Wikipedia:Don't include every update

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Naturally, the overall goal of Wikipedia in its most general sense is to present accurate information for those who wish to read it. To fulfill that purpose, it is important to keep articles up to date, especially for ongoing events and items still in the working. However, it is important to keep this in perspective; not every update is notable. However notable the article's subject may be, some aspects of that subject may not inherit that notability.

Monthly, weekly, and daily updates[edit]

Many articles have subjects that undergo regular updates. Television programs, comics, and so forth have new material with every new episode. Some works in development may have new trailers, articles, or other teasers that show images and info that were previously unheard of. Obviously, it is important to present a lot of this. A lot of it – not all of it. In most cases, presenting every tidbit would result in the inclusion of cruft. Articles can quickly turn into plot summaries, guides, and other things that Wikipedia is not. Otherwise, articles may become too large, leaving less room for what is important about the subject.

Take, for instance, Super Smash Bros. Brawl. From May 22, 2007, its official site began posting new information about the video game under production on each weekday. If Super Smash Bros. Brawl's Wikipedia article was to be updated each time new information was posted, the article would quickly exceed the recommended article size. Furthermore, the site's updates include a variety of the game's aspects, ranging from characters to stages to items. It would go into such detail about these that its Wikipedia article would be engulfed with game-guiding information should everything be indiscriminately allowed into the article. Things got to a point such that a hidden tag reading "DO NOT ADD OR CHANGE ANY EXAMPLES IN THIS SECTION UNLESS IT IS DISCUSSED ON THE TALK PAGE" was necessary under the article's Characters section.

Remember: Good judgment is necessary when deciding what is notable enough to become an article. This same good judgment should be used to distinguish prominent information from that which is unimportant.

What can possibly go wrong?[edit]

Naruto is a manga and anime series. More to the point, Category:Naruto holds a wide array of articles pertaining to the series. At one point, a Plot of Naruto and a matching plot article for the second part of the series existed on Wikipedia. Aside from the fact that lengthy plot summaries are generally frowned upon on Wikipedia, "Plot of Naruto" caused little trouble because the first part of the series had ended before the article was written. However, the article for the second part of the series, Plot of Naruto: Shippūden was subject to weekly updates, as the series is still ongoing. At the high point of this turmoil, one manga chapter produced two paragraphs of text on Plot of Naruto: Shippūden's article – a rate of several thousand bytes per week. The article quickly filled up to the size of its sibling article while its subject matter hadn't reached half the length of the first part of the series. And then, it passed that boundary and continued to grow.

Eventually, the deletions of both Plot of Naruto and Plot of Naruto: Shippūden came about for a variety of reasons; among those reasons was article size.

Band and singer articles[edit]

Some editors are fans of a certain band or pop singer. This itself is not a problem. However, some fans want to add every new club date a band or singer plays, even small venues that are part of a tour. There is no need to record every single time your favourite artist takes the stage. Just give the reader the big picture: "Singer XYZ did a two month North American tour at the end of 2015, playing mid-sized venues in 20 U.S. cities and six Canadian towns." The reader doesn't need to know the names of all the stages and music halls.

So... we shouldn't update articles?[edit]

Quite the contrary! Refusing to update articles can cause instances of fatal inaccuracy, which are more conterproductive to Wikipedia's goal than oversized articles or cruft.

News is good. In fact, it’s the best thing for an on-duty Wikipedian to pay attention to. What is important is to use good judgment when deciding which bits of information are encyclopedic and which are not.