[Foundation-l] #wikipedia changes

Sean Whitton sean at silentflame.com
Sat Jun 16 15:18:24 UTC 2007

Hello all,

I am writing to introduce a number of changes to #wikipedia. The aim
of this is to improve the channel's image and to make it more useful
for everyone. The changes are being initiated this afternoon (GMT) and
I hope to have them done pretty quickly.

1: New contacts
The channel will now be managed by Mark_Ryan and Dmcdevit (their IRC
nicks, as most of us probably know them). At the moment it's pretty ad
hoc and so we (the [[m:IRC Group Contacts]]) that it might be a good
idea to put someone and a deputy very clearly with the responsibility
so that we don't get "who do I go to for this...?" with the response
"not me" from everyone, a common online scenario, or so I've observed.

2: New guidelines/rules
Together with some community input (although of course more is
welcomed - it's a wiki, so let's take advantage of that) we have
written some new guidelines for user and operator conduct at
<http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/IRC_guidelines/wikipedia>. These are a
lot more enforcable than the old ones. The key thing is that operators
will try and resolve issues with words rather than powers whenever

3: New operators
We realised that the op list was becoming a bit messy. Additionally,
we're not sure that all operators are in agreement on the above
guidelines. We decided that it would be a bit pointless to ask them to
enforce guidelines they didn't support and do so using methods they
preferred not to use and so we have opted to clear out the access list
and start afresh. We welcome new applications from our experienced
operators to rejoin the team. On this note we are going to be a little
more formal on application for this, as only the contacts named above
will have the authority to manage the ops team. The key thing with all
these changes is to make #wikimedia-ops more useful, and to ensure
that operators use words rather than technological 'force' wherever
possible (as a rule of thumb, in the majority of cases where their
intervention is required). We aim to keep a list on meta of these ops
too to make it easier for people to get in touch with them.

You may be wondering if this applies to places other than #wikipedia:
not now, but we are considering rolling it out elsewhere if it proves
a success. Stay tuned!

Thank you for your support.


Sean Whitton
Wikimedia IRC Group Contact

—Sean Whitton (seanw)
<sean at silentflame.com>

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