dKosopedia:Off-topic articles

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Off-topic articles are those articles which do not meet dKosopedia's central purpose, that is, US politics, and the promotion of Democrats and Democratic policy.

Broadly, we do not directly compete with Wikipedia, and wherever Wikipedia has a good article, such articles should be left there, and not imported into dKosopedia. When Wikipedia's neutral point of view policy inhibits or prevents an adequate presentation of the Democratic view, however, then a separate article in very much in order.

Obviously off-topic subjects.

  1. Popular culture, including pop culture figures, which have nothing to do with Democrats or Democratic politics. We might have an article on Barbra Streisand which emphasizes her work with Democrats, but something on Brittney Spears' baby or Paris Hilton's latest escapade is simply off-topic. Politics and pop culture are intertwined, of course, and nothing here is meant to outlaw articles on topics such as The Daily Show or the Colbert Report, or Jib-Jab's latest satire.
  2. Detailed articles on the politics and politicians of nations other than the United States. On the whole, these are best done as sections in the individual articles about foreign nations.
  3. Learnéd topics, particularly those covered in Wikipedia. While we might have an article on marijuana, we don't do botany. Similarly, we might have an article giving the Democratic spin on space exploration, but astronomical articles are off-topic.


There are six good reasons NOT to aceept Alamakee Democrat's latest rule making efforts:

First, this rule "solves" a non-problem. We have no evidence of any actual harm from any of the articles about popular culture, which is often explicitly or implicitly political in nature. One salient characteristic of bad public and private management is a focus on solving non-existent problems.
Second, this rule suffers from vagueness, a condition allowing for the exercise of arbitrary authority.
Third, the rule is motivated by ignorance. Another salient characteristic of bad public and private management is decision-making is that it is driven by the ignorance and lack of creativity of managers fearful of the knowledge and creativity of those they supervise. That Allamakee Democrat has not seen and does not understand the symbolism of The Marriage of Maria Braun is a poor reason to delete the article about the film. God help us if we are to be limited to what is deemed political in Waukon Iowa.
Fourth, the rule originated in political sin. Alamakee Democrat just made it up as part of what appears his or her intention to narrow the scope of what can happen here in DKos. That's not smart. This isn't a campaign organization. This is an information source. Moreover announcing the rule as a fait accompli smells like power trip. That sort of thing becomes pathological in an organization.
Fifth, we depend on volunteer efforts. We can't afford to drive away potential volunteers, unless they are obvious cretins or agents provocateur. Why drive away contributors who want to offer something "Learnéd." They should be welcomed. Unless we encourage contributors Dkosopedia will end up being ignored because readers won;t find anything more than the echo of Allamakee Democrat's partisan onanism.
Sixth, Dkospedia ought to be fun. We most definitely do Botany! And the rest of Biology, and Chemistry, Physics etc. That's because real Democrats aren't narrow minded priggs with try to satisfy unfulfilled ego needs by acting like virtual school crossing guards.
BartFraden June 29, 2006.
  • BartFraden seems to believe dKP should compete with WP, essentially duplicating every article. A corollary would seem to be that raw WP source code may -- even should -- be imported, templates, links, categories and all, and then summarily abandoned, in the expectation some volunteer boob will clean it up, and never mind the bad impression others get when we are compared to WP. Yes, I'm being sarcastic, but just what is Bart arguing for if not this? Is he saying we need a Rosaceae article, and that such an article is very on-topic to dKP, yea, even essential to its purpose?
  • My view is to keep dKP narrowly focussed, with articles that are actually informative, and ideally, helpful to the cause of Democrats, and which are not likely to be found on WP. The very best example are our articles on all 435 congressional districts, not paralleled on WP (a strange lapse that seems to be based on WP policy).
  • Declaring whole regions largely off-topic is meant to discourage the appearance of such articles. It is also meant to structure what articles that do appear into the service our primary goal of helping Democrats get elected.
  • And once again, would you please click your name, instead of signing it? --Allamakee Democrat 17:10, 29 June 2006 (PDT)
AlamakeeDemocrat, you are wrong on all counts:
First, contrary to your claim, I do not want to duplicate every article in Wikipedia. Making that assertion is an obvious Straw Man argument. You may address what I write but you may not attribute motivations to me. In other words, stop acting like a Republican.
Me? Behaving like a Republican? For shame, Bart.
Second, your effort to keep Dkosopedia narrowly focused is a remarkably bad idea because it will tend to reduce the number of people who visit the site for information. We want more readers just as we want more contributors. More is better. More is success.
No, Bart. Less is more. It's quality articles that get us noticed, and thus, more trafficked.
Third, if, as you assert, the very best example our work are the articles on the 435 Congressional districts, why are so many of them so bare bones? Is that the narrow focus you want? (Also, why do you want to delete the articles that Powerofpie created yesterday about members of Congress? I take it that you and your fellow Iowan Corncam failed to recognized their names because they weren't from Iowa?)
This is untrue. And I did all of New York and Texas, and a whole bunch of other states. While not hard to do, these articles take a lot of time and effort. Why have not you done some yourself? The effort is nearly done, and will be by election day.
Fourth, declaring whole regions off topic might look "purty" to you but it may look narrow minded to the vast number of people who stumble onto dKosopedia. Why alienate them? Unless you actually want this endeavor to fail?
You actually believe those wanting to read about Paris Hilton are going to drop in here and appreciate our political articles? Politics and pop culture are intertwined, but we don't wanna know about Brittney's marital problems.
Fifth, your characterization of the "primary mission" of dKospopedia as "getting Democrats elected" is mistaken. Here is why. You haven't bothered to establish how Dkosopedia is supposed to "get Democrats elected?" How exactly does that work? The mission that will sustain Dkosopedia is to create political space for progressive ideas by providing information in an Open Source venue. The real purpose of an information source is to provide information. You can't dictate how people will use the information. One of the great things about Open Source projects is that they are collective efforts permitting evolution much less controlled by the kind of pathological power jockies who attach themselves to groups. Open Source is democratic. Your attempt to dictate content and mission runs directly counter to that spirit. Your insistence on a grim "narrow focus" is thus inherently undemocratic.
We are OWNED by dKos, Bart. dKosopedia is Kos' personal property. We exist at his sufferance. While part of the WikiVerse, we are NOT supported by the Wikipedia Foundation. And dKos exists first to get Democrats elected to office, with everything else afterwards.
AlamakeeDemocrat, I would appreciate it if you would address each and every one of these points directly.

BartFraden. June 30, 2006.

And once again, please click instead of signing. You are being deliberately rude. --Allamakee Democrat 22:59, 11 July 2006 (PDT)
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