Email, Wikipedia, Preservation

I had four new messages in my GMail inbox today (my completely non work-related mailbox).

I mention this because my daily average is probably somewhere around 0.1 messages per day, if that. And it strikes me that, even five years ago, I would typically get 4 messages an hour. Let's face it: I have become an internet recluse!

For a few seconds, this bothered me. ...Then I remembered that the reason that I've become less communicative on the web is because of the number of things I'm doing "in real life".

Still, some part of me pines for the days of being hyper-active on the web.

One of the messages I got made this temptation even stronger. An old co-worker of mine (Ron, if you know my history) emailed me to point out a book review. Well... it's ostensibly a book review. In truth, he spends about two paragraphs actually touting the book. The rest of the article--which I highly recommend reading--talks about Wikipedia. And it has something very, very interesting things to say.

As the deletions and ill-will spread in 2007—deletions not just of [articles about] webcomics but of companies, urban places, Web sites, lists, people, categories, and ideas—all deemed to be trivial, "NN" (nonnotable), "stubby," undersourced, or otherwise unencyclopedic—Andrew Lih, one of the most thoughtful observers of Wikipedia's history, told a Canadian reporter: "The preference now is for excising, deleting, restricting information rather than letting it sit there and grow."

This bothers me. If there's a trend to remove stubs because they haven't had the proper time to stew and become full articles: that disturbs me. My cackles were raised when I read--and agreed with--the following:

Rob Balder, author of a webcomic called PartiallyClips, likened the organized deleters to book burners, and he said: "Your words are polite, yeah, but your actions are obscene. Every word in every valid article you've destroyed should be converted to profanity and screamed in your face."

This has me contemplating getting back into Wikipedia editorship.

Were you aware of the purge? Where do you stand?

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