Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Get a Life! Eric Zorn ~ Notoriety and Deletion on Wikipedia

Came across this really interesting article written in 2006 about several "rules" in Wikipedia.  This person Eric Zorn (this is such a difficult last name for me to see correctly, because the R and the N when they are lower case just blend and look like a m, its spelled ZORN)  is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune.  In 2006 on a whim he decided to write a blog trying to start a Internet meme he called Zorm's Law.

Like a good self-promoter he went onto Wikipedia and published an article about this "law".  The problem was that there was no notoriety for the term, so all the references he cited were from his own blog.  Wikipedia editors didn't care for this self promotion and gathered for discussion.  The editors had the choice to Delete the article, Merge it into his personal page or allow the Zorn's Law page to stand on its own.

In this article Zorn discusses his experience.  I think the discussion (which is all included in the blog) makes for good reading for people learning how to edit Wikipedia.

I especially like this paragraph " This violates Wikipedia's rules, which forbid vanity postings and require validation from independent, credible sources.  After all, an encyclopedia without standards is just a dumping ground for words."

When you are looking at the "vote" at the end of the article, you can see how the editors make their vote in BOLD print.  You will also see that the editors really are quite funny, hopefully you can see yourself becoming one.

BTW really want to point out how neglected Zorn's personal Wikipedia page looks.   

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