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Thu, Aug. 23rd, 2007, 10:39 am
The Black Hole Of Wikipedia

shsilver informs me that the Wikipedia page about me is under discussion for deletion.

This amuses me to no end.

It was under discussion for deletion in 2004, y'know. I didn't even know I had a Wikipedia page until sarekofvulcan told me it was under the gun.

I say now what I said then: I don't need a Wikipedia page. I mean, I like having it, and if I think about it I suppose I can justify to myself that I might deserve one. I have done a few things of some note.

But for all that I love and support Wikipedia, there is one thing about it that makes me crazy (and if you really want a rant on this topic, just wind up partiallyclips): the notion that someone can decide you're not worthy of inclusion on the apparent basis of their likes and dislikes.

The guy who's trying to get me deleted seems to have a problem with my existing on Wikipedia because I'm not notable enough, or something. His own page lists him as "a comics/SF fan with a background in mathematics, living in the Greater Manchester area (that's in England, folks)". It mentions his Doctor Who fandom, and hints that there's a story behind his nickname. And, apparently, he comments on his own page.

I'm not calling for the deletion of his page.

ETA: The call to delete the page was withdrawn. Many thanks for the yeoman work, gang. I am flattered by and grateful for your efforts to prove that I'm Somebody.

Thu, Aug. 23rd, 2007 02:57 pm (UTC)
giza: Minor clarification of terms

I know I'm being pedantic here, but I feel the need to clarify the terminology so as to clear up any misconceptions that may arise further down in the comments.

It's not "your WikiPedia article", but rather "an article on WikiPedia about you". The reason why I make that distinction is that the former implies ownership of the content while the latter implies that you are the subject of an article, which is more accurate.

And the reason I'm even mentioning this is that, given my experience on WikiFur, people will confuse the two. :-/

Good luck!

Thu, Aug. 23rd, 2007 03:01 pm (UTC)
filkertom: Re: Minor clarification of terms

Interesting point. I adjusted the wording above from "my Wikipedia page" to "the Wikipedia page about me". Better?

Thu, Aug. 23rd, 2007 03:03 pm (UTC)
shsilver: Re: Minor clarification of terms

Yup, but "his page" is in fact his user page and not an article, hence not deletable. So, any newspaper coverage of you I can quote in the call for deletion? Ann Arbor coverage? At any of your gigs?

Thu, Aug. 23rd, 2007 03:04 pm (UTC)
filkertom: Re: Minor clarification of terms

Nope. I've played almost exclusively at SF/F cons. On the other hand, I just had a review on SciFi.com, I'm on the web sites for Dragon*Con and GenCon Indy, and my press kit has quotes from Dr. Demento, Steve Jackson, Lois Bujold, Larry Niven, and Peter B. Gillis....

Thu, Aug. 23rd, 2007 03:14 pm (UTC)
filkertom: Re: Minor clarification of terms

I've had a few clips in indie magazines (Metro Times and the like), but I don't have any of those around at this point. On the other hand, I have got this. Which likely doesn't count as a citation, but I was on a flier distributed by Subway, presented by Dr. Demento, and listed in the same breath as Chick Corea.

Thu, Aug. 23rd, 2007 03:31 pm (UTC)
alymid: Re: Minor clarification of terms

that is not true - you put on a number of concerts in private venues (what the hell else is a house concert!)

Thu, Aug. 23rd, 2007 03:37 pm (UTC)
filkertom: Re: Minor clarification of terms

Well, yeah, dear. :) It raises two core questions about the entire process when there aren't a lot of press clippings, which is what this guy seems to be after: How many citations of what form count as "notability", and who decides? On one level, yeah, I'm a fanboy. On another level, I'm a self-supporting indie musician with a twenty-year career, thirteen albums, numerous awards for performing and songwriting, priase from Christine Lavin and Dr. Demento, and a small but solid worldwide fan base.

I admit that part of me wants to ask this nit what he's done lately.

Thu, Aug. 23rd, 2007 04:56 pm (UTC)
starcat_jewel: Re: Minor clarification of terms

There have been some extensive discussions of Wikipedia over on making_light recently; you might want to cruise by and take a look. A lot of people are expressing frustration because rules-gamers are chasing people with genuine expertise off the site, leaving articles full of factual errors that can't be corrected because someone with an obsession and a lot of edit-status* (but no knowledge) will keep reverting the corrections.

* AKA "big frog in small pond" syndrome.

Thu, Aug. 23rd, 2007 05:41 pm (UTC)
filkertom: Re: Minor clarification of terms

Wow. That is fascinating. For those interested, here 'tis.

Fri, Aug. 31st, 2007 07:11 pm (UTC)
ex_cribbins: Re: Minor clarification of terms

there aren't a lot of press clippings, which is what this guy seems to be after

Not so much press clippings as independent coverage. The citation in The Oxford Dictionary of Science Fiction was precisely the sort of thing I was after; had it already been in the article to start with...

I admit that part of me wants to ask this nit what he's done lately.

I apparently inspired a song by noted filker Tom Smith. Which is an achievement of sorts, I guess.

Thu, Aug. 23rd, 2007 05:09 pm (UTC)
sethb: Re: Minor clarification of terms

Well, no, actually. In English, there are many different meanings for the possessive, only one of which is ownership. I don't own my mother or my job. I do own my apartment, but I didn't own my previous apartment. I don't own my birthday, either.

Thu, Aug. 23rd, 2007 05:36 pm (UTC)
giza: Re: Minor clarification of terms


Hmm, I suppose you're right. However, my experience in this context has been that when people say "my WikiFur article", they really DO seem to think that they own it. And we've had some people go completely fruitbat flapjacks at the concept of other people actually writing about them. (But that is another rant for another time)

(Good to see you on LJ, BTW!)

Thu, Aug. 23rd, 2007 07:29 pm (UTC)
sethb: Re: Minor clarification of terms

That's a major problem in more than just this context: people conflating relationship with ownership, since both use the possessive. That leads to political issues.

Thu, Aug. 23rd, 2007 08:18 pm (UTC)
stevemb: Re: Minor clarification of terms

IIRC, one of Larry Niven's Draco Tavern stories used that as a plot point -- the aliens found it relatively easy to consider and employ strategic retreat because they didn't use the same word for "my planet" and "my knee".

Thu, Aug. 23rd, 2007 05:37 pm (UTC)
giza: Re: Minor clarification of terms


Looks good to me.

sethb made a good point about the English language itself also being a factor, which only complicates things. :-/