When WikiPilipinas officially launched last week, the proponents of the project explained how they envisioned to carry the idea of a free online encyclopedia and cook it into something that will have a Filipino flavor.
What those ingredients are to make it truly Filipino that we can call our own is something I can’t still fully imagine. But my questions which hasn’t yet been answered is –Will WikiPilipinas redefine what is notable?
Eugene said there’s no point to have a separate WikiPilipinas acting as a duplicate Wikipedia. My curiosity is leaning more on the notability guidelines. According to Wikipedia, the guidelines for what is notable and what is not may be summarized as follows:
A topic is presumed to be notable if it has received significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject.
“Significant coverage” means that sources address the subject directly in detail, and no original research is needed to extract the content. Significant coverage is more than trivial but less than exclusive. “Reliable” means sources need editorial integrity to allow verifiable evaluation of notability, per the reliable source guideline. Sources may encompass published works in all forms and media. Availability of secondary sources covering the subject are a good test for notability. “Sources,” defined on Wikipedia as secondary sources, provide the most objective evidence of notability. The number and nature of reliable sources needed varies depending on the depth of coverage and quality of the sources. Multiple sources are generally preferred. “Independent of the subject” excludes works produced by those affiliated with the subject including: self-publicity, advertising, self-published material by the subject, autobiographies, press releases, etc.
Satisfying this presumption of notability indicates a particular topic is worthy of notice, and may be included in the encyclopedia as a stand-alone article. Verifiable content not supported by multiple independent sources may be appropriate for merger with another article.
If the contributors to Wikipedia think that a certain page for a certain person, place or event is not notable, it is proposed for deletion and eventually purged. There was a huge debate before over at Wikipedia is Google Engineer Matt Cutts is notable enough to have an entry in Wikipedia. It was argued that it wasn’t really him but his sensitive position as Team Lead of Google Search Spam that gave him prominence.
In contrast, WikiPilipinas does not have a notability guideline. Does this mean that anyone can just come in and add an entry they feel is relevant to the common Filipino or the Philippines in general? Now that WikiPilipinas contributor community is Filipino-centric, will notability be slanted towards that direction? I think it will, but should it?
As pointed out by Rico over at BBN, will everyone who has a Friendster account be entitled to a WikiPinas page? If so, then WikiPilipinas could be expecting 5,000,000 entries/pages for all the Filipino Friendster users.
It still remains to be seen as the community of contributors grow. If the notability guidelines is finally put up, it will be interesting if the entry for Sharon Vidal Mercolita will stay or eventually get deleted. And when that time comes, we will definitely know if WikiPilipinas will truly be relevant.