[WikiEN-l] Userboxes: A radical proposal

Fred Bauder fredbaud at ctelco.net
Fri Feb 17 19:44:57 UTC 2006

I find Mark Gallegher's response to this suggestion very appropriate.  
This is how I relate to user pages. I see an edit by an unfamiliar  
name.  I wonder, "What is this user about?" I go to their user page  
and if they have an expressive page I can get a quick grasp of who we  
are dealing with. They same thing can be done by looking at a few  
dozen edits, but either a well thought out or a nutty user page  
usually tells all.

User pages are functional and serve the purpose of the project.


On Feb 17, 2006, at 12:05 PM, Mark Gallagher wrote:

> G'day Steve,
>>   What is the worst possible thing that could happen if we removed
>> userpages altogether? Not user talk pages, but "hands off it's mine"
>> user pages.
> I find userpages very useful.  They often give me an idea of how a  
> user
> approaches Wikipedia, and through that what they'll probably be  
> like to
> interact with: do they take pride in their contributions (brag lists,
> etc.), are they good with fiddling with wikicode (pretty  
> userpages), are
> they generally practical and edit-oriented (impersonal userpage,  
> with a
> list of reminders, useful templates, etc.), are they kooks (userpage
> full of ravings, foul-mouthed comments about The Beatles and Queen
> Brenda, etc.), are they confident users (a userpage that says "I'm new
> here and don't know my way around", probably means "no"), are they  
> silly
> sausages (a userpage with hundreds of userboxen, many of which aren't
> even applicable but look pretty, what with all those fair use images),
> where are they from and how provincial are they ... you get the idea.
> I could probably live with losing my own userpage.  It's not really
> doing all /that/ much that's useful.  However, I'd like to hang on to
> the userpages of others ...
> --
> Mark Gallagher
> "What?  I can't hear you, I've got a banana on my head!"
> - Danger Mouse
> -- 
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