User talk:Herostratus/Service awards/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2


In a unorganized organization (organized unorganization?) such as Wikipedia, moral authority is important. Senior editor badges:

  • Give a bit of formal recognition to editors who have worked long and hard.
  • Allows other editors to see at once that they are dealing with a very experienced editor, and (hopefully) give that person's comments a bit of extra weight.
  • If the "no administrators" option is used, it gives editors something to work toward besides administratorship (which, in theory, should not be status symbol but which is in fact a Very Big Deal). The fact that administratorship is a Very Big Deal warps the RfA process and skews the ranks of aministrators to include people who aren't necessarily suited. The senior editor badges are just badges, but pace Napoleon, men will strive quite a lot for a bit of ribbon.
  • If, on the hand, the "stable articles" option is used instead, obviously senior editors would peform a necessary function.Herostratus 17:07, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

Wait a minute... there's no vetting?

Right. Of course, a few people who achive senior editorship might be bad or disruptive editors, but, really, how many bad or distruptive editors get 10,000 edits? There are a few Nobel Prize winners, Booker Prize winners, Medal of Freedom winners, Legion of Honor winners, and what have you that are undeserving. But not many, and we know who they are and can discount them commensurately.

And yes, senior editorship can never be taken away, even if an editor is banned for life (although it wouldn't mean much then, would it?). After all, even Benedict Arnold has a monument at Saratoga, and properly so, notwithstanding his later activities.

In other words, it is completely removed from politics. Herostratus 17:07, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

Basically, I really like your proposal. —Nightstallion (?) 10:49, 15 July 2006 (UTC)

If the stable articles variation is adopted, how will the bit be set?

Well, once the backlog is cleared, this should not be an onerous task - editors achieving the requirements could contact a bureacrat, who would check their edit history and set the bit; not very many would likely be achieving the requirements in a given time period.Herostratus 17:07, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

But doesn't that mean that bad or disruptive senior editors could mess up stable articles?

Yes, of course. But among the editors with 10,000+ edits, the great majority would be good editors, and it ought to be easy to overwhelm the rare bad editor with sheer numbers.

As for someone who sets their goal to accumulate 10,000 edits over a two-year period just so they can (try to) control certain stable articles -- first of all, that person really does have no life and will probably find many ways to be obnoxious; second of all, it won't work, other senior editors will track and revert him; and third of all, after working hard for two years, he might well forget his original plot and actually come to appreciate the project. [User:Herostratus|Herostratus]] 17:07, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

Won't this encourage editcountitis?

I suppose so, yes. Still, you can't get to 10,000 edits/two years without doing some serious good work and learning a lot. Well, I suppose you could, if you really set your mind to making 10,000 spelling corrections or whatever (which would still be very useful), but how many people would do that? Anyone could see that that's what they'd done, so how useful would senior editorship be to them anyway. If it gets people to want to build up their edit counts that high, that's a good thing, isn't it? And anyway, it's all worth it to remove the entire process complely from politics. [User:Herostratus|Herostratus]] 17:07, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

it is easy to get 10,000 edits by just edit-warring and wikilawyering if that's your character (we'd need some sort of edit-count that ignores revert-warring edits). There is also no comparing 10,000 housekeeping edits to 10,000 content-adding edits, although both kinds of course add up to significant value. Concerning the "time active" clause, I could just do nothing for two years from now and be a SE IV free. You want to measure the "time active" with some sort of 'counting only days with at least 10 edits' clause. dab () 23:15, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
Good points. Here's what I'd say: I don't think it is easy to get 10,000 edits (at least half in article space) just by edit-warring and such. 10,000 is a lot of edits. Nobody makes 10,000 houskeeping edits; they'd go nuts. At least a couple thousand would be normal edits, don't you think? And housekeeping edits are valuable too. As for calendar time... you can't really make 10,000 edits in a couple of months and then wait idle for two years, very easily at least. I mean, OK, your points are valid but would apply to very, very few editors in my opinion. No system is perfect. I want to keep it very simple and entirely removed from politics and human judgement. Herostratus 15:10, 15 July 2006 (UTC)

we have userboxes and barnstars, so why not this?

  • I mean, apart from the "formal", what's to stop people to just slap the badges on their userpages (I might consider gracing my userpage with one, although I still have to work on that coffee-stain). But WP-is-NOT a roleplaying game. seriously, "an alternative path to recognition"? You gain recognition via merit, not via number of edits. There are a few individuals who qualify for this just by virtue of being a perpetual PITA. WP is a meritocracy, or at least it should be. As for "stable articles", we already have them, they are the FAs at the moment they are being featured. If a FA improves further, we might introduce an unbureaucratic "re-featuring" process that nominates the evolved version as the official FAC-approved (stable) version. dab () 23:00, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
    • Absolutely. This doesn't need to be a "proposal" that gets "adopted". In fact, probably what's going to happen is, I'll go through the lists and hand these out to all who qualify (I'll need an alternative graphic). Maybe it'll catch on, doubtful, but who knows? The "stable article" thing is, some folks are mooting the idea of somehow protecting articles that are "finished"... but they should have some ability to be edited, but by whom? Admins, one fellow said... but that's just piling more perqs on adminship... Herostratus 07:04, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
More "formal" badge (draft sample)... enh, needs more thought or a better designer.

Out of curiosity, how do you plan to stop people who don't meet the requirements from putting the badges on their userpages anyways? Or do you think this won't be a problem? Kirill Lokshin 16:41, 15 July 2006 (UTC)

  • Well, honor system I guess. But if came across one, I'd ask them to delete it, if no satisfactory answer I'd delete it. But if reverted I don't know as there's much you could do, I guess. Herostratus 05:26, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

I removed all the stuff on the article page about stable articles and all. I'd say keep it simple and just make it a purely honorary award with no powers or anything else at all. That allows only non-admins to be eligibla. Herostratus 21:14, 15 July 2006 (UTC)

Wait a sec -- admins are ineligible?

Yes. The point is to give editors who are inclined that way a goal to shoot for, and a reward for getting there. This is no wise anti-administrator in any way. But administrators interests and skills presumably lie in a different area than editors who are mostly interested purely in content editing, and their reward (if reward it is) is being selected for administratorship. Herostratus 21:20, 15 July 2006 (UTC)

And what about administrators who have made great contributions to articles, as well? What about those who are awarded one of those badges, but become administrators later? What about former administrators? —Nightstallion (?) 10:40, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
Right, all good points. I removed the non-admin thingy. Herostratus 12:39, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
Thanks; as I've said before, I really like the proposal, including the visuals. Let's hope it becomes accepted quickly. :)Nightstallion (?) 12:05, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

The first one is awarded

Well, I decided to apply that new badge and start awarding it: Irpen is awarded the Bronze Editor Badge with its Book of Knowledge. :) -- Grafikm (AutoGRAF) 15:34, 16 July 2006 (UTC)


Earlier versions talked about only applying this to non-admins and possibly using the levels to allow editing of stable articles, and had no levels below Tutnum. Since all this has been changed, the previous talk has been archived to avoid confusion with the new stable version. Herostratus 06:23, 22 July 2006 (UTC)


The main reason for the award is, as with any Barnstar and for the same reason, to reward a certain type of valuable contribution. Herostratus 06:23, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

Terminology (informal version)

Burba is what Babelfish gives as the Italian translation for "rookie". Grognards was Napoleon's affectionate name for his Old Guard; it means "grumblers" in French, I believe. Tutnum has no meaning.

Summary of responses to old versions

  • Initial Village Pump proposal, based now-removed aspects, got:
    • one strong oppose
    • one unclear but apparantly supportive
  • On this talk page (now archived), got:
    • one support.
    • one dubious, citing ability to meet edit requirements by mostly minor or revert-war edits, and time requirements by just letting time pass without doing anything. (my response: seems unlikely)
    • one dubious, citing that merit speaks for itself and requires no badge, and Wikipedia is not a role-playing game.
    • one merely asking how it would be policed (my response: honor system)
  • At Wikipedia:Barnstar and award proposals#Editor service awards, got:
    • one neutral
    • two support (plus another who used it, which counts as support I would think)
    • one oppose
    • also a couple commenters not high on the informal-versions terminology (Tutnum etc.), and a seconded suggestion to use OBE-type levels (Knight Commandor, Knight Grand Cross, etc.)(my response: (1) informal terminology improved, although same general approach used, is it OK now? (2) use formal version if not liking informal version (3) OBE-type levels a good idea, suggest as a separate "highly formal" version when someone willing to make the graphics, rather than replacing informal version) Herostratus 06:23, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

Move to template space

My inclination is to move this to template space, barring some outcry and/or cogent arguments against this. Since it is a collection of stars, I think this page ought to have its own line in Template:Barnstarpages. Herostratus 06:23, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

Status as of July 29 2006

Taking all the discussions together, I'm seeing a roughly 50-50 split. So here's what I'm going to do now (which of course any editor can change), which seems a reasonable compromise:

  • I won't delete the service awards, but I also won't make templates of the individual awards, list them on the barnstar template, or add any mention of them anywhere on the barnstar pages.
  • I will move the page from my userspace to Wikipedia space, let them remain in the Category:Wikipedia awards (another editor has placed them there), and personally give out a few here and there.
  • If another editor wants to put up the page as a "Proposed guideline" to get either a decisive rejection or acceptance, that would perhaps be reasonable in my opinion. True, they are just barnstars, which don't usually go up a proposed guidelines, but since its a whole system of stars maybe it would be OK. Herostratus 21:07, 29 July 2006 (UTC)


Isn't this largely redundant to the edit count userboxes? Those userboxes are better than service awards, IMO, because they:

  • are self-defining.
  • acknowledge a greater number of intermediate levels.
  • don't presume that a higher edit count necessarily means a more accomplished editor.
  • don't require a certain number of months of service, and therefore don't give part-time service preferential treatment over full-time service.
  • are much more compact.
  • come in a wide range of attractive colours.

That's why I decline to display my award, even though I do have an edit count userbox. NeonMerlin 18:19, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

No, because of the "X year service part". If you're facing someone who is here for 2 years and has 10000 edits, it is far more informative than to see someone who made 10000 edits in a month by using AWB... -- Grafikm (AutoGRAF) 18:54, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

Bad idea

I came across this when Herostratus mentioned it, and I don't think it's a good idea. We don't need more ranks and orders and hierarchies; someone who adds a few, excellent articles all at once is far more valuable to the encyclopedia than someone who stub sorts a few thousand articles (although both types of work are fine and useful). Barnstars (and actual human expressions of apprecation) are quite sufficient. JesseW, the juggling janitor 20:42, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

Agree totally. pschemp | talk 03:42, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
I'll be more blunt: This is really quite stupid. They reinfornce the notion that edit counts and other statistics actually matter or demonstrate some kind of skill, which they don't. There's really no benefit to this aside from "it will make people feel better", which I don't think is true — I certainly wouldn't want to recieve some rote, robotic "award" for making an arbitrary number of edits. If you want to give someone recognition, find a particularly good edit they made, or a good article they wrote, and write them a personalised message. That's the proper way to give people recognition, not more boilerplate junk.--SB | T 03:47, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
I agree, I don't think this is a good idea. It encourages editcountitis. ++Lar: t/c 10:48, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
No it does not, because the most important part is the time you spent on Wikipedia, not the edit count. 2500 edits in 6 months for instance, is a very reasonable number that IMHO does not encourage editcountitis in any way... -- Grafikm (AutoGRAF) 12:04, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

Y'all may be right; I don't know. (Neither does anyone, but that's another subject.) To reply:

  • User:JesseW and pschemp: among other cogent objections, said "...someone who adds a few, excellent articles all at once is far more valuable to the encyclopedia than someone who stub sorts a few thousand articles...". Well, of course. Service awards are a piece of information. They tell you something about an editor. Do they tell you everything? No. Do they tell you the most important information about that editor? No. Do they tell you nothing? No. They are what they are.
  • User:Sean Black: "This is really quite stupid. They reinforce the notion that edit counts and other statistics actually matter or demonstrate some kind of skill, which they don't." Well, first of all, it's not stupid. It's based on my considerd thinking about human behavior and motivation in organizations, on which I'm not an expert but I think it's safe to say I know hella more than you do. From the Nobel Prizes to the Burger King Employee Of The Week, human beings thrive on recognition of their accomplishments. They just do, is all. Attaining service award levels is one level of accomplishment. Is it the most important mark of accomplishment? No, of course not. Does that make it meaningless then. I mean, I'm motivated to work toward my next service award level. I don't find that odd or unusual, at all. That's just human. As to the other... Sean, of course edit counts matter; don't be silly. 10,000 edits to the encycylopedia has meaning, has value. Are everyone's edits of equal value? Did I say that? Of course we shouldn't give too much attention to raw edit counts, but neither too little. I mean, it's not like we should discourage editors from adding to the edit counts, which is the impression I'm getting with all the phillipics I hear about the evils of having a high edit count. Sheesh.
  • Finally... as the bumper sticker says, "Against gay marriage? Don't have one". Nobody's holding a gun to anyone's head to display their service awards. Several editors have expressed interest in and appreciation of the service awards, though. Herostratus 04:11, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

Why this won't work

Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Featured users pschemp | talk 04:01, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

  • Uh... "Add {{FUC}} to your page and/or talk page...". I think that was a bad joke? Anyway, it was completely political, the opposite of service awards which are completely free from politics, one of its virtues. Herostratus 04:20, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

Reduced required edit count levels by 20%

It's getting rather late to be making any changes to this, but after due consideration I think I slight downward shift, lopping about 20% off the edit counts, was more in sync with the time periods, giving (for instance) 4000 edits rather than 5000 in one year, which seems more typical for an active editor, was in order, so I made that change. Herostratus 05:00, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

I found this interesting, so I checked and, presuming edits means total edits, not main space edits, could only find User:Bryan Derksen who would qualify for "Complete and Perfect Tutnum". (with The Anome qualifying in November and three or four more next February.) Pretty tough award. (I only make "Grand and Glorious Tutnum of the Encyclopedia" myself as my edits lag my years.) Rmhermen 16:53, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

good intentions but...

I think this idea (and those silly "smiles") discourage people from expressing personalised congratulations and thanks. I think it's a bad idea. I'll also add the super fancy welcome messages into this. They all look like boilerplate... I know it's boilerplate... but too look like boilerplate removes all emotion from the message. So...*shrug* whatever. ---J.S (t|c) 22:45, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

slight change in level names

I moved the upper levels up a notch -- it seemed that "experienced" and "established" seemed a bit weak to describe someone with 6 or 8000 edits and 1.5 or 2 years service. So I compressed them into one ("Experienced and Established") and made (former) Established -> Veteran, Veteran I -> Veteran II, Veteran II -> Veteran III, Veteran III -> Veteran IV. I'll make the corresponding changes on the few pages where they're being used. Herostratus 18:18, 2 November 2006 (UTC)


I just want to say that I like these awards. In a like Wikipedia, politics and POV inevitably comes into play in recognizing editors. It is nice to have this mathmatical indicator of how long someone has been here and how many edits they have made. We have other indicators of other things (how many FA's, whether made administrator, how many times (if ever) blocked or RFC'd, etc.) This is a nice, simple, portion of the picture of someone as a contributor. Johntex\talk 18:25, 5 December 2006 (UTC)



It doesn't specify whether one needs X number edits in mainspace or total. --Seans Potato Business 14:37, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Total. Herostratus 04:08, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps mainspace would be better... I use my usepage as a to-do list, among other things, so I have a ton of edits in userspace that aren't helping anyone but myself. Maybe it should be everything except userspace? Λυδαcιτγ 01:15, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
Er, yes, I suppose... I also use my userpage to keep stats and stuff and an always updating it... on the other hand, total edits is simpler, and most users don't edit userpages that much to really make a significant difference... and as you say, edits to talk pages, project page, etc. can be as useful as mainspace edits... so all in all I personally would rather just keep it at total edits rather than requiring the additional steps of subtracting just userpage edits, I guess. Herostratus 04:10, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
OK. I suppose it's up to the user to decide which edits are significant. Λυδαcιτγ 06:00, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
You shouldn't be using your userpages as todo lists and the like. WP:NOT: "Wikipedia is not a blog, webspace provider, or social networking site...[Userpages] may be used only to present information relevant to working on the encyclopedia. If you are looking to make a personal webpage...please make use of one of the many free providers on the Internet. The focus of user pages a foundation for effective collaboration." See also WP:USER: "It is a mistake to think of it as a homepage", etc. Furthermore, many wikipedians spend little time in mainspace but are massively active in the Wikipedia:, Template: and Category: namespaces, and their contributions are just as valuable, simply different. I.e. this topic is a moot point. Marking it resolved, unless someone really has a strong reason to continue talking about this.  :-) — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 07:20, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

More flexible requirements


It occurs to me that the double requirement of edit count and time served is hampering, because many editors will reach one mark long before they reach the other. Edit count strikes me as more important. Three competing ideas: Get rid of the time served requirement. Or reduce them all (except New) by half while keeping edit count requirements as-is. Or make them flexible:

  • New: as-is
  • Journeyman: 2000 edits + 6 months or 4K+4
  • Yeoman: 4K+12, or 5K+9
  • Experienced: 6K+18, or 7K+15
  • Veteran: 8K+24, or 10K+21
  • Veteran II: 12K+30, or 14K+27
  • Veteran III: 16K+36, or 18K+33
  • Veteran IV: 20K+42, or 22K+39
  • Senior: 24K+48, or 32K+45
  • Master: 40K+60, or 52K+54

Simple mathemetical formulas. An even simpler and more flexible one with rounder numbers might be:

  • New: as-is
  • Journeyman: 2000 edits + 6 months or 4K+3
  • Yeoman: 4K+12, or 5K+6
  • Experienced: 6K+18, or 7K+9
  • Veteran: 8K+24, or 10K+12
  • Veteran II: 12K+30, or 14K+15
  • Veteran III: 16K+36, or 18K+18
  • Veteran IV: 20K+42, or 22K+21
  • Senior: 24K+48, or 32K+24
  • Master: 40K+60, or 52K+30

Or whatever. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 08:24, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

I can't agree with that; I think it's better to keep it as extremely simple as possible. Herostratus 05:26, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
OK. I'll mark this "Resolved"; it was just an idea, not something I felt strongly about. If others later on do feel strongly about it they can un"Resolved" the topic. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 13:25, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

"New" doesn't make sense


The moment I make my first edit I'm a "New Editor", logically. I think this should be renamed "Novice" or some other term roughly meaning "newbie". — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 08:24, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

  • That makes sense. I went ahead and made the change. Herostratus 05:19, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

The edit-count jump for Master is a bit much


I'd cut that down, in proportion to the rest of them, to 32000. Starting with Veteran, all of the jumps are 4000 new edits plus 6 months more service, so the jump from Senior to Master should logically be 8K more if it is 6 extra months (12 total). A jump of 16K edits is expecting 3 years' worth of wikiwork in 1 year all of a sudden! Necessarily the numbers in #More flexible requirements above would also have to be adjusted, to

  • Senior: 24K+48, or 28K+45
  • Master: 32K+60, or 36K+54

in the first example, or

  • Senior: 24K+48, or 28K+24
  • Master: 32K+60, or 36K+30

in the second, using the same formulas.

Or maybe have it be 10K more, instead of 8, for the 12mo. total to get from Senior to Master, with concommittant edits to the more flexible requirements if either were adopted:

  • Senior: 24K+48, or 29K+45
  • Master: 34K+60, or 37K+54

in the first example, or

  • Senior: 24K+48, or 29K+24
  • Master: 34K+60, or 37K+30

in the second (or rounded up in the second so that the 29s are 30s, and the 37s are 38s, since part of the goal of the 2nd example was rounder numbers than the more complicated formula produced in the first.)

Under a revision like this, really prolific editors, who practically live on WP, would be rewarded with an early Master (or whatever rank, under the "More flexible requirements" system), while those who dawdle still won't be rewarded for long "service" if they haven't actually be doing much of anything. Thoughts?

SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 08:24, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

Well, master is the very highest and last level, so it should be a bit hard to accomplish. The large jump in edit numbers was made to reflect this, granted that it doesn't follow a straight linear additive model. As to edit counts, I'd point out that a lot of people are very wary of "editcountits" or over-emphasis on number of edits for anything (e.g., qualification for administratorship). If Service Awards were based solely on edit counts this page probably would have been deleted out of hand, for this reason. There's something to this, since a 5,000-edit editor could have been much more productive than a 25,000-edit editor, depending on the nature of the edits. On the other hand, I don't hold with with extreme anti-editcountitis folks who believe that edits mean absolutely nothing.Herostratus 05:43, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
Makes sense to me. "Resolved"ing this one too. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 13:25, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Not still a Burba, not yet a Grognard


I believe that there is quite some jump between Burba and Grogrard. I propose a new service award for editors contributing 3 months and 1000 edits. I do not yet have a name for it. Anyone agree with me? Greeves (talk contribs) 01:47, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

I couldn't see any harm in it. If one of my above flexibility proposals were accepted, it could be worked in rather easily. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 05:07, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
Done. I used the terms "Apprentice" (which I'm not too crazy about, maybe someone can suggest a better term) and "Novato", which is Portugese for "Beginner", according to Babelfish; for images, a blue ribbon with no pips (no significance to the color, just picked at random) and a picture-book. Herostratus 05:17, 29 January 2007 (UTC)


Some people like these awards. Some do not. I would just say:

  • Users who find Service Awards silly, pointless, loathsome, or otherwise unpleasing are encouraged to not display them.
  • Users who find Service Awards silly, pointless, loathsome, or otherwise unpleasing are encouraged to disregard them if found on another editor's page.
  • But in neither case to interfere with others' enjoyment of them, thanks.

Herostratus 16:39, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

"Veteran" II-IV are a bit dull

The title repetition isn't very imaginative. Surely we can do better? What "sounds" like it belongs between "Veteran" and "Senior" without getting too militaristic? Some suggestions, in no particular order: Tenured, Professorial, Seasoned, Magna Cum Laude, Summa Cum Laude, Accomplished, Consummate, Viruoso. (Also, Veteran could be moved up one or more notches, if needed.) — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 08:24, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

How about
  • Veteran —> Veteran
  • Veteran II —> Seasoned Veteran
  • Veteran III —> Grizzled Veteran
  • Veteran IV —> Tenured Veteran
I left "veteran" as part of each because of the similarity in the badges. If that's not such a big deal, I'd propose
  • Veteran —> Seasoned
  • Veteran II —> Veteran
  • Veteran III —> Grizzled Veteran
  • Veteran IV —> Tenured
Mishatx *разговор* 02:05, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Veteran —> Seasoned Editor
  • Veteran II —> Veteran Editor
  • Veteran III —> Grizzled Veteran Editor
  • Veteran IV —> Tenured Editor

would work for me. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 03:56, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

Works for me, too. Mishatx *разговор* 20:01, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Should we wait for Herostratus to come along, or should one of us just change it? *Mishatx*-In\Out 08:20, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
I support the change but I think we should give [User:Herostratus|Herostratus]] some more time to come along and comment. Johntex\talk 09:07, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Sure, wait a while. There's not huge hurry or anything. :-). (But just to be clear: H. does not "control" this document; it is in "Wikipedia:" namespace now. I say this mainly so that it is on the record in case some crank in a month or five years would like to cite this talk page and say "I don't support Herostratus's candidancy because of WP:OWN issues." Our action delay for H.'s input should not be taken as anything but involved-editor courtesy.) — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 11:11, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Well, absolutely, I don't WP:OWN the page and this is a wiki, any editor can make any improvements they wish. However, it was nice of you to solicit my input. Here's what I think: I like it the way it is. I can't exactly put my finger on why... I'll try. There are basically two divisions, one with the small star and ribbon and one with the large star. In the first, the designation in the left-hand column changes with each level, and the badge is a ribbon with a small star; the ribbon changes color (and gains pips) but the star does not. In the second division, in the left-hand column, the designation does not change with each level (except toward the end); it remains some variation of "Veteran Editor"; the ribbon does not change (except to gain stars) but the main star does.

I guess what I'm thinking is that there the first division is a kind of preliminary division, with each level changing name, until one reaches the level of Veteran Editor, and (until one reaches the very highest levels) one stays at that level, with variations only in the numerical designation (I, II, III, etc.).

I dunno. It seems orderly and nice to me. But that's just my opinion.

Also... regarding "Grizzled" Veteran etc, remember that the left column is the formal version, as it were, so it should not seem too playful, in my opinion. The right column is of course a different matter. Herostratus 15:48, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Gee, who cares what you think ;). No, I understood the consistency between those four levels and that's why my first proposal kept the word "veteran" in each one. I used "grizzled" because it gets used in semi-formal contexts quite a bit, and frankly I was out of adjectives. *Mishatx*-In\Out
I understand that reasoning too. I guess it auto-asks: Is the vet. consistency more important than differentiation, and is there some way to combine the two (perhaps by replacing "Veteran" with something else that lends itself to adjectives better)? — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 20:07, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Templates for transclusion?

Resolved: Templates exist now.

I just wish I could translude these awards so I'd know when the title changed (like when "new" went to "novice"). Or am I missing something? *Mishatx*-In\Out 16:59, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Hmm. Templating these things probably wouldn't be all that hard, though it might make customized use (see my user page) a tiny bit more difficult. Since probably no one is using the top levels yet, I would keep the templates as subpages of this page, to avoid "Template patrollers" who trawl the "Template:" namespace looking for disused templates to send to WP:TFD. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 20:07, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

How to find your edit count


How do you know how many edits you have? - SeriousCat 09:18, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

I'm sorry, I found the tool. Sorry for asking this here - SeriousCat 09:23, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
For other users' future reference, you can get a really great edit stats report here:
Hope that helps. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 10:50, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
  • One bit of edit count trivia that many may not be aware of: You can check your edit count by clicking on "preferences". This total is often higher than the wannabe_kate tool (or most other tools), because it includes any edits you have made that are deleted. (For example, if you tag an article for deletion, and it ends up being deleted, your edits to that article will no longer be counted in "external" tools, but will be counted in your own preferences count.) - Crockspot 13:06, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

I still think the numbers are off-kilter

I think someone (who knows the user stats tools better than I do) needs to do some averaging of regularly active (not all) user stats to arrive at numbers that track length of service better. By the time I reach Veteran Editor I (in time served) I will easily have the edit count of a Veteran Editor IV, probably higher. And I'm not nearly as active as some users, esp. avid RCP participants. I realize the proposal I came up with up above somewhere was too complicated, but right now numbers are just kind of "off". Either the time requirements need to come downward for the higher "honors", or the edit count requirements need to go up. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 00:57, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Well, some thoughts on that. First of all, remember that counting edits is considered to be a Very Bad Thing by many editors... so I guess the awards are primarily for length of service... the edit counts are mostly to make sure that the person has been an active editor... Also, a lot of editors don't do recent changes patrol etc, they are working on articles, hence their count might be lower. Suppose the level for Veteran Editor was raised to (say) 12,000 edits. Would you tell someone with 2 years service but "only" 11,000 edits that they are not qualified for that level. Herostratus 16:34, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
I think the numbers for edits should probably be higher than they are now. I'll give two reasons. 1. Some users do have a lot of edits to there user space (I know there has been some debate on this before but I do think it's a significant point). 2. Some users (like myself) edit and then make another 2 or 3 subsequent edits to correct spelling and grammer errors (I think I've made 4 just putting this comment in), so even though I'm up over 4000 edits right now, in my heart I know it's probably closer to 1000 or so quality edits. Somebody who's not as conceitious or thoughtful as me is going to not care about such things and go by the base criteria.--Dr who1975 21:17, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
Some people use preview and don't make grammar mistakes and typo's, and the same user's probably made only 5 edits to their user page. So no, the edit counts should not go higher. That's the disadvantage of generalizing an editor based on their editcount. Garion96 (talk) 21:43, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
Yeah... Im bad about using the preview function (it's like I'm worried my computer will crash and everything I've written will be lost if I don't save it immediatly... I'm working on being better about using it though). In any event, I wasn't advocating an across the board raise in the number of edits maybe just making Tutnum 10,000 and moving each of the other edit requirments down a level Novice 1000, Apprentice 2000, Journeyman 4000, Yeoman 6000, and Expert/Established 8000, this would progressively raise the floor and give newbies more to strive for.--Dr who1975 23:30, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
Just as an aside, a high userspace edit count doesn't mean anything at all, definitively speaking. Many editors appear to have spent a lot of time futzing around in their user pages when what they've actually being doing is building Good Article-class articles in their sandboxes before posting them to articlespace. Quite a few do that. — SMcCandlish [talk] [contrib] 22:22, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Argh, novato

I'm not totally at peace with the title of "novato" for the second level, informal side. Reasons being (1) unlike the other titles on the informal side, it has a meaning that can be pretty easily discerned (2) It's really too close to the word "novice", which is a title for a different level on the formal side (3) It means "beginner, novice" so it shouldn't be at the second level when novice is really level one.

Not sure what if it's worthwhile to change it and what to change it to, but if it were to be changed some notions that come into my head are:

  1. Hodad. This is 1960's surfer slang for a "wannabe" surfer. Contraindication: not too many know this word, but those that do might find it demeaning to be labeled a wannabe
  2. Mank. A homophone of manque which is French for "wannabe". Contraindication: practically a loan word, it's used often enough that a few people will know its meaning, and ditto as above.
  3. Nubkin or Pipkin, which don't mean anything. Contraindication: pretty cutesy - maybe too cutesy. Herostratus 18:48, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
I like "hodad". In the context of a skilled activity like surfing or skateboarding (where the term was also used) there is no effective difference between "wannabe" and "newbie"; indeed, the very label of "wannabe" is generally only a pretend-insult, the point of which is to spur the person so-labelled to develop their skill level and evolve out of that label's applicability. Been there, done that. >;-) — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 22:08, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

I wonder...

...if it would be a good idea to add levels at 9 months, 1 1/4 year (15 months) and 1 3/4 year (21 months). On the formal side, this could be implemented by adding a dangly to the star or something, and adding "II" to the level name. On the informal side it would be harder... It's a bit of work to come up with new graphics and names... the informal side could just be left alone, or a "II" could be added without adding a new graphic... hm. Herostratus 19:01, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Works for me. The more levels there are, up to a point, the more use it will get. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 22:10, 17 May 2007 (UTC)


Could we change the names? Tutnum and Grognard just sounds kinda silly. Also, can't we think up more names for the various veteran editor ranks? Dev920 (Have a nice day!) 16:29, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

  • Meh. The left hand column is supposed to be informal and maybe a little silly, so I dunno. As to veterna I-IV, I dunno... suggestions? Herostratus 02:53, 29 March 2007 (UTC)


This seems to be a functional duplicate of Wikipedia:Barnstars, so I've redirected it there. Please migrate your barnstars, etc, to that page. --Tony Sidaway 21:09, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

Has nothing to do with barnstars at all. Reverting your undiscussed, unilateral deletion. If you have an issue with this take it up at WP:MFD (again). — SMcCandlish 21:21, 17 May 2007 (UTC)
The word to use isn't "unilateral", except insofar as all edits on a wiki, being necessarily performed by a single person, can be described as unilateral. I did not delete anything; rather I redirected the page to a page that seems to me to be functionally identical. It's an awards page and the awards here probably should all be listed on Wikipedia:Barnstars where they will be seen by all interested in making awars.
You say that this award page "has nothing to do with barnstars at all." Could you please explain this? --Tony Sidaway 22:22, 17 May 2007 (UTC)
Also, can you please stop describing good-faith edits by established editors as vandalism? I fail tos ee how this was designed to compromise the integrity of the encyclopaedia. Guy (Help!) 22:27, 17 May 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Tony on this one; quite frankly, I can't see any sort of need for this point. Furthermore, reverting a good-faith edit with the simple edit summary of 'rvv' runs contrary to WP:AGF, and while I don't think that a straight-out redirect was the smartest thing to do, I do believe Tony was acting in good faith. Veinor (talk to me) 22:28, 17 May 2007 (UTC)
[edit conflict]Seems like an awful lot of formality for, essentially, a superfluous process. Especially if it is supposed to be separate from the Barnstars. An odd area of the project to see instruction creep...why can't it be redirected to Barnstars? --InkSplotch 22:37, 17 May 2007 (UTC)
I didn't notice who did the page-blanking until after the fact; probably 25% of my WP time is spent reverting vandalism, and this looked very much like vandalism. I recognize of course that Tony Sidaway (talk · contribs) is in fact an experienced editor. That said, defying a clear consensus to keep this page and keep it separate by blanking the page and redirecting it somewhere, without any discussion, doesn't strike me as constructive Wikipedianism. Nor does restoring his page-blanking simply to deliver a statement to someone who reverted him with an edit summary one disagrees with; user talk pages exist for a reason. — SMcCandlish 22:34, 17 May 2007 (UTC)
Could we get beyond your evident shock at the idea that someone might actually edit this page? It's a wiki.
Now I've asked a question, the import of which was to ask you to explain how this page differs from Barnstars, simple graphical awards to be given by editors to one another. I won't badger you, but I would like to know why these are so different that they have to have their own page. --Tony Sidaway 22:46, 17 May 2007 (UTC)
Removal doesn't really equate to an "edit", except in the most technical sense. Anyway, the question you ask has already been answered in great detail at Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Service awards. The super-short version is that WP:SERVICE badges are not "given by editors to one another", they're auto-assigned, in essence. — SMcCandlish 22:55, 17 May 2007 (UTC)
Well I'm not proposing deletion, so the answer to my question won't be found on a deletion discussion. You say you think that this award page is not at all functionally identical to Wikipedia:Barnstars. Could you please, in your own words, explain this opinion? Then perhaps we can get somewhere. --Tony Sidaway 23:06, 17 May 2007 (UTC)
I apologize more explicitly for the "Rvv" edit summary; as I said at your talk page, I was in the process of adding a "uw-delete" warning when I realized you were "someone"; I don't recall ever seeing a previously MfD-surviving projectpage being blanked and redirected, so it looked like vandalism. Nothing personal. Anyway, the MfD actually does cover the issue pretty well, as the "how is this any different from barnstars?" question arose there. But since you've asked for it, my personal summary would be that they serve completely different pruposes. WP:BARNSTAR is a list of awards in various categorizations that one editor can award to another editor. Last I looked, there were no exceptions at all, no overlap with other functions. WP:SERVICE templates are not of this nature. They are auto-assigned, simply for having completed a level of service to the encyclopedia. The only thing non-automated about it is that one has to add the template to one's own userpage (which is a good thing; some editors feel that any tracking of time or edits is a Bad Thing, leading to "editcountitis"; WP:SERVICE "medals" shouldn't be forced on them of course). They are like the short "years of service" bars many police uniforms have at the bottom left sleeve, as contrasted with rank on the upper part of both sleeves or on the lapels or epaulets (which I guess would be comparable to adminship/bureacratship), and meritorious service medals on the left breast pocket (comparable to barnstars, in a sense), to continue the metaphor. Putting WP:SERVICE templates on the barnstar page would be a lot like putting the "An article you wrote or signficantly contributed to..." templates for WP:GA, WP:FA and and WP:DYK on the barnstars page, along with other auto-assigned award-like user templates. The barnstars page simply doesn't serve a function that broad. I suppose an argument could be made that it should, but that should probably be discussed at Wikipedia talk:Barnstars. —SMcCandlish 23:26, 17 May 2007 (UTC)
It's not that I'm someone (I'm not). It's that you treated a pretty reasonable redirect edit as vandalism. But you've apologised and there's no issue there. It's over and in any case it was never a big deal for me. I don't mind if someone incorrectly calls one of my edit vandalism.
Your explanation is interesting. I didn't really understand, at first, that these were awards that one awards to oneself.
What value does a self-administered award have? Is there a "King of the wiki" award? --Tony Sidaway 02:30, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
I have awarded myself the king of the wiki award on my user page. Hipocrite - «Talk» 12:44, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
Actually, since these honors are earned according to clear requirements I'd say they have more value then barnstars which have no standards. I think we've all seen cases where trolls, et al., have received barnstars for inexplicable reasons. ·:·Will Beback ·:· 04:43, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
This is to both Will and Tony: Will, well said (your edit summary really got it: WP:SERVICE's are earned not awarded.) Tony: I think that the difference is that a "King of the wiki" 'award' wouldn't have any rational criteria (with the possible exception of "I am Jimbo Wales and am the only qualifier for this badge" >;-) As for the rest (again to Tony) - that is about the size of it, and I apologize again for "Rvv"; it wasn't personally directed, just a rote action in a several-day span of reverting actual vandalism. That said: a) Yes, you are "someone"; I at least have seen and respected your edits (though I am fairly certain we have disagreed about something before, I don't remember what); you are not a random 11-year-old school IP address kid, but a recognized editor who has many many thousands of valued contributions. I had no intent to seem to be devaluing that. Was just triggerhappy (and a bit too defensive after having fired the shot; thus the strikethrough on my talk page). But b) I don't agree that the redirect was "pretty reasonable". If this page were two weeks old and never subject to community-wide discussion, I'd lean your way, but it's already been through an MfD that raised these issues, so the redir appeared to be disregarding consensus on the issue. But you don't really strike me as a "I know better than everyone else, so to hell with consensus" kind of person (and I hope I don't really strike you as "label edits I don't like as 'vandalism' just for the hell of it" kind of person). Just a misunderstanding. Back to Will: I don't think there's anything "inexplicable" about it: Disruptive editors' sockpuppets love to self-award "each other" barnstars in the hope that it makes them look less like what they are. The WP:SERVICE "medals" aren't immune to this either, though. I've seen at least one application of the top-level WP:SERVICE on the page of someone who isn't even 5% of the way there yet; his/her explanation when I asked about it was that the WP:SERVICEs were "stupid and pointless" or something to that effect. Paraphrasing, not directly quoting; I don't recall the user name, though I suspect that whatlinkshere would turn it up unless the user has changed heart. That change is actually possible, because I introduced a new line-item in WP:POINT to address that (and it's stuck for about two months, so I guess it was a good edit). To Tony's probable amusement, it is actually phrased in terms of barnstars not WP:SERVICEs. Heh. — SMcCandlish 09:26, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
Looking more closely at these "awards", it appears that they're simply badges intended to give other editors a vague idea of how many edits one has performed, and how long one has edited Wikipedia.
I also notice that there appear to be no transclusions of the awards higher than SA-veteran/SA-tutnum, and that the sole holder of the awards at that level has both on his page but doesn't seem to be "entitled" to it, having started editing only eighteen months ago. There is one single holder of the next level down (grognardextraordinary) and no holders of the level beneath that and one holder of "Journeyman", the level beneath that. One editor sports an "Apprentice" badge and no editors sport the lowest level, "Novice/burba". This is really puzzling. Am I counting them correctly? There appear to be fewer instances of these "awards" being transcluded than there are awards! --Tony Sidaway 10:19, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
Note that the directions say that subst should be used, so transclusions will not show up in many cases. A search would need to be performed to see how many people use these. DES (talk) 15:39, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
Or one can check the usage of each image, as AFAIK they are only used for this purpose. Image:Wikipedia book.jpg, for instance, is used by ~10 users. Λυδαcιτγ 19:21, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
Right. For "Experienced and Established Editor (or Grognard Extraordinary)" there are ~50 users, of one version of it or another. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 01:13, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

What the heck is this?

Resolved: Issues are already addressed by available options, or cannot be addressed here.
Barnstar rib.png

Just wondering... Not opposing/supporting. Is this like scouting service stars? In scouting you'd earn a serivce star for being a member. Doesn't matter if you are hyper or inactive. -- Cat chi? 00:04, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

I guess it's not like scouting service stars then, because you have to have a certain number of edits as well as time in harness. Herostratus 00:27, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
I dislike awarding myself things. So I wouldn't oppose being awarded these... I am also a bit concerned about the ribbons. I'd prefer to have Image:Barnstar rib.png sized awards.
Its difficult for me to imagine an appropriate meaning for the term "concerned" in this context. I too prefer to have barnstar-sized awards; that's why we have those as options. If you don't like ribbons at all, take that up at WP:RIBBON; this is not the right venue for such issues. Lastly, you don't have to award yourself these things; this is why the awards' documentation says it is perfectly fine to award them to others. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 18:17, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

Requirements too hindring, too lax, or unbalanced?

I may not be the only one to complain, but I am an experienced and established editor, but as per the requirements, I would only be able to display the Apprentice editor badge. Any compromises? ~ Magnus animuM ≈ √∞ 23:38, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

  • Why? If you are an an experienced and established editor why cannot you display that badge? Herostratus 00:26, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
I do not fulfill the time of servitude requirement for that badge. :( ~ Magnus animuM ≈ √∞ 02:47, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
Ah. Well, think of it this way: the badges are as much for time in harness than anything, with the edit counts just being to assure a reasonably high level of participation during the time. Sorry. This is partly for good reasons (there's a difference between tearing off a ton of edits in a short time and having spent a lot of calendar time absorbing the project) and partly for bad reasons (anything that smaks of "editcountitis" draws the wrathful attention of the "Editcountitis! Unclean! TABOO BWANA!" Brigade. Herostratus 00:15, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
Agreed (that they will come out the woodwork; I don't agree with their point of view; I think edit counts as reported by the "wannabe-kate" tool are in fact very, very instructive as to an editor's nature. You can rapidly tell the encyclopedia improvers from the wikipoliticians from the user page e-masturbators from the chatters from the people who have a genuine balance in the wiktivities and wikontributions.) That acknowleged, I think that the S.A.'s are safe from MfD for some time, and think that the issue expressed above (and I think further above you proposed some intermediate "grades" yourself, perhaps in response to my one-night forays into mathematical proposals.) There does seem to be a genuine issue here. At my rate, I will likely hit the edit count required for Master Editor/Complete and Perfect Tutnum (i.e., top level), long before my time commitment reaches even Veteran Editor II/Grand Tutnum level, and I'm by no means an exessively active editor. Last week I almost completely ignored Wikipedia for about 4 or 5 days. I don't think I'm rare in level of involvement. With nominally millions of users, and more realistically probably 10,000+ committed regular editors and say may be 1000 "junkies", I'm probably classifiable as "wikilazy, but prone to bouts of a day's worth of activity every few weeks". Hardly "notable".
So, I still think the numbers are off. The fact that I was a hard-core Boy Scout (think: earning merit badges) way back in the day probably predisposes me to seek for the top on some level, but it also makes me keenly aware of balance with regard to time committed vs. effort expended (the Boy Scouts really have this balance down-pat, and their "ranks" work the same way - they require both achievements and time), and I think we're a little bit off-kilter here.
Here's why: A committed editor will easily reach the number requirements early and just sort of "sit around" (not literally, of course; I mean "be forced to wait, in this particular context", and meanwhile continue doing good wikistuff; but... perhaps even forget about all of this while the requiste 8 months pass. There is no incentive at all, basically, to serious editors. By very stark contrast, and insufficiently-involved but long term editors, the "dilletantes", the professionals who take a little time out from their busy schedules, the geeky kids who mostly try to get along and "be cool", but "secretly" get into WP for an hour every night instead of watching wrestling shows like their quasi-friends, etc., will all eventually reach a time-committment milestone, but be short on edits. This gives them a strong (in-context, anyway) incentive. "Oh, dang, I'm short 2,000 edits! Maybe I won't spend all weekend wasting time playing Final Fantasy MCXXVII after all..." That is, there is something they can do about it, vs. twiddling their thumbs while the clock ticks. The Boy Scouts use this natural imbalance of time vs effort to great effect. It's technically possible to beome an Eagle Scout by one's 14th's birthday. I've only ever met one who did, pretty much the most motivated freak I've ever met; heh. Most never do at all, and those that do get there just before they turn 18 (the cutoff date, not counting a loophole I won't go into here). It's the effort to achieve things, to do community service, to organize community service, that is the hard part (i.e. the editing, in our context), vs. just being a member and showing up for the weekly meetings and going camping every other month with your $10 dues (hell, it's probably $50 now!).
It's all about incentives toward actually attainable but challenging goals that make one go beyond one's own self-interest. The "prize" (badge, honor of being called an Eagle Scout or Master Editor or whatever) are sentimentally and honrorifically tokenized symbols/substitutes for the sacrifies/time/effort/danger/whatever - the "coin" in exchange for the human "expense" or "risk"/"gamble". The military gives out medals and ribbons, with bands and ceremonies and salutes and handshakes with the President (Prime Minister, Premier, Emperor, whatever) for a very, very good (psychological) reason.

The "Editcountitis!" complainants

I think a lot can be learned from from Scouting model. Some will say "Aigh! Editcountis! <sound type='coughing up own skull' />" But oh well. Have a look at the MfD. The postive votes landslided the editcountitis whiners. The term has become abused, and so is losing its veracity and force. The original (well, original when I arrived; I can't speak as to what was going on in 2002!) concept of editcountitis was obsession (and competitiveness, no longer an issue with umpteen-zillion editors these days) with regard to edit counts to the extent that one would go around making pointless, twiddling edits that did not improve the encyclopedia, or even sit around in one's own userspace futzing with single-character "edits" again and again to boost stats (the wannabe-kate tool thwarts at least the second half of that equation now). Today it seems to mean "You actually know approximately what your edit count is! Editcountitis!" Or "I secretly checked, and you have 7x more edits than me in half the time. Editcountitis! <grumble> You probably have bigger boobs/a bigger penis [as applicable] than me too... <sulk>". Or (far more rationally), "Just because you have 12,721 edits does not mean you'll make a good admin, especially since you attacked 14 people yesterday and breached WP:3RR, and I see 4 hits in your block log; looks like most of your 'edits' are you engaging in flamewars on talk pages, since your mainspace edits are only around 2300, and your wikipedia-namespace edits are under 200, templates only 37". There are genuinely applicable interpretations of "editcountitis", like overreliance on edit counts in RfA, but there are lots of nonsense ones, which seem to be outweighing the sensible ones, such as sour-grapes, inverted competitiveness, irrational insistence that one's own metapedian priorities automatically mean that someone else's milestone-oriented exopedian goals are somehow invalid, and so forth. The MfD last week (or so) was very instructive. The cries of "Editcountitis" had something of the ring of faith or fanaticism to them. Another point worth noting is that even in WP:RFA where this term is bandied-about the most, one of the main effective pass/fail criteria remains edit counts! No matter how much "Editcountitis!" is shouted. It even came up in my RfA, only 2 months ago; I was criticized, rather strenously, for have a low-ish edit count for a 1.3-or-so year editor, who "only seemed to have been seriously active for the last four months" or something like that. This was from a long-time admin (and predictably resulted in some "me to!" oppose-votes). People crying "Editcountitis!" are a minority from what I can tell, just a noisome one (and yes, I am well aware that that word does not mean "noisy"; the pun was intended).

Apologies for the length of this, but I'm basically doing a brain dump of arguments about the inevitable eventual 2nd MfD. Many of these points are probably worth saving as ammo against XfD "addicts" who are here primarily to attack and delete that which doesn't strike their fancy (they're readily identifiable with Special:Contributions; anyone who has "contributed" to more than 100 XfDs in one week, or who has more than a 1:10 ratio of XfD v. everything-else involvement here...) While (in my view and memory) "XfDitis" was virtually a wikidemic ca. Nov. 2006, it does seem to be abating. Nevertheless there remain many "hyperdeletionists" out there, so expect them to return.

But what to do about balance and realism in Today's Wikipedia?

Anyway, to get back to the original points I mean to raise, I think the editorial requirements should be doubled and the time requirements halved (not to put too fine a point on it :-) From my experience in dealing with WP:ATT, WP:N, and other highly "politicized" internal areas of WP, it's become very clear that the absolutely most influential admins at present are about 1.8 to 2.5 years "wiki-old", with a handful in the 3 to 3.5 range. At admin level at all, they are unlikely to give a hoot about thes service badges. A 5-year requirement is just pointless. There practically are no 5-year editors, in any cognizable sense of the term. At this point they either have (or did but have left) jobs with the Foundation, have abandoned WP because the culture has changed too much for them (and will continue to do so, because the culture keeps changing), are ArbCom members or Bureacrats or even higher up the administrative chain, are Jimbo Wales, are distanced but check in once a month just to see that all hell hasn't broken lose, or check in once a month to shepherd the one article they continue to care about, or they concern themselves with nothing but internal processes. No one in any of those categories could give a damn about Wikipedia:Service awards. I mean, really. Given the nature of the service awards, I suspect that you (Herostratus, I mean) come from a military background. The time scale makes sense there (and is even "easy", in that context). Here it doesn't. The burn-out rate is just mindblowing. Most potential wikipedians "wash out" in a month. The rest get "killed in action" within a year. And the majority of the rest are quite happy to take an "honorable discharge" after a few "tours of duty". This is gruelling, stressful stuff. We don't have to run through the jungle, we have to "think" through it, which is a different but equally challenging task.

I'd like to WP:BOLDly suggest that aside from doubling (or at least roughly doubling; throw a bone to the noobs) the editorial requirements, that Master be within reach at 2 years. Or 2.5 at most. But by 2.5, most editors of that level of commitment and involvment seem to already be spending their time on the mailing list interacting with J.W. and the rest of the Foundation people and the "hardcore" admins, not just participating in but effectively running internal processess like the XfDs or the vandalism irc channels or the Signpost, being botmasters who spend more time fine tuning their bots and hardly every making personal edits other than to respond to issues about their bots, working on new policies/guidelines, running mediation/arbitration "organizations", etc., etc., etc. I.e., they are not Boy Scouts any longer. A "merit badge" is meaningless to them. They're the wikuivalent of Sentators/Ministers of Parliament, CEOs, Executive Directors of major nonprofits, Brigadier Generals in the VandalWars, top sportspeople, etc. They've graduated way beyond anything this quasi-WikiProject can offer them.

Who Wikipedia:Service awards can actually (and can really only be expected to) appeal to and benefit/inspire are those who are still quite a ways off from that "not just an editor anymore" threshold. The builders, not the architects. I'm asking you to sleep on it and see about completely re-thinking the nature/intent of this, to be more narrowly focused on engendering action from those not quite involved enough. (To the extent that the highly-involved may achieve the top "Master" honors, what that really does is inspire action from the Burba. "Oh, there's already 200 Masters! I can be one too if I push!" The fact that, presently, Master is unattainable except by those who will laugh at it, is (aside from being highly ironic in an almost Zen or Taoist sense, and perhaps appropriate on a certain level if one is seeking Enlightenment) rather detrimental to the point (or at least the pragmatic/obvious side of the point, if the koan nature of the conundrum were intentional.) For most, there is no perceived point in (ergo not action toward) seeking that which cannot plausibly be reached.

Again, sorry for the length of this. I've been trying (and perhaps this is a bad idea, but I'm tired!) to simultaneously lay out ways for this quasi-project to be more effective, and to ancipate more attacks on it and pre-load the ammo to fend those off. Probably kind of a silly combination, but at dark:30 I get rather stream-of-consciousness.

SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 13:40, 29 May 2007 (UTC)


Well, a cogent and interesting essay.

You are probably correct, that the numbers are out of whack. I actually had the edit numbers 20% higher originally, then toned them down. I spend what I thought was an inordinate amount of time on Wikipedia, and I thought I must be off the curve in terms of edits/time, but not at all.

One point is, it's impossible to get it "right" for everyone. The ideal situation is where an editor finds that he is passing the edit requirements and the time requirements at near to the same time. Obviously we can't make it right for everyone, we can just find a good average. But as you say, if you are short of edits, at least you can do something about it. Indeed, it would be ideal if people were thus motivated to increase their edit count, as you point out.

The problem of the No Fun Brigade coming up over the ridgeline with a mass yell of "EDITCOUNTIIIIITIS! KILL KILL KILL!" is never go going to go away. But one can't worry about that too much. You can't spend too much energy worrying about what other people might do. (As you point out, there are cases where editcountitis could be a problem, but many people have trouble separating these out.)

So I agree that the edit numbers should go up.

One problem is, of course, the people who already have awards. They would each have to be checked and if necessary bumped down a level. This should only take a couple-few manhours, though. So that's not a big deal.

As to there being few if any five-year editors and all that. You make your point well, but I'm not sure I agree. I don't know. The project is only about five years old. It will presumably go on for quite a few more years, so it will probably pick some up. The service awards were designed to be valid if the project lasts another ten years or more, that is why the upper levels are so difficult. Also, the very highest level should be very hard to attain... it remains a goal in the distance but one that is seldom actually achieved... like the Medal of Honor or Field Marshall rank or whatever. Herostratus 05:48, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

Agreed with all of that, other than I still think the 5 year deal is a bit much. But oh well. As for the people who already have the awards, I'd just leave them be, since it'd be us changing the conditions and no failing of their own. "Grandfather" them as is, basically. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 18:30, 1 June 2007 (UTC)


So what, specifically, are people's ideas about what the requirements should be for the levels? Here are the current values:

  • Novice - 1 month, 200 edits
  • Apprentice - 3 months, 1000 edits
  • Journeyman - 6 months, 2000 edits
  • Yeoman - 1 year, 4000 edits
  • Exp. & Est. - 1.5 years, 6000 edits
  • Veteran - 2 years, 8000 edits
  • Veteran II - 2.5 years, 12000 edits
  • Veteran III - 3 years, 16000 edits
  • Veteran IV - 3.5 years, 20000 edits
  • Senior - 4 years, 24000 edits
  • Master - 5 years, 40000 edits

I guess maybe I was thinking of something like increasing the edit levels by (only) 50%, giving this:

  • Novice - 1 month, 200 edits
  • Apprentice - 3 months, 1000 edits
  • Journeyman - 6 months, 3000 edits
  • Yeoman - 1 year, 6000 edits
  • Exp. & Est. - 1.5 years, 9000 edits
  • Veteran - 2 years, 12000 edits
  • Veteran II - 2.5 years, 18000 edits
  • Veteran III - 3 years, 24000 edits
  • Veteran IV - 3.5 years, 30000 edits
  • Senior - 4 years, 36000 edits
  • Master - 5 years, 40000 edits

Maybe they should be doubled, I don't know. I don't want it to be too hard. Also I am not addressing the question of whether the upper levels should be collapsed down and made shorter (in time required). I want the service awards to still make sense ten years from now, so I don't think I agree with that right now. Herostratus 06:08, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

  • Support, but would go farther: That would be an improvement (though note that the Master count didn't go up and is now almost the same as Senior; should be 60000?). I'd lean toward simply doubling them, but I'm not going to "fight" about it.— SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 18:32, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose - The edit counts are only here to make sure that the recipient was somewhat active during the period of time that they spent on Wikipedia. They are fine as-is. Greeves (talk contribs reviews) 21:10, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Question: On what basis? Please clarify. I've provided a rather massive rationale above for increasing these numbers; simply declaring disagreement doesn't make a substantive argument. :-) — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 01:04, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
  • I have been active on Wikipedia for years as a productive contributor, but my edit count is less than 3000. I use preview quite a lot, virtually never edit my username, and engage in revert wars as little as possible. I may not be the most active Wikipedian in the world, but I've been plenty active on a variety of topics, and I'd prefer to not feel disciminated against. The Jade Knight 01:39, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
  • Any leveling system of will have problems. This one is based on edit count, and discriminates against users such as yourself. No system is perfect; this one is good - please don't make the perfect the enemy of the good. Λυδαcιτγ 04:53, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
Comment: I've been on Wikipedia for two years and have just now gotten to 4000 edits. To ME, I feel "held back" as it were: I don't feel that I could contribute any faster to WP, in regards to more edits per day. So right now I am a "Yeoman/M.E. Grognard" editor by edit count when my length of service could title me as a "Tutnum/Veteran." I understand that both are important for this kind of a recognition... but I see the opposite of y'all, I think, in that the edit count level is too high for length of service. —ScouterSig 16:40, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Ditto. I've been contributing to Wiki for more than a year, but I have just short of 800 edits('Course I also have a life outside of WP).--Lyricmac 16:44, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

Serious ribbon problem

Resolved: Moot point; original commentor was mistaken.

The brown ribbon has to change; that ribbon is already used at WP:RIBBON for the basic/original barnstar! This problem may affect other ribbons here as well; I didn't check that far. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 18:18, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

Which brown ribbon? The only one I see has a grey dot in it so doesn't that make it different? Herostratus 18:41, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
Nevermind! I was responding to the one above, on the talk page. Oops. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 19:33, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

What about bots

Are there bot awards too? -- Tawker 06:31, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

Bots recieve the same awards as humans. Just look at User:MartinBot. Speaking of which, are there any masters on Wikipedia. I see a whole lot of Journeymen and apprentices. Marlith 04:56, 30 July 2007 (UTC)