Wikipedia talk:Wikipedia Signpost

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The Signpost
WT:POST
Feedback

The Signpost feedback

Please use this page for general or technical issues, praise, queries, or complaints.

  • For suggestions of a topic to cover, see Suggestions.
  • For article-specific comments, please add them to that article's talk page.
  • For proposals for a feature, see the Newsroom.
  • For discussion of the next issue, see the Newsroom talk page.


Floating a grant proposal for publishing[edit]

There was a failed WMF grant proposal to fund a Publication Manager for 45 issues. I floated a shorter-term experimental rapid grant here for three months on a trial basis. This was done without any consultation so it might be dumb. But it might not. Comments can be made at the link provided. I know people want to keep editorial roles strictly separated from WMF support, so if this happened, and I was funded to do it, I would refrain from other Signpost activities for the duration. ☆ Bri (talk) 00:56, 30 March 2018 (UTC)

I mentioned this project of Bluerasberry's in my op-ed but I had not researched all the background here. Lane's suggestion is not without merit - he's one of our users who often comes up with ideas, I know him well pesonally and have nothing but admiration for his energy. However, there were some valid concerens expressed about the WMF funding suggestion. While it would be an incentive to keep someone in the printinhg house control room, IMHO I believe it would be important to keep the newspaper independent of the Foundation. Having discussed late last night with Bri about trying to get this latest issue out, I'm not so sure that the tasks of 'publisher', while requiring perhaps somewhat more technical knowledge than mine for example, are so onerous that they merit a remunerated position. WE're all volunteers and each one devotes as much time as they can to Wikipedia - what is needed just as urgently is also an enthusiastic and responsive editorial team. AFAICS, the current E-in-C is not the only Signpost 'staff' who has not edited in a long while.Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 01:33, 30 March 2018 (UTC)
This is an "and not but" reply. The Publishing Manager role has zero editorial input. They are a button-pusher for content produced by the editorial staff. ☆ Bri (talk) 01:45, 30 March 2018 (UTC)
I think this is brilliant idea. I think the value of the Signpost is great, and concerns about "independence" do not appear insurmountable. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 01:54, 30 March 2018 (UTC)
Bri, having done us the honours last night and publishing this long overdue issue, you know best just exactly what is involved in the 'button pushing', how complex (or not) it is, and how long it takes. Provided the editorial team can select appropriate submissions and copy edit them, and those who provide the regular traffic and tech reports, FA lists, and Arbcom news etc. can get their copy in in time, I belive a punctual monthly issue would be possible. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 05:08, 30 March 2018 (UTC)
Manual publishing sucks. Kudos to Bri. (Former EIC) Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 23:14, 18 April 2018 (UTC)

Proposal withdrawn in light of new volunteer for position of publication manager. ☆ Bri (talk) 15:38, 26 April 2018 (UTC)

Who's the editor?[edit]

I am incredibly confused about who's actually running this at the moment. Who are the important editors, publishers, and regular contributors? Not sure how up-to-date the Newsroom's contributors list is... — pythoncoder  (talk | contribs) 17:32, 21 April 2018 (UTC)

The newsroom is a coalition of the willing. I'd say at this point E in C is a distributed, functional role embodied by whoever takes moment to moment challenges. The only fixed role at the moment possibly is Publication Manager, which is me on an interim basis, since I'm the only active one (I think) with the requisite permissions for mass-mailings and who has published at least once. Also I should acknowledge that Barbara has consistently done the past eleven Humour columns, starting with the "reboot" 15 July 2017 issue. As for who are contributors here is the list from Issue 4:
  • OP-ED: Death knell sounding for The Signpost? By Kudpung
  • NEWS AND NOTES: Wiki Conference roundup and new appointments By Bluerasberry
  • TRAFFIC REPORT: Real sports, real women and an imaginary country (Top25 report imported, editors not really active at Newsroom)
  • SPECIAL REPORT: ACTRIAL wrap-up By Kudpung
  • ARBITRATION REPORT: Ironing out issues in infoboxes; not sure yet about New Jersey; and an administrator who probably wasn't uncivil to a sockpuppet. By Bri
  • IN THE MEDIA: The media on Wikipedia's workings: the good and not-so-good By Eddie891 and Bri
  • FEATURED CONTENT: Animals, Ships, and Songs By Eddie891 and Bri
  • TECHNOLOGY REPORT: Timeless skin review by Force Radical By FR30799386
  • HUMOUR: WikiWorld Reruns By Greg Williams edited by Barbara Page
Glad you are contributing to the current issue! ☆ Bri (talk) 18:23, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
Thanks — pythoncoder  (talk | contribs) 18:40, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
To answer your original question, Kudpung has assumed the position of Editor in Chief as an interim solution. --Zarasophos (talk) 15:20, 24 April 2018 (UTC)
The article The Signpost ought to be updated. Do we say "interim" there, though? ☆ Bri (talk) 15:11, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
'Acting' would be the correct word for what I am doing. 'Interim' would sound as if I may be holding the post until someone else comes along. I probably won't. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 12:57, 27 April 2018 (UTC)

NCORP report?[edit]

I don't think the update to NCORP has been covered in the signpost yet. Any plans? If not I guess i am volunteering myself to draft it, by asking... Jytdog (talk) 21:02, 21 April 2018 (UTC)

  • Jytdog: Consider yourself signed up :) (If you want to draft something). Longer than three-ish paragraphs, you should probably write a piece, but a short, two or three paragraph write up can go into the News and Notes. Eddie891 Talk Work 21:21, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Jytdog, There is a short two-liner about it in the news and notes that I have drafted for the next issue due in just over a week. Feel free to expand but I think a stand-alone article would be better - it wouldn't cramp your style and it would make The Signpost look bigger. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 22:11, 21 April 2018 (UTC)
  • It'll get published. Thanks for the work, and let the publishers do theirs now. Eddie891 Talk Work 12:29, 24 April 2018 (UTC)

Looks to be an excellent issue[edit]

Just wanted to say that I'm really impressed with this coming issue - meaty content; plenty of authors. Thanks to Bri, Kudpung and others for saving Signpost from the brink. K.e.coffman (talk) 00:27, 25 April 2018 (UTC)

Ditto. It is the first time I have read the Signpost, after coming to WP on and off for ten years. I will now be reading it again. Aoziwe (talk) 08:05, 8 May 2018 (UTC)

Retirement of old role account[edit]

Hello Signpostians, there is an old blocked role account User:Wikipedia Signpost, that is sitting with a bot flag. Per User talk:Wikipedia Signpost neither Peteforsyth or Chris troutman have use for it and mailings are now sent using the MassMessage extension. Barring anyone claiming a use for this, I plan to de bot-flag it as routine cleanup - if anyone objects please let me know (please ping me). Of course, should a future use come up, and someone has the credentials it could be unblocked and reflagged following a BRFA. Thank you, — xaosflux Talk 23:01, 25 April 2018 (UTC)

Thanks, Xaosflux. To my memory, that account was mainly used only as a way for people to email the Signpost through the emailuser function. It certainly has no need for the bot flag, and hasn't for many years now. :-) Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 05:09, 22 May 2018 (UTC)
Thanks, I removed the old bot flag. Should you wish to recover it in the future (assuming you have the passwords) just file a new WP:BRFA. Best regards, — xaosflux Talk 11:01, 22 May 2018 (UTC)

Process makeover[edit]

Just wanted to put this out there, maybe we can start talking about what works best for everybody. I'd like to hear everyone's thoughts, of course; pinging Zarasophos as I think they've started on a makeover.

When revamping the Signpost documentation and newsroom workflow, we should keep in mind there are very different stakeholders with different needs and roles. I've tried to break this down into basics that don't necessarily depend on our current workflow model.

Stakeholders:

  • Readers
  • Intermittent or new contributors
  • Newsroom
    • Regular contributors
      • Regular column contributors
      • Copyeditors
    • The publication manager
    • The editor-in-chief

I think we need process that accomplishes these actions at a minimum. I've avoided the word "tracks" or "tells" in the interest of greatest flexibility. E.g. if the presence of a MediaWiki page in a specific location is sufficient, then we don't need to actively "track" a submission.

  • Communicates the goal publishing date for next issue
  • Communicates progress towards that goal
  • Communicates to readers
    • How to become contributors
    • How to provide news tips
    • How to provide feedback on specific article
    • How to provide suggestions on The Signpost in general
    • Who is reponsible for issue content
  • Communicates to intermittent or new contributors what they do to propose a new item
  • Communicates to all contributors what a completed item entails
  • Clear signal from selector (E-in-C, I think?) that intermittent pieces are approved
    • To Newsroom
    • To author
  • Clear signal from contributors to E-in-C when they are done writing, for approval
  • Clear signals to copyeditors
    • They can start editing a particular item's text
    • They can ignore a particular item (complete, rejected, or postponed)
    • What style/finish is required (e.g. title, blurb, byline; maybe also what is optional)
    • What style/finish is remaining
  • Clear signals to publication manager
    • It is time to publish
    • What to include in issue and in what order
  • Clear signal to readers that new issue is ready

One final thing; I think we should consider software that's specifically geared towards managing a group. Not necessarily MediaWiki based, examples: Asana, monday.com, Trello. Heretical? ☆ Bri (talk) 17:03, 26 April 2018 (UTC)

Yeah, I'm currently working on a draft for a new Signpost page space: Newsroom, Submissions, Suggestions, Quick Start, Content guidance, Style (the current style page will be called "formatting"), About. Take a look, but be aware that all of these are currently very WIP. I'll provide better documentation later today or tomorrow, kind of in a hurry right now. The main goal is clearing the pages were work is being done of giant unneccessary blocks of texts and putting them on their own separate pages, while linking them where they are needed. I'm also standardizing things like headers, footings etc. for a more uniform experience. Zarasophos (talk) 17:12, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
I'm glad you kept the Quick Start that I ... started (smiley). Reviewing what I wrote, it sounds kind of project-manager-ish, which is in my nature, but we shouldn't lose track of the idea that this is a volunteer effort by people who aren't here to be tasked and nagged. If we have a solution that feels like nagging, it will probably not be succesful. There's not a lot of data to go on but my gut feeling is that some of the vacancies and resignations on the Newsroom staff were caused by a sense of being overwhelmed by the program and its responsibilities. If we have roles that people can step in and out of, it would be better than holding their nose to the grindstone. Also, not listed above but very important is a system of honorary recognition and reward, befitting the adhocracy/potlatch/reputation-based environment we have here. ☆ Bri (talk) 17:38, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
Bri, do you have any idea where I can find and edit the Table of Contents template for the Newsroom? I can't find it for the life of me... Zarasophos (talk) 08:18, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
What is needed is a group editable progress spreadsheet instead of a clunky Wikitable. Articles/features on the left; stages of production across the top. SaaS is likely to be payware though. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 13:00, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
If we want to go the way of working on the Signpost out of Wikipedia, I could always throw up a Google Doc or a Trello board, which would be my favourite. I was under the impression we wanted to avoid using secondary pages/software with account creation etc., though I guess everyone and their dog has a Google account by now... Zarasophos (talk) 13:14, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
Google accounts are easy to create, even if one wants to create a throwaway account for privacy. The sticking point would be paying for a subscription, which makes us go again to WMF or one of the regionals like WMDC with a grant proposal. ☆ Bri (talk) 02:12, 28 April 2018 (UTC)
Isn't using an external service going to create duplication? How would we keep on-wiki and off-wiki stuff in sync? Assuming we're still going to have drafts and submissions and editing and (some) discussions on Wikipedia, and that we want the participation of new/one-time writers that aren't necessarily going to create an account elsewhere just to contribute to the Signpost. If what we want is something with "Articles/features on the left; stages of production across the top", we can do that with wikitext/templates. Possibly even transclude it from a namespace with VidsualEditor enabled if you want to be able to edit visually. - Evad37 [talk] 02:50, 28 April 2018 (UTC)
I was thinking the content would be on-wiki, and off-wiki tools used for coordination, status, assignments and so on. Some experimentation would be required to show this would all work. ☆ Bri (talk) 04:08, 28 April 2018 (UTC)
If we're going to use an external service, we should consider Phabricator, which would allow everyone to use their Wikipedia accounts, and wouldn't require a subscription. - Evad37 [talk] 09:55, 28 April 2018 (UTC)
I do think that some off-wiki tool is needed; I'm not familiar enough with Phabricator to know if it will work well enough. power~enwiki (π, ν) 19:59, 29 April 2018 (UTC)

Makeover trial pages by Zarasophos[edit]

Okay everyone (pinging Kudpung, Bri, Evad37 & Power~enwiki because they were active in this discussion before) it took some time and still is not really finished, but I want to get some opinions and feedback before I put any further work into it (and also because I really need to get writing on News and notes..) As I said before, my main goal was eliminating as many transclusions, repetitions and unneccessary stuff as possible, updating the Newsroom while trimming it down to the workflow itself in a way that would be accessible to anyone stumbling in here, even if no-one of the current team was left. But now, without any further ado, I present my Signpost Newsroom Overhaul (presented in the format in which it is also presented in the revamped Signpost Navigation Template, which is active on all overhaul pages in my userspace. Be careful, however: All links within the pages themselves still lead to the current Signpost pages)!

  • Newsroom - The main thing. Consists of only three parts: New here?, Discussion and Next issue. New here? gives non-team members quick ways to submit suggestions, submissions and a link to the Quick Start page as well as to more information. Discussion is self-explanatory. Then, we come to the heart of the thing: Next issue. As you may have noted, there is no more transclusion from the Submissions page. If you are a regular team member and want to write a piece, you start it right here with the relevant button, allowing for progress of the entire Next issue to be centrally controlled and checked on a single page. The expanded checklists for each feature allow for more overview over the current status, while the links to Content guidance and Resources for each feature allow writers access to all relevant information without having to search for it beyond the Newsroom page. Discussion of the features themselves also takes place directly on the Newsroom page. Excuse the broken links for the articles that are currently being written - I have no idea where I can actually access the template for the main article table, so I had to improvise a little...
  • Writing (Quick Start) - Has been redone to have all information relevant for aspiring contributors and team members. There is now a single page you can link to if anyone says he's interested in doing anything for the Signpost.
    • Resources - Has any and all useful links, tools etc. on a single page. No more going through About, Content guidance etc. to find something.
    • Formatting - The long form, tells you everything there is to know about Signpost formatting. Will probably only ever be read a single time ever by anyone.
    • Style - How to write. Not much done yet, but I will do that later on. Will help giving the Signpost a more unified language.
      • Style cheatsheet (not started) - Same as above, for short look-ups.
  • Guidelines
    • Content - All irrelevant stuff has been put elsewhere. Now only contains a list of features and what should be put into them.
    • Coordination - Workflow. What are the different pages for, what do the different roles do.
  • About - Statement of purpose, current team, Userboxes & Barnstar. The team box has been reordered to eliminate empty roles and make responsibilities more clear.
  • Archives (as is)
  • Submissions - Not much change, mainly reordering of the texts and buttons.
  • Suggestions - Some formatting cleanup.
  • Subscribe (as is)

The main changes, I think, are that the Newsroom now actually is the single centre part of the Signpost. Submissions and Suggestions pages are now pages were non-team members submit their content for approval by Editors.

And apropos Editors: I think a discussion we need to be having is what an Editor can do and what only the Editor in Chief can do. In my opinion, especially in our current situtation, we should make it very clear on the Coordination page that all members of the Editorial Board are, yes, Editors and that the Editor in Chief is one of them - a primus inter pares, whose main responsibility is pulling the trigger of publication. That way, we get a collegium of editors who can all delegate responsibilities to each other, with most taking on some more special duties, instead of a few very specialized roles that in the end don't have that much to do. But that's up for debate.

To go through Kudpungs checklist:

  • Communicates the goal publishing date for next issue - Done by the current tracker
  • Communicates progress towards that goal - Done by the main article table in the Newsroom
  • Communicates to readers
    • How to become contributors - Done by the top of the Newsroom and the Quick Start page
    • How to provide news tips - Done by the top of the Newsroom and the Quick Start page
    • How to provide feedback on specific article - Not much change there, really
    • How to provide suggestions on The Signpost in general - See above
    • Who is reponsible for issue content - Done by the new Coordination page
  • Communicates to intermittent or new contributors what they do to propose a new item - Done by the top of the Newsroom and the Quick Start page
  • Communicates to all contributors what a completed item entails - Done by the new checklist in the main article table in the Newsroom
  • Clear signal from selector (E-in-C, I think?) that intermittent pieces are approved - Done by the new checklist in the main article table in the Newsroom
    • To Newsroom
    • To author
  • Clear signal from contributors to E-in-C when they are done writing, for approval - Done by the new checklist in the main article table in the Newsroom
  • Clear signals to copyeditors
    • They can start editing a particular item's text - Done by the new checklist in the main article table in the Newsroom
    • They can ignore a particular item (complete, rejected, or postponed) - Done by the new checklist in the main article table in the Newsroom
    • What style/finish is required (e.g. title, blurb, byline; maybe also what is optional) - Done by the new checklist in the main article table in the Newsroom
    • What style/finish is remaining - Done by the new checklist in the main article table in the Newsroom
  • Clear signals to publication manager
    • It is time to publish - Done by the Editor-in-Chief, as before; since it's a one time job for each issue, I think we don't need a dedicated position for that
    • What to include in issue and in what order - See above
  • Clear signal to readers that new issue is ready - Nothing new there

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Zarasophos (talkcontribs) 13:07, 13 May 2018 (UTC)

I like the single point of entry for new contributors, whether they are editors, op-ed writers, or most importantly, they don't know what's allowed and what they can do. I'll have to mull over the other changes a little more. By the way that was my checklist, not Kudpung's initially, but it doesn't really matter. ☆ Bri (talk) 04:10, 14 May 2018 (UTC)
Correct, I didn't make that checklist. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 12:42, 14 May 2018 (UTC)
I would like to file an official apology for misattributing the checklist to Kudpung. Zarasophos (talk) 12:49, 14 May 2018 (UTC)
Don't worry about it - I wouldn't have done it any better ;) Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 12:59, 14 May 2018 (UTC)
BTW, I'm supposed to be E-in-C for the time being, but while I understand my principle duties are to have the final word on what gets published and when, I'm getting even more confused when trying to follow the submissions and their statuses - I have another couple of items lined up for this month, but either I've already forgotten how, or I just can't find where to add the 'From the editor' column. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 13:05, 14 May 2018 (UTC)
Is the "lost section" User:Kudpung/sandbox#Recurring themes? Maybe the motivation for my insistence on a ToC for the last issue is more apparent now. ☆ Bri (talk) 13:23, 14 May 2018 (UTC)
Yes, it is Recuring themes:) I thought that coloured table was going to replace the ToC. Not that I mind either, but having to constantly update the two seems to be duplicating something. Whatever you think is best. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 14:21, 14 May 2018 (UTC)
I listed it at WP:Wikipedia Signpost/Newsroom#Next issue as a reminder to the publication manager. A full ToC is probably overkill. But I should point out that we are already deviating from Zarasophos' proposal for tracking all items in the colored table. If we could get it in there, it would bring things back in alignment. ☆ Bri (talk) 16:23, 14 May 2018 (UTC)

Just to bring discussion back on topic - what's the opinion on adopting the overhaul for the Signpost pages? To sum up the main differences for anyone not interested in trawling through the wall of text above:

  • No more transclusions of submissions onto the Newsroom
  • Article status is tracked by an extended checklist in the main Newsroom table
  • Single point of entry for new writers
  • General cleanup
  • Formatting fixes

This would be most effective if connected to some changes in team coordination and workflow as written in the new coordination page, mostly:

  • Regular team members start articles directly from the Newsroom
  • All members of the Editorial Board are Editors (with the Editor-in-Chief getting to pull the trigger & several other special posts)
  • Cutting of empty positions

But obviously, there needs to be consensus from the team to adopt the overhauled pages. All the static ones I'll be able to copy over, the Newsroom will probably need a bit more fiddling.

  • I'll start with a Support. Zarasophos (talk) 21:44, 14 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Still not sure. Would we couple this with a move to WP:Signpost/Subpage instead of the current (and out of date) WP:Wikipedia Signpost/Subpage? ☆ Bri (talk) 22:04, 14 May 2018 (UTC)
I'd be very much in favour (especially since it would allow us to leave 10 years of accumulated subpage garbage behind), but I think we'd need to reconfigure bots for archiving etc. Should be a doable task, though. Zarasophos (talk) 22:10, 14 May 2018 (UTC)
Moving is a complicated due to all the templates and subtemplates that are used not just for the current issue, but also for the past issues in the archives. - Evad37 [talk] 01:51, 15 May 2018 (UTC)
A way to do it without breaking things, though, would be to leave all the pages, subpages, and templates where they are, mark them as deprecated (inside <noinclude>...</noinclude> sections to avoid breaking transcluded pages), and create new versions of everything for WP:Signpost/Subpage - Evad37 [talk] 02:13, 15 May 2018 (UTC)

Just want to make everyone aware that Evad37 did a wonderful job of transferring the hack job I did with the Newsroom Article Table into an actually usable template; have a look at what it looks like now! Zarasophos (talk) 21:25, 17 May 2018 (UTC)

That looks great. Can we start using it as soon as Issue 6 is published? ☆ Bri (talk) 13:47, 22 May 2018 (UTC)
 Done, the next time the reset template is subst'ed, it will output new Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Newsroom/Task template for each task - Evad37 [talk] 03:27, 24 May 2018 (UTC)
I'm all for it and would really like to start implementing the rest of my overhaul as well! Zarasophos (talk) 20:45, 22 May 2018 (UTC)

How do I become a copyeditor?[edit]

I saw the info on it, but there was no way to become one. qwerty6811 :-) Chat Ping me 20:54, 26 April 2018 (UTC)

Hi. You'll first need to read Copy editing, and then these instructions and then get a lot of experience editing Wikipedia articles. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 12:39, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
Funny this just came up; two of the newsroom tasks I just listed include a) delineating mandatory and optional formatting issues and b) notifying copyeditors that there's work to do, which we currently do through the article status "scoreboard". ☆ Bri (talk) 17:12, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
No comment on this? Should we try to make the "looking for new talent" link more prominent? Bri.public (talk) 19:41, 1 May 2018 (UTC)

New readers[edit]

Here's a few things I've thought about we could do to attract new readers, which would hopefully also lead to more editors. (By the way, the Signpost front page had ~8k views in the last 30 days).

One time[edit]

  • Get a mention in the Did you Know section on the front page. - While I think producing the Signpost counts as improving the /Signpost page, it's probably pretty unlikely to actually happen

Long term[edit]

  • Get a link on the front page under Main Page#Other areas of Wikipedia - Village Pump Discussion; doesn't seem to get much favour
  • Add a watchlist notice for Signpost publication - Discussion 1, Notification at Village Pump; The participants of the discussions seem pretty solidly in favour, how long are RfCs or Watchlist message discussions usually open?
  • Be way more agressive with the ol' Social Media - I have no idea about Facebook, but on Twitter we could do polls, retweets and discussions even between issues

After each future issue[edit]

  • Post links to Signpost articles on pages that have been reported on, such as the recent Discussion report and the Village Pump subpage for deletion of portals.
  • Post on WP:Teahouse.

Any other ideas? Marketing can obviously get spammy (duh), but I think we'll need at least a little of it in order to survive. Zarasophos (talk) 08:27, 27 April 2018 (UTC)

  • I don't think DYK is feasible, but the others seem like good ideas. The watchlist notice did happen. Eddie891 Talk Work 21:58, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
  • We didn't post to social media in March because the active people did not have the social media credentials. I think Chris is looking for them to use in concert with publication going forward.
  • As for your ideas, all sound good. I wonder if the DYK people would be receptive.
  • I'd like to have some measure of our readership so we can gauge the impact that changes make or will make in the future. Is there any metric at all for "circulation"? ☆ Bri (talk) 15:01, 29 April 2018 (UTC)
  • I sent out a tweet from @wikisignpost for the current issue. I'm waiting on The ed17 to get the Facebook credential for our existing account. I am gathering a ideas about a larger social media strategy and I'll let the community here know when I have a plan. Chris Troutman (talk) 15:07, 29 April 2018 (UTC)
  • @Chris troutman: OOC, have you tried Tweetdeck? It'll allow you to prep and schedule tweets to go out in the future without any further input from you.
  • @Bri: There's the subscribers lists here and on Meta, of course, but pageviews are a necessary metric as well in case stories are getting external attention. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 19:26, 29 April 2018 (UTC)
  • @The ed17: I am aware of such things but I think a monthly tweet can be done the old-fashioned way. I'll consider it in the future, though. Chris Troutman (talk) 19:33, 29 April 2018 (UTC)

As I noted in the VPPR thread, I think that the WP:Teahouse would be a good place to try posting the next issue, if the coordinators there are OK with it. power~enwiki (π, ν) 20:00, 29 April 2018 (UTC)

  • Could someone please follow up with Xaosflux about the watchlist notice? He appears to be the only person who decides on what goes on the watchlist. When I asked for the watchlist notice for this issue he insisted onh there being a discussion. I don't know how much discussion it takes to convince him. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 20:03, 29 April 2018 (UTC)
PS: If anyone else wats to add a comment, the discussiion is at MediaWiki talk:Watchlist-messages. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 20:22, 29 April 2018 (UTC)
Whomever else it may concern - Xaosflux just opened another discussion on the Village Pump.
Let's all remember WP:CANVASS, please. Chris Troutman (talk) 21:56, 29 April 2018 (UTC)
Edited out the user pings. Sorry, wasn't familiar with that rule. Zarasophos (talk) 22:00, 29 April 2018 (UTC)
  • xaosflux did not start a discussion at the VP. He did the proper thing and used the VP to notify of a discussion, which incidentally is taking place at MediaWiki_talk:Watchlist-messages#Signpost. That said, it's probably time to suggest to him that there is sufficient consensus already. That mini discussionisn't likely to draw 100s of participants any more than a Move RfC does on an article tp. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 01:35, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
    I'd prefer that anyone besides me close that discussion out, as I'm at least tangentially involved and while I'm not the "decider" for WL-notices I do maintenance them often, and would likely be the one to implement the posting if the support for it is realized. — xaosflux Talk 01:59, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
    I've posted a request on WP:AN/RFC - Evad37 [talk] 02:18, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
    Closed. — xaosflux Talk 18:47, 4 May 2018 (UTC)
Idea

Not sure about the technicalities, but there is a thing showing up in the watchlist whenever a new site-wide thing happens: Arbcom lections, or various site-wide campaigns. A link thre can be put whenever a new signpost is released. Nergaal (talk) 18:57, 4 May 2018 (UTC)

See [1] — this has been suggested and implemented. — pythoncoder  (talk | contribs) 19:16, 4 May 2018 (UTC)

Portal RFC closing 8 May[edit]

It would be nice if we can just replace the current Discussion report with another, more up to date one. This is not something that will be at all relevant in 19 days.Eddie891 Talk Work 13:39, 6 May 2018 (UTC)

My intention is to update the report when the discussion closes. — pythoncoder  (talk | contribs) 12:25, 7 May 2018 (UTC)
I've updated with the result but I will check again. — pythoncoder  (talk | contribs) 11:38, 16 May 2018 (UTC)

RSS oddities[edit]

Signpost 2018-03-29 RSS reader screenshot; not our best presentation to the world
RSS feed in Android app

Issues:

  1. I installed Feedly, a top rated RSS reader for Android with 300,000+ installs. Entering "The Signpost" in the standard search bar, our RSS feed was not discoverable. But it did find a c. 2012 feed called "Wikipedia Signpost" that doesn't seem to be updated anymore. I had to paste in our RSS address, which is absolutely a barrier for 99.9% of our readers. Just finding it took me a few minutes and I work here (go ahead, I dare you to try). I wonder if this is fixable?
  2. Another oddity, the single-page edition a) looks like hell (see screenshot, right) and b) has the publisher's name – i.e. mine – for many things that it shouldn't and c) lacks internal section titles. Also something I wonder is fixable.

By the way, for proper prioritization, do we know how many RSS subscribers we actually have? Is there any way to determine this? ☆ Bri (talk) 22:15, 17 May 2018 (UTC)

Pinging @Samwilson, who made the feeds tool. But with 2a/2c, the problem is with Feedly following a rather strict interpretation of the RSS spec, which IIRC doesn't allow most (or maybe even all) html tags. With Firefox, which (on desktop at least) has a built in feed reader, it works correctly.
The same RSS feed in Firefox
- Evad37 [talk] 00:13, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
I should say one positive thing, which is on the "chooser" page, the graphics that are included in articles look great on my mobile device (see screenshot, left). Maybe an indicator of an area to spend more effort on to attract a diverse reading audience. ☆ Bri (talk) 00:30, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
It looks like issue 2c, missing section titles, also occurs with the single-epage edition. ☆ Bri (talk) 06:39, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
I've updated the feed generator to wrap title and description in cdata, but I'm not sure that's the problem here. The feed does validate, but I think @Evad37 is right and Feedly's handling of HTML is more strict than other aggregators (the feed works fine in Thunderbird, for example). Feedly wants <content type="html"> containing escaped HTML, but we're serving up non-escaped HTML in a <content:encoded> element (as per the content module spec). I'll keep digging to see what the correct behaviour is.

As for making the feed available via search in Feedly, I've no idea; I guess there's some way to register on Feedly?

Sam Wilson 07:05, 25 May 2018 (UTC)

Publication schedule[edit]

Hello, I've recently started reading the Signpost, and from what I've gathered contributions had sadly slowed down a bit for some time, so I'm a little confused about the current plans.

The newsroom seems to say the Signpost switched to a monthly schedule at the end of last year, but some other pages still talk about publishing issues on a weekly basis, and I've seen references to a fortnightly publication as well.

Assuming there's still plans for a regular schedule, is it a good time to update those pages to reflect that? Thank you! Mlkj (talk) 18:45, 20 May 2018 (UTC)

The current publishing schedule is monthly and we have mostly stuck to it thus far (kudos to Bri, Kudpung, Chris, and the others for keeping this thing running). It really is a shame that the ’Post doesn’t publish more often — the schedule wreaks havoc on the Discussion Report. I don’t see the weekly references you mentioned. Could you link to the pages that mention a fortnightly schedule? Thanks — pythoncoder  (talk | contribs) 22:05, 20 May 2018 (UTC)
The mainspace Signpost article mentions a switch to a fortnightly schedule and then a period of instability, although I see now that the infobox does say "Monthly newspaper". It also says "Want the latest Signpost delivered to your talk page each week?" for me at the bottom of the Signpost front page, and I think that's coming from somewhere inside the signpost footer template. I could have sworn I saw the word weekly on the subscribe page too, but I must have dreamed it (or somehow browsed an old version without noticing!). Thanks for the clarification! Mlkj (talk) 23:32, 20 May 2018 (UTC)
I don't believe there is any chance that The Signpost will ever rveert to weekly or even fortnightly pubications. Anyone please feel free to update the words 'fortnightly' and 'weekly' to 'monthly' anywhere they appear. While we're doing our best at the moment to prevent the machinery fronm rusting solid, there is however no guarantee that it will be monthly. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 04:57, 21 May 2018 (UTC)
Alright, I took a shot at fixing the next issue template, hopefully I didn't break anything. Thank you all for keeping the Signpost alive, it's greatly appreciated! Mlkj (talk) 11:59, 21 May 2018 (UTC)

Writing suggestions[edit]

This is directed at the newsroom regulars with helpful and positive thoughts in mind. Not all of us have a background in journalism. Here are a few pointers on writing good copy for a wide audience.

These are especially important in modern communications. According to studies, you have maybe five seconds to capture their attention before a reader will move on to something else [2].

If people don't mind, I will take the liberty in the future of restructuring some of our content to follow these guidelines prior to publication. If this outside the swim lane for a peer contributor, let me know. ☆ Bri (talk) 19:00, 21 May 2018 (UTC)

  • Bri: Oof! Thanks for this. I'm not a journalist by trade, but do you notice me doing this a lot? I'm not a very good author at all, and tend to drone on, and on, and on, and on. Sorry if I haven't been doing this.Eddie891 Talk Work 00:44, 22 May 2018 (UTC)
I don't want anyone to feel this is aimed at them specifically. Just trying to point out some techniques to raise our game. I did make some (hopefully constructive) comments at Newsroom for this issue. But it's really meant as fine tuning to bring out the best in what we are doing already. Hey, come to think of it, I think I got burned worst by a reader of last issue over poor copyediting; I hope we are all helping each other out here and trust each other enough to take the help when offered. ☆ Bri (talk) 00:53, 22 May 2018 (UTC)

If you don't mind, I'm copying this over to my Manual of Style draft. Feel free to add anything more that comes to your mind! Zarasophos (talk) 06:20, 22 May 2018 (UTC)

Creating a new position of Assistant Editor in Chief[edit]

After consulting with Kudpung, in realization of my de facto role over the last few publishing cycles, I've decided that it is in the best interest of The Signpost to list myself as Assistant Editor in Chief, responsible for being the E in C's aide and helper in managing the Newsroom. We are separated by about ten time zones so the two of us can provide good coverage for urgent issues. The Editor in Chief will of course have final say-so on content.

If this seems too grandiose to other contributors, I'm okay with something else like "Newsroom Manager" etc. ☆ Bri (talk) 05:19, 22 May 2018 (UTC)

I wholeheartedly support this. 'Assistant Editor in Chief' An excellent solution. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 05:38, 22 May 2018 (UTC)

My 2¢ on the reorganization[edit]

As part of the reorganization of Signpost pages, I suggest putting Newsroom discussions on the Talk page of the Newsroom then transcluding that page onto the Newsroom, like we do with article comments. That way, newsroom discussions could be archived on the Newsroom talk page rather than the most recent Signpost talk page. — pythoncoder  (talk | contribs) 22:29, 23 May 2018 (UTC)

Good idea,  Done - Evad37 [talk] 02:21, 24 May 2018 (UTC)

Is this the first time since we switched to a monthly schedule that the Signpost has been published early 2 issues in a row?!? Wow. — pythoncoder  (talk | contribs) 14:32, 24 May 2018 (UTC)

Get bots involved[edit]

I see above there's a lot of chatter about social media and the like. I don't know how tedious is it to run a twitter account/social media account to post new issues/individual articles, but you might want to consider making a WP:BOTREQ for someone to code you a tweetbot/social media bot that could do the tedious part of the job automatically. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 14:39, 24 May 2018 (UTC)

Duplicated MMS delivery today[edit]

Unless someone else gets to it first, I can probably get my bot to clean up the duplicates on this tonight - ping me if desired. — xaosflux Talk 15:41, 24 May 2018 (UTC)

I'm sorry about this... I don't know what went wrong. I only hit the button once. I certainly wouldn't have sent two duplicate messages with that much of a gap. Chris Troutman (talk) 15:45, 24 May 2018 (UTC)
The publishing script takes care of mass messaging, locally and globally – the Special:MassMessage interface doesn't need to be used unless there is a problem with the script. - Evad37 [talk] 15:55, 24 May 2018 (UTC)
That explains it. There are elements of the distribution that are tucked under the manual process section that your script performs and there are elements that it doesn't. I'll update the instructions, accordingly. Chris Troutman (talk) 15:58, 24 May 2018 (UTC)
Chris, the troutman, deserves a trout, man! ~ Amory (utc) 19:08, 24 May 2018 (UTC)
 Done pythoncoder  (talk | contribs) 20:12, 24 May 2018 (UTC)
Cleanup job is running via Fluxbot right now. — xaosflux Talk 00:08, 25 May 2018 (UTC)
 Done cleanup removed existing duplicates that were on about 65% of the pages still. — xaosflux Talk 00:44, 25 May 2018 (UTC)
I had it, I deleted myself. --Gian (talk) 06:53, 25 May 2018 (UTC)

Very well done[edit]

This is the first time I read this and I must say it is very very beautifully done, full of information and nice presentation. Very good job! --Gian (talk) 06:54, 25 May 2018 (UTC)