Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Newsroom/Suggestions

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This page is for suggesting news to be covered in the next Signpost.

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Upcoming "420" collaboration[edit]

Would Signpost be willing to mention the upcoming "420" collaboration, which is an effort to create and improve cannabis-related content during the second half of April (and especially on April 20)? Invitations are being sent to dozens on WikiProjects, and the campaign has already received some coverage by cannabis media outlets. Thanks for your consideration! ---Another Believer (Talk) 15:20, 3 April 2017 (UTC)

Could you make sure that your group knows about a technology issue that will briefly affect editing during your collaboration? It's described above at #Editing outages on 19 April and 3 May. (Also, @Bluerasberry:.) Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 19:19, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
I made a note about this at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Cannabis/420_Collaboration#Wikipedia_outage_on_19_April_2017 in the usual manner that messages are to be posted there. Blue Rasberry (talk) 19:49, 3 April 2017 (UTC)

Does anyone know if an issue will be published in April? Just curious. ---Another Believer (Talk) 17:59, 12 April 2017 (UTC)

Never mind, the campaign has come and gone, unless someone wants to mention as a completed inaugural effort. ---Another Believer (Talk) 20:33, 9 May 2017 (UTC)

Wikipedia-Academia collaboration[edit]

Hello all,

The scientific publisher PLOS has just published a relevant blog post promoting the fact that their 'Topic Page' publishing format has been extended from PLOS Computation Biology to PLOS Genetics.

This allows academics who wouldn't otherwise consider writing for Wikipedia to be able to contribute in a format that is more familiar to them, and provides the academic brownie points needed for their careers. It looks as though 2017 is shaping up to be very successful for such ventures, see also:

It might be worth covering in some form or another. T.Shafee(Evo&Evo)talk 07:42, 14 April 2017 (UTC)

Cessation?[edit]

Unless I'm mistaken, the last issue of the Signpost was February 27, 2017. Is it just too hard to produce it without more staff? - kosboot (talk) 16:22, 16 April 2017 (UTC)

kosboot, I believe that Pete Forsyth, our editor-in-chief, will make an announcement soon. Tony (talk) 08:27, 21 April 2017 (UTC)

Great Wall of Culture[edit]

I just came across, via Slashdot, a report in VICE News about China creating it's own (State run of course) competitor to Wikipedia called the Chinese Encyclopaedia, also apparently referred to by at least one official as the 'Great Wall of Culture'. At least 20,000 people have been recruited by to create and run this new online encyclopedia, including scholars from universities and research institutes who will contribute articles in more than 100 disciplines. This is intended to produce a knowledge base with more than 300,000 entries, each of which will be about 1,000 words long.

Here's an excerpt from the Vice article:

“The Chinese Encyclopaedia is not a book, but a Great Wall of culture,” Yang Muzhi, the editor-in-chief of the project and the chairman of the Book and Periodicals Distribution Association of China, said. He added that China was under pressure from the international community to produce an encyclopedia that will “guide and lead the public and society.”

The need for an online reference encyclopedia is in part a result of the Chinese government blocking access to Wikipedia. Chinese internet companies like Baidu and Qihoo 360 operate their own online encyclopedias, but none are capable of matching Wikipedia in terms of scale and breadth of information.


The aim of the new version of the Chinese encyclopedia is to showcase China’s latest science and technology developments, promote historical heritage, increase cultural soft power, and strengthen the core values of socialism, according to Yang, who stressed that the goal isn’t to mimic Wikipedia: “We have the biggest, most high-quality author team in the world. Our goal is not to catch up, but overtake.”

At over 720 million users, China has the world’s largest internet population by a large margin, but it also has some of the world’s most restrictive internet laws.


This is going to be interesting, perhaps even in the Chinese sense of the word, so to speak. Ceannlann gorm (talk) 09:09, 2 May 2017 (UTC)

Vietnamese Wikipedia administrator passes away[edit]

vi:User:Lê Thy, until recently a Vietnamese Wikipedia administrator, passed away this weekend. [1] – Minh Nguyễn 💬 18:08, 14 May 2017 (UTC)

Reddit AMA with Aaron Halfaker[edit]

Hey everyone! Aaron Halfaker's (User:EpochFail) Reddit AMA is starting in about 30 minutes, and if the Signpost gets going again, it could be a fun thing to cover. He's focusing on artificial intelligence on Wikipedia and how we're working to counteract vandalism. We'd love to have your questions. Join us! Ed Erhart (WMF) (talk) 20:37, 1 June 2017 (UTC)

John Rocco Edit-A-Thon[edit]

The Rick Riordan task force of WikiProject Novels is hosting its first Edit-A-Thon to increase project visibility and member participation. In honor of his July birthday, the event will focus on pages related author/illustrator John Rocco. The event will last until the first day of August, when the most helpful contributor will be featured on RRTF's forums. More information can be found here on the talk page, also a good place for questions and comments. We welcome outside input and participation! -- 2ReinreB2 (talk) 03:51, 3 June 2017 (UTC)

OTRS Commons-permission queue has a backlog of 73 days[edit]

OTRS Commons-permission is used for permissions related to Images on Commons. Currently we have a backlog of ~700 messages and 73 days. This means that many people emailing permissions for their images will not be looked at for 2.5 months. Any delay over a 15 days is problematic because images without permission are mass deleted in 15 days. This slows the process even further as you need admins to undelete images, and you usually loose info about which article was image added to. Another side effect is that once you contact back the clients, they often angry (because they sent by that time 5 more desperate emails about their images being deleted), or unresponsive if you need further clarifications. This affects all the projects and we could use some more OTRS volunteers experienced with image licensing. --Jarekt (talk) 19:26, 6 June 2017 (UTC)

@Jarekt: Is there a discussion about fixing this anywhere? I imagine we wouldn't have as much of a backlog if we stopped revoking people's OTRS access after 6 months of inactivity and then making them jump through a bunch of hoops to get their access restored. It took me over a month to get my OTRS access restored after it lapsed last time. Next time, I won't bother. We shouldn't be punishing our volunteers with red tape, IMO. Kaldari (talk) 20:50, 6 June 2017 (UTC)
Ah. Now we getting down to business. Think this needs to be brought to a wider audience to review our Workflow. 15 days may have seemed reasonable when this project was smaller. As Jarekt said: “We do have 190 Commons OTRS volunteers, which sounds like enough to handle the load, but somehow the system is collapsing.” Commons:Village_pump. Suggestion: Have a temporary period to extend the period from 15 days to 48 day (for any mathematicians, I choose that figure because it is 64% of 73 days. Reason: Median, binomial statistics and all those things that have faded from my mind over the decades). Yet, this extension in time, could provides a necessary buffer zone for the OTRS volunteers to get back on top of the backlog and do away with having to repeatedly undelete images. Most copyvios are obvious but whilst those are being delt with, the valid images get deleted due to the 15 day rule. Aspro (talk) 22:18, 6 June 2017 (UTC)
Kaldari, There is a little of discussion at c:Commons:Village_pump#.7B.7BOTRS_backlog.7D.7D and c:Commons_talk:OTRS#.7B.7Btl.7COTRS_backlog.7D.7D. User:Fæ related similar experience to yours with OTRS. He lost access to OTRS and his attempt to get it back was rejected. I think others complained about this in the past. I never had issues with OTRS despite of being able to help only occasionally there. Retaining experienced volunteers is a big part of this, but we should also work on getting new volunteers. --Jarekt (talk) 02:33, 7 June 2017 (UTC)
The backlogging was also discussed at Meta-wiki's Wikimedia Forum, and the Wikimania submission is pending a review for acceptance. --George Ho (talk) 02:36, 7 June 2017 (UTC)
Not good news: the submission is receiving lower scores than I hoped for. --George Ho (talk) 01:13, 11 June 2017 (UTC)
Re-checked; the submission received decent scores initially, but one bad score decreased the average score, lowering the chance of acceptance. --George Ho (talk) 01:17, 11 June 2017 (UTC)