Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)

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Reclaiming the sitenotice processEdit

To propose a complete restructuring of how sitewide notices are handled (ie. changing who gets to approve banners and why), generally there is going to need to be more consensus than can be found here. Therefore, this is a no consensus close. The one thing that most users agreed on was there are too many banners shown to readers who can't opt-out to CentralNotices like editors can. Most participants preferred those to be less frequent but more targeted and engaging if possible.
@Seddon (WMF): please keep this discussion in mind for the future when proposing new banners. @Meta: The wider community might also consider setting apart campaigns from administrative announcements, so users can decide separately if they don't want to see "Wiki loves monuments" versus getting a reminder about Steward elections.
I think that's everything. (non-admin closure)MJLTalk 02:42, 22 February 2020 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

The Wikimedia CentralNotice is disruptive, heavily overused, and has a negative impact on usability. The CentralNotice process on Meta routinely approves of campaigns that receive no support, in contravention of a prior (Meta-based) RfC establishing that notices must have consensus in advance. The guidelines restricting the use of the CentralNotice are ignored, as are the requirements for notifying local communities of CentralNotice proposals. With that in mind...

I propose that the process for approving English Wikipedia sitenotices, including those using the CentralNotice, be relocated to the English Wikipedia. Sitewide banners would require community consensus in advance of being run. Exceptions to this process would be made for fundraising, regular Wikimedia-wide elections (stewards, trustees), and technical messages. No other sitenotices not approved by local processes should run on this site.

Implementation: If there is consensus for this proposal, I fully expect the CentralNotice administrators on Meta to be willing to comply with editing CentralNotice campaigns to exclude this wiki when a banner has not been locally approved. On the off-chance that consensus is not followed, local interface administrators are able to hide unapproved banners via Mediawiki:Common.css as necessary.

--Yair rand (talk) 17:54, 19 January 2020 (UTC)

@Yair rand: there are seldom "English Wikipedia" only CN's. To put this in better perspective can you give specific examples (link to the actual banner unless it was deleted), with dates, of the last three Central Notices that appeared for our readers/editors that would be impacted by this proposal? — xaosflux Talk 19:15, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
@Xaosflux: To clarify: I'm not talking specifically about English Wikipedia-only notices, I'm talking about all CentralNotices that would run on the English Wikipedia, regardless of their other targets. While the process here wouldn't influence whether any CN ran on any other project, it would decide whether it would run here. --Yair rand (talk) 20:47, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
@Yair rand: oh sure, I meant that part as just a comment - same question though - can you list the last 3 notices, with dates, that did appear here in any way, that would be impacted by your proposal? — xaosflux Talk 21:52, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
@Xaosflux: Impacted in the sense that they would have had to get approval on the English Wikipedia before running? I'm having difficulty reading the CentralNotice logs directly, but looking at the calendar entries and filtering out those that didn't run on ENWP... It looks like the three most recent were all (geographically) local events: There was a month-long photo contest in Spain ("Wiki Loves Folk", 11-01 to 11-30), a banner in Switzerland advertising a "Wikidata training and Hackathon" session (10-20 to 10-31), and a banner in the Czech Republic and Slovakia promoting a Wikiconference (10-14 to 10-29). Before those, we had a banner in Spain advertising a conference (10-01 to 10-17), and a banner across Northern and Western Europe from 08-26 to 09-08 bugging several hundred million people in order to try to get 17 volunteers to show up for a two-day hackathon. (Okay, that's five notices, but...) --Yair rand (talk) 06:58, 20 January 2020 (UTC)
@Yair rand: OK, I started looking (and yes the CN interface is confusing - I try to stay out of it as much as possible!). I'm not sure all of these actually ran, but it does appear that ones that have have been set by both staff and volunteers. Staff side, most of these are managed by User:Seddon (WMF). I'll go message Joseph to see if he can comment on this thread here. — xaosflux Talk 13:35, 20 January 2020 (UTC)
Hey all, I want to give a quick note. CentralNotice is a vital tool and it powers some of our biggest community led initiatives (Wiki Loves Monuments, Wikipedia Asian Month, Wiki Loves Earth). Originally it was mainly developed as a fundraising tool and it's currently the only real tool the movement has to engage with readers at scale. This is a role it has had placed upon it rather than one it was built for.
Prior to the current process being brought in, realistically there was no real process. You had to call in a favour from your best friend and there was limited transparency. It's a process that has evolved since I brought it in and I fully acknowledge it's by no means perfect. But what is being proposed, I don't think this is the long term solution. If every wiki did this it would be chaos and it would severely impact some of our biggest most successful programmes (Wiki Loves Monuments, Wikipedia Asian Month, Wiki Loves Earth). I think there are two things that need to happen:
  • Process: I fully acknowledge it needs to be tightened up and the guidelines become more like rules and we need to get better at enforcing them. We need to be clearer about what types of projects get what support. What is overuse etc.
  • Reduce reliance: We need to ensure that people need to use the less sledgehammery communication tools that already exist. Mailing lists, talk pages, social media, irc etc etc.
  • Technical improvements #1: Improvements to CN have been limited and mainly focused on fundraising but this is slowing changing. As it's usage has grown, the tool has had new features built in to reduce the impact on end users experience such as impression limiting. We should look at prioritising functions that allow us to focus the outreach usage on newer users, or allowing targeting of specific topics rather than sitewide notices being used for topics with a narrow focus.
  • Technical improvements #2: I really think we need a way for users to opt out, allow individual users to permanently opt out of some or almost all types of CN banner much like what you get with email preferences with a company.
There is room for improvement but CN definitely supports the creation of great content and we don't want to see that disrupted. Reduce the impact of CN, focusing its use, improving project leaders understanding of their responsibilities in using CentralNotice and get some improvements made to the system. I want to collect some data from across the movement on how people perceive CN and it's usage and what people want to see if it used for. If y'all willing to worth with me on this I think we can see some genuine improvements some in the short term and some in the long. Seddon (WMF) (talk) 06:19, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
Thank you for the update Seddon (WMF) - and I agree that it is time to discuss this issue more before thinking we are at any sort of impasse! Where do you think is the best place to coordinate this so that anyone who would like to join a working group for it may contribute? — xaosflux Talk 15:47, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
  • I'm tempted by this, I probably wouldn't be so in favour of it if the actual rules were being followed, but we seem to be getting a number of site notices with seriously marginal relevance. Nosebagbear (talk) 09:39, 20 January 2020 (UTC)
To clarify for any future closer, my preferred method is my comment below, asking for an ability to opt out of non-administrative sitenotices. A serious firming up of the rules is 2nd choice, this would be my 3rd choice. Nosebagbear (talk)
@Yair rand: Why exempt fundraising notices? There were a lot of comments/complaints on the Help Desk this year about fundraising (more than I recall for past years). I think the community should at least have a say in how the messages are worded, and the messages should include the Wikipedia e-mail address where users can send comments/complaints about fundraising. (ie: fundraising complaints go to donate and not to the Help Desk) RudolfRed (talk) 02:23, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
@RudolfRed: just from the banner alone the donate at email address is provided twice in our FAQ, our problems donating page on four occasions 3 4 56, twice in the donor privacy policy and a third via the WMF contact us page 10. That email address is also provided on the contact wikipedia page 11. While I'm definitely not opposed to providing that email address in more locations, sticking it in a banner would likely place the donor services teams under immense pressure and reduce how effectively we can respond to queries so I don't think that's a solution.
If there are ways you think I can help support the help desk in responding, triaging and referring issues that come in via the banners I am definitely happy to work with you on that. We have an ongoing the relationship with affiliates who get similar queries, the OTRS teams who forward issues to the donor services team as well as to me directly as well as feedback that comes in via social media.Seddon (WMF) (talk) 05:40, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
As far as why exclude fundraising? This goes back to the WMF owns these servers, and manages the process to solicit and collect money from donors to keep them running and this is one of their main tools for doing so. We have already made it very easy for editors to opt-out of seeing these, but getting reader donations is still considered important. — xaosflux Talk 15:47, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
  • I very much support this. Wiki Loves Monuments, Wikimania Stockholm Call for Submissions etc are irrelevant to practically all readers and they should not be displayed so prominently on every single article. The fundraising efforts were unusually aggressive this year (judging by the amount of internet jokes made about it). I would further suggest either: 1) Only display these banners on the Main Page, 2) display any necessary banners at the bottom of articles. – Thjarkur (talk) 11:42, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
  • This is your occasional friendly reminder that if you don't want to see banners, then you can go to Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-gadgets and choose "Suppress display of fundraiser banners" and/or "Suppress display of CentralNotices". (Please remember if you set these, so that you don't embarrass yourself by complaining that you didn't see the announcements you hid. It has happened a time or two before.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:13, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
  • @Seddon (WMF) and WhatamIdoing: - as Seddon notes, it was an additional use-case placed on top of the adminstrative/fundraising side. Seddon, I'd be happy enough for it to just be tightened up if, like fundraising banners, I gained the ability to turn them down selectively. There are the occasional administrative ones I need to know about (site-wide elections, the Talk Page consultation), but I don't want the cost to be the need to see a large number of campaigns/projects that have relatively little relevance to me. Give them a tag that lets users opt-out, and I imagine the complaints will heavily dwindle. Nosebagbear (talk) 09:14, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
I would support Nosebagbear's suggestion of opting in just to seeing key administrative central notices. (Put your hands up, those of you at the back, if you can't hear me!) Nick Moyes (talk) 12:37, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
Tbh, I'm much more concerned about the endless spam sent out to the IPs. We have a pretty constant stream of notices. Over the next month, we're going to get a global notice for yet another photo contest (global, logged-in and IPs, all through February). The logged-in users are also going to see a month of Wikimania scholarship ads (02-10 to 03-09), a bunch of "Wikipedia day" banners throughout North America, a global notice promoting translating some human-rights related articles, a week-long notice from the Desktop Improvement team to show off their new prototype, and a lengthy notice for the steward elections. This is all on the heels of our extensive annual fundraiser which just finished. The normal appearance of the site for readers or editors should not be one with a banner on it. --Yair rand (talk) 18:29, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Support proposal, and advocate for documentation The status quo is that the Wikimedia Community is the arbiter of what is and is not acceptable for a CentralNotice. Wikimedia Community decision making process has overriding power, and this is how things always have been, and this is the social contract on which basis the Wikimedia Foundation entered the conversation, and this is the environment of expectation. As conversation proceeds it should go forth from that norm.
That said - if anyone wanted to purchase advertising with the reach of the CentralNotice from another website, no media organization (Facebook, Google, etc) would sell this kind of media reach for less than billions of dollars. Any time there is a billion dollars of value up for grabs there will be conflict and insane behavior. I advocate for financial investment in Wikimedia community organization now which would make any future decisions about the CentralNotice meaningful. If the Wikimedia Foundation neglects to invest in infrastructure which empowers the Wikimedia Community in this conversation, then that lack of investment profoundly undermines any Wikimedia Foundation legitimacy in the decision making process of what to do with this most astounding of Wikimedia community controlled resources. There might come a time when the CentralNotice can manifest career-capping, infinite amounts of revenue forever so encouraging a Wikimedia-community based ethical conversation about conflicts of interest would be wise. Blue Rasberry (talk) 19:43, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Support more banners, more often, with more Wikimedia community control I might be misunderstanding this proposal or what is proposed here. The Wikipedia community needs more banners with lower barriers to get them published and out. Wikimedia community groups, including Wikimedia chapters, WikiProjects, and other affiliate group models should be the authority in deciding when and how to use banners. Banners should generally come at the behest of organized community groups, because understanding when and how to use them requires long-term group planning with year over year documentation and lessons learned. I am in favor of empowering the English Wikipedia community to manage banners. The administration of that power should be mostly in the hands of community outreach groups which organize themselves, with less weight on unorganized ad hoc Wikipedia commentators who are not regular particpants in the broad discussion of banner policy and who are not stakeholders in the organization of Wikimedia outreach. I am a bit confused about this proposal because it raises lots of variables, like is it for or against banners, for or against meta, for or against random commentators in control, or for or against wiki community organization. I want more banners, less of the restrictions which happen from meta, less random commentary from people unaffiliated with banner campaigns, and more power to Wikimedia chapters and organizations which push for more banners. Blue Rasberry (talk) 18:39, 3 February 2020 (UTC)
    "The Wikipedia community needs more banners": Speak for yourself. I genuinely had to re-read that to be sure you were not being ironic. I am part of the Wikipedia community and one thing I absolutely do not need is more frikkin' banners rammed into my frikkin' eyes! That community "unaffiliated with banner campaigns," from which such despicable commentards as myself are drawn, is in fact the very user community which your banners are targeting! Diss us, ignore us, trample us at your peril. The advertising platform that anyone can edit is not what we are here to read. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 19:45, 3 February 2020 (UTC)
@Steelpillow: You have a strong reaction! Can you say something about how much advertising you experience on Wikipedia? I also fail to understand you. Here is what I would ask -
  1. How many days a year do you visit Wikipedia? (I guess 200 for you, based on your edit history)
  2. On how many of those days do remember seeing a banner ad? (I guess 30 for you, which would become ~3 if you have banners turned off in settings)
  3. On days when you see a banner ad, how many ads did you see? (I guess 1 for you)
Are these numbers right for you? When you say "no more banners", is zero banners the right number for you, or do you have a non-zero acceptable amount per year? From my view, Wikipedia already has so few as compared to any other major website, so I wonder what the tolerable number of banners is for you. What are you experiencing that you feel so strongly about this?
Also, are you speaking for yourself as a logged-in user who can turn off banners in settings, or about what you wish for users without an account, who cannot turn off banners?
I feel that we should (1) negotiate a certain number of banners per year then (2) put some of those in Wikimedia Fundraising and (3) put the rest in control of the Wikimedia community for outreach campaigns. Is there something about any of this which seems strange to you? Thanks for any feedback. Blue Rasberry (talk) 04:24, 4 February 2020 (UTC)
@Bluerasberry: I am very surprised to hear that your guess would be 15% of days on Wikipedia involve seeing a banner. My own impression of how often they're up is somewhere between "most of the time" and "always". (Showing banners 15% of days sounds quite reasonable to me.) I think we need some data, if there's such divergence in their perceived frequency. Re your three points, they make a lot of sense to me (although I'd expand "outreach" to also include some other necessary notices). --Yair rand (talk) 04:40, 4 February 2020 (UTC)
@Yair rand: I agree, a good outcome of this conversation would be the WMF fulfilling a request to provide metrics of when banners run and who sees them. The banner is a valuable resource and it is worth measuring and planned allocation. If you advance this conversation, then along with requesting metrics, I would appreciate you always imagining that some entity will control the allocation of the banners to various causes. When there is a power which the Wikipedia community does not organize to claim, then by default that entity which controls the resource will be the WMF, who will give decision making power to staff. The alternative, which I hope you will support in future conversations, is some stewardship by the Wikimedia community probably led by Wikimedia chapters since banners are for mostly outreach and chapters are the major representatives for outreach. If you have another vision for this then call it out, because banner power is among the most valuable resources the movement has to allocate and I want to keep the precedent of Wikimedia community control of it. Blue Rasberry (talk) 12:19, 4 February 2020 (UTC)
@Bluerasberry: First, I think it quite offensive to anonymous readers that you should be thinking in terms of spamming them and making life easier for their logged-in colleagues such as your self and chums. Yes IP editors have to accept limitations but most every visitor who just comes to read the encyclopedia - which is after all what it is for - will not log in even if they have an account. This needs hammering out for everybody, before we give a dam' about the account holders' convenience. I visit pretty much every day, sometimes for extensive periods of research in IP mode. I log in only when editing. I have NoScript, with javascript disabled by default, and AdblockPlus with a miscellaneous collection of local blocks accumulated over the years. But some useful features require javascript so I often have it enabled here. Sites where unsolicited content nevertheless intrude create a negative "oh, they're that kind of self-focused soul, thinking not in terms of what the reader wants to see but what they want the reader to see." The absolute key thing is to understand banners as informative for the reader and not as a self-promotional tool per se. The last thing you want to do is to fatigue the user so they just go "not another feckin' ad banner" and never stop to read the message. I probably get more banners, things that slide in from the side and that kind of nonsense when I am in IP mode, but quantifying the difference is like counting how many dog turds I step in annually with my left or right foot, it's pointless. More personally, the most important thing for me is that there should be no animations of any kind - sliding, fading, scrolling, anything - in my peripheral vision. That is an accessibility issue, not as dangerous as flashing/strobes are to an epileptic, but equally unpleasant. My view is that a restrained use of banners (no big bright colourings either, maybe half a dozen short universal or UK-only campaigns a year) is OK, but only provided that there is adequate community governance in place to make sure that the look-at-my-dancing-monkey brigade are locked firmly out. That last is singularly what has not been happening, and we at en.wikipedia can lay it in place faster than WMF central can. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 09:54, 4 February 2020 (UTC)
@Steelpillow: Accessibility standards are great. Of course I agree that when there are banners, they should conform to some standard. The Wikipedia community should set that standard and model good behavior to the world.
I would agree with you to (1) have a negotiated number of banner days or campaigns and (2) negotiate the method of allocating them to project proposals. I think that currently we have no data on how often banners appear and how we give those banners to campaigns, and that you and I have different understandings of the basic facts. So far as I know, a typical viewer coming to Wikipedia most days only sees 6 campaigns a year, which is what you say you want and are not getting. Blue Rasberry (talk) 12:21, 4 February 2020 (UTC)
As I said, I don't count the campaigns or distinguish between one kind of distraction or another. I do think we understand each other better now. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 14:42, 4 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Strong support, thank you Thjarkur for making a very valid point. Wikipedia should have an independent sitenotice process, where we can review Meta's controversial fundrasing techniques to align with our goals. >>BEANS X2t 18:50, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
  • I would like to get more information from Seddon (WMF) with regards to it would severely impact some of our biggest most successful programmes. By what metric are they successful, and how much do the banners contribute to that, in concrete terms? (For example, number of edits made or number of sources added, but not simply number of people.) Also, are the extra banners known to attract new editors to Wikipedia, in these or other cases? I'll note that if there are good arguments for the value of these specific examples, the community is unlikely to object to continuing them.
As a separate point, I will generally agree with any attempt to add an extra layer of review to restrict the promotion of surveys with vague, meaningless, or misleading questions. I would also emphasize that while the proposed exceptions are fine, this does not make them exceptions to consensus; rather they are more like "pre-approvals" that can always be revoked (individually or entirely) in the future if necessary. (Similar to the current situation in which everything is pre-approved. Of course, that's not to say that I necessarily expect such a revocation to happen.) Sunrise (talk) 20:32, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Strong support the community needing to opt in to the fundraiser banners. It should require at least a village pump RfC (advertised by WP:CENT) to include a fundraising banner, with the wording and linking also up for debate. I imagine if we change the banner then the WMF (particularly the legal team) will have to give final approval, but if we can't get agreement then the banner shouldn't go up. I understand the WMF will very much not want us to do this and it would be a tough fight to win, but their current fundraising strategy is intrusive, unhelpful to readers and biggest of all flat-out misleading—they already have more than enough money to stay afloat. If a person is donating then they need to be aware of where the money is going, and where it is not going (e.g. to run our servers). I am fairly sure that at least 90% of (one-off) donors do not understand where most donation money is spent.
    I understand fundraisers were excluded from the original RfC question, and I support the original proposal. My main concern is banners shown to non-logged-in readers. Spamming our editors is annoying but not a huge deal; what the (English-speaking) public see is a hugely important thing that should be the deciders of. — Bilorv (talk) 00:18, 27 January 2020 (UTC)
  • I wouldn't want a process where volunteer editors reviewed and approved individual site notices. I would certainly approve of restrictions that manage how emphatic, how distracting, and how shrill, these messages can be. We want the WMF to be able to raise money and attract attention to good causes. However I believe that the site notices recently have become a little too effective at diverting visitors' attention to the WMF's priorities. We do have a mission to enable our visitors to inform and educate themselves in a self-directed way, and we're not achieving that while they're looking at ads.—S Marshall T/C 10:40, 30 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Wondering why so many of the above volunteers are not participating at meta making the world a better place by changing the process there instead of micromanaging it from here, and wondering if they think they will become active here in actually managing a changed process, for longer than a 3 month attention span until they jump to the next 'crisis'. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 11:11, 30 January 2020 (UTC)
    @TheDJ: We did that. They didn't listen. Opposition to CentralNotice proposals at Meta doesn't do anything, and CN admins have said they're completely willing to put up CNs without consensus, contrary to the last global RfC on the topic, which concluded in favor of requiring advance consensus for banners. --Yair rand (talk) 01:13, 31 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Wholeheartedly support. If someone wants a policy rationale beyond WP:Common sense, try WP:ENC and WP:NOT#SOCIAL. PS: 'there are seldom "English Wikipedia"-only CN's' – Yep. So we should end up with a lot fewer annoying CNs irrelevant to 95% of editors and 99.9% of readers. That's kinda the whole point, innit?  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  22:06, 2 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Support for now. I wholeheartedly agree that the central process is currently not fit for purpose. Too much spam, too much thoughtless ignoring of accessibility rules such as animations off by default. Central need to build a stronger and more democratic community before we can trust them to do it properly. Meantime, this is our baby and it is our responsibility to vet what they put forward before it goes live. Ultimately there is a case for central broadcasts to go over our heads, but that must be subject to proper control. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 12:26, 3 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Support per proposal. ~ ToBeFree (talk) 16:37, 3 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This proposal does not make sense, it conflates sitenotice with centralnotice, and completely ignores the fact that most centralnotices are geographically-based community efforts, not global campaigns. We already have a process and a !vote on meta, because this affects multiple projects, and we already have the rule of posting pointers to the meta page on the Village Pump. The proposal would effectively be to give a carte blanche to WMF banners and a veto to community-based banners, which is not what we want.--Pharos (talk) 23:36, 3 February 2020 (UTC)
    @Pharos: How would this give carte blanche to WMF banners? All WMF banners (outside particular exceptions listed) would require consensus as much as community-initiated proposals. --Yair rand (talk) 00:28, 4 February 2020 (UTC)
    Also, the !vote process on Meta is, unfortunately, usually ignored by the CN admins these days, in contravention of the last global RfC on the topic. The behaviour isn't exactly legitimate, but it's what we have to work with atm. While your own CN activities have appropriately followed the community notification guidelines, many others, particularly the WMF-sourced proposals, have ignored the rules entirely. I hope we can get to a process that works for everyone, but to get there, we need to have some community control over the process to start with. I know this will make things much less convenient for anyone trying to organize a notice across multiple projects, but I think it's necessary. --Yair rand (talk) 00:28, 4 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose - certainly in regards to fundraising. The WMF needs some flexibility in fundraising that shouldn't be taken away by a few ideologues. I've never really been bothered by any banners on Wikipedia. They only take up a small amount of space on the page, and you can scroll down to get them out of sight. You can dismiss them individually. You can opt-out. And they don't seem to appear very often. Can we get some real data? e.g.:
  • How many different banners appear each year on all projects?
    • If they can be limited geographically, how many appear in London, Chicago, Sydney, and New Delhi each year?

This just doesn't look like a problem to me. Smallbones(smalltalk) 01:14, 4 February 2020 (UTC)

@Smallbones: The proposal specifically exempts fundraising. Re data: Better than "how many different banners per year", I think more important would be, "At any given time, what are the odds there's a banner running?" --Yair rand (talk) 01:36, 4 February 2020 (UTC)
@Smallbones: Okay, I spent some time building a script to scrape the on-wiki logs (the CN-log API is useless here and omits most of the important data) to figure out how often banners are running. WIP, but it looks like on 220 of the 365 days in 2019, at least some people in the US saw a CentralNotice banner on the English Wikipedia. (At least 18 of those days, it was only a particular geographic region of the US.) I'll try to work on it a bit more to refine the data, and then generate some tables for other geographic areas and times. --Yair rand (talk) 22:33, 13 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Pharos. Gamaliel (talk) 02:33, 4 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Pharos and Smallbones. The ability to have a wide-ranging system for displaying banners is a critical tool for movement-wide awareness and communication. Since Wikipedia's heyday of peak participation in 2007, we have had major breakdowns in almost all our communications channels. The mailing list Wikimedia-L is a fraction of what it used to be, with folks new to the movement not even knowing it exists. The new Wikimedia Space bulletin boards are not picking up a lot of traction. IRC is a ghost town. We now have a smattering of Facebook groups, Telegram chats, Discord channels, Slack groups, et al. that try to piece together some overlapping set of community. CN is the only tool we have left that can effectively communicate across cultures, geographies and communities. Besides: logged in users have a way to hide these types of banners. Personally they have never bothered me either, and in fact have alerted me to projects, drives, conferences and things that keep me in touch with the movement zeitgeist. Optimize, refine, adjust and reform the current system, but don't splinter it off. -- Fuzheado | Talk 17:19, 4 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Pharos, Smallbones, and Fuzheado. This is even more critical to maintain considering there is no real alternative. While Wikimedia Space attempted to be a hub for events, the WMF needs to figure out how to better support Space and communities who could use it. Jackiekoerner (talk) 20:26, 4 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Pharos, Smallbones, Fuzheado,Jackiekoerner. There should be ways for individual users to opt out. The communications of community projects depends on these tools that are part of movement resources similar to funds and volunteers. There should be a way around to make compromise or meeting half way around rather than taking it away entirely. Wikilover90 (talk) 23:48, 4 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Idea one thing I'd really like to is a) opt out of specific types of banners, and b) when I opt out, that my account opts out on all devices, rather than have a cookie-based 'opting out'. Like for instance, Wiki Loves... whatever. Or photography-related stuff. Or GLAM stuff. I'm not really sure how easily the 'types' can be made, but I know annoyance would go significantly down if I didn't have to bypass those banners every time they popped up, and if I didn't have to bypass them on 3-4 devices every time one popped up. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 23:58, 4 February 2020 (UTC)
    @Headbomb: banners do support banner categories, in practice only "campaign" and "fundraising" are really used - we could propose some very broad ones at meta-wiki, it shouldn't be hard to adopt - but if there are many expect lots of errors. — xaosflux Talk 00:17, 5 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose per Pharos, Blue Rasberry, and Fuzheado. It is pretty obvious that improvements to centralnotice and to its governing processes would be great, but they should be in the direction of more banners, more often, and more engaging. The centralnotice banners are one of the most powerful tools we have to reach communities that have been excluded as contributors to the Wikimedia Movement. It makes no sense in my mind to focus on spending millions of dollars and thousands of volunteer hours to get these communities engaged with the Wikimedia Movement and at the same time tighten the use of an asset that is the cheapest and most effective at actually getting these communities to contribute and engage. Chico Venancio (talk) 12:56, 5 February 2020 (UTC)
    We are spamming billions of people. The readers don't care about the the WMF CEO's latest speech, or some "human interest" blog post, or a hackathon three hundred miles away. --Yair rand (talk) 19:09, 5 February 2020 (UTC)
    @Yair rand: "billions"? Did you know that not all banners are shown to "readers"? For example a recent banner, "WikiForHumanRights_Declaration" is set to only show to "logged in users" and the default banner directions for logged out users is "Anonymous users (remember to uncheck unless necessary)". — xaosflux Talk 19:14, 5 February 2020 (UTC)
    @Xaosflux: Very many banners are shown to readers. In my experience, people are much less careful about banners that are shown only to readers and not at all to logged-in users (such as the blog post spam I mentioned above). As I mentioned earlier, I'm much more concerned about the endless spam sent out to the IPs. (IIRC, the other two banners I was referring to were also shown to IPs.) --Yair rand (talk) 19:24, 5 February 2020 (UTC)
    @Yair rand: would you please cite one of the specific banners (from meta:Special:CentralNoticeBanners) you are referring to? — xaosflux Talk 19:42, 5 February 2020 (UTC)
    @Xaosflux: Blog1819_Punjabi_Wikisource_1 I already linked above. WikiTechstorm2019 was shown to everyone (including IPs) across most of Europe, with the aim of recruiting ~17 people to participate in a hackathon. (No idea whether it succeeded in that.) I haven't found a link to the banner which advertised the Executive Director's speech at Wikimania, sorry. --Yair rand (talk) 20:00, 5 February 2020 (UTC)
    @Yair rand: those 2 seem OK - in looking at them, WikiTechstorm2019 appears to have only been shown to logged in users, however most unusually Blog1819_Punjabi_Wikisource_1 appears to have been shown to ONLY anonymous users and was configured by Ed Erhart (WMF), seems to have been the only banner they ever made - wonder if it was set up in error? — xaosflux Talk 20:11, 5 February 2020 (UTC)
    @Xaosflux: WikiTechstorm2019 was shown to IPs. It only looks like it wasn't because the settings were changed just before the end of the campaign (at 31 August 2019 20:17, according to the logs). Blog1819_Punjabi_Wikisource_1 probably wasn't a mistake, given that it was listed that way in the original proposal as well. --Yair rand (talk) 20:26, 5 February 2020 (UTC)
    @Yair rand: Beyond the obvious lack of awareness of how CentralNotice campaigns work, I find your description of a blog post about the exact kind of work we should be prioritizing as an <<"human interest" blog post>> quite telling, and a little offensive. What I am reading from your proposal and your responses is that you do not care the Wikimedia Movement has not reached several areas of the globe and that a lot of knowledge is not included in our projects as long as your screen is free of these pesky banners. Chico Venancio (talk) 19:31, 5 February 2020 (UTC)
    @Chicocvenancio: Um. I'm quite aware of how CentralNotice campaigns work. I've probably been the single most active volunteer in the process over the past few years, despite not being a CN-admin. And my screen can be permanently free from all banners at the click of a button, which most people can't do. I'm going to politely refrain from commenting on the rest of your post. --Yair rand (talk) 19:39, 5 February 2020 (UTC)
    Yair rand Than why are you citing a campaign aimed at Indian readers, made by WMF comms, for a project everyone should be in complete agreement as an example of SPAM being sent to "billions"? Chico Venancio (talk) 20:00, 5 February 2020 (UTC)
    @Chicocvenancio: Because readers actually come to Wikipedia to read the articles. These notices are unsolicited messages sent out to very large numbers of people. That's literally the definition of spam. (I am aware that the India-targeted campaign did not, alone, reach billions of people. I was referring to the larger pattern of CentralNotice misuse.) --Yair rand (talk) 05:36, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
    @Yair rand: it is advertisement for our own movement, I don't see how it would be SPAM. Why would it be ok for us to advertise for fundraising and not for getting more volunteers? How is WMF funds more important than volunteer time and energy? Chico Venancio (talk) 14:12, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
  • I agree to open to more campaigns but I would invite to consider that there is the possibility to have an impression diet and other limitations and to consider that long campaigns or worldwide campaigns are not efficient. SO let's consider to limit massive and invasive campaigns to give more space to well targeted, more geotargeted campaigns. --Ilario (talk) 20:46, 5 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose Per what the others have said, I think it's a bad precedence to allow notice discussions on local wikis.. It would lead to a big waste of time and a ridiculous level of bureaucracy, when other wikis also make the same demands. It just doesn't make sense. But I do agree that the process on meta should be more transparent. But then again, the bulk of that responsibility rests on the communities, to increase their engagement on the notice request page.--Jamie Tubers (talk) 13:46, 7 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Agree with Jamie Tubers, the community should engage more on meta which is an open wiki. Also I dont agree with geotargeting : we do need more engagement on diversity topics and these campaigns are useful for these. Nattes à chat (talk) 08:32, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
    @Jamie Tubers and Nattes à chat: CentralNotice campaigns don't always even have a proposal page to engage on, and when there is, engagement is often ignored. There isn't anywhere to go. --Yair rand (talk) 05:33, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Support This seems obvious to me. If there is not consensus to show a banner, it should not be shown. Most of the opposing users are arguing, in essence, that CentralNotice is an important tool, which is entirely irrelevant given that no one is proposing completely disabling it. * Pppery * it has begun... 22:47, 13 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Question: At least half of the oppose !votes above seem to have been made during a single ~24-hour period (4 February), before which the discussion was nearly unanimous in support. Was it advertised at a new location? At the time, it had already been on WP:CENT for two weeks, so I would have thought that there weren't any additional venues to be notified. Sunrise (talk) 20:44, 17 February 2020 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Proposal: New Village Pump PageEdit

There has been a long recognized need for improved communication and coordination between the community and the Wikimedia Foundation. Too often Foundation plans have come as an unexpected and unwelcome surprise to the community. Too often community concerns or objections have come as an unexpected surprise to staff members. Better communication and collaboration would reduce the rate of conflict and failed projects. Staff members are generally enthusiastic about our public service mission, have good intentions, and want to help us. However to be frank, most of them know about as much about what goes on over here as most of us know about what goes on inside the Foundation. They are employees in a conventional top-down authority structure. Most of them have no experience in the community, and our consensus system is alien concept. Sometimes they struggle to understand how we work, what we want, what we need, and even how to talk with us effectively. There is a communication and culture gap.

I have seen positive efforts from the Foundation over the last few years. However I believe both sides need to work to bridge the communication gap. I have some ideas, and it begins with this proposal to create a new village pump page. The current Draft Village Pump Page header reads as follows:

The WMF section of the village pump is a community managed page. Editors or Foundation staff may post and discuss any information, proposals, feedback requests, or any other issues of significance to both the community and the Wikimedia Foundation. It is intended to aid communication, understanding, and coordination between the community and the Foundation.

There is currently a Pump Proposal open above, asking WMF Legal to enforce the Terms of Use against an abusive company. That is a prime example of kind of topics I envision for the new page. The Central Notice template also currently lists an RFC for the Foundation's rebranding strategy to rename itself from Wikimedia to Wikipedia. As part of that project they evaluated the level of community support and produced a report, which I believe has been delivered to the Board of Trustees. The report states Measure community appetite for change: ✓ 0.6% of informed oppose. The 0.6% oppose figure is in rather stark contrast to the over 92% oppose on the RFC. I have several other examples of confirmation bias in Foundation's gathering or handling of data. I believe bad data has contributed to some of the tensions between the Foundation and Community. The RFC page also has a Statement by the Foundation. Given how the RFC is going, I believe it is clear that the staff handling the project do not grasp the significance of the RFC.

I have long been following Foundation projects, plans, and strategy. I have a small pile of similarly significant topics for the new page, including matters of past and future Foundation strategy. As some of you may be aware the Foundation has finally given up on the Flow project, and a Consultation resulted in a decision to keep and enhance existing Talk pages. I am concerned that the enhancement project is going off course. For example, like Flow, the project has a design flaw that can result in wikitext content corruption. The manager has indicated that he considers it an insignificant matter, not worth fixing. One of my priorities for the new Pump page will be to provide more detailed information on the new Talk Page Project. I hope to bring that team helpful information on our needs, concerns, and expectations for any major changes to Talk pages.

Over the years I have had discussions with several top managers, with the previous Executive Director, and with the current Executive Director. I believe the Executive Director would be receptive if we produce some consensus message regarding Foundation strategy and engagement. That is beyond the scope of the immediate proposal.

Proposed: Install Draft Village Pump Page. The page may of course evolve based on comments here or later. Alsee (talk) 12:04, 29 January 2020 (UTC)

Responses (NEW VP)Edit

  • Support as proposer, per the rationale above. Alsee (talk) 12:04, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Support Additional communication is a good thing! This makes hella sense! GenQuest "Talk to Me" 12:53, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
  • So another village pump page that most people won't watch? Much less WMF? Nah. --Izno (talk) 15:08, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
    Izno... Can you come up with a better suggestion? We do need SOME way to facilitate more communication with the WMF. Blueboar (talk) 15:20, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Comment Previous discussion: Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive 130#New Village Pump page?. Anomie 15:23, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Support concept, but in practice, this will need buy-in from the WMF - if they don't use it, then there's no point. creffpublic a creffett franchise (talk to the boss) 15:32, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
  • In my opinion, such a thing is better placed on the Meta wiki; that's where the WMF does most of its work and it would make this venue usable for non-enwiki projects as well. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk) 15:47, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Support as beneficial, even a less active Village PUmp page would be seen more then the current set-up which is basically "meta pages only seen by a couple of keen souls. They panic and dump on CENT after a significant delay". The only other action that could provide a substantial assistance would be something akin to Tech News "WMF Newsletter". The issues with this are threefold: you'd need about 200 sign-ups to get reasonable awareness; you'd need several active people to run it reliably; some major WMF discussion areas would need much quicker response times than (a max) 30 days to give a chance for proper discussion. Nosebagbear (talk) 15:53, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
    Summoning @Whatamidoing (WMF):... — xaosflux Talk 16:13, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
    User:Nosebagbear, rather than creating Yet Another Newsletter that nobody reads, the English Wikipedia would probably find it easier to promote the WP:Wikipedia Signpost, which already has the subscribers, and which could be a reliable source of information that mattered to this particular community. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 23:45, 30 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Support concept per Creffpublic's similar comment above, but Jo-Jo Eumerus has a good point too. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 16:57, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Strong support Regarding Jo-Jo Emerus's comment; Meta is where the WMF does most of its work, but the problem with discussions on Meta is that members of the individual communities rarely go there and can easily miss important discussions. Having a page here to discuss things with the WMF makes it easier on the community. Such a page can house links to important discussions that are taking place on Meta, thereby driving traffic there. ~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs)problem solving 17:05, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
    • ONUnicorn, have you heard about User:DannyS712's work on a global watchlist? Flow/Structured Discussions, which is widely used at, will ping people with every new discussion thread on a watched page. That's great for cross-wiki notifications, but at Meta, your options are either changing your prefs to email you for every change to your Meta watchlist, or hoping that we get a global watchlist. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 23:48, 30 January 2020 (UTC)
      @Whatamidoing (WMF): I'm glad you find it useful. Useful enough to support the grant request / incorporate it as an extension? See m:Grants:Project/Create a global watchlist extension DannyS712 (talk) 23:58, 30 January 2020 (UTC)
    • Yes, I'm aware of the global watchlist project. I also have no idea why it's relevant to this discussion. ~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs)problem solving 01:13, 31 January 2020 (UTC)
      • Being able to see, while you're still "here", that a discussion page has changed "there", seems like a way to improve the problem you identified, that "members of the individual communities rarely go there and can easily miss important discussions". Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 20:10, 31 January 2020 (UTC)
        • Yes, but in order to add a discussion "there" to your global watchlist, you need to first be aware that it exists "there". ~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs)problem solving 20:42, 31 January 2020 (UTC)
          • I agree with you that it's not a complete solution, but it could improve the situation, especially if you put Meta's central announcement pages, such as m:Template:Main Page/WM News, on your watchlist. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 21:50, 31 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Support Having a dedicated page for communication with the WMF seems like a no-lose proposition. I think it needs to be two-way; people should be able to post questions for, and expect answers from, Foundation personnel, and the Foundation should also be expected to make announcements for the community, using the page. I can't think of a downside to this proposal. --Jayron32 17:08, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Support A direct way to see WMF related proposals, and for clear, one on one communication with them? Yes please! This would, hopefully, greatly help with places where the WMF clearly didn't get proper consensus, and would allow for us to bring proposals their way in a place everyone would see. --moonythedwarf (Braden N.) 17:24, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Support in principle per Creffett. I would love to see this happen. Our best chances for greater two-way communication with the Foundation may be by raising it as an issue in the Board of Trustees election. EllenCT (talk) 19:13, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Support - Having a centralized enwiki discussion forum for interacting with WMF would be beneficial. I hope that WMF agrees. - MrX 🖋 13:06, 30 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose. On issues for which the WMF is completely non-responsive, I don't think having a dedicated board would make them willing to respond. On issues where they are willing to respond, they're frequently willing to participate anywhere, unless it's a cross-project issue, in which case they'll sometimes only interact on Meta. The WMF has given no indication that they'd be more willing to use a dedicated forum. The task of dragging the WMF into areas where we can have some level of mutual awareness is going to take a long time. The WMF has the ability to communicate things well, they even use a wiki internally to host things like every team's weekly report (which they won't let us see, or comment on), but as far as I can tell, they just don't want to allow that much WMF-community interaction, for reasons unknown to me. --Yair rand (talk) 01:08, 31 January 2020 (UTC) seems fine, but
  • Oppose, I wonder, why the enWP, who already is the center of the anglocentric WMF, is complaining, just go to Meta, unfortunately for the non-anglophone projects they seem to speak only english over there. This sounds to me more like a venue, whre the WMF can pretend to talk with the community, while they are talking just to a tiny peace of the community, bur one that conveniently speaks the only language they seem to know. Grüße vom Sänger ♫ (talk) 05:19, 31 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Support concept but different name and framing WMF communications happen in a decentralized way and there are regular disagreements about what WMF representatives communicated effectively and what was hidden in some out-of-the way area. I support the idea of centralized posting but think it should be either outside the village pump, or if listed with the village pump boards, then it should have a different name and branding. WMF communications are different because everything that organization does is entangled with money and someone's career, and consequently much of that organization's activity here is in a conflict of interest with some individual or team's financial livelihood. The interests of the Wikimedia Movement and the Wikimedia Foundation often diverge, and staff of the Wikimedia Foundation are not part of the Wikimedia community in that they each have a commitment to serve the interests of the Wikimedia Foundation as an organization and favor that organization in the case of any conflict between the Wikimedia Community and that organization. The reason why the village pump is not the place for WMF discussion is that the village pump is established as a community volunteer space. Instead, I think the right board for the WMF would be something like a Wikipedia:Local Embassy, where the WMF sends its diplomats and negotiators into English Wikipedia space to negotiate something. Maybe the WMF should set up embassies wherever it would log its efforts to establish agreements with a local Wikimedia community. The idea of a central space is great. We should distinguish ideas and proposals from the WMF from ideas and proposals from Wikimedia community volunteers, though. Blue Rasberry (talk) 19:57, 31 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Support concept. I am a little concerned that not all the messages that would be posted to such a board would actually be matters that require the attention of the WMF. There should be norms established that if inappropriate content is added, it can be moved to a different pump page. Sdkb (talk) 21:29, 2 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Support the concept... but I ain't holding my breath on this being useful if the WMF decides to have a rerun of the Fram and Flow Show.A little blue Bori v^_^v Onward to 2020 23:43, 3 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Dont mind, but don't think it will approve communication of either the foundation or the community one bit. The problem is not the amount of locations to discuss, its that there are too many stakeholders with too many different opinions and too many thing happening to keep track of no matter what you do. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 09:18, 6 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Support Concept per above, especially Creffet and EllenCT. Puddleglum 2.0 20:29, 7 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Support this idea for now. Anything to open constructive communications seems fine. I would like to suggest we review the actual results later. a channel to discuss things with WMF seems fine, but we should also hjave the option to look at other methods later, if this new idea doesn't have the full effect desired. --Sm8900 (talk) 04:28, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Support the concept of constructive communications with "norms established": I am one of those that very rarely "go there" (Meta), and think comments to "just go to Meta" are out of touch, as I imagine many also don't "go there". I think there would be community benefits in this proposal and help others not "easily miss important discussions". We "advertise" to get involvement so why not have a local centralized place? Will the WMF get involved or "buy-in"? I don't know, but I will continually assume good faith that others will do the same. If true, the comments "WMF is completely non-responsive" might be a reason that a collaborative effort (and a fairly large show of support), will hopefully gain more involvement ("WMF-community interaction"), and "might" be a game changer, or not. We will never solve issues or find solutions by just complaining and not trying. I do not know anything about "anglocentric" concerns (Is this a real problem and how is it really relevant here?) the WMF "might" be complaining about. I assume enWiki is among the more active projects. I cannot help where I was born (demography of the editors), but this is where I am, and I imagine that is true for the many on this project. The WMF has to understand that it is not the fault of any considered anglocentric that broad community involvement somehow created some sort of bias. I want to see worldwide involvement but I only speak English so my endeavors, that consume most of my free volunteer time, would very logically be focused here, so I "favor this organization" for obvious reasons. The WMF and the other projects need to worry about their end. On this "end" I would like to see better communication (dedicated forum?) and support anything in that direction. Maybe a new tab here, or another supported location, but I don't see that Wikipedia:Local Embassy ("Wikipedia-related multilingual coordination") would be proper. If the WMF is picky about what involvement they wish to be involved in, then at the least, we can have a central location for discussions and potentially important news, as well as hopefully collaborative communication. Any thoughts that we possibly somehow shouldn't continually make attempts doesn't seem logical. Otr500 (talk) 17:41, 11 February 2020 (UTC)

Discussion (NEW VP)Edit

Jayron32, you used the phrases 'expecting answers' and 'expecting announcements' from the Foundation. I want to emphasize that this is a community page, and creating a community page does not create any particular obligation on the Foundation. An appearance of imposing an obligation or responsibility onto the Foundation could raise objections and resistance. The new page is a workplace for us, and I wish us to extend an open invitation to the Foundation utilize the page. I hope and believe they will accept that invitation (likely with hesitation and fear, as conflicts have been painful for both sides). The only expectation on the Foundation is that they continue their existing efforts, and I have hope that we can help work towards improvement. Alsee (talk) 22:05, 29 January 2020 (UTC)

See, I still feel that is backwards. Wikipedia and the en.wikipedia community does not exist for the purpose of supporting the whims of the Foundation. The Foundation exists to support the work of the volunteers and the various communities of the Wikipedia movement, and increasing and improving communication between the Foundation and the communities it serves is what we should be focusing on. We should not be focused on being better foot soldiers blindly following whatever mission the Foundation has decided to set us upon, we should be expecting and receiving support from the Foundation for the purpose of building an encyclopedia. Where conflicts have been painful have been where the Foundation has acted unilaterally and in its own interest without regard for the interests of the Community. The expectation is, the Foundation should seek input and advice from the community on major issues, and that the Foundation should be willing to respond to legitimate concerns from the community. If they are not willing to do either of those things, the noticeboard is pointless. --Jayron32 12:40, 30 January 2020 (UTC)

I will pass along a link to this discussion, but I think I can predict some of the questions I'll get, so perhaps some of you would like to start answering them now, just in case:

  1. Why do we need a single, separate page? Why not have all of us talk on whichever pages are relevant? At least some of you have figured out how to ping me ;-) and if that's too hard, we could always create a generic {{ping the WMF}} template. Having a discussion half at one page and half at a "Village pump (WMF)" sounds like a WP:CENT problem. On the other side, imagine that the WMF is offering hackathon scholarships to bot operators. Why should that be announced at a special "WMF" page instead of at WP:BOTN? Have you thought about the signal-to-noise problems in the movement? The main problem isn't a lack of information. It's finding the thing you care about in the middle of all the things you don't care about.
  2. What's the specific purpose? Specifically, is it primarily one-way information from editors to the WMF, primarily one-way information from the WMF to (some) editors, primarily discussions to exchange views without trying to make decisions, or is it primarily a location for decision-making? I see comments above that seem to believe each of those four. Forums that try to do all of the above usually fail at achieving most of them.
  3. Why shouldn't this online community join all the other online communities in central locations (such as Meta)?
    • The Working Group volunteers for the 2030 Strategy discussions say that we should be integrating the movement across all the online and offline communities. This proposal is for more separation, elevating the status of one online community and one movement organization.
    • To give a concrete example, I see elsewhere on this page that the OP still thinks that the WMF is planning to cram the visual editor down our collective throats. Why shouldn't we be talking about which editing options to offer in a central place, so that people like User:Sänger, who has been asking the Editing team to enable the visual editor on talk pages for years now, can join the conversation and share his insights? (Sorry, Sänger, they're still saying no.)
  4. Do you really understand that it's not just the WMF that you need to deal with?
    • The Strategy folks are advocating for a smaller role for the WMF and decentralized action. This proposal seems to be focused on a single organization, when editors at the English Wikipedia need to be talking to many.
    • For example, WMDE is finishing up a project that will change the <ref name="Alice"> syntax to do something similar to the {{sfn}} templates. I'm not taking bets on how long it will take for someone to complain that "the WMF" did this "unwanted" work (which was democratically selected through a public, on-wiki voting process), but I do want to point out that if you're setting up a page for just the WMF, you are excluding all of the (multiple) organizations whose activities affect us here.
    • To give another example, see for a list of 300+ events that have been announced in the last few months. Many of these are editing events, which have a direct effect on New Page Patrollers and other editors. Very few of those announcements are from the WMF. This trend is going to continue: more events, and more articles about people, places, and things that the average English Wikipedian has never heard of. You might want to hear about them, and a WMF-focused page won't tell you about any of them, because the WMF isn't running those events.

There will probably be other questions, but perhaps these would be a good starting place. In terms of a response, I predict that the WMF's managers first thought will likely be that they're hiring someone to create something called a "strategic communications plan", so nobody should make any final decisions today. (My own personal thoughts sound a lot like – namely that it would be convenient for me if a single forum could replace all the others, and if people would actually pay attention to it [even though most of it would be irrelevant to them], but I do not expect that to happen.) Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 23:41, 30 January 2020 (UTC)

Whatamidoing (WMF) You mentioned above the global watchlist work; and here you list several items that can be summarized as, "people should use Meta". One thing I'm thinking this would be useful for is as a repository for links to important discussions happening on Meta. Because if there is a discussion happening on Meta, but people who would be interested aren't aware of it, they aren't going to participate. A global watchlist to remind you to check up on developments with discussions you are interested in on Meta is only useful in as much as you are aware of the discussion and have added it to your watchlist. People on en wiki are constantly surprised when action gets taken as a result of a discussion happening on Meta that affects 100% of the en wiki editing community, but less than 1% of the community was even aware the discussion was occurring. The end result is that the WMF looks like the Vogons in Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

“There’s no point in acting surprised about it. All the planning charts and demolition orders have been on display at your local planning department in Alpha Centauri for 50 of your Earth years, so you’ve had plenty of time to lodge any formal complaint and it’s far too late to start making a fuss about it now. … What do you mean you’ve never been to Alpha Centauri? Oh, for heaven’s sake, mankind, it’s only four light years away, you know. I’m sorry, but if you can’t be bothered to take an interest in local affairs, that’s your own lookout. Energize the demolition beams.”

My thought is that the board could be used to post announcements about discussions happening on Meta, with reminders to discuss this there. ~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs)problem solving 14:57, 31 January 2020 (UTC)
ONUnicorn, a page for links to relevant discussions (more than fit in CENT) could be created by any interested person. It already happens in some other communities, and there's no reason why you couldn't do the same here if you wanted to (e.g., w:de:Wikipedia:Projektneuheiten, which is specific to technical changes, or w:fr:Wikipédia:Annonces, which is general news). Subject-specific pages might improve the perceived signal-to-noise ratio for readers. I recommend against making it WMF-specific, as this community is affected by far more organizations and individual-led projects than just the WMF. You might want to talk to the Signpost about this, as they have some experience with announcements, and they already have an audience.
It won't solve the problem that most people won't read it (or remember what they've read). I've manually posted messages to more than a hundred high-traffic pages, and run site-wide banners to 100% of logged-in editors for weeks, and still had editors say they never heard about it; I've seen a CENT-listed, month-long RFC here at VPPR, with 20+ editors supporting it and nobody opposing it, get overturned because some other editors didn't notice the RFC; I've even seen someone actively participate in a discussion on wiki, and then ask a month later why nobody ever discussed the subject. There is no way to make people read and remember everything that's relevant to them. But the fact that it won't be a total and perfect solution doesn't mean that it's not worth doing it at all. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 20:45, 31 January 2020 (UTC)
Whatamidoing (WMF) I find it ironic that you come here opposing the new page and apparently blaming me regarding the WMF cramming the visual editor down our throats. It's ironic because, on exactly the issue of WMF's VE throat-cramming, you are responsible for letting us get to the brink of second Superprotect-level crisis. In case you don't recall you were liaison for the Single Edit Tab (SET) deployment. I told you that the manager explicitly assured me it would NOT be deployed as VE-default without a community consensus. I repeatedly asked you weather the the product was going to deploy with a VE-default. I presented a pattern of evidence that the product was about to deploy with a VE-default. Your responses and denials on the subject turned out be... unhelpful and untrue... that is the most generous way I can put it. Furthermore the manager on the project later asserted surprise at the issue... suggesting that either (1) you failed to ask or mention the issue with staff or (2) the manager was lying. I will not speculate between those options. In any case, the project for which you were liaison was in fact deployed with a VE-default. Exactly as I anticipated. Exactly as I repeatedly brought to you in advance. After deploying the VE-default the Foundation went non-responsive for well over a week, despite attempts to reach the Foundation in multiple places including the manager's personal talk page. We only got a response when I escalated the issue to the Executive Director's talk page! She had to summon the manager to give an answer. The manager gave us assurances that it was a bug and that he would fix it. More than a week went by with no action. We went back to the manager and he told us that VE-default was always his intention and he had absolutely no intention of fulfilling his promise to change it. At that point things went from ugly to obscene blatant bad faith. He was outright called a "liar", and ANI decided that "liar" was not uncivil given the diffs of his own words. A community member then wrote a hack for the sitewide javascript to change the default. The community members involved were acutely aware that hacking the sitewide javascript to explicitly override a manager was putting us on the threshhold of repeating the Superprotect incident. Note that the manager said it was a bug - so either the javascript hack was an undisputed bugfix or the manager was acting in deceitful bad faith. Either way the editors involved considered the javascript absolutely justified. At that point the manager finally agreed to fix the default-editor from his end, as he had promised to do a week earlier.
Whatamidoing, I respect your work and experience and expertise and dedication as a community member. However as a liaison your job was to prevent any of that from happening. I persistently attempted to ask you and warn you, attempting to head off the impeding problem. The reason I want this new Pump page is because you and other staff consistently ignore my accurate warnings that manure is about to hit the rotary air-mover. I am trying to tell you that there are a whole series of fans spinning right now. Maybe I'm overly optimistic, but I'm hoping the new page will help us sort out issues before they escalate to crisis. I hope the page will help us get moving in a common direction.
To minimize WallOfText I'll limit my reply to that one subject. Oh, and Spoiler Alert, the Foundation is about to release hard data on how badly a VE-default reduces edits. Alsee (talk) 18:36, 31 January 2020 (UTC)
Last I checked, I still hadn't been appointed queen of the wikiverse. (I'm sure it's just an oversight. ;-)) However, until that happens, I can't actually prevent everything that I'd like to prevent, any more than I can force someone to build the things that I want built (e.g., phab:T89970).
The movement might need a clearer understanding of which groups ultimately get to make which kinds of decisions, and specifically where the English Wikipedia's editors fall in a typical responsibility assignment matrix for different kinds of projects undertaken by outside communities. Are you supposed to be "informed" or "consulted" about projects that affect you, but the people responsible for the project get to make the decisions? Or do you see yourself as the ultimate "approver" or "decider", with veto power over everyone else? The volunteers in the Strategy Working Groups have proposed that a movement charter be written to clarify some of these points of contention. Perhaps having a document that explicitly says something like "An online community {can|can't} veto a project that affects that online community, but which was undertaken by another group" would forestall some of these disputes by preventing all sides of any dispute from thinking that their side has the ultimate decision-making authority. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 21:24, 31 January 2020 (UTC)
But the Foundation did appoint you queen of Single Edit Tab liaising. You do an excellent job as liaison - until the Foundation agenda is questioned. At that point you tend to cease liaising. That doesn't serve the community or the Foundation. I can't decide whether it's better or worse than a liaison who lacks your community knowledge and understanding. The job should be to facilitate communication, understanding, and collaboration between the Foundation and the community. One of the most important things is to alert staff of any issues that may negatively impact their work, especially any potential or actual opposing consensus. Those staff then need your expertise and help to reach a viable resolution. Too often such situations go unacknowledged until too late. Most staff don't seem to have have the mandate or understanding to constructively engage that kind of situation. That leaves us with unconstructive approaches and bad outcomes. The Foundation and community need to work as partners.
Regarding Responsibility assignment matrix, I spent some time absorbing the page. The models generally seem to presume a context essentially internal to an organisation, generally everyone is an employee. It's a bit more complicated to apply the models here. I will try to summarize my view this way: Those models generally acknowledge approval may be needed from multiple parties to initiate a project and/or approve deployment. I acknowledge the Foundation has something approximating universal veto of every stage of anything affecting them or expending their money or labor. Wikis should get broad local decision-making on things affecting us, and I see cases where a global level consensus could apply. For example the Foundation sometimes cite the issue of a wiki unreasonably blocking some deployment - perhaps even one admin on a tinywiki. The community has the solution. It's documented in WP:CONLEVEL. If a wiki goes Nationalistic and violates NPOV and abuses admin tools, the global community can revoke the admins and reboot the wiki. If a wiki is unreasonably obstructing some deployment, global consensus can assert global deployment. Problem solved - if the Foundation engages consensus. Alsee (talk) 09:57, 1 February 2020 (UTC)
Liaison work, as any professional liaison officer could tell you, does not mean that you can always make two sides agree. It is possible to do excellent work as a liaison (i.e., as a person who carries information from one side to the other, and back again) and still end up with an intractable disagreement.
Before we could agree that things could be done by global consensus, we would have to have a consensus that consensus is the movement's method of making decisions. "The consensus of people who showed up" is mostly how we do it here at this wiki, but it is not how things happen in other communities. Some prefer straight-up majority votes or super-majority votes. There are also disagreements about what to do when there's no consensus. The Strategy volunteers favor the idea of a more integrated movement, but I think that will require us to spend time sorting out the details. For example, is it each human who gets a "vote", or each community or organization? And how do we respect devolution and local autonomy if we all get to vote on other group's affairs? (Surely we wouldn't want to say that the 99% of us who don't speak Swedish get to tell the relatively few Swedish speakers what they're supposed to be writing about.) And what do you do about intractable disagreements, e.g., that on the one hand, "the Foundation has something approximating universal veto of every stage of anything affecting them" but on the other hand, this community very much wants to have the opposite outcome, and sees itself as being the primary party affected by a WMF decision? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 22:10, 3 February 2020 (UTC)

Sdkb, we'll collectively sort out how the page actually gets used. But for what it's worth, my concept for the page is "about WMF" rather than "to WMF". For example I picture anyone could post "The WMF is working on X", information which might be of interest here. That post might or might not spark a conversation. That conversation might or might not rise to a level where we want to actively talk to the WMF about it. Although I do anticipate a need for feedback-to or discussion-with the WMF for some initial topics that I want to post. Alsee (talk) 12:34, 3 February 2020 (UTC)

I support Alsee's proposal. and this new resource would be beneficial to WMF, and to Wikipedia. --Sm8900 (talk) 18:44, 9 February 2020 (UTC)

"All articles needing additional references"Edit

The following 200 pages are in this category, out of approximately 378,105 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more). (Number as of this proposal, 00:18, 9 February 2020 (UTC))

That number of articles would seem to be overwhelming, with human effort unlikely to reduce it, especially since it gets higher with new tags. Here are some suggestions:

1. Create a bot to work on that huge category, looking at articles tagged before a certain date, say before 2010, and checking how many references were valid on the date cetain, and how many are valid during the check, and then delete the tag if the number of valid citations has increased enough. Determining that number might be tricky to establish, so perhaps some sampling bot would be needed. I suspect that there are many older articles which would qualify for deletion, even with a increase of 20 to qualify for deletion.

2. Create a category a lot smaller than 378,000, say only 3000, with some way to select good candidates for human effort, perhaps large older articles with only a few inline references.

3. Run a contest for that smaller number for any user who signs up for it.

4. We know who created the article and when the tag was applied. A bot could be created to send a message to the tagger user, or the creator of the article and maybe only send messages to volunteers, not everybody found to have created or tagged a references needed article.

What do others say? The previous proposal shows some interest in this situation--Dthomsen8 (talk) 00:18, 9 February 2020 (UTC)

Those are only the articles actually tagged as needing more references. It is possible that 5 million would be a more representative number. Another way of looking at it is that only GA and FA or equivalent and maybe B-class have been adequately checked, and that was when they were promoted. It also depends on whose evaluation for need is applied. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 09:14, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
You are right, there is likely to be far than 378 thousand articles that could be tagged as needing more references. Your idea of starting with FA or GA articles is a good one. My basic concept was find articles with sufficient references but tagged long ago to be done first, and your idea to start with FA and GA articles is would help. I am going to look at those two categories by manual means. I wll post some findings here.--Dthomsen8 (talk) 01:00, 14 February 2020 (UTC)

Dthomsen8 I've seen editors add the template when there are only a few sentences lacking a citation and everything else is cited. To me, it should only be used in the worst cases, since as Peter says nearly every article needs additional citations by default. As such a bot that can determine proportion ie. number of citations vs. number of sentences, could better determine when to both add and remove the tag. These tags are emotive in the community, any bot work would need to be balanced with both adds and deletes. I ran a bot that added about 10,000 {{Unreferenced}} which you would think would be uncontroversial but it took months of RFC and BRFA (two of them) to finally get approval, it was a big effort. The software was also not easy simply determining when an article has a ref or not, or should even have a ref or not, turns out to be complex in the details due to endless edge case exceptions. -- GreenC 16:21, 23 February 2020 (UTC)

Idea for new community workspaceEdit

Hi. I would like to create come kind of collaborative workspace where coordinators or members of various WikiProjects would gather and provide updates and information on what is going on at each wikiproject, i.e. regarding their latest efforts, projects, and where interested editors can get involved.

Your input would be very helpful, so I wanted to get your brief input on whether you'd be interested in helping me to make this happen. I see a few possible options for making this happen, so I would like to get your input and feedback on this. which of the options below would you prefer? also, please reply to the brief questions below.

Please feel free to let me know what you think of this idea, and please let me know your preference, regarding the options above. if you do not see any need for this idea, that is totally fine. However, I think that the majority of editors lack awareness of where the truly active editing is taking place and at which WikiProjects, and I would like to do whatever I can to help make people more aware of where the activity is, what they can do to help, and also which areas of Wikipedia offer ideas and efforts that might help them in their own editing activities. Please feel free to let me know.--Sm8900 (talk) 12:32, 9 February 2020 (UTC)

Do we have any figures that show whether the truly active editing is taking place at wikiProjects? Phil Bridger (talk) 13:36, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
excellent question. I am tagging Iridescent and SandyGeorgia, even though they disagree with me on this topic. they have some great data on this. I would like to provide as much data as can be feasible. --Sm8900 (talk) 14:29, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
The data I have focuses at the FA level, and indicates the only WikiProject still producing top content is MILHIST. With a decades-old organizational history, MILHIST survives and thrives even with the decline in editorship.
See Wikipedia talk:Featured article statistics#Jan 1, 2020
Sorting this chart by percentage growth reveals that all of the other top growth areas in Featured articles are the result of individual editors rather than WikiProject collaboration (eg Wehwalt's coins in Business, and Casliber's work in Biology), while looking at the bottom of the chart shows WikiProjects that have fallen into decline and no longer focus on collaborating to build content. In my experience, with the exception of MilHist, WikiProjects are not a happening thing anymore.
As an example of a once-thriving WikiProject, the Medicine Project used to have ongoing monthly article collaborations, top content was showcased on the project page, and the project saw regular growth in their featured content; the current picture is that the medicine project has not produced an FA since 2015, and is not maintaining the FAs they have on the books, which all need review. The medicine project's priorities are now externally (non-en.Wikipedia) oriented.
Other WikiProjects have faded into oblivion for other reasons, while still others seem to serve purposes other than developing high quality content. I'm sorry I can't offer a more rosy outlook. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:44, 9 February 2020 (UTC)

@Sm8900: Don't forget Women in Red Sandy, I mostly agree though. In my experience here I would avoid creating new WikiProjects as they have the tendency to fizzle out. Wikipedia:Town Hall I think would be perfect, simply a place to let people know what is going on in each project. I don't think you really need a WikiProject to maintain that. ♦ Dr. Blofeld 14:52, 9 February 2020 (UTC)

thanks, Dr. Blofeld!!
SandyGeorgia, I do appreciate your reply and your data. I do have to disagree somewhat. what about Wikipedia:WikiProject Women in Red? that seems to be an exception as well, since it is clearly highly active as well. is it possible that there might be other exceptions, perhaps? --Sm8900 (talk) 14:54, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
I just thought of something else. even if activity moves away from WikiProjects entirely, a page like Wikipedia: Town Hall could be a place for editors at any group page to figure out where they can help with various group efforts and tasks. so I am setting up that page, and linking to this initial proposal there. we can always redirect it to another page, if consensus emerges for some other resource. --Sm8900 (talk) 14:57, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
In terms of content produced, I have no data indicating any reason to change my analysis re Women in Red. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:00, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Database reports/WikiProject watchers.--Moxy 🍁 15:11, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
Number of watchers gives a relative measure, but I'm not sure how representative that data is of participation. For example, the medicine project has about a dozen active participants. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:22, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
thanks for that link, Moxy! I think it does help to provide a fuller picture, with some useful data. I hear SandyGeorgia's point as well though. --Sm8900 (talk) 15:23, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
Only 15 of the over 1,000 WikiProjects have more watchers than my talk page, so ... SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:33, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
Could run Wikipedia:Database reports/WikiProjects by changes again see whats going on.--Moxy 🍁 15:39, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
Moxy: It has recently been run again. See here. There is however a problem as both cols are identical. If you can fix it and rerun it, the results might be even more useful.--Ipigott (talk) 07:07, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
I would suggest just put a new tab at the top of this page, "Projects". Either we accept that organized activity level indicates the death of Wikipedia, or we provide organized activity space in the hopes that organized activity might live. (There are editors who are inevitably not going to join, as they are not joiners, just like some are not interested in meet-ups, but having places for people to go for those who are joiners or discuss ideas even if they don't join seems it would be a sensible part, if sometimes feeble, of broadest engagement avenues (see eg., Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Cities people still go there to talk)) The Projects tab should also be interpreted broadly as all events/places/writing processes for editors getting together). -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 15:30, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
@Alanscottwalker:, well said! quote: "Either we accept that organized activity level indicates the death of Wikipedia, or we provide organized activity space in the hopes that organized activity might live." I agree. --15:46, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
Be easier to have inactive WikiProjects & related projects deleted. GoodDay (talk) 15:47, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
that would be easier??!! how do you define "easy"?   the proposal here is to create a new page or other resource, where people can simply post occasional comments on what's up, and what they've been doing. it's hard to get easier than that, isn't it? --Sm8900 (talk) 15:51, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
The GOCE is still very active. (Only 320 articles left in the backlog!) I think the proposal would be a good idea however I also don't think it would be used that much... Puddleglum 2.0 17:00, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
Puddleglum2.0, that's true, this would probably not get a huge amount of usage. however, once we get consensus to set this up, the next step would be to link to this actively from various places, eg active wikiprojects, wikiproject council, teahouse, village pump, etc, in case anyone can benefit from this. --Sm8900 (talk) 17:29, 9 February 2020 (UTC)

Here's a current example of the death of a WikiProject. MeegsC is congratulating WPMED on the Medicine Project talk page, saying "This project is getting some nice airplay this morning in the UK, in a piece about the coronavirus articles in the UK version of WIRED."

But looking at the Coronavirus articles reveals that WPMED has barely engaged those topics. The top five articles mentioned by Wired in page views are:

  1. Coronavirus, page stats, where the top contributor is not a WPMED participant, the second-highest contributor is blocked for copyvio, and the third-highest contributor is virology doc User:Graham Beards, who does not list himself as a WP:MED participant. (I'll come back to that point.)
  2. 2019–20 Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, page stats, none of the top 10 editors are WP:MED project participants.
  3. 2019 novel coronavirus, page stats, none of the top 10 editors are WP:MED project participants.
  4. 2019–20 Wuhan coronavirus outbreak by country and territory, page stats, none of the top 10 editors are WP:MED project participants.
  5. Timeline of the 2019–20 Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, page stats, none of the top 10 editors are WP:MED project participants.

In conclusion, there is one medical editor who figures prominently in the content there (Graham Beards), who does not list himself as a WP:MED member. The Wired article correctly highlights Wikipedia's strong medical sourcing policies. That sourcing guideline was promoted to a guideline in September 2008, based on the work primarily of User:Colin, and also User:Graham Beards, User:Nbauman, User:Eubulides, User:Davidruben, User:MastCell, User:SandyGeorgia and User:Nmg20. Not one of those editors participates actively in the Medicine Project today. So, with the exception of Graham Beards and the strong sourcing policies put in place over a decade ago by editors who no longer actively participate in the Medicine Wikiproject, the Medicine Project has been mostly absent in this breaking medical situation. One can examine what MILHIST does right to encourage participation, and contrast that with the direction other WikiProjects have taken. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:21, 9 February 2020 (UTC)

I haven't had any interaction with WP:MED but I just wanted to make an observation. As far as I am aware, it has never been mandatory to list yourself as a WikiProject member in order to participate in a WikiProject. If you are using listed membership for the basis of any assumptions about activity then you are going to reach a false conclusion. I'm not a listed member of a project but regularly seek advice or offer advice at project boards. From Hill To Shore (talk) 20:44, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
As a medical editor, I suspect I know who the medical editors are. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:54, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
correct. I agree 110% with SandyGeorgia, but if that's the case, then that's exactly why we need some group resource like Wikipedia:Town Hall. there is currently no user space where successful WikiProjects like WP:MILHIST are actively reaching out, discussing, and sharing their successful goals and methods with people at OTHER WikiProjects. --Sm8900 (talk) 18:41, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
Wow. Here's the paragraph that caught my eye in the linked article (which I'm wondering if SandyGeorgia read). “The editing community often concentrates on breaking news events, [and therefore] that content rapidly develops. The recent outbreak of novel coronavirus has been no exception,” explains James Heilman, a Canadian emergency room physician and long-term Wikipedia editor that goes by the username Doc James and has been instrumental in ensuring the coronavirus articles’ reliability. Heilman is part of WikiProject Medicine, a small but extremely active group of Wikipedia editors focused on medical information. The coronavirus outbreak has kept the members of the group busy in recent weeks." It also mentions that the article contains information well beyond the medical (which may explain the "non-WP:MED" numbers. If this information is not correct, I guess y'all need to take it up with the WIRED staff. MeegsC (talk) 18:57, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
Yes, compared to looking at the actual data about who is editing those articles, that is an interesting statement, isn't it? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:07, 9 February 2020 (UTC)

@Sm8900: We have too many forums as is on wikipedia, and adding more will mean more places to check and undermine attempts at coordinating collaborative editing. We already have Wikipedia:Community portal, which I can see has a bulletin board down the page (amusingly there is no table of contents so one cannot link to it directly - tjhat needs to be fixed! Should have checked the source - it is at Wikipedia:Community bulletin board). Also Wikipedia:Dashboard though that is a bit off-topic. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 23:06, 9 February 2020 (UTC)

thanks, but this is not a new forum in the way that Village Pump, RFC, AfD, or CfD, etc, are. this will be a collaborative workspace. So there is no obligation on anyone to check this. Any WikiProjects who want to use it to share ideas and techniques, etc, will be welcome to do so. anyone who prefers to not use it is free to choose that as well. --Sm8900 (talk) 23:46, 9 February 2020 (UTC)

I do feel Casliber has a point. I utterly applaud Sm8900 for their boundless enthusiasm and wish to see and drive forward improvements across many spaces, though a do worry a little bit about this . Finding a balance between providing helpful resources, guidance, or an ideas sharing platform on the one hand, and potentially weakening and dissipating what limited participation there is already is a tricky thing to achieve. Personally, as a participant in two very quiet WikiProjects, I am keen to know how best to enliven and run them better. But isn't that what WP:WikiProject WikiProjects (i.e. this) should be used for? I'd gladly subscribe to a newsletter there to be kept up-to-date, or to seek help and advice when I need it, or to help others. But, I prefer to see clearly laid out proposals and some Aims and Objectives that I can consider. I see Wikipedia:Town Hall has now been created, though what its distinct and unique purpose will be, I am not at all clear. Nick Moyes (talk) 01:23, 10 February 2020 (UTC)

guys, Nick Moyes has a point. this is still an open proposal. remember, the original proposal includes a number of possible options, including setting up a new sub-page at WIkiProject Council, setting up a sub-page at my own user space, or setting up a sub-page at an umbrella-type WikiProject, one with a broad enough scope to encompass numerous relevant topical sub-areas, eg WikiProject History or elsewhere, or else possibly setting up an entirely new page, such as WP:Town Hall.
the real initial spark for this idea was when I became the new coordinator at WIkiProject History. I started digging around to try to find the latest information on which wikiprojects were most active, and found there was no existing forum or page to provide an overview of that data. I eventually found my way to Wikipedia: WikiProject Women in Red, thanks to helpful data rreceived in discussions with others, but I had never heard of that highly-active project, until that point. that got me thinking that maybe we could use a resource like this. presenting the proposal here, in this manner, is simply a way to get multiple insights into ways to approach this.
with that said, though, the actual core goal and purpose here is actually quite simple and clear. I am seeking to set up a page where editors could find useful information on which WikiProjects are most active, and what they are working on. In addition, interested members of active WIkiProjects could exchange information with each other, in regards to what activities are current for them, and which methods they find helpful. this includes WIkiProjects, but also any active lower-case projects, group efforts, or any concerted activity by multiple editors at all. we have forums that address specific issues eg, afd, rfc, etc; however, this would be a community forum where we exchange ideas, and information on current efforts, eg, which are most active, what they are working on, etc etc.
someone else in a prior comment on this thread suggested adding a tab for "projects" here at Village Pump. their comment captured an important point; we would benefit from some forum, in whatever form, that provides clear centralized updates on which projects are most active, i.e. we could also set this up as a sub-page at some existing resource. my goal was to propose this idea simply as an idea, which could take various forms.
I would like to develop the idea for a Town Hall page with several people who expressed support above, and with several other editors who expressed interest in this idea elsewhere, in discussions on various talk pages. so therefore, I see this idea moving ahead as a page, based on support by various editors recently. but I am also open to other ideas on ways to approach this. thanks. --Sm8900 (talk) 02:04, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
and by the way, I am not seeking any obligatory or mandatory role for this proposed process, at all. So therefore, it has the same status as a user essay, or other similar resource; people are free to use it, to explore it, to delve into it, if they find it useful to do so. but there would be no obligation to utilize it. and of course, if there are other ways to approach this, then those are still viable to be explored as well.
the real test of this idea would be whether anyone actually uses it or not. I fully admit that, without hesitation, as that is pretty obvious for any community resource.
as you can see, I do have some support for this idea from some editors, above, but I am not saying this ideas is fully finalized already. I did set up Wikipedia:Town Hall, as a work-in-progress for those editors who seemed interested enough to express support above for this idea. I do hope to use it to explore this idea with those who are already interested in doing so. but it is still very much an open topic as to which approach would seem best to other folks here. I'm really glad to see this thread being active, to get views and ideas from multiple people on what they think of this idea, and how to approach it practically, if that is possible. thanks!! --Sm8900 (talk) 02:38, 10 February 2020 (UTC)

Casliber, Nick Moyes, Sm8900: I would put it slightly differently, there are too many pages to watchlist. How did I get here? It's because with a single watch I have all the pumps are on my watchlist, which is why I only think this is a good idea if it is added here as a tab, above. Alanscottwalker (talk) 12:32, 10 February 2020 (UTC)

One of the problems is that this town hall space will not make wikiprojects active. As it is there are two or maybe three active projects (MILHIST and WiR and ...???), so you're creating a page for..what? We also alreayd have Peer Review which is moribund. That could be worth highlighting or promoting? We've had various article collaborations, were you thinking of reviving something like those? Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 13:43, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
Active, depends on how you define active. As I noted in my first comment, people still go to some project pages to discuss, to me, that seems active. More direct to your question, I think that the occasional surfacing of whatever, dispute, idea, effort, contest is going on at editor collaboration forums is likely to lead to more engagement, or at least raise the possibility. (Eg. I might not be generally interested in trains, so would not begin to think to watchlist that project, but if someone there thinks there is an important issue discussion about approving reliable source which touch on history and notifies me than hey, I might be interested if I have time in looking at that, even participating. Just as I saw this and I commented. Or if someone has something to say about reviving Peer Review, I might be interested in that if I get notice, Cas Liber has something I should think about regarding Peer Review.) -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 14:07, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
guys, I support the idea proposed by User:Alanscottwalker, to create a new tab at Village Pump. that is probably better for now than my own ideas; below are some reasons.
  • for one thing it is a great way to announce ideas such as mine or anyone else's, seeking to build new spaces for group discussion processes.
  • what happens if a few WikiProject Coordinators had a group idea that they wanted to try, and had eight or nine folks onboard? would we tell them, "sorry, USer:Sm8900 already had that idea"? of course we wouldn't. there is room for multiple approaches for this. that's what WikiProjects are all about in the first place.
  • there is no guarantee that any idea of mine stated above will necessarily take off. They will take time to develop. creating a new tab here leaves the door open for any new ideas, efforts or groups who might come along later, and might have their own ideas for new forms of group efforts at Wikipedia.
  • By the way, I posted notices of my proposal at a few WikiProjects, to see if i could spark any interest and response. As you can see, I didn't get much response here. I can't build this idea unless it gets some real interest from others. so therefore, the idea for a new tab is much better, as it is more visible and will be more of an ongoing resource.
let me know what you think of Alanscottwalker's idea.
do we need to create a new section to formally propose that? or alternately, should I revise my own original statement of proposed ideas, above? anyway, I will simply watch the discussion here, and hope for consensus to emerge. thanks!! --Sm8900 (talk) 14:51, 10 February 2020 (UTC)

IMHO, less is more. Too many WikiProjects, too many this, too many that & you're making things more difficult, where you meant to make things easier. GoodDay (talk) 15:14, 10 February 2020 (UTC)

on the contrary , the entire discussion here is designed to make things easier. this discussion is intended as a positive process, where all ideas are welcome. there is no need to tell anyone here that they are "making things more difficult." I'd prefer it if we simply focus on discussing the topic at hand. I am open to all views on this. I appreciate the insights of everyone here. thanks!! --Sm8900 (talk) 15:36, 10 February 2020 (UTC)

I think this is a good idea, a central place for editors to be. Of course we merge or archive previous attempts at this. But this is a great idea. PrussianOwl (talk) 21:04, 10 February 2020 (UTC)

  • Oppose per WP:CREEP. We already have several community meeting places, including the Village Pump, Teahouse, Community portal and the WikiProject Council and we don't need another one. So far as projects are concerned, we should mostly just let them wither on the vine. Trying to delete them would be like the portal omnishambles.
The main thing that needs doing is to stop gnomes adding huge project banners to article talk pages when they don't actually speak for those projects or do any real work on the articles. For example, I recently created the article Edda Tasiemka. I did this on my own initiative for the Six millionth article milestone – an activity which was well-attended but which was not associated with a particular project, AFAIK. I was mildly annoyed when some gnomes added several project templates to the article's talk page: Biography, Germany, UK and Women. These all seemed too broad in scope so I replaced them all with a couple which actually addressed the topic: Journalism and Libraries. I considered Wikiproject Archive but found that this was some sort of meta-activity and not actually concerned with real-world archives. I then squished all the templates with a {{WPBS}} so that users of the talk page would not be distracted by them. Someone then added the biography project back but I'm ignoring it as it won't now do anything significant.
Andrew🐉(talk) 21:38, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
@Andrew Davidson: I would argue that the WikiProject Biography banner serves a useful purpose on all biography articles. As a bare minimum it flags up articles as being covered by WP:BLP, or not, and places them in suitable categories. The banners are also another route for other editors to find and update the article. Your article is barely more than an orphan at the moment with a link from only one other article. If you want to keep out the WikiProjects from your creation, it is likely to sit unheeded for years after the initial rush of DYK editors have passed through. From Hill To Shore (talk) 17:21, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose, at least as proposed. This is too conceptually nebulous and unclear to be of use, overlapping with better venues for it when there's a clearer scope. Have something article-specific in mind? Use the article talk page. Need more eyes on the matter? Ask a relevant WikiProject. If it's too ill-defined to fit on a talk page or WikiProject, the various village pumps and noticeboards are there for that. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 17:12, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
Also the idea that there are only ' two or maybe three active projects' is plainly ridiculous. Sure there's a bunch of defunct projects (mostly those with such narrow scope, that they really are much closer to taskforces), but that hardly means that most are that way. All the projects I'm a member of are pretty active. That's at least WP:PHYS, WP:JOURNALS, WP:ELEMENTS, WP:MED, WP:WPWIR, and I know for a fact that WP:CHEM, WP:VG, WP:WPMATH are pretty active as well. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 17:22, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
@Headbomb: thanks very much for your great info. part of the reason for my proposal above is precisely to share info like the great data that you just mentioned. yes, we have existing noticeboards. but we have nowhere that serves as a place, a forum, or a repository, for current info, active updates, and ongoing active discussions, on activity and current projects like what you just mentioned. that is precisely what I would like to set up; statements like your are the reason that I wish to do so.
Also, please note, my initial proposal above specifically states that it would be fine if we could set this up as an active sub-page of an existing resource; i.e. this could be at WikiProjects Council, or an existing meta-WikiProject, etc. my point right now is that nothing that we currently have is fulfilling this purpose. so would you like to help put this in motion?
in your opinion, where would be a good place for this? and if you feel that this does already exist, could you please tell me which page or resource seems to fit this role? I am truly open to any guidance or input that you may have. i am very glad that you took the time to write. thanks!! --Sm8900 (talk) 18:18, 11 February 2020 (UTC)

I recommend merging Wikipedia:Community bulletin board and Wikipedia:Town HallEdit

I think the overlap is enough that these two pages should be merged (i..e revitalising the former). I also think linking as a tab from Village Pump is an escellent idea. The noticeboard has not been very visible for decades. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 23:11, 10 February 2020 (UTC)

thanks! however, I don't think merging Wikipedia:Town Hall will improve or revitalize any other page. right now, Wikipedia:Town Hall is still just an experiment. It hasn't really caught on at this point. if no one uses it, it won't have much impact if it is simply merged --Sm8900 (talk) 23:41, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
Hi. I only meant for Wikipedia:Town Hall to be an experimental prototype, but it seems to have been somewhat misinterpreted. for the purposes of this discussion, I will simply maintain it as a draft in my own user space. that should remove any hint of jumping the gun unnecessarily. anyone who does have some interest in this page is welcome to visit my user page draft and to make comments there.
here is the link: User:Sm8900/Draft for town hall page. thanks!! --Sm8900 (talk) 23:44, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
  • For the tab, we just need a one word tab title, I suggested "Projects", some might see that as too limiting but I think of it kind of indicates 'things being done by editors', I suppose "Community" could work, although it seems a bit more amorphous to me. Alanscottwalker (talk) 01:39, 11 February 2020 (UTC)

Add tab to Village Pump for "Projects" topicsEdit

As per the comment immediately above, I am adding a separate section here for the great idea proposed above, to add a tab to Village Pump for projects. If editors could please express their support or other views here, that would be helpful.

Casliber, I agree with your comment above that favors the addition of a new tab to Village Pump. if you wish, feel free to comment in this section. thanks!! --Sm8900 (talk) 01:23, 11 February 2020 (UTC)

I have reverted (most of) your spam notices. This idea does not have support, and should not be presented as a thing that has such support, or that will (or should) happen. The 'town hall' is fully redundant with WP:COUNCIL and other noticeboards like WP:Community Portal or WP:Dashboard. Get consensus for your idea first before spamming projects. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 05:50, 16 February 2020 (UTC)
See also Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:WikiProject History/History Town Hall. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 06:05, 16 February 2020 (UTC)
Now we're at ANI. This is getting ridiculous. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 13:47, 16 February 2020 (UTC)
I followed your request to make it a draft in my user space, then left a message on your talk page, to let you know that I had done so. I have replied to your note at WP:ANI. thanks. --Sm8900 (talk) 13:52, 16 February 2020 (UTC)
The request was for you to stop spamming your half-baked proposal and to stop WP:FORUMSHOPPING. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 13:56, 16 February 2020 (UTC)
Okay, but you also requested that I present as a draft in user space. if you'd prefer not to communicate about that draft, that is totally fine. I appreciate your reply. --Sm8900 (talk) 13:59, 16 February 2020 (UTC)

() WP:IDHT, WP:TE. Why, exactly, are you generating such a timesink? Miniapolis 18:20, 16 February 2020 (UTC)

I think that we can safely close this now. I appreciate everyone's input. thanks!! --Sm8900 (talk) 00:59, 18 February 2020 (UTC)
is it okay for me to archive this section? I hope that's okay. thanks. --Sm8900 (talk) 01:07, 18 February 2020 (UTC)
Let the bot archive it, so all observers of this forum will have the usual amount of time to stay up-to-date on discussion threads. isaacl (talk) 01:16, 18 February 2020 (UTC)

In defence of wikiprojectsEdit

From many of the above comments, it looks as if wikiprojects are a thing of the past. Only those concerned with producing high quality articles are considered successful while those with few active participants are considered to be inactive.

I have a rather different view. I find wikiprojects extremely useful in identifying articles on a given area of interest, in contacting editors for pertinent collaboration and in alerting potential collaborators to developments which may be of interest to them. I can confirm this has worked effectively in connection, for example, with the monthly topics of Women in Red, with notices of contests, with the need to concentrate on third world countries/populations, and with attracting interest in developments such as elections or world conferences.

There has been little mention of the part wikiprojects play in attracting new editors but in my experience that is frequently one of the more important outcomes.

There is one aspect in particular which seems important to me and which up to now has received little attention. It is the frequency with which wikiprojects are included on the talk pages of new articles. These templates serve not only to relate an article to the areas of interest it covers but they are also a means of initial and on-going assessment. I think it would be very useful if we could find a means of listing the number of talk page templates per wikiproject added each month. In my opinion, it would provide quite a different view of the importance editors give to one of the more important features of wikiprojects.

In conclusion, while I welcome general discussion of how we can revive community collaboration, it looks to me as if many wikiprojects continue to serve a useful purpose and should therefore be given further support. But to avoid confusion, those which really no longer serve any useful purpose should be deleted.--Ipigott (talk) 08:00, 10 February 2020 (UTC)

I think Sandy is referring to the fact that many WikiProjects end up inactive or barely have a couple of active editors and that most editors have the tendency to do their own thing. I know I've personally started a few projects which are now largely inactive and I see dead projects all of the time when I send out notifications of my contests. The Intertranswiki project for instance is arguably one of the most important things we can do towards addressing systematic bias and getting content on other wikis put into English but we only have one regular contributor who functions within that project, most people work independently. My challenges are faring pretty well as a whole though, and have grown in the number of contributors. The Women cause is somewhat different in that it unifies a lot of people in the real world who are campaigning to make a difference, Women in Red has been extremely well organized and run, in an ideal world every topic would have a fully functional operation and be consistent like this.♦ Dr. Blofeld 13:55, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
The inactive WikiProjects should be nominated for deletions. GoodDay (talk) 15:19, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
Sandy is quite right that many wikiprojects often end up completely inactive and I agree that they should either be deleted or completely bypassed. But many of the others serve a useful support purpose as I've tried to explain. Thanks for reminding us of Intertranswiki - I had almost forgotten about it. It's the kind of wikiproject that could be usefully revived as there is a growing need for translations in and out of English. But like many of the others, someone needs to drive it along.--Ipigott (talk) 15:23, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
I didn't expect my observation about MILHIST's performance, relative to other moribund WikiProjects (or active WikiProjects where quantity does not equal quality), to be taken as a reason to delete WikiProjects, rather as a reason to Be Like MILHIST. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:37, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
I strongly oppose the deletion of WikiProjects unless there is a good reason behind doing so. The pages can just as easily be marked as "historical" until interest is regained on the subject. See: Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:WikiProject Deletion as an example of this. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 15:27, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
I just want to add that past consensual reasons for deleting WikiProjects include: Projects created by a sock/banned user, and Projects that are created pre-maturely. Keeps have been historically high for former large scale WikiProjects, and those with a lot of members. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 18:18, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
Off the top of my head, I can only think of one WikiProject that was deleted, and that was because its purpose was deemed to be antithetical to collaborative editing. isaacl (talk) 21:01, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
  • How is the encyclopedia improved by deleting an inactive wikiproject? This is like people wanting to clean up stale userspace pages. They may have minimal (or even, zero) value, but if they're not actively causing any harm, why expend any effort to delete them? -- RoySmith (talk) 18:31, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
    • If anyone wants to spend time and effort on getting wikiprojects deleted then I would suggest that they would get more bang for their buck by improving articles, not least by finding reliable sources. Yes, most such projects are moribund, but why waste effort on getting something deleted that nobody reads anyway? Let's remember that we are supposed to be producing a public-facing encyclopedia, not making a nice tidy Wikipedia space for ourselves. Phil Bridger (talk) 18:50, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
      • One possible benefit of deleting an inactive wikiproject is that it makes it less confusing for editors to find a venue to raise their concerns. Wikipedia has lots of dead spaces where you can shout as much as you want, but no one is listening. Removing some of these could make for a more responsive experience.
        That said, I think this is a fairly minor concern. The harm done by inactive wikiprojects is pretty minimal and likely not worth the trouble to address. --Trovatore (talk) 19:56, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
        The work done by the WikiProject can still be of use, even if the project is no longer a central hub of activity for the topic area, such as style advice and guidance on article content and format. Additionally, preserving the historical record is important to ensure that future work can build on the past and that blind alleys aren't unnecessarily retaken. Marking them inactive may be useful to set expectations on responsiveness, but deleting them is not required. isaacl (talk) 20:55, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
        That's well-argued and convincing. I never did think it was very useful to delete them; I was just pointing out that it's not quite no benefit. --Trovatore (talk) 01:39, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
        I would like to chime in briefly, just to my own agreement with Isaacl's well-said comment above. thanks!! --Sm8900 (talk) 14:33, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Wikiprojects were never just about collaborating on articles. Of the two projects where I make regular comments on the talk, I've only ever "signed up" for one. Usually the best way to judge the health or usefulness of a project is to see how often the talk page has changed. Women in Red score very highly there, and in fact generates a lot of collaboration or just helping out, but nearly always at well below FA level. Johnbod (talk) 19:34, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Aren't Wikiprojects also the framework for how articles are rated? I don't think I've ever seen an article rating outside of a Wikiproject banner on the Talk page. Even a moribund project can still serve that purpose. Schazjmd (talk) 19:38, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
    • Yes, but many of us see ratings more often because there's an option in your gadget preferences to display an assessment of an article's quality in its page header (documentation). Wikipedia runs parallel rating systems: A-B-C are managed by the projects, FA-GA by community processes. At MILHIST we have vigorous A- and B-class review processes, but responsibility for ratings below B were turned over to the Project Bot. (Any other project that would like to use this facility is welcome to do so.)
    • In addition to ratings, the MILHIST project organises collaborations, runs competitions, provides recognition in the form of barnstars and other awards, and provides a forum for editors to receive expert advice and resolve content disputes. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 20:12, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Not all WikiProjects that are quiet are moribund. Some have other channels of communication through mailing lists, chat rooms and meet ups, and some, like WP:WikiProject Olympics, come alive every four years. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 20:12, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
^^this. I agree fully with this comment by Hawkeye7. on that note, please feel free to comment on the section above, Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)#Idea for new community workspace. I am trying to offer different ideas for some sort of workspace where WikiProjects could actively provide updates on their status, their current activities and where people can find them, i.e. in a resource and forum that could be used by 'editors and coordinators from multiple wikis, in other words to provide a shared space where several wikis would combine information and updates.
If no one finds this handy enough for easy use, then I guess it may not get so far; however, I am open to any form. method, or approach that people think might enable this type of resource to become useful. E.g, if you want to make this a sub-page of some existing resource, page or project, then that's fine as well. feel free to comment if you wish. thanks!!--Sm8900 (talk) 20:41, 10 February 2020 (UTC)

possible collaborative resourcesEdit

I can see many areas where a collaboration (never a bad thing) would be important. One example would be article assessments and issues involving multiple projects. There is some bot assessed articles but I have seen where a member from one project raises the level (particularly on B-class), and then someone else raise the others to match. An issue I have is particular to a B-class article with sourcing tags or inline citation tags. This means the blanket promotions where solely to match the other articles without looking to see if there are issues. The criteria is that the articles should be suitably referenced with inline citations. I realize that many like to state something to the affect of "why not do it yourself. On articles in the areas I regularly operate I may, BUT sometimes I am reading articles, from a maintenance point of view, that may involve a large number of articles on a list. It is easier to note comments on the talk page than redirect efforts (like to researching the issue) to solving problems on one article. Also, why just demote an article, especially that has a 4 or 5 year old career tag, as if there is an emergency. An involved or topic proficient editor may "fix" the issue, without someone slapping a revert for BRD reasoning, that should not be applicable on policy and guideline related maintenance issues, and then involve more discussions and edits. Seems logical to me but not to everyone. I give more attention to BLP issues and at my age I would never get through one complete list, if I stopped on every article to assess the issue. Sometimes I am not topic proficient, and sometimes I may notify several projects of comments seeking a solution. It would be a benefit, in some of these cases, to have cross-project collaboration where diverse editors watch one page. I, in fact, read where if there is doubts to inquire at the relevant talk page or project. That is seeking uncontroversial collaboration as well as help. Nope, I don't see a down-side in this instance. Otr500 (talk) 20:56, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
@Otr500:, thanks so much!!! if that is the case, then could you please stop by the draft page for the proposed forum, and leave any comments, any content you may wish, or else simply say hi? I haven't gotten a whole lot of activity there, in the short time since I introduced this new proposal. that's totally fine of course, and obviously I will accept whatever the overall community consensus may be. However, my main thought in creating this page was that it would simply be a community resource, for anyone who might wish to use it; in other words, for those who want to use it, it is available, and for those who don't, they are free to use it or to not use, as they may wish. it is meant simply to be available for those who find it helpful as a community resource and forum.
so therefore any ideas, input, or simple greeting that you might wish to add there would be more than welcome. right now, we simply want to hear from active or experienced members of our community, really any editor who has any group idea or effort that they wish to explore, and who sees a resource like this one as a net positive. so I would welcome any input that you might wish to provide. thanks!!
* the draft page is located at: User:Sm8900/Draft for town hall page (see below for new title)
I appreciate your help, and your great positive and encouraging comments above. thanks!! --Sm8900 (talk) 21:59, 11 February 2020 (UTC)

I'm a member of Unreferenced articles and despite what looks like a healthy list of members is currently in a semi comatose state with little wider community involvement or collaborative efforts. One of the reasons I think is looking and clicking through the oldest and obscure unreferenced articles is enough to make you lose the will to live. WProjects like MILHIST are more interesting, broader in scope etc. I'm not sure that outright deletion of WProjects is the answer, some of them could be merged/redirected. I remember there was a big blacklog drive (8 years ago?) to deal with unreferenced BLPs so the Wiki community can come together when there is the will among enough editors. I'm haven't got an answer to the WProjects problem, many of the smaller projects get created by a small group of enthusiastic editors only to die when there isn't any wider community support for them to keep going. Hopefully User:Sm8900 efforts can bring something positive to the WProjects ecosystem Mattg82 (talk) 00:20, 12 February 2020 (UTC)

@Mattg82:, thanks so much!! I appreciate your positive words and encouraging insights.
Based on some comments above, I have decided to simplify the name for this new page somewhat. the name "Town Hall" was overly broad, and does not give a real idea of what we are trying to do. so here is the new name, below:
  • DRAFT NAME: User:Sm8900/Community forum and bulletin board re WikiProjects
    • in order to build this, I will be approaching various individual editor who are working on specific group projects, to ask them what items they might like to post.
  • One editor asked an excellent question; how is this different than Wikipedia:Community bulletin board?
    • this idea is different from the Community bulletin board because this would be an active forum, where editors from different wikiprojects exchange ideas and data; the Wikipedia:community bulletin board is mainly for concise announcements.
    • however, until we get actual activity there, any such features might remain hypothetical. so I will approach some individual editors, and see what they might like to post there.
    • even for simple updates, this page would be much more expansive; in other words, it would not just be for terse announcements, but rather a collaborative bulletin board and forum, so even simple updates would be more detailed, and more engaging
  • the reason I entitled this "Community forum and bulletin board for WikiProjects," is to make it clear that this is not just one more new WikiProject which might eventually fizzle out; so that's why I did not name this "WikiProject bulletin board," as that would be a bit misleading.
this is still just a page in my own user space. it will remain there, as a draft, until I get some more editors directly involved in this. I hope to approach a few editors who are leading current group efforts, whether at WikiProjects or elsewhere, and see what they might like to post, and hope to make this a real resource for them.
however, if anyone here has any content or topics that they'd like to post, please feel free to come by any time. right now, we are seeking any material for inclusion that others might find helpful. so any ideas or items are welcome. feel free to visit the page any time, to provide ideas for topics or material, or any comments. thanks!!! --Sm8900 (talk) 05:03, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Inactive WikiProjects should NOT be nominated for deletion. They should be tagged as inactive. We should not delete the history of any once-active WikiProject. There is always potential for a resurgence of interest, and other good reasons.
Many WikiProjects are moribund. This should be acknowledged.
I propose that as a rule, new pages should not be tagged with the banner of an inactive WikiProject. I believe that patrollers adding banners for WikiProjects have been a contribution to the death of WikiProjects. Only active WikiProject members should be tagging new pages with their WikiProject banner. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 01:02, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Wikiprojects certainly shouldn't be deleted. I am not sure of the benefit of marking dormant ones as inactive, the risk is that it may make them less likely to revive when editors post there or return after wikibreaks. With a broadly stable editing community there are bound to be areas which come in and out of activity. I'm also not sure of the merit in not tagging articles for wikiprojects, in the past I have come across editors who screened new articles in particular wikiprojects at least to tag hoaxes and unnnotables for deletion. So an apparently inactive Wikiproject may still be serving a purpose. ϢereSpielChequers 15:17, 12 February 2020 (UTC)

I've noticed a lot of editors here seem to have some strange ideas about the function WikiProjects serve. WikiProjects served a different function 10 or 15 years ago: there were large amounts of interesting articles that needed creation on most topics, and at the same time, lower featured standards much more easily facilitated article collaboration of the WP:FA/WP:GA type between lots of editors who weren't necessarily niche subject matter experts on specific article topics.

The former are largely done now except in areas that severely lack interested editors, but WP:WIR is a great example that it still works for that purpose only as long as you've got a discernable group of interesting articles that needs creating on a subject matter broad enough to bring in a mass of editors. The rising standards have meant that WP:GA/WP:FA collaboration as a thing across the encyclopedia is largely dead, and WikiProjects for that purpose only work where you've got numbers of hardcore niche experts wanting to work together on the same specific articles - which is very rare, and unsurprising WP:MILHIST is one of the few to pull it off.

What we're left with is that areas have more subtle content issues: neglected corners of the subject matter that need fine-tuning and ideally need multiple editors to put their heads together and come up with a good solution that's generally agreeable to the editors in that area, new work that needs highlighting to interested editors, and a place where interested editors can generally engage with other interested editors where that would be helpful. This, although less suited to the mega-topic projects (i.e. history, medicine) happens quietly all the time in our more specific WikiProjects across the encyclopedia. It was also the inevitable evolution of the role WikiProjects once the low-hanging fruit was done and the standards rose. Given that, I think it's helpful to have more discussions about how you effectively link up the editors in a subject matter area through a WikiProject in a way that works, for what it's worth, given that many ongoing WikiProjects would be, if they were people, almost old enough to drive in some places. And I also think it's a damn bit more helpful thinking about how we can more effectively revitalise projects that have fallen by the wayside (given that, as I said, the mega-topic ones are too broad to be helpful - there are rarely editors actually interested in all of "history" as a topic). The attempts to undermine the format from editors who don't understand the role of WikiProjects for the last decade or so because they aren't involved with any is really frustrating when they continue to be an incredibly important part of keeping the encyclopedia functioning in many areas (and could be in more areas given some thought). Editors who are heading down the portal line with these need to get out and engage with editors doing the subject work more. The Drover's Wife (talk) 16:26, 12 February 2020 (UTC)

@The Drover's Wife:, I agree with you!!!!! your points above are excellent. so then, if that's how you feel, can you please come by, and help me build a community forum, for addressing these exact issues and ideas?? I hope you'll feel free to drop by! if not, that's okay too,; however, either way, I hope you will take a little time to let me know what you would ideally like to see in such a community-wide forum for projects, and what you think of our current ideas so far. Here is a link, to view our efforts so far: User:Sm8900/Community forum. thanks!! --Sm8900 (talk) 18:51, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
I agree that these are excellent points, particularly regarding the value of more fine-grained projects and the need for more thought to what effective topical collaboration looks like on-wiki. However, I do feel compelled to disagree with the idea that article creation is "largely done". AFAICS we are orders of magnitude short of what even a rough sketch of a complete Wikipedia would look like. Indeed, I would suggest that the collapsing rate of article creation (for which those "rising standards" IMO carry considerable blame) means that we are actually moving backward relative to the only benchmark that matters ("the sum of all human knowledge"). This fact is obscured by the dysfunctional way that editors are socialized into creating an illusion of completeness by not creating redlinks or creating inappropriate redirects to conceal the inadequacy of our coverage. Almost every time I create an article, I have to run around and create links that should have been red to begin with. (One example that sticks in my mind is subscription school, a topic of considerable importance in US educational history whose absence was hidden first by widespread non-linking and then by an editor creating a wholly inappropriate redirect to an unrelated topic.) -- Visviva (talk) 22:04, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
I'm not so much suggesting that article creation is "largely done" as much as that the low-hanging fruit is. For example, we had many city-based WikiProjects that were very active in rolling out articles on things like suburbs, major monuments, parks, etc, but faded into inactivity when all of that was created. On larger topics, all the more obvious topics that easily sparked editor drives tend to have articles. The article creation work that needs doing these days is much more niche, less likely that a particular specific niche is of interest to large amounts of editors, and harder to collectively drive through that format. For example, in my areas of interest, we can highlight creation work that needs doing, and it'll probably get done eventually, but any one niche area needing articles created is rarely of interest to multiple editors in that subject area. The use of WikiProjects now reflects this obvious development of the project. The Drover's Wife (talk) 00:27, 13 February 2020 (UTC)
I added some new features to this. the draft is at the link below. thanks.
thanks. --Sm8900 (talk) 13:17, 16 February 2020 (UTC)

Another (somewhat labour-intensive otion) can be to consolidate wikiprojects into taskforces of a more active wikiproject. A cetralised talkpage might be able to consolidate some of the discussion to keep momentum in the community whilst maintaining specific tagging of articles, subject-specific advidce etc. E.g. WP:Moleuclar Biology recently merged WP:GEN, WP:MCB, WP:COMPBIO, WP:BIOP, WP:RNA, WP:WPMP and WP:CELLSIG. See also WP:MED's taskforce system. T.Shafee(Evo&Evo)talk 04:49, 26 February 2020 (UTC)

Proposal to streamline the welcome templateEdit

Template:Welcome (the standard welcome template) contains too many duplicate or unnecessary links and needs some streamlining so that new users aren't paralyzed by choice. For instance, it currently suggests four different places to go if you have a question[a] and four different tutorials[b]. Following a survey of Wikipedia's introductory materials, I drafted some changes to streamline the template that establish a clearer visual hierarchy to point new users to our best resources and remove more minor links to topics covered in Help:Introduction (such as the Manual of Style). After receiving some positive feedback at the Welcoming committee WikiProject, I'm bringing it here to establish a broader consensus for implementation. Here's the proposal:


Hi [Username]! I noticed your contributions and wanted to welcome you to the Wikipedia community. I hope you like it here and decide to stay.

As you get started, you may find it helpful to go through this short tutorial:

Learn more about editing

You may also want to complete the Wikipedia Adventure, an interactive tour that covers the same topics.

If you have any questions, we have a friendly space where experienced editors can help you here:

Get help at the Teahouse

Please remember to sign your messages on talk pages by typing four tildes (~~~~); this will automatically insert your username and the date.

Happy editing! Sdkb (talk) 21:42, 11 February 2020 (UTC)

The full code (which includes customization options) is at the template's sandbox. Please let me know what you think! Cheers, Sdkb (talk) 21:42, 11 February 2020 (UTC)

  1. ^ The Teahouse, WP:Questions, the welcomer's talk page, and the new user's own talk page
  2. ^ WP:Introduction, WP:Getting Started, WP:Contributing to Wikipedia, and the WP:Wikipedia Adventure
  • @Sdkb: Is there a reason one button is blue and the other is not? I'd prefer they be the same but it's not a huge deal; I like the general concept. Wug·a·po·des 21:54, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
    You can see a little bit about the different types of buttons WP has at the template page here. The blue button is the "progressive" class, i.e. something that we think you ought to click. The white button is "neutral" class, i.e. something that you can click if you want. I classed them that way since the tutorial is something we strongly want to encourage new users to check out, so it makes sense to have a more prominent styling, whereas the Teahouse is something we want them to know about but don't need to push them toward. Per the rules of visual hierarchy, it's also better to have a single point of focus, i.e. if a new user is only willing to click on one link, we should let them know that it should be Help:Introduction. Now, all that said, I also thought it looked slightly odd, and if it also appears that way to others, I'd be fine with making them both blue. Sdkb (talk) 01:39, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
  • I like it. I remember being overwhelmed by the many links and options when I was welcomed. I've been using {{welcome-screen}} because some other editors in a discussion seemed to think it the best of the options at the time, but even simpler (like this) would be better. I think some way to set it off (a border, perhaps?) and make it stand out on a talk page would be helpful. Schazjmd (talk) 21:58, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
    A border would definitely be nice! I focused on changing the text/buttons since that's more what I know how to do, but feel free to tweak the sandbox if you're inclined, and we can consider it. One thing to keep in mind is that when the welcome template is used, it being it's own section provides a sort of natural border, so it doesn't appear as floaty as it does here when I put it in the middle of a conversation. Sdkb (talk) 01:39, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
    That's a good point (about the separate section). I know nothing about making templates, I just admire and appreciate them.   Schazjmd (talk) 01:43, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
    I use the Welcome template regularly, especially when I see a red Talk box in a history. Concistentcy in the wording would be a good change. Allowing an article name to go in from a box in more places would be good, too. Perhaps we could allow a choice of images, not just cookies, as we already have in some barnstars. There are too many ways to warn new users or IP users, and not enough ways to welcome a new user with many or especially good contributions. Good idea to post the revision here for us to see and comment on. Cheers!--Dthomsen8 (talk) 02:14, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
Strong oppose choice of links "if only one page"...should be WP:Contributing to Wikipedia. .Not good feed back or good data for multi-page tutorials that are not formatted property for mobile view. Main problem I see above is the fact our main intro page is missing WP:Contributing to Wikipedia (the page with all the info, links to all the main help pages, and videos, brochures produced by this community and the Wikimedia Foundation). We have learned over the years the "Next page style" doesn't retain readers. Should not replace links to our help articles maintained by the community with mobile view format problem tutorials that lack basic info and our outdated. If trimming of links is required...tutorials should go and our 3 main help articles that have watchers to help should be retained. Don't send new editors on a goose chase trying to find information ...make it available on one page with a nice TOC for navigating to the section most relevant. Raw data Wikipedia:IntroductionDaily page Daily after that Daily page 50 only 6 virws. People dont want a list of link to another list of links.....they want serviceable info at a glance in a recognizable format.--Moxy 🍁 06:42, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
Hi Moxy — I'm very much with you about reducing the lists of links, so hopefully we're at least in agreement about the overall need to streamline. Funneling users to a single intro when we currently have multiple is unfortunately going to have to involve stepping on someone's toes. I see that you're by far the top contributor to WP:Contributing to Wikipedia, so I apologize, but in its current state it just does not feel as modern and user-friendly as Help:Introduction. Essentially all other large websites (which, let's be honest, devote a lot more resources to user interface issues than we do) have onboarding processes for new users that use multiple short pages as Help:Intro does, rather than one really long one. I have to imagine they know what they're doing. Sdkb (talk) 21:49, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
We will simply have to disagree. ..... I don't see how info separated out over 50 different pages that does not work properly in mobile view is more helpful around setup.--Moxy 🍁 22:32, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
We have lots of welcome pages, no objection to another being created. But changing the default this radically should not be done without first testing different welcomes and seeing which has the best result in terms of turning newbies into regulars. ϢereSpielChequers 08:02, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
I see these changes as an improvement to the standard welcome template, not an alternative to it; they're substantial but build on what's currently there rather than replacing it from scratch. More to the point, since so many editors default to using the standard welcome, I think it's important we make that one as good as it can be; the old one could be renamed to something else if any editors really want to keep using it. I also don't think it's great to have too much welcome template proliferation — we need to keep our best resources centralized so they can be maintained/improved, not fork them every time there's a controversial upgrade.
Regarding testing, I'm very much behind the idea of doing some A-B testing in theory, but when we previously discussed it, it didn't seem to be very practical. It would take a long time to build up a sample (since I don't know of any way to welcome newbies in bulk) and would take some programming to measure the results. If you or someone else has the expertise and time to conduct that sort of experiment, I'd be fascinated to see it, but barring that, we should act boldly and go with whatever we think will likely work best. We risk as much through inaction as through action, and there's a lot of room for improvement in converting readers to editors. Sdkb (talk) 22:23, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
@Sdkb: off the top of my head, you could create two redirects, E.G. WP:TEST1 and WP:TEST2 that both go to the same page. Have the template randomly link to one of them on each transclusion. After a few days/weeks, compare the number of page views each redirect got with the number of back links to show which had the most best ratio of clicks to transclusions. Wug·a·po·des 03:06, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
A redirect could be used to measure the engagement of this template, but it wouldn't work with the current Template:Welcome as a control, since that template links to many intros, not one. And there's still the issue of building up a meaningfully sized sample. Sdkb (talk) 03:42, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
  • This welcome message doesn't work on an Android mobile device. In its current state it takes you through several pages of broken formatting. Until that is fixed, this is not an improvement and is more likely to drive many editors away. While I can see your good intentions here, simplicity is best when we have to consider mobile audiences. From Hill To Shore (talk) 00:22, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
    @From Hill To Shore: Can you share a screenshot of the issue you're encountering? It works alright on my Android device. And yes, simplicity is the whole goal here—that's what this template is doing. Sdkb (talk) 03:29, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
A note regarding mobile formatting: I fully agree that ability to read on mobile is vital, and the {{intro to}} and {{intro to single}} templates both need to be updated to use flexbox css to make that smoother. Thet should be a relatively quick fix. The cause of the poor mobile formatting is that these are all currently in rigid divs, rahter than flexbox divs (main culprits are the handling and placement of {{Intro to tabs}} and the column implementation in {{intro to single}}). Sidenote: this is also a problem with a lot of templates that aim to implement multilpe tabs (compare Wikipedia:Tutorial vs v:WikiJournal_User_Group for a flexbox equivalent for tabs). T.Shafee(Evo&Evo)talk 05:31, 26 February 2020 (UTC)
@Evolution and evolvability: Thanks for that info! I made a request for help at the technical pump since I don't know how to use flexbox divs myself, but I'm not sure if anyone will take me up on it. If you end up being inclined to make the fixes yourself, it might go a long way toward helping this proposal achieve consensus. Sdkb (talk) 09:37, 26 February 2020 (UTC)
We had talked about linking the main To-do page Wikipedia:Maintenance in the past but most seem to think that pointing new editors to what to do page off the bat would not be all that helpful. I personally think Wikipedia:Maintenance gives a good overview. PS was looking for this link for hours last week.... As it was one of the reason WP: contributing to Wikipedia was updated with Foundation brochures and added to the templates.--Moxy 🍁 00:02, 25 February 2020 (UTC)
@Moxy: WP:Maintenance is certainly comprehensive, but I'm not sure it's accessible to new editors. It has too much detail on too many tasks — for instance, the very first item after the intro is a full section on copyvio, a complex area I'm not sure many new editors are going to want to dive into. I think the best approach for new editors is to provide a bunch of options of areas where help is needed, let them choose one, and then provide instructions for that area and clear examples of pages where they can apply what they've learned. The Task Center does this with a short intro followed by a concise list of tasks. I like how it plugs the benefits of participating in different areas. The open tasks list has the advantage of listing actual articles editors can click on and then help out with. Overall, I'm leaning toward including the task center. Sdkb (talk) 07:19, 25 February 2020 (UTC)
Update: I've added a button for the Task Center to the sandbox. If there are no objections, I'll wait a day or so and then refactor the proposal here to include it. Sdkb (talk) 00:19, 26 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Comment: Research and testing It makes a lot of sense to actually assess how effective our welcome messages are, and to improve them where possible. Ensuring that not only the welcome messages, but also the pages they links to will display properly in mobile view seems almost as important as the effectiveness of the welcome template itself. Sadly, as Moxy has found, there seems to have been no serious research into the effectiveness of welcome messages and their impact on editor retention since around 2011/2012. (i.e. all pre Teahouse) All I could find is this, this and this, which was mentioned above.
One 2011 study on German Wikipedia concluded that:
Back at English Wikipedia, there is a study currently ongoing by WMF researchers into Teahouse invitation message effectiveness. (Summary: It is comparing the old automated invitee selection process against an ORES-based editor selection process for HostBot to send out invitations to new editors who've made their first few edits here. The research process unfortunately contained a small number of variables which rendered the results on editor retention inconclusive, and a second wave of research will hopefully go ahead soon. It did not look at the effectiveness of the Teahouse invitation wording, or timing, - only the criteria for the selection of good faith editors to send them to. See here for summary and feedback)
Now, it strikes me that the A/B study methodology used to look at Teahouse HostBot invitations must be very similar to that needed with Welcome messages. Therefore, I am pinging @Jtmorgan, Maximilianklein, and Halfak (WMF): in the hope that one of them might be willing to offer ideas or insight on whether any research study is currently ongoing or planned, and whether there might be a possibility of encouraging, supporting or funding an investigation into this important and related area of editor welcome and retention. Nick Moyes (talk) 12:34, 25 February 2020 (UTC) 
Simply is best in my view as per this - thus I use Template:W-short alot. Years ago we created 2 types of "MAIN" help pages - one static article style WP:Contributing to Wikipedia and duplicated that at info at Wikipedia:Tutorial with tabs/next buttons (see what worked best). We can see and saw by the numbers most dont go beyond the first page of the tutorial. This is also what happens at the Wikipedia:Adventure - 50 percent drop in views by the second page....with a loss of 90 percent by page 3. I am all for making things easier ...not harder by making people click 50 times to get serviceable information....less is best and of course mobile view must be considered. -- Moxy 🍁 14:22, 25 February 2020 (UTC)
@Moxy: those numbers are certainly concerning. To me, they potentially point to those resources not being as well-designed as they ought to be. (Do you have a link to the data, btw?) Some dropoff is natural, though, since we're never going to convince everyone to read a full tutorial, and for all we know, the dropoff rate on the pages that present it all together could be even higher. (The metric we'd need to measure that would be average time spent on page, and probably only the WMF knows that.) The benefit of splitting materials into multiple pages is that short chunks are more digestible, whereas sending readers to one long huge page will overwhelm many and make them give up. Sdkb (talk) 00:03, 26 February 2020 (UTC)
Good day I phone user.....can you elaborate on your experience! I am assuming your our normal IP poster and get a lot of welcomes.....what template is used most in your case?--Moxy 🍁 23:35, 25 February 2020 (UTC)

The blue-with-white-text button seems wrong to me. I believe (though I might be wrong) that blue buttons have a specific semantic meaning on Wikipedia. On my desktop interface, the "Publish changes" button is blue/white, and the "Search" button on the search page is blue/white, implying submission of a request, not just a link. – Jonesey95 (talk) 05:03, 26 February 2020 (UTC)

Improving ANI RequirementEdit

This is not going nowhere. See WP:SNOW. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 14:47, 23 February 2020 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

When you start a discussion about an editor, you must leave a notice on the editor's talk page.

I an here propose a improvement to this requirement that i thought of.

Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents New Proposal -> Users who start a ANI about an editor is now required to leave a ANI notice with a link to that ANI discussion on editor`s talk page within 24 hours of the started ANI report. Otherwise, the ANI report would be dismissed and cant be reported again for 3 days. Regice2020 (talk) 08:25, 14 February 2020 (UTC)

Comments below to Support or OpposeEdit

  • Pointless you are already required to give a notice. That's what the big red box before the "Click here to start a new discussion" is all about. We are also not a bureaucracy, dismissing any report because of someone overlooking paperwork is nonsense, and the prohibition of refilling something for 3 days because someone didn't dot all the i's and cross all the t's is equally nonsensical. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 08:30, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
There is a point. ANI is sorta like a strong reporting user feature for user to use. Once they get blocked. Its going be very difficult to appeal.Regice2020 (talk) 09:09, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
By pointless, I'm referring to this RFC. You are proposing to require something which is already required. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 09:13, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
Regice2020, the editors mentioned are supposed to be notified at the time of posting. Failing that, the editor is notified as soon as someone notices that that hasn't been done. 24 hours makes no sense in this regard. What, are we gonna keep discussing a user without notifying them just coz the 24 hour deadline isn't crossed? The rest of your proposal has got problems as well. The only merit I see is in making the notice contain a direct link to the section of the discussion cos I think that's not always done and ANI is a pain of a page to skim through. That said, that can't become a rule, just a polite recommendation. Usedtobecool ☎️ 09:28, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
  • What problem are you trying to solve here? Is the current system failing in some way? Can you provide an example of a real situation when the current system failed where this new system would have succeeded? – Teratix 09:22, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
    ^^^^ This is really all that needs to be said. We don't create rules and procedures to fix problems that are merely possible or hypothetical. Even three or four cases out of hundreds wouldn't be enough, and we have yet to see one. ―Mandruss  09:38, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Currently, if the reporting editor doesn't notify, someone else does while pointing out to the reporter that they should have done so. Minor overhead. Under this requirement, someone has to watch the clock, close the report with prejudice after the 24-hours-without-notification point, and keep an eye out to ensure that the report isn't reopened until 3 days have passed. Major overhead. And it's highly unlikely that the change would ensure that fewer editors would fail to notify. It doesn't happen that often as it is, and it's those editors who seldom read AN/I who fail to notify and since they don't hang out there, they won't "learn" from others' mistakes. AN/I discussions just don't happen without someone making sure the reported editor has been notified. Schazjmd (talk) 15:41, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose. If it isn't broken, don't fix it. --Dthomsen8 (talk) 18:31, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Can someone please close this as an obviously ill-thought out proposal? The current instructions mean that any editor who is the subject of an ANI report must be informed (and that would be in far less than 24 hours: more like 24 minutes or even 24 seconds) and the 3-day limitation on bringing up an issue that fails this procedural hoop is simply absurd: if the report is about an urgent incident then we shouldn't wait before dealing with it just because the originator didn't follow the instructions properly. Phil Bridger (talk) 18:42, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Comment I don't think this is necessary. but I thought of an interesting idea. Similar to how GA process notifies nominees and reviewers. Should a similar template be created that once filled out it notifies the parties in question?Blue Pumpkin Pie Chat Contribs 19:12, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose The effort one goes through to enact this proposal each time someone doesn't leave a talkpage notice would be better spent leaving talkpage notices. If the person who brought someone to ANI forgot to notify them, and you notice this, just do it yourself. Problem solved. --Jayron32 15:30, 17 February 2020 (UTC)
Reply Yes, that can happen, but it better for the person reporting to notify. If you want get someone blocked or topic ban then YOU have do something correctly too. I mean when a user uses ANI to report someone ...they can get blocked or banned. ANI is very powerful reporting system. I do not recall ANI process expansion is never a option? Regice2020 (talk) 01:36, 18 February 2020 (UTC)

Option BEdit

The ANI starting process need improvements. Users who start a ANI about an editor is now required to leave a ANI notice with a direct link to that ANI discussion on editor`s talk page right away. The Admin must check ANI starter before starting a review. Otherwise, the report maybe on hold and achieved at some point by the bot, Regice2020 (talk) 08:09, 15 February 2020 (UTC)

Once again you are making the assumption that the process needs improvement without providing evidence. Can you point to any ANI report that would have been handled better if this change was made? It seems to me that, as stated above, either the person making a report follows instructions and informs the target editor or, if not, someone else does this for them. Have there been any recent ANI reports where the target has not been informed? Phil Bridger (talk) 09:01, 15 February 2020 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Whether a particular WP:REDIRECT section agrees with actual practiceEdit

  FYI: Pointer to relevant discussion elsewhere.

Please see this discussion at WT:REDIRECT, about adding "not mentioned in the target article" to the list of (non-speedy) deletion criteria for redirects, since it has long been used as one at WP:RFD.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  05:56, 18 February 2020 (UTC)

Consensus discussionEdit

Please voice your opinions at Talk:AC/DC#Seeking page protection consensus. Regarding indef semi for Bon Scott, Angus Young, Malcolm Young pages. Thank you, - FlightTime (open channel) 23:58, 20 February 2020 (UTC)

Connecting Wikipedia articles to reliable sources through new templateEdit


In case if it's TL;DR, otherwise please start at the Background section.

I would like to propose a new template. The main purpose of this template is to collect and show links which lead to articles/chapters in reliable sources that have additional textual information (not only data or images) on the subject, like encyclopedias, biographical dictionaries, GLAM sites, academic projects, etc. Similar to Template:Authority control or Template:Taxonbar but with content that expands on the topic and provides further reading. Example:


There are many great online, freely accessible reference works, encyclopedias, biographies, virtual exhibitions which are unknown for most people or maybe even completely forgotten after a few years (academia has a problem with communication?). This also means they are not channeled in to Wikipedia (some general examples are Cambridge Encyclopedia of Anthropology absent from the Anthropology article, The First Amendment Encyclopedia missing from the First Amendment article, Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development missing from related articles). Even if used, they easily get lost among references or a longer list of external links.

At the same time, more and more of these sites are connected to Wikidata, the ID each article in the source added to the corresponding Wikidata item.

You can check the ones that already have their own Wikidata property ([1]), the ones that are being matched to Wikidata items but don’t have their property yet ([2]), and a growing list of sites to be included in Wikidata ([3]).


To make these sites visible in Wikipedia, I would like to propose a new template. The main purpose of this template is to collect and show links which lead to articles/chapters in reliable sources that have additional textual information (not only data or images) on the subject, like encyclopedias, biographical dictionaries, GLAM sites, academic projects, etc. Similar to Template:Authority control or Template:Taxonbar but with content that expands on the topic and provides further reading.

Goals, advantages

  • promote the use, presence and knowledge of reliable sources
  • encourage further reading
  • add depth to article stubs, help finding sources for expanding them
  • make Wikidata more visible
  • possibly facilitate authors of the external sites to recognise/contribute to Wikipedia
  • help smaller language Wikipedias to gather content/make their wikis more visible

There are similar templates on other Wikis, these are the ones I know of:

An important feature of the template would be its multilinguality. This means two things. First, that it is meant to be used in any language Wikipedias, using the same central list of sources and automatically ordering the IDs to show the local language ones first. Second, in the case of multi-language sites, it could handle multiple formatters and use the one in the local language, perhaps also offer the other languages in a bracket.

I think by having the template prefer open-access sources would not only prioritise for the readers articles they can actually read but would promote open access in general. On the other hand, as this would exclude paywalled sites like Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, probably best if they are still included but in a separate category or just shown with a lock icon next to them.


Visually it would be similar to authority control but rather as a sidebar, located on the side of the external links section or below the main infobox of the article. Another option is to still have it as a navbox, and include it in the beginning of the external links section like Template:Medical_resources (for example in Influenza. It should be distinct from the authority control navbox so it wouldn’t go unnoticed to the reader. Still, it shouldn’t take too much space so it wouldn’t get too distracting. It could also help in taking some weight off authority control as sites in this template should not have to be included there, making it clear what purpose each one serves. It would be important that the template shows the full name of the sites instead of abbreviations (so Historische Lexikon der Schweiz instead of HLS) even if this takes more space because readers are not necessarily familiar with the short names and they would know what they are clicking on (w:fr:Modèle:Dictionnaires is this way). Also, abbreviations don’t always work with multilingual sites as they have the title translated with a different short name. Plus, search engines would show the article with the template if someone looks up encyclopedias. If the list would be too long, taking up too much space, it could be that only the local language part is expanded and the others are in a collapsed section.

Technical background

The template would use external IDs from Wikidata. By this, it would be easily expandable and translatable to other languages. Wikidata and the template would be expanding together automatically as a new ID added to an item would also show up in the template. If the URL of the ID changes (and is updated in Wikidata) the ID would automatically be changed in the template too.

In order not to get entangled with some inconsistency/lack in the tagging and titling of these sources in Wikidata, the sites referenced by the template would not be automatically generated from Wikidata but rather come from a centralised list which would be maintained and expanded by the community on consensus about what is a good enough source to be included.

From Wikidata, the template would gather the following: the ID (from property statements in the items), the formatter URL (from property), the language(s) and the title(s) of the site (from the qualifiers of the formatter URL and _not_ from statements in the property’s subject item as those are often non-existent or lack information).

To further minimise the risk of having IDs that lead to the wrong article or are just offline, the template could have a simple report button which would automatically generate a note to check the IDs for the specific item.


Obviously these are handcrafted, including some sites that don't have a Wikidata property yet and not using multi-language formatters but it shows the potential of the template.

Tasks, things needed

In Wikipedia:

  • Editors who comment on the idea, help to make it better, thinking about how to make it easily translatable and available for all wikis.
  • Template editors who would like to do the coding. The best would be to contact and work together with the creators of the three similar templates, build on those of possible - I’d be happy to help in coordinating this.
  • Creating bots that could help spreading the template in articles.
  • Writing documentation for the template with info on how to use the template in articles, what are the rules for expanding the list of sources.

In Wikidata:

  • Tagging the external ID properties’ formatter URLs with qualifiers for title and language, adding missing formatters for multi-language sites.
  • Submitting property proposals for sources that don’t have it.
  • Matching items in Mix'n'match.
  • Expanding the meta list.

As I lack coding skills, these are just what I came up with and there are probably a lot more to consider.

Possible issues

  • link to encyclopedia already in article's external links
  • making sure the template's list only includes quality sites
  • how can the database of sites be maintained centrally if it is used by many language wikis (how do they communicate?)
  • multiple ID values under a property in an item


Please put your name here if you would like to help creating the template. I'll make a separate project page if we have enough people.


Let me know what you think. --Adam Harangozó (talk) 14:00, 23 February 2020 (UTC) (Please contribute @Nomen ad hoc:, @Thierry Caro:, @Epìdosis:, @Magnus Manske:, @Strakhov:, @Eru:, @Lofhi:, @Gerwoman:, @Trade:, @Trivialist:, @Jean-Frédéric:, @Bargioni:, @Rotpunkt:, @Bultro:, @Sakretsu:, @Horcrux:, @Jheald:, @Charles Matthews:, @Simon Villeneuve:, @99of9:, @Spinster:, @Malore:, @Pigsonthewing:, @Vesihiisi:, @Doc James:, @RexxS:, @Galobtter:, @MSGJ:)

Holy wall of text. You could cut that down by 75% easily. As far as I can tell, the idea has merit, but getting to the part where we see what it is you're proposing is an adventure in reading an advocacy piece, more than telling us what you're proposing. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 14:24, 23 February 2020 (UTC)
So, who decides what sources get spammed to what pages? Because that is what this proposal amounts to, spamming of a bunch of sources, many of which don't seem to be reliable, just because they are free. Oppose - we are not an advertising service.Nigel Ish (talk) 14:53, 23 February 2020 (UTC)
As it says in the proposal, my idea would be that it is based on consensus which sources are added. Please explain which ones are not reliable and how is linking to mostly academic sites advertising or spamming. --Adam Harangozó (talk) 15:16, 23 February 2020 (UTC)
  • {{{1}}}. NAH 15:20, 23 February 2020 (UTC).
  • I can sort of see making sure that we have categories on of the type "Reference works that cover TOPIC" (where TOPIC should be broad topic areas: World War I, but not the Western Front of World War I; physical chemistry but not states of matter. etc. We could then make sure these categories are highlighted at Portals, and could use a template that is presented like {{Commons category}} to direct readers to this list of possible resources. That doesn't necessarily mean they will find content about the specific topic in each reference listed but this would be a list they could start if our articles do not specifically identify any to begin with. --Masem (t) 15:37, 23 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Ugh; this would be a wreck for medical content, as (allegedly) we keep our content more up to date, and often those kinds of sources are (theoretically) well behind the more recent journal sources we use. In the articles I edit, the kinds of sources we would link to generally are grossly outdated and inaccurate. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:40, 23 February 2020 (UTC)
I think medical content would no be included as it is already in Template:Medical resources. Though many of the medical articles on these sites show when they were last updated by a professional. --Adam Harangozó (talk) 21:21, 23 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose This is the kind of navigation template clutter that burdens so many articles distracting from the core text, making photos and text alignment jumbled, or filling the bottom of articles with more random stuff. Studies have shown few people click through to external links, like less than 5 percent per page view click through to any external link anywhere in the article. That includes the highly relevant citation links, much less these random general links. The upsides of this template are not balanced by the downsides IMO. These kinds of links are better organized in a Bibliography article where users can decide which are the best online sources and can organize them while not being limited to a few dozen sources. -- GreenC 16:01, 23 February 2020 (UTC)
This seems to be about just the placement - where would it be the best? Also, maybe I misunderstood, but there is a contradiction between distracting from core text and no one clicking through them. Also, maybe only some people would use it but that's still a start for a good thing. --Adam Harangozó (talk) 21:21, 23 February 2020 (UTC)
If the template was in the talk page, which exists to discuss existing or new sources. I could support that. Also need to deal with link rot and archive URLs.. every URL dies in time 7 years is average lifespan of a URL, they will likely change URL formats as they move servers, change platforms, new owners etc.. -- GreenC 16:15, 24 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Support (though suggest collapsing the box by default to avoid annoying readers with visual spam). In the area in which I tend to edit (historical biographies etc.) the material is fairly stable and sources tend not to go out-of-date. At the moment Wikidata holds keys into reliable sources, but these are not surfaced to Wikipedia. Dsp13 (talk) 18:24, 23 February 2020 (UTC)
There are appropriate places on Wikipedia to surface reliable sources. But at the bottom of mainspace articles in a collapsed template is not surfacing it is burying. It is also clutter, as I noted in my Oppose !vote very few will click though on these links. An example of how to do it right: Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Perennial sources. It includes justification as to why a source is reliable, a scale of reliability (score A+ to F-). This page is widely used and appreciated. -- GreenC 20:05, 23 February 2020 (UTC)
Wikipedians not knowing about these sources does not make them not reliable - please check the actual links. Again, if the problem is with the placement - I'm happy with having it in a more visible place but then the discussion should rather be constructive about how to make it more visible rather than opposing the whole idea. Also, in shorter or stub articles they would be even more visible and needed. --Adam Harangozó (talk) 21:26, 23 February 2020 (UTC)
The Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Perennial sources are about non-academic sources as those are generally agreed upon in Wikipedia as reliable. --Adam Harangozó (talk) 21:32, 23 February 2020 (UTC)
  • The reason why we usually don't include encyclopedias in a Further reading or External links sections is that, well... we are an encyclopedia. People come to this site to read encyclopedic articles, not to get links to other encyclopedias. WP:ELNO§1 says: "Any site that does not provide a unique resource beyond what the article would contain if it became a featured article. In other words, the site should not merely repeat information that is already or should be in the article. Links for future improvement of the page can be placed on the article's talk page." – Finnusertop (talkcontribs) 20:17, 23 February 2020 (UTC)
Of course many of these provide additional information to the article. Being an encyclopedia does not mean other encyclopedias contain the same information (especially the thematic ones). Also, IMDB does not contain any extra information to a wiki article, still it's everywhere. And any other kind of external link could include information that could be included in a later version of the wiki article. I think these things should be more flexible and Wikipedia can also be a gateway to other quality sources - it is not a competition. --Adam Harangozó (talk) 21:21, 23 February 2020 (UTC)
I agree that it's not a competition, but we need to be sure that in each case the link is helpful. In some cases a link to a specific site will be helpful, but in others it will not, for example if the linked source provides content that has been superceded by more recent content that is in the Wikipedia article. We should not be providing blanket assurance that any particular external resource is reliable. Phil Bridger (talk) 21:52, 23 February 2020 (UTC)
I agree with Phil Bridger. Interesting thematic encyclopedias can already be linked on a case by case basis under current policy. – Finnusertop (talkcontribs) 14:40, 24 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose, because although I appreciate the thought that went into it and the detail of the exposition, it is largely duplicative. For many of the most important PD sources (EB1911, Catholic, DNB being those I'm most familiar with) editors have already put in the work, in the early 2000's, to identify them in the relevant WP articles. We already have too many competing styles, including inline attributions or simple cites, footnotes in References/Further Reading/External links (to the individual editor's taste), and sidebar posters (which are basically the same as the citation templates minus volume and page information). Citations and inline citations' related footnotes usually link to the PD source of interest, more for purposes of verifiability, but the Further Reading usage is also found in many cases. In other words, addressing Adam Harangozó's point: there are many, many articles that do already include an external encyclopedic source in Further reading; that ship has sailed. Yes, in principle we could import the entire article but sometimes there is archaic or POV, but still interesting, material that doesn't belong in WP proper.
I suggest the better project would be to create templates like (to choose the example I'm familar with) {{Cite EB1911}} and posters like {{EB1911 poster}} and encourage their use instead. If we're going to spend effort on WP's relationship with PD sources, it should be on identifying specific attributable text more precisely; a general reference to a verbatim copy of a PD source doesn't cut it any more. David Brooks (talk) 21:56, 23 February 2020 (UTC)
Hi, I think you misunderstood, the proposal is not about public domain sources but mostly new encyclopedias.
(previous comment was by User:Adam Harangozó)... Yes, I did misunderstand that part. But I still have a problem with the inconsistency with the (several) existing ways of referring to encyclopedic sources. Especially if an article ends up with both an old-style reference (PD or not) and a new-style one. David Brooks (talk) 18:00, 24 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Finnusertop's rationale. WP:ELNO is well-crafted to ensure minimal duplication, as it should be. We don't want to start competing with Google in an attempt to link to every quality source on a topic on the web. Wikipedia at its core is a tertiary source, since it's a collection of mostly secondary sources. Collecting tertiary sources would turn us into a quaternary source, and those aren't a thing for a reason. Sdkb (talk) 21:21, 24 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose- this strikes me as a solution in search of a problem. Reyk YO! 07:23, 25 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Comment - I don't like the 'other languages' sections much, given we're the English wiki. However, I suppose an argument could be made that, since English is the biggest wiki, if any language should have such a section it's this one. --bodnotbod (talk) 12:40, 25 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose. So it's External Links, but we're moving them into a template because I-don't-know-why. And it's going to be powered by wikidata.... but wikidata is a problem so we'll use some unclear and complicated method to define the list and then power that with wikidata. I'm not a fan of wikidata in general, but this sounds like an exceptionally messy way to promote wikidata for the sake of wikidata. Alsee (talk) 10:38, 26 February 2020 (UTC) P.S. After studying it more I have a better understanding of the intent. While it makes more sense, I still don't want to try to spam auto-generated and externally defined External Links. Alsee (talk) 10:51, 26 February 2020 (UTC)

Wikipedia:The Great Britain and Ireland DestubathonEdit

This is running in March, sign up if you can help, there's nearly $500 work of book prizes available so if anybody needs books for other topics might help you out! I propose we run these for different areas and topics to reduce our huge amount of stubs!♦ Dr. Blofeld 15:25, 25 February 2020 (UTC)

Request for comment on the future of Wikipedia:In the newsEdit

On the talk page for WP:ITN, and most especially on User talk:Jimbo Wales, multiple editors and administrators expressed their disapproval of the ITN project and its placement on the Main Page. There are multiple facets of disagreement with ITN's system, but the main central issues are as follows:

  • Confusion regarding its purpose: This section is called "in the news". The issue therein is that by Wikipedia policy, and the established internal policy of the most regular ITN contributors, is specifically not to run a news ticker. Unfortunately, this has resulted in a level of subjectivity regarding which Wikipedia articles that happen to be "in the news" are significant enough to be posted to the Main Page. A rough consensus exists, but it is more or less determined by whichever editors are present in the discussion. This subjectivity calls into the question the name of the aforementioned project. Name changes have been proposed multiple times, but none have stuck.
  • Other sources exist: Portal:Current events and Wikinews are cited as sites for staying ahead of breaking news, whether they be in Wikipedia article format or not. Beyond that, the argument is that there are simply other news sites available to seek this information if people desire it, and Wikipedia is not expected to be an up-to-date source of current events.
  • Better options exist: WP:ITN is currently featured prominently at the top of the Main Page, which some people feel is not appropriate. Other options for its slot include WP:FP or a proposed "recently updated" section.
  • Main Page exists to serve its readers and not its editors: The central purpose of WP:ITN often-cited is that it draws the attention of editors to articles based on or containing current events, which conflicts with the aforementioned argument.

I am not saying one way or another whether the above arguments are valid or invalid, or what rebuttals exist for each of them, but those are the central arguments that were purported on Jimbo Wales' talk page for why WP:ITN should be marked historical. So far, there has not been a lot of participation on this subject outside of the regulars of ITN and the "talk page stalkers" on Jimbo's page. That is what this RFC aims to solve.

Should Wikipedia:In The News be shut down, marked as historical, and replaced on the Wikipedia:Main Page?--WaltCip (talk) 17:54, 25 February 2020 (UTC)

  • Oppose – ITN's purpose is not to "draw the attention of editors". That should be done at WP:ITN/Candidates (EDIT also at WP:CEN). ITN's purpose to draw readers' attention to articles about topics that are significantly in the news and have been improved to a quality worthy of highlighting on the Main Page. Not every news story qualifies in both these criteria, which is why it is rejected. ITN has also contributed to the improvement of countless BLPs that have, until the person's death, been plagued with sourcing issues. (See Slate article about ITN.) I for one have created articles like Mavis Pusey about notable people that have gone unnoticed and "Under-the-Radar" as The New York Times put it. ITN is doing great work to improve our encyclopedia. What people still seem to not understand is that ITN is not a news service. It is a WikiProject like any other. The goal of the project and the measure by which it or any other WikiProject should be judged is whether or not it causes articles to be improved and helps to "make a great encyclopedia" (see first paragraph of Wikipedia:In the news). Yes, we should lower our notability criteria for inclusionblurbs but I absolutely oppose lowering our quality standards or removing ITN altogether. My nominations are sometimes rejected. Tough. That is life. But that does not give me the right to go complaining to Jimbo as some (not OP of this RfC) have done. ITN is not perfect but it is a great WikiProject that has made immense contributions to our encyclopedia. --- C&C (Coffeeandcrumbs) 18:12, 25 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose shutting down ITN at this time. Project is active and well used. Project scope is well defined at the WP:ITN guideline pages, though of course we should always be willing to discuss and change its scope and guidelines as needed. I don't see the value in shutting down an active and well used project. --Jayron32 18:13, 25 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose Nearly all the problems identified above stem from a lack of participation and nominations to ITN outside a roughly small set of editors. As one of those editors, we want more participation, we want more stories, but we need those stories to be suggested and those articles to be in decent shape, which tends to be a stumbling block for many newcomers otherwise. If we had double the participation and nominations, I bet most of the problems listed above would not be seen as problems any more. --Masem (t) 18:16, 25 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I would focus the attention on fixing the lack of participation problem here and on other areas of Wikipedia. I agree with the others here that there is no value added by shutting this down. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 18:19, 25 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I feel that the ITN section does serve a highly useful purpose. As per the other prior comments above, it does have its own policies, procedures and parameters; if these need to be refined somewhat, that can be done through discussion. --Sm8900 (talk) 18:25, 25 February 2020 (UTC)
  • I have deliberately not read the previous discussions about this, and rarely visit the main page, so I come to this as an experienced Wikipedia editor, but rather cold on the topic itself. My memory is that the original idea of this section was to highlight Wikipedia articles about people or things that are currently in the news, rather than articles about the news events themselves. If this is still the focus of the section then I see no problem with it, but I dislike the tendency for Wikipedia to be treated as a breaking news service, with articles being created about events that have received only news coverage, rather than the proper secondary coverage that we should base articles on. Phil Bridger (talk) 18:27, 25 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Completely laughable proposal. Abyssal (talk) 22:28, 25 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose The fact that people misunderstand ITN does not mean much because everything is misunderstood by someone. It might be better to shut down User talk:Jimbo Wales instead. Johnuniq (talk) 22:37, 25 February 2020 (UTC)
I would take a great deal of delight in that being implemented.--WaltCip (talk) 13:13, 26 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose. It documents our articles that are in the news and are therefore of likely to be of interest to our readers, not the news per se. This is a bad argument and should be a WP:SNOW close. The Drover's Wife (talk) 23:16, 25 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose. It is a valuable part of this project and encourages the creation and improvement of many articles. 331dot (talk) 00:01, 26 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose. ITN is far from perfect - IMO the biggest problem is a lack of quality article updates for stories which would otherwise be posted. But shutting it down is completely over the top and unjustified. If anyone has constructive ideas on how to improve things, they should be discussed at WT:ITN, not User talk:Jimbo Wales. Modest Genius talk 12:30, 26 February 2020 (UTC)
    Nah, UT:JW is a good honeypot for crazy. It serves a valuable purpose keeping a good volume of crap off of useful parts of Wikipedia. --Jayron32 12:52, 26 February 2020 (UTC)
    Jayron32, " UT:JW is a good honeypot for crazy" most accurate description of it that I have seen in a while. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 14:38, 26 February 2020 (UTC)
    I did specify 'constructive' proposals... Modest Genius talk 15:32, 26 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Support ITN is a silly place with no clear purpose. Half the editors want to promote "good" articles (with the result that the main page is a quality-curated [aka. censored] version of the encyclopedia, which in turn means I refuse to click on any bolded link on the main page), while the other half are more interested in "significance". Consensus between the two camps is practically impossible. One just has to look at how often WP:NOTNEWS is cited in ITN, or (WP:MINIMUMDEATHS). The entire project is extremely arbitrary because significance is inherently arbitrary, and quality is no better [4]. It would still make sense if we just embraced subjectivity and operated by a pure vote count ala RFA, but we don't. Further:
  1. One can't just ignore ITN and let those who're interested get on with it, because (funnily enough) nearly all the problems identified above stem from a lack of participation (Masem, above).
  2. It encourages the creation and improvement of many articles. Not true. Most nominations are by people other than their creators/updaters. Besides, even if this were the case, then ITN effectively becomes a bribe for people to update articles, and I find that silly.
  3. Project is active and well-used. So it is, but it's also lost people who've become disillusioned with it (so much for "lack of participation"). Check how many people didn't like ITN in this previous discussion ([5]) and how many of these people even come to this one. I'm pretty confident more people who are familiar with ITN's processes disapprove of it than approve it, but there never is consensus to change, so the status quo gets kept.
  4. It documents our articles that are in the news and are therefore of likely to be of interest to our readers - anyone who believes this can try nominating articles they see in the news to ITN themselves. You are going to be opposed by the people who think only "good" articles can be promoted. Example: 2020 Australian Open was certainly in the news (it's even ITNR), but it wasn't featured. You need more than "are in the news" and "likely to be of interest to our readers".
  5. Do we even want to mention the word "bias"? This is another thing one can easily search the archives for, e.g. [6]. Is it even possible to untangle ITN from systemic bias? With significance inherently arbitrary, quality also arbitrary, and whatever is "in the news" dependent on where the reader is physically located, I doubt it (and that's before getting into the fact that some articles, e.g. an election in some obscure nation, will be less developed because we have fewer editors from those nations).
tl; dr: what ITN really is is a place where a bunch of people (the ITN editorial board) argue about which articles are worth featuring on the main page. This group of people is completely vulnerable to systemic bias and has mostly arbitrary standards. They can decide X is worth posting today, but change their minds tomorrow. The main page is better off without it.
Banedon (talk) 01:08, 26 February 2020 (UTC)
Several of your points are exaggerations, and stem from common misunderstanding of the purpose and methods of ITN.
Most regulars of ITN are judging both the significance of the item and the quality of the article, and it is typically only newcomers to ITN that see only the significance, unaware about quality. If anything, TRM is probably the most stickler on quality but TRM is also very vocal when significance is not there as well, so no, we don't have half the editors ignoring significance and/or quality.
Article quality is a requirement that comes from any Main Page featured link regardless of what section (ITN, DYK, etc.)- it has to showcase quality work on WP, so that's a non-negotiable and suggesting any attempt to remove it is a non-starter. And significance and quality are two separate factors, they are not tradeoffs as you suggest. We decide if something is significant or not, and separately if it is of quality or not. Quality for an ITN item is not hard, we're not asking for GA level here, but we are asking for appropriate sourcing especially for BLP and those RD-related ones, reasonable length, and not just a splash of tables with minimal prose. And plenty of editors will jump in if it is an item they can help with. We're a volunteer project, we can't force anyone to do anything. But I personally try to offer my hand if I see something relatively close or a rather significant story if I have time, I just can't do that nor necessarily have the interest for all ITN posted ones. But I known plenty of the other regulars dig in to help where appropriate.
Most other points are all related to the fact that ITN is not a news ticker. We are not going to be a mirror of the same headlines one would see at CNN or the like, which is the most common misconception in all those points you have listed. WP is not supposed to be a newspaper in the first place, and while we cover very current events we shouldn't be covering the minutae of broader events - for example, you could write volumes to summarize every day of the Trump impeachment proceedings for the four-some months it took. But that's not how an encyclopedic works, we're looking at the long-term highlights; ultimately at the end of the day, there should certainly be a decent article on the impeachment but that's "a" single article, not pages and pages. That aspect translates to ITN in that we're looking at big picture stories, events that are the keystone points in major long-running stories rather that be a news ticker that cycle numerous but often insignificant events within that longer story that have no impact. (That link about the bias is more specific that we announced that Trump won the presidency which was the more keystone event of the election cycle over the inaugeration, that was not bias). If you want to see more of a newspaper approach, Wikinews is exactly that project, and that's over that way. ITN is a reflection of how WP is meant to cover current events, not how the media covers news. --Masem (t) 01:39, 26 February 2020 (UTC)
  1. any attempt to remove [quality criterion] is a non-starter - possibly to you, not necessarily for everyone else, e.g. [7], [8].
  2. Quality for an ITN item is not hard - I've repeatedly pointed out that it's extremely rare for people to oppose a nomination because of omissions in the text. By far the most common reason for opposes based on quality is unreferenced text, which implies that to get the article posted all one has to do is to delete the unreferenced text. One can even restore the text after the article is no longer on the main page (I'm sure this happened once in an OTD article, but I can't find it anymore). Here's another (tongue-firmly-in-cheek) way to stop articles from getting posted [9]. I call both these fixes silly, not sure if others do.
  3. significance and quality are two separate factors, they are not tradeoffs as you suggest - this statement is contradicted by ITN policy. To quote from WP:ITN, "a highly significant event, such as the discovery of a cure for cancer, may have a sub-par update associated with it, but be posted anyway with the assumption that other editors will soon join in and improve the article. Conversely, an editor may write an in-depth update on a topic normally considered marginal, thus convincing commenters that it is deserving of inclusion". Examples in practice: [10], [11]
  4. I personally try to offer my hand if I see something relatively close or a rather significant story if I have time - good for you. Back in the day I used to nominate articles to see if anyone was interested in improving it, vaguely remember being called out for nominating bad articles, and stopped doing it.
  5. Most other points are all related to the fact that ITN is not a news ticker - so you say. Others don't agree. Here's an example of a proposal to do something which would, as you write in the first comment to the thread, "[make us] become a news ticker". Note the OP was not the only person in favor of the change. There're several more such proposals in the archives who say the same thing, indicating more people who think that way.
I stand by my assessment that we as a whole do not agree on what the purpose of ITN is (e.g. [12], [13]), cannot agree about whether ITN is biased (e.g. [14], [15]) and how the ITN editorial board has arbitrary standards. The main page is better off without it.
Banedon (talk) 05:11, 26 February 2020 (UTC)
I would consider the diffs you point out in the first point as sarcasm, not serious. Regardless, as long as ITN is a Main Page component, our hands are tied on quality. That said: I fully agree that we should not be remove essential article content that not sourced just to get an ITN just because it is hard to get all the sources, or playing games by removing content to get the ITN and then putting it back. If that activity is actually discovered to be happening, that would start a possible trip to ANI if the editors don't stop abusing it.
On the criteria you quote, I have always read that as to the extent of the update, not so much its sourcing quality, and that is particularly true for science topics. The maintain may give high level details, and we put to ITN based on those, and then more expert editors come in, find the academic sources and expand out the update. That is the intent of that statement, and that reflects the basics of what we want ITN to do. It does not mean "sub-par" in terms of "partially sources", and if you feel that could be mis-read, then we need to fix that. --Masem (t) 05:47, 26 February 2020 (UTC)
I don't have anything more to say that I haven't said already, so I won't be responding any further (especially since this thread's already huge). Banedon (talk) 11:14, 26 February 2020 (UTC)
@Masem: why do you way "our hands are tied on quality"? That's not in any way a god-given rule, or an overarching sitewide policy, it's just something that has been decided upon by consensus and precedent, and could be changed if there was a desire to do so. The flipside of the "showcasing quality content" argument is a desire to engage more potential new editors, something which is easier to do if they click through to an article and observe that it's a bag of garbage ripe for improvement. Check out this suggestion at TFA, to drop a substandard FA article on to the main page every now and again. And, as we all know, POTD articles are almost routinely crap. I'm not saying we necessarily should relax the quality standard, but equally there is no justification for rejecting it out of hand.  — Amakuru (talk) 12:38, 26 February 2020 (UTC)
The Main Page is meant to feature what is representative of our best work. A "substandard FA" is still tons better than 99% of more articles. The POTD is only looking at the picture, not the article behind it, and judging that quality. For ITN, we're looking to make sure that the article is in a good place to start other editors to add to, in a "monkey see monkey do" approach - that everything is appropriately sourced (particularly for a BLP or RD), it is long enough and reasonably comprehensive but by no means complete, and there's the update of why it is in the news there. These are not hard, but where most ITNCs fail (when significance is otherwise deemed okay) is on sourcing and 90% of those cases are related to creative people's -ologies sections which editors historically have not cited appropriately. That's an historical failure we've had with BLPs in this area for a long time. --Masem (t) 15:38, 26 February 2020 (UTC)
Extended content

Article quality is a requirement that comes from any Main Page featured link

How then do you justify links to low quality articles such as Hanau? Downsize43 (talk) 02:19, 26 February 2020 (UTC)

The general practice is to apply the quality standard only to bolded links. Hanau is not bolded.—Bagumba (talk) 04:49, 26 February 2020 (UTC)
Consider the following quotes from the above:
  • ITN's purpose to draw readers' attention to articles about topics that are significantly in the news and have been improved to a quality worthy of highlighting on the Main Page.
  • My memory is that the original idea of this section was to highlight Wikipedia articles about people or things that are currently in the news, rather than articles about the news events themselves.

IMHO the first describes how most ITN’s are now, with a quickly written and constantly changing article about an event, with little about the wider environment in which it occurred. For example: Shootings occurred in Hanau ...

The second would result in a less newsy and more encyclopediac article, such as: Hanau was the location of shootings ... Downsize43 (talk) 06:57, 26 February 2020 (UTC)

  • Oppose - as a reader I see real value in ITN. As an editor I value a lot of other things (DYK, TFA), but as a reader ITN is the best part of the main page. Guettarda (talk) 13:38, 26 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Comment by OP - We're at the 21-hour mark, and I wonder if at this point, the current tally can be considered a consensus.--WaltCip (talk) 14:56, 26 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Its up to you, a dozen editors against 2 in favor including yourself in less than 24 hours does present an uphill challenge though. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 16:07, 26 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose ITN is the main reason I go. To find a link a breaking story (like the Corono virus, a hurricane etc..). And to learn what else is happening in the world that some random wikipedians think is important enough. Curated current news is not Wikipedia's purpose, but for this exception it works surprisingly well. Ignore All Rules. -- GreenC 15:50, 26 February 2020 (UTC)

RFC of interestEdit

An ongoing discussion of interest to watchers of this page is happening here. [It's about RFA watchlist notices] –MJLTalk 13:53, 26 February 2020 (UTC)