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

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A proposal regarding WikiProject History

By DCI

Below are some ideas on restructuring and revitalizing WikiProject History. You may have been notified of this already, as I have left messages on the talk pages of related projects and of editors who may be interested in this idea.

Ed. note: comments on this proposal are welcome at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject History#A Proposal.

General Points

  • Restructure the front page so that it more closely resembles that of WikiProject Military History. This design is easy to navigate, and getting to specific areas of the WikiProject is made quicker and less difficult.
  • Forge closer ties with some of its "daughter" projects. WikiProject History should serve as a focal point for history-related article improvement drives and discussions, and should be a community of editors supportive of smaller, fairly inactive region-specific history projects.
  • Expand the A-Class review process. This should be a major function of WikiProject History (conducting A-Class reviews for smaller, "daughter" projects).
    • A-Class reviews can be closed only by the Assessment and Review Coordinator or one of his/her delegates. The coordinator/delegate must follow reviewer consensus when determining whether or not to close a review. Any member of any History WikiProject is eligible to be a reviewer.
    • The Assessment and Review Departments should work on developing articles to GA and FA status.
  • Host task forces devoted to improving recently-created articles. Some editors should work with WikiProject Deletion Sorting to save as many quality history-related AfDs as reasonably possible. WikiProject History shall create a fairly inclusive New Article Task Force, the members of which will devote part of their time on Wikipedia to improving and expanding new articles. The Contest Department of the website (see below) should institute a "DYK Contest" for members of this task force.
  • WikiProject History should be less of a "front-line" WikiProject, unlike the Military History WikiProject in this regard, and more of a coordinating effort. An enhanced A-Class review process and forging relations with "daughter" projects would help to achieve this goal.

Membership and Leadership

  • All current WikiProject History members would be members of the new, revitalized project. WikiProject Military History members, as well as members of all region-specific history projects, would be automatically inducted into the project, although these users could opt out at any time.
  • All members of the WikiProject should have an equal say in WikiProject affairs .
    • However, a group of five coordinators should be elected by all editors that are part of the abovementioned categories to make the WikiProject "flow" smoothly. These coordinators must have been members of the WikiProject or an affiliate for at least six months. They would serve for twelve months each, and would be elected in February of each year. The candidate with the highest percentage of the vote will be appointed chief coordinator, and will appoint the other four coordinators to head the departments that'll be listed below.
    • Each coordinator would have a specific task, or "department".
      • Chief Coordinator. This coordinator would serve as a guide to other coordinators and members of the project.
        • The chief coordinator would have authority to appoint members to Project Review Panels, which would assess the functionality of different parts and "daughter projects" of WikiProject History.
      • Assessment and Review Coordinator. This coordinator would sort and (close A-class) reviews, with the help of two delegates that s/he could appoint. He or she would coordinate the Assessment Department and the Review Department. The A+R Coordinator would work with Project Review Panels to improve the quality of articles coming within the project's scope.
      • Membership Coordinator. This coordinator would deal with membership issues, and would direct and judge "contests" on the project. He or she would coordinate the Contest Department.
      • Resources and Assistance Coordinator. This coordinator would assist members in need. He or she would coordinate the Resources Department, and would provide assistance to members who need guidance or support with articles. This is in contrast to the Membership Coordinator, who would deal with issues and run contests.
      • Content Coordinator. This coordinator would work on improving articles in need, and would direct efforts and drives related to this. This person would coordinate the Content Matters Department.

Coordinators should defer to member consensus when encountering major issues or when making important decisions while carrying out the duties of coordination.

Front Page

As I am no expert at page designing, I will list some ideas I have on how a front page ought to look, at least from my perspective:

  • The front page should feature an A-class article weekly, changing with Wikipedia's featured article on Saturdays/Sundays.
  • The front page should be topped by tabs leading to each Department. Some departments, including the Assessment, Review, and Content Departments, along with some news bits, etc. that deserve a piece of the page, should be given "boxes" that fill the page.
  • Membership information should be provided down a ways on the page, along with a list of members where one can sign up as a project member.
  • Collaboration between "daughter" projects should be stressed on this front page.

Role on the Encyclopedia

The three pillars of this project should be:

  • Activity.
  • Coordination.
  • Increasing Knowledge.

WikiProject History should be active, helping to coordinate its "daughter" projects on a daily basis and conducting A-class reviews at a reasonable speed. It should be constantly working to increase knowledge by improving articles and assessing them appropriately. It should be an integral part of the encyclopedia, and an example of editor collaboration on improving the coverage of a subject area they are interested in. Let's make WikiProject History a part of Wikipedia's future.