__This user occasionally edits Wikipedia.__
I spend a lot of time over at Wikipedia:Featured Picture Candidates, where I try to assess most nominations, and occasionally nominate works that others have created. Thus far I've had 7 successful nominations; Image:Saint Chely Tarn.jpg, Image:Arachnis picta edit1.jpg, Image:Emblems of USA 1876 (original).jpg, File:Joan_Baez_Bob_Dylan.jpg, File:Australia satellite plane.jpg, File:Pale Blue Dot.png, and File:EscombrosBelAir5 Edit1.jpg.
A few thoughts on editingEdit
The first rule of Wikipedia is, and should always be "Ignore all rules: If rules make you nervous and depressed, and not desirous of participating in the wiki, then ignore them entirely and go about your business."
Wikipedia is now a bureaucracy, with thousands of self-appointed Vogon control freaks, each pointing to a pile of rules. I'm disappointed, but not surprised. Example A. - this ugly stinking mess is allowed to stand because it is controlled by this ... I don't know what you'd call him. His mess of an article that he has created on the basis of misunderstandings and now owns. But, of course, because Wikipedia "doesn't do content", and (as it appears to me) a minority of administrators in this encyclopedia put building an encyclopedia above rule-cruft, his mess is allowed to stand.
As a result, I've given up on editing in article space. I've also pretty much given up on creating articles. I know that plenty of others feel the same.
Plenty of people think Wikipedia is almost full, that 3 million articles is almost there. Rubbish. In my area of study there are perhaps 100,000 places (applying the same notability standard as is applied to places in the United States and UK) that each deserve an article. That's just geography, in one country. Deletionists will turn Wikipedia into a stagnant pool. This place thrives on the joy of creation, and fails when that is stifled.
Reference relentlessly. If something doesn't have references to reliable sources, search for them and add them (before you take it to AfD). I cannot state this clearly enough. I've saved dozens, probably hundreds, of articles from AfD (and worse, PROD and CSD) that were on subjects that the nominator had clearly never heard of, did the most cursory search. Lazy deletionists piss me off more than anybody on this encyclopedia. That said, most of the things that end up in the various deletion/discussion forums are patent nonsense, so I do have sympathy and can forgive the deletion of some worthwhile content.
Books and peer reviewed journals trump the internet 9 times out of 10. Google Book Search and Google Scholar are absolutely indispensable, but not the end of a search. The internet has great limitations, especially for subjects in languages you don't speak, and things that were notable more than 10 years ago, or things that haven't been digitised.
Wikipedia:Notability says that if something has received coverage "...by sources [that] address the subject directly in detail" "...in reliable sources that are independent of the subject" it stays. As simple as that.
Wikipedia:Verifiability says "In general, the most reliable sources are peer-reviewed journals and books published in university presses; university-level textbooks; magazines, journals, and books published by respected publishing houses; and mainstream newspapers. As a rule of thumb, the greater the degree of scrutiny involved in checking facts, analyzing legal issues, and scrutinizing the evidence and arguments of a particular work, the more reliable it is."
Wikipedia:Reliable sources says "Wikipedia relies heavily upon the established literature created by scientists, scholars and researchers around the world. Items that fit this criterion are usually considered reliable. However, they may be outdated by more recent research, or controversial in the sense that there are alternative scholarly explanations. Wikipedia articles should point to all major scholarly interpretations of a topic.
|Search user languages|
- The material has been thoroughly vetted by the scholarly community. This means published in peer-reviewed sources, and reviewed and judged acceptable scholarship by the academic journals.
- Items that are recommended in scholarly bibliographies are preferred.
- Items that are signed are more reliable than unsigned articles because it tells whether an expert wrote it and took responsibility for it"
WP:NPOV needs to be enforced with respect to WP:V and WP:RS. It currently isn't. Instead of censuring users for ignoring these policies, administrators and arbitrators themselves ignore them. Wikipedia policy gives weight to scholarly sources. These are the so-called pillars of Wikipedia, but administrators and Arbcom having been refusing to enforce V and RS for a very long time, instead ruling that V and RS disputes are "content disputes". Arbcom need to enforce policy or give up and go home.
I'm not down with User:rednamespacelinks. If you have a red user name and do not wish to create a userpage (which is a perfectly reasonable wish), please redirect it to your talk.
I tend to create stubs (see below), and watch them grow, rather than expand existing articles. Kinda like Johnny Appleseed.
Articles I've savedEdit
I actually think that this section is just as important as the stuff above. These are articles on subjects for which non-trivial coverage in Reliable Sources exists, and which people put effort into creating. This is by no means an exhaustive list, as I've saved many more things over the years. Most things at WP:PROD, WP:CSD and WP:AfD aren't salvageable and should be deleted, but there are too many things that are. Many things simply need a WP:HEY edit =)