Forum:Future direction of RationalWiki and incidental professionalism

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I recently updated the Premarital_sex article to try to make it more professional. Shortly after, there was a merge that brought back the humour.

I'm wondering what the future direction is for RationalWiki and if there is a desire to make it more appealing to professionals as an objective resource, or if the intent is to try to compete more with uncyclopedia.org.

Humour is something I appreciate and value greatly, but I question whether it might detract from the reputation of this web site. When I see web sites like Conservapedia, which tend to be very serious, I find that the humour that has been included rather inconsistently (and sometimes unexpectedly) throughout RationalWiki results in Conservapedia looking more rational when it really should be the other way around.

Thanks for your attention to this matter. I look forward to your replies. — Unsigned, by: Randolf / talk / contribs

We have a reputation for humor with a point. We aren't professional, at least not literally. But I do think we have a reasonably good reputation for rational argumentation when we want it. I don't think there's any conflict there.
I put that snark back in because I saw no good reason to remove it. It doesn't detract from the article any. You mentioned in the edit summary that it was "non-objective"... well, yeah. We don't have to be objective! We don't look at things neutrally; we have a viewpoint and we stick to it. Wehpudicabok (talk) 05:39, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
Thanks Wehpudicabok. Please know that I wasn't intending to criticize or question your specific edit, rather I'm trying to get a general understanding of the purpose of RationalWiki as I'd like to contribute to something that amounts to a meaningful and worthwhile contribution to the internet. I believe that RationalWiki has something akin to a "golden opportunity" to head towards a greatness that could rival Wikipedia in its natural appeal to skeptics, scientists, logicians, researchers, teachers, students, etc., but I'm concerned that the current approach I see instead detracts from the realization of this awesome potential. --Randolf 06:28, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
RationalWiki is a niche wiki. It's not supposed to be an encyclopaedia, though a lot of readers make that mistake (and some contributors further perpetuate the mistake by trying to make RW more Wikipedia-like in terms of formatting, and in the worse cases, style and policy). So no, it doesn't try to "rival" Wikipedia any more than TV Tropes does.
You are perfectly free to write "professional" (humourless) articles. But you need to be very careful when removing "snark" from existing articles. Does it obfuscate the point it's trying to make? Is it factually inaccurate? Is it "too much", "trying too hard to be funny" or just plainly unfunny? There's also the fact that tone can convey information - the "neutral", even-handed tone can say "this is a legitimate controversy", the snark - "there's no controversy here, but some people pretend that there is". Please re-read RationalWiki:What is a RationalWiki article?--ZooGuard (talk) 07:31, 11 June 2013 (UTC)