I've been looking for about 30 minutes), which I find to be very relevant to this discussion. Basically, it proposed that TV articles should expand as such: At first, only have an article about the show. However, if the "Episodes" section becomes too long, then expand into seasons. However, if the seasons article becomes too long, then expand into individual episode articles. I've seen lists done two ways, with List of SHOW Episodes and List of SHOW Episodes (Season X), but the former is more prevalant across Wikipedia, as far as I can tell. Thoughts? Concerns? -^demon[yell at me][ubx_war_sux] /11:19, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

Just to start out, one of the arguments being size, I point out that the Season 2 episode summaries is 159 kilobytes long; but Wikipedia:Article_size says 32 KB is strongly recommended as the maximum. I also find it somewhat difficult to scroll down that page and look for specific info, which is a "readability issue" and one of the reasons to consider dividing up a page according to Wikipedia:Article_size. Since one of the few exceptions on that guideline page is that there might not be a natural point to cut up large lists, I say that dividing up into individual ep summaries is pretty natural, highly organized, and very useful. ArgentiumOutlaw 01:41, 8 July 2006 (UTC)
I agree with ArgentiumOutlaw. When there is a great deal of information on one page, then it makes sense to break the long page up into shorter pages. In the case of Lost, where the mystery behind the show makes it difficult to create short summaries (since we're never sure which details in a particular episode are most relevant), having all episodes on one page is excessive. I believe that polls have been conducted on this issue, and the majority consensus was that there should be separate episode pages, but the main stakeholders refused to accept consensus, saying that only those who regularly edited the articles should really have deciding votes. --Elonka 23:25, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
I apologize for my late reply. This issue has been discussed so much that it's difficult to keep talking about it without repeating yourself. Are the article sizes a problem? Yes, of course. But one thing we have seen with the individual articles is they tend to include more fancruft, speculation, and information that has no relevance to the recurring story lines. So we have to make a trade off: either one long article that contains synoptic information about each episode, or many, shorter episode articles that contain a lot of crap. You'll notice that after the episode guidelines agreed upon in that discussion were adopted, the episode summaries did a 180 [1]. As a result, the entire first season was summarized in 75kb, which is quite small considering what an involved show Lost is. I know we can do the same with season 2. One thing that really concerns me about the individual articles is that they are so long and in-depth that an argument can be made that they violate copyright law because some of them give a blow by blow recap of everything that happened in an episode. So reading one of those episode summaries could arguably replace the need to watch an episode, causing ABC to lose money. Jtrost (T | C | #) 01:44, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
I believe the reason that the individual articles arent that great right now (eg too long, scattered fancruft), is that people dont want to work on something that will potentially be deleted, merged or lost in these discussions. The reason that I don't edit any of these pages is because they might be deleted by a discussion similar to what we're having now. If the editors for both the long page and the individual eps came together and worked on the individual articles, it would solve the size/clarity problem, and it would eventually remove all of the fancruft and lengthy details. Also, I dont believe that organizing these pages with the editors' convenience in removing fancruft in mind is a good idea. These pages should be organized so that the reader can benefit, not the editors; but I am not suggesting that it is ok to have organized pages at the cost of fancruft, I am merely saying that we should organize the pages with the reader in mind (like all wikipedia pages should be), and then work on fancruft as a seperate problem. To organize by the editors convenience in this case, is similar (but exagerated) to suggesting that we merge all television shows together so that it's easier for us to remove fancruft that sneaks in. One final comment, I don't believe that saying ABC will lose money if we create individual articles is a useful or relevent argument for putting everything on one page. ArgentiumOutlaw 07:51, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
If people aren't willing to work on the individual articles because of the risk of deletion, then why do people edit the season articles? Don't those editors face the same risk? Also, fancruft is not the only issue with the individual articles. Many of them suffer from bad grammar, original research, and statement of facts that simply aren't true. Currently, such mistakes can go unnoticed for weeks at a time on these individual articles. If we worked together, we might be able to make the individual articles better than they are, but I don't think that we could keep them at a standard of quality just because of the sheer amount of them. I agree with what you said about convenience to the reader, and I think that the season format serves this purpose much more effectively. A reader does not have to scroll down the page, and if a reader is looking for a particular episode, they can click the link on the top of the page. With the individual articles, the reader would find the articles easier to navigate, but would simply find a bad article that may not serve his or her needs. --Kahlfin 18:01, 15 July 2006 (UTC)

The Way I See It...[edit]

The major obstacle preventing us from breaking the season articles down into individual episodes is the perceived lowering of content quality and higher risk of AfD when broken down. However, it was mentioned above, and I agree:

Cquote1.png | If people aren't willing to work on the individual articles because of the risk of deletion, then why do people edit the season articles? Don't those editors face the same risk? Cquote2.png

And it's true. All articles, if poorly maintained, run a risk of AfD. It comes down to whether or not you're willing to put forth the effort to maintain a (in this case rather large) collection of articles about a subject that you obviously are all very interested in. Now, I know fancruft is an issue in TV series especially, but large sets of articles on a subject can be maintained. Look at The Simpsons. They have an absolutely enormous series, and every episode has its own article. Opinions? -^demon[yell at me][ubx_war_sux] /00:57, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

The threat of changing the way we database episode content is the reason that individual episodes might not be up to par at this point. Poor maintenance and hesitation to edit comes from the existance of this discussion and all the points brought up in the List of Lost episodes talk page. Right now things are changing, and the process has halted maintaining the episode pages. This might just be an opinion, one shared with many editors mind you. So, let's look at the facts. Jtrost pointed out that the Season 1 article "did a 180." The article, at one point, was 85 KB, and through editing was reduced to 75KB. The Season 1 article is currently 82KB long. In addition, the Season 2 article is 158 KB long. 158 KB. These statements cannot be denied. Regarding standards on Wikipedia, which is extremely important for readers, these articles fail Wikipedia's guidelines for article size, miserably. Why are these pages so big? Because Lost episodes undoubtedly are complex. There is so much to say about each episode- general plot, mythology, character crossovers... While this complexity isn't a bad thing, it's the details that raised Season 1 from 75 right back up to 82KB. Details are important, and we can't just say we will keep reducing the season articles. We can't. An effort to minimize episode summaries on season pages will just result in other editors' reinserting the information. There is evidence to support this. Individual episode articles are appropriate for recording detailed Lost episodes for this reason. Details can undoubtedly lead to fancruft, yes, but I do not believe it is so much harder for editors to patrol individual episode pages. I mean, we do not have a huge article titled Main Characters of Lost. Each main character has an individual page, detailed and yet still maintained efficiently. If Lost episode editors could strive to produce great work like the character pages, Lost episodes would be databased most accurately and helpful to readers. -- Wikipedical 01:30, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
Exactly the point I was trying to make, and I completely agree. Also I'd like to address the quote that was highlighted in this section and explain. The reason that the season summaries are still edited despite risk, is because that page has a few editors that will spend every minute of the day trying to improve the page. My point was that if only one of the two we are deciding on (episode vs season summaries) is chosen, more of the lost editors will begin contributing (including me) to that chosen page. To make it clear, I'm only saying that more people will edit and help remove fancruft and bad grammar, once only one format exists. Regardless of all that, I agree with wikipedical, that we can make it better for the user if we show the same amount of tenacity in the episode summaries as there currently is in many many other places. ArgentiumOutlaw 08:16, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
Details are important? I disagree. If we start citing minute details in LOST articles, where do we stop? Do we talk about what Jack is wearing in every single episode? Do we describe every single equation, quote, and latin phrase featured on the Blast Door Map in Lockdown? If we start citing minor details, these articles are going to spiral out of control. The point of an episode summary is to summarize the episode, not to help someone who might be noting details of a particular episode. I believe that individual articles are too massive a project for LOST editors to maintain at this point. As for the example you cited with the Character pages, Characters are completely different. There are currently 18 characters of LOST, and if this changes at all, it will only increase by a small number. If we have somewhere around 18 pages for the entire run of the show, editors can keep these and only these pages on their watchlists. Episodes, on the other hand, are completely different. There are currently 49 episodes of LOST, and with an estimated 6-season run, this number will increase to somewhere around 144. We cannot maintain 49 pages right now, and during the regular season, this number will increase by 1 every single week. Every week, another page pops up for someone to watch and maintain, and we certainly aren't gaining another dedicated editor every week. And as for The Simpsons, the Simpsons pages have many dedicated editors to maintain their episode pages as opposed to the handful that maintain LOST. And still, individual articles do not seem to work for them. Take a look at The Two Mrs. Nahasapeemapetilons, Little Girl in the Big Ten, and Bye Bye Nerdie among others. Many Simpsons episode articles run rampant with bad grammar and POV. If it doesn't work for their large, active community, it certainly won't work for us. --Kahlfin 20:14, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

Though I appreciate the intent of some editors to maintain a personal eye on every Lost article in order to keep them clean and high quality, I have a lot of trouble with any argument that says that the quantity of Lost articles should be kept small, so as to minimize pressure on their watchlist. By that reasoning, Wikipedia should never have expanded past a few thousand articles, but it seems to be doing fantastically well with 1.2 million and growing, because different people pay attention to different sections. As I've stated before in the talkpage discussion, I believe in Wikipedia's power to self-regulate. If there's a lot of "fancruft" being added to an article, then I believe that there will be enough other readers of the article to help edit it back to neutrality. Nobody "owns" the Lost articles (see WP:OWN), and we shouldn't be basing a decision on whether or not to split articles up, solely on the opinion of editors who say they don't want their watchlist to expand. When we've had a poll on this in the past (which was allowed to run for only one week in April [2]), there was basically a 2 to 1 consensus to split things up into episode articles, but when some editors tried to implement (what I saw as) the consensus, others stepped in and started reverting changes, saying that there wasn't consensus. When another poll was started in June, the clear majority was to split articles up, though other editors kept claiming "deadlock", and then this mediation was started Talk:Episodes_of_Lost_(season_2)#Vote:_On_the_articles. I don't think we're deadlocked here, I just think we have a minority of editors who are refusing to admit that there's consensus to split up the articles, by continually reverting the will of the majority so that the minority can maintain control of what they regard as "their" articles. Again, I don't think that they're acting in bad faith -- I think that they have a genuine desire to do a good job. But I do think that this minority has to learn to let go, rather than trying to maintain personal control of every single Lost article. --Elonka 00:00, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

I've said this before, elsewhere in this long-running debate, but I'll do so again here. Let's just look at the results of having separate articles since about April. The results are clear (and daunting) -- compare any two episodes and you'll see that in many (even most) cases, the individual episode article tends to be of much greater length but with lower quality, including obvious speculation, original research, non-notable items, and fancruft. The individual episode articles tend to use language such as "most likely a reference" and "possibly an allusion". They include the pointing out of continuity errors, which is fan material, not encyclopedic material.
Since previous votes were mentioned, let me again point out the following about that:
  • Virtually every long-standing contributor to Lost-related articles voted to keep the season articles and not have the individual episode articles.
  • With no consensus having emerged, we've let the individual episode articles "happen" since late March or so.
  • For a couple of reasons, several long-standing contributors (myself among them) who had declared their lack of support for individual articles have refrained from contributing/editing those individual articles. Whatever you may think of that reasoning, it's undeniable that it has allowed the results to speak for themselves of the two approaches.
So, four months later, without the attention of the various seasoned Lost editors, these articles have deteriorated and contain material that is contrary to Wikipedia goals and tenets. If those editors had participated, the articles would have almost certainly been kept in check in these matters. But the editors I'm referring to don't want the inundation of the multiple articles, for precisely this reason! It obviously falls on their shoulders to keep out the trivia etc. If they're not there, the trivia mounts up, literally. The people on the side of the individual articles have (for whatever reason) not stepped up to follow the Wikipedia tenets. Without the stops and checks and balances represented by dogged attention to these tenets, people seem to simply follow the "more must be better" philosophy, but more is not better, and we can see that tangibly now.
The results speak for themselves, in other words.
-- PKtm 02:52, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
I am totally against this giving extra weight to the opinion of the "seasoned Lost editors" who seem to have claimed ownership of the Lost articles. Wikipedia works on consensus, and it also works on the concept of inviting in outside editors to give third-party opinions. To say that the outside opinions should not be given due consideration because they're from editors who aren't intimately involved with the editing of those pages, is counter-intuitive. As for the "quality" of the various articles, what I've seen, is some of the people that you describe as "stakeholders", actively sabotaging the work of other editors. Speaking for myself, I have to admit that it made me less likely to want to participate in the articles, because I couldn't tell which version was going to stick around, and I didn't want to put a lot of work into something, only to have it be deleted. So, it's my opinion that once we finally nail down the consensus (and get people to abide by consensus), that the quality of the articles will improve, because everyone will be pulling in the same direction. --Elonka 22:33, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
No, that's actually not at all what I said. I'm not saying that outside opinions not be given due consideration. And I have no idea what you refer to when you speak of anyone "sabotaging" the work of other editors. What I am saying is that there are opinions, and there are now observable results. What I am saying is let's look at reality: Lost invites a ton of participation, often from new or less frequent editors. The seasoned editors have helped diligently enforce basic Wikipedia tenets against a pretty incessant surge of trivia, speculation, theorizing, rumor inclusion. That work is to be valued, not scorned or dismissed. Without those editors, the results are clearly worse, as evidenced in the individual episode articles. No one has stepped up to keep the quality reasonable on those individual articles. People said that they would, but they have not; some proponents of the individual articles have even participated themselves in inserting unsourced rumors and speculation, so the basic Wikipedia philosophy is just not there perhaps. Given those results, it seems clear to me that it makes sense to do what those seasoned editors (with good reason) favor who are actually helping keep back the surge of fancruft: stick to season articles with sections for each episode. The idea is to encourage participation by the people who are helping, not drive them away with a surge of unmanageable articles in the Lost arena.
So again, let's look at results, not opinions, and let's think about what Wikipedia is supposed to stand for, and what's more likely to get us there. -- PKtm 23:00, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
Where you lose me, is the idea that if we allow individual episode articles, that we're going to "lose" the seasoned editors. I agree with you that their input is valuable, as is the input of the occasional editors. I disagree that we should keep all the information on long and cumbersome season articles, just to make things easier for the "seasoned" editors. I think that maintenance will be just fine on individual episode articles, too, once we agree on one location for each episode synopsis, rather than the current system where there are two synopses for each episode, being maintained in parallel, because the "owner" editors refuse to let go of their season articles. --Elonka 23:41, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
Well, several of those seasoned editors, myself among them, have gone on record in these discussions, stating that keeping track of hundreds of articles (for there will be that many) is beyond our energy and intentions and desires. I've said it, Jtrost has said it, Leflyman, Danflave, etc. It's actually easy to watch and revert the fancruft that's inserted into a single article; it's much much harder to even notice changes when there are dozens or hundreds of such articles, and to be sure, Lost articles need constant attention (more so than many other kinds of articles on Wikipedia) due to the popularity of the show. There are clearly a very small number of people who are willing to give Lost articles that attention, but the articles really need it. As we've seen: despite your statement above, the results actually show that maintenance obviously will not be "just fine" on individual episode articles, unless we can get that small number of dogged, diligent people to actually do it. One can disagree, wish it weren't so, or otherwise think ideally about it, but, it's reality. It's not ownership; it's reality. -- PKtm 00:02, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
So your arguement for having season articles is that it's easier for you, Jtrost, Leflyman to be able to maintain it- Is this correct? Because I don't see how moving from page to page is such a difficult task. And I certainly don't see how individual articles naturally create poor maintenance, because they don't. This is a false assumption on the parts of editors that are unwilling for change. The point is we are trying to please the reader, and the conservatism of the elders here is just not helpful. -- Wikipedical 02:47, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
Basically one side says 'Let's organize these articles to our (the editors) benefit because it has the side-benefit of having less fancruft', and the other side says 'Let's organize to the readers benefit and the fancruft will naturally be removed'. Those seem to be the main points here, and I side with the latter. To clarify the argument, I believe the basic problem lies in the fact that the former side doesn't believe that the individual articles will naturally be maintained and that we can take the current situation as proof that it won't. Our side claims that we shouldnt just assume things will stay the same. For one thing, unless the season editors cut ties with lost articles, it can be safe to assume that there will be at least a few committed editors that will keep an eye on a few episodes. In addition, many other users who were afraid to edit due to the ambiguity of the situation will begin to maintain the episodes. So in essence, the season editors, the episode editors, and the non-editing users (like myself) will come together and help maintain these episodes. I believe that if the season editors acknowledge that fancruft will be removed with, at most, a bit of extra work, then there is no further reason to debate, because it is a "wikipedian tenet" to break up lengthy and cumbersome pages into multiple pages for ease of use for the reader. ArgentiumOutlaw 05:26, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
I believe there is a misunderstanding here. I'll try to address them all.
  • No one has ever claimed ownership of these articles. If we have claimed ownership, like some of you suggested, then the individual articles would have been immediately marked for deletion. Instead, when I first saw the individual articles, I redirected them and began a discussion, thinking that the status quo should stand until a consensus was reached. (I was quickly reverted and people claimed I blanked and vandalized pages; not wanting a revert war, I just let those people have their way) Our cooperation to have ongoing discussions and agreeing to mediation have shown that we, just like you, are interested in reaching a compromise, and not claiming any ownership.
  • Adding more pages to our watchlists is not our primary argument. I use it just to show how much additional work will have to go into maintaining these already overly long episode summaries.
  • We don't want season articles just because they're easier to maintain. That's one benefit, but not the only reason. We've already demonstrated how individual articles are more prone to violating policy. Our main concern is keeping the quality of these articles up with other Lost-related articles. If this is going to boil down to a matter of quality or quantity, I'll stick with quality. Unfortunately, I don't think we can have both because quantity almost always leads to lack of quality.
One more point I would like to raise is that those of you supporting individual articles say that it will be easier for the readers to navigate. How is that? If you're looking at load time it takes longer to load 24 smaller pages than one large page. As a whole, those 24 smaller articles are easily triple the size of the season article, if not larger. Also the individual pages will inherently include more images, which will make loading even slower. As for navigation, there is no way to jump from one individual article to any other, only to the previous and next episode. This seems to make navigation more difficult. Jtrost (T | C | #) 14:49, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
I have another idea for a compromise. If article size is really your big problem, I would not be opposed to splitting the season article into four smaller articles. For example, we could have Episodes 1-6 of Lost (season x) to Episodes 19-24 of Lost (season x). Jtrost (T | C | #) 14:55, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
Great proposal along the lines of compromise, Jtrost. I'd support this as well, as a good middle ground between the two camps, and if we can agree on the tenets as summarized by Demon at the end of this thread. -- PKtm 01:32, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
That sounds like a reasonable compromise. Other opinions? -^demon[yell at me] 02:05, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
I dont mean to sound like I'm against compromise, but this is one situation where it must be done either one way or the other. If the consensus is going to be to divide it up into what jtrost mentioned, then might as well go with the full season article. Having 6 episodes on one page is still relatively cumbersome, and not to mention how awkward/unorganized it is to divide a season up like that. I still believe that fancruft/grammar problems won't be as problematic as the opposing side thinks it will be. Also, I still only see one advantage to keeping the season article, and its ease of use for the editors. No matter how its stated, including 'policy violation', the end argument is that its easier on us, and that's not right. ArgentiumOutlaw 14:33, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Just for Clarification[edit]

Just so I can better grasp who is on each side of this debate, can you each please sign below, with your respected affiliation, if you will? -^demon[yell at me] 18:51, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

Seasonal Articles[edit]

  • Jtrost (T | C | #) 21:34, 22 July 2006 (UTC)
  • PKtm 23:54, 22 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Kahlfin 03:39, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Individual Episodes[edit]

An Idea, Your Thoughts?[edit]

Also, in thinking about this earlier today, an idea came to mind, and I'd like your thoughts on it. What if we were to begin by having season articles, and then slowly break out into indivdual episodes, as they required? For example, in Season 1, episodes 1, 2, 6, and 9 might have their own articles, whereas the rest of the season is still within a joint season article (which accordingly links to the episodes where needed)? This would allow you to keep the more minor episodes from having their own (AfD-prone) articles, and the more important ones could be allowed on their own. This also cuts down on the length of season articles, as well as helping to keep the overall number of articles to maintain to a bit lower (and more manageable) number. Thoughts? -^demon[yell at me] 18:51, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

Not to be offensive, but I strongly believe we need to affirm one system as the system. In this case, I do not believe we should have overlapping systems any longer. If we have some episodes missing from season episodes and some episodes as individual episodes, gradually and eventually I think the whole season will make it into both systems. This discussion is important and could set a precedent for databasing other television episodes, not just LOST. But I think all of us here can say that we appreciate the time and effort you're taking to help us out. -- Wikipedical 22:03, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
I'm going to have to agree with Wikipedical, we definetely should pick just one of the methods of organization. If both exist the way you described, the information will be somewhat chaotic and unstructured. This would be confusing and frustrating for the users who are looking for information on the episodes. In my opinion anyway. ArgentiumOutlaw 01:00, 21 July 2006 (UTC)
I'm not fully opposed to this idea. While each episode of Lost has an involved storyline, in the grand scheme of the show (or what we have seen so far) many of the stories within each show really have no relevance (i.e. Hurley's golf course). Some episodes, or parts of episodes could be considered fillers, and therefore the information contained within that episode wouldn't be encyclopedic. I think if we are able to trim down some of the less important episodes, and expand out some of the more important episodes, we can find a happy medium. I wouldn't mind adding a dozen more articles to my watchlist and contributing to them if they really do warrant their own article. However, having 50+ Lost episode articles will inevitably cause problems, and it already has. Jtrost (T | C | #) 21:33, 22 July 2006 (UTC)
I am a big fan of LOST and am dedicated enough to help maintain its Wikipedia article. But frankly we can't and shouldn't decide what episodes are more "important" to the reader. Hurley's golf course has "no relevance"... to what? The plot? Maybe. Again, I don't think that we can just generalize that episodes that cover more plot are more important. We should trim speculation, repetition, and details that are truly truly excessive, such as Jack's costmues and every latin phrase on the Blast Door map. But other details that are not as important to the plot, such as character pasts and information that is not relevant to Michael's finding Walt, are what make up LOST and are definately encyclopedic. -- Wikipedical 02:54, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
I think this is not a bad idea, especially if we decide as a community which articles are ready for individual status. Here's how it might work: say a user thinks that the section of the season page pertaining to the episode "Numbers" is ready for it's own article. That user will create a section on the talk page proposing that "Numbers" have it's own article. The LOST community will have a discussion about whether or not "Numbers" merits its own article, the main criteria being whether the section on the season page is good enough and whether the LOST community can handle another individual episode page at the time of proposal. The community will try to reach consensus, and if an episode is rejected, it can be resubmitted if any user thinks that circumstances have changed since the last submission. This sounds like a good idea, and I would support it. --Kahlfin 03:46, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
I can't support this, I'm afraid. I feel that it doesn't map to Wikipedia's essence. Specifically, the nature of Wikipedia is that we (the LOST community that Kahlfin refers to above) don't really decide a whole lot, when it comes to day-to-day insertions. Anyone can edit. Anyone can create an article. Things that look like gaps (e.g., some episodes without articles) will be filled by eager contributors, in the honest belief that they're helping out, and we'll have to spend lots of time in AfD justifying why this article should be deleted but not others. -- PKtm 04:04, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Amount of detail?[edit]

It looks like that so far we are as deadlocked as ever about this issue. However, I would like to come to an agreement about one issue and then from there we could possibly come to a consensus about episode summaries. Earlier in the discussion I stated that having the individual articles may infringe on ABC's copyright of the show because reading some of the episode summaries give a blow by blow account of an episode, and really do replace the need to watch that episode. As examples, see Pilot, Three Minutes, and Live Together, Die Alone. I don't think this amount of detail is required, as much of the information touches on fancruft, which isn't a Wikipedia policy, but still a good thing to avoid in pop culture articles. I would like to hear what everyone believes is a suitable amount of detail to include in episode summaries. As a starting point, take a look at these guidelines that were originally developed, and used to rewrite the first season article:

  • should be limited to 500 words.
  • should not contain brilliant prose, fancruft, speculation, or original research.
  • should only mention events important to the central character and his/her flashback, events that relate to the ongoing or future story lines, and events that emphasize the story elements and thematic motifs sections in the main Lost article. (note: I added thematic motifs since it was added as a section after these guidelines were developed) Jtrost (T | C | #) 21:46, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

Good start on these guidelines. I'd suggest adding something along the following lines:

  • should contain little or no references to actual dialog, other than (as a rare exception) lines that are pivotal to plot swerves or character revelations

-- PKtm 21:56, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

I agree that we need to compromise. I think I'm on board with these guidelines, as well as PKtm's addition. However, I think we need to verify some of the wording here. Hurley's golf course was brought up in the previous section of this discussion. Now according to ABC's official episode summary (for Solitary in season 1), "A mysterious woman takes Sayid prisoner, and tells him a disturbing truth about the island. Hurley builds a golf course to relieve the survivors' stress." So I'm not sure what to say about this still- should we take into account ABC's own summary? Also, I think "Pilot" and "Live Together, Die Alone" should be exceptions as they are 2-hour episodes. So can we say 500 words per hour episode? And I think recap episodes should not receieve any summary but be briefly mentioned (whether on the top areas of List of Lost episodes, or the Episodes of Lost (season 1), no seperate sections). What do you all think? -- Wikipedical 03:19, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

I personally think that although we should remove unnecessary details, we should keep a lot of the descriptions of the scenes (eg in Live Together, Die Alone). In Live Together, Die Alone, the page looks to be extremely detailed only because that page describes 2 episodes, and only then, each part is slightly too detailed. I think details like the name of the book that Desmond was holding should remain, yet a detail like Mr. Eko carving 922 on his club is too much (unless its importance is noted in some other way such as in a future episode). I think if we oversummarize these episodes, the importance of the various complications and intricacies will be lost. Those elaborate complexities in the individual scenes and episodes are very important to the series and should not be overlooked by anyone attempting to understand the show or any of its episodes.

I'd also like to point out again that the episode details don't really have much to do with what we're supposed to be discussing right now. This topic is completely different than the original, and we might want to solve it in a seperate discussion after the current request for mediation is finished. Therefore I suggest that we not waste too much time discussing this. ArgentiumOutlaw 16:48, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

Just so it's clearly stated, the reason I started this is because one big issue here is article size, and these guidelines directly impact article size. While this exact topic may be outside the scope of the mediation, I think that discussing it can help us find a compromise. Jtrost (T | C | #) 21:17, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Potential Guidelines[edit]

These guidelines sound like a reasonable compromise to me:

  • should be limited to 500 words (per hour, allowing up to 1000 for 2 hour episodes)
  • should not contain brilliant prose, fancruft, speculation, or original research.
  • should only mention events important to the central character and his/her flashback, events that relate to the ongoing or future
  • should contain little or no references to actual dialog, other than (as a rare exception) lines that are pivotal to plot swerves or character revelations

Any others people recommend? Problems with these? -^demon[yell at me] 14:01, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

One other guideline that comes to mind, when I glance at a couple of the current single episode articles, ought to be "no captions". Many of the current articles have various odd "artistic" subheadings scattered throughout the exposition of what happens in the episode; e.g., "Tensions build at the hatch." These add nothing, aren't encyclopedic, and just come off as artificial.
Secondly, whatever guidelines we settle on will have to be prominently displayed for each article. Wikipedia inspires people to contribute, and with Lost in particular, there will always be stuff that can be added by a person who is eager to contribute. The articles will quickly mushroom beyond their allotted 500 words per episode.
Lastly, I think that Jtrost's recommendation of (say) four articles per season (grouping episodes into chunks of 6 episodes per article or so) should be strongly considered. -- PKtm 04:53, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
Looking at Episodes of Lost (season 2), descriptions are routinely over 1000 words. On a quick glance, it looks like the longest one is over 1700 words, and the season finale is close to 2500. I think trying to keep under 500 words is not realistic. However, I do agree that the proposed compromise has merit. 6 episodes per page might be too many though. If we break up Season 2 into 4 pages, we're still running about 40K per page, which is over Wikipedia guidelines. I'd recommend fewer episodes/page, and putting a max cap (if we have to have a max cap?) of 1500 words per episode. --Elonka 05:29, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
Sure, season 2 episode descriptions are too long even in the season articles; hence Jtrost's suggestion to pare them down, as we did with Season 1. This isn't unreasonable, given the guidelines. Take a look at this excerpt from Collision's description (1200 words total):
He also finds the closet full of guns and displays a disapproving facial expression. Eko runs into Locke and the two stare at each other very strangely for several seconds. Eko tells Locke "a girl was shot and killed", describing her as "tall with blonde hair" whom Locke quickly identifies as Shannon, showing a sense of grief in his face. When asked if he could take Locke to the scene, Eko takes a quick look at the gun-rack and replies: "No."
That's precisely the kind of overdetailed description that causes these summaries to mushroom. The summaries shouldn't have that level of detail, not to mention the interpretive drawing of conclusions. Short and simple should rule the day. These aren't scripts. 500 words as a limit should be fine (and will also accommodate just four articles for the whole season); setting the limit as high as 1500 words (!) will encourage the kind of thing represented by this excerpt. -- PKtm 14:43, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

What's going on here? This isn't what we're supposed to debate about. Us editors can debate about this in a more public environment at a future point in time. I'd also like to point out that our discussion on the season vs episode summaries, is a complete waste of our time. The problem is that neither side knows for sure what will happen if each episode has its own article. Since we can't know that, our differences in opinion are what we each believe will happen (ie fancruft will take over, or disappear). Us talking about it with eachother is ridiculous and circular in nature. We're just going to end up doing the same thing we did in the previous polls and discussions. So what are we doing here? Is the admin going to decide what he thinks is best? Or are we supposed to keep arguing until the end of time? ArgentiumOutlaw 14:51, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, but I think that's completely wrongheaded. The point is that we're zeroing in on guidelines and compromises that will allow both sides to feel OK about a new approach. Discussing the season vs. episode summaries is the point here, and doing so is hardly a waste of time if we want to break the deadlock, which is what this mediation is all about. So let's please not dismiss each other's solid efforts to further the discussion. -- PKtm 14:59, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
The above examples bring up another question for me as well. One of the arguments by the "page per season" camp, is that the season pages are easier to maintain and keep free of "fan-cruft". And yet, the above example is from a season page. So, what's the deal? If those pages are so easy to maintain, why is that kind of information allowed? In fact, I'll even ask a more specific question: Can the season editors please show me clear examples where an "episode" article is lower quality than the corresponding description in the season article? Because right now I'm not seeing it. --Elonka 17:12, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
Look at Episodes of Lost (season 1). That contains summaries written with the above guidelines in mind. The second season page has not been cleaned up yet. Jtrost (T | C | #) 18:27, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
Well, even while the Season 1 page is "cleaned up," it is still 82KB long. I'm still thinking about this guidelines, but I keep geting stuck on point number three. The wording is so vague and might not relate to each episode. -- Wikipedical 20:57, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
Exactly, it's about half the size of the season 2 article. That goes to show how implementing these guidelines can improve these articles. As for page size, remember that Wikipedia:Article size is only a guideline, not a policy, so it doesn't need to be followed as strictly as NPOV, OR, etc. If the summaries are divided up into four pages as I proposed above, then each page will be approximately a little over 20kb, which is well under the recommended size. As for guideline 3, if you don't like it come up with alternate wording. The purpose of #3 is to keep people from writing something that is completely irrelevent to the main story lines at that time. Jtrost (T | C | #) 21:14, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
I know that I am not a listed party in this discussion (due to not holding a strong preference between the two major alternates), but as an occasional contibutor, I would like to make an observation about guideline #3, specific to "ongoing or in the future. My opinion is that episode summaries should be written from the perspective of what is known at the time, and never emphasize something simply because we later find out it was important. Hence, I'd remove the reference to the future, or possibly modify it to clarify that it cannot refer to events we only know about from watching later episodes. Bldxyz 00:11, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

While it's not much, I can note that removing the trivia/notes from the Season 1 article cuts 1KB off of it, just for reference. Also, I'm wanting to let you know I'm very pleased with the discussion that's been going on. Sorry I haven't been as active in the discussion in the past few days (starting a new job and all), but I've set aside some time to get a lot more caught up and back into things this evening. -^demon[yell at me] 11:36, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Actually, those Season 1 trivia items were added just recently, and I hadn't noticed them yet. I just reverted them, because they're inappropriate anyway, even containing continuity errors (the embodiment of fancruft) such as an actor being credited but not appearing. This kind of addition is a classic example of what constantly happens on Lost articles: people feel the need to add more more more. But "more is not better" in an encyclopedia. -- PKtm 13:58, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
In addition, it was also in violation of the "trivia being limited to general audiences guideline" that was voted on at Talk: Episodes of Lost (season 2). I completely agree with the "more is not better" comment, and I feel this is one of the main arguments against individual articles at this time. If people will continue to add more irrelivant useless information to a watched article like Episodes of Lost (season 1), Imagine what they've done and will continue to do to 47 and growing individual articles. --Kahlfin 03:19, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

New proposal[edit]

Ultimately, I do think it's important to thank those editors who have gone before, for the excellent work that they've done on the Lost articles. However, it looks to me, based on the contribution history, that the torch is passed, and it's time to move on. For example, I see little evidence that the Season articles are better "watched" than the episode articles. Looking at the contribution history, I see that the Season 1 article has had only a dozen edits in the last month [3]. Not exactly a hotbed of activity. Season 2 is a bit higher, maybe 50 edits over the month of July, but even so, practically nothing from those who count themselves as the "established" editors that are here in this mediation (with the exception of PKtm) [4].

My recommendation at this point, is that we add a {{main}} or {{details}} template to the beginning of each episode summary on the season page, which points to the individual episode article (I'm willing to do the work on this). Then, over time, we can gradually condense all of the descriptions on the Season pages to a shorter one-paragraph description. That will have the benefit of shrinking the Season pages down to a reasonable size, will still allow for one centralized location (each episode article) for the expanded show descriptions, will have a minimum amount of "deleting other people's work", and life can go on. How does that sound? :) --Elonka 07:42, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

First of all, thank you for getting this discussion back to the overarching topic. Looking back at Talk:List of Lost episodes, I've come across a similar plan that was discussed in March. It discusses a compromise between season and individual episode articles and sounds very similar to what Elonka brought up:
  • [[List of Lost episodes]] providing links to [[Episodes of Lost (season x)]] and [[Title of episode (Lost)]]
  • [[Episodes of Lost (season x)]] - pages with a short (one paragraph) summaries of all episodes of the season
  • [[Title of episode (Lost)]] individual pages with long, detailed description for every episode
I struck some of the first part because I don't think this would be necessary. I think this creates a very good structure. It is very simple. You go from a complete list of episodes to a brief paragraph on an episode to a longer summary. The fact is the lengths of Season 1 and Season 2 articles are unreasonable. This system would allow the existance of both kinds of articles, with lengths suitable for Wikipedia, and creates a good compromise. It includes both kinds of articles, season and individual, and they both would serve different purposes, which is different than the ambiguity and competition they create now. In addition, we should keep discussing the "potential guidelines" and work so that the summaries in the individual articles would meet the result of our compromise. Comments? -- Wikipedical 17:06, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
A bit puzzled here: we had a compromise proposal on the table, one which answered the concerns of both parties. To wit, have sets of episodes in separate articles, dividing the season into (say) four articles, and adhering strictly to the established guidelines as outlined/discussed above. That addresses the length issue AND the quality issue. Your new proposal seems to ignore the "Season article" adherents' strong views that individual articles will be flypaper for fancruft, and will be a burden to monitor, hence it's not a good compromise. -- PKtm 18:18, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Correct, I re-assessed my opinion of the "burden to monitor" part, considering how little work has actually been done on the Season articles by the other participants in this mediation over the last month (Note: I'm not talking about you, since I see that you have been participating from time to time). In other words, it doesn't look like it is a burden to monitor the articles since the traffic is so low, and to be honest, it looks like the other participants in the mediation have pretty much lost interest in editing them anyway. --Elonka 19:57, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, I'm still having trouble making sense of that. Monitoring the season articles, particularly now that the season is over, is relatively low effort. But that's been my point. A better indication would be for you to look at the number of edits made overall to the episode articles (all 45 or so of them), and in doing so, recognize that if the regular editors were participating there, the number of reverts etc. would probably at least double that count.
Again, I don't see how your new proposal has benefits over the proposal on the table, which I was (perhaps optimistically) hoping we were coming to some consensus on as a compromise. -- PKtm 20:38, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Well the first thing that comes to mind, is why you feel it necessary to watch all 45 articles? Many of them seem to grow just fine without the participation of any of the individuals in this mediation. For example the Season 3 episode for A Tale of Two Cities (Lost) looks like a fine, high quality page with multiple good-faith editors [5]. Also, I did add all of the Lost episodes to my watch list (a drop in the bucket, considering the other 1500-odd that I routinely watch). But to be honest, looking at their histories, most of them look pretty low-traffic as well, with multiple episodes having had zero updates since June. My guess is that as each episodes airs, as a first-run or a repeat, that that's when there's the biggest flurry of edits to that article, and the rest are from people who have it TiVoed or on DVD or somesuch. So, my point is that there are plenty of editors who are willing to maintain the Episode articles, that these efforts for the most part appear to be high quality and in good faith, and that it's wrong to try and fight the consensus and insist on artificially restrictive "Season-only" articles on the basis that there's a core group of editors who want it that way so that they can maintain things to their satisfaction. Wikipedia is a group-ware project, so I recommend that we "go with the flow" and let the articles continue to grow organically, rather than trying to hold them back. --Elonka 23:16, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
I once again fall into repeating myself, because I'm not seeing any acknowledgment of the points that we've made elsewhere in this debate.
... compare any two episodes and you'll see that in many (even most) cases, the individual episode article tends to be of much greater length but with lower quality, including obvious speculation, original research, non-notable items, and fancruft. The individual episode articles tend to use language such as "most likely a reference" and "possibly an allusion". They include the pointing out of continuity errors, which is fan material, not encyclopedic material.
Moreover, the example you cite is hardly a "fine, high quality page". For one thing, it has next to no content yet since the episode hasn't even aired. For another, it contains outright speculation, even material taken from! So much for letting the articles grow organically. If we believe in Wikipedia tenets about what it means to be encyclopedic, as expressed in such official policies as What Wikipedia is not, we have to recognize (from actual results, not theory) that the path you're espousing tends to lead to the antithesis of those tenets. This is not "maintaining things to our satisfaction"; this is maintaining the quality to which Wikipedia aspires.-- PKtm 00:16, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
I believe that the "proposal on the table", that was just mentioned, is not one that we will easily come to a consensus on (mainly because I don't believe it "answered the concerns of both parties"). I also believe that wikipedical is moving in the right direction by offering a different solution, because we need to discuss new ideas and not just hope that making articles microscopic in size will allow them to fit on one page (per guidelines). So please try not to bash other people's suggestions for compromise. ArgentiumOutlaw 03:39, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Um, expressing a different opinion is hardly "bashing" anyone; let's please keep this discourse as civil as possible. And with all due respect to Elonka and Wikipedical, I honestly can't really see their proposal as a compromise at all. The season article advocates have expressed strong opposition (with reasons cited and elucidated ad infinitum, including examples) to having long individual episode-specific articles, yet that's exactly what Elonka and Wikipedical are proposing. The only nod at a compromise appears to be saying that the season articles could continue in drastically pared down form, but essentially to point to the episode articles for more detail. The previous proposal "on the table", as I called it above, does reflect a compromise in that the season article advocates have expressed agreement with splitting up the admittedly over-long season articles into several chunks, rather than keeping them in their current monolithic form. We've moved towards the middle, in other words. I'd hoped that both sides could do a little moving, because that's what this mediation is all about, no? -- PKtm 04:20, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Addressing your request: "let's please keep this discourse as civil as possible", I believe I was being civil when I said "please try not to". I'll ask again, and try to be more direct, please try to be especially civil when beginning a comment, people don't like to read "I'm still having trouble making sense of that", after they post their part of the argument, it's not productive in any way. ArgentiumOutlaw 05:18, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
I really admire how much all of us in this mediation are trying to compromise. However, we need to establish something. There is no "middle." And that's why this is hard. None of us are willing to compromise past the middle. So I'd like to ask ^demon, where should we go from here? On a side note, I'm curious as to how many Lost editors outside of this mediation are pro-season or pro-individual episode. I recall some of us discussing ease in editing content. We might want to look at how many editors agree with the two systems- a non binding poll perhaps. Comments? -- Wikipedical 22:08, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
This proposal is not a compromise. This keeps three different types of episode guides, which is really confusing and will cause a lot of redundant information. My proposal of splitting the season articles into four pages is a compromise. I see no reason why we can't have a middle, as it has the benefits of both season articles and individual articles. Also, I don't believe that the number of editors who are in favor of one system over another should have much bearing on this case. We could take a vote again, as we have many times before, but in the end none of the votes accomplished anything, which is why we are here. However, I really do think we've dicussed this article as much as we can without going in circles. Jtrost (T | C | #) 22:27, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
I also agree that we have discussed as much as we can without going in circles. I would also like to hear what ^demon thinks we should do next. ArgentiumOutlaw 05:10, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Where to now?[edit]

It appears that our mediator may have abandoned us or be on an unanticipated break.

In this rather forced hiatus, I took some trouble to take a look at the state of the episode articles, and at the editing history since the end of the season (I looked just at Season 2 episodes, and used an arbitrary date of May 30, since the last episode of the season aired on May 24). In other words, it's been about 3 months, and this all-important "maintenance period" represents, again, a real-life look at how theory has corresponded to reality. The answer is, not well.

I have said this before, but will now reiterate, that the state of the episode articles is dismaying, in their lack of adherence to Wikipedia standards. But even more, I note (again) that there has been next to no attention to those articles, even from the most ardent proponents of episode articles, as represented in this mediation. There have been a grand total of only FIVE substantive edits of episode articles in that time by the participants in this mediation, 3 by Elonka and 2 by Muhaidib, none by ArgentiumOutlaw and none by Wikipedical, other than the latter's insertion in each episode article of his Season 2 template.

Meanwhile, the episode articles have lots of instances of long-standing and unreverted fancruft, speculation, original research, even grammar and typos. Some have odd captions, some don't. Some are long, some short, often without obvious reason for that discrepancy.

Just a few examples (and I didn't have to dig to find these; they're all over):

  • Original research: When Walt's message is played backwards, you can quite clearly hear Walt say, "Don’t... Press... Button... Button's... Bad..." (Man of Science, Man of Faith)
  • Grammar: In it's original airing, when Desmond packs his things and leaves the hatch, a photograph is shown. (Orientation (Lost))
  • Speculation: It is likely that this correction will be carried over onto the DVD. (Orientation (Lost))
  • Speculation: The title could be a possible reference to The Libertines song, 'What Katie Did'. (What Kate Did)
  • Fancruft (filming mistake): When Michael and Sawyer are on the raft coming back to the island at dawn, a ship can be sighted on the horizon in the top left corner. (Adrift (Lost))
  • Fancruft (continuity issue): As Sun is burying the message bottle, her ring disappears. As she covers the bottle, the ring returns. As she gets up to leave, her ring is gone again. (Everybody Hates Hugo)
  • Fancruft: The episode has also been referred to as "Lockedown", alluding to its central character, John Locke. (Lockdown (Lost))
  • Not notable: The episode's title is a reference to the phrase "Lost and Found" (...And Found)

It just goes on and on; I could easily come up with a list of dozens of such items. If the most ardent proponents of these articles aren't jumping in to stop this deterioration, that should tell us something.

Reality seems to (again) have proved the point: episode articles simply aren't going to work, not if we believe in the tenets and guidelines of Wikipedia and that they matter. -- PKtm 19:09, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

And I still firmly think that individual episode articles are the obvious way to go. As for my lack of edits, I am often tempted to dig in, but I've been trying to respect this mediation process. I'm especially eager to further edit the Lost articles at the moment, since I was attending several panels on "Lost", and even had the opportunity to meet some of the scriptwriters at a recent convention. Though I of course can't add any of the original research thus obtained, it does give me some valuable perspective which would help with editing. However, I'm reluctant to spend any time on articles, if they're just going to be deleted out from under me. And my guess is that others feel the same way.
What I fervently recommend for now, is that we try to accommodate both viewpoints -- both those who want the synopses in the Season articles, and those who want more details on an individual "episode" article. For example, take a look here: Episodes of Lost (season_1)#Tabula_Rasa. It provides some stats on the "Tabula Rasa" episode, and a short synopsis, and then also links via a {{details}} template to the Tabula Rasa (Lost) episode page, which has expanded details, trivia, and so forth. This seems to me to be a reasonable way to handle things. --Elonka 17:21, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Well PKtm, if you continue telling people to stop editing individual episodes, like you did in this disccusion, of course people won't edit them! -- Wikipedical 21:16, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
Nowhere in that discussion, or anywhere else, did I "tell people to stop editing individual episodes". What a bizarre statement to make about what I wrote, frankly. My frustration, in fact, is that no one IS editing individual episodes, and no one seems likely to do so. I actually applauded Radagast for his edits; I just pointed out that the episode article fancruft will tend to outstrip a single editor, and that it has in fact done so. I provided one example, but could easily come up with others. -- PKtm 23:14, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
PKtm, I say this with enormous respect: You've done a heck of a job on the Lost articles. Your work is appreciated. But in terms of this season/episode issue, I think that you're beating a dead horse. Every discussion and every poll that I've seen, has shown that the community consensus is to go with episode articles. So, instead of continuing to argue about whether or not to use episode articles, can we please switch the discussion to how to best splice the existing articles into a cohesive mass? For example, I recommend:
  • That we work our way down the Season articles, adding {{main}} templates to each episode, which points to the main episode article
  • Shrink every synopsis on the Season articles to less than 500 characters (per hour of episode)
  • Consider some article renaming. Right now, there are some episodes which have "(Lost)" appended to their titles, and others which don't. I recommend that we make a standard that all episodes have the (Lost) name on them. This will make them easier to spot in watchlists.
  • That we create a subpage somewhere with guidelines on how to add information to the episode articles, which we can easily point new editors to. Like, "Don't add quotes, don't imply emotional states," and the other items in your above list, as well as the other "Guideline" section that we were working on. In other words, use the knowledge that we've gained, to try and head off "cruft" in the future.
  • That we make a concerted sweep through the episode articles, to get them cleaned up and ready for the new attention coming from Season 3. We could even make a checklist system, like assign a few episodes to each person, and then have PKtm "inspect" them to see if they're up to snuff. Really, some of the new people are very trainable. :)
Please, I think that ultimately we're on the same side here. We've been debating this for two months now. Can we please put this issue to bed, and find a way to work together to get the articles ship-shape before the new season starts? I'd rather work with you than against you. :) --Elonka 04:20, 10 September 2006 (UTC)
Thank you for your considered and detailed response, Elonka. I disagree that the community consensus is to go with episode articles, when you have a number of vocal and frequent contributors here who oppose that.
Guidelines, as you suggest, are necessary but won't stem the tide here. Case in point: I had a pointless, but long-winded and personally distressing exchange with an anon editor here a couple of weeks ago. This editor insisted on inserting (into the episode summary no less) a paragraph detailing the arrest of the two Lost actresses for DUI, and justified doing so simply because it was a verifiable incident. The exchange, predictably, led to personal and bitter accusations of how I was being controlling by reverting this perfectly valid entry, etc. That takes a toll, even though I was completely in the right by Wikipedia tenets. Multiply that kind of incident by dozens or hundreds, as we expand the number of articles and get at best only scattered attention from the small handful of editors here who are willing to uphold Wikipedia guidelines of encyclopedic content. Particularly in the case of Lost, the anons and newcomers here do and always will outnumber the people who understand what Wikipedia is trying to achieve. Their frequent purpose appears to be to "get a scoop", to insert something that hasn't been mentioned. For example, every article that even peripherally mentions Ethan Rom has people frequently inserting into it that his name is an anagram, etc.; every character bio starts to reiterate the plot summaries, and so on. Even without expanding the number of articles, it's already a veritable recipe for fancruft and deterioration. Hence, it's my view that it's totally within the interests of Wikipedia and its goals to keep some kind of lid on the number of Lost-related articles.
So, I don't agree that we can put this issue to bed, I'm afraid. A valid compromise was proposed above (i.e., four summary articles per season) but I believe it got no reaction from the episode article adherents. I, for one, am not at all interested in becoming any kind of "inspector". The whole point here is that the proliferation of articles will demand a similar proliferation of editors willing to monitor them, and that simply, prima facie, hasn't happened. Editing Lost articles against the incursion of fancruft and theories really doesn't need to become any more stressful than it already is for committed Lost editors. Hence my, and others', opposition. -- PKtm 18:38, 10 September 2006 (UTC)
PKtm, for what it's worth, I apologize to you, on behalf of the community, for any jerks that you've had to deal with. You're right, that the Lost articles are a complex project. You're right that a lot of cruft gets added, and many constant reversions are necessary. But when you say that there's no consensus for episode articles, I'm sorry, but I have to disagree. I've spent a lot of time reading all the discussion pages and polls, and the consensus is very clear, usually 2:1 (for example, look at the poll at Talk:List of Lost episodes), that episode articles are preferred. If necessary, I'll post every contributor's name and opinion here, but I'd rather not waste time doing that. At this time, PKtm, to my knowledge, you're the last holdout. I'm not seeing anyone else promoting the season articles in this mediation except you, and I think we're all in agreement that the Season articles are obviously over-sized and need to be shrunk down. Even our mediator (back when he was still around) seemed in support of the episode articles.
To repeat: You've made your point, we've argued this for months, now please stand down. The community consensus is to go with Episode articles. It's time to move on, so instead of discussing whether or not to go with Season articles or episode articles, I think it will be far more productive if we spend our time discussing how to best transition the Season articles. Do we completely blank them and redirect them to the List of Lost Episodes article? or do we keep them, and shrink down their individual synopses, linking from them to the individual episode articles? Some editors on the talk pages seem to think that the Season articles should be done away with entirely, but I'm willing to continue to discuss a compromise where we keep them, as long as they're of reasonable length. Which of the two options would you prefer? --Elonka 20:28, 10 September 2006 (UTC)
Let's please avoid the "presumptive close". I reject both those options, because we don't have consensus. Consensus does not mean vote counting, as you must sure be aware, yet you blur the two by stating "consensus is very clear, usually 2:1". (See WP:Consensus, where one statement is, If there is strong disagreement with the outcome from the Wikipedia community, it is clear that consensus has not been reached.). I agree with Jtrost's sentiment below, that we truly need a mediator's decision at this point, not just a presumptive one based on someone's concept of sheer numbers. It's distressing to me that there was no response to the previous compromise that was proposed. -- PKtm 22:12, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

I think before we continue more discussion (that will inevitably go in circles) we should figure out the status of this mediation. Below I posted a link to a topic I started on the noticeboard about our problem. We basically don't have a mediator anymore, and everything we have tried to get a new one has been completely ignored. I would like for the rest of you to post follow ups to the topic I made on the noticeboard because so far it has generated no responses. Honestly, I am tired of this debate. This whole thing has been going on for about six months now, and I don't know how much longer I can stand it. I am ready for a mediator to decide and I will do whatever that person thinks is best. Jtrost (T | C | #) 21:47, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

We're not going in circles, we're just going up against clear denial. We do have consensus, and continuing to insist that we don't, is distressing to me. Per Wikipedia:Consensus, I don't see this as a case of "Strong disagreement with the outcome from the Wikipedia community," I see this as a case of a "vocal and unreconciled minority" (mostly PKtm, Jtrost, and Kahlfin), adamantly insisting that all the Episode articles need to be deleted or merged into the Season articles, despite clear majority resistance to that position. --Elonka 23:46, 10 September 2006 (UTC)
Elonka, a vote is not consensus. You know that, or should know it, as an experienced WP editor. Continuing to insist we have consensus, however repeatedly and confidently you do so, doesn't make it so. As for that quote on the "vocal and unreconciled minority" that you dropped in there, that actually comes from a mailing list quoted in the WP:Consensus, not from the guideline itself; it's being used in the context of fairly describing a minority viewpoint of consensus, to wit, that "some contributors have also come to use a supermajority as one of the determinations". In short, the quote is out of context and inappropriate to our discussion here.
We need a mediator, not a categorical "decision by fiat". That was how we got to mediation in the first place; let's please not undercut that process by unilaterally deciding the discussion is over. -- PKtm 23:59, 10 September 2006 (UTC)
PKtm, if a majority won't convince you, if polls won't convince you, if good faith discussions won't convince you, please tell me: What would convince you that a consensus exists, and that you are part of an unreconciled minority who refuses to accept it? What proof could I possibly offer you? --Elonka 00:03, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
Come on. Let's stay away from trying to marginalize and/or demonize the opposing viewpoint, please. A consensus simply doesn't exist until we have people conceding to compromises and coming to some kind of middle ground. Again, I've seen no movement along those lines from the episode article adherents, just rejection of the equally good faith arguments about (and prima facie results that demonstrate) the downsides of episode articles as an approach. And again again again, let's not even discuss this in terms of majority and minority, because that doesn't matter. If the majority votes that Little Rock is the capitol of Nebraska, that doesn't make it so. Let's discuss it in terms of what makes sense for furthering Wikipedia's goals and tenets, which is to be encyclopedic, verifiable, etc. I refuse to be labeled as "wrong" simply because I might be perceived to be in the minority. Wikipedia is not a democracy, and all that. I feel like I'm having to bring forward basic, and should-be-obvious, points here. This is, again, why we need a mediator. -- PKtm 03:15, 11 September 2006 (UTC)


This mediation has been pretty much dead for some time now. I made a topic on the admin's noticeboard about this since all of our attempts to contact people to take care of this have been ignored. You can view it here and add anything you think I may have left out. Jtrost (T | C | #) 14:32, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

  • If another editor has the Wikipedia email function set up, I think it would be a good idea to try and contact the Mediation chairman User:Essjay again. If not, we can keep trying with the talkpage/admin noticeboard. But, yes, this is really annoying. -- Wikipedical 22:26, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

Summary of views[edit]

Starting a fresh section, to see if this helps...

PKtm, I am not saying that you are "wrong." The option of maintaining episode summaries in Season articles, is a valid one. However, so is the option of maintaining individual episode articles, and getting rid of the Season articles entirely. Both are valid choices, but it doesn't make sense to continue maintaining both styles. As such, a decision needs to be made on which method to use. In my opinion, the community has made its decision, and we should abide by the majority view.

For the sake of argument though, let me try and explain what I think is your side of this. Please tell me if this is correct? If it were up to you: All episode articles would be deleted/redirected, as would the "List of Lost Episodes" article. The only show synopses allowed would be in the Season articles, which would maintain short 500-1000 word summaries of each episode, with no additional trivia or details. Is that accurate?

Then, for the far opposing side, this is (what I believe) is wanted: The Season articles would be completely deleted/redirected. Short 1-2 sentence show summaries would be maintained on a master "List of Lost Episodes" article, which then links out to expanded details in individual episode articles.

Then, there are various middle points between those two positions, such as continuing to maintain the Season articles in a reduced form, or only having individual episode articles in the cases of episodes that absolutely require/deserve lengthier discussions.

How's that, does that seem to adequately describe the major options here, or have I missed anything? --Elonka 03:42, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

More or less, that's pretty accurate, although I personally would favor retaining the List of Lost Episodes (minus any inclusion of not-yet-aired episodes, which become open invitations for speculation, etc.). I'm of two minds about the inclusion of trivia in the plot summaries; I tend to say yes, in rare circumstances, but I do recognize that once you open the door to trivia, it's once again an open invitation to include just about anything (witness the argument I had with the one anon editor who believed it appropriate, under the banner of Trivia, to include information about the actors' personal lives). I would also note that although I've held this anti-episode-article position from the beginning, it's become significantly stronger as a result of watching what has actually happened with the episode articles since March, when they were instituted.
And then, with all due respect, let me once again point out to you what I believe is an important misunderstanding on your part of what consensus is all about. You write, "the community has made its decision, and we should abide by the majority view." I certainly quarrel with the accuracy of the first half of that statement, but in either case, again, it's not about majority view, now or ever. -- PKtm 04:00, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

When it rains...[edit]

I have Essjay's talk page on my watch list and I see you've been very patient while both the chair of the mediation committee and your mediator have gone on hiatus. Although I am not a member of the mediation committee, I would like to offer my services as replacement mediator. Alternatively, you can try directly contacting the official members of the committee listed at Wikipedia:Mediation Committee.

If you would like me to mediate, the (remaining) active participants should sign here to indicate their agreement. Also, if you could post a link to a different television show article that would best serve as a model for how you would like the Lost pages to be orgainized. If there is agreement I will read up on the history and get back to you. Thatcher131 (talk) 15:57, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Thatcher, thank you for your offer. However, are you an admin? Have you ever done any kind of mediation before? If so, could you please provide a link? Thanks. --Elonka 23:13, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
I'm not an admin yet, although I have over 7000 edits and work with Essjay as a checkuser clerk. Regarding mediation skills, I survived editing Al Seckel, which was a battle between the real Al Seckel and someone who has been a critic of his for many years (see Talk:Al Seckel, including the archives, and User talk:Thatcher131/Archive3, although I had an admin delete a lot of it). If you want someone with pre-approved credentials you should definitely stick to the other members of the mediation committee. Thatcher131 (talk) 05:06, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
Fair enough. If the others are willing, I too am willing to accept you as a mediator in this situation. In terms of a representative model on how I feel that the Lost pages should be organized, I am most in favor of something like List of Star Trek: Voyager episodes or List of Babylon 5 episodes, where a central list article contains brief descriptions, and links to more expansive individual articles on each episode. This already exists with List of Lost episodes. In terms of the current Lost "Season" articles, which summarize by season instead of by episode, I think that they are oversized and should be deleted/redirected, since they duplicate the information that is already in the episode articles; however I am willing to accept a compromise where the season articles are scaled back to a more manageable size, with perhaps a summarized 500-word description of each episode, and then a {{main}} link from each summary to the individual episode articles that already exist. --Elonka 05:22, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
All right, let's see what the other current parites in the dispute think (about me and the list). Thatcher131 05:28, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
I'm fine with accepting you as a mediator as well. I went hunting for suitable models, as you asked, and afraid I didn't come up with much. Many shows have episode articles, to be sure, but many of these (e.g., Star Trek: Voyager articles, South Park, etc.) have what I consider to be a very high level of fancruft and sloppiness, sometimes don't even use literary present tense, etc., and thus bring down the overall level of Wikipedia. Other shows have just loose plot summaries (e.g., The L Word, and no intention to mention every detail of every scene, every line, every camera angle, that characterizes Lost episode articles at their extreme. I do think that Lost is a different case from many of these other shows, with their sheer amount of interconnection, purposeful insertion of trivia and crossover references. In short, I don't know if searching for a suitable model is all that useful to solve the very real issues discussed above, particularly the issue concerning the ongoing (and major) vulnerability/susceptibility to the insertion and reinsertion of endlessly more detail. Ground rules need to be established and adhered to, and there are some proposed above that I think are useful. -- PKtm 06:20, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
In addition to PKtm's findings, I've found one other series that uses season articles, Alias. As for the articles, they are mainly 1 or 2 sentence lines, which are about equal to what we have in List of Lost Episodes. Here:Alias episodes (Season 2) I am sure that no one would want to change the season articles to the Alias model. As for other TV series, please note, as PKtm said, that the norm on Wikipedia is to have individual episodes. I have a little bit more optimism than PKtm, however, and faith that our editors and the newly started Wikiproject Lost, if committed to individual episodes, can make them a true model for other TV episodes and for Wikipedia. -- Wikipedical 22:55, 13 September 2006 (UTC)


Elonka asked me to take a look at this page and comment or somesuch. I generally work with informal mediation, so I can offer you some suggestions which I think might help, but I'm completely inexperienced with formal mediation. These are the problems I see at hand:

  1. Quality of articles
    1. Manageability thereof
  2. Ease of navigation

I know the stated debate is one long article vs. several short articles, but it would seem that the proponents of one long article believe this to be the better solution because the quality would be significantly worse if they were broken down. I don't see many arguments which don't have quality at their root, which is great because this is what we're striving for.
Now for a solution. There are many precedents, actually. See for example, Wikipedia:Centralized discussion/Television episodes. This has great suggestions for how to manage individual episode articles. Also, the consensus is that once a series list gets long enough, it's spun out into episode articles. 100kb isn't pretty on dialup. Centralization is nice, but encyclopedias are for their readers. You could also take a leaf from Wikipedia:WikiProject Television episodes, where there's a suggested format for television episode articles. You could tweak it together to minimize the cruft and maximize what would be interesting to the reader. Assume they've already seen the show, what would they want to see? Symbolism? Explanation of references? Trivia (groan, but they probably want a bit)?
Finally, one should note Wikipedia:WikiProject Lost. I hear it's recently created and it seems like a good way for all of these articles to be coordinated. Even if one of you can't monitor all bajillion episode articles, they could all be listed on a page where people could volunteer to watchlist them. Then there are editors looking for vandalism and fancruft. If an editor finds that an article needs cleanup and they don't have the time, there can be a page for ones which need attention. Also, any new editors to Lost articles could be directed to the Wikiproject and shown what the more experienced editors think is closest to Wikipedia's ideals for these articles so they can contribute in vein. This is what most highly popular TV series projects appear to have done, of course each with their own success rates.
It seems to me that overall, keeping huge articles is not a good idea and there are other ways to ensure quality which should be pursued. I know that article size is a guideline, but it's a very good one. I think that if you all try to work together and trust that each of you want these articles to be of the highest quality, you can work together to make a very nice system which will ensure that even if the Lost universe or what have you expands to a great size, it can all be controlled for quality.
Anyhow, my two cents, take it or leave it. :] I wish you all the best, and if you want me to comment more or something else from me, feel free to leave a note on my talk page. Cheers! --Keitei (talk) 20:40, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Keitei, as always, your comments are thorough and thoughtful, and I thank you for taking the time to offer an additional view on the situation. --Elonka 23:15, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Active mediation[edit]

I haven't heard from Jtrost yet, who seems to be the only still-active participant who hasn't agreed to accept a change as mediator, but I will begin anyway.

I would like to start by summarizing the current state of affairs as I see it.

Most significant is the creation of Wikipedia:WikiProject Lost. Only one party to this mediation is a member, which concerns me that we might work out a compromise or guidelines that are acceptable to the parties here, only to have one side get steamrolled by the rest of the Wikiproject. I have a great deal of respect for the arguments in favor of keeping only season-based articles, particularly the possibility that detailed articles drift into copyright infrigement and become magnets for inappropriate content. Personally, I think the approach used by Alias is more in keeping with the stated purpose of Wikipedia as a general purpose encyclopedia, and having individual episode articles plays into the arguments of outsiders that Wikipedia is devoted to pop culture trivia and isn't really serious about its business. (On the other hand, I like being able to read the summaries of the latest season of Dr. Who, so I guess I'm a bit of a hypocrite.) However, detailed individual articles seems to be the trend at Wikipedia, looking for example at Charmed and Dr Who. So I have a real concerns that the only practical way to conclude this mediation is with some solution that keeps individual articles, because any other solution is likely to be ignored by the rest of the Wikiproject who are not part of this mediation.

With that as a starting point, where have we been and where do we go?

Good things

  • The project seems to have adopted as a guideline no speculation or spoilers from fan sites, only things from the show or official web sites.
  • I sampled a few of the articles and only one was significantly crufted-up.
  • There are some navigation templates for jumping around episodes.

Bad things

  • List of Lost episodes is a problem. It's only 32kb of text, but because of all the transcluded images, it takes 63 seconds to load on a dialup connection, and this is only going to get worse. (I didn't test List of Charmed episodes which seems to be the model, but I'm betting none of those editors has dial-up.
  • Some of the articles are way too long, and are broken up with possibly arbitrary headers.

It seems to me that we should accept that individual articles are here to stay, and focus on a set of guidelines to ensure that the quality is maintained at as high a level as possible. I'm sorry that I can't take a more neutral position, but there seems to be too much effort invested in the individual articles by people who are not part of this mediation to take a more middle of the road approach. Thatcher131 17:52, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

I apologize about not accepting you as the new mediator. I haven't read this discussion in several days. You mediating is fine with me. As I said above, I am growing tired of this debate, so I am ready for someone to make a decision and stick with it, whatever that decision may be. I would like your opinion on the idea of having four articles per season and putting six episodes in each article. The full proposal is here (scroll up a little from here; it's at the bottom of a very long section). The previous mediator liked the idea, and as far as I am aware it's the only real compromise that has been suggested. Jtrost (T | C | #) 18:30, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
Regarding the inappropriate section headers in some of the episode articles, I agree, but I would also point out that there has been a recent concerted effort by another member of the WikiProject, Radagast83 (talk · contribs), who has been doing a phenomenal job systematically working through all the episode articles and cleaning them up [6]. I've also been following along as I can, catching anything that Radagast may have missed, plus doing some other cleanup of my own. And if anyone else sees anything else that needs cleanup, we of course encourage others to further edit, or perhaps we could make a {{Lost-cleanup}} tag that could be used to quickly mark articles which need attention from the WikiProject. I would also like to see a central guidelines page created, perhaps as a subpage of the WikiProject, like perhaps Wikipedia:WikiProject Lost/Article guidelines, where we can spell out the specific Lost-related policies that we've nailed down in earlier/current discussions. --Elonka 00:21, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
We need to get through this. As an editor on another talk page reminded us:
Are we gonna follow the poll or what? the "List of Lost episodes" option won, are we gonna go through with it? Season 3 will start in little over two weeks, something will have to be done. --The monkeyhate 12:22, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
I think everybody who is for individual episodes has the highest respect for the season article contributors. But on the other hand, I think the consensus of the Lost editors group is being halted by a few people. Monkeyhate was right about the time restraint. We've been doing this mediation for months, and it would be nice to finish sometime before season 3, before we have even more overlapping information. I'd like to ask the mediator how to proceed. -- Wikipedical 16:46, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
Can you link me to the poll? Thatcher131 17:14, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
Just take a look at Talk:List of Lost episodes. Pretty much read from the top until about the middle, it's all relevant to this discussion. The poll that is there is about 5 months old and should not be our main focus here. After reading this background discussion, I hope you can find a way for us to continue/finish this mediation. -- Wikipedical 17:34, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
Let's be careful, here: the controversy that is still swirling around the use of screencaps in the List of Lost episodes is not part of this mediation. Let's not blur the two. -- PKtm 19:26, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
To be more specific about the polls, check this link: Talk:List of Lost episodes#Straw poll. Then another informal poll was started at Talk:Episodes of Lost (Season 2)#Vote: On the articles, though it was squelched by some of the season article editors protesting and saying that it wouldn't do any good to have a further vote. I agree with Wikipedical, that this issue is not a case of two equal camps of editors who are deadlocked on opposing views, but a case of the majority of Wikipedia editors, whether expressing opinions via polls or through normal discussion, clearly preferring one action (the episode articles) while a minority of editors (the season camp) keep insisting that there is not a consensus, or insisting that only those involved with the actual editing of the articles should be allowed to have a vote, and that all non-participant opinions should be rejected as either "not understanding the issues," or "won't be the ones doing the work." The latter opinion I have found particularly perplexing, since I have seen the large number of editors (including myself) doing work on the Lost episode articles. However, this is normally countered by the season camp, as saying that the work done by other editors is not high quality, and that since they (the season editors) are the only ones who really understand the issue and can really be trusted to create and maintain high quality articles, they are the ones who should have the final decision on how the articles are organized. A position which I strongly disagree with, but seems to be the reason for this mediation. Having said that, I would also like to agree with Wikipedical that I do have high respect for the work done by the season editors, and that it is my fervent hope that through mediation, we can find a way that we can all continue to work together and move forward. --Elonka 21:18, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
PKtm has said this before, and he'll probably say it again. It's not about majority and minority and it never has been. Wikipedia is not a majoritan democracy. It operates by consensus. If you think that there is a consensus for individual episode articles among editors, please, by all means, show us the evidence of it. As for the polls, I think that they don't work for two reasons: the first is that, like I said, Wikipedia is not a majoritan democracy, and if there is a significant minority viewpoint, there is no consensus. Second, like you said, there are users who vote in the polls who are not LOST editors. When we refer to these users, we do not mean users like yourself or Wikipedical who are regular editors of the articles. People vote in the polls who have never edited a LOST article before, and probably never will again. These people really "won't be the ones doing the work". Now, if we had a poll with a requirement of a certain number of edits to LOST related pages, that might be more fair. But I still don't think it would be a good idea, because most likely, there still wouldn't be a consensus. The purpose of a poll is only to guage consensus (see WP:POLL). --Kahlfin 20:22, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
Please. That's a very un-even-handed (and pretty inflammatory, frankly--no one has ever stated anything along the lines of "we're the only ones who can really be trusted"!) way of summarizing the differences. I'm not even going to answer it yet again, since the arguments are all above. Which is why we could use a mediator's decision here. -- PKtm 21:39, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
PKtm, I am not saying it to be inflammatory. That's not my style. It is, however, my honest perception of your side. And by "your side" I am referring not just to you, but also to the other season editors such as Kahlfin and JTrost. If you think I am perceiving your point of view incorrectly, I encourage you to try and better explain things. Until we both understand where the other side is coming from, we have little hope of finding common ground. --Elonka 22:13, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

Let's not start pushing back and forth again. I don't think there is an assertion that the season camp will write better articles; rather that it would be easier to maintain high quality articles if the articles were fewer in number and limited in size. I have some reading to do on this topic; I hope to get back to you this evening. Thatcher131 11:16, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Proposed resolution: Process[edit]

Below I have proposed a resolution. This is the final step in the mediation process. This case has dragged on through no fault of the parties, but the time has come to formally close this case one way or the other, especially as the new season is starting soon. This mediation attempt can either end as a success or failure, it's up to you.

  • Per Wikipedia:Requests_for_mediation/Guide_to_accepted_cases#Post-acceptance, the mediator does not take sides or issue binding decisions. The parties must accept or reject the solution. I can make a suggestion but I can't force you.
  • Read the proposal and vote, or offer discussion. If the proposal is modified per discussion, there will be a revote (or a request to reconfirm your vote). All parties must agree. If there are no objections, the proposal will pass. If there is one objection, the mediation will be closed as failed. A vote of "abstain," will be treated as signifying unhappiness but acceptance.
  • There is no set time limit on the discussion as long as it seems viable and productive. If the discussion gets acrimonius or becomes a sterile rehashing of old arguments, I will call for an immediate final vote.
  • Per Wikipedia:Requests_for_mediation/Guide_to_accepted_cases#Conclusion, the outcome is only as binding as the parties wish it to be. Any party can reject the outcome at any time. If you reject it before the mediation closes, I will close it as failed. If you accept now and change your mind later, I probably won't know about it. Either way, you will be right back where you started, and I doubt a second mediation case would be accepted.

Proposed resolution[edit]

I have carefully considered all the arguments, the various talk pages, and the straw polls. I believe all the parties have the best interests of Wikipedia at heart, although they differ on how to achieve this. My personal sympathies are with the season group, particularly when I read one comment to the effect that having individual articles "will allow the article to expand indefinitely." (Although I believe that particular editor is largely inactive.) I also considered the previous compromise offer to divide each season into 4 articles. While this plan may be good for the editors, I don't believe it would be good for the readers who we are writing for; at best it would be neutral, at worst, confusing. There is also little support for such a scheme anywhere else in Wikipedia, and I think there would be a rapid movement to split the articles back into individual episodes. In the end, while there is not a clear consensus for individual episode articles, as consensus is generally defined here, having individual articles linked to List of Lost episodes has more overall support, and is consistent with how popular television shows are currently handled. Therefore, I suggest the following:

Proposal regarding List of Lost episodes vs. Episodes of Lost (season 1) / (season 2) / (season 3)
  1. Each episode of Lost (TV series) will have its own article, linked to List of Lost episodes.
  2. Season articles (Episodes of Lost (season 1), etc) are deprecated, and should be phased out, after carefully merging their content with the individual episode articles.
  3. In lieu of Episodes of Lost (season X), Lost season X may be created, consisting of a summary of the main themes and developments of the season, for the reader who wants a broad overview before diving into the individual articles. These season wraparound articles should be relatively brief, link to the individual episode articles where appropriate, and should not attempt to summarize individual episodes but rather emphasize broad themes, plot arcs and character developments.
  4. To maintain article quality, the following guidelines are adopted
    • Episode summaries should be limited to 500 words per hour, more or less
    • should not contain brilliant prose, speculation, fancruft or original research
    • should only mention events important to the central character and his/her flashback, events that relate to the ongoing or future story lines, and events that emphasize the story elements and thematic motifs sections in the main Lost article
    • should contain little or no references to actual dialog, other than (as a rare exception) lines that are pivotal to plot swerves or character revelations
    • Episode articles might contain a section on "Storyline significance" highlighting (briefly) the relationship of events in a given episode to other episodes. Setting them apart might cut down on the amount of explanation needed in the main article text.

#:*Articles should have limited or even zero trivia. Instead, a link can be offered to the episode's entry on Lostpedia. There is no need for Wikipedia to duplicate this content, much of which may be unencyclopedic.

Please signify your acceptance or objection to this proposal, or suggest modifications for discussion.

  • Jtrost (T | C | #) 20:07, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Wikipedical 22:37, 19 September 2006 (UTC) with amendment: #:*Trivia that is entirely within the fiction of the show and/or trivia that crosses the fourth wall are permitted as long as every statement is cited with a reliable source.
  • Kahlfin 14:55, 20 September 2006 (UTC) with Wikipedical's amendment
  • Elonka 23:50, 25 September 2006 (UTC)



a link can be offered to the episode's entry on Lostpedia. If that part is removed I will be happy to accept. It shows favor to one fansite and will invite more people to linkspam their fansites. I agree that trivia should be limited or even nonexistant because if a particular fact is notable it should be worked into the prose. Jtrost (T | C | #) 11:32, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

That's a good point. Thatcher131 11:45, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

Agreed with Jtrost's point: I cannot accept a link to Lostpedia. There's a whole separate very swirling controversy about that, by the way, elsewhere on the Lost talk pages. Also, these proposed guidelines would need to be posted prominently in each article's talk page. Otherwise, I can accept this proposal. -- PKtm 15:24, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

We can make an infobox similar to the one we have regarding the future episode policy, and put it at the top of every talk page. We can also make a very prominent HTML comment at the top of each article telling users to read the episode synopsis policy. Now that the Lostpedia bit is out this looks like a good solution. Thanks Thatcher. Jtrost (T | C | #) 20:07, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

Apologies for raising Lostpedia. I was thinking of a way that dedicated fans (cruft seems unncecessarily harsh) coould have access to the more trivial types of episode interest without having them here. I didn't know this was already in discussion. Certainly WP should not be promoting particular fan sites. I have revised the above proposals accordingly. Also, when this is concluded, I will post an "official" notification including publishing the guidelines on each talk page linked to the RFM. Parties are free to repost anywhere else deemed appropriate. Thatcher131 18:18, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

I do not see anything wrong with trivia, as long as every statement is cited with a reliable source. That'd be my suggestion to our guidelines. -- Wikipedical 22:36, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

Allowing trivia creates an open-ended "oh, it's OK to add stuff here" invitation. I have previously cited, as an example of the dangers here, a long argument I had with one anon editor, who persisted in adding (under "Trivia") details about the DUIs of the two actors last year, simply because it was verifiable. Verifiability cannot be a sole criterion. Hence, I'm generally reluctant to specifically mention trivia as permissible. In fact, I would prefer to restore Thatcher's proposed tenet above, in the form of his first sentence, "Articles should have limited or even zero trivia." I actually just now noticed that Wikipedical added the sentence to the proposal "Trivia is permitted as long as every statement is cited with a reliable source." I cannot accept Thatcher's proposal with that addition of such an unqualified statement. I also don't think we should be changing the proposal (adding or deleting) once people have already signaled their acceptance, because it casts their acceptance in doubt. -- PKtm 00:07, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
  • That's fair, I moved it to my acceptance area. I think relevant cited trivia would be acceptable for episodes. I fail to see how the DUI thing has to do with a particular episode. -- Wikipedical 01:00, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
Precisely: the anon editor felt (vehemently) that it was relevant, because it pertained to the actors being killed off. Relevance is very subjective. Again, specifically permitting trivia with the sole criterion that it be verifiable is a recipe for fancruft. -- PKtm 10:56, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
Regarding the message to post on every talk page, I've taken a stab at a "Guidelines" page, at Wikipedia:WikiProject Lost/Episode guidelines, where I've attempted to incorporate everything we've talked about here. Feel free to further modify it, and we can then post a link to it at the top of each talk page. --Elonka 22:11, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
Trivia compromise?[edit]

I'm thinking there are 3 kinds of trivia that usually find their way into TV episode articles. Trivia that is entirely within the fiction of the show (The song John sings while exploring the jungle is The lion sleeps tonight); trivia that is entirely outside the narrative (The underground scenes were filmed in an air-raid shelter built for families of sailors stationed at Pearl Harbor); and trivia that crosses the fourth wall (The storm was written into the episode after a real storm damaged the sets on location, or Jane's disappearance was written into the story to cover the last two months of the actor's pregnancy which was not part of the story). Jtrost's point seems to be that trivia of the first type should be written into the article if its really important, while Wikipedical's citation suggestion seems to apply to the third type (since an actor's DUI would only be relevant to the story if the story were changed because of it). (The second type, while potentially interesting, is not related to the episode and could go somewhere else.) Could this be the basis for a compromise? Thatcher131 11:21, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

I would be fine with that. But it's worth noting that one must get the facts right, especially when discussing the third type of trivia. The DUI incident, for example, did NOT change the storyline at all. This has been stated countless times in interviews with nearly every producer of the show. But many people continued to post it as trivia anyway on both the episode page and the season page. Another example is that in the episode Two for the Road (Lost), many people thought that the episode's title itself referred to the DUI incident, and, as such, put it in as trivia. The episode's title does NOT refer to the DUI incident. If we were to allow the third type of trivia, one would have to provide a verifiable citation for every trivia point. --Kahlfin 14:55, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
  • For the sake of compromise, let us agree with this. -- Wikipedical 23:52, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedical's amendment, as so tersely stated, is far too much of an open invitation for me to feel it's acceptable. Specifically, "Trivia that is entirely within the fiction of the show and/or trivia that crosses the fourth wall are permitted as long as every statement is cited with a reliable source." A) I think that Thatcher's original examples should be included for both those types; B) The entire statement needs to be preceded by something like, "If in keeping with all the other stated episode guidelines, inclusion of epsiode trivia ... is possible, albeit rarely, if that trivia is entirely blah blah blah." Probably needs some wordsmithing :)

-- PKtm 08:24, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

500 word limit[edit]

I'm having a bit of a problem with the 500 word limit. If you check the Lost Season 2 page, you'll see that almost every single one of the episode summaries there are well over 500 words. I don't understand why the editors there (jtrost, and etc) are ok with this 500 word limit, if the summaries that they maintain themselves are usually around 1000 words or more. Now I would think that a 1000 word limit is much more reasonable and still puts a limit on fancruft. Does anyone agree/disagree? ArgentiumOutlaw 19:44, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

The season 1 episode summaries were rewritten to meet ther 500 word limit, and they turned out just fine. Having that limit in this proposal is why I am supporting it. We can keep quality under control that way. I don't think there is a single hour of the show that cannot be summarized in 500 words. Jtrost (T | C | #) 20:10, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
Then why haven't you done so to season 2? ...also, season 1 didn't turn out just fine, in my opinion. Most of the summaries there might as well be badly written lists of a few extremely generic events that occured in the episode; I do not believe that that it is acceptable as a summary for any Lost episode. I'm not looking for a scene by scene analysis, but (as an example) I would like some explanation as to what "and they dealt with it" and "discovers about her past" mean; the 500 word limited summaries don't explain how or why these kind of things happen. ArgentiumOutlaw 21:43, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
It hasn't been done for season 2 because the individual episodes starting popping up just as we were finishing season 1, and we didn't want to write a whole bunch of summaries if they weren't going to be used. As for your complaints with the season 1 summaries, can you give specific examples? It's difficult for me to reply to you said without specifics. Also, I am asking that you please compromise some here. I am willing to accept individual articles if certain restraints are put on them. I think it's perfectly reasonable for you to accept 500 word limits as one restraint. Jtrost (T | C | #) 22:48, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
I think we should test it out first. If we do realize this constraint is a problem, we shall change it later. -- Wikipedical 23:52, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
Speaking as someone who has been actively involved with condensing the episode summaries, we need to change this number to be something more like "500-1000 words". Even after both Radagast and I have been through an episode article, slashing and burning, we still tend to end up with something in the neighborhood of 750 words. I think it would put an artifical hardship on editing, to try and force articles down to an arbitrarily-chosen number of 500 words (especially when, as Argentium pointed out, even the Season article summaries often exceed that). I was in support of a 500-word summary as a "mini-summary" for the Season pages, as long as there was a link to an individual episode article with expanded text. But to try and force the individual episode articles to shorter versions doesn't make sense to me. --Elonka 22:05, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
Yes, 500 was an arbitrarily chosen number (if I recall correctly I think I was the one who originally suggested the limit). I don't want to repeat what I have already said, but the season 1 page proves that 500 words work fine per hour. Jtrost (T | C | #) 22:55, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

I disagree. Extremely important information will inevitably get left out of episodes if we interpret such a word limit so strictly. Me and the other editors are trying to compromise on a plo tsummary of "The Glass Ballerina", and every edit they make not only leaves out crucial information or gives information in an extremely vague way that doesn't present important developments, but some condensation also results in factual inaccuracies, and confusion between where the flashbacks and present storylines begin and end. I think a bit more room is needed than 500 words. Nightscream 14:58, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

More discussion[edit]

I think that if this proposal, which I must commend for being fair to all parties, is accepted, then we should ask WikiProject Lost to be the authority on maintaining the guidelines. -- Wikipedical 23:57, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

I don't know what that really means in the Wikipedia universe. "The authority"? I don't think so. A number of the editors participating in the project have been less than, um, strict constructionist when it comes to Wikipedia guidelines in the past, with respect to Lost articles. I myself don't feel comfortable, yet, signing up as a participant in that project, for that and other reasons which admittedly may fall away as the project proceeds. I do note that other participants here in this mediation, and other long-time Lost editors, have also stayed away from signing on to the Wikiproject, although I think I'm the first to comment on possible reasons (i.e., mine) for that. In any case, declaring that project as "the authority" indicates somehow that that group of editors will have its judgment prevail automatically, which makes no sense to me unless or until that project is shown to have a balanced, methodical, cautious approach. -- PKtm 08:13, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
All I meant was for the Wikiproject to help out with these guidelines. Youre right, authority is a strong word and not what I meant. -- Wikipedical 20:51, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

Proposal 2[edit]

Since the discussion seems to have slowed a bit, and I'm going out of town until Sunday night, let me throw out a modification. Also, we eventually need to have agreement from all significantly involved parties (certainly everyone who has commented on this page in the last month or so). If modifications are made after some people accept, their acceptance will have to be reconfirmed when the proposal is finalized.

Proposal regarding List of Lost episodes vs. Episodes of Lost (season 1) / (season 2) / (season 3)
  1. Each episode of Lost (TV series) will have its own article, linked to List of Lost episodes.
  2. Season articles (Episodes of Lost (season 1), etc) are deprecated, and should be phased out, after carefully merging their content with the individual episode articles.
  3. In lieu of Episodes of Lost (season X), Lost season X may be created, consisting of a summary of the main themes and developments of the season, for the reader who wants a broad overview before diving into the individual articles. These season wraparound articles should be relatively brief, link to the individual episode articles where appropriate, and should not attempt to summarize individual episodes but rather emphasize broad themes, plot arcs and character developments.
  4. To maintain article quality, episode summaries
    • should not contain brilliant prose, speculation, fancruft or original research
    • should only mention events important to the central character and his/her flashback, events that relate to the ongoing or future story lines, and events that emphasize the story elements and thematic motifs sections in the main Lost article
    • should contain little or no references to actual dialog, other than (as a rare exception) lines that are pivotal to plot swerves or character revelations
    • It is expected that by following these guidelines, most episode summaries should be around 500-700 words per story hour.
  5. Regarding trivia sections,
    • Listing of trivia that exists entirely within the fiction of the story (e.g. The song John sings while exploring the jungle is The lion sleeps tonight ) should be avoided, as significant facts should be included in the main summary.
    • Listing of trivia that exists entirely outside the narrative of the episode (e.g. The underground scenes were filmed in an air-raid shelter built for families of sailors stationed at Pearl Harbor ) may have a place somewhere but not in the episode summary article.
    • Trivia that crosses the fourth wall (e.g. The storm was written into the episode after a real storm damaged the sets on location ) may be included provided it is properly sourced.

Please signify your acceptance or objection to this proposal, or suggest modifications for discussion.

  • --Elonka 02:14, 24 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Wikipedical 02:14, 25 September 2006 (UTC) with amendment: Section 4, Bullet 4 be rephrased to: #:*Episode summaries should be limited to 700 words, per hour.


My suggestion above was not incorporated, specifically, The entire statement needs to be preceded by something like, "If in keeping with all the other stated episode guidelines, inclusion of epsiode trivia ... is possible, albeit rarely, if that trivia is entirely blah blah blah." The problem I see with the "fourth wall" bullet as it stands is that it will be cited as an excuse to include anything along these lines. It becomes a sole authority for inclusion of an item, which I think should be rarely exercised, especially given the brevity constraint that should trump. -- PKtm 18:05, 23 September 2006 (UTC)
Since you didn't fully write out your thoughts above, I'm not clear on how your intent differs from mine, except in the inclusion of the word rarely. Was there more to your intent than that? Thatcher131 22:21, 23 September 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I'm trying to say that it be explicitly mentioned that trivia should be kept to a minimum, otherwise these guidelines become a veritable invitation to include trivia. So, for example, I'd say that you should change the intro to point 5 to read something like "Regarding trivia sections, these should be kept to a minimum, since the preceding guidelines are paramount. Trivia, if included, should follow the following guidelines:" -- PKtm 00:48, 24 September 2006 (UTC)
What exactly does "It is expected that by following these guidelines, most episode summaries should be around 500-700 words per story hour" mean? What if an editor makes a summary that's 1700 words long and then tries to defend it by saying that it's an exception to the rule? While 500 is arbitrary and not necessarily a good number, I think that the guidelines should have a definite maximum word limit (Something like "Under no circumstances should a summary be larger than 800 words per story hour", for example). If this happens, I'd accept. --Kahlfin 02:29, 24 September 2006 (UTC)
"Episode summaries should be limited to [number] (500, 750, 800, we will pick) words per hour." I agree with Kahlfin on that one, it needs to be definite as we are making guidelines. But other than that, I think the trivia section is looking nice, and it's a good compromise. Once those changes are made, I'll accept. -- Wikipedical 02:37, 24 September 2006 (UTC)
I don't know if I'm alone on this, but I don't like the concept of a solid upper limit, it will force editors to degrade the quality of certain articles just so that they can meet the guideline. ArgentiumOutlaw 21:28, 24 September 2006 (UTC)
I think the opposite is true- the limit will create more focused and consise editing. -- Wikipedical 22:47, 24 September 2006 (UTC)
To be honest, I don't like the upper limit either, but, it isn't a deal-breaker for me. Given the other elements of the compromise, I think we've got a good solution here in terms of the major issues, which we should grab while the grabbing is good. Let's put this mediation to bed, and move on. :) --Elonka 01:39, 25 September 2006 (UTC)
No one has provided evidence that 500 words is not enough for a summary. I'm sorry, but unless some concrete evidence can be provided I won't budge on this. We're suppose to be compromising here, and proposal 2 is further away from a compromise than proposal 1. Jtrost (T | C | #) 23:26, 25 September 2006 (UTC)
My amendment was made only to create an actual limit and reduce unnecessary flexibility. The number I'm not concerned about, I'll change it to 500 if we wish. -- Wikipedical 23:36, 25 September 2006 (UTC)
I'm also willing to sign off on the 500 word limit as a recommended guideline, though I'll repeat that I think it's going to be extremely difficult in some cases. For example, I've taken multiple passes at "Live Together, Die Alone (Lost)", and even though I've chopped it by about 40%, removing (what I regard as) several key plot elements, it still takes about 1000 words just to cover all the flashback sequences, and then another 1000 words for the rest of the episode. I'd appreciate if someone could take a look at it and demonstrate just how exactly to get it to 500 words, while still maintaining a high quality summary. --Elonka 00:46, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
Since that episode is two hours long, the summary should be 1000 words. So far both season finales have been rather dense, so I can understand exceeding it sometimes. However, with most episodes 500 words should suffice. Jtrost (T | C | #) 00:19, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

I wonder if the ultimate source of the disagreement may be that some editors would like the episode articles to substitute for having watched the episode (including detailed plot summaries and trivia). That brings Elonka's problems in condensing articles into focus I think. If the articles are meant as substitutes for fans who miss an episode, forget to set their VCR, etc., then leaving out possibly key plot points is a problem. If the articles are meant to be overviews/reviews, then a lower degree of detail is not only acceptable but appropriate. (I'm kind of thinking here about certain articles on mathematics and medicine I have seen that can really only be apprciated by people who are already experts in the field.) I'm not sure that substitution should be the goal of an encyclopedia, and I expect there are many other web sites that serve this purpose. I wonder if we can agree on an opening statement that Episode articles should not attempt to be a replacement for watching the show itself, but should be about the show.

From Wikipedia:Centralized discussion/Television episodes:

  • Content about television episodes must conform to Wikipedia content policies, including but not limited to Wikipedia:Verifiability and Wikipedia:No original research.
  • Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information. Avoid excessive trivia and quotations.
  • Extensive quotation from episodes is a violation of copyright and unlikely to be fair use.
  • Here are some ideas for what information to include about a television episode, where possible:
    • The plot summary of the episode
    • The episode's relevance in ongoing story arcs, if any
    • How the episode was received by critics
    • The episode's impact on popular culture
    • Information on production and broadcasting of the episode
  • Elements which are best avoided in any episode article:
    • A scene-by-scene synopsis. An overall plot summary is much better; the article should not attempt to be a replacement for watching the show itself, it should be about the show

I'd like to think that all the parties can agree that Episode articles should not attempt to be a replacement for watching the show itself, but should be about the show. If you all agree to this as a guiding principle, you should be able to work together to have the summaries be an appropriate length, setting 500 words as a goal (previously had the most agreement) if you need something in writing to formalize your understanding. Thatcher131 13:03, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Absolutely, and a good summary of the issue, Thatcher. I believe strongly that we can't go down the road of thinking that episode articles should be a replacement for watching the show, because that, in and of itself, is a recipe for having them expand, include dialog, camera angles, people's expressions, etc. In fact, imposing an upper limit on the text is a great way of driving home the point that these articles are not substitutes. -- PKtm 15:44, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
By all means, please demonstrate. --Elonka 18:26, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
I believe that if these articles were to be 'replacements' for watching the episodes as you called them, then the summaries would be enormous in size. I'm more concerned about writing high quality summaries over lengthy summaries. Currently, I feel that the 500 word limited articles are badly written. As a quick example look at 'Confidence Man' in the Season 1 summary page, the summary just doesn't flow, it feels like a list that was put together as a paragraph. By forcing such a small maximum limit, these summaries can never really be improved. ArgentiumOutlaw 21:34, 26 September 2006 (UTC)


Given the previous discussions I think we are down to limited options. The "strict construction" approach appears to be at an impasse over the 500 word limit, with at least one person either holding fast to a strict 500 word limit, or objecting strongly to the 500 word limit.

I was hoping that if both sides accepted a set of common guiding principles, that would pave the way for a "loose construction" solution. With all parties agreed that summaries should be brief, workmanlike, not fancrufty, and not try to recap every detail for fans who missed the episode, each article could be dealt with on a case by case basis. WIth good faith editing and negotiation, one side might find that some episodes can be well summarized in under 500 words, and the other side might find that articles don't become cruft magnets when edited by a large group of people who have acknowledged a common set of principles.

There doesn't seem any way that I can write a "strict construction" solution that satifies all parties. Would there be any support for a "loose construction" agreement based on loosely defined common principles, without predetermined fixed rules? Thatcher131 21:55, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

  • Note that the alternative to coming to an agreement is to close this mediation and let you work it out on the talk pages of the project, if you can. Thatcher131 22:17, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
I'd be willing to accept the 500 word limit, under proposal 1, so that we can end this mediation; leaving only PKtm to decide (everyone else had agreed to accept proposal 1). ArgentiumOutlaw 22:52, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
That would be fantastic. Thatcher131 22:53, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
By my reading, PKtm already agreed with Proposal 1 [7], and we're in agreement on PKtm's requested changes. --Elonka 23:03, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
How's this look for a talkpage template? {{Lost}} --Elonka 23:32, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
I still would like to clarify what "zero to no trivia" means. -- Wikipedical 23:42, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
That's probably a typo (since it's a duplication of terms). Feel free to change it per the discussion with PKtm above. --Elonka 00:17, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Proposal 3[edit]

If we have agreement on the 500 word limit, the remaining issue is trivia. It seems that using Wikipedical's amendment to proposal 1 plus Ptkm's suggestions, we should be somewhere near the following:

Proposal regarding List of Lost episodes vs. Episodes of Lost (season 1) / (season 2) / (season 3)
  1. Each episode of Lost (TV series) will have its own article, linked to List of Lost episodes.
  2. Season articles (Episodes of Lost (season 1), etc) are deprecated, and should be phased out, after carefully merging their content with the individual episode articles.
  3. In lieu of Episodes of Lost (season X), Lost season X may be created, consisting of a summary of the main themes and developments of the season, for the reader who wants a broad overview before diving into the individual articles. These season wraparound articles should be relatively brief, link to the individual episode articles where appropriate, and should not attempt to summarize individual episodes but rather emphasize broad themes, plot arcs and character developments.
  4. To maintain article quality, episode summaries
    • should not contain brilliant prose, speculation, fancruft or original research
    • should only mention events important to the central character and his/her flashback, events that relate to the ongoing or future story lines, and events that emphasize the story elements and thematic motifs sections in the main Lost article
    • should contain little or no references to actual dialog, other than (as a rare exception) lines that are pivotal to plot swerves or character revelations
    • It is expected that following these guidelines, episode summaries should be limited to 500 words per hour, more or less.
  5. Trivia sections should be kept to a minimum, since the preceding guidelines are paramount. Trivia, if included, should follow the following guidelines:
    • Trivia that exists entirely within the fiction of the story (e.g. The song John sings while exploring the jungle is The lion sleeps tonight. ) should be avoided. Insignificant details do not meet guideline 4, while significant information should be included in the main summary.
    • Trivia that exists entirely outside the narrative of the episode (e.g. The underground scenes were filmed in an air-raid shelter built for families of sailors stationed at Pearl Harbor. ) may have a place somewhere but not in the episode summary article.
    • Trivia that crosses the fourth wall (e.g. The storm was written into the episode after a real storm damaged the sets on location. ) may be included provided it is properly sourced.

While I would like to assume that I have figured it out correctly, I think this call for a (final?) re-vote.




As a note, Kahlfin (talk · contribs) (the last person needed to signoff on the mediation), has been an infrequent Wikipedia user over the course of the summer, averaging less than 10 edits per month. Based on his last entry though [8], I think that his agreement can fairly well be assumed. Therefore, in the interest of moving things along, would anyone object if we proceeded with the agreed compromise? Or must we wait for his official signoff? --Elonka 19:48, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

I'm going to wait 24 hours after the last vote (which makes it my breakfast time tomorrow) and if he hasn't answered by then, assume his approval per his previous approval of prop 1. I'll post notes "on behalf of the mediation committee" on Talk:Episodes of Lost, the Lost project, and Talk:Lost season one and two and close this officially at the main RFM page. I really want to thank everyone for being patient and coming to a final settlement. Thatcher131 19:54, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
There's no need. I accept. And my internet access has been limited over the past few months, but I plan to become more involved as of a few days ago. --Kahlfin 20:09, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
OK. I'll finalize this late tonight, then (kind of "at work" right now ;) Thatcher131 20:13, 27 September 2006 (UTC)