Wiki science/Article Evolution
Article evolution is the phenomenon whereby an article evolves from a stub - or just a place holder for a future article with little or no information or value. Such a stub is entered by someone who identifies a need for an article, but does not have the time or knowledge to create a full article. With time, people add to, and expand upon that article until it is an actual article. If the original stub was never created then others may not have been inspired or motivated to create the final article. This is similar to the story of "stone soup" - cooperation among scarcity - where, although a "stone soup" would probably not make a good soup, the small start causes everyone else to pitch in and end up creating a delicious soup for all even though no one had all the ingredients.
An example of article evolution
The Jack Paar article at Wikipedia is now quite complete. It highlights his life, career, personality and even has a picture. Not to say the article is complete now - are any articles really ever complete? Visiting the history page you can travel back in time through the edits of the article. Viewing the first entry for you will find simply the single line:
- "Jack Harold PaAar (born May 1, 1918) is a U.S. talk show host. He hosted the Tonight Show from 1957 to 1962."
Pretty humble beginnings. Visiting each entry from the history in chronological order provides a evolutionary view of the growth of this article. A paragraph here, a sentence there. Someone adds a photo. Someone else corrects a typographical error. Eventually there is an article that is more than any single contributor could have created.
- The Perfect Stub Article - discussion about stubs
- Find or Fix a Stub - stubs defined and links to current stubs.
- Stone soup - fable relating to the evolution of pages in a wiki.