On 3/30/07, Kelly Martin <kelly.lynn.martin(a)gmail.com> wrote:
* A mapping of categories onto Subject Working Groups
needs to be
established. Each Subject Working Group is responsible for the
maintenance of all articles which are categorized within categories
assigned to that SWG. (If an article is within the scope of multiple
SWGs, an arbitration process, with both automated and deliberative
components, will determine which SWG will be primarily responsible for
And *why* exactly would we need this all-pervading bureaucracy? Who
cares which group is "primarily" responsible for the article? You're
confusing the idea of the SWG as a place to ask for help with the
article with that of the SWG as a place to excercise control over it;
unless the primary group is to be given some unique function relative
to the non-primary ones, knowing which one it happens to be is
(You do realize that virtually every article will be in such an
intersected scope, if only because subject-oriented groups are
orthogonal to country-oriented ones, yes?)
* Editors, most of whose edits are made to articles
a specific SWG, will be identified and asked to form a SWG (or
formalize an existing informal one).
Who would be doing the asking, and what would they do if the editors
refuse? Keep in mind that they *are* volunteers.
* SWGs will have the responsibility to ensure that all
their ambit are properly sourced, cleaned up, etc.
* Any article which remains unsourced for one month will be deleted.
A bot will detect unsourced articles and notify the responsible SWG of
the article and the need to source it.
So, basically, mass deletions of hundreds of thousands of articles.
(The groups will not, in general, have either the manpower or the
motivation to really fix any substantial portion of what's unsourced.
The only result you're likely to see is that editors will start
pasting in references -- *any* references -- in an attempt to avoid
having the articles deleted.)
There are already a lot of SWGs on Wikipedia, with
varying degrees of
organization; many WikiProjects qualify as such. However, both the
automation and the sense of group responsibility is not currently
present, and needs to be cultivated. We need these people to feel
personally responsible for the quality of all of the articles in their
And how, precisely, are you intending to do that? Rounding up the
WikiProjects and telling them that they're doomed unless they source
all their articles is going to be extremely counterproductive; faced
with a negative motivational strategy, the volunteer editors will
This is a response to the scaling problem. The
community has grown too large to function organically the way it used
to three years ago. It is my belief that breaking it up into multiple
subject-oriented communities will help to combat the scaling problem:
the members of the SWG will all know one another and are far more
likely to remain collegial and productive with one another. A SWG
that gets too large can be subdivided further, which means this
provides an ongoing solution to the scaling problem, not just a
And now we swing the other way: not only do unsuccessful projects get
penalized, but so do successful ones. Recruiting editors to a project
becomes harmful; recruit too many, and the bureaucracy will come in
and Balkanize your project.
Please feel free to refine this idea or just tell me
it's a load of hooey.
It is, at the least, entirely unrealistic, and belies a significant
lack of understanding about how collaborative editorial groups on
Wikipedia actually work (or don't work, as the case may be) *in