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Monday, October 29, 2007

Wikimedia fundraiser highlights webcomic community's frustration with Wikipedia guidelines

>>Full story
On Monday, October 22, as the latest Wikimedia fundraiser started up, Wikinews reporter Brian McNeil thought his own small donation could be turned into a bigger donation by his buying some advertising on a popular website and encouraging others to contribute. With this in mind he approached Howard Tayler, creator of the Schlock Mercenary webcomic.
Tayler's response was not as McNeil expected, prompting a Wikinews investigation. Tayler refused to help the foundation raise money although he conceded that he does sometimes use the site. Instead he explained that the webcomic community feels slighted by Wikipedia since over 50 articles on webcomics were deemed not to meet the notability guidelines and were deleted from Wikipedia during January and February of 2007. Some members of the webcomics community considered this unacceptable.

Whilst some of the comic related articles deleted did not qualify for inclusion in the encyclopedia under Wikipedia guidelines, the deletion of a large number of articles in such a short time period struck some webcomics writers and fans as a selective purge.

Much of the criticism has been focused on Wikipedia editor Dragonfiend, who describes notability as "whether a topic has been noted by independent reputable sources". She has said that "If we include every article that anyone wants to write, then the encyclopedia becomes useless because nobody can find the actual needle of worthwhile information on a topic hidden in that hay stack of trivia." She believes Wikipedia should only have articles on webcomics like Penny Arcade, Get Your War On, Fetus-X, and Achewood.

This deletion of webcomics articles has not set well with many in the webcomics community. Modern Tales editor and Websnark blogger Eric Burns has written that "There are people -- and Dragonfiend is clearly one of them -- who are clearly going through Wikipedia looking for articles that should be weeded out as non-notable. and they're doing it in fields they clearly -- I mean, clearly -- have no interest, experience or knowledge."

>> Read the full article on Wikinews

2 comments:

Jigsaw Forte said...

Kudos for picking this story. I've been fighting like hell to make it as good as I can.

Nick said...

You may want to update the "full story" links to be to: http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Wikimedia_fundraiser_highlights_webcomic_community%27s_frustration_with_Wikipedia_guidelines