Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history/News/July 2011/Op-ed

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RFA: your community needs you

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By WereSpielChequers

I remember first looking at Wikipedia:Requests for Adminship (RFA) in September 2007. I'd been editing wikipedia for about 6 months and had started to wonder how this community ran itself. I can't remember which particular RFA I saw, but there was clearly some unwritten rule as to who could vote, and I left if it for a while. During 2008 I returned to RFA, first as a !voter, then as a candidate, then in 2009 as a successful candidate and an analyst and more recently I've nominated some successful candidates.

At some point in 2008 or 2009 I became interested in the lack of new admins at RFA, and in late 2009 I started to measure it.

What soon became clear was that RFA was in a drought. The community has had a dearth of new admins since some time in March 2008 when Rollback was unbundled. During 2009 and 2010 the drought oscillated but with a strong tendency to deepen. 2008, 2009 and 2010 each had less than two thirds as many new admins as the previous year, whilst by the end of 2010 the number of active admins had fallen to less than three-quarters of its peak.

Despite the poor figures in the last two months, there are some indications that the process might at last be bottoming out, with the first half of 2011 yielding almost as many new admins as first half of 2010, and the number of active admins on the 30th June 2011 was almost identical to the figure from six months before (though the number of active admins has probably been boosted by the newly implemented process of email notification of changes to your userpage).

Even if the rate of decline doesn't steepen, half a dozen new admins a month is insufficient to maintain numbers longterm. I would prefer to keep our community as one where most admins are editors like me who spend most of our time here improving articles, and just occasionally wield the mop to clean up some mess. But that model will only work if we have large numbers of admins, as the fewer admins we have the more we will depend on those who give up editing and spend most of their time mopwielding. This project has produced many fine admins over the years, and I'm hoping a few more of you can be tempted to run at RFA. I know the process has something of a reputation as a hazing ceremony. But in my experience if you are a content contributor and have a year or so of block free activity, have done enough vandal fighting or newpage patrolling for people to see you either understand when someone should be blocked or when an article should be deleted then RFA isn't really that hard. Anyone here ready to step up to the mark?

ϢereSpielChequers 16:55, 10 August 2011 (UTC)

Successful requests for adminship on the English Wikipedia
Month\Year 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 Totals
January 2 13 14 44 23 36 6 6 3
February 2 14 9 28 35 27 9 7 9
March 8 31 16 34 31 22 13 2 9
April 6 20 25 36 30 12 14 8 3
May 10 23 17 30 54 16 12 8 6
June [1] 24 13 28 28 35 18 12 6 4
July 3 11 17 31 26 31 16 10 7 4
August 4 9 12 39 26 18 12 11 13
September 0 17 29 32 22 34 6 8 6
October 0 10 16 67 27 27 16 7 7
November 3 9 27 41 33 56 11 13 4
December 1 15 25 68 19 34 9 6 1
Total promoted
44
123
240
387
353
408
201
121
75
38
2000
Total unsuccessful
n/a[2]
n/a
63
213
543
512
392
234
155
55
2167 [3]
Total RfAs including by email
44
123
303
600
896
920
593
355
230
93
4157[4]


Key

  0–5 successful RFAs
  6–10 successful RFAs
  11–15 successful RFAs
  16–20 successful RFAs
  21–25 successful RFAs
  26–30 successful RFAs
  31–35 successful RFAs
  36–40 successful RFAs
  41–50 successful RFAs
  51–60 successful RFAs
  More than 60 successful RFAs

Notes

Originally sourced from User:NoSeptember/Admin stats#Year to year comparison of promotions by months, copied here and colour-coded. Updates from Wikipedia:Unsuccessful adminship candidacies (Chronological) and active admins from User:NoSeptember/Admin stats and Revision history of Wikipedia:List of administrators

  1. ^ 33 had been appointed in early 2002
  2. ^ Early RFAs were done by Email and only the successes are known
  3. ^ 2004–2011
  4. ^ unsuccessful for 2002 to 2003 are not available

See also


WereSpielChequers is a Wikipedian who lives in London, started the death anomalies project, and has been known to copyedit and or review at FAC the occasional article about battleships, tanks, pilots, and battles. However, he still considers himself too much of a hippy to actually join the Milhist project. He has made something of a study of RFA - the process by which Wikipedians make "Requests For Adminship"