At the end of this entry I will share the edits I made over the last week. Before I get to that, I have had a second experience with the Articles for Deletion (AfD) process. Wikipedia has a bunch of identified problems. First, there are fewer and fewer new editors coming on board. By new editors I mean people who set up an account and use it at least 5 times a month. Second, their male editors outnumber their female editors significantly. Third, entries about women and topics considered to be of interest to women (more than men) are very low when compared to men and those entries of interest to men. Fourth, the creation of new entries have slowed down.
Keep these problems in mind as I tell you this story. I have been working on a project to specifically increase the number of biography entries about women writers. I like bio entries because I can easily find and use references through the library. I can easily write a biography entry and create a good one in about an hour or so. I have been focused primarily on creating those entries this past week. Last week I had one hiccup when my entry was put up for speedy deletion while I was making edits. The editor in question removed it as soon as I pushed back. It is important to note that it happened within 5 minutes of creating the entry and it was suggested I create the bulk of the entry in my sandbox space before moving it to the entry proper. So, I continued with my efforts in that manner.
When creating a biography entry, I often look to have 3 quality sources- including one traditional reference source. The more sources I can find, the better the article and the more notable the person. When it comes to biographies, notability is a huge issue. Notability is often why biography entries get deleted. The thing is, just because the person isn’t notable to you, doesn’t mean they aren’t notable. Winning awards in your field, being the subject of a traditional biography source, and being covered in the news are easy ways to identify someone as notable when you don’t know who they are. In Wikipedia’s case, at least 3 sources outside of personal webpages, blogs, and profiles, is also a good sign.
I created an entry this past week for Kelly DiPucchio, a children’s author. I had a solid page with plenty of sources and within 30 minutes, someone had requested it be deleted because she was not notable. This is someone who wrote a book with the Queen of Jordon and has won awards. I did a little research and the editor who requested it be deleted write primarily about athletes- people I would never identify as notable.
I fought back. I put up my own defense of the entry. I reached out to other editors I know and asked for their help with the entry content, sources and defense. So much of what is there now is the work of a few people, not just me. We were successful, in the end, and saved the entry. It prompted me to ask a few questions about guideline for editors regarding requests for deletion (the AfD process). I wanted to know if people who question notability should wait a certain amount of time before requesting deletion. Considering my first had happened within 5 minutes (and that editor thought it was a good-faith 5 minutes) and the second happened within 30 minutes, it seemed this happened too quickly.
Turns out, not so much on guidelines, but there are general suggestions. Primarily, one that came up was “Please do not bite the newcomers“. This relates to the often-dickish behavior by established editors when rules are broken, guidelines not adhered to, or any other perceived infraction by a new editor. I am not a new editor though. I have been around for over 10 years. I am just new to creating entries. In this case I knew and followed the rules, I just had an over-zealous editor recommend deletion without following other guidelines like learning if the person is truly notable or not. This editor’s hand has been slapped for this behavior before.
Now imagine I am not an experiences editor who knows what is going on. Imagine I really was new and creating one of my first entries. An editor pushes to remove my entry and without a support system, would I have been able to fight back? Would I have even bothered? I have heard from plenty of people that they created an entry about someone, another editor said the person was not notable, the entry was deleted, and the other editor never came back. All those problems I listed- this case is a clear example of something that is causing these problems. A female editor creating a new entry about a female author- specifically a children’s author- is nominated for deletion by a male editor who writes primarily about male athletes. He has more editing experience than I do, even though I have been around longer. This needs more attention because I suspect it will happen again and most people I asked about this just sort of shrugged and offered how I can be in a better position to fight, rather than keeping it from happening in general.
More on this if it happens again- I am still formulating what exactly is going on.
Day 23 12/23/15: I created an entry for children’s author Kelly DiPucchio for +3929 bytes.
Day 24 12/24/15: I created an entry for Michelle Hoover for +4460 bytes.
Day 25 12/25/15: I added +1113 bytes to the Themla Todd entry.
Day 26 12/26/15: I created an entry for Lisa Robinson for +3141 bytes.
Day 27 12/27/15: I created an entry for Quail Hawkins for +3867 bytes.
Day 28 12/28/15: I added +637 bytes to the Julia Hartwig entry.
Day 29 12/29/15: I added +527 bytes to the Jerry Bergonzi entry.