The Signpost has been an integral part of Wikipedia since its inception in 2005. Nearly a thousand editors on the English Wikipedia alone have subscribed to it, in addition to the many on other foundation sites who have subscribed to global delivery. Others subscribe via email, including outside individuals interested in the movement. The Signpost's rise has been aided by a series of extremely respected and capable people; those who have been around for years will easily recall names like Michael Snow (January – August 2005), Ral315 (August 2005 – December 2008), and Ragesoss (February 2009 – June 2010). Editors who joined more recently will recognize HaeB (June 2010 – July 2011) and the Signpost's interim editors-in-chief since: Jarry1250, SMasters and Skomorokh.
After the recent departure of Skomorokh and SMasters, I offered to complete the largely formal process of pushing buttons to publish each edition. While the issues have gone out with few problems, Signpost journalists felt that appointing a new editor-in-chief would serve as a point of contact and final arbiter over journalistic decisions that confront us each week, like what topics to cover and matters of weighting. My name was floated as a possibility, and many of the regular journalists supported the idea. So I accepted.
Being the eighth editor-in-chief of the Signpost is an intriguing challenge, as the newspaper is written in a unique genre from the rest of the project: we have deadlines, are not limited to an encyclopedic style, and disseminate Wikimedia-related news—and I am sure nearly all of you have heard "Wikipedia is not a newspaper", our little irony. I also feel that I have to live up to the esteemed former editors who have done so much for the Signpost, while simultaneously blazing my own trail, bringing the Signpost to new heights, new places, and new readers.
One of my goals in changing the Signpost is reviving its dormant opinion desk. My definition of an op-ed has traditionally been expansive, thanks to my time as an editor of the Military History Project'sBugle. In my view, op-eds can be anything from "how-to" articles (e.g. the oft-cited "Let's get serious about plagiarism", or the Bugle's "John Goodall's The English Castle and delving into castle editing"), in-depth observations into a Wikipedia process, calls for participation in an important new initiative, or position pieces on a divisive newsworthy development. I am keenly aware that no matter what topic is being discussed on-wiki, you will find strong support and determined opposition among our diverse contributors. While we cannot publish every submission that comes our way, as we are looking for high reader interest and engagement, your imagination is the outer limit.
Send us your preliminary thoughts for an op-ed at the opinion desk, on my talk page, or to my email—whichever you are most comfortable with.