A Failed Experiment?

Other than a couple minor edits, I've never done anything major on Wikipedia, even though I think it's an amazing resource (“a streamlined Google” is how I like to think of it) and use it all the time.

So tonight, I decided to try and do something a bit more substantial.  I don't know if I've ever come across a topic that didn't have an entry (Shea found one nursing theory that wasn't listed but I couldn't remember what it was and she's back in Saskatchewan for a week so I couldn't call on her to help me.)

I decided to put up an entry for the Spirit of Librarianship Award because I knew that was something they likely didn't have, it's something that I happen to know a bit about and also because I have access to information that isn't available anywhere else on the web right now (I can access the list of past winners that's on the Student Council intranet)  Oh, and let's be honest – partly for ego reasons too.  How else am I going to get my name in Wikipedia, short of starring in the first library-based reality TV show – because, that's legitimate you know!

I created a page at 9:53pm and did a couple edits in the following 5-10 minutes.  By 10:18pm, someone had marked it for deletion.  I'm not particularly familiar with Wikipedia's guidelines (probably a no-no to begin with) but I figured that if the page was going to be challenged, it would be because I was writing about something I had a personal connection with.  Instead, the reason given was because you apparently can't create a page for an “internal award at a University faculty”. 

I scanned Wikipedia's list of reasons for deletion and couldn't see anything about this particular transgression.  I've posted on the article's history page to see if the person who marked it for deletion – or someone else – can point me to exactly where I can find out more about articles that can't be posted to Wikipedia. 

Part of me says
“what's the harm in leaving it up?  It's not like Wikipedia's going to run out of space on
the Internet and it is useful information to some people.”  But part of me realises this probably makes sense as,
even with unlimited space, they don't want the site clogged with entries for
every minor award and event in existence.  Spirit of Librarianship
isn't exactly the Nobel Prize (or even a No Prize.) 

What I wonder about though is that they have stub entries for (for example) numerous villages
that probably have less people in them than have been nominated for
this award over the years.  So which is more useful and which is less? 
Especially when the page I created had three sections, lots of
information that say, a different library school could use as
a guideline if they wanted to create a similar award) while the entry
for Combe Thorpe, England says in its entireity (and I quote)

Combe Throop is a hamlet in the English county of Somerset.”


Update: Someone else posted the reason is really “Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information” and voted for deletion as well.  They also mentioned that the post could be a vanity post which, as I admitted above, it sort of is. So anyhow, catch the page while you can because I don't think it'll be around long.

Update two: A total of three other users have marked my article for deletion on top of the first one.  One states
“plenty of room on University servers for that kind of information”   I know there's room but getting approval is sometimes a different
story in the world of University bureaucracy (or when the University gives space but its on their Intranet and inaccessible to the rest of the world.)

Just to further the experiment, I went and created a page for Lukas Rossi who is a contestant on the TV show, Rock Star: Supernova.  (A pause while I explain why I even knew who this guy is and why I also knew he didn't have a page on Wikipedia.  I get regular Google Alerts when there's any mention of Hawksley Workman in the media since he's one of my favourite singers.  A recent one was a story from the Ottawa Sun stating that there was a rumour going around that Lukas Rossi from Rock Star: Supernova was the same person as Hawksley Workman.  They had similar vocal styles, mannerisms and styles of dress.  Both are from Toronto.  Hawklsey was living in California around the time of the auditions for this show and cancelled a series of concerts due to “medical reasons.”  Hawklsey is well-known for his unique publicity stunts, starting with that stage name which is an amalgam of his father and mother's surnames. So when I read this story, as I so often do, I ended up going to Wikipedia first to see if they had any information about this Rossi guy which is when I realised they didn't – even though other contestants on that show did.) 

So anyhow, I've put up a page for Rossi with very skeletal information – he's a contestant on Rock Star: Supernova, he's from Toronto, he looks like Hawksley Workman and a couple links to news stories.  It'll be interesting to see what the “Recent Changes Patrol” does (if anything) with this entry.    (They'll probably delete it too and ban me from the site to boot ruining the whole thesis I've got about how inequal application of principles I've going here.  Hmm, maybe there is a paper in here somewhere…)

Oh crap, and I just realised that by linking to this blog from my name on the Spirit of Librarianship page I created, I've basically given them a perfect trail to prove that it's a vanity page if they didn't already know that.  I mean, it's not like I went and created a page for “Jason Hammond” and I know that they don't necesssarily rule out people writing about things they're knowledgeable about or connected with.  So it depends on how you interpret a vanity page

No matter what happens, I'm not touching the record of my classmate Mark, who, as part of the research for a paper on Wikipedia last semester, went in and purposely vandalized a page.  His changes were reversed and he was banned within two minutes!

And thank god they don't show who accessed the page and when and how often.  Because now I'm sitting here, obsessively clicking “reload” on both the Spirit of Librarianship deletion page and the Lukas Rossi page.  Maybe it's time to go to bed.

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