Tolkien Gateway


Stawberries! -- Ederchil (Talk/Contribs/Edits) 22:00, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

My question is this: who will come to TG and type "Apples" in the search bar? --Mith (Talk/Contribs/Edits) 09:28, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
I would suggest to refrain from valuating articles according to the perceived "lowness" or "highness" of the subject. Personally, I did search on "Apples" on Tolkien Gateway before becoming an editor (some years ago), as I was writing a fan text on the cultivation of apples in Lindon and was seeking "canon" information.--Morgan 10:37, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
Well, we do have an extensive article on Fish, as well as many other realworld foods... so maybe we can rethink the old Strawberry-policy. -- Ederchil (Talk/Contribs/Edits) 10:49, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
What is the strawberry-policy? I never heard about that policy untill now (at least under that name). --Amroth 13:09, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
There was some debate over whether or not we should have a page about Strawberries. -- Ederchil (Talk/Contribs/Edits) 13:30, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
Morgan, my irritation stems from the fact people seem to spend a disproportionate time on these trivial articles when we have lots of far more important articles which need work. This particular article is now longer than those of the Corsairs, Meduseld and Humphrey Carpenter; Rats is longer than those of Eldacar, Tar-Telperiën, Carcharoth, Bywater, ‎Tolkien and the Great War, The Peoples of Middle-earth, Brian Sibley, Khuzdul, Tar-Míriel, etc. etc. ad infinitum ad nauseam. This is a situation I find grossly inequitable.
Amroth, for as long as I can remember we have had articles on various flora and fauna which were stolen from other websites; the classic example of this was the Strawberries which used to consist of "Wild berries found by Bilbo in the upper Vales of Anduin, as he journeyed eastward on the Quest of Erebor." Some of us argued that these articles should be removed as they were un-updated (see, e.g. Wild Berries), stolen, and provided no "value-added" to the wiki; others liked them as they felt they added nice colour to the wiki and helped flesh out minor background details. The policy - from what I remember - became that we would either make the articles worthwhile or remove them; it was never really enforced, however, because we'd just argue about the relative usefulness of each and every article all over again (or someone would make a big effort to improve said article in order to lessen the likelihood of its deletion). If we're looking at it philosophically, although such labels aren't used on TG, it could be seen as an argument between deletionists and inclusionists.
"Deletionists" are proponents of selective coverage and removal of articles seen as unnecessary or highly substandard. Deletionist viewpoints are commonly motivated by a desire that Wikipedia be focused on and cover significant topics -- along with the desire to place a firm cap upon proliferation of promotional use (seen as abuse of the website), trivia, and articles which are of no general interest, lack suitable source material for high quality coverage, or are too short or otherwise unacceptably poor in quality.

Deletionists favor objectivity and conformity, holding that "Wikipedia is not Google," a "junkyard," or "a dumping ground for facts." They argue that the interest of enough people is a necessary condition for article quality, and articles about trivial subjects damage the credibility and future success of Wikipedia.

Wikipedia:Deletionism and inclusionism in Wikipedia
--Mith (Talk/Contribs/Edits) 13:54, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
I do understand your frustration, Mith (although there's no need to be "irritated"), since we have so many non-trivial or popular pages which are of a low quality (stolen, no references, short, or otherwise) which need editing. However, I believe it's a bad strategy to advocate the removal of trivial articles in order to direct the attention of editors (we already have, e.g., the Tolkien Gateway:Collaborations for such a reason).
On such a small and specialized wiki as Tolkien Gateway I believe we can have room for both inclusionists and deletionists (although I don't want to put such labels on myself). I do tend to focus my own energy on minor articles (for example, I instantly became excited to try and find more information to add to this excellent article by Gamling), but I'm confident that there are editors which are more inclined to work on the main articles.--Morgan 17:00, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
What I'm about to say is not directed at anyone, and if I happen to pick on "your" article it's for illustrative purposes. No offence is intended.
  1. All wikis have policies on notability, you have to set the boundaries of what's in and what's out. These articles aren't necessarily relevant/pertinent to Tolkien: simply existing in Middle-earth is not enough to warrant inclusion in this wiki otherwise we would end up with such things as "Clothes", "Chairs", "Water", "Windows", "Bread", "Books", "Noses", "Clouds", "Wills", "Roads" etc. and I don't hear anyone advocating their inclusion because it would obviously be ridiculous. These sorts of articles are either making mountains out of molehills or are throw-away one-liners. My worry here is that people's preferences are getting in the way, after all, I didn't hear anyone complain when we basically agreed not to do collectibles any more even though they are probably more worthy of inclusion than "Wild Berries".
  2. I wouldn't mind these trivial articles so much if people devoted more attention to the more important ones; but they don't - a massively disproportionate time and energy is spent on these (even in this debate, and all the previous debates) which add very little benefit to the wiki. (Indeed, I actually think editors - for whatever reason - actively avoid the important articles.) No reader will ever be impressed if we have a good article on Apples, but they will if we do on Frodo.
  3. These small articles won't even exist to the public if the important articles aren't full with plenty of links (did you know, nothing links to this Apples article). You need to build the walls before you can put up the curtains.
  4. The collaborations are seldom noticed; I have noticed other wikis have simply removed theirs because they don't prove fruitful. I have considered removing ours from homepage, too (and other editors have suggested it to me, too).
  5. - and this isn't a personal attack, but an observation - it's this sort of mentality which is the problem: if everyone assumes that there are other editors who are going to do it, no one will do it.
I think we should remember a core principle of wikis: Contributions are made to serve the reader, not the convenience of the editor. I think readers are ill-served by our treatment of the most popular articles. --Mith (Talk/Contribs/Edits) 18:14, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the explanation, Mith.
I've to agree with Morgan, I love these articles.
I think it would be better to have some bad main articles and some good trivia articles than some bad main articles and no trivia articles. But that's just my opinion. --Amroth 18:27, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
In my opinion if there's a sufficient amount of information to include then we should have articles like this. Nonetheless I agree with Mith's point that this kind of thing is a big distraction from the articles we really should be improving for the benefit of our readers. I recommend we all pick a popular article each and then improve it - it might be an idea to place an emphasis on improving major articles related to The Hobbit. -- KingAragorn  talk  contribs  edits  email  22:12, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
I think we all know where I stand on the issue :) Every one has their own expertise and preference when it comes to which areas they enjoy editing. I'm just appreciative of those who spend the time to help improve any article, regardless of its popularity. Judging by the articles with the most revisions, I don't see any cause for concern. --Hyarion 04:51, 25 March 2011 (UTC)