Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2019-02-28/From the archives
- There is always discussion about how to improve Wikipedia, but I think the saga of what happened to these users who attempted it is important to reflect on. What went wrong all those years ago? The following Signpost article, by Flcelloguy, originally appeared in the 19 September 2005 edition as "Esperanza group".
After tensions grew high last month, a new group was formed within Wikipedia to promote Wiki-Love and community relations. Esperanza, coming from the Spanish word for hope, is "dedicated to strengthening Wikipedia's sense of community". The group was founded by JCarriker, who saw a need for such an organization. "Esperanza is unique... [It] should complement existing insitutions by providing services that they do not. Esperanza will be like Wikipedia's soul... seeking to comfort and maintain its various parts (users)," he said in a statement on the Esperanza page.
The idea immediately proved popular, with several users now including links to the organization in their user signatures. Over 48 Wikipedians have signed up, with positive input. "This is a entirely great idea," Bratsche commented. Echoing those lines, Tim Rhymeless said, "I'd be happy to see Wikipedia, as a community, grow and strengthen [because of Esperanza]."
However, there were also signs of disapproval. Gadfium stated, "I think this is a bad idea. Wikipedia does not need a cabal." In addition, several users were unhappy with the proposed governing organization. The current structure consists of a drafting committee, comprised of JCarriker and Redwolf24, and a provisional government of 15 members, which was filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. Thus, many users were displeased with the current bureaucracy-like power structure. As a response, a message was posted on the Esperanza page, stating that "One of the most brought up reasons for not joining Esperanza is that there's too much bureaucracy. Please note that most of the government things are for fun – it's not really a true authority."
There were many ideas for Esperanza, and all of them are undergoing discussion. One proposal was for a Wikipedian of the Week; however, despite strong support at first, there seemed to be recent opposition to the idea, mainly because it could turn into a "popularity contest" and that it would suggest a cabal. Another proposal was giving birthday greetings out; this also drew some opposition. In addition, an "article lottery", where one nominated article would be randomly picked to be worked on, was proposed. There were many other ideas on the discussion page, but none of them have been implemented yet.
The group has since been made less bureaucratic, leaving only an admin general and a four member committee acting as a high court. The parliamentary tasks will be taken care of by the group as a whole. The group currently has about 52 members.