Notable vs Newsworthy on Wikipedia - "Is Danny Sullivan notable enough for his own page?"


Over on Bill Slawski's Google Plus page there's an interesting discussion about what Wikipedia considers "notable" going on. It started because Danny Sullivan's Wikipedia page was under discussion to be deleted. In the opinion of some editors over there, he's not "notable" enough. Matt Cutts even joined the discussion to support the page staying alive!

You can find the actual debate about the page on Wikipedia, right here. There are actually a couple self-proclaimed Google employees in that thread.

Says one Wikipedia editor:

"An encyclopedia is a summary of a notable topic. The questions here are 1) what is to be summarized? and 2) is it notable? ... Of course, many WP articles are made up of news, especially those about news events, such as a train crash or a shooting. However, that's because the event itself is notable. In this case the question is: is Mr Sullivan notable for an encyclopedia entry? Saying that there's news about him does not make him notable, only that he is newsworthy. He's notable for a "who's who in tech" or "notable figures in the SEO industry", but does he really belong in an encyclopedia? Surely bored editors who are looking for something to do, and "inclusionists" will say yes, but that's a stretch of Wikipedia into something beyond its purpose."

Here's a real kicker:

"The question is moot anyway because the decision to keep or delete is made not according to the rules, but to the most powerful group on the page."

If you follow Wikipedia editor politics, or if you're at all familiar with how cliquey and drama filled a Wikipedia edit war can be, that statement probably doesn't surprise you. Sounds like Wikipedia can be as unpredictable as Google, sometimes! No wonder they've made such fast friends ;P. At any rate, I agree with the editor quoted above that this is an interesting "borderline case" where the academic line between "notable" and "newsworthy" is blurred.