I’m not the only one who’s recently had this idea. Glyn Moody recently wrote:
I wonder whether it might be time to start thinking about forking Wikipedia. The original claim of being “an encyclopedia anyone can edit” has become less all-inclusive – not so much in terms of who may write, but rather as far as what they can write about. This involves the issue of “notability”:
Within Wikipedia, notability is an inclusion criterion based on encyclopedic suitability of a topic. The topic of an article should be notable, or “worthy of notice”. This concept is distinct from “fame”, “importance”, or “popularity”, although these may positively correlate with notability. A subject is presumed to be sufficiently notable if it meets the general notability guideline below, or if it meets an accepted subject specific standard listed in the table to the right.
That is, Wikipedia is no longer interested in accepting entries about any old thing, but requires them to be “notable” in the above sense. Now, that’s all very well if you aspire to be a dead serious kind of encyclopedia along the lines of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, but given that Wikipedia offered the hope of something more than just an online version of that dead tree monument to dead knowledge, I’m not so sure this attempt at increasing the respectability of Wikipedia is right.
I don’t think it’s right either. I am fed up with deletionists destroying articles I’ve created or worked on. I worry that Wikipedians are being put off from writing or editing articles by the prospect that their work will be consigned to the dustbin by deletionists (I know this has happened to me and I bet I’m not the only one).
Why shouldn’t every film, every TV programme episode, every small-circulation magazine, every pokemon character, etc have an article about it, if people want to write those articles? People who aren’t interested in these subjects won’t read them, and people who are interested will find them useful.
In an ideal world the deletionists would delete themselves, or at least go found their own encyclopedia. But they don’t want to do that, instead they want to actively disrupt the project of delivering all the world’s knowledge to all the world’s people.
So I’m creating an inclusionist fork of Wikipedia.