[Citizendium-l] New "of the week" articles?

Larry Sanger sanger-lists at citizendium.org
Thu Aug 7 10:23:29 EDT 2008

Hi all,

The Write-a-Thon went well, I think.  Thanks to everyone.  (And keep it up!)

We need some new nominees/action on our Article of the Week and New Draft of
the Week!


We've got some good new ones, too!  I'm partial to "diaper," but I've been
working on that one.  ;-)


I have another random request, which is to add relevant links copiously to
articles, please!  The density of possible relevant links is much higher
than what I see on most of our articles.  Adding links is easy and fun, and
you can do it to any article, not just articles you happen to have started.
This is much more important than I think most people realize.  When you see
an article with many wikilinks (i.e., "internal" links, links to other
articles on the wiki), whether the linked-to articles exist yet or not, it's
more exciting and interesting.  When someone reads an article with many
links, the natural reactions are: "I could learn more about this, or that,
or that; what a wealth of knowledge!" and "Oh, they don't have an article
about this; I could write something up quick."  Meanwhile, an article
without wikilinks, or with only a few wikilinks, one gets the sense that one
is at a dead end.  The article authors haven't facilitated your passage on
to other relevant information, which is mildly depressing.  "Hey," a
thoughtful reader notices, "an article about such-and-such must exist, so
why aren't they linking to from this mention of such-and-such?  Are they
embarrassed?"  Wikilinks are crucial to building the wiki.

Along these lines I should reiterate a point I've made before.  Some people
say they don't like copious wikilinks, even if they are relevant, when the
linked-to articles don't exist yet, because links to nonexistent articles
are "ugly" and potentially confusing.  Well--not really, not enough to
matter.  If you say this, you evidently weren't there when Wikipedia got
started.  In the early days, most of our links were "red links."  Indeed, we
were bothered by those links.  But instead complaining about their lack of
aesthetic appeal, we were motivated to create new articles.  Red links were
instrumental in building Wikipedia.  CZ must follow the same strategy if we
are to succeed.

By the way...is anybody going to be bold and declare a decision, over on the
forums, about a new color for article-less links?  :-)  Many people don't
like the grey.  Well...sorry...I won't be doing so.  It is wrong that I have
to make a decision in order for it to be "official."  That shouldn't be!
After all, this is a collaborative, community project.  So I've decided: if
you (somebody, anybody) doesn't boldly take responsibility, it won't get
done...we'll be stuck with the present grey.  If I keep taking
responsibility, it prevents you from doing so, and I end up having far too
much to do!  :-)


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