Anybody who does much new page patrolling quickly realizes that there is a frequent dilemma: you see a page that is not acceptable in its current state, and you would like to give the creator a chance to improve it, but you know that if you simply add tags and mark the page as patrolled, there is a good chance that it will never change, and if it never changes, it will never come up on your watchlist and you will never have any prod to look at it again. The most common response is to nominate such articles for deletion. This is of course a hostile way to treat new editors, but how else can we keep Wikipedia from being overwhelmed with junk?
I would like to propose a mechanism that I think would be helpful. The idea is to give editors the ability to add "ping"s to their watchlists, so that at some fixed time in the future the article comes up on the watchlist regardless of whether it has been edited in the meantime. More specifically, the ping mechanism should allow an editor to specify a delay interval and a note that will appear in the watchlist.
For example, suppose I am patrolling a new article about FooBar Incorporated, and I see nothing to establish notability. Instead of immediately nominating the article for deletion, I could add an article tag and perhaps a talk page message, and set a watchlist ping for one week in the future, with a note saying "needs to establish notability". If the article receives no further edits, in one week my watchlist would contain an entry like this:
- (Ping) FooBar Incorporated; 16:49 (needs to establish notability)
It doesn't seem to me that this would be very difficult to implement, and if widely used it might have a chance to significantly reduce the hostility perceived by new editors. The mechanism would also be useful outside new page patrolling, in contexts where an article contains something unacceptable but it is desirable to give other editors a chance to fix the problem before any enforcement action is taken.