"Amir E. Aharoni" <amir.aharoni(a)mail.huji.ac.il> wrote:
Most importantly, don't forget that you know what the abuse log is and
you know that it's harmless, but newbies don't know it. Many newbies
got really scared when they saw Windows 95's error messages about
applications that performed "illegal" actions. (I actually saw it
I gave several classes of basic Wikipedia editing to
newbies. The misunderstandings of the technical terms - and they do
encounter these technical terms - are most unexpected.
Actually, until today I did not even know what the abuse log
was. But I would have treated it the same way as the block
log: "Oh, it's empty, can't be that bad then!"
Your experience with Windows users seems to differ vastly
from mine though. I do not know of even a single one who was
scared to play "Minesweeper". On the other hand, they grasp
in microseconds what a "friend" in a social network is, how
a politician "tweets" without opening his mouth and that not
all "blackberries" are edible.
So if, as you say, newbies could be frightened off by
/seeing/ an "abuse log" (or a "block log") link, we should
not try to find a short term that could explain to someone
with no insights whatsoever in Wikipedia's inner workings
what the link contains, but we should hide the link (if the
log is empty).
But personally, I would ask new users to endure that sight
because if they want to participate in the community, there
will be lots of other terms, rules and habits that they did
not know beforehand.