Wikipedia, what do you want me to do?!

I was looking up Scott Dikkers on Wikipedia, and when I clicked on the “Jim’s Journal” link, I got a blank page, which I hastened to rectify.

Now I don’t understand why they don’t find it acceptable. I’ve checked similar pages, and I don’t see how I’m lacking “verifiable information”. And what do they mean by “the subject’s importance”? I said right at the top what it’s about.

But clearly I did something wrong, so what do they want me to do? I spent almost half a flippin’ hour writing that, and I’d like to add more, but not before I can be sure it won’t be deleted. Do I need more sources? Most of my info comes from the book cited at the bottom of the page, and since Dikkers wrote it himself, I’d thought that would be sufficient. Can anyone help?

I know absolutely nothing about “Jim’s Journal”.

Having read your submission, I now know;

-Scott Dikkers wrote it.
-It first appeared in 1988 at the University of Wisconsin.

I still don’t know;

  • what is it? I’m guessing some sort of comic strip, but what about??
  • why did it amuse people?
  • why did it confuse people?
  • why did it move people to wear ‘Kill Jim’ T-shirts?
  • what were those mixed reviews?

The links are good, but I shouldn’t have to follow them to figure any of this out.

You seem to be the only person to have edited the article after the tag was added. It may simply mean that nobody has gotten around to removing the tag. The article seems fine now, so I have done so.

OK, I take that back. It does say comic strip. But what about?

:smack: Now it says everything I mention.

Forget I spoke… :o

Maybe that’s why those Wikipedia articles have so many links. :smiley:

Thanks, guys!

However, in light of Futile Gesture’s first post, I’m going to follow up a bit on why it got mixed reviews and why people were wearing “Kill Jim” t-shirts. Not right now, but I will. Also, I’m going to describe Dikkers’ style a bit more.

This was not meant to be the entire article, mind you. I just wanted to put something up that wouldn’t get deleted before I devoted more time to it.

One of Wikipedia’s greatest problems is the amount of people who feel they’re making a contribution to the site by deleting material that doesn’t meet their standards.

Hey, you gotta give FCYTravis credit for merely marking it with {{cleanup-importance}} instead of nominating it for deletion – or even deleting it outright (since he’s now an admin, has been for a few days now). The use of {{cleanup-importance}} to mark articles which are so sketchy that an ordinary reader might not understand why they’re in the encyclopedia (which, reviewing the state of the article at the time FCYTravis so marked it, is understandable and I might have done it myself if I had been doing new page patrol at the time) is still controversial; the deletionists hate it.

Okay, so what’s wrong with it? Bearing in mind that, as I said in the OP, the link was there already, it just led to a blank page. So it’s not like I created it just out of nowhere. That’s what really confused me: the strip had been mentioned elsewhere in Wiki, so how was the subject’s importance in question?

Also bearing in mind that I’ve made couple changes since last night, is there anything else I can do to make it less “sketchy”?

No, the biggest problem is people with nothing to contribute but who still do so anyway (which by the way I am not meaning the OP here). They need a lot, lot more people to go through and clean out the garbage. If that happens to be stuff that you contribute, oh well, learn how to make good contributions and stop blaming the people who are improving things.

Ok, here’s the revision that was marked with {{cleanup-importance}}:

And then several sections on each of the characters.

Nothing in that tells me clearly even so much as that it’s a comic strip. A random reader, approaching the content of the page at the time FCYTravis marked it, would be hard-pressed to tell what the hell was being talked about. For all I might know, you’ve just posted a vanity article about your personal diary (and, yes, people do that). Every article in Wikipedia is expected to stand alone; after all, this is an encyclopedia and each article is an entry in an encyclopedia. The article, as it was written at that time, did not stand alone, nor was it written in what we at Wikipedia call “encyclopedic format”. This appears to have been remedied, which is why the tag has been removed. You could have removed it yourself if you had wanted, but it appears that Montrealais (better known on the SDMB as matt_mcl) did that for you.

There is also a verifiability issue with statements like “Dikkers’ economical drawings and deadpan writing style complement each other perfectly; the humor, such as it is, is usually in what isn’t said or shown”. This appears to be your opinion of the author’s work; how do we know that this opinion is “generally held”? Encyclopedias are collections of generally-agreed-upon knowledge; they are not general repositories of opinion. This is still in the article and, actually, should be addressed. I’m not bothered by it enough to actually tag the article as being non-NPOV, but you should not be surprised if someone else does so.

BTW, if you’re going to make a habit of editing Wikipedia, you might consider registering. :slight_smile:

As said elsewhere in the thread, there are a lot of Chiefs on Wikipedia and so working with it requires large grains of salt as people’s egos crash. I got into an argument (“discussion”) on the page of Garry Kasparov where I asked if anyone had better pictures of him because I felt the one on the front page was a pretty ugly one of him. And it started a flame war of other Chess fans about the power of the picture and the focus he was showing in it blah blah blah. So you have to be careful and just wear an asbestos suit.

Another point is that even though someone else created the link to the blank page, it was their opinion that it needed an article, and again the opinions have clashed here.

My normal job on Wikipedia is anti-vandalism, I don’t add many entries (though I did do Horseshoes, the game) for this very reason. What I know or think I know will invariably differ from what others know or think they know, and it’s much simpler to be a maintainer instead of a creator.

But welcome to Wikipedia, the only other community that keeps my interest online.

I have been on the receiving end of several people’s desire to clean out the garbage. It too often seems that their standard is “I not interested in this subject so why should it be here?”

As an example I recently had an encounter with a guy who kept deleting articles on Colby Donaldson (from the TV series Survivor) Three different people had started articles on him (I was one) and this same guy kept going in and deleting them. I asked him why and he said “because he’s a nobody from one of those crap reality shows.” I figure if you’re not interested in a subject, the thing to do is to choose not to read it not delete it so nobody else can.

Personally, I’d rather add one good line to Wikipedia than to delete a thousand bad lines.

The battle between inclusionism and deletionism (and their relatives, eventualism and immediatism) is ongoing at Wikipedia. It’s my impression (which could be flawed) that the inclusionists are currently winning.

For more on these fascinating topics, I suggest perusing Mediawiki’s Meta-Wiki. (For the record, I am an mergist inclusionist eventualist.)

Thanks for the advice. I’ve made a few changes, and will do some more fine-tuning this evening.

As for registering, I dunno. If another subject motivates me like this one does, I will. Right now, though, it was just a matter of seeing the empty link, thinking, “Well, this deserves its own entry,” and then having the whole thing snowball on me. If it turns out that I’m the only person who cares this much about Jim’s Journal (entirely possible) and the entry gets deleted, then so be it.

Rilchiam I think it is a very good write-up. I remember when Jim’s Journal came out. I liked it. Please register and keep adding your good work. Sometimes I do a search on a purposely misspelled word, like “Calfornia”, and notice several hits come up. Then I go and correct the spelling. The cool thing is I frequently at the same time get to read about some pretty interesting things I would have never read about. But I was most excited (probably unrationally so) when I got to start an article on Pete Gray, although it is only a stub at this point.

That’s how most people get started in Wikipedia. I got started because some article I looked up had a typo. That was six or seven months, and 4637 edits (not counting the ones I made anonymously), ago.

So, am I right in my understanding that anyone can edit a page? Because I just went to the gymnastics page, and it’s clear the writer knows little about my sport, Women’s Artistic Gymnastics; there are several glaring errors.

Yes, anyone (almost) can edit (almost any) a page. There are a handful of individuals who have been banned for life, and some pages are protected to control the impact of potential vandalism, but for the most part everything can be edited by anyone.