Wikipedia:Village pump (idea lab)

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The idea lab section of the village pump is a place where new ideas or suggestions on general Wikipedia issues can be incubated, for later submission for consensus discussion at Village pump (proposals). Try to be creative and positive when commenting on ideas.
Before creating a new section, please note:

Before commenting, note:

  • This page is not for consensus polling. Stalwart "Oppose" and "Support" comments generally have no place here. Instead, discuss ideas and suggest variations on them.
  • Wondering whether someone already had this idea? Search the archives below, and look through Wikipedia:Perennial proposals.
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Note: inactive discussions, closed or not, should be archived.

Have Afd deletion log appear in first deletion nomination of an article after a second nomination gets made[edit]

Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Witness accounts of the Roswell UFO incident (2nd nomination) shows the full log even though that page didn't appear that way at the time its debate was closed, so I think the same should be done for the first nomination. Blackbombchu (talk) 16:46, 14 September 2015 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done. DMacks (talk) 20:33, 27 September 2015 (UTC)

The WikiProject for a major topic area seems to be dead[edit]

It's been a long time since any post to WT:WikiProject Engineering has received a meaningful reply. Imho there are certain projects that are "too big to fail". For a major topic area such as engineering to not have a functional WikiProject is a serious problem. I think we could convert the main WikiProject Engineering page into a type of "disambiguation" page that lists active projects that cover various sub-topics of engineering - chemical engineering, electrical engineering, etc. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 08:08, 16 September 2015 (UTC)

Sounds like your the new de facto head of Wikipedia:WikiProject Engineering. Some comments: Just because nobody is using the talk page, doesn't mean that nobody is using the project's main page. You can try changing the main page. That might bring people out of the woodwork. I don't know if I'd change the main page too much though. Maybe adding a header notice using {{mbox}} or something would be sufficient. Jason Quinn (talk) 15:37, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
I cleaned the front page for sanity's sake. Some weiiiiiiiiiird floats going on there due to the unclosed tables. --Izno (talk) 15:56, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps people prefer some of the subprojects? Engineering seems quite a wide topic area. --NaBUru38 (talk) 23:14, 24 September 2015 (UTC)
That's exactly why I think it would be useful to list such "subprojects" on the project's main page. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 17:47, 27 September 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit reqeusts[edit]

What would people think about implementing some kind of software that allows users who can't edit a semi-protected article to edit it similar to pending changes, however the edits wouldn't "go live" until any auto-confirmed user accepted the change? This would make semi-protection much less forceful and encourage editing, rather then dealing with the wiki-markup, talk pages, and templates that go along with semi-protected edit requests? I feel like there's some kind of objection to this, or it would have been implemented in the past, so, what are those? Kharkiv07 (T) 01:32, 23 September 2015 (UTC)

@Kharkiv07: Unless I'm mistaken, do you basically mean pending changes, but where edits can be accepted by an autoconfirmed editor rather than a pending changes reviewer? Sam Walton (talk) 21:16, 23 September 2015 (UTC)
More or less. Kharkiv07 (T) 14:11, 24 September 2015 (UTC)
I would not be in favor of making these tweaks to semi-protection. We often get articles hit with sustained vandalism (e.g., when a celeb does something stupid) and editors should not have to spend hours hitting revert. --NeilN talk to me 14:18, 24 September 2015 (UTC)
As Sam Walton said, this would basically be implementing a "pending changes level 0". I don't think this is necessary or even desirable. If there are no beneficial IP/new account edits a page can be semi-protected, and if there are then PC1 can be used. The backlog at Special:PendingChanges is never egregious, so PC0 would not be a workload benefit. Also by not screening the editors who accept the change the system could be gamed. Having yet another type of protection would just mean more bureaucracy and squabbles about what level should be used when. BethNaught (talk) 14:26, 24 September 2015 (UTC)
I generally oppose making anything harder for those who are willing to edit as auto-confirmed users in order to better accommodate those who are not. The way to "encourage editing" is to encourage registration. Semi-protection is only one of the many good reasons to do so. ―Mandruss  14:30, 24 September 2015 (UTC)

Pageview statistics for all articles created by a user[edit]

I was thinking about how to personally mark the 5 millionth ENWP milestone, and this idea occurred to me. What have been the most popular articles I've created, by all-time pageviews? It's a sort of long list so I'd rather not gather the data by hand. Is there a tool that can do this? — Brianhe (talk) 17:43, 23 September 2015 (UTC)

Great idea! I'd love it.
I'd also add another state: pageviews since I first edited them. --NaBUru38 (talk) 23:19, 24 September 2015 (UTC)

@NaBUru38, Brianhe: Metronom: Pageviews for articles you created (wmflabs, by Magnus Manske) --Atlasowa (talk) 11:21, 25 September 2015 (UTC)

Either this isn't working or the 'page views history' isn't working on the individual articles. What am I doing wrong? PanydThe muffin is not subtle 12:45, 25 September 2015 (UTC)
I think the tool is just really slow, Panyd? You had 47.610 Total views in 2015-08! Since i don't create new articles on enwiki (but redirects that i already forgot about) it works faster for me. --Atlasowa (talk) 14:01, 25 September 2015 (UTC)
Took tens of minutes to run on my account. Apparently after creating a few hundred articles / redirects this kind of check is maybe not a great idea. Only just barely missed hitting 500k views though (495,064 in 2015-08). Dragons flight (talk) 14:39, 25 September 2015 (UTC)
Appears to be bringing up a lot of articles that I didn't make... PanydThe muffin is not subtle 15:11, 25 September 2015 (UTC)
I know I was given credit for articles that I renamed as well as created. Is that what you mean? Dragons flight (talk) 15:22, 25 September 2015 (UTC)
I knew most of the articles I've actually created were way out in the long tail of reader interest, but wow, this is embarrassing! I'd also really like to know who linked to my top-viewed article to make the traffic look like this: who are all these people suddenly interested in flying ice cubes? Opabinia regalis (talk) 21:08, 26 September 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Cause "flying ice cube" sounds like a cool name, I guess.Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 21:19, 26 September 2015 (UTC)

Not to sound greedy or ungrateful, because thanks for doing this! — but is it possible to request some enhancements? Thoughts off the top of my head:
  • Remove pages moved by me and redirects from results
  • Aggregate results by year not just month
  • Allow lowercase first character in username (I keep forgetting to do this)
Again, thanks! —Brianhe (talk) 18:08, 29 September 2015 (UTC)

new namespace: Chronicle, for recording events comprehensively[edit]

I have an idea for a new namespace to be entitled "Chronicle." It would be a place to note or record all events or items within a particular area. doing so would allow us to create a common space and resource where historical events could be noted and referenced, without requiring us to change the regular historical articles to record new events before their eventual significance is fully understood.

currently, there is no centralized place to create a central narrative of events as they occur.

one major potential of wikipedia is to serve as an ongoing and evolving record of events as they happen. a shared central space for such information would make it much easier for editors to be able to have a central resource to review recent events and to see if they warrant inclusion in various higher-level articles, such as history articles, science articles, technology, etc. --Sm8900 (talk) 01:32, 27 September 2015 (UTC)

Hello, Sm8900, do you mean timelines? --NaBUru38 (talk) 20:29, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
thanks for your reply. but no, that's not what I meant.rather, I meant exhaustive and inclusive articles which would chronicle and record every occurrence in a particular topic or, for instance, the US CONgress currently addresses a huge number of items which never get reflected here. a Chronicle article on American politics could reflect many items addressed by Congress without, for example, bloating the regular encyclopedic articles on Congress. --Sm8900 (talk) 20:50, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
To some editors and even some readers an exhaustive Timeline of the United States Congress or Timeline of the United Nations Economic and Social Council article might not seem exhaustingly boring so sure, go ahead if you think it worth doing well. But, why a namespace? To hide it from excessive attention? Jim.henderson (talk) 09:20, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
hi Jim.henderson. no, not for that reason, but rather because an exhaustive compendium of everything which happens in Congress, the UN, or the Chicago City Council is not necessarily warranted for a regular Wikipedia article. however, it would be a good informational resource which should still be available somewhere at this site.
additionally, it might not just be a chronicle of official proceedings, but could also be a comprehensive record of all historical events and current events of interest. it could include links to existing articles in order to do so.
So a chronicle which collates links to every article here on US current events, or alternately a chronicle which records every political news item in the State of Colorado, or in all major US cities during the year 2015, might not be warranted for a regular article. but it still might be useful in the long term as an informational archive and resource. ---- Sm8900 (talk) 00:11, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
My gut reaction to this proposal is: no. would allow us to create a common space and resource where historical events could be noted and referenced, without requiring us to change the regular historical articles to record new events before their eventual significance is fully understood That's original research and we can't decide what to include/not include without a thesis for the page. If we have a thesis which explains what qualifies to be included/excluded, then it should be a standard History of X article. We shouldn't be in the busniess of create a central narrative of events as they occur, we have to go based on what Reliable sources report (either as new coverage or as historians writing and drawing the inferences). Reporting on recent events is either the perview of WikiNews or the perview of a article that is written to support a In the News point on the frontpage. Anything else pushes the Recent-isim factor of day in the sun coverage. Hasteur (talk) 18:12, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
My gut reaction is likewise no. There are some instances where "long list of everything" articles are warranted—List of Statutory Instruments of the United Kingdom, 1994 and the like—but those are adequately covered in the existing list format. "A comprehensive record of all historical events and current events of interest" would be unworkable (are you aware of how many events take place in even a small city in any given year?) since they would either be unworkably large, or require the invention of arbitrary inclusion criteria. ‑ iridescent 18:17, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
hm, okay.
  • well, firstly, i only meant to include only those events and items for which reliable sources do exist. in other words, each event would need to have been reported in some other reliable source or citations, just like regular articles. so I agree, no original research should be involved at all for these.
  • as far as your other point, I hear ya. however, the problem is that currently, there is no central article to note current events of notability, no matter how notable they are, unless they are already accepted as being of genuine historical significance. and even then, there is no central place to chronicle them. so an item of medium but genuine significance might never get recorded anywhere here.
  • we could still retain the same standards of notability as would currently govern any encyclopedia article. the difference would be that this would consciously be a place, if you like, for timeline articles on current events of some genuine significance,but which otherwise might not get their own entries until a year or two after they occurred.
so I am willing to modify this idea almost infinitely to retain adherence to our basic notability rules, yet still to provide a different type of article which would provide some degree of a new approach.
I recognize that this may still not allay all your concerns or reservations on this, but does that at least improve the idea somewhat? thanks for all your input here. --Sm8900 (talk) 18:24, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps you could write a "sample" in userspace of what you think a Chronicle would look like? It doesn't have to be long, or even based on real events, but it might help to make clearer exactly what you are proposing. QuiteUnusual (talk) 11:17, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
hm, that's a good idea. thanks for your helpful idea on that. I will start working on that. anyone, feel free to keep adding comments if you want. thanks! --Sm8900 (talk) 13:15, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
WP:NOTNEWS. 23:54, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
WP:NOTEWORTHY --Sm8900 (talk) 20:48, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

Editor Behavior Analysis[edit]

Hi All,

I've been working on visualizing editor behaviour on wikipedia over the past few months. I've put together graphs that visualize editor activity, retention etc. I made a presentation for the research team at the foundation - It also has some of the preliminary results. It has links to the graphs & says how to interpret & play with them. Please let me know if you guys have other metrics or ideas you'd like to see graphed. I'd love to hear what you guys think of the graphs. I have proposed an IEG to continue working on the graphs.

I feel like we've known how this works for years, but nobody wants to confront it - instead, we'll just keep compiling numbers on it to make ourselves feel like we're doing something about it. Samsara 14:40, 4 October 2015 (UTC)
What is exactly the problem these analyses are the solution to? Arnoutf (talk) 15:36, 4 October 2015 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Expert retention is the problem, but the analyses are not the solution. Samsara 15:39, 4 October 2015 (UTC)
Besides insights on editor retention/longevity etc which are well known already the analyses have interesting inferences about how long an article stays actively edited (I don't yet have the data for en, every other big wiki, after about 2007, most of the articles only see activity for a month or 2 after creation, then they hardly see any activity). Also I have noticed cyclical editing patterns in wikis like de etc. Jan-Dec sees a spike in edit activity. Retention rates amongst very active editors(100+ edits/month) sometimes show more active editors than who joined, meaning to say some people with lesser edit activity become more productive in their second month (I haven't put up theses graphs online yet). These analyses are not solutions, but could help us get more insights into macro editor behavior.--jeph (talk) 05:28, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
In the last 2 years we've seen a slow but important uptick in editor activity on the English Wikipedia, after several years of declines. Personally, I'd like to understand that shift with an aim towards identifying the origin of the improvement (and perhaps gain insight into how we might be able to do even better). A simple first step is probably to pull out the changes in new editor registration, changes in editor activity of existing editors, and changes in editor retention. My personal suspicion is that most of the uptick is due primarily to growth in new editors, but I'm not entirely sure. Dragons flight (talk) 10:44, 5 October 2015 (UTC)

Hi Dragons flight, Some of the graphs that are up already are:

I haven't looked at user registrations yet. Some of the other ideas I'm working on are here and here. Would you have any specific ideas for me or directions you would like me to explore?jeph (talk) 12:47, 5 October 2015 (UTC)

Those displays are visually attractive, but in that format I have trouble getting at the information I would want. For example:
  1. What is the trend in editing for new editors? (Total edits in 1st month of editing, 1st year of editing, etc.)
  2. What is the trend in editing for established editors?
  3. How has short-term editor retention changed, e.g. the trend in new editor percentage that keep editing after 6 months? 1 year? 2 years?
  4. How has the percentage of edits from new vs. old accounts changed through time?
  5. How has the number of newly registered accounts changed through time?
  6. How has the 1st edit conversion rate changed (i.e. fraction of registered accounts that actually edit)?
  7. How has the fraction of editors going from 1 edit to 10 edits changed? From 10 edits to 100 edits? From 100 edits to 1000 edits?
Dragons flight (talk) 14:11, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
Dragons flight, I think the graphs can answer some of your questions.
  1. Editor Activity Of New Comers In Every Month - (en)
    Using the filter on the top of the page we can filter Monthly Editor Activity Split By Cohort - Values to show only the edit activity of editors in their first month as part of the entire activity in a month. Here editors are grouped by the month of their first edit and the graph plots active edit sessions(edits >=5/month). So we can look at (Total edit sessions in 1st month of editing) over the years. If you want to look at the same in terms of percentage you could look at If you want to look at the entire edit activity of editors joining in a given month( 1st month, 2nd month, 1st year etc) you could use and filter as above. These graphs should help you answer (1 & 2)
  2. Editor cohort longevity en filtered at 5% levels.
    To answer (3) you could use and filter it to say 5% to see how long atleast 5% of the editors who joined in a month remain actively editing. There is a filter on top of the page which you can use to filter the graph. jeph (talk) 18:21, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
  3. (4) could be answered by the graphs mentioned above(Monthly Editor Activity Split By Cohort - Values, Monthly Editor Activity Split By Cohort - Percentage). Let me know if it doesn't.
  4. I haven't yet looked at (5) & (6).
  5. I'm working on similar lines currently, I'll put them up when they are done.

Creating a more efficient system for semi-bot-solvable tasks[edit]

Hello! I'm currently incubating an idea that was initially discussed in the Wikipedia IRC channel (log).

I've been cleaning up citations with missing "|title=" tags, and it occurred to me that while this task likely couldn't be automated, it could certainly be made more efficient for the editor - rather than going through each category page, clicking "edit this page", etc., what if a program could populate a single page with several of these citations pulled from one or more pages? The editor could then click the links, provide a suitable title in a text box below each citation, and then submit them all at once. After that, the editor could get another page of citations to fix if they so desired. If you've ever used Amazon Mechanical Turk, they have a system for digitizing documents that works in a similar way - each document is split into images that contain one line, then workers are presented with a page that has several of these images and are asked to type the text into boxes below the images.

Rhhhh, another user, expanded on this idea - perhaps a program similar to the "random page" function could be added, but it would be modified to send users to a random page or section that requires cleanup, combined with subject selection (Rhhhh said "[for instance], 'I want to fix [spelling/POV/markup/...] on pages about [language/IT/history/...]' ")

While coding and scripts are completely out of my depth, I feel like this is something that wouldn't be too difficult to implement and it would allow editors like myself who prefer to work on these smaller tasks to do so far more efficiently.

I'm open to any ideas or feedback. Thanks for reading! Chris (talk) 22:07, 5 October 2015 (UTC)

That sounds just like Web Reflinks, but people generally don't bother with cleaning up citations. — Dispenser 22:13, 5 October 2015 (UTC)