Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2018-07-31/From the editor

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If only if: Ships and shoes – and if you don't like it here, just go away!
Black-and-white photograph of sailors scrubbing a ship's deck
Will there be another crew willing to sweep the deck (note supervisor at right)?

In this issue, the Admin Ship berths in home port, a re-sysoping warns admins to think again before handing in their tools, and some older advice from a well-known admin warns editors to think again before launching a RfC. A reprint of an essay from another well-known admin and former arbitrator suggests quite bluntly that if you don't like it at Wikipedia, please leave.

Three months ago, I never saw myself in the shoes of E-in-C. I just missed the paper very much, and if anyone had suggested it to me, it would have been the last thing I would have thought of doing. I just jumped into the breach. However, it is time-consuming and it also comes with a certain level of responsibility (not to be confused with 'competence') which not everyone would be entirely happy about having to shoulder. Notwithstanding, having been a teacher of creative writing, and during the 1980s a freelance reporter for a certain popular Berlin-based daily newspaper, I like writing.

With this therefore being our third issue with me (kind of) at the helm, if only temporarily, I believe we need to understand the reasons why The Signpost dwindled from being weekly, then fortnightly, then monthly, to nothing at all until we somehow roped it together again. There is a lack of motivation in every corner of Wikipedia right now (and that's enough for an article itself), and people have left the editorial team for many reasons – some legitimate, some simply from disinterest.

Since Pete Forsyth's 'From the Editor' in the January 2017 issue – 18 months ago – the wished-for changes have not materialised and The Signpost is still very much in a kind of limbo with at least two 'new' editorial staff retired already. There have recently been a lot of very good suggestions for The Signpost which generally repeat Pete's pleas for involvement.

We heard from several readers who reported reading The Signpost for the first time after having seen the recently implemented watchlist notice. Many more silent readers were probably drawn by it as well.

There were several suggestions that it should take the shape of a monthly news magazine. A monthly issue is going to be fatter. It will have accumulated everything that would previously have been dished out as hotter weekly news, and it must have an interest level beyond simply being a (fairly) dry report on what's going on. But it needs writers.

Most importantly, however, The Signpost frees us – and the Wikipedia community – from the strictures associated with the composition of Wikipedia articles. While nevertheless avoiding being too critical of what we all work for (there are plenty of Wikipedia hate sites doing that, and sadly authored by some of our regular editors), it is an opportunity to make a broader audience, including the world's established media, aware of the things that Wikipedia is not and what is required from its corporate owners to do something about it.

As always, if only we had more ideas and submissions from our readers at our suggestions page...


Animation of the Wikipedia logo's omega puzzle piece circling the globe
The Signpost is hiring!
More of a missing piece of a jigsaw puzzle than a bung for a hole in the sinking ship that the periodical once was, we are now looking for a permanent Editor-in-Chief to fill a vacant slot in the editorial team. Start 31 August or sooner. Candidates should expect to work in excess of their contracted 30 hours per month for no additional remuneration. Salary $00.00 commensurate with age and experience.