Wikipedia talk:Teahouse/Host lounge

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The Co-op[edit]

Hey hosts. Just wanted to make a quick note that our Individual Engagement Grant proposal, Reimagining Wikipedia Mentorship was approved, and we are through the first month of our grant. Our space will be called the Co-op, and I've posted some news detailing our first month's progress. Please check it out; if you are interested in mentoring through this space, please let me know, as we would love to have your help later this year. I, JethroBT drop me a line 18:37, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

Minimum qualifications to be a host?[edit]

I just noticed that a good faith attempt by an editor to add a host profile was reverted by SuperMarioMan with the edit summary "You'll need more experience of Wikipedia to be a host...".

So my question is...what are the minimum qualifications to be a Teahouse host and where are they listed?--Mark Miller (talk) 03:11, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

No clue. At some point, I was a host (one of the earliest, IIRC), and then at some point someone decided to take my name off the list. No idea who decides these things or how they get decided. I never worry about this stuff. I help out when and where I can, and I leave the worrying about official titles to people who apparently have enough time and brainpower to devote to such worrying. Lord knows I don't. --Jayron32 03:21, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
Gotta agree with you there. I took my name off the list long ago but still answer questions and help out when I can, but I just wonder where editors are supposed to get the information to know they don't qualify to be an official host. I find it to be an editor retention issue. if there is no standard...we should not be reverting editors making host profiles. If there is a standard...it should be posted where everyone can see it.--Mark Miller (talk) 03:34, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
Oh...by the way, they automated the removal of names if you don't help out over a certain period I believe. it is easy to get your name re-added if that is what you desire.--Mark Miller (talk) 03:35, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't think the automatic removal happens anymore. In most cases the profiles reverted are made by complete newbies who are obviously not ready. I think it is mainly a matter of common sense and is not official. Why Jayron32 would be taken off I have no idea. Any edit can be reverted if there is a good reason.Charles (talk) 09:29, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
Hmmmm. That is very interesting. Thanks for replying.--Mark Miller (talk) 09:46, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
I'd like to hear from SuperMarioMan on this one, as I've noticed he has removed many profiles recently. That said, I think the Host start page lays it out pretty simply. Through their contributions, hosts probably should show some evidence of the following-- are they:
An editor who understands how Wikipedia works?
Helpful to new people, with a clear and friendly manner?
Familiar with the Teahouse project?
Editors who are struggling with fundamental editing skills probably aren't ready to be hosts, as they can't answer most questions we get. Editors who haven't shown much evidence of communicating with other editors, or whose communication is awkward or unclear are probably not ready to be hosts. And editors who haven't actually used the Teahouse probably aren't ready to be hosts (this happens a lot). When I do remove profiles, I think it is a good practice to follow-up with editors on their talk page to let them know why, suggest what they might do to get ready for hosting, and reassure and encourage them to use the Q&A space. I, JethroBT drop me a line 10:51, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
There we go. That's what I was looking for. The host start page! Could we get that information placed in a more obvious location? It might be helpful to keep disappointment and frustration to a minimum.--Mark Miller (talk) 10:57, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
@Mark Miller: Well, we could definitely put it up at the Host Lounge or think about whether we can have it somewhere on the Landing Page or elsewhere, but in terms of ensuring that it's visible to prospective hosts I think they must see it. The host start page allows them to create a host profile that's added to Wikipedia:Teahouse/Host_landing. I, JethroBT drop me a line 11:03, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
I'm not so sure everyone is seeing that or actually navigating through the same channels to get to the host landing. Not sure though. I have had an issue in the past navigating all the pages and was just thinking it might be something to slightly emphasize...but, of course, only if we come to a clear consensus to do so, There are good arguments as to why we wouldn't do that.--Mark Miller (talk) 11:13, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
@Mark Miller: Well, the only other way I can think of at the moment is using the navbar to get to the Host Landing, where they would need to create a profile manually. That's possible, but it seems less likely, particularly for newer editors. Anecdotally, I haven't seen it too often. You can tell when someone uses the Host start page button when {{subst:REVISIONUSER}} appears in the edit summary there (example), which is what I usually see. As a follow-up idea, I wonder if some editors who make host profiles may be interpreting those expectations differently than we think, or that they are not reading them at all. I don't know what to do about the latter case (we may have to accept that this will happen sometimes, regardless of what we do), but we can try to be more explicit about these three expectations (without getting too detailed; I think we ultimately do want to keep this simple). For instance, we might say:
  • An editor who understands how Wikipedia works? (e.g. Do you have a basic understanding of policies on Wikipedia and how-to, like how to upload an image?)
  • Helpful to new people, with a clear and friendly manner? (e.g. Have you talked a bit with other editors on Wikipedia?)
  • Familiar with the Teahouse project (e.g. Have you used the Q&A section to ask some questions already?)
Not that we have to use these particular examples, but I think trying to give more concrete cases may be more instructive for prospective hosts in understanding these expectations, and won't require us to remove profiles so often. I, JethroBT drop me a line 11:34, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Since my name was mentioned ...

    No, there do not appear to be any formal minimum requirements for hosting. However, Wikipedia:Teahouse/Hosts invites (albeit in very small text) "experienced" editors to serve as hosts. I myself remove only new users who are taking their first steps on Wikipedia – i.e., they could not be considered "experienced", are most likely unaware of what hosting entails, or may well have been looking for the guest-profile pages instead (of which I always place a reminder in my edit summary, which I do try to make as friendly as I can). I should point out that many of these accounts are only a few days old. My decisions are based on a combination of number of edits and length of tenure. Since one of the primary aims of the Teahouse is to demystify the project for new users, it stands to reason that new users themselves are unsuited to the task of hosting it.

    Should minimum requirements be imposed? In my opinion, probably – WP:WPAFC's criteria for AfC draft reviewers, as specified at Wikipedia:WikiProject Articles for creation/Participants, may be a good place to start. At the very least, the general expectations of hosts (i.e. that they should be knowledgeable, approachable and familiar with the Teahouse) need to be made a lot more visible, not least on the landing page itself.

    I may have more to add later. SuperMarioMan ( talk ) 12:13, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

  • There is no current situation just something that I noticed for the first time and it made me think about whether or not we are being clear enough about expectations of our Teahouse hosts to be allowed a profile. I only ask this, because obviously being a host is not a requirement to help out at the Teahouse and we encourage all users to ask and answer questions. So...I guess what I am wondering...is the Host Profile really necessary? Now, in many ways I could answer that myself and say..sure, community involvement is one of the main reasons we have the Teahouse and giving editors the ability to, not just feel like they are taking part, but actively become a registered member of a part of the Teahouse community is one of the ways we attempt to bring editors together to collaborate. But if we have problems with less than experienced editors wishing to become hosts and we remove them based just on that, I think we lose something that the Teahouse has come to represent, and that is community involvement. I don't have a real problem with removing editors from the Host profile page except for the possible retention issue that could create. It could be discouraging. I wonder if perhaps we could start a JR host program and accept all new, inexperienced editors so they can learn from example and possible mentoring from other hosts? Thoughts?--Mark Miller (talk) 20:12, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

Alternative official titles[edit]

Jayron32 mentions "worrying about official titles" above. As anyone who has studied the life and cultural impact of Idi Amin will know, official titles can be fun! I have appointed myself a Junior Wrangler at the Teahouse. (This came about when the titles available included host, maitre d', founder and awesome founder; I thought that adding a fifth couldn't do any harm.) It didn't occur to me when inventing this position to specify any minimum requirements, but obviously anyone who has been Senior Wrangler would be ineligible. Other ideas are welcome. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 16:08, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

Scripts[edit]

I thought I was installing scripts to help communicate with those who visit the teahaouse, but then I realized that I don't even know what a 'script' really means! Excuse my ignorance on that. I have just become a teahouse host and have been doing 'hosting' duties working with the welcoming comittee and patrolling new pages. Are scripts neccesary? I am really good at using templates, can't I just do that? bpage (talk) 01:15, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

@Bfpage: Scripts or no scripts, you're totally fine. Scripts are little bits of javascript that you add to your Special:MyPage/common.js page. Feel free to look at mine if you want to see what some of these scripts do, as they help with all sorts of things on Wikipedia. As a side note, I think hosts have been leaning more toward the use of the notifications system in terms of replaying back to guests at the Teahouse rather than using talkback templates. I, JethroBT drop me a line 02:32, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
Thank you so much for cluing me in on this. I will definitely take a look at your page as an example.
bpage (talk) 12:45, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia adventure 'game' or tutorial?[edit]

As a newer Teahouse hostESS (she said jokingly,) I thought I would go through the "Play the Wikipedia adventure game". I couldn't get it to work. Is it me or is something wrong with the 'game'?bpage (talk) 11:28, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

Hi Bfpage, welcome to the Teahouse! Let's ping Ocaasi, he created the Wikipedia Adventure and may have some idea why it is not working right now, or at least not working for you. What browser/operating system are you using, btw? Cheers, - J-Mo Talk to Me Email Me 22:47, 11 September 2014 (UTC)