[Foundation-l] CentralNotice use

church.of.emacs.ml church.of.emacs.ml at googlemail.com
Thu May 19 08:52:21 UTC 2011

Hi all,

Do we have any guidelines limiting the use of CentralNotices? I noticed
there are a lot lately (fundraising, wikimania and most recently board
elections and commons POTY), some of which are not of much interest to
the audience.

Take for example one of the most recent banners about candidate
submissions for Wikimedia's Board Elections[1]. Until most recently, it
has been displayed on every single page view for most of our 400 Million
readers or so, according to the setup for 20 days. >99.9999% of our
readers won't be candidates and for most of them, this is of no interest
at all. Which is sad of course, we'd love to get more qualified and
diverse candidates – that is to say, not only members of Wikimedia's
core community. Nevertheless, the question remains: do the positive
effects (chances on higher diversity) outweigh the negative consequences
(readers/authors are annoyed)?

Take another example: The call for votes on common's anual picture of
the year competition has two very large banners with colorful images on
them [2].

I think, there has to be a serious consideration for each banner,
whether its positive effects outweigh negative consequences. Most
importantly, the fact that banners divert the readers attention and are
therefor in most cases not in his direct interest, has to be considered.

There are several ways of minimizing negative effects:
1. Display it for logged-in users only. This is especially useful for
information concerning active Wikimedians, e.g. Wikimania, POTY, etc.
2. Reduce weight - don't display a banner on every page view, but only
on one in ten. (We have to use blank banners to do that, right?[3])
3. Reduce duration. (e.g. Don't display banners for a month, only a week)
4. Reduce banner size and intrusiveness. Use text banners instead of
colorful images.

What do you think? Do we need to limit the use of CentralNotice through
guidelines or introduce technical measurements (e.g. blank banners[3])
or just appeal to meta admins to consider negative effects or is
everything fine the way it is?

Tobias / User:Church of emacs

[3] Afaik changing weight alone only changes the distribution of
banners. We'd have to add a "pseudo banner" which is completely empty
and then give it some weight. Using that, we ensure that there isn't a
banner on *every* page view, only on 1 in 5 or 1 in 10 or so.

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