Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2018-08-30/From the editor

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Today's young adults don't know a world without Wikipedia: Keep straight on – there are trolls in the hedgerows.

Keep straight on – there are trolls in the hedgerows

Photograph of a long trail with grass and forestry at either side; a green arrow sign with a white border is at the forefront, attached to a wooden post and pointing left, informing the reader that "Byway" is that way
You are on the right route. Keep going straight.

In this, The Signpost's last issue with me in my short tenure as Editor-in-Chief, we offer yet another fact-packed issue. The Wikimedia Foundation (WMF)'s Executive Director appears to be blithely unaware of what goes on in the office, yet the WMF – again – has lots of money and gets a new website, but curbs spending on essential tools for volunteers; a Wikimania volunteer gets fired from his help (by the WMF); our English Wikipedia experiences one of the worst Requests for Adminship (RfA) in history; and, despite our series of articles on RfA, the drama continues. Additionally, due to a topic ban, a regular columnist withdraws her harmless humour contribution.

Although The Signpost's reporting is based on facts, like all news media it does not promise to be entirely neutral in its content. Some of it is indeed tongue-in-cheek and we are sure our readers will understand the difference.

Topping the usual average number of page views by almost double, the article "Death knell sounding for The Signpost?" in our March issue still remains the most read contribution to the magazine so far this year. It raised awareness of the importance of the publication. Read by thousands of editors and readers, not only on Wikipedia but also in the world at large, The Signpost is our organ for all things Wikipedia and Wikimedia in English. However, it can only survive through your comments and contributions.

This editor, at least, has no interest in following or even visiting the Wikipedia criticism and hate sites, and never has. By all accounts these sites appear to be significantly populated by people who have been blocked or banned by those committed to keeping the encyclopedia free from POV pushing, financial exploitation, vandalism, disruption, trolling, and other divisive behaviour that is contrary to what Wikipedia is. With the encyclopedia's extraordinary policy of open, collaborative compilation, these are no easy tasks. The Signpost rises above the cheap innuendos and not-so-vague slander in those fora even if some of our readers' comments sink to those same low levels. Wikipedia is a large collaborative endeavour and needs a newsletter; The Signpost is that newsletter. The trolls are not welcome.

As I approach my eighth decade on this planet, there is now already a generation of literate people that has never known a world without Wikipedia. In this 21st-century technological era, despite differences of opinion amongst its editors and with the Wikimedia Foundation as its corporate owner, I remain convinced that Wikipedia is an amazing achievement – not only in its content, but also having become the world's Number 1 knowledge resource. I am not abashed to admit that I am proud to have been a small part of it.

Let us, The Signpost, and you – the volunteers who have made it all possible – continue in this goal and keep collaboration and comments as friendly as possible, and based on some recent experience, beware of 'joe job' emails. My very best wishes and thanks to all who have supported and encouraged this quasi-relaunch of the magazine.


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, The Signpost is now looking for a permanent Editor-in-Chief to fill a vacant slot in the editorial team. Start 1 September or as soon as possible. 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.