I have a generally good opinion of Wikipedia, but some of the edits and editing rules there make no sense. Case in point: Eagle 101 has removed the pointer to my blog from the WP entry about me claiming that it violates WP's policy about external links, the most relevant line of which seems to be that "links to blogs and personal webpages, except those written by a recognized authority" are to be avoided. Apparently I'm not a recognized authority about myself? I wonder that based on the same reasoning he didn't also remove the link to my personal web page.

Posted here rather than anywhere on WP because I'm more amused than annoyed and don't care to exert any influence on how WP's page on me is written except in cases of outright falsehoods (which fortunately haven't been an issue).

ETA: Reverted. Eagle 101 seems to have been on a binge of indiscriminate livejournal link deletion; we'll see how well the rest of his changes hold up.


None: placing blame at the wrong place
  1. The rule. "Links to blogs and personal webpages, except those written by a recognized authority" are to be avoided. Seems right.
  2. The removal of a link to your blog, based on (1). Doesn't seem right.

Clearly, it follows that (2) is an improper application of (1), not that (1) is wrong. So what makes you say that "some of the edits and editing rules there make no sense"? (You may have other reasons to believe so, but this is not one of them. Right?)

11011110: Re: placing blame at the wrong place

Maybe I worded this too strongly about the rules when as you say it was the editing that was the problem in this instance. But I do find some of the biases in WP's standards for web vs officially-published material odd. For instance, a mathematical problem can be considered notable because a dozen mathematicians have worked on it (which I consider appropriate) but a web site can fail to be considered notable even though thousands of people read it daily.

Also, and perhaps this is clarified better elsewhere: what is a "recognized authority"? Is it merely someone who has written authoritatively about the subject (in which case the rule boils down to, don't cite sources unless they're well written and informative, which should have nothing to do with whether the source is a blog or web page), or is there some recognition process involved (don't write sources unless other people cite them as being authoritative, and again why is the standard different for blogs than other writings)?

I recognize the need to avoid indiscriminate link farms (and have helped cut back on some of those myself), but I think the wording in the rule encourages exactly the editing behavior described, in which the editor searched for and deleted anything on WP linking to anything on livejournal.

None: Re: placing blame at the wrong place

This is kind of funny. I only just noticed that you have written about this.

In this recent incident, what happened is that a "wiki gnome" editor (the type that goes through making a massive number of small edits) got carried away with deleting livejournal links. After I reverted the deletion of your blog from your bio page, I took a look through Eagle101's contributions and s/he seemed to have experience with the various guidelines. So I believe the editor in question would know s/he had made a mistake, if s/he had only slowed down enough to think about it.

I very much dislike this style of massive "minor" editing. I think it leads to sloppy editing. The unfortunate thing is that someone like me has to go back and carefully read the guideline (and check the spam blacklist, and check if there is an objectionable amount of advertising on livejournal...), since it was used as justification for the removal, only to find out that the removal was improper. In the amount of time this editor made dozens of edits, I was only able to make that one.

By the way, I applaud your relatively hands-off approach to your bio. I think enough people watch over it that you don't have to worry. People that get intensely involved in their Wikipedia bios always regret it somehow. At the least, it looks ridiculous to your colleagues when you explain you are in an edit war over your Wikipedia bio! :-)

11011110: Re: placing blame at the wrong place

Oh, I have plenty of other ways of wasting time that would look ridiculous to my colleagues if I tried to explain them, don't worry about that.