|This unofficial guidance essay contains comments and advice of one or more Wikipedia contributors. It is not a Wikipedia policy or guideline, though it may be consulted for assistance. It may contain opinions that are shared by few or no other editors; potential measure of how the community views this essay may be gained by consulting the history and talk pages, and checking What links here.|
I am user:bluerasberry and this essay is my opinion. It explains that I do not give my personal endorsement to users who make requests for certain special userrights unless those users have a userpage which describes who they are and what they do. I also expect such userpages to be free of content which I evaluate as inappropriate for projecting a public image of the Wikipedia community. I see having an informative and friendly userpage as an expression of compliance with the Wikipedia policy described at WP:NICE.
I use the term "user", "user:example", or "host" to reference a Wikipedia user with a userpage. I use the term "visitor" or "guest" to describe people who go to userpages. I use the term "community representative" to describe those users who also have privileges granted by community endorsement - adminship and bureaucratship are examples of such privileges.
- 1 Summary of premises
- 2 Assertion
- 3 Model
- 4 Examples
- 5 Factors
- 6 Implications on my endorsements
- 7 Posting this on other pages
Summary of premises
- Some Wikipedia editors are community representatives; all admins are, for example
- Visitors are more likely to go to the pages of community representatives than those of non-community representatives, and therefore community representatives' pages are significantly more influential on public perception of Wikipedians
- It is in the interest of the Wikipedia community to ask community representatives to make a friendly public presentation
- A friendly public presentation includes offering something that visitors to that page could conceivably want - probably identification of the editor and a description of what the visitor can do with the editor
- Wikipedia readers go to userpages expecting to get information of some sort, and a friendly public presentation will fulfill that expectation
Because I have these premises, I expect the userpages of community representatives to contain certain content. Whenever anyone makes a request for community endorsement to get special Wikipedia privileges, I check their userpage. If it is not what I am expecting then I will oppose that user's request for permissions.
I do this because I work with new users and I believe I am representing the interests of new users when I ask experienced editors to have a userpage which conveys information to visitors.
All Wikipedians who are community representatives must have userpages which are friendly to all users who might visit those userpages. Being friendly includes the following traits:
- The communication of something about one's own work or interests on Wikipedia. Any one of the following example statements would fulfill my expectation of a friendly self-identification:
- I like to work on articles related to health.
- I am a member of WP:WikiProject Open Access
- I do not like to disclose information about myself and I keep my userpage mostly empty.
- I am very busy and generally only talk to people I know.
- (an abstract image, if the host can use that as a tool for serving userpage guests)
- The direction of visitors in the way that one would like those visitors to engage the userpage. Any one of the following example statements would fulfill my expectation of a friendly direction to userpage visitors:
- I participate in Wikipedia:Articles for deletion and Wikipedia:Articles for creation. If you have a question about my interaction with content you contributed, then please read policy there and post on my talk page.
- Please assist me in the Wikipedia:WikiProject Guild of Copy Editors, Wikipedia:Requests for comment, and the Wikipedia:Teahouse.
- Do you need help with a dispute? Please visit Wikipedia:Dispute resolution noticeboard or otherwise post on my talk page. I participate in these things.
- I like to help experienced users create tables in articles.
- (an abstract image, if the host can use that as a tool for serving userpage guests)
- Please do not contact me.
Besides identification and direction, I insist that userpages conform to international community standards for being appropriate for broad community outreach. For example, I will not endorse a user whose userpage contains controversial images which many people may not want to see or which contains text descriptions which individuals acting as representatives of traditional community organizations would not use to express their openness to the public.
My idea comes from my philosophy of advertising. I see each community representative as a spokesperson trying to "sell" the Wikimedia community "brand" and trying to sell themselves as a good person. To humanize the brand identity I ask that community representatives identify themselves.
I see the userpage as a place to make a persuasive argument, and I assume that people go to userpages to view such persuasive devices. "This is fun and you can participate" is the general model of an advertisement which I expect to see on userpages. I really like seeing the connection between identity and the appeal; I like personal appeals. "I am Blue Rasberry. I edit health articles. Please join me in this good endeavor."
All advertising creates brand awareness in order to influence behavior. A major aspect of the Wikipedia brand is a supportive community and I like seeing that advertised and an offer made that others may join.
An experienced user, "user:Example", participates in many projects on Wikipedia. User:Example has many interests and enjoys helping other users with similar interests and who want help in doing things that he habitually does anyway. User:Example makes a request for adminship and the community grants him admin rights.
In the course of doing admin work, user:Example works in popular public areas and somehow new users quickly come to understand that he has administrator rights. These new users go to user:Example's userpage because they have a problem or concern about something. Upon arriving there, they find no information about what user:Example does or how he might help them with their problem. After visiting the userpage, these new users leave it and go elsewhere without having their need helped and without interacting with the userpage.
I assert that in this example, the userpage did not serve the purpose of helping to satisfy the desires of the new users. I further assert that Wikipedians in an exemplary role have a duty to satisfy the desires of new users.
I think that these userpages are great examples of friendly userpages.
- Mark Arsten reviews featured article candidates and gives the link for anyone else to join him in this.
- Yunshui says that he likes articles about Japan and that on Wikipedia he uses the application called Igloo. He posts a to-do list prominently and anyone could help with this list.
- Isarra says that she does not do much on Wikipedia besides loitering around. I think that this is a great way to convey that she is not on Wikipedia to provide general help to other users.
Some people may assert that the content of one's userpage is not a significant factor in determining user experience. Here are some factors which they consider in making this assessment. The statements with a check in front of them are statements which support some premise for believing that informative userpages are necessary; the statements with a cross in front of them are counterarguments for this assertion.
Effect of userpages on visitors
- Visitors go to userpages with an expectation to learn about the user and what the user can do with them, and if that expectation is not met then they have a bad experience.
- Visitors are minimally affected by what happens when they go to a userpage. They go to userpages with no particular expectations and are not disappointed if it does not tell them about the user or how they can interact with the user.
Traffic on community representative userpages
- A significant number of visitors go to community representative userpages, and therefore the state of community representative userpages is significant.
- There is no reason to believe that community representative userpages have any more influence on user experience than any other user's userpage.
Existence of community representatives
- Community representatives exist and administrators and bureaucrats are all community representatives.
- The Wikipedia community has no particular community representatives, or if it does then administrators and bureaucrats are not necessarily those representatives.
Responsibility of community representatives
- Users with special permissions and userrights are inherently public figures and must behave as role models for example behavior in the Wikipedia community; this includes having a userpage which meets some standards.
- There is no compelling reason to hold community representatives to more particular userpage standards than anyone else.
Criteria for voting
- It is appropriate to deny a candidate requesting user privileges if that candidate does not have a sufficiently friendly userpage
- An excellent user who volunteers their time, is dependable, trustworthy, and otherwise reliable would make a good community representative even if their userpage did not meet arbitrary "friendliness" standards
Criteria for friendly userpages
- The criteria proposed on this page are good models for making a friendly userpage.
- The criteria proposed on this page are arbitrary and there is no reason to believe that if these standards were followed that they would make a user page friendly or more likely to better user experience.
I personally believe all the statements with check marks and disbelieve the statements with crosses.
Implications on my endorsements
I use userpage review as a primary criteria for deciding how I vote at WP:RfA and WP:RfB. In deciding my endorsements, I expect candidates to have enough experience to demonstrate likelihood of being nice to other users in all situations and to have a friendly userpage. I care a lot about community presentation and outreach. I do not care much about whether candidates for special permissions actually need or will use admin tools, regardless of this being a criteria which is important to many other users. I do expect candidates to have experience which shows that they can use the tools meaningfully and correctly should they want to do so.
Irrespective of the will and intention of the Wikipedia community, I believe that new users and community outsiders see admins and bureaucrats as community representatives of all Wikipedians. Because I do Wikipedia outreach to non-Wikipedians I feel like I serve the needs of my outreach demographic by asking those users whom community outsiders naturally and instinctively identify as community representatives to have the sort of userpages which my outreach demographic expects.
Posting this on other pages
When I WP:!vote on some granting of userrights to a Wikipedian, I post the following language to the !voting discussion:
I judged this user based only on their userpage according my subjective personal criteria here. This user (meets/does not meet) my expectations and based only on that, I (support/oppose) this user's promotion. Other people should check other aspects of this user's work. (In case of oppose - I would change my vote if this user added to their userpage the content which I describe in my policy and messaged me to change my vote.)