Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Russia/Proposal

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Proposal[edit]

Going thru tonnes of Russian articles, I was actually very surprised to find 3 articles that one would probably expect to be featured articles are not; those being Russia, Moscow and Russian language. I was also surprised to find that many articles I expected to exist do not; prime example being many of the Federal government ministries. Then there are other problems such as:

  • Naming conventions - very little continuity and no real guidelines for Russian names and articles in wikipedia as a whole - an example is here.
  • Categorisation - naming conventions will help somewhat - following other naming conventions will help too - an example of poor categorisation throughout Russian articles - Category:Russian_people
  • Article assessment - there are no guidelines for this, and it has resulted in some unusual results. Guidelines are needed.
  • Article review - there are no guidelines specific to Russian articles and with more than one project, other projects won't necessarily know of review requests. Additionally, because of the number of projects with very little scope in each, wider community views can be missed. For example, Russian language was a featured article until 23 August 2007. It's featured article review, unfortunately it went unannounced on all Russian projects, apart from this corner
  • Collaboration - there is none to very little collaboration on Russian content between the various projects and unfortunately article quality, and perhaps stability, will suffer for it.
  • Recruitment/outreach - As we are members of various Russian projects, we took the time to add our name to a list, because we have an interest in a certain (or all) aspect/s of Russia. New members are needed, but how will they find the projects? There needs to be co-ordination to 'recruit' new members; particularly from ru:wiki.
  • Scope - just what is the scope for the various projects? Wikipedia:WikiProject Russian federal subjects has a very narrow yet defined scope; Wikipedia:WikiProject Russian history has a hazy 'historical' scope; a question being raised here.

What I am suggesting is the following projects be merged into Wikipedia:WikiProject_Russia and for it to be co-ordinated much like any other all-encompassing project. The projects I am suggest to be merged are:

Other projects which can be used as guides on how to structure the project could be:

By merging all projects into a single project, we can then create "work groups" for specific Russian topics, such as:

  • History
  • Politics
  • Places (geography)
  • Culture (language, music, literature, film, etc)
  • Biographical
  • Society
  • Transport
  • Economy
  • etc

Perhaps others have other ideas.

Of course there needs to be concensus from all projects for a merge and structures be discussed, etc, but firstly, there needs to be discussion on the pros and cons of such an idea. I have posted this on the other project talk pages, and have asked that all discussion take place here so that all projects can read off the same page. --Russavia Dialogue Stalk me 03:59, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Portal[edit]

I would most certainly oppose the Featured Portal, Portal:Russia itself being "merged" with anything else, as it is meant to be a standalone portal and is completely different from a WikiProject. The rest of the stuff does indeed sound interesting and good ideas. Cirt (talk) 07:02, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

The portal wouldn't be merged per se, but a lot of the functions within the portal can be made part of WP:RUSSIA, such as:

Whilst part of the portal, and important for visitors to see, they would be best placed under an all-encompassing project.

Additionally, I have seen on the Portal that there has been a little concern that the Portal may not be updated on a regular basis, so it's natural to think that WP:RUSSIA members would be the natural fall back for the regular upkeep of the Portal. --Russavia Dialogue Stalk me 07:58, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Of course WP:RUSSIA members can help to update the portal. Which areas have you seen on the portal that you think are not updated on a regular basis? It is designed to actually be quite seamless in that fashion. Cirt (talk) 08:04, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Comments on older portal subpages
This should be deleted, it was in an older version of the portal and it is subsumed by Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Russia articles by quality log. Cirt (talk) 08:11, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
This should be deleted, or perhaps redirect to Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Russia - that should be the main talk page for the WikiProject. Cirt (talk) 08:11, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Marked as {{historical}} with a note back to WP:RUSSIA. Cirt (talk) 19:28, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Not used since May 2007 - this should be deleted and coordination should be at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Russia and the articles' talk pages. Cirt (talk) 08:11, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Marked as {{historical}} with a note back to WP:RUSSIA. Cirt (talk) 19:28, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
This should be deleted, it has not been used since November 2007 and the page Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Russia articles by quality does a very similar job of organizing articles by quality and importance to the project. Cirt (talk) 08:11, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Marked as {{historical}} with a note back to Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Russia articles by quality. Cirt (talk) 19:28, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
This page should be deleted, it has been replaced by Portal:Russia/DYK - any articles not in rotation there that have previously appeared succesfully at T:DYK should be added into randomized rotation. Cirt (talk) 08:11, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
I redirected this one and made a note about it at Portal talk:Russia/DYK, for anyone that wants to dig through the old hooks and add them into rotation. Cirt (talk) 08:33, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Not updated since December 2006 - this should be deleted, Category:Russia articles needing attention is a much better idea and can serve the same purpose. Cirt (talk) 08:11, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Marked as {{historical}}, both Category:Russia articles needing attention (can be inputted by specifying attention=yes at {{WikiProject Russia}} on an article's talk page) and Wikipedia:WikiProject Russia/Cleanup listing do a better job of this. Cirt (talk) 22:17, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Update: I moved the above subpages out of the Portal space and into the Wikipedia:WikiProject Russia space, as they were not really appropriate for Portal-space in the first place. It appears that back in the history of the WikiProject, before Wikipedia:WikiProject Russia was up and running, that people were using the Portal subpages as a patchwork way of coordinating things that really should have been done in WikiProject space to begin with and not portal space. Cirt (talk) 08:48, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Yes, it was probably a good move. The portal subpages were functioning as wikiproject for historical reasons. Now it is time to standardize with the rest of wiki. Alex Bakharev (talk) 08:58, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Just a few comments/questions from myself in response to Cirt's suggestions:

  • Looking at Portal:Russia/New article announcements (NAA) and Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Russia articles by quality log (RQ), I feel that these two pages detail different things. The NAA is a list of new articles which are picked up by a bot, whereas RQ is a list of changes in assessment on existing articles (and also perhaps new articles). I believe that articles on the RQ list would only be placed there when Template:WikiProject Russia is placed on the talk page and an assessment is actually made on it. I feel that it would be necessary to keep both lists (in this project) as they would fulfill different requirements?
  • I notice (and agree with) Portal:Russia/Russia-related Wikipedia notice board having already being moved to WP:RUSSIA. Is there a way that we are able to simply archive that page and redirect editors to the WP:RUSSIA talk page? As one can see, after I have posted the proposal to that talk page, another editor has already posted to it, whereas we really want them to be posting on WP:R talk. Is it best to archive it? Or is there some way to merge that content in with WP:R talk, which I guess would be handy, if it is possible, to keep all discussion archived at one central location.
  • Agree with expansion and gems pages. Perhaps other editors may be able to see a purpose to keep them? If so, hopefully they can explain, etc.
  • With Wikipedia:Pages needing attention/Russia perhaps redirect it in due course to the category. I am assuming that to get articles into the category, we need to adjust Template:WikiProject Russia to include a variable for this? If so, we can cover it below in discussion as to what is actually required in the project. --Russavia Dialogue Stalk me 16:03, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Project organisation[edit]

This looks like a good idea to me, and probably doesn't require anyone to give anything up. Have a look at the well-coordinated WikiProject Military historyMichael Z. 2008-10-02 05:36 z
Could you possibly expand on how you could see a "Federal" Russian project looking? With WP:MILHIST, how would you see this being used as a basis for WP:RUSSIA. Note, I too agree that that project is also a good basis to work on, but in order for majority to agree on merging, I think it's important for us all able to envision what the organisational structure could entail. --Russavia Dialogue Stalk me 08:01, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks to its breadth, that project has a large enough participation that it is very well coordinated, has its own newsletter, subject-specific MOS, awards system, article reviews, and a good record of bringing articles up to GA, A, and FA class. But it also has a large series of focussed task forces, helping coordinate particular subjects. I think merging these wikiprojects and some of the portal resources can help develop this kind of on Russia-related subjects. Michael Z. 2008-10-02 13:55 z
Regarding the related wikiprojects (Russian federal subjects and History), I assume by "merging" them we mean re-organizing them as WP:RUSSIA's taskforces? If so, I would suggest that the Russian federal subjects project be scrapped (i.e., permanently archived) altogether, since I don't believe there was ever a time when it had more than two active members at a time, it is hopelessly obsolete, and there is nothing there that cannot be done under the auspices of WP:RUSSIA itself.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); 14:06, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Michael, we were both on the same page there then. What we need to then is to discuss organisation of the project on a few different levels, one being task force organisation and project "Ministerstvo" (ministries/departments). Perhaps we can discuss these separately below? --Russavia Dialogue Stalk me 16:15, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Ezhiki, yes, it would be a taskforce/workgroup under WP:RUSSIA. I don't think there's a need to archive it, but once we can all come up with appropriate taskforces, given people's interest in the specific areas, it can be moved to WP:RUSSIA, tweaked to meet the needs of whatever structure we can come up with continue as if it were a standalone project?? --Russavia Dialogue Stalk me 16:15, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Taskforces/workgroups[edit]

We would need to decide which topics within the group warrant having its own taskforce from the start, and which topics may be important for future growth of the project but which would not be active at the beginning. For a taskforce to be successful, first and foremost we need editors who will edit in those particular areas. Perhaps we can identify specific topics?

  1. History - it would be natural that Wikipedia:WikiProject Russian history be converted into a history taskforce
  2. Politics - this would entail government (federal and regional), foreign relations (an area I am delving into), political parties, elections, etc, etc
  3. Places - it is possible that Wikipedia:WikiProject Russian federal subjects be merged into this taskforce, but make it more encompassing by including within its scope all places (villages, towns, cities, districts, regions, republics, etc)
  4. Culture - this would include topics such as language, music, literature, film, etc.
  5. Biographical - all biographical articles
  6. Society - topics such as crime, law, demographics...any other topics?
  7. Transport - planes, trains and automobiles, etc
  8. Economy - economic, companies, industries, etc, etc
  9. Sport
  10. People - I don't think there would currently be enough interest?? But with 170 ethnic groups, it is important to cover this topic -- from ethnic Russians, Tatars, Chechens, Bashkirs, Chuvash, Circassians, Cossacks, Ossetians, etc, etc
  11. Education - I can't remember where, but I saw a post from someone somewhere enquiring about feasability of a Russia-specific education project, absolutely important, it would cover universities, academies, institutes, the entire educational system in Russia.

What level of interest would there be from editors in such topics? Are there other potential taskforces? --Russavia Dialogue Stalk me 16:44, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

While I think that a basic framework for taskforces is a good idea, I don't believe it should be overly elaborate. Instead, we should provide a mechanism to easily create a taskforce when one is needed. This way, instead of a nicely structured tree of mostly dead tasks hanging in the middle of nowhere we would have a handful of taskforces/workgroups people are actually interested and participating in. Comments?—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); 17:14, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Of course it shouldn't be over elaborate at this stage, but I think what we do need at this stage is to identify the various areas in which editors are interested, and which there would be enough input to create initial task forces. Some may not be suitable right now, but as you say, if we have the basic framework in place, when the time comes it will be easier to get them up and running. --Russavia Dialogue Stalk me 19:20, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
I think regional taskforces, starting with St. Petersburg (count me in) and Moscow, would be much more useful. Russia is a vast country, and most people are remarkably ignorant of what happens far from them. The topical taskforces, if needed, should rather be put under the respective topical wikipojects, where there are better chances to find people with enough expertise and not just highly opinionated amateurs. Colchicum (talk) 19:13, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
That has long been one of my thoughts. One of the world's most important cities doesn't have a project/taskforce (of course I am talking about Moscow...at risk of igniting the ever-good MSK v SPb debate). I am thinking that a "Places" workgroup would be the natural starting point in order to get collaboration happening, and then once there is enough interest, then such workgroups would be a natural progression? --Russavia Dialogue Stalk me 19:20, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
No, I mean not only places, but also local history, culture, many biographies, some transport etc. A "places" workgroup is not a good starting point. There are plenty of people interested in everything related to their native cities, but only several Wikipedians are interested in places in Russia in general. Colchicum (talk) 19:43, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Of course people would be interested in their native cities, that's natural. Have a look below for example where I brain-fart about overlapping areas between projects. The creation of workgroups would have to be determined by the interest from editors in contributing to that workgroup. For example, it would not be a good idea to create an SPb workgroup, if you (as an editor who has expressed an interest in that area already) were the only contributor -- it wouldn't be fair on you and it wouldn't be good for the project as a whole; know the general area where I am coming from? Perhaps what we need to do, albeit at this early stage, is to get input from editors as to what topics they would be interested forming workgroups for, and work from that? For example, I would likely participate in a "politics" workgroup (given interest in foreign relations), transport workgroup (given interest in aviation) and economy workgroup (interest in companies). --Russavia Dialogue Stalk me 19:55, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Or, rather, Moscow + Moscow Oblast and St. Petersburg + Leningrad Oblast, it would be unreasonable to separate them for that purpose. Colchicum (talk) 13:53, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
It all boils down to the headcount. There are only as many editors as present. Merging is good, and don't split it again (there is already one stillborn WP:Russian History). Suggestion: merge all existing channels in one sandbox, don't create any sub-chapters, then let the users crystallize into theme groups if they would. NVO (talk) 23:34, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Hey NVO, thanks for coming ;) I think we are all on the same page in this regard. Do you think there would be enough interest in a Moscow workgroup (limiting to MSK due to your own location)? --Russavia Dialogue Stalk me 13:48, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
Let's wait and see who else may be interested. So far I don't see the critical mass for an organized group. NVO (talk) 00:27, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

Project departments/activities[edit]

As brought up by Michael above, WP:MILHIST, as well as WP:AVIATION and WP:AUSTRALIA, all have different department for project management. Areas which are absolutely necessary for the operation of a successful project include:

  • Style/MOS guidelines -- of upmost importance in order to get a general feel for like articles. Of course there would be general overlap between different task forces, and even other projects. Example, Nicholas II of Russia could come under both a history and biography taskforce (and also the Biography WP) -- each TS needs general style guidelines which can be merged into articles to bring their quality up.
  • Assessments -- Ezhiki is already going a lot of that. We need to go a little further in drawing up guidelines as to how to assess various articles and what is important to the project etc.
  • Outreach -- As is occurring in Russia today, the population is stagnating or declining, and failure is possible. The same goes here; we are continually in need of new blood on the project from editors who are after the same things that the project is; i.e. improvement of coverage of Russia-related topics across WP. I have created Wikipedia:WikiProject Russia/Outreach for this purpose and editors are able to start taking advantage of it to recruit new members. One important thing we need to do is to try and recruit from ru:wiki.
  • Article review -- this is often a problem on many projects -- editors request review of their work but get no input from the project. This needs to be incorporated into this project
  • Portal -- I hope that Cirt can explain to us how the portal is currently updated and by whom, and WP:RUSSIA members can perhaps take a more proactive role in that also.
  • Design/coding -- we would require editors who have a knowledge of wiki syntax in order to code project pages, templates, and the like.
  • Collaboration -- many other projects have a regular project collaboration -- collaboration of the week/fortnight/etc -- in order for the project as a whole to work collectively as a group on one article to bring its overall standard up. The quality of collaborations that I have seen in the past has varied from lack-lustre to basic FA quality; this can only be determined by the will of editors to work towards a common aim. Take Russian language for example, although it has been demoted from WP:FA, as it was once an FA, it would be easy enough if the project as a whole worked together to get it back as FA.

There are more things which the project needs, and I hope others can point out what priorities would be?

Of course, the entire thing is dependent on editors who have the time, and desire, to help out wherever possible, so that the project as a whole progresses smoothly. There isn't much point going into great discussion about what avenues the project can take if no-one is interested, so perhaps editors can put their hands up and express where they may be able, or willing, to help out.

Example, I would be happy to do outreach on en:wiki, and also participate on project collaborations as much as possible. --Russavia Dialogue Stalk me 19:47, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Take Russian language for example, although it has been demoted from WP:FA, as it was once an FA, it would be easy enough if the project as a whole worked together to get it back as FA - Sorry, I have to disagree. What is badly needed there is some attention from linguists rather than from people interested in Russia, and WP:RUSSIA would be of absolutely no help in that case. Moscow and Russia are another matter, of course, but even there WP:CITIES and WP:COUNTRIES may be helpful to maintain some sense of impartiality and set the common ground for comparison. Colchicum (talk) 14:14, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

Assessments[edit]

I previously discussed the assessment process with Russavia, and we both agreed that assessing non-article pages (dabs, redirects, cats, etc.) has no utility to the project and unnecessarily wastes editors' time and Wikimedia's resources. In fact, since then I've been routinely removing dabs/redirects/cats assessment tags when I happened to stumble upon them. The problem with them is that they also screw up the stats box (as I am writing this, the stats box shows 1,310 unassessed articles, while the count in Category:Unassessed Russia articles is actually 1,362, which means there are 52 non-article pages skewing the stats (the delta used to be much higher before I started the clean-up). Seeing that Cirt recently re-created the categories for this kind of assessments, I would like to re-open this issue in hope of garnering broader opinion.

If the consensus on non-tagging the non-article pages still stands, I would suggest that categories such as Category:Disambig-Class Russia articles are permanently deleted and a note to this effect is made on the Assessments subpage of the WikiProject. If someone wants to keep these categories, I would appreciate an explanation of what their utility (or potential utility) is. Thanks.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); 15:32, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Many of the relevant articles have not yet been tagged at all, let alone assessed. Normally I don't tag the articles I create myself, and most of them have not been tagged. Someone should check the huge User:AlexNewArtBot/RussiaSearchResult/archive. Colchicum (talk) 16:05, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
If no one objects, I am going to delete the non-article-related assessment categories (such as Category:Disambig-Class Russia articles) and to continue untagging the non-articles when I stumble upon them. Thanks.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); 16:30, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
In absence of any objections, I've got rid of all of the non-article assessment grades (with the exception of Portal, Merge, and Needed, which show at least some promise at being useful in the future) and untagged all of the articles so they no longer screw up the unassessed articles count.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); 19:17, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
If this is what project participants want to do, no objections here. Cirt (talk) 19:21, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
Aren't you one of us "project participants" now, Cirt? :) On a serious note, though, if you know of any useful applications for those non-article assessment grades, I, for one, would be more than happy to learn what they are. Cheers,—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); 19:35, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
I have seen some projects use them, some don't. To each their own, I guess. Cirt (talk) 19:38, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Team building[edit]

I can probably contribute to or verify articles on music from Russia or Russian sub-cultures. Feel free to contact. Netrat (talk) 21:54, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

The same about me, regarding science, IT, St.Petersburg area and "everyday life". Though can't promise to be a "locomotive" :) Feel free to contact too. --S-n-ushakov (talk) 17:15, 5 October 2008 (UTC)