Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Council

Active discussions
WikiProject Council
This page relates to the WikiProject Council, a collaborative effort regarding WikiProjects in general. If you would like to participate, please visit the project discussion page.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Q1: What's a WikiProject?
A1: A WikiProject is a group of people who want to work together. It is not a subject area, a collection of pages, or a list of articles tagged by the group.
Q2: How many WikiProjects are there?
A2: There are 872 WikiProjects and task forces tagged as "Active" (see Category:Active WikiProjects), and 264 WikiProjects and task forces tagged as "Semi-active" (see Category:Semi-active WikiProjects).
Q3: What's the biggest WikiProject?
A3: Nobody knows, because not all participants add their names to a membership list, and membership lists are almost always out of date. You can find out which projects' main pages are being watched by the most users at Wikipedia:Database reports/WikiProject watchers.
Q4: Which WikiProject has tagged the most articles as being within their scope?
A4: WikiProject Biography has tagged about 1.29 million articles, making it more than three times the size of the second largest WikiProject. About ten groups have tagged more than 100,000 articles. You can see a list of projects and the number of articles they have assessed here.
Q5: Who gets to decide whether a WikiProject is permitted to tag an article?
A5: That is the exclusive right of the participants of the WikiProject. Editors at an article may neither force the group to tag an article nor refuse to permit them to tag an article. See WP:PROJGUIDE#OWN.
Q6: I think a couple of WikiProjects should be merged. Is that okay?
A6: You must ask the people who belong to those groups, even if the groups appear to be inactive. It's okay for different groups of people to be working on similar articles. WikiProjects are people, not lists of articles. If you identify and explain clear, practical benefits of a merger to all of the affected groups, they are likely to agree to combining into a larger group. However, if they object, then you may not merge the pages. For less-active groups, you may need to wait a month or more to make sure that no one objects.
Q7: I want to start a WikiProject. Am I required to advertise it at Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals and/or have a specific number of editors support it?
A7: No, there are no requirements. However, new WikiProjects, especially new groups that are proposed by new editors, rarely remain active for longer than a few months unless there are at least six or eight active editors involved at the time of creation.

Wikiproject that shouldn't be edited?Edit

so there is an archived wikiproject that was never officially created but the person who was making it has left wikipedia and I would like to start it up again and continue it is there a way to do that? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Carri796 (talkcontribs) 03:36, 29 December 2019 (UTC)

Carri796, a WikiProject is our jargon for a group of people that like working together. It's not something that needs to be "officially" created. WhatamIdoing (talk) 07:08, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
Though just starting one without going through the WP:COUNCIL/P proposals process is discouraged, and is apt to result in the creation of a redundant project or one unlikely to work out well. I think what Carri796 is getting at is that a project page already exists but is inactive. There's probably no issue with reactivating it. But Carri796 may be referring to a COUNCIL/P proposal that effectively failed; I would suggest re-proposing it, after reviewing why it did not attract support (or even attracted opposition) and then making adjustments, as well as rounding up other editors who are clearly interested in working on the project, so they can state they support it and would participate in it. Also, consider a taskforce/workgroup – many proposed new projects and moribund old ones do better when merged as a subproject page into a larger, broader project. The principal problem with newly proposed projects is that most of the ones that are sustainable in numbers of editors and amount of [actually encyclopedic] content to work on already exist. Major gaps are rare, and many ideas for stuff that might raise WP:RECENTISM concerns (mostly entertainment topics) turn out to fail as projects after a short while (e.g. the TV show gets canceled, the band breaks up after their second album, whatever).  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  22:59, 16 January 2020 (UTC)

New WikiProject Created!Edit

Following a successful proposal, WikiProject A Cappella has begun work! If you are interested in joining, please do! You can read the instructions on our main page. Thanks! Puddleglum 2.0 19:32, 8 January 2020 (UTC)

sounds terrific. thanks for your note, Puddleglum2.0. will take a look. --Sm8900 (talk) 16:07, 9 January 2020 (UTC)

New update from WikiProject HistoryEdit

Hi everyone. I am a new coordinator page admin at WikiProject History. I took that role simply by vounteering for it. none of the other past coordinators are active there any more. I have posted the notice below on the project's main page, and a similar one on the project's talk page. if anyone here would like to get involved, help out, or else simply say hello there or let us know what you're up to, please feel free to drop by and write a note. We'd welcome your comments, and would be glad to hear from you. I welcome everyone's input. and you can feel free to reply here as well thanks!!

Message posted:
Hi everyone. I am writing to ask for any volunteers who might like to help out, or to get more involved here at WikiProject History. Right now, we would like to get WikiProject History up and running again. A number of people have signed up in the past, and indicated their willingness to be involved. If you're still here, we need you!!
You can reply here in this section, or else on on the project's talk page, even if it's just to say hello. If you want, you can reply simply let me know what you are personally working on right now. or also, if you want, you can let me know what your interests are, what topics you find interesting, what you;d like to do, or how you'd like to be involved. whatever it may be, we'd like to hear from you. we appreciate it. thanks!! --Sm8900 (talk) 14:55, 10 January 2020 (UTC)

Feel free to write back. thanks!! --Sm8900 (talk) 15:41, 10 January 2020 (UTC)

@Sm8900: Sounds cool, I'm in! Puddleglum 2.0 00:51, 11 January 2020 (UTC)

Puddleglum2.0, thanks!! I hope to move ahead with a few efforts in this area at once. Also, please feel free to look at and comment on my idea below. thanks!! --Sm8900 (talk) 05:28, 12 January 2020 (UTC)
I have added WikiProject History to the directory of active WikiProjects. thanks. --Sm8900 (talk) 05:35, 12 January 2020 (UTC)
I have reverted my own edit to the directory of active WikiProjects, to show the correct current status of WikiProject History as semi-inactive. thanks. --Sm8900 (talk) 15:19, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
  • I am surprised to see WP History is not listed as active. I am not too sure how activity is measured but it seems to me people are still frequently including the WP History template on their talk pages. Indeed, it looks to me that any wikiproject with over 50,000 articles is pretty active (especially as well over 1000 are GA or higher). May I suggest it may be useful to consolidate ties with Women's History which now contains almost 47,000 articles, many of them biographies of women who were active before 1950. Members of WP History might be interested in collaborating on improving some of these up to GA.--Ipigott (talk) 11:18, 14 January 2020 (UTC)

WP Women in GreenEdit

Sm8900: I have just noticed that WikiProject Women in Green does not appear to be included in the lists. I have just created Category:WikiProject Women in Green but don't know whether that is sufficient to have it listed. If is isn't, please let me know what more I should do. It's a pretty active and successful project, its main aim being to improve women's biographies (and other articles about women) up to GA class (i.e. green) and beyond. The project is closely related to WP Women in Red.--Ipigott (talk) 11:40, 14 January 2020 (UTC)

Because Women in Green is structured as a task force of Wikipedia:WikiProject Women (which does appear), it will not show up on the lists. Feel free to move it out, to Wikipedia:WikiProject Women in Green (currently a redirect) UnitedStatesian (talk) 13:49, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
well, that's a great point, from both of you. @Ipigott:, if you do want that listed, we'd be glad to do so; we can simply list it as a sub-item under the main WikiProject. would you like us to do so? thanks. --Sm8900 (talk) 19:18, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
I would first like to see what the project coordinator Alanna the Brave and perhaps SusunW think about it. For the record, Women in Red also used to be dependent on WP Women but we decided it was much better to become a separate project. It looks to me that with the increasing interest in Women in Green, the time has come to make that a fully fledged wikiproject too.--Ipigott (talk) 07:11, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
I am not remotely sure even what this means. As everyone is aware, I am not technically inclined. I don't understand what list the project would be on. Am assuming there is a list of WikiProjects somewhere, but the search engine we have (which is never intuitive to me) does not make that easy to find. Literally, if I want to find a WikiProject, I find an article name that I think would be in that realm and look at what projects it has listed on its talk page. For example, I just finished a biography of a woman who worked in coffee production, I went to coffee production to see what projects it had listed. As to how it should be listed, I would think as a sub-project of WikiProject Women, since it is only one facet of our work on women, i.e. like Women in Red, Women in sport, Women writers, etc. My second thought on it is that separating it, makes it harder to obtain metrics on all women, as then one must know which separate projects are related. Keeping them all as sub-projects seems to me the easiest way to obtain usable data, as the connections are clear. But, if it is possible to separate them and keep the connections clear, it really doesn't matter. As ever, I bow to whatever consensus is reached. SusunW (talk) 14:30, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
From your comments, SusunW, it looks to me as if one of the priorities for WP Council is to create an up-to-date list of wikiprojects with summary details of scope and activity. The list I was looking at was Wikipedia:Database reports/WikiProjects by changes which is 30 months old. Unfortunately there does not appear to be a list of activity by page views or by the number of tags added to talk pages.--Ipigott (talk) 15:56, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
Having Women in Green listed as a sub-project of WikiProject Women sounds fine to me for now -- the possibility of upgrading it to a full WikiProject is something we'll have to talk about with other WiG members. :-) I'm interested in seeing what WP Council might have to offer, but it seems like WP Council's members are currently in the midst of discussing big changes to the project, so it might be prudent to wait a little while until things have settled down. Alanna the Brave (talk) 17:30, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

Proposal(s) to make major changes to WP:WikiProject CouncilEdit

Thanks @SMcCandlish: for merging these multiple discussions into one. Was gonna mention the mess earlier, but you beat me to it :) GoodDay (talk) 22:58, 16 January 2020 (UTC)


Hi everyone. I would like to suggest that we think about creating a list of active participants here. there are a few reasons for this.

  1. the whole point of a "council" is to be an actual, active functioning group of individuals.
  2. the best way to make this council a real resource is to make it easy to find people who are actually active, involved, and willing to help out.
  3. given that some wikiprojects are highly active, some are only slightly active, and some are not active at all, it makes basic sense that this WikiProject Council would be able to point users to the wikiprojects that are most active, including some information on their individual coordinators.

I hope to move ahead with this in the near future. I will keep you posted. feel free to comment. thanks!!! --Sm8900 (talk) 05:26, 12 January 2020 (UTC)

ok, moving ahead. thanks. --Sm8900 (talk) 03:30, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
I think that the point of this group is for people who are active in other WikiProjects to have an easy way to talk to other people who are interested in WikiProjects. Think of it more like "active WikiProjects should ask a couple of people to watchlist this" than "we should try to be active here for its own sake".
There's not necessarily much point in sending people to the most active WikiProjects. The biggest handful are easy to spot, but (a) not everyone wants to join a big group and (b) most editors care more about the subject area than the group size. If you're into food, then it doesn't matter if WikiProject Food isn't one of the most active groups; it's still the best place to meet people who are also interested in food. WhatamIdoing (talk) 07:13, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
thanks, but sorry, I disagree. there are many possible reasons an editor might want to know which WikiProjects are most active. for one thing, we are here to help people with the process of building WikiProjects, not the process of writing about any particular topic in itself. so therefore, if someone is simply trying to find out how to build a successful WikiProject, one great way to get some information is to look at any existing WikiProject that is highly successful, and well-managed, even those for different subject areas. the point of having a council is to be a central clearinghouse on the topic of WikiProjects themselves, as you know. I appreciate your ideas on this. thanks! --Sm8900 (talk) 23:25, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
Have you looked at Wikipedia:WikiProject Directory? It is periodically updated by a bot with metrics of activity within the associated articles, and on the corresponding WikiProject pages. isaacl (talk) 23:37, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
good point, isaacl, I will take a look there. this talk page is providing some good ideas. thanks. --Sm8900 (talk) 23:45, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
This is part of what concerns others, I think. If you're making extensive updates without knowing what resources are already present on the page, I strongly suggest working in a sandbox instead of making live updates. isaacl (talk) 23:47, 14 January 2020 (UTC)

Hi there; Radio checkEdit

Radio check:

hi there!! is anyone actually here? Please reply, if you are.   thanks!!! --Sm8900 (talk) 01:41, 13 January 2020 (UTC)

Watching --Bamyers99 (talk) 02:49, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
Also here. Glad to hear of new life being breathed into WikiProject History. Ambivalent on an explicit participants list. Glad to see you're interested in livening up this page! Ajpolino (talk) 03:15, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
Me too, watching. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 08:40, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
In the last few hours there have been something like 75 changes to the main page. I have concerns about some of these changes, particularly from an accessibility standpoint (leaving blank lines in lists is just one instance): but I don't have time to properly review them all, so am unwatching this page. Sm8900, you may consider yourself to have driven me out. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 19:33, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
Redrose64, I'm very sorry to hear that. I hope you will reconsider. i am open to discussing or any or all of the changes. if anyone wishes to discuss, please feel free to let me know. thanks. --Sm8900 (talk) 19:37, 14 January 2020 (UTC)

Another watcher. Been thinking about this Council lately. Jusdafax (talk) 03:32, 14 January 2020 (UTC)

And me.--Ipigott (talk) 10:49, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
thanks for all your replies! Appreciate it. --Sm8900 (talk) 04:09, 14 January 2020 (UTC)

Could you please Review „Alem Begic“ ☺️ B.tutundzic (talk) 20:40, 1 February 2020 (UTC)

Activity on WikiProject CouncilEdit

On the list of most active wikiprojects, WP Council does not appear among the first 100. I would be interested to see where it would be placed if the list was presented on the basis of the no bots count. It seems to me that with 708, it would be much higher on the list. Maybe it would be worthwhile relisting them all on this basis.--Ipigott (talk) 10:56, 14 January 2020 (UTC)

Ipigott, that query only measured how often a WikiProject's pages got edited three and a half years ago. I don't think anyone cares how often WikiProject Council's pages get edited. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:23, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
WhatamIdoing: Thanks for your explanations. SM's efforts seem at least to be reviving some interest. I was surprised to see the Council project was listed as semi-active. That, for me, is an indication that it is probably not worthwhile investigating further. I can see from recent discussions that in fact there are several dedicated contributors who consider the project is both important and active. As one of the more active members of WikiProject Women in Red, I frequently consult lists of active wikiprojects as a means of seeking collaboration on WiR topics of potential common interest. Until now, I have unfortunately never included Council although I recognize now that on occasion it may have been useful to do so, for example in connection with the revamping of many of the main wikiproject pages to match the Project X format. It simply seems to me that the current method of deciding whether a project is active is not the best way to go about things, especially as bots seem to be responsible for many of the higher ratings. In the case of WP Council, the fact that you get around 120 page views a day is significant - far more than WP Women writers which is considered to be active. Finally, as the query in question is dated, it would at least be useful if it could be rerun to reflect today's situation.--Ipigott (talk) 08:03, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
I've asked J-Mo to re-run the query, so you can have current data, and also to rename it, if he can think of something a bit clearer about what it represents. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:23, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

Re-writing the pageEdit

User:Sm8900, it appears that you are boldly re-writing the group's page. Can you explain what you hope to accomplish?

So far, it appears that you have:

  • made relatively minor wording changes,
  • created a list of participants (which I blanked, because this group previously decided not to have one),
  • hid the decorative headers (why?), and
  • added a section Wikipedia:WikiProject Council#WikiProjects information that probably belongs at Wikipedia:WikiProject, if it belongs anywhere. To give some examples of problems with this section's content, it seems that you have misunderstood what the Quarry query is measuring (also, it does not update automatically), and you are emphasizing WikiProjects with formally identified coordinators, which is a very unusual model (even if we were willing to overlook the fact that some of these alleged "active coordinators" haven't edited at all during the last year or longer).

WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:38, 14 January 2020 (UTC)

WhatamIdoing, thanks so much for your helpful questions above. yes, I have been making some revisions. I feel that this page has a lot of potential; it would be worthwhile to revise in order to get this valuable resource restored, and revitalized, in order to start using it as an active forum and resource. I greatly appreciate and admire, the forthright and helpful way that you have opened this up for discussion.
I will be glad to answer your excellent and helpful questions.
  • made relatively minor wording changes,
    • Reply: true
  • created a list of participants (which I blanked, because this group previously decided not to have one),
    • Reply: I appreciate your note, but I disagree with this. the lack of a list of participants has not promoted activity here; on the contrary, activity has greatly declined. I'm willing to wait on this, and would like to seek some consensus to restore this.
  • hid the decorative headers (why?),
    • Reply: the decorative headers were simply impeding active editing of this article; clicking the "edit" link only opened the text of the header template, not the section beneath. I did retain the initial header, though.
  • added a section Wikipedia:WikiProject Council#WikiProjects information that probably belongs at Wikipedia:WikiProject, if it belongs anywhere. To give some examples of problems with this section's content, it seems that you have misunderstood what the Quarry query is measuring (also, it does not update automatically), and you are emphasizing WikiProjects with formally identified coordinators, which is a very unusual model (even if we were willing to overlook the fact that some of these alleged "active coordinators" haven't edited at all during the last year or longer).
    • Reply: okay, fair enough, but some of that data is definitely current; other data may not be. I can provide attribution to indicate which ones are current.
my goal is to make this page into an active resource; and also, a functioning body. the name "Council" implies that we do serve some purpose. I'd like to help to make that an active reality.
I appreciate your helpful questions, and would be glad to discuss further. Thanks!! --Sm8900 (talk) 20:47, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
Activity has declined because the need for activity has declined. It took years, but we've settled most of the internecine wars between WikiProjects. "The rules" (e.g., about who decides what's in scope for a group, and what WikiProject advice pages are allowed to do) have been largely accepted.
Lists of participants are an endless ugly maintenance problem for groups that usually have more important things to do. The most valuable editors often don't bother to sign up, but the useless hat-collectors are always keen to get their names posted in as many groups as possible. There is no benefit of making a list to this group, which welcomes people who know how to organize groups, regardless of whether they want to show up for one comment or one decade. To put it another way, if someone needs to make his mark on the front page to feel like he belongs, he's really not the right kind of person for this group. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:51, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

Section break 1Edit

(feel free to add any comments in this section)

I certainly appreciate the desire to remove cobwebs from a Wikipedia function. My concern is that, as with many WikiProjects, projects overhauled by a single editor tend not to be sustained once that editor's interest/time wanes. Currently, despite the lofty name, the WP Council pages have a minimal role in WikiProject operations. They basically serve only to host a WikiProject guide, task force guide, and the project proposals page. Maintaining a current directory of WikiProjects is a goal, but has become an unsustainably large task to do manually (encouragingly, the Reports bot-maintained automatic directory recently sprung back to life after a brief hiatus, and Bamyers99's list updates automatically). If there is interest in expanding the scope of this page (you mention the page having a lot of potential and of a council that serves some purpose), then I think we should discuss what that role would be. My personal feeling is that for the current narrow scope of this page (basically, as you point out, it's not a "council" in any meaningful way. It's more like Wikipeda:WikiProject WikiProjects) the smaller maintenance-requiring overhead we have, the better.

So I'd prefer we minimize or eliminate lists that need regular updating (e.g. current members, most-active projects, current coordinators). If there's a group of editors interested in expanding the scope of this page and forming an actual council that takes a more active role in WikiProjects, that's fine by me and I have no objection to the expansion of infrastructre to support that group; however, I probably wouldn't have the time/interest to meaningfully participate. Ajpolino (talk) 21:51, 14 January 2020 (UTC)

Ajpolino, I appreciate your reply. just to respond, there is a group of editors, who are wiling to actively update and maintain this page. there absolutely is. that is why we do need an actual list of active participants, right here on this page. we already have some interest in creating such a list, eg from Ipigott, and Bamyers99. thanks. --Sm8900 (talk) 21:55, 14 January 2020 (UTC)

I think "council" is a legacy name and I highly doubt there is any consensus for there to be an organizing group of the type that the word "council" implies. I disagree with making plans to overhaul this WikiProject along those lines without such a consensus in place first. isaacl (talk) 21:58, 14 January 2020 (UTC)

hm okay. I am open to discussion. one note, I do think the existing consensus, based on existing pages, templates, discussions, etc is that this body that is named "council" is actually what its name implies. I don't know of any other basis for naming an object, other than what it is.
Also, I assume you are not opposed to maintaining and updating this page. if the specific updates are desired to be discussed, that seems doable. --Sm8900 (talk) 22:16, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
The actual activity on this talk page belies the idea of a "council" taking on any guiding role in the creation and maintenance of WikiProjects. If you're just trying to make this page into a better resource, I don't have any issues with that, but I do object to trying to bring a council into existence where none actually exists today. I do think you should carefully consider if the changes you introduce are sustainable should your interest wane (as mentioned above). Adding something that needs ongoing maintenance is essentially handing a recurring bill to this WikiProject that someone has to pay.
A few suggestions: rather than making many, many edits to the main page, could you perhaps work on them in a sandbox, and then make an update all at once to the main page? I'm not saying you should only make big bang changes to the main page, as that would probably be disconcerting as well, but minimizing the amount of rework being done live would be helpful. Additionally, could you avoid leaving extraneous blank spaces between list items on this talk page, as this turns into multiple lists which adds extra burden to those using screen readers? (I removed the ones in the immediately preceding comment, as well as changed the list level to indicate that you were replying to my comment, as I believe you were.) Thanks very much. isaacl (talk) 22:30, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
isaacl I think those suggestions are very fair, and very helpful. yes, I'll try to lessen the incremental edits here. that is very fair-minded of you to express in that forthright and constructive manner. thanks!! (and yes, sorry for all the trimming around the edges.) thanks!!
here is a link to a sandbox. I'll try to use it a little more often. thanks.   LINK: User:Sm8900/WIkiproject council sandbox --Sm8900 (talk) 22:35, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
You've subsequently made these three edits which to me are good candidates for making in a sandbox, letting you examine them and decide if you seem happy with the results, or even ask others for their opinions, and then making a single batch change to the actual live page. If you do want to collaborate with others on these changes ahead of their going live, then I suggest making the sandbox a subpage of the main page. (You also left a blank line between list items in your last edit, which I have removed.) isaacl (talk) 22:47, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
In the last hour you've made 37 updates. It really would be helpful if you could batch up your changes, and use edit summaries. Even better, get some feedback before submitting. isaacl (talk) 23:02, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
hm yup, makes sense. sorry, just trimming things a bit. I agree with you though, too many incremental adjustments can start to get a bit excessive. I'm going to take a break pretty soon anyway. but you do make some good points. I'm glad to have your ideas here. thanks. --Sm8900 (talk) 23:08, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
My comments apply to any kind of edits, "trimming", copy editing, re-arranging, or what not. If you can update a common sandbox with batches of changes that have a common theme and ask for feedback, it'll be much easier for other editors to understand what is being done and collaborate. isaacl (talk) 23:14, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
yup, makes sense. I do hear you. will try to keep that in mind. thanks. --Sm8900 (talk) 23:26, 14 January 2020 (UTC)

Found an active Council page!!Edit

Hey guys, some folks are trying to use this page below, to, ya know, I guess propose ideas or something, and try to get feedback. I know, I know, I tried to tell them not to, but you know how these folks can be.   lol just kidding!

if you want to help me knock some sense into these intractable folks who insist on actually trying to propose stuff, add your ideas, comments, or input, feel free to join the discussion at the link below.   thanks!!! --Sm8900 (talk) 23:04, 14 January 2020 (UTC)

It's not necessary to replicate the contents of the proposals page; a link to it suffices. isaacl (talk) 23:11, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
well, it may be not necessary; however, I am not trying to replicate anything. I am providing a list of links to active proposals. the fact that the proposals page does so as well, doesn't reduce the value of occasionally providing a small reminder, imho. again, I'm not replicating the content of a page; I am seeking to promote links to active individual pages, some of which might be of relevance to some specific editors here, if they see a list posted visibly of the current items that are currently available to discuss. I do appreciate your input. thanks! --Sm8900 (talk) 23:16, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
Again it's important to think long term: is it more important to promote the specific proposals at the moment, versus trying to get comments for all proposals going forward? (Also, Ajpolino already mentioned (and linked to) the proposal page above as one of the active areas; it's not a big revelation.) Given the small audience, it might be worth considering moving all the proposal discussion to this talk page, for instance. isaacl (talk) 23:29, 14 January 2020 (UTC)

List of proposalsEdit

Changes to the Proposals page itselfEdit

@Sm8900: I'm sorry to be a negative voice here. I appreciate your interest in making positive changes. However, on a particular change you've made to the proposals page, I don't see the value. Over a few edits you changed the beginning of the page from old version to new version. Basically you've added a new request that proposers add their signatures (which as far as I can tell has never been requested before) and moved the old introduction to a section called "Instructions". My opinion (for what it's worth) is that having the proposer's signature on that page is not helpful, and I preferred the older version (i.e. I prefer to read a page with fewer sections and fewer words). Am I missing some aspect of this? Opinions from anyone else would also be helpful. Thank you. Ajpolino (talk) 01:13, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

Hi @Ajpolino:. No problem, your questions seem fair enough. I appreciate your positive and congenial way of phrasing your questions above. based on your remarks, I have restored the previous section breaks, and the other things you refer to above. thanks!! --Sm8900 (talk) 02:04, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
We've talked about shutting down the proposals process entirely before, and I'm still slightly inclined in that direction. People don't use it as a resource to find new groups (=its point), and most of what gets proposed shouldn't get started.
Successful WikiProjects – which, in my definition, are a groups that continue to work together for more than a year or two – require the presence of multiple long-time, high-volume editors. The people who are making proposals tend to be relative newbies. I see, from the links here, proposals by editors with 138 edits, 183 edits, 5401 edits, 215 edits, 230 edits (also, he's been blocked by the Checkusers), 4 edits (yup, four), 130K edits, and 4818 edits.
Previous analysis has convinced me that only the groups that involve editors with thousands of prior edits have any chance of surviving, so that means five of these eight proposals are doomed right off. One of the three proposed by relatively experienced editors is, as User:BrownHairedGirl pointed out, a proposal for a WikiProject about fairly narrow subject that has been deleted (so that attempt is probably doomed), and the other two are failing to attract attention. Zero of them have, or are likely to have, the half-dozen solid editors that are needed to sustain a WikiProject. It is so rare that a good proposal is made that I really don't know why we keep that page open. Experienced editors know that it is optional, so they don't need it, and inexperienced editors can't make a viable proposal, so why not shut it down? WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:37, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for the ping, @WhatamIdoing. I have similar concerns, but prefer the opposite remedy.
In my view, the main issue here is that most of the existing WikiProjects are flagging. The number tagged as inactive or semi-active is a huge under-estimate; the vast majority are blowing tumbleweed. So what en.wp really needs is a massive consolidation of WikiProjects, rather than any more of them. There may very exceptionally be a good case for a new project, that is extremely rare.
I therefore support anything which might slow or divert the creation of new projects. Ideally, I would like to see the Proposals page becoming a compulsory pre-approval process: any project created without that approval should be speedily-deleted. Sadly, I don't think the community is quite ready for that. In May 2018, WP:WikiProject Parenting was kept at MFD, even though it predictably never got off the ground. In Sept 2019, there was only a weak consnensus to delete the absurdly narrow, pointily-created WP:WikiProject H. P. Lovecraft at its MFD.
However, in the meantime, the proposals page does serve a useful purpose, which is hinted at in WhatamIdoing's observation that inexperienced editors can't make a viable proposal. The gain is that they come here to make their non-viable proposal, where it rots ... and that's much better than having them charge straight into creating a new project. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 08:25, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
I agree that currently the proposals page serves mostly as a void for inexperienced editors to shout into and get the message that there's not broad interest in starting a project on their pet topic. Is it worth keeping a page open for that purpose? I'm not sure. It's valuable in that it cuts down on the formation of ill-fated projects (which as BHG points out are hard to delete, and clutter up directories, making it more challenging for editors to find active projects). But it also feels cynical to keep a page open primarily for that purpose. If we decide to keep it, we should consider doing something to make maintaining that page easier. The current system of new pages and templates for each proposal is a pain to manually curate, and easily falls behind when someone isn't actively maintaining it. Ajpolino (talk) 17:03, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
Ajpolino, we could dump the sub-page system and move (back?) to a post-and-archive approach. That's a "bold move" option for the group.
We could also set firmer rules: No proposals unless three editors have previously discussed it elsewhere and all think that it's a good idea (because "user projects" work better when only two or three are involved). If we expected this to be enforced, would require an RFC to demonstrate site-wide consensus.
BrownHairedGirl, have you ever done any WikiProject merges? They're a bit tedious but generally effective. Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Guide/Task forces#Converting existing projects to task forces has the usual steps (it's pretty much the same process even when you are just redirecting one, instead of making it a task force). Step #1 ("Get consensus") is the step that people complain about the most, and also the most important. In practice, as long as you post ample warning to both affected groups of people, and nobody in the to-be-merged-away group objects, then anyone can merge defunct WikiProjects up to larger subjects. It just takes time and patience. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:41, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
@Ajpolino, I disagree that there is anything cynical about encouraging editors to test their idea before going live. On the contrary, I think that we could do with a lot more this "discussion first" approach. I reckon that it's particularly appropriate for WikiProjects, where most proposals don't stand up to scrutiny and where WP:BOLDness leads to a huge mess to clean up.
@WhatamIdoing, I haven't tried project merges, but I'd like to see hundreds of them. However, my main concern at this stage is to stop making the problem worse. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 02:31, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
Agree dead process ....lets mark historical.--Moxy 🍁 06:34, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

Restored pageEdit

I have restored the page. A discussion should take place before the nature of the page is changed. I personally belive the the recent changes that made this a recruitment page rather than a authoritative page and a jumping off point is detrimental and shows bias towards certain projects that we don't want. Original intro should be restored as the majority will not read beyond it. The most important links have now been regulated to subsections.

Why are we recruiting on this page for specific projects... we should be giving the appearance of arbitrators rather than recruiters. Overall not sure about the huge change that seem to ramble on rather than being precise and direct.

Why are we listening people's names did they agree to be listed here.... do they even participate in the council?--Moxy 🍁 03:22, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

I appreciate your thoughtful note above. A number of people here have commented here on this talk page, about these changes, and on various aspects of these changes that they felt they wished to address or to discuss. so these changes have actually received input from various editors here. thanks. --Sm8900 (talk) 03:51, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
I really not seeing much support at all for your changes nor a reply to my concerns. So let's start over....pls address. And best. We should also use a stable version. Thank you.--Moxy 🍁 04:05, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
that version was stable. you are the only person reverting it. --Sm8900 (talk) 04:19, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
Pls read over the talks above.....all have raised concerns about different aspects of the changes. Some changes were fine...however finding those is hard because we have no indication of what edit was for what change in a flurry of edits. So step by step....why list people who have not put their name here on purpose ( do they wish to represent the council?) and hightlight projects doing well? ...will talk about walls of text and listing redirects after.--Moxy 🍁 04:32, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
again, that version is stable. discussing details is fine. but there is no basis for reverting to a version that reverses all of the recent edits. I appreciate your note above. thanks. --Sm8900 (talk) 04:58, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
Rationale stated above.....trying to move forward. WP:BRDDISCUSS.--Moxy 🍁 05:06, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
reverting edits is moving backward, not forwards. --Sm8900 (talk) 05:07, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
There have been about 150 edits made to this group's page in about 26 hours. That is more edits to that page than were made in the entire previous decade. There is absolutely nothing "stable" about the undiscussed and mostly unwanted edits you've been making. An editor with even your experience level should be embarrassed to make such a claim. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:22, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
  • I agree with WhatamIdoing. There are too many fast changes to this page by inexperienced editors. In my view, we need to take a step back and evaluate the broader picture. For starters, a list of "members" does not seem needed, and some of the wording changes need discussion. There is no rush to do this. Jusdafax (talk) 07:01, 16 January 2020 (UTC)

Discussion re recent page editsEdit

Section break 1Edit

I was asked to weigh in, so here we go.

1. Thanks to Sm8900 for your eager assistance.

2. The old version of the Proposals page was a lot more concise and precise, with the new version, I get where Sm is trying to go, but I don't know if they are exactly improvements persay. SM's version is a lot cleaner, but it was also a bit wordy, and I had to read through it twice to understand it. Overall, I believe that the new structure is better, but the way it is worded leaves something to be desired. So here's my propossl. If we kept the organization, but improved the wording, I think that page would be greatly improved. (Was this even the issue we were talking about? This whole thing is rather unclear to me, I'm not even a member of the Council.) Anyways, thank you to Sm8900 for your enthusiastic efforts, I and even the people who revert you do appreciate your enthusiasm! Thanks, Puddleglum 2.0 05:10, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

We are talking about Wikipedia:WikiProject Council not Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals.--Moxy 🍁 06:33, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
@Puddleglum2.0:, that sounds fine. so below is a link to a draft version of the entire article as I edited it. could you please go to the talk page for that draft, and add your comments as to what wording you would like to see revised? thanks!!!

thanks. --Sm8900 (talk) 05:15, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
Sm8900, I appreciate your commitment to stop edit warring on our WikiProject page, but you're not winning friends and influencing people right now. The message I'd like to hear from you would feel more like "I know WikiProjects are groups of people (not 'resources' or 'pages'), and I know I'm still the new guy in this old group. I have some ideas, but I actually don't know much about this group's history, purpose, or shared goals. Is anyone interested in hearing one of my ideas?"
Also, please go read WP:LISTGAP before you edit anything else. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:16, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
WhatamIdoing, I appreciate your comment. thanks!!! --Sm8900 (talk) 05:17, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

Section break 1aEdit

As per @WhatamIdoing:, and others, I know WikiProjects are groups of people (not 'resources' or 'pages'), and I know I'm still the new guy in this old group. I have some ideas, but perhaps I don't know much about this group's history. I feel that I do know a solid amount about the purpose here, and the shared goals, based on my years of experience of editing Wikipedia. Is anyone interested in hearing some of my ideas? I truly appreciate it. thanks. --Sm8900 (talk) 05:30, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

You claim to know what the purpose and goals of WikiProject Council are. I have my doubts, but there's an easy way around that: Tell me why we exist. What's the point? Feel free to give a few examples. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:55, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
(ec) best read over Wikipedia:Canvassing as well.--Moxy 🍁 05:59, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

@WhatamIdoing: ok, fair enough. as the "What do we do?" section currently says explicitly, this page is here to assist editors who might need some help with building a WikiProject, to document some of the successful efforts and practices in current WikiProjects, and to help editors with finding their way to current WikiProjects, i.e. by providing links and a current directory. is that somewhat correct? --Sm8900 (talk) 06:02, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

That's the version that's designed for public consumption. More bluntly, we stop fights between WikiProjects with overlapping scopes, we are (part of) the institutional memory about the who/what/where to ask when WikiProject infrastructure breaks, and we try to reduce the overall maintenance burden by discouraging people from creating pages when they don't actually have a WikiProject (=a group of people) to use those pages. In our "ample free time", we provide advice to people who come here to ask for it, but providing that information "off campus" in discussions such as this and this and this (all old enough that hopefully nobody will be offended at being 'made an example of') is more important than what we say here. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:44, 16 January 2020 (UTC)

section break 2a, reply to MoxyEdit

  • Reply to comment above. I appreciate your thoughtful points above. I will answer each of your valid points in turn, below.
  • why would this project recruit here for just a few other projects or any project?
my assumption is that the people visiting this page for guidance will include some neophytes, who are looking for basic elementary information on the whole area of WikiProjects. one way to enable them hit the ground running is to let them know, firstly, that some WikiProjects that appear to be major may be totally inactive, while others are very active indeed.
So to enable them to navigate through the thicket, this Council can help to serve as a central place where links to some actual WikiProjects that are fully active and shaping Wikipedia are full identified here. in addition, providing resources that can help users to distinguish the active WikiProjects from those that are less active or inactive, might be highly useful to some of the newcomers who might visit this page.
  • why list non council members when we don’t even have a list (did they agree to this)?
If you're referring to the list of active participants, the answer is, yes; not only did they agree to this, they posted their names themselves; however, since that only applies to two people, you are probably referring to the list of project coordinators.
the reason for providing such a list of project coordinators is that right now, omitting such a list is not causing more activity; on the contrary, because we don't have any specific data on who is actually involved, anyone coming here is not sure who is available or willing to assist them. by the way, I thought they would get pinged when I used the template {{user|user name}} to list them; however, perhaps that did not ping them, so will change the tag for that list.
that is also why I have the section "radio check" above on this talk page; my goal here is to promote discussion and participation. I am not trying to exclude anyone from this process; quite the contrary, I have been trying to attract as much input and activity from others as possible. On that note, I am glad to hear your views, and to have your valuable input here.
If you're referring to the list of WikiProject coordinators, the answer is that is publicly-posted information. anyone coming here for help might benefit from the knowledge that there are experienced project coordinators who occupy a public role, and are therefore available to answer any questions needed.
  • why have long convoluted paragraphs just to link to another page?
I’m not sure which paragraphs you mean. You are welcome to specify any passages that you have in mind, and I will be glad to discuss. However, in general, my reason for adding text to point to other resources was under the assumption that neophytes might come here looking for guidance, so therefore we should provide some words of explanation in offering info and resources to them.
  • why list redirect ?
because since, supposedly, we are the Council, one valuable function might be to enable other Council participants, and active WikiProject coordinators, editors, etc, to get some historical sense of the overall shape and nature of WikiProject Council in a historical sense. The redirects provide some insights into how this Council project has evolved and developed over the years. The article redirects are not that old; they’re just a year or two old.
So anyone coming here after a long hiatus might wish to get a sense of what was here before, or what we have now. This is especially true because some folks here might have been involved in developing those older pages.
  • why does the "What do we do?" section no longer have what we do?
Actually, if you look closely, the revised version of this section contained all of the same links and resources that it did before. I only changed the text, in order to be easier to read for the average visitor to this page. Also, I don't know that we still do any of the things that section says we do. I'm not sure whether WikiProject Council is still carrying out these functions as a council at all. Most of the WikiProject coordinators whom I've spoken to have little awareness or perception of WP Council functioning as a council, or as an active group.
However, in deference to your important concerns, and valid insights, I have restored the text of that section, as you alluded to above.
  • why move main links from lead?
I'm not sure which links I moved from the lead. You are welcome to restore them. In general, perhaps some links were moved simply to streamline the article, and make it more accessible to the general reader.
  • why the same links in every section?
is that right? I did? I will try to review the material for this aspect. If I really posted the same links in every section, then yes, perhaps that is a bit redundant. I'll be glad to winnow down any links that are repeated in redundant fashion.
  • did copy some facts to our info page
you did indeed. I saw your edit. in all seriousness, that's terrific, and very appreciated!   That demonstrates your positive approach to this process and to improving Wikipedia. I appreciate your positivity in doing so. This is what Wikipedia is all about. Your willingness to use my ideas in a positive manner, even during our debate here, demonstrates a real sincere desire to improve Wikipedia. I do appreciate your positive gesture in this manner. thanks.
phew, well, that's a lot of typing, but my goal was truly and sincerely to address your valid points above. I have restored the text of the "What do we do?" section, based on your request above. I hope my replies above are helpful. I look forward to hearing more of your views, and discussing further. I appreciate all your insights here. Thanks!! --Sm8900 (talk) 14:53, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
At this point best you ask for an RFC because as of now the project has rejected most of the changes. Pls don't waste our time having to edit war with you. As a participant of the council your supposed to try avoid conflict. I simply see no need to link the same pages in every section or list projects here as we have 2000 of them thus why we have sub pages for them.--Moxy 🍁 17:20, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

Recent efforts to improve WP CouncilEdit

I have been following with interest Sm8900's efforts to make this project more effective. As a result, I have looked into the project's background in some detail and am impressed to see the high number of page views the project's main page constantly receives. This obviously indicates that it has been serving as a useful reference for those interested in embarking on new wikiprojects or perhaps simply wishing to improve those that already exist. I believe one of the reasons Sm felt the project needed to be "revived" was that it is listed as semi-active, a rating apparently based on the number of edits on its talk page. This misleading rating obviously needs attention. I also think it would be useful to enlarge the scope of the project to accommodate more general views and difficulties encountered with wikiprojects. One aspect which could receive attention is the reformatting of the main pages of a number of wikiprojects in line with developments under Project X. Another is the development of more effective coordination and linkage between wikiprojects covering a given area of interest, for example all those relating to women or those to do with history or with science. I hope therefore discussion can continue on constructive developments and that the efforts of Sm and others who have offered assistance will not be completely overruled.--Ipigott (talk) 12:04, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

@Ipigott: thanks so much for your helpful remarks above. I quite agree. thanks. --Sm8900 (talk) 14:23, 15 January 2020 (UTC)


  • Reply to suggestions above.I would like to reply to Ipigott's helpful suggestions above individually , as per the list below.
  • I believe one of the reasons Sm felt the project needed to be "revived" was that it is listed as semi-active, a rating apparently based on the number of edits on its talk page. This misleading rating obviously needs attention.
exactly. This WikiProject Council does appears active to some, based its navboxes at many or almost all WikiProjects; however, as you note, it is actually inactive, based on its current designation. Other users may presumably come here, hoping to find this to be an active resource; we should try to do what we can to make it active and useful, based on the input and ideas from everyone here.
  • I also think it would be useful to enlarge the scope of the project to accommodate more general views and difficulties encountered with wikiprojects.
One aspect which could receive attention is the reformatting of the main pages of a number of wikiprojects in line with developments under Project X.
I totally agree. One useful aspect of a group labeled "Council" is precisely to hear ideas, proposals, etc, like your idea above, to discuss them here, and then to find ways to get them done, and make them to useful to others, based on input and ideas from everyone here.
In the case of this idea, if we can get some input on your idea for reformatting the pages as per Project X, and get some support and participation for this, then we could look at some ways to make this happen. getting this page up and running as an active resource is a good starting point for this.
  • Another is the development of more effective coordination and linkage between wikiprojects covering a given area of interest, for example all those relating to women or those to do with history or with science.
I totally agree. Since we call ourselves a "council," and since in fact that function is explicitly listed as one of our functions, it only makes sense to try to find some methods to promote some greater participation here, and then to work on some ideas to implement your idea above.
In the case of your idea above to group similar WikiProjects and to promote them for people interested in that area, that was one aspect of my providing a list of active WikiProjects in the first place. once take that as a starting point, we can then use that list to group some active WikiProjects by topic, and thus help users to find active WikiProjects in the specific topical areas they might find interesting.
  • I hope therefore discussion can continue on constructive developments and that the efforts of Sm and others who have offered assistance will not be completely overruled.
I do agree with you on that, of course. My goal is to provide some useful edits here, and to open them up for discussion, in order to continuously seek ways that others here might like to offer ideas, get their proposals accepted and implemented, or find ways to make this great council into the great active resource that it has always been anticipated to be.
I would like to move ahead with these ideas, and also to continue discussion here, to continue to get some ideas and input on ways to make this better. I appreciate your input and ideas on this.
Well, those are all my thoughts on your great ideas above. I hope that's helpful. I really appreciate your great ideas on that.
Please feel free to reply further, to comment further on the above, or to offer any other ideas, comments, etc, that you may have. Thanks!!! --Sm8900 (talk) 15:29, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Just for clarification: my reference to Project X above was because after many key members of that project left, Women in Red together with many other wikiprojects began to experience difficulties. It would have been useful, perhaps, if we had been able to pool our concerns and take a common stand on maintaining the most useful aspects of the Project X approach while abandoning others. It looks to me as if WP Council could have been the right place to discuss these difficulties but we never went further than Project X itself.--Ipigott (talk) 16:04, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
I am not sure what is being said above ....when was this project marked semi-active? We do maintain a list of projects in groupings. Perhaps best to participate in the project for some time before suggesting changes. It's great you guys are trying to promote other projects but this is not the place for recruitment of individual we cover all of them.--Moxy 🍁 16:55, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
I think this is from the mix-up about the Quarry query. It counts how many times a WikiProject's pages (the group's main page, talk page, any subpages) are edited. So if you post a message on your group's talk page like "Let's go fix up Article", and then your group makes a thousand edits to that article, then you're "inactive" and bad. But if you spend a lot of time bickering in the group's talk page, or shuffling around the list of participants, or making lists of articles that you might like to write some day, and never actually improve a single article, then that's "active" and good.
It's a Map–territory relation problem. The metric rewards edit volume in the projectspace, so let's have a high volume here! It is better to do the thing that matters, and find a different metric – one that measures what matters. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:59, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
The Wikipedia:WikiProject Directory shows activity in pages tagged as being associated with a WikiProject. It's not a great metric for a meta-WikiProject such as this one, but a reasonably good indicator of activity in a topic area for projects related to mainspace content. isaacl (talk) 20:10, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
That counts all edits by anyone, though. "WikiProject WhatamIdoing" could pick out a hundred high-traffic pages, stop editing entirely, and still look like an active project under that metric. I've thought about WikiProject metrics before. So far, I haven't thought of any great ones. A time-to-response metric (which we don't have, and which isn't very easy in MediaWiki) might be my best idea. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:14, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
Yes, as I mentioned it's only an indicator of activity in the topic area. It's particularly tricky as English Wikipedia has matured: the active WikiProjects have resolved their related key issues and there's less need for centralized discussion. Maybe a simpler version of time-to-response would be an average of the time between posts within each section on key talk pages. isaacl (talk) 05:05, 16 January 2020 (UTC)

Stop revertingEdit

OK this is out of hand.....stop reverting until people agree to changes. Not a good start to someone who is planing to coordinate any Wiki project.--Moxy 🍁 17:11, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

with respect, your edit was the one that made the revert. I am simply trying to restore the article to its current version, which, includes edits and items made by other editors, not just by myself or my own edits. i.e., your most recent revert removed edits by other individuals that were made today, not just by me; specifically, there were edits today by Izno.
with that said, I am totally willing and glad to discuss your important points about the various aspects of this article. --Sm8900 (talk) 17:22, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
Just a note to say that I prefer the old version of the page (though I agree with Sm8900 that the decorative section headers should go, with the exception of the first header). It seems several people who have chimed in above (myself included) are resistant to a piecemeal re-envisioning of this page. I'd echo the advice of others above that if you'd like to boldly re-envision this page, do your piecemeal edits in a sandbox then bring a clear proposal here that we replace the current version with your version. It's clear you're driven by good intentions, but your style of rapid-fire changes makes it hard for myself (and I assume others) to follow, and seems to be rubbing some editors the wrong way. Also this discussion has become incredibly hard to follow. If we could cut down on the new section headers and arbitrary section breaks, I think that might help. Alternatively, if there are specific changes you'd like to discuss, I'd be happy to do that in distinct sections. Happy editing all around. Ajpolino (talk) 17:26, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
Ajpolino, I appreciate your positive note. as you note, some parts of the old article might be fine, but some of the recent edits did serve a useful purpose for various people here. I appreciate your specificity above about your requests. I have a draft page at my user page now, that I've been using to make edits. based on your comments above, I will try to make all the edits you requested, at my draft page, and then will ping you at that draft page for comment. thanks. --Sm8900 (talk) 17:34, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
To increase the sense of collaboration, I strongly suggest to use a sandbox that is a subpage of the WikiProject Council page, rather than a subpage below your user page. isaacl (talk) 17:41, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
I strongly urge you to slow down and take into account the advice I have given. Please don't edit the live page any more and instead work on a sandbox that is a subpage of the WikiProject Council page. Working out an agreed upon version is the best way to collaborate, rather than flipflopping the live page between different versions. What someone else does isn't under your scope of control, but you can choose to pursue an approach of gaining agreement on new changes. isaacl (talk) 17:39, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
@Isaacl:, I agree completely. I will do so completely at once. I have a draft copy set up now at my user page, that I have been using. I will ping you there, if I make any further changes, before revising this page further.
your points above are highly valid. I agree with you, and will proceed the way you request above. I appreciate your help. --Sm8900 (talk) 17:51, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
In order to foster greater collaboration, I strongly suggest you move your draft page to be a subpage of the WikiProject Council page, and to post any requests for feedback on this talk page. Also, can you please stop leaving blank lines between your paragraphs that are prefixed with colons, number signs, or semi-colons, assuming you are using the wikitext editor? This causes additional overhead for those using screen readers. isaacl (talk) 18:09, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
OK let's rstore the page to its decade long version and see what edits are valid to save. We may have to wait as Sm8900 is blocked. I have several problems with the new version...main links removed from the lead...links repeated in every section...listing of non members...listing any project giving the impression of biased in favour of a project on our part.... rewording of the what we do section... listing all the redirects to this page.... basically I objected to changing of the page as being authoritative to recruitment.--Moxy 🍁 18:21, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
hi everyone. okay, I am back now. I truly appreciate the insights and input of everyone involved. yes, i was blocked, but it was reversed by some highly patient admins,once I explained the underlying context, as well as my own prior sincere understandings of this. I also let them know that I unequivocally apologize for over-stepping 3RR in any way. I appreciate the admins who wrote to me, and who took the time to let me know of some highly-useful ways to deal with any such situations in the future. they also gave me links to some of very valuable and and helpful guidelines that provide help with handling such processes here at Wikipedia. I would like to thank everyone here for their input and insights. I would also like to thank Moxy for their thoughtful and interesting comments above, here on this talk page; as I already said, prior to all of this, I do truly appreciate the valid points that Moxy took the time and effort to make, here on this talk page; I have never said otherwise about our discussions here. In addition, Moxy was open-minded enough to let me know that they found some of my edits useful, and had added them elsewhere; as I told Moxy above, I truly appreciate this positive gesture on their part, and see that as an illustration of their sincere desire to improve Wikipedia.
again, I genuinely appreciate the input and insights of everyone here. thanks so much! looking forward to future positive interactions. thanks. --Sm8900 (talk) 19:54, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
by the way, the prior version has now been reverted back to, by an entirely different editor. I don't agree with the revert, obviously; but I will stick to the talk page for now for any thoughts I may have. as I said, I feel there was some support for some of these changes, while others do need further discussion. I do appreciate the insights here at this talk page. thanks. --Sm8900 (talk) 20:04, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

14+ years with Wikipedia & I didn't know (until today) that this WikiProject existed. GoodDay (talk) 18:29, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

Would love an editor of your calibre to join us. Welcome to the project.--Moxy 🍁 18:47, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
@Moxy: I'll have to give it some thought. Going by this talkpage, there's a ton of activity all at once. Quite difficult to keep up with. GoodDay (talk) 02:42, 18 January 2020 (UTC)

Whoever's adding section breaks here (and at related ANI report)? please stop doing that. It's being done too frequently & should only be applied if a discussion becomes extremely too long. GoodDay (talk) 20:09, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

I wasn't aware of this project either until Sm8900 posted a message on the Women in Red talk page a couple of days ago. When I responded, I was hoping to be able to collaborate constructively but unfortunately I have not yet been able to detect any progress. I must say I also sympathize with Sm. I had never had occasion to read the pages cited about reverting and blocking either but then I don't think I have ever had any serious conflicts on Wikipedia and have never "reverted" anything. I have always found the most reasonable way to have things changed back to where they were is to provide explanations on the talk page of the article in question and/or on the talk page of the editor who made what appeared to be an unreasonable change. In almost all cases, this has worked very smoothly. It's a pity the same approach could not be adopted here.--Ipigott (talk) 21:14, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
thanks, Ipigott. I appreciate your helpful comment above. I quite agree. thanks. --Sm8900 (talk) 22:46, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

Moving forward...Edit

Well this has been a bit of a mess. For anyone who tuned out as this discussion got spread over several sections, I believe here's where we're at: This page has been restored to how it was a month ago. Sm8900 would like to propose revitalizing this page, possibly(?) expanding its role. They're drafting a sandbox proposal to replace this page here. If you have comments on that, I'm sure Sm would love help. At some point, that sandbox draft will be brought up here for discussion. During the discussion above, a few editors commented on the proposals page as well, suggesting we find a way to streamline it or abandon it completely. We can continue that discussion here or a few sections above. If folks could stop making new sections and sub-sections unless they have a new topic they wish to discuss, I would be much obliged. Fragmented discussion is challenging for a slow-poke like me to follow. Thanks all for your comments. I'm hopeful that this is the start of a quieter phase of productive discussion. Happy editing! Ajpolino (talk) 21:03, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

from Ajpolino's comment above: "I'm sure Sm would love help." yup. that is well said. I appreciate, admire and agree with Ajpolino's well-written comment above. I appreciate your input and insights on this. thanks!! And yes, I can set up a sandbox draft, for comment by anyone interested. I appreciate everyone's help on this. thanks. --Sm8900 (talk) 22:14, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
I think more experience is needed before you jump in and change a project that you just found. There is a lack of the basics that is needed in changing and coordinating a Wiki project. It's great you want to help....but a vast knolage of our basuc protocols is essential if you want to help with rewriting or leading a project. Best give it some time then come back when knolage of our goals and protocols are understood.--Moxy 🍁 22:35, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
I do hear your point. However, I would disagree somewhat. I think that changes here are open to discussion by all, can be proposed by anyone with knowledge of Wikipedia, and are open to discussion based on the needs of Wikipedia, and what the community of editors here feel would be most helpful to all of them. with that said, I am glad to let discussion here proceed and develop. thanks.--Sm8900 (talk) 22:45, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
At this point the disruption to the project has been substantial and has resulted in a back lash to your proposal and resulted in you being blocked. Best give it some time as project members are a little perturbed right now thus it might be hard to convince anyone. You must be aware that it's always going to be hard to jump in to a project and change its purpose.--Moxy 🍁 22:55, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
I suppose you would like a continuous discussion of this to go on ad inifinitum, where we can continue our byplay. to do so, you would need a response from me. ok, here it is: I appreciate your great comments at the proposed draft that I posted. your comments were useful, on-point and very insightful and helpful. this is what Wikipedia is all about. the ability to get insights and input from experienced editors like yourself is what allows this encyclopedia to grow, to flourish, and to develop here. I appreciate all your work and effort here. thanks.
okay, there. I lobbed one right back at ya. your serve.   cheers!!! --Sm8900 (talk) 23:02, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
"I think that changes here are open to discussion by all..." Not really. This isn't about "the page". It's about "the group". There are important humans-work-this-way social dynamics involved. Newbies don't get to tell the long-standing members of *any* social group how they ought to be running the group. I don't want you to imagine that you're proposing a change to a wiki page. I want you to imagine that you've found a group of people who have been hanging out over coffee every morning for years and years. They look like they're doing nothing. Would you sit down in the middle of that group and just announce to them that their group's composition, purpose, and self-description needs to be changed right now? WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:59, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
this is not a social group. this is wikipedia. everything here is subject to review and discussion by others. but yes, anyone can come to an existing article and propose changes. which is actually the actual scenario that you are describing. --Sm8900 (talk) 03:46, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
  • From Wikipedia:WikiProject: "A WikiProject is a group of contributors who want to work together as a team to improve Wikipedia". (The word group in that sentence even linked to the article about social groups for years.)
  • This is a WikiProject.
  • Ergo, this is a social group.
This is a really, really, really important thing in our area. People who don't understand social dynamics on Wikipedia tend to accidentally kill their WikiProjects (and then complain to me that all those horrible members didn't follow orders properly). WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:42, 16 January 2020 (UTC) please
please cease all references to me personally. you are seemingly trying to engage me in discussion, then rejecting my views when I try to respond. please. by the way, it is not necessary to respond to this message, and please discontinue addressing me personally on this page. this discussion is devolving into a simple war of words. again, I accept all your points, past, present, future, actual and hypothetical. you are free to comment as you see fit. this colloquy has been diverting, but I truly feel we should return to discussing the page itself with the group at large here, rather than an individualized colloquy between the two of us here in this sub-section. this colloquy is not benefiting either one of us. I truly respect and appreciate your understanding. thanks. --Sm8900 (talk) 07:38, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
This gets right to it: "I think more experience is needed before you jump in and change a project that you just found." See my detailed comments in #Some general background, below. PS: This multi-thread, confused pile of squabbling has already driven off one of the regulars, which is ironic (in the tragic sense, not the silly sense that millennials misuse the word), given that the espoused intent of all this is to "revitalize" WP:COUNCIL (a very iffy idea to begin with, as I detail below).  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  22:38, 16 January 2020 (UTC)

Restore old lead?Edit

I see another edit that has again removed all the main sub pages from the lead. .. like our guideline and frequently Asked question mentioned above this is contentious edit. We like having our FAQ and guidline linked in in the lead as most will not read more then the lead.--Moxy 🍁 23:54, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

The current version is the version from December 14, 2019, a month before any subsequent changes. isaacl (talk) 00:00, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
Correct one edit before big changes. ...but it's a point brought up here above a few times. Why would we delegate our FAQ page to s sub section way down the page? If it had been in place perhaps all this would not have other would have seen what us covers.--Moxy 🍁 00:08, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
Sure, you've mentioned it, and as far as I can tell, you made the change on January 15. With the discussion starting from scratch, though, it's probably better not to leave specific cherry-picked changes in place. isaacl (talk) 00:15, 16 January 2020 (UTC)

When one makes sudden changes (such as at this WikiProject) to any area on Wikipedia, which has a lot of interested parties? It's best that one propose those changes on the talkpage & see if it's accepted. Otherwise, one risks peeving a lot of editors, with the results being poor for the proposer. GoodDay (talk) 00:19, 16 January 2020 (UTC)

We link and metion the directory in ever sub section.... we just keep repeating ourselves. Having our main links in the lead will assist people in understanding the project.--Moxy 🍁 00:37, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
I made the December 13th edit with the intention of clarifying what the WP Council actually does (this was the previous version which didn't reflect the reality of what happens here), replacing links to obsolete tools, and making the page more clear to navigate. The link to the 2013 Signpost Article that offers WikiProject FAQs isn't really about the WP Council pages, it's about WikiProjects generally. So I moved the link from the opening paragraph to a section called "More on WikiProjects". I'm not convinced that having the FAQ in the intro would've prevented this flurry of activity. The WikiProject guide and task force guide are the second and third links on the page, so I don't think they're buried too far to find. If folks prefer the old version, this would be a good place to say so and we could go back. Cheers. Ajpolino (talk) 00:41, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
I was thinking if they had seen the FAQ page they would have realized that project activity was already cover at that page. Think that because the link we not in lead cause them to think it was not already covered.....or the fact we assist projects not recruit for just a few we are a project ourselves looking for participation. Now that it's way down the page it seems that it's being missed.--Moxy 🍁 00:53, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
I'm less concerned about the "recruiting for a few projects" thing (it's not good, but it's not my topmost worry) and more concerned about promoting the "coordinators" model, because it's wildly inappropriate for most WikiProjects and unnecessary for others. It makes me think of the O'Rourke quotation in Wiktionary. Status and leadership are not the same thing. WikiProjects need more leaders and fewer people with titles. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:09, 16 January 2020 (UTC)

For my part, I like this stuff being in the sidebar template, which is close enough to the top and distinct enough that it very well serves the needed navigation purpose. As an aside, however, I really do not like these giant blue bars across the page. They're an eyesore, and a confusing thing to do (they don't match other WP process/project pages).  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  22:35, 16 January 2020 (UTC)

Aesthetics aren't my strong suit, so I defer to others on that point. If people want them, we keep them; if people don't, we don't. IMO it is not an urgent issue, i.e., it could be decided next year for all I care. (I can't remember offhand who designed them, which is probably a sign that I need to get some sleep.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:08, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
  • So thus far we have "old lead" restored - removal of "decorative headers" - moving up of "navbox" - no "members list" - no other project "recruitment" - no "coordinator" list - leave " Ajpolino edits" to subsections stand"?--Moxy 🍁 05:03, 17 January 2020 (UTC)

Participants take 2Edit

I know the project says "there is no list of participants, just watch the talk page," and that's cool and all (and it looks lilke it goes back >10 years), but I think the recent issues are strong evidence that is a bad idea (especially since the current version of an archived talk page gives a pretty narrow view of any project: in our case we also now have 27 archived pages to go back and look at to get a complete view). Two (of many) values of listing WikiProject participants are: 1) increasing the social aspect of participation: when you see a fellow participant elsewhere on WikiPedia, you think "cool, they work on the WikiProject council with me too."; and 2) showing how active the project is: if a bunch of very active editors are on the participants list (as would definitely be the case here), it gives the project extra weight (and may give someone pause before they BOLDly make undiscussed changes). Accordingly, I propose we restart a participants page for this project. Thoughts? UnitedStatesian (talk) 03:23, 16 January 2020 (UTC)

Seems logical. ..I would put my name. Would also be good that others see that most here have been editing for over a decade --Moxy 🍁 04:01, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
as you know, I agree with this idea. it can only help the project. I agree that it is helpful to enable editors who wish to participate to indicate their involvement to others. --Sm8900 (talk) 04:35, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
I appreciate why most WikiProjects have participant lists, so if consensus is to have one for this project, so be it. In general, though, participant lists tend to be unrevealing. Lots of people sign up and never participate in any discussions. They're almost never cleaned up—there's often a reluctance to take someone else's name off, and unless someone is very unhappy with a WikiProject, they don't usually remove their own name. So participant lists end up having a lot of members, most of then inactive. isaacl (talk) 04:54, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
Ditto Isaccl's comment. Ajpolino (talk) 06:33, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
This teacup-tempest might have been avoided if there was a list of active participants, if a definition for an active participant can be agreed on. Or maybe not.
Is an active participant someone who is active in any Wikiproject? someone who is active anywhere on Wikipedia? someone who has recently posted on this specific project? Measures of activity vary between projects. There is the automated WikiProject X metric, which indicated I was inactive in a project when I had been frequently editing some of its articles, but not the project pages, or the more general manual version, which indicates that anyone on the participant list is active if they are active anywhere on Wikipedia, whether or not the project is even on their watchlist. Are either of these metrics in any way useful? Is there a better one? Can it be measured automatically and updated automatically? Cheers, · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 05:56, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
I think it's a bad idea (for this group). I'd also like to know why User:UnitedStatesian believes that having someone boldly decide to re-write the group's page without discussion is "strong evidence that is a bad idea" to not have a formal (and perpetually incomplete and outdated) list of participants on it.
I think that the evidence, in the form of page views, shows that almost nobody actually looks at those lists. To give an example, WikiProject Medicine's talk page has averaged 150 page views per day over the last three months; the main page has averaged 105; and the participants' list has averaged 5 (just five). If people were looking at those lists to see whether any of their friends were on it, then I think we'd see a lot more than five page views. MILHIST gives similar numbers, except with even fewer for the main page. WP:WIR has a different traffic pattern, but one that is equally weak in membership lists. Their main page averages 1,400 page views per day(!), and their talk page averages 140 page views per day. Their membership list gets 10. That's seven-tenths of one percent of their main page views.
As evidence that nobody cares about them, notice that practically all of them are out of date, and that in many cases, the most active people in the group aren't listed at all.
We also don't have the (actual) use for a participant list, which is to spam people with newsletters and reminders when they forget to pay attention to the group. The participant list is helpful when you're getting a group off the ground and when you want people to keep coming back for more, but this group doesn't need either of those.
In terms of building relationships, I think that what actually works is seeing someone actually participate, not just seeing their name in a list of alleged participants. Then you know that they're actually active, and not just that they signed up years ago and forgot about it, or that they sign up for all the groups they can find. Speaking of which, User:Sm8900, just how many groups do you claim to be part of? I find about 100 WikiProject pages that have your name on it. A single human cannot realistically be part of 100 different social groups. Dunbar's number is a thing, and it limits how many functional relationships you can maintain at any given time. WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:09, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
WhatamIdoing, with respect, I would appreciate if you could please refrain from any personal comments about me personally here. I will be glad to show you the same courtesy in return. again, please refrain from making any comments about me as an individual, whether positive or negative. again, I will be glad to show you the same courtesy in return. in regards to any questions or comments about the editing process here for any page or article, I will be glad to discuss them in a constructive manner. I greatly appreciate your help and consideration in this regard. thanks. --Sm8900 (talk) 06:23, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
and by the way, your link labeled "100" actually points to 44 hits, not 100. --Sm8900 (talk) 06:25, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
WhatamIdoing, your manner of re-injecting me into this conversation was hurtful and personally offensive. this is not how Wikipedia is supposed to work. please, please, please, let's all try to observe WP:CIVIL here. our respect for each other, as people, as editors, as writers, is the main ideal that allows Wikipedia to function and to flourish. I would ask that we all exhibit respect for each other, our important efforts, and our ideas here. I am sure that this will enable our efforts to be successful. I do sincerely appreciate and respect your profoundly helpful insights here, in this discussion. thanks very much for your help and understanding. --Sm8900 (talk) 07:23, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
There are two links there, one under the word "about" and the other under the number "100". If memory serves, the first showed 44 hits, and the second showed 72. 44 + 72 = 116, but there may be some overlap, so I have rounded down to "about 100".
I'm sorry that you're feeling picked on. I'm feeling like a guy who doesn't seem to know how WikiProjects actually work is trying to tell the long-time subject-matter experts that he knows a lot more than they do, which is also an uncomfortable situation.
You have been trying to give unsolicited advice to WikiProject Council about how we could be a "better" group. Everything I see suggests that you should not be giving advice about WikiProjects. When I tell you plainly that your advice is bad and that your actions suggest that you don't understand how WikiProjects actually work, you claim that it's not civil for me to openly disagree with you. I'm sorry that we (apparently) have different levels of tolerance for open conflict, but I really do want you to understand this: I believe you need to learn a lot more about WikiProjects before you give advice to any of them. I don't know any way of communicating to you that your skills in this specialized area appear to be lower than your enthusiasm for Wikipedia, and that if you keep this up, you might harm whole groups of people, without just telling you plainly. Yes, I expect that what I'm saying to you hurts. I'm sorry about that. I'm trying to keep you from a world of pain by putting up clear warning signs now. I need you to slow down, to spend a couple of years learning, and to think about groups as actual humans, rather than faceless activities (which you are not doing, even when you copy and paste words like that into your replies). The alternative futures look like either an angry meatball:GoodBye manifesto from you or a community ban at ANI when editors get fed up with you in a couple of years. Slow down, and there's a better chance that we'll both still be here a decade from now. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:25, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
thanks! I appreciate your comments to me. I understand that you felt that you had some thoughts that you wished to express to me, and now you have done so. I am glad that you did. a direct note of this type is much better and more constructive. the only thing that I objected to was mentioning my name in passing when it appeared there was no actual constructive topic involved. you have made some interesting thoughts above, and I will give them some thought. I appreciate your help. thanks. Although I may disagree with some parts of your description of my approach to editing, or my actions, I am glad to read your thoughts here. I have read them, and heard them. Now I assume we can conclude any discussion of me personally, and return to the topic of content of articles and pages here. Again, just to clarify, even if I disagree with some details of your description above, I am still glad to hear your feedback and insights above on some things to be aware of. I do truly appreciate your insights here, and will give them some thought. I appreciate your help, and I'm glad you took the time to write. thanks. --Sm8900 (talk) 19:53, 16 January 2020 (UTC)

This discussion is kinda confusing me. Is it about restoring the lead or starting a WikiProject membership drive. Also, through out this talkpage, indenting of posts seem mixed up. GoodDay (talk) 06:30, 16 January 2020 (UTC)

Made it its own section....still have odd breaks added despite concerns raised above and now on various user talks. Last post from me regarding this editor...getting to frustrated.--Moxy 🍁 06:51, 16 January 2020 (UTC)

My take on all this is in a detailed comment in the related thread below this one.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  22:30, 16 January 2020 (UTC)

Some general backgroundEdit

In connection with the above discussions, I thought it might be useful to look into WP Council's background and its main contributors. It turns out that two of the project's main contributors, Kirill Lokshin and John Carter, are no longer active. Indeed, the only editors who have been really active recently are WhatamIdoing, who has been contributing since June 2008, and Moxy, who started contributing in October 2010. I also note that Sm8900 first contributed in September 2015. (In this connection, I was surprised to see he was recently referred to as a "newbie" as he has in fact been an active Wikipedian since September 2006.)

Throughout the discussions over the past two or three days, it has appeared to me that the two surviving contributors have sought to maintain the old WP Council page at all costs. As there are only two of them, I think it is quite unreasonable of them to refer to themselves as a "group". I, for one, would welcome far wider participation and am pleased to see how many other editors have begun to show interest in the project. As for me, despite not remembering the project as such, I see I made a number of contributions to WP Council's talk page back in 2015 -- so I'm hardly a newbie either!

I think it would be useful at this point to identify editors who are interested in contributing to making this project more effective. If there really is an argument for not including them on the main project page, then we could perhaps start a subpage of some kind. To untangle all the ideas put forward in the form of (now reverted) edits by Sm8900 and by the others who have been involved in the discussions, I think it would be useful to start a new project talk page, laying out the project's present shortcomings and presenting ideas on how (and which) improvements could be implemented.

I hope these remarks do not appear too critical. WhatamIdoing and Moxy have devoted time and effort to maintaining the project in recent years. As I pointed out earlier, the fact that the main project page gets over 100 page views per day clearly shows it is a really useful reference or starting point for those interested in finding detailed information on wikiprojects. It is to be hoped that any improvements to the project will lead to even wider interest.--Ipigott (talk) 08:41, 16 January 2020 (UTC)

I appreciate Ipigott's insightful comments above. I greatly agree with your statement. I also appreciate the thoughtful input of others here; even for any of those with whom I may disagree, I have benefited from hearing others' substantive comments here, i.e. for those comments that are positive and constructive, and which relate to relevant and helpful topics that focus on the best editing practices, text formatting, editing and improving this page, or other articles, or improving the discussion process. I appreciate it. thanks. --Sm8900 (talk) 15:18, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
Ipigott, you have cast your net very narrowly. I'd add User:Redrose64 (who has unwatched this page because of the recent activity), User:Harej (who developed WikiProject X, which spun off from this group), User:SMcCandlish, User:Titoxd, User:Slambo, User:Kingboyk, User:Bduke, User:Ajpolino, User:Ceyockey, User:Hyacinth, User:Sj, User:MJL, User:UnitedStatesian, and more to your list. These are people who contribute here, who display participant userboxes, and/or edit the key pages that we maintain, such as WP:WikiProject, WP:WikiProject Council/Proposals and WP:WikiProject Council/Guide. User:Walkerma and the WP:1.0 folks often overlap with this group, as both of us care about inter-project coordination. As I've been saying for several days, this is not a typical group, so pulling the "Top editors" list from a single page really won't tell you everything that the group does. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:54, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
@WhatamIdoing: [Thank you for the ping] What did I just get pinged to? Why are people suggesting that the Council has members? How is it so many people didn't know about this page and its history? I'm so lost and confused. Also, am I the only one who cares that Topic coordination was removed from WP:PROJGUIDE?  MJLTalk 22:04, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
@MJL: I removed the topic coordination section last October with this edit. I was trying to focus the project guide so it would be easier for folks interested in starting/maintaining WikiProjects to find advice and resources, following a discussion with MarioGom at this talk page. If folks like the old Topic coordination section, we can certainly discuss adding it back to that page or any other page. Ajpolino (talk) 22:26, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
@Ajpolino: I kind of like it as an alternative to creating a WikiProject, so maybe I'll get around to creating an essay or something we can host here. Then we can just tack that on in a see also section. –MJLTalk 23:01, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
Well, most of the activity is in the proposals pages, probably, plus some of us have spent a lot of time shepherding the guidelines, like WP:PROJPAGE (and updating the the project indexes). While I agree with the above that an increase in active participants would be useful, I think it's actually a bit wrong-headed to think of this as a wikiproject, per se. It's more of a process page (or set thereof), with some attendant resources, like lists of projects. I agree with isaacl in the thread above this, that lists of participants (often mis-termed lists of members, as if it's a private club) actually have a tendency to cause divisiveness, are not consistently defined/maintained across projects, and are almost always ridiculously outdated. Pretty much the only utility they ever have is in rounding up some people to help out with something topical (and even that can be wrongfully bent to WP:CANVASSING purposes). But the COUNCIL "project" isn't topical anyway, so such a list would not serve such a purpose. If someone needs to draw additional attention to something like a proposal on this page or subpage, try the WP:RFC process, which works just fine everywhere else. My own interest in WP:COUNCIL is primarily shepherding related guideline and other advice, and !voting on proposals; I'm not likely to want to be pinged to every other discussion here, or to get yet another giant wikiproject newsletter on my talk page every month. :-)

Perhaps more to a deeper point, it is perfectly fine for WP:COUNCIL to be much less active today that it was a decade ago. We already have developed the stable guidelines and more technical advice that we need. Wikipedia already has almost all the wikiprojects it needs (most proposals for new ones either generate little interest; or are actively opposed as redundant, unencyclopedic, or otherwise problematic; or at best get semi-support as taskforces/workgroups of extant projects). At least half, and probably much more than half, of existing wikiprojects are either moribund or (worse) have turned into barriers to open collaboration (attempts by small WP:FACTIONs to create walled gardens for WP:OWN and WP:POV purposes) rather than aids to cooperatively building the encyclopedia. Some of the most active and high-participation ones (e.g. WP:MILHIST) have proven to be problematic in multiple ways, though a few legitimately have a boatload of work to do (e.g. WP:TOL which helps manage WP's treatment of the fast-moving target of biological classification of millions of species, and various other highly expertise-heavy ones (medicine, law, maths, etc.) for which there is a daily-ongoing need to "police" content for blatantly wrong (sometimes dangerously wrong) "information" added by cluebags. Aside from exceptions like that, more and more of us realize that actually practical wikiprojects that are not problematic tend to have finite lifespans of serious activity: they actually get the job done of providing a sensible category structure, sample article layouts, infoboxes and other templates, naming conventions, topical notability guides, and other reusable resources for a topical tree. After that, they mostly just get out of the way, providing initial assessment and peer-review "service" upon request (on the way to GA/FA), having low-traffic talk pages that help keep categories of articles consistent and stable (and not, e.g., overrun by spates of promotional articles), and acting as places to round up some topic-specific [alleged-]expert input. The more active they are on their own talk pages after the bulk of the real wikiproject work is done, the more often they are hotbeds of dispute and strife. These are among the reasons that more and more editors every year think the wikiproject system should simply be retired, perhaps in favor of something like topic-specific noticeboards.

So, I'm skeptical of any push to generate a whole bunch of new WP:COUNCIL activity. Seems like a solution in search of a problem. See also WP:WikiProject Stub sorting, another "wikiproject" that is actually a process/resource for internal maintenance purposes. It is (and needs to be) only a tiny fraction as active today as it was ten years ago, because we already have almost all the stub templates and categories we need, and most of the questionable ones have been removed or merged (with the rate of bad new ones been created very low today), while the related guidelines and other resources are already done and long-stable. There's just not much to actually do there, nor any need to "manufacture" busywork. I'm especially suspicious of the above-mentioned motivation to go in a get-WP:COUNCIL-swollen-and-busy direction for "social" reasons; see WP:NOT#FACEBOOK and WP:NOT#FORUM. Two more examples of internal-maint wikiprojects in near-to-total dormancy are WP:WPMOS and WP:ILT, both of which also just basically got the job done, and are either effectively over (in the case of WPMOS; all current MoS-related discussion and development happens at the individual MoS guidelines' talk pages), or in the case of ILT, needing barely any activity besides occasional checking for new inline templates to categorize and code-normalize. COUNCIL is kind of in the same boat; unless someone proposes a new project, there's not a lot to do or talk about here, and that is okay.
 — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  22:30, 16 January 2020 (UTC)

SMcCandlish: Thank you for commenting at length. I am slowly beginning to appreciate the enormous amount of work that has gone into WP Council. I see you have indeed been an active and effective contributor, particularly to several of its more important subpages. I also apologize for my rather simplistic listing above of the main contributors to the project which was based mainly on an analysis of those who had developed and edited the project's main page and its talk page in recent years. I'm glad WhatamIdoing mentioned your name and the names of others who have contributed to the project.
Your comments probably deserve more extensive reactions but, based on my own experience and my involvement in several wikiprojects, I cannot agree that "practical wikiprojects that are not problematic tend to have finite lifespans of serious activity" and "The more active they are on their own talk pages after the bulk of the real wikiproject work is done, the more often they are hotbeds of dispute and strife". I have been an active member of several wikiprojects which have aimed to encourage improved coverage of women's biographies and articles about women and their works. WP Women in Red, now the leading initiative in this connection, was created in 2015 and continues to grow. Discussions on its talk page are extensive and constructive and it is still expanding and attracting new members. Earlier wikiprojects such as Women's History (2011), Women Scientists (2012), Women artists (2013) and Women writers (2014) also continue to be active and effective, as can be seen from the increasing number of articles containing their tags. It also seems to me that WP Military history continues to be a highly effective undertaking. I'm not at all sure that all these would welcome "topic-specific noticeboards" as a alternative, although depending on scoping they might offer interesting potential in their own right.
As for further work on WP Council, I tend to agree that not much more needs to be done but it might be useful to improve the assessment tools currently used as it seems to me that many of those listed as semi-active are still popular and pertinent, judging for example by the continued use of their talk page tags and efforts to improve the quality of their articles up to GA or beyond.--Ipigott (talk) 10:41, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
Lots to cover; I'll try to break it up thematically. On WIR and COUNCIL: WIR and its related pages are among the exceptions to the "eventually unhelpful wikiprojects" pattern, for the same reason other exceptions like TIL exist: they still have an overwhelming amount of real and pressing, reader-facing work to do (from the ground up, not just "polishing chrome" on GAs and FAs, which is much of what MILHIST does these days, aside from argue a lot and do a whole lot of decorating and other trivia about titles and medals and flags and which unit was exactly where at what hour, and other stuff that brings to mind WP:NOT#INDISCRIMINATE policy). The average, more narrowly topical wikiproject does not have much pressing work to do in 2020, versus in 2005. WP:COUNCIL certainly does not, being infrastructural, with the infrastructure already built. It has a light workload, and artificially inflating it by inventing more process for it to wrangle isn't a practical idea. A proposal that is basically going to generate additional process/bureaucracy/rule-creep about something for which we do not need additional red tape will increase editor hostility toward wikiprojects in general (including the best ones), especially since all other internal-focus projects like ILT and STUBSORT and WPMOS have also receded into the background (most of them date to when meta:Eventualism was alive, when WP was trying to become an encyclopedia, while today it's the most used one ever, and is the third to fifth most used website in the world (depending whose metrics you trust). Even FAC (which is basically also a "procedure project") is much less active now than in the past; the per capita ratio of editors with an FA under their belt or trying to get one is at an all-time low. So, when the community sees that such process-projects are no longer essential, across the board, they're not going to buy into turning one back into a hive of activity. Especially not this one. Which brings us to:

On community skepticism of wikiprojects: I've founded and co-founded various projects myself (both content-topical and internal-procedural), so I'm not anti-wikiproject; I just notice trends (including problem trends) with them, and that community skepticism about them has grown, especially over the last ~5 years. Aside from general fear of change, I'm sure many wikiproject booster would not welcome topical noticeboards as an alternative (nor anything else that doesn't smack of being a clubhouse with barriers to entry and bars to continued participation), but the replacement idea will appeal to those with concerns about what wikiprojects have been up to when they're not at their best. Such a transition would most of all be opposed by those who generate those concerns: the dominators of malfunctional projects consisting of half a dozen buddies acting as a wiki-gang (including against other would-be participants in the project). It would erode their factional content-control power by eliminating a bogus "membership" structure (with a sotto voce hazing/winnowing process to preserve the hive mind), and an insular canvassing farm for them to run to when challenged. Even noticeboards might retain some of the latter problem, it they don't have broad enough participation (perhaps through a mechanism like WP:FRS). But noticeboards or some other replacement for wikiprojects is what a growing number of editors who are not wikiproject fans are increasingly likely to eventually support.

On problematic wikiprojects, and the problems: I didn't suggest MILHIST does nothing good; rather, the good it still does these days comes at a high (and rising) cost. It's been my long experience that any time there is a tendentious conflict between a wikiproject and some site-wide guideline or process (with the rest of the editorship following it properly), odds are the cause will be one of these, in descending order of frequency, to the extent these categorizations don't overlap: an entertainment franchise project, a sports/games project, MILHIST, or some other geeky project for a very narrow jargon-heavy subject that is highly credentialist or attracts obsessive fandom. All other projects barely ever register on the disrupt-o-meter (not even politics, religion, and other ideology-related ones, surprisingly). But they're also mostly semi-active at best, like WP:SNOOKER, WP:DOGS, and WP:NEWMEXICO; or are tightly focused on doing really-needed systemic work every day, as are WIR and TIL. There seem to be two diametrically opposite "sweet spots" with a huge, swampy middle ground that's much less productive and collegial than either pole. The middle morass mostly consists of tiresome squabbling, and attempts to game the system to suit the subjective preferences of people who focus near-exclusively on a topic (often professionally or as an all-consuming hobby), versus the needs of the broader readership and editorship. Most of the longest-running and most disruptive "campaigns" of battlegrounding in Wikipedia history (outside areas of real-world strife of the "my ethnicity/religion/nationality/race/politics versus yours" sort that ArbCom locks down via WP:AC/DS and that WP:MFD won't permit "wikiprojects" for if they're PoV-laden) have a firm locus in a wikiproject with a small number of loud and browbeating ringmasters claiming to speak on behalf of everyone who cares about the topic. They wear out and drive off anyone in said project who doesn't tow their party line, and chase away non-"members" from meaningful contribution to articles in the topic, especially toward GA and higher development where only the wikiproject's orthodoxy will be tolerated. I've seen it over and over again. It'll sometimes be enforced by "pet" admins in the faction, who block and topic-ban people who irritate their friends. In one case, several such admins set up their own counter-WP:RM board inside a wikiproject to make out-of-process mass-moves of articles at the behest of other project "members" (for which they could have been desysopped, obviously, though that did not happen; WP:MR and RfC action finally brought that to an end). Another "WTF?" example was a clique of "wikiproject leaders" trying to organize an editing boycott, and also proposing to leave the site to set up a competing encyclopedia, while openly canvassing (including through off-site meatpuppetry) to derail RfCs they didn't like the probable outcome of – all over a spelling quibble (I kid you not, and something similar happened again more recently and repeatedly over another style matter, then descended into off-site harassment of at least two parties, including trying to get one fired from their job). Another was a project "leader" colluding with an offsite organization to push their viewpoint (not well-accepted by other real-world orgs in the same field) to be adopted as a Wikipedia "standard", and who was actually updating the other org's public website on "progress" in forcing such a change at WP (which eventually failed, of course). This sort of stuff is not a new problem. Some of these patterns of tendentious, OWNish, win-at-all-costs, externally-motivated, "rules and consensuses do not apply to our topic unless we like them" factionalism date back 15+ years.

If WP:COUNCIL were to take on something "new and exciting" it should probably be only "How do we fix this before it's too late?" While I'm more vociferous about these issues than average, I'm hardly alone in observing these sort of things and that their connection to wikiprojects is non-incidental and not improving. A whole lot of ArbCom cases and otherwise-unnecessary discretionary sanctions, the codification of WP:CONLEVEL policy and of the WP:PROJPAGE guideline, the creation of WP:RM as a centralized process, and even the rather rapid corruption of the WP:RFC process from "attract people to a discussion for more input" into "set up a voting system with formal closure and treat it almost like legislation and legal precedent", all came about in large part because of wikiproject-engendered, entrenched battlegrounding. At what point does the community decide that the cost–benefit analysis isn't favorable toward wikiprojects continuing to exist? Or, what can be done to change near-endemic flaws in the wikiproject system to prevent such an outcome? To date, "improvement" is generally accidental and in the form of dissolution, to community relief – through wikiprojects with too much time on their hands and territorial designs on their minds going dormant. In only two cases have I seen a viewpoint-conformity and canvassing-farm "wikiproject off the rails" get reformed into a stable, productive (and – no surprise – intermittently active but content-work focused) one. Even these only happened because the original projects fell apart (a dozen or more years after they started) due to one drama festival too many, then were flatline moribund for over a year before being restarted with nearly all-new active participants. In both cases it was basically a replacement from scratch, not a correction. One hopes there's a better way.
PS, re: it might be useful to improve the assessment tools – Yes, no doubt, though probably best as a separate thread! See also the new thread below about upgrading some tabular data. A while back, I identified a couple of assessment classes that were never used by more than a project or two and which were effectively dead, and MfDed/TfDed them, and removed them from in situ use, so at least the assessment ranges are more consistent now.
 — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  14:53, 17 January 2020 (UTC)

I appreciate your highly eloquent and insightful comments above. you have provided some truly profound insights on the history of WikiProjects. you have certainly enabled me to learn a lot from the points that you make above. much of what you say is highly significant and very relevant. I am going to try to take some time to really read over and absorb all of the great points that you make above, and really try to learn and increase my knowledge of this area.
however, one small point that I'd like to suggest is that if "WikiProject Council" adopts an approach that states that the main problem with WikiProjects is that they have little reason to exist, and do little but cause disruption, then that would most likely only increase the problem.
the whole point of a WIkiProject Council is to highlight, emphasize and articulate the ways that WIkiProjects play a positive role, not the ways that they don't. the whole point here is that projects like Women in Red, do play a positive role. Ipigott's statement make clear how much an active WIkiProject can play a positive role, with a group of dedicated editors. I realize that is not the majority of the WIkiProjects, but that's the whole point; we should find ways to promote the ways that WikiProjects can be positive; not the ways that they can't.
yes, we can openly acknowledge the problems that exist in WikiProjects; but it should be clear that we are doing so in order to highlight how much some WIkiProjects do play an active role, and how much we can encourage other WIkiProject to adopt methods that can enable them to also succeed in playing a positive role.
Again, none of this is to detract from your profoundly insightful and knowledgable points above. I am simply saying we should utilize our past experience and data to find ways that we can all help to improve WikiProjects, not to say that WikiProjects themselves are the reason these problems exist. I do appreciate your insights. thanks. --Sm8900 (talk) 01:17, 20 January 2020 (UTC)

Ya'll do as you wish. Way too much to read, to figure out what's being discussed about this WikiProject. GoodDay (talk) 03:11, 20 January 2020 (UTC)

Suggested updateEdit

WhatamIdoing has kindly let us know on the Women in Red talk page that WikiProjects by number of changes to all its pages has recently been updated. Even though the new version contains identical figures in the "count" and "no bots count" column, I think it would be useful to substitute it for Wikipedia:Database reports/WikiProjects by changes (dated 11 July 2016) which is linked from Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Directory under "Lists and reports".--Ipigott (talk) 11:20, 17 January 2020 (UTC)

  Resolved: in this diff undo using a local (enwiki, not meta) Quarry interwiki. – (talk) 00:43, 18 February 2020 (UTC)

Please reviewEdit

Am I seeing this right? Wikipedia talk:WikiProject History#Request help with new Council for WikiProjects.--Moxy 🍁 05:44, 26 January 2020 (UTC)

Laddy. I lost track of what that fellow's doing & where he's going with it, some time ago. GoodDay (talk) 16:26, 26 January 2020 (UTC)
My observations are being proven accurate. GoodDay (talk) 21:59, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
JFTR, archived by the proponent. – (talk) 03:09, 18 February 2020 (UTC)

WikiProject activityEdit

I think there may be disagreement about how to define a WikiProject's status as active/semi-active/inactive. Is there even a consensus for what constitutes a WikiProject activity. I propose the following as WikiProject activities:

  • Assessment of articles within the project's scope
  • Establishing or redefining project objectives
  • Coordinating the expansion and improvement of some articles according to an established project objective
  • Coordinating the maintenance of GAs and FAs within the project's scope
  • Peer reviews
  • Greeting users who have signed up as project members
  • Culling the member list
  • Employing and maintaining WikiProject reporting tools
  • Assisting editors who are working within the project's scope, regardless of whether they are project members
  • Monitoring and responding to inquiries on the project's talk page
  • Monitoring the new articles feed for content within the project's scope

Any thoughts? Oldsanfelipe2 (talk) 16:00, 28 January 2020 (UTC)

"Assessment of articles within the project's scope" is something I've done a lot of, and after hundreds (and hundreds and hundreds) of hours doing this for thousand (and thousands and thousands) of articles, you'd think I would think it was important. However:
  1. Dead WikiProjects frequently have no/few unassessed articles, because nobody tags articles with them.
  2. Highly active WikiProjects frequently have dozens/hundreds of unassessed articles, because everyone tags articles with them.
  3. People who update ratings usually update ratings for all WikiProjects at once, so completely dead groups look like they're changing their ratings.
  4. Much of this (especially labeling stubs and statuses like redirects) can be done by bot these days. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:29, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
Excellent start; I would add:
  • (Relevant to new WikiProjects): completing Project "setup" activities such as creating project templates and categories (surprising how many projects have not done this)
  • Maintaining the portal associated with the subject (if there is one).
  • Monitoring the results of deletion sorting for the project.
  • Developing and maintaining the categories and templates that relate to the subject.
  • If appropriate, developing guidelines for the structure and style for articles within the project scope
  • Providing links to external data/archives/publications that can be used as sources for articles within the project.
And to @WhatamIdoing:'s comment on assessments, I would note that the talkpage banners for inactive/defunct wikiprojects should be set to suppress assessments (most such templates are).
Thanks, UnitedStatesian (talk) 19:07, 8 February 2020 (UTC)

WikiProject HoustonEdit

I am trying to gauge interest in WikiProject Houston. The project is listed as active, but I am the only editor currently assessing articles, and I am only aware of one other project editor who has assessed articles over the past two or three years. The project page is dated, but I have not made any changes because I was deferring to the original coordinator of the project, who appears to be inactive again. There is not much maintenance for high traffic articles other than from the anti-vandals, who from what I can tell, are not connected with the project. I raised these issues issue about two years ago and nothing has changed. I have promoted at least two Houston-related articles to GA, but did so with no support from the project. I hope to be a part of creating a better experience for those who would like to contribute to Houston-related articles. If we cannot revive the project, at least a status change would be justified. Oldsanfelipe2 (talk) 23:10, 28 January 2020 (UTC)

Hi @Oldsanfelipe2:. Sadly, your experiece is typical of many WikiProjects here. There's no official set of criteria for marking a project inactive; The closest thing is Wikipedia:WikiProject_Council/Guide#Dealing_with_inactive_WikiProjects. If you feel WP:HOUSTON is inactive and it'd be beneficial to mark it as such (so others interested in the topic would be more clear-eyed coming to the page) feel free to unilaterally do so. It looks like you did so in October 2018, but it was quickly reverted by another editor intending to reactivate the project. That user's userpage is now marked "Retired" so I think it's safe to say they're no longer interested in reactivating the project. You can proceed as you see fit. If y'all decide you'd like to merge the project into WP:TEXAS and need a hand with the merge, feel free to post here. I hope that helps. Happy editing! Ajpolino (talk) 15:52, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
@Oldsanfelipe2: I agree with Ajpolino's insightful comments above. if you have an interest in that subject area, then I encourage you to go ahead and edit it. if you want to let others know you are there, you can feel free to comment on the talk page for that WikiProject; and also, you can feel free to revise the main page itself for that WikiProject. No one will object to you making good-faith edits, just to get that project working again.
and also, I would like to invite you and highly recommend that you go visit the page for WP:teahouse if you wish. there you will find a large variety and number of editors, all of whom are ready, willing, and gladly able to discuss any ideas, comments, etc that you may have. I hope you will drop by there any time, if you wish. Of course, you are very welcome to continue to discuss any topics here on this page, that you may wish. I appreciate your input and ideas above. thanks!!! --Sm8900 (talk) 16:03, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
Oldsanfelipe2, I like your suggestion (at WT:HOUSTON) about merging it with WP:WikiProject Texas. WP:REVIVE has the (minimal) directions. User:BrownHairedGirl had expressed some interest in WikiProject merges recently, and as she's not afraid of technical stuff, perhaps if your group decides to merge, then she might agree to help you all out with updating the templates and such. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:25, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
@WhatamIdoing: Yes, I in the last 6 months I have become aware that there are vast numbers of moribund WikiProjects. In addition to the the many projects tagged as inactive or semi-active, my sampling found that there are many times that number which meet the criteria. Then there are even more projects like this one, just outside the criteria, but with too little activity to serve a useful purpose.
So I think that we are now long overdue for a massive programme of merging WikiProjects. My sampling may not be representative, but I guesstimate that between 50% and 80%+ of current projects are too narrow to justify continued standalone existence.
However, my recent experience of similar efforts to cull redundant structures as been extremely bruising, and I will not personally take part in any such exercise. I wish good luck to anyone who undertakes such a valuable task, but in my experience there is a simple structural problem in any such cleanup: most of those who agree with the cull don't see it as important enough to lend support, while a vocal minority can dig in and make a lot of noise, hurling FUD which makes the whole process an unpleasantly conflictual time-sink. So I'm not going there.
I have never done a WikiProject merge, so I don't know how it's done ... but if a decision is taken to merge this one and nobody else is ready to do the technical stuff, please gimme a shout and if I am around I will see if I can help. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 20:59, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
Merging WikiProjects is pretty routine just so long as you ask on the talk page of the affected projects beforehand. It's usually pretty easy to make a case (see WP:VG/IPC which has some boilerplate text). If you get consensus to do so, a bot request can be made to merge the banners. --Izno (talk) 21:14, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for the various responses. I am now realizing that a merge with WikiProject Texas would be futile. Its pages are better organized and contain better updating tools than WikiProject Houston, but there appears to be no administrative activity there, either. For example, I had forgotten that I had posted a question at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Texas/Help in August 2018. No answer. I am marking both Texas and Houston as inactive projects. Do most of the US state WikiProjects need to be reorganized as Task Forces under WikiProject United States? If Texas cannot generate enough interest, then what about the others? Oldsanfelipe2 (talk) 21:20, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
Hi Oldsanfelipe2. I think you are making some valuable and important points about WikiProjects in general. if you want, you are welcome to come by Wikipedia:WikiProject History any time. I have been making some changes in format and content there, just to build up activity and interest.
Just to be totally clear, we still do not have much activity on that page, but you are welcome to come by, if you are interested just to glance at just one possible approach to the area of formatting pages, and for setting things up to attract more users. but again, I have simply been experimenting with different approaches. if you have any new ideas for attracting activity at your WikiProject, I encourage you to try them out. thanks!! --Sm8900 (talk) 21:35, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
A particular user, now banned, attempted to merge the state projects into WP US; I believe part of the was due to the disruption caused to users who neither needed nor wanted the help. Things may be different now, as that was some 5-7 years ago.
You can mark it as inactive as you please TBH; I think if you're willing to keep the lights on, you get to be the one to say whether it's active or not. :) --Izno (talk) 21:42, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
User:Izno, do you think that WPVG would be interested in writing a more general, step-by-step guide on how to merge WikiProjects? I'm not sure if anything's changed since Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine/Task forces#Converting existing projects to task forces was written. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:02, 30 January 2020 (UTC)
I can probably find some time to make it more general, or consolidate the Stuff to do. There's probably other material out there; I am pretty sure I've seen similar on the Council Guide pages. --Izno (talk) 02:07, 31 January 2020 (UTC)
Oldsanfelipe2, even if WP:TEXAS is inactive, it might still make sense to merge all the smaller groups up to it. It's true that a lot of US state projects were merged up to WPUS some years ago. It was handled more aggressively than we recommend, and it was seen as a bit of a power grab by some of the smaller groups. I don't think those mistakes should stop you now. Just do it properly: notify all the projects and wait a while. Any objection = don't do it.
The simplest "merge" process looks like merging an article: copy over anything you particularly need to keep, and then redirect one page to the other. (Do the same for the templates.)
The reason I think that this is worth doing is that if WP:TEXAS remains inactive (and it might not), it'll be easier to merge just WP:TEXAS to WikiProject US, than to merge everything all at once. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:59, 30 January 2020 (UTC)

Quality log reporting botEdit

I have attempted to improve the functionality of the page pages of WP:HOU by installing the quality log reporting bot. Please bear with me if am not proficient in tech-language. I scraped the code from the WP Texas assessment page, pasted it into my sandbox page, and changed the target. It appeared to be working: only Houston articles were being reported. I created a new page for the reports and pasted the code into that file. I attempted to further test it by creating new events: I changed the status of some articles in two ways. First, I added Henry Howell Williams to WP HOU. Second, I assessed some unassessed articles and reassessed others. All of these events should have appeared on the quality log, but none of them did. Does this bot need to be customized for each project, or do the data objects need to be restructured, and how would I obtain help for this? Thanks, Oldsanfelipe2 (talk) 22:21, 30 January 2020 (UTC)

In case you ever need help with that: assessment work belongs to Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team, and User:Walkerma is my favorite contact there. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:22, 8 February 2020 (UTC)

WikiProject OmahaEdit

I've asked if WikiProject Omaha should be converted into a task force of WikiProject Nebraska at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Omaha. ---Another Believer (Talk) 20:50, 1 February 2020 (UTC)

WikiProject LouisvilleEdit

I've asked if WikiProject Louisville should be converted into a task force of WikiProject Kentucky at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Louisville. ---Another Believer (Talk) 20:51, 1 February 2020 (UTC)

Hi Another Believer. that is very good to know. I appreciate your efforts on that area, and your updates to us here. could you please keep us posted? thanks!! --Sm8900 (talk) 18:33, 4 February 2020 (UTC)

Merger proposalEdit

On 29 January, I posted an inquiry at the talk pages of the various subprojects of WikiProject Texas in order to gauge interest in these WikiProjects. So far I found only one other editor to indicate that they intend to help coordinate WikiProject Texas or any of its subprojects. As a result, there is no other choice than to convert all of the subprojects into Task Forces in order to reduce the administrative responsibility. These subprojects include: WP:ATX, WP:DFW, WP:HOU, WP:TAMU, WP:Texas Tech, WP:UH, Wikipedia:WikiProject University of North Texas, and Wikipedia:WikiProject University of Texas at Austin. For the sake of simplicity, I suggest that all of the university projects convert to direct children of WP Texas, such that WP Texas will be the direct parent of all of these subprojects and will result in a two-level structure.

Below I have included a few assessments statistics for the subprojects as of 3 February 2020: (x): x is the total number of articles within the project

  • Texas (40,386): 122 unassessed, 783 not rated for importance
  • Austin (1,259): 0 unassessed, 0 not rated for importance
  • Dallas-Fort Worth (2,713): 352 unassessed, 604 not rated for importance
  • Houston (3,837): 424 unassessed, 595 not rated for importance
  • University of Houston (419): 1 unassessed, 20 not rated for importance
  • University of North Texas: marked as inactive; assessment chart is not posted
  • Texas A&M (719): 1 unassessed, 74 not rated for importance, marked as inactive
  • Texas Tech University (727): 1 unassessed, 160 not rated for importance, marked as inactive since 2014
  • University of Texas at Austin (659): 7 unassessed, 336 not rated for importance, marked as inactive since 2013

A merger of the various subprojects could result in a stronger WikiProject Texas: with a merger, the backlogs of the various subprojects for assessments and reassessments all go away. As task forces, the subprojects can share the burden of assessments, spend more time on other project functions, or spend more time in main space.

Benefits of a stronger WikiProject Texas:

  1. Provide support for editors who are interested in Texas-related content.
  2. If assessments and peer review are taken care at the WikiProject level, this eases the demands on overworked Wikipedia departments, including Peer Review and GA-Review.
  3. Assessments offer a feedback mechanism for newer editors.
  4. We know that many editors want assessments based on the number of requests at the more active WikiProjects, so improving the assessment process might help with retaining editors.

Today I am notifying the various subprojects of this proposal. Oldsanfelipe2 (talk) 16:54, 7 February 2020 (UTC)

that sounds fine. I think it is very helpful that you are willing to come here to this talk page, to initiate discussion, and to provide updates of this type, on your current efforts and ideas. I appreciate this note. thanks!! --Sm8900 (talk) 17:08, 7 February 2020 (UTC)
I'm the other editor mentioned in the proposal, and I support simplifying the structure. I'll work to help make a plan of action for whatever project results from this process. -Bryan Rutherford (talk) 18:12, 7 February 2020 (UTC)
@Bryanrutherford0 and Oldsanfelipe2:, thats sounds excellent. If I can help, please feel free to let me know any time. you are also welcome to visit my user page or talk page any time if you wish. thanks. --Sm8900 (talk) 19:14, 7 February 2020 (UTC)
Did you mean Wikipedia:WikiProject University of Texas at Austin instead of WP:UT? The latter is a disambiguation page. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 21:03, 7 February 2020 (UTC)
  • I support converting these WikiProjects into task forces, as long as the assessment/talk page banners allow editors to designate pages to these specific task forces under the WikiProject Texas umbrella, which may require an overhaul of Template:WikiProject Texas. Oh, and for what it's worth, I'm not a super active editor on any of these projects but as a native Texan I do sometimes edit articles related to Houston, Texas at large, and the University of Texas at Austin. ---Another Believer (Talk) 18:43, 7 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Comment San Antonio is organized as a Task Force despite its legacy page name: Wikipedia:WikiProject San Antonio. The San Antonio Task Force has the ability to designate an importance level through a parameter under the WikiProject United States banner, such as "SATF=low". The Baltimore Task Force is another example: Wikipedia:WikiProject_Maryland/Baltimore_task_force. I like the way that WikiProject Maryland set up tabs for each Task Force page. Oldsanfelipe2 (talk) 20:41, 7 February 2020 (UTC)
    Oldsanfelipe2, In case my comment above was unclear, I'd like to see a similar feature for WikiProject Texas, where editors can designate quality and importance ratings for task forces, such as "|Austin=yes|Austin-importance=low|", "DFW=yes|DFW-importance=low" (or similar), etc. This would help reduce the number of talk page banners. ---Another Believer (Talk) 21:07, 7 February 2020 (UTC)
    Another Believer, Are you concerned about too many banners cluttering the talk page or is this about reducing the number of templates to keep track of? Oldsanfelipe2 (talk) 00:19, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
    Oldsanfelipe2, Maybe both? But my initial thought was talk page clutter. Just seems a single WP:Texas template with parameters for task forces would be better than tagging applicable articles with, say, a WikiProject University of Houston banner, a WikiProject Houston banner, and a WikiProject Texas banner. (This may be a bad example if these projects don't have standalone templates at the moment, but I'm just trying to make a point. There's similar redundancy with WP University of Texas at Austin and WP Austin. ---Another Believer (Talk) 00:39, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Neutral I can speak from the A&M's project point of view. We already are part of WP US. I am not sure why adding us to Texas would make much of a difference. I wasn't a big fan of merging a&m into the united states. I personally believe that universities should be merged into the WP:UNI. From what I understand, most of the A&M articles are already in WP Texas, so I don't see the point in changing anything. But, heck, if someone feels strongly about it and is willing to take care of a project that clearly isn't active, go for it. Oldag07 (talk) 18:56, 7 February 2020 (UTC)
    • Oldag07, nobody here is interested in forcing any group to merge with any other group. If you like where you are better, then please feel free to object. The level required for an objection is very low. (Think about this decision in the emotional range of "Eh, I don't really feel like cooking today" – no reasons required, and nobody gets to tell you that your opinion is different from what it really is.) Similarly, if you think that TAMU should be merged to UNI, then please feel free to start that discussion. We want every group to end up in the place that the group thinks best. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:49, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Comment WP:TAMU is already a subproject of WP:Texas. This is a proposal to convert the WikiProjects currently under the Texas umbrella into Task Forces, which reduces the administrative duplication for each subproject. Task forces will not have their own talk pages or be responsible for quality assessments, for example. Since there are not many editors who are active with the projects, reducing the number of talk pages to monitor will ensure that queries are not ignored. Oldsanfelipe2 (talk) 20:24, 7 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Support as most or all of these are semi-active at best. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 21:03, 7 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Administrative point: The hard part is what happens next. You have to wait for a v-e-r-y long time, to see whether anyone has objections. You want to wait so long that even if someone has decided to go on a round-the-world cruise, they still won't be able to say "You rushed through this process!" without wondering whether other editors will be laughing because the claim seems so absurd. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:21, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
    WhatamIdoing, so what sort of very long time are you thinking would be appropriate? Weeks? Months? Years? · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 18:02, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
    I think that somewhere between one and two months is a sufficent amount of time. There's no deadline for merging groups, and an angry response can take a lot out of unsuspecting editors. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:31, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
    Perhaps imagine our hypothetical editor going around the world by various means of transportation, and setting the waiting period at eighty days? Oldsanfelipe2 (talk) 20:56, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
    Perhaps we should have a special rule for any merger involving groups that support articles about French novels, that require their discussion opportunity to last for exactly 80 days. ;-) WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:58, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
    I was thinking between 1 and 3 months when I asked, but did not want to push that range. More than 3 months would be stretching the point, less than 1 could be considered hasty. An integer number of months is easy to check - same date 1, 2 or 3 months later. When I propose a merge or split in article space I generally wait 1 month if there is no response (and I remember the proposal - sometimes I only rediscover it by accident years later). So far I have had no comebacks using a month. Occasionally there will be a support after several months that gets back to me via my watchlist and reminds me to do the merge or split. I guess I am saying that in my experience 1 month should be enough in almost all cases. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 06:13, 9 February 2020 (UTC)

Requiring a groupEdit

Most of us can quote it: "A WikiProject is a group of people that wants to work together."

But some of the (mostly newer) folks proposing groups don't know it, or they don't quite believe it. Over at User talk:Sm8900/item draft 2#Be aware of similar efforts, User:Bluerasberry suggests five as a minimum number for a viable group. I've said before that sustainable groups need half a dozen editors to survive the first year, based on some preliminary head-counting I did in the past. I believe that we've arrived at our estimates independently.

First (most important) question: Does anyone think we're wrong? Can anyone think of a thriving WikiProject with just two or three people in it?

Second (contingent) question: If (and only if) our estimates are correct, do you think that the community should (for the first time ever) require people to produce a minimum number (perhaps four/five/six?) of named participants to start a new WikiProject? WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:40, 8 February 2020 (UTC)

I think it's hard to consider what two or three people agree upon to be a meaningful consensus, and discussion in that case ought to go further up the hierarchy to a large group of potentially interested editors. Specifying a minimum number would help reinforce the message that is already currently given: make sure there are enough interested editors willing to engage in prolonged discussion so that a separate talk page is warranted. That being said, although it may help with the most obscure subjects, I think for most topics, the head count is easily padded with editors who'll express an interest, and maybe show up occasionally, but not truly engage with the project. (Almost all projects start with a huge surfeit of initial signups that never edit the project pages again, after all.) isaacl (talk) 18:08, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
To your two questions: (1) I think you're right. If 2 or 3 people want to coordinate, they should use their userspace instead of project space. (2) I'm not sure. I tend to think not, as I'd like to avoid creating extra bureaucracy here if at all possible. Inactive WikiProjects really aren't that problematic, they just sit quietly not bothering anybody. The only downside is the theoretical risk that empty projects draw new editors who, upon finding the project pages abandoned, either leave the site entirely or aren't as productive here as they could've been. The extent to which this happens is probably not measurable, so I'm not sure how extreme of measures we should take to avoid it. I do think we should feel more free to userify or defunct-ify single-editor projects that have gone inactive though. I'd prefer we shut down projects that never got off the ground, rather than prevent those projects from trying. Ajpolino (talk) 20:11, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
What constitutes "just two or three people in it"? A project that currently has two or three members actively building the topic? A project that has only two or three signed up members who are currently active on Wikipedia in any way? Something else? Members who only have project topics on their watchlists are of value for maintenance, even when they are no longer creating or building articles, but it can be a lonely place to be the only one working on the overall scope of a project most of the time. Do such projects thrive? I would say as long as there is one person dedicated to the expansion of the content within the scope of the project it is viable. When that person stops actively building, someone else may take over, or the original may come back and pick up where they left off. As long as there is useful information in the project pages, the project could revive, and the project pages provide history and continuity. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 06:39, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
I agree with Pbsouthwood--Sm8900 (talk) 06:41, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
To expand on my previous comment: I am listed as a member of several projects, because they cover topics I am sufficiently interested in to occasionally or potentially create a new article within their scope. I usually sign up because I have just made some significant edits in a tagged article, or have just created an article which I tagged as obviously within scope of a project. In many cases I have no idea how often I will edit on similar topics, but consider it highly likely that I will do so some time. Most of the projects are not very active by the edit counts on the project pages, but that has no obvious correlation to what is going on on actual articles tagged for the project. I would consider myself very active in WP:WikiProject Underwater diving, moderately active in WP:OSH, and occasionally active in the rest, often incidentally as a side effect of another project. For example I have edited many medical, physiology, physics, technology, occupational safety, nautical and education articles which are also within the scope of WP:SCUBA. I use the project pages of WP:SCUBA to plan the structure of the coverage of that project, and the others to occasionally notify the projects of something that they may find interesting or ask a question. Sometimes I get an answer. Mostly I am out in mainspace editing. I am here to build an encyclopedia mainly by adding content and making that content findable. I like to collaborate, but do not need to be part of a coordinated group. Sometimes I do gnomery like adding short descriptions, for which I think I actually started the project WP:WikiProject Short descriptions which is fairly active, when I see damage I fix it, if someone asks for help I see what I can do, and when I see governance issues I observe and when I think I have something relevant to say, I say it. I have no idea how common this scope of activity actually is. I find WikiProjects are useful tools, even when not very active, but sometimes they tend to lose the plot a bit and become little empires. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 07:45, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
Also, what is out metric for "thriving"? Sorry to be so pedantic, but communication on Wikipedia often fails because people interpret things differently, and sometimes will not recognise when this is happening. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 07:51, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
If a group of one editor produced a consistent improvement in a topic and recorded their plans and activity relating to that topic over a reasonably long period in the format of a WikiProject, would there be cause to object? Should it make a difference if this is how the project starts, or what happens to it after a long period of activity or inactivity? I am assuming that the hardware and data overhead is trivial. Obviously this can be done in user space, but then it is less likely to attract other interested parties, and to a group of one, a single additional member is a big deal. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 08:11, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
In reply to WhatamIdoing's initial query, while almost all Wikiprojects are dead or dying, there are certainly some with only a handful of regular participants that are still reasonably active; the WT:WikiProject UK Railways model, where there isn't much actual collaboration as such but where the project talk page still serves as a place for casual editors to ask questions which the handful of regulars try to answer, still serves a useful purpose. There are others like the horses project where to judge by the talk page you'd think there were no active members, but are actually still quite active and it's just that by now all the participants have each other's talk page watched so the discussions take place on user talk or article talk pages. Going back further, we once had one WikiProject (now deleted, but its talk archives survive) which was set up with the express purpose of being restricted to its three founding members. ‑ Iridescent 08:47, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
Peter Southwood, "a group of one person" does not sound like a group of people.
I'm not thinking of this as a retroactive rule. I'm thinking of it as a way to stop creating more failures.
Wikipedia:WikiProject Directory/Description/WikiProject UK Railways says that group has 17 people who have made multiple edits to the group's talk page during the last 90 days. Some of them may be non-members who had questions, but that's still a substantial group of people. Wikipedia:WikiProject Directory/Description/WikiProject Equine names four people active on the talk page. There are 40 registered editors who have edited articles tagged by that project (including three of the four participants on the group's talk page). This does not strike me as strong evidence of "a group of people that wants to work together". A few, yes, and no need to bother them. But if they asked today, I don't think that I'd recommend that they bother spending hours (and hours) setting up all the infrastructure. Just watchlisting each others' user talk pages would probably be more efficient for a group of two or three people. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:04, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
I guess it comes down to how you define a group. After some thought and research I chose to consider a group to exist if it contanes a minimum of 1 member. Other definitions exist depending on context, for example a peer group requires a minimum of three members. When referring to an unknown or variable number it is common practice to use the plural as a generic, it is less verbose than the more precise one or more (people), or none, one or more or at least two (people), or any of the many other options.
To avoid failutes, it may help if we define failure for the purpose of the discussion. (if it has already been defined, a link will do). My first impression would be that it is a result less useful in the long run than having done nothing, but that brings up the question of how long the run must be before making the assessment.
Predictions can be difficult, particularly about the future. Sometimes the only way of finding out is to do it. History is written by the survivors.
There are still a couple of unanswered questions above.
  • What constitutes "just two or three people in it"? and
  • Also, what is out metric for "thriving"?
I need this to answer the original questions. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 11:56, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
As someone who is pretty much the only active member of a task force (WP:BATS), I don't really see what the harm is. Occassionally other editors cycle in and out of the project space, but it is largely me. Even though there aren't many editors collaborating with me, there are sustained results to the topic area. I think it's fine to encourage editors to have a certain amount of engagement to create a new project, but I'm not sure it should be required. Enwebb (talk) 20:32, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
I think the only "harm" that I can see coming from a mal-formed new WikiProject would be through that project starting to place project templates onto article talk pages which, through a failure of that new project to maintain momentum, ends up leaving a trail of an incomplete set of pointlessly templated pages, which someone else will either have to continue or rollback. Having just looked at the admittedly somewhat moribund WP:BATS Wikiproject, I can see two wonderful things there, and I have no need to care whether or not one person or one hundred are actively editing: Firstly, it has a Hot Articles feed, showing me what's currently being edited within that Project's theme (be it improved or vandalised!) and, secondly, the incredibly useful Quality Assessment table. The latter might well give some lonely, flitting chiropterist or wikignome an opportunity to find articles to improve or reassess, without ever needing to joining the project, or even announce their presence there at all. Other than that, the only harm would be through misleading a few people into believing there is, or was, an active wikiproject on that topic, when there never actually had been one.  That said, we've seen what happens when one misguided person rises to the challenge of enlivening Portals, only to go too far and create a myriad of pointless, trivial such portals. Their enthusiasm then causes a near-vendetta against all portals by a handful of other equally committed individuals. I would hate to see their destructive efforts, tirades and walls of intolerant text being directed towards WikiProjects on the same grounds. So, it would therefore seem prudent to require some evidence of a (quite low) minimum number of committed editors willing to support a new WikiProject before that Project were 'approved' and set running. Nick Moyes (talk) 00:45, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
Nick Moyes, do we have any idea how frequently new projects are created? That would lend some credence to the thought that "this is a problem that needs to be addressed"--if we had numbers of how many projects have been created in the last year, how many editors they started with, and how many "failed" within a certain time period.
As an aside, I'm curious as to how you're defining moribound in relation to WP:BATS. There aren't many editors, there never have been, but the number of GAs has more than doubled since the project started and has had a net decrease of more than 200 stubs, going from ~75% stubs to <50%. Enwebb (talk) 01:55, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
@Enwebb: I have no data at all, sadly, though I doubt very few new WikiProjects have been createdly recently. I, too, would be interested to know. As for defining 'moribund' I meant no insult to your project or your own activity - it was based solely on your own remark that you are the only contributor. I believe I read a rationale somewhere that said it was ok to mark a W/P as inactive if there had been no talk page activity, bar automated posts, for a year. But I think that's a very poor metric to use. At WP:ALPS we have very little TP actvity, yet individuals are still working on relevant articles. Nick Moyes (talk) 02:14, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
I agree with Nick Moyes. All WikiProjects have some value, if they were set up to address a core topic of some importance. we can rework some, if that helps to foster greater interest or activity, but a mere decline in the number of editors does not mean the whole WikiProject is invalid. --Sm8900 (talk) 02:19, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
Edits on the project pages are a poor metric of anything except development of the project pages.
I would not like to put obstructions in the way of a person who has already created and developed a substantial number of articles in a topic worthy of a project from creating a project for the topic in the hope of getting more contributors, or even just keeping track and planning further development. One dedicated editor can produce more quality content on a topic that a moderate size group of occasional dilettantes.
We do not need another portal fiasco. Some checks and balances are desirable. Not sure what they should be though - One energetic and skilled person can produce more quality content than a much larger number of less productive editors. Maybe the criterion for project creation should be linked to combined content creation history of the proponents, with some specific reference to work in the proposed topic area, rather than a number of people who claim interest? Then there is the matter of maintenance projects. Some work just needs to be done, and a prolect is a good way of coordinating it. I started WikiProject:Short descriptions because it was useful and I considered it necessary. I did not wait around to find a group. It seems to have helped get a lot of work done, though we are still some way from reaching the primary goal. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 11:37, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
Great question WAID - discussions with Sm8900 brought me here by the way. I don't think WPs need an enforced minimum number of active editors (which also requires some definition of activity, and potentially in what scope, etc., which is needlessly bureaucratic). However such a statement is helpful as general guidance to help editors understand what a WP is about, which is a central venue to discuss topics - which means it's not going to be successful on one's lonesome. --Tom (LT) (talk) 06:49, 10 February 2020 (UTC)

To expand on my previous comment: by all means, if you want to work on anything, you should proceed, whether or not you've made a group to work on it. If this means making some pages in Wikipedia space in order to lay out the work, great! If it's just you so far, though, rather than take on the extra overhead of creating a new WikiProject page and then recruiting specifically for that project, I think you'd be better off finding a home in an existing WikiProject, and looking for other editors with similar interests there. Some editors seem to think that if they create a WikiProject, participants will come, but I believe the reverse is far more common: find enough interested editors, and the need for a new WikiProject will emerge.

As discussed in another thread, WikiProject activity is difficult to measure. WhatamIdoing suggested a possible metric might be responsiveness to questions on the WikiProject talk page. I do think projects can do a lot of useful work establishing consensus on various issues, and then mostly be in maintenance mode, where there won't be a lot of activity on the project talk page. But when there is something to discuss, there should be enough people offering up a reasonably diverse set of viewpoints in order to have a broad discussion. If it's just an occasional person posting with no responses, eventually they'll get tired of posting, and the WikiProject will no longer serve as a central discussion point for editors interested in that area. isaacl (talk) 18:26, 10 February 2020 (UTC)

Couple of points:
  • Yes, let's avoid the Portals fiasco. What constitutes a topic of "importance" is always going to be debated.
  • Setting up WikiProject pages is not always valuable. In addition to slightly increasing the maintenance burden on the rest of us, it can often by harmful to the very editors who are trying to start the group. They often leave Wikipedia soon after creating the WikiProject pages.
  • Peter, if a WikiProject is a group of people that wants to work together, then it can't be a "group" of one person. You can't "work together by yourself".
  • I asked for an example of a "thriving" group that was small, because if it's a good idea to have small groups, given that we have so many (a few thousand) WikiProjects, there ought to exist an example of a group with just a couple of editors that was worth the hassle of setting up and maintaining the infrastructure.
  • I won't speak for the metrics used by anyone else, but when I looked into it, I was looking at the number of people who said they would participate during the proposal, compared to whether anyone at all (whether in that group or not) was replying to comments or questions left on the group's talk page. "Failure" meant zero replies. Most WikiProjects failed within a year. Many failed within a couple of months. Inexperienced proposers of failed groups had usually stopped editing entirely a year later. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:06, 10 February 2020 (UTC)

WikiProject Women in GreenEdit

Thanks to considerable support, WikiProject Women in Green which has been a task force of WikiProject Women is now a wikiproject in its own right. Anyone interested in upgrading articles about women to GA status or higher is welcome to participate in the project.--Ipigott (talk) 11:40, 10 February 2020 (UTC)

€ 0.02 from the IPs: This can be confusing for outsiders (example), so if there are absolutely no reasons whatsoever to do something else it would be nice to have WIG + WIR as daughter projects of women, with the latter mostly on auto-pilot to collect article alerts created by bots etc., WIG for anything better than stub, and WIR for anything worse than start. (talk) 03:22, 18 February 2020 (UTC)

Inactive WikiProjects, should be deletedEdit

If anybody has the know how & patients, they could/should make a list of inactive WikiProjects & any inactive WikiProject branches. Have them all nominated for deletion. GoodDay (talk) 22:58, 11 February 2020 (UTC)

As I replied when you suggested this at the proposals village pump: 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) 23:13, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
Basically what Isaacl said. If you scroll through WP:MfD archives (or just use the searchbox at the top to search for "WikiProject" and sort by date created), you'll see that WikiProject pages are rarely deleted unless they were created in bad-faith or by a sock-puppet. For an example of a defunct project currently being discussed, see Wikipedia:Miscellany_for_deletion#Wikipedia:WikiProject_Deletion. Ajpolino (talk) 23:37, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
I realise that Wikipedia has unlimited space. Just don't see the point in keeping WikiProjects & related pages, if they're no longer used. GoodDay (talk) 23:39, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
The projects are categorized by status, so the lists you are looking for are at Category:Defunct WikiProjects (and subcats) and Category:Inactive WikiProjects (and subcats). But I agree with the normal process NOT to delete these, for the same reasons as the above commentators point out. UnitedStatesian (talk) 23:46, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
@GoodDay: Strong NO at least not in bulk. Individual ones can be nominated at WP:MfD. That said, the only reasons to delete it are 1) it is somehow harmful, 2) it was created in bad faith or by a banned user or otherwise "in spirit" eligible for CSD, or 3) it has zero useful information, including meta-information such as "there was a wikipedia project named foo that was active from DATE1 to DATE2 before petering out, its participants included USER1, USER2, ..., etc. etc.". Almost every WikiProject except only-1-user-participation or other created-and-abandoned projects will meet my "has useful [historical] information" "keep" criteria and should be kept unless there is a compelling reason to delete them. Marking them as historical or inactive and categorizing them as such is the proper course of action. Even the "1-user-participation" ones could be moved to User-space of the user isn't long-gone. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 15:51, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
The |importance= ratings of inactive projects can still be useful to the WP:1.0 work. That's why merging them (even of the blank-and-redirect variety) is often preferable to outright deletion of the pages for formerly active groups. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:32, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
Please don't delete wikiprojects - I find their assessment grids very useful - e.g. Wikipedia:WikiProject_Birds/Assessment#Statistics Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 10:56, 14 February 2020 (UTC)

Is this uglier or less ugly?Edit

Hi all. Based on Sm8900's suggestions, I've made a mock-up of a slightly tweaked look for the WP:COUNCIL page with the hope of making it less ugly and more accessible to edit. Differences:

  1. Replaced the blue section headers with normal wiki-markup headers (the old blue headers have a confusing "edit" link that actually edits the template instead of the section).
  2. Moved the navbox up to the top-right (you couldn't do that before because it interfered with the old blue headers.
  3. Added a navigation bar to the top (I nabbed this from WP:GA. Idk if this is really a good idea, but my hope is that it'll clarify to folks who are at the proposals page, WikiProject guide, or directory that these are WP Council-related pages. Also these pages' talk pages already redirect here, so this sorta clarifies the page structure I hope).

Theoretically I'd add the navbar to the top of all the pages it's linked to. See the WP:GA-related pages to get a sense of how that looks and would work. The current version is at User:Ajpolino/sandbox3 (and the header is at User:Ajpolino/sandbox2 in case you'd like to play with it; it's easy to understand and to edit, which is a big plus). Thoughts are welcome. I won't be offended if you think it's ugly. Thanks all! Ajpolino (talk) 21:35, 13 February 2020 (UTC)

Less ugly! Support update to your version. Enwebb (talk) 23:00, 13 February 2020 (UTC)
Ajpolino, the tab-thingy at the top is largely inaccessible on mobile devices. I recommend skipping that. I've no objection to the rest of your plans. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:35, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
Agree looks fine..also agree no tabs.--Moxy 🍁 03:46, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
this looks really good. very pleased to see this here. thanks!! --Sm8900 (talk) 05:18, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
@WhatamIdoing and Moxy: I'm not particularly tech savvy, but if there's a particular way it looks strange on your mobile device, let me know and I can see if it can be fixed (it looks fine on my phone in the app and on the browser, as do the WP:GA pages). If you just prefer a tabless version, that's ok too. This is completely a question of personal preference. Thanks all for your comments! Ajpolino (talk) 16:58, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
It's a table. It therefore doesn't adjust to a small screen width. You have to scroll sideways to see past the third tab, and because it sets the width for the whole page, you then have to do that for all the text on the page. As a result, reading the first sentence works like this: "The WikiProject Council *scroll* is a group of Wikimedians *scroll back* that encourage and assist with the *scroll* development of active *scroll back* WikiProjects."
(Also, I just don't like the way it looks.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:20, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
  Done I implemented the changes (minus the tabs). I left the 1px-wide border from the old page, but colored it blue like it was in my sandbox. I don't feel strongly about the border though, so if folks feel its more distracting than appealing, feel free to remove it (or return it to gray by changing the colorcode "#4682B4" back to "silver"). Thanks all for your comments. Ajpolino (talk) 20:13, 17 February 2020 (UTC)

Major change to History projectEdit

Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:WikiProject History/History Town Hall. I noticed before but didn't realize to what extent till now because of this nomination....the history project has been overwhelmed by what seems to be a brand new editor despite them being here for a decade. Perhaps a review of what has happened to the project overall is warranted. This editor is all over the map with things of this nature.--Moxy 🍁 06:09, 16 February 2020 (UTC)

well, I don't know if I am a new editor, but yes, anyone is welcome to come by and to add any comments or input. and also, if you are editing any area or topics within history right now, it would be great to hear from you. Please feel free to let us know about any projects or activities of interest that you may have, or else please feel free to let us know simply what your interests might be. History is an art form, and Wikipedia is the canvas for multiple ideas and interests, of every type. So please feel free to visit the page any time. We appreciate the input and ideas of everyone here. thanks!!! --Sm8900 (talk) 11:25, 16 February 2020 (UTC)
by the way, if anyone here is editing ancient history, we would like to hear from you. there seem to be a lot of knowledgable editors in this area, who have greatly expanded this vitally-important area of Wikipedia historical topics. I am highly interested in this area, but I don't have any particular expertise in it. so I have not edited this area very much at all. if any editors who are active in this area wish to point others towards their efforts, that would be most welcome. we would appreciate any insights or input on this. thanks!!! --Sm8900 (talk) 11:28, 16 February 2020 (UTC)

Q6 reviewEdit

Please check that I got Q6 right on WT:WikiProject Internet culture#Project YouTube + WT:WikiProject YouTube#Closing shop? Notably, does that bot exist? Assuming too much instead of good old MASM assume:nothing is one of my weak spots. – (talk) 04:31, 18 February 2020 (UTC)

Absent assessment class ("draft") WikiProject EstoniaEdit

We couldn't figure out how to add class "draft" here Wikipedia:WikiProject Estonia/Assessment. The discussion in question is here: [1]. Maybe someone can solve the problem?--Estopedist1 (talk) 12:03, 21 February 2020 (UTC)

Return to the project page "WikiProject Council".