Something Awful: The Art of Wikigroaning: “First, find a useful Wikipedia article that normal people might read. For example, the article called “Knight.” Then, find a somehow similar article that is longer, but at the same time, useless to a very large fraction of the population. In this case, we’ll go with “Jedi Knight.” Open both of the links and compare the lengths of the two articles. Compare not only that, but how well concepts are explored, and the greater professionalism with which the longer article was likely created. Are you looking yet? Get a good, long look. Yeah. Yeeaaah, we know, but that is just the tip of the iceberg.”
For example, compare:
- Dept. of Homeland Security with Homestar Runner
- Henry VIII with Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back
- Hammurabi with Emperor Palpatine
Is there an inverse relationship between actual importance of a subject and the thoroughness of that’s subject’s Wikipedia article? Perhaps that is why Wikipedia can be so much fun to read and yet ultimately useless for real research.
Does this occur because important subjects are already studied in-depth in books and scholarly journals, while there is no equivalent place to publish in-depth studies of pop culture?
Do people who study important subjects not have the time to write for Wikipedia, while the people who do have the time to have their material get anonymized into the giant Wiki blob are more concerned with ephemera?