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Editor's Noticeboard[edit]

This noticeboard is for discussing topics making editing hard or less fun for users, editors who are being driven from the project, and other topics affecting everyday creation, especially by anons, newbies and casual users.

This is not a place to discuss content disputes or conflicts between editors, save where there is a conflict between veterans or admins and new or naive editors. Discussions of how new contributors are welcomed and encouraged, or chastised and challenged, are always welcome here.

Why this noticeboard came into being[edit]

This probably also needs to be viewed in association with the gender-gap discussions. Several of the reasons outlined in Sue Gardner's blog apply just as well to other classes of potential editors. Retired folks with many years of experience in their chosen fields also aren't willing to put up with behaviour that is more typical of unruly classrooms. Eclecticology (talk) 22:12, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

Self-nom of article for creation[edit]

Everyone has things to share with others. Some people know best about their own group, organization, or region. This is a good thing, when handled well -- with oversight and review by someone with no COI. For how a well-intentioned effort can fail, see the recent blocking and speedy deletion of user:cmeditorial and College Magazine, respectively (after a months-long slow editing process, successful creation request on AFC, and request on WP:EAR and the article talk page for help improving the art beyond Start-class.

Other newbies posting to New_contributors%27_help_page/questions, if asking about how to start an article for their group, organization, or company, are generally told to leave, and sometimes 'soft'-blocked (that is: blocked with a nice message inviting them to try creating a better username). What a horrible first experience! Anyone who manages to find that page is a good future Wikipedian in the making; most of them probably come from organizations that are notable, at least to the point of meriting mention in the appropriate meta-article (about their field, area, or city). We need to find ways to say "here is how and where you add that piece of knowledge at the appropriate level of detail" rather than "go away, try this other site to share your non-encyclopedic marketing fluff" -- people coming here may be familiar with writing marketing text to describe their work, but are here because they want to learn how to share the kind of information they find on WP about other orgs: neutral and long-lasting. And those who ask for help learning how to do so should get it in a friendly way. SJ+ 22:24, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

Geolocated notices, catlocated notices, and more[edit]

Geonotices can be used to attract and welcome people from specific institutions and universities more personally. Or to diorect people to active WikiProjects related to their town or school.

Can they also be used to help people write neutrally about topic areas they care about without violating COI and other guidelines? My friend at NBC commented today on how whenver he vreads WP he sees these unfriendly notices directed towards his IP, responding to something one of the thousand colleagues who share his proxy must have done in the past week. How can we avoid this, or how could he help counteract this by crafting geonotices for just that IP?

What could we do with cat-specific notices if they were turned on, for everyone reading articles in a category?

(from discussions with Asheesh Laroia and others at the annual Students for Free Culture conference this weekend) SJ+ 10:51, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

Making bots and scripts friendly[edit]

Bots and scripts like Twinkle often leave messages for [new] users which are less than friendly. They tend to be verbose, as if written by wikilawyers, and harsh, as if the only thing that matters is complying with policies (which you may not understand). They sometimes thank users for their contribution, in an unconvincing way; they often chastise users for doing things wrong; and they certainly clutter up talkpages.

  • automated messages thanking people for their 100th edit, for instance, would be fun and could liven up the bleak landscape of user talk pages.
  • welcome messages could be friendlier and might be reviewed regularly by a team of editors who are specifically interested in making participation fun and charming
  • warnings should take into consideration the age of the account, and be more informative and less chiding for newbies. it should be proscribed to scare away a newbie making good-faith edits before they have had real human interaction with someone trying to welcome them into the fold.
  • automated messages could learn to work with one another so that they all use single infobox to share information; similar to the way talk-page classificaitons of articles stack at the top of a page, these could be better consolidated than one per section.

Specific classes of messages could be discussed here or at some other suitable place, and bots/scripts might benefit regular review of the messages they leave. SJ+ 22:53, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

  • Redrafting is only part of the problem. Blindly using these tools without pausing to apply common sense is a much bigger one. Newbies especially will feel more welcome if they are given the impression that their efforts have been fairly considered, even when you conclude that their contributions don't belong. Boilerplate responses seem too much like the automated responses that you get when you try to phone a company's customer service line. A response should give some evidence that you have read what the newby wrote.
Insensitive behaviour, even when done in good faith, is still harmful. But it's in the nature of the beast that those most prone to such behaviours are least capable of understanding them. A lot of these insensitives come to us from the kind of scientific perspective where any problem can be reduced to a series of 1's and 0's. In that perspective a newby's article is either good or bad; there is no middle ground. It's also a lot less work to select a template than to write something personal. Since many of these also see Wikipedia as under siege from those who would fill it with unnotable nonsense it becomes their duty to efficiently repel the invaders. Dealing with that kind of person requires action that is as decisive as theirs, and that runs contrary to Wiki openness and tolerance of different ideas. Eclecticology (talk) 09:48, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

Making templates friendly[edit]

A specific example: Template_talk:Please_link_images/en (from a recent foundation-l thread)

Speedy deletion criterion G8[edit]

G8 says that talk pages of deleted articles should? can? be deleted. It was originally 'can' but has become 'should' through the use of bots and scripts. This is in most cases harmful to the project and to transparent communication, and I would love to see it removed.

Any article which has gone through a deletion discussion or review has notes about its notability or appropriateness on both the AFD/DR page and on its talk page . Thanks to G8, while the former two are preserved, the latter is not.

Another example: Wikipedia:EAR#Unclear_reason_for_deletion -- someone who wants to know why the talk page of their article was deleted. Reason: the article itself was mistakenly deleted, and within a few minutes the talk page was too (by someone else). Then the article was undeleted, but the talk page was not.

In this as in many other cases, pure wiki deletion (page blanking :) is preferable to deletion; and in most cases even blanking is not called for on the talk page of a deleted page.

It would take some concerted effort to improve/remove G8 because there are some specific cases in which deletion is called for, these would need to be noted as still valid deletion reasons (but not necessarily speediable), and the community that revises speedies are largely focused on countervandalism and antispam, and not on transparent communication and being welcoming. SJ+ 23:00, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

Fixing notions of Adminship[edit]

RfA and the concept of 'admin as mature editor' have replaced, at times, early notinos that everyone should be able to delete and protect the projects, or that adminship was no big deal. Contrast how stewards view their role.

Fixing notions of Deletion[edit]

There should be less deletion. New authors should not feel attacked when their work needs improvement. Everyone should be able to see deleted revisions (though not search engines). Explicit revision hiding should be separate, and rare.

'Articles for Review' should pursue a spectrum: "discussed on a talk page" --> "mentioned in an article" --> "section in an article" --> "section that may have its own 'for details, see' line" --> "separate article"

Deletion should be a separate process, engaged in by people who care about and are good at the details of deletion : making sure it is kind, making sure information is preserved beyond deletion, deciding between blanking and actual revision or history deletion.

Fixing notions of Protection[edit]

Betwee 10% and 30% of all pageviews are of a semiprotected page, including the most often and avidly read pages. That hurts the "anyone can edit" spirit of the projects. We should be protecting less, and providing "edit" links to all even when the editing must be indirect. See for instance the new tab titles on the Foundation wiki, care of MZMcBride. SJ+ 10:41, 4 March 2011 (UTC)