Wikipedia Battle Log: Neologisms, Minorities and US Centric Views

On: February 6, 2007
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About Twan Eikelenboom
One of the first Masters of Media to crawl upon this blog (2006/2007)! Still following (and at times contributing) to this great project. Working at Dutch sectorinstitute for e-culture Virtueel Platform. Special interest in stories resulting from new media product use (think: sat nav gone wrong) and independent gaming. Also blogging at


Bomb (yes taken from Wikipedia, no not a neologism)In a couple of the previous posts on MoM we announced that we were adding the term ‘Shocklog’ to the English Wikipedia. Why? Well, the term is used often in the field of Media Studies and genre specific blogs need to have a name. But since last week our entry has been removed (again). Wikipedia doesn’t allow neologisms and because shock + log = neologism, there will be no shocklog entry on Wikipedia. So why did it get deleted?

Just a couple to give you a perspective:

* Merge with Blog, as a “Shocklog” is a type of blog. Flakeloaf 04:10, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
* Delete Lacks sources demonstration sufficient use to satisfy WP:NEO. Sources consist of a couple of foreign-language blogs and an on-line Master’s thesis. Need published sources complying with WP:RS –Shirahadasha 04:52, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
* Very Strong Delete One of the “sources” cited puts the nail in the coffin on this one! From “Masters of Media:”[1] “To our surprise the term shocklog, a wellknown term in the Netherlands, was nowhere to be found on the rest of the World Wide Web. We wanted that to change, so we -The Masters of Media- coined the term on a new English Wikipedia entry.” So, they invented it and posted it on Wikipedia in order to coin a new term.zadignose 18:17, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
* Delete: still a neologism in English, and acknowledged by the authors to be “nowhere to be found on the rest of the World Wide Web”. — The Anome 11:13, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

So when is a new term actually a new term according to Wikipedia? When the word is used in a certain part of the universe and the other part of the universe doesn’t know this English term yet, what are we in for then? Global battle of the wiki’s? And who controls the meaning of the English vocabulary when it is the language of many people in these days. When this neologism of Shocklog is used as an English term in the Netherlands, doesn’t that make it valid? There were some voices against the deletion and I have to mention that I don’t know how many of these originate from my fellow MoM bloggers, but to give you an idea:

* Not Delete The entry is based on two published sources; two MA thesis’ which were published by the University of Amsterdam. Just to clear up the confusion with regards to the Masters of Media blog post, they -MofM- did NOT make up this term, they only created an entry in Wikipedia about it! “With ‘coining a term to the world” they mean introducing published material via wikipedia to a larger public. The MA thesis’ and the videofiles date earlier than the MofM post (and wiki-entry) does. ・The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 10:48, 22 January 2007 (UTC).
* Not Delete This article is well resourced and only being targeted because of US-centric editing. As a regular reader of Wikipedia (yes, I know, our opinions are not as important as those of OCD-disorder-driven editors) I am interested in terms which may not be used in the US but are used elsewhere. In this case, it only takes a bit of Google research (search “shocklog blog”) to see this term has a meaning and is in use. Is Wikipedia an American or global project? ・The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 19:33, 22 January 2007 (UTC).
* Not Delete Wholehearted agreement. I, too, am a regular reader and believe that neologisms such as these are essential parts of the Wikipedia. ・The preceding unsigned comment was added by LordFoom (talk ・ contribs) 07:34, 23 January 2007 (UTC).
* keep this is a good objective article meeting WP:WEB. But these are a special type of blog, and they are special enough, albeit in a negative way, to be appropriate for an article. The analogy is Shock site, which goes into considerably more detail than is thought appropriate on this article. The article served its purpose–I never knew about them until I read the WP article–and I would say the same here. The statement that “shocklog, a wellknown term in the Netherlands, was nowhere to be found on the rest of the World Wide Web. We wanted that to change, so we -The Masters of Media- coined the term on a new English Wikipedia entry.” says the exact opposite of their having invented it. They took a term used in one country and began using it in another. They did not coin the word. If it were in wide use in the Netherlands but not here, it would still deserve an entry in the en WP.DGG 23:11, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

So there is a minority supporting the term in the Wikipedia crowd. The voice of the many however decided against the term. Is this a hint that these English terms should just go to their own country’s Wikipedia? Ie: We put the term only on the Dutch Wikipedia? Questions, questions and more questions. But this shows us the fragile side of Wikipedia, the encyclopedea of the masses. Not of the minorities.

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