[Chaging subject line as (1) topic has moved on (2) need to ensure
visibility by rising above the Lila/ Wil never ending story frenzy.]
Do we have any figures on retention of new editors? How long does the
average new editor stay? What percentage of new editors stays on for 6
months; one year; two years? Do we have these figures for all languages?
New editors should be allowed space to grow. Wikipedia is so rich in
developing all kinds of scripts, templates etc, that it would be easy to
create something to inform others that someone is a new editor. Pages by
new editors should be left alone for a day or two. There is nothing more
disheartening than getting all excited about contributing only to find that
someone comes along and either deletes your first attempt or nominates it
for deletion. I've have seen this happen WITHIN MINUTES of the seminal
version being posted, followed up by 'warnings' on the editor's talk page.
I've seen edits reverted because the formatting of the source was wrong. It
should be a basic pillar that before reverting, we see if we can improve/
fix the problem. Undoing a newcomer's work and leaving something like
WP:MOS as an edit summary is not helpful - if you are going to cite a WP
policy, then do so by pointing directly to the specific page where the new
editor can read about it. I know it is time-consuming to fill in edit
summaries, especially if one is doing a series of identical edits to a
whole lot of pages. But we can use technology to speed this up - on a blank
edit summary, a prompt will suggest earlier text and you can select an
applicable one. On an edit summary with a reference to the section of the
page this does not work - so we need to find a way around this, like
splitting the field.
No amount of ink about how welcoming WP is to new editors, IT IS NOT. For
reference, this section has some interesting facts,
We are also losing established editors, mostly because of edit warring.
There are blocks coalescing around all kinds of themes and issues and these
defend their turf.
Pages that contain controversial details should display a specific notice -
not difficult to do, given the array of templates already in use. Some
pages are the result of a compromise reached after acrimonious debate. An
editor - old or new - who was not involved in discussions will not know
this and might make an edit that detonates the powder keg and starts the
war all over again. It would be so easy to display a notice on the EDIT
PAGE saying something like "Hi, if you were planning to edit .....[ x
detail] ... please read (link) the discussion and resolution on this. I am
pretty convinced it would work far better than having thousands of pages
locked ([semi-]protected). Some pages just require a simple message on the
EDIT PAGE such as (example) "In the English Wikipedia we use the spelling
*Braganza* and not *Bragança* when referring to the House of Braganza.
Please do not change this.". There are 1,300 pages where Braganza is
mentioned, imagine how many headaches we could spare ourselves.
Some editors seem to derive pleasure from the constant reverting/
protecting - you soon get to know who the 'group' is and can read on their
talk pages comments and jokes about a "here we go again" scenario. It is as
if they actually lie in wait for the next unwary editor to come along and
make a change.
At the same time, there are hundreds of thousands of pages that do not meet
20% of the quality criteria and nobody does anything to remedy them. Yet,
do something like move the page, change the infobox and immediately the
'owners' come out of the woodwork to revert.
Someone cited Ukranian in this thread and I would like to pick up on that.
There is a tendency at the higher levels to equate Wikipedia with the
English Wikipedia and all else are something else. This includes the level
of involvement by the Foundation etc in the non-English Wikipedias, often
with the justification (excuse?) that each is independent. And of course
each language WP will use this independence to its advantage when
convenient, as a reason why this or that is being done differently. In the
same breath, content that is specifically marked as referring to the En-WP
is then regurgitated as if it reflects the whole WP, as here, in the
Independence is well and good, but not when for example the Portuguese WP
votes/ debates/ discusses/ relaxing sourcing policies. If WP is to be
judged on its reliability then on a number of key elements it must be held
to one standard with criteria that apply across the board. We can't have
different standards on reliability of sources, notibality, etc.
To shrug it off as an issue of the Portuguese WP is to bury our heads in
the sand, to shirk responsibility, because such issues are symptomatic of
the problems facing the WP as a whole and contributing to the reasons that
make editors pack up and go.
Also from Portuguese WP, it is embarassing that since 2009 there have been
all kinds of processes to arrive at a solution for what to call pages on
animals and plants - eg: cattle/ bull/ ox/ cow/ bos ... By the looks of it,
[[Cattle]] in the English WP has been locked for years for the same reason.
This kind of thing snowballs and then other aspects come into play,
overflow and contaminate other areas of the WP as if by contagion.
James, from the link you provided, I see a reference to bias. We all have
our 'usual beats' but we all also edit anywhere where we might happen to
find something wrong. In doing that, you soon find out that just about each
page has 'owners', usually 3 or 4 and these work as a team to preserve
their way of seeing it. Very worrying is that a lot of this happens on
pages on big corporations, which raises the spectre of the possibility
(already proven) of 'editors' working for money. Equally nefarious, I have
noted a group of editos (5 or 6, plus socks [some exposed, others
suspected] and countless IP accounts) who are active on a few hundred pages
deleting/ sanitising negative references to CIA/ US (and 'allies')
involvement in right-wing coups all over the world and generally anything
unsavoury about the US in all pages on conflicts in which the US has taken
In my experience, resolution mechanims for situations such as any that fit
any of the cases above tend to favour the status quo. I have investigates
some of these cases and it is quite apparent that in many cases the 'admin'
taking a decision is also part of group that is trying to defend a certain
point of view.
Finally, I think it is time to think seriously and hard about anonymous
(IP) editing. We can all be anonymous, so with a username you are not less
so. I do believe that IPs who make a few edits here and there, often
unconstructive, would stop if they were not serious and do not want to
bother registering. Conversely, one you register, it is as if you become
officially a member. It is unlikely that one would bother registering and
then engage in vandalism and unconstructive editing.
2014-05-29 10:06 GMT+02:00 James Salsman <jsalsman(a)gmail.com>om>:
Lila Tretikov wrote:
Allocation should follow strategic priorities and it
is the strategy that helps answer this question.
On this point, it should be enormously helpful to point out that the
only strategic goal which the Foundation has ever failed to achieve,
and has consistently failed to achieve, is this one:
That specific strategic priority of increasing participation is the
focus of the sixteen proposed additional strategic goals below. Some
people have substantial objections to some of them, but I'm not clear
on the details. Nobody has suggested any reason that Foundation goals
would not benefit from at least an attempt at alignment to volunteer
contributing editor preferences on these issues.
But what have I forgotten? What have I left out? If I could only get
one suggestion for every two people who take issue with specific
things already on the list, I would feel a lot more comfortable and
confident that there isn't anything being forgotten.
... On a more operational scale, resources tend
to where the users are or where the opportunity is.
When they go to opportunity, it is towards verifying
hypothesis that it would yield results.
I agree with measuring what is likely to work best, but for some of
these proposals, including some of the lowest hanging fruit, that is
very hard. So again, I recommend depending on the wisdom of
contributing editors. To that end, an editor survey is something which
really needs to be done to prep for this. I trust the Board and Staff
to be able to veto things which are unworkable and reach through to
the opportunities in an agile fashion. What I don't understand are the
few who suggest that the Foundation should not be more active on
trying to improve the lot in life of potential volunteer editors. How
can that possibly be part of a strategy to increase participation?
1. Labor rights, e.g., linking to fixmyjob.com
2. Support the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the
Child and its protocols without reservation
3. Increase infrastructure spending
4. Increase education spending
5. Public school class size reduction
6. College subsidy with income-based repayment terms
7. More steeply progressive taxation
8. Negative interest on excess reserves
10. Workweek length reduction
11. Single-payer health care
12. Renewable power purchase
13. Increased data center hardware power efficiency
14. Increased security against eavesdropping
15. Metropolitan broadband
16. Oppose monopolization of software, communications, publishing, and
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