Noam Cohen Giving the Heave-Ho in an Online Who’s Who over at New York Times (you have to do the free login thing) has an amusing article about Wiki. Main tidbit is that wiki deletes lots of stuff

Roughly 4,000 articles are added each day, and about half that number are deleted that same day, Wikipedia says, by administrators who determine that an article is not up to standards. Tougher cases are debated for five days — at times, a decision is postponed if deep divisions remain.

Something to bear in mind if you are going to open up your FAQs and UserManuals to wiki-ness.

But the bits I loved were the extracts of debates “Wikipedia volunteers have produced detailed suggestions as to what makes a person or organization notable. ”


An article about the teddy bear belonging to Garfield, the cartoon cat. According to the Wikipedia entry, Pooky first appeared Oct. 23, 1978; Garfield found the teddy bear when he was searching through a drawer of his owner, Jon Arbuckle.

One of the responses was :

Delete. If Pooky ever actually did anything, maybe keep it. But Pooky is a stuffed bear; not a lot of character development possible there. (from wiki user Badbilltucker)

Read them, hilarious. I didn’t agree with all the deletions, or perhaps I didn’t realise that wiki had aspirations of proper encyclopdia-ness. Would filling it with even more crap really diminish it’s usefulness? It is after all just pixels, not tomes. Yeah probably. Every John Cleese or William Clinton in the world would show up in the search page. No?

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