This is the discussion/talk page for essay: Wikipedia:Alert.
The Wikipedia essay "Wikipedia:Alert" was created on 17-Feb-2009 by long-term user Wikid77 (me) to alert users with a quick, broad spectrum about Wikipedia general and specific issues, linking answers, news and surveys. -Wikid77 (talk) 01:15, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
Purpose of essay
18-Feb-2009: The essay provides an all-things-in-moderation sampling of a range of Wikipedia issues. It acts to span the separations between various sub-factions of Wikipedia, such as WP:MOS, the WP:Help_desk, or MediaWiki update notices, in a holistic manner, while also naming some specific details of the numerous topics it scans. The essay is intended to balance concerns of new and old users, about current and future issues, linking formal and informal pages, while also balancing overview statements against indepth details about Wikipedia issues.
Large areas of Wikipedia tend to be separated and compartmentalized, to simplify the dedicated focus on a particular subset of Wikipedia issues. That separation has a negative side-effect of fractionating the total range of Wikipedia issues so that users often have trouble finding answers about the various separate areas of Wikipedia policies, help-pages, newsletters, technical specs, user surveys, etc. As a solution, this essay attempts to bridge the many areas of Wikipedia, in a careful balance of all the various issues, for new or old users, providing both a partial overview and partial details in many areas. The links to each sub-section of Wikipedia policies and departments provide a shotgun approach leading to numerous paths for users to find the answers they seek.
Naturally, due to the broad scope and evolving details, this essay will always be less than "comprehensive" about the thousands of Wikipedia project-space pages, while also giving some specific details that will become outdated in future months. Hopefully, those details can be occasionally updated as issues evolve in the future. Also, text about new large areas of Wikipedia could be added, in summary fashion, to expand the overall coverage of the essay. Again, it is an n-way balancing act for both new and old users, about current and future issues, linking formal and informal pages, while also balancing overview statements against indepth details about Wikipedia issues.
The fundamental purpose is to provide a broad spectrum of information that acts as a power-introduction, leading to a formal Wikipedia-system portal, which would be better understood by the expert users. -Wikid77 (talk) 01:15, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
The following are redirections to this essay:
Readership statistics indicate that users type "help" over 400 times per day, and the article "Help" links WP:HELP, because obviously many readers seek more than the historical definition of the word, when they type "help". Consider similar words:
The other words, combined, are used 50% more often than "help" (although it cannot be refuted that people want to simply know the origin of those words, such as "huh"). -Wikid77 (talk) 01:15, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
Shotgun approach is messy but informative
22-Feb-2009: I started this essay 5 days ago, and upon rereading it, I can't help but think, "Wow, what a hodge-podge, what a barnyard zoo of topics" are listed. I am certain that purists will come to this article, choke, and demand it be split "and merged" into neat separate articles. The typical treatment is to split everything in Wikipedia into neat little boxes & pigeonholes. However, this essay has been purposely written as the exact opposite of neat, separate topics. The essay is a shotgun approach, a multi-faceted presentation of numerous issues about Wikipedia. I feel certain that this one essay will be an eye-opener to thousands of readers: where else could people read one page and find that Wikipedia contains nearly 5.4 million articles, overseen by "1280" admins (live count ), link to the newsletter WP:Signpost, learn to code live calculations, access frequently-asked-questions, and link to programming help about if-statements in templates? A shotgun approach can be messy, but it covers a wide range of territory in one blast of information. -Wikid77 04:35, 22 February 2009 (revised 01Feb10)
Most of the page isn't actually about alerts
For instance the sections "Wikipedia screen appearance", "Help pages" and "Wikipedia size and users" aren't really (mostly) about alerts. So they should be moved to a separate page or this page needs to be renamed / split.