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Expanding MA beyond pure objective information

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Forum icon  ForumsTen Forward → Expanding MA beyond pure objective information (replywatch)
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I have been thinking, if we could expand the spectrum of information encompassed by MA.

So far, there is nothing but pure, objective, encyclopedia-like information contained. I must say, I feel that this a restriction actually supressing a great deal of the potential of MA.

What I propose is adding information, especially to episode pages, more about the background of the episode, and not just what is plain visible. I am thinking of the overall messages of complete episodes, be it moral, social, scientific, philosophical, whatever. Some kind of interpretation, so to speak. We could also add complete interpretations, written, edited and enhanced by the entire MA community.

For instance, I just heard Jonathan Del Arco saying in an interview, that he personally believes, that the TNG episode 'I, Borg' tries to convey a very important message: "Question, question, question. Every step of the way.". This could, just for instance, be the overall message of this episode.

As I said, such information would not be objective, and we would be effectively 'breaking' with all our habits, to put it that way. And surely, such information would require a great deal of discussion before being published anywhere. I would suggest all of such information being published separately. But I believe that we could greatly enhance MA by this.

What do you say? -- Evangelis 15:16, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

If we have information from production side people involved in the making of an episode on deeper meanings etc., that is already allowed. We have a bunch from Ronald D. Moore. Past that, community interpretation is a very bad idea. That is all a matter of opinion, and not the least bit encyclopedic (which is our goal). In addition, since it is purely community opinion, it will differ greatly from person to person. This will result in one of two things, massive edit wars, or interpretation sections that takeup 90% of the size of the article. Neither are good prospects. --OuroborosCobra talk 15:21, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

Well, erm, perhaps somebody else would like to share their opinion, too? Evangelis 14:43, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

I think the same about this. MA is far from complete, we still have many episode summaries to write or to enhance and there are still many many articles to be created, all in encyclopedic style. If I want to read an analysis of an episode, there are many place where I can go. If I wanna see, how different people respond to an episode, not just one reviewer, I can check the trekbbs or other discussion boards. Look at the current discussion concerning the remastered episodes of TOS, some people hate it, some love it, and between that, there are so many shades of grey, we would never come to a conclusion here and don't want to open up another can of worms. So, please no, let's keep MA encyclopedic, neutral and objective. --Jörg 14:54, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
Add me to that list as well - if it is something somebody said in an interview, it might already be valid information to add somewhere. "Might", because we surely don't want to have trivial information from everyone about everything to be added here. However, we shouldn't add opinions we ourselves have about a topic, similar to Wikipedias "No original research" policy... -- Cid Highwind 15:05, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
I have to agree with Cobra, Jörg, and Cid as well. If we allow your opinion, for example, then we have to allow my opinion as well (and Cobra's, and Jörg's, and Cid's :), as well as that of everyone who happens by (to be fair) - which, like Cobra said, would result in some articles consisting of pages of opinion and a few paragraphs of fact; I'm guessing that even the 90/10 rule might be conservative. Oh, and as an aside... speaking of Wikipedia and their "No original research" policy, I don't know if anyone has noticed it or not, but our article there has a big fat "This section may contain original research or unverified claims" tag slapped on it. - Renegade54 17:28, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
Well, "Bill" (on the talk page related to that article) says it all - it's marked as OR because it is WP:OR (and also might be WP:POV). I personally also think that some of the other sections could be rephrased in a more neutral way, but I'm not a WP editor... ;) -- Cid Highwind 17:43, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
In my experience, user opinions don't even fit the wiki data format. Keeping it encyclopedic is the only way to keep the data readable. For opinions, discussion, and editorial, there are better mediums to use, like forums and blogs. Keep MA the "Encyclopedia Britannica" of Trek, and editorialize on other sites. (To my knowledge, there is a forum associated with MA for just this reason.) the only other alternative is a clone wiki, but i don't see that surviving past inactivity and flame wars. --Six of Six 00:36, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
Ditto. I think something as individually relative as interpretation probably shouldn't be in here. And in point, the best writing on interpretation is necessarily long winded anyway; having 3/4 of the page be essays on "what this episode meant to me" would go beyond tedious. It would no longer be encyclopedic.--JCoyote 22:21, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
I think I fell somewhat into this trap when I added a lot of info to the "Rapture" article last year (I call it a "trap" because I agree with the notion that expanding MA's remit beyond pure fact into community opinion would be a recipe for disaster). I'm referring particularly to the third bullet point of the 'Background' section. If I was writing that episode page from scratch now I think I would stray less into analysis/opinion, but last year I was less experienced I suppose! I keep meaning to submit the article for peer review to get it sorted out (and I will when I know I'll have the time to address any concerns raised by that process), but in the meantime I've brought it up here because it may serve as a pertinent example for this discussion. Taduolus 08:41, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

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