Wikipedia talk:Requests for adminship

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RfA candidate S O N S% Ending (UTC) Time left Dups? Report
RfB candidate S O N S% Ending (UTC) Time left Dups? Report

No RfXs since 01:16, 6 February 2016 (UTC).—cyberbot ITalk to my owner:Online

Latest RfXs (update)
Candidate Type Result Date of close Tally
Josef9 RfA WP:SNOW 6 Feb 2016 1 4 0
Brianhe RfA No consensus 6 Feb 2016 136 66 8
Peacemaker67 RfA Successful 6 Feb 2016 184 1 0
Hawkeye72 RfA No consensus 2 Feb 2016 191 95 14
Pablothepenguin RfA WP:SNOW 31 Jan 2016 0 10 1
78.26 RfA Successful 23 Dec 2015 154 1 0
BethNaught RfA Successful 20 Dec 2015 179 1 2

Current time: 07:44:16, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Purge this page

Nothing in a month?[edit]

If there are no RFAs in the next 24 hours or so, then we will have had no RFAs (successful or unsuccessful) in a month, unless you count the recent one by User:Shy-Boy that was never added correctly. Does anyone else find it concerning that we could have such a long dry spell? Everymorning (talk) 17:21, 22 January 2016 (UTC)

Everymorning you brought this up less than a month ago and the subject is broached every time we don't have an RFA for more than 3 weeks. It's in line with the declining editing of Wikipedia and frankly we had a much larger "dry spell" in August and September yet we bounced back and had 6 candidates promoted and 14 candidates not promoted. I believe this puts us even ahead of last year. Mkdwtalk 17:31, 22 January 2016 (UTC)
Two things: I started that section on November 30 last year, which is almost 2 months ago, not less than a month ago, and that "dry spell" was 17 days, not 30 days as is the case today. Everymorning (talk) 17:41, 22 January 2016 (UTC)
What exactly do you find troubling about this very predictable and recurring dry spell?  Wisdom89 talk 17:42, 22 January 2016 (UTC)
The discussion continued on until December 13. If we want to worry about the semantics, I will certainly give you credit that you waited just over a whole month before bringing up the very same subject again. Mkdwtalk 17:54, 22 January 2016 (UTC)
The number of successful RFAs has fallen by over 90% since 2007, and by a whisker 2015 had even fewer successful RFAs than 2014. The level of editing has dropped since 2007, but if we look at the best available editing stat for potential admins, editors saving over 100 edits in mainspace that month, the drop is only by about a third; Not only that but 2015 has shown an increase on 2014, with some recent months having higher editing levels than we've seen since 2010. The decline of RFAs is not in line with the level of editing of Wikipedia. That said we know that a big chunk of the drop in RFAs came in early 2008 after the unbundling of Rollback and much of the drop in editing will be attributable to changes such as the rise of the edit filters, and a number of editors moving to Wikidata. ϢereSpielChequers 20:59, 22 January 2016 (UTC)
I always like hearing about the stats you track, WereSpielChequers but I don't understand your statement about the number of editors moving to Wikidata...are these individuals you are familiar with who've moved to another project or are there actual numbers that this is a concerning issue? Liz Read! Talk! 21:24, 22 January 2016 (UTC)
Hi Liz, I wouldn't describe it as a concerning issue, though it might have been concerning if wikidata was a rival project as opposed to another wiki within the wikimedia movement. It is just one of those quirks that one needs to be aware of when trying to use raw edit figures as a measure of community health. Many of the other wikis launched in the last 15 years have syphoned off editors from here, some have split their time, others have simply transferred to the other wiki. Off the top of my head I can't remember where I got the Wikidata info from, it may have been on one of the mailing lists. But the stat/claim I remember was that half of the wikidata crowd were new to the movement and half had come from Wikipedia. That was some months ago and might be worth someone doing some research on, my assumption is that successful new projects extend the wiki career of the editors who become their founding generation, unsuccessful new projects probably lose us editors. The important lesson for the community is that we need to think of retention across the whole community, I'm certainly aware of editors whose main or only focus has shifted from here to Wikimedia Commons - from an EN Wikipedia perspective they might be gone, but from a wikimedia wide perspective they are very much still with us. ϢereSpielChequers 21:49, 22 January 2016 (UTC)
Most definitely expected with the declining edit numbers. What is needed to stop this drought is editor retention efforts and better WMF management, but it takes 2 years for such efforts to have an positive effect on RfA, and I strongly doubt the WMF would even consider legitimate editor retention efforts. Esquivalience t 21:26, 22 January 2016 (UTC)
Hi Esquivalience what makes you think that editing numbers are declining, let alone declining on the same scale as RFAs? ϢereSpielChequers 21:52, 22 January 2016 (UTC)
@Esquivalience; There are very serious senior management issues at the WMF, not to mention some very opaque processes regarding their board. Their incompetence is finally catching up with them. I suspect that if the Esino Lario Wikimania fails (and I think it will do so), we'll see a big shakeup at the WMF with quite a number of senior and less senior types fleeing WMF like a sinking ship. --Hammersoft (talk) 21:57, 22 January 2016 (UTC)
I found this an interesting page: User:Katalaveno/TBE. It's denotes the time between 10 million edits. There's naturally lots of problems with the data such as factoring in automated edits, but the last 5 cycles have beat 9 cycles from 2013 to mid 2015. Mkdwtalk 22:03, 22 January 2016 (UTC)
  • The halcyon days of Wikipedia are over. This project is dying. In response, the WMF is imploding. What should be happening is the construction of a very well developed strategic plan for moving Wikipedia out of its growth model and into a sustaining model intended to make it last for decades, if not centuries. But, that's not happening and now is likely to never happen, as the WMF is falling apart at the seams. There is an increasing possibility that we will be referring to Wikipedia in the past tense within five years. --Hammersoft (talk) 22:19, 22 January 2016 (UTC)
Why Wikipedia Is in Trouble Jan. 14, 2016 --Moxy (talk) 22:28, 22 January 2016 (UTC)
  • People have been predicting the end of Wikipedia almost as long as they've been predicting the end of The Simpsons or Ken Barlow or Microsoft. It's not happening and a surer predictor will be when my watchlist shows no changes, which I can't ever imagine. (And I haven't even got a big watchlist either). Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 22:30, 22 January 2016 (UTC)
The increase in overall editing is probably due to the probable increase of new vandal fighters in terms of their proportion. Some of them make tens of thousands of reverts in a few months, and I suspect a smaller subset of them are deliberately playing whac-a-vandal to gain more experience points and levels on Wikipedia. Vandal fighters will never pass RfA nowadays without other contributions. Esquivalience t 22:43, 22 January 2016 (UTC)
One change since 2007 is that vandalfighting bots and tools have got faster and more efficient, so most vandalism gets reverted faster and the typical vandal gets blocked faster, many only get in the five vandalisms that get them four blocks and a warning. The other slightly more recent one is the rise of the edit filters, and they prevent vandalism by not allowing the vandalism edit to be saved. So the current flow of edits almost certainly involves less vandalism than it did during the 2007 peak. That doesn't mean that all vandalism is gone, I still find some with some of my bespoke tools, and occasionally even on my watchlist, but I don't catch as much as I used to. Another big change to editing levels was the move of intrawiki links from a many to many system to a hub and spoke system. Previously if the Xhosa Wikipedia gained an article on Britney Spears hundreds of other language wikipedias would then have an edit adding an intrawiki link, on some languages this was a big proportion of all edits, and the change cost us a lot of edits here. I'd agree with your last point, "good vandalfighter" on its own has been insufficient to pass RFA at least since Rollback was unbundled in early 2008. But part of that is becaseu we have less scope nowadays for human vandalfighters in the community, they've lost most of their role to edit filters and bots. ϢereSpielChequers 12:48, 23 January 2016 (UTC)
What do you need admins for? That is not a facetious question. The question arises from one proposition that I think makes sense and is informed by my experience. First, in my experience editing here, I have never said to myself, 'I really wish I could do that' - I have been empowered to do all the things I want to do, which leads to the proposition: this place is best run the less we, as responsible individual editors need to go to another class of individuals (admins). (Or there is the possibility that it is so well run that the admin work is done seamlessly, which also suggests that there is no need 'for more cooks to spoil the soup', as they say). Please understand that I am not asking what do admins do, I have been around enough to see that, I am asking, what do we need more for.
If a knowledgeable person, or group could come up with arguments and explanations which make real the statements like, "we need 'x' additional admins to do X", "'y' additional admins to do Y", these conversations would get a better return on their seemingly endless investment. (Then we can proceed to see if there are already admins, who can say, 'oh, I can pitch in there' and other editors, who will raise their hand and say oh, let me look into that and work in that area, so I can think about volunteering to do that tool work, or 'oh, no tools are needed for that', so is there another way we can entice useful people to do that, or unbundle some tool, if a tool is needed, or even explore assignment of admins). So, can anyone here, make even the beginning of a case in even one discrete area: 'We need more admins to . . . because . . . and be as convincing as possible, please? Perhaps, an alternative way to do this is get two or three admins who do the good work in an area to explain why they see a need for more adminning there, and then ask them to do active advertisement and recruitment. Alanscottwalker (talk) 15:13, 23 January 2016 (UTC)
@Alanscottwalker: We do not need more admins, as there is no deadline; however, more admins in the right areas (more obscure areas, aka areas that are not WP:AIV or related to deletion) would increase efficiency and help with the more complicated parts of maintaining 5 million+ articles. However, if we cannot promote more admins, we can encourage existing admins to maintain such obscure areas.
However, I more strongly advocate for better editor retention efforts and believe that it would be costly to promote many admins without a similar gain of content editors. There is a considerable cost in promoting prolific content-focused admins. Admins who actually use their maintenance-oriented tools have less time to create and edit content. Since content-focused admins are usually among the most prolific editors, Wikipedia's five million articles are negatively affected (although the admins are not at fault for this), reducing the usefulness of Wikipedia to readers. We need to encourage people to keep Wikipedia to date and to create content, and not by letting money and time flow down the drain with initiatives such as Flow and The Wikipedia Adventure (which makes Wikipedia look like a massively-multiplayer simulation game). Esquivalience t 00:52, 24 January 2016 (UTC)
I am surprised that no one has yet mentioned the possible effect of Wikipedia:Requests for adminship/Optional RfA candidate poll. Only a few of the 56 editors who have sought opinions received high endorsements. Two are now administrators. A few others were on the edge or advised to wait and possibly improve in a few areas. The majority were rated low enough that no doubt they have been discouraged, almost certainly correctly for the near future. I have expected three or four more editors who received very high endorsements to file a request soon but we are still waiting. I think the opinion poll has taken the place of some filings. Donner60 (talk) 04:37, 24 January 2016 (UTC)
It seems to have definitely reduced the number of unsuccessful RFAs. Mkdwtalk 05:56, 24 January 2016 (UTC)
To actually answer your question, Category:Administrative backlog is a good place to start looking for places where more admins would be needed. Its contents will change over time so looking at it a few times over a few days might give you a good indication of the most backlogged areas—or at least, the most easily quantifiable backlogs. I swear I saw Category:Non-free files with orphaned versions more than 7 days old at a backlog of thousands just a few months ago, but either I'm mistaken or someone has been very hard at work. Bilorv(talk)(c)(e) 11:43, 24 January 2016 (UTC)
@ Alanscottwalker There used to be two major arguments about our number of admins, latterly we've seen a third. One argument, the one I espouse, is that mops are cheap, we are a self governing community and an important aspect of that is that every clueful, civil member of the community should be able to become an admin if they so want. In a self governing community where a large proportion of established editors are admins there would be little scope for editors who specialise in only doing admin stuff and little or no pressure on content contributors to cutback their content work in order to do admin stuff. Another, as I think you express is that we should only worry about the declining number of admins when the shortage of admins reaches the point where some admin roles have insufficient coverage. I could respond to that one by looking at the canary in our coalmine - admin coverage at AIV, where there have been gaps and we need 24/7 coverage. Most admin functions are semi urgent in that they can if necessary build up a few hours backlog that is cleared in the US evening. Some are non urgent and build up much bigger backlogs. But I'd prefer to respond to those who only think the shortage becomes a problem when there aren't enough admins to do all urgent admin work, by asking them what their model is for a community in which admins are a declining minority with extra tools? Do you have an alternative governance model to the idea of this being a self governing community? The third and more recent argument for more admins is that we have a growing wikigeneration gulf between the bulk of the admins and a large proportion of the editors. I wrote a Signpost article about this in 2010, and sadly it has got much much worse since. I think that the Wikigeneration gulf is a cultural problem, and I know of no other solution than to appoint admins from the underrepresented wikigenerations. ϢereSpielChequers 12:01, 24 January 2016 (UTC)
Well, is this 'self governing' model you articulate what is actually leading to the backlog, in that no one is accountable nor responsible, so needed workflows do not get done, because admins will not or do not want to do them? (Laying aside, that if no one wants to do them and they languish, then perhaps they do not matter, much.) If admins do not want to do them, chances are very likely more admins would just lead to more admins who do not want to do them - so they will not get done, no matter how many more you have. Another self-governing model would be community assignment to get those things done, regular community-admin drives to do x, more community approved bots, more unbundling. Alanscottwalker (talk) 12:31, 24 January 2016 (UTC)
No, the backlogs don't cause a shortage of admins, the shortage of admins is the cause of any urgent and semi urgent backlogs that we have, more admins would mean that important backlogs would be more easily addressed. Community assignment of tasks is a very different model, it isn't easy to combine with a volunteer community. One way it can work is to hire staff to do things that volunteers think need doing but aren't volunteering to do. I don't see it as necessary or desirable for admin type roles here. More bots are possible, but we are running out of areas of admin work that don't need human discretion. Community admin drives to fix particular backlogs can yield results, I've done a successful one, but I see that as a temporary stop gap measure that risks exacerbating other problems, in particular the more you concentrate the existing admins time into admin work the more you detach them from the community. As for unbundling, I think that we should unbundle "block newbie" for experienced vandalfighters who don't have sufficient content contributions to pass RFA; sadly I doubt we yet have consensus for such a move. ϢereSpielChequers 12:54, 24 January 2016 (UTC)
You may have misunderstood the question. Backlogs don't cause the shortage of admins -- no one suggested they did - admins not doing them cause the backlogs. Why are they not doing them? More admins will not make them more easily addressed, they will still be the same task, that admins won't do. Alanscottwalker (talk) 13:30, 24 January 2016 (UTC)
One idea I had for a hired role is professional mediation: have mandatory binding mediation where someone dedicated to the task would work out content disputes on articles. Trying to get disagreeing parties to work together is a thankless job, sapping energy from whomever is involved. Having someone responsible for this full-time, with a track record that can be evaluated by the community, would help ensure that mediation can occur as effectively as possible. At the moment, though, I do not believe there is much appetite in the community to follow this route. isaacl (talk) 15:14, 24 January 2016 (UTC)
@Alanscottwalker I don't think I misunderstood your question, I just disagree with some of your assumptions. We have a stable or increasing community but a declining number of admins, and the vast majority of the admins we do have have been here a very long time. No one should be surprised if that means we have backlogs of admin related tasks, not because admins aren't using the tools, but because there are fewer admins around and many of us are less active than we once were. But a quick glance at the adminstats shows over 90,000 logged admin actions in the last month, including every type of action logged there. So admins are doing admin actions, just not as many or as quickly as we need. If the problem was that a particular type of task wasn't being done regardless of how many admins we had then you'd expect to either see that a particular type of logged admin action wasn't happening, or a particular backlog was growing with extra items being added to the backlog and nothing being actioned. I could understand your point if there was a backlog that had been growing since the "peak admin" years with little or nothing in it being actioned, but I'm not aware of any such backlog. ϢereSpielChequers 12:45, 25 January 2016 (UTC)
A few more thoughts, I am not a big fan of the contest model of editing but it seems to motivate some to do things - a contest model of backlog tasks would be less philosophically objectionable than in editing - 'thank you - that's a sucky task but you did it with aplomb, here's your prize'. Alanscottwalker (talk) 14:10, 24 January 2016 (UTC)
Jeff Atwood, when setting up Stack Exchange, described a model of community engagement where members gradually move from newcomers, who need assistance, to more experienced members able to help the newcomers, to long-time members, who are freed up to move onto other tasks. It's important for a vibrant community to keep the pipeline flowing: admins may not mind doing some tasks for a time, but they can tire of them, and either stop doing them or stop doing them as effectively as desired. It's easy to become jaded with dealing with new editors, for example, and start to lose empathy for the problems faced by first-time editors who genuinely wish to contribute useful content but need help learning about the Wikipedia environment. isaacl (talk) 14:57, 24 January 2016 (UTC)
With respect, it's that kind of comment that is all wrong with respect to needing more admins -- helping new users is not an tool task. Your comment seems to degrade experienced users. Alanscottwalker (talk) 15:05, 24 January 2016 (UTC)
My apologies: for the sake of conciseness, I elided part of the line of thought. There are certain tasks that require adminship privileges that admins may not mind doing for some period of time, but may tire of doing. (A small subset of this is related to interactions with other editors, such as deciding if they have contravened specific policies, and how this should be handled.) To allow admins to be freed up to move on to do other things, it is useful to have new admins to allow for turnover in who is performing these tasks. isaacl (talk) 15:22, 24 January 2016 (UTC)
This dry spell is a disaster (sarcasm). :) Mkdwtalk 00:53, 30 January 2016 (UTC)
This happens every time...I think we'll be fine. ansh666 04:36, 30 January 2016 (UTC)
Nope – 2 successful RfA's per month (on average) is not enough to keep up with attrition. Further, the "resysopping" numbers for 2016 are abysmal so far. The day soon approaches when we won't have enough active Admins to keep up with tasks, and then this community is going to have a really serious discussion about what needs to be done to fix that on a permanent basis... --IJBall (contribstalk) 00:51, 31 January 2016 (UTC)
However, the passing of time means that there will be more developments in the world of machine learning and intelligence. With a well-trained and well-configured neural network, many admin actions can be automated, even blocking, protection, deletion, and sockpuppet investigations (see Stylometry). However, the WMF lets moths fly around their $50-60 million in equity and relies on volunteers for bot work so that is a complete dream. Esquivalience t 03:20, 1 February 2016 (UTC)
I would agree that IT investments, especially in Artificial intelligence, could in theory automate some admin functions, perhaps not now, but surely in the future; If we had an AI bot handling most AIV reports and another most speedy deletion tags then our dwindling cadre of admins could keep the site functioning for many years by handling a reduced workload dominated by requests for unblocks and page restorations instead of as at present blocks and deletions. That would appease those who see the RFA drought as risking an insufficient group of admins to keep the site administered. But it does not address either of the Governance/Community problems, the wikigeneration gulf between most admins and much of the current community and the lack of an alternative to the governance model of this being a self policing community. ϢereSpielChequers 15:51, 1 February 2016 (UTC)

Announcement: Wikipedia:2015 administrator election reform/Phase II/Clerking RfC closed[edit]

After 30 days of discussion, Wikipedia:2015 administrator election reform/Phase II/Clerking RfC was closed by Dank with a bi-faceted consensus. The request for comment (RfC) proposed a system of clerking for the requests for adminship (RfA) process. The system designates a certain group of editors to maintain decorum and cleanliness of RfAs.

The closing statement is four paragraphs long. Here are the two key points:

  • The community is against the idea of designating a group, whether based on editor permissions or appointment, to act as a clerk for RfAs, with one exception:
  • Most participants in the RfC did not have any objections to allowing bureaucrats to act as a clerk for RfAs. The editor who closed the RfC noted that most of the participants trusted the bureaucrats to deal with decorum and order at RfAs. The specific powers of bureaucrats acting as a clerk in RfAs are currently poorly defined; it may be the the subject of future bureaucrat and community debate.

Of course, per the talk page guideline, editors not in the bureaucrat group may perform non-contentious cleanup and—in exceptional circumstances—revert inappropriate votes and comments. Administrators may use their tools, including blocking, protection, and revision deletion, as outlined in the relevant policies governing their use, but administrators are advised to take caution in using the tools as the participants in the RfC were strongly opposed to allowing admins to act as a clerk in RfAs. Esquivalience t 03:53, 23 January 2016 (UTC)

keeping reasons brief or not[edit]

In a quite recent RfA, I note some editors seem to think that "brief" means "anything under a 500 word essay on the candidate"<g>. Ought we make a statement that "reasons" should be kept under 50(?) words, and that "extended comments" should be placed on the talk page? Or are the long explanations to be considered as a benefit? IIRC, we had already determined lengthy colloquies go onto the talk page? Thanks. Collect (talk) 16:58, 1 February 2016 (UTC)

Very good thread to start. I am often torn between explaining my own !vote, and still allowing others to come to their own conclusions. In general, it seems more acceptable for fewer words to support, but that opposes need to explain in detail. I'm interested in the responses here. — Ched :  ?  17:15, 1 February 2016 (UTC)
I was unaware that verbosity was discouraged on the main RfA page, especially since it's meant to be a discussion afterall. People are free to superficially skim through rationales as they see fit if they do not have the attention span or inclination. Of course I'd encourage no one to actually do this. What benefit does moving lengthy explanations to the talk page offer? I see the reason for moving threaded discussions to de-clutter, but a wordy rationale?  Wisdom89 talk 17:18, 1 February 2016 (UTC)
  • side note: It's often a fine line between explaining one's own rational, and trying to actually persuade incoming voters. Intent isn't something that can be determined for the most part. (fairly rhetorical I suppose.) — Ched :  ?  17:22, 1 February 2016 (UTC)
Good point, although I'd wager that the disparity in length in many !votes tend to reflect an editor's personal proclivity for writing in general.  Wisdom89 talk 17:26, 1 February 2016 (UTC)
I obliquely mentioned this in my oppose (#24) for Hawkeye, but I have a neurologically based inabilty to communicate in brief, concise language. My rambling comments have no intent to do anything other that state my case. (Which in this latest incident, turned out that 'crats were paying attention to our debating skills, rightly or wrongly). I sometimes apologise for my rambling because on Simple Wikipedia I have been harshed and told to strike some of my text in disussions, sadly. Being limited to 50 words would handicap me right out of taking part. I do not believe I have ever written 500 words, except in a few of my talk page posts. (See what I mean? Perhaps this could have just said: I and sigh...) Thanks Fylbecatulous talk 18:30, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
  • For all but the most serious flaws I would like to encourage people to look for and demonstrate a pattern before they oppose. That means citing multiple diffs, not in issues like personal attacks or outing where a single example should suffice but definitely in issues like miscalls over deletion. If the price of that is loss of brevity then so be it. ϢereSpielChequers 06:40, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
    Ched brings up an interesting point that you sorta alluded to in your comment. I've often wondered about the, err..motivations of the opposition at times. For the most part, well constructed, comprehensive and compelling oppose rationales (and I've seen some damn fine ones) are designed to be illuminating and highlight issues that could potentially affect the project negatively. However, does the caster also hope (and I'm being cynical for the sake of argument here) that their explanation will sway those on the fence or even encourage supporters to change their minds? We've all seen the pile-on that results from a damning oppose.  Wisdom89 talk 15:31, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
    Inevitably. Opposing means the opposer thinks it wouldn't be good for Wikipedia to have the candidate become an admin - else why oppose? So presumably the opposer hopes that others will either oppose too, or else persuade him it wouldn't be a problem after all. There's nothing cynical about that; it's only cynical if one opposes out of spite or for vendetta, and I think very few people really do that. --Stfg (talk) 16:52, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

The purpose of the page is discussion. Lots of talk is a good thing. Both explaining yourself and attempting to persuade others is part of the process. HighInBC 06:44, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

  • While I've been told off for going into unnecessary detail on opposes in the past, I consider it a courtesy to the candidate to explain my reasoning in detail, even if the candidate doesn't necessarily appreciate it. If opposers don't explain exactly what they feel the candidate is doing wrong, then the candidate can't either make an effort to address the concern, or decide the concern is inappropriate and discount it; likewise, in the case of close RFAs it makes it easier for the crats to sift valid concerns from "I don't like the guy". ‑ Iridescent 18:44, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

AfD stats tool broken?[edit]

I've noticed for a while that the external AfD stats tool that we link to from RfAs does not seem to be working consistently, at least not for my account. I thought maybe it was just slow to update but now I think it's actually broken. For example, my stats from about June 2015 only include threads where I was the nominator. Otherwise, it seems to recognize all of the AfDs that I edited, but can't determine how I !voted in those discussions. It doesn't seem to be behaving this way for other users, though. It's only occurred to me while typing this that the issue coincides roughly from when I started using an emoji in my signature (July 2015) and that might explain the whole thing, but I'm not sure why that would matter. I know we can't control external tools from here, but we rely on this tool for RfA candidate evaluation, and if this is an issue affecting many users then RfA should be aware of it. Ivanvector 🍁 (talk) 20:20, 1 February 2016 (UTC)

I'd have to mine my contribs to see, but I think that is accurate - I wasn't around a whole lot in June, I just picked June here to highlight the issue. Prior to about that time the tool picks up most of my AfD activity, and after that only picks up threads where I was the nominator (but I was more active than that). Ivanvector 🍁 (talk) 20:56, 1 February 2016 (UTC)
Ivanvector, I recently pushed a change to how the tool detects votes (what a coincidence, right?), but it should have only affected how unsigned votes were detected. I'll look into it. Quick note: next time you open a thread about this tool, it would be awesome if you could ping either myself or Σ, since we're the maintainers. APerson (talk!) 22:10, 1 February 2016 (UTC)
@APerson: will do, thanks! I did not know you were the maintainers. I don't think it's a recent change. Going purely by memory, I think I first noticed this behaviour around November, when I started looking at the stats for a reason I don't remember now. Not that it started then, that's just when I noticed. Ivanvector 🍁 (talk) 22:13, 1 February 2016 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Found it! The problem is with your signature; the link to the talk page in your signature is targeted to "User talk:Ivanvector#top" instead of just "User talk:Ivanvector". We had another user with this issue (i.e. they put a #top in their link also) just a few days ago; I'll start looking into ways to fix the tool instead. For the other user, I just did a AWB run to change their signature in deletion discussions; do you want me to do that now, or wait until I can get the tool updated? APerson (talk!) 22:14, 1 February 2016 (UTC)
Great! It's not urgent, do what you think is best. If you want to keep those discussions instead as test cases for the tool, please do. I've used #top from the same time, just so that my modified signature doesn't show up as black bolded text on my talk page. Ivanvector 🍁 (talk) 22:34, 1 February 2016 (UTC)

Watchlist notices are working[edit]

It's clear to me that the watchlist notices are working and improving things quite a bit. I used to have the RFA page on my watchlist and I frequently missed when RFAs were happening, but the watchlist thing allows me to see it. Kudos to user:Biblioworm for making this happen. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 01:03, 2 February 2016 (UTC)

Indeed this was one of the ideas I really thought would work. I am glad Biblioworm ran with this idea. HighInBC 01:04, 2 February 2016 (UTC)
Of course, if it's so successful that we go back to the days when we have at least one RFA running at all times, it'll stop working. :D -- KTC (talk) 05:05, 2 February 2016 (UTC)
It doesn't generate new RFA, simply announces to a wider audience. Suppose it might drum up interest, indirectly. Not everyone agrees that it is a good idea, looking at BBW's talk page. Leaky Caldron 15:34, 2 February 2016 (UTC)
I disagreed in the RfC that low turnout was a problem with RfA, but as far as wider awareness of RfAs goes, the watchlist notices are certainly achieving their purpose. Well done! Ivanvector 🍁 (talk) 18:19, 2 February 2016 (UTC)

Fresh minds are the cure to stagnation. HighInBC 01:05, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

Keeping this as a short message and being careful with the cookie increments seem to be keeping these useful, while not intrusive. We don't have any good stats on how many more RFA READERS this has generated, but getting more eyes on it even as just reading may be enough to encourage a future RFA run for someone. — xaosflux Talk 02:43, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
I don't seem to have a watchlist notice, I dismissed it during a previous RfA, and I think it may have dismissed all future notices as well. --kelapstick(bainuu) 02:55, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
I did notice quite a few completely unfamiliar names at the recent RfA and when I checked their user pages, many of them had around 1000-500 edits over several years of editing. I'm guessing that they are irregular editors but regular readers who happened to see the watchlist notice when they made a recent visit to WP.
I checked to see if there was an edit or editing history threshold for participating at RfAs and there isn't so everything was legit. But I think we can expect future participation of similar editors who might have a long association with Wikipedia but who don't edit frequently or did so in the past but have done little recently. It's difficult to assess what impact they might have on the overall RFA process but it did seem that some had older associations or older knowledge of Hawkeye7 than editors who started editing in the past few years. Liz Read! Talk! 03:06, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
@Kelapstick: the watchlist uses an "id number" for each message when the message went to 3 RFA's the number was set to 229, you probably dismissed that one - as the remaining RFA's were part of that notice, you don't see them any more. If a NEW RfA were to open now, we would increment that to 230, then you would start seeing it again until dismissed. — xaosflux Talk 04:16, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
Maybe, but I don't recall dismissing one within the last week or so (I think I did for the first one, which was a while ago). I will keep an eye. --kelapstick(bainuu) 04:28, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
Nope, it wasn't you - the cookie ID didn't get updated when we moved from 2-3; there were so many changes in such a short time; will watch for this. If you want to get really meta, you can watchlist changes to the watchlist notice by watching this page MediaWiki:Watchlist-details :D — xaosflux Talk 04:58, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

Help would be appreciated...[edit]

On User:Everymorning/RFA study, which needs a lot of updating. I'd really love it if I didn't have to do this all by myself. Thanks. Everymorning (talk) 21:44, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

@Everymorning If you move it out of your own userspace (to WP:RFA study perhaps?) other editors might feel more welcome and willing to contribute. Material in userspace is usually not edited by other people, unless they are explicitly invited. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 17:07, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
I have just done as you suggested, Roger. Everymorning (talk) 17:13, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

Weighting in on RfAs[edit]

Hey there. I was wondering if any editors are allowed to weight in on RfAs, or if there is a process to being able to weight in your opinion. Thanks. Boomer VialHolla 17:04, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

@Boomer Vial: Any registered user may weigh in on an RFA. Unregistered users are not allowed to !vote, but may express opinions/thoughts, and provide diffs in support of those thoughts. ~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs)problem solving 17:07, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
  • Any registered editor may cast a vote on a RfA, but I strongly urge every editor wanting to vote on RfAs to read Wikipedia:Arguments to avoid in adminship discussions and to understand what adminship is. Esquivalience t 01:17, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
    • Or else Esquivalience will question whether in his opinion you deserve to have your say. And he might threaten you with an SPI. :) Juan Riley (talk) 01:41, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
      • In fact yes please weigh in civily even when you don't undertand. Some folk are helpful here. Juan Riley (talk) 01:44, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
        • Please do not weigh in if you don't understand. It's more than likely that your comments will be disregarded by the closing bureaucrats, rendering the time you invested pointless. ansh666 02:47, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
          • I would disagree with both of the above opinions. If there is something you don't understand; please ask questions and pay attention to the answers until you do understand, then weigh in. ~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs)problem solving 03:48, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
            • Well, yes, but the place to do that is here, not on a RfA. ansh666 03:59, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── * Thanks to all the editors that took the time to answer my question! :) Boomer VialHolla 06:04, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

Navigating within RfAs[edit]

Yo. If one thing comes to mind when I think about RfAs, it's scrolling up and down. A lot. How about we add some jump links to the template? Under each major header, links to jump to Nomination, Questions, Support, Oppose, Neutral, Comments. There are often reasons why the reader might wish to jump to another section - at present the fastest way is to hit Home on your keyboard (or the equivalent key for going to the top of the page), then finding the section you want in the table of contents. It works, but jump links would work better.  — Scott talk 14:26, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Neutral-ish on the proposal (it might help somewhat in reviewing) but @Cyberpower678: to comment on the effect, if any, this would have on the bot operation. –xenotalk 14:30, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Human needs greatly outweigh bot configurations - if this is helpful any bot would need to just be adjusted. — xaosflux Talk 15:58, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
This change might break the bot, but I'm not too sure.—cyberpowerChat:Online 16:04, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Do you mean like this (excuse the typo in the general comments section)? Esquivalience t 02:38, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Delay before voting[edit]

Imagine if once a candidate accepts, there was a, say, 48-hr waiting period before voting began. I'm not advocating it. Just throwing it out there as it might generate a constructive discussion. I don't even know what it might do. Has this been discussed? Would it have some sort of effect? Anna F remote (talk) 03:02, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

It's entirely possible for a lag period to promote better vetting of the candidate. However, people are free to spend as much time as possible before casting their !votes, so I don't know if it would have any effect on this aspect.  Wisdom89 talk 03:10, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Requests for adminship/Ironholds 2 immediately springs to mind; except that it has a 96 hour Q&A and discussion period. It did not seem to go well. Esquivalience t 03:27, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
I should have said nobody touches the page for 48 hrs. No question, nothing. Anna F remote (talk) 05:17, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Then where would the discussion take place? ansh666 07:44, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
A two-phase process has been discussed before. There are some participants who offer an initial opinion and do not return to the RfA discussion to engage further. Having an initial discussion phase would allow some analysis to be present for all interested parties to review before stating a view on supporting the candidate's request for adminship privileges. isaacl (talk) 07:25, 9 February 2016 (UTC)