[Foundation-l] [foundation-l] #wikipedia changes

Gurch matthew.britton at btinternet.com
Sun Jun 17 10:51:11 UTC 2007

Tangotango wrote:
> Because it hasn't been mentioned by anybody yet, I wanted to point  
> out that #wikipedia-en-help (formerly #wikipedia-bootcamp) is the  
> perfect channel for new Wikipedians who need help (hence the name).
> While this channel does, for some reason, seem to be forgotten by the  
> mainstream Wikipedia IRC community (which may or may not be a bad  
> thing), it is extremely well-advertised on the Help desk, on the New  
> Contributors' Help Page, and on {{helpme}} messages. It is also  
> served by Bjelleklang's Java IRC client on the toolserver (again very  
> well-advertised in the pages quoted above).
> Users in the channel are on the most part very friendly towards  
> newbies, and even basic questions are bound to get responses from one  
> or more helpers within seconds.
> While I do not exactly condone the idea of compartmentalizing IRC  
> channels for particular purposes (especially with channels that have  
> seemingly similar topics, like #wikipedia, #wikipedia-social, and  
> #wikimedia-social), #wikipedia-en-help *is* a safe haven for newbies  
> where they can get help without getting ignored (or even worse, being  
> told that they are in The Wrong Channel) by the masses of seasoned  
> yet not-newbie-oriented Wikipedians.
> So if you do find a newbie in need of help, or if there are any  
> opportunities where you recommend a channel for a newbie in need of  
> help, please don't forget #wikipedia-en-help.
> Cheers,
> Tangotango

I referred to that channel (in fact both names, I had forgotten they 
were the same thing) in discussion with Mark earlier, and I think I 
mentioned it in passing here. It would appear that Sean and Mark wish 
for #wikipedia to replace those channels (how they intend to do that, I 
am not entirely sure).

I must reiterate that in the past, newcomers in #wikipedia *have* 
generally recieved useful help quickly, and the only times they are 
usually referred to another channel is if they specifically request it, 
don't seem to have too good a grasp of English (in which case one of the 
language-edition-specific channels is likely to be of more use), or want 
to discuss a project other than Wikipedia.

It is *very rare* to see a new user with an honest question ignored in 
#wikipedia. (If anything, some people are too helpful, and try to act 
helpfully toward obvious trolls, which isn't particularly useful).

That's not to say I don't agree with the need for a dedicated help 
channel, because I do. #wikipedia-en-help seems to be used by the same 
people who answer helpdesk requests, and I'm sure they are every bit as 
good - and probably better - at answering questions as the rest of us. 
What they think of the new ops' intention to make #wikipedia into the 
"help channel", I'm not sure.

I should also reiterate that #wikipedia-social is a completely new 
channel that Mark and Sean have just created, with the intention of 
removing off-topic conversation from #wikipedia altogether. So I 
wouldn't agree tha thte two channels have "seemingly similar topics".

Mark now tells me he's gone on holiday and left Dmcdevit in charge, and 
that he no longer has any control over anything. Much as I respect 
Dmcdevit, I fear this may lead to yet another interpretion of the new 
rules, and only add to the confusion.

- Gurch

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