[Foundation-l] CentralNotice use

Lodewijk lodewijk at effeietsanders.org
Thu May 19 09:15:48 UTC 2011

Thanks for bringing this up, Tobias. I have been pondering about the same,
and the thinking points you give sound sensible. I would like to add
another, which might seem obvious, and that is geo- and project targeting.
Do you really need centralnotice on all projects, or only on a few.

Because of the high amount of notices lately (not only centralnotice, but
also local notices by the community) they do indeed become annoying.
However, more importantly it seems that there might be negative impact
because people get used to them, and will start ignoring them. Not just by
technical means, but also because they simply devaluate.


2011/5/19 church.of.emacs.ml <church.of.emacs.ml at googlemail.com>

> 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?
> Regards,
> Tobias / User:Church of emacs
> [1]
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:NoticeTemplate/view&template=boardvotecandidates
> [2]
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:CentralNotice&method=listNoticeDetail&notice=poty2010
> [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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