Would Wikipedia really delete Tony Pierce’s entry?

Up front disclosure — Tony Pierce is a friend. However, he is only a friend because he blogs and I blog. Blogging brought us together. We’ve partied together and we’ve been to baseball games together and we’ve drank together. If he didn’t blog, and I didn’t blog, we would have never met.

And to me, Tony Pierce is a phenomenally good blogger — a blogger to study and emulate if you need a tutor. He is a Bukowski of blogging. He’s also been fabulously successful. It’s now how he makes his living (at LAist.com) and he’s been featured in much major media. According to Technorati, his blog is among the most popular in the world (anything better than a 10,000 ranking among the tens of millions of blogs tracked is pretty damn good). And despite all that, a group of hacks are suggesting that Tony Pierce doesn’t deserve a Wikipedia entry.

His entry is here. The voting is here. You can track the vote count here (though Wikipedia voting is more subjective for editors than a pure tally — though as I write, 71 percent of the votes are for delete). Information from and about the cretins who started this can be found here. It’s part of an orchestrated effort to remove bloggers whom they consider unworthy of Wikipedia enshrinement. Obviously, they picked the wrong target here. It will be sad if they win. It would greatly diminish my trust in Wikipedia as an example of reliable crowdsourcing.

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2 thoughts on “Would Wikipedia really delete Tony Pierce’s entry?

  1. hey howard,
    thanks so much for the props!
    cretins is a pretty strong word though. however until i saw that page that you link to which shows the “vote count” i naively didnt think that it was the orchestrated effort that some said it was.

    if you look through all the other pages nominated to be deleted, none of them have anywhere near the amount of votes that mine does.

    meaning if these people are so passionate about keeping Wikipedia pure, then why didnt they also vote on those other pages.

    i dont care if people vote against my page, i just find it curious that so many Only voted against my page. where did those people come from?

    regardless, its fascinating to see a truly transparent organization handle a difficult task of determining something thats not very easy to figure out: where do you draw the line in regards to bloggers as to who is above average and who is Notable.

    i dont envy their situation.

    hall of fame voting is way easier ;)

  2. Tony, why is this even an issue?

    If Wikipedia were in print, Wikipedia would have limited space and only the most worthy would get an entry. In fact, there probably wouldn’t be space to give any single blogger his or her own entry, not even Jardin or Reynolds.

    But this is digital. Space is unlimited. Every person in the world could have an entry and it wouldn’t matter.

    If the way to navigate Wikipedia were some sort of index or ToC, it might be a usability issue, but Wikipedia is based on search, so unless somebody specifically search for you, they would never even know your entry existed.

    So, again, why is this even an issue at all — for anybody?

    The only entries I can see going after are those that are CLEARLY wiki spam. Otherwise, what’s the big deal?

    BTW: I think the only thing I was overly harsh on was my last sentence. Crowdsourcing, like any thing else involving humans, is going to be imperfect, and I’ve always known and accepted that.

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