Science Fiction writers want out of Wikipedia
#1
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#2
Can't say I trust the content, and there is good reason not to, but I have found it useful when seeking information of the non-critical sort. How a Roman military for is organized, for example; getting the info I need was wuick and easy and because I wasn' writing a historical novel it didn't actually matter if the hard facts were not one hundred percent. Every tool has its use, I guess.

The problem of legitimacy is probably the webs single largest issue. For example, I have published on smashwords and know that it just doesn't yet carry the same weight as standard publishing methods. Apart from looking at the work and judging it there is no way to be confident that it's any good - and much of what is published online isn't. It's a problem, and I'm not too sure what the solution is. Just in case you are interested, I took the measure because I was tired of publishers liking my work but not investing in it. OK, you say it's good but not for you? Sorry, straying off subject here...

I have met one guy who logs onto wiki and lists Phil Collins as dead - or changes some other datum. I, personally, don't think that is in the least amusing but he thinks it's a hoot. But what to do? Fix it and vet contributors? Then who vets the vetters?
Chris Northern
Author of Prison of Power, and The Last King's Amulet
fantasy novels
Sample or Purchase Prison of power at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1075
& at Barnes & Noble ebooks
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#3
I've tried to contribute to Wikipedia through the years and it's been a thoroughly frustrating experience. Nonetheless, there are certainly many articles in the archive and I'll use them as a quick reference to find better more authoritative information. That so many of us do use Wikipedia as a starting point may be why Jimmy Wales launched Mahalo -- I believe he is trying to bring Wikipedia's strengths (people sharing with people) to a new level of information management (linking to authoritative resources).

Mahalo has its own issues but it is shaping up to be a better starting resource. Not quite there yet but I think it will probably become more popular than Wikipedia -- unless people find a way to politicize Mahalo the way Wikiipedia is politicized.

But I digress, too ....
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#4
shasqa Wrote:Can't say I trust the content, and there is good reason not to, but I have found it useful when seeking information of the non-critical sort. How a Roman military for is organized, for example; getting the info I need was wuick and easy and because I wasn' writing a historical novel it didn't actually matter if the hard facts were not one hundred percent. Every tool has its use, I guess.

I think shasqa has hit the nail on the head here. I've said this of wikipedia and/or IMDb in the past, it's a good starting point. But you have to take it for what it is.

I don't really understand the outrage some people express about such things. It's not the end of the world if someone who can't bother to track down hard facts is misinformed by the one source they seek out.

In an age where even reporters at major newspapers have been busted for making up facts, the best approach is to not accept anything as truth until you've confirmed if from multiple sources in various media.
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#5
I didn't know "we" had a blog! Smile
All your base are belong to us.

It could be that the purpose of my life is only to serve as a warning to others.
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#6
Hmmm, ok. I personally think facts are critical and that large political entities make decisions that are not based on facts - i'm thinking global warming/rebarbaded as climate change here - is a very worrying trend. I haven't looked on wiki for that subject but am tempted to just to see what they say - have they bought into the big (lie) error? It's a can of worms, and I find it very disturbing that a large percentage of people are so willing to take their first source at face value or trust "professional" opinion that clearly has a vested interest in giving a particular spin on the "facts."

There I go, off at a tangent again...

I'll look at mahalo with curiosity/interest.
Chris Northern
Author of Prison of Power, and The Last King's Amulet
fantasy novels
Sample or Purchase Prison of power at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1075
& at Barnes & Noble ebooks
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#7
shasqa Wrote:- have they bought into the big (lie) error?

Sorry, what's the "big (lie) error"?
All your base are belong to us.

It could be that the purpose of my life is only to serve as a warning to others.
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#8
I have to agree with Shasqua also. I've used Wiki for information gathering only. I've seen info as was described about the Tolkein Canon be one thing in the morning and the following day be either so watered down that you couldn't make hide nor hair of it, or was changed compleely.

Scifi/fantasy writers, no...writers in gerneral need to back out of Wikipedia and should fight to keep their properties off of there, outside of the informational only. Too many people get their paws on our stuff and mess with things.

My opinion.
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#9
thetigerwaits Wrote:Scifi/fantasy writers, no...writers in gerneral need to back out of Wikipedia and should fight to keep their properties off of there, outside of the informational only. Too many people get their paws on our stuff and mess with things.

My understanding was that Wikipedia only provided information. Particular properties are not within their domain.
All your base are belong to us.

It could be that the purpose of my life is only to serve as a warning to others.
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#10
What properties?

It's very difficult to follow the point of the article, but I get the impression that it has something to do with authors I've never heard of complaining about bios of authors I've never heard of on Wikipedia... :laugh:
August  - Jack's Pack Fan # 1, Keeper of the List, 3-Time Speaker of the JoAT Fan Quote of the Week, and the only person ever to have Back 2 Back Jack and Cleo fan quotes !
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#11
august Wrote:What properties?

I assumed they meant the titles themselves . . . which is why I questioned the "outrage" that was being leveled at Wikipedia.
All your base are belong to us.

It could be that the purpose of my life is only to serve as a warning to others.
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#12
I join RR and August in voicing my cofusion.

How would one gte "out" of Wikipedia, and whywould one wnat to.

Especially since the article complains about certain authors not being in wikipedia.

Oh, and screw SFWA.

Anything they are against, I'm pretty much for. Just, y'know, on general principles.
Wrestling Darwin on a daily basis.

"Question boldly even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, He must more approve of the homage of reason than that of a blindfolded fear." -Thomas Jefferson
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#13
Mike of Quantum Muse Wrote:Oh, and screw SFWA.

Anything they are against, I'm pretty much for. Just, y'know, on general principles.

Is there a reason for your umbrage, or just your general animosity against organizations?
All your base are belong to us.

It could be that the purpose of my life is only to serve as a warning to others.
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#14
RobRoy Wrote:Is there a reason for your umbrage, or just your general animosity against organizations?

My personal experience with them has been that they are very snobby, arrogant and elitist for a bunch of writers of whom nobody has heard.

When I was doing Cons with Quantum Muse , SFWA members were very dismissive of us in particular, and web based writing markets in general, looking at us like strikebreaking scabs or migrant fruit pickers hurting their little pet industry.

Funny in our case, as real writers were happy to talk to us. Michael Moorcock, Steven Brust, Glen Cook, and Alan Steel (whose work you actually find at B&N) all gave us interviews.

As Paul T Riddell, who used to write for, Tangent, and the Sci Fi's channel's magazine before it folded, put it, "...having 'Member SFWA' at the top of your manuscript saves an editor time reading it and assures them they can safely flush it."
Wrestling Darwin on a daily basis.

"Question boldly even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, He must more approve of the homage of reason than that of a blindfolded fear." -Thomas Jefferson
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#15
That's fair. I was just curious if it was a general loathing you bore them, or if it had specific reasons. Your reasons sound . . . reasonable.
All your base are belong to us.

It could be that the purpose of my life is only to serve as a warning to others.
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