Wikipedia talk:Wikipedia Signpost/Archive 2

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Thank you!

Just writing in general praise of the July 19th edition which I've just caught up with belatedly. I especially like the recent expansion of the "Best of..." page which showcases our featured content. It's great to have the brief explanations of what the featured articles are about. I'm sure that will lead to more readers clicking to view those articles - it's certainly the case with me.

I could be wrong here, but I seem to recall Signpost used to get delivered on Wednesdays and now it's Mondays. I like that; I contribute to Wikipedia on weekdays and catching up with all the news as I begin my week I find very inspiring. So, thanks to everyone involved on Signpost. And I'm very pleased that, having arrived at the July 19th issue so late, I should be seeing another edition in a couple of hours :O) --bodnotbod (talk) 14:04, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

You're welcome! :) You're not wrong at all; we've been dealing with a few matters for some time, but after a lot of pushing, the team has worked together to bring Signpost back to deliveries on Monday. Thank you for providing your feedback! Ncmvocalist (talk) 05:44, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

Previously posted at top of newsroom

The Wikipedia Signpost have decide that you should not be able to read commentary on the problems with censorship. This is the first time commentary has been censored from the Wikipedia Signpost, however, evidently, speaking out against Jimbo Wales' actions in the recent Commons debacle is too controversial.

Since I started editing Wikipedia, I've created literally hundreds of Featured pictures, a dozen or so Featured articles, a couple Featured portals, a featured list, and various other things.

What has my reward been?

I've been harassed, bullied, and generally treated like dirt. An arbcom case was opened by Charles Matthews, then a sitting arbitrator, to punish me for not immediately agreeing to his request to reconsider a block, with no additional information than "I think it's a good idea". I instead sought opinions on ANI, and so Charles Matthews got his friends in the Arbcom to harass me for three months. After two months, they decided that they really should have sought other means of dispute resolution, and opened an RfC... which came out firmly in my decfense. This wasn't what they wanted, so they ignored it, attacked those who spoke out against me, and did what they wanted

It took a year for the Arbcom to finally agree to withdraw the case, replacing it with an apology, and detailing the many procedural and ethical lapses.

More recently, I've been blocked for having an arbcom statement slightly over the limit - while I was in the middle of a lengthy rewrite. The other user I was in dispute with also had a statement over the limit throughout that time... and was never so much as warned.

Wikipedia treats its users like shit, but, ironically, only the long-time experienced users. If you ever begin to become jaded, your upset at Wikipedia will be used to implement more injustices.

Here we see an example. At the start of the news cycle, I wrote an editorial, following the Signpost's stated guideance for such. When it was done, I was told that they no longer publish editorials, and, instead of raising a fuss, I offered to simply publish it as a comment to stories, and the thread discussing it was closed.

Two hours before publication, the editor of the Signpost deleted the comment, without telling anyone. I objected; he had participated in the discussion, and the discussion had been closed for nearly a week, with the comment ready for publication throughout that time. I had dropped my insistence on publication of editorials, or any attempt to revise the article into a non-editorial overview, based on what I had seen as the agreement.

Now, not only is talking about censorship censored, but even a private complaint about at the [http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia%3AWikipedia_Signpost%2FNewsroom&action=historysubmit&diff=375694073&oldid=375693486 editor making grossly inaccurate personal attacks against me, based on patently false allegations, has been censored.

I quit. Both the Signpost, and Wikipedia.

Adam Cuerden (talk) 09:25, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

Posting your grievances at the top of the Signpost's newsroom and on talk pages is not a "private complaint." In fact, you've been rather obnoxious about everything, which is why other editors have told you not to use the Signpost as your own personal megaphone. The Wales deletions were previously covered by the Signpost, perhaps with not as much zeal as you'd like. Posting your views as a comment to a news story that doesn't even mention the deletions isn't the appropriate place, and you know it. The bottom line is that you wanted attention and the community wouldn't give it to you. Grow up. -Mabeenot (talk) 17:01, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
That's not helping. Quite a few of us are hoping Adam will wake up tomorrow morning and feel differently—forgive and forget. We need him at F and A. Tony (talk) 17:03, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
This is just getting embarrassing and ridiculous. Stop positioning yourself as a victim. You shouldn't be editing Wikipedia expecting "reward", that's not what it's about, and you should damn well know that.
Regarding your opinion piece, the fact is that it was simply not the right sort of content that the Signpost publishes. There's a reason we are known as a reliable, respected source of information - and it's not because of "censorship", as you put it - it's because we are careful to maintain a standard, and your piece was in utter disregard of that. We take a step back from Wikidrama and stay level-headed.
You noted the existence of the Opinion Desk, but instead of listing your piece there for consideration by other editors, you added it to the next issue without any discussion. The opinion guidelines state only that essays should be "fact-based and well researched, and should not be unnecessarily inflammatory in tone", yet you managed to adhere to none of those requirements. You then posted an entire essay on the talk page of an unrelated article. How could this have possibly been acceptable? If I have a problem with Tree, would I post a message to Talk:Face?
I know nothing about your troubles with ArbCom, but if your behaviour here is anything to go by, I'm not surprised you had a difficult time with them. — Pretzels Hii! 19:45, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Moving my comment here, from the "In the news" discussion section (where I don't think it was usefully placed), so the following is in reply to bahamut0013's comment over there:
Agreed. (And for doG's sake, please give diffs/links when complaining. I had to dig all this out.) Imho, This is a good Signpost opinion essay, and this is a good editorial; but your submission reads more like a pure angry tubthumping rant (And I say that as someone who agrees that Jimbo mishandled the situation, but who doesn't expect an apology). I'm not sure what to make of the "censored" section, but each of the paragraphs there has a problem I could complain about.
I recommend some breathing and stretching and nature. That usually helps my own cynicism and mutterings to clear up for a few hours :) -- Quiddity (talk) 23:48, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

Pretzels: I know nothing about your troubles with ArbCom, but if your behaviour here is anything to go by, I'm not surprised you had a difficult time with them. Pretzels, Adam's time before ArbCom and the conduct of his case was marked by some truly appalling behaviour on the part of the Committee. That the Committee's that followed had to dragged kicking and screaming to admit that the case was a travesty is a matter which should leave them feeling considerable shame. Whatever anyone might think of Adam's proposed contribution to Signpost (which, for the record, I haven't even read), the ArbCom case was heavily criticised at the time and even more heavily criticised since. The fact was that Adam's "difficult time" owed far more to the poor conduct of the arbitrators and their pathetic case management than it did to anything Adam did. EdChem (talk) 14:57, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

Inception and Lucid dream

I've just noticed an interesting little fact that might pick the curiosity of Signpost writers as well. The number of page views[1] for the Lucid dream article has been increasing almost exponentially since the release date of the movie Inception. Gulmammad | talk 00:21, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

"The Signpost" is way too generic a rename

"The Signpost" could be the name of any sort of publication from Palookaville to Podunk. Please go with something more descriptive and useful, like "The Wikimedia Signpost" or just "The Wiki Signpost".--Pharos (talk) 18:16, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

C'mon, someone's gotta agree with me on this...--Pharos (talk) 16:29, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
We had this discussion a few weeks ago. Check it out here. It may become the "Wikimedia Signpost" someday down the road, but right now there isn't enough coverage of other projects to warrant that broader moniker. Our coverage is still primarily Wikipedia with only a few bits from other projects. The "Wikipedia" was eliminated because it resulted in redundant page names and readers of the Signpost don't need to be reminded that they're reading this newsletter on Wikipedia. -Mabeenot (talk) 00:01, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
Well, to clarify: We do have a lot of coverage about topics beyond the English Wikipedia, especially in the "News and notes", "In the news" and "Technology Report" sections. This interwiki angle was also discussed at length back in June, and it was a major reason for the rename - in fact, the very first reason given in the renaming proposal linked above: "It makes a very visible signal that we report from other Wikimedia family projects too".
It is true, however, that our Interwiki coverage is mostly about other Wikipedias and not often about non-Wikipedia projects. While we should try to cover them too (and we do have an upcoming report about Wikinews, for example), I think this is also due to the fact that Wikipedias attract the very vast majority of pageviews and editors for the Foundation's projects (see the slides for Erik Möller Wikimania talk, p.4.)
Pharos is right that "The Signpost" could be the name of a wholly different publication - in fact, it is. In any case, outside of Wikipedia it is still useful to put "Wikipedia" or "Wiki" in front of the name, such as on Twitter and identi.ca or for the RSS feed.
Regards, HaeB (talk) 11:28, 31 July 2010 (UTC)

"Return to Contents" links broken

...in each and every article, it seems. They point to Wikipedia:WikipediaSignpost/Archives/[date of issue], but I haven't been able to find where exactly that missing space between Wikipedia and Signpost ought to be edited in; those templates are too complex for me. Can someone please fix it? Waltham, The Duke of 19:08, 31 July 2010 (UTC)

Oopsy, mea culpa (and I could have sworn it worked for me before?!?). It was trimming the space. Try now. - Jarry1250 [Humorous? Discuss.] 19:42, 31 July 2010 (UTC)
And lo and behold, the links have broken off their unannounced strike and resumed their regular duties. Thanks. Waltham, The Duke of 20:06, 31 July 2010 (UTC)

Discussions, Reports and Miscellaneous Articulations

Can we go back to having that as the subtitle for Discussion Report? I always found the three clever titles (Discussions, Reports and Miscellaneous Articulations, The Report on Lengthy Litigation, and Bugs, Reports, and Internal Operations) very amusing. NW (Talk) 02:30, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

  • I also support this. — Pretzels Hii! 03:04, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Yeah, hilarious, particularly when you've seen them for the two hundredth time. Meanwhile the readers who don't notice the oh-so-clever wordplay are left wondering what on earth the section in question is actually about. (And presumably those who do notice conclude that the Signpost's position is that all Wikipedia discussions are drama and all ArbCom proceedings are trolling.)--Kotniski (talk) 07:42, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
I have to agree with Kotniski: the number of readers who actually get the acronym jokes must be tiny, and they come at the cost of very unsnappy headlines. I only got the BRION thing last week, when it came up, and I only got the DRAMA thing just now. Maybe I'm thick. I would drop them and use snappier subtitles, without the alphabet soup upper case. Tony (talk) 08:03, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
  • I'm on the fence and I think there's +/- in both views. I'm testing which is more suitable for the title of the arb report in particular. Will be interested to hear more feedback on the issue in the meantime. Ncmvocalist (talk) 09:18, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Another point is that ArbCom proceedings have virtually nothing in common with "litigation" (more like "prosecution" if anything, though even that's a poor analogy), so that really is a misleading title (and even if a reader happens to notice that the initial letters of the title spell "troll" - so what? Why that word? Are we really accusing everyone who brings an ArbCom case of being a troll?)--Kotniski (talk) 09:36, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
I hadn't even noticed that initialism. I don't think much of it at all. Let's make The Signpost reader-oriented, interesting. These coded wink-winks are all too in-house. Tony (talk) 10:00, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Actually, I don't mind cryptic insider jokes as long they do not get in the way of the reporting. And, yes I too have reservations against ArbCom proceedings being referred to as 'litigation'. I can think of nothing more apt than 'dispute resolution' which is what it really is.--Forty twoThanks for all the fish! 10:54, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
There is another aspect which hasn't been mentioned yet: On the issue content page (example), both the section title (e.g. "Arbitration Report") and the subtitle (e.g. "The Report on Lengthy Litigation") are displayed next to each other. If someone decides to use "Arbitration Report" as the subtitle, too, as it has happened recently, that would lead to an undesirable doubling on the content page ("Arbitration Report: Arbitration Report").
I have the impression that many readers like the puns and that they don't do too much harm among the rest. But I also agree that a good, descriptive headline is preferable to a generic one: It is crucial for readership numbers as many readers arrive at the contents page first and use the headlines there to decide which stories may interest them.
I would therefore propose the following compromise: We keep "Discussion Reports and Miscellaneous Articulations", "The Report on Lengthy Litigation" and "Bugs, Repairs, and Internal Operational News" as fallbacks which are overridden as soon as a Signpost writer comes up with a decriptive headline that does a good job of summarizing the content of that section in that issue. At publication time, I will check for each of the three sections if we have arrived at such a title, if not, I will use the fallback.
Regards, HaeB (talk) 17:03, 1 August 2010 (UTC)
BTW and FWIW, "The Report on Lengthy Litigation" had been used (apparently) continually since the very first Signpost issue in 2005, see Michael Snow's remark about the name there. There is a discussion about a new generic name for that section (invented by Ncmvocalist) here and currently in the Newsroom. Regards, HaeB (talk) 05:39, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
Discussion continued from newsroom:

A common cause of concern regarding the new name "Tricky and Lengthy Dispute Resolution" is that it is POINTy, disruptive, and non-neutral and that "'tricky' has an inescapable ring of 'Tricky Dicky Nixon'". It has also been suggested that it be renamed to 'Arbitration Report'.

Personally, I find 'Arbitration Report' to be too bland. I also very strongly disagree to the suggestion that the new name is POVish. Only the trickiest and the lengthiest disputes make it to ArbCom and hence the name is very apt.--Forty twoThanks for all the fish! 10:05, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Indeed. To add to this, since 2005, there has been no concern about the title containing the word "lengthy" or the fact that it is very lengthy, so I kept that part of the tradition. This also appeared to be appreciated last week by some other readers. Ncmvocalist (talk) 10:54, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

More than 10,000 hits on the 10 May edition; other interesting stats

Dear colleagues, I've used Henryk's article-traffic counter to do a little research on page visits to The Signpost. I had imagined that that only a small proportion of hits would occur after the end of each publication week—that reader interest in each edition would subside dramatically after subscription notices are posted for the subsequent edition. This is strikingly not the case. I looked at hits for each SP page in two editions—3 and 10 May—during two publication weeks and in the seven weeks after each. I chose these editions because they were different in composition: both included five of the six core SP pages (the Technology report was on hiatus in both weeks); but while 3 May had only a book review as an "extra" feature, 10 May was dominated by extra features.

The first graph shows the number of hits in the publication week alone for the two editions; the second graph shows the post-publication hits as a percentage of the original publication-week hits. In both graphs (call them Figs 1 and 2), the subtitles for each week are divided by a slash—first 3 May (red bars), and then 10 May (blue bars).

SP number of hits by page.jpg

SP pub vs post-pub hits.jpg

Conclusions and questions:

  • Both Figs show how popular The Signpost is. For 10 May, there were 7,900 hits during the week (Fig. 1); this was boosted to a total of > 10,600 by hits since that week (Fig. 2), still rising. For 3 May, the figures are 6,145 and 8,464, respectively.
  • It does look as though the presence of big-hit stories, whether core or extra, suppresses the readership of other stories, particularly the core stories. This might explain the marked fall-off in visits to many 10 May stories (blue) compared with the 3 May edition (red) in Fig. 1. It could be that when there are bit-hit stories, readers jump straight to these and earmark the other pages for later catch-up or don't read them at all. A larger sample would be required to work this out.
  • Fig. 2: For both editions, post-publication hits have added more than 30% to the total number of page visits. Why? Do readers bookmark SP articles that interest them and return over the subsequent month or two? Do they access whole previous editions in one go from the subscription notice on their talk page?
  • Fig. 1 shows that when porn is the topic, hit-rates go off the dial during the week. (An analysis of recent editions—yet to be posted—shows a similar effect when pedophilia or objectionable material are in the subtitle.) However, the effect is short-lived: retrospective interest is below average as a proportion of publication-week interest (Fig. 2).
  • iPhone app and Vector rollout was popular during publication week.
  • The topics of WP books, in both NAN and its stand-alone article, was of remarkably enduring interest after publication week (Fig. 2). Why?
  • The greater overall hit-rate for 10 May suggests that either the presence of extra features, the particular topics of porn and WP books, or a combination of both, boost readership. A larger sample would be needed to confirm this.
  • There is a possibility that top-left placement on the contents list boosts readership: unsure.

As an adjunct to Fig. 1, for the 10 May edition only, here is a breakdown of the fall-offs from the publication week (= 100%) through three periods expressed as day ranges, beginning Day 8. The figures are for the average number of hits per day during each period. The most recent range (49–63 days after end of publication week) has a seven-day hole in it (see limitations), so actually extends to 70 days. The slight upwards kink in the WP-book-related hits in the last period may be statistical noise: I cannot explain it.

SP fall-off after pub week (day ranges).jpg

Limitations:

  • The traffic counter had a nervous breakdown two weeks ago; no data could be drawn from that week.
  • The traffic counter may not be highly accurate anyway.
  • The sample of just two editions is small. Tony (talk) 16:18, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
This is really cool. Thanks for doing some hard-core research and drawing up some nice graphs. I feel there may have been other confounding factors influencing the difference in overall readership between the May 3 and May 10 issue (that's close to exam and graduation time for many colleges and high schools in the northern hemisphere). I hope you continue to expand the sample with a more issues as we go along so we can get an even clearer picture. -Mabeenot (talk) 03:28, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
Henrik's tool is based off data from domas's dammit.lt site. Please see some recent revelations regarding that data here and here. (Note: I didn't read the above in its entirety, please forgive me if you took this into account. I'm just trying to spread the word about this news.) Killiondude (talk) 06:50, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for that, Killion. Looks like May might have been less prone to packet loss, and that other months might be underestimating rather than overestimating hits. If the actual additional hits after publication week are even higher than I counted, it is yet more remarkable; I was more concerned the counts might have been overestimates, so this is kind of good news. Also, the emphasis on comparing within May should not be too vulnerable to distortions, I hope. I left a note on Henryk's talk page with a link to here.Tony (talk) 10:10, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
Very interesting, thanks for the work! Some additional remarks:
Regards, HaeB (talk) 08:59, 1 August 2010 (UTC)

Looking for a writer to do WP Report on WP Universities

We left a note on the talk page of WikiProject Universities to see if there were enough active editors to warrant an interview for a WikiProject Report article in August (right before many universities in the Northern hemisphere go back to class). Sure enough, there was plenty of interest and they're wanting to know when we'll start the interview. Unfortunately, the writer who was going to conduct the interview had to take a break. Would anyone be interested in taking this up? I would do it myself, but I'm a little biased toward this project. The article's date is flexible and we have all the resources you'd need to create the Report. -Mabeenot (talk) 04:54, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

I would offer, but I'm on dial-up from Thursday to Sunday. Even if you're "close" to the topic, you could still recognise that and compensate (?). You could just put a short disclaimer in italics at the bottom. That's similar to what TV journalists do at the non-commercial networks. Tony (talk) 05:34, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
This specific Report doesn't have to be done this week, so if you'd like to do it on the days when you've got a better internet connection, that's definitely an option. We've got a couple other projects scheduled this month, so there's no rush. Plus, you can just post the questions on one of the Report's sandboxes and the WP Universities folks will answer it on their own time. -Mabeenot (talk) 17:07, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
Mono will be doing it...  ono  04:37, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
I love the new signature. Tony (talk) 12:52, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Thank you.  ono  17:57, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

Delisted FAs per week.

I think I've mentioned before that I read the Wikipedia Signpost for updates on what's going on with the featured content in Wikipedia. Every time a former FA is delisted, for instance, I like to check the article's talkpage, to see if it ever was featured on the main page. I think it might be interesting to note which ones got their turn on the main page at some point and which ones never did. The same ought to be done for former featured images. Wilhelmina Will (talk) 08:42, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

How will we actually move to Wikipedia:Signpost?

A question for those who know more about moving things around here than I do: how are we actually going to achieve moving our pages now we've renamed to just "The Signpost". There was consensus to put the main page at Wikipedia:Signpost. I can move some smaller pages without breaking things, but how will we adjust to publishing issues at Wikipedia:Signpost/2010-08-09, for example? — Pretzels Hii! 13:00, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

Move them all, keep redirects. Could be easy as, with just a few critical templates to update. Or, if people aren't keen on keeping the redirects, fixing a few broken links and a few more templates to patch up. Or, if people aren't keen on moving back issues, mainly just template work. - Jarry1250 [Humorous? Discuss.] 14:24, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
I think it might be wise to duplicate a new set of templates, as the current ones look for the next/prev article/issue at Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/***. Should be fine to keep the redirects for now, it's just sensitive things like the subscription list and complex templates like Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Signpost/Issue that must be moved with care. — Pretzels Hii! 15:23, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure duplicating templates in necessary - they can be coded to be backwards compatible. - Jarry1250 [Humorous? Discuss.] 15:41, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
How would you go about that? The only way I can imagine is setting them to check whether the article date is past whatever switchover we use, and outputting Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost or Wikipedia:Signpost depending on that - which would be unwieldy and very repetitive. — Pretzels Hii! 15:54, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
Here is the entire Signpost (it goes on for several pages). Could we get a bot to move it all? -Mabeenot (talk) 16:43, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
I don't think we should move older issues, as they are the Wikipedia Signpost. I think only our future issues, and pages like the Newsroom etc, should be under Wikipedia:Signpost. — Pretzels Hii! 17:25, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
Just check for existence. It either exists at one location or the other. I already implemented it for the contents page. And yes, we could get a bot to move them (or AWB it). - Jarry1250 [Humorous? Discuss.] 08:58, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
That's a good solution. The new location needs to take precedence though, in the event that both exist. — Pretzels Hii! 17:55, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

Archives backlog

Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Archives/2010 (extended, with ToC) end in late June. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 17:13, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

Fixed, thanks! (Actually it went until the end of July, but the July issues were erroneously labeled with June.)
Regards, HaeB (talk) 03:39, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
Erm, that would be my doing. Sorry.
By the way, why are we still linking dates in the Signpost archives? I hardly think that the FBI seal take-down request can be compared in terms of newsworthiness with the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, yet so much seems to be made of their common date of 9 August. Waltham, The Duke of 23:34, 15 August 2010 (UTC)

Wikiversity Signpost

I'm thinking about starting a wikiversity equivalent of the Signpost. Would anyone be willing to help me? Please contact me on my talk page. Thanks, Rock drum Ba-dumCrash (Review me) 15:29, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

For this, I'm planning to copy the templates from here. Is that a problem with anybody? Thanks, Rock drum Ba-dumCrash (Driving well?) 15:17, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

I've created a SVG version of the Signpost's logo, however, it is a little heavier than the current one. I was wondering if anyone had any opinion on this.  ʄlame  23:07, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

Hi Mono, like I said here, the SVG looks a bit too dense in my browser. The logo (masthead) needs to be usable in small sizes, too, such as in Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Subscribe/Message, and e.g. the fine white gap in the "S" was barely visible there in my browser when I tried the SVG - with the PNG, it is well visible.
By the way, moving the PNG to Commons appears to have broken it temporarily on some pages here; e.g. some section pages of the current Signpost issue might need purging.
Regards, HaeB (talk) 23:25, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
It's almost impossible to recreate an image as SVG without the source font. I'll let Mabeenot know; he should be able to get me a copy of the font.  ono  23:46, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
The font is "Old English" (not the Monotype version). Send me an email and I'll get it to you. -Mabeenot (talk) 03:32, 20 August 2010 (UTC)
The SVG version looks slightly smaller. Can it be at least the same size? Width across the page is the important dimension, to me. Tony (talk) 00:13, 21 August 2010 (UTC)

Maintenance templates

In our mad rush near the end of the cycle, we get edit conflicts way to often. We really need to use maintenance templates. Specialised templates with nav links to newsroom, etc. would be very useful.--Forty twoThanks for all the fish! 15:21, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

How's this:

Thanks, Rock drum Ba-dumCrash (Review me) 18:27, 15 August 2010 (UTC)

Great. I think this should help.--Forty twothe answer? 13:19, 21 August 2010 (UTC)

IP Subscription

Please remove the IPs from the list of subscribers. Hazard-SJ Talk 09:06, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

Why? — Pretzels Hii! 15:07, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
I'm thinking bandwith :) ResMar 04:04, 20 August 2010 (UTC)
That doesn't make any sense. --MZMcBride (talk) 19:52, 20 August 2010 (UTC)
I'm sure it does. Lots of IPs + monthly newspaper subscription = bandwith hog. I wouldn't support such a move, though. ResMar 01:34, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
Actually, it's weekly. :) Rock drum Ba-dumCrash (Driving well?) 12:33, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
I still don't see why we should prevent IPs from subscribing to the post.--Forty twothe answer? 13:29, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
See WP:PERF. –xenotalk 15:31, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
We shouldnt. ResMar 15:28, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
I don't see why IP contributors shouldn't be allowed to subscribe. — Pretzels Hii! 17:48, 22 August 2010 (UTC)

Making people aware of the existence of the Signpost

Are they? Or is it possible to be a relatively active Wikipedian and yet not heard of the Signpost? Would an informative note on the Village Pump help? I'm of the opinion that it might, but I haven't thought it through very well. - Jarry1250 [Humorous? Discuss.] 10:48, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

And is subscription available yet on sister projects? Tony (talk) 11:03, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
I don't think so. But I have recently started announcing new issues on Foundation-l[3] (a suggestion by Phoebe), which I assume is read by a lot of people from sister projects.
Regards, HaeB (talk) 11:16, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
Is it possible for the subscription service to be made available at other WPs and at Commons? Who developed the subscription bot/facility first? Perhaps they might know. I think this is of prime importance in fostering interwiki collaboration. And let's face it, English is the international language, so we are in a unique position in being readable by many users throughout WMF projects. Tony (talk) 12:52, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
MZMcBride mentioned the possibility of creating a cross-project delivery bot, so that people could sign up on Meta and receive talk page deliveries on their home wikis.--ragesoss (talk) 14:19, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
By the way and for what it's worth, there was a very short-lived delivery service on Wikinews in 2007 (n:User:HermesBot, six users signed up for it).
Regards, HaeB (talk) 03:48, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
Who is best-placed to create such a cross-project delivery bot? It could eventually multiply our readership significantly. Um ... English is the international language ... and more foreign readers will inevitably feed into a more international scope, which is a good thing IMO. Tony (talk) 00:17, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
Sounds like we have a request to publish in the next Signpost... "Needed: A bot builder to create a cross-wiki bot for delivering the Signpost to our sister projects (Commons, Wiktionary, other languages, etc)." -Mabeenot (talk) 18:22, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
I'm happy to run such a request (it would also be a nice occasion to thanks EdwardsBot for the good work since it took up the delivery job in October last year, and do an estimate how many tens of thousands of Signpost copies it has distributed since). It might however be worthwhile to ask MZMcBride (EdwardsBot's owner) first. A delivery bot needs to be told what to distribute and when to start. For EdwardsBot I am already doing this as part of the publication process.
Regards, HaeB (talk) 03:51, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
I've alerted MZBcBride to this section. Tony (talk) 04:58, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

Related to this section title, look for weekly announcements of the new Signpost issue to start appearing on the Wikipedia page on Facebook, which has close to 400,000 fans. The one for this week's issue will probably go up later today. Also, there will be a page on Meta soon for community discussion and suggestions for other things for the Wikipedia page to post on Facebook.--ragesoss (WMF) (talk) 18:50, 25 August 2010 (UTC)

Both of these messages—Sage's and Mabeenot's—are very welcome. Tony (talk) 21:19, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
It has been up since Thursday evening, yielding over 250 clicks so far (bit.ly/czx8IB+). Regards, HaeB (talk) 03:51, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
How about a specific Facebook page for the Signpost? Rock drum Ba-dumCrash (Driving well?) 07:45, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

flagged revs

Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Templates/flaggedrevisions looks very outdated, and too big to boot. I've enclosed everything in small tags, if that's ok, and I propose a new list from where that one dropped off. (Eg. Recent pending changes debates) ResMar 02:30, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

True, for these two reasons I included it only as a link in the June coverage about Pending changes. It might be an idea to have a new, separate template for Pending changes, but it would so far only include three articles (two in June, one now), and we might still get new articles about Flaggedrevs in general (e.g. a write-up about Felipe Ortega's study on Flaggedrevs on the German Wikipedia, once the video from his Wikimania talk becomes available).
Regards, HaeB (talk) 05:24, 24 August 2010 (UTC)
Good job on the newest issue :) ResMar 21:12, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

Dispatches

It's listed as "On hiatus," but I decided to go ahead and write up Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2010-08-23/Dispatches. It's a list of pertinent editor tools. Only partially complete right now. Feel free to add good ones I've missed. Hope it's not too bad of an article :) ResMar 02:59, 20 August 2010 (UTC)

Ooh. I like it! :-) Carcharoth (talk) 18:47, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
That's a great idea, but I feel it might be more useful if it was a series of features on related tools, with maybe even key tools (eg AWB) getting their own report. That would be more digestible for readers, as well as easier to write, and then from reader feedback you can cover tools that have been overlooked. Rd232 talk 14:10, 22 August 2010 (UTC)
I agree, but all this comes after. The article should stand as is (it's meant to be a dispatch thing anyway), perhaps we can start a series. While I'm interested in that regard I in no way see it as a reason to delay the publishing of the article. ResMar 15:00, 22 August 2010 (UTC)
I disagree, because I think the present article would be better split into several, as part of a series. This is great idea, but it can be made better by restructuring it as a series. If there is no appetite for that, a one-off is still good, but the decision needs to be made now. Rd232 talk 17:29, 22 August 2010 (UTC)
Well, I decide that it should be posted as is and the possible serialization be put under discussion for later. I'm sure that's not worth a mule's eye though. ResMar 22:23, 22 August 2010 (UTC)
Please do not run this Dispatch yet, and in the future, please coordinate your work at the Dispatch Workshop to avoid the problems present here. See Wikipedia talk:Wikipedia Signpost/2010-08-23/Dispatches. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:03, 22 August 2010 (UTC)
I think a better analogy would be "to avoid the problems here and instead face them head on there." ResMar 16:20, 22 August 2010 (UTC)
Hi SandyGeorgia, not to dismiss the many great contributions of the Dispatch Workshop to the Signpost in the past, but considering that only four of its "weekly columns" have appeared after May 2009, the last one five months ago, the project can safely be described as inactive (if not historical). It should also be remarked that some content that used to be in Dispatches - interview-style statements by FC contributors - has since been integrated into the "Features and admins" section (by Tony and others).
Still, I agree it would have been better if Resident Mario had posted a notification on the Workshop's talk page. However, while feedback by others is important to ensure the quality of Signpost articles, this is already being provided in the Newsroom, and it is not entirely clear to me why it is necessary in addition that a Signpost writer who just wants to contribute an interesting article has to submit to the authority of not less than five different users whose last significant contribution to the Signpost appears to lay way in the past ("It should be reviewed at minimum by Ucucha, Dispenser, Dr pda, Gary King and Ealdgyth"[4]).
That being said, it is questionable whether the article even falls under the scope of Dispatches ("issues concerning featured content and related pages"): None of the tools presented is particular to featured content processes. If such a rubric is needed at all, the tutorial series seems closer in kind.
As the article is not time-critical in any way, and there have been several suggestions for expansion or improvement in the Newsroom, I think there isn't much harm in postponing it until the following issue (August 30). Therefore - after discussing this with Resident Mario - I won't publish it in the upcoming (August 23) issue.
If this somewhat unpleasant discussion has the positive side effect of reviving the Dispatch Workshop, that would be great.
Regards, HaeB (talk) 17:04, 22 August 2010 (UTC)
Doubtful. I have plently of ideas and have pinged Rurchfish, Cirt on some (responses: I'll see if I can finish it and yeah, I'll think about it), but this acidic response is seriously offputting, and otherwise I doubt anyone will contribute regularly beyond the ocassional "special-event" post. ResMar 20:51, 22 August 2010 (UTC)

I'm not sure how the Dispatches warranted so much heated and emotional discussion. I feel it's important that we remember to welcome new contributors rather than biting them because of small misunderstandings. -Mabeenot (talk) 21:20, 22 August 2010 (UTC)

I hope by new, you're not referering to me? I started editing in Dec 08, thats not new on any order. I feeel my qualifications are not an issue. Anyway, I think that the article is perfectly placed as is. A tutorial is meant to teach you something. What does this teach? ResMar 22:21, 22 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Note Looking away from the "content tools" idea for a second, Raul654 (talk · contribs) said he would write something up about the 3000th FA, which was recently promoted. Dabomb87 (talk) 21:22, 22 August 2010 (UTC)
ResMar can feel this getting pushed back another week. Oh well, at least it's something important. What was the 3000th FA? ResMar 22:21, 22 August 2010 (UTC)
See User talk:Raul654#FA milestone. Dabomb87 (talk) 22:59, 22 August 2010 (UTC)

Guess I should be proud that the product of about an hour of work on my part has come around to a scalding debate on the community's part. This discussion needs to be centralized. Here, the the article's talk, or notes. Don't we have to delete the talk page once its up for publication anyway? ResMar 22:26, 22 August 2010 (UTC)

I'm seeing no evidence of a scalding or heated debate, so perhaps I missed it, but the centralized discussion should have occurred at WT:FCDW, which would have avoided these issues. There are still several tools missing, and editors who have written or extensively use those tools in content review processes are just now beginning to weigh in and correct the errors. Referencing several misstatements above, the Dispatches cover multiple content review processes-- not just FAs-- and pinging in all of the editors who wrote and use these tools, as well as notifying WT:FCDW, would have been a more efficient way to approach this. I'm wondering why ResMar chose to launch this unilaterally when there is a clear Project page with members (which he acknowledged), but hope this Dispatch will move forward now, with a comprehensive reivew of several missing tools, including pinging in those editors who wrote and use them. The Signpost Dispatches shouldn't really be a venue for one editor to unilaterally write up his "favorites", rather a more collaborative and comprehensive approach to content review. I would be very surprised if a Dispatch could be written in an hour !!! I haven't had time to review this Dispatch for missing content, but as a minimum, I see it doesn't explain that the Featured article tools can be added to any talk page, so there may be more missing content. The Dispatches had historically a high level of quality, precisely because of the collaborative effort, so let's not see that trend decline with hurried entries. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:12, 24 August 2010 (UTC)
Point on "historically." The support page was very, very inactive. Can you point out other editors going through the same process I am right now, first and foremost of all? And I'd love to know whats missing. Because a) a vauge "stuff is missing" hardly means anything and b) I'd love to add it. ResMar 21:15, 24 August 2010 (UTC)
"Featured article tools can be added to any talk page." What? ResMar 23:12, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

I enjoyed the list (Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2010-08-30/Dispatches), but was then confronted with the long comments thread (from last week), at the end. Could (some or all of) that be collapsed, please and thank you? :) -- Quiddity (talk) 22:32, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

Well, I've boldly collapsed the prior discussion (at Wikipedia talk:Wikipedia Signpost/2010-09-06/Dispatches), added links to the current discussions, and made a list of what I think y'all are arguing about. Please feel free to add to that, or revert me if I've stepped on the wrong toes. Hope that helps. -- Quiddity (talk) 21:45, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

Just stopping by to make one comment and then moving on my way: Last I checked, WP:OWN is a policy that refers to articles, but in spirit refers to any part of Wikipedia. Just something to keep in mind... §hepTalk 00:32, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

Unsubscribe

Can someone kindly take me of this list, as I no longer am active on wikipedia, and this newsletter clutters up my talk page? Thank you in advance. My old user name was Ikip. Okip 22:16, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

I removed User:Ikip from the distribution list (the "Unsubscribe" link in the distributed messages leads there, too). Regards, HaeB (talk) 02:08, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

Dissapointing

I'm very dissapointed in what happened with this issue, in several ways. It's amazing the amount of negativity the two article I have written has generated. The tools article was meant as a helpful dispatch for new users. In fact, I doubt even experienced users have used everything there, and indeed Ragesoss told me on IRC he didn't know about a few of them, and I learned (from Dispenser) a bunch too. It's been the site of a pointless war. At first concerns were that it was not ready and not reviewed. I now agree, indeed it was not. I don't particularly like WP:FCDW, because it's not very active, but running rounds on talk pages is something I can do. Then, I started to recieve obstinate opossition from Signpost writers on some absurd notes: should be a series (yeah, who's gonna write it?), not Signost-y (yeah ok), and most troubling, shouldn't be in Dispatches. Considering that's the whole reason I wrote it, yeah, it should be in Dispatches. I agree with HaeB, however, that the discourse has so far been entirely disconcerting. And most of all, it has recently become completely pointless, and a bitter barb to me especially.

As for the 3000 article, I am first and foremost very, very, very dissapointed, at Tony1 and HaeB specifically, that it ran as a destroyed section of the F&A, and even more so that I recieved no notification to this regard. I have now removed my name and my material off of it. The article has run before, as 500, 1000, and 2000 FAs, and the sudden want to turn an important Wikipedia milestone into a minor item is beyond me entirely.

My proposal: 3000 will run in the next issue. Tools will run in the one after that, after a whopping 4 delays. It's amazing that all the comments from outsiders so far has been positive, but the jerk circle on the inside has been anything but. This incredibly negative reception is turning me off from the project more and more. ResMar 18:35, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

Although I was not involved in carrying out the edits you were objecting to (Tony1 added the text, and SandyGeorgia and The ed17 later edited the story without objecting[5]), I can easily explain the reasons. This was a compromise solving a problem that we had been discussing in the Newsroom, without much progress: A duplicate coverage, something that any news publication avoids. The reason for this was that you had failed to check the earlier Signpost issue (in the obvious place) for such coverage. I understand it is frustrating that you wrote some sentences in vain, but it is really not Tony's or the Signpost's fault.
Please do not make major changes to a story after publication (it has already been announced, with this content, in various places - mailing list, blog, Twitter - where it can' be changed either).
If you feel you can't endorse the article, we can remove you from the byline (that's what I had understood as your intention). But the text is not "yours", as you claimed here - apart from the fact that it was co-authored by SandyGeorgia[6] and Tony1, it is, like all contributions to Wikipedia, under a free license - read the message you see in the edit window each time:
'If you do not want your writing to be edited, used, and redistributed at will, then do not submit it here.
The purpose of the Signpost is not to let writers stake out territories or claim ownership of stories, but to inform the readers, and the present solution serves that purpose well.
Regards, HaeB (talk) 18:55, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
I object, and I recieved no notification of this. That is enough. Flaunt your liscensing all you want, but isn't saying that major editing on a story after publication a contradiction of your previous statement? As for duplicate coverage, somehow that hasn't been encountered in the three times previous the two sections have run side by side, and I'm sure a major Wikipedia milestone is much, much more important then such minor a concern as duplicate coverage. Minorizing it to avoid "duplicate coverage" is the biggest load of baloney I've heard in a while. After 2 weeks of back and forth argument I'm tired to death of what's been going on here. ResMar 18:59, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
In addition the part of the story that was passed to the page was a copy-paste, Tony did no such "work" on it. ResMar 19:04, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
And I'm still waiting for a "sorry" regarding me being left in the dark about the article's shoddy copy & paste job. ResMar 19:13, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
Still waiting. ResMar 19:50, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
I think Tony is not online at the moment, so you will have to have some patience if you want to hear his reaction. I agree it might have been more polite to tell you directly.
As for myself, I didn't get notified either, but a while after I had seen it, I put up a note about it in the Newsroom (right below a previous post of yours): "Note for later reference: The non-redundant part of Wikipedia:FCDW/3000 has now been incorporated into Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2010-08-30/Features and admins". I would have assumed that you follow the Newsroom page while you are on Wikipedia and interested about the developments and decisions about the upcoming issue.
Regards, HaeB (talk) 20:27, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
Tony points out that he announced it on the talk page of your text, which you might have been expected to have watchlisted too. Regards, HaeB (talk) 09:38, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
I happen to have been sleeping. ResMar 22:20, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
I love how 3000 was locked because of redundancy. It's going to have even more of a stale time, now that a copy-paste job has reached unrevertable status. ResMar 02:23, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
Well, fantastic work. Might as well mark the page for deletion. I see no one's going to let it run, now. Trying to revive dispatches has been the least fun thing I've done in a long time. ResMar 16:42, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
Can you add a RE: (article name/page) so those who are not involved in this dispute know what the hell everyone is talking about? Thank you Okip 22:17, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
And/or fix the spelling of "disappointing" ... - DavidWBrooks (talk) 01:27, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
If you don't understand the argument you either need to a) Figure it out or b) Get a life. ResMar 18:02, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

Pending changes

Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Templates/Pending changes. The publication of the official analysis is the 4th story in the series, so I've made it a template to keep track of them. Hope no one kills me for it. Cheers, ResMar 03:08, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

That's really useful. Thanks, Rock drum Ba-dumCrash (Driving well?) 07:24, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, well, I'm sure like everything else I've written or tried to write, this is going to become the source of a dumb argument several times longer then the article itself. ResMar 18:03, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

Great

It finally worked out! Awesome. ResMar 23:27, 6 September 2010 (UTC)

New template

I have just created a template for putting on the talk pages of WikiProjects involved in WikiProject reports. Please note the parameters |link=, |writer= |day=, |month= and |year=. I have used myself and my recent report as an example.

Thanks, Rock drum Ba-dumCrash (Driving well?) 16:18, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

Nice one! it would probably be good to add the date of the report in there too, and you should add it to the list at Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/Newsroom/Resources#Template_code for future reference. Great idea! — Pretzels Hii! 17:05, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
New parameters added. :) Rock drum Ba-dumCrash (Driving well?) 17:20, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
Might be worth specifically adding the link to the template at the WikiProject Desk? Ncmvocalist (talk) 05:49, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

Signpost now impossible to read

Has someone fiddled with the display of The Signpost? I use the green-text on black-background gadget selected in "My Prefrences". Yesterday I could read The Signpost fine, today it has black text on a black background, and is unreadable. Screenshot thumb|right|see what I meen?. I've seen this happen before when someone decides it would be big and clever to force a particular colour font, e.g. in signatures or user talk pages. DuncanHill (talk) 10:58, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

Mine is displaying fine; could someone else check? Ncmvocalist (talk) 11:59, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
Sorry - this was a result of some updates to the templates. I inadvertently set the whole page to #222 - now fixed. — Pretzels Hii! 15:27, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for fixing it, looks fine now. DuncanHill (talk) 15:33, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
You're welcome - and I will endeavour to test updates with that gadget enabled in future. — Pretzels Hii! 15:51, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
Thank you, that's very decent of you. DuncanHill (talk) 16:11, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

Neutrality of Arbitration reports

Concerns raised on 8-9 Aug (permalink here, see Arbitration Report section) have gone without resolution and totally ignored by Ncmvocalist, except for a title change (Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost current SignPost link). At least 4 users raised significant concerns in the permalink version; some examples "less neutral" by Ks0stm, "heavily biased" by Jéské_Couriano (Jeremy), "editorialising" by Ohconfucius, and "non-neutral" by myself. Also note the 18:59, 9 Aug edit summary by Jéské_Couriano where he says [7] "Ncmvocalist, you need to resign or go on sabbatical from the Signpost, or at least the Arb report". Ncmvocalist is simply not the right person for this job. I'm in no way asking for pro-Arbcom reporting, just neutrality and objectivity, and that we haven't been getting since he began doing SignPost reports. I ask for him to step down or be replaced. RlevseTalk 23:43, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

I rarely read the Signpost, but I agree that Ncmvocalist seems to be overstepping from neutral reporting into editorializing at times (e.g. "results ... appear to have been dumped" from 2010-07-19 issue, which is still under discussion). –xenotalk 00:10, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. I'm noting a distinctive anti-AC slant from Ncmvocalist, and it's scaring me a bit. The job of any respectable journalist is to state the facts neutrally and without bias. —Jeremy (v^_^v Carl Johnson) 00:34, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
While I agree they could be more neutral (along the lines of the reports from a few months ago, a gold standard of neutrality to which they could be compared), they have gotten somewhat better in the last couple weeks (at least perceptively so, after the August 8-9 report or the week before that...I seem to have lost my original comment where I said they sounded less neutral than before, but I remember typing it up...the only comment I can find is where I said August 8-9's report was more neutral sounding than the previous weeks). Ks0stm (TCG) 01:25, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Arbcom decisions are often controversial, and it should be by no means exempt from criticism. However, it seems that NCMV may be using his position here on SP to indulge in subtle – but often not-so-subtle – Arbcom bashing that could lend suspicion to some hidden agenda on his part. This clearly needs to stop. If he cannot be neutral, or at least give greater semblance of neutrality in reporting, he needs to step down. --Ohconfucius ¡digame! 01:45, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
  • For me, the Arb reports are, if anything, too pro ArbCom. I've never seen any criticism of ArbCom reported, in spite of the fact that there is always plenty going around.--Kotniski (talk) 07:07, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
  • The Arb report is supposed to be an article with journalistic standards, not an editorial, Kotniski. Criticism or praise of ArbCom would be editorializing. We should merely be reporting on the status of cases, case overviews, and (if necessary) major developments that affect the case's course. What I'm seeing from Ncmvocalist as of late only convinces me that he's not the right man for the column. —Jeremy (v^_^v Carl Johnson) 07:43, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
You misunderstand - I don't want the editor to criticize or praise ArbCom, I want him to report on other people's criticism or praising of ArbCom.--Kotniski (talk) 08:10, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
As an example, Jeske Couriano was unhappy with my reporting last week because I reported that a case was technically open - he insisted it was either open or close (that's all there is to it), but evidently, at least one of the participants from the case disagreed with him [8]. Ncmvocalist (talk) 08:23, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I'm all for such alternative interpretations appearing, but in this instance, I just didn't understand what you meant by "technically open". I think you're doing a good job and am not joining in the calls for you to stop doing it, but as a piece of hopefully constructive criticism, you could be more explicit in your statements so we can all understand clearly what you mean. --Kotniski (talk) 08:36, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
No doubt, the type of feedback you've provided is very helpful (and appreciated) for that very reason - it's constructive. I'll definitely work on that. Ncmvocalist (talk) 08:48, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
I knew exactly what he meant by "technically open". It's an apt description of where things stood last week. ++Lar: t/c 10:19, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
But you knew about the case, right? --Kotniski (talk) 10:41, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
Er, no? :) ++Lar: t/c 14:36, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
SignPost reporting should be neutral, not editorializing POINTy tabloidism. RlevseTalk 11:16, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
Agree with that. And I think everyone knows I'm not Ncmvocalist's biggest fan (I think at various points I've suggested that he too often gets involved in things he should abstain from, that he gives the appearance of being excessively officious in his dealings with others, and that he would make a terrible arbcom/CU/you name it clerk and thus needs to stop trying to clerk things, among other observations), but nevertheless I think he's doing a fair job here. Is the Signpost a house organ or an impartial source, or is it a muckraker? I want impartial. That includes highlighting things like the fact that a case is only "technically" open. ++Lar: t/c 14:41, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
  • I think that Ncmvocalist's coverage has had its problems, but that the Arbitration Report is being taken in a positive direction. On the problems, I think the current report on the R&I case understates the progress made in the last week. I think the phrase "technically open", whilst apt, could and probably should have been further explained for this week's report. However, I think these are areas for improvement and I disagree with Rlevse's call for Ncmvocalist to be replaced. The previous reports were, in my opinion, not worth reading; banal, bland, and reading like ArbCom-authored press releases, they did not give any real flavour of attitudes towards ArbCom and of ArbCom actions. Those reports were a base from which to build, not an ideal to which to aspire. Coverage should reflect what ArbCom is doing and how that is being received, and whilst that might be uncomfortable for arbitrators at times, that is not a reason to sanitise reports. Balanced, factually-supported, and fair - sure; but still informative and a worthwhile read. Maybe a helpful innovation might be the introduction of a separate editorial section, allowing for explicit Op-Ed commentary; if that happens, however, Rlevse might want to brace himself because true Op-Ed commentary will be much more direct and critical at times than anything Ncmvocalist has reported to date. EdChem (talk) 11:20, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
Life is too short to get to true consensus NPOV on signpost. I think Ncmv is generally doing a good job for the community and I for one can live with a little interpretive opinion from time to time whether I agree or not; especially if the alternative is bland bland bland. As for the above, can I nominate the sentence "The job of any respectable journalist is to state the facts neutrally and without bias" as the most naive proclamation ever made in good faith on Wikipedia, either that or so subtlely ironic that I misread the straight face, or possibly meaning "no journalist is respectable" which may be more in line with public perception. --BozMo talk 11:31, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
  • I hadn't been following Signpost coverage, but Ncmvocalist left me a note asking me to look into this. I'm involved in the Climate Change case. I also have many years of experience in journalism (believe that or not, as you will; and I'm sure I'm not the only editor around here who could say that). A few points:
    • Signpost is a small operation in a small community and sponsored in a way that those who are reported on can -- as is being done here -- exert influence on coverage. All this means that the prudent, practical course for the writers is to be very conservative in tone. Headlines are not terribly important when the length of the report is so short, so (purely for practical reasons) I recommend taking the duller, more conservative course with the headline here. It isn't a matter of whether the headline is "biased" or not. By giving way on minor issues such as headlines over pieces only one short paragraph long, you keep your powder dry for more important issues. All reporters face pressure about bias, and they all have to pick their battles.
    • On the merits (the principle), Ncmvocalist is utterly blameless regarding the headline. It simply isn't biased to say litigation is "tricky". The CC case is obviously trickier than most ArbCom cases. That's all I took that word to mean, and you editors, including you, Rlevese, need to assume good faith. If you have other reasons to complain about bias, address them directly.
    • Rlevese, you are not only wrong, you are being much too sensitive and as an arbitrator you should be more cautious with your own language, because the Signpost's integrity depends on it not being seen as truckling too much to influential Wikipedians, like arbitrators. Everyone knows Signpost isn't totally independent, but if it's to be trusted to any degree, everyone who is covered by it needs to put up with irritations in its reports and only complain about clear-cut problems and only do it in a reserved way. This page is much closer to an ArbCom case page than to anything else on Wikipedia. Please keep that in mind.
    • Often, one complaint of bias is only the latest in a number of similar complaints alleging the same bias by the same person or group about the same subject. I notice that there have been previous complaints, including one here [9] about using the word "dumped". As with the headline, Ncm, please choose more conservative language or you're simply not going to be able to do this reporting. Do Signpost reporters have editors? Toning down language is a typical editing function, done by someone without a dog in the fight, so those edits tend to be accepted more easily by the reporter. When people being covered want to make changes to make coverage of them easier, it is very difficult for the reporter to accept those changes.
    • When it comes to questions of tone (such as using words like "dumped" or "tricky") you always have to balance the goals of sparking reader interest and attention with the possibility that your words will be interpreted as biased. In a smaller, in-house publication like Signpost, that balance is much closer to the latter than the former.
    • Ncm, If you start a blog, you can do essentially the same reporting, with the words you want, but with independence. If you're good at it and keep doing it, you'll eventually get quite a following. And you won't need to tone down your language. OpenWikiBlogPlanet and PlanetWikipedia display Wikipedia-related blogs, and that's one good way to get attention for it. It would involve somewhat more work than contributing to Signpost, but not much more, and it would probably be a lot more satisfying.
    • Everybody, if you want Signpost to be trusted, especially by the more clued-in editors, you need to tone down your criticism considerably. Emotional statements alleging bias are particularly toxic for Signpost because if you win, you run a strong risk of looking like you've only won control, not won on the merits. You'll have damaged Signpost's credibility, destroying the village to save it. This is not worth doing over use of words like "dumped" or "tricky".
-- JohnWBarber (talk) 11:50, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
An excellent analysis. Thanks for taking the time to spell the issues out so clearly. ++Lar: t/c 14:36, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
I agree, excellent analysis and good advice. Thank you for taking the time to comment. Ks0stm (TCG) 15:44, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
As far as I'm concerned, Signpost has already lost lots of credibility because NCM's problems with arbcom go back to 2008 and choosing him to report on arbcom was an obvious error and his bias shows, that's what needs toned down. RlevseTalk 00:05, 19 August 2010 (UTC)
JWB's analysis is, dare I say it, fair and balanced. This episode is one example of a trend I've noticed lately, which is that people are starting to take themselves way too seriously. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 03:29, 19 August 2010 (UTC)
Agree with Boris. RLevse, if you are not happy with Signpost reporting, the Towncrier is (or easily could be) over here. Or just write a letter to the editor to clarify your position. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 07:41, 19 August 2010 (UTC)

Ncmvocalist asked me have a look at this thread because I previously complained about his Tricky backronymn. I objected to the backronym (tho it's better than the old TRoLL one) but I think the person who puts in the effort to write these reports are free to ignore such objections if they don't think them valid, and call the reports what they want. As for the content being biased and mentioning delays - I don't see the problem and prefer Ncmvocalist's reports' content to the old style. -- Jeandré, 2010-08-19t10:42z

From reading the comments above it seems like he is angering people on both sides of the issues pretty close to equally. If I am right about that, than he should continue doing the writing like he has been, taking in constructive comments and adjusting if necessary. He has asked a few people to review his work, this is what actually led me to this page, which to me is a good sign that he is trying to be open minded about everything. I think everyone should back off a bit and allow him a good dose of assume good faith. I read the Signpost and I can't say I can find anything specifically wrong with his writings. Like everything written like this, common sense should be used while reading. Just my two cents about this, --CrohnieGalTalk 14:38, 20 August 2010 (UTC)

Rlevse raaaage. I agree with most of the other comments in this section: if there are specific issues with the writing, point them out and they can be discussed. A generic "I don't like it!" isn't helpful, productive, or constructive. Having read some of the older Signposts, I can't really say I've ever seen the writing as particularly neutral. It still beats out that piece-of-shit Llama publication any day of the week, though. --MZMcBride (talk) 20:00, 20 August 2010 (UTC)

Per Ohconfucius, above. In addition, there has always been a gaping hole in the reportage of ArbCom cases: the case texts themselves are long and bureaucratic—there are good reasons for this (although I'd do it a little differently myself). What the community needs are succinct, neutral, accurate versions of the background and judgement of each case. The Signpost is the ideal place to make ArbCom cases more accessible to the community. That should be the focus of the Report. Tony (talk) 00:10, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
I have to say, I agree with Tony. I find the ArbCom cases nigh impossible to read. I think that it would be good if The Signpost explained the cases in a more accessible way. Thanks, Rock drum Ba-dumCrash (Driving well?) 12:32, 21 August 2010 (UTC)

Rereading this discussion, I appreciate the many thoughtful comments. As this is a long term and to some extent general topic, and because I have been (and keep being) asked numerous times to "rule in" as Signpost editor (which I prefer to avoid unless it's really the only option), some additional remarks from me:

  • In the past few months I had to spend quite some time dealing with various complaints about Arbitration reports - starting with the first one that Ncmvocalist wrote as single author after stepping in for Jéské Couriano. A few of these were due to what I saw as genuine mistakes (unfortunately, we had to put up a correction notice). However, many were either simply not appreciative of a journalistic style that goes beyond mere bookkeeping (I do think there is a lot of value in providing context, "connecting the dots" and mentioning different perspectives) or were too unspecific in the way that was rightfully criticized by MZMcBride above - when voicing concerns that a Signpost story is biased, please name the specific statements that are considered problematic, instead of making general assertions about the writer.
  • There are natural reasons for the fact that the Arbitration report is the most controversial Signpost section. And I think Ncmvocalist is a diligent writer and open to legitimate criticism. While there was another Arbitration report recently where concerns were, regrettably, not resolved to everyone's satisfaction [10], it appear that since the above discussion, such cases have become rarer.
  • As I said in the Newsroom after the start of the above discussion: While we have bylines and writers who thankfully sign up under "Regular responsibilities" to cover a certain beat in a timely way, Signpost articles are not owned. If someone sees specific possibilities for improvement of an upcoming story, they are welcome to point it out in the Newsroom discussion or to improve the story themselves. Users who might be seen as having a conflict of interest might want to refrain from making substantial changes to the story themselves, but just like for mainspace articles, there are other possibilities. I'd like to point to the example of arbitrator Carcharoth, who posted some thoughtful and specific comments on the talk pages of several recent Arbitration reports, e.g. here.

Regards, HaeB (talk) 12:53, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

Subscribe by email

here.  ono  feedback 23:04, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

Nice, thank you. Can a link to subscribe be included somewhere for external people? Tony (talk) 01:43, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
Who set up this feed (that the email service is based on), who is going to maintain it, and who has access to the subscribers' email addresses and other private data (such as the stats - including geolocation etc - that Feedburner provides)? And what is the feed based on? (As remarked above, the RSS feed from the version history of the "Issue page" should not be used - this custom-made feed is best suited for that purpose.)
Until these questions are resolved, we shouldn't recommend subscribing to that service. Privacy is important because many people will want to know whom they are revealing their email address to, etc. Long-term maintainability is important so as not to lose valuable subscribers after a while, as it seems to have happened several times in the past, where various people set up RSS feeds for new Signpost issues (see e.g. here, [11], or [12]), all of which became inactive or of unclear status eventually.
On the other hand, at Wikimania several people told me they were receiving new Signpost issues by email (but couldn't remember offhand what the address of that service was).
Regard, HaeB (talk) 10:49, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
I "set up" the feed; it is exactly the same as the official feed. The email addresses are not linked to any usernames or IP data; the geolocation data is by country and is not linked to any other data.  Aaargh  19:28, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
Are you sure? Can you point us to a Feedburner privacy policy that confirms this? I'd be very surprised if they (Google) didn't collect IP data. — Pretzels Hii! 16:24, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
Let me clarify: the feed manager does not have access to that data. It's likely Google does; honestly, most websites do (like every time you search for something).  Aaargh  22:51, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

Keep up the good work

Thanks for making Monday my favorite day of the week. Keep up the good work! --Stepheng3 (talk) 21:25, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

Global Signpost delivery

A service delivering new Signpost issues to talk pages on all Wikimedia projects has been set up by MZMcBride, following the discussion above. (Here on the English Wikipedia, MZMcBride's EdwardsBot has already been reliably delivering the last 45 issues of the Signpost to around 1000 subscribers; the global system is an extension of EdwardsBot.) MZMcBride cautions that the new global service may still have bugs. So we need to gain a bit more experience with it before announcing it to a wider audience. But if you are willing to tolerate possible glitches (and ideally, report them), you can already sign up on Meta. Ohconfucius and I will be operating the bot.

Regards, HaeB (talk) 06:27, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

Excellent and thanks to both of you. I presume you'll need to set up a non-enwiki template, with the correct links. If the link to "Subscribe" goes straight to the m:Global message delivery/Targets page, I guess we'll need to rewrite the instructions for strangers, making them absolutely relevant and simple to follow. Will there be an "Unsubscribe" page? Tony (talk) 06:59, 5 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes, m:Global message delivery/Targets/Signpost still needs instructions for less savvy users, along the lines of Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Subscribe perhaps.
This is how the distributed message is going to look like, roughly. As remarked earlier, I am going to set up an automated solution which provides copy+pasteable text for the bot's message (along with other Signpost delivery formats), but for tomorrow's issue I am going to compile it by hand again (not much work either).
I envisaged the "Unsubscribe" link in the message going to m:Global message delivery/Targets/Signpost, analogous to the message here which links "Unsubscribe" to Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Subscribe (where the user finds instructions on how to unsubscribe, too). MZMcBride points out that the signature can be quite arbitrary.
Regards, HaeB (talk) 07:29, 5 September 2010 (UTC)
The new issue got distributed fine, although only to two users ;)
Feel free to advertise it a bit more widely now (Subscribe), although we should still wait with the announcement in the Signpost itself. Regards, HaeB (talk) 02:55, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
Well done, HaeB. I'll add my own pages at a few other WPs and Commons. Since the "message" will act both a convencience for the user and an advertisement for anyone who views their page, I wonder whether the format of the message might include a short by-line, perhaps at the start just under the heading. Visitors to a user talk page on the Spanish or Italian WPs might be perplexed about what exactly The Signpost is—all of this English text? Would you consider a by-line such as this?
News, reports and features from Enwiki's weekly journal about Wikipedia and Wikimedia.
In a week or two, I wonder whether we might turn our attention to how to promote global subscriptions. I suggest that we identify a few users at other WPs and the Commons who might subscribe; and, tentatively, a few noticeboards at which we might place a discrete invitation to subscribe. Does anyone have any leads? Sensitivity might be in order at WPs that already have an active journal publication, such as WP.de. Tony (talk) 12:53, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes, a byline might be a good idea. I'll add one in the next run. How about the Signpost logo or icon? Or would that be too intrusive/graphics intensive?
It was a good to do a few test runs first (last week, Cbrown1023 identified an overlooked issue with the message that would have caused problems on non-Wikipedia projects), but I think we can now announce it in a "from the editor" column in the next Signpost issue (together with a call for writers for N&N and ITN, as discussed recently). Before the sign-ups that this may generate, there will still be one more run.
Apart from that, I might announce it on Foundation-l, where readers will also be interested in the global message delivery tool itself.
Regards, HaeB (talk) 15:39, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
Also, slightly off-topic, is there a way to subscribe to the SP of-wiki? I have in mind that easy access for journalists in the outside media would be good. Tony (talk) 02:41, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
They could use the atom feed. It's just like RSS—it can be subscribed to with Google Reader, etc. or even converted so that it emails you when a new issue is published. Gary King (talk · scripts) 02:58, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
The custom-made RSS feed at WikipediaSignpost.com is much better suited for that purpose
In general, see Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Subscribe for existing subscription options.
Regards, HaeB (talk) 08:53, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
I was promoting this to the Dutch wiki community, and the request was made for a delivery to project space, so that people could watchlist that, and not be bothered by a cluttered talkpage and too much orange banners. Would it be possible to deliver to something like nl:Wikipedia:Signpost ? —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 21:01, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

Pending changes: what's to come?

FYI. ResMar 20:20, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

Intro for new admins

The line "The Signpost congratulates two editors on their promotion to adminship" violates WP:DEAL and reinforces the view in new editors that being an admin is a prize, which in turn leads to many WP:NOTNOW RfAs. I suggest "The Signpost welcomes two new administrators" —UncleDouggie (talk) 09:06, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

I think "welcomes" is fine, and will change it in the draft of the impending edition. But I don't agree with you that WP:DEAL holds any water nowadays: RfAs are a huge undertaking for the candidate, and can be emotionally draining. It is something of an achievement, even if I think admins' jobs are something I'd rather not do. To me, editors who go around fighting vandalism and performing maintenance tasks are to be treasured. Good on them. Tony (talk) 09:41, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
I agree - it's a congratulation on completing the RfA process. — Pretzels Hii! 15:54, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. ResMar 21:06, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for making the change. I agree with Tony1 that admins are to be treasured and I frequently make this point when a user gets upset about being in a "lower class". I didn't mean to downplay the achievement of surviving an RfA at all. I was really focusing on the word "promotion", because it implies a social hierarchy. I'm fine with using something stronger than "welcome" in the future, that was just the first thing that came to mind. —UncleDouggie (talk) 08:50, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
I shared the same reservation not that long ago. 'Welcomes' appears more appropriate in the context; thank you for the suggestion! Ncmvocalist (talk) 09:07, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

font

Hi,

does anyone know how to say the font with the logo of the "sign post" is written? 188.23.15.248 (talk) 08:14, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

It is called "Old English" and was digitized by Agfa. This is not the Monotype version. -Mabeenot (talk) 05:23, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

Sharing tools

Hi, this is a suggestion by an experienced Wikimedian from another project: Like many news websites, we could include social bookmarking links at the bottom of Signpost articles (allowing easy featuring of that article on sites like Digg, Facebook, Delicious, Twitter...). I have to say that as a reader, I am personally not very fond of the overly conspicuous rows of such links one finds sometimes on the Web, but it appears that many sites find these links useful to increase their readership, and I could imagine that hiding them behind a "Share this" link would remove such aesthetic objections. What do others think?

Regards, HaeB (talk) 23:43, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

I'll get right on it. I think we might avoid the ugly strips of logos anyhow seeing as we can't embed scripts or iframes here, and those logos aren't public domain, so any links will be plain text no? — Pretzels Hii! 00:29, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
I've added a decent set of links in the footer of the article, below the comments. Obviously it won't be any good in such a non-prominent spot, but I thought I'd keep it subtle to begin with. Ideally, so as to access the article's "friendly" title, these links should be part of the article title template. It would be great if people could test these links; particularly Identica, Delicious, and Digg. — Pretzels Hii! 01:26, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
I fixed the Buzz link to be more useful; try that one too.  ono  feedback 01:49, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
[13]  ono  feedback 02:01, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
Sounds like a very good idea. The example in Mono's [8] link is humungously big. Is there an example of what the link would look like on a SP page? Tony (talk) 02:39, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
That example is just what the link looks like in Identica, I believe. Also, perhaps the links should be ordered by either popularity or alphabetically? Most websites sort them by popularity; for instance, Facebook and then Twitter are usually placed in first and second as they are by far the most popular. Also, ultimately, unless the links are near the byline, they will almost never be clicked on. Even then, they probably need to be made a bit more prominent like a box around them, otherwise people won't notice such a subtle change. I think a light grey box would suffice. Gary King (talk · scripts) 03:05, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
[14]  ono  feedback 03:47, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
See also n:Template:Social bookmarks. Unfortunately, our fair use policy is stricter, so no logos. But this is a good idea, although the links are a bit too subtle (unless there is a Signpost article about this addition... heh). fetch·comms 04:16, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
Do you mean the Signpost logo can't even be used? I think it's not distinctive enough to copyright, actually. Tony (talk) 05:12, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
The Signpost logo is fine; I meant the logos on the Wikinews template. Some are probably {{pd-textlogo}}, though, if a logo approach is used here. fetch·comms 13:46, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
I found PD versions of the "big two" on Commons: F icon.svg Twitter logo initial.svg the wub "?!" 13:51, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
Oh hang on, just stumbled on commons:Category:Social network icons. Should have every network we could want, plus a few others, but I'm not convinced about the copyright status... the wub "?!" 13:54, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
I don't think we should use a row of multicoloured corporate logos, whether they're licensed or not. It wouldn't fit the design of the Signpost, and would be distracting to readers. — Pretzels Hii! 16:06, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
i think that the current links should be above the comments, not below them. Cheers, Rock drum Ba-dumCrash (Driving well?) 16:22, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
I mentioned above "Obviously it won't be any good in such a non-prominent spot, but I thought I'd keep it subtle to begin with." Now we've established everyone's happy with including these links, and they all seem to work, we can move them to a better position. — Pretzels Hii! 16:27, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
I've added them to the article header, just opposite the byline. Does this work for everyone? — Pretzels Hii! 17:00, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Aw I missed the whole conversation :-( Yeah, it's nice. ResMar 21:35, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

Yeah, I really like it how it is now actually, forget the icons. Nice work. the wub "?!" 22:37, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

On Firefox 3.6.9 on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, the box of links shows by default covering the article text and forcing me to unhide it on every page, every time the page is loaded. Please change it - maybe a default hidden list at the bottom of article text (if someone hasn't read down to the end, they shouldn't be sharing it). -- Jeandré, 2010-09-17t02:06z

Big problems having it at the top. First, it covers part of the opening text. Second, it will wreck our ability to have an image at the top (as I've noticed the WikiProject banner does for that page). Third, removing the bullets would go some way towards making it less obstructive visually; can the font size be smaller and can it use lower case, please? I think it needs to go at the bottom (even that will be a problem at F and A, where we almost always have images at top and bottom. If it's possible to move it around on a particular page, that would be better. Tony (talk) 02:38, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
I agree with getting rid of the ALL CAPS - I didn't even notice that because my instinctive reaction to pop-up ads are to close them or close the tab with the site hosting them, and to not even look at the ad's content. -- Jeandré, 2010-09-17t02:43z
Oh, I see it has ALREADY been implemented. I now can't read the top of articles. And when I hit "Hide", it goes to User:Mono/sandbox. I ask that it be urgently taken down now, pending further discussion. Tony (talk)
Did you read the page? No.  ono  feedback 03:09, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Read what page? This is dreadful. I might be a freak in sizing my Firefox windows so I can have two across my 27" monitor; but I suspect a lot of readers don't have large monitors in the first place, and don't take up their whole monitor with their browser windows. The next problem is that when I tried it on Facebook, although you can choose which thumbnail image to have, you're stuck with the opening text. For F and A, this is about the first-listed new admin. This is not what I want to have standing for the theme of the page—it looks really odd and gives the wrong impression. Tony (talk) 03:13, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
  • NOOOO! It's horrible – a veritable carbuncle on the face of an old friend. What's more, this smacks of advertising. I would have gotten rid of it myself if I could, but I can't. Please get rid of it now, or put somewhere less obtrusive – like at the bottom, or reduce the size of the box by at least 30%. --Ohconfucius ¡digame! 03:13, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Bottom of page; no bullets, lower case, smaller font, and single-click permanent removal. If it's at the bottom of the page, I hope it will go under our image(s) at the bottom. If not, it is highly intrusive. Tony (talk) 03:17, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

I don't know what's gotten into you guys. I'd appreciate if you'd be a little more considerate next time; to be a little patient and do basic research before declaring others' work a "disaster", a "carbuncle", and "dreadful". You know I'd never blast one of your articles with that sort of aggressive, unconstructive criticism.

My original revisions to the template were immediately well recieved by Resident Mario and the wub. After that, Mono unwisely started experimenting with the live template, it appears without thinking through what he was aiming for first - meaning the rest of you saw a half-finished version. Even so, you should have read his edit summaries, and checked my revision to answer my original question before going off on one. He reverted to the original revision after only an hour.

The share links do not display by default, and the "Show" link even appears in grey text so as to be subtle - it's effectively only there if you're looking for it. The text can't really be made smaller, or lowercase. It's the smallest text we use in the Signpost and any smaller would not be advisable on any website. Using all-caps allows us to use a smaller size whilst remaining readable. Bullets are there because it is, semantically, a list of items, and that makes sense.

Tony, the links are much less effective in the footer as they can't access the article title, only "News and Notes" etc which is the same every week. Facebook choose a default description for you; we can't control that, but you can click it on Facebook to edit it. We can't implement a single-click permanent removal here; you can add a line to your user CSS should you wish to do this as with any element on Wikipedia. — Pretzels Hii! 17:16, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

I think that it should be right under "Discuss this story" and called "Share this story" –xenotalk 18:15, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
The links can't use the proper article title unless they're part of the title template. Also, comments can run on for pages and pages (as in this week's News and Notes), meaning the links would be too out of the way and hence worthless. — Pretzels Hii! 18:28, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
I meant more like immediately below the heading, or even aligned to the right of the Discuss this story heading. –xenotalk 19:29, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Visually on the SP pages, what's there now is ideal. Tony (talk) 02:38, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

You guys are all pretty high-strung. Wow. §hepTalk 04:00, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

Huh, reminds me of Wikipedia:MPRP. — Pretzels Hii! 09:01, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
I don't find them very useful at the top. Most websites I've visited with share buttons have them at the bottom of the article, but above the comments. Perhaps this will work better. Thanks, Rock drum Ba-dumCrash (Driving well?) 14:59, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
I like Pretzels' current version, but its appearance when Javascript is turned off can still be improved - in that case, the box is shown by default and eclipses some article text, which might have been the reason for this complaint. Regards, HaeB (talk) 10:57, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
Note: Here is some more feedback on the feature, including further suggestions. (In the announcement, I included a link to this discussion here; but for some reasons people seem to find it more natural to discuss it on the talk page of the announcement.)
Regards, HaeB (talk) 13:58, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

Problem when viewed with javascript off

When javascript is on, navboxes and other templates following the "show/hide" model don't cover up existing text when "show" is clicked. Please consider being consistent with that approach for the sharing tools--that means defaulting to "show" when javascript is off. As it is right now, you have to have javascript on in order to read all the text on a page. Thanks. 72.244.204.16 (talk) 12:09, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

Here another reader complains that the box "overlays part of the article making that part unreadable". Regards, HaeB (talk) 11:52, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

This should now be fixed. — Pretzels Hii! 19:47, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

Policy report?

I tried reporting on recent changes to one policy at a time 9 months ago, but that's probably not sexy enough to restart. How about if I pull out around 30 statements from this quarter's WP:Update, and we ask people to vote on which changes to policy over the last 3 months seem the most significant, and report the results, with or without commentary? A lot of people do a lot of important work on policy pages, it would be nice to get an occasional mention of that in some form in the Signpost. - Dank (push to talk) 22:55, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

Dank, great work. I did a few of these years ago, and it's a big big job. We labour under the problem that our style guides are disparate and numerous. (Fortunately, MoS main page and a few others are big and pretty stable—I see they don't feature in the update.)

But just on a content-editor level, I'm struggling with it, though. Perhaps "Features and admins" could mention the update and link to it? But I see two challenges. over to your talk page, if that's OK ... Tony (talk) 03:55, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

Thanks kindly. On scope ... I'd be delighted if we were covering more than just content, deletion and enforcement policy, the trick is finding someone to do the extra stuff reliably. We're agreed on what the best end product would look like, we're just not agreed on who should do it ... I don't have any philosophical objection to someone saying "This is what you really meant to say". That's part of the reason for this proposal. So, if there's a long, wordy change on a page, one of the options people could vote on to be included in the summary would be the long, wordy bit, and one option would be an attempt at the kind of summary you're suggesting ... and if the summary gets selected as a better way of expressing the change, that begs the question: why not rewrite the policy using the snappier bit? Policy isn't for people with powdered wigs (well, not just for those people ... Ironholds showed up at our meetup this year in one of his ancestor's Queen's Counselors wigs IIRC :). - Dank (push to talk) 12:55, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
P.S. Btw ... if we can get the community to vote on summaries, great. If you (Tony) or any Signpost writer would like to do it, great. - Dank (push to talk) 13:24, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

I don't know, do we really have to go through the labor intensive process of tracking changes across the policies? Looks like too much work for too little worth imo. ResMar 00:00, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

Community Bulletin Board

Hi. Someone recently suggested that there could be better coordination between the WP:CBB and the Signpost. I'm not sure how it would be best achieved, but just wanted to mention the possibility, in case it sparks ideas.

We do currently have some fancy noinclude code in the CBB, so that one can transclude just the first section. e.g. {{Template:Announcements/Community bulletin board|notices-only=yes}}, but you'd possibly want to transclude (or subst: weekly) everything except the Signpost-template.

Just some thoughts, that I hope someone can take and run with. I'm not a code-guru, just a maintainer there. :) -- Quiddity (talk) 04:22, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

We frequently borrow information from the community portal for use in the WikiProject Report's news sidebar. I don't know if other sections use the community portal. -Mabeenot (talk) 05:27, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
I've never used it as a source, although I've been to the page before. Digging through the mailing list, recent changes on meta, and wikipedia blogs presents better results overall, as it is from the horse's mouth. ResMar 23:57, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

Permission to move?

Hi, I wanted to change my subscription to Wikipedia Signpost. I want to move it to my user talk page, as it's always in my userpage, something I do not want.

And congratulations for the Signpost! Pedro João [talk] 17:31, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

I'm not sure why it keeps going to your user page, but I've added your talk page to the list. This means that from next week, it should be delivered to the right address. :) Hopefully one of our tech wizards will remove your user page from the list in the meantime, wherever it is! Ncmvocalist (talk) 17:46, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
This appears to still be unresolved as it is still being delivered to the user page rather than the user talk page; flagging for attention. Ncmvocalist (talk) 05:24, 19 October 2010 (UTC) Fixed now; thanks to MZMcBride. Ncmvocalist (talk) 10:33, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

Regular responsibilities

I mentioned during the last publication that we need to trim the names at the table below under Regular responsibilities to users who actually contribute. Someone needs to undertake the ITN section as their regular responsibility, ResMar took on the N&N section, can we check to see if anyone listed in the table below is willing to step up. The ITN section has been lagging behind compared to other sections. Any opinions? Theo10011 (talk) 17:42, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

Isn't Wackywace contributing anymore? Ncmvocalist (talk) 17:49, 12 October 2010 (UTC) Question answered [15] [16]. Ncmvocalist (talk) 07:03, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Suggestion for table of responsibilities: lots of names that never appear! I wonder whether the boundary between "User" and "Back-up" is too strict. Certainly in the case of F and A it is. Could it not be "Team", just a unitary list of people rather than two categories? Tony (talk) 08:41, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
I don't think so. Seresin has been inactive since July so the name should probably not be listed until he's back anyway. The last 6 editions of F&A, if not more, have only named you and Dabomb as the authors - you both seem to be taking responsibility for that beat each week, and probably it's a good thing because of the sheer volume that needs to be covered in that report. The same goes for Jarry on Tech Report, myself on Arb report, and the WP desk on the WP report. The backup are called on when users who regularly take it on are unavailable for a week or specified/definite time. It's a bit like the difference between part time and casual. Ncmvocalist (talk) 13:04, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Well I have been here for only 2 months, I have yet to see 70% of the people show up that are listed in the table below. I have even noticed a couple of users who came here to check on somethings and left their name in passing with little or no afterthought. I agree Tony, but to be part of a team they would have to show up occasionally, Haeb has been doing the majority of the work from what I saw, I understand that its a collaborative effort but I just wanted there to be a distinction between those who occasionally contribute/ those who partly contribute and those that never show up. We can ask them to show up in the next month or take regular responsibilities (maybe part of a section) to separate those who want actually contribute. Theo10011 (talk) 18:39, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Nt: I dropped my name from the main, it looks to flunctuate with my changing interests and situation at school. I'd call myself a "regular collaborator": I have yet to submit a piece that hasn't gone through extensive editing, fine tuning, and story-writing from others. ResMar 00:33, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

Good job

I'd just like to say that I really like the Wikipedia Signpost. I'm not particularly active in Wikipedia (and at the moment not any other Wikimedia project either), but it's good to get to know what's going on all the same. I like the style it's written in, the format... simply - good job! I just wanted to let the gifted editor(s) know. Skalman (talk) 10:30, 23 October 2010 (UTC)

In the news

What happened to last week's section? Simply south (talk) 21:38, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

Unfortunately we have been lacking good writers for the ITN section since months. A call for contributors last month wasn't very effective. Last week, we had to drop the section entirely because it wasn't going to be finished in time (see newsroom discussion).
Right now I am working at the upcoming issue myself, but help is greatly appreciated - see the newsroom for possible news items to cover.
Regards, HaeB (talk) 22:13, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

Pre-publication discussion at F and A 1 November, moved here

Essjay

Allright, let's go on with it, after several reverts and me trying for subtlety. Perhaps some don't remember the Essjay scandal. Why are we putting forward info in the Signpost that heads us down a slippery slope of not being able to verify this kind of info, now or for future candidates? I'm sure EotR is exactly who she says she is, but that's not the point: how do we know the next person is, and why do we feed the Essjay problem? I know an editor who claims to be a graduate student but clearly isn't. We don't know if any given editor is who they say they are-- we could all be Essjays and I could be the Queen of Sheba, short of identification to the Foundation ala ArbCom. There is already a very bad "reward culture" problem on Wiki, that is furthered at RFA, and no WP:NOBIGDEAL clearly; why are we puffing up adminship with unverifiable info, feeding the reward culture, and heading down an Essjay-style slippery slope in the Signpost? On Wiki, we are judged by the quality of our edits, not who we claim to be, since that info for most editors is unverifiable. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:59, 30 October 2010 (UTC)

There is no big deal about having a Masters in chemistry, and I can't image a situation in which harm would arise from the blurb. What is relevant and interesting is that the editor has expertise in chemistry, and presumably uses this in chemistry-related articles on WP. You could look at the contribs and challenge the editor if you find no evidence of chemistry-related activity (but why would you do that?). The claim is on the user's page, and I assume good faith, not bad faith. Please remember that this is a journalistic context, not a job interview. We can only write what editors claim about themselves, which is fine, by me. We also take on trust other information users display, such as their location and the languages they speak. Admins are real people, and in this context we depict them as such. We need more active admins, and more active editors. I'd have thought you'd be pleased to promote the idea that content-keen editors be acting as admins. Tony (talk) 04:27, 30 October 2010 (UTC)
I'm not interested in challenging this particular editor; I am concerned that we not start heading down an Essjay slippery slope again, according editors prestige based on who they say they are, rather than their edits. (For the record, this particular group has one I opposed, one I supported, and one I was neutral on-- I was neutral on the chemist, and supported EotR but I feel the same in both cases, and that is unrelated to believing they are who they say they are.) It's not about this group of editors; it's about a precedent being established here, ignoring the Essjay issue (you don't have to "imagine a situation in which harm could arise"-- it has already happened, and wasn't one of Wiki's better chapters). We need more good admins, and this is a crop of them, but by feeding the reward culture, we further the ill-prepared seeking-- and getting-- adminship because of the lack of scrutiny at RFA. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 05:26, 30 October 2010 (UTC)
I suggest that rather than trumpeting here whom you opposed and supported among the three new admins and casting aspersions on the RfA process, you take up the issue of reforming RfA on its own talk page. Tony (talk) 05:34, 30 October 2010 (UTC)
Tony, do you plan to respond to the substance of the issue, which is the Essjay controversy? I'd like to consider you as not having to resort to straw men because I disclosed here, for the record, that I have nothing against the chemist or EotR's adminship-- the issue is verifiability of claims made on Wiki, particularly for future cases, with respect to the Essjay controversy. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 06:08, 30 October 2010 (UTC)
I don't fully agree with her, but Sandy does have a point. Let's say we elect 200 admins in a year. It only takes one of them to post a false credential for us to potentially have another Essjay. Granted, it's every bit as likely to happen whether we post it on Signpost or not. But if it does happen, there is a big difference between a userpage claim, and Signpost taking that claim at face value, as far as the reputation of the site is concerned. Much safer to let the admins section focus on on-wiki achievements. Going that far and then stopping may not please everyone, but at least we can easily ascertain whether someone has written 5 FAs, or is an active vandal-fighter. —WFC— 06:43, 30 October 2010 (UTC)
"There is no big deal about having a Masters in chemistry" - case in point: the subject of this claim has already corrected it twice [17][18], which is a good reminder to care a bit more about factual accuracy in these biographical statements.
WP:AGF is a principle regarding people's intentions, not regarding their statements (see also WP:BURDEN). In any case Signpost articles are neither encyclopedic articles not discussion pages, but journalistic texts, and it is a good journalistic principle to attribute the source of information. Like for encyclopedia articles, this helps to ensure accuracy and neutrality (e.g. discerning self-judgements from independent ones).
Lastly, I would like to remind everyone that pre-publication discussions such as this one should be conducted in the newsroom.
Regards, HaeB (talk) 09:53, 30 October 2010 (UTC)

200th Valued picture

I'm not sure if this is the best place to palace this, but it would be nice if the 200th Valued Picture could be included in the Signpost. It was File:Polar Bear - Alaska.jpg. --Elekhh (talk) 08:10, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

Is there anything special about the number 200? 500 might be worth noting and 1000 quite possibly, but I'm hesitant to mention it when the community's endorsement of the valued pictures process appears to be lukewarm, at best. Dabomb87 (talk) 21:25, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
I like the pic though! You should put it up on Portal:Arctic. ResMar 22:09, 5 November 2010 (UTC)

Article defining plagiarism & copyvio

Hi,

In relation to the recent copyvio mess (which most people still refer to a "plagiarism"), there's a bunch of us who thought it may be a good idea to run an article in the Signpost at least laying down some of the most fundamental definitions. The draft-in-progress is here, and obviously unlikely to make this week as we're going to have to dumb it down a notch or two, but we'd like to have it ready for next week if you have room to fit it somewhere.

Further out, there's plans for another article focused more on the identification / cleanup side of things.

The Signpost is a new thing for me on the writing side, so I'd appreciate any guidance to make it fit your needs. Cheers, MLauba (Talk) 12:11, 8 November 2010 (UTC)

Hi, very complex issue; I like your point about copyvio vs plagiarism. You might consider raising the difference between WP articles, journalism out there, research publications, and university assignments, all of which present different conditions and standards WRT plagiarism, copyvio, paraphrasing, etc. Does WP's guideline (possibly wrongly called WP:Plagiarism) acknowledge its own unique circumstances in this respect? Is WP content-writing being squeezed between plag. and OR? Next week would be better than this week, given the complexity. Thanks and good luck. Tony (talk) 12:58, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
As a general note, without wanting to discourage anyone from contributing such articles to the Signpost, it's a good idea to announce them in the beginning (not several days later when most of the text has already been written).
Although it was linked in last week's Signpost, I am unsure whether you are aware that the Signpost published a dispatch on this very topic last year. It would be helpful to explain a bit how the new dispatch compares to that previous one in scope, content and intention. Also, considering that these topics have been hotly debated in recent days, it should be clarified whether this is intended to be a contribution to this debate, such as a critique of existing policies and guidelines (some of which, as Tony says, may indeed afford some questioning), in which case it might be more appropriate to publish it as an essay, or an accessible summary of existing policies and guidelines, which can certainly be useful for Signpost readers. From your comments, I assume you are aiming for the latter? (A third possibility would be to give an unbiased overview of recent discussions about the matter, in the manner of previous Signpost "Discussion reports", but that would be a lot of work and difficult to accomplish without risking to overlook relevant comments or to over-emphasize marginal opinions. I am not asking anyone to do that...)
Regards, HaeB (talk) 14:32, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
HaeB, Tony, thanks for the feedback. To HaeB's specific points:
  1. Announcing in advance: apologies for that, I certainly don't want to make this look like a sort of fait accompli where the amount of text drafted creates any sort of obligation on the Signpost. The WP:COPYCLEAN crew have been toying around with writing new contribs for one or two quarters but as too often happens, we never thought about asking the Signpost whether this was desired in the first place :) There's no pressure, if this doesn't fit in the end, we can probably reuse most of it to expand the copyvio FAQ pages.
  2. Scoping this vs last years' dispatch: last year was a specialized article centered on plagiarism, and in a sense, a brain child of the people who were most active in building WP:PLAGIARISM into a guideline. What we aim for this time around is something more general, but also much less technical. Whatever the other tragedies over the DYK and FAC problems you reported on last week were, one thing has become painfully clear. People from anons to arbs confuse copyvio and plagiarism. The latter gets hurled around freely, with the attached stigma that comes mostly from the academic understanding of the term. We lost an arb because he was accused of plagiarism - which he didn't commit. So my intent as the drafter is to try and shed some light, just focusing on the understanding of the terms, remaining light on the more technical aspects on identifying and remediation of the issues.
  3. Which confirms your third implies question, yes, the aim is to produce an accessible summary of existing policies and guidelines. As for a discussion report... *shudder* no thanks. I don't envy anyone the task of producing an accurate report of the dozen of discussions on the matter :).
Hope that clarifies the context a tiny bit. As I tried to explain, please do not construe the amount of text already present as a way to pressure the Signpost into accepting this - it's a piece of text that answers (from our perspective) a gap in understanding in parts of the community. If the Signpost publishes it, it's probably the best way to spread the knowledge as wide as possible, but I fully understand that that may not be possible.
And of course, regardless, any feedback on the content remains more than welcome. MLauba (Talk) 15:38, 8 November 2010 (UTC)

me

why do i get not signpost??? -- ♫Greatorangepumpkin♫ T 12:02, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

Just check your name here. Maybe we should put up an info banner? It's not hard to see the page >.> ResMar 22:13, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
Your name wasn't on. I've added it. ResMar 22:15, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, but the user was already listed, and the delivery had worked [19].
The Signpost is published weekly, and this week's issue hadn't been ready yet when the above question was asked.
Regards, HaeB (talk) 00:33, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
Well then, Ctrl+F failed me :| ResMar 03:35, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

My submission: book review

Not quite sure where to post this, but I just completed writing a review of Harvey Einbinder's The Myth of the Britannica. Although the book was written over 45 years ago, I have found amazingly little on this genre of encyclopedia writing, which confirms my belief that there is much in the book of interest to the Signpost's readers. Contact me on my Talk page if you have any questions. -- llywrch (talk) 20:34, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

Great, thanks! I have wanted to read this for years, or at least know more about it. I will aim to run your review in one of the next two issues.
My only serious quibble after the first read would be the omission of WP:EBE.
Regards, HaeB (talk) 00:04, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
Looks great, it would also be nice to have a starter article on the book itself, ie The Myth of the Britannica.--Pharos (talk) 12:59, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
HaeB -- I tried to respond to your point -- I had forgotten about that page -- by adding a footnote pointing to that page. I don't know if that is enough. But adding footnotes to my review helps fix some problems I had with citing some sources. (BTW, if someone can find a better page that describes the 2005 Nature comparison, I'd be happy if the link were changed to that page.)
Pharos -- I'm uncomfortable with creating articles about books which are not clearly & undeniably classics in their field. I'm not saying that Einbinder's book is not notable, but that I don't know if it is & so I don't want to create the article. But if someone else does create the article, & the article can stand on its own -- it's not some two-sentence stub based on a card catalog entry -- I'm willing to help improve it. -- llywrch (talk) 07:37, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
OK, I have now moved it for publication in Monday's issue. Please also watch its entry in the Newsroom for comments, and to discuss possible copyedits. By the way, some guidelines for Signpost book reviews are here.
A minor suggestion for improvement: After the remark about "the fact that this work is clearly obsolete in one aspect", it doesn't quite become clear to the reader precisely which aspect is meant. Also, the word "clearly" is clearly used a bit too often in that part.
Regards, HaeB (talk) 19:45, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
I knew that page existed, but I tried & failed to find it. Thanks! -- llywrch (talk) 06:30, 21 November 2010 (UTC)