User:Badbilltucker/Internal organization structure
This is a proposal regarding how the existing WikiProjects and similar internal organizations might best be organized for the harmoniousness and effective benefit of wikipedia as a whole.
There are currently roughly one thousand WikiProjects, and a large number of generally and specifically project-related entities. This would include portals, awards, categorization, and what have you. Providing any sort of harmonious coexistence between all these disparate entities can reasonably be rather difficult. The proposal that follows is being created as a proposed structure which might reduce the amount and frequency of disputes.
Basically, I am proposing that every existing project or other entity that qualifies be somehow officially or unofficially recognized as having one or more "parent" projects or entities, and, where such parent entities do not yet exist, they be created. So, for example, Wikipedia:WikiProject Ohio Wesleyan University would be recognized as having two direct "parents", Wikipedia:WikiProject Universities, and Wikipedia:WikiProject Ohio. In some cases, such as Wikipedia:WikiProject Transnistria, the parent might well be the yet-to-be-created Wikipedia:WikiProject Moldova.
In the Project Guide specific mention is made of project coordinators. It might be possible to request that each active project designate one or more coordinators (depending on size of project and/or number of articles) who would also be counted as being "ex officio" members of that project's direct "parent" projects. "Projects" in this usage would include WikiProjects, subprojects, work groups/task forces, portals, awards groups, and so on. Then, in the event of a dispute or misunderstanding among two projects regarding an article, banner, portal, or other wikipedia subject, the membership of the parent project or projects, which would hopefully include members of all projects which directly relate to the subject in question, could weigh in with their opinions and hopefully assist in reaching a concensus. It should be noted that while the coordinators are as it were expected to take part in such discussion, any other member of a group involved in such a discussion could take part as well.
Such an arrangment may also help in dealing with the increasing number of portals in wikipedia. If, for instance, the Science portal were to be agreed upon as the "highest" portal dealing with that subject, arrangements could be made so that any and all "daughter" portals could be seen as being the places where the given content is (hopefully) first featured, with the portal with the broader scope choosing for inclusion those articles which have already been spotlighted on one or more of the "daughter" portals, and/or content which does not fall within the scope of any of the "daughter" portals. Such coordination of effort, I personally think, would make the portals very likely easier to maintain and also introduce a way for a broader variety of content to be spotlighted. So, for instance, if recently promoted featured articles relating to Los Angeles, California and Dhaka, Bangladesh were being considered for one specific spot in a given portal, the Dhaka article might be the one chosen, as the Los Angeles article would also be eligible for inclusion on any of the larger number of other relevant portals. I hope that, even if I am less than perfectly clear in what is said above, that the basic idea is conveyed. It would also probably allow for the display of more content at the good-article level, which would not be bad, as many or most articles will have to pass through that level before reaching feature article level and displaying them as well will probably increase the amount of people willing to bring articles up to good article status, as well as making it more likely that individuals would be willing to help bring an existing good article up to featured article status.
Finally, with proliferating WikiProjects comes the possibility of proliferating WikiProject awards. The proliferation of awards, particularly if a single project, however large, were to consider itself to qualify as a category and propose that what might otherwise be its project award also qualifies as a topical award, is unfortunately a real possibility. Certainly, such a case could be made for WikiProjects like China, India, the United States, and so on. Unfortunately, even these projects, however large they might be, still fall within the scope of a larger topic, and to turn what would perhaps logically be a project award which by definition has less scope than a topical barnstar on the same level as its "parent" topical barnstar will both exaggerate the importance of the project award and also cheapen the "parent" topical award. It would also greatly reduce the importance of both of these topical awards if they become basically interchangable. Perhaps in this instance setting up the various barnstars and project awards in a similar fashion to the existing Project Directory, making allowances for differences between existing projects and existing awards and the possibility that a given broad topic might have few if any projects dealing with it.
Anyway, this is only a very rough idea of a potential proposal somewhere down the line. I would be very interested in any responses, positive to extremely negative, to it. Thank you for your attention. Badbilltucker 14:45, 27 November 2006 (UTC)