Wikipedia talk:Wikipedia is a community

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This page was written by multiple users at the same time, as a response to this MfD. It is currently being expanded. Melsaran (talk) 19:53, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

Further comment: The original idea was by User:Melsaran, this page was created by User:Kwsn, and was slightly expanded by yours truly. --Boricuaeddie 20:13, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

British or american[edit]

Hey, guys. I've changed all of the "encyclopedia"s to "encyclopædia", since it was originally written like that. Should we keep it that way? --Boricuaeddie 20:03, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

I really don't give a WP:FUCK :) WP:ENGVAR says "stick to the style of the original contributor", but this isn't an article, so do what you wish ;) Melsaran (talk) 20:18, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
Oh, and encyclopedia is fine, encyclopaedia is fine, but please not "encyclopædia". That is archaic, and only retained in product names like Encyclopædia Britannica (lol). Melsaran (talk) 20:20, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
Sorry. That shows how much British English I know :-) --Boricuaeddie 20:58, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

Focus and suggestions[edit]

I think that this essay overlooks the definition of a 'community' as a group of individuals collaborating to achieve a common goal.

In any case, I would suggest rewording "Some of the rationales for keeping such pages is that, more than an encyclopaedia, Wikipedia is a community." This seems to suggest that the community aspect is more important than the encyclopedia aspect. (Although some people actually do insist on that, it's probably not something that you'd want to emphasise in this essay.) Wikipedia is, above all else, an encyclopedia. (Yes, I'm citing WP:ENC ... nominate me for deletion if you like.)

I also don't agree with the three links to deletion discussions provided at the start of the essay. For instance, I would have suggested keeping User:R/EFD but deleting Template:Smile. I think it is misleading to group together anyone who has ever cited WP:NOT#MYSPACE or WP:ENC in a deletion discussion. Just some suggestions. By the way, I'm considering nominating this page for deletion ... or am I? Meh. — Black Falcon (Talk) 02:29, 20 August 2007 (UTC) If you really want to know, reply to my comment.

I agree that the page needs re-writing. It was just written like that while the MfD was live :-) But, it doesn't have to be changed now; it's just an essay that reflects the authors' POV; it's not a policy or guideline. --Boricuaeddie 02:32, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
BTW, I made a mistake when writing that sentence. I meant to write ""Some of the rationales for keeping such pages is that, more than just an encyclopaedia, Wikipedia is a community." Sorry. --Boricuaeddie 02:34, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
Certainly. In fact, I'll try to add a paragraph or two shortly about some of the things I mentioned in my hidden comment. (Not to worry ... I won't actually "hijack" the page, but will just add an alternate definition of "Wikipedia is a community".) — Black Falcon (Talk) 02:48, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

Changes to the wording[edit]

Per the reasons above, I suggest the essay be changed to include information about what the Community is, how it works, and that a page not being "helpful" in building an encyclopedia because it helps editors get together and goof off for a moment after working hard is not a valid reason for deletion. --Boricuaeddie 02:46, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

No, Wikipedia *has* a community[edit]

And not everyone who edits is part of it. But it is first and foremost an encyclopedia. 15:14, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

Yes, Wikipedia is first and foremost an encyclopedia. Nobody is arguing that. I suppose the essay could be moved to "has" though... EVula // talk // // 15:16, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia can mean "the encyclopedia called Wikipedia" or "a community project called Wikipedia". We're both. Melsaran (talk) 17:06, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
Thing about Wikipedia, look at it like this:
  1. The community is dependent on the encyclopedia. Case in point, this page wouldn't be here if Wikipedia wasn't.
  2. The encyclopedia is dependent on the community. Case in point, if it wasn't for one user bringing WP:AFC to the attention of members of the community who have never heard of it before (like me before I saw Xnuala make a post about it), the massive backlogs would never have been cleaned up.
Yes it's an encyclopedia, but it's also a community, and they're both dependent on each other. Kwsn(Ni!) 17:58, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
Well, actually, everyone who edits Wikipedia is part of the Community, because, by editing, they are working together with others to reach a common goal and they must adhere by its rules. I disagree with the idea of a name change; we have Wikipedia:Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. It does not have a community, it is a Community. --Boricuaeddie 21:43, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Wikipedia has an encyclopedia just wouldn't work though. I agree with (in essence) - we are a group of people working on an encyclopedia, but we have bonded as a community. It's not what we ARE first and foremost, but it's what we HAVE. So I would support a move to Wikipedia:Wikipedia has a community. Giggy Talk 03:39, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
I personally subscribe to the view that Wikipedia is an encyclopedia with an associated community and that's what I was going for when adding the "Structure" and "Behaviour" sections. To avoid confusion (especially for new users), and to reinforce the principle that the "community" aspect never trumps the "encyclopedia" aspect, I would also support a move to Wikipedia:Wikipedia has a community. — Black Falcon (Talk) 16:33, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
I wouldn't want to move it. Remember, it is an essay, you don't have to agree with it. The original intent of the essay was pointing out that there's nothing wrong with "fun" things that don't relate directly with the encyclopedia (although the scope has widened now). I believe that "Wikipedia is a community" is a better name for this. "Wikipedia has a community" sounds too... obvious (or how to say this...). Melsaran (talk) 19:24, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Melsaran. If you don't like it, don't read it. I think the title is fine; there's no need to change it. Although making it clear that we're first and foremost an encyclopedia wouldn't hurt. --Boricuaeddie 21:42, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
I also disagree that we should say that the encyclopedia part is the far more important part; we wouldn't be an encyclopedia without the community part. As said above, they are both dependent on each other. --Boricuaeddie 21:47, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I agree on the "it's an essay, so leave it" thing (*cough*TTR*cough* :D). So I suppose we could just let it go... Giggy Talk 23:23, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Self-removal of my additions[edit]

I have removed the "Structure" and "Behaviour" sections, which I added on August 20, from the essay for the reasons listed below:

  1. The additions essentially restate WP:5P. They do little that a simple link to that page wouldn't accomplish (although I don't think such a link is necessary).
  2. The additions disrupt the flow of the essay and detract from its main focus.
  3. The additions were made from the point of view that "the 'community' aspect never trumps the 'encyclopedia' aspect" (FYI, this doesn't mean I support deleting all userpages, userboxes, or humour pages), which goes against the purpose of this essay as initially written.

In short, I think it's better to have an essay that people can disagree about than one that they can't make sense of. — Black Falcon (Talk) 15:45, 22 August 2007 (UTC)


As written, the point of this essay appears to be to directly contradict established policy. That seems hardly a good idea for an essay; perhaps its wording could be tweaked a bit? >Radiant< 08:24, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

How so? --Boricuaeddie 23:46, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
Because if there were serious consensual objections to a policy, it wouldn't be policy. Wikiepdia is not a soapbox. >Radiant< 07:34, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
What part of WP:NOT does it contradict? Some cite WP:NOT#MYSPACE to say stuff like "we shouldn't have fun pages, user categories, occasional off-topic chatter on user talk pages" etc because we are not a social networking site, but an encyclopaedia. This essay tries to "counter" that by saying that we are also a community and that occasionally doing something unrelated to building the encyclopaedia is fine. Melsaran (talk) 16:09, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

Good essay[edit]

I like the thinking behind this one. If we occasionally use talk pages for discussion and not improvement, so what? There's no need to be totally strict about making sure all edits are for the good of the encyclopedia - we just need to chill out, as long as guidelines aren't being seriously violated.--h i s s p a c e r e s e a r c h 22:38, 13 November 2007 (UTC)


I just want to point out the existence of this other proposal for community-building. Sarsaparilla (talk) 04:32, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

If you would like to signify interest in this project, please put your name at m:Proposals_for_new_projects#Wikicommunity. Sarsaparilla (talk) 04:04, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Another rationale for community building[edit]

Here is a response that I gave to someone who argued that community-building stuff is an unjustified waste of bandwidth, and that WP:NOT would need to be fundamentally rewritten in order to allow it:

I agree that WP:NOT would need to be fundamentally rewritten, and I advocate that it be. I'll use an example to illustrate why community-building content is important. Some people might say also that playing chess is a waste of server resources. But guess what, while I'm watching my watchlist to see if my opponent has moved, I'm also checking everything else. If someone vandalizes one of my pages, I'll spot it. Or if someone responds to a discussion, I can reply to them, and we make progress faster. Also, I build rapport with my opponents (and possibly with onlookers), which in many cases leads to collaboration on encyclopedic subjects of mutual interest. So indirectly, the chess improves the quality of the encyclopedia. If I were over at Yahoo Chess doing that, then Wikipedia would not be getting those benefits. Obuibo Mbstpo (talk) 22:17, 13 March 2008 (UTC)


The last paragraph of the conclusion weakens the essay. Who cares if we're more popular than MySpace? And how does the Alexa link support the claim that Wikipedia is doing well because of its community? Feezo (Talk) 10:38, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

yeah right. Only a select few are in charge of wikipedia and there are some bad eggs. (talk) 02:21, 26 November 2012 (UTC)