Does Your Prop Suffer From Wikipediitis?

wikipediitis: when a documentary would’ve been better served as an annotated article

This is a contemporary criticism of many a supposedly investigate look at a subject on-screen. When it merely recites talking head recollection, without story arc nor deeper context, and bloats the running time by plugging gaps with unnecessary filmic devices.

Here’s a recent example trio by way of a broadsheet reviewer:

  1. questionably necessary animated interludes,
  2. an excess of padding via points restated ad nauseam, and
  3. an overall prioritization of the subject material over its method of presentation.

It interestingly also provides an evolution of a Noughties use. Back then it could refer to obsessive editing of articles against a rigid definition of Wikipedia site ‘rules’, despite neither knowing nor caring about the subject matter.

Flavours of these can be fatal for your Prop doc ambition.

Any written Proposal paper cannot fall down such traps.

The crowdsourced encyclopedia community suggest (on the day I blog here) around fifty skeleton templates by various topic for new pages. The most generic being;

1 1st section title
2 2nd section title
3 See also
4 References
5 Bibliography
6 External links

I’ve blogged many times down the years about ideal Prop formats. A page-per-section over max ten components (appendices tacked at back) being one such winner. The ideal is getting to a successful, repeatable structure you can both keep improving over time and modify for each new bid.

What wikipediitis reminds us here, is that you must consider hard the following;

have you thought enough about the presentation method of the message beyond the message itself?

is there any unnecessary visual gimmickry detracting from your pitch?

whilst you ought restate key points where re-punch is required, is this being done either too often or being diluted by being stretched out?

does your passion for solving the prospect’s issue shine through?

have you shown true understanding for where the prospect is now and where they wish to go?

& lastly, would the intended reader find your finished document engaging?

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