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August 31, 2007

Will WikiPilipinas redefine what is notable?

WikiPilipinasWhen 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.


    21 Responses to “Will WikiPilipinas redefine what is notable?”

    1. marhgil
      Twitter: marhgil
      says:

      kung magiging friendster lang yan, they should change the name to wikifriendster. :) I think, they should really have a notability guideline.

    2. marhgil
      Twitter: marhgil
      says:

      pahabol.. i checked Sharon Vidal Mercolita’s page and it is listed on the Wikipiniana Volunteers. Hindi lang sya ang merong personal page, lots of them. See it here

    3. Miguel
      Twitter: mparazgmail.com
      says:

      In fairness, most of the user’s pages are in the “User:” namespace. And Sharon’s page is not that bad.

      Now this… ToPzzPoT is a wikifriendster!

      Now if these people have articles… so should Abe.. now where do I begin…

    4. BrianB says:

      But will it have adsense?

    5. jamie says:

      i think we should just stick with expanding the tagalog version of wikipedia. baka kasi maging “fancruft” lang yung wikipilipinas e.

    6. I searched for “sharon mercolita” in Google and got two pages. A search for “sharon vidal mercolita” gave me one page, Abe. This page! :-)

      It will be interesting to see how this notability issue develops over the coming weeks.

    7. Christian says:

      “Hip ‘n Free” just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. The history section is pretty much empty. Perhaps the site is a place to promote Filipiniana.net and other properties.

    8. Eugene says:

      Been to the Bloggers Dinner last Friday night. They actually have no notability criteria whatsoever. As Gus Vibal said, “if you want to put up a biography of your lolo, it’s ok!”

      As Rico observed during the dinner, it’s basically a free for all! You can put up any Pinoy information (try to be factual, eventhough you can’t prove it) on the website. Genealogies, family histories, barangay information, school club, etc. Heck, you can even place the about page, history page, member list page of your website!

      They want WikiPilipinas to be an SEO magnet for popular Pinoy-related searches. They want Filipinos to go to WikiPilipinas for all things Pinoy. Gus Vibal even said that he doesn’t want you to buy a pinoy dictionary or pinoy travel guide or whatever and just go to WikiPilipinas.

      Anyway, I’ll put up more of my thoughts on a post I’ll do later today. My original post that Abe linked above is more than a month old and is outdated.

    9. Miguel
      Twitter: mparazgmail.com
      says:

      Now I get it. It’s Mahalo without having to pay writers.

      I think the free for all approach to information is OK but it shouldn’t be in a wiki form. Instead, people should write and own complete articles (or even sentences). See everything2.com for an example.

    10. Rico says:

      Actually, what I said was that if WikiPilipinas starts enjoying high traffic levels, then it can actually be a gauge of what Filipinos consider important when it comes to information.

    11. Eugene says:

      Migs, they’re actually paying some call center’s free staff to write articles (like top 100 corporations, etc.). Then if they see that a particular article is getting popular, then they’ll order someone to improve the article. :-)

    12. Miguel
      Twitter: mparazgmail.com
      says:

      So they are really spending on Wikipilipinas. They already have a far out hardware+bandwidth setup.

      I wonder how they will make money off Adsense, when Pinoy clicks aren’t worth much there.

    13. Marcvill says:

      I suppose they have copied all Pinoy-related entries found in Wikipedia and put it into WikiPilipinas. An example is the “Ateneo Volleyball Team” entry. WikiPilipinas is a duplication indeed but what’s more bothering is the fact that there’s really no system of administration. As Gus Vibal said (during the first press launch), you can even put up an entry about your “lolo”. Hence, it’s hip ‘n free. So the “free” really means anyone can put up anything.

      Regarding the issue on ‘notability’, it’s interesting to note that their goal for WikiPilipinas is to be “self-regulating”. So if someone from the community writes something negative or not notable (like Malu Fernandez: an insensitive pig who was forced to resign after receiving death threats), then WikiPilipinas will rely on the same community to edit the entry and hopefully make it notable (perhaps, Malu Fernandez: a pig).

      Siyempre joke lang example ko. Hehe. Anyways, there seems to be a lot of loop holes.

      I wonder how bloggers will use WikiPilipinas to write entries promoting there blogs, hmmm…

    14. Miguel
      Twitter: mparazgmail.com
      says:

      Good point… does Gus Vibal mean Free of price, or Freedom of speech/expression? If it’s the latter… then as in Marcvill’s example, is hate speech allowed?

    15. Rico says:

      I wouldn’t allow hate speech, but then again, how do you police everything?

    16. Nikko says:

      Ito rin ba ung project ng pinoyblogsphere?

    17. Amazing article . It’s all new to me. Can’t wait to read your next article.

    18. I acquired assistance with my childsupport case over at http://www.childsupporthell.com/community , they have a good thing happening simply by trying to assist the ones that cannot guide themselves with this screwed up child support system which we have nowdays. I swear something should be done about this and if anybody is to make it happen, childsupporthell.com will

    19. Andy Smith says:

      Amazing article. I don’t think it is notable.

      Andy Smith of Order Watches Online

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    Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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