QBWiki talk:Notability guidelines

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This is a placeholder page for a discussion of potential notability guidelines that will govern all articles in the QBWiki. Suggestions welcome.

Some potential guiding ideas (feedback welcome):

- All schools, active and inactive, that competed in at least one non-league quizbowl tournament (i.e. not a league, but rather a tournament) may have a wiki entry detailing their results. Each school page should ideally have whether or not the school is still active and ideally up-to-date contact information.

- Individual person pages must have either won a major national quizbowl award (Carper Award, Cooper Award, etc.), finished in the top 5 individually at a national championship tournament, played on a team with a very high national finish, served as the editor for a tournament, and/or have otherwise contributed significantly to the game of quizbowl (I know the last part is a bit murkier, so suggestions welcome). Individual pages should focus on quizbowl-related activities as much as possible and provide some sense of what else the player might have done that simple statistics cannot capture (notable games or buzzes, team-building work, circuit-building work, etc.)

- Categories should be fairly small and help readers navigate; the current "Active Player in X Year" categories are too broad to be workable, IMHO.

Other ideas welcome. -Chris Chiego

As I suggested in the forums thread, I think that notability standards for individual people should be significantly looser. For instance, I think that active participation in the community, work on any writing or editing projects, or having any other things of note (an attributed story, say) should be sufficient for an article. This is likely still sufficient to prevent a fair bit of the clutter that would come from making an article for literally everyone who has played.

When people stumble across a player they don't know much about, I would like their first instinct to be to go to the wiki and look up a quick synopsis of their career and perhaps an amusing anecdote or two.

Kevin Wang (talk)

It would help to have more amusing anecdotes to include for many of these pages; right now, even some of the more-extensive individual player pages lack that kind of qualitative detail. Or at least, basic updates since 2013.

At this point, I'm going to start going through and flagging individual player pages that have no other links to anything else in the wiki except for their teams (i.e. nothing but "X is a player on Y college team. X played at Z high school." from 2012 or something). This will be a new category called "Deletion" so people can easily see the pages I'm marking all at once; see. I won't delete anything yet, but I want to start doing some clean-up here.

Should members of championship teams with nothing else on their page be kept or not? Have run into a few of those as well. It seems that if the info is nothing more than what one could find looking at tournament results/statistics, that's probably not worth keeping, but I could be convinced otherwise. I think it makes sense to keep people who were named all-world team members, though it would be ideal to add more too for those.

I'm running into many pages that have nothing more than some combination of "X is a player on Y team" and/or "X is an officer for Y team" and/or "X had 35 PPG at Tournament A." Unless there's at least some kind of additional info like a specific story, a sentence on their personality, or even a picture etc., I'm putting them in the deletion category.

-Chris Chiego

Given that there's no way for us to go back and find out information about these people, I suppose that the only two options are let these stubs continue as stubs or delete them. I personally have little issue with existing stubs being grandfathered in (obviously you differ), but I think having one additional piece of information is a reasonable bar to use for making new pages and preventing any future stubs.

I think members of championship teams should have articles - there are fewer of them than HSQB Rank first team members, but more or less all of those have pages (up to around 2018, at least).

Kevin Wang (talk)

I think that the approach Chris is taking now is the appropriate approach and from a practical standpoint is the only way to do this. The pages that should get deleted are the pages that have existed for over a year, don't say anything worthwhile, and are for people who haven't done anything memorable. As in, the Chad Kubicek page sucks, but we should keep it because he is Chad Kubicek--hopefully somebody will add to it at some point. If somebody we've never heard of has a page that gives us no information and no reason to want more information, then let's delete it. If we want to be careful, we can use Harry White's database to see if it is a person who had a long career. We can also be generous if we know or the article states that the person was a significant contributor in one way or another.

David Reinstein (talk)

Yeah I'm going to search the stats to see if the person did more and if I come across people in old documents or discussions who seemed to do more for the game I'll certainly keep those. But if it's like one member of a 4-6 HSNCT team who never played in college, I don't think that really meets the criteria. Will definitely keep members of national championship teams and HSQB Rank All-World Teams. See the pages in the Deletion category and feel free to take individual pages out if there's something I'm missing.

-Chris Chiego

Just wanted to chime in and say that I agree with Kevin that head editing a set, or subject-editing more than one set, should be grounds for notability.

-Alex Damisch

Sure I've gone through and flagged in the Talk section some people like Billy Busse whose pages are stubs but who definitely have done a ton of editing work (and/or won national titles). If some people from ACF wanted to go through and note the editorships for various people who've edited for ACF in the past, that would be awesome.

-Chris Chiego

Here are some cases worth thinking about:

A person who played a few dozen tournaments in high school and about a dozen tournaments in college and who staffed a lot of tournaments including some nationals

A person who played a lot in high school, was a top ten scorer at both NSC and HSNCT, and played a little bit in college

Are those pages that we should leave up with the hope that somebody will improve them at some point or just take them down?

-David Reinstein (talk)

I'm scrolling through some of the pages marked for deletion and updating them, either to reflect my knowledge of them or just untag them. Some of these players are ones who actively played for a decade (sometimes on top bracket collegiate teams); some of them are also still playing! I cannot see a justification for deleting their pages. It's one thing to mark random high schoolers who matriculated and haven't had their pages updated in six years - you marked Austin Brownlow for deletion when he played college quizbowl for like eight years and was second scorer on the Stanford team that got 3rd at both Nats!

It has been suggested to me that, rather than deleting pages, there could simply be an automated message stating that a page "has not been updated in X years".

-Kevin Wang (talk)

I'm glad you're going back through to double-check the deletion category, but I hope that more can be added beyond just statistics in these cases. Also, is every player on a top-bracket college team notable enough to get a wiki entry? That seems rather broad. And "definitely heard of" is entirely subjective in a way that probably rewards whomever's teammates are on the Discord/hsqb board bragging about how great they are or whomever ends up editing QBwiki (which appears to be a tiny handful of people in practice!). I'm trying to add more info for people I personally know who did things beyond just their playing record, but I'd welcome others too that can make this more useful in showing the variety of ways that people have contributed to quizbowl beyond being on a top bracket team at one point.

-Chris Chiego

I dunno man, you've definitely heard of Austin Brownlow - you played him at Nats in 2015 and he was voted 12th best collegiate player in the nation after the 2016 season.

More generally, the subset of people who follow quiz bowl closely pay attention to who's on which team, especially if they're title-contending or top bracket. This is information that is immediately relevant to people who are talking about quiz bowl and that should be the metric we use for notability. It seems like the perfect use case for a wiki article to provide backstory to the players that people talk about - if you don't have that information on there, I don't even really see who's going to the wiki at all.

-Kevin Wang (talk)

One way to look at what Chris is doing is as a challenge. If he marks something for deletion that should not be deleted, add some information to make it into a worthwhile page and remove the deletion tag. There is a reason that he is making deletion a two-step process rather than just deleting stuff immediately--it's so you can salvage pages that should be salvaged.

David Reinstein (talk)

I don't understand why, instead of keeping stubs and working on expanding them, the focus is on possibly deleting them. I see several notable players already marked for deletion. --Fred Morlan (talk)

I like the way Reinstein put it. If you see someone in the deletion category who you don't think should be there, please feel free to remove it but also add something more if you can. I am filling things in when I have some direct knowledge of them and I saw Matt W. is doing something similar. Please feel free to do so with notable people that you see as well. I won't be deleting anything myself either until after plenty of time has passed.

On another note, Matt W. had a good point about keeping anyone who edited a tournament (though that might be harder to find information on) and I recommended above anyone who's been an ACF editor. There are also some random politicians and Jeopardy participants that I think are fine so long as they did in fact play quizbowl. -Chris Chiego.

Been in discussions with some other parties about what the notability guidelines should look like. "Notability" is clearly a super subjective criteria, as should be obvious from the fact that I and others have already pointed out multiple prominent members of the community have been marked for deletion. It's also crazy that the pages of players who are still active in the community are being slated for deletion, and that players that I or you competed against are as well. If this wiki is supposed to actually serve as a useful resource, how is it beneficial to outright remove people from it and force people from going somewhere else to learn information about them? Even the shortest stub in a centralized location is more useful than information on a different site that users would have to seek out themselves.

If deletion is really meant to be a challenge then I really question why it's worth even marking them for "deletion" instead of just explicitly for "improvement". The focus should be on expanding these pages and not removing them - we could include all the categories of person that we've talked about including on the wiki thus far (set editors, community outreach leaders, etc) without deleting existing pages at all. -Kevin Wang (talk)

I welcome whatever time people want to put into expanding individual player articles and adding useful information to articles. That said, recent marked for deletion articles include many more like these than the few "prominent player" examples that you've cited. Given a limited amount of time and interest, do you think that improving these kinds of articles is going to be beneficial for future generations of quizbowlers, or might it make more sense to spend more time adding information on the history of the development of quizbowl and making the pages on studying and theory more useful for new teams/players to learn about the game? I don't see the benefits of having so many pages that basically duplicate information found elsewhere in stats reports with perhaps a "Was good at X subject" line thrown in there. I think it's better to showcase the diverse ways in which people have contributed to the quizbowl community with specifics and stories than lists of tournaments. But expecting people to show up and add these kinds of details to these articles--especially for some of these decades-old pages!--seems highly unlikely to happen and instead more likely to result in a less useful wiki as a whole.

This gets to the other question: What makes someone "prominent" in the community? One of the critiques made of the wiki is that it seemed that certain people got to brag about/overstate their or their friends' accomplishments or merited inclusion simply by being within certain circles while many others did not (which ties back into the insularity problem in quizbowl). If the vision is of the QBwiki as the place where practically every tangible accomplishment in quizbowl is recorded and basically nothing should be deleted, then that's fine to try to make it that expansive, but it seems like a highly ambitious goal that's very much unlikely to be achieved given the current resources available and more likely to result in more of what the wiki is now. Thus, there's a need for some set of notability criteria that's feasible to maintain with a small group of off-and-on volunteers--a deeper/narrower approach rather than shallower/wider seems like it would make the most sense.

That said, it seems clear at this point that my vision for the wiki doesn't match what you (and "other parties") appear to have, so I'm going to step back from this and focus on other projects, particularly on the resources/history side of things that I think can be more useful. -Chris Chiego