Wikipedia talk:Teahouse/Host lounge

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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)

A new Teahouse template[edit]

Here is the wording of a new welcome Teahouse template that I use when people register their username. I felt it was important to highlight the Teahouse. "So here it is:


Hello! Teahouse

Thank you for registering your new user name with Wikipedia. I look forward to your editing and seeing you creating your first new article.

You are receiving this message from me, another editor working on Wikipedia. From now on, you are an editor: someone who creates articles and does editing on other articles.

The best one of the places to ask questions if you need help, is the Teahouse. It's here where you will find other, experienced editors that will answer your questions with courtesy and understanding. There are no wrong questions. Everyone has been a new editor and these friendly hosts have not forgotten how hard it can be. You can also get questions answered here: Wikipedia:Questions, ask me on my talk page, or ask your question on this same page and then place {{Help me}} before the question.

If you are considering writing a new article then here are some things you will want to read first:

Again, thank you for participating in Wikipedia.

Best regards and happy editing,

Bfpage (talk) 13:42, 8 September 2014 (UTC)


What if the new editor does not want to create new articles, or lacks the competency to do so? --Demiurge1000 (talk) 21:37, 5 November 2014 (UTC)
Isn't that what the Teahouse is for?
  Bfpage |leave a message  00:37, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Nope. Some new editors are just here for help with formatting to add a detail or a ref to an already existing article. There are much more to do on Wikipedia than create new articles. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 02:22, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
@Bfpage: I've commented on your talk page about this template, but you haven't responded there, so I'll bring the discussion here:
  1. First and foremost, why do you have it at all? Wikipedia has multiple welcome templates (see Category:Welcome templates) that have been reviewed and improved by the community over the years. It seems that if you're going to use a welcome template at all, it is better to use one that has the community seal of approval.
  2. If you insist on using your own template (and I can't say there is a policy or guideline against it), you should substitute it:
    {{subst:User:Bfpage/Registering new users}}
    otherwise, every time the user's talk page loads, it has to load your template page as well, which might cease to exist at some point, leading to a broken format.
  3. Again, if you insist on using your own template, it should be stylistically and gramatically correct. Herewith some suggested changes:
    1. The sentence
      I look forward to your editing and seeing you creating your first new article
      implies that a) only you care about this user (I should be we) and b) that the user is expected to create a new article. Very few users ever create an article, and there is no reason to place that expectation on them.
    2. You are receiving this message from me -- well, yeah, who else would the message be from, other than the person sending the message?
    3. From now on, you are an editor: someone who creates articles and does editing on other articles. Or not. Perhaps they'll never edit a thing. That's fine, and again, no need to add an expectation. But if you're going to retain this sentence, replace does editing with the much simpler edits.
    4. The best one of the places to ask questions if you need help, is the Wikipedia:Teahouse.
      I think you want that to read If you need help, one of the best places to ask is the Wikipedia:Teahouse.
    5. It's here where you will find other, experienced editors that will answer your questions with courtesy and understanding.
      Should be: That is where you will find other, experienced editors who will answer your questions with courtesy and understanding.
I hope these suggestions are useful to you. Again, I think you should stick to the community-approved templates, but I suppose to each his own. WikiDan61ChatMe!ReadMe!! 20:13, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

Please take a moment...[edit]

...to stop by I JethroBT's talk and offer him some congrats on his successful RfA. It will be nice to have one of our own in the ranks of the mopkeepers. — Preceding unsigned comment added by John from Idegon (talkcontribs)

Semi-protection for WP:Teahouse/Host landing?[edit]

Hey hosts. I was thinking we should consider indefinite semi-protection of the host landing page. A common issue that a few of us have dealt with, namely SuperMarioMan ChamithN, Charlesdrakew, and myself, is the case where a new editor, with no clear experience with which to advise guests, creates a host profile (instead of a guest profile). There are any number of reasons why this happens. Given that this behavior has been fairly steady and continuous, I propose semi-protection for the host landing page to prevent some of these cases. Sockpuppet accounts have also created host profiles here early on, possibly in an attempt to appear more established early on. Maintenance of the page will still be necessary, but I think we can prevent some of these cases with indefinite semi-protection. I, JethroBT drop me a line 18:56, 10 December 2014 (UTC)

  • I'd like to hear from J-Mo and Heatherawalls on this idea as they are kind of the Teahouse heads. I remember something like this being proposed at some point before, and I remember the outcome being no because it is entirely possibly for an IP editor to have been on wiki for a long time and have the required "statistics" to be autoconfirmed but because they don't want to register an account for whatever reason, are not. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 19:17, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
    I considered that before posting this; dynamic IPs simply wouldn't be appropriate in hosting as they are always changing and can represent different people over time. The likelihood of a static external IP also being a host, while possible, seems fairly remote. I, JethroBT drop me a line 19:33, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
  • I wouldn't be averse to indefinite semi-protection. I think that in the long term, however, a better solution would simply be to agree on and impose a few hard, basic requirements for Teahouse hosting – I don't believe that the guidelines at Wikipedia:Teahouse/Host start are particularly useful in helping users to assess their suitability for the role. Semi-protection would prevent anonymous users and the newest registered users from making profiles, but what about users with one or two months of editing yet only a few dozen edits overall? Few such users have the level of experience that we are looking for. However, having to evaluate a user's experience based purely on subjective opinion inevitably leads to uneven standards. SuperMarioMan ( talk ) 20:30, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
    Well, for those of us doing patrolling, we've operated on judgment calls without much trouble as far as I can tell. I'm not sure we'd be doing ourselves or potential hosts any favors by creating an edit count or account age threshold; I just don't think these are useful enough as indicators. I'm open to hearing other ideas, of course. I generally look through their contributions to see if they productively interact with other editors and if their work demonstrates understanding of some policies and guidelines. A lot of the time, as you note, there just isn't enough to look at when they make a host profile. I, JethroBT drop me a line 22:18, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
    I too would be very interested to hear other people's suggestions. However, I think that the AfC WikiProject had the right idea when it created Wikipedia:WikiProject Articles for creation/Participants/header (incidentally, WP:WPAFC/P is another page that I patrol regularly). Two non-negotiable criteria (account age and namespace-specific edit count), two non-quantifiable, more flexible criteria (understanding of policy) and the provision that "editors who do meet the criteria may nevertheless be removed after a removal discussion". I could envisage something like that working for the Teahouse. Of course, there would be no reason to restrict the edit count threshold to mainspace edits. SuperMarioMan ( talk ) 00:00, 11 December 2014 (UTC)
Maybe; I still think I'm a bigger fan of the flexible side, and I think that perspective stems from the fact that hosting does not grant any permissions, and more of a declaration of how you intend you spend some of your time as an editor rather than some kind of "status". The designation is meant to be casual, because the Teahouse is a casual space. By creating a decidedly structured system of edit counts and account age for becoming a host, I think we lose something important. The place starts to feel more like WP:PERM. I realize my proposal for semi-protection is a structural requirement, but that's a very low bar and a preventative measure to evidenced socking behavior and new editors creating profiles in the wrong spot. I, JethroBT drop me a line 08:42, 11 December 2014 (UTC)
  • I think that would be a good measure to prevent new editors from creating Host profiles. I think most of them create new Host profiles due to misunderstanding. They might be thinking that creating a Host profile is like registering on a forum. In my opinion semi-protecting is the best available method to solve this issue. Getting autoconfirmed is easy. It just needs 10 edits and 4 days of account availability. So if someone is really looking forward to contribute to Teahouse chances of his/her account being an autoconfirmed one is really high.--Chamith (talk) 02:51, 11 December 2014 (UTC)
    • What about an IP editor with a static IP that has made 10K edits and been around 4 years? Would we really want to exclude such an experienced editor from being a host? IPs are human too after all. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 03:05, 11 December 2014 (UTC)
      • I don't see any problem with making exceptions when they're brought up. I've looked over the history of the Host landing page, and I count 14 unique IPs who have edited since August 2012 since the page was created (one of them was from the WMF). Of the 13 remaining, 10 were static IPs, none of whom had sufficient experience to host, and 3 were dynamic IPs. While I am surprised by the number of static IPs, I am not really convinced there is a substantial interest in hosting by static IP editors who are also experienced editors. I, JethroBT drop me a line 07:51, 11 December 2014 (UTC)
        • It's not about making exceptions, it's about setting the barrier to entry unfairly higher for those IP editors. I'm actually fairly neutral about this, but I think there has to be a better way. Perhaps a guided tour questionaire that assesses competence and basic wiki knowledge for all new Teahouse hosts or restarting HostBot moving inactives to the Break room to make new additions easier to see or HostBot removing new profiles for users failing to meet some arbitrary threshold of edits or whatnot with a notice on the user's talk page welcoming them and asking if they meant to add themselves to the host loung... maybe an edit filter of some kind... There has to be a better way than just protecting the page. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 08:15, 11 December 2014 (UTC)
          • I would not want to see new good faith editors being removed by a bot. The Teahouse is to a large degree about human contact and support. If a few experienced editors insist on remaining unregistered they know it is going to have some disadvantages and that is their choice.Charles (talk) 09:00, 11 December 2014 (UTC)
            • My idea would the bot would only remove newly registered users, it would not remove unregistered anon IPs. It could still leave a friendly message on the IPs talk page and ping a task force in doing so to do a manual review. Just some ideas, not sure any one is better than the others, but I'd lean towards the guided tour style script that "interviews" hosts.  :) — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 14:43, 11 December 2014 (UTC)
              • That's a good idea. I'm pretty sure we won't run into problems with IP users as creation of IP host profiles are very rare. At the same time newly registered users won't be able to create unnecessary host profiles. If you can re-program the bot to do so then I'd say go for it.--Chamith (talk) 15:35, 11 December 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Semi-protecting Host Landing makes most sense to me. Having the bot remove profiles after the fact seems like it would be a more negative/confusing experience for the newbies. Not sure when I'd have time to code it either--though as always I'm happy to take on collaborators. If IPs are an edge case anyway, doesn't make sense to me for us to code around them. Rather, put a notice somewhere that we are happy to add their profiles, or a local admin can temporarily open the page for them. Cheers, - J-Mo Talk to Me Email Me 01:27, 12 December 2014 (UTC)

Update: Jethro semi-protected the Host Landing page on December 21. - J-Mo Talk to Me Email Me 02:41, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
I do want to make it clear that I am sympathetic to T13's position with regard to IPs. At whatever time the bot is able to remove host profiles coming from very new editors (a definition we'll need to figure out, BTW), I think it makes sense to remove semi-protection. I, JethroBT drop me a line 09:53, 22 December 2014 (UTC)