On 10/09/06, Jason Potkanski <electrawn@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> On 9/10/06, David Gerard <dgerard@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> > I wonder what the readers want from Wikipedia bio articles.
> Hard to say, but...
> * Legally, can't be libelous/defaming.
> * Probably don't want to read like a tabloid journal
> * Probably don't want to be like a book biography... "Mr X took a
> number 2 on Nov 5th, 1985 in the 2nd floor bathroom...he usually goes
> to the 3rd floor bathroom."
> Compared to a who's who or book biography.
> * Shouldn't be completely Positive smiley happy happy - all negatives
> * Should touch on recent events/litigation - up to date as of now.
> * Learn something interesting or unknown - trivia.
> * Make the person look human - care.
Basically, what this seems to boil down to: we want a comprehensive,
well-written, broadsheet obituary which quotes its sources.
IME, you can write surprisingly good biographies by taking two or
three obituaries, using them to fill in each others gaps, and
expanding on anything specialised. Of course, using that technique for
someone who isn't dead yet isn't possible... but perhaps we can turn
it around -
If the subject of this article died tonight, would you be completely
shocked to open the Times or the Guardian or the Telegraph and find a
copy of this, slightly fixed up, filling half the obituary section?
If so, it's a decent article. If not, why not?
- Andrew Gray
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