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Dec. 26th, 2008 @ 01:27 pm How to keep S*P from being de-listed from Wikipedia
Crossposted to my journal.

Background: http://somethingpositive.net (aka S*P) has had its wikipedia page marked for deletion September this year.

Here's my defense of the article (what else should I do at work the Friday after Christmas):

I recommend the numbered order of importance, because they support each other if done in this order. Amount of work/difficulty is based on the opinion that soliciting/producing arguments/opinions is a very easy thing to do on the internet. Verifiable facts are harder.

1) Establish that the S*P page meets the notability criteria
Lots of work for author/fans, little work for the editor. JScriber does this on the talk page and as a result Crossmr has shared his very specific standards on establishing notability:
* cited as a featured part of an article (not just trivia) and cited by a publication with editorial oversight and not "self-published" (like Gaiman's blog? could that be a reliable source since he is himself a notable figure? we could ask this on Wikipedia:Notability) (and why doesn't a site like comixtalk re-reporting some self-reported content add editorial oversight?)
* or cited as notable by receiving an honor at a non-trivial social function of the industry with a "big number" in attendance.
* or cited as notable by multiple appearances at non-trivial social functions of the industry with a "big number" in attendance.
(the previous two must establish the artist is more than "anyone they can get" for these conventions)

The practical "you win" moment for webcomics on wikipedia could be the receipt of a Web Cartoonists' Choice Award. This or an equivalent award may be a universal qualifier for notability. S*P has been nominated 4 times and won a WCCA in 2005 for best character writing. Several GA-Low rated articles seem to have no other establishment of notability other than the receipt of a WCCA.


2) Improve the S*P article to meet NPOV and quality standards of existing webcomic articles
Moderate to high difficulty work for fans. Moderate difficulty for the editors.

This is absolutely a must. Bring the S*P page up to the standard of the cherished page (or above Start-Low) in addition to questioning if even that page meets the notability guidelines (#4).

Looking at the comics project, these are the top-ranked articles which represent webcomics. In parenthesis are the article quality rating and then the importance scale:

Megatokyo (FA-Mid)

Concerned (GA-?)
Gunnerkrigg_Court (GA-Low)
Jack_(webcomic) (GA-Mid)
Kevin_and_Kell (GA-?)
Ozy_and_Millie (GA-Mid)
The_Soxaholix (GA-Low)

Penny Arcade (B-High)
Xkcd (Start-High)

Homestar Runner (demoted GA)

Need to go through the High-importance index: Category:High-importance_Comics_articles (there are over 200)


3) Improve the standing of S*P in various wikipedia lists.
Moderate difficulty for us. Low difficulty for editors.
Currently listed as "self reported" in List_of_self_sufficient_webcomics (some comics reported by comixtalk, see #1&4)

Not listed in the comics importance lists (i.e. Category:High-importance_Comics_articles).
Importance rating has an implicit correlation to a subject's notability. If we can get the S*P page ranked Mid or higher this might effectively overrule Crossmr's notability arguments.

other lists?


4) Attack the standards / enforcement
Low difficulty for fans. High difficulty for editors. Delicious hypocrisy, hmmm tastes great!

Unfortunately this requires us to attack one or more comic's pages, but if we choose the most respected webcomics on wikipedia this will have the intended effect of attacking the standard rather than singling-out another comic/author.

"It (Jack) is in the top 100 most read according to BuzzComix,[4] TopWebComics,[5] and The Webcomic List.[6]" - BuzzComix and TopWebComics are link-sharing schemes and not a neutral evaluation of a comic's popularity. S*P is ranked above (26 vs 51) Jack on The Webcomic List.

Is "comixtalk" an establishing source or not? It is cited elsewhere in wikipedia.

The Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards are either a standard for notability or not. Gunnerkrigg Court won two awards this year only and has been nominated for two consecutive years. S*P has been nominated for 5 years non-consecutively! Also a mention of Gunnerkrigg Court in Gaiman's blog is referenced on their page (possibly as reinforcing notability, but not primary source).


5) Attack Wikipedia's editors' bias against webcomics (oh delicious hypocrisy!)
Low difficulty for fans. Low difficulty for editors. Ripe for internet controversy, possibly bad PR.

Webcomics appear to be categorized as a sub-set of the comics industry regardless of the disparity in ability to publish and increased difficulty to obtain funding.

One great interview that I read that gave me some good personal insight into this is the "Powers" interview with the authors in one of their trade paperbacks. As the authors say, comics are published by struggling artists who are not able to support themselves with their art. S*P is IMO notable for that simple fact: it is one of the early webcomics which has been the primary financial supports for its author. In addition the facts concerning financial support and the difficulty to achieve this standing is indirect evidence of notability of the work. (just get one journalistic source to recognize that S*P is funding you sustainably and this is a win)

Notability should not be determined by the quality of the art, the type of media it is carried on, or the notability of the author (notability is not inherited according to Crossmr), but only based on the "big number" of people's awareness of the subject.

Show editor's individual bias where possible, like Crossmr's statements: "Conventions often have headliners and then just about anyone else that they can grab who has the remotest attachment to the industry."


Next I'll see if I can contribute some of this to the article without it being reverted.
About this Entry
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karlthepagan:
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From:joellevand
Date:December 26th, 2008 11:46 pm (UTC)
(Permanent Link)
You're fighting a losing battle. Some of those WikiNazis are just assholes. My husband and my comic was delisted for the same reasons--kind souls, however, moved it to Comixpedia before we were deleted. We rallied the troops, had fans defend it -- and all for nothing.

Surprisingly, not all webcomics are equally maligned on WikiPedia, though their definition of "important" is very subjective.