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Signpost article I can't find

In a previous signpost likely the 'In the news' section there was a link to an article about why people trust Wikipedia. I can't seem to find it by searching. Can anyone recall or work out which edition it was in? Regards, SunCreator (talk) 00:30, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

  • Thanks for looking, but no, it was more recent then that. In the last 6 months. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 01:01, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

Misquotes and other errors introduced in copyediting

In this discussion Tony voiced serious concerns about a journalistic "slip-up" where a quote from an earlier interview was wrongly attributed to a current interview. That error turned out to have been introduced in a "copyedit" to the original story by a writer who appears not to have reviewed the original interviews.

I'd like to take this occasion to have a general discussion of how to avoid such problems in the future. Such "copyedits" which introduce typos or factual errors, often shortly before publication time, have been a concern for many months. I have had some frank discussions with Tony (whom I highly value as a Signpost contributor) about his own copyediting (one of many examples, concerning the attribution of a statement in a court case to the wrong party), and although I think it has improved somewhat and we are now sometimes using IRC quite efficiently to coordinate about such issues, just this week there was another misquote in "News and notes" (wrongly reporting that an interviewee had accused the German Federal Archives of frequent copyright violations), which had been introduced in a copyedit and was unfortunately only corrected after publication (I had noticed it earlier, but it somehow slipped through the cracks while I was fixing other issues with that edit).

I think everyone appreciates good copyediting - often it makes articles much more readable. However, edits marked as "copyedit" or "ce" should be just that - copyediting, not changing the meaning of the text. And when the meaning is changed, the person making the edit should check the accuracy of the new version carefully, especially when reporting about potentially sensitive issues like in these examples.

Regards, HaeB (talk) 08:41, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

Edits marked as copy-edit when there's a parallel discussion about the copy-edit in the chatroom with you are a different matter. You were well aware of the problems I encountered in that raw text: I pointed them out. Then you went in for an extensive edit yourself straight after my first run-through. I'd have preferred to have been given the option to review it myself. You are now trying the shift blame to others. Tony (talk) 13:35, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

Background to a story

Re: Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2010-11-29/In_the_news, "Internet carrier lawsuit", I thought that name rang a bell: Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Russell_Smith_(prisoner_activist). Fences&Windows 02:05, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Who publishes The Signpost ?

That information is missing from your "about" section. But it's a basic fact for every newspaper, even electronic ones. If the Signpost is a blog, not a newspaper, could you note that? If "The Signpost is an independent publication which is not affiliated with the Wikimedia Foundation," how did you manage to get WMF to distribute a copy to all WP users, at the request of the WP user? Please clarify. Is the Signpost a WP:V verifiable source for anything at all, except matters that concern the Signpost itself? Just as an example. SBHarris 02:15, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

It is a community-written publication. WMF is not involved at all. 04:18, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
If you want to label it, maybe it's closest to a community-edited weekly blog? As for sourcing, the Signpost has the same status as any Wikipedia entry. Rd232 talk 08:47, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
Thank you. I take it that means it's not a reliable source, except for talking about itself. It is certainly quoted a lot as a source, for a blog (see for example, the cites for the article on WikiLeaks). This will make the people at WP:RS = WP:IRS cry. By the way, I didn't get an answer to the quesion of how, if WMF is not involved in any way, The Signpost gets the privilege of being distributed to any WP user who wants to sign up for it. Would that be true of my blog, as well? WMF seems to be supporting The Signpost in all kinds of special ways that aren't available to others, so how is that possible if the two are not "involved" at all? Are you saying they did nothing special for The Signpost? SBHarris 19:05, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
Do you mean the delivery on talk pages? That's not special at all, for example the WikiProject Video games has its Newsletter delivered to whoever subscribes to it. The WMF certainly does not take any part in that (a few bots do). Jean-Fred (talk) 19:27, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
Aha! Thanks, again. SBHarris 23:22, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Newsletter redirects here

Wikipedia:Newsletter redirects here. I was looking for the automated way to deliver wiki projects newsletters; I know thee is a bot that can do it and I was expecting the redirect to lead me there. I'd suggest that once we figure out which bot does it, Wikipedia:Newsletter should become a disambig between the bot/process and Signpost. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 22:07, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

Mass deletion of subscribers list

User_talk:TeleComNasSprVen#Signpost_Subscription_List - the user has been already been reverted twice and cautioned not to repeat this without consensus, but perhaps some other people want to weigh in and help clear up the mess. Regards, HaeB (talk) 07:05, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

Well scrubbing the list of inactive users seems worth doing; but I would have thought there was an easier, less intrusive way to do it. For instance, couldn't a bot check for activity levels and move low-recent-activity level users to a separate list, which delivers messages differently? Such users will presumably have the previous Signpost section unarchived on their user talk page, so the delivery bot can look for that and just put a link to the new Signpost into that section. Then, when a certain level of inactivity is reached (eg 1 year, 0 edits), stop delivering the messages at all. Rd232 talk 07:59, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
This sounds like a very good idea if it's techicallly feasible. Tony (talk) 08:01, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
I don't see why not. Someone (I'm trying to take a wikibreak) ask the bot operator and/or at WP:BOTREQ. Rd232 talk 08:11, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
I've made a similar tool for commenting out inactive members of WikiProjects. However, I never did get the parameters right for determining inactivity... — Dispenser 08:31, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
Probably trickier for WikiProjects, because how many people are members affects how others see the project, and activity levels across projects vary a lot, etc. Figuring something out for the Signpost should be easier. Rd232 talk 09:41, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

Comment: What logic is being used to determine removals? I wasn't aware that I was "inactive"... --Ckatzchatspy 09:20, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

I got a confusing message on my talk page, came here, and saw people were adding their names to the list, even though they were listed already. I did the same, not wanting to be removed and not having any clear direction on what to do.
As for the removal of names (which has apparently been reverted), I can appreciate it, but it would need to be done carefully, with clearer messages on talk pages. Thanks. --Chriswaterguy talk 10:07, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

Someone with rollback ought to revert that bot's edits in the very near future, while the edits are still 'top'. Moving forward, this discussion should be re-brought in a few weeks when the dust has settled and there can be a reasonable dialogue about how to deal with retired and inactive users (if they need dealing with at all). --MZMcBride (talk) 19:04, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

PeterSymonds and Zalgo took care of this. --MZMcBride (talk) 20:03, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia turns 10

"On January 15, 2011, Wikipedia will turn 10." What will The Signpost do for that issue? It's only 2 publications away, too! Any ideas at this point? ResMar 19:22, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

I haven't seen many suggestions (this one didn't seem very convincing.) One idea I had very recently was to interview some of the very first active Wikipedians (cf. [1]) other than Wales and Sanger, for example User:Tim Shell, but they may be hard to track down and preparing a decent interview is quite time-consuming.
In any case, we should be covering the celebrations in "News and notes", summarize anniversary-related musings from other media in "In the news", and rest assured that the Foundation and many others are already putting in quite some efforts to make users aware of the anniversary ;)
Regards, HaeB (talk) 18:18, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
A great opportunity lost, I'm afraid. Tony (talk) 01:07, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
I wouldn't say so. As opposed to many other news media who are currently publishing Wikipedia stories on occasion of the anniversary, we are in the fortunate situation of not having to sit on interesting Wikipedia-related stuff waiting for an opportunity like this to justify running it (e.g. such an interview can also be published in the Signpost at any other time). So, not that much journalistic opportunity lost. It's more like not bringing our own present when going to the birthday party ;)
Regards, HaeB (talk) 07:07, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
He he. :-) Tony (talk) 08:07, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

cleaning the subscription list

I use a script that crosses out the names of blocked users. Using that it is fairly easy to identify users who are indef blocked and don't need to receive the Signpost anymore. I'm sure there are also many on the list who have retired, either officially or by just ceasing to edit. While not a huge problem, it can lead to ridiculous situations where one bot is delivering the Signpost and another is archiving it a week or so later, creating piles of archive pages that consist of nothing but unread copies of the Signpost. I'm wondering if anyone can think of a way other than checking all the names manually to identify such cases. Beeblebrox (talk) 23:23, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

Perhaps it would be simpler just to get the archive bots to not archive the Signpost unless users specifically opt-in to it. Users who are no longer here obviously wont opt-in. Thryduulf (talk) 23:28, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
I was thinking more of not delivering it in the first place. However, I don't know anything about bot programming so I have no idea which idea would be easier to implement. Beeblebrox (talk) 23:53, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

Media and Internet role, shoddy journalism, et al

Thread moved to Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Newsroom/Suggestions. Regards, HaeB (talk) 01:29, 17 January 2011 (UTC)


Hi we've had a suggestion at Wikipedia_talk:Requests_for_adminship#Longstanding_users to add a standard item to publicise whoever is currently running in the Signpost. Would you guys be interested in this? ϢereSpielChequers 21:18, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Maybe a case can be made to list them in the "Features and admins" section. I'm interested to hear what Tony1 (currently main writer of that section) has to say about the idea. Of course one would need to take a lot of care about neutrality: Probably any information beyond a mere listing should be avoided (like the portraits of new admins that F&A currently features - these are fine after the RfA, but would be extremely problematic during a running RfA).
However, transcluding current RfAs in the Signpost, as suggested in the linked discussion, should be avoided. As opposed to usual wiki pages, Signpost stories are not meant to be changed significantly after publication.
Btw, I was surprised to see that RfAs are not listed directly in the Community portal (only on Wikipedia:Dashboard - but it appears the former is viewed around 200 times as often).
Regards, HaeB (talk) 02:01, 16 January 2011 (UTC)
I don't think the Signpost is the solution for two reasons: 1) very few people read it, and 2) what ails RFA will not be solved by more uninformed editors !voting. Many folks gave up on RFA, just as they did on ANI. More publicity isn't the solution-- RFA reform is. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:18, 16 January 2011 (UTC)
e.c., responding after HaeB's post and declining to comment on the intervening post: I agree with everything HaeB said. I'll try it this week (just a listing), even though I'm reluctant to increase the burden of writing what is a very fiddly page. BTW, I'm coming up to the peak part of my RL work in the year: start of February to 21 March will be very tight. I can keep doing the basic page, but extras like "Choice of the week" might need to take a vacation for that period. Indeed, I've been finding it requires more than one email to organise each judge each week, and there aren't all that many promotions at the moment, so I've let it go for the moment. I think it would be good to start up again after 21 March. In the meantime, perhaps a few shortish extras like an interview with one of the most successful nominators at FPC on technical stuff might be in the offing. Tony (talk) 02:23, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

Retrospect of stewards' work in 2011

Comment moved to Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/Newsroom#Article_status; article is now at Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2011-01-17/Sister projects. Regards, HaeB (talk) 01:22, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

For In the News

Comment moved to Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Newsroom/Suggestions. Regards, HaeB (talk) 01:29, 17 January 2011 (UTC)


Comment moved to Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Newsroom/Suggestions. Regards, HaeB (talk) 01:29, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

Delay of global subscriptions due to Toolserver problems

Just a quick note that this week there was a problem with the delivery of Signpost subscription messages on other projects, due to the high replication lag on the Toolserver. MZMcBride, the delivery bot's owner, has found a way around it and all notifications should have been delivered by now (it's a bit hard to check because this tool likewise appears to be suffering from a Toolserver problem), and it should be on time again for the upcoming Signpost issue. Apologies for the inconvenience.

Otherwise, the delivery has been working fine since we introduced global subscriptions in September, and readers from other projects are still invited to sign up or create dedicated delivery pages like nl:Wikipedia:Signpost on their projects. Regards, HaeB (talk) 23:52, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

Archives for January

Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/Archives/2011 is missing the Signpost issues of Jan. 10 and Jan. 17. Guoguo12--Talk--  16:55, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

"Reward board" mention

Can we (occasionally) mention the Reward board so more helpful tasks are completed? --Perseus, Son of Zeus sign here 19:10, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

You're jumping the gun. First we need to come to terms. In exchange for these mentions, what amount of payment made directly to a specific editor can be expected? -- Uzma Gamal (talk) 11:10, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

This month in GLAM

user:Rock drum and I are working on collating a monthly list of activities that the Wikimedia community undertakes that fall under the general heading of GLAM collaboration. We've got the January (and some of December) report here and would like to integrate it into the Signpost - hopefully each month. Of course, many of the individual items in this report have had their own Signpost coverage so I don't want to merely repeat your previous editions, but equally, I think it would be nice if the GLAM report were in the Signpost in a manner that was more than merely a one line mention saying that "a GLAM report has been made over there...". What do you think? Perhaps something like the Technology report, but on a monthly basis? Witty Lama 11:05, 4 February 2011 (UTC)

Indeed it appears that over half of the items have already been covered in the Signpost (btw, one might consider linking Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2011-01-24/WikiXDC) - which of course is not surprising given the different publication schedules. That would be one reason why copying the entire newsletter would not seem a good idea. Still, it looks like it might become a great news resource. One possibility would be to just copy the items that have not been previously covered, with a preceding remark ("The Wikimedia Foundation's GLAM newsletter for January has been published. Among other news previously covered in the Signpost, it reports that: ..." - I use a similar remark for the Foundation's monthly reports in "News and notes"). They may still be adjusted for the Signpost's style, but the authors of the original text on Outreach wiki could be credited in the Signpost byline.
Regards, HaeB (talk) 05:17, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
This makes sense. Would it be possible then for this first edition to have a note informing your readers that this report has been created in the first place, and that the Signpost readers will be updated with news from it in the future (and then adding in the elements from this report that have not previously been mentioned)? Witty Lama 05:10, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

New Wikiprojects

Would it be worth mentioning newly created WPs in the signpost? A mention may get a new WP a few more members, thus helping to establish it. Mjroots (talk) 12:30, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

You can always add a request for them to be mentioned in the sidebar of the WikiProject report. Regards, Rock drum Ba-dumCrash (Driving well?) 12:43, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
We include newly created projects in the WikiProject Report news sidebar each week (see this week's issue). The news items for these projects usually come from requests placed at the WikiProject Desk or from postings at the Community portal. -Mabeenot (talk) 19:27, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

Good articles in the Signpost?

I would like to suggest adding a monthly update on good articles to "The best of the week". Listing all would not work, since there are sometimes more than 200 of them. Also listing the best would be impractical, since no one can be expected to read through more than 200 articles. Instead I suggest listing a handful of the most vital articles, as defined at Wikipedia:Vital articles. This could provide a welcome contrast to the featured articles, whose subject are often somewhat peripheral. I've made a suggestion as to what it would look like (numbers must be adjusted on Saturday):

Good articles

The assassination of President Lincoln - a featured picture from the good article on Abraham Lincoln.

216 articles were promoted to good articles in December. Net growth was 184 articles. Among the new good articles were:

  • Wales (nom), a country in the United Kingdom, which name originally means "land of the foreigners". Welsh-speakers prefer "Cymru", from "fellow-countrymen" (nominated by Daicaregos and FruitMonkey).
  • Manhattan Project (nom), the project whereby the United States developed the first atomic bomb, was set in motion by a letter from Albert Einstein (Hawkeye7).
  • Abraham Lincoln (nom), the 16th President of the United States, was assassinated only five days after winning the Civil War (Peregrine Fisher, Carmarg4 and others). (picture at the right)
  • Malaysia (nom), the Southeast Asian country of some 28 million inhabitants, is headed by an elected monarch (Chipmunkdavis).
  • Felix Mendelssohn (nom), who is known in many non-English-speaking countries as Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, wrote 12 string symphonies between the ages of 12 and 14 (Smerus).

I would be happy to take on this task, if there is any interest. Lampman (talk) 14:46, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

Thank you very much for your offer, but the page is called "Features and admins". At many times of the year, the page is groaning with just featured listings, and is sometimes too long. Call me a snob, but I'd rather highlight content that has passed the most rigorous processes. Dabomb recently said no to a similar request by the "Valued picture" people.

If you're willing to contribute to the treatment of featured content on the page, please, you'd be very welcome. Tony (talk) 14:57, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

I can only agree ;) ResMar 15:02, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I concur with Tony. In addition, I'm not a fan of having to select which GAs are most noteworthy; it takes us one step too far beyond our journalistic capacity for this column. How frequently are vital articles promoted to GA? Dabomb87 (talk) 15:03, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
Tony: I understand your reservations, but I do not quite follow your arguments. Referring to the page name seems like little more than a circular argument (Why is it called "Features and admins"? Because it contains only featured content. Why does it contain only featured content? Because it is called "Features and admins".) Size-wise, there has recently been a sharp down-turn in new FAs, to the point where the post has been left empty some weeks. Under these circumstances it is hard to see how a short, monthly update on GAs could brake the page's back. As for the old "FAs-vs-GAs" turf war, this is fortunately becoming a thing of the past as people realise that the two projects both fulfil different purposes. This can be seen in the recent wide consensus on assigning a main page symbol to GA articles, on a line with FAs. Dabomb: Abraham Lincoln is a level 3 VA, the others, except Wales, are level 4. Lampman (talk) 15:23, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
The problem with good articles is that about 30 or 40 (don't know exact numbers) are promoted every week. So writing a section for them in F&A would be to tedious, and take up too much space, to be worthwhile. In addition, it's called Features and admins, so Featured pieces and new admins get preference over everything else. ResMar 04:52, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

It would be quite reasonable to specifically cover the promotion of Vital Articles to GA status or above. There are only planned to be 10,000 total (not sure how many there are now), so I don't think the volume can be very high (probably not even 1 per week). Both GA and Vital Articles projects can use the promotion. Rd232 talk 02:26, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

General praise

I'm not sure if it's a genuine uptick in quality or just my perception, but over the past couple of months the Signpost has seemed to me to be generally more interesting, more intelligent, and more readable. So congratulations everyone involved for either (a) continuing to improve this important aspect of the Wikipedia community or (b) improving my subjective opinion of the newsletter by whatever mysterious means you have at your disposal. Either way, very excellent. - DustFormsWords (talk) 03:18, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

Kind words. Thanks from all of us, I'm sure. Tony (talk) 10:45, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

Remove from Sub list?

I would like to receive my Signpost via template and not from being on the subscription list on the subscription subpage. Since I can't remove myself, would someone be willing to do it for me? Thank you. --DizFreak talk Contributions 13:46, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

Anyone can edit the subscription list at Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Tools/Spamlist. Killiondude (talk) 21:21, 19 February 2011 (UTC)

Template problem

Hi all, I've used a template on outreachwiki for the This Month in GLAM newsletter which is copied from one used for the Signpost. At the moment, it isn't working correctly. The cells which are meant to be colored are just staying white. Can anybody fix - or at least help with - this? The link is here. Thanks in advance, Rock drum Ba-dumCrash (Driving well?) 20:06, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

Main Page link?

I suggested an explicit Main Page link here. The Signpost is currently two clicks away through a number of channels (not least the Community portal link) but I know a number of people who don't consider themselves Wikipedians but read the Signpost. It is good enough that it isn't just for the community; it is a nice snapshot of our work for passers-by. SJ+ 13:57, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

Submission question

Need some newbie guidance here. I'd like to try my hand at writing a brief story on something for Monday, namely this OMM story which has caught my attention. How/where do I indicate that I'm working on a particular story or find out if another writer is already tacking it? Thanks. Gamaliel (talk) 00:31, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

In the Newsroom. This would belong into the "In the news" section, you can just start that page (or add to it if it already exists when you start writing). This particular news item had already been noted at Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/Newsroom/Suggestions#Old Man Murray deletion and in the Signpost feed [2] (see the additional links there), but no one seems to have started to write it up, so feel free to go ahead.
Regards, HaeB (talk) 02:49, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

Featured article

Is it necessary to request that a newly-featured article be mentioned in the "Features and Admins" section of the Signpost? Warren County, Indiana was promoted on February 19 but doesn't seem to have been mentioned that week or the following week. Omnedon (talk) 14:00, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

Only new info in arbitration reports?

Instead of repeating some text, and changing some (compare a, b, and c), how about only including things that have changed since the previous report, with links to previous reports; or automatically hidden transcluded pages being previous case reports? -- Jeandré, 2010-12-11t10:21z

Why no Signpost?!

Why is there no Signpost on my talk page?--The Master of Mayhem 14:20, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

Looks like it's going out now, seems it was a little behind schedule this week. –xenotalk 14:22, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

Section title

I'm sure I can't be the first to ask, but would it make sense to either disambiguate or merge News and Notes, and In the News? I've been enjoying the Signpost for 2 years and still don't know how they are different. Ocaasi c 08:49, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

An explanation of the different scopes is here. In short, while there is indeed some overlap, "In the news" treats coverage of Wikipedia or other Wikimedia projects in external media, and the newsworthiness for that section is at least in part judged according to the attention a piece of news might be getting in the general public. In other words, in ITN our readers learn about news items that may shape public perception of Wikipedia, even when they are basically non-news to a regular Wikipedian (Wikipedia was founded in 2001 and is freely editable, etc.). For example, the two items titled "Introducing Wikipedia" in this week's "in the news" are basic explanations of Wikipedia that are unlikely to tell regular Signpost readers much they don't already know, but they may still want to learn about fact that Wikipedia/Wikimedia got attention from a major newspaper in India. Regards, HaeB (talk) 10:49, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the detailed response. So News and Notes is more the insider perspective and In the News is more the outsider perspective. Makes sense. Is there an interest in choosing section titles that reflect that more clearly? For N &N perhaps: What's Happening, Around the Pump, This week in Wikipedia, Community News and Notes, Inside News and Notes, Insider News and Notes, etc. It's a small change, but if a regular reader like myself was confused, I'm probably not the only one. Cheers, Ocaasi c 11:03, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
Another option, short of changing a long-standing title, would be to add a brief tagline, such as In the News press about Wikipedia from around the world; and News and Notes updates from inside the community, that sort of thing. Ocaasi c 11:07, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
The sections are defined at Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Newsroom/Resources#Regular sections. — Pretzels Hii! 17:34, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I believe that's the problem. The section titles should be self-explanatory, and not require a glossary. Pretend you're a new reader for a minute: you wouldn't even know where to look, presuming you'd take the time to, and you'd probably expect that the titles would just be intuitive. A title should be informative first (along with recognizable and consistent). I'm not sure that adding a brief sub-header or tagline (in lieu of renaming e.g. Community News and Notes) would be a bad idea. Ocaasi c 21:16, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

Quarterly policy update

Any suggestions on how to put together a more concise version of this quarter's policy update for next week's Signpost? (i.e. 8 days away) - Dank (push to talk) 19:26, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

Dank, I'd summarise and link to details, and avoid technical tweaks to prose and esoteric stuff. It might be framed as "significant" changes in policy and guidelines. The readers will soon stop if it looks like a long tabulation of every single change. Consider adding a rider that editors are advised to consult the actual pages for a definitive account of changes. In some cases, you could provide a single diff for the whole three month's changes—that is, if they aren't too dense. That would be useful. Tony (talk) 14:44, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

A great place to know what is happening

I believe the services offered by the signpost if very good. It shows how Wikipedia is changing or affecting the world in which we live in. --CrossTempleJay (talk) 22:49, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

Where's today's issue?

Just wondering...8 hours late! Lanthanum-138 (talk) 12:26, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

Sorry, it's sometimes quite a heave to get the edition out. And it's one of the rare instances of deadlined work for wiki-editors. Tony (talk) 13:09, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
You were probably looking at the 03:00UTC time given in the Newsroom. This has never (afair) been the actual publication time, but is treated more as a story preparation deadline, i.e. there is consensus that stories submitted after this may be postponed by the editor. A more embarrassing occurrence would be if the issue comes out on a (UTC) date after the nominal date stated in the byline and URL of each story. But we made that deadline quite comfortable with this issue - in fact, it was the earliest publication time since last November.
I assume most regular readers know that the Signpost usually comes out some time during Monday (more likely in the UTC evening), but such comments are entirely understandable, and it fact help us to stay on track ;)
Regards, HaeB (talk) 05:41, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Oh, I get it now. Thanks, Lanthanum-138 (talk) 11:42, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

Dutch SP page screwing up

The formatting seems to have gone peculiar this week. Tony (talk) 13:31, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

Yes, I already noticed. Apologies to all global subscribers - the links were still intact, but some of the section subtitles were overlapping or cut off.
Here is what happened: The variable part of the delivered message is generated automatically, ready for copy and paste, and the format there did not change. But I used a different browser this week for copying and pasting - Opera, which for some reason inserts a blank at the beginning of each line (Firefox, IE and Chrome don't). And unfortunately these extra blanks were hard to see in the diff, which I routinely check before starting the message delivery bot.
Anyway, apart from this (and an issue with Toolserver lag some weeks ago which MZMcBride solved right away) the global Signpost subscription has been working really well since introduced in September, and people from other projects are still welcome to sign up for delivery to their user talk page, or to dedicated Signpost delivery pages on their projects (like the Dutch example linked by Tony above, recently followed by the Swedish and Kannada Wikipedias).
Regards, HaeB (talk) 22:03, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
Shit happens. :-) --MZMcBride (talk) 03:01, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
And there's a two-word candidate for WP's sixth pillar. :-) Tony (talk) 15:22, 20 May 2011 (UTC) PS The Dutch page gets 80–100 hits a month. The number of direct subscribers from other projects seems to be steadily increasing at about two a week. That's 100 a year, a welcome addition to our readership, and it might hit a critical mass at some stage, where it increases at a greater rate. I note HaeB's and others' efforts to give an international flavour to parts of the SP, which is most welcome IMO. Tony (talk) 15:25, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

Email delivery of the complete "single page" view

Please, please...? :)

FT2 (Talk | email) 14:24, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

I hear you. I would be willing to integrate this into the weekly publication process (using the "official" wikipediasignpost Gmail account), but could use some help in setting up an efficient workflow for it - for one, figuring out the best way to generate a "clean" HTML from Wikipedia:Signpost/Single. (Size should actually be fine for an e-mail - for this week's issue, the HTML is 137kB, plus 320kB of other files - image thumbnails and CSS/JS, the latter perhaps not optimized for offline viewing. The PDF is much larger.) Regards, HaeB (talk) 17:14, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
May be good to summarize what the workflow would have to encompass and any points needing to be addressed, then everyone can contribute ideas. Not sure I know enough to comment, though I appreciate the positive-ness! :) FT2 (Talk | email) 23:02, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
Well, identifying those points is already part of the work... Setting up and administering a mailing list for this should not be too difficult (it might be possible to persuade WMF to set up a Wikimedia mailing list, althogh I am not sure how well Mailman works with HTML e-mails, cf. [3]). Generating the HTML which is to be sent out seems to be trickier, because the requirements of most e-mail clients differ from that of browsers. See e.g. [4] ("for coders, it's a real headache to create [HTML emails] properly"), [5] ("You have to code like it's 1996"). In other words, one shouldn't just take the HTML (+CSS, JS) delivered to one's browser and copy it into the e-mail.
Is anybody else interested in such a service, and/or could provide technical advice?
Regards, HaeB (talk) 04:18, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

Help:email notifications is relevant for people subscribed on their talk page. Rd232 talk 23:42, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

Signpost by snail mail

Just wanted to note this novel (and generous) offer by Rcsprinter123. Regards, HaeB (talk) 19:10, 21 May 2011 (UTC)

Suggestion regarding "Features and admins" section

Currently the "Features and admins" section of the Signpost lists all new featured content as well as new administrators. After some consideration I have grown concerned that this practice contributes to the idea that adminship is a form of "Featured editor", when it should be nothing of the sort. In order to avoid this I suggest moving the new administator announcements to another section of the Signpost, perhaps the Arbitration report. There is much more in common between the announcement of new administrators and Arbitration work than there is in the current arrangement. Grondemar 03:02, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

  • I agree with that suggestion. Failing that, we should publish a barnstar leaderboard for each month to bring some sort of balance (in jest) ;-) --Ohconfucius ¡digame! 03:11, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
  • I suppose that's fair. I wonder though if we couldn't have a sort of "editor update" section for significant things that aren't RFA or Arbcom? Significant retirements, for instance. Or we could look for significant editor achievements (DYKs; bot creation, monthly cleanup completed, etc) or even random praise. Something to give a bit more of a sense of what goes on. Rd232 talk 03:24, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Anything that makes F and A less onerous is just fine by me. Tony (talk) 04:11, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
  • The connection between arbitration and admins is that arbitration is the only way to involuntarily desysop someone at this point in time (and we already cover those developments). However, it is a group of editors from the Community who decides what work is of 'featured status', and it's a group of editors from the Community who decides which users are 'admins', so given these are announcements about which work and editors have been selected, I'm not seeing the merit behind the suggestion. If anything, most admins prefer to tend to more routine tasks and few get involved with arbitration, while arbitration itself is about the last step in dispute resolution and the decisions (dealing with problem resolution that are being made by a group of users who have been elected for this specific task). I've seen few (if any) admin nominations saying "I want to be an admin so I can enforce arbitration decisions"; so far it's been "I want to help with deletion and vandalism". So I don't think the arb report is the place for it; whether admins should be with the featured work or whether it should moved to some other segment per Rd232 (or into the discussion report) is certainly worth considering though. Ncmvocalist (talk) 04:53, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Sounds fine to me. Dabomb87 (talk) 01:51, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Agree and suggestion. Admin matters should be separated from "featured content", and presentation should not suggest that adminship is a big deal. Maybe a section "Community matters", or something, covering significant community matters like adminships, major policy changes/RFCs, perhaps significant WMF staff changes, and other significant matters of internal self-regulation by the community? That would fit in well and not duplicate other areas, would not present admins as "special", and allows coverage as needed of a key area that is useful but not very visible. FT2 (Talk | email) 14:30, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
So can the admin notifications go in the "In brief" section of NAN instead of F and A? Then F and A could become "Featured content", perhaps. The admin notification would be a small job for a new contributor to The Signpost who would be willing to commit to it weekly. Dabomb, do you mean Vocalist's post sounds fine or the opening post sounds fine? Tony (talk) 14:39, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
A Featured Content section could easily include at least a summary of WP:GA changes. They are after all conveniently logged at Wikipedia:Good articles/Log. Mentioning delistings by name (whilst giving weekly totals for promotions) could help spur improvements. Rd232 talk 22:56, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
Agree - would be nice to summarily and briefly list GA's by name (in a similar brief format as we do for say, RFA's). GA gets low profile compared to FAC, and they probably deserve a mention. "New GA's", "Currently under review" and "Delistings" (if any) plus a link to the GA nominees list. GAs are a good point of reasonably high quality so it will be good to give them a little more exposure :)
I think a "community" section would be good though for reasons stated. FT2 (Talk | email) 05:00, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
But a whole new "community" section suggests something more elaborate than merely shifting from F and A to NAN the small subsection on new admins. (BTW, it now includes mention of live RfAs, incorporated after a reader's suggestion a few months ago.) Who is volunteering to do this? FT2, if you are volunteering, that would be a popular move; otherwise, it's not a viable change, I think. The page is already too long for readers sometimes, and I find it to be an onerous commitment, although I'm willing to continue because it's an important service to the community, and highlights the importance of high standards in all areas.

On GAs, GTs, GLs (since all or none seems to be the only fair way): F and A has never done this, and the title indicates featured material only. I know Dabomb, the co-author, is firmly against diluting the treatment by including "good" promotions, and I agree with him. To me, the good content processes are just a stepping stone. I don't mean offence to anyone who is involved, but good journalism quintessentially needs to highlight, to ration, its treatment, don't you think? And it's a volunteer labour-force issue, too: who's gonna do the extra on the page if "good" is included? Tony (talk) 08:09, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

Tony, can you clarify. How can something be both a "popular move" and yet (if a given person doesn't volunteer) "not viable"? Presumably you mean that it would be popular but needs a volunteer to be viable?
  • Response to FT2: a translation of my previous post is that "The Signpost is chronically short of volunteers; if you volunteered to list the admin bit in NAN each week, it would be welcomed by existing volunteers; if you encouraged other editors to do this, it would also be welcomed. Tony (talk) 13:40, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
Anything GA should not be in featured content. The entry for a week's GA movements (eg 3 - 9 May) looks like this:
It would not dilute featured content to put this in the "community" section (it took just 2 - 3 minutes to collate and format) and would surely be of popular interest listed this way. Signpost will have its own editorial policy, however a community section could be run for a while with readers asked to give feedback during a trial period, and I think it would on the whole be positively received. Is lack of a volunteer the main issue? FT2 (Talk | email) 10:41, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
Is this list not already clear from the GA log ? (If so, would a single link suffice, since there's no added value such as on F and A, where a short blurb is included.) Would the other "good" content processes complain if they were excluded? What else, apart from this and the admin thing, do you envisage going into a "Community" page? Who would write it, reliably, week in week out? Tony (talk) 13:40, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Logical completion of FT2's proposal - split up Content Matters (pun intended) and Community News. As a minimum, this successfully splits the F and A (as per Grondemar's excellent suggestion) without creating more jobs. But it's also flexible and extensible if other volunteers want to contribute. That dividing line is both logical and useful to readers (many of whom are distinctly community- or content-oriented editors), so for instance if somebody wants to write about:
    • Good Article or Peer Review project reports → Content Matters
    • Changes to MOS, BLP policy, Deletion, Notability, Article Protection/Pending Changes, and other content-related policies and guidelines → Content Matters
    • Reports on unusually controversial or precedent-setting AFDs → Content Matters
    • Death notices/brief obituaries of recently deceased editors → Community News
    • Changes to block policy, checkuser, other user-related policies and guidelines → Community News
    • New community structures (e.g. Advisory Council on Project Development proposals) and roles (e.g. WMF Volunteer Coordinator) → Community News
    • ArbCom and Board elections, maybe news from the Chapters and WMF → Community News [in practice indepth coverage ArbCom elections will probably get its own section, but announcements of nomination deadlines etc would certainly belong in Community News]
I believe all of these have been covered in the Signpost at some point (even GA statistical milestones do get into News & Notes!). The weekly staple of Community News would be RFA reports, and that of Content Matters would be the glorious FA and FP (et al.) roundup. Yet it strikes me this would be a much better way of organizing things, especially for those times when other material (such as the examples above) is presented for publication.
As for GA reportage, a low maintenance option would be asking whoever does the start-of-month updates of Wikipedia:Good article statistics to write the figures up as a brief monthly summary for the Signpost ("In April the number of Good Articles rose by 214, below the 12-month average and the lowest monthly rise since December 2010. Reviewer fatigue from March's backlog reduction drive, in which there was a net gain of 499 GAs, has been blamed for the slump."). In no way would that devalue coverage of featured content! If a volunteer can be found, a weekly list of promotions and demotions is quick-and-easy to produce from the GA logs and wouldn't take up much space. Personally I doubt a GA promotions list would be of widespread interest given its length, turgid style, eclectic nature of the articles, and its "stepping-stone" nature. For a weekly report, my suggested priorities would be brief coverage of the review backlog (available from Template:WikiProjectGATasks and WP:GAN) and the demoted articles, both of which could be pitched as rallying calls to action. The risk is projecting the image of a project eternally in desperate straits, unless the mood is lightened by more positive weekly or monthly growth figures! I don't feel GA coverage would be out of place in the Signpost, but of course nobody could be forced to write it - and the same applies to all the other potential contributions I listed above. But having it or any of the others as separate subsections of "Content Matters" would not, in my opinion, dilute the more in-depth (and visually striking!) Featured Roundup. TheGrappler (talk) 13:39, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
Very good ideas. But the realist in me asks, who's going to commit to do it? Are you interested, Grappler? As with F and A, it soon becomes painfully obvious when you write it that the community comes to expect a consistent service, and there are complaints if it's not forthcoming. Our Managing Editor, HaeB, also expects it. The "core" pages are part of the identity of the publication. Are you suggesting that "Community news" be part of the core? Weekly or monthly? Dank might be willing to contribute, but probably not as the sole author. Another potential issue is that splitting this into "Community news" and "Content matters" would risk having too little text in some issues. Tony (talk) 14:03, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
Inserting: Thanks, Tony, but I don't want to report on policy for now. Copyediting and Milhist soak up all my wiki-time. I'll continue doing the quarterly WP:Update. - Dank (push to talk) 23:52, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
See below. Unfortunately I can't claim credit for any "good ideas", just remembering some of the things that have all been done at some point in the past! I wasn't proposing any new work, just pointing out that if resurrected, some of the old ideas would fall neatly into a Content/Community split that would be the logical consequence of FT2's idea of separating out commmunity news. Since N&N contains a mixture of news types that could be redistributed accordingly, I'm less wary than you of either Community or Content sides being under-texted. For removal of doubt, I was imagining both as "Core" with the featured roundup as the heart of "Content Matters" and the RFA roundup being a staple of "Community News". The idea would be that if there was another user obituary, or anyone resurrected the GA or AFD reports, those writeups could simply be "bolted on" as subsections of the appropriate Community/Content core section. TheGrappler (talk) 01:25, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for all the thoughtful suggestions. A few quick points:
  • Check out the resources page for an overview of the regular Signpost sections and (tentative) definitions of their current scope.
  • Regarding coverage of "major policy changes/RFCs" (FT2) or "unusually controversial or precedent-setting AFDs" (TheGrappler), the above suggestions very much correspond to the "Discussion Report" section which has produced good overviews in the past (see especially the 2009 archive) but is sadly inactive now. If someone wants to revive it, or otherwise commit to do this kind of reporting in a regular fashion (possibly under a different name), they are very welcome - I agree we should do more in that direction.
  • Other things suggested above for a "Community matters" section are currently covered in N&N more or less regularly, e.g. "significant WMF staff changes". The flexibility of the N&N section might make it preferable for some topic areas that do not lend themselves to a weekly or monthly routine.
  • Regarding the GA listings, I'm personally not terribly keen on anything that basically consists of dumping logs into the Signpost, without actual journalistic writing. (One reason that the F&A section has grown in popularity since last year is that Tony and others started adding value by highlighting interesting facts about new featured content, instead of merely listing it.) On the other hand, a "weather report" about GA statistics, as suggested by TheGrappler, could go down well with readers.
  • As for the initial comment, I didn't see the combination of F and A as a big problem, but I can see where Grondemar was coming from (it's also worth noting that the generic subtitle for the "Features and admins" section used to be "Approved this week" instead of "The best of the week"), and if someone wants to cover new adminships in N&N instead, I'm fine with that. Who is going to do it?
Regards, HaeB (talk) 15:06, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
That all makes sense - every point I raised above came from things that the Signpost has covered at various points in the past, rather than ideas for what it "should" cover or proposals for new work, and you're right I was obviously remembering the old "Discussion Report". Also agree re writeup for GA listings. I think Grondemar made a good point and that new admins is a better "fit" with some of the material in N&N, such as the WMF news or major community announcements. On the other hand there are things that appear in N&N (e.g. occasional statistical updates on GAs) or which used to appear in the Discussion Report (e.g. AFD notability decisions) that to me seemed closer in spirit to the "Newly Featured" coverage, in that they were basically of interest to content editors. FT2's proposal was to merge together admin notices with other user/community-related news, some of which currently resides at N&N (and some of which only existed historically e.g. in the Discussion Report). My proposal, as a logical extension of that, was an explicit divide between Content and Community news (which de facto is what FT2's proposal would result in) - admittedly that'd be a big reorganization, perhaps resulting in N&N being completely split between the two, but would have the advantages of consistency, a specificity to more community- or content-oriented editors, and giving a natural home should anybody wish to resurrect e.g. AFD or GA reports. I can understand that such a change would be unattractive from an editorial point of view, as it would involve a larger reallocation of work than simply moving RFA reports to N&N (without necessarily creating any new work). From the reader's point of view, I suppose it depends whether the "coherence" of sections is valued more than their "variety": personally I'd prefer a clear Content/Community divide, but I could understand some readers preferring N&N as a "mixed bag". TheGrappler (talk) 01:04, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Without having read all of this thread (just some of it) I think the original proposal to remove admin notices from the featured content section. Perhaps it would work best with the notes about milestones on other projects (Xyz Wiktionary reached 200,000 entries, etc) or with any announcements about staff employed by the Foundation? Thryduulf (talk) 15:22, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
  • I noted that this week's Signpost moved the admin promotion section out of the Featured Content page and into the News and Notes section. This is a great improvement and seems to work well. Thanks! Grondemar 04:06, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
Agree - much better :) One minor copyedit - the wording "The Signpost welcomes two new admins" suggests these might be Signpost admins. After all, for example Wikimedia mailing lists have "admins", why not Signpost. May I suggest "Signpost congratulates X and Y on being given adminship this week", "New adminships: congratulations to.....", or something?? FT2 (Talk | email) 21:22, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
I'm glad you like it. "Congratulates": that's what we started with, but people objected—some of them strongly (POV, etc). So we toned it down. Should it be "two new English Wikipedia admins"? A mouthful. Tony (talk) 13:12, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
What about: "Signpost wishes good luck to Name1, Name2, Name3, granted adminship this week. <detail about them here>" ?
Anyhow, as a publication POV isnt an issue, you're allowed an editorial line, including a line that goes "we believe new admins should be congratulated". The main thing is to make sure it's clearly about new WP admins and not "Signpost admins" (which some people may think exist if it's worded that way). FT2 (Talk | email) 17:22, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
This seems like a moot point at the moment; why not just link it (aka "admins")? Ncmvocalist (talk) 10:12, 28 May 2011 (UTC)
Good idea. Tony (talk) 16:49, 28 May 2011 (UTC)
Agreed that this is an improvement. And I like Grappler's suggestion above -- a page with open community discussions, including RfA discussions, WP:CENT, and other significant community discussions [the recent f-l discussion about poetlister, for instance]. – SJ + 01:23, 7 June 2011 (UTC)


Could we please have mention in next weeks signpost of the two RFCs on the useage of flags in infoboxes and lists, currently taking place at WT:MOSICON. Mjroots (talk) 11:52, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

Why not list all the RFCs on WP:CENT launched that week? It would be easy copy-paste; just needs a home (since Discussion Report isn't going). Rd232 talk 23:41, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
+1 to including WP:CENT somehow each week, with a sentence of explanation for each. – SJ + 01:18, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

Developer communication suggestion

I made a suggestion in a WP:VPT discussion:

what if some developer(s) contributed just a little to the Signpost on a (semi)regular basis describing some of the trials and tribulations of what they're currently developing? One of the big problems in this area is lack of communication. If the community better understood what is involved and how hard it is, that would help, I think. Plus the Signpost has a feedback section - I'm sure [developers would] get encouragement/praise as well.

I did previously try something in that direction with WP:DEVMEMO, but that didn't work out. Perhaps something smaller and more informal, fitting into an existing process, might work? Rd232 talk 00:39, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

Copied from User talk:HaeB

Just some quick thoughts here: I think it is an idea with a lot of potential, and I agree with what you said about (lack of) communication. The Technology Report section of the Signpost already sometimes does something like this, for example check out the series that Jarry1250 did last year where the Google Summer of Code students presented their projects (first issue, last issue), or this story which I based mainly on an IRC interview and other information provided by a Foundation employee about his (then) current project. If you want to organize something like this (it's probably easier to get people to provide one-off snapshot reports first, before aiming at the "(semi)regular basis" you mention), go ahead. Of course it would be good to inform Jarry1250 (the regular writer for the Tech report) and me in order to avoid duplicate efforts, but otherwise feel free to ask developers if they would like to contribute.
Some context: The Foundation's Tech Department has made recently made considerable efforts to improve communication with the commmunity, with the hiring of "bugmeister" Mark Hershberger, Sumana Harihareswara as Volunteer Development Coordinator and Guillaume Paumier focusing a lot on communication (like writing posting on the WMF Techblog). They could perhaps sometimes offer advice or assistance, e.g. set up contact with a particular developer.
Regards, HaeB (talk) 00:23, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, but I really don't have time or energy to pursue this myself. I just think it's a good idea and hope someone can follow it up. Please nudge anyone who might potentially be interested. Rd232 talk 00:36, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
Great idea. – SJ + 01:05, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
As I said there, I'm all ears on this. The issue is that AFAICT (most) developers know of the Signpost, they (presumably) know they could contribute to it. But developers don't like writing, they like coding and evidently the temptation has never really taken them to write about what they're doing. One example: after an appeal from Sumana, five of this year's GSoCers emailed me to inquire about writing something. I emailed them back a fortnight ago with a brief description of what they'd need to write. One has so far replied. (A few people regularly supply tips and corrections, however, such as Guillaume Paumier. Those are much appreciated.) So you can see, nice idea, uphill battle trying to make it work :( - Jarry1250 [Weasel? Discuss.] 10:11, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
Well perhaps that's where HaeB's suggestion of interviews might help, so the developers don't need to do the writing themselves. The main thing of interest to me with this idea is trying to expose a bit more of what is involved with development - normally we just see end product (or lack of it). Bugzilla discussions can shed a light, but hardly anybody sees those, and they're not particularly understandable for outsiders. Rd232 talk 11:46, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
Don't get me wrong, I agree wholeheartedly with the ambition. IRC interviews do sound interesting. I'd just have to think of how to approach that one. - Jarry1250 [Weasel? Discuss.] 12:02, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
Skype audio interviews (possibly with more than one developer for a "story"), recorded with permission, then selectively transcribed and edited, and wound into interview-narrative text selectively, and the draft sent to the interviewee for vetting? Yes, it would be a significant advance to have that kind of community–developer communication. Tony (talk) 04:10, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

Featured picture nom links

The current standard for the Signpost seems to format FP nomination link as: Wikipedia:Featured picture candidates/Month-Year#Nomination. To me it would be more sensible to link directly to the nomination page rather than the transclusion: Wikipedia:Featured picture candidates/Nomination. Producing this link is easier in my opinion so it would save time, the linked page is smaller so loading time would improve, and the link is also much more likely to be correct years from now. If there is a good reason to do it the other way that's fine, but I thought I would offer my 2¢. Jujutacular talk 14:38, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

Thank god. I wish I'd known a year ago. Thank you. Tony (talk) 15:46, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
No problem! Thanks for all the work you do for the Signpost. Jujutacular talk 23:55, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

The "Medium-sized images can be viewed by clicking on "nom"" sentence was a bit of a problem for me - I thought it would be a good thing to click on my cell phone ("Medium-sized"), but it loaded a huge page that made my cell choke. Clicking on the actual file name takes one to a page that is fine on cells, so how about changing or not including the quoted sentence in future editions? -- Jeandré, 2011-08-09t20:40z

"How You Can Help" headline out of date?

The "How you can help" sidebar in the tech section has the headline "Comment on a BRFA" even though the text of the sidebar is about testing the new mobile gateway. Perhaps the headline is left over from last week's sidebar? Sumanah (talk) 15:36, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

Yes, an oversight of mine. Fixed now, thanks. Incidentally, I've had two contributions from GSoC students so far, so I shall probably run them at some point. - Jarry1250 [Weasel? Discuss.] 17:55, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

Op-ed pieces?

I really enjoyed the board elections section of this week's (June 7) Signpost. I think that a weekly, or biweekly (every two weeks, I think that's the right word) op-ed type piece would make the Signpost even better. Looking at Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Newsroom/Opinion desk, I see this has been proposed, but it doesn't seem like many of these pieces are approved or have even been proposed recently. Is submitting essays or opinion pieces still an option? /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 03:57, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

Good essays and op-ed pieces continue to be welcome, it's just that someone needs to do the work of soliciting, selecting, writing and editing them. As Ragesoss said (on the linked page, when introducing the section in 2009), we should take care to select opinion pieces for "quality, originality, and relevance to the community" - Wikipedians generally love to express their opinions about various aspects of the project and related issues (and do so hundreds of times each day). For such reasons, publishing such pieces on a case by case basis seems preferable for the time being. Do you have any concrete suggestions for suitable topics and/or writers?
Regards, HaeB (talk) 19:07, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the response (and sorry for my late one). I agree that quality, originality, and relevance are key to an interesting op-ed piece, and while I'm not sure on any specific topic, I might try writing a more humorous submission sometime soon if I can find the time to do so. (I think the Signpost could benefit from some humor once in a while, especially as we haven't had a WP comic strip in forever.) Where would I go about submitting such a piece? The opinion desk doesn't really seem alive. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 04:25, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
Fetch, perhaps a draft in your userspace, link to it on HaeB's page when ready? Tony (talk) 04:28, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
(apologies for reviving a dead thread) Milhist runs a monthly op-ed, although we only publish once a month. We've had willing editors most months. When we haven't, it has been trivial to solicit an op-ed on topics like NPOV, FAC, or RFA. I'd be willing to coordinate a department based on this. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 01:17, 12 July 2011 (UTC)

"Brief news", "Brief news", "Brief news"

Now three pages have this in their by-line, every week. This is becoming repetitive and dilutes what should be high-value news in the by-lines that go around in subscriber notifications. Perhaps Featured Content should start a "Brief news" section so we can degrade our by-line with this tired item, too. What should be put around is the unique news value each week. Tony (talk) 12:17, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

The argument for including "brief news" in the subtitle is that people take them as summary of the section's content, for deciding whether to click on the link or not. If (for example) here they only see "Picture of the Year 2010; data challenge" on the link for the first section, they might very well decide they are not interested in either of the two topics, and decide not to click. Of course there are quite a few regular readers who have learned that the section always contains brief news, and who would click in any case, but then again they are not the ones for whom the subtitle makes a difference anyway. Other opinions? Regards, HaeB (talk) 12:47, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
If they don't think "In the news" is worth clicking on, with "WikiLove roll-out; in damages for being removed from Wikipedia", then we may as well shut down. Seeing yet a third line wrapped over, with "brief news", is not going to attract anyone, and regular readers know it's always there anyway. "Brief news" looks ... brief and inconsequential. Headings and subheadings should be as short and punchy as possible, and should certainly not be a fixture like the sofa in the living room. Now "Technology report" has started doing it too. Well, if you insist, we'll start up a brief news section in Featured Content next week, so we can all say "..., brief news", at the end of every single page. How ridiculous. Tony (talk) 13:04, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps a "more..." or "Read more..." - like how many blogs and news sites do it (successfully), might work better. - SMasters (talk) 14:22, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
It might be repetitive-looking but it's valuable - it indicates that there are more topics mentioned than the ones listed. It's a quick, easily-understood if not exactly elegant way to help the reader decide whether to click through. There's nothing wrong with having it on every page; it just indicates that there are lots of different items in the Signpost. It does not dilute the items listed fully (IMHO, of course), merely indicates that even more material is available. - DavidWBrooks (talk) 14:34, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
I do find the current headline format very hard to read. As well as the overabundance of brief news (which, looking through the archives, has actually been going on a while now) there are far too many semicolons! I think last year's format ("Financial Times, death rumors, Google maps and more") was much clearer and more natural to read. — Pretzels Hii! 14:39, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
I don't see what's so "ridiculous" about keeping brief news in the subtitle where it is effective and appropriate. It would be one thing if the report focused on a couple of stories completely (eg; arb resignation during plagiarism incident), but if it's going to cover a variety of things as well, then having it in the subtitle does give the reader an indication that other stuff is there which may be of interest. I've often clicked reports to see if anything is in the brief news (if it is mentioned in the subtitle), either because I wasn't particularly interested in the main stories mentioned at the beginning of the subtitle, or I only had time to read brief news. I think it was useful to keep it in N&N and ITN, particularly this week. Not sure if TR needed it this week; haven't really made up my mind given that it only covered a couple of things.
The "and more" suggestion is just as effective as "brief news", but apparently Tony has an issue with that as well because it is not in line with his views. It really doesn't need to be said that segments which don't do brief news should be starting it up for pointy purposes. This is not a place where everyone must accept and bow down to Tony's views as if they are orders which bind us all before he creates a spectacle. Being passionate during a disagreement is one thing, but edging towards an extreme over something like this is another; please tone it down. Signpost should not be limited to the tastes of regular readers alone; it should be attracting new readers too who aren't accustomed with the regular format of our reports, so I think either "brief news" or "and more" should be retained/used as appropriate rather than removed. Ncmvocalist (talk) 14:47, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
"And more" was getting very lame, too. Ncmvocalist, I was actually hoping this was absolutely a place where everyone must accept and bow down to my views as if they are orders which bind us all. You're kidding me it's not ... and vocalist ... bow lower. Tony (talk) 14:56, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
My point about the semicolons and "and more" is that we used to have sentences as headlines, whereas now they are lists. I think sentences are preferable for a multitude of reasons. — Pretzels Hii! 20:01, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
  • While we're on the matter of attracting users into clicking on Signpost pages, I've felt for some time that a thumbnail pic in the subs notice each week, along with crisper by-lines, would go down a treat. I think Pretzels's point about semicolons is worth considering. Your thoughts? (Lower still, vocalist) Tony (talk) 14:58, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
    • Section below: sure, it needs further thought, and the positioning isn't quite right. But a pic on the subs notification on user pages would be very effective, don't you think? Tony (talk) 16:10, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
I think you might be right about retiring the two-column format for subscription deliveries, as it takes up the same amount of space either way. If we include an image, I think the caption should at least link through to the relevant story. You may find some opposition from subscribers to posting images to users' talk pages in this way. — Pretzels Hii! 20:01, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
Is there some way of testing subscribers' opinions on this? And what do other SP journalists think? If the pic could be positioned better, it could be a bit smaller. Also, John Vandenberg told me there are ways of making bullets not so bulky and indented. Also, what do people think about the shorter page names for SP articles? And, I'm uncertain about the semicolons/whole sentence thing. I can't see how it would work. Tony (talk) 07:57, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
Some subscribers will be OK with it but others won't I think. I suppose we could give them the option of deciding which form they wish to subscribe to, without sticking to a single format alone? I'm thinking I'd better abandon hope for sentence-type headlines for the arb report; key words seem to be less of an issue (yet enough to get the readers too). I still think we need something in the subtitle to acknowledge other stuff whenever there's a lot covered in other/brief/more news, and when there's only a few things, we can just leave it out as a given. Of course, maybe things would be easier if we had the headline and then another line to include as a summary or something. We might need to think about it more and what other alternatives we can offer. Ncmvocalist (talk) 08:43, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

Stepping down as Signpost editor

With one eye laughing and one eye crying (as we say in German), I am announcing my resignation as the editor of the Signpost. The reason is that I am taking up work for the Foundation - to be announced shortly - and it would be too much of a conflict of interest if I were to continue to make final editorial decisions for a community-run publication. Since I jumped in when Ragesoss stepped down as editor-in-chief thirteen months ago (for very similar reasons), I have really enjoyed editing and writing for the Signpost, and I am very proud of our collective achievements. I think that the Signpost has played an important role in informing the community, and in fact the opportunity to do such work more consistently was a main motivation for me in starting to work for the Foundation. My role there will be to support movement communications activities.

I will continue and conclude several Signpost projects that I started as editor (such as the CPOV reader review). Besides acting as editor, I have also been contributing much of the content of the "News and notes and "In the news" sections - unlike the other four recurring sections, these two beats haven't had regular writers taking responsibility for them since quite some time. I won't be able to continue the same amount of involvement as a writer either, but like Sage before (example), I might offer to contribute articles about the Foundation's work in an official capacity (clearly noting it in the byline), subject to the judgment of the new editorship. I am also considering to continue to contribute as a volunteer in a limited fashion, for example for ITN about topics that don't directly involve the Foundation, but I would appreciate some feedback on what we should consider appropriate. In my talks with the WMF, it was clear that they really value the Signpost (and don't want to jeopardize it - however I am nowhere near thinking that it couldn't exist without one particular person; this has been nicely proven in previous years), and respect the Signpost's independence as a community publication.

With the next issue due for publication in three days, we should have a discussion right now about who will take responsibility for getting it out. Last year's discussion (see link above) saw some interesting ideas about collective editorship. To me it appears quite advantageous to have one particular person responsible for hitting the "publish" button (so to speak) for each issue, but it may not be necessary that this is the same person each week. And other editorial responsibilities are easier to share.

Regards, HaeB (talk) 16:59, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

HaeB, can I be the first (on this page) to wish you the best of luck with your new job, and to thank you for doing an amazing job at the Signpost. If anything, I think your tenure has editor-in-chief has solidified my view that The Signpost needs an individual to drive things forward. Unfortunately, we now have to start looking for another one afresh; and yet most of our regular writers are bound to be either too busy (such as myself) or have been around enough to ensure that they have enemies here. Finding a drama-free "nice guy" (or girl) to run The Signpost is going to be tricky. I can't help wondering if it may even take financial motivation (despite the threat that this may provide to neutrality, though I would argue it needn't). Anyway, thanks for your time and dedication. For my part, I may be able to help with this next issue as a one-off in addition to my usual duties. - Jarry1250 [Weasel? Discuss.] 17:16, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Thank you!
HaeB, congratulations on your move to the Foundation; how lucky are they. At the same time, I'm deeply saddened that you'll have to take a smaller role at The Signpost. It seems hard to imagine the publication without your steady hand. Thank you for your highly professional leadership, your fine judgement on matters of journalism, and your sense of balance and protocol. I've learnt a lot from you. It will be difficult to fill your role, and I agree with Jarry that a single person is the right way to go—Jarry, thanks for offering to stand in for the upcoming edition.

HaeB, let's hope you can stay around The Signpost as much as the new job allows. (I don't have the right skills or experience to do this; the natural role for me is as a journalist/copy-editor.) Tony (talk) 17:25, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

If folks are interested, the announcement is here. :) Steven Walling at work 17:35, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
HaeB, Heartiest congratulations on the new job. I just want to say thank you for all your hard work at the Signpost. I have really enjoyed working with you. I'm sure you'll have a lot on your plate moving to a new city and doing all the things that is required to settle down. All the very best with your future at the Foundation. – SMasters (talk) 17:58, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Congratulations on your new job and thanks for your work on the Signpost.   Will Beback  talk  20:39, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
WMF has stolen another one of our best talents. Best of luck. -Mabeenot (talk) 21:13, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Joining the choir of congratulations and thanks. You have been great as the Signpost editor, and I have no worries you will be just as great in your new duties at the Foundation. Cheers, Jean-Fred (talk) 21:47, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Congratulations!!! I look forward to seeing your work with WMF. Cheers. Aude2 (talk) 18:17, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Huge congratulations to you! I have no doubt you'll be excellent in your new job at the WMF, and we'll certainly miss you at the Signpost. Best wishes for the move to SF — Pretzels Hii! 22:16, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Thanks to everyone for the kind words, and to Jarry1250 for the offer to jump in for tomorrow's issue (I'll be e-mailing you the necessary details, and will in fact stand by tomorrow and during the next weeks - also on IRC - if there should be any technical questions. But I hope that the publication process page already explains most of it - since last year Dispenser and I have taken some trouble to improve and streamline it).
We could also use more contributors to the @wikisignpost news feeds on and Twitter. If you are good at digging out relevant news items, and would be interested in helping out, drop me a line.
Regards, HaeB (talk) 14:18, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
  • I think that this now repeated and seamless annual transfer of The Signpost editor to the WMF is fundamentally dishonest. How could anyone not living in California believe otherwise? Malleus Fatuorum 00:16, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
    • By not habitually making causal inferences based on a handful of data points? Skomorokh 00:24, 12 July 2011 (UTC)

New administrators

Just curious, as I do read the signpost, but don't read the behind the scenes stuff. Has the "New Administrators" bit been dropped? I seem to remember it was been moved from featured content, as it didn't really fit there, but was it dropped all together? I only ask, cos... you know... WormTT · (talk) 07:59, 12 July 2011 (UTC)

I don't see why we don't put it with the Arbcom stuff. At our Review cousin, stuff would all be covered in the beuracracy forum. It really makes sense (it is "admin" in many meanings of that word).TCO (reviews needed) 16:37, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
We didn't come to a decision one way or another about whether to drop the new admins bit altogether, but chances are it will be mentioned in N&N either in the next week or at the end of the month. Our main focus this week was with our editor-in-chief who stepped down.
As to the other suggestion, The Signpost is NOT the "Review cousin" referred to (anymore than it is a Wikipedian AC, functionary, crat, admin, RFA, RFC, WQA, blog, etc.) ArbCom stuff will continue to be reported separately (and independently) in the arb report, given that it is the final step in DR, users want to know what's going on with the people they elected at the end of last year and they want it in a format which doesn't merely act as a parrot. We do have a discussion report, and that would've been the most ideal place we could mention all of the (other) bureaucracy, new admin announcements, Community discussions, etc. As the scope for that is so broad, there is always a lot to cover in that beat, but that is why many people find they don't have the time, willingness, or ability, to regularly do it to a satisfactory quality...which is why that report has not been written for a long time. Ncmvocalist (talk) 15:06, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

display bug?

The headline "Wikipedians' surfing habits explored, Sloan Foundation renews $3M grant; brief news" displays as "... renews M grant; ..." on Wikipedia:Signpost (and only there; everywhere else it's correct). Powers T 00:02, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

  • I had inadvertently removed the figure from the headline previously, but it has since been restored and the contents page seems to be correct at the time of writing. — Pretzels Hii! 00:56, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

New managing editor

Jarry has kindly hinted that he can continue to stand in for at least next week (and possibly longer?). Sooner or later we need to resolve the matter. As far as I can see, there are three options: (i) find a replacement for HaeB; (ii) do it by some kind of shared arrangement, a roster as it were; or (iii) do without. I for one really need someone I can go to at IRC to get a second opinion in the run-up to publication. And NAN and ITN need that careful judgement HaeB provided. Tony (talk) 15:37, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

I support the idea of a CO. Maybe with an XO in case, something comes up again.TCO (reviews needed) 18:37, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
From my experience, I feel that having one primary editor is a good thing. I think having one person as editor frees up others to be good writers. Part of the reason I think that Michael and I both quit (certainly me) was that trying to write a couple stories and edit the rest gets to be tough. Ral315 (talk) 23:18, 14 July 2011 (UTC)
Come back. Tony (talk) 13:52, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
I would love to, but my schedule doesn't really permit it anymore. If I can ever provide any advice, though, feel free to shoot me an e-mail. (Also, FYI, I own, so if anything goes wrong with that, let me know). Ral315 (talk) 03:47, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

From the interim editor

Two things:

  • I am very unlikely [EDIT: Actually I can, see below] to be able to oversee the publication of the next issue (25 July). Anyone who could help getting it out on time would be appreciated :) (I'm not sure how busy HaeB is-- might it be possible to have one "neutral" editor to check the publication and then have him press all the relevant buttons?)
  • On the upside, I would consider continuing in the role for a number of weeks afterwards if no candidate can be quickly found. The effective deadline for me would be in mid-September. (However, if I were to continue, I would like to bring the publication time forward by two hours. I wonder if that is possible for our regular "eleventh hour" editors.)

Thanks everyone. - Jarry1250 [Weasel? Discuss.] 08:49, 21 July 2011 (UTC) updated 15:16, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

    • Jarry, your recent management is much appreciated. In view of the RL demands on you in the lead-up to the 25 July edition, I'm going to be bold and email User:Skomorokh to ask whether he'd consider stepping in, at least for the upcoming edition, and depending on how he and others feel about it, to consider the possibility of managing further editions. I think if he agreed (I really don't know what his RL commitments are), he'd probably need back-up from Jarry and HaeB and whoever else feels in a position to help at this stage. Tony (talk) 13:08, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
      • It turns out, purely by chance, I do have access to free WiFi, so I could stay up and handle the publication of this issue (25 July). I am on holiday, however, so either assistance or trying to move the deadline forward by an hour or two would be much appreciated. - Jarry1250 [Weasel? Discuss.] 18:38, 22 July 2011 (UTC)

IP editor playing with Signpost pages

There seems to be an IP editor using the Signpost and other pages as a sandbox. Three IPs coming out of Ireland have posted "rte" to several pages and removed content from other pages. See Special:Contributions/, Special:Contributions/, and Special:Contributions/ -Mabeenot (talk) 00:52, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

Yeah, more than three. But it's not a problem, they even self-revert if no-one gets there before them. - Jarry1250 [Weasel? Discuss.] 17:15, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

Wikimania co-ordination

I thought that with this year's Wikimania only being a week away, it might be an idea to start co-ordinating how The Signpost editorial community intends to cover it. Below are two sections: Attending, Helping Remotely and Comments. If you are a Signpost regular coming to Haifa for Wikimania (or you aren't a regular but are attending the conference and want to help) stick your name in under Attending. From experience of covering technology conferences and BarCamps, the work required to cover a conference is quite heavy, so if you are a Signpost regular and are able to be online (on IRC etc.) and are interested in helping sort material coming from Wikimania, please add yourself in the Helping Remotely section. Things that they can do include: sorting out and curating the inevitable stream of photos on Flickr, Commons etc., contacting blog post authors and people doing audio-video about reuse and copyright clearance. If you've got any comments or suggestions about how we can best cover Wikimania at Signpost, feel free to add it to the Comments section. —Tom Morris (talk) 11:09, 25 July 2011 (UTC)


  • Tom Morris – I'm in The Nof hotel, will be arriving late on Wednesday (Aug 3) night and leaving on Sunday (Aug 7) afternoon.

Helping Remotely


On IRC, Skomorokh suggested that it would be good to have audio-video coverage of the event. I'll be bringing a digital dictaphone and a camera capable of HD video. I'm also planning on trying to take lots of plain text notes and have been working out how best to do that between laptop and other devices (and maybe that funny old pen-and-paper stuff). —Tom Morris (talk) 11:09, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

Sweet. Here come SNN: Signpost News Network. -Mabeenot (talk) 22:46, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

The Signpost: 4 July 2011

Wikipedia turns 10

Summer of Research deletion process

Re. the "Summer of Research" diagram of deletion processes; the author has now made an SVG version available, which will aid future work: File:Deletion process on English Wikipedia (flowchart).svg.

I'm not quite sure how best to mention this in Signpost - maybe in the image caption, or as a note...I don't know.

So can someone else please feed that info in, as best you think appropriate. Cheers,  Chzz  ►  11:40, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

Watchlisting the Signpost

I've only just noticed that it's possible to watchlist the Signpost, by watchlisting Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/Issue. This is hidden away under Subscribe, and like a lot of people, I guess I never wanted to "subscribe" (I just come here and read it). I think the "Watch the Signpost" link should be on every Signpost page, in the footer or (if possible) the header. Rd232 talk 14:03, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

I've added it to the header, we can see how it goes (currently 523 watchers). - Jarry1250 [Weasel? Discuss.] 17:59, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

Report about Wikipedia trifft Altertum

Hello! I was asked by several users to translate my report about the conference „Wikipedia trifft Altertum“ in the German Wikipedia into English because of the importance of the conference. The signpost is a very important place to inform a lot of English language people about interesting things which happen in die Wikimedia universe and so I thought about publishing it here too. And also because it was always an honour for me to write articles for the Signpost: Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2010-06-07/Free Travel-Shirts, Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2011-01-17/Sister projects and others. I'd be really happy if you could accept my report which I've created at User:DerHexer/Report about Wikipedia trifft Altertum. Do not hesitate to edit and correct my translation here and/or move it to one of your subpages if you think that it's worth to publish it here sooner or later. It's quite long so please leave me a message if I have to shorten it and please excuse the mistakes I made. Kind regards, —DerHexer (Talk) 01:25, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

Thank you, I think we'll run that as soon as we get a chance (holidays, Wikimania, etc, make these things difficult at present). - Jarry1250 [Weasel? Discuss.] 18:01, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
I will shorten it soon and then will come back. Kind regards, —DerHexer (Talk) 08:41, 15 August 2011 (UTC)

Some thoughts

Hey all. I've been interim editor-in-chief for the last four issues, and all-in-all it's been a rather pleasing activity. If things go well, I can handle another 6 or 7 before my real life activity picks up again. To be able to do that effectively, however, while the search for a more permanent editor-in-chief continues, I would like to move the effective deadline forward to 10pm UTC. This is two hours earlier than has been traditional, but the feeling I have got over the past 2-3 issues is that 10pm is very feasible. In the meantime, if you think you can be The Signpost's new editor-in-chief, put yourself forward :)

I would also like to take this opportunity to mention a few other things:

  • I have been developing a script that reduces the workload of editors-in-chief. It managed a 50% reduction last night and I hope to push that down further over the next weeks. The nominal editor-in-chief requirement is therefore running at around 15 minutes per week.
  • As most regulars will know, it's always N&N and ITN that are the sticking points on each issue. There must be a solution to this problem, but our current (heavily volunteer) model doesn't seem to be of much use for some issues. I wonder if we might consider introducing some form of monetary incentive to our regular editors (although no-strings funding might be difficult to find).
  • Ideas for continuing The Signpost's efforts to expand cross-project are more than welcome. Our Sister Projects feature remains dormant.
  • Personally I would also like everyone to consider the issue of opinion pieces. I realise this has been a mixed area in the past, but I'm not sure where the consensus lies this days. Are opinion pieces (and editorials) acceptable? What if both sides on an argument shared "columns" in the same article?
  • Does The Signpost have a place in efforts to make Wikipedia feel more like a community? Would offering an email subscription be a good way for part-time editors to feel "in touch"? Can we expand into that area? These, to my mind, are also interesting questions.

Just a few things to consider. Anyway, thanks everyone for your ongoing help with The Signpost and happy editing :) - Jarry1250 [Weasel? Discuss.] 18:17, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

In regards to your cross-project question, I was wondering if anyone would be interested in doing a "themed" issue of the Signpost where two or three features build off of a similar topic. For example, since Wikimedia's expansion into India has been in the news a lot this year, I thought we could have a WikiProject Report on WikiProject India, resurrect the Sister Projects section to interview admins from the Indian/Hindi Wikipedia, drag the Dispatches out of retirement to report on how people can improve articles that are not in their native language, and maybe sprinkle N&N and ITN with some news items about India or the Indian Wikipedia. Anyone interested? -Mabeenot (talk) 22:33, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
That sounds good. To grab the thistle slightly, Sister Projects requires being able to contact people on other projects, and Dispatches has an odd approval process that involves FA delegates and things. It's a neat idea though (maybe we could even add in some opinion based reporting?). - Jarry1250 [Weasel? Discuss.] 11:28, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
I'm willing to contact people on other projects. ~~Ebe123~~ talkContribs 20:47, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
I am all for opinion pieces so long as differing views are given equal footing. I think editorials should either run in pairs, or if that is unfeasible (if good editorials are being held hostage by a lack of people writing a counter), then say the publishing of an inclusion editorial should prejudice against the immediate publication of another inclusion editorial and towards the publishing of a deletionist one. Standards for editorials should be rather high though, and its hard to fairly judge quality after a certain point so I would say that potential editorials should have to be quite lengthy. Also, good work Jarry! jorgenev 16:40, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
As I said above, I'd be willing to help coordinate an op-ed department based on my experiences with The Bugle. I don't agree that we'll need to run counter editorials except in certain circumstances, as the pieces will be clearly marked as opinion. If people feel strongly about a topic, I would love to have an op-ed one week inspire a reactionary op-ed the next week. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 10:42, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
Go for it! :) We can always run one and see how it fares-- no effort will be wasted. - Jarry1250 [Weasel? Discuss.] 18:53, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
Heh, alright! I do want to set up a rough initial page so we can define a scope, etc., before launching anything – this way we'll have some explanation when people wonder why we're starting to run op-eds. ;-) Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 08:07, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
Now that I'm finally getting around to this, it looks like we already have a department for this -- Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Newsroom/Opinion desk. I'll start tweaking that one now. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 17:50, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

Anything wrong

There's 2 days left and no article was started, is all okay? ~~Ebe123~~ talkContribs 22:34, 12 August 2011 (UTC)

Just the usual difficulties I think, not enough writers. Its pretty typical to have things fall into place only in the last minute.jorgenev 23:53, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
Things only come in Sunday night or even Monday mornings. Quite normal around here. – SMasters (talk) 02:31, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
Yes, but it's when things are slapped up after about 14:00 Monday UTC that they don't get copy-edited. This is unsatisfactory. Tony (talk) 06:52, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
I completely agree. But I was addressing the original question about "2 days left". – SMasters (talk) 03:36, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
It's already Tuesday! xP /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 00:42, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
  • It's nearly Tuesday afternoon here. But if articles are suddenly slapped together after about 14:00 Monday UTC, they won't be copy-edited by me, for one. Otherwise, it would need to hold off until after midnight UTC, so today I was able to get to most of the important bits (but ITN still a shell in parts). Tony (talk) 01:47, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
It's also not a good point in time to distract content contributors with urgent-sounding PSAs about enforcing esoteric style requirements.
In general, the Signpost has been fortunate enough for a while in regularly attracting several copyeditors, some placing an emphasis on ensuring compliance with the mainspace MoS and certain personal tastes, some mostly fixing unambiguous errors. A few of the latter kind (especially Graham87) habitually start copyediting only after publication. It might be worth reaching out to them to see if they would consider doing so earlier.
Regards, HaeB (talk) 07:36, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
At the moment, the bottleneck is the "In the news" section. Jorgenev and Jarry1250 seem to have done the bulk of the content work for this issue (also jumping in for Ncmvocalist, who unfortunately left this week as longtime regular author for the Arbitration report), but understandably couldn't do everything for ITN and N&N. I myself tried to help out by getting the gender gap section ready for publication in time, but wasn't able to do much more. Sadly, some other users who showed a burst of promising activity recently seem to have disappeared from the Signpost as quickly as they came.
Oh, and about the original question: It's not a big worry if things haven't started yet on Friday, more than three days before the actual publication time - the Signpost is a news publication after all. But as Tony says, it's not good if there are still major gaps on Monday afternoon UTC. Regards, HaeB (talk) 07:36, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, I have to apologise for not contributing as much as I could: I got a new job last week and after spending the day programming, the last thing I want to do in the evening is write and type (damn ye, Repetitive Strain Injury. I've gone back to major wikignomery like AWB and Huggle as I can basically turn my brain off, watch TV or a movie or listen to the radio and just push a button. —Tom Morris (talk) 11:54, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

Request for publicity for upcoming backlog drive

A backlog drive aimed at transferring files to commons is taking place in September. Introduction is at Wikipedia:WikiProject Images and Media/Commons/Drive Sep 2011 and and signup is at Wikipedia:WikiProject Images and Media/Commons/Drive Sep 2011/Logs.

Any assistance in getting the word out would be welcome. Sven Manguard Wha? 03:26, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

Sounds good for NAN, but larger context and interest value surrounding the drive ... could you add this in the drafting process? Tony (talk) 03:53, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
This is in the WikiProject news. ~~Ebe123~~ (+) talk
22:09, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

Request for publishing

All seems good to go. All got copyedits exempt N&N but it seems good to go. ~~Ebe123~~ (+) talk
22:09, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

Publishing date

Signpost is almost never published on a Monday. Why not change the publishing date and time to say 00:00 UTC Tuesday? Simply south...... eating shoes for 5 years So much for ER 10:45, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

It is published late Monday UTC...? About 80% of the time, anyway. (The deadline-ometer in the Newsroom refers to writing reports rather than publishing AFAIK, incidentally.) - Jarry1250 [Weasel? Discuss.] 11:21, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
Exactly what I suggested a year ago, but it was hosed down. People think the moral hazzard will operate: we'll never get it done till Wednesday then. A compromise might be to change "Monday" to "in the first part of each week", or similar. Tony (talk) 11:44, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
But we still need an official publication date: it's in all the URLs. I agree about moral hazard and I'm not sure why having it as "Monday" is a problem. Anyone subscribing for more than a week or two soon discovers exactly when on Monday it comes out. - Jarry1250 [Weasel? Discuss.] 14:12, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
My view is that it would be much better to stick to a time (with postponements unusual, not long, and for a good reason agreed to by the managing editor). If either ITN or NAN is threadbare 24 hours before the due time, their contents should as a rule be postponed to the following edition, IMO: it's not a daily journal; it's a weekly journal, with some slack built in for lag. I'd like to know whether the weekend is a bad time for editors to prepare the edition, and whether they'd prefer Tuesday UTC. And whether if that were the official time, they're happy to prepare on the weekend and Monday. Tony (talk) 14:32, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
Sorry Tony, I'm rather tired at the moment, so could you simplify a little bit for me: are you proposing a change from the current arrangement, or reinforcing the status quo? For a long time we aimed for and 80%+ hit 00:00 UTC Tuesday; at the moment I'm transitioning us to 22:00 UTC Monday and consequently the recent issues (with the exception of one) have been falling within the 22:00-00:00 window. N&N and ITN have a tendency to be written late, but generally cover the events of the whole week (unless you're making an argument about quality? I could agree with that). - Jarry1250 [Weasel? Discuss.] 19:30, 26 August 2011 (UTC)

Two suggestions

This discussion is continuing from Tony's userpage, moved here per Jarry. Pinetalk 19:55, 26 August 2011 (UTC)

Hi Tony,

I have two suggestions for the Signpost.

(1) The newsroom page has a lot of old clutter, and August news discussions are going under the "future" category instead of "August" and "August" doesn't exist. Would you mind if I archived a bunch of the old stuff to make that page cleaner?

(2) I think it would be fun to have images with the headings of each main section of the Signpost. Here are my suggestions.

In the News:

Featured content: remains as is, changing each week

Tech news:

News and notes:


What do you think?

Pinetalk 06:11, 26 August 2011 (UTC)

Pine, thanks, I'm linking Jarry, the current managing editor, to this thread. Tony (talk) 07:17, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. Regarding the images, I should clarify that I don't mean to have large images. 200x200 or something that looks appropriate for section leads would add the flavor and assist the journalistic appearance, IMO. If Jarry is willing to consider this I can play with some templates to see what looks best before actually implementing this in an issue. Pinetalk 08:42, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
Pine, I generally think the SP needs more images; I don't know whether these are suitable, and whether they'd work at small size. The Foundation logo for News and notes, I suspect, is wrongly labelled at Commons: the logo is copyrighted, so the pic is probably very restricted in usage (the SP can't claim fair use, either). These things would be better raised at the talk page: I just write one page each week. I hope you're interested in contributing to the writing of the SP. :-) Tony (talk) 12:37, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
Hey Pine. Feel free to declutter the /Suggestions page, that would be useful.
As for image, hmm, where would they go? I' always quite fancied an extended tagline of the sort you do see, where an image is display next to the reporter's name. Usually it's a dramatic photo of said reporter (in B&W), but The Signpost could always twist that and have the same regular photograph. I should get round to trying it out soon :) (Agree with Tony over licensing for that image, incidentally.) Could you copy the suggestion to WT:SIGNPOST so I can find it again? Thanks. - Jarry1250 [Weasel? Discuss.] 19:18, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
(1) I'll go declutter the newsroom.
(2) I would think that the use of that photo would be allowed under fair use, the same way that CNN showing an image of the Google logo outside of Google's building is permitted when CNN shows a news story about Google. Am I wrong? Pinetalk 20:03, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
News reporting is generally a fair use exemption. However, I'm not sure we want to go down that route if we can avoid it. Nonetheless, images with taglines is definitely something on my "to do" list. - Jarry1250 [Weasel? Discuss.] 21:03, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Jarry, I've been told that fair-use is out of bounds for TheSignpost, because it's in WP space. Tony (talk) 02:04, 8 September 2011 (UTC)
    • Sorry, yes, I should clarify that my statement above related to the law, not en.wp's policy, which does indeed prohibit use in project space, as you say Tony. - Jarry1250 [Weasel? Discuss.] 21:43, 8 September 2011 (UTC)

Layout - could it be made easier to find "In this issue" links to next story?

Hallo, I tend to read each issue of Signpost "from cover to cover", looking at the start of each story and either skipping to next story or reading it with at least a quick eye over the "Discuss this story" comments, but I find the navigation not as easy as it might be. I'm usually reading it on a laptop with a fairly small screen, and when a story has any volume of comment in the "Discuss this story" section I then have to scroll upwards to find the "In this issue" section to get a link to the next story. It's not at the top of the page, nor the bottom of the page, but at the end of the original text, above an unpredictable amount of added comment. There's a nice example in the July issue.

Could it be made easier to move on to the next story? Possibilities might be:

  • Move "In this issue" to the bottom of the whole page, ie beside the last of the comments
  • Duplicate "In this issue" at the bottom of the page when there is at least some specific volume of "Discuss this story"
  • Move "In this issue" to the top of the page (easier to find than something part-way up)
  • Duplicate "In this issue" at the top of the page
  • Offer a "Next story" link, perhaps in a small box, at the bottom of the page
  • Just labelled "Next story"
  • Or labelled with the name of the next story

I know I could use the "Single page" version of Signpost, but that makes it less easy to skip from a story which isn't particularly interesting to the next - involves scrolling while looking out for the change.

Thanks for all the good work in creating Signpost, which often makes an interesting read. PamD 13:30, 30 August 2011 (UTC)

Complaint about an ArbCom party editing the Arb Report

The complaint is here. It seems incredible that this escaped our attention. I think the SP should establish a policy to the effect that this should not happen, and that if changes are requested, a note here (and if urgent, one to the managing editor) is in order. Tony (talk) 07:01, 10 September 2011 (UTC)

I think the message I programmed LivingBot with is appropriate (it allowed direct edits to correct grievous factual errors, whilst requesting further edits). I shall include a summary of this in my forthcoming descriptive document on content guidelines, part of a wider scheme to describe existing best practice. In my mind, we cannot prohibit those involved in a case from editing the report entirely, since they are often best placed to correct bad factual errors (which The Signpost does get called out on from time to time). Whilst we would like them to leave comments instead, we can't really stop them editing directly, especially where time is short. Nonetheless, they should leave a comment to highlight the fact that changes were made. I shall add this to the bot's rubric.
So the question remains, was the content of Jayen's edit disagreeable. IMHO, he seems to have acted rather sensibly, and seems to have made no attempt to tone down ArbCom criticism of himself. The changes to the description of remedies in relation to Cirt does not seem too bad either (assuming it is factually correct). Does anyone have any factual objections to wording of his edit? Or are we talking theory here? - Jarry1250 [Weasel? Discuss.] 09:37, 10 September 2011 (UTC)
Jarry, I think the complainant is talking theory (i.e., setting an unwise precedent); and that lay behind my remarks, too. I don't have a problem with Jayen's edits, but I was nervous while reading them, given that The Signpost has to tread an arm's-length course when it comes to reporting arb business. It would be nice if direct editing by parties didn't become a regular event. Thanks for tweaking the bot; I think also that the answer lies in checking the edit-history before publication, perhaps something the writer might be willing to do. It's probably quite rare to find edits from parties (with the proviso that large cases might present problems in the recognition factor). Tony (talk) 11:17, 10 September 2011 (UTC)
I wasn't going to reply because I agree, but I think I might just note that I do :) - Jarry1250 [Weasel? Discuss.] 08:15, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
And perhaps you might review my tweaks to the Ohconfucius section in the upcoming ArbReport, since I may have a minor CoI. Tony (talk) 11:40, 11 September 2011 (UTC)

Views template

I just thought I'd mention the newly created {{Check views}} here. Basically, it makes a link to the page view counter. I thought it might be helpful to see how many views an article/list received in the month it became featured. --Gyrobo (talk) 16:07, 10 September 2011 (UTC)

You know {{}} exists already, although a better name would probably be {{article traffic}} or {{page view statistics}}. See related: {{Hits}} and {{Link article stats}}. — Dispenser 19:11, 10 September 2011 (UTC)
I was not aware of {{}} (that could have saved me some time!), though I believe the templates are different enough that {{Check views}} isn't entirely redundant. --Gyrobo (talk) 19:51, 10 September 2011 (UTC)

Reminder of impending resignation

Hey all. This is a reminder that the issue of the 19 September will be my last as editor-in-chief. As I had thought before, the couple of hours it takes away from me on Monday nights are going to make it incompatible with life at the University of Oxford, which I start at shortly. It's been fun, but I can't keep it up (though I shall retain my Technology report commitment indefinitely).

The literal requirements of editor-in-chief are not great; most of it can now be done using an automated script I have prepared. The editor-in-chief's main role, then, is to coordinate activities on IRC, fill in missing gaps, and then press the publish button. Any takers? - Jarry1250 [Weasel? Discuss.] 20:42, 11 September 2011 (UTC)

And, I think, to sort out other issues that come up, such as CoI; and to provide advice to journalists on request. This is something I appreciate about have a managing editor. Tony (talk) 06:47, 12 September 2011 (UTC)
Yes, quite right. Being a general contact point is good, too (although it's a task more easily shared than others). - Jarry1250 [Weasel? Discuss.] 06:52, 12 September 2011 (UTC)
The availability of a go-to person for second opinions and coordination has been quite important, I agree. I would be willing to undertake the coordinating/oversight role in the interim, provided that the technical publishing process could be tractable. Access and time commitments are likely to fluctuate in the remaining months of the year due to professional circumstances so it would of necessity be a provisional undertaking. Skomorokh 09:26, 12 September 2011 (UTC)
I agree that a key person is important in terms of questions and coordination. If there are no permanent takers, I am also willing to help out on a temporary basis. --SMasters (talk) 09:44, 12 September 2011 (UTC)
I'm happy as long as we have someone in the role. It's good that two people have come forward. I wonder whether you both would consider a joint managing editorship, possibly by rotation, arranging between yourselves from month to month or week to week who is more (or less) able to give the time. Let's see what the others think, but let's make a decision in advance of the next edition? Tony (talk) 09:49, 12 September 2011 (UTC)
Personally, I don't mind at all. I'm happy to help and want to make sure that everything runs smoothly until we can find a permanent person. --SMasters (talk) 15:13, 12 September 2011 (UTC)
Hi there. I have been inactive for a couple months now, but I am able to offer my longer-term assistance with the Signpost in general -- from content to technicalities. I've worked with the Signpost staff and have greatly enjoyed my interactions with them. Let me know if the Signpost needs any help; I'd be happy to assist. Thank you, theMONO 04:26, 15 September 2011 (UTC)
Hey there Mono! Welcome back. :) And thanks for the interest. As the editor(s) in chief is kind of the figurehead for the SP, I would prefer it if it was kept to a few of our more long term content writers, IMHO sorry. If you want a position though I have been thinking that the Arbitration Report (my beat) could work nicely with a special correspondent for the sub-area of case amendments and clarifications (load would be light). jorgenev 04:58, 15 September 2011 (UTC)
  • I think a rotating managing editorship between SMasters and Skomorokh (also, I endorse Tony1 if he should show interest) would be satisfactory until another giant rises to assume control —I strongly believe that the Signpost should have a highly competent, highly dedicated public face (as we had with User:HaeB). jorgenev 04:43, 15 September 2011 (UTC)

Concrete proposal

Hey all. Summarising the above, I propose that we assign a rotating editorship, where each individual publication is handled by a single named editor, but where that editor is not necessarily the same week-to-week (this is essentially the system we have at the moment anyway in the case of backups). This would be assigned initially to SMasters and Skomorokh, but could later be expanded to include other editors such as Mono, or indeed reduced to a single editor by mutual consent. The editor-in-chief for a week would handles everything to do with a given issue. How does that sound? - Jarry1250 [Weasel? Discuss.] 18:13, 16 September 2011 (UTC)

doubleplusgood. jorgenev 18:19, 16 September 2011 (UTC)
I think that would work well, especially for editors who have especially hectic schedules. theMONO 18:49, 16 September 2011 (UTC)
<Rock_drum> But yeah, sounds good. - Jarry1250 [Weasel? Discuss.] 18:57, 16 September 2011 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. --SMasters (talk) 00:59, 17 September 2011 (UTC)

MediaWiki update as breaking news

Hi, as Wikizine should be regularly published on Wednesday and Wikipedia Signpost on Monday and servers update starts on Tuesday, Signpost should publish servers update to MediaWiki 1.18 as breaking news, as it is possible that Wikimedia sites will have problems. Do you have such section? --millosh (talk (meta:)) 16:48, 17 September 2011 (UTC)

It's getting late ... publication happening soon?

Still no subs notice on my talk page. I guess there are still things to do on the edition, but I see the newsroom page notes have been cleared for next week's copy ... Tony (talk) 10:41, 20 September 2011 (UTC)

I had to leave midway through publication last night; for whatever reason (accidental or deliberate), the distribution step was not completed until this morning, which is probably why you haven't had your copy yet. - Jarry1250 [Weasel? Discuss.] 11:36, 20 September 2011 (UTC)

"News and notes" problems

Aside for the obvious problems with grammar, how did the editors completely miss these issues in this week's "News and notes" section, including the blatant inserting of POV in what is supposed to be a neutral article ("thwarted", "intemperate reaction", "put the boot down firmly on the petitioners' hopes", etc.)? This is not the editorial section. There is further discussion of this here. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 05:33, 27 September 2011 (UTC)

I suppose the obvious answer is that one of the editors wrote the original article and then published the issue, which seems like a major problem – who's overseeing all of this? Who is providing a critical eye to these articles to ensure quality? Where should someone (like me!) go to raise issues when the nominal person-in-charge is also the author? I've left a {{tb}} for SMasters; let's see what he has to say. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 05:44, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
I assume since you were aware of the discussion on that article itself, you wish to have a meta-debate here? In which case, I would like to point out that The Signpost has no obligation not to report in a POV manner. In essence, it reports in a way that reflects its readership, who, it was felt, would mostly be outraged by the Foundation's decision (rightly or wrongly). It's not for me to defend that article specifically, but I should point that out.
Secondly, I agree, in an ideal world, the editor-in-chief would not write any of the stories. But this is not the reality, which is that The Signpost cannot afford to have an experienced contributor not working directly on an issue. The result would simply be gaps in coverage, and I don't think we want that. As far as I'm aware, I wrote for N&N for every one of my 9 issues "in charge", and as I recall, HaeB's name was on most (if not all) of the N&N's under his supervision. Therefore I don't think that there's anything that can be done in that direction for the forseeable future, I'm afraid. - Jarry1250 [Weasel? Discuss.] 08:29, 27 September 2011 (UTC)

If you wish to complain about the Signpost, please be aware that there is plenty of opportunity for {{sofixit}} available. We desperately need more writers. That way the editors can spend more time editing. —Tom Morris (talk) 08:48, 27 September 2011 (UTC)

Note that he did try to fix it but I reverted him; I (who was not involved in its authorship) defend our article as it stands. It is an important issue that some are trying to present as unremarkable. Using language and noting trends that convey the importance of the story are well within the Signpost's purview. I have looked at everything in the article and it is accurate; the reaction is being portrayed as overwhelmingly negative because it was. I will just quote from one reader to show that our work is benefiting the community:
JORGENEV 09:11, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
  • While I cannot speak on behalf of my co-editor, who as you pointed out, wrote the story, I will say that in the ideal world, both of us would have liked to have read every single word in the publication, and debate/discuss the issues related with each. However, The Signpost Newsroom, like most other newsrooms, is a hive of activity just before we publish. There are multiple issues to solve and many items which require our attention. As such, we look after different sections in order to process the work. The item in question was written just an hour-and-a-half before publication. Several senior editors were working on that section, and there was no reason for me not to trust their judgement. We have so many other things to do in order to ensure timely publication. You may or may not realize that the vast majority of stories are filed at the eleventh hour (literally, UTC) in the newsroom. We do, in fact, discuss specific items and editorial policy when we have the time. For example, a few days ago, we decided against an entire potentially controversial section for this week's edition and moved that piece of work into a single paragraph in N&N. The difference is that we had a quite few hours to discuss this, not 90 minutes in the middle of a storm. The answer to your question about missing things is simple – time – we simply don't have it. I do take your point on maintaining a neutral editorial position, and I will discuss this further with my co-editor this week. --SMasters (talk) 09:50, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
    • I assume this is the story to which you refer. While the Signpost may not have an obligation to report things neutrally, I think it is probably best that reports are neither inflammatory nor misleading (see my comment here). The tone of the reporting should be such that I don't have to wonder if I'm being trolled... Delicious carbuncle (talk) 11:47, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
While I completely agree with you that reports should neither be inflammatory nor misleading, you commented on that story while it was still in a draft stage. A lot can (and does) change between then and any final copy, and at the Signpost, usually, at least one other editor will go through the story. However, the main reasons why we made the decision to move it to N&N were because: firstly, we did not want to draw unnecessary attention to a minor on a case which had already been resolved (in terms of the original complaint); secondly, we did not think that the story warranted an entire section by itself; and finally, we really did not see it as a major story. --SMasters (talk) 12:15, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
@Jarry and @Smasters, fair enough. I suspect time will always be an issue, and you do have good reasons to trust long-term contributors. More specifically though @Jarry, since when has the Signpost not reported in a non-POV manner? I thought that was one of the reasons we restarted the opinion desk? Why would it have no obligation to report things neutrally? I don't think y'all are here as community representatives that are squaring off against the WMF; you're reporting recent Wikipedia-related news to the editors of the project, and have a duty to represent both sides equally.
@Jorgenev, one quote does not make a general opinion. I can easily find counter quotes, if you'd like:

The article doesn't make it clear that a non-trivial proportion of involved editors were directly opposed to the proposal, and that WMF have been castigated in the past for implementing features despite strong minority opposition to them! As a result, it suggests WMF turning down a unanimously supported request on a whim, which isn't the case, and portrays WMF-community relations in a much more adversarial light than is justified...

That, in a nutshell, is the biggest problem I have with the article, although the rather odd diction is also problematic. Thank you to SMasters for being willing to discuss this with the editor, and I hope I won't see this again. Keeping in step with Tom Morris, this may motivate me to start looking through the articles on Sunday night. ;-) Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 16:33, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
With regard to neutrality, I agree, it was something that drove the creation of the Opinion essya and in conversations with the current editors-in-chief today I reminded them of the availability of it to "shield" N&N from more controversial content. It is a complicated issue: but I would return to my main point that The Signpost produces content aimed at its readers. All news publications in the world do that. Thus the reports produced reflect the biases of that base and here, it was felt (I think) that the community (our readers) would agree more with a moderate-to-critical stance toward the Foundation's actions than one that gave 50-50 coverage to both sides and took no stance on the issue. The perfect comparison is the BBC: aiming at neutrality, but still reflecting the liberal bias and interests of its traditional audience (the British). Nonetheless, if you said, "News and Notes should be objective, but here it simply wasn't being" then I could definitely agree with that. - Jarry1250 [Weasel? Discuss.] 17:04, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
Yes, that is what I was trying to get at. I was using "neutral" and "objective" as synonyms. Given the strong language, this read to me as taking an unduly critical stance towards the WMF, something I don't believe the Signpost should be doing. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 19:52, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
On the point that you typically don't have enough time to vet everything ... well, you've got time now. On the other point, newspapers that insert opinions (without disclaimers) into the reporting have traditionally been distrusted (although this kind of reportage is on the increase in the US, sadly). Newspapers that don't put opinions on an opinion page or into the reporting are commonly criticized ... whether they deserve it or not ... for reporting the facts but missing the point, for not being smart. The traditional solution, if you're reporting on hot-button issues (and you are, now), is to try to say something wise and not too inflammatory on an opinion page. YMMV. - Dank (push to talk) 19:59, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
We have a section for opinion pieces for a reason. Keep the news and opinions separate. This is not only good journalism, it is a long and respected tradition of the Signpost. Kaldari (talk) 20:07, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
I don't think there was any way something like this could be written about without expressing a point of view one way or another. For it to take the tack it did was rather extreme, and there's no real way to avoid it. And the whole idea of "unbiased reporting" is a total fantasy; no one can entirely eliminate their own biases when writing about something, and at least they're freely admitting they have the bias of the community here, which is kinda the reason the Signpost was started (to try to give the community an outlet for such discussions). It's touched off a lot of discussion, for sure, and I think that's ultimately a good thing. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 20:38, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
Yes, "unbiased reporting" is a total fantasy, but journalists who abandon the fantasy entirely lose their readership. - Dank (push to talk) 20:43, 27 September 2011 (UTC)

Tony1 proofing the Discussion report

Jorgenev makes a shamefully poor and illiterate attempt at resolving an intractable dispute between two highly valued editors without taking sides. He has tried to hide it in a last ditch attempt at retaining his dignity.

Tony1 is a good proofreader, however the two of us don't get along very well, and haven't gotten along for some time. In fact it was a dispute involving his proofing that caused me to leave the Signpost after one article last time I tried writing at the Signpost. I want to continue to write the discussion report, I really do, but I absolutely do not want Tony1 proofing my articles unless I get the final say on those changes (with the exception of the managing editors, of course). Any other proofreader is welcome to proofread, and I generally go with the changes (I accepted over 95% of Tony1's and all (I think) of Fox's changes), but at the end of the day there are a few changes, usually word choice changes, that I end up changing back because I have a certain voice when I write. I also don't like Tony1's habit of using "The signpost thinks/believes/recommends/etc." (which was an issue in the FS piece I did for him). I won't send something to print with my name on it if it contains that phrase.

I spoke with SMasters a few days ago over the IRC and explained the situation in part. I'll leave it to him to repeat what he said, but my takeaway from the conversation was that I could seek other proofreaders if I wanted to. I don't want to out and out block Tony1 from proofing my pieces, because he does a good job, but I do want to make sure that if push comes to shove, that option is on the table.

Thank you for your consideration, Sven Manguard Wha? 07:23, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

I am very close to going on strike over this abusive behaviour. "Out and block"? Don't make me laugh. If this is a taste of your behaviour, you'd best leave The Signpost now. And SMasters, if you're going to do things behind my back, I won't work with you. Tony (talk) 08:12, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
Tony, I wouldn't go ape on SMasters quite yet... I'd wait to see what he has to see. It's hard to totally ignore something online, so he may have just obliquely discussed the issue for all we know. :-) Regards, Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 08:31, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
Tony, I have emailed you. All I did was suggest that Sven could possibly try to get some copy editors to work with him. I never once mentioned Tony by name, nor did I suggest or confirm that Tony would never ever touch Sven's pieces. Like any other organization, we need to work as a team. Sometimes, people don't get along but that's human nature, and it's OK. We try to find alternatives that work for the good of the publication. Copy editors provide a vital service to the Signpost, and if we can work out a nice solution that keeps everyone happy, then all the better. However, I did not make any promises or any sort of agreement to "out and block" anyone. I merely suggested working with others. I hope this clarifies. --SMasters (talk) 09:45, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, SMasters. Manguard, no, you can't march in here and declare who you has permission to work on your SP text and who doesn't. I'll copy-edit whatever needs to be copy-edited, as I've done for about 18 months. Blind-reverting someone's hard work is usually considered bad manners unless there's a very good reason behind it.

You've created a negative fuss on my talk page and here that is totally unnecessary. I remind you that earlier this year you publicly admitted to conspiring behind the scenes with another user to damage me, which you'd succeeded in doing. You then created an embarrassing pantomime by printing on-wiki a private agreement between an you, an arb, this other person, and me—with utterly no reason to do so. We all just turned our heads away from it.

There's a slight question-mark over your immediate highlighting of the work of one of your wikifriends in your first piece here; we're careful to avoid even the appearance of CoI (this is someone who dumped obscenities directed against me in The Signpost's IRC room, so I'm wondering whether another conspiracy is afoot). Aside from this, you might remember that only a few days ago I encouraged you to join the SP in response to your message on my talk page (again, an apparent spin-out by you). Why not drop the out-of-control reactions, because the rest is very good: you write well, you have the energy, the SP needs you. Please don't insult and mistreat me in the process. Tony (talk) 10:26, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

  • Aaaaccckk! This hurts, why can't things always be easy? :( Seriously, this is a pretty thorny situation and it looks from the way things are going that one side must break, and that is clearly a loss for the signpost. Looking over the history, I see that both parties are experts at subtle digs (something I respect!) and now here it looks like they are on a 100% collision course (banning a copyeditor from copyediting is untenable and would be a major slap in face, one I know I wouldn't grin and bear if it was me, and I also know that I would feel negative about having my work edited by someone I had beef with). I see no practical solutions. So I instead offer an impractical one. Lets pretend that everything is ok! And by that I mean, you know what to do. And, lets erase this section from the archives. JORGENEVSKI 10:59, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
    • It's embarrassing, so totally unnecessary. It makes me want to leave The Signpost. Why should I put my scarce time into something that bounces back as crap? Tony (talk) 11:16, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
I meant to post this earlier, but I was called away on an emergency.
Tony1: Simply put, every time we interact, you and I come to some sort of heated exchange. This is no exception. With four other copyediors, I see no reason why we should have to interact, and yet you decided that, despite Fox having already copyedited my piece, and despite a very long history of sour interactions between the two of us, that you just had to copyedit my report. When I reverted your copyedit, saying that I would put most of it back in later, and giving you what I think was a very good reason for the revert, you put it back and left a dickish response on your talk page. Finally, I am sick and tired of you telling me what I should and should not do. I don't really care what you think I should or shouldn't do. How could you, the person who's treated me the worst of of any still active users on this entire website, think that I would pay any heed to your suggestions on what I say and what I do. I'm not here to annoy you, I'm hear to help the signpost. While I'm doing that, I would appreciate it if you stayed the hell away from me, since clearly you can't come within ten paces of me without being condescending or outright hostile.
SMasters' statement about the "out and block" statement is correct. Pretty much what happened in that conversation was that I mentioned to him that Tony1 and I don't work well together, and that I didn't want him to copyedit my pieces. He suggested the GOCE. That's it. The "out and block" statement, which I never mentioned to SMasters, first appeared at this thread. I was saying that I can, and if I have to, I will, revert on sight any edits Tony1 makes to my pieces if that becomes the only option I have left. I tried to leave the door open to Tony1 continuing to copyedit my pieces, but that door is now closed. As I said above, it's clear that we simply can't work together.
I'm sorry, I really didn't want it to come to this, I was hoping that Tony1 would just stay away, but that didn't happen. In the piece running on the 31st, I committed to two more editions. A special edition on the 8th, and a regular edition on the 15th. After those are done, I will assess how things have gone, taking into account any further interactions with Tony1, as well as other factors, and make a decision about a long term commitment to the discussion report. Sven Manguard Wha? 11:37, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
The last post I read before being called away was the one by SMasters at 09:45. In response to Tony1's posting:
1. If you're implying that my running of the survey is COI related, or part of a conspiracy, you're even more paranoid than I had you pegged for. The truth of the matter is that I went to the very first discussion reports (which I followed from the link on the resources page) and looked at what was covered there. Surveys were covered, so I covered the survey. The reason I asked Okeyes for a quote is because, unlike the discussions which I could read up about, I had no freaking clue what the survey was about, what its background was, or anything like that. All I had was the little blue box he sent. The quote allowed for me to put good content related to the survey into the report, so I did. I'd have done the same thing had the survey been done by any other WMF employee. As for your personal disputes with Ironholds, I don't know anything about them, although I certainly don't have trouble believing that such disputes do in fact exist.
2. It was Adam, not myself, that repeatedly published the private agreement. As for the whole 'conspiracy' with him, you're absolutely right, I worked to get you to leave Featured Sounds. Adam might have helped it along, but the moment you went after La Pianista the way you did (something I will never forgive you for) no one needed to convince me that FS was a whole lot better without you. Now, since both of us have a whole lot of damaging things to say about each other from that whole affair, we should drop that part of our history from the discussion sooner, rather than later, as this is already getting uglier than either of us should want.
3. Unless there is anything further, I see no need for this discussion to continue. Being this angry is bad for one's health. Sven Manguard Wha? 11:54, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

There's a whole lot of ugliness, utterly unneeded ugliness, in that box. The only people that any of that is going to affect are Tony1 and I, it's not going to hurt the readers, they're never going to know this existed, and it's not going to hurt the Signpost, I seriously doubt that either of us are going leave the Signpost over this (a silver lining to our collective stubbornness, to be sure :D ).

A wise man once said "Lets pretend that everything is ok!". I propose we endorse that advice and move on. As an olive branch to Tony1, I had to add some last minute updates to the verifiability thread on the discussion report, and they could use a copy edit... Sven Manguard Wha? 16:06, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

Real life is getting in the way, in a big way, right now. I will be pretty unavalible for the next 25 hours (until noon Monday, UTC+8). Hopefully it'll all be flowers and kittens by then, and we can forget any of this ever happened. If something does come up, I'll be able to check my watchlist about once every two hours, maybe. Sven Manguard Wha? 02:57, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
...nice to know I'm not the only elephant in the room... ResMar 02:59, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
Don't you dare label what I've put here as "ugliness". That title can go to someone else, if anywhere. Tony (talk) 08:13, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

I have updated the title for further accuracy. JORGENEV 09:00, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

Italian wikipedia is on strike

See this message. Maybe the WMF should be more concerned about things like this than petty image filters. --Voyager (talk) 18:29, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

Huh? I don't understand how this law could affect anything, since the Wikimedia Foundation isn't based in Italy...? --Yair rand (talk) 18:39, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
The proposed law is not aiming at the foundation but at individual authors. -- (talk) 18:42, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
WMF is not the one at risk here, but the individual editors who create the content for the Italian Wikipedia -- many of whom are subject to Italian law. (I wish I could believe that were the Italian legal system to enact & enforce this law, the foundation would do anything except roll over & submit?) This is truly a disturbing development, & I am saddened for the lot of Italian citizens who face such an onerous law. -- llywrch (talk) 19:04, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
I don't see why the law wouldn't encompass en.WP, which is viewable in Italy. All it takes is for a legal action in an Italian court against any of us, and unless we hire an Italian lawyer there'll be a default judgement against us. This will simply be passed to the court system in our own jurisdiction. Tony (talk) 11:38, 5 October 2011 (UTC)