Wikipedia talk:WikiProject United States/Archive 6

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Archive 5 Archive 6 Archive 7

I submitted a request at ANI about this

I now feel that things have spiraled out of control and have asked for outside assistance in this matter. I wanted to let everyone know that I have submitted an ANI notice for assistane in dealing with this and to put an end to what I perceive are innapropriate policy violations being performed by Racepacket. Maybe they are perfectly acceptable, I'm not sure I will leave that to ANI to decide. --Kumioko (talk) 16:17, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

Again, please keep your notices neutral in tone. Thanks, Racepacket (talk) 17:23, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
Ditto to you bud. --Kumioko (talk) 17:24, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
His actually were, your responses to them however were not. Kumioko, as someone not involved in your dispute please take heed and calm down. It was perfectly appropriate for him to make the notices he made which were neutral in tone. Your following him around was however, compeltely inappropriate because you turned neutral notices into non-neutral ones with your comments. They also defeated the purpose of a centralized discussion. It is perfectly ok per wp:canvass to use neutral notices to invite other parties to a discussion. -DJSasso (talk) 17:43, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
You miss what triggered this entire debate. It is Racepacker that alleges that Kumioka did something wrong by inviting folks to participate in this project. As you say, "It is perfectly ok per wp:canvass to use neutral notices to invite other parties to a discussion." What guidelines or policy did the notices by Kumioko violate? Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 17:49, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
Correct, however. Mass inviting is generally considered a nono. Kumioko sent out 3000 personal invitations which is a huge nono. To quote "Do not send notices to too many users, and do not send messages to users who have asked not to receive them". Doesn't really matter what started this issue, my reading of the discussion above shows Kumioko to have violated or walked the thin line with a number of guidelines/policies above. Quite frankly its Kumioko in this discussion that is displaying rather dissapointing behaviour. -DJSasso (talk) 17:58, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
Ok I know I said I was going to try and stay out but DJSasso I need you to please clearly state so that I may understand why my actions are so much worse. I concede I have been a bit pointed in some of my responses the last couple days but its only because after 3 months of endless discussions and unrelenting hostilities by Racepacket I have grown tired and frustrated with keeping a level head while I am called a tyrant and unreasonable. Before you respond I recommend taking the time to start at the top of the discussion and read it through to get both sides rather than make a decision based on 3 statements of frustration between me and him.
In direct response to the notices question I sent it to 2457 users all with the United States Wikipedian template. As far as I know none previous to that asked not to be notified and since then, of the 180+ members, 1 has asked not to be notified. Also, BTW I get mass invites to projects all the time. I think I have one or 2 in my talk page now.--Kumioko (talk) 18:07, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
Racepacket went around saying "People from a variety of WikiProjects have had concerns about the scope of WikiProject United States and its relationship with other WikiProjects. We have created an RFC and invite all interested editors to discuss it". Kumioko went around saying "Just to clarify the misrepresentative statement left above. 4 or 5 editors (most work on the same couple projects) have voiced concern of the Scope of the project of which Racepacket is the main voice. The project has tried to work with them on adjustments to the Mission statement and defining the importance descriptions but they will not relent until WikiProject United States agrees to resitrict its scope to only include National importance articles which would require that any projects associated with WPUS be disassociated and cut lose to succeed or fail on their own." The first is a neutrally-worded notice -- the second is non-neutral, and approaches WP:NPA territory. WP:CANVASS is fairly clear on the difference between these. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 19:27, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
Saying that people from a variety of projects makes it sound like there are hundreds of them flocking from across Wikipedia in defiance. It might be neutral but its simply not true. The first notice is only neutral if you agree with Racepackets POV statements. Racepacket is clearly not only Canvassing, but also Vote stacking and campaigning for his own perspectives. --Kumioko (talk) 19:40, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

Instead of having this fight, why not talk about ways to use this project to take up slack where articles are being neglected by inactive projects? I think Kumioko is correct that this project could be used that way, but I also think that adopting an expansive definition of the scope is not the best way to go about that. Ultimately, I don't think it is terribly important whose actions actually constitute canvassing or who got upset first. I hope, instead, we can try to address the underlying issues in a constructive way. -Rrius (talk)21:35, 26 January 2011 (UTC)


Assessment discussion moved to Assessments subpage

The discussion regarding assessments has been moved to the assessments subpage here due to the size of this talk page and ongoing discussions. --Kumioko (talk) 16:10, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

A possible message for early February

Lets face it there are a lot of items on our plates at the moment relating to the project and we need more participation in them. I had planned on doing a message to the group (to those that want it at least) in early February so this seems as good a time to start as any: Below is the gist of the message I would like to send out. My intent was to only send it to those members of the project who have not opted out (currently only one has opted out) plus the portal talk page, noticeboard and Collaboration of the month talk page but if anyone thinks it should be sent to a wider audience (like the projects) feel free to speak up. It seems reasonable to invite the other projects to comments since some of these proposals were drafted because of perceptions of how they were affected by this project. In the future I think we need to design a prettier format like the signpost but for now I think this will do until the next one in March. As I mentioned above I also like the idea of a Newsletter subpage for those that want to be notified but we need to send it out to all at least once so they know it exists IMO. (deletions struck through and new material is in bold).

Happy February to you and I hope that your experience with WikiProject United States has been a good one since joining. There has been some active discussions regarding different aspects of the project that could use more feedback and I encourage you to participate.

  1. There is a motionproposal to modify the Mission and Scope of the Project.
  2. There is a proposal to clarify the criteria for determining the importance of articles as they related to the United States and its history
  3. There is a proposal to draft a communications plan and establish when and how messages are sent out and who they are sent out too.should receive them.

In addition to these proposals there are other areas which could use more help as well:

  1. Portal:United States has recently been updated and additional content is needed to continue to keep the site as fresh with new content as possible. In particular, help is needed on updating the On this day and Did you know sections as new topics are made available.
  2. The US Wikipedians Noticeboard has been restarted as a way for information to be passed and commented on.
  3. The US Wikipedians collaboration of the Month has been restarted as a way to build up articles and allow editors to help decide which one will get the focus for that month.
  4. We also need help in eliminating Unreferenced BLPs, fixing maintenance and cleanup issues on articles and various other tasks. If interested, these details can be seen by clicking on the To do tab of the Project page.

If you have any suggestions or comments for activities in the future to help build up the project or to improve articles plesae feel free to speak up on the projects talk page.

I think this will help to generate some additional interest in the discussions for those members who aren't aware since it they will have a long term effect on the project and may generate some more interest in helping out in other areas as well such as the portal and Collaboration of the month. I put the message in italics just to stand out but I didn't plan to send it that way. --Kumioko (talk) 18:23, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

Scope of WikiProject United States

The project page says, "The project generally considers any article related to the United States of America to be within its direct scope." I'm requesting clarification of this statement. I was thinking that the WikiProject would be concerned with articles about the United States itself -- its history, geography, politics, culture, and so on. But some editors add the project's banner to talk pages of articles that are about an American person, group, or work. For example, this edit added the banner to At Fillmore East, an article about a rock album. This broader interpretation of the scope of WikiProject United States would potentially result in hundreds of thousands of articles in the English Wikipedia getting the project tag. If members of this WikiProject could give their views on this question, I'd appreciate it. Mudwater (Talk) 23:18, 1 January 2011 (UTC)

Just for clarification, normally I would not add the WPUS banner to that type of article however it falls under the Library of Congress collaboration which, at least for know, falls under WPUS. Since the article does deal with US culture though its not that far out of scope IMO. To be honest though you are correct in your assessment that there will eventually be a lot of articles in the scope of the general US project but most will be associated through a subproject making them more manageable. I hope this helps to clarify. --Kumioko (talk) 23:32, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
Wikiproject tags are more of a navigation tool than anything else, anything else and folks can get a bit hot and bothered. I guess the question is what do you exactly want to do with the tags. I like cross-referencing the Assessment/importance table, so one way of proceeding is a more inclusive view (i.e tag all sorts of things which are somehow related to the US) but rate most esoteric articles of low importance. Casliber (talk · contribs) 13:41, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
Your right about its usefullness as a navigational tool as well. I guess I have been using it that was as well and didn't realize it. Also one can also see articles related to the subprojects like Superfunds, Library of Congress DC and US counties if they want to see a little bit more centralized view. That will continues as well if more projects are created or fall under WPUS. As I mentioned before its also how some of the bots (like article alertbot and the bot that tells where the BLP's are) work so if they don't fall under WPUS you have to go to each of the 200 individual projects (or at least the different ones your interested in) rather than one place. Many of the projects go inactive after a while so if we use a central one that sees all of them then if one of the other centralized ones goes quite the article is still being watched somewhere. As it is now though a lot of teh articles and items I have been tagging arent watched by anyone, meaning they don't have a banner at all. I admit that there are some under scope currently that may not need to be there but I believe that will balance out as wel continue to mature the project. I hope this helps. --Kumioko (talk) 14:59, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Hi, i just joined as a member. Would like to remedy coverage of WikiProject United States to include nation-wide historic sites articles on list-articles and perhaps individual sites of national significance. Specific places like Independence Hall in Philadelphia are usually already given WikiProject STATE or WikiProject CITY attachment. I am sure it is good to include WikiProject United States on nation-wide list-articles like List of NRHPs and List of NHLs, but am not sure about identifying individual places as meriting United States wikiproject inclusion. BTW, Kumioko, thanks for revitalizing this wikiproject! --Doncram (talk) 05:32, 5 January 2011 (UTC) 

What your saying makes sense to me too. I don't think we need to tag all of them since the NRHP project is very active but it makes sense to tag theh ones that pertain to a national level as you mention. Your welcome.--Kumioko (talk) 12:28, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
I was here to ask much the same question. I noticed a city article for a small town on my watchlist was added to this Wikiproject and wanted to clarify before I remove it. It would seem only the very largest/most influential cities (which probably need a more specific definition) would be in this wikiproject (I'm thinking New York, LA, Philly, etc.) but most would be part of their state wikiproject and the cities wikiproject. --JonRidinger (talk) 15:40, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
I am ok either way on this one but I would say it would depend on how active the other projects are as much as anything. If it was a project tag for a very active project like US roads, Wisconsin, NRHP or a few others I would agree but on the other hand if it was for Colorado or one of the less or inactive projects I would leave it. With that said, since this article is an FA I could see leaving it to maximize visibility of it and to allow visibility of how many US related high class articles we have. But some may deem that as cherry picking or a variety of other things so I would just say use your best judgement. If you feel that it doesn't fit then you can remove it but I wouldn't get into an edit war over it if someone insists other wise. I hope this helps. --Kumioko (talk) 23:05, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
OK...I wanted to see what the general scope was and if we should be adding city articles. That's why I didn't remove it right away. Perhaps later we have a more defined scope and we can remove some of the lesser-known cities and towns. Who knows. --JonRidinger (talk) 02:09, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for being understanding. --Kumioko (talk) 02:12, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
The scope of this project is absurd: probably half of all articles on Wikipedia qualify. The scope is causing articles like Unitron to be tagged. No value is gained from that tagging at all. The odds of somebody from Wikiproject United States randomly coming to fix that article are zero. All that it will do is cause an edit once in a while as a robot changes something with the project tag. It is pointless. And the scope of this project suggests that eventually hundreds of thousands of articles with be worthlessly tagged too. Jason Quinn (talk) 22:32, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
Umm first, that article had no tag so at least now it does, 2nd it falls within the US borders so technically its ok, 3rd the size of the project is irrelevent nor is it relevent how many people edit the article. If you feel that the article isn't notable then submit it for deletion on those grounds. If you think that the will be worthlessly tagged then perhaps helping out would allow that tagging to be less "worthless". If you don't like the tag replace it with a different one. Had I not tagged it you probably wouldn't have seen it either so at least the article got a couple of views today. --Kumioko (talk) 22:38, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

Out of bounds

I'm sorry, but if A Connecticut Party is a Wikiproject United States article, that is tantamount to saying that *every* article in every US state is part of the Wikiproject United States, which makes no sense -- we may as well just dissolve about 70 other wikiprojects and all work in a United States borg space ala Wikiproject Canada. Best, Markvs88 (talk) 22:10, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

If you are referring to my recent tagging then I would like to point out that I am only tagging articles with no other US tag (except the occassional one either by accident or because I feel it rates high enough on the national importance scale to have both tags). After glancing at that one I would say its by accident but its really not harming anything. Also, I don't know how active Connecticut is but there are only a few states (like Wisconsin for example) that are very active. If the state is inactive or only slightly active then they really aren't helping the article any. WPCanada really doesn't have anything to do with it other than they consolidated (which will wil never be able ot do for a variety of reasons). We might at some point have a chunk of the articles and projects but not all. Also, since we do have members of the project interested in Connecticut things then its really not that big of a deal. --Kumioko (talk) 22:24, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
Recall our prior conversation re: states being under Wikiproject US. Consider... if I started a Wikiproject Earth, then tag all Wikiproject US pages as Earth pages.... would it useful? No. Same goes for tagging most state articles as US. I consider it to be as big a deal as if CT tagged United States Constitution because it wouldn't exist without Roger Sherman coming up with the Connecticut Compromise. If tags are going to have any value at all, they have to make sense and be useful. Tagging A Connecticut Party, Waterbury, Connecticut, Stafford Motor Speedway etc is not useful and makes no sense. Now, United States Canoe Association? Sure. Best, Markvs88 (talk) 22:47, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
let me ask you this, why then do we have a WikiProject Biography with almost 900, 000 articles instead of US Biography or European Biography with a much smaller scope? I will ask the same question of you as I asked of Jason, what in your opinion do you think the scope of the project should be? Also, how would you tag an article without a banner, especially when you don't know how active the project that it might have a closer association with is? Would you tag it as WP Florida if you knew that project was inactive in the hopes that someday it would be active again or would you tag it as WPUS because that project is active and the article might actually get some visibility and some attention paid too it. --Kumioko (talk) 23:00, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
I really have no idea, but there are such things as Wikiproject Poland and Wikiproject United States(!) which tag their own people, thus serving that purpose. Absolutely! The WikiProject United States should deal with articles that bear a direct relationship with the United States on a national level. Will there be some articles that fall into both? Sure, but that would be the exception, not the rule. Yale would never be a WikiProject United States article, but Benedict Arnold (of course) would. As for tagging for "dead" projects -- what if the US project dies? Zero sum. The CT project was semi-inactive until about a year ago, now we have over a dozen active members. At the end of the day, it's about categorization, not the people in the wikiproject. Best, Markvs88 (talk) 23:51, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
Well as far as the project dying comment thats always a problem but I am not going to base decisions on what ifs. The project is currently running and I am not planning on leaving anytime soon so its not going to be a zero sum for a while. What is a zero sum issue is for the article to only haev banners for state and local projects that are inactive so the article never gets visibility. --Kumioko (talk) 15:20, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
That's great, I'm happy you're not leaving. Please do not deny others what you demand for yourself. How do banners effect visibility? In short: they don't. People look up articles to learn about the subject, not "Hey, I'll click on Wikiproject United States and read it all!". You still have not replied to my points above regarding this being a national level project nor deciding what articles should be in it. Best, Markvs88 (talk) 16:07, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
All I was trying to say was as long as I am around the project will continue forward. Sinc we have over 160 members now (that is a new and updated list as of the last week by the way) it seems like we will continue to be productive for a while to come. In general though the three following points are I beleive should be followed regarding tagging for this project. This was supported by other members of the project by the way.
  1. Tag articles as WPUS for Inactive and defunct US related projects. (as of yet we really haven't done much of this since I have been concentrating on point 2)
  2. Tag articles that do not contain one of the active projects. (There are thousands here by the way) If another US related project feels that they are more appropriate than US then by all means replace it with the banner of the applicable active project. If you know that project is inactive or orne to long lulls in activity then leave the US banner and just add the other tag in addition too.
  3. Tag articles that fall into the scope of "National interest". This is still rather vague but I was thinking Medal of Honor recipients, generals/admirals, things known from a National standpoint such as the Liberty bell, Washington manument, grand canyon and the like.
  4. Articles which are selected as the US article of the (week, month, etc). This just started back up yesterday so there isn't much here yet.
Personally I think you are reading too deep into this. Having the WPUS banner isn't a sign of ownership and it isn't trying to demote the other banners as you seem to indiciate it just allows that article to appear in this projects visibility for things like the bots (article alertbot, the bot that shows the articles needing cleanup, the articles with Unreferenced BLP,s, etc). This also makes it easier when I do my monthlyish run through looking for problems with formatting, citations, typos and the like. Additionally, as the project gets more and more mature my intent is to have more content drives and things of that nature that works with the other US related projects. We have a lot of members with a lot of different interests so its hard to say what they are going to want to edit. Maybe the White house article, maybe biographies, maybe a List of Bear attacks in North America. I personally don't care if this project has 1 million articles in it as long as we are actively working them, there is content being maintained and built up and things are getting done, who cares. BTW just for General Knowledge the general number I keep coming up with is about 400 - 450, 000 articles if I include all the states, MILHIST, American Films and TV etc. --Kumioko (talk) 16:50, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
And I'm saying the exact same thing, but am pointing out that Wikiproject United States is not an exception. As for your criteria:
  • 1) Tag articles as WPUS for Inactive and defunct US related projects I call shenanigans on this. It's a total non-starter: you're basically saying here that WikiProject United States' sphere includes any and every article on Wikipedia that is about anything "American" -- even if it's not on a national level. Unacceptable.
  • 2) Tag articles that do not contain one of the active projects. Again, shenanigans. Do you UNTAG WikiProject United States if a project becomes reactivated? No, you require the newly reactivate project to undo your tag. That's onerous. Do you actively monitor every project to see if it becomes active again? I didn't think so, or you'd have known about Connecticut. Why not do the right thing and tag an untagged article with the correct tag? That's what I do, even though I have no reason to tag for WikiProject Judaism or NorthAmNative.
  • 3) Tag articles that fall into the scope of "National interest". YES! That is what this project's scope should be, not tagging things like Shenipsit State Forest‎ which is like tagging the iPhone with Wikiproject Loom, because without the Loom there would have been no computers and (ergo) no smart phones.
  • 4) Articles which are selected as the US article of the (week, month, etc). I don't see the value in this except to add US tags to more articles it doesn't belong on. We already have wp:dyk.
Personally, I think you're not considering the ramifications of willy-nilly tagging articles. Like I said, if I tagged all WikiProject United States articles with "Wikiproject Earth" it's useless. You're doing the same thing at least some of the time when you tag articles that are not in the national interest. If you want to do drives, improve articles... GREAT! Do it in the WikiProject United States... and that doesn't include every article about something IN the United States geographical border. Best, Markvs88 (talk) 17:30, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Here are comments on a couple but aside from the fact that I think some of your examples of WPEarth and Loom are a little farfeteched all I can say is we don't agree and I believe your completely missing the point. I'm not going to continue to argue with you over this because I don't think either one of us are going to change the others minds so I guess we should just see if any other members of the project want to join.

  1. Yes if its not already tagged. If you think it should be tagged as something else then change it. But again I wouldn't suggest replacing it with the tag of a defunct or inactive project cause thats just doing the article an injustice and wasting time.
      • If the project comes back to life and wants me to I will. Since this project has only been restarted a few months ago after relatively low activity partly because they got tired of fighting about every decision because 1 of over 200 projects objected.
    • This is just silly. The WPEarth example at least had some merit, but this is just absurd.
    • Again the USCOTW has been lying dormant and we as a project are starting it back up. If we are going to do the work to get the article built up then the members of this projet (and whatever other projects participate) should count that as recognized content towards that project.

Regarding your last comment if you want to start a WikiProject National United States or a WikiProject Earth with the scopes you point out then go for it. This is Wikipedia and we typically work on a concensus basis for things here but I am not going to stop what I am doing and what has been concurred upon by other members of the project because 1 or 2 editors, who arent even members of the project, don't like it. I understand your comments and I respect your point of view. I really do, but that doesn't mean I am going to waiver in my belief that We as a project cannot do better for an article than having no tag at all or than having a tag for a project that doesn't have any activity. If it comes up for deletion, is vandalized, is an unreferenced BLP then who is going to fix it? You, I doubt it unless it falls under the projects that you participate, which is true of anyone. I don't actively patrol Connecticuts articles so I would seldom know if there was a problem on one. But I watch the Article alerts for the ones in WPUS like a hawk. If it changes, I see it. I may choose not to act on it or vote on it (mostly because I have been so busy with setting up the project, that will chnage when things stabilize), but I see and view every single one, usually on the first or second day it occurs. --Kumioko (talk) 18:23, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

If you find them farfetched, please explain how Shenipsit State Forest‎ is possibly a valid for a WikiProject United States tag. If I'm completely missing the point, I'd love to hear what that point actually is. Because so far, all I see is "because I say so". There is no logic in mis-tagging articles, since ANY editor can refresh any wikiproject at any time!
All of your replies to miss what I'm saying: you're stepping on other projects. That's wrong, and I highly suggest you read Wikipedia:WikiProject_Council/Guide#Inter-WikiProject_coordination !
WikiProject United States *should be* the "National United States" project, not some "catch all" for the United States on Wikipedia. I don't see the value in what you're saying after that -- I've been doing likewise for my projects for years as well. But! With your logic, you might as well tag every article on Wikipedia, since the US has basically drawn from or been to everywhere on Earth. Julius Caesar? WikiProject United States! Great Wall of China? WikiProject United States! That way, you can personally attend to every article to make sure it's good. Hopefully, you see that as sarcasm.
Back to my main point: you're seem to be trying to "borg" WikiProject United States into a "parent project", just as was discussed in the A consideration for cross project consolidation of talk page templates now in your archive #5. In you really think that Wikiproject Earth makes sense, then I'm a little worried because you're missing the whole point of what Wikiprojects are about -- having a focus! Best, Markvs88 (talk) 19:27, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
Well first on the article you point out I didn't add the tag. The tag was added by soneone else back on August of 2009 I just updated the assessment and importance. Also I am not stepping on other projects. All the projects are independent so any project is free to place their banner on an article. If Connecticut and US are on the same article so what it doesn't mean anything other than they both want to look out for the articles interest. Also to be blunt it doesn't matter if you see the value or not, there is value. Also to clarify your points about tagging articles in other places like the great wall of China. Again thats silly these are completely unrelated to the United States. Although I would say that US embassys and Bases abroad as well as possibly certain things like (and this is really a stretch) the Panama Canal since the US had direct control over it. Also to clarify an already dead issue the point of the discussion that a lot of editors misread in the A consideration for cross project consolidation of talk page templates discussion was just to share the template rather than have 200 templates out there so articles like Barrack Obama wouldn't look like such a mess of banners. Thats it, knowone was trying to take over, no one was trying to step on or abuse the other projects but some users felt completely offended by the audicity that someone thought that using 1 template was possibly better than one...seperate but equal is the way too go I guess. --Kumioko (talk) 19:46, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
I also want to suggest that if you do not like the fact that I am adding untagged US related articles to the Scope of WPUS then go through and tag them first to the project you feel they should go into (preferrably one thats active) so when I go trolling through looking for unbannered projects there won't be any. --Kumioko (talk) 19:48, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
It doesn't matter who tags them, it matters what they're tagged with. When you say that you're tagging articles as WikiProject United States instead of (say) WikiProject Nebraska just because there aren't any active Wikipedians in that project, that's the definition of "stepping on". You may also want to consider this: when I started tagging Connecticut articles, we had 1500. Over a year later, we're about 7,200. About half of these were not found by clicking on links from other articles or going through categories, they were by searching. So if you tag for only WikiProject United States, how would the project in question ever find the article? Answer: the hard way.
Shenipsit State Forest‎ is also unrelated to the national interests of WikiProject United States, as are quite a few other articles. Thus you can hardly say the example of tagging the Great Wall of China is silly. Actually, as US Embassies are US territory, a WikiProject United States would make sense. The Panama Canal would likewise be unobjectionable.
While I relish the idea of having something extra to do, it's really pointless... if it is not you, then it may be someone else. All that I'm asking for can be summed up thusly:

"Tag articles with the projects they should belong in. It doesn't matter if the project is dead or not." If you want to co-tag, hey, that's fine BUT! I really believe that WikiProject United States should be the nationally focused project and not be in the business of trying to police any and every article that could possibly be "American". It really, really does smack of attempting ownership. Best, Markvs88 (talk) 20:58, 14 January 2011 (UTC)


Concur with Markvs88. The scope of this project doesn't even mentioned subprojects. It's as if they don't exist. Operationally, it seems like some are also tagging articles with the intention that they will be sub-projected in the future. This is something that I do not think should be done... ever. Articles should be tagged with projects only when the projects are directly relevant. Otherwise it leads to strange classifications and really dilutes the purpose of Wikiprojects in general. Jason Quinn (talk) 22:44, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
Well first there are only 4 projects that I would consider as "subprojects" and they are at the top of the main page. Even then they aren't really subprojects of US so much as they are all using the WPUS template. Although that 200+ US related projects may be geographically related to US, they are all independent projects operating under their own steam and completely autonomous of WPUS (othe than the 4 previously mentioned). In fact your comments and defensiveness only futher impresses upon me the fact that the projects are separate. As far as the comment about the projection of subprojects that isn't being done and I agree that we shouldn't do that either. If a project wishes to fall under WPUS in some way then the articles can be tagged or if we create a new project and it has articles that fall under the scope of a another US project then so be it. Since you seem to haev some strong opinions on the matter what in your opinion should the scope of this project be? --Kumioko (talk) 22:54, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

I think that people should step back, take a deep breath, and think about Wikipedia's goal of building an encyclopedia. I think that overlap between WikiProjects seems to generate more heat than productivity, and people are volunteers here. The idea of a 58,000 article WikiProject strikes me as unmanageable. As a practical matter WikiProjects are a way for people who are working on similar articles to get to know each other and cooperate. In that sense, a WikiProject with ten members is more useful than a WikiProject with 500. Perhaps WikiProject United States would be better off tagging 300 articles that deal with national items (e.g. United States) and then get a group of ten members who are volunteering to focus and follow those 300 articles, and let everyone else alone. This includes not tagging their articles and not jumping in seeking a supervisory capacity on how those WikiProjects cover U.S. related aspects. (e.g., US Highways or US Sports) Racepacket (talk) 11:05, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

Another problem area is article assessment. From a national perspective, 57,000 articles should have a "low" importance, but from the perspective of individual topic areas, some of those should be ranked "high" or "top" importance. Since bot are being used to tag articles, once these 57,000 articles are assigned a "low" importance by this WikiProject, they are apt to inherit that assessment into other project banners, rather than starting off with an unassigned importance. This will have the effect of discouraging those other WikiProjects from working on US-related articles vis a vis articles in the same subject area that relate to places outside the US. Racepacket (talk) 11:32, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

That "problem" is one that unfortunately comes as the result of laziness. We should not laxidaze our standards for the lazy few who don't examine an article before tagging the importance. I only copy the class when I'm tagging; never the importance.
Second, those 300 articles strike a balance between the Top (53) and High (722) importance articles of the US wikiproject. Those are the articles that are primarily handled by that wikiproject. The remainder are almost always tagged by a more geospecific project that can handle those niche articles that are too focussed from a nation-wide perspective. What you are proposing is a complete overhaul of the project and categorization system, and this is hardly the place for such discussion. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 21:33, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
You are correct. Wider notice of the discussion is required, and I have started an RFC about the scope of the WikiProject below. Racepacket (talk) 18:40, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
  • I generally believe that this project should be broad in scope. I think that this project should deal with people, places, events, and things that have contributed to the history, government, geography, economy, culture or society of the United States. I am perfectly fine with the having several thousand articles. However, I do think we have gone somewhat too far, and tagged (or kept tags) on things that shouldn't have been tagged, because they are too tangential or too localized. We should be a broad, viable project, but not one that swallows ships whole (if for no other reason than we can't manage a project that has hundreds of thousands of articles) Purplebackpack89 19:17, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
I believe I agree with what you are saying here. right now we only have about 26000 not counting non-article items so I don't think we are anywhere near the unmanageable point yet. By my numbers even if we tagged the articles already in the scope of the other US topics we would peak at about 400, 000 (and I am not saying we should do that). In most cases that I have seen the scope of the project has been taken far out of context. For one example several users have made comments about this project being too big but after review most are already members of much larger ones (California, National Register of Historic places, MILHIST and Biography) to name a few are all at least 10, 000 articles larger than this one. For another example I recently tagged 3 articles (I-5, I-95, and Route 66) that I felt were in even the most modest sense in the national scope. These were in the scope of US roads and I got reverted for 2 (I-5 and I-95) shortly after because they felt these were out of the national scope. I believe this is going to be the case by several of the active projects who, IMO, already show too much ownership of the articles and can be extremely confrontational towards anything or anyone they consider to be opposition. It won't matter what others feel is or is not in the national scope, the definition itself of national will become subjective and an issue of ongoing debates. --Kumioko (talk) 21:21, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

correction

The deletion of one phrase in the "Modest" proposal was accidental use of cut instead of copy. Thank you for fixing it. I had not noticed it. Racepacket (talk) 18:28, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

This [[1]] is the edit in question. Your explanation does not seem to hold water. You did paste the phrase elsewhere in the edit -- you would not have been able to do this if you had already deleted it. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 18:41, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
Exactly my point. I highlighted the text I needed in the proposal itself. I then accidentally hit cut instead of copy when making the edit, then hit paste as intended and did not notice the mistake (because I only proofread the new text) until you pointed it out. WP:AGF. I wanted to use your exact words. Racepacket (talk) 13:40, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
Racepacket's explanation is the only one that makes sense. Even if one cannot AGF, there is no credible explanation for such clumsy sabotage. I think that this is one subject that can be closed. I suggest that consensus would be best demonstrated by never mentioning it again and archiving this section after a few days.--Hjal (talk) 06:28, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

I am leaving the project

Due to obvious tensions I have removed my name from the member list and I will no longer be commenting on the talk page about any of this nonsense anymore. I tried to restart this project to do some good, get folks working together and build content but all some editors want to do is fight about scope and who wons what articles. I hope the project continues to grow and flourish and I wish everyone the best. --Kumioko (talk) 19:51, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

Hey I hope you change your mind. Wikipedia is almost built to drive people into quarrels about all kinds of subjects. And we're not always going to get our way -- I've had entire articles deleted. It's almost impossible not to get abrasive at time, or run into abrasive people. But the fussing is a part of the process IMO -- while it can be difficult for us as individuals, the encyclopedia overall benefits. Your voice and input are needed so I hope you rethink your decision. It was good that you revived this project -- thank you. Our fussing battles were captured nicely by this reconstruction here--Tomwsulcer (talk) 19:59, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
Agree with Tomwsulcer that Kumioko should rethink hes leaving. @Kumioko your work here in revitalizing the project has been substantial and is something that would be greatly missed. Please dont be discouraged if all the changes that you wish to implement dont always workout. I would assume that most would agree that the majority of what you have done to the project has been extremely positive and well executed. It could be that there has been so many changes here that some are getting overwhelmed with all the proposals and recent changes to the project. Moxy (talk) 20:16, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
Thanks I may come back later but the project is up and running with members like yourself who seem willing to take care of it. Don't get me wrong I don't mind being wrong or if things change. But when 1 or 2 editors manage to convince others of things that are not true and I start turning into the enemy of the project then its time for me to move on. We are all volunteers here and I have enough stress in my daily life to have to put up with more here. I enjoy editing and I want that to continue. I hope that continues but in the end I did part of what I came here to do which was to get the project up and running again. Its unfortunate I felt compelled to leave under these terms (and a couple other editors were driven away as well) and I had a lot more that I wanted to do (I never even got a good content drive going like I planned) but thats life. Good luck. PS I also do not plan to edit the Portal, Noticeboard or Collaboration of the month (although I may edit the articles themselves) so I hope that someone will continue to grow these. --Kumioko (talk) 20:22, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
I left too.[2] I'm not going to watch/be part of a project that cares more about the wording on its main page and who gets what importance rating than actually improving the articles in its scope. Whoever decided to make this a dramafest needs to look at themselves and wonder what is really important here. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 01:38, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
Part of the reason why I left too. This type of drawn out debate is not why I restarted the project. And I admit I am largely to blame. I probably should have just ignored most of the comments rather than continue to feed the fire. Hopefully now that I am not the front man the project can get down to business. I as sorry to see you go though and hope you reconsider. --Kumioko (talk) 01:46, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
Kumiko, I hope you change your mind. We need your vitality and dedication. Anyone in any kind of leadership position gets criticized. Goes with the territory, sad but true. I am only staying in hopes of your return. Sincerely, DocOfSoc (talk) 02:00, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
Kumioko, I agree with DocOfSoc and ed17, You're a leader and Wikipedia needs quality people like you. Hope you reconsider.--Tomwsulcer (talk) 13:31, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
Kumioko has made a wise decision, and we should all thank him for his contributions, wish him well, and move on with the business at hand. Racepacket (talk) 17:10, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
Racepacket I do not need your sarcastic comments. Let me be clear that I believe we should both walk away. If I made such a wise decision as you put it then I suggest that you follow my lead and do so as well and let the project decide on what path to follow without intervention from either of us. I left the project mostly because of your continuous fillibustering of the discussion page and your actions in repeatedly misrepresenting and misstating to others what was said and I had hoped by doing so this would end. I felt that our continuous "discussions" were distracting the project from important work. If you feel compelled to continue to involve yourself despite this it may compel me to return sooner than later. So the decision is up to you, do the right thing and let the project hash out what will be their goals or continue to meddle in a project that you don't want, don't like or don't want to be a part of. I believe that since I am not going to be actively involved in WPUS for a while I may turn my attention to DC, Virginia and Maryland need help and they have a lot of work too do with specific scope and missions. Perhaps working on one or 2 of those might be more to your interest. --Kumioko (talk) 17:26, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
Please do not read any sarcasim into my thanks and warm wishes. Your contributions at DC, Virginia and Maryland are needed and welcomed. Racepacket (talk) 18:23, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

Please let's not archive active threads. Thanks, Racepacket (talk) 16:54, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

This was not an active thread and there is no need to keep it here. Thanks to you this talk page has reached monstrous size and was over 250K. We moved this topics into archive because they are done and we needed the space. Adding them back returned this talk page to 183K and makes it so that many editors cannot load the page due to its size not to mention that it fills the talk page making it harder to see the discussions. Or maybe thats the point.I don't know. But its innapropriate for you or anyone else not a member of the project, to reorganize large chunks of content. --Kumioko (talk) 17:22, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
What "large chucks of content" was deleted? Racepacket (talk) 17:46, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
I apologize, you are correct I didn't mean delete I meant reorganize. There are so many differing discussions I am getting them mixed up. My point though was that if members of the project remove dormant discussions so that the ongoing discussions were clearer and the page was smaller allowing editors with slower connections to access it. You shouldn't restore it. There is nothing in this discussion that warrants continued discussion so it was archived. --Kumioko (talk) 18:42, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

A few project tasks that will need to be done

Since I won't be working with the project I wanted to lay out a few things that I was doing to keep things running somewhat smoothly. I hoep that someone will look after these.

  1. The On This Day section of the portal needs to be updated as does the DYK section.
  2. Someone should keep an eye out for the Requests for assessment as I mentioned before
  3. Take a look at the New articles and see if any need to be added to the project. You can see these on the To do tab.
  4. Watch for the updates in the Article alert bot postings on the main page. I didn't always respond to everyone but I did look at them and someone else might also.
  5. Watch the members page for updates. I usually tried to greet any new members with a quick welcome to the project. Somone may want to do that as well.
  6. I also watched for articles with Unknown importance and tried to keep that at zero. It can get out of control quickly but if you stay on top of it its not bad.

If I think of anything else I will add it. --Kumioko (talk) 02:55, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

It would be a good idea for one or more editors to specifically undertake each of these tasks. Perhaps they could list their user names after the item on the list to indicate their interest. Racepacket (talk) 05:50, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

I concur. In light of the fact hat before I was compelled to leave the project in an attempt to quell the discussions and stop the fillibustering tactics of Racepacket. Since that user seems intent on whittleing away at the project so that only the shell remains and the project is incapable of any sort of real work I am going to stay until this users campaign against this project ceases. --Kumioko (talk) 12:13, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
WElcome back! Yaaaay! DocOfSoc (talk) 13
06, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
Thank you. Partly based on all the supportive comments and partially since Racepacket has stepped up their fillibuster of the discussion and have even gone so far as to try and force implementation of a policy that hasn't reached any kind of consensus I felt compelled to return. I hate to be one of those guys that says I am going to leave and then 2 days later comes back but I left in the hopes that the other user would leave as well and since that obviously hasn't happened and because I feel strongly that this project is needed and will be a posistive influence on the encyclopedia I felt it was needed. --Kumioko (talk) 14:02, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
In response to this, the nice thing about WikiProjects is that they don't have defined memberships or any elected leaders. People can come and go at any time and do not need permission from me or anyone else to participate. User:Kumioko is certainly free to participate in the ongoing centralized request for comment (above) on the scope of this WikiProject. We will all judge all ideas on their own merits regardless of who advocates them. The goal has never been to "make Kumioko go away" or "make RacePacket go away." It is to discuss and work out how all of the WikiProjects can work together to improve articles. We can all work to keep our comments brief, civil, and to the point at hand. Thanks, Racepacket (talk) 14:09, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
The bottom line is I am trying to do whats best for WP and WPUS not whats best for you and I. Yu have chosen to make this a personal quest to stop WPUS from doing anything meaningful and so I feel compelled to defend myself and the project. --Kumioko (talk) 14:24, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
The phrase "defend myself and the project" is a bit troubling. Why do you feel that the project is "under attack?" We are discussing strategy and tactics for all WikiProjects going forward together. Would it help if we brought in a mediator to facilitate the discussion and make you feel less on the defensive? Racepacket (talk) 14:30, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
I don't have a problem with a mediator however I didn't think we were discussing other proejcts here. Unless I missed something to define what the other proejcts are doing is part of you problem with this project thus far so for us to be "discussing strategy and tactics for all WikiProjects" is quite confusing and IMO this is not the place for such a discussion. We are discussing what this project is going to do so I suggest we focus back on that topic and quite distracting the reader with sidebars. --Kumioko (talk) 14:39, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
Please allow me to rephrase, would you feel more comfortable if instead of my trying to bring the RFC toward consensus, we brought in a mediator to try to lead the discussion of the various issues in the ongoing RFC? Racepacket (talk) 15:05, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
If you think a mediator is needed before you will accept that the project is going to agree on what the project wants to do and not what Raccepacket wants the project to do then thats perfectly fine by me but it really seems like we are getting close to an agreement so I'm not sure if they are needed. BTW I also don't feel like I need to ask your permission to state my views as you would suggest in your edit summery. Since you are not a member of this project saying something like "I am willing to hear your views" could be taken the wrong way. --Kumioko (talk) 15:28, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
I would like to see "all Wikiprojects going forward together" rather than having aggression and tension. I find it interesting that you failed to quote "going foreard together." You have said you are ok with a mediator in the last two comments above, but you subsequently contracdicted that in your later comments two sections below. I hope that a mediator would keep things on track. Racepacket (talk) 05:16, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
What does "All WikiProject going forward together" mean? If anything at all. I firmly believe at this point unless the outcome is what you want I doubt the best mediator is going to stop this fillibuster of yours. We have garnered consensus and you didn't like it and scattered discussions to three different locations, we have pointed to policy that states we can set our own goals and you choose not to recognize it, you misquote comments and innapropriately change comments (you seem to be the only one that believes it was an accident), etc. Unless the mediator is here to help us explain to you that the consensus has been made and the project scope and mission has been defined then I don't know what you mean to accomplish except to drag this out further and continue to waste everyones time. --Kumioko (talk) 05:32, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I am taking your question at face value and assume your good faith in asking it. "going forward together" means being considerate of the views of others and not trying to steam roll over them in the name of "uniformity" and "central control." We don't need a centralized project banner, we don't need the phrase "to unify ... United States related articles on Wikipedia" in the mission statement. We need to establish a transparent communications policy with an opt-in or opt-out mechanism. We need to create an atmosphere of respectful discussion, without rankor or personal attacks. The goal should be to make things better, not to be the last man standing after driving everyone else away. Thanks, Racepacket (talk) 15:32, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

In the comment two paragraphs above, User:Kumioko raises two points that are really improper personal attacks. First, he says "misquote comments and innapropriately change comments (you seem to be the only one that believes it was an accident), etc." People will recognize any cheap effort to political points over a simple accident (which was quickly repaired) as a symptom of a lack of judgment and collaboration skills. I left an explanation yesterday, everyone has accepted and understands it, and now raising it every day is appears to be an act of WikiBullying. Second, the claim of "fillibuster" is ironic. Anyone who prints out this talk page and its archive since November 30 when I left my first comments would show that User:Kumioko has left more than ten time the amount of text than have I. Walls of text and lack of concisesness is a serious problem on this talk page, but I am not its source. Let's respond to comments with clear counter arguments rather than efforts to change the subject or to put the reader to sleep. I am pointing these out not as an attack of any individual, but rather with the hope that once everyone recognizes these improper tactics, they will not be used to harm our discussions going forward. Racepacket (talk) 15:51, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

Thats kinda what I thought. You keep dwelling on the illusion that we are trying to take over...let it go. Knowone is trying to do that and perception that it is the case is misplaced. The central banner issue came about because I mistakenly thought having one one US related banner on an article rather than 10 or 20 would be an improvement but it was taken out of context as a hostile takeover. That issue has been dropped so your just beating a dead horse.

In regards to the personal attacks comment. If that makes you feel better about what you are doing then fine. But it is not true and is not the case and if your interpretation of my comments constitute personal attacks then you are guilty of the same thing. Additionally they are only "attacks" if the statements are not true which in this case your actions over the past month prove they are. Regardless you need to drop your campaigning, politicing and fillibustering. --Kumioko (talk) 17:23, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

Cool thing to check out

Look what they've got on the Wikiprojects Canada:

Wondering if we can get one of these for the Wikiproject US? My choices instead of beer, maple syrup, etc: hamburger, Hollywood, apple pie, WikiProject US. --Tomwsulcer (talk) 21:41, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

There's a user named User talk:Master of Puppets who knows how to do this. May I ask him/her to make one for Wikiproject US? I'll assume yes unless anybody objects.--Tomwsulcer (talk) 01:57, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
Thats cool with me. --Kumioko (talk) 02:00, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
I find it a bit over the line and counterproductive. If you had such a banner template, where would it be placed? Racepacket (talk) 05:29, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
They're placed on user pages-- you can set the template to generate a random ad for any WikiProject that has one, or you can set a particular one if you want to encourage people to join your project. They only appear in the Userspace, most definitely not in the mainspace. Nomader (Talk) 05:47, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

Portal peer review: United States

Any feedback on how best to move this portal back to featured status will be greatly appreciated. Regards, RichardF (talk) 22:26, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

Request for Mediation

Just FYI I noticed that Racepacket submitted a request to another forum with this Mediation request regarding the various discussions here. --Kumioko (talk) 05:49, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

You'd have thought he would have directly notified somebody. In any event, I see no need for mediation. We reached consensus on the proposed change in the paragraph and every other issue seems to be a one person crusade. He has also filed at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents where he makes the incredible claim that "We are getting closer to resolution, and have agreed to seek mediation."
Has anybody participating in these discussions agreed to request mediation? Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 12:45, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

I was just about to do so. Yes, I have been discussing it with Kumioko, and I read his response as agreement before I drafted and filed the request. If you would prefer to have me continue to perform the "propose, listen, discuss, propose" role rather than someone else, I can withdraw the request. Racepacket (talk) 13:07, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

Well in truth I don't think its needed either and I believe when it was brought up I made a statement something to the effect of "if you feel that it would help this to stop" although I can't remember at the moment where it was. In honestly my reply was being somewhat sarcastic and I personally believe that it is just another example of you Forum shipping and Campaigning but I will let others decide that for themselves. I have already mentioned it at ANI with no result so I doubt anything further will come of it. That doesn't mean I agree with it though. Oh there it is. My comment is 2 sections up from this one. --Kumioko (talk) 14:42, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

Please explain your position. Are you willing to have a third party mediator try to focus the discussion, or are you ready to sit down and work through the issues directly? Racepacket (talk) 21:33, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

So you think posing loaded questions is the way to go? Here is what you claimed would be the ideal outcome of mediation:
The outcome would be a statement of mission and scope on the Project page, a subscription list/subscribe/unsubscribe that is operated in a transparent fashion.
In fact, we do have "a statement of mission and scope on the Project page" which has been approved by a clear consensus. No further work required.
As far as the subscription list, the discussion under "Proposal for communication policy" is about as focused as you can get. You want a formal, written, bureaucratic policy with sanctions for non-compliance -- everyone else recognizes that at this stage of the Project the best course is to allow the informal, common sense approach that has already been initiated to continue.
Time to move on. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 00:30, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

As noted above, steamrolling past the suggestions and comments of a number of editors and incorporating only the changes posted by your buddy is not the way to achieve consensus. We could have probably had this resolved on Saturday morning if you would just stop and discuss instead of claiming consensus and launching an edit war. Even Kumioko agrees that two of the changes are appropriate. Racepacket (talk) 03:06, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

The only steamrolling attempted was done by you with this [[3]] edit. Despite the fact that there was multiple support for my proposal and none for yours, you wrote concerning your proposal, "If there are no further comments by Friday night, I will post these changes to the Project page." All I did was take your deadline and apply it to the proposal that people actually supported.
The result of YOUR DEADLINE was that three people expressed disapproval of your proposal and an additional person expressed approval of mine. Your steamroller crashed and it is now time to move on. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 13:20, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
Yes 2 very minor changes that I just implemented in a very very bold move. Anyone, feel free to revert if you do not agree with the change I just made. I felt comfortable enough about making even without a long drawn out discussion. As for the scope issues however. No. --Kumioko (talk) 03:23, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
No problem. I agree that your changes are minor and everyone understands what the important points of the language are -- a broad scope with a narrower focus. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 13:22, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

Lake Erie revamp

Tentative draft is here. I appreciate feedback, comments, suggestions.--Tomwsulcer (talk) 02:12, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

Have you thought about WikiProject Ohio, WikiProject Canada/Ontario and WikiProject Lakes? Racepacket (talk) 05:07, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
Under normal circumstances this would be a great suggestion but it just seems like trying to poach members to weaken the project. Is this your newest tactic in trying to bring down the project? --Kumioko (talk) 05:35, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
Hey will you two quit yer fussin? The rest of us are going to think you're in love or something. I posted requests for feedback on those wikiprojects and don't worry Wikiproject United States is the only one I work on since it's so much fun watching you two people bicker. And, ABOUT THE REVAMP -- remember -- encyclopedia -- what we're supposed to focus on --- hmmm? -- does anybody have a great picture of cute women playing beach volleyball on a Lake Erie beach, splayed on the sand, looking lovely? It would help the article immensely if I could find such pictures.--Tomwsulcer (talk) 06:22, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for checking with the other projects, and feel free to ignore the WikiBullying. - Racepacket (talk) 13:14, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

I must say I am amazed by the bickering, but back to the lake - great work Tom on buffing it. Most non-controversial articles are pretty quiet really, so I think a sandbox unncessarily complicates things sometimes and alot of work can be just done on the article itself. Casliber (talk · contribs) 01:55, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution is new collaboration for february

FYI...so those who know how to improve it go for it. I am happy to monitor for formatting and stuff, but am not familiar with it really. Casliber (talk · contribs) 01:57, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

Yeah that's awesome. Its also great that the other articles are getting worked on too. --Kumioko (talk) 02:00, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

Mission statement for WikiProject United States

Whether the scope of WikiProject United States and its relationship other WikiProjects should be clarified. Racepacket (talk) 19:00, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

The first paragraph on the project page is a mission statement. Based on the discussions above, I would propose to amend it as follows (new material in bold, deleted material struck out):

Welcome to the United States WikiProject on the English Wikipedia! We are a group dedicated to improving Wikipedia's coverage of national-level topics related to the United States, that are not otherwise covered by another WikiProject. This project was formed to unify and coordinate all things USA nation-wide articles on Wikipedia and help to maintain The USA Portal. Some project goals are to help list and categorize USA related articles, develop quality standards for articles and build templates that help users browse the dozens of articles that would fall under the this project's watch. This project will also provide a place for U.S. Wikipedians and other editors is not a substitute for subject-specific WikiProjects or state-specific WikiProjects as a place to share information and resources. Here editors can ask for help with certain articles and bring otherwise overseen articles and problems to the attention of other editors.

As stated in many threads above, there is a concern that there is a great potential overlap between ongoing state-specific WikiProjects and subject-matter WikiProjects and this WikiProject. The currently phrased mission statement does not help matters. The above proposed change would convey that people should consult their state or subject matter WikiProjects first. This project should only address articles such as United States or History of the United States. I am putting this change forward as one possible formulation and look forward to the views of others. Thanks, Racepacket (talk) 13:25, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

See my comments below. The proposed language would eliminate the possibility of "topics being in this project and others".Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 16:29, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose Although I agree that some change in the verbiage of the mission statement and the scope is probably neeeded I disagree with the change above.
    • First and foremost. Although I want to encourage anyone to edit US related articles and comment on them and the project I find it inappropriate for 2 editors who are not, as far as I can tell a member of the project to start a poll to change a projects Mission or scope. This is against the very spirit and intent of having a project with members in it.
      • I am trying to get consensus before editing the project page here. I am active in a number of WikiProjects and don't need a membership card to either propose or edit. Nor do I believe that every member of every state WikiProject should be required to join WikiProject United States just to forestall this project (or more accurately its leaders) pushing through changes that they might not find acceptable. Racepacket (talk) 18:36, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Here are some reasons I do not agree with this from an article/project standpoint:
    • There seems to be a misguided assumption that the state or subject level projects are active and asking a question would do any good. I personally have left multiple comments on all of the 200+ US related WikiProjects (See here for a list of them) and very few have been returned. Whats more many of these projects have zero to little activity on the talk pages, on the projects pages or their subpages. Many are tagged with Semi-active or inactive. They are for lack of a better word, useless as a project or a place to ask questions. Granted that there are some very active ones like US roads, Connecticut and Wisconsin...But there are many more that are not.
    • Based on the comments I have received previously I have not been tagging very many articles that had a lower level US tag (state, city or subjective) with the WPUS banner. I have mostly been concentrating on tagging articles that did fall into the WPUS national scope, the scope of one of the 4 projects that has decided to use the WPUS banner template (It should not be said that they are subjected to WPUS rule however) or articles that had no tag that related to another US project. So with few exceptions if I have tagged an article that related to say connecticut it was probably done previous to the last couple months, related to one of the 4 associated projects or more likely did not have a tag. For the first three it could be argued for the last I have no sympathy. If the project failed to that the article and we beat them too it then that's sad but life. Add your tag and everybody wins.
    • If we were to follow the mission and scope change you suggest it would require that we remove the US counties and District of Columbia Subprojects and probably the other 2 as well since they would now be outside scope. It would also indicate that we could not and would not allow any of the other inactive projects or semi-active projects to associate with WPUS. This is completely absurd and would be a huge mistake. Aside from tagging articles in the National interest I restarted this project to support US related articles that were not being taken care of by the other US projects. Whether that meant that the projects were defunct, inactive or semiactive or it was a matter of that article not being tagged or not falling in the scope of another one did not and does not matter too me. It only matters that the article is being taken care of. Thats it. Just having a couple of members and throwing a project tag on an article doesn't mean that its useful unless you are actually organizing and establishing a way of improving the articles.
    • There is no harm in having multiple tags on the talk page of an article nor is it bad if more than one project takes an active interest in supporting the article. The more active projects that support an article the better. We are all trying to make the articles better. We shouldn't be working against each other with attitudes of this is my article, stay away. --Kumioko (talk) 15:33, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
Nota bene: I still have your invitation to join this project in my talk archive. Do you really think that's an issue? Secondly, you never replied to my points above (aside from using words like "absurd", so I'm not going to reply to yours here until you do so. Best, Markvs88 (talk) 15:43, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
Your right I sent you an invite, as I did to about 3000 other US related editors. I still encourage you to join and participate in whatever areas of the project tickle your fancy. The portal or US Wikipedians collaboration perhaps? I honestly thought I did reply to your comments above but let me check again. --Kumioko (talk) 15:53, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
I read back through and I don't see where I didn't reply to your comments. Can you throw me a bone and give me the last sentance or so of the comment in question I am missing. --Kumioko (talk) 16:07, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
Kumioko,
  • If you did send out 3000 invitations, you shouldn't be surprised if people look in to see what it's all about, then!
  • Search this page for "Markvs88 (talk) 20:58, 14 January 2011 (UTC)" and you'll find it.
Best, Markvs88 (talk) 00:41, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
OK thanks. Actually I did respond to that a bit below that but Ill say it again. It does, absolutely and without reservation matter if I tag an article with a WikiProject banner if that project is dead. Think of it like this. Would you go to an auto mechanic and park your car in front of the building if you know that its closed in the hopes that someday, at some point in the future someone might see it and do something with it? No! Its the same thing here. If the project is inactive then there is little point in parking an Inactive project banner on an article in the hopes that someday someone might see it and do something with it. The point of adding a WikiProject banner is not to advertise that state or topic and its not simply to add the banner for the sake of having one. The point is (among other things) to add the banner so that it can be maintained and built up by the project that tagged it. As was mentioned by other editors, the higher importance articles will likely take precedence but that doesn't mean the lower class articles will be forgetten. I for one frequently make changes (sometimes small, sometimes large) to articles of all classes and importance. --Kumioko (talk) 01:26, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I agree with Kumioka's arguments, but one point needs to be made. The proposed language says, "We are a group dedicated to improving Wikipedia's coverage of national-level topics related to the United States, that are not otherwise covered by another WikiProject. Right off the bat this policy would require us to eliminate from this Project's scope both United States and History of the United States because both have been placed under other projects.
I fail to see the harm in multiple coverage. It certainly is NOT against Wikipedia policy since multiple coverage seems to be the rule rather than the exception. Isn't more people reviewing an article a good thing rather than a bad thing?
It also seems that this discussion is way too premature. An effort is being made to resurrect a dormant project. If abuses occur -- abuse defined as reducing the quality of an article because of this project's intervention -- then it might be appropriate to reopen this discussion. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 16:26, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment — Depending on the number of members and the level of activity, it seems to me that any WikiProject would want to concentrate on a few thousand articles, not hundreds of thousands of articles. Since the English Wikipedia has hundreds of thousands of articles about subjects that somehow relate to the United States, I think it would make more sense if WikiProject United States concentrated on national level subjects, as somewhat loosely defined. I agree that some of these articles would also be covered by other WikiProjects and that it's perfectly fine, or often beneficial, for them to be tagged with multiple project banners. I'm not generally active in this WikiProject, and I don't have a super strong opinion on the subject, but I don't see the point of putting the WikiProject United States banner on articles like the one I mentioned in another section, At Fillmore East, which is about a rock album. Mudwater (Talk) 18:25, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment - I am open to alternative formulations, but we must dial back from "all things USA" and "all US related articles, topics..." Racepacket (talk) 18:41, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment - The set up of the inherit categorization system means that even articles tagged as part of a state project, but not this national project, show up as part of WikiProject United States. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 19:05, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment - I think this complicates things. Exclusivity can be applied in all sorts of ways. Bald Eagle was part of some other project (wikipjoject birds), so does that mean it doesn't apply to it? Inclusive is better. Also, the project has a broad scope and it really depends on what happens over the next few months. We have 'top/high' importance tags in assessment boxes to help us prioritise bigger fish to tackle. Casliber (talk · contribs) 19:19, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
I just want to clarify that, although the hundreds of US related WikiProjects are Geographically or topically "related" to United States they are all, for the most part separate and autonomous. There are a few that fall under another (such as the US Roads) but the majority have no relationship to one another and in fact are quite vocal in some cases stating as such. Even the 4 that fall under WPUS currently do so more for convenience (since they were basically inactive) and to ensure the articles are visible and being worked on by Someone. They are, in most respects, free and autonomous projects free to manage and function as they please. The concern I have with this proposed "rescoping" is that thousands or tens of thousands of articles will be left unattend or assigned to an inactive wikiproject which is worse.
As for the number of members we currently have 160 and growing. We also employ several bots to automate tasks with currently more pending approval. IMO having a lot articles associated to the project isn't that big of a problem and in fact, in most respects makes things easier. For example, we now only have to look at one place to see Article alerts, Most popular articles, articles needing cleanup, etc.
To say We must dial back is a bit of a misrepresentation since the ones proposing this change are not members of the project. This should actually, IMO, read YOU need to dial back YOUR project.
I also believe this sets a bad precendent. Do we next start restricting WikiProject Biography to WikiProject X Biographies because its too big to manage with 800, 000+ biographies and growing? Or separating WikiProject Military History because it has 150, 000+ articles and is "too big"? --Kumioko (talk) 19:34, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
Clarifying the scope will server to clarify what tasks the bots will perform that may adversely affect the other WikiProjects. I think that the project banner is frequently used to identify the target of bot actions is one of the main sources of concern. The other being the idea that discussions conducted here, which most people who actively edit and develop US-related content, do not have the time or desire to follow. The intent of the proposal is that this project address only nation-wide articles. (For example, this includes United States but excludes Virginia and Ohio.) In response to your argument that there are states without active Wikiprojects, I added in the idea that the WikiProject would pick up states where there is no active WikiProject. However, the proposal would dial back on the universal scope of this project and specifically curtail its mission as being secondary when there is overlap with other active Wikiprojects. Editors who have been happy collaborating on a state-level should be allowed to do so without interference from or need to consult with you. Third parties, such as the gentleman from the Bureau of Labor Statistics who has a proposal to have a bot generate state-specific content direct from a government data base, should be directed to the Village Pump for broad discussion, instead of being encouraged to discuss the matter here. A fundamental question is whether we are better allocating our limited volunteer resources to work on a state-by-state basis or to redirect them by sending out 3000 invitations suggesting that they put their efforts here on a national basis based on a very broad mission statement. Several people have been trying to raise the question, but it has not been addressed. The logical approach is to work out the intended scope of this project first, and then let the 160 people here (plus the 3000 elsewhere) make an informed decision on how to best spend their valuable time. Racepacket (talk) 20:24, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
Let me cut to the chase and address the last question first. The matter has been addressed, repeatedly but the response wasn't what you wanted so here we are again. I do appreciate that you submitted it to a central location though but I don't think enough editors watch the location you placed it so Im not sure how much of a response it will get.
In regards to the comment about tasking the bots, It is less of a burden to the bots to task them with one location and one banner than 200, 150 of which know-one watches and are essentially a waste of the bots time and energy. I also suggest that to say that the State articles of Virginia (one of the original 13 colonies and one of the original settlements from colonial England) and Ohio are not in the "National interest" is mistaken and I would argue that the state level articles (at the very least) Would be considered national interest. Which leads to another issue. Were to draw the line. One could continuously argue that this or that is or is not in the national interest. The discussions and Wikiwars would be almost unending. This also brings up another concern and that is how far do we take it. By your own logic WikiProject Seattle could easily argue that that Seattle and the Space Needle were of no interest to WikiProject Washington and out of scope.
I agree with your comment about the BLS gentlemen and as I stated yesterday I'm not sure if it is feasable or appropriate but I absolutely think it warrants a closer examination and discussion. I only mentioned this site because to direct someone who doesn't edit Wikipedia to the Village pump woudl be pointless. If he posts a comment here I will and always intended to direct it to the Village pump or elsewhere.
As for the comment about the members. As far as I know most are familiar with the scope of the project but regardless most have a special interest anyway (such as politics, military history or Ohio) and do not edit from a national perspective anyway so restricting the scope of the project would also cause most of these members to be pushed out do to that narrowing of scope.
I also want to clarify yet again that I nor the project am asking for the projects to ask our permission for anything. They are all independant and autonomous. I do want to clarify here one additional thing here, just in case you were unaware, that the WikiProjects DO NOT own the articles and although anyone is free and open to build collaborations (such as WikiProjects) to work on things that interest them. They should not think or be allowed to think that they own the articles.
The bottom line in all of this is that this WikiProject just as with any other wikiproject has the right and freedom to set their own scope and add their banner to the articles in that scope. Regardless of how many that might be. 20, 200, 200, 000 or all of them (as the WikiProject Earth case described above). Period. --Kumioko (talk) 21:06, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

Revised proposal

Based on the above discussion, here is a revised proposal:

Welcome to the United States WikiProject on the English Wikipedia! We are a group dedicated to improving Wikipedia's coverage of national-level topics related to the United States. On occassion, we also try to fill-in on topics that are not otherwise covered by another WikiProject. This project was formed to unify and coordinate all things USA nation-wide articles on Wikipedia and help to maintain The USA Portal. Some project goals are to help list and categorize USA related articles, develop quality standards for articles and build templates that help users browse the dozens of articles that would fall under the this project's watch. This project will also provide a place for U.S. Wikipedians and other editors is not a substitute for subject-specific WikiProjects or state-specific WikiProjects as a place to share information and resources. Here editors can ask for help with certain articles and bring otherwise overseen overlooked articles and problems to the attention of other editors. However, editors seeking advice here should remember that WikiProject United States does not own the articles, and that editors are free to build consensus and to collaborate on a state-level or on a subject-matter level.

The revised proposal is trying to pick up some of the recent exchange. It makes clear that there is a disjunctive between nation-wide OR not covered by another WikiProject, rather than a conjunctive. Thanks. Racepacket (talk) 21:21, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

I think its better but I think the last sentence should be modified to read However, editors seeking advice here should remember to build consensus and to collaborate on state-level or subject-matter level WikiProjects whenever practical and possible.. There is no need to state that WPUS doesn't own them since this is specified in the Banner and is in fact a general rule and policy. I think that the other members of the project should have a chance to review this proposed wording change however. I also think we should add in something that discusses what to do about Defunct, Inactive or Semiactive who may want to collaborate with WPUS (such as was done with District of Columbia, US counties and Superfunds). WikiProject United States is the ideal place to consolidate these Defunct or inactive projects where the articles would otherwise just lay dormant (although some are more appropriate to merge into the State or local level) such as City related projects, State roads projects (to US Roads) and some such as University projects to City or State depending. --Kumioko (talk) 21:44, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
I generally like this, but would reword "On occassion, we also try to fill-in on topics that are not otherwise covered by another WikiProject." to "". Why? Because it doesn't make any sense for the Wikiproject United States to "officially" chime in on Oberek or Krystal Square Off. I (of course) have no problem with US tagging/co-tagging any articles that are within the "national-level" scope or one of the sub-projects like DC. Best, Markvs88 (talk) 00:49, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure what your trying yo say but as far as I am concerned and understand this means that, if the article is not tagged by another US related project or that project is inactive then we may tag it. I have said before that I personally do not normally tag articles if they are covered by another active US project. If another project is active and feels that the US banner isn't warranted then fine. But if the project is inactive then the US banner should stay. --Kumioko (talk) 01:33, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
I don't know how else to phrase it, so I will be blunt (but mean no offense): I don't care what you yourself tag so long as WikiProject United States tags articles that are in the national interest. I don't care if they're in another project or not, as some articles (like Benedict Arnold) are clearly WITHIN the national interest. It doesn't matter if another project is active or not, the US banner SHOULD NEVER BE ON SOMETHING NOT IN THE NATIONAL INTEREST (excepting for sub-projects like DC of course). Why? Becuase projects go defunct and resurrect all the time. With this point you're just introducing a whole lot of pointless retagging -- often. Best, Markvs88 (talk) 13:06, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
Well everyone is entitled to their opinion but its clear we don't agree. If you want to waste your time tagging articles with WikiProject Banners for WikiProjects that don't exist or are inactive which is the same thing go ahead. But as long as I have some control of WPUS I intend on making sure that these articles are captured in the scope of United States because they are a part of the United States until they decide to break away and become their own republic of Connecticut or whatever. The fact remains this project, regardless of whether you approve or not, is entitled to tag whatever article we feel is in our scope. Even if it is duplicative of another project. It happens, thats life. I was trying to compromise by not tagging articles that already had a state banner but I can see thats just not good enough for some. So I am going to let the other members of the project voice their opinions. I assume at this point that the 180+ members have read the scope and mission and are aware of what it is and having added their names approve with it. Additionally since the only ones that are members of the project who have commented seem to have acwknowledged that approval I am left with the feeling that those that contribute to the project must have the decision over the happenings of this project over those who are not members and do not contribuute to the project. Furthermore, since the topic has been added to a community board by Racepacket and there hasn't been one comment as of the time I replied here about it that, to me, is also an acwknowledgement of sorts. --Kumioko (talk) 13:47, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
Again, WikiProject United States can go inactive just as easily as anything else, and WikiProject United States = WikiProject Connecticut, or any OTHER wikiproject. Logically, you're in a bind: If you extend the WikiProject United States to be everything "vaguely American", it's a hurculean task that you will fail at, and will engender at least some ill-will from your co-projects. Assumptions are... well, you probably know the jingle. You continue to ignore my points under the "Out of bounds" section above. I fail to see why you feel the need to have a scope that says "everything vaguely American" vs. "everything American on the national level". It is simply too wide, as I illustrated. (Julius Caesar? WikiProject United States!) Best, Markvs88 (talk) 15:19, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
Yes you are correct it can and may at some point in the distant future just as I could be hit by a bus on the way home tonight or Wikipedia may one day pull the plug and turn off the servers. I tend to not work on what if's but here and nows. Tomorrow will get here soon enough so I just live in the moment. You say its a hurculean task but I say bring on the challenge. Because I believe that the deed shows the intent and the character of the act more than the words and in case you are not aware let me enlighten you for a moment on some of the status of the Hurculean effort thus far and the things that I have done to get the wheels rolling again:
  • In the past 3 or 4 months I have rebuilt and relaunched WPUS including bringing 4 projects under our umbrella to assist them and encouraging other US editors to participate which we now have over 180 members of. That means I no longer have to do it all myself and other members have been working diligently in their respective areas. In only the last month I have seen tremendous strides in the organization and collaboration that people are showing towards each other, the articles and the projects. Since all of the below and the US project layed dormant for years I assume that my initiative in restarting WPUS had a hand in restarting these all of a sudden.
  • We have reinvigorated the US Wikipedians collaboration noticeboard including redirecting several defunct US related noticeboards to it. Although this is a general noticeboard that Any US related project can use and does not fall directly into the scope of WPUS it is a vital part of the US collaboration.
  • We have relaunched the US Collaboration of the Month and have already begun working on the articles that have been submitted eventhough we have not actually selected one to Collaborate on yet. This was started by Casliber and several other editors, including myself have been continuing to support this under WPUS although it is a general noticeboard and does not fall directly under WPUS. It is again, a vital part of getting all the US projects to collaborate more and stop fighting about scope and who is getting into who's swimlane.
  • We have begun addressing the problems with Portal United States to get it updated (and eventually to Featured portal status). Again, despite its title, it is not specific to WikiProject United States and I encourage any US related content be contributed to it. Not just national level.
  • We (not just me I have seen several other editors adding tags as well) are working towards getting all the articles in the US tagged as such. I have personally been primarily concentrating on articles that do not have a US topic tag already or that fall under a National scope. I havent analysed the rest personally so I cant speak for them.
  • We are working in several different directions to identify articles that need to be added and or expanded
  • We are working to identify the inactive or defunct projects and get the articles/projects in their scope reassigned to active projects (not just US but also US roads, Washington and various others). If the WPUS project goes defunct or inactive in the future I would hope and expect that the articles under it would be reassigned to the respective active projects that pertain at the time.
  • IN addition we have also been working on several standardization efforts to make it easier for editors, especially newbies to navigate the labyrinth of templates, categories, pages, subpages, etc. I also consider this a vital part of making the US articles more accessible and user friendly. If they all follow a standeard pattern, with standard catgories and templates that are meaningful and easy to follow it fosters participation. One example of this is the Talk page banner standardization. I have been working with other editors on all of these in some capacity all of which to make things easier for Me, you, the community and the readers. All of these are things I have worked on to make things better in WP in the last 4 months. Just imagine what will happen in the next 6 when the projects are working together instead of arguing about scope and hurt feelings, when we have active Collaborations and portals and the articles are assigned for lack of a better term to active projects (most articles will hopefully fall under more than one project) and are actively beeing worked on....
The scope is big yes and yes there will be alot of articles in it but Julius Ceaser, the great wall of China and Australian Independence are not in the scope of the US regardless of how ridiculous you want try and make the US scope sound to make your point. If it falls in States or territories yes. Major incidents abroad relating to US yes. Other than that no (just because I can see the moon from the US does not mean its in scope). --Kumioko (talk) 17:28, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

I have major problems with the proposal.

Proposed: We are a group dedicated to improving Wikipedia's coverage of national-level topics related to the United States.

The problem with using the term “national-level topics” (as opposed to the existing “ topics related to the United States”) is that we have not had a meeting of the minds on what the proposed term means. Racepacket wants to make all state articles off limits to this project while I agree with Kumioka that state articles should fall under this project because those articles always have national implications. We need to know EXACTLY what the intent of the new language is and what SPECIFIC TOPICS this language will eliminate from our project.

Proposed On occassion, we also try to fill-in on topics that are not otherwise covered by another WikiProject.

This is meaningless. Projects are either within the scope of our project or not. Whether or not an article is covered by another project or not is irrelevant. We may, of course, for reasons cited by Kumioka decide not to tag certain articles that are already tagged but we don't need to make such minor points in our mission statement.

Proposed This project is not a substitute for subject-specific WikiProjects or state-specific WikiProjects as a place to share information and resources.

Also meaningless. There is no reason why any reasonable person would make assumptions that make this warning necessary. In fact, there is information on our main project page that makes it clear that there are “ subject-specific WikiProjects [and] state-specific WikiProjects.”

Proposed However, editors seeking advice here should remember that WikiProject United States does not own the articles, and that editors are free to build consensus and to collaborate on a state-level or on a subject-matter level.

Unnecessary. The issue of ownership is covered adequately in the general WikiProject guideline. If it is necessary for this project then it should be necessary for every project. The issue of a general disclaimer for ALL PROJECTS should be brought up at the man WikiProject page, not here. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 01:44, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

Good points. --Kumioko (talk) 01:51, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
Minor comment. As a practical matter, states have their own constituencies here at Wikipedia -- presumably residents -- so in my view articles like Ohio and New Jersey don't really need much help from us. Ideally we should target important articles (important => subject and important => high readership numbers) with national implications which need attention and have fallen through the cracks. --Tomwsulcer (talk) 13:40, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
Although IMO opinion there is nothing wrong with tagging articles in other states I do agree with you Tom that we should concentrate on those that have a higher importance or High readership.
I would also like to comment on one thing that North Shoreman said in his statement "Projects are either within the scope of our project or not" that although I have no problem at all with tagging articles in another state or US related topic I do not think we should claim ownership over these other projects (if that is indeed what he is saying). If the project is defunct or inactive thats a bit different but even in the cases of District of Columbia and Superfunds I don't think we should claim ownership over them anymore than we can claim ownership over the articles themselves. We help govern the project and manage the maintenance of the articles and have a much closer collaboration using the same WP Banner template but we don't "own" or "control" them. --Kumioko (talk) 13:56, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

I would not object to deleting the sentence "On occassion, we also try to fill-in on topics that are not otherwise covered by another WikiProject." as proposed by Markvs88. I think it is great if someone spreads the word that there is a gap in coverage, but individual editors would certainly act to fill the gaps rather than WikiProject United States qua WikiProject United States. I continue to press us to come to some consensus on the language, including some language that can give comfort to those concerned that this WikiProject may try to step on the toes of the state and subject matter wikiprojects. Thanks, Racepacket (talk) 17:14, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

Although I am willing to discuss changing the scope and mission you seem to be under the illusion that there is no consensus. We have 180 members of the project, all of which have added their names to the list in the last month since the Scope and mission has been thier. I must assume that at least most of them read at least some of it before they join so that, to me, is consensus of sorts to the ones who are actually participating in the project which excuse me for being blunt but, matter more to me than a couple of editors who aren't members of the project. If some of the members comment and state yes we think the scope should be changed then we can go from their. However thus far the only members of the project seem to be arguing for leaving it the way it is. So until the members step up the consensus is, by the virtue of them joining the project with the scope clearly visibile, that it stays. --Kumioko (talk) 17:49, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
Let me translate what Kumioko just said: "go away". This isn't worth my time. Markvs88 (talk) 19:03, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
Not at all in fact I have spent a great deal of time trying to answer your questions, address your concerns and even to devise a compromise. However, it is going to be up to the members of the project to determine the scope and mission of the project, not members of another project trying to tell us what they think we should be doing. --Kumioko (talk) 20:29, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
My issue with the wording is that it comes across as bureaucratic and in a way unfriendly. A wikiproject is supposed to be an informal way of interested editors getting together to discuss and work on articles. I worry that wording like this serves to discourage people. As far as "filling in", most wikiprojects are inactive with little concerted activity taking place, so....there'd be an awful lot of filling in....Casliber (talk · contribs) 20:51, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
Just for clarification if you don't mind. Are you concerned with the current wording or the proposed new wording? --Kumioko (talk) 21:08, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
Both proposed new wordings, though the second is better than the first. Casliber (talk · contribs) 05:29, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
I agree that there are 180 people interested in working on a WikiProject United States, but there are only less than a dozen people interested in discussing this particular problem. Finally, there is only one person who has been leaving messages on 3000 user talk pages and on the talk pages of individual WikiProjects trying to promote a particular vision of what that person wants the WikiProject to become. We need consensus on a mission statement. I have deep concerns about the verison of the mission statement that is now on the Project page and am willing to have a rational discussion before making edits. I would be interested in hearing whether Casliber has a better alternative wording. Thanks, Racepacket (talk) 14:52, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
(sigh) I concede the current wording isn't great -I really worry about anything that just comes over all rules-heavy and bureaucratic-sounding. Fact is, the wikiprojects are fairly nebulous entities, most of which are inactive anyway, and lack numbers to do huge overhauls. Realistically, the main activity is acting as a meeting and discussion point on article improvement and help. The collaboration is a way to try and work on stuff together. I'd change "group" to "wikiproject" (group sounds too 'group-y', which I don't think it really is), and I'd ditch "unify" and just leave "coordinate". Actually, it is late here and I need to sleep. The main gist I'd get across is that a wikiproject is interested in getting likeminded editors to work together on articles within its scope (in this case the USA), and that collaboration can be especially useful on larger, broader and controversial articles in producing quality content. Something like that anyway. Anyway, I'll sleep on it and have a think. I do think discussing this is good, and concede I hadn't really looked at or thought about what it said until I was alerted by these threads...anyway. Casliber (talk · contribs) 15:21, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
In reply to Racepacket
First let me address the issue of the vision. Yes I have a vision to get the projects to collaborate more together, to stop the petty bickering and Us versus them mentallity and the inappropriate displays of article ownership that several display towards the articles in their scope (which also BTW has the effect of turning folks off from improving articles regarding that topic and causes new editors to leave). Yes I am trying to ensure that article relating to US states, territories and topics fall into a US related project that is active and might actually take some action on them. Yes I sent out messages to solicite comments, opinions and suggestions on several topics including (about 3000 to US editors to participate in a United States project, about 200 each for Collaboration on using like things that we all have in common and all use in some capacity like the Banner Template, US portal, US Wikipedians collaboration noticeboard and the Topic of the month) most of which IMO was worded in such a way as to allow them to form their own opinions about the merits of the project or proposal. Wether you desire to believe it or not it has had results. I am starting to see more movement in several of the state projects (at least partially due I hope to my requests for activity given the timing of them) that were formerly dormant. The portal has been refreshed (mostly still working on that one). The Noticeboard is up and the Collaboration of the month has been redesigned and is showing activity again. So whatever I am doing, wether you personally approve with the manner or not, is working and I will continue to do so. Although there are many reasons for doing this the primary and number one reason and goal in all of this is to improve Wikipedia and the US related articles. Period. My intent was not too do so but if I hurt 1 or 2 editors feelings because the scope of the project I chose to take on duplicates an interest in a topic they personally care about then that, quite frankly is something I can live with. Now if I or members of this project does something that is innapropriate in the development of articles then thats different but thats not what we are doing. We are trying to make articles and Wikipedia better.
Now I have tried to remain patient about this but I am going to take my nice guy hat off for a moment and say simply this. What have you done for Wikipedia lately other than stir up emotions on discussions and cause internal turmoil? If you have a problem with what I am doing or how I am doing it then I challenge you to step up (imagine me throwing my gauntlet down). Why don't you take over as Coordinator, gorvernor, King or whatever you want to call it of one, some or all of the Inactive or defunct projects and start working on getting editors collaborating as I have done. Better still help out here, on the US portal, on the Collaboration of the Month or whatever. If you want to continue to discuss an issue that has limited merit and support instead of improving content then fine we can but this is a complete waste of time for us both at this point and I am sure, I hope, that you have better things to do. I know I do. I also suggest that you stop spamming your personal biased feelings on the talk pages of all the projects in rebuttal to the comments I left soliciting participation and cooperation. If the projects want to join in and help great and if not thats ok too but Wikipedia does not need one editor poking at the hornets nest and stirring up emotions because they are pissed off that things didn't go their way. --Kumioko (talk) 15:42, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
In reply to Casliber
I also agree that the Mission and scope may need some tweaking and I look forward to your suggestions. I'll give it a bit of thought too and maybe we can clarify things a bit. I do think that we need to leave the scpope somewhat broad though as the original intent I had in restarting this project was to ensure that all the articles that had been forgotten by inactive projects or were missed altogether were captured by a project that might actually do something with them. It is, as you said, also a great way for editors to collaborate and work towards a common goal which IMO is working and working quite well despite a small minority of editors who would argue otherwise. In just a couple months we have made huge progress towards this and I see the coming months ahead to be just as productive with more focus on improving content, getting the information out there and getting folks interested and feel like they are working together as a team rather than a bunch of individuals trying to fight the world on their own. Now that we have the Project established as a foundation, the portal and the noticeboard are improved and that will help get the information out there, Collaboration of the month and other pending initiatives (such as the Library of Conrgress, National Archives, Smithsonian Institution collaborations and future content drives) to improve content and several bots running with more pending to help maintain the project, portal, and the articles we are IMO well on our way and off to a great start. --Kumioko (talk) 15:42, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

A More Modest Proposal

The main problem with the previous proposals is the apparent intent to place restrictions on this project that are placed on no other proposals. The following modest changes are an improvement on the existing statement (new language boldfaced).


Welcome to WikiProject United States on the English Wikipedia! We are a project dedicated to improving Wikipedia's coverage of topics related to the United States with an emphasis on subjects with regional and national significance. This project was formed to unify and coordinate United States related articles on Wikipedia and help to maintain The USA Portal. Some project goals are to help list and categorize USA related articles, develop quality standards for articles and build templates that help users browse the dozens of articles that would fall under the this project's watch. This project will also provide a place for U.S. Wikipedians and other editors to share information and resources. Here editors can ask for help with certain articles and bring otherwise overseen articles and problems to the attention of other editors. For more information of the role of WikiProjects, check out WikiProject guidelines.

All the "dangers" perceived to be inherent in this project (i.e. ownership) are addressed by referring to the guidelines which ALL WIKIPROJECTS are obliged to adhere to. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 16:42, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

Support - That is awesome. I like that a lot thanks. --Kumioko (talk) 17:12, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
yeah, that's better. Casliber (talk · contribs) 20:49, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
Here is a December 2006 version of the mission statement (see [4]):
WikiProject United States was formed to unify and coordinate all things USA on Wikipedia and help to maintain The USA Portal. Some project goals are to help list and categorize USA related articles, develop quality standards for articles and build templates that help users browse the dozens of articles that would fall under the this project's watch. This project will also provide a place for U.S. Wikipedians and other editors to share information and resources. Here editors can ask for help with certain articles and bring otherwise overseen articles and problems to the attention of other editors.
As anyone can see, the language has changed little in the 4+ years that this mission has been in place. If this language is so bad, where are all the problems that SHOULD have been created over the last four years? Tinkering with the language is fine, but the extreme counter-proposals serve no purpose -- if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 22:53, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
Tom, I think that the concerns are prompted by the recent overly-aggressive use of the bot to post the project banner on article talk pages, the posting of 3,000 "invitations" on user talk pages, and the repeated posting of less-than-tactful messages on other WikiProject talk pages. Things were fine for four years, but the escallation started within the last six months. Let's agree on language that can give the concerned parties comfort that such harmful actions are beyond the scope of this project. "Live and let live" is a good WikiProject philosophy. Racepacket (talk) 13:33, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
Just to clarify Racepackets comments. No bot has been used to tag any US articles for this project as far as I know. Could you please point to an example of a bot being used if I am wrong? The messages have mostly been respectful and tactful except that the answers are not what you want, so you continue to discuss and drag this out, presumably until you get what you want. Things were fine for 4 years because the project was inactive, likely becoming inactive because of discussions like this one has become because one or 2 editors don't like other projects doing things with their articles and displays of ownership over them. I would remind you Sir that you do not own the articles, I do not own them, the projects do not own them. All projects are free to define their own scope and tag the articles in them. Your problem is that a project you are not a member of has taken an interest in articles you edit and you are concerned that this project will try and squash the other projects. That is not the case so stop trying to make this into a hostile takover situation. We are trying to improve articles not see how long we can make a discussion last until the project finally caves in and does what you want so they can continue to edit. My coments have become somewhat hostile over time because you are blatantly breaking policy in about 10 different ways to try and make your point. --Kumioko (talk) 14:17, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
Just to set the record straight, Kumioko has withdrawn his bot application on January 26, and was previously asked to stop semi-automatic editing at bot levels until his application was approved. --Message left by Racepacket who yet again Failed to sign.
There was really no need for it anyway and since it had been open for a month with no action there was no reason to continue with trying it. This is off the subject at hand however and I ask you to stay on topic. This discussion and talk page have already exceeded 200K. --Kumioko (talk) 14:15, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
You asked "Could you please point to an example of a bot being used if I am wrong? " and I answered showing how the facts contradict your claim. You respond "This is off the subject." Racepacket (talk) 03:41, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Support this proposal. Seems to make clear the project's goals, and does not impinge the project too much Purplebackpack89 18:14, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Support this proposal. If there is consensus found latter to expand this project to overlap those state or regional projects that already exist, then it can be expanded. However, presently, that consensus does not appear to exist. --RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 23:30, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Support this proposal as per Purplebackpack89 and RightCowLeftCoast.--Tomwsulcer (talk) 23:47, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose - There is no need to specifically reference US Wikipedians - people from all nationalities are equally welcome. So, I would just say "place to share information." Another users above had proposed changing "unify and coordinate" to just "coordinate." "Overseen" is a typo for "overlooked." Racepacket (talk) 12:42, 27 January 2011 (UTC) {See, "Consolidating the two above proposals" below).

Consensus seems clear. Six people above have expressed support and only Racepacket opposes it. His alternative, "A further revised proposal," posted about the same time as this one received no support. His most recent "Consolidating the two above proposals" has received no support. Using Racepacket's suggested deadline in this last proposal, I will implement my proposal here by tomorrow around 6:00 pm (EST) unless some new parties in opposition materialize. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 02:56, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

I have explained my objections to the "More Modest Proposal" which have been addressed in the "Consolidating" proposal. The only reason why I suggested moving from discussion to editing was that no further suggested changes or comments were made. I would like us to avoid editing the page until we reach agreement, although we can certainly proceed on that basis if necessary. Here are the problems with the "Further Revised Proposal" that are addressed in the "Consolidating" one:

  1. It uses the "with an emphasis on subjects with regional and national significance" clarification in the first sentence, but fails to follow through with that same test in the later sentences, leaving the scope contradicting it, saying "any article related to the United States of America"
  2. It mistakenly says "overseen" when it means "overlooked"
  3. It makes an unnecessary distinction between Wikipedians from the US and Wikipedians from outside the US.
  4. It emphasizes subprojects instead of adopting User:Casliber's proposal of "There are also active state-specific wikiprojects where more local material may be discussed."
  5. It leaves out User:Casliber's proposal to change "unify and coordinate" to just "coordinate" because there can be differences between other state or subject specific WikiProjects.

When you fix those points, the "More Modest Proposal" reads as the "Consolidating" text. Perhaps the notation of strike out and bold type is distracting from the essence of the proposals. Or perhaps there is confusion because Tom shows only the first paragraph of his proposal without showing what he would do with the second paragraph that is under the "scope" heading. If you have problems with the "Consolidating" proposal, please let me know, because I thought it would be something everyone could live with. Thanks, Racepacket (talk) 06:51, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

  • Support this proposal, except change "dozens" to "thousands" (or drop "the dozens of") and change "overseen" to "overlooked". I would also suggest regarding the scope, that people, locales, and other subjects that fall under one of the state wikiprojects should, generally, only be included in this project, if they are of regional or national significance, if they are included in the Outline, or if they are referred to in one of the Top, High, or Mid-importance articles of this project. The last criterion will result in many small towns in the original 13 colonies, and many Colonial era local officials being in the project, while most small towns and 20th century local officials in, say, California, are not.--Hjal (talk) 07:10, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
That is an interesting idea that could be included. Racepacket (talk) 07:48, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
When are you going to get the point that the members of the project are trying to convey.
On point 1) Although we agree that our main focus is going to be on National and regional topics. Particuarly ones that are Top and High priority (and probably those Popular pages with very high hit counts) we do not want to restrict ourselves to national only topics and certainly not to the degree that you prefer. And even "fixing" the points you mention it does not come close to the text you propose unless one takes large leaps of misrepresentative information into account.
On point 2) I agree that overseen would be better
On point 3) I also agree that we can drop the U.S. and simply say wikipedians. Although there will probably be few non US Wikipedians there is no reason to exempt them if they are interested in participating.
On point 4) IMO there is no reason to "Emphasize" state projects within our mission and scope. Yes the projects exist and yes they have an important role to play but I do not necessarily believe that they need to be specifically identified unless they intend to also specifically identify us as a point to go for discussions within our scope.
On point 5) I agree that coordinate is a better term. Unify indicates that the projects are subjective of WPUS rule and that is not the case. They are free to "Unite" with WPUS if they choose to but using the wording of unify indicates a requirement to do so which is not there. --Kumioko (talk) 14:15, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I know that everyone pretty much likes this proposal and I think it is solid but I have seen a couple of comments that have been left that I believe have merit and should be addressed. I also some some minor grammer and punctuation issues that I though should be addressed. I used Cquote rather than just quote above so people could tell the difference. Not to make mine stand out if some editor or editors decide thats why I did it. Below is the agreed upon scope with a couple of minor tweaks defined below:

  1. I changed United States Wikiproject to United States Wikiproject
  2. I spelled out USA to United States. It felt kinda clunky to say USA
  3. I removed the part about U.S. Wikipedians and other editors. Although it will mostly pertain to US editors I don't think we should restrict other from working on the project if they want too.
  4. I replaced Overseen with Overlooked
  5. I added some punctuation
  6. I replaced dozens of articles with thousands of articles
  7. I replaced projects watch with just project

Since this does deviate somewhat from the approved verbiage please comment if this is a problem or if you do not agree. --Kumioko (talk) 14:52, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

No problem for me. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 23:02, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

Under the "Combining" subjection, Tom said that the paragraph was intended to substitute for both the top welcome paragraph and the paragraph underneath the Scope heading, which he intended to go away completely. Is that the understanding of Kumioko as well? I have these suggestions to the latest proposal just above the numbered list. User:Casliber's proposal to change "unify and coordinate" to just "coordinate" has been deleted, but the basis for this change is not clear to me. I assume that the bold face type would go away in the final version. I would change "browse the thousands of articles" to "browse articles" because we won't know how many and it comes across as self-congratulatory. I suggest we change "coordinate United States related articles on Wikipedia" to "coordinate articles with US national or regional significance" and "categorize United States related articles" to "categorize articles with US national or regional significance" to keep the phrase consistent in order to avoid future fights as to its meaning. I think that we are getting very close to agreement. Thanks, Racepacket (talk) 02:15, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

Tell the truth. I said no such thing. You asked another editor if he thought the Scope section should be eliminated -- I answered that I thought it should, but I never said that it would be eliminated as part of this proposal. This is not the first time that you have not told the truth about what I said. I think other editors should be very careful it taking ANYTHING you say about what other people have said. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 02:24, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
I am sorry that your statement was misunderstood as referring to replacing both paragraphs. (I still read what you said as intending to delete it.) What exactly is your complete proposal? The "Combining Proposal" clearly shows what will be deleted and what would remain, and it replaces the current "Scope" paragraph with something very similar to the last two sentences of your proposal. Please tell us exactly what you are proposing with the current "Scope" paragraph, which at present is very inconsistent with your text. Perhaps you could show proposed deletions with a strike through and proposed additions in bold. Thanks, Racepacket (talk) 03:41, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

I made the change proposed and accepted by everybody who participated except for Racepacket. I did make the minor changes suggested by Kumioka since they appeared to be only tweaks. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 04:53, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

I know that you are trying to be helpful, but please let's keep the discussion on the talk page until we get consensus, and let's give everyone at least 24 hours to comment before we assume that any draft is acceptable to the group. It is hard enough to work out wording on the talk page without making unilateral edits on the project page. Thanks, Racepacket (talk) 12:09, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
By what logic can you claim there is not consensus? This proposal is you versus everybody else. In my opinion you are now edit warring, but I will follow a 1RR policy although I hope others will restore the consensus view rather than allow one person to further procrastinate and delay. Ironically, the version you reverted is closer to your position than the version you restored. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 12:38, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

Please read the comments that have been left here by a number of editors. Any proposals that would include the sentence "The project generally considers any article related to the United States of America to be within its direct scope." contracdicts all of the discussion including the arguments that you have made. Please keep this on the talk page and take another look at the "Combining" proposal below. Thanks, Racepacket (talk) 12:56, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

This is a concrete proposal to address all of those issues. Whatever someone may have said elsewhere, the bottom line is that seven people have expressed support for this proposal and only you oppose it. It should also be noted that you have now brought this to Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents -- so much for "keeping this on the talk page". Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 13:10, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
The substantive discussions should be here and not on ANI. Let's discuss here until we agree, instead of edit back and forth on the project page. Please restate your proposal in full. It is not clear whether you are including my changes, Kumioko's changes, Hjal's change, or Casliber's changes. I can tell from reading the comments that it will never gain consensus if it includes the sentence, "The project generally considers any article related to the United States of America to be within its direct scope." We can all sleep on it for at least 24 hours and then see if we have agreement. I suggest that you show what you are deleted by strike throughs and what you want to add by bold type. I also suggest that if you plan is to limit WPUS to articles "related to the United States with an emphasis on subjects with regional and national significance" that you use that phrase consistently or to avoid repetition just say "articles under this project's watch." if you do that, you will probably come up with something very close the the "Combining Proposal." Thanks, Racepacket (talk) 14:41, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
My personal opinions about the scope of the project aside and as I have stated before; If this project wants to have a national scope or a scope that encompasses every US related article that exists they are free to do so dispite the objections of other users and projects. We are not trying to tell the projects what scope they should have they should not be telling us what scope we should have. AS long as we aren't trying to control the other projects, showing undo ownership or other such policy violations then there is NO PROBLEM and assumptions otherwise are just Assumming bad faith. --Kumioko (talk) 14:58, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
Racepacket is the one who filed the ANI requesting total restriction on editing the project page -- it is necessary to discuss the issues there in order for anybody who responds to understand them.
His request to "Please restate your proposal in full" is disingenuous to the extreme. Obviously the proposal in full is the language that I inserted and he reverted. It represents Kumioka's proposal in full. If Hjal or Casliber have further comments or interest, they should probably raise them HERE themselves -- Kumioka has already explained above in a numbered list which other concerns were incorporated and which were not. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 15:06, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
discussion of typographic error since corrected explained in Correction section below
Extreme bad faith demonstrated by Racepacket. I just noticed that Racepacket with this edit [[5]] of the discussion page deliberately changed the language of my proposal to alter the record of both the discussion of the proposal and to make it appear as if the consensus had been achieved for different language than it actually was. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 15:37, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
That's not good. I would support you if you reverted him Purplebackpack89 16:36, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
I also felt it was an innappropriate change. --Kumioko (talk) 16:49, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

In order to "vote" on the proposal, people need to know whether they are agreeing to retain or delete the sentence "The project generally considers any article related to the United States of America to be within its direct scope." It is deleted at the moment, but can we all agree that it stays out as a part of the consensus that we are trying to build? Also, a number of people have left useful suggestions in response to the proposal. I think that they should be incorporated:

  • change "unify and coordinate" to "coordinate"
  • change "browse the thousands of articles" to "browse articles" (thousands was not in your proposal)
  • change "coordinate United States related articles on Wikipedia" to "coordinate articles with US national or regional significance"
  • change "categorize United States related articles" to "categorize articles with US national or regional significance"

I am willing to drop Casliber's suggestion of mentioning the state and topic-specific WikiProjects, although I think it is a good one. I would like to hear your views on these changes. Thanks, Racepacket (talk) 14:13, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

I think the people who "voted" on my proposal are in the best position to decide what they "need to know."
The consensus was to keep the words "United States related articles". The project has a broad scope (which these approved words explain) but a narrower focus reflected in the words "an emphasis on subjects with regional and national significance." There is no reason to believe that the people who supported this language did not understand what they supported.
Time to move on. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 14:42, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
Please go back and read the comments posted after you posted your initial proposal. That is where Casliber, Hjal and I expressed our concerns and suggestions as to how to follow through on writing a proposal to write a proposal that was limited to "national or regional significance." For example, I raised the problem of the sentence "The project generally considers any article related to the United States of America to be within its direct scope." as contradicting what you were otherwise proposing. You first said you thought the sentence should be taken out, then you said that the proposal would keep the sentence, and you have not taken that comment back other than to note that for now Kumioko deleted the sentence yesterday. What is your proposal, and how can you ignore all of these the changes suggested since you first proposed the text? You want to move on to other things, and I want to move on to other things. Let's agree on what we are going to have on the Project page, then make the edit, and then we will all leave it alone. That is better than have us continue a long-term back and forth editing the Project page and talk past each other. Thanks, Racepacket (talk) 16:30, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
Although I agree with points 1 andn 2 that Racepacket bring up I disagree with points 3 and 4. I also agree with Tom and in light of the fact that you would probably just continue to tweak the wording indefinately I think we should just drop the issue and leave what has been agreed upon. --Kumioko (talk) 16:50, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
I repeat -- time to move on. Casliber and Hjal accepted this proposal. I am not aware that either has executed a power of attorney designating you to speak for them. Hjal made three separate comments on January 29 within a 19 minute period. One of those edits was to accept this language. It is ludicrous for you to argue that somewhere in these 19 minutes he actually changed his mind and, I guess, forgot to tell us. Time to move on. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 17:17, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
Tom still has not stated whether the proposal include deletion of the Scope section or not. Please say what you are proposing so that people can comment on it. Also can we agree on the "thousands" and the "unify" issues? Thanks, Racepacket (talk) 18:46, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
Sure I have -- read over the above very carefully. This is beyond the proposal stage -- consensus has been reached and the article has been appropriately changed. I see no need for further changes. Time to move on. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 18:52, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

A further revised proposal

I appreciate the efforts the North Shoreman has put into his formulation, but it does not address many of the concerns expressed above. I have taken his views into account as well as the other comments and offer this proposal (deletions are struck through, and new language in bold):

Welcome to the United States WikiProject on the English Wikipedia! We are a group dedicated to improving Wikipedia's coverage of national-level topics related to the United States. This project was formed to unify and coordinate all things USA nation-wide articles on Wikipedia and help to maintain The USA Portal. Some project goals are to help list and categorize USA related articles, develop quality standards for articles and build templates that help users browse the dozens of articles that would fall under the this project's watch. This project will also provide a place for U.S. Wikipedians and other editors is not a substitute for subject-specific WikiProjects or state-specific WikiProjects as a place to share information and resources.

This WikiProject seeks to support the efforts of state-level and topic specific WikiProjects and to minimize conflict or overlap with their efforts. Although Here editors can ask for help here with certain articles and bring otherwise overseen overlooked articles and problems to the attention of other editors, editors seeking to build consensus and to collaborate on state-level or subject-matter level matters should use a more-specific WikiProject whenever practical and possible.

I want to avoid being "too bureaucratic" but recognize the need to address the concern listed discussion since last October that: 1) Wikipedia should apply the principles of federalism and promote editing and collaboration at a state level. 2) This WikiProject should not try to take all of the oxygen out of the related WikiProjects by repeatedly posting invitational spam. 3) This WikiProject will be respectful of their efforts and not actively try to undertake collaborative efforts that would be better at a state level. If the Project page conveys a consensus that this WikiProject will 'play nice' with the others, a lot of the heat will disappear. Thoughts? Racepacket (talk) 20:48, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

Sorry but I still like the North Shoreman's scope better. Your still trying to restrict this project to National only articles and trying to restrict it to not work on anything state or local related. If contributors want to collaborate locally thats perfectly fine and I (and I am sure the other members of the project do as well) encourage that. Knowone is stopping that. But we don't need to advertise that in our scope statement. Knowone here is trying to "take all of the oxygen out of the related WikiProjects". --Kumioko (talk) 20:59, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
Ok, I hear your "vote." Now let us let everyone else chime in, including User:Knowone. Racepacket (talk) 21:04, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
My two cents. This issue isn't important enough to justify all this typing on keyboards. My sense is national-focused articles should take precedence, and that state-specific articles have natural constituencies (people in those states) meaning that they'll get attention regardless of what project they're included in (and if they aren't, it probably isn't that important) and that the right relation with more-important articles getting our attention will happen regardless of how we word any particular mission statement; rather, my sense is this argument is taking people away from the task of improving articles. That is, this argument is a distraction, unworthy of the fine people haggling over it.--Tomwsulcer (talk) 14:22, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
I wholeheartedly and completely agree. --Kumioko (talk) 15:28, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

Oppose this proposal/federalism argument...I guess I probably agree with Shore's proposal. There are underlying problems with state projects, and in many cases articles would be better dealt with from a national or state POV. Purplebackpack89 18:12, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

  • I have a problem with is not a substitute for subject-specific WikiProjects or state-specific WikiProjects as a place - just comes over as bureaucratic and negative. Reframing as a positive "There are also active state-specific wikiprojects where more local material may be discussed" OR something like that (that doesn't sound great either, but these things are supposed to be think-tanks not set in stone)...I do sort of agree about focus (in this case "federalism"), for instance, three of us have wikiproject banksia (within wikiproject plants) which is extremely specialised, and serves the purpose well. Casliber (talk · contribs) 20:08, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

Consolidating the two above proposals

To summarize, the current language on mission and scope date back to these edits in October 2010. The "More Modest Proposal" would address relationship with other WikiProjects by saying "For more information of the role of WikiProjects, check out WikiProject guidelines." The "A further revised proposal" would have a second paragraph addressing the point. User Casliber believes the "A further revised proposal" is too bureaucratic and negative and suggests a more positive mention of other WikiProjects. User Purplebackpack89 suggests, in a slightly different context, that if there are problems with an individual's conduct, to not ascribe them to the entire WikiProject. Much of Tom's language is used particulary of "national or regional significance." So how about this as a compromise (deleted text in struck through, added text in bold)

Welcome to the United States WikiProject on the English Wikipedia! We are a group project dedicated to improving Wikipedia's coverage of topics related to the United States with an emphasis on subjects with regional and national significance. This project was formed to unify and coordinate all things USA articles with US national or regional significance on Wikipedia and help to maintain The USA Portal. Some project goals are to help list and categorize USA related articles, develop quality standards for articles and build templates that help users browse the dozens of articles that would fall under the this project's watch. This project will also provide a place for U.S. Wikipedians and other editors to share information and resources. Here, editors can ask for help with certain articles and bring otherwise overseen overlooked articles and problems to the attention of other editors.

Scope

The project generally considers any article related to the United States of America to be within its direct scope.
Our work covers:
United States related articles including subprojects related to United States articles.:
The project focuses on United States subjects with regional and national significance. There are also active state-specific wikiprojects where more local material may be discussed. For more information of the role of WikiProjects, check out WikiProject guidelines.

If there is consensus on this, we can make the edits on the Project page and move on. Thanks, 18:16, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

If there are no further comments by Friday night, I will post these changes to the Project page. Thanks, Racepacket (talk) 02:10, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
I do not believe that would be appropriate. If the other folks in the project agree that this is consensus then they will change it. It is not appropriate for you to do it. The change you suggest is exactly what you originally submitted worded slightly differently and is NOT what anyone here has agreed too. When are you going to get the message that you need to step away as I have done. --Kumioko (talk) 02:14, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
Please read the proposal again, because it combines the two prior proposals. There is no such thing as "folks in the project". Racepacket (talk) 06:05, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
Actually we pretty much have consensus with the "More Modest Proposal". Six people have spoken in favor of it and only Racepacket opposes it. Now suddenly after less than two days Racepacket assumes he somehow has consensus here simply because nobody responds. Unbelievable. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 02:44, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
I think that I have incorporated most of your ideas. what is it about the "Consolidating" proposal that bothers you? Racepacket (talk) 03:38, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose in favor of A More Modest Proposal, above.--Hjal (talk) 07:20, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
Hjal, what would you do about the paragraph that is under the "Scope" heading on the project page now, delete it completely? Racepacket (talk) 07:44, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
Can't speak for Hjal, but I would favor deleting "Scope" completely. We are defining it for all intents and purposes in the mission statement. Also directly to the right of the mission statement is a detailed list of categories for the project that spells out in great detail the total scope of the project. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 23:00, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
Thank you. If that is the case then I think that the "Modest Proposal" and the "Combining Proposal" are very similar. Racepacket (talk) 02:00, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
Although User:North Shoreman has said that he "would favor deleting "Scope" completely" just above, he has clarified in a later comment in the "Modest Proposal" section that deletion is not included in his proposal. Therefore we are far apart, and I would ask that editors give further consideration to the "Consolidating" proposal in this section. Thanks, Racepacket (talk) 12:30, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
I personally agree with Tom. The scope is already embodied in the Mission statement so its redundant. I also agree with Tom that it seems to be Racepacket against the world and at this point your just tilting at windmills. I know that you believe that there are others that don't agree but if they don't join the discussion then they aren't counted and there are plenty of others that do know and agree. There is no need to count either if they don't speak up so we can only go by who is actually here.--Kumioko (talk) 14:53, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Also, there is no need to reset the talk page archive to 45 days. It will not archive unless the discussion is dormant which it is not and that includes subsections so even if a comment is made in one of the subsection the whole discussion is left behind. Although I am not going to revert it if you are not a member of this project then it is IMO overstepping your bounds to do project maintenance functions of this nature without discussing it. Project members discussed it and changed it in accordance with what was discussed. It wasn't one person who just made the call to change the time. --Kumioko (talk) 14:53, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

Proposal for communication policy

Tom (In section "Scope" below) suggests that the problem of overtagging is addressed under the current WikiProject guidelines. However, there are underlying problem beyond just the article banner tagging controvery, that have lead to a great deal of distrust and suspicion of this WikiProject. There was the proposal to subsume all other WikiProject banners into this WikiProject's banner (that is now dropped), and there is the spamming of other talk pages. Would it be possible to draft a statement on the Project page which describes the consensus as to when it is appropriate for this WikiProject to leave such messages along with a requirement that at least 5 editors agree on the text of any such message? Thanks, Racepacket (talk) 13:51, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

Communication Policy
This WikiProject greatly values civility, respect for others, and clear, unambiguous communications. Accordingly, when an editor proposes to post notices or invitations to other WikiProjects or their members, the proposed text should be posted on Wikipedia talk:WikiProject United States for review and comment. No such communication shall be sent until at least 5 editors can agree on the exact text.

Racepacket (talk) 13:51, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

To address you first concern first which is "the proposal to subsume all other WikiProject banners into this WikiProject's banner". I suggested that because there are over 200 us related projects. Of those only about 25 are active and about 25 more are semiactive. That means there are at least 150 banners and supporting documentation cluttering the pedia. We don't need them, they are garbage so why keep them. That does not mean that we are trying to take over the projects. The projects are and as far as I am concerned always will be their own entities free to do as they please. When I submitted it I knew then that some wouldn't want to do it and thats fine. But some editors like your self totally blew it out of proportion and made it sound as though I and the project was trying to take over. We and I am not. I care about the articles and I want to try and get people to work together and collaborate and contribute to teh further development of articles. Not fight about this continuously until the end of time so none of us can do anything. I also believe its pointless to draft some ridiculous statment about how this project loves the other projects, paints the project into a corner so all we can do is edit the top 50 or 60 articles that rate to a national scale but aren't covered by another project even if the other project that covers it isn't active. Its completely ridiculous. --Kumioko (talk) 14:55, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
distracting digression

====Sign your posts==== And would you pleas for heavens sake sign your posts once in a while. I shouldn't have to keep reminding an editors who has been around as long as you have to sign your posts. --Kumioko (talk) 14:55, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

I signed it in the introduction to the block quote. Please stop cluttering up the talk page with such trivia. Racepacket (talk) 15:09, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
You did not sign the quote that you added. You are the one cluttering up the talk pages by not following the rules and signing your posts. --Kumioko (talk) 15:16, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
Please read what I said, I signed the introductory sentence to the blockquote. Racepacket (talk) 15:18, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

Does anyone have specific comments on the Communications Policy? Thanks, Racepacket (talk) 15:20, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

I'm not sure it's a good idea. Seems overly bureaucratic. We shouldn't be CANVASSing every which way, but on the other had, generally any editor who is a member of a WikiProject can post notices to anywhere on the project's behalf. I say we just let that happen as the default, and if someone has a problem with the messages another person is posting, then we discuss them and perhaps restrict that person, but only that person. Not everybody Purplebackpack89 19:31, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for your comments on the proposal. The key phrase is "on the project's behalf." It is obvious now that Kumioko has 200+ project talk pages on his watch list, and that he is free to post anywhere he wants as an individual editor. But, I would think that any WikiProject would want effective communications that reflect the group's best efforts at clarity, civility, and spelling. The idea of everybody sending out their own promotional missives about WPUS on 200+ WikiProject talk pages without some consensus and review from other people in a 180-member WikiProject strikes me as a bad idea, and leaves a bad impression of the WikiProject with a wide audience. Would the promotional communications be more effective if they were a group product? If not, how would we go about restricting the person who creates problems with his promotional postings on behalf of WPUS? Racepacket (talk) 19:40, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

This proposal seems less than helpful. This project, like many others, might find itself without even five active participants in the future--there may not be five who are active right now, except for participating in these discussions. Would an active editor need to limit his message to a small number of people just to drag them in here to support his message to the entire membership or to sister and daughter projects? I think that typical practice would be to attempt discussion of any broadcast on the talk page, and then to go ahead after taking any advice into account, unless an objection was raised. I would oppose this language.--Hjal (talk) 07:29, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

Good point. In response, I would argue that 5 out of 180 is a reasonable number. If the WikiProject declines in size, the number could be reduced. Every organization that I have seen always has a number of people review and proofread promotional material. The process increases the clarity, diplomacy and spelling of the document. Group review would also helps to ensure that the communication complies with Wikipedia policy. If you think that the number of people is a bad way to limit it, how about a requirement that the proposed text of the communication be posted on WT:WPUS for 48 hours to let everyone interested proofread and edit the text? Remember, we are talking about communications "on behalf of WikiProject United States" and not unofficial personal messages. Racepacket (talk) 08:07, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
Hjal raises a second important point when he says he thinks that it would apply to "message to the entire membership or to sister and daughter projects." Until now, a former member has been posting promotional messages on the talk pages of 211 other WikiProjects, whether they have agreed to affiliate with this Wikiproject or not. Is that appropriate for the future? In addition to having a group review of each promotional communication, perhaps we should discuss who should receive such communications? Should WikiProjects opt into the list or opt out of the list? I welcome comments from others. Racepacket (talk) 09:29, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
I still maintain that if a single user is judged to have misused privileges that come with the project, he should be dealt with individually rather than sanctioning the whole project. If I wanted to invite someone to the WikiProject for whatever reason, I shouldn't have to ask for four other people's permissions to do so Purplebackpack89 18:41, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
Your absolutely right and I agree with you there 100%. I am just trying to concede that perhaps if a user wants to contact the entire group, rather than 1 or a few individual users or projects. Then it might be best to leave a blurb here for a day or 2 first. --Kumioko (talk) 18:52, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

Second Communications Proposal

User:Hasteur recently observed,"Perhaps if the original request to WPUS had been phrased as a 'Please remove us from your notification list' ... the entire event would have been better." This points out the need to maintain the mailing list of other projects that receive communications from WPUS in a transparent fashion. I propose that we create a new subpage called "Wikipedia:WikiProject United States/ProjectMailingList" This list will be open for anyone to edit; If someone wants to add a WikiProject talk page to the list, then future promotional and status mailings will be sent to that talk page. If someone wants to remove a WikiProject talk page from the list, then that WikiProject will stop receiving promotomal and status mailings from that edit forward. This is being polite and avoiding the WikiProject being viewed as a spammer. We could also add a notice at the bottom of the project page to read "WikiProject United States occassionally sends information to the talk pages of other WikiProjects. You can add or remove your WikiProject from the subscriber list by editing Wikipedia:WikiProject United States/ProjectMailingList." I welcome your comments before we implement such a transparent list. Thanks, Racepacket (talk) 10:51, 28 January 2011 (UTC) ──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I personally have no problem with the group reviewing and approving any released messages but until recently I was the only one that was working actively until I sent the messaegs out asking for members. So from this point on I for one would encourage members to post a proposals of newsletters and the like here first prior to being released to the masses.

Aside from that IMO there is nothing wrong with adding messages for discussion to the talk pages of the other US related projects in fact until now most didn't seem to mind being informed (although they didn't necessarily agree with the message) and none as far as I know ever stated they didn't want to be contacted in the future. IN fact most didn't respond at all indicating that the project is possible inactive. Affiliation has nothing to do with the messages being sent. Personally I think it would be great if the projects would let this project know if the want to be contacted or asked about things that may affect them. That is in fact one of the reasons I specifically created an Embassy page. In fact if possible I would like it if someone from the project would agree to be a rep for the project and could help decide if that project needed to be notified or not. I also like the idea of a Mailing list subpage and if everyone thinks that would be a good Idea would be happy to implement that. With all that said. This is straying from the topic and I think we need to break this out to a separate conversation topic. --Kumioko (talk) 16:58, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

There is a major inconsistency going on here. On one hand, Racepacket is arguing that he and other non-members have a right to place any number of edits on the discussion pages of THIS PROJECT. Then he comes along and tries to limit the ability of individuals on THIS PROJECT to place an occasional message on the discussion pages of OTHER PROJECT. He further wants five people on OUR PROJECT to concur in sending all messages, yet requires only one person from the OTHER PROJECT to stop the messages -- shouldn't we require some proof that the OTHER PROJECT has reached a consensus to close its mailbox to OUR PROJECT?
In fact, we don't need no stinkin' rules on this subject -- common sense and informal procedures such as Kumioka has proposed should work just fine. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 23:17, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
The answer is simple, we are conducting a centralized RFC, for the benefit and participation of all of Wikipedia, using this talk page as a base of operations. That is different from posting promotional notices on the talk pages of other WikiProjects, and different rules govern each. Think of the RFC as bringing a part of the Village Pump to your front doorstep for your convenience. Racepacket (talk) 02:29, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
Exactly. If someone screws up bigtime, we can deal with them. Other than that, we should be laissez-faire about it Purplebackpack89 01:00, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

I will ask Purplebackpack89 a second time, because I did not get an answer the first time: How should we deal with someone who does not do a good job in sending out promotional materials? Racepacket (talk) 02:32, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

My answer would be that we handle it if it happens. Once again we seem to have four people discussing a subject with three in agreement and one in dissent. Is there any point for further discussion unless somebody else joins the debate? Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 02:39, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
I agree with you Tom that its unneeded. As I mentioned before none of the projects ever mentioned not wanting to be notified so this is really just him passing gas to distract from the actual discussion and continue his fillibuster of the Discussion. --Kumioko (talk) 05:52, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
I will ask both Kumioko as well as PurplebackPack89, how do you want to handle someone who does not do a good job or violates Wikipedia polcies when sending out promotional materials on behalf of WikiProject United States? What policy and/or controls should WPUS have to protect itself from rouge operatives, and what opt in or opt out mechanisms should we have to determine who gets targetted with promotional communications? Racepacket (talk) 14:32, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
I really don't think its going to be an issue and I don't think we need to start drafting and adopting policy for it at this point. I woudl say that the policys that WP already has in place regarding the subject already state enough details about it. --Kumioko (talk) 14:46, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
How would you propose we deal with problems? Do you think that the "distribution list" or "subscriber list" should be transparent and editable so that people can opt in or opt out? Perhaps the list of 211 talk pages should be moved to a subpage of this WikiProject and people be allowed it edit it. Racepacket (talk) 14:32, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
Asked and answered. Three people have told you that they are comfortable in dealing with any future problems if and when they happen. We see no need for creating a bureaucratic policy at this time that may or may not be relevant to whatever future problems arise.
Time to move on. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 14:48, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
No, Tom, we lack consensus on how to handle the promotional communnications from this WikiProject. I would welcome other editors to comment, because I don't think that Kumioko has stepped back to allow other people to feel confortable in discussing the matter. Racepacket (talk) 18:04, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
No -- its precisely time to move on because those "other editors" have not come forward. You want a formal written policy but have been unable to persuade anyone else to agree with you. Nor is that likely to change as long as you keep adding comments that need to be responded to. How about stopping your edits here NOW and wait to see if anybody else joins the conversation? Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 18:13, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

When they left comments, they came forward. We need a mediator to prevent people from being chased away or being steamrollered. This WikiProject has undertaken some overly-aggressive actions. User:Purplebackpack89 says don't blame the whole project, focus on the editor that got out of line, but neither he nor Kumioko will address what are the appropriate steps for handling that. The project needs consensus on how decisions will be made on sending out promotional communications on behalf of the WikiProject. I think that we should see if we could get a separate special purpose account for sending out those messages, perhaps a bot that will be driven from an editable "subscriber" list. The messages should not come from Kumioko in an individual, unilateral capacity. We should add a clear statement to the project page explaining how to subscribe or unsubscribe from the list. What is your reaction to my proposal? Thanks, Racepacket (talk) 19:02, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

Or maybe other people aren't commenting because they simply don't care. We can't really base are decisions on what people might say if they participated, can we. I don't think a formal policy is necessary. The informal process Kumioko is following with the February letter is fine with me. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 19:34, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

I don't see objections to the specific proposal. So I take it as agreement. Racepacket (talk) 14:25, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

I don't see the specific proposal above that you inserted into the main page. I'm glad to see that you have eliminated all the bureaucratic language of your actual proposals.
I do not agree with the timing, since you create a link to a page that is not even close to completion. We should not be directing people to a page in order to do something that they will be unable to do. Otherwise, with some tweaking your language might be appropriate. We can discuss that while somebody completes the list. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 14:45, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
If you want to read the posted proposal, here it is. Tom raises the question, do we start the list with almost 0 or with 211? First, I can't start it with 211, because I don't have access to that list. Second, if you start it near zero (I would certainly start with the projects that have agreed to have a relationship, such as joint banner, etc.) then a one-time message saying how you can be added to the list would be appropriate. Third, I tried to make clear that other people can add user talk pages to the list as well. That is because these notices will be of a different nature and timing compared to the newsletter. Finally, the fact that you can opt in or opt out of either the newsletter or the notice list should be on the main page and not burried in some subpage. Thanks, Racepacket (talk) 15:19, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
I take it then from your response that you never posted the language you implemented for prior comment. Therefore your statement, "I don't see objections to the specific proposal" is totally misleading. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 15:55, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
I added something in the Possible communitcations policy below that might be a little better IMO. I changed some verbiage and I think it still needs some tweaking but it assumes they want it unless they opt out by exception rather than force them to come here and tell us they don't want it. As stated below it will frequently contain information that will be useful to the other projects or members of them so even if they just ignore it thell have it. --Kumioko (talk) 15:33, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

Members vote

I have now discovered a recent, random comment by Kumioko again insisting that only members of a WikiProject can participate its decision-making by "voting." Again, Wikipedia works by consensus, not voting in most cases. All interested Wikipedia editors have an equal voice in the discussion, not just official members of a WikiProject, because by definition WikiProjects do not have rigid official membership rosters and their active membership is fluid and changes from day to day. Most important of all, if there is a centralized discussion, such as this RFC, involving resolving a conflict between two viewpoints, the final decision cannot be left to just one side of the dispute. Racepacket (talk) 14:51, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

You didnt discover anything I just said that to you yesterday and IMO the members of the project have the hright to set the goals and scope of the project. Not people who don't belong to it. Why would members of WikiProject Illinois have th right to tell WikiProject Ohio that they are now going to cover Illinois articles too? Yes your right. 'Consensus. As in the 180 members of the project who have signed onto the project after the scope was set consitute consensus over 4 or 5 editors who are not members. thats almost a 20 to 1 consensus. There is a difference between consensus and what Racepacket wants. And --Kumioko (talk) 15:00, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
If you are "counting votes" the tally is about 5 or 6 very concerned about recent unduly aggressive actions, 3 or 4 not wanting major changes to the mission statement and 176 with no opinion or "don't care." If you are willing to accept the proposal on group approval of communications, I think there may be some flexibility on the rewording of the mission statement. Let's work together toward resolution and consensus. Thanks, Racepacket (talk) 15:06, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
First, Just because the majority of members have chosen not to get sucked into this pointless discussion does not mean they don't care and it doesn't mean there is no consensus. Second, I will agree to the Communications ban document when that becomes a requirement for all projects. YOU are trying to levy requirments on this project that do not apply to the others. You say we are unwilling to work with you and I say you Sir are mistaken! I tried to be nice but you continued until I bemame frustrated at you blatant disregard for the policies and you constant badgering and now my patience and niceguy attitude are gone. As is my respect for you as an editor at this point. That can be earned back with time though sothere is hope for that at least. We tried to reword the mission statement but you didn't like it. We tried to work with you to clarify the importance criteria but you didn't like it. This is not Racepacketpedia. This is not WikiProject Racepackets United States. This is Wikipedia and WikiProject United States and things don't have to happen Racepackets way. We as a project will decide on the scope of the project and what articles we tag just as all other wikiprojects have done in the past. If you have a problem with that then draft up a proposal to change the rules regarding wikiprojects and see if it get "consensus" but if you think that I am going to let you draft a policy or guideline that specifically prohibits or restricts this project from following the course that we decide you are gravely mistaken. You tried to change our mind, we listened and tried to work with you, you didn't like it. Thats life. Live with it and move on. --Kumioko (talk) 15:26, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
I am sure that was directed at both of us and rightly so but the content of WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT is exactly the point I was trying to make with Racepacket. --Kumioko (talk) 16:27, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

Let me add another late-coming voice to the discussion. I support the concept of updating the scope or mission statement or whatever it's being called. This project should be focusing on national-level concerns and as a sounding board when state-level or subject-matter projects have questions worthy of broader opinion and insight. As for "consensus" and "voting", all decisions are made by the consensus of those who show up, membership rosters are irrelevant. We don't assign abstentions (non-votes) in determining the results of a governmental election, so the editors who have signed up on the project list but don't comment should not be used to skew the "numbers" in this discussion. Imzadi 1979  01:36, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

In clarification, I think this can and should be done as a rational discussion and that all of the drama is unnecessary. I have my soap operas and other TV shows for drama, Wikipedia should not be a supplement to that. Both sides in this discussion should be able to give and little and take a little and come to an agreement to move forward. We might be covering Congress in the project, but we don't need to act like it. Imzadi 1979  01:46, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

The WikiProject guide say "If you need the cooperation of another project, approach them in a spirit of cooperation and look for appropriate compromises." A significant number of people have left comments on this talk page since October expressing grave concerns, and this project, rather than one individual, needs to work things out. There has been too much individual unilateral action which in hindsight has not been well thought-out, not well executed, and has brought bad outcomes. The rapid bot-speed tagging of articles with the WPUS has brought complaints and was finally halted when User:Imzadi1979 filed a complaint with the bot regulators. The "invitation" to 2400 individual US Wikipedians probably violated policy, and the repeated promotional postings to 211 other WikiProject talk pages has stirred ill will. All interested people need to work to resolve these concerns so that we can minimize the impact on the work of creating articles. Racepacket (talk) 13:33, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Ok first I will comment on the bot comments. These are out of the scope of the conversation so move on. I submitted the bot in December after a discussion had gone on for a couple weeks about it but no action was ever taken to approve or deny it so I told them to withdraw it. At some point in the future I may rerequest it but at this time it isn't needed. Second, knowone ever asked me or told me to stop tagging articles and if you look at my edit history I have been tagging plenty more with no complaints. Just because I can tag or edit very quickly is not a bad thing.The invitatin of people to the project absolutely did not violate policy. Since many of these were highly experiences users if it had more than just you would have said somethign. Again I believe this is just distractive banter to distract is from the discussion and tie us up. I will grant that perhaps some of the wording of the postings to the project talk pages was ill chosen based on my limited understanding of the activity of the other projects. These postings were also taken way out of context as I have explained severaltimes before. Again none of the projeects complained about posting the message, just the content of them.

I have told the users that if they did not want to be notified that they can put an * next to their name and only one has done so. If the projects want to "opt out" as well from recieving further messages from this project then IMO they can do so as well on the Embassy page where I believe most of the US related projects are posted. I will need to send out a request to ask them to do so.

Does anyone mind if I send out a request to the other projects? Should I add it to the monthly newsletter I planned to send out or do this as a separate posting?

In regards too the WikiProject guide. First it is a "Guide" and "Guides"are not policy. A fact theat you and others have told me in past discussions when the argument suited them. Second, the guide highlights "The risks of a narrow scope" which you are trying to force onto us. From the Guide I quote:

all of these would occur if we follow your, and I hesitate to use the word in this way "suggestions".

it also states

and also states

which is what I did when I left the messages on the discussion pages.

So I eagerly await your reply and arguments against these direct quotes indicating that you indeed are wrong in your assumptions. --Kumioko (talk) 15:55, 30 January 2011 (UTC) --Kumioko (talk) 15:55, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

The "WikiProject guide" is an informal users manual to help people set up WikiProjects. It is not an offficial Wikipedia policy or guideline and does not overrule those directives. Admin Djsasso already told you that sending out 2400 invitation was "a huge nono." Coexisting with other WikiProjects is fine. The state and subject-specific WikiProjects have peacefully coexisted with WPUS for four years. The problems started in October 2010 with a too aggressive approach. This WikiProject should tread lightly when contacting other WikiProjects and communications with them should be proposed here first and then sent to a "subscriber list" of WikiProject talk pages that have agreed to receive them. Repeated requests to collaborate with other WikiProjects is disruptive. We should not try to "unify" all US related articles. We should live and let live. Group discussion will protect againt any one editor being "tone deaf" on how communications will be taken by the receiving WikiProjects. The subscriber list should be maintained by the Project, so that no individual can "take his marbles and go home." The Guide also states that projects should cooperate and not fight. That means listening and finding mutually acceptable solutions rather than having the goal of chasing people away. Noone is questioning the formation of WikiProject United States four years ago. People are questioning whether the actions since last October comply with policy and guidelines and how people who express concerns are treated with a "fight to the death" attitude that violates the important policy of WP:CONS. Racepacket (talk) 17:18, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
Lets first clarify that for years there was no WPUS so there was nothing to coexist with. It was a dormant project that was completely inactive. Knowone is trying to Unify anyone so drop that argument please your just wasting time. Your statement that "requests to collaborate with other WikiProjects is disruptive." is completely Absurd and is completely contrary to what you are asking for and counter the group discussion argument. But since no projects have asked to be excluded and only one member has (and that is noted on the member list) this is also a mute point. The Embassy opage is also a sort of project list as you suggest so that's already been done. As far as the fight to the death attitude, if an editor (or even a group of them) comes and tells us to shut the project down unless we are willing to limit ourselves to 200 articles of national importance then they should do so expecting a fight to the death. The same would be so if we went to WikiProject Congress and told them that they could only support incumbant members and that inactive members or congress where going to be supported by us. Or if we told WikiProject North American that they had no business tagging US related articles because they were out of scope. --Kumioko (talk) 17:44, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
Not true -- as I told you on another forum that you started. The WikiProject Guide is clearly labeled as a guideline -- nothing informal about it. Perhaps now that you understand this, you will stop making claims that are contradicted by or already covered by these guidelines. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 17:29, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
Ladies, the invitations were sent in hopes of reviving a dead dinosaur. It was a bold and independent task, now completed, and is a totally seperate issue that you have somehow managed to pull into the mud with you. It's under the bridge now.
I agree with Racepacket in that A) members are merely people with an active and consistent contribution to this project who are willing to be listed and thus contacted, and not a voters list; B) That ideally the purpose is to prevent one-sidedness and the "screw you guys, I'm going home" attitude. In other words, WP:US is the overseer of the lesser projects, and serves as the filler and as the binder between articles that are American in scope. This should be a centralized discussion area for widescale changes. A place to discuss naming conventions, proposed moves and unfolding events; not the high-school drama club. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 17:46, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
I was refering to this page, North Shoreman is correct that there is a different page which is a guideline. However, a fundamental policy like WP:CONS overrules it when, as here, they are inconsistent. Similarly, we should obey the guideline WP:CANVASS when contacting the other WikiProjects. I also agree with User:Floydian, and question whether the goal here is to find a way to work together going forward or to chase away people who express different ideas or beliefs. Racepacket (talk) 17:55, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
There is nothing at WP:CONS that contradicts any references in these discussions to the WikiProject Guidelines. If you really agree with Floydian, however, you should agree that there is nothing in this section warranting further discussion. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 18:04, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Floydian that it is silly to debate the "outsider" vs "insider" argument advanced primarly by Kumioko and that it is not a voters list. WP:CONS overrules any interpretation of the Guide which implies that "outsiders" can't edit or discuss the text that appears on a Project page or that consensus is determined by counting votes vs. reaching agreement. Racepacket (talk) 18:11, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

This bot analysis is very revealing on the number of different people who have commented here and whether one person has been dominating the discussion. Racepacket (talk) 20:56, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

First I started commenting here before anyone else on the list that has edited it since August of 2010. Including leaving comments here about what I was dong which went unanswered and uncommented on until I got the project revived earlier this month with a refreshed member list. If you didn't like it you should have commented then. Second all that means is that I was and continue to be active in replying to most of the discussions from everyone else on that list, including yours. Eventhough the dozen or so EMAILS I have received from members of the project who support my actions (who want to edit articles and do not want to be sucked into this stupidity) consider the discussions at this point to be pointless. I also notice that you have the 2nd highest number (roughly half of mine) which I think is rather revealing since you are not a member of the project. It sorta lends some credit to the fillibuster comment I have repeatedly made about your actions. --Kumioko (talk) 21:19, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
I would encourage everyone to comment on-wiki in this centralized RFC. Perhaps stepping back and letting people comment without replying immediately would create an atmosphere where there could be more of a free flow of ideas on these issues: project mission, project scope, what to tag and how to communicate. Thanks, Racepacket (talk) 21:36, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
In the last 24 hours, there have been about 60 edits made to this page, 30 of which were yours. The page is close to incomprehensible now, but it is fairly clear that a solid majority (of a fairly small number) of participating editors support a broad "mission statement" for the project. I think that we now need a more detailed Scope, which may move in the direction you favor if you do not manage to alienate every editor who might support a little focus for the project. After that, the Mission Statement might need some wordsmithing. WRT your bot analysis above, you might want to look at this one, covering the period since you joined the discussion. You have made more edits than your lead opponent and more than all of the other 24 particpants combined. It would not surprise me to learn that Kumioko has added more total text.--Hjal (talk) 06:20, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

Possible communitcations policy

Racepacket just added the following "policy" to the main project page and I reverted it for now. I don't think we have an agreement on whether we need it let alone what the wording should be:

The WikiProject communicates through a newletter and by occassionally sending notices to other WikiProjects. To receive the newsletter, add your username to the members list. If you do not want to receive newsletters, place an asterisk after your username. Notices are sent to the talk page of WikiProjects that are listed on Wikipedia:WikiProject United States/Noticelist. Other WikiProjects are free to add or remove their talk pages from that list.

Although I am not 100% convinced we need it I can see some merit in having a small message and a mechanism for members and projects to opt in or out of receiving messages. I just didn't agree that he should be doing it without discussing it first. Since as far as I know none of the other US related projects have asked to not recieve a notice or newsletter regarding US related things I would prefer to do it by exception whereas if the project does not want to receive any notifications they add their name. Below is what I propose for the wording:

This WikiProject communicates through a recurring newsletter and by occassionally sending notices to its members and to other United States related WikiProjects. All members will receive the newsletter by default however if you do not want to receive newsletters, place an asterisk after your username. If you do not wish to be a member of the project but do wish to receive the newsletter and notifications add your name to the Non-members: Newsletter and notifications only section of the Members list. Since notices will include updates and information about Portal:United States, the US Wikipeidans Collaboration Notice board and Topic of the Month which pertain to all US related projects and editors the notice will also be sent to the talk page of United States related WikiProjects unless they decline by adding the project to Wikipedia:WikiProject United States/Non-Noticelist. Other WikiProjects are free to add or remove their talk pages from the WikiProjects: Newsletter and notifications only list.

We will need to create a couple subsections for the Members page and a page for members and projects to opt out which might change the verbiage slightly but does anyone have a problem with implementing this. --Kumioko (talk) 14:47, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

Part of the problem with Racepacket's proposals on the mission statement were that they sounded too bureaucratic and negative. I think some of those problems exist with your proposed language. I suggest the following:

We want this WikiProject to encourage and foster a spirit of cooperation and to create a forum for communication between all editors with an interest in improving articles relating the United States. Our project communicates through a recurring newsletter and by occasional notices to its members and to other United States related WikiProjects. The notices will include updates and information about Portal:United States, the US Wikipedians Collaboration Notice board and the Topic of the Month which pertain to all U.S. related projects and editors. Check WikiProject United States Newsletter for how you can contribute to the newsletter, add your name to the subscription list (members of the project are automatically added to the list) or opt out of the list.

The redlined link could be constructed along the lines of the one used by WikiProject Military History (see [6]), modified of course to recognize the fact that our Project is a lot less active than the other project. This would be the place for all the opt in and opt out language and the place where the links to the various mailing and membership lists could be placed. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 16:35, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
I agree your version sounds much better and will be less maintenance. --Kumioko (talk) 16:51, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

I think the opt in / opt out policy should be on the main page and not hidden. I had proposed:

The WikiProject communicates through a newletter and by occassionally sending notices to other WikiProjects. To receive the newsletter, add your username to the members list. If you do not want to receive newsletters, place an asterisk after your username. Notices are sent to the talk page of WikiProjects that are listed on Wikipedia:WikiProject United States/Noticelist. Other WikiProjects are free to add or remove their talk pages from that list.

This is short and to the point. There is no need to add the collaboration notice board or the topic of the month, because they remain in one place and do not push content raising opt in/opt out issues. Racepacket (talk) 06:04, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

The point of a communications section on the main page is to ENCOURAGE COMMUNICATION. Pointing out the collaboration notice board or the topic of the month ENCOURAGES COMMUNICATION. Providing a direct, clear link to the opt in/opt out information, as my proposal does, addresses your concerns without placing any undue burden (i.e. one extra click of the mouse) on anybody wishing to exercise these options.
You use the phrase "do not push content". In fact, the main page of the project should "push content." All WikiProjects want to improve articles within their scope and emphasizing content and recruiting interested parties to participate is an important part in how they do that. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 15:24, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

The point is that important information about how to opt in/opt out of those activities that "push content" should be on the main project page and not burried in mushy self-promotional material. For those communications which do not "push content", there is no need for an opt in/opt-out procedure. Racepacket (talk) 15:07, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

Why? Because you say so? What projects with newsletters have all the information to opt/in and opt/out on the main project page? What projects don't? How is single click access to an opt/in/opt out page "burried".
The use of the phrase "mushy self-promotional material" seems to show your deep seated bias against this project. You AGAIN neglected to explain exactly how "pushing content" is a bad thing.
What is specifically wrong with this sentence that is apparently what you consider to be too "mushy":
"We want this WikiProject to encourage and foster a spirit of cooperation and to create a forum for communication between all editors with an interest in improving articles relating the United States."Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 15:24, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
Racepacket, if you're here solely to repeatedly attempt to enfore crazy sanctions on this project simply because of the mass invites issue, which happened months ago, then you are not only forum shopping, repeatedly refusing to get the point and just being an all-around dick, but you are assuming bad faith, and being deconstructive in your efforts towards the encyclopedia at large. You've presented this issue at various venues, nearly made a (regardless of your allegations againt them) productive member retire in frustration, yet always get the same answer.
Everyone else, stick a little hatnote at the top of the project page that states "WikiProject United States periodically sends out notices to members and wikiprojects listed at this page. We apologize if you receive these notices in error, but you can opt-out from future notices."
Voila, you have a whitelist and a blacklist.
Anything other than this lone issue seems to be punitive, not productive. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 16:10, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
The better place for the opt out information would be on the actual newsletter itself. This would provide the recipient with immediate access to the procedure and seems to be a common practice with newsletters as well as emails out in the real world. Adding a hatnote to the top of a WikiProject main page seems to be unprecedented and even more punitive (although it's pretty clear that this is not your intention) than Racepacket's proposal. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 16:29, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I agree with Tom and in fact had already started building it that way (of course we can change it if need be). I have started to construct the newsletter for February and at the bottom is the statement:

To stop receiving this newsletter, or to receive it in a different format, please list yourself in the appropriate section here

. If the user clicks on the here link it will take them to the Newsletter subfolder which contains the Newsletter archives in case they want to see an older issue and the delivery options. By default it will be a blurb about this months newsletter is done click here to view it kinda language but if they want to opt in or out, get the full version istead of the link, etc they can do that. Feel free to edit it. Its still a work in progress but I would like to get it finalized by Friday and get it sent out over the weekend. Then we can start developing March's and get it out on or about the first of the month there after. --Kumioko (talk) 16:38, 2 February 2011 (UTC)


Looks good, and thats all that is necessary. Individual events should be dealt with as individual events, and not as a need to change a project. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 17:30, 2 February 2011 (UTC)