[Foundation-l] #wikipedia

Sean Whitton sean at silentflame.com
Wed Jun 20 07:59:38 UTC 2007


I would like to address two of your points here. I have done this
elsewhere but hopefully by doing it here others will see it and won't
ask again!

Firstly, the guidelines were drafted and left in the topic of
#wikipedia for several days. No real feedback or edits were received
and so we thought it would be okay to go ahead. Perhaps if the
community had got involved in discussion there, we probably would have
allowed more time, but it didn't seem to be happening. So, there was
no community input despite the opportunity for it.

Secondly, I agree that the off-topic guidelines were originally worded
far too strictly. I've since toned down the guidelines (I didn't write
them originally) to try and give the impression that was intended,
that extensive off-topic talk is discouraged, not that we are saying
"talk about anything but Wikipedia and you get banned". Please take a
look at them now and see what you think.



On 20/06/07, Dejan Čabrilo <dcabrilo at gmail.com> wrote:
> Dear all,
> I have just subscribed to this list in the light of IRC problems we've
> been having. Namely, a couple of users, primeraly seanw (I never heard
> of him before) decided to create and enforce rules on #wikipedia.
> The most problematic rule is the ban of off-topic talk in the channel.
> This is problematic for two reasons:
> 1) A lot of people have been in that channel for years. We like to
> socialize and to help and seek help regarding Wikipedia. Wikipedia being
> such an open project, most of us thought of the channel as great,
> because people who otherwise wouldn't spend their time waiting for a
> question, hung in there and were helpful. Both admins helped regular
> users, and everybody helped newcomers. We think of off topic
> conversation as a good thing. There is nothing worse than getting into a
> silent channel, asking a question, and getting the answer half an hour
> later, when you lost all the interest
> 2) We percieve this as somebody trying to hijack the channel we've been
> frequenting for a long time. There is a sort of a _power play_ going on.
> A couple of people came in and said "we are in charge now", and they
> decided that they are the ones who "officially, unofficially" run the
> channel.
> So, I have some question:
> 1) Were there any complaints that #wikipedia wasn't helpful to people
> with questions? Or this come just because some people don't like what we
> talked about?
> 2) Whom can we ask for help? Most of the people in #wikipedia dislike
> both the new rules and how they were implemented and we don't want seanw
> in charge. As demonstrated in the channel and on the talk page of the
> Guideline.
> 3) Who are seanw and other people who authorized them to come up with
> rules? Can I make a gudeline on wikimedia and say that I'm in charge of
> the feud I choose? Please :P
> 4) Why was there no community input? You can say all you want, but I
> first heard about the issues on this mailing list from /topic, and first
> saw the guideline after it was enforced.
> 5) Is this how we are going to go about other issues on Wikipedia, too?
> Thank you,
> Dejan Čabrilo
> _______________________________________________
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> foundation-l at lists.wikimedia.org
> http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l

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

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