User talk:Hassocks5489

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Spoken article review[edit]

Hi, can you make a comment about my new project Encyclopine.org[edit]

hi, Hi, can you make a comment about my new project Encyclopine.org?

Phone number for public phone box[edit]

Hi, Hassocks5489.

I was pleased to see your photo of the K6 phone booth outside St. Mary's in Shoreham. Would you happen to have a phone number for it (if it indeed remains a public phone box with a number)? I am setting up an Easter Treasure Hunt remotely, using Google Earth, and would very much like to enable a small boy to cause the phone to ring. I'd be grateful f you could reply to gordonink at gmail.com before April 2nd, 2015.

Thanks in advance for your attention to the above,


Gordonink

Name pronunciation request[edit]

Hello, Hassocks5489! It is so good to be talking with you again. I just had a little favor to ask you. In your spare time, I was wondering if you could create a name pronunciation request for Githa Spring Hampson (pronunced GEE-thuh HAMP-sen). If you have details, please ping me. Thanks sir, CookieMonster755 ๐Ÿ“ž โœ‰ โœ“ 23:43, 30 April 2016 (UTC)

How is that pronuncation going? P.S. like my new signature?... โœ‰cookiemonsterโœ‰ ๐šจ755๐›€ 01:09, 9 June 2016 (UTC)

The Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument[edit]

Yes, I do have access to the Rose book, so I'll check it out to see if there's more information about Stone.Rosalina523 (talk) 13:52, 11 August 2016 (UTC)

Southeast England Contest[edit]

Hi, I've created Template:British Contest series, This is planned. Would you and Jaguar be interested in running one for the Southeast this autumn? I would need your to help draw up much of the core article lists and pages though, but it would be in the West Country Challenge format. Perahps London and East England one would be a separate contest and it's too much to cram into one, I don't know, but I'm trying to regionalize reasonably!โ™ฆ Dr. Blofeld 09:30, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

@Iridescent: and Ritchie333 Would you be interested in scaling this to London and East England? Perhaps two different contests for Southeast and London and East England? I want something where we can cover the whole UK and run them in a sort of a rota annually.โ™ฆ Dr. Blofeld 14:17, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

I think it would be better to run the London and South East ones separately, as London is big enough in itself. I was thinking about doing the southeast one, I've already done a few GAs like Ashford, Kent and Faversham so there's definitely the potential for improvement. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 14:33, 18 August 2016 (UTC)
I think London is something of an exceptional case, and any such contest would need to be significantly rebalanced to cover it. London's unique status as the financial, political and cultural capital of what's arguably the world's dominant culture means that coverage of it presents different challenges to the coverage of virtually any other place on Wikipedia, as everything is multiple orders of magnitude larger. (A few stats to put things in perspective: Category:Universities and colleges in London and its subcategories alone contain 17,140 articles, or roughly as many as all the articles on Wales combined; if we used a bot to create a stub on every item in the British Museumโ€”virtually all of which are notable by Wikipedia standardsโ€”this alone would more than double the size of Wikipedia; the minor subprojects WikiProject London Transport and its subproject WikiProject Thames between them cover roughly the same number of articles as WikiProject Greater Manchester, which is usually held up as a textbook example of a highly-active Wikiproject.)

There are officially around 30,000 articles covered by WikiProject London, WikiProject London Transport and WikiProject Thames, but that figure is very out of date; a decade ago I went through every article on this list and manually tagged/untagged to get a clear picture of how many articles we had, but as far as I know nobody's done anything similar since then, so that figure is a snapshot of Wikipedia circa 2007โ€“08 rather than the current picture. If anything, a London-challenge might be better off focused on removing rather than expanding; probably because of its high student population, it seems to have a lot of people who feel the need to write a standalone article on their local area regardless of whether any source has ever been written about it, London has far too many unexpandable microstubs like The Grapes, Wandsworth, 7 & 9 Bounds Green Road or Cowcross Street, and I'd be reluctant to see any contest which encouraged the creation of even more stubs. On a purely practical note, WP:LONDON is to all practical purposes defunct, so you might struggle to get anyone to take part in the administrative side of things.

The issue I see regarding a southeast project is that "the south east" doesn't have a regional identity in the way that Wales, the West Country or Yorkshire do. Brighton, Milton Keynes, Oxford, the Isle of Wight, Canterbury, Chipping Norton and Slough have little in common other than "being within an arbitrary line that a bureaucrat drew on a map in 1994", and their inhabitants (except possibly in Kent) would be unlikely to describe themselves as "southeasterners", so you'll probably struggle to drum up much regional interest. You'd probably be better off starting with the North West or the West Midlands, both of which already a strong regional identity and which have a hardcore of Wikipedians already in place to get the ball rolling. โ€‘ Iridescent 17:13, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

Oh you wouldn't have to worry about stubs, they're prohibited in the contests I run now, the effort is almost entirely towards cleanup/destubbing. By the looks of it for London there would have to be more a focus on "debloating"/cleanup and destubbing/merging, how about the "The London Destub-Debloatathon" for a name! I think the SouthEast region is certainly doable as a contest.โ™ฆ Dr. Blofeld 18:46, 18 August 2016 (UTC)
(Note that these are thinking-out-loud rather than concrete proposals)
For London, it might (emphasis on "might") make sense to break it down by topic and hold separate contests, to get things down to a manageable sizeโ€”perhaps separate contests on architecture, transport, sports, museums etc, rather than a single huge contest. The drawback would be that articles which don't fit neatly into pigeonholes would fall through the cracks; the advantages would be that if it would keep the article lists at a manageable size, and thematic events might be able to attract sponsorship from (e.g.) the London Transport Museum, the University of London etc. There were similar contests held a while back at Wikipedia:GLAM/British Museum; while I was (and am) fairly sceptical that the time, effort and money spent justified the return, the basic principle was sound.
Even though this is contrary to the "if the sources exist it's a notable topic" ethos of Wikipedia, it might be worthwhile drawing up a (broad) core topic list and only accepting entries on topics meeting a higher-than-GNG definition of notability. If I felt so inclined, I could literally churn out FAs on Metropolitan Line stations or the contents of Tate Britain at such a rate that the limiting factor would be the WP:FAC throttle, and I'm not alone; presumably you don't want the end result of the contest to be huge stack of biographies of Barnet F.C. footballers or local council elections in Havering. This might be more politically acceptable than actually making it a debloating contest, at the latter might get spun as "Wikipedia encourages people to delete perfectly good articles!"
Where are you going to draw the lines? Neither London nor the South East have a historic or natural boundary in the sense that Wales or the North East do; they're both just arbitrary lines drawn on a map in 1965 and 1994 respectively and bear little relationship to reality (to the extent that Surrey County Hall is officially in London). This will be an issue, since the Underground is one of the areas where you're likely to see a lot of action and a lot of the tube network isn't officially in London (six tube stations aren't even officially in the south east). You'll also want to think about how you handle Essex (and to a lesser extent Hertfordshire), officially in the East of England not the South East, but which nobody actually thinks of as "East". My inclination would be to allow people to submit entries to whatever they like provided it's not unreasonable.
For the South East, do you include military history? Not only are zillions of aviation articles technically going to fall in the area owing to the airbases and Gatwick Airport, but virtually every British military biography is going to have a connection to either Aldershot or Portsmouth.
Sorry this all sounds negative, and I'm not opposing the principle; I just don't think either London or SE will run as smoothly as other parts of the country, as both have unique sets of problems which don't really apply to other parts of the UK. (BTW, this probably ought to be moved somewhere else; I'm sure poor Hassocks doesn't really want all this on his talkpage.) โ€‘ Iridescent 20:05, 18 August 2016 (UTC)
Given that one or both of them are probably going to end up doing a lot of the heavy lifting, paging MRSC and Redrose64. โ€‘ Iridescent 21:27, 18 August 2016 (UTC)
I know you don't oppose it, but you do have the tendency to make things more complicated than they need to be. In light of the historic overlap that's why I'd be more inclined to cover South East and London in one. If it's too much, then I guess we would use the current boundary and make the focus on geography/buildings.โ™ฆ Dr. Blofeld 21:47, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

โ”Œโ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”˜ Hi all; sorry for coming to this a bit late โ€“ busy day! I don't mind "hosting" this conversation here for the time being during these initial discussions, although eventually we may need to move this to (say) Wikipedia talk:WikiProject England/The South East England Challenge. Here are my initial thinking-out-loud thoughts.

  • I am enthusiastic about this proposal, but with reservations. From my side it is likely to spur me on to make much-need and long-postponed improvements to a number of geographical articles, which keep getting delayed because something else always comes up.
  • I think South East England has too great a scope to be able to accommodate London as well. We would need to restrict ourselves to Kent, Surrey, East and West Sussex, Hants, Berks, Bucks and Oxon, and of course the Isle of Wight!
  • Iridescent makes good points about regional identity: these counties don't really sit together "naturally" in a way that would make a cohesive contest easy to set up. As an example, from my Sussex-based viewpoint, Sussex has historical and social affinity with Surrey, and there are links with Kent as well, but Buckinghamshire feels as unfamiliar and unconnected as, say, Lincolnshire. Is the region "focused" enough to be able to support this? I think there may be merit in trying something like a West Midlands contest or a Yorkshire contest first, as Iridescent alludes to above, and seeing how that goes โ€“ using the additional experience gained from that to help organise a South East England version.
  • Alternatively, a couple of possible ways to provide tighter focus: either organise a contest based on a specific topic for South East England (e.g. infrastructure and services of SE England โ€“ which could attract transport editors and also encourage improvements on topics like public services, hospitals, power stations and so on, which I've often felt are poorly covered), or (again as alluded to by Iridescent) try a contest based on particular types of "quality-focused" article improvement: for example, getting editors to concentrate on expanding and referencing high-importance articles, bringing town/city/county articles to GA status or beyond, making list articles more comprehensive, or encouraging the creation of comprehensive "History of..." articles to complement the corresponding main article. I appreciate that may not be a popular suggestion, because editors may be more inclined to enter a contest where they can write lots of short, new, niche articles; but there is much to be said for making a concerted effort to bring key articles up to a consistent standard using quality references โ€“ and so much has been written over the years about the southeastern counties, and so much information is produced these days by the various councils and made available on their websites (especially statistical and demographic data). (Hove and Portslade alone have their own 15-volume encyclopaedia, believe it or not, and a very interesting read it is too!)
  • I'm going to make a tentative proposal in a sec, after saving this comment in case my computer crashes! Hassocks5489 (Floreat Hova!) 21:11, 18 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Right, that tentative proposal โ€“ more of a suggestion at this stage, really. Could we try something a bit different for SE England, allowing the whole region to be covered but focusing the effort on existing articles of the greatest importance? This would consist of geographical articles such as the counties themselves, the cities and main towns, features such as major forests, rivers the Weald and the various Downs, and possibly main transport routes; historical articles such as the old kingdoms and tribes, industrial history (I've just found Iron industry of Ashdown Forest, which is a good start but ripe for expansion); bios of people who had a direct impact on the region (the likes of Sir Herbert Carden of Brighton, who admittedly is still a redlink); and other significant topics I can't think of at the moment. Encourage the expansion, structuring and referencing of these articles following "best practice" of comparable articles which are of say GA and FA status, so that by the end of the contest as many core articles as possible are in a position where they could be nominated in future, even if that doesn't happen immediately. Furthermore, encourage the creation of more detailed subsidiary articles: "Economy of ...", "History of ..." and so on. This broad approach may encourage a wide range of editors to chip in with their specialisms โ€“ churches, geology, famous residents, or whatever โ€“ as well as generalists who enjoy shaping a whole article. That was all off the top of my head, so thoughts and comments are welcome! Hassocks5489 (Floreat Hova!) 21:33, 18 August 2016 (UTC)
We can run anything you like, whatever you think is most suitable. If you want to focus on the most important geographical features we could identify a list of say 100 articles and make it a contest for promoting them to GA. If you really think that should be the focus. Generally I think though destubbing work and cleanup of core articles is the most needed for most places. I don't see though how it would be of more value running one for Midlands or Yorkshire first, in fact I'd say the West Country, the south coast has more likeness to the south east coast than up north, though the differences are obvious. I think it would be pretty easy to scale the West Country format to the South East. With the South East we could make it more a South East Core Contest than a challenge though, identify a core list of say 250-500 articles, embolden the ones we really consider top priority and then run a contest focusing on quality. If you could begin drawing up a core list I'll set up a page. โ™ฆ Dr. Blofeld 21:50, 18 August 2016 (UTC)
My thinking on why running Yorkshire, West Midlands, Scotland etc first would be sensible are fairly simple. Presumably the plan is to run all the regions so it's not like we'd be dumping London in favour of Manchester (or whatever), just tinkering with the order. London and SE are the two regions where this is most likely to failโ€”for London because the scope is so much broader than elsewhere, and for SE because of the lack of regional coherence in the sense other regions have it. (One only needs to look at the map of the regions to see that all the other regions follow clear historic boundaries which go back to the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, while SE is just an irregularly-shaped blob of what was left over, stretching from the Birmingham suburbs to the Channel ports.) In light of this, I think it would make more sense to run these two last once there's some momentum built up; quite aside from anything else, since London and SE each have a much higher population than any other English region or UK country, they're likely to be the busiest, so assuming the contest is successful whatever follows it is likely to look something of a damp squib. (I don't think it would make sense to merge London and SEโ€”there isn't really any particular connection between London and most of the southeast once you're out of the commuter belt. Plus, merging them would create a super-region with a population of around 17 million, or 20 million if you include the London suburbs and the Thames Gateway, which is probably going to be unmanageably large.) โ€‘ Iridescent 19:26, 19 August 2016 (UTC)

OK, I won't bother for the time being anyway. I often think my time and energy is wasted on wikipedia!โ™ฆ Dr. Blofeld 20:23, 19 August 2016 (UTC)