Wikipedia talk:Portal/Archive 5

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Contents

A list of portals

As part of some work I've been doing to clean up the Portal namespace, I've generated a nifty sortable list of all portals (including broken, incomplete, and redirected portals) at User:Zetawoof/PortalList. Zetawoof(ζ) 04:53, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Related templates for portal creation

Hello all, I was working on the food and drink related portals and have come across or created several templates that are all used in creating portal pages. The thing is that while they are all related, they were never linked. So what I have done is link them all together under their "See also" sections. I have also improved the documentation a little because most info on usage was sparse at best.

These are them:

Main portal creation templates:

These templates are used to create the articles on the sub-pages:

--Jeremy ( Blah blah...) 00:35, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

And, while we're cleaning stuff up, what's the chances that we can move the portal layout templates (i.e. Portal:Boxheader) to template space? I'm not sure why they were ever put in the Portal namespace to start with... Zetawoof(ζ) 02:53, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

Done. I also made a simple list template to put on the see also pages so we will not have to change the see also section on dozens of pages every time another is added. {{Portal template list}} --Jeremy ( Blah blah...) 20:24, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

There are still a bunch of alternate layout templates:


Some of the unused formats can probably be deleted. Zetawoof(ζ) 00:55, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

Items on portals

For anyone who is interested, Derek Andrews has created Template:No selected item which can be used as a warning for selecting items such as selected article and selected picture not being displayed the next month. Simply south is this a buffet? 21:55, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

The template appears to have an error in it. --Jeremy (blah blah 01:24, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

Portal placement in articles

I have found something a bit confusing regarding the placement of portals. In most cases the portal should go under the See also section however someone recently pointed out to me that the Biography portal says to put it above the categories so they placed said portal between the defaultsort and the categories. I think this is probably wrong but according to the letter of the law that is where its supposed to go. Could I get some clarification on this? --Kumioko (talk) 19:18, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Biography Portal placement

1) Per the biography instructions at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Biography#Templates

Biography Portal - Add this to the bottom of a page, right before the categories listing, to show a standardized link to the Biography portal.

General portal placement

2) Per the Wikipedia Layout instructions under the See also section at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:ALSO#.22See_also.22_section

"See also" is the best place to link a Portal with the {portal} template.

3) Per the Template:Portal instructions at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:Portal

Location - Within articles, this template is meant to be placed at the bottom of the article in the "See also" section.

Which portal instructions do we follow? Jrcrin001 (talk) 15:44, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Layout is the primary guideline for this; if it and the Biography portal are in conflict, then the guideline rules. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 02:03, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, I recommend someone change the biography portal rules then before it causes more confusion. --Kumioko (talk) 02:16, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Layout is a style guideline, and its content is frequently disputed. Does it really matter whether it is in the See also or at the bottom of the page? --PBS (talk) 07:43, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
From a style perspective no, however there are other things to consider as well. Many of the tools used in WP such as AWB and even some of the bots have logic built in to look for things (such as adding defaultsort to articles without it, adding and removing categories, rearranging stubs or links to the article in other languages) that come before and after categories, defaultsort, etc. So although it wouldn't affect the portal it could cause AWB or other tools to skip a needed fix because it couldn't see it due to the placement of the portal. Plus it makes it confusing and inconsistent if they are placed at various places around the article. Plus in my opinion sandwiching the portal between the defaultsort and categories is not the best place for it. --Kumioko (talk) 15:55, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Energy portal news template

Could anybody help with adding the date parameter to the Template:Energy portal news? Beagel (talk) 15:40, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Does a portal need to be actively edited in order to be useful?

I'm curious what thoughts are on this. IMO, a well-developed portal, even if not being actively updated, still provides a useful launching pad for interested parties to find related articles. Such portals seem to generate a modest amount of hits per month and there is no need to delete or redirect them to the WikiProjects as has been proposed in several MFDs currently open and was carried out in a recently closed MFD. –xenotalk 14:34, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

I'm kind of mixed on this. I did !vote to delete Portal:Lost (which was then cross-namespace redirected to Wikiproject:Lost). IIRC, the portal was only edited by one editor and was not touched since the initial creation. Portal:Buffy_the_Vampire_Slayer, which had had multiple editors, I'd probably say to keep. Portal:Monty Python on the other hand... I'm just not sure. I think it's more of an enduring topic than Lost, and will probably stay relevant for years into the future. I definitely don't think our criteria should simply be "abandoned portal-automatically delete". Gigs (talk) 15:31, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
Just as a point of order, Portal:Lost was not redirected at the time of nom [1] and it was generating about 10-15 hits per day on average. As for 'enduring topic'... well, Lost is a hot topic now whether it will be in 15 years doesn't really seem to make a difference (to me anyway) on whether we keep this portal around. It is quite harmless in portal space and if readers find it useful, who are we to take it away? Perhaps tagging with {{historical}} to let the reader know that it is not actively maintained (if and only if there is "dated" information, such as the non-updated news section) would be a decent middle ground. –xenotalk 16:09, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
I should have said "subsequently redirected", I can see how "then" could be read two ways. I'm OK with tagging historical if the portal is in good shape and not an incomplete mess. Gigs (talk) 18:14, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
Let me first clear 1-2 things:
  • I opened again MfD for Futurama. You are welcome to raise your voice there
  • I would never XfD something just to make my WP:POINT
Now about the discussion:
  • What exactly is a "well-developed portal"? All the portal I nominated, apart from Lost and MASH, where created by a single editor years ago and were never developed.
  • If you check Portal:Contents/Portals you 'll see that most of the sciences don't tend to create narrow portals. Check for example Portal:Psychology.
  • Wikiprojects seem to be more active from these portals in janitorial sections such as "articles that need cleanup".
  • I don't agree with the idea that anyone can create a portal for any subject he likes. The result would be thousands of portals for every category of Wikipedia which most of them would hardly be updated.
  • The fact that about 15 people where visiting Portal:Lost per day doesn't mean that is what they were actually looking for. I guess (just guess. I have no evidence) that many of them were looking for the Wikiproject Lost and some others for alternative to Lostpedia.
  • I don't exactly get the idea ot mark as "historical" something that was hardly used and created without consensus.
I hope I helped the discussion. -- Magioladitis (talk) 18:23, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
I agree with the idea that a well-developed portal that isn't active is still useful. But it seems that with portals with limited scope, eg Portal:Lost, it is not a case of "Does a portal need to be actively edited in order to be useful?" it is "Actively edited portals have a large scope that leads to plenty of edits". So activity is being used as a judge for appropriate scope, and I think having a large scope is essential for portals.--Commander Keane (talk) 09:53, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
  • It's common sense. Portals are designed so that they can run by themselves even when we go on vacation. That's why there are random components. A portal can go on by itself for long periods of time without update requirements (unless there are sections like news that have no bots associated with Wikinews). Inactivity and construction do not bother me and I don't judge portals that way. It is the topics that are chosen that do not bring interest to the public (or even editors) that are associated with one small, narrow, or low class article. They aren't just disambiguation to a group of articles. They are suppose to offer a wide variety of topics that some even have their own WikiProjects. Are we really going to create portals for every band or group on Wikipedia and create redundancy? A completely agree with Magioladitis, and this ain't no point. ZooFari 21:45, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

Dragon Ball portal

Can someone who is experienced with handling new portals take a gander at Portal:Dragon Ball? Firstly, I'm not sure how to format it correctly, that and those red links need fixing. I guess I'm too tired now to resume, but I'd greated appreciate if anyone can help me. Lord Sesshomaru — Preceding undated comment added 04:06, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

how to add a portal in edit box?

I recently tried to add a portal in the edit box, but did not know the formatting code. I've looked at different Wiki user-editor articles, but can't seem to find anything on how to add a portal. Perhaps I haven't found the right article. If anyone has the time to help me, it would be appreciated.

Also, may I suggest adding a section to this page, re how to add a portal in the edit box. For example: "Go to the directory of portals. Pick the portal you want. Then go to the page to which you wish to add that portal. In the edit box, type the following: 'two open braces, the name of the portal, the word portal, two close braces.' " -- or whatever the exact formatting code should be. This would be a great help to new editors like me. Thank you all for all you do for Wikipedia and new editors. Eagle4000 (talk) 16:00, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

Capitalization

Most portals seem to be named after proper nouns or noun phrases, but those that aren't are completely inconsistent in capitalization. Viz.—

Capitalized
Uncapitalized

I propose, as with all Wikipedia articles (see WP:CAPS), that portals should always use lowercase after the first word, and not capitalize second and subsequent words, unless the title is a proper noun.the Man in Question (in question) 05:08, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

Agreed. Cirt (talk) 23:28, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Preponderance of portal templates

Please comment Several weeks ago, while editing Taoism, I noticed {{Taoism portal}}, which seemed redundant of {{Portal}}, so I nominated it for deletion on those grounds and it was deleted per consensus. I happened across a similar template—{{EnergyPortal}}—and nominated it for deletion as well. At this time, I discovered that there are 200 such templates all seemingly serving the same function as {{Portal}} (except lacking several of its features, such as the requirement for alt text.) Is there some reason for hundreds of templates that apparently do the same thing as {{Portal}}? Why do these exist? —Justin (koavf)TCM☯ 00:22, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

I think it's because of the images – imagine you wanted to link to Portal:Film with a nice appropriate picture. You can either pick an image of your own or do some investigation to find out that Image:Video-x-generic.svg is commonly used for that purpose and use it or use {{Film portal}}. Of those three options, the third seems to be by far the best to me. Coincidentally, I proposed recently that {{portal}} should be changed, so that each portal could have its default image, and all the Portal navflags would become useless. Svick (talk) 00:49, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
And when the project decides to update the image, you can change it in one swoop instead of going through thousands of articles. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 01:02, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
Yes, this is a good idea. Plastikspork ―Œ(talk) 01:34, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

Desperate need

I am in a desperate need of an auto-confirmed user to improve Portal:Star. --Extra999 (Contact me) 04:36, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

Question relating to portals

Perhaps this is not the best place for these question but I will pose them here anyway. I will also link this to a couple other locations for additional input. I have had some issues with portals for some time know and this seems as good a time as any to begin addressing them. I personally think that the way we deal with portals in WP is a bit clunky and needs to be rethought/restructured.

  • On the portal template and in the MOS it states that portals should be placed in the See also section. I have 2 questions regarding this point:
    • What if there is no see also section? Should a see also section be created to solely house the portal links? IF the answer is no, then were do they go?
      Yes if the portal is relevant enough to be there then it needs a section - as with any see-also link. There is no reason that a portal can't be linked to as a simple link though: Spaceflight portal. Rich Farmbrough, 23:13, 9 May 2010 (UTC).
    • What occasions would constitute putting the portal link on the left rather than right side? This isn't clear on the portal instructions and whenever I have seen a portal on the left, it was quickly changed to the right within a few edits stating conformity.
      Virtually none. It is done in the Project name-space a couple of times and on a page or two in WP space, where the templates are being shown off. Rich Farmbrough, 23:13, 9 May 2010 (UTC).
  • Portalbox
    • Some articles could belong to multiple portals, for example War, World War I, World War II, United States Army, United States Navy, United States Marine Corps (I have several examples of people hitting multiple services like this), biography and potentially more. Obviously that exceeds the 5 portal limitation of the portalbox. So in regards to the portalbox template:
    • Why is it limited to 5 portals?
      It is now 18. Rich Farmbrough, 23:13, 9 May 2010 (UTC).
    • Should an article be linked to all applicable portals? or just certain ones?
      Or indeed any? Many of these links are probably not a good idea. They should be present only if it is thought that reasonable proportion of people reading the article would want to follow them. Moreover some portals are more like WikiProkjects with "how you can help" sections. Rich Farmbrough, 23:13, 9 May 2010 (UTC).
  • Recommendation
    • As a recommendation I think we should look at making these portal links more like the banners on the talk pages were they can be nested into a box similar to the banner nesting function on the talk pages. I think that would allow for a much cleaner look.
    • I personally don't like the portals streaming down the left hand side of the page, especially with large amounts of white space to the left or spilling into later sections. So I recommend changing this so they run horizontally rather than vertically with the portals being at the top of the see also section with links below them. This way if there are no links in the see also section you don't get multiple portals scrolling down or spilling into later sections. I could look something like this:
      • Portal1 | Portal2 | Portal3 | etc.
      • Link1
      • Link2
      • Etc.
      I would suggest that if the portals of running past the text see-alsos, then there are too many portals or not enough see alsos, or both. However the quick fix is to use {{Clear}}at the end of the section. Rich Farmbrough, 23:13, 9 May 2010 (UTC).
    • I also think rather than linking multitudes of portals we should link them like we do the task forces on the talk page banners. I admit that maybe we don't want to just limit the hundreds of portals to just portal with hundreds of task forces but we could reduce them into the applicable wikiproject groups so the Military History might have Portal:War with all the portals pertaining to War as subportals within it, again, similar to the banner/taskforce structure on the talk pages.
      Hm, on the flip side better to link to the most focussed portal - for example "USAF" instead of "American military". Rich Farmbrough, 23:13, 9 May 2010 (UTC).
    • I have looked through a number of portals and some appear to have been forgotten or have been overcome by events. I recommend that we do some sort of a portal audit to determine which ones are still valid and which ones could/should be eliminated.--Kumioko (talk) 16:28, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
      Would wholly support anyone doing that! Rich Farmbrough, 23:13, 9 May 2010 (UTC).
      In the past I sent a lot of inactive portals to MfD. Portals must be of wide scope and some of the current portals are not. -- Magioladitis (talk) 08:58, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

Categories

Since they're all over the map, I'm attempting to standardize the subcategories of Category:Portals to lowercase-p "portals." About 20% of the categories are uppercase-p, and the rest are lowercase. Feel free to comment on Wikipedia:Categories_for_discussion/Log/2010_October_8#Uppercase_Portals if you have thoughts.--Mike Selinker (talk) 04:55, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

Rename was done, for the record. Rich Farmbrough, 13:33, 19 October 2010 (UTC).


Guidelines

Portals boxes have become part of the internal marketing infrastructure for projects impacting non-user space, along with project banners and edit summaries. The latter two are less of a problem, because they don't appear on articles - but portal boxes are being pushed too hard, IMHO. A link to the US Marines portal, for example, is fine on the page of a unit within the marines, a commander or notable marine, a key raining facility or battle, maybe. But not on the page of everyone who was a marine. Similarly US Army portal doesn't belong on every US Civil War page. Anyone up to starting some guidelines? Rich Farmbrough, 14:37, 19 October 2010 (UTC).

An edit war was started a few days ago at Charlie Miller (security researcher) if adding portal:Computer security or remove it. In this case I would add the portal box, but you described there are some boxes on the wrong pages... mabdul 21:13, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
In that specific instance, the IP(s) have been pushing portal-spam (mostly environment and sustainability) throughout anything loosely related to the topics. Perhaps that one should stay, but there needs to be some guidelines. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 02:13, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

Portal:Energy

There is something wrong with the layout of the Portal:Energy header. Also, text of all sections is centrefied instead of alignment to left. I appreciate if some more experienced editor in this field could fix it. Thank you. Beagel (talk) 11:15, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

Fixed -- John of Reading (talk) 22:10, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

Portals should go with the text that that conforms to the portal

I disagree with placing portals in the See also area. They should accompany the text that highlights what the portal is all about. For example, in an article about France, an "agriculture" portal should be placed in the section dealing with French agriculture. Yours, GeorgeLouis (talk) 07:01, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

If the consensus for portal placement is changed, please inform the AWB project. One of the semi-automatic General Fixes moves portal links into the "See also" section. -- John of Reading (talk) 08:38, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

That is a real bummer. GeorgeLouis (talk) 13:29, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

If what you suggested was done, some articles (like the France one) could be littered with dozens of portal links. If I read that article, I may want to read about some of the mentioned topics (e.g. French wine) and that's what ordinary links are for. But I think it's quite unlikely that I want to get to a page that lists various agriculture topics. But I might want to get to a page that lists various France-related topics. So I think the current solution is fine. Svick (talk) 00:00, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

Well, I don't. I think it is silly. GeorgeLouis (talk) 03:08, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

Although I understand what your saying and the idea has merit. I think that there are more negatives than positives to be gained by changing the portal placement standard we currently employ. Besides the examples given above there are too many ambiguities to many of the articles and the scenarios aren't as cut and dry as the one you mention with French agriculture. For example take a military figure, Well say someone like Douglas MacArthur. If you wanted to plant the United States Army Portal, World War II portal or Biography portal, in which section would it be most appropriate? My guess is if you asked 5 editors you would get at least 5 responses. --Kumioko (talk) 03:18, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

Portals are vandalism targets

This is only loosely related to the above discussion, so it's under a separate header.

The main portals are only one click away from the main page, but they are not protected by any anti-vandalism bot and don't have enough watchers. Just this morning, I see that this offensive blanking lasted for 50 minutes, and this swearword lasted seven hours. I get the impression that I may be the only editor who systematically reviews the recent changes in this namespace - my apologies, of course, to anyone I've overlooked.

Compare this with the articles linked from the main page, watched over by ClueBot NG. Today's featured article has 45 watchers; so far it's been vandalised once, and that lasted 3 minutes.

I raised this at User_talk:ClueBot_Commons/Archives/2011/February#Portal_namespace, and was told that I'd be welcome to get the old Cluebot's pattern-matching code running in the Portal namespace. That's well outside my skill set!

But if portals are to be an effective "main page" for their topic areas, we need to take more care of them. -- John of Reading (talk) 08:32, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

Portal:Cartoon Network

Portal:Cartoon Network is up for deletion at WP:MFD. Please comment here for any concerns. Thank you for time, regards. JJ98 (Talk) 02:22, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Portal links in articles are just worthless spam

Nothing is more annoying than finding the link to the biography portal in every biography. It is just internal spam, no better than a Viagra spam message. However a link to the Nigerian Oil Minister's portal would be very helpful, I have lost touch with him after he cashed my check for $1,500 and I want to make sure he is ok. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 06:16, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

Evolution

Personally, I feel that there may be a "portal problem" driven by a feedback loop; portals get fewer viewers, so they get less attention from potential editors, which affects quality and extent (though I have every respect for those people who do lots of good work on portals; there just aren't as many of them), which could discourage wider linking to portals, which means they get fewer viewers...
I'm not sure that it's possible to break out of that feedback loop. Also, the wikipedia ecosystem has evolved over time, but for the last couple of years it's been a lot more complex (for lay readers) than an encyclopædia (or any website that the average person visits at lunchtime) and I feel that portals are one of several evolutionary lines which simply didn't thrive, whether due to external or internal factors. A bit like a coelacanth. Other species - categories, wikiprojects, navboxes, taskforces, see-alsos &c - have outcompeted portals for various ecological niches, even though none of those species exactly recreates what portals do. bobrayner (talk) 16:28, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

Don't forget books, topics, outlines, lists, set indexes. There's many ways of finding information. I believe all these species can happily coexist with each other. They each have their place. -- œ 00:07, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

Are portals achieving their purpose?

Should the portal system be changed? If so, how? Guoguo12--Talk--  19:26, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

A graph showing medicine-related portal views (blue) and their article counterparts' views (red).

About a month ago, a user at the Idea Lab started a section entitled "Portals: is there any point?", in which he asked a question I believe the Wikipedia community should consider: "Do portals need to be rethought?" According to WP:Portal, portals serve as navigation aids, while also aiming to "promote content and encourage contribution". However, as Mr.Z-man observed in his reply (and I don't mean to put him on the spot), portals may not be fulfilling their job:

"I think portals are essentially a failed concept. At best, it was a good idea poorly executed. They require significant amounts of time to set up and they're very lightly used. They don't serve as an effective entry point since, except for the handful linked directly from the main page, you have to go to an article first to get a link to the portal and often the link is at the end of the article.

Editing portals is much more difficult than articles. The portal pages themselves are typically giant messes of HTML, wikitables, and parser functions. With many it's not at all clear how to go about adding new content to the selected article/image features."

The purpose of this RfC is to gauge Wikipedians' opinions on portals. Should the portal system be changed? If so, how? Guoguo12--Talk--  19:26, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

Portals lack promotion, and are a natural evolution of topics

  • It's hardly a surprise that few people look at them, given that portals get zero promotion. Which is a shame, because modern featured portals are very good. I envisage portals and good/featured topics merging one day. Many featured topics are more specific than a portal should ever be under our current guidelines, but I see no reason why that shouldn't change in future. Besides, that would actually open up the possibility of portals one day being main-page worthy, which would in itself would ramp up interest in portals many times over. —WFC— 01:42, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Are they doing any harm? The reason they're so ineffective is because we don't, as WFC pointed out, promote them. I like portals—like the Main Page, they allow a showcasing of beautiful content from a certain topic area. In addition, it allows for a bit of creativity on our part, instead of boring walls of text. I don't find portals hard to navigate around or edit at all, and I think we should improve existing portals to featured status as they aren't hurting us at all. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 01:52, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
    • I would argue portals are somewhat harmful: every extra page we add to Wikipedia makes navigation more difficult and confusing. Having over-lapping systems of portals, categories, lists and articles can make navigation confusing. Personally, I think merging portals and categories would be the best solution--we could have the attractive visual elements of a portal on the category page, but still have the all-encompassing inclusiveness (theoretically, I know categories aren't perfect) of categories.Scientific29 (talk) 00:28, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
    • I once put a lot of work into a portal. After a while it became clear that it was getting very little attention and my time would be better spent on other activities. -- Derek Andrews (talk) 13:07, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
  • I don't think portals on the bottom of article pages or in the sidebar in ugly boxes serve any useful function at all. I do think that "Links" to homepages of the various Wiki Groups on the talk page are good to have around. I'd get rid of portals altogether in article space. Carrite (talk) 01:55, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I disagree with the claim that they aren't promoted. There's links to portals all over the place, in articles, on talk pages, etc. No one uses them because they were a bad idea on the Internet in 1998 and they are a bad idea today. I support their phase-out, with the few highly-trafficked ones moved into wikiproject space. Gigs (talk) 14:01, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Every measure I look at shows that they're completely underutilized. The whole concept of a web portal was maimed by the rise of Google, and smothered to death by the rise of social networks. I'm afraid I support the people who think we're better off phasing out the portal space, starting with the inactive ones. If there are any active ones left at the end of it, we can figure out if they have any benefit and what to do with them. (If they have a navigational benefit, try to migrate them to a template. If they have a community benefit, try to direct them to a WikiProject.) Shooterwalker (talk) 18:39, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
    It looks like this discussion has died down too. It's worth having on a larger scale though. If someone wants to try again with a wider audience, I'm interested in having a bigger discussion. Shooterwalker (talk) 18:41, 9 April 2011 (UTC)

GLAM and cultural portals? (An idea)

One thing I've been raising is the potential for using portals as a way of exploring content on Wikimedia projects in a way that doesn't necessarily fit into the structure of existing categories/templates/navboxes. See here and here. Being able to explore all the articles related to things like museums, radio programmes, events and so on may actually be an interesting place that portals could go in the future. With the British Museum example, imagine after someone gets home from the British Museum and they go onto the BM portal on WP and can explore hundreds of articles across a huge variety of subject areas, and also be able to read up on news, original sources, pictures/media, books and learning materials from all the other Wikimedia projects that cover the subjects covered by the exhibitions in the museum. It could cover all sorts of things: exhibitions at museums, issues being debated in the legislature of a country like the UK or US, ongoing wars like Iraq/Afghanistan and much more. The content wouldn't necessarily be encyclopedic in the same way stuff in article space is, and we'd probably have to draft some more policy - I'd suggest that a policy might allow for portals that collect resources together about non-commercial cultural, artistic, scientific institutions or mattters of generla public importance. The idea would be to help show the diversity of content available on Wikimedia sites to people who have just found themselves interested in that particular subject by dint of recent exposure (things roughly in the same ballpark as 'going to a museum'). Portals could literally be that: a portal from some real-world thing they have just experienced into Wikimedia content.

GLAM is a potential starting point for this: the GLAM collaborations in the UK have shown some really positive ways for Wikimedians to work with existing cultural institutions. Why not bring that into Portal space too? —Tom Morris (talk) 01:54, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

  • Ooh, absolutely. That's a great idea. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 02:20, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

I can't speak for all the portals but here are a couple number for some US related portals.

With that said I also like portals but not necessarily the way we display them on the articles in boxes. I do think having them on the article space is good though and demoting them to talk pages only is a sure way to start them down the road to elimination from non use. I think they are an excellent way of presenting content to our readers in an organized and visually attractive way but in order to work effectively they shouldn't be standalone entities as many are. They seem to work best when they are used within a package of WikiProject and Portal with active users supporting both. Examples of this are seen in the Military history project and its portals, US Roads and its portal and most recently in WikiProject United States and its portal as well as others. --Kumioko (talk) 02:52, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

  • I cannot agree more—if portals have support, whether from WikiProjects or GLAM or whatever, they tend to "perform" better, and delinking them from the mainspace does little to improve their visibility. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 03:56, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
  • One very simple concept under discussion for the British Library is to create an interactive floor map for the reading rooms and exhibitions. A 3D map is a key feature of the BL website and on Wikipedia one could imagine it a key visual component of a portal and the main article to quickly tap into the articles about collections and artefacts you are most interested in. Our point of contact in the BL is currently looking for a map that can be free to load on Commons exactly for this purpose. The concept has been very popular on the GLAM email list as a way for the layman reader to grasp the scope of any GLAM collection without just being presented with a logical but text-based tree of categories and sub-categories. (talk) 08:00, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

Portals have been superseded

I've been using Wikipedia for about 6 years now and have never used portals. In the early days, if I wanted information on a topic, I'd google it. Then, when I discovered the value of WP, I simply swapped search engines. Where I once googled, I now "woogle". My point here is that I (like many others, I suspect) find it far easier to find a topic simply by searching for it; and, if I can't find it that way, I look at a related topic. In that respect, those lovely decorated navboxes are extremely useful. In my eyes, they, along with the various List of... pages supersede portals.

Having said that, though, I can understand why portals were begun, especially if we consider them in light of the enduring influence of Dewey. However, a quick glance through All portals reveals their failings. If portals are supposed to classify articles, then I can not just see several glaring omissions but also more than a few inaccuracies. For example, I would have expected the religion portal's classification structure to more resemble List of religions and spiritual traditions. And I won't even bother arguing about the grouping of atheism with astrology.

It seems to me, then, that the tasks served by portals are being fulfilled in other ways. Consider:

  • To classify articles: Categories dominate this aspect. A new article doesn't age much before it gets categorised.
  • To aid navigation between similar topics: In-text links, See Also links, Navboxes and navbars dominate this aspect. (If I'm on a page and want to go to a simialr page, why should I waste my time going via some portal page, assuming I've even noticed the tiny portal box).
  • To group articles together for collective viewing and editing: WikiProjects seem to fulfil this role. (My only criticism of WikiProjects, when compared to Portals, is that their main pages aren't always structured very well and often aren't sufficiently similar to each other to ease their use. It's much easier to navigate a new page if you know where to expect to find something).

Therefore, I propose the following:

  • That the list of portals on the main page be adjusted to links instead to the relevant category pages;
  • That portal pages be redirected to the relevant WikiProject pages, but not before the various WikiProjects adopt some sort of common basic structure for their pages.
  • That categories be moved from the bottom of the page to somewhere more visible, such as above the other language list on the far left, or near the See Also section. Alternatively, the category bar should be better formatted and highlighted. As it stands, the categories appear as an inconspicuous mass of words, making them easily overlooked.

LordVetinari (talk) 03:26, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

  • I don't think that any of the three thinks you listed above are the main points of portals. I think their goal is to showcase content related to a specific topic. There's little categorization/classification, navigation, or grouping of articles involved. It's just like the Main Page—to greet the user with a visually pleasing (unlike many WikiProjects) display of interesting content. Therefore, I disagree that we should deprecate portals by emphasizing categories. Categories are very non-visual and not explanative at all. Portals, on the other hand, are fundamentally different as they are meant to present material, as opposed to sort material. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 03:53, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
  • My comments are the impressions of a new visitor to Portals, free of any preconceptions of their purpose. If their goal is, however, to welcome visitors (albeit within the context of a particular topic), then I suggest they become more prominent on the main page. It seems that, once again, the Germans have it right. I think I prefer the Quechua version, however. LordVetinari (talk) 04:25, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
  • We were actually having a discussion about portals on the WMAU list the other day, and the universal point of view is that nobody had ever used a portal, knew anyone who had, or had much of an inclination to contributing to them, except maybe to rack up featured content credits. I think that says it all. A good idea, but badly executed and in need of significant reform if not outright closure. Lankiveil (speak to me) 00:10, 10 April 2011 (UTC).
    What about the time and effort many people put into these pages? What's wrong with just letting them sit and exist? They don't need reform nor closure. I say we set them all to auto-rotate content and leave them like that. Then they'd still serve their purpose, don't need regular maintenance, and the creative works of many users would not go to waste and can still be enjoyed. -- œ 16:56, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

Rotate list of portals on the main page?

I realize that the list of portals on the main page is intended to encompass all of the broad categories of knowledge. However, as others have said above, other portals need more exposure. Could we make that section more prominent and repurpose it as a kind of "Have you seen this topic area?" section? If we want to maintain the "basic areas of knowledge" focus, on some days we could have one broad portal (e.g. Portal:Geography), and then some subportals or related portals (Portal:Africa, Portal:Asia, etc.) This would spread the love around and ensure that weaker portals get more attention and hopefully improvement. What do people think?--Danaman5 (talk) 04:51, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

Anything that high up on the Main Page should remain constant, so users can rely on it. — This, that, and the other (talk) 09:46, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

What about a "featured portal of the month" section? /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 16:04, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

I think that would be a great idea but we should make sure that it is a featured portal and that it is actively maintained. Actually I think having a small space on the bottom of the main page to link to portals would be great but again it should be limited to those that are featured portal status and actively maintained. It wouldn't do anygood to link to some portal that hasn't been touched in 2 years. We could also maybe have a WikiProject of the Month but thats a different conversation. --Kumioko (talk) 17:03, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
As someone who maintains four portal pages, a featured portals section on the main page would be a good way to boost their visibility. I would like to see that. --Jeremy (blah blahI did it!) 17:27, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
I like the idea of a "featured portal of the timeperiod" (I think it might be good to have them featured for a week or a fortnight instead of a month, to allow more rotation through them). I ran this idea past a few people at one point, but all of them said that the people running the main page wouldn't be likely to go for it. I still disagree with that, and I think it would be a great way to help people see the benefit of a well-designed portal. I should note that I have a log in the fire on this one since I designed and still maintain (almost completely by myself) the featured Speculative fiction portal. ···日本穣? · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe · Join WikiProject Japan! 19:21, 17 April 2011 (UTC)

The German model

I think it's really worth thinking about the German model: WikiProjects are subpages of portals. E.g. the German version of WP:WikiProject Mathematics is located at de:Portal:Mathematik/Projekt. I have been an active member of our WikiProject Mathematics for a long time, but I am not sure if I have ever visited Portal:Mathematics. I think the same holds for most other project members. With a clear structure connecting the WikiProjects and the portals, the projects would feel responsible for the portals and the portals (which could reasonably be made to get more exposure as they would be generally in better shape) would draw in new experts as new editors and project members. Hans Adler 08:39, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

Once again, the Germans have set the standard. This solution brings Portals into the main body of the project where, at the moment, they seem to be off by themselves. LordVetinari (talk) 15:06, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

Revitalizing Portals

Here's an idea. When users log in to Wikipedia, they are greeted by a boring white page with icons from our sister projects and a link back to the page they were previously looking at. What if users could instead choose a portal as their "homepage" that would be displayed when they log in? Each day, they would have something interesting to look at and have a listing of important "on this day" events for a topic they already care about. This could make portals a more personalized version of the Main Page. Anyone else have an idea? -Mabeenot (talk) 17:03, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

Portal:Mythical Animals

I was wondering if a Portal for mythical animals would be helpful. Portal:Mythology is too general to make a difference in this area.Pinguinus (talk) 21:43, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

If not a portal, perhaps a section on a portal page which rotates through a number of them. I think this would work well on the Portal:Mythology. ···日本穣? · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe · Join WikiProject Japan! 19:25, 17 April 2011 (UTC)

Bolivia

I am making a portal on Bolivia. I am going to need some help, as this is my first portal. I would also want to know if people would want the portal. ~~EBE123~~ talkContribs 19:56, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

Placement

Currently, it says to put portals in the "See also" section. If there is no other article in the "See also" section then the portal sits in the section below and the "See also" section appears to be empty. This is asethetically ugly, and seems inappropriate to have it that way if the section is empty. It seems like there needs to be a better way of handling the placement when the "See also" section is empty.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 23:35, 16 April 2011 (UTC)

Use Template:Portal-inline or place it in External links. -- œ 11:18, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
So it's ok to have it placed somewhere other than a "See also" section if the "See also" section does not exist?  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 12:24, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
Sure, if you feel it helps the article. -- œ 19:55, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

Is there currently any kind of logo or symbol for portals? How about File:Swirl.png, or something? RcsprinterGimme a message 09:57, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

Have a look at Template:Portal. Each portal can have its own image, or there is a default. Your portal really ought to have a bus... -- John of Reading (talk) 10:13, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
It turned out to be Portal.svg. RcsprinterGimme a message 10:22, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

Check out new, revolutionary portal

The Conservatism Portal is going to change the way portals are designed. It is a dual portal and during the month of February doubles as the Ronald Reagan portal. In the spirit of the German design, the portal is integrated with WikiProject Conservatism. See the Featured portal nomination here. – Lionel (talk) 03:18, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

New Portal

I recomendd to make the "USA sports portal" that contains the most famous american sports (american football,basketball,baseball,golf,tennis and motorsports),sport leagues (NFL,MLB,NBA,NHL,NCAA football,NASCAR) and sport providers (Fox Sports etc..),plus their events,matches,players etc.. Ok,who will make this portal? --Wikidexel (talk) 08:51, 2 October 2011 (UTC)

Why not yourself? WP:BB. ;) -- œ 02:44, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

News

Right now, Portal:Iowa gets its news from the most recent entries to Wikinews:Category:Iowa, via the Wikinews Importer Bot. Lately, Wikinews hasn't had much to say about Iowa, which means that our most recent entry is "Texas governor Rick Perry to announce his presidential intentions," which is old news to say the least. Is there any other way to automatically generate news headlines/links for Portals other than relying on Wikinews? --Philosopher Let us reason together. 09:29, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

You could become more active at Wikinews yourself, we'd always love to have more contributors and article writers there. ;) And/or convert it to a list of relevant external links for news. — Cirt (talk) 17:32, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
I suppose I could, but all I'd end up doing is plagiarizing political blogs, I'm afraid. Actually, I was more wondering if there was a way to import more generalized news, not necessarily from the Des Moines Register or Sioux City Journal, because we don't need daily headlines, but maybe from the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, or similar? "Automated" being the key word, because then we don't have to worry about "What happens when Philosopher stops maintaining the portal?" --Philosopher Let us reason together. 21:57, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
Generally speaking, those materials are not merely "imported" but are "purchased". I don't think we want the WMF go down that road. bd2412 T 22:53, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
Philosopher (talk · contribs), I'm not sure if a bot can do what you ask, but if anyone would know, it'd be the expert that built the current importer bot, you could inquire at User talk:Misza13. — Cirt (talk) 05:39, 20 November 2011 (UTC)
BD2412 - I meant import headlines so we could link to the articles, not import the articles themselves. Cirt - good idea. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 13:33, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

Purpose of the Portal space

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
The original RfC was withdrawn by the author after factors were pointed out. That being said, there is No Consensus to depreciate the Portal space. Covering the rest of this in 4 words: Continue to improve Wikipedia. Closure was requested from WP:AN. -- DQ (t) (e) 20:22, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

At Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Wicca, someone raised this discussion:

The name "portal" suggests that readers will find the page first and use it as a gateway, but I've never seen a Wikipedia portal pop up in my search engine results. They are easy enough to locate via internal links, but in general even the best of them are not a priority to the community; the number of featured portals makes that clear. Who uses these pages?

I get that in theory, the intent is for a hub to navigate similar topics, but they aren't exactly easy to get to in the first place. As the user above pointed out, they don't turn up in search engines, so they're really not the easiest thing to find unless you're a somewhat experienced editor. In short, their use as navigation is moot. And it may just be personal preference, but I've been here nearly 6 years and never used a portal once. Considering the tiny size of the portal box at the bottom of the article, I always assumed they were an afterthought that had little to no purpose.

Also, literally every week, I see another portal get sent to MFD for one reason or another. Most often, these are portals that get started and never maintained — four years later, they show exactly the same selected article, selected picture, etc. They're just sitting there gathering dust because nobody is willing to maintain them, further debilitating their purpose as a navigational aid. I did a check of the 150 or so featured portals, and the first 20 or so I checked all had the air of staleness. Few to no updates in all of 2010, much less 2011.

So that's what we have here. A purported "navigational aid" which is difficult to access, and a purported presenter of information that often gathers dust and presents the same outdated information for years on end. My conclusion is that the Portal namespace is horribly broken and needs something. I would suggest deprecating the Portal namespace unless someone has a viable alternative for reconstruction. Ten Pound Hammer(What did I screw up now?) 20:18, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Let me self-identify as the user referenced above. Just prior to being made aware of this RfC I posted a question at Wikiproject Portals to see if anyone there even knew if the namespace can appear in search engine results. Like Ten Pound Hammer, I've never used a portal, but I have a very clear idea of the well-intentioned origins of the concept as a reader-focused orientation into a particular subject. I don't know where I can find pageview stats, but other metrics (update frequency, number of featured portals) suggest that we've failed to fulfill the promise. --~TPW 20:32, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Database reports/Most-watched pages by namespace.
Wavelength (talk) 00:35, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

Comments about deprecation

Support deprecation suggestion by tph - been here a few years and could not readily find the portals related to my editing interests. A quick look now has found some but most were created by well meaning editors years ago and are generally abandoned and not maintained and unlikely to be used as a navigation aid. MilborneOne (talk) 20:43, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose - The portals are an exceptional navigational aid, particularly to browse many related topics, per the "show new selections" option that many of them have, in which archived pages are randomly shuffled showing new information. I've never encountered any problems in finding them. Refer to Portal:Contents/Portals as a starting point. Portals add to the overall value of Wikipedia, and provide users with additional browsing options. It seems rather hasty to suddenly deprecate them as they continue to be expanded. Also, portals don't need to be constantly updated to be functional and encyclopedic, and not all information on them is outdated. Some information is historic, and therefore doesn't require updating. Also refer to Wiki is not paper:
Northamerica1000(talk) 21:13, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Okay, fine. Then find me a portal that's being actively maintained. I've looked at literally dozens and seen none. Ten Pound Hammer(What did I screw up now?) 22:09, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Why should they need to be 'maintained' at all? As far as I know it's not hard to set up a portal page to randomly cycle content automatically. The only kind of 'maintenance' really needed is to watch it for vandalism once it's finished. -- œ 10:15, 27 November 2011 (UTC)
  • I don't know if someone with over 25,000 edits under his or her belt not having any difficulty finding portals as terribly instructive. How do new users find them? And again, do they show up in search results? I can't see the value of portals if they're a tool which solely benefits a community of experienced editors - isn't that what Wikiprojects are for? --~TPW 22:18, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose — I support Northamerica1000's reasons. Maybe others just need to start using portals and adding links. Case in point: I'm the primary editor of articles related to Michigan's highway system. There are over 200 articles now, and all of them have a link to Portal:Michigan Highways. My solution is to fix the broken/incomplete/malformed portals, maybe delete some of them as appropriate, and then spam portal links to appropriate articles. If portal links get visibility, they'll be used, but for right now, many portals have no visibility. Imzadi 1979  21:33, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
This issue of portals not being linked (Orphaned!) has been discussed before (I cant find were). Some of the solutions besides adding portals to all related articles that were proposed and has been implemented by many projects was...
Moxy (talk) 22:02, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
Adding portals to talk page templates isn't the same as adding them to the articles: non-editor readers don't look at talk pages normally. If they aren't linked from articles, linking them from talk pages doesn't entice that potential audience. Imzadi 1979  22:05, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
And as I said, the current link from article to portal is so tiny that I bet most editors don't even notice it. If I see a little tiny box way down at the bottom, I'm not gonna think much of it. Ten Pound Hammer(What did I screw up now?) 22:09, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
As mentioned above adding them to talk page headers is but one of the solutions proposed in the past. I personally believe that any and all pages that contain the links many be of potential benefit to our readers. That said if some see no benefit in automatically linking portals over a projects entire talk page scope simply by one edit is up to each project. What is needed here is possible solutions proposed when a problem is found. Moxy (talk) 22:20, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
Which I don't think works either, since a.) some editors never read talk pages, and b.) I can name hundreds of articles where no one's discussed anything on the talk page in years despite the article not being low-traffic. Ten Pound Hammer(What did I screw up now?) 22:25, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
I do have a question for you TPH as the proposal is not all that clear to me - do you believe that all portals should be outright deleted or they should be moved by way of name space? Moxy (talk) 22:43, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
I'm proposing that they be deprecated. In other words, keep them around for history's sake — treat them like anything else with {{historical}} on it (except of course for the ones that are just bare skeletons) — but disallow creation of new ones and stop actively promoting the namespace. Ten Pound Hammer(What did I screw up now?) 23:06, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
So what about portals like Portal:U.S. Roads or Portal:Michigan Highways that would need additional subpages created for future monthly updates? Would you tell us that we'd be disallowed from creating new subpages? Imzadi 1979  23:32, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────

I will concede that those are active, well-maintained portals that seem to be doing what portals should be doing. But 2 portals doing it right for every 998 doing it wrong is a pretty big sign that the portal space as a whole just isn't working and should be deprecated wholesale. The very few portals that are "working" should have no problem finding other outlets for most of what they're doing, such as WikiProjects. Ten Pound Hammer(What did I screw up now?) 23:36, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
A WikiProject and a Portal are two different things and shouldn't be conflated into one. WikiProjects are about collaboration and supporting resources for editors to edit articles. A Portal is for collecting information for readers (remember, they're the 90+% of people around here that don't click the "edit" button) to allow them to access groups of quality content on coordinated topic areas. Sorry, but I must reiterate opposition to this proposal because it seeks to make a sweeping change without even a proposed method of implementation. Please come up with a starting point on what "deprecation" would mean in some detail so that we can weigh in on something concrete. Imzadi 1979  23:53, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
That's what I'm trying to get from you. I say that the Portal namespace isn't working and suggested deprecation as one option. Something is horribly, horribly broken in my opinion, and if not deprecation, then I'd like to hear what other fixes there could be. Because whatever we got now, for the most part, ain't working at all. Ten Pound Hammer(What did I screw up now?) 23:57, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
TPH, I believe you're mistaken. There're currently 1098 portals (per {{Number of portals}} and 156 of them are featured (per {{FPO number}}. That's over 14% of portals which are considered as in "very good condition" and is nowhere near your estimate of "2 portals doing it right for every 998 doing it wrong" (or 0.2%). OhanaUnitedTalk page 00:05, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
The numbers for Featured Articles are much lower, and yet no one is proposing we deprecate main space. There are 3,413 featured articles out of 3,798,207 articles in total or 0.09% and another 13,217 articles are GAs, or 0.35%. Again, I think your perception is skewed, and if the incomplete/broken/etc portals are fixed or deleted as appropriate, you'd see that Portals may not be numerous, but have quality behind them. Imzadi 1979  00:19, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose You don't destroy something simply because you don't use it. Nothing gained by eliminating it. And many portals might be for things where nothing new has come out for awhile so they don't have any information to update, so saying they aren't well maintained is ridiculous. Hopefully no one is going around deleting complete portals simply because they don't have a lot of people around to notice they are up for deletion and comment. The Anime and Manga portal gets about a thousand hits a day. [2] I'm sure others get some decent hits as well. Even if they don't have many people, there is still no reason to eliminate something some might use. Popular culture items get more hits than some educational ones after all. There is a link to the Wikipedia Community portal on the left that you see whenever you are anywhere on Wikipedia. Have you see how many portals there are? Portal:Contents/Portals If anyone actually took this suggestion serious, then you'd have to contact all of them and bring in their comment for this. Dream Focus 23:47, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Way to assume bad faith. I already said there are a couple portals here and there that do it right, but they're drowned out by literally 10 times as many, if not moreso, that are just blank skeletons. I've seen some portals where all they did was put up a few words and never even made all the subpages. And then those sit for 3-5 years before someone notices they're blank. Redwall had a portal that was so out of date it still claimed that Brian Jacques was alive despite his dying in February. And it's not just because I don't use them — it's because as long as I've been here, I've seen very few people use them in general. Ten Pound Hammer(What did I screw up now?) 23:52, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Then nominate incomplete portals for deletion if a reasonable time period has gone by since creation. In other words, don't through out the baby (good portals) with the bathwater (the rest) just because some things aren't complete. Imzadi 1979  23:59, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose - now that I realizes this was about making "ALL" portals dead by default. This will not get far I believe as portals get more user interaction then categories. I agree that portals do not get all "that much attention" by our readers but nor do categories that people spend alot more time on , in rearguards to editing and even conflicts that arise. Should we delete all the cats - I think not - so why would we delete portals that are unused more by our readers.Moxy (talk) 23:49, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
ie. Canada a parent article is viewed about 22k times in a day.
its parent Cat Category:Canada is viewed about 35 times a day
the parent portal Portal:Canada gets on average 110 views per day
110 views per day is really, really freaking low. Way to bring in a straw-man argument about categories too. Ten Pound Hammer(What did I screw up now?) 23:52, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
So what? Page views and popularity have never been acceptable acceptable arguments in deletion debates outside of redirects. Imzadi 1979  23:59, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose Yes, continue to send the ones that never get finished to MfD, but don't depreciate the ones that are well made. Sven Manguard Wha? 01:55, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose, and Northamerica1000 (talk · contribs) has given an excellent rationale, above. — Cirt (talk) 04:01, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose per my comments below. Given TPH's alternate proposal section, can we consider this initial proposal done? --Philosopher Let us reason together. 09:11, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Consider. I am not going to say that the entire portalspace needs to be deprecated, but I also don't think that the portalspace is currently attracting the attention of many users and thus is not operating effectively. (Keep in mind that portals are supposed to attract the attention of users -- they're not one of the "behind the scenes" namespaces of the encyclopedia like the Wikipedia: or Talk: namespaces are.) --Metropolitan90 (talk) 09:48, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Support. I've put long hours into portal support and maintenance, but there are too many of them and to much to do in comparison to the more important work of expanding and maintaining the parts of the encyclopedia that readers seem most concerned with. I would suggest deleting the incomplete portals and merging the good ones into project space; I can think of no reason that the functions of a portal can not be combined with the functions of a WikiProject covering the same ground. Cheers! bd2412 T 14:42, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
    • How do you mean? Iowa's WikiProject and Portal don't really have anything in common - one's a coordination noticeboard and one's a, well, portal. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 19:28, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
      • They are both about Iowa, which is somthing in common. Don't most portals, based on their scope alone, coincide with WikiProjects? Why not make the current Portal content sort of a "front page" for the project, and mix in a bit of the things-to-be-done? bd2412 T 22:50, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Support I do not get the point of portals. While they do look nice, they serve no useful purpose. They do not appear as a result on google if you type in the subject (no one is going to type in "Cornwall portal" if they are looking for information on Cornwall) and internal links to a much better job at linking between articles. They were a good idea but they only useful purpose they seem to serve is to be a reason to hang a star on the wall of a wikiproject or userpage --Guerillero | My Talk 22:47, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Support deprecation. The purpose served by portals seems to have mostly been taken over by sidebar and footer navigation trees, for the articles I've been involved with. Portal content doesn't have to be thrown away; if the information is useful, editors who feel strongly about it can integrate it into other navigation mechanisms, WikiProject pages, and similar. --Christopher Thomas (talk) 04:11, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment Some portals will not show up on search engines because they are noindexed. They do seem to get readers however. The noindexed Wicca portal nominated for deletion gets over 1,000 visitors a month. I checked the beer portal, and that gets over 2,000 visitors a month; compare that to the beer category page, which gets less than 500. That the portals are visited, however, may not be sufficient reason to keep them, as I take the point that they are constructed in such a way as to require maintenance, and often do not get that maintenance, so they are not an effective means of navigation or information providing. The visitors may simply be clicking in from links on related pages, and then finding that the page is not helpful, or is out of date. The news in the Scientology portal is over a year out of date. The news in the beer portal is three years out of date. I note that on a number of portals there is a click option to show different selected articles. This seems fine. There are lists of categories, main topics, related Wikiprojects, things that readers are invited to do, etc - a number of reasonable and useful lists. All in all it seems that a portal, even a neglected one, can offer the reader something useful. While I do not use them myself, I think the principle of portals seems fine; and while some may require updating or improving, that doesn't seem sufficient rationale for removing or depreciating them all. SilkTork ✔Tea time 21:04, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Support Very strongly support the doomed idea that they be deprecated and never included in the article. The supporters of portals have presented an number of strawman arguments, portals will be fiercely defended because they serve the vanity of 'editors', or worse. I notice, for example, that a supporter who is paid for putting content on the main page, or one click from it. They do not serve the reader, they are created, featured, and become idle because they have served the editor's purpose.

    The primary reason why categories receive less traffic would be because the reader has found the content they wanted, end of story, the traffic to portals is very likely to be the creators and those seeking a model for their own portal, often those focused on everything but the creation of proper content. The legitimate category has, after all, probably already been created, and finding citations for a list is difficult.

    The "not paper" guideline addresses the creation of article content, the creation of portals is usually a silly self reference, redundant, or a pov fork. They are vaguely defined in purpose, an arbitrary compilation, and do not use references. Lists and categories require references and/or consensus, yet these types of non-article content are problematic enough. The solution according to those who can't be bothered with researching and developing proper encyclopaedic content will be to make them more obvious, 'they are over-looked, that is why the traffic is low'. They are time-wasting rubbish that skirt the policies, guidelines and focus needed for the creation of proper content. cygnis insignis 11:34, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

  • Oppose - I maintain four food and drink portals. Each time a new GA or FA related article is created I make a point to add it to the list, there just hasn't been allot a quality updates to related articles lately. I have set up bots that actively update the news sections on two of the pages and should do so on the other two. This is not a vanity related thing, nor is there a vaguely defined purpose behind these portals. These portals feature the best and most important articles and files in the field of food and drink to be found on Wikipedia, not arbitrary random stuff as Cygnis claims. Further, these are summary introductions to articles that are properly cited (usually the lead), I do not see that they skirt the policies and guidelines as he claims. Set up standard guidelines for these portals to insure they meet proper standards and do not violate our policies and guidelines, not eviscerate them en mas. --Jeremy (blah blahI did it!) 21:07, 26 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Support per nom and the well-argued opinion of cygnis insignis. The problem of portals has to be addressed. I'm sure Jeremy is doing good work in his special (atypical?) field, but almost all the ones I've seen were abandoned vanity pages. Portals are typically forced on reluctant projects by 'box-and-star' designer-editors who only take responsible for the 'artistic' side of the work. How many portals creators are there? My guess is that they are small group of people. Anyway, I think the best option would be to merge them with the WikiProjects (as explained below). They have more relevance to the Wikipedia namespace than the encyclopedia. Merging with WikiProjects will encourage members to accept proper responsibility for the main ones, while checking further proliferation. --Kleinzach 02:56, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Strong Neutral. Although I strongly sympathize with the views expressed by Ten Pound Hammer, and share cygnis insignis's concerns about a tendency to frivolity, I am very leery of the proposition that if something is not being done effectively then it cannot be done effectively and should be abandoned.

    If an active WikiProject or other informal group is maintaining a useful navigation portal (that's a big "if") then I would much rather see a single prominent Portal link in the "See also" section of related articles than the plethora of NavBox and similar templates that encrust so many articles like lichens. If a lot of portals are useless or unencyclopedic then take them to MfD. ~ Ningauble (talk) 15:21, 4 December 2011 (UTC)

Alternate proposal

If not deprecation, then what should be done with the Portals? Far more of them are dead and abandoned than functional. What we have now is a horribly broken system in need of repair. How should it be fixed? Ten Pound Hammer(What did I screw up now?) 23:59, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

I believe you would have to define abandoned/dead much more? You are aware that many portals are self updating on there sub pages, thus meaning the main portal page may not reflect true update history ... i.e Portal:Canadian Forces/Canadian Forces Featured articles.Moxy (talk) 00:06, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
I already gave you a few solutions:
  • Increase visibility of the good portals. Moxy mentioned adding portal links to talk page banners, but we also need to add them to articles in namespace. If they're not visible, no one will find them.
I also mentioned adding them to article templates ...we also have Template:Portal bar that makes them more visible. Moxy (talk) 00:26, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Do portals show up in search engine results? If not, why? Again, make them more visible.
They show up in a search - you have to specify your looking for a "portal" (just as you would for any other portal by other web sites) IE search and Firefox search.. Moxy (talk) 00:26, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Cull the abandoned incomplete portals after reasonable inquiries. If work stopped in the middle of creation, maybe a polite query will prompt someone to finish it? Maybe the original creator has been too busy to get back to it (or any editing) and someone will finish the job? Maybe the creator just needs some help to finish.
We have to remember that Wikipedia is a work in progress: perfection is not required. That said a proposal system like that for wikiprojects may help.Moxy (talk) 00:26, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Make an effort to see if anything needs to be updated, and then update it. You'd do the same with an out of date article, I hope.
  • Don't rely on the edit history to see if a portal hasn't been updated in a while. I've seen Wikiprojects tagged as inactive, or even proposed for mergers because the talk pages are quiet and the main page hasn't been changed in a while. That doesn't mean no one is editing the articles in question, they just might not have a lot to discuss lately, and the project page may not need any updates at all. Ditto portals. Some are automated, and in the case of Portal:Michigan Highways, any regular updates aren't needed for over a year yet.

Again, fix the problems through updates, deletion, mergers and increase visibility, don't eliminate the whole system. Imzadi 1979  00:14, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

  • So get off your asses and do it. Ten Pound Hammer(What did I screw up now?) 02:14, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
    • Thanks for the encouragement, but my time is not limitless around here, and I'm not the only one. Since this thread was opened, I posted at WT:USRD to encourage editors to place portal boxes on USRD's articles that lack them. I added a box to U.S. Route 2 when I was doing some other editing there. In the interim, I've been getting advice concerning and conversing with an official at MDOT via e-mail over some comments on M-6 (Michigan highway) before that article heads to the Main Page in a few days, checking in on my two open FACs for U.S. Route 2 in Michigan and M-185 (Michigan highway) and replying to and reading the comments left here. And to top it off this evening, I've been re-reading through the M-6 article to identify any minor prose changes to improve it before its day in the spotlight. Now, are you joining in the needed efforts as well to fix things? Imzadi 1979  02:29, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
  • The obvious answer is not to deprecate portals, but to expand their visibility. If you're too lazy to help with this, TPH, then please don't waste our time with these unhelpful discussions in which you order people to get off their asses and do work you yourself aren't willing to do. Kthxbai. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 02:49, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment Have you people seen portal:Conservatism? It is amazing. Lots of featured content. It has nice, sleek design, one might say minimalist. Except for the News, it is completely automated and requires no maintenance. And in the month of February it converts into the "Ronald Reagan Portal." (Feb is his birth month.) To my knowledge it is Wikipedia's only dual portal. And.. it is integrated into the sponsor wikiproject, WPConservatism. This is definitely the portal of the future. If every portal followed this design we could see newfound interest in portals. – Lionel (talk) 08:37, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
  • What about page views? Since portals are a reader resource, I'm quite surprised that no mention of page views has been brought up. Portal:Iowa, which I maintain currently, (no, it has no recent edits - because a Portal of its design virtually never needs to be edited, that's done on subpages) has had 572 pageviews in the past 30 days. 572! Considering that Iowa is a small Midwestern state, imo that's quite impressive! The problem, as others have suggested, is with individual portals, not with portals as a whole. Some portals are doing just fine.--Philosopher Let us reason together. 09:09, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
    • I agree that page views are relevant to this discussion, but I don't interpret them the same way that you do. The article Iowa has received at least 1,700 pageviews for every day over the past year for which stats.grok.se has compiled statistics. But, on the other hand, the corresponding portal Portal:Iowa has only once during that time received more than 50 page views in a day. Similarly, California has had at least 6,300 pageviews every day for the last year, whereas Portal:California has never had more than 105 pageviews in a day during that time. I don't know exactly what this means, except that a relatively small percentage of the people interested in a given topic appear to be finding their way to the topic's portal. --Metropolitan90 (talk) 09:38, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Case study Speaking personally, it was stumbling across Portal:Cornwall (which has 877 pageviews in last month, not bad for a county) that first got me involved as an active editor of Wikipedia and a member of WikiProject Cornwall - I think if it wasn't for that, I wouldn't have ever become an active member of the community. Now, I know I'm probably the only one to come out of this particular portal, but I doubt I'm the only one out of all the portals - surely a case in point for keeping portals, they help bridge a gap between readers and editors. And now I have been slowly trying to update the portal to get it up to featured quality (but this does take time).
I agree with the points made by Imzadi, portals need to have increased visibility/maintenance. An effective way to do this would be through WikiProjects. Find and contact the appropriate Project of a portal that we have concerns about to try and update it, if that fails then we can start to think about other measures. But directly linking portals to projects (e.g. like the above Portal:Conservatism) would be in the Project's benefit as it could potentially bring them more editors/members. Zangar (talk) 09:53, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment As has been pointed out, Wikipedia isn't about perfection. We have some good portals. We have some that aren't working as well as we'd wish. I'm fairly convinced that trying to kill all bad portals would lead to a significally smaller number of portals reaching the level of quality we want them to have – just like articles. /Julle (talk) 11:13, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
    That being said, I'm sure there are things that could be done better, and it's good that you raise the subject – as long as we concentrate on "how should we improve our portals?" rather than "should we kill them all?", which is a question I doubt will lead further than to a "no". /Julle (talk) 11:15, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

I think the real focus needs to be getting these things visible. If someone needs to type "portal:" into a search engine, they are not going to do so unless they are expecting Wikipedia to have portals. That's why so many portals have so many fewer page hits than their main articles do. If portals aren't easily visible to the rest of the universe than they are not serving their intended purpose, period. No matter how much work goes into them, no matter how pretty they are, if they can only easily be found through tiny links on Wikipedia, the whole concept is broken. We need to figure out how to make them the pages that turn up first, or find some other way to make them the pages that people turn to most often, and by people I mean readers, not editors.--~TPW 11:53, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

My question: Yes, portals are severely hidden IMO. No, depreciating the namespace would probably be a net loss. However, If we have information showing that readers rarely go to the talk page or even into the "See also" section (almost always at the bottom of the articles), why is it that the portal links are almost exclusively there? It would make a lot more sense in my mind to have the portal links either next to or inside the articles infobox. This might not be the only thing done, but would surely help those portal's page views a bit. Just my two cents -- Nolelover Talk·Contribs 13:19, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

After all, if the portals are supposed to be the beginning of a readers search on a topic, why are they in See Also, which implies a secondary step in the process? Nolelover Talk·Contribs 13:21, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Featuring portals: Also, we have these things called Featured Portals (156 at the last count) - why can't we go about actually featuring them on the Main Page? Perhaps highlighting one in the "Welcome to Wikipedia" box right at the top, once a week, say on every Friday. That would keep us going for at least 3 years, and might actually encourage editors/Projects to work on them regularly to have a shot at getting them listed. Just a thought. Zangar (talk) 16:02, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Wholeheartedly endorse this idea. Maybe deprecation isn't the best option, but can we agree that the problem is that portals aren't being utilized by their intended audience? Any efforts to expose the reading public to portals would be an improvement over the lackluster approach taken now.--~TPW 16:13, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Agreed. Maybe we should utilize the space in between "Welcome to Wikipedia" and 8 portals on the right. Also, instead of using bullets for those 8 portals, we can use some kind of universally-understood & generic diagrams for each of 8 subjects. OhanaUnitedTalk page 18:35, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
FYI: The last major discussion on whether to include featuring portals, now archived on Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Main Page features#Featured portals, was consensus to not to include them on the main page at this time. Zzyzx11 (Talk) 18:48, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Arbitrary section break

I can go with that. It was my observation that the portal namespace seemed horribly broken and outdated, simply based on the dozens I'd seen, but several people have proven that yes, there are still several active and maintained portals. I'm now changing my position — I would approve nearly anything that makes the Portal namespace more prominent and accessible. As an aside, I think the "featured portal" concept also needs an overhaul. Ten Pound Hammer(What did I screw up now?) 20:08, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

  • comment Skimming over this who discussion (hit tl;dr about halfway down), what I see is not a problem with Portals, per se, but with the awareness of them. The are not well linked, not the first result in a search engine, and not maintained; whether this is a chicken or an egg conundrum, I don't know. However, I can safely say that rearranging placements could have a profound effect - if portals were linked at the top of an article, they'd be getting a lot more attention, rather than being, as has been mentioned, an afterthought. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 20:57, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Also, there could be some good possibilities to look into connecting the categorization system with the portal system, since they both work in the same realm of articles. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 21:00, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

The portal system can be entered from the top of the Main Page. Last time I checked stats.grok.se, Main Page portals get about 4 times as many visits as the total of all subportals linked from those Main Page portals. It follows that most people who click a Main Page portal look around because they don't know what it is, don't find anything they want to click, and leave – or perhaps they vandalize while they're there, since most Main Page portal edits are vandalism or reversions. It isn't people using the Main Page as an entry to portals to find their subject. So if we made that entry more prominent, I predict the main effect would be to distract readers from finding the search box, Wikipedia's much more practical form of navigation. Art LaPella (talk) 23:51, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

  • While I have always had concerns about portals, mainly that they are used to advertise projects, and are put on too many pages, I think the question about SEO is a good one . VP(T) is the place to ask. Rich Farmbrough, 00:27, 18 November 2011 (UTC).
    Actually I asked Google. It sees portals, no probs. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rich Farmbrough (talkcontribs)
    • I strongly believe that Wikipedia is missing a trick with portals. The idea of thematic sub-sections works very well indeed on many of the most popular news websites: nyt, AOL, MSN, huff post, guardian – the prominent line of thematic strips is where ever you go...except here. Our own front page top line is visually poor even from a layman's point of view: why is there a big monochrome empty space right at the center top of our most prominent page? The portal links on the right are not obvious in their purpose and seem like an after thought.
    • This might require a slight culture change, but portals would be immensely popular if we had (say ten) highly developed portals linked in a "tabbed" format at the top of the page, with one rotating slot for a featured specialist portal. (And put a general sports one up there! There's a reason why all information sites carry sports stories so prominently – a plethora of readers want to read about it.) Each of these linked major portals could have an updated "in the news" section linking in with current happenings on that topic, as we do generally on the main page. If there was a chance that these portals were to become prominently linked, I'm sure you'd find numerous editors would suddenly become interested in supporting them. (Also, a little off-topic: why not have a "most popular articles" section on the main page somewhere too?) SFB 18:28, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

I really like the idea of finding some way to include portals on the Main Page, but as recently as two months ago that was not the consensus. I have a tough time imagining portals actually being useful to readers of this site if they can't easily find them via the Main Page, and have to know enough about Wikipedia to include "Portal:" in order to find them via internal or external search methods. If we don't want them on the Main Page, then what is the point?--~TPW 19:07, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

I completely agree with this. People forget the main page is a portal, yet there is resistance to hierarchically linking it to the portal namespace infrastructure. Imagine if we had articles that did not link to articles, categories that did not link to categories, or policies which did not link to policies. The portal namespace is poor because it is poorly linked. Without the main page, the only other parts linking to portals are the meek portal templates in articles (the French do this way better by the way). With no clear linking infrastructure, portals will generally remain poor quality. SFB 19:37, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
If Portals are to be kept, I think we should eliminate those that are unmaintained or kept in poor shape, and generally merge together portals on similar subjects. Do we really need separate portals at Portal:Florida and Portal:Miami? At Portal:Winter and Portal:Fall? At Portal:Christianity, Portal:Christianity in China, and Portal:Christianity in India? We need a sense of what falls under a "big picture" distribution of topics. bd2412 T 22:59, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
Yes indeed, portals are more useful/effective when they address broad topics (offering new and unexpected viewpoints) than narrow ones (only providing obvious links). BD2412's example of Portal:Miami is a good one. In this case the portal is probably less useful than the subject article — also less likely to be maintained. --Kleinzach 02:15, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
The French example you link to is the equivalent of {{Sister project links}}. fr:Modèle:Portail is the same as out {{Portal bar}}. Rich Farmbrough, 22:16, 11 December 2011 (UTC).

Advertising this RfC

Given the strong feelings expressed by so many editors against portals in general in the Main Page discussion, I wonder how this RfC might be more widely advertised. It stands to reason that regular participants on this page generally favor Portals, and the discussion here is unsurprisingly much more supportive of them than it was there. That says to me that this discussion is reaching a limited assortment of editors, and discussions that could impact the Main Page or an entire namespace deserve broad participation. How can we ensure that?--~TPW 20:06, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

I found this discussion from WP:CENT, not from watching this page - I suspect that others who are interested in the topic will see it there. I don't really see a need to publicize it much more, given that the discussion seems to have moved on to "how to improve portals," which is a step down in community-wide-ness from "let's deprecate a namespace." --Philosopher Let us reason together. 22:02, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
I'm glad you found it there, but I did just post a notice at the Village Pump as well. I trust I worded it neutrally enough so as not to raise concerns.--~TPW 22:13, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
FWIW, TPH had previously posted a notice there. Nolelover Talk·Contribs 23:07, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment: Frankly I think the outcome of the RfC was a given based on the venue. The only people who watchlist and really look at new threads on the Portals talk page are people who care about (and thus support continued use of) portals. By the time it was properly advertised, it was too late. In any case, I am a strong believer in not just counting opinions, but measuring with hard numbers how valuable portals are versus how much work gets put into them. I think the relatively very low pageviews of portals should lead us to conduct a much harder assessment of whether our readers really find any significant value in portals. Steven Walling • talk 21:53, 11 December 2011 (UTC)

Discussion pertaining just to increasing portal visibility (below)

As this above discussion has become very long, I've started a discussion below just about increasing portal visibility on Wikipedia: Wikipedia talk: Portal - Ideas to increase portal visibility.— Northamerica1000(talk) 04:40, 19 November 2011 (UTC)


The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.


Browse Main Page portal introductions

At least in support of the Main Page Featured Portal drive, here is the collection of their introductions. In order for them to be less disruptive off-portal, I set (and sometimes added) the "TOC=yes" and "EDIT=yes" parameters. One "fix" I still found myself doing was up this section header to level 1 [now back to level 2 --RichardF (talk) 13:31, 8 December 2011 (UTC)] so that the TOC would indent the intros to subsections. I also smalled the font for this section to make it look more like the others. Another impact of this is any following sections here or on another page would need that type of fix to display properly. In case anyone can figure out/wants to add a section like this somewhere else, I placed the boxes in a subpage:

Wikipedia talk:Portal/Main Page portal intros --RichardF (talk) 16:25, 7 December 2011 (UTC)

Sorry, something seems to be a bit unstable. The edit capabilities with the current parameter seems to come and go, so I switched the subpage transclusion to a link. --RichardF (talk) 18:43, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
I switched EDIT to noedit in the parameter call. Let's see if this one works any better!  ;-) --RichardF (talk) 18:57, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
Okay, I give, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't!  :-) --RichardF (talk)
I'm nothing, if not persistent! --RichardF (talk) 19:20, 7 December 2011 (UTC)

I added

|SPAN={{{SPAN|}}}

to each of the Main Page portal box-headers, and

|SPAN=yes

to the subpage used for this section. Because the SPAN box-header parameter removes the h2 header code, that took care of the goofy TOC display issue from using a box-header on a non-portal page...finally! :-) --RichardF (talk) 20:07, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

Ideas to increase portal visibility

The following are some ideas to increase portal visibility on Wikipedia, most of which are culled from the discussion above “Purpose of the Portal space.” As the above section became very long, the following is intended to summarize the main points specifically pertaining to increasing portal visibility on Wikipedia, and to encourage further discussion of this specific topic.— Northamerica1000(talk) 04:35, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

Increase visibility on Wikipedia's main page

  • “...The portal links on the right (on Wikipedia's main page) are not obvious in their purpose and seem like an after thought.”... “portals would be immensely popular if we had (say ten) highly developed portals linked in a "tabbed" format at the top of the (main) page, with one rotating slot for a featured specialist portal. (And put a general sports one up there! There's a reason why all information sites carry sports stories so prominently – a plethora of readers want to read about it.) Each of these linked major portals could have an updated "in the news" section linking in with current happenings on that topic, as we do generally on the main page.” – from User:Sillyfolkboy (listed as “SFB” above.)
  • Featuring featured portals on the main Wikipedia page. Highlighting a featured portal “...in the "Welcome to Wikipedia" box right at the top, once a week, say on every Friday. That would keep us going for at least 3 years, and might actually encourage editors/Projects to work on them regularly to have a shot at getting them listed.” – (From User:Zangar's comments above.)
  • Utilize space at the top of the main Wikipedia page—  in between "Welcome to Wikipedia" and 8 portals on the right by adding more portal links. Should we revisit which portal links should be placed on main page? Also, instead of using bullets for those 8 portals, we can use some kind of universally-understood & generic diagrams for each of 8 subjects. – from User:OhanaUnited
  • At the top of the main page on the right, simply adding a header titled “Wikipedia Portals” would be useful. As they are listed now, they just list the portal names without the term “portal” in them, except for the “All portals” link. A header would further clarify what these links are for. Also, moving the “All portals” link to the lead of this area might improve portal visibility. – from User:Northamerica1000 (not from discussions above).
Please post regarding this subsection below

Regarding my suggestion on using "universally-understood & generic diagrams", we can borrow what's being used in Wikipedia:Portal/Directory and fill in the rest. Here is what we could use:

  • Not sure for Portal:Biographies
  • Needs some thinking on Portal:History to avoid using symbols which could be viewed as offensive/insensitive to certain cultures/ethic groups

Feel free to suggest other diagrams. OhanaUnitedTalk page 06:08, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

  • Support. I like this idea ... but it's probably the least feasible as far as getting consensus from the greater community to change something on the Main Page. :P — Cirt (talk) 05:41, 20 November 2011 (UTC)
          • Juts a note {{Portal}} groups the same way as —Preceding undated comment added tlx to keep stuff simple. Rich Farmbrough, 21:54, 11 December 2011 (UTC).
  • Support. All the ideas listed above seem good. I'm thinking perhaps the conveniently titled History.svg File:History.svg may be a good image for Portal:History. Also we can find other images if necessary at Template:Portal/Images, if we want to keep it consistent with what the portals use themselves. Cheers, Zangar (talk) 11:19, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Looks so-so. At first glance, I thought it's something related to literature (since I saw the quill and the paper). OhanaUnitedTalk page 05:19, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

Portal link placement and linkages

Change WP:Seealso policies regarding portal placement in articles

  • Rather than in the the bottom of articles in the See also section, “...have the portal links either next to or inside the articles infobox. This might not be the only thing done, but would surely help those portal's page views a bit.”... – from User:Nolelover.
  • “... if portals were linked at the top of an article, they'd be getting a lot more attention, rather than being, as has been mentioned, an afterthought.” – from User:Floydian above.
Please post regarding this subsection below
  • Support. Now this is certainly an excellent idea. ;) — Cirt (talk) 05:42, 20 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Tentative support This is a good idea if the links are integrated well into an infobox or lead template. That said, I wouldn't want the current portal template placed alone in an all text lead. The Portal link should not be an excessive distraction to the lead. SFB 15:01, 20 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Support as semi-nom, I guess. SFB makes a good point, although I'd like to know if there's more support for the portal links to be inside the infobox or generally outside it. Nolelover Talk·Contribs 18:46, 20 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Support – Having a portal link inside of infoboxes that's similar or identical to those currently placed in See also sections would be an improvement. A good placement for this would be at the very bottom of infoboxes. For articles lacking infoboxes, however, a portal link in the upper-right hand corner of articles in italics, stating, "Related portals: " (with following portal names) would be less distracting with the omission of an image for this type of link placement. This would be similar to the "See also" hatnotes in articles, with the data being on the right-side of the article. This would both enhance Wikipedia's content and increase portal viewership. Northamerica1000(talk) 07:12, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Support - I really like this idea, placing a link at the head of an article as opposed to the bottom would definitely help advertise the presence of the portals to users of WP. --Jeremy (blah blahI did it!) 09:09, 4 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Support - some infoboxes already have a portal link, see for example {{Infobox GB station}} (which has one) and {{Infobox London station}} (which has two). --Redrose64 (talk) 16:41, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

Increasing links to portals

  • Add portal links to articles (stated by several users)
  • Post at Wikiprojects asking users to help improve portals and to place portal links in relevant articles. (several mentions above)
...add portal and other links like books cats and projects to article templates like with Template:The Beatles
...add portals to cats as with Category:September 11 attacks
...use Template:Portal bar to make them more visible in articles – (from User:Moxy's comments above)
  • “...connecting the categorization system with the portal system, since they both work in the same realm of articles.” – from User:Floydian above.
  • Directly link portals to Wikiprojects. – (From User:Zangar's comments above.)
Please post regarding this subsection below
—It's a user-friendly graphic layout that promotes the portals, and the graphics in the format adds eye-appeal. —Northamerica1000(talk) 06:51, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
  • I agree with the above and believe this is the least controversial of the suggestions. Already successful on the French wiki, it is a simple, elegant and non-intrusive link to portals. SFB 10:43, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Support. Another great idea, makes tons of sense, zero downside. ;) — Cirt (talk) 05:42, 20 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Support. Exactly what I had in mind. Obviously we'll have to play with what images are used and the size of them, but I fully support the concept. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 18:57, 20 November 2011 (UTC)
However I'll note that unlike the French wiki, we should figure out how to put this inline at the top right of an article. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 19:34, 20 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Support. I really like the look of the {{Portal bar}} - a great improvement and being a horizontal bar it will not intrude on any of the article content, so I think editors will more readily apply it than the sideboxes we currently use. Zangar (talk) 11:27, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment - Just to clarify that my suggestion of "Directly link portals to Wikiprojects" was more about structurally linking to the WikiProject (rather than wikilinking). Basically, that a WikiProject would be primarily responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of their related portals, hopefully ensuring work is semi-regularly done on the portal at a project-level. But this probably also falls inline with the "add portals to talk page headers and integrate the templates with sub projects" suggestion. Cheers, Zangar (talk) 11:34, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment: I wonder if we can make a random portal lister like the random portal elements which lists a random five featured portals any time the main page is viewed. This might help increase exposure to the featured portals and encourage people to work to get portals to featured status. ···日本穣? · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe · Join WP Japan! 07:48, 26 November 2011 (UTC)
  • The last discussion about improving the visibility of portals on the main page was soundly against, and punctuated with sentiments like "portals are lame." Those are the editors you want to participate here if you ever wants portals to have a real impact on non-editing users.--~TPW 10:49, 26 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Directly linking portals to WikiProjects, and vice-versa is a useful addition that encourages user participation in Wikiprojects and portals, and is a user-friendly way to link the contents of these highly-related page types. Northamerica1000(talk) 07:50, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
See below – Integrate portals with WikiProjects, using links such as tabbed headers. Northamerica1000(talk) 08:23, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

Improve the portals themselves

  • Improve the portals themselves and portal designs (many mentions above). Example:
Portal icon Conservatism portal

— automated, requires little maintenance, a “dual portal” integrated into Wikiproject Conservatism. "This is definitely the portal of the future. If every portal followed this design we could see newfound interest in portals." – (Summary from User:Lionelt's comment above.)

Please post regarding this subsection below
  • Support. I'm on this already. As a result of this discussion, I've gotten the idea to start improving the portals linked at top right of Main Page, starting out at first with Portal:Arts. Feel free to help out with the first one, we can coordinate at Portal talk:Arts. ;) — Cirt (talk) 05:44, 20 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Support per Cirt (talk · contribs). I've been around to improve the Animation portal myself, so far its been pretty slow and hard, if there were lot of users around to help it. JJ98 (Talk / Contributions) 10:58, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Support - If portal links become more visible in articles, then the likelihood of viewers viewing them increases, which corresponds with the likelihood of increased user additions and improvements to portals. The improvement of portals in general is a great way to improve the overall Wikipedia project. Northamerica1000(talk) 07:23, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

Improve portal listings in search engines

  • Improve portal listings in search engine results. – (Stated by several users above).
  • Note: Increased page views tend to correlate with higher listings in search engines, particularly with Google. Increased page views of portals via increased visibility would likely eventually get them listed higher in search engines. – from User:Northamerica1000 (not from discussions above).
Please post regarding this subsection below
  • Support. However, this appears to be a statement of intended outcome, rather than a suggestion of what to do to improve the situation itself right now. ;) — Cirt (talk) 05:45, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

Merge Integrate portals with WikiProjects, using links such as tabbed headers

  • Integrate portals with WikiProjects and a QA process similar to the one used in parts of the German Wikipedia.
Please post regarding this subsection below
  • Support. Hans Adler 12:30, 20 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment. An interesting suggestion, but I think that this would have an impact on the wider culture of the English wikipedia and not just portals. I don't think this is really the place to be having this discussion, as it is more about increasing visibility of portals rather than changing their usage. But it's worth suggesting later once this has been sorted out. Thanks, Zangar (talk) 11:40, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
    I don't expect this to be implemented based on some form of vote here. But I thought this is the best place to tell people about this option and see whether there is a chance to get support for it in a more appropriate place. Hans Adler 07:54, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Support. This makes sense since the project (or a project member) is responsible for starting a portal in the first place. Integrating the portal with the project would make it less likely for the portal to be abandoned. --Kleinzach 15:37, 26 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Support per Kleinzach and the OP. Ten Pound Hammer(What did I screw up now?) 19:32, 26 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose – Merging the content of portals and Wikiprojects may make pages too long to view, read and navigate comfortably. Furthermore, it's uncertain how this type of merge would increase portal visibility on Wikipedia. Rather, linking portals to WikiProjects is a useful addition that encourages user participation in Wikiprojects and portals, and is a user-friendly way to link the contents of these highly-related page types. Northamerica1000(talk) 06:59, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
    Linking them is precisely what this proposal is about. Have you followed my link to the German mathematics portal? The tabs there are nothing more than links and don't slow down anything. They increase visibility of the portals to project members, and by keeping the portals in the minds of those most qualified to care about them, they should improve quality. Once the quality of portals is sufficient so that they can be linked more prominently from article space, the links in the other direction will improve visibility of WikiProjects to our readers. This should help us get new editors with expert knowledge, as they will see discussions among colleagues. (In science WikiProjects, there are typically many real name accounts, so they may even recognise people they already know.) Hans Adler 07:49, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
A tabbed header is a great way to link portals and Wikiprojects. The title of this section seems congruent with information at Wikipedia:Merging, hence the oppose vote above for merging the contents of these types of pages. Northamerica1000(talk) 07:56, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Important Note – This section appears to be about integrating portals and Wikiprojects with links, such as with tabs, rather than merging their contents into one article. Northamerica1000(talk) 08:06, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Good clarification. While I would oppose merging, I support integrating. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 08:10, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Support - Tabbed links between portals and Wikiprojects is functional to increase reader knowledge about the existence of these types of pages. Northamerica1000(talk) 08:34, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Support Another possible idea that may work. --Jeremy (blah blahI did it!) 09:10, 4 December 2011 (UTC)

Portal subject bars

Subject bars – Some examples below:

  • {{Subject bar |portal = Primates }} creates:


  • {{Subject bar |book1= Subfossil lemurs |book2= Lemurs |portal1= Primates |portal2= Madagascar }} creates:

These are just a couple of examples. See the Template:Subject bar page for all options. Northamerica1000(talk) 16:38, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

Main Page Featured Portal drive

Portal name Status Nominator
Portal:BiographyCscr-featured.svg Yes check.svg Done Aude
Portal:MathematicsCscr-featured.svg Yes check.svg Done Tompw
Portal:ScienceCscr-featured.svg Yes check.svg Done RichardF
Portal:ArtsCscr-featured.svg Yes check.svg Done Cirt
Portal:GeographyCscr-featured.svg Yes check.svg Done Cirt
Portal:HistoryCscr-featured.svg Yes check.svg Done Resident Mario
Portal:SocietyCscr-featured.svg Yes check.svg Done Cirt
Portal:TechnologyCscr-featured.svg Yes check.svg Done Cirt and Sven Manguard

Edit at Wikipedia:Featured portal candidates/Main Page Featured Portal drive


  • Anyone interested in contributing to this drive? Perhaps even taking on one of the other portals not-yet-featured?
  • Feel free to use the work I've done so far at Portal:Arts as a model going forward.

Cheers, — Cirt (talk) 08:27, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

Brilliant idea. This way, we don't need to specifically create a "featured portals" area on main page and upsetting those who dislike portals (or ahem, outlines) while still presenting portals with featured quality. OhanaUnitedTalk page 18:08, 20 November 2011 (UTC)
Exactly, thanks! ;) — Cirt (talk) 19:06, 20 November 2011 (UTC)
An exceptional idea, which I fully support. Northamerica1000(talk) 07:26, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
I'm interested in doing some work on Portal:History, having a bit of experience with Portal:Volcanoes. Would now be appropriate to poke you about a potential feature on FP in the Signpost, Cirt? I remember doing so for a bit a year or so ago before dropping it. ResMar 04:50, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
@Resident Mario (talk · contribs) — (1) Please do help out with Portal:History, that would be great, feel free to use my work so far at Portal:Arts as a model! (2) If you wish to structure a potential feature on FP in the Signpost as an interview about contributing to featured portal drives, I'd be glad to participate in that fashion. ;) Cheers, — Cirt (talk) 05:02, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Updated status = Portal:Arts on peer review at Wikipedia:Portal peer review/Arts/archive1. — Cirt (talk) 07:06, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

What are the basic design elements of Portals? What elements are commonly seen on Featured portals? How many of each feature should you have, and how many pieces each them should they have? How do you construct them so that they are easy to maintain? And Portal:Portal has to be mentioned somewhere =). An interview is possible, albeit doing a Dispatch would probably be better; although Dispatches are long dead, now. ResMar 12:26, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
Even "basic elements" varied per portal. Usually, you'll see an intro section, then a bunch of "selected" sections (e.g. selected articles, selected biographies, selected pictures), "did you know", news, and associated Wikimedia project pages. Then you may or may not have categories, related portals, or related WikiProjects. Each "selected" sections should have a minimum of 20 contents and they can be rotated using the randomize tool. Those contents should be of GA quality or higher (with the exception of selected pictures, you can get away if the portal subject has less than 20 featured pictures). And I never knew Portal:Portal exists until now! OhanaUnitedTalk page 16:02, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
This is getting off-topic from the Main Page featured portal drive, can we discuss this somewhere else? — Cirt (talk) 19:45, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
Sorry a bit off topic here again... Am I to understand that the portals featured on the main page do not rotate. Meaning they are always the same ones? We do not rotate all the featured portals on the main page? Moxy (talk) 20:21, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
Correct. The ones at top-right of the Main Page are linked because they are considered "core" topics, and entry points to other articles. — Cirt (talk) 20:27, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
fair enough - sounds reasonable to me, as you say "core" portals.Moxy (talk) 21:28, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Updated status = beginning Featured Portal drive at Portal:Society, feel free to help out, we can coordinate efforts at Portal talk:Society. Cheers, — Cirt (talk) 23:56, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

  • I've done some work to the Technology portal: Improved layout and formatting. There's now 20 Did You Know entries. Northamerica1000(talk) 12:35, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
    • Thanks for your help! ;) — Cirt (talk) 15:47, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Portal:Society – improved "Things you can do" and "Featured articles" section layout. Changed box header color from bright yellow to a light blue. Added a visually-appealing header. Northamerica1000(talk) 12:11, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
    • Most of those changes were inappropriate and non-constructive, and reduced the overall quality of the portal — I thought that Northamerica1000 (talk · contribs) was going to focus his efforts on Portal:Technology and getting it up to Featured Portal Quality, so we didn't have to duplicate each others' efforts and step over each other stylistically??? Thank you, — Cirt (talk) 15:52, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
Not inappropriate; rather, this is just a difference of opinion regarding style. Northamerica1000(talk) 16:52, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

If anyones interested Portal:United States is pretty close. Last I heard we just needed to finish updating some of the Anniversaries. --Kumioko (talk) 16:13, 7 December 2011 (UTC)

Great idea, Kumioko! Last I heard, RichardF (talk · contribs) had done a bunch of work on that portal, perhaps contact him? — Cirt (talk) 01:08, 8 December 2011 (UTC)
"The portal was not promoted by Cirt 08:43, 21 June 2011 [3]." In addition to updating the anniversaries section, there were lots of objections to how highways and such were addressed. I haven't worked on that portal since this summer. --RichardF (talk) 16:43, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

Update: Moved above table to subpage, at Wikipedia:Featured portal candidates/Main Page Featured Portal drive. — Cirt (talk) 19:35, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

Exceptional idea, I would like to participate in this. --Extra 999 (Contact me) 10:28, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

Introductions

I have been improving the introuctory pages of portals, some you can see. What do you think, is this perfect or it needs to be changed. Can anyone help in this? --Extra 999 (Contact me) 10:50, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

Sun Star.svg More about...Stars, their formation, evolution, namings, structure and diversity
More about...Uranus, its history, rings, atmosphere, climate, moons, and its exploration


  • A useful addition that enhances portals and navigation. Here's a simple idea, change the comma with a colon after the subject name (example to the right):

More about...Stars: their formation, evolution, namings, structure and diversity


Northamerica1000(talk) 16:27, 17 February 2012 (UTC)


I agree. Thanks for this reference (and very thanks for the barnstar) , I will start editing the intros soon. Thxx. --Extra999 (talk) 16:02, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

Reagan Day commemoration

WikiProject Conservatism cordially invites you to celebrate Ronald Reagan Day. On February 6 The Conservatism Portal will commemorate Ronald Reagan Day with a format specially designed for the holiday. The Conservatism Portal has recently been promoted to Featured Portal. – Lionel (talk) 03:19, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

No Portals for maintenance categories

I added that Portals should not be for maintenance categories. The basis for saying this is Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Merge. D O N D E groovily Talk to me 14:21, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

I don't think one discussion between about 10 editors can set this kind of precedent. There should be a broader community discussion prior to making this kind of change. ···日本穣? · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe · Join WP Japan! 17:40, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
During discussion of the merge portal, I repeatedly asked for an example of an article maintenance portal and no one was able to give a single example. So, it sounds like that deletion discussion was simply confirming what the actual practice has been for years. D O N D E groovily Talk to me 03:21, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Groovily, the MfD was enough to show where the community sees this. extra999 (talk) 04:25, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

Puzzled over Portal:Current events/Sports‎

Need some advice. Wanted to ask about Portal:Current events/Sports‎. It's not a portal. It does not resemble a portal, or even its paretn Portal:Current events. It's just an unreferenced listing of sports statistics arguably more suitable for Wikinews than Wikipedia. What should be done with this, clearly it should be de-portalled but to where? Should it be deleted or is it salvageable? --Falcadore (talk) 22:08, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

Could you notify Itxia (talk · contribs) and Cs-wolves (talk · contribs) about this discussion? — Cirt (talk) 02:39, 25 April 2012 (UTC)
If you think it is neccessary. I was asking the question in the hope of receiving informal feedback before turning it into something more serious like a RfC. This is a subject which has been discussed on the relevant talk page, but not gone anywhere. --Falcadore (talk) 07:19, 25 April 2012 (UTC)
Needs a colossal revamp; the only way to salvage it, I feel. Not something I have the time for personally, due to other WP (and real-life) commitments. Sorry. Craig(talk) 07:31, 25 April 2012 (UTC)
If we could make it resemble like its main partner, and it is fine as a portal. extra999 (talk) 08:42, 25 April 2012 (UTC)
I understand it does not resemble a portal, and it's unreferenced, so it would be OK with me if its format is changed. I have no idea how to do it, or what should be done with it. Meanwhile, I will continue updating the "portal". Sorry for my English. --Itxia (talk) 09:03, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
I disagree with it needed a major revamp. The issues with it are purely cosmetic, and anyone knowledgable about standard portal formatting can fix it, even if they know nothing about sports. D O N D E groovily Talk to me 02:07, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
Would it be possible to revisit this? A year later and its gotten worse. There did not seem to be a consensus previously. What action should be taken? --Falcadore (talk) 09:04, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

Request for creation of the IR portal

  • Portal:International relations seems to be missing from English Wikipedia, while two other Wikipedias, Portuguese([4]) and French([5]) have this portal. In my opinion, creation of this Portal is vital and very important because it covers a subject of a high (and increasing) value. Also it should be noted that many Portals covering subjects of quite marginal importance exist in Wikipedia and this Portal is not. :) --Dj777cool (talk) 09:24, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
If you want you may create it yourself. extra999 (talk) 09:55, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

How to categorize a portal

Quoting that section:

  • "Portals with their own categories are only categorized in that category, which in turn is put into the other categories that the portal would have been in."

That should cover only the categorization of portal categories in portals categories, such as cat Children's literature portal in cat Literature portals. It should not pertain outside the portals category tree. For example, the children's literature portal Portal: Children's literature should be one of the Pages at the head of cat Children's literature (after the main article Children's literature).
And so it is.
But Portal: Middle earth is not in cat Middle-earth. --nor is its portal category there, but that's another matter.
--Neither the Children's literature nor the Middle-earth category displays its portal shortcut, but that's yet another matter.

Suggesting a maybe-straw man:

  • "Portals with their own portal categories should be in no other portals categories, where their portal categories should represent them."

That precisely states what is intended, I believe, and it may be clear to readers who are very good with singulars and plurals.

Is this directive sound? I doubt it. Cat Literature portals is bloated, partly because of non-compliance, as we suggest in the stated rationale. However, even if we eliminated the multiple listing of cat Twilight portal and others, those portals that appear in cat Literature portals only as members of cat Speculative fiction portals would remain overlooked among Oscar Wilde and other portal categories that are not speculative fiction. Essentially thus, Portal: Horror fiction is now "impossible" to find in cat Literature portals, because [a] it is named neither as a subcategory nor a page there and [b] numerous portal categories are named as subcats there (of which only Middle-earth and Twilight are also in the spec. fic. portals cat). --P64 (talk) 19:01, 11 June 2012 (UTC)

Where to put portal links

The Portals project page gives the ==See also== section as the standard place for portal links. This is fine provided the specific project for the article in question allows a See also section. In the case of medical articles, their WP:MEDMOS deprecates See also sections, leaving some uncertainty as to where portal links should go. There is an unresolved discussion at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Medicine-related articles#Position of portal links which basically comes to the conclusion that there are no other sections where a portal link should go. I have resorted to a portal bar below the navboxes as the only logical option left that I can identify, but it would be preferable if a consensus could be reached for a general policy, and this added to the project page to save time in future. Peter (Southwood) (talk): 07:51, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Portal templates are spam. They add nothing to the user and their only purpose is to advertise the portal. I think the talk page is a good place for advertisement. 200.124.54.133 (talk) 03:09, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
@IP editor. Your opinions do not appear to be supported by MOS or other consensus. The discussion is on where to put the portal links within current policy, which is in the article. Peter (Southwood) (talk): 06:40, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
If we're discussing the best location for portal links, then the IP should be allowed to give an opinion, surely? -- John of Reading (talk) 11:14, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
And he/she did so. I have no problem with him/her giving an opinion on where they should go, but starting out by stating that they are spam was not particularly helpful. We have portals, If they are to serve a useful purpose, a portal link of some kind is necessary, so the user can be aware of their existance and connection to the specific article.
The talk page is not a useful place to put a portal link, as that would defeat the purpose of alerting the reader to the existance of the portal, and as the primary purpose of the portal is to provide a structured map to related subject matter, it would defeat the purpose of having the portal at all to put it there. Peter (Southwood) (talk): 16:43, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
I always think that portal boxes on the top of the page or in the infobox, is the best, not only the portals could be seen by more readers, and as of now could be of replacement to see also section. If we can build consesus, then is the best idea. extra999 (talk) 10:59, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
If the consensus does change, remember to notify Wikipedia talk:AutoWikiBrowser, since a software change will be needed. AWB has code that tries to implement the current MOS on this point. -- John of Reading (talk) 11:14, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
A full change is far away now, though this page generally had support on this matter, it is [if implemented] going to be big change. I am currently propsing it as an alternative for medicine related articles. Having portal links down the navbars is almost having nothing. On the top, portals get the readers attention more often, which has been denied till now. That's my view, but we need to have a consensus. extra999 (talk) 11:18, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
@Extra999, Could you clarify you position? Are you proposing portal links at the top of the page, and if so, where exactly? A possible problem with top of page is that there is no obvious limit to the number of portals which might include a given article, and imposing an arbitrary limit on their number will be a sure source of time-wasting dispute. A large number of portal links across the top of a page might work for moderate numbers though, and removing the images and just using the names as links would possibly be acceptable for fairly large numbers if that ever happens. A column to the right would get in the way of infoboxes quite quickly. Putting them in the infobox is an option, but then it should probably be right at the bottom of the infobox, so the number is unimportant. Then you have the problem of projects which don't want infoboxes. I guess then they could just go in a column where the infobox would be. A bar at the bottom, either above or below the navbars would be unobtrusive, but, as you say, also not very obvious. Peter (Southwood) (talk): 16:43, 25 July 2012 (UTC)

Some portal links are spam. It's just the ego of people contaminating Wikipedia. I'm glad Extra999 didn't revert my edition, but one of you might [6]; pay atention to the "offensive" edit summary. A portal about an academic discipline might be useful, and also a portal about a country, but a portal about biographies should go in Wikibooks or something like that. 200.124.54.133 (talk) 06:24, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

Should a See also section be added to an article just for portal links? If they aren't played in the SA section, then where? Many articles don't have See also sections, and some of them that do shouldn't because the non-portal links are already in the article. If no SA would it be references?...William 13:43, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

I would like to echo William's question. If there are no "See also" items, where does the portal go? Also, while I like having useful portals, infoboxes and so on, my immediate concern is Roman Empire, which is (understandably, in my view) one of Wikipedia's longest articles. Because of the scope of the topic, there are a large number of portals that could be added, increasing the page size and loading time. Since these are certainly less valuable than the text and images that are integral to the topic, IMHO it's best to limit the bells and whistles to a few key, highly relevant portals, sidebars, and navbars: readers can branch out from these if they need to. But is there a guideline anywhere that suggests when enough is enough, or has become too much? Cynwolfe (talk) 18:19, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
If there isn't a see also section, I think you can just create one. Just use {{portal bar}} or {{portal-inline}} to avoid the formating problems that would come from adding a regaler {{Poltel}} to an otherwise empty see also section. The Wikiproject guidelines were clearly meant to discourage using see also sections for lining to other articles, there's nothing wrong with using a see also section to link to portals and books. Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 23:18, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
I use template {{Portal bar}} with the comment [!-- delete "bar" when there are about two ordinary See also --] and the summary "See also {portal bar}".
I support moving the See also section down to follow External links where it would naturally cover the navbox templates. --that is, consolidating cross-references at the foot of the page. --P64 (talk) 17:08, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
Another editor prefers portal in External links rather than a See also section for portals alone. See the now current Archive for MOS/Layout, Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Layout/Archive 9#See also shortcuts alone (June) and Portal templates (July). Since then about half of MOS/Layout talk has concerned cross-references of one type or another. --P64 (talk) 17:20, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

Portal:Sports

Is Portal:Sports featured? It appears on Featured portals, but its talk page says it's still a candidate, and it's missing the star in the corner. -- Ypnypn (talk) 14:34, 26 May 2013 (UTC)

Looks like Sven Manguard (talk · contribs) might be working on it. You might want to inquire at user talk:Sven Manguard. — Cirt (talk) 14:43, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
It was promoted by OhanaUnited along with Portal:Geography, but neither of the closes were finished properly. My understanding is that a bot was supposed to finish the close and never did. Sven Manguard Wha? 17:25, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
Yes, GimmeBot (talk · contribs) is down. I left a message at User talk:GimmeBot and I'll try leaving more messages again for other relevant people. — Cirt (talk) 22:43, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

Portal:U2

Hi there, I am wondering if everyone could take a look at the portal and tell me what is missing and if it could be a Featured Portal? Thank you so much in advance. Miss Bono [zootalk] 18:45, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

You need much more content. Presumably you won't be updating the portal every month, you will need to implement "random portal component" which automatically rotates contents (articles/pictures/etc.) that requires a minimum of 20 items per section. Almost all featured portals have implemented this so you can take a look and use them as reference. OhanaUnitedTalk page 01:52, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
Hi OhanaUnited thanks for the review, Which content do you mean? All of the sections? Miss Bono [zootalk] 12:04, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
Yes, all (with the exception of DYK, which can be slightly less). OhanaUnitedTalk page 15:22, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
oh!, OhanaUnited where can i find the code for "random portal component"? Does The Simpsons Portal have one? Miss Bono [zootalk] 15:26, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
Where should I create the database that will save the items? I took a look at the Simpsons portal, but didn't get the point of how it works. Miss Bono [zootalk] 15:34, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
Try Portal:Environment OhanaUnitedTalk page 15:48, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
Thanks! :) Miss Bono [zootalk] 15:52, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
I've tried, see what happened... :'( to the Selected Picture section...Portal:U2 Miss Bono [zootalk] 15:55, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
Hi, Ohana! Can you check the Portal again? Miss Bono [zootalk] 13:27, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
Looks good now. You just need to work on DYK section. OhanaUnitedTalk page 18:07, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. Yeah, OhanaUnited, we are working on that. Can you tell me if I can use an external reliable source to include more DYKs? Miss Bono [zootalk] 18:22, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
We generally don't use external links in portals, as their primary purpose is to serve as a gateway. OhanaUnitedTalk page 18:59, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
OhanaUnited, Sorry, I said something wrong. What I meant to say was something like, is it ok to use citing from a book (I have a copy of U2 by U2). (e.g DYK that Bono sings Miss Sarajevo whil brushing his teeth) (this is not a real fact from the book, just an example). Can I use some extract from the book? That's what I meant to say. Miss Bono [zootalk] 19:15, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
Yes you can ... I would suggest that you also add them and link to q:U2 and q:Bono and q:The Edge in the portal. PS GREAT JOB!!-- Moxy (talk) 19:30, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
Thanks Moxy! Actually Pjoef did the hardest part of the work. There is a couple of links there. Should I add more? Miss Bono [zootalk] 19:37, 6 August 2013 (UTC)

Hi, OhanaUnited. The modifications for the portal are done now, can you please review it? Thank you. Miss Bono [zootalk] 13:31, 13 September 2013 (UTC)

Today's featured portal

An RfC on including featured portals on the Main Page.

Please see Wikipedia:VPR#Today.27s_featured_portal.

Cirt (talk) 03:06, 30 September 2013 (UTC)

Capitalisation of portal names

Is there a policy or guideline for capitalisation of portal names, for both the page name and display of that name on the portal page? I would have thought that portal names should follow the normal rules of MOS:CAPS and WP:TITLEFORMAT, ie sentence case. However, Portal:Australian roads uses title case in its banner. I disagree, and raised the matter at Portal talk:Australian roads#Capitalisation, where it was suggested that the matter should be discussed here for wider coverage.

Note that a point that has been raised (both at Portal:Australian roads and the related WT:WikiProject Australian Roads#Capitalisation of project name) is that MOS allows for proper names to be capitalised to match the proper name. However I assert that we get to choose the names, and that the names should be consistent with MOS, ie the name of the portal follows MOS and use sentence case. Mitch Ames (talk) 06:37, 1 January 2014 (UTC)

Something I've just noted in the WikiProject name discussion is the very first line of the MOS: "The Manual of Style (often abbreviated MoS or MOS) is a style guide for all Wikipedia articles". Not that it applies specifically to articles, not absolutely every single page on the wiki. Plus there is the box at the top: "Use common sense in applying it; it will have occasional exceptions" – why can't a portal's title banner be one of these exceptions - especially since it seems to be common practice amongst the current set of featured portals. - Evad37 [talk] 08:00, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
I agree. What will be achieved if we adopt it? Does it improve visibility? Doubt it. Unlike mainspace articles, each portal often have tens of subpage components (articles, pictures, biographies, quotes). Any time a big "move" like this risk breaking things. OhanaUnitedTalk page 04:58, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
I agree with this comment by OhanaUnited (talk · contribs), above. Cheers, — Cirt (talk) 16:43, 2 January 2014 (UTC)

Given that portals are:

  • explicitly intended for readers - according to WP:P, they are intended to serve as "Main Pages" (oh the irony!) for specific topics
  • being added to the "See also" section of articles (example) - which is, according to WP:SEEALSO, "A ... list ... of internal links to related Wikipedia articles" (My emphasis)
  • required (by WP:P) to "comply with Wikipedia's core content policies"

I suggest that from the readers' perspective a portal page serves the same purpose as an article, and so we should seriously consider having MOS explicitly apply to portals as well as articles. Mitch Ames (talk) 09:48, 4 January 2014 (UTC)

Just to clarify, there are actually three separate but related issues to discuss:

  1. Some portals are located at Portal:Title Case instead of Portal:Sentence case (eg Portal:Michigan Highways). Should these portals, and all their subpages, be moved?
  2. Most portals have a title banner that uses Title Case instead of Sentence case (eg Portal:Technology has "The Technology Portal", not "The technology portal"). Should these be changed (only requires 1 edit per portal)?
  3. What about portal redirects from Portal:Title Case instead of Portal:Sentence case (eg Portal:Australian Roads is a redirect to Portal:Australian roads). Are these acceptable, should they be used when linking from articles?

My positions are (1) Maybe they should be, but this would involve an awful lot of pages moves for what seems to be to be relatively little benefit; if it is to be done, then it should probably be a bot task; (2) see my comment above; (3) These shouldn't be used – {{portal}} and similar templates use the form "Foobar portal", i.e. a lowercase p, so not a proper name - Evad37 [talk] 04:05, 5 January 2014 (UTC)

There is zeroth issue that drives the three Evad37 enumerates - whether MOS should apply to portals. I've raised the matter at Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 112#Proposal: MOS should apply to portals. Mitch Ames (talk) 06:06, 5 January 2014 (UTC)

Hey guys. Just a heads up that I left my views at the village pump. To summarize, in my opinion the MOS should apply to portals, but it's not immediately obvious that portal titles are proper nouns. -Well-restedTalk 07:45, 5 January 2014 (UTC)

Some help setting up

Hi, I couldn't see where to ask help questions, so will do it here in the hope that someone will help: why is the topics section a header type thing? Also, do articles in the DYK box have to actually have been in DYK on the main page? Thanks, Matty.007 19:17, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

Figured out about topics. Thanks, Matty.007 19:29, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
@Matty.007: It varies. For the better-quality portals, the "Did you know" section does consist of DYK's that have appeared on the main page. See, for example, Portal:Technology/DYK and Portal:Technology/DYK/1. I recommend you try do it this way. Searches like this one might help. But other portals make do with a collection of interesting facts, eg, Portal:Cornwall/Did you know; the problem is that without a clear inclusion criterion, the selection of facts can get pretty random, eg at Portal:Harry Potter/DYK. -- John of Reading (talk) 21:37, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
Thank you very much! I was wondering if I had to go through the DYK archives manually. It seems that I had the first ever DYK to mention Herm! Best, Matty.007 11:21, 12 January 2014 (UTC)

Portals again

Hi, I have asked a question here about portals. Thanks, Matty.007 19:00, 24 January 2014 (UTC)