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Wikipedia and You

Pop quiz.

What two things do A Doemain of Our Own, Abby's Agency, Acredale/Apathy Kat, Acts of Gord, Akaelae, Altermeta, Angel Moxie, Ashfield Online, Astounding Space Thrills, Badly Drawn Kitties, Boat Anchor, Bobbins, Building 12, Carpe Diem, The Class Menagerie, Crap I Drew On My Lunch Break, The Cyantian Chronicles, Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures, Dead Days, Dragon Tails, Evil Inc., ExtraLife, Flipside, Fluble, Full Frontal Nerdity, Funny Farm, Gene Catlow, Goblin Hollow, Krakow, Krazy Larry, Living in Greytown, Lizard!, Marilith, Misfile, Movie Punks, Namir Deiter, Nerd Boy, No 4th Wall to Break, Pastel Defender Heliotrope, Poisoned Minds, Purple Pussy, Return to Sender, Shifters, Sore Thumbs, Spamusement, The Suburban Jungle, Superosity, Tales From Band Camp, Tales Of The Questor, Unicorn Jelly, The Way To Your Heart, Whimville, White Ninja, and Zortic, have in common?

Number one: They all had Wikipedia articles at the beginning of the month.

Number two: They don't any more.

(and I hope you appreciate all the time it took me to put the links in).

In the last month, over 50 webcomics' articles have been deleted, all for failure to assert notability. There are probably more that I missed. A decent number of them - my wife's included - were speedily deleted. For those of you who aren't hip to Wiki policy, that means that there were problems with the articles and the first step to fix it was to delete it. It is, apparently, thought well to delete an article from time to time to encourage the others. Others were nominated, which means that an administrator suggests an article be deleted, put the matter to a vote, and choose which votes ought to be counted.

In that two week period, to my knowledge, there were not any webcomic articles that were challenged and kept. I'm familiar with a majority of these comics and can say that they are established works of solid quality and readership. There are some comics out there that are more popular and better documented, but not very many. If these comics aren't notable, yours probably isn't either.

So who's wondering if their article isn't next? Everyone but - no, wait. They got just about any name I care to drop Here's my advice.

a) Don't create a webcomic with anthropomorphic characters. About half of the comics there feature anthropomorphic characters, which means they're being deleted at about twice the rate of other comics if the numbers I just made up are accurate.

b) Don't create a webcomic. Following rule A won't make them like you. It'll just make them dislike you slightly less.

If it's too late to avoid either of these, I suggest winning a major award or receiving coverage in your country's newspaper of record.

College paper? Doesn't count. Probably not even on-line, too. I don't get it either.

Quick write-up in the Arts & Living section of your hometown paper? I mean, they did four column-inches about those guys who juggle in the park. But no, doesn't count either.

I suggest you try to get your comic covered in the New York Times. The best way to do this, I've seen, is to have one one of your characters named as CEO of a Fortune 500 company. How to do that is left as an exercise for the reader. You could also try to have your comic become a vital part of a major news story, by directly influencing the price of oil, stopping a hurricane, or such. The only time mainstream comics seem to get publicity is when a massively successful one ends or, like For Better or Worse, go into a Schroedinger quasi-end status. And if you were a massively successfuly mainstream newspaper comic, this probably wouldn't apply to you. Depending on who the deleting admin is, I mean.

The other sign of notability is an award. It worked for the Cowardly Lion and it can work for you. What kind of award?

The Web Cartoonists Choice Awards don't count much, apparently. I remember back in the day there were award sites - they'd exist to give out little silver graphics to anybody who asked nicely. Just stating that you won Ed's Link of the Day Award back in 2003 probably won't cut it. You should be sure to mention that you won the prestigious Ed's Link of the Day Award. They probably won't look it up. Maybe add a footnote that says "Like a Congressional Medal of Honor, only for webcomics".

But they'll probably catch on to that eventually. You should go for something better. Your options?

I strongly suggest a Purple Heart, but they've got these rules that make it difficult to earn one without being shot at. Those Pulitzer guys get embarassed when graphic novels win, so they pretty much hate you already. And let's face it, if you're writing webcomics, you're not going to win a Nobel Prize for Literature in the next couple years. Tailsteak, Mookie, prove me wrong here. Physics? You're not going to out-Physics my man Mark Stanley, at least not if there's prize money on the line.

The short list for the Economics Nobel is looking kinda weak this year. All you need to do is come up with a revolutionary way of understanding interest rates and publish it first in your webcomic. Just be sure to email a few other webcartoonists for peer review purposes.

Or be sure to mirror your wikipedia article on Because it might not be there next time you check. If you do get deleted, just remember that you're in good company and they're not just out to get you. They're out to get everybody.

Re: Wikipedia and You

I'd like to share a few tactics I came up with when trying to defend an article against bull-headed editors of a gaming wiki, and when defending UK student TV (which was claimed to be unnotable despite contrary evidence from national news and the BBC)

Pick your Battles:
If you have people who can contribute in support, organise to all post on the same article. Use an existing blog, email list or forum post to provide a link and a description of evidence useful to supporters. Ask if they will contribute a short argument to the page. Do NOT use "canned arguments".

Track the Admins.
Find a couple of the key biased editors, and look at their changelogs, tear apart any weak excuses you find. A lot of wiki crap is based on reputation. Screw that up.
On the gaming wiki in question, there was a voting system for strategies. It was obvious that 3-4 admins shot down anthing novel, so we knew that'd be on it, but if we got 6-7 new users in support they couldn't do jack.

Don't get bullshitted:
A tactic of sneaky biased editors is to defend their arguments by linking to suggested and draft policies and passing it off as fact. Show them up.
Create a watchlist for comics articles and don't let a speedy delete slip past. It's another favourite of sneaks.

Re: Wikipedia and You

It is not only the web comics arena which is being hit by this sudden urge to delete non-mainstream.

Wikipedia has unofficially taken a stance that every article will either be a mainstream topic and so covered in the popular media, or else a historical article. They are systematically destroying anything which does not fit one of these two criteria.

Want to fight back? Undelete the things which are senselessly deleted. It's a democratic system, that is your vote.

Re: Wikipedia and You

Unityflow's picture

What exactly are we looking for from Wikipedia?

Is it just recognition? If that's the case, screw 'em, it's your readers that matter.

A quick trawl and I found nearly 50 garage bands that haven't even played any gigs yet... most of your webcomics probably get a bigger daily audience than some of those bands get in their entire 'career'.

Make your site the hub, not wikipedia, refuse to contribute and make sure you add "rel=nofollow" tags to any links you send their way.


Visit The Flowfield Unity -

  Visit The Flowfield Unity - – it's OK.

Re: Wikipedia and You

I have no idea why, but I've been getting tons of hits from this article and from my soon-to-be-deleted Wikipedia page. I guess it was deleted then came back and now it's going to be deleted again? I don't know, but hey, the more people who find my comic the merrier, right?

Re: Wikipedia and You

Thanks for posting this article. We've had an article put up by our fangroups on more than one occasion, and the admins tear it down every single time. I finally asked them to stop because it was obviously not going to get anywhere. What cracked me up was one admin actually argued WITH the others about the fact that he/she felt we should be left up there. But sadly it was taken down.

I hope that this gets through, and that some ground is made on this subject.

Re: Wikipedia and You

Ok, this is too funny. Check out video #4 of this wiki video series on YouTube (Wikipedia being banned by its own administrators).

Re: Wikipedia and You

So much hate.

Who the fcuk cares if another 50kb are used to describe a web comic? How is the world a worser place for that information, or the world a better place for it being destroyed?

Why are people with fewer edits told their votes don't count? I thought wikipedia was supposed to be a democratic system, not a bullshit oligarchy of wank.

At least they're starting to merge tv episodes into one big article instead of a separate one for each episode. There used to be one page for "A Room With A Moose," an episode of Invader Zim. I made a half-hearted attempt to get it killed, but I'm not familiar with the wikipedia bureaucracy so it never got far.



Their notability restrictions does seem a bit daft. I mean, isn't Wiki supposed to be like a online "Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy" with an article for anything and everything?


Re: H2G2

In a word: no.

WIkipedia isn't supposed to

WIkipedia isn't supposed to be.


It is trying to collect the sum of human knowledge. Although some of their policy(like notability) are flawed.

Granted, they are probably the world's biggest repository of knowledge compiled by bots and humans. But they're not trying to make tutorials and stuff like that. That is the job for other projects that the Wikimedia foundation run. (Wikipedia is part of the non profit organization Wikimedia Foundation)

Re: WIkipedia isn't supposed to

I am a member of Wikipedia, and I believe that the problem lies not in the notability guidelines , but with the webcomic(s) it(them)self(ves). ~~~~

Combustible Orange

Combustible Orange ( has been deleted a couple of times.

I said it on my blog, and

I said it on my blog, and I'll say it again here. If the Wikipedia finds certain information to be inconvenient, I say we stop looking to them for validation and try to make an encyclopedia of webcomics that works. could be an incredible resource if we'd all just be willing to put a little more time into it.

not being one to suggest

not being one to suggest some form of actual organized protest.. maybe what needs to be done to prove webcomics are notable is to abuse the system a little.

Pick a topic like for example. Pick a day maybe February 14 (because Valantines Day and Abuse just seem to go together) and everyone post their deleted wikipedia articles over on that page. Sure the topic will get locked because well we abused it but if an organized movement kept it up for a full 24 hours and did it with the message of STOP IGNORING US it may work.

It would need much more then my backing.. No one follows my lead unless I have a steak in my pocket.

but that's just my angry rant for the day. I have never been notable enough to be on Wikipedia. I also don't think of Wikipedia as being important enough in anyof our lives to make a difference.

If the cool kids (wikipedia) don't want me to join in their games I guess I just don't care.


The Gigcast



The Gigcast

Not Worth It

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

It's frustrating to be sure but I don't think vandalizing other wikipedia pages is going to be a valid protest. Maybe there's another way we could collectively do something but I don't think that's the right idea.


Xaviar Xerexes

On second thought, let's not go to Comixpedia. It is a silly place.

I run this place! Tip the piano player on the way out.

I've looked over the

Chris Jeffery's picture

I've looked over the situation pretty thoroughl, and the best chance we have at making thing fair is to get a clear definition on what sort of blogs count as "reliable published sources." You see, the people voting in those AfDs know we don't have awards and haven't been reprinted by newspapers or anything, and don't consider blogs to be "published." However, Wikipedia's own article on publishing says the concept does include blogs. So while it's obvious that all blogs wouldn't count for this criteria (or else every subject in the world would have an article, which they seem to have a problem with), what we need most is a definition of how to tell what blogs count and what don't. If we do that, we would have rock-solid policy to stand on in the AfDs, and regardless of how many people vote "delete", they couldn't touch the article as long as it could cite sources that fit under that guideline.

Chris Jeffery

Chris Jeffery

Why not just take your ball and go?

Black_Kitty's picture

[quote=madscott]I also don't think of Wikipedia as being important enough in any of our lives to make a difference.[/quote]

I'm inclined to agree. Sure it's annoying how things are working out. But if it comes to the point where you feel that on a good day, you might not get deleted but on a bad day you would...I think you've reached a point where things just aren't workable. They don't have stable and clear guidelines.

It's like playing in a game where the rules keep changing. On a good day, maybe they'll let you play. On a bad day, maybe they'll make you sit out. And if you're REALLY lucky, maybe they won't notice you're playing with them.

I've Said It Before...

Sean C's picture

I'll say it again.


Don't hesitate to procrastinate.

Don't hesitate to procrastinate. My brand new comic:

I agree with you btw.. but

I agree with you btw.. but isn't it fun to jab a bee hive with a stick sometimes.



The Gigcast



The Gigcast

To me, there is no better

halfpixel's picture

To me, there is no better proof of Wikipedia's worthlessness than the Checkerboard Nightmare deletion discussion. Look at all the contradiction, all the circular logic. Look at all the votes to keep that were crossed out by the "closing admin." One of the criteria for notability was mention at Websnark, and Eric's vote was deleted! It's just endless.

Kristofer Straub


Xaviar Xerexes's picture

You know if you want a wikipedia entry you should probably get into porn. There seem to be a lot of those entries there.

And you know they're all supported by those constant articles on porn actresses in the New York Times too, so... definitely notable.


Xaviar Xerexes

On second thought, let's not go to Comixpedia. It is a silly place.

I run this place! Tip the piano player on the way out.


It seem that get hundred of hits everyday from Wikipedia and Google.


And we get thousands of hits per day.

However doesn't cut the notability standard, even is more popular) doesn't cut it.


Source: Project wonderful ads space for both sites.


So why do they delete?


My hypothesis is that wikipedians percevied webcomics as non-notable and not doing careful researches on if it is indeed notable.

And notability is....subjective.

You nailed it. If you

Chris Jeffery's picture

You nailed it. If you create a webcomic article, regardless of what webcomic it is, it will be put up for deletion within days. And proving the comic to be notable is next to impossible. You'd have better luck getting 50 people to tattoo your url onto their foreheads. I've been trying to get things shaped up, but since I'm unable to devote much time to this, and am unable to get much support, it's going nowhere.

Chris Jeffery

Chris Jeffery

Re: You nailed it. If you

I understand your problem: You're into (web)comics and I'm not. Here's the thing- I'm in the overwhelming majority.

I'm not interested in Buffy either. And it drives me crazy that Buffy fans believe that episode-/ character-/ what-Buffy-wears-on-which-episode- lists think that these are important enough to be placed on a general encyclopedia.

Now, I'm not saying that the existence of your specific comic isn't notable. It might deserve an article. If not, it might be important in some circles. I've probably never heard of it and in all likeliness won't. If all you can provide is a couple paragraphs of information of interest to only a tiny population, why waste Wikipedia's reputation with it? Why put it somewhere which suggests that knowing about it is important? I'm understand web comic authors would like the exposure and advertising and that fans love to share their love of something, but that's not the mission of Wikipedia. It's not a portal either- there's no place for lists of web comics, for the same reason that there is no room for lists of four-slice toasters available in retail stores in New Mexico. It's not where people look for that information, and it would just create clutter. If I wanted to check out the comic scene, I'd find a website like this one.

Notability ,as you correctly state, is somewhat subjective, but it can still be measured to a certain extent. Wikipedia tries to provide a general idea of this, and you've mentioned several good aspects to check. I suspect that you are correct in that admins were overzealous in deleting. But when I try to look at it from their point of view, I see a bunch of web comic nerds who are polluting their beloved encyclopedia, on which they have worked long and hard in the hope that people would take it seriously.

PS- Sorry about all this. I just felt this page could use an outsider's opinion, and I'm not shy about butting in where I'm not invited. You can keep complaining about Wikipedia now.

zero sum?

The outsider's opinion is actually something worth saying ^_^

I would actually agree in the case of a 'normal' encyclopedia, one that was bounded and limited. I think many people, including many of the people wikipedia is trying to court see wikipedia through that lens. But it isn't. Wikipeida is not a zero sum game.. inclusion of information that one does not care about does not take away from things that one does.

One of the nice things about wikipedia is it a good place to go and ask 'tell me about X', and if webcomics (or buffy, or politics, or biology, or paper authors, etc) are what one wants to know about, then wants to be able to ask wikipedia for information.

Wikipedia eventually needs to decide, which is more important, convincing people to take it seriously, or actually DOING it's purpose. Long term if it tries too hard to make it'self look 'legitimate' then it will loose it's 'universal knowledge base' status and simply end up in dirrect competition with traditional encyclopedias, which is a battle it will loose.

Ultimately, someone needs to get a wikipedia official talking...

In the interest of honesty,

Terrence Marks's picture

In the interest of honesty, a few of the deleted articles have been recreated. This includes The Suburban Jungle and Namir Deiter, both of which have been nominated for deletion (which is better than the Strong Bad approach they went with last time). The Suburban Jungle survived deletion with a No Concensus.

I don't get much traffic from Wikipedia either. I find it very flattering that someone else would take the time to write an article on my wife's comic and am bothered because of that. I don't have a good analogy right now, but it bothers me.

Terrence Marks

Spare Parts
You Say it First


Jamie Robertson's picture

If Wiki is deleting all these webcomics then why do they have THIS?

Clan of the Cats



If Wiki is deleting all these webcomics then why do they have THIS?[/quote]

Because of this.


packrat's picture

packrat- even the untalented need love.

told ya web 2.0 was being sanitized. (somewhere. Somewhere I've already been banned from, prob;ly)

wiki +me? ungrmatical, less than 5000 hits on page (unique) and out voted.

don't use it anymore, myself.


want to see more?


stalking millionaires -the dating game

There you go

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

There you go Bup!


Xaviar Xerexes

On second thought, let's not go to Comixpedia. It is a silly place.

I run this place! Tip the piano player on the way out.

Yeah - Soap on a Rope was

Yeah - Soap on a Rope was deleted last month, as have been lots of Keenspot comics.

By the way, ubersoft, you should know that by posting here, you've almost certainly caused some eager wikibeaver to find you and nominate you for deletion.

Yeah, well...

I don't actually get much traffic from Wikipedia. It's cool to see what my readers put up about my comic, but other than that it's not really that big a deal.

That's what I meant ...

... when I said that on another day it could have gone in the wrong direction.

In my case a few posters mounted a fairly strong defense for Keenspot, and pushed back the people who were attempting to generate that editorial response. But compared to all the other discussions I've seen where that defense DIDN'T work, I can only attribute it to lunar phases, star positions and solar winds...

Help Desk was up for deletion...

late last year Help Desk was nominated for Deletion, and I was pretty sure it was going to happen. It didn't, however.

The crux of the argument seemed to be whether or not it passed the notability requirement -- apparently the length of time I've been doing it and my spot on Keenspot edged me through, though I *suspect* that on another day, given the exact same circumstances, it could have gone the other direction.

Actually, there have been a

Terrence Marks's picture

Actually, there have been a few comics where Keenspot membership (or other groups) have been mentioned, along with tenure and the editorial response has been "Your vote doesn't count. DELETED"

Terrence Marks

Spare Parts
You Say it First

It's funny you mentioned that, Panda...

Sean C's picture

The editors have told some of the cartoonists that have had their articles deleted that winning a WCCA would have made those comics more notable, and maybe even worthy of joining the hallowed halls of pointless Pokemon and Digimon info pages. I guess we'll have to wait until every damn Viva Pinata gets an article first before we start writing up comic articles again.

Don't hesitate to procrastinate.

Don't hesitate to procrastinate. My brand new comic:

>> The Web Cartoonists

>> The Web Cartoonists Choice Awards don't count much, apparently.

Of course not - they don't have their own article either:

My suggestion is to make your webcomic all about MEAT. Meat is important enough to have its own Wikipedia article:

That's because the WCCA page

Erik Melander's picture

That's because the WCCA page was nominated for deletion last week and deleted five days later (with a wooping 4 votes in favour of deletion and 7 against).

Vir Bonus

Re: That's because the WCCA page

It's not a vote, it's a discussion...

Thats is because the WCCA

Thats is because the WCCA page was nominated for deletion last week and deleted five days later.