Wikipedia:Village pump (idea lab)

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The idea lab section of the village pump is a place where new ideas or suggestions on general Wikipedia issues can be incubated, for later submission for consensus discussion at Village pump (proposals). Try to be creative and positive when commenting on ideas.
Before creating a new section, please note:

Before commenting, note:

  • This page is not for consensus polling. Stalwart "Oppose" and "Support" comments generally have no place here. Instead, discuss ideas and suggest variations on them.
  • Wondering whether someone already had this idea? Search the archives below, and look through Wikipedia:Perennial proposals.

Discussions are automatically archived after remaining inactive for two weeks.

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Track Changes / Show Markup to Display Edit History[edit]

Alternative to the Compare Selected Revisions diff viewer. Have a version where you can select (Revision 1) to (Revision 2) and then view an inline markup / changes comparison of the results superimposed over the actual page with colorization per user. An implementation reference for such a feature is the Google Docs collaborative editing feature, which shows each user with a color next to their edits. Ex: Added some text (User1, 00:00, 01 Jan 2022)Removed some text (User2, 00:01, 01 Jan 2022) Possibly with the names and timestamps only visible with onHover/onMouseOver. I believe this would make it easier to find changes on particularly active pages such as Portal:Current_events where some days there may be 100's of edits and it can be difficult to find when a specific edit was added or removed. This seems like it would also make contentious edit war pages easier to see at a glance because they would look like AddedRemovedAddedRemovedAddedRemoved in any region that was especially fought over. Araesmojo (talk) 21:50, 13 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You may be interested in Wikipedia:WikiBlame or mw:Who Wrote That? WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:08, 18 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@WhatamIdoing Thanks. Who Wrote That is pretty close to what I was considering. Had never heard about that tool or seen it advertised. Be nice if it was integrated other than as a browser extension. However, accept that its a close answer. WikiBlame is oddly named. Adds functionality, yet not quite what I was recommending. Araesmojo (talk) 19:28, 28 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

WP:Vital Direct[edit]

I've written down sorta a plan to boost the production of WP:Vital Articles, which in the last 15 years have made zero progress. What do you think about the plan and how could it be improved? CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 02:29, 15 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Anyone? CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 10:28, 27 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am not sure where the plan is on the page? Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 05:10, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The Vital Direct plan is as follows: Make two Vital GAs, one broad, one controversial. Doing so would give us a lot of experience at tackling other Vital articles, as well as giving cred to the project (similar to how the WP:MILHIST and WP:AVIATION have done in the past). Making 2 GAs would also prove that the first success is not just a fluke or hype. Improve the lead/image/layout first, then add citations to uncited statements. Only afterwards does experts' knowledge is required, which the experts would probably be noticed by a flurry of activities in the article. Lure them in and collaborate with them. Do not improve the prose – just make them readable first. These processes would probably take about 2-6 months if done efficiently.
Then, once the group is satisfied, a simple copyedit and final check take place, then the article gets nominated for GA. If the nomination failed, improve till the last reviewer is satisfied. If the nomination is successful, well done, go out have a drink or something, and get back to work with the other GA. The articles can be pushed all the way to FA if we want to, but it is not mandatory nor necessary. Hopefully by then these efforts would inspire other editors to take initiative and do the same. I originally tried to tackle Science and United States, but the former is immensely difficult, and the latter is currently being haunted by LTAs. So, I organize a trial drive of expanding short Vital articles to garner experience instead. CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 06:06, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
CactiStaccingCrane, you've done right in posting on other project talk pages as well: the idea lab, though obviously an appropriate place for such a proposal, doesn't always attract a lot of editors.
This proposal is very far from my normal wiki activities, so just sharing a few minor observations. First, it'll be easier for the essay to engage people if you add some sort of executive summary at the top, just like the lede of an article. Second, I think improvement drives like the one in the proposal (which I've only skimmmed) could work for the low-hanging fruit: articles of already solid quality that need just a light touch of copyediting and some formatting in order to meet the GA criteria. Most of the vital articles, though, will probably need a lot more substantial work. Given the importance of the topic, there's going to be vast quantities of literature to consult in each case, and the editor doing that work will need to already know their way around it: subject matter expertise will be necessary. That probably wouldn't work as a hobby project for an enthusiastic amateur. Unless we manage to recruit experts from outside Wikipedia, the work will need to be completed by those subject experts who are already on the project. Chances are, they are already aware of the important topics that need work and if they haven't done that work so far there isn't much that we can do to entice them to do it now. Also, they will obviously already have ideas about which topics are important in their field and where work would be needed, and in all likelihood, their views won't match the views of the compilers of the vital article lists. Uanfala (talk) 22:46, 4 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Uanfala I think you are correct that the views could be different, but I wonder if there might not be a large overlap, and they could choose to work on those articles.
"Unless we manage to recruit experts from outside Wikipedia," As I was wondering if you could expand on this? Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk)
I don't have any additional ideas here. Wikipedia could certainly do with more subject expert editors, but I don't know of any way to entice more of them to join. Uanfala (talk) 21:54, 5 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Incentivise article improvement[edit]

Background: The ArbCom are some weeks into taking evidence about Conduct in deletion-related editing. I've been watching, thinking, and trying to imagine a solution to what I perceive as the underlying problem. On the face of it, the problem is behaviour at WP:AFD. This idea, attempts to deal with the issues that motivate editor behaviour.

I raised this issue here, and @Tryptofish suggest I post here.

The Problem (my amateur psychology musings): The problem is human tendencies. Consider the politician who makes the front page of the local newspaper for opening a school. Consider how no politician ever gets on the front page for quietly, smoothly running a school. It's human nature, we value starting things more than maintaining things. And it's the same here. Editors like to say how many articles we created, tools allow us to see that and compare ourselves. It plays to our nature: enjoyment of competition, gamification. Tools, as far as I know, don't make it easy to see how many articles we improved. Less editors, I think, boast on their user page how many gnomish improvements they made. I am sure I am not alone in getting a little dopamine hit every time I create a new article. Likewise I have seen people boast on user pages how many bad pages they got deleted, I am sure people get a little satisfaction knowing they improved the encyclopaedia, removed the junk, maintained the standards. Which leaves us with behaviours, supported by tools and culture that gives little rewards for creating and little rewards for deleting. Less clear rewards and less strong incentives exist and to measure or undertake article improvement. Humans respond to incentives. We are emotional animals that like to feel good about ourselves. We tend to do what we can measure.

Suggested strategic solution: We need to incentivise article improvement. Mass stub creation is only a problem when there is not an equal or larger effort to improve them, I say that with the assumption that all these articles about Olympians, sports people, islands, or TV shows are notable. I assume good faith by those who create them. Wikipedia would be better if there were better ways to measure article improvement. We need to add gamification: rank editors by their efforts to improve articles. Maybe the Article Rescue Squadron should have been called the Article Improvement Team. Maybe the tendency to frame this as tension between deflationists and inclusionists is wrong and it's more of problem about lack of article improvement efforts and incentives. CT55555 (talk) 21:12, 15 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Rank editors how? We've already got various things like Wikipedia:List of Wikipedians by article count, Wikipedia:List of Wikipedians by number of edits, Wikipedia:List of Wikipedians by featured list nominations, Wikipedia:List of Wikipedians by featured article nominations, and similar, plus people already collect barn stars and other forms of WikiLove and thanks, icons for WP:GOOD articles they've worked on, etc. There are various gamified drives to improve backlogs in some areas (e.g. I'm taking part in Wikipedia:New pages patrol/Backlog drives/July 2022), and thinking of NPP in particular there's lists like Wikipedia:Database reports/Top new article reviewers, etc. I am however also conscious of WP:EDITCOUNT. I personally don't create many articles and am definitely more of a WP:GNOME/WP:ELF. -Kj cheetham (talk) 13:56, 16 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I hope others might chime in with ideas about how. But I still think we need to incentivise to me more like you. At risk of relying on anecdote, I think you have edited more articles I created more than anyone, and I see your role-model behaviour as a statistical outlier. I don't mean to diminish anyone else's work, but what I see from reading the ArbCom case is a consequence of too much focus on creation and deletion at the expense of article improvement. Maybe I should ask, what motivates you so we can try and bottle and replicate that?
    Also the "number of edits" I think encourages small bot like edits over article improvement. I note we're not comparing Wikipedians by volume (kb) of kept content added, Wikipedians by number of articles improved out of stub. CT55555 (talk) 14:09, 16 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Highly likely I think I'm not a "typical" editor. :) Stats based on articles moved from stubs would be very hard to track technically I think, if relying on people from projects to manually classify articles. Something by volume of content could be interesting though... Things like can tell you average edit size, and the ratio of small/big at least for a single editor, and things like tell you what fraction editors contributed to a single article. I suspect I find looking at stats more interesting than most people. (I do have a highly scientific background.) Barnstars and Wikipedia:Service awards are slightly motivational to me, as well as watching numbers increase, but generally I just like to try and make things better by doing some of the "boring" things other people don't tend to like to do, though I primarily focus on biographies most of the time. I try to stick to uncontraversial things most of the time (hence I work on things like WP:RMTR rather than closing discussions) and mostly staying off the "drama boards", and I like to do little edits than require minimal thinking by me a lot of the time. -Kj cheetham (talk) 14:24, 16 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    There are some ways in which we encourage article improvement, for example 5x expansion DYKs are an excellent way to earn WikiCup points. There are also improvement projects like Women in Green or the Core Contest. But perhaps we should have more ways to celebrate content creation and improvement outside DYK and GA/FA. —Kusma (talk) 14:36, 16 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • One of my fellow editors expressed the sentiment that Wikipedia is not a video game, and I agree wholeheartedly. Humans are good enough at creating hierarchies without making it this formal – we already have lists of our works on our userpages, and barnstars... I would oppose any sort of further social-status-based incentive to write articles. Another editor pointed out DYK – main page exposure is definitely a neat reward for a new or expanded article, as is the very formal DYK credit you receive for it. theleekycauldron (talkcontribs) (she/they) 03:50, 17 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @TheleekycauldronI think we have to careful that we don't start to think that there is only one way to Wiki. I am sure there is shortcut for that, but I can't remember it. I understand people who don't want social status incentives, but there are 30 or 40 K regular editors, we are largely anonymous so the status isn't really that hig. Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 12:56, 17 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@CT55555 "Maybe the tendency to frame this as tension between deflationists and inclusionists is wrong and it's more of problem about lack of article improvement efforts and incentives." I agree. My personal bugbear is drive-by taggers, and the various "this article needs improvement" tags. Yes, you have found a problem, well done - now fix it. I think that is in part because of mismatched incentives, and of power imbalances. The NPP tools allow and editor to rack up edits faster than if they were playing Galaga with tags. but does that improve WP? Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 12:58, 17 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thing is… tagging is a step towards fixing. I can identify a problem with an article just from reading it… but not know the topic well enough to know how to fix that problem. For example, I can say “hmmm… this statement needs a source” but not know what the best sources are… so I tag it with a “citation needed” tag so that other editors (who DO know what the best sources for the topic are) can follow up and add the needed citation. Blueboar (talk) 13:27, 17 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Blueboar I am 50/50 on the citation tags, because although they are a great collaboration tool, however
  • Tagging stubs is redundant, on the benefit of tagging mid-class articles I am uncertain, but i agree for others for the reasons you mention. Wikipedia:Template index/Cleanup has similar advice.
  • Tagging is shaping the way WP works in negative ways. When an editor tags it satisfies the itch, by moving the resposibility to subsequent editors. If enough editors existed, then it would be great process, but they don't {based on the age of unaddressed tag edits and the huge backlogs). Instead, mass tagging could be seen a way we reduce the impetuous to change, so that new editors stay, Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 03:36, 18 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I do think that certain kinds of tags are pointless. Do we need a (visible) {{more footnotes}} banner on a one-sentence substub? I don't think so. I don't think it provides value to us, and I don't think our readers are so stupid that they can't count the number of little blue clicky numbers all by themselves in extremely short articles. Most readers can count up to at least three pretty reliably.
I'm also doubtful that these tags produce improvements merely by lingering at the top of the page. Maybe if someone's actively improving the article, they'd respond, but when nobody has made a substantive edit in the article for a long time, then it's probably pointless.
Also, in terms of edits, the way to make lots of edits is generally to do nothing important. Fix a tiny formatting error. Remove your pet WP:CLICHE. If you want to a contest to really improve articles, then Wikipedia:Citation Hunt has a leaderboard. This month's leader has posted only 51 citations. I bet you could beat that. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:17, 18 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The justification for tags is that they urge users to become editors. The justification for this is personal experience But there is no quanitiative proof that that first edits are tag corrections or ...., but I am not certain whather quantitative data would be compelling in our process.
I must disagree that "Most readers can count up to at least three pretty reliably.", as I think we are underestimatimg as I remember in Watership Downs rabbits can count up to four. :-)
And I shall try to avoid talking in cliches, but only "At the appropriate juncture.In the fullness of time. When the moment is ripe. When the necessary procedures have been completed. Nothing precipitate, of course." Yes, Minister Season 1 episode 5 Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 06:14, 19 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Then if we assume readers have the intelligence of rabbits, we can quit putting {{more footnotes}} on any stub with 4 or fewer ref tags. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:36, 26 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Also, much more in the range of pet peeves, we have no evidence that these tags actually have the desired effect of converting readers into editors. It's plausible but untested. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:44, 26 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think tagging is a problem. I do both, as in, I both tag, and I remove tags. I both improve articles (from creating new ones to rescuing bad ones) and get others deleted. IMHO, tags "look bad", making our articles more obvious work in-progress, ugly to the readers, but are important both as indicators of what needs to be fixed, and yes, reminder for the readers that many articles are not finished and that they can help. While I do agree tag bombed articles are not aesthetically pleasing, I think it's ok. Bad, untagged articles which "look" good are not a service to the readers. It's better for everyone to see there's a problem then to mask it with swathes of problematic content that looks good for uninformed readers. Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 11:28, 18 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In the past, I've tried to use notability tags to give editors time to address the notability issues prior to taking the article to AfD. I no longer do that, due to a very negative reaction from an editor, but I believe it is generally a good practice, and a step towards improving the encyclopedia, either by improving the article or deleting it. BilledMammal (talk) 13:23, 18 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I seem to detect (but I apologise already if I'm wrong) that there's an underlying suggestion that NPPers are at fault for either over-tagging, or not immediately addressing the issues. I would just like to point out however, that fixing articles is absolutely not within the NPP remit. If it were, the huge backlog would be even bigger. Let's also not forget that anyone, however inexperienced, can tag articles; the only thing they can't do is pass them as reviewed for indexing. There are millions of perma-tagged articles and most of them will never be improved; Wikipedia needs to find a way to ensure that at least the creators of new articles are made aware of the minimum required standards before they click 'publish', Currently they are not informed. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 00:57, 19 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Nothing about my suggestion has anything to do with NPP, which is something I am completely under informed to have an opinion about. I have only good things to say about the editors who do the effort to review the huge number of new pages. I did not intend to suggest otherwise. CT55555 (talk) 01:47, 19 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
CT55555 ,It was a general observation and there was nothing to suggest that you in particular were responsible for any trend I felt I detected in the thread. That said, you may wish to get up to speed with what WP:NPP is all about and apply for the user right and help out. It looks to me as if you already have more than sufficient experience and it would be much appreciated. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 02:16, 19 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks. I did consider it before. I looked at the process and felt a bit intimidated by the user interface and rules and decided to keep my focus on article creation instead, but I'll reconsider. I fear it is a role that attracts confrontation and I'm already borderline stepping back from Wikipedia due to the nature of some debates, but I'll not use this space as any more of an outlet on that now. All the best. CT55555 (talk) 02:20, 19 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@CT55555 I beleive that was addressed at me. Choosing incentives can be tricky, as there are often unintended consequences, especially if they are blanket or are not in line with a desire path. There is an adage (apoligies I can't remember the ref) that any part of an organisation/person will optimise itself at the expense of the others, and the origanisational goals.
Rejection of new incentives that you may not perform well against, or reduce your existing status, is very human. Even if we are not a video game, people deserve recognition and satisfaction for their ggo faith work.
@Kudpung I think the NPP do a great job, but there is a possibility of tool misuse that I think an article on the NPP page acknowledges.
So, are there any stats on what % of how many tags are added by NPP/automated tool users? About ten years ago there was a WMF foundation paper by the NPP tool creator, where he expressed his disquiet at how it had changed WP, particularly to do with new editors. NPP automatically judge new articles, by tools that we oo not provide new article creators (10 hours work versus 10 seconds to review). The justification why we don't is that vandals might use these tools in the same way google does not reveal pagerank for fear of SEOs.
Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 07:36, 19 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wakelamp, New Page Reviewers do not use any automated tools for their work and they do not judge or criticize the articles' creators. Apart from being able to pass articles as reviewed there are no tools that are not available to anyone else in Twinkle and the NewPagesFeed. Everything is based on having enough knowledge and experience to correctly asses the quality and notability of a new article, and more often than not it means checking out the sources. I would be extremely concerned if any NPPers think 10 seconds is enough to thoroughly review a new page.
I don't know anything about a ten-year-old paper by the NPP tool creator. but I would be very interested to read it. I knew the the team of tool creators personally - I collaborated with them in 2012 on the development of the new NPP system. Any negative effect of the tools or even ACTRIAL has been thoroughly disproved and acknowledged by the WMF in an in-depth scientific study. All Wikipedia wants now is more New Page Reviewers of the right calibre, some bugs and a couple of new features in the software being addressed, and better incentive for new users who create articles to create them properly.
Probably the best solution would be to end the constant experiments with the design and function of the Article Wizard, rebuild it to the professional principles of UX and communication studies, give it a sleek modern look, and insist that new editors use it. The mantra 'The encyclopedia anyone can edit' does not mean 'Come to Wikipedia and dump your spam, junk, CV, and garage band here'. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 10:48, 19 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Do you think that new article creators should have access to any of the page curator tools? Specifically the reliable source check? Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 11:57, 20 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
First, "New Page Reviewers do not use any automated tools" @Epochfail refers to them as semi-automated tools, so both of us are correct.Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 23:11, 20 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Second, "and they do not judge or criticize the articles' creators" Indirectly The Rise of Warnings to New Editors on English Wikipedia"..we discovered a distinct trend: a marked decrease in praise for contributions (anything from a simple “great job on that article!” to a barnstar), and a simultaneous increase in warnings and criticism delivered via templates" and page curator has "Over 70 different tags are provided, ... You can ...add them to the page all at once."Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 23:11, 20 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Third, 'if any NPPers think 10 seconds is enough to thoroughly review a new page." I agree. That was hyperbole on my part, but it seems PDQ. How much time would a NPP spend on reviewing a page?Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 23:11, 20 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Fourth, "Paper by NPP tool creator. but I would be very interested to read it." @Epochfail metawiki:Research:Newcomer_quality 2012 "Semi-automated revert tools were brought in to deal with exponentially-increasing numbers of undesirable newcomers; the results suggest that using these tools to reject undesirable newcomers may have little effect on the desirable ones, but that using them to reject the undesirable edits of good-faith newcomers may decrease retention.", 2013 "Specifically, the restrictiveness of the encyclopedia’s primary quality control mechanism and the algorithmic tools used to reject contributions are implicated as key causes of decreased newcomer retention. Furthermore, the community’s formal mechanisms for norm articulation are shown to have calcified against changes—especially changes proposed by newer editor", and 2011 "Don't bite the newbies: How reverts affect the quantity and quality of Wikipedia work".
Fifth, "wants now is more New Page Reviewers of the right calibre" W. Edwards Deming addressed this same issue. Deming invented Total Quality Management which while initially of little impact in America. transformed a “Made in Japan” from being seen as poor to [Deming_Prize highest quality]. At the time, American manufacturing had hordes of quality inspectors, but did not allow the the worker/"New Editor" to have pride/control over their work.
Sixth, “rebuild it to the professional principles of UX and communication studies, give it a sleek modern look, and insist that new editors use it.” This won't work. Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 15:11, 20 July 2022 (UTC)Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 23:11, 20 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Wakelamp, your comment above is quite difficult to make sense of, not least because of the large amount of seemingly arbitrary nowiki tags. Dr. Duh 🩺 (talk) 15:24, 20 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Dr. Duh Thank-you. Apologies for the nowiki tags; the editor is crashing so I copied it from elsewhere. Is this better? Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 23:11, 20 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I took the liberty of fixing a few more malformed links with this edit, but yes, thank you. Dr. Duh 🩺 (talk) 06:52, 21 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Kudpung So what do you think? Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 09:36, 2 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@CT55555 Had you any thoughts of where the aricle imprevement metric would appear? Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 14:00, 5 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for bringing me back into this, I felt the conversation above went so many ways that I'm not sure there is consensus...
I hope for people gamification expertise might chime in, but as a starting suggestion, I suppose it needs two elements. The first is measurement, ways to score/rank/measure improvement actions. And then it needs tools to let people boast about their work. That sounds a bit unlikeable as I write it, but maybe if we think of all the badges that people (myself included) put on our user pages boasting about how many articles we created or deleted, if there was boxes that people could display "I improved 1,000 articles" or "I added upgraded 100 articles" that was the sort of outcome I thought might work. CT55555 (talk) 14:11, 5 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@CT55555 :-) Boasting could be seen as annoying sense of achievement at the expense of others. :-)
Ethical Gamification aims to create an explained cycle of visible stimuli/incentives/scores, that generates a positive response, that satisfies an individual's emotional needs, by using a good processes, to meet beneficial achievable goals (both organisational and individually chosen). Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk)
Some emotional needs are : group identity, visible status (self achievement/recognition, self pride[[flow state] and progress towards goal], and eustress. Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 04:41, 7 August 2022 (UTC)vReply[reply]
A process is composed of people, systems, and procedures, A good one should,
  • Be frictionless (easy to use, low conflict, productive, constant, and encourages a flow state),
  • Be individually controlled (the individual has the information to decides this response),
  • Be Peer monitored and supported in terms of overall goals,
  • Encourage steady quality effort, rather than short term goals and inspection,
  • Have scores that are hard to game, where 75 % can get satisfaction in some way,
  • Be part of clear responsibility and authority mandate,
  • have the quality baked in (difficult to make mistakes, tool to check for them), not inspected in
  • Be constantly improving and regularly reviewed, and
  • See failure to meet goals as a process issue, rather than just team or individual. Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk)
For stubs, and in particular user boxes
  • Goal : Reduce # of stubs by adding three reputable references,
  • Sub goals to achieve goal  : Increase number of active people involved, productivity,
  • Benefits : Reader satisfaction, individual editor (especially Wiki-Gnomes :-)) happiness, and identification of bad faith that has passed the NPP filter in the distance past. Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 04:41, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Proposed Stimulus : User box
  • Visibility : Very low, User and peers have have to make effort to look at e
  • Meets Emotional needs (strength) from proposed stimulus only : group identity (low), visible status (low), self pride (low), eustress (low) Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 04:41, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Major Stubs improvement Risks
  • Approval
  • Citation process has problems that effect quality and productivity (high),
  • Editor burn out (low)
  • WMF willingness - insufficient WMF resources in foreseeable future. No cost-benefits. But if WMF do development then community outrage (and possibly Editors going to the Press) partly due to no clear community and agreed signoff process,
  • Critics hold Stubs to unrealistic standard, Adding references triggers drive-by tagging/conflict/reversals
  • Editors
  1. Editors (Experienced) - becoming increasingly hard to find
  2. Editors (Mid) - Not allowed to contact in large numbers,
  3. Editors (New) - Not allowed to contact in large numbers, Edit process can be tricky (but vector 2 is coming)
  4. Non Editors - No precedence for creating a gamified focused website on asking for reference, or for people to check books, or to confirm that no references can be found Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 04:41, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

One sidebar note. For encyclopedia that a zillion people have been working on for over 20 years, we don't have areas left where mass or high quantity stub creation is beneficial. North8000 (talk) 13:13, 20 July 2022 (UTC):Reply[reply]

@talk I don't think there is suggestion that we create more stubs, just increase the quality of existing stubs. Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 09:42, 26 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Kj cheetham I think this is a great idea But I think even with incentives, having enough people is going to be the major, but solvable, issue; at an hour each, there are Wikipedia:Content_assessment 4 million hours work on stubs. So,where do we get people...

  • New editors won't solve it; editor retention is decreasing, it takes years to understand WP, and you are competing against other projects.
  • Diverting editors from non productive (category assignment, tags, adding templates..) might help a bit.
  • Having lomg term editors stay by reducing conflict would help, but they don't tend to work on stubs
  • Process changes and tools could reduce the amount of work per hour, but I think the best option is
  • Crowd sourcing. The first Oxford English Dictionary crowd sourced references, but had experienced editors check. We could crowd source the selection of relevant references from an automated curated list, with the option to flag the stub as not notable. The stubs would be randomly selected within a reviewer's area of interest. Multiple users could check the same article before the article was updated; there would be no incentive for vandalsSo, instead of WP, the users would use a more open source social website that wouldn't be wikified and more like [this] Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 09:42, 26 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wikipedia is already the epitome of crowdsourcing. It's one of the few websites where a random passer-by can improve content without even registering. We have a few initiatives where editors can request suggestions for articles they may wish to improve; perhaps they could be made better (how?) and more prominent. Certes (talk) 12:49, 26 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree WP is very good at crowd sourcing,but we have problems on keeping editors,and diversity.

But with the calls to improve, there are no statistics on whether the current calls to improve work. They may actually harm, as there are a lot of real world User Experience work that shows that people are annoyed by long messages, and I suspect that the age when the templates are added undermines the perceived quality of WP Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 23:02, 26 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The articles and issues are so diverse that any effort is going to overgeneralize. I wouldn't focus too much on expanding stubs. We probably have a million geographic & species stubs that are OK but which will be slow and hard to expand. We probably have a 1/2 millions stubs which shouldn't be articles. Much of our flow of new articles are promotional (aspiring musicians, aspiring Bollywood actors, business people who pay to get an article made on them, sports players, future albums, future movies, future tournaments) and people mass producing articles as a part of their wikipedia hobby which shouldn't be a articles To avoid pointing real world fingers, I'll just say like "I think that my Wikipedia hobby will be to make an article on each house in my town". IMO the substantive areas that Wikipedia could most benefit from more work are:

  • Where subject matter experts are needed. But between needing to learn the Wikipedia alternate universe and Wikipedia being such a vicious place, they are hard to get and hard to keep.
  • Articles imported from other language wikis. Many substantive topics from other countries are not yet covered in English Wikipedia. But when imported, they have many problems.
  • Articles related to real-world tussles (with American Politics at the top of that list) are all in bad shape but anybody who tries to fix them will get butchered by clever warriors. Fixing that will require policy changes.

Finally, Wikipedia keeps getting harder and harder to learn. Efforts to make it easier have been misdirected. For example, on dumbing down what is already easy (basic text editing) while expecting them to figure out how to use complicated undocumented templates and complex multi-leveled reference architectures to add a reference. North8000 (talk) 21:19, 26 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 21:19, 26 July 2022 (UTC) @(talkReply[reply]

Great taxonomy. Accurate evaluation of proposals to do with big problems always need statistics We need to know progress measures (new/downgrades/upgrades), users (# editors, readers, and activewatchers ), and age (improve tag, last edit, creation, date of talk topic). How would we find out these details? 23:02, 26 July 2022 (UTC)

I have a proposal here that gets largely abandoned in the Village pump called WP:Vital Direct. With some modifications, I think this plan would effectively resolve a lot of bitter conflicts between deletionists and inclusionists, by redirecting focus from stubs to Vital articles. Inclusionists would add content to the article, while deletionists cull out cruft and spams from it. And believe me, there's a lot of very short yet Vital articles that needs improvement. This is done by setting a very ambitious goal (all Vital Articles GA/FA within a decade) that is attainable via careful planning and execution. We don't need to have a big panel of experts made for improving these vital topics, we don't need to radically reform TFA/FAC/GAN, we don't need to get a thousand more new editors to do the job, nor we need to make a bazillions of RfCs on contagious topics. We already have the tools to make all Vital Articles GAs within a decade, as detailed in the plan. Furthermore, the Vital Direct plan is not exactly just Powerpoint slides stuff (like User:TCO/Improving Wikipedia's important articles), as the Vital Direct's philosophy is currently being implemented right now at the Wikiproject Vital Articles. Yes, I might sound like a shill, but I truly think that a lot of Wikipedia's inefficiencies and conflicts can be solved if we set a big overarching and meaningful goal and actually achieve it, just like what the Apollo program in real life and on Wikipedia did. CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 11:08, 27 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I like idea of the Apollo mission on Vital,but I doubt we have enough people unless we change policies WP is not going to die, but maintenance and lack of people will mean it declines. My personal version of Hell is WP is replaced by this project where FB/Meta is creating an AI version of WP (using current WP to train it) Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 12:45, 27 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I will do it. Let's see how it goes. CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 13:43, 27 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There is no doubt that the deletionists have won, but I don't think we have ever worked out the cost of the policy for good faith (and possibly misguided) articles. We could cost using say WP edit hours (WPED ?) with experienced editor time worth a lot more to WP, as they are less than 1 in a hundred editors, and take years to understand WP. The cost would be
  • Article creator's time ( both the article edit + expected loss of future edits)
  • NPP
  • AfD
  • A share of guideline discussions
  • Experienced editor burnout (expected loss of future edits)
  • Expected reputational risk from article being deleted (The US senate candidate)
  • Reputational risk from disgruntled article creator
  • LESS Maintenance saved over next 10 years
  • LESS Expected reading of the article over next 10 years
  • LESS Reputational benefit from article not existing Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk)
Talking about Wikipedia's reputation feels like voters talking about whether a candidate is "electable". We'd be better off talking about what we personally/individually want, instead of pretending that we know what other people want/value. If someone were to say "I personally think deleting Bollywood stubs makes Wikipedia less useful, especially to millions of people who read English in India" and another were to say "I personally am disappointed whenever Google offers me a link to a Wikipedia article containing two sentences and two sources, because I never search for simple facts like 'Which film was that actor in?'", then we could have a functional conversation about what our editors want from an article. As it is, I suspect that we are presenting our personal preferences and pretending that they are The True™ Facts About the Whole World.
CactiStaccingCrane, have you checked the list of potential GA articles against featured content in other languages? If we've got a stub and another wiki has a FA or GA, then it might be faster to use the Wikipedia:Content translation tool to bring in a solid base, and update it from there. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:12, 1 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think that's a great idea! It's gonna be tricky to figure out how to make a query to do so though... CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 09:51, 2 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@CactiStaccingCrane, someone's apparently got a query for part of it, because there are lists like Wikipedia:Featured articles in other languages/French updated by User:Cewbot every week. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:55, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am not pretending to "know what other people want/value" and included reputation only or the sake of completeness, Reputation is probably only a second or third order effect for any one article, but over the whole of WP it would add up. The decision-making methodology of using creating a model using a cost-like metric, (WP edit hours for tasks) is quite standard in business, government, and academia. (As an attempt at levity, I suspect that when building a pyramid they put the "rubbish" side facing inwards as there was no "benefit", but higher cost.)
With editors, what I suggest is
  • We need more of them, so we can incentivise them.
  • Prioritisation of WP editor work using Statistics of the trend and amount of work that is outstanding by class/importance of articles.
  • A test of whether tags encourage new editors. This could be done as a randomised trial where we remove the templates from 10K random stubs and compare the amount of new editors on those pages 10K other random stubs after 12 months.
  • Statistics of editor productivity after deletion of their new articles, including an email survey if they become inactive,
  • We need to seamlessly divert new editors of vanity articles elsewhere (Nonnotable-pedia :-)) , and to create quality at source through moving NPP checks (such as reputation) to be part of the New Article process. 02:15, 2 August 2022 (UTC) Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 02:15, 2 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I do think that the third idea is the most likely to take off. The second idea can be done the crude way by editing Top/High importance and Stub/Start-Class articles, while the fourth idea can be kinda intrusive in my opinion. CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 09:57, 2 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You might not claim to know what other people want, but some editors do. To protect the guilty (and to avoid singling out individuals unfairly when they are not the only ones saying it), I won't provide any links, but I imagine that a search on Wikipedia's reputation NPP in the Wikipedia: namespace would provide many examples of editors asserting that NPP must work this way, or the Draft: space must be handled thusly, or else Wikipedia's reputation will be destroyed. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:26, 2 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The only people who will be guilty of the ultimate demise of Wikipedia's reputation WhatamIdoing, will be the WMF's own employees for not coming to the aid of the very process they developed for the volunteers that keeps the corpus clean. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 14:16, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not sure that it's possible for Wikipedia's reputation to be destroyed. I can easily believe that it could change, (e.g., from "the place with long articles about professional athletes and short, remarkably similar articles about every geographical location, but that keeps removing articles about the kind of people I want to read about" to "the place with brief snippets about people who were mentioned in the news one day"), but for the reputation to be meet its demise, I think it would have had to have one single reputation in the first place (IMO doubtful), and for that reputation to have been valued by everyone (IMO untrue).
Of course, there are certain views of the English Wikipedia that could be proven wrong. For example, if we pretend that the corpus was ever "clean" back in the good old days, then then influx of unpolished articles written by newbies about some subjects (e.g., articles about people who are celebrities in the second-largest English-speaking country in the world, but who are unknown to the average white American) would challenge our view of it being "clean" now. Some goals might need to be abandoned, but I don't think I'll mourn that one myself, as I don't think it was ever true in the first place, and I don't think that the costs are worth the benefits. I'd rather stubbify than draftify such articles. After all, that's what we did with overly promotional articles back in the good old days (only back then, we didn't require any sources in articles, either in practice or in theory). WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:52, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Wakelamp: What do I think? Well, in 2011, Aaron Halfaker, (user:EpochFail), former Principal Research Scientist of the WMF, initiated a research program, which confirmed the importance of the NPP process:

“New Page Patrol is a vital function of many Wikipedias as the front line of interaction between new authors and community members devoted to policing the quality of the project. It has variety of detailed, quite complex possible actions for patrolling pages in all namespaces.”

I was involved in the development of PageTriage (the software name for the system we use since 2012) from the patrollers’ perspective and I can categorically state that reviewing new pages is a job that requires a lot of skill, thick skin, and a lot of putting up with aggressive reactions from creators of truly worthless 'articles' that have been confined to the trash can. The only automations are a couple of scrips that save one or two mouse clicks when reviewers have made up their minds what to do with a new article. Despite Halfaker’s revelation however, most of the WMF regard NPPers as a bunch of deletionists, while the community perceives the Foundation Growth Department’s policy as ‘the quantity of articles is more important than the quality’. For more background on new page reviewing, please take just five minutes to read NPP: This could be heaven or this could be hell for new users – and for the reviewers. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 16:10, 2 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Good article. I hope you found my links interesting as well,
Just read some NPP newsletters and the problem, There has been an increase in the backlog, and editor burn out. So well done for sticking at it
Why are you against New Article Wizard changes?
And after 10 years of development of PageTriage is there that much work low hanging fruit? Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 16:13, 4 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Glad you found the Signpost article interesting. I'm not quite sure I follow what you are suggesting here Wakelamp - quite to the contrary of being against New Article Wizard changes, I'm all for it. I said above, in fact, that it should be designed once and for all by experts in UX, and what Wikipedia would like to do, and how it can retain new registrants - and I've been saying this for probably 10 years already. OTOH, I haven't been sticking at NPP since I retired from shepherding it about 3 years or more ago. In 2012 it only took about 10 months to develop the new PageTriage software. The problem today, 10 years later, is in getting the WMF to address some bugs that have crept into it, and to add some much needed small but important features in order to meet new challenges that weren't evident in 2012. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 14:34, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Make Talk Pages shorter and more useful[edit]

They are long and I skim, so here are some ideas

  • All editors to show compressed view of a template. (maybe just the template name and paramaters. Show only the template name rather than an explanation. Experienced Editors know what the rules are.
  • Be able to show archived topics back on the page in say a different colour.
  • Make it easy to do mass updates without triggering watchlists. Change watchlist preference (except for admin users) to ignore minor edits to yes, and send a message to users to change back if they wish
  • Be transparent about the # of editors watching, and warn the user that know one is watching except anti-vandalim . Even on popular articles,80 % never get a reply. For instance looking at the old movie which is far better Talk:Top Gun/Archive 1 - Wikipedia. The argument is that vandalism will increase, but why not try it on a secton of wikipeia and see?
  • Watchlist on Talk transparency. Does the number of watchers include only permanent and non expired?
  • Watchlist details on user talk - why can't an editor see who is watching their own page?
  • Prompt to look at the talk page. I don't unless i see something odd, or it's controversial. Have the Tab show a nunebr similar to how email systems show open messages
  • Does archiving actually still serve a purpose? The Bulk of the page is because of the above, and slow internet connecion is a thing of the past.

"It is customary to periodically archive old discussions on a talk page when that page becomes too large. Bulky talk pages may be hard to navigate, contain obsolete discussion, or become a burden for users with slow Internet connections or computers. Notices are placed at the beginning of the talk page to inform all editors of an archive.: Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 14:42, 16 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

By "compressed" I assume you mean collapsed? Not sure how archived topics in a different colour would help? Most of the other ideas seem to be about watchlists more generally. I wish slow internet connections were a thing of the past for everyone though! -Kj cheetham (talk) 23:10, 16 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The issue of too many template banners on Talk pages has been raised before. I saw someone in the archives raise the idea of combining them all into an infobox – not sure if anyone's actually tried that yet.
Mass updates are typically done by bots which users can filter on the Watchlists, including to just the Talk namespaces. While some bot actions simply noise on a Watchlist (archiving, rating, category fixes), a great number of users would still like to watch bot edits for mistakes, because they do happen and can be quite controversial. Plus the bots have fairly descriptive edit summaries so it's easy enough to ignore.
Talk page tab prompts seem odd -- they would only be relevant to editors who have visited the Talk page previously, and thus likely have it on their Watchlist already... so the logical place to put a prompt (if desired) is on the Watchlist.
Regarding page size, maybe dial-up is mostly gone (places with no internet infrastructure tend not to have phone infrastructure either), but data rates and memory usage are still a thing.
Having the number of watchers visible to those wanting to post on the Talk page is an interesting idea -- I don't know if it's been explored before. I'm sure you could get a good metric for what you think would represent which editors watching are "expired" at the moment, but I'm reasonably sure most people here have had long periods of inactivity. Still, it could be useful. SamuelRiv (talk) 23:41, 16 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
My experience is that all too many edits that are marked minor are major. It shouldn’t be a default. Doug Weller talk 15:34, 26 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"minor" shouldn't be the default can you point to what part of the interface has this set? — xaosflux Talk 15:51, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Bots that revert vandalism mark their edits as minor. Maybe the default that needs to be changed is the one in Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-rc-changesrc that hides minor edits from the watchlist. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:20, 1 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

BLP violations in non-linked on the main page[edit]

There was recently a discussion at WP:ERRORS concerning a DYK entry that had a BLP violation – not in the bolded article, mind you, but in one of the supplementary links that are just applied. BLP is a super important policy – how should we approach not publicizing violations on the main page? We could allow for unlinking if BLP issues aren't resolved... theleekycauldron (talkcontribs) (she/they) 03:46, 17 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

(For reference, the discussion in question is here Caeciliusinhorto-public (talk) 15:54, 22 July 2022 (UTC))Reply[reply]
BLP violations must not be linked from the Main Page. If the vio can't be fixed and the link is crucial for the hook, the hook must be pulled. —Kusma (talk) 13:53, 17 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Why pull the hook instead of deleting the BLP violation from the target article? Anomie 15:08, 17 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We seem to agree on the order of things to attempt to fix the problem. —Kusma (talk) 15:31, 17 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Being that Charlotte von Mahlsdorf has been dead for 20 years now, there was no BLP issue whatsoever involved in this discussion. Some editors were erroneously tagging her article with BLP issues, and that has been resolved. Elizium23 (talk) 04:29, 21 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Another Forum for Content Volunteer Requests[edit]

Some of the case requests that are filed at the Dispute Resolution Noticeboard are closed as not really requests for moderated dispute resolution. There are various types of requests that get filed at DRN because it is one of our content noticeboards, and is a "less wrong" place for many requests than WP:ANI, such as for someone to verify or comment on an edit, or for another editor to join in discussion at an article talk page. The suggestion has been made that there should be another noticeboard, maybe not considered part of the dispute resolution mechanism, but with a name such as Volunteer Requests or Content Advice. It could also be used to request assistance in writing a neutrally worded RFC on a topic, for instance.

Does anyone have any ideas as to some form that could be useful? Robert McClenon (talk) 00:27, 27 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think this could be a good place to maybe diffuse situations before they blow up to the DRN or ANI. Getting a neutral mediator involved before they are Problems with a capital P- and just keep level heads. But also remove the idea some editors have that going to the DRN is a "punishment" or "negative mark" on their record. Nightenbelle (talk) 19:09, 27 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Viewing deleted pages and separating types of deletions[edit]

At Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Persistent proposals/Straw poll for view-deleted, the discussion ended with statements from the OTRS (now VRT) legal queue as well as WMF around legal concerns of allowing more users to see deleted pages. I suppose we could add a new checkbox when deleting pages or revisions for separating those that should only be viewable to admins from those would be viewable to a new user group. I think the easiest way to manage this is to make all current deleted revisions and pages only visible to admins by default, and new deletions could then be made available to a "trusted" group. 0xDeadbeef 06:19, 27 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What is this for? I thought that "deleted" should mean "deleted", meaning that it is not accessible to anyone (except admins)? If anybody can see them, how they can be called "deleted" in any practical sense? Ruslik_Zero 20:06, 28 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
See also Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee/June 2008 announcements/Activation of view-deleted-pages. This is not proposing that deleted pages should be accessible to anyone, but only to an additional user group granted for obtaining evidence of vandalism/sock puppetry as well as other uses as determined by the community. 0xDeadbeef 09:24, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This is a non-starter for any number of reasons, but I think it's still worth pointing out that for deleted articles, there will usually be a fairly recent copy stored at the Wayback Machine, as long as it was live on Wikipedia long enough for it to be picked up. Automatic archiving doesn't really happen for user- and draftspace (AFAIK because of the default search engine indexing rules), but there's usually little reason for anyone to look at deleted stuff in those, anyway. Dr. Duh 🩺 (talk) 20:34, 28 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Articles for Cleanup[edit]

Inspired in part by the current ArbCom case about conduct in deletion discussions, and partly by various other discussions I've been involved in recently, I've begun workshopping an idea for a Articles for cleanup process. That link goes to a first rough outline in my userspace, and I would like feedback on the idea. ~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs)problem solving 18:32, 27 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@ONUnicorn: Are you aware of Wikipedia:Article Rescue Squadron? --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 22:12, 27 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Redrose64: Yes, but I'm envisioning something slightly different. That's a project whose members might be interested in this idea. The idea however, is for a process - one that would complement AFD. ~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs)problem solving 22:25, 27 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
ONUnicorn, I think you should make a demo of the process and try it on a few articles. Tweak stuff that didn't work. Retain those that does. Rinse and repeat – you would obtain a much better process than if you try to fashion everything in advance. CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 13:23, 30 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
My overall view: It's not going to work. The threat of deletion encourages effort. The threat of nothing does nothing.
Some details:
  • I think you might want to consider the name "Articles for sourcing", because otherwise you're going to get a lot of complaints unrelated to notability or otherwise related to deletion. (This is where I dump articles with wikitext errors, right?)
  • Also, I suspect that you're going to need a WP:QPQ process. You can't dump articles here if you don't help fix someone else's. (I can just copy the ~21,000 articles listed in to your new thing, right?)
  • You might consider this as a possible AFD outcome or a way to pause the AFD process.
More broadly, I wonder if we need to encourage writing and sourcing articles as a primary activity. Tagging, "processing", and even long AWB runs to fix typos don't build the encyclopedia. To give you an example, about 14 years ago, I wrote Oculodentodigital dysplasia. There have been 63 edits by 38 editors (including me). But there are only 12 words in the entire article (never more than four words in a row) that were written by someone else. What were those 37 other editors doing? WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:42, 1 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@WhatamIdoing Thank you for the helpful suggestions. The main idea actually was this as a sort of AFD outcome or a pre-AFD step - have articles that actually have a shot at surviving AFD go through a different and less antagonistic process to try to reduce some of the friction at AFD. "Articles for Sourcing and Improvement" is a better name than Articles for Cleanup, or maybe "Articles for Notability Review" would be clearer.
The idea for a QPQ strikes me as both good and bad. I think some people who nominate a lot of articles for AFD don't like the requirement to do WP:BEFORE (they're busy - they're trying to get through some backlog somewhere quickly - they think the article creators should have done this work - etc.), and some of them just aren't very good at it. Moreover, if you use WP:DYK for an example of how a QPQ does and doesn't work on Wikipedia - well, it works at pushing noms through, but there are constant problems with incompetent reviews being done by people who are just trying to check a box so their own noms get reviewed. If someone isn't good at searching for sources, or thinks they are too busy to search for sources or that it's someone else's job to search for sources, they either aren't going to use the process if there is a QPQ, or they are going to do a shoddy job with whatever they are doing as a QPQ.
I like your idea of it being a pause button on the AFD process - Maybe mid AFD someone finds some sources and suggests it get sent to AFCU or AFSI or AFNR or whatever it ultimately gets called, and it's there for people to work on for 30 days and then the revised article is evaluated.
I do kind of try to leave the threat of deletion as part of it, just a less imminent threat than the 7 day AFD, with people shouting "Delete" the entire time. ~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs)problem solving 19:43, 1 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Articles for Notability Review" sounds like the old Wikipedia:Notability/Noticeboard, which we closed. I won't give you a summary of why I think it closed, to avoid biasing your thoughts, but I think you might want to look at its day-to-day operations as well as the discussions about it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:31, 2 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Trial a different Idea Labs process[edit]

Ideas seem to have a low chance of becoming successful proposals, even though experienced editors are proposing them. Maybe the reason is due to our process, especially that we jump to a solution before understanding the problem totally, I suggest we trial a few small to medium size problems using a problem solving process with the following steps:

  • Define the problem,
  • Generate Alternative Solutions ,
  • Evaluate and select an Alternative
  • Implement and follow up Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 07:17, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wakelamp, super strong agree. See also: Iterative and incremental development. We need this. We have stagnated for so long because we are being too bureaucratic, too un-WP:IARy, and love stuff to not change. CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 13:19, 30 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think our editors are accustomed to separating these steps. We jump to proposed solutions rapidly, and we tend to insist upon our proposed solutions even if we're told that it won't work. Consider, e.g., the decision to spam {{unref}} into articles in 2009. That was supposed to result in editors adding sources to the articles. Nobody ever checked to see whether that worked, though. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:45, 1 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, I agree that using this Wikipedia for testing is a bad idea and that's why we have Test Wikipedia for such purposes. As for ideas that does not involve the main namespace or require A/B testing, it may be done here in a temporary Wikipedia namespace page. CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 10:02, 2 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@CactiStaccingCrane With Editor behaviour you need live. An A/B on would have been easy, although you would have had to wait 12 months or in our case 13 years :-)
@WhatamIdoing Maybe finding whether our whether the 2009 change worked could be the first we run through a problem solving process? Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 23:29, 4 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not sure how you would find out if it worked. There'd be no way to know whether the tag produced efforts vs citations would have been added anyway.
I suspect that these tags are useful in the first days/weeks, when someone is actively working on an article. If there were some sort of magic way to hide half the banners, we could see if the banner has an effect. I don't know of a way to truly randomize it, but we could probably do something like flip a coin 12 times (one per month) and then tell the banner to appear if the article is in a "heads" month and disappear if it's in a "tails" month. If we did this for, e.g., all articles in 2010, 2015, and 2020, and waited a year to see how many are still unsourced, we'd probably learn something. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:15, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
" tag produced efforts vs citations would have been added anyway." I think we can if 2009 was theonly mass unref
  • We can compare 2009 unrefs, 2010 unrefs, 2010 should be unrefs but werent,
Questions that might be of interest
Does the unref tag encurage first time editors?_
What % of unref tags ares still in place, even though it has 3 cites..
I will ask on technical, about whather "If there were some sort of magic way to hide half the banners, we could see if the banner has an effect. " Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 15:01, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There is a way to do so, using #switch and {{Random number}}, or just {{Random item}}. It can be done – what worries me is the storm of editors that will reject this radical proposal. We have to nail the proposal right the first time. CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 15:04, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Splitting the English Wikipedia[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

After suffering something of a burnout, I have come to the conclusion that serious discussion ought to be given to splitting the English Wikipedia into American English and British/Commonwealth English editions. I have no doubt that the "Wikipedia prefers no national variety of English" policy was made in good faith, but this means articles not tagged with either "use American English" or "use British English" are often a complete mess flipping at random in grammar and spelling. Translations and transcriptions often come down to a mere popularity contest between the American users and the other native English speakers on the site.

Bokmål and Nynorsk have separate Wikipedias, even though these are simply two written standards for the same language and are not spoken languages. While there is mutual intelligibility between American and Commonwealth English, forcing them to cohabit on the same site just seems forced and can be quite irritating, especially when it comes to grammatical and vocabulary distinctions. While the spelling distinctions are often given more attention, the grammar and vocabulary are the greatest blocks to complete mutual intelligibility as sentences which the author considers correct grammar using what are basic and universally understood words in their major form of English may seem nonsensical or needlessly complex or obscure in the other.

A possible way of distinguishing the two editions might be to retain the spelling "Wikipedia" for the American English site and use "Wikipaedia" for the new British/Commonwealth English site. There can of course be ongoing collaboration and co-operation between the two, as happens on the Wikipedias for the Scandinavian languages. TheCurrencyGuy (talk) 14:20, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

If you're getting burned out after a month and a half of editing, maybe the problem is what you're focusing on, and how you're editing, and not WP:ENGVAR shenanigans. Tens of thousands of editors over a couple decades have been able to deal with this, so the solution probably isn't splitting. ScottishFinnishRadish (talk) 14:24, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've been on the project for years, and I don't think annoyances over English variants have ever made it into my top 40 of wikipedia annoyances. Still, I understand that there is a problem here and that it needs addressing. Having separate wikipedias will have all sorts of obvious major negative effects, but something else that we can do is try making the same underlying text display differently to readers depending on their locale. Stuff like, inches vs. centimetres, or American vs. British spelling, or the occasional phrase with slightly different wordings. Uanfala (talk) 14:35, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm burned out because this site's language policy makes absolutely no sense. TheCurrencyGuy (talk) 17:14, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You are greatly exaggerating the problem. I, as a Brit, have no trouble reading American books and I'm pretty sure that my American friends have no trouble reading British ones. This is a trivial issue, which is not worth spending time or energy on. Phil Bridger (talk) 15:06, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Here in America, we're so infiltrated by Brits that we don't realize that almost all of our favorite actors are actually from England. It's like They Live, but instead of special sunglasses it's seeing them buy Heinz Beanz when shopping. ScottishFinnishRadish (talk) 15:47, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
on the contrary, it's like They Live, but instead of a covert group of extraterrestrials manipulating all of human history, and working right alongside unwitting humans to do so, it is like some covert cabal of elitists saving us whimsically naive Americans by making sure we use the right fork. or something. Face-smile.svg Sm8900 (talk) 17:29, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Sorry, but this is nonsense. For one thing, there's no such thing as a single "British/Commonwealth English" - try spending some time in India and you'll know what I mean. Secondly, as soon as a split happened, the two versions would diverge, different versions would be out of date with each other, and there would be no realistic chance of keeping them in sync. Finally, and most importantly, there is no significant problem anyway. We are simply not awash with Americans not understanding British English or Brits not understanding American English. I don't think I've ever seen any genuine misunderstandings in all the years I've been here - at least, none that were not trivially easy to clarify. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 15:43, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    For the British readers, what was meant in the first sentence was, Oi, mate! This is bollocks! ScottishFinnishRadish (talk) 15:49, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Hehe. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 15:58, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    ScottishFinnishRadish, I learned the other day that "oi" means "egg" in Swabian and Pennsylvania German. Cullen328 (talk) 16:02, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Maybe I can corner a niche market by advertising the eggs from my chickens as "farm fresh oi." ScottishFinnishRadish (talk) 16:06, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Nah ---Another Believer (Talk) 15:45, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Like Uanfala, this is nowhere near the top of my personal list of what is wrong or contentious about Wikipedia. I can only think of one other editor who harps on this issue because of their dislike of American English. Speaking as an American, I frequently read British publications and the work of British editors without a trace of any problem with comprehension. The same is true of the work of colleagues from Australia, New Zealand, Canada and so on. To me, this is a complete waste of time that has zero chance of gaining consensus. Cullen328 (talk) 15:54, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • It's worth noting that to the contrary of this proposal, the English project (alongside other pluricentric language projects) is actually considered a role model moving forward per the WMF's assessment in the aftermath of the Croatian Wikipedia scandal. While there's been some issues on other pluricentric projects (, in general the "many standards, one project" approach used by English, Spanish, etc. seems to produce much better results than the balkanization of the Serbo-Croatian, Norwegian, or Belarusian projects. signed, Rosguill talk 16:02, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    that reply seems highly informative. I was not aware of this issue having emerged or having been addressed previously on other wikis. thanks for your data, and please feel free to add further info and details if you wish. thanks, @Rosguill:. Sm8900 (talk) 17:30, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    And FWIW, since I realize it was vague in my first post, as far as I'm aware the problems with are largely issues of political disagreements between mainland, Taiwan, and overseas Chinese editors that have led to off-site government retaliations against editors and a breakdown of internal trust within the community, not issues of spelling standards per se. signed, Rosguill talk 17:58, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Just to take this proposal seriously for a moment, who is going to convert all the several million articles in the other language style, or will each of the new wikis just have enormous gaps? Johnbod (talk) 16:03, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Actually, I don't think this goes far enough. What we really need is to split Wikipedia into enough versions that every single person has a version written entirely in their own idiolect and is completely comfortable and unperturbed by even a single word choice that they find unfamiliar. --Jayron32 16:10, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
A split is a non-starter. It would be technically possible to have preferences to display different varieties of English (zhwiki can display different varieties of Chinese), but it would be a lot of work to implement and to check all special cases in six million articles. —Kusma (talk) 17:46, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

And all this is why I got burned out. This is why Wikipedia is a joke.TheCurrencyGuy (talk) 16:39, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

...because of a poorly presented nonsensical RFC proposed by yourself? PRAXIDICAE🌈 16:43, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Charming. What a ridiculous website this is. "Waaah, you can't separate them", "waaaah, you can't standardise". What a load of rot. TheCurrencyGuy (talk) 16:45, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You're welcome to stop editing in that case. The only person who seems to have an issue with the English variants appears to be you. PRAXIDICAE🌈 16:47, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So because I suggest an answer to the fact the grammar and spelling on the website are an inconsistent mess I'm the one with the issue? TheCurrencyGuy (talk) 16:48, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There's already an solution in-place that is acceptable to the overwhelmingly vast majority of editors. ScottishFinnishRadish (talk) 16:50, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
By having no solution and having the website be a schizophrenic bombsite. TheCurrencyGuy (talk) 16:51, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Again, save for a few instances, this isn't the overwhelming problem you're making it out to be. You're frustrating yourself by coming up with solutions for problems that don't really exist. PRAXIDICAE🌈 16:53, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This website would be considered an illiterate bombsite by any reasonable metric. TheCurrencyGuy (talk) 16:57, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If you've been having disputes where WP:ENGVAR has not been clearly applicable or is not being adequately followed, then the next step is really WP:3O or WP:RFC, or if you're sick of arguing over the trivial stuff, just walk away. And really, if you're going to protest the state of Wikipedia, surely you could have picked a meatier issue? SamuelRiv (talk) 16:54, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have tried extraordinarily hard, but this website's absurd indifference toward literacy is driving me insane. TheCurrencyGuy (talk) 16:57, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I made a serious suggestion in good faith, and now I'm just getting a load of flak. Why is nobody taking anything seriously?
Fine, stew in your madness. TheCurrencyGuy (talk) 17:21, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Goodness. You take a long time storming out the door, don't you? --Jayron32 17:31, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
TheCurrencyGuy, all that's happening is that people are disagreeing with you, and don't see any real problem the way you do. Yes, there have to be compromises over how to handle different varieties of English. And the current compromise is the one that the vast majority of community members support - and it has been working acceptably well for years. If you wish to be part of a collaborative project like Wikipedia, you have to be able to accept disagreement and the way consensus develops like this. Simply getting angry and lashing out at people because you can't get your own way is not going to achieve anything. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 17:34, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
All I have done is make serious suggestions for a solution to the ongoing issue that the site is an illiterate mess. TheCurrencyGuy (talk) 17:37, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm sorry, I can't read. What did you say? ScottishFinnishRadish (talk) 17:39, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No, that's not *all* you are doing. You are also then failing to accept that everyone else doesn't see as big a problem as you do, and do not accept your solution. And you're getting shitty with us about it. It would be possible to discuss this in more detail - but not while you have your fingers in your ears and you're responding so obnoxiously. I suggest you need to change your approach to interaction with others, or it might not end well for you. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 17:40, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
(edit conflict) It has been shown and explained to you why this wouldn't work and why this would take a massive amount of time and effort to do. Yet you insist on it. You call this an illiterate mess but have shown no specific example I can see where something written in British English is actually difficult to understand for an American or vice versa. If you were to come up with examples, you'd see that many solutions to these problems are actually quite simple. Issues with units of measurement, for example, can easily be fixed by using the template {{Convert}}. For what it's worth, I have no idea whether most of you are British or American or Kiwi or Australian without either looking for the info in your user pages or finding something like colour instead of color, and that just tells me you're not American, I still can't tell whether you're British or Australian or all the other kinds of English-speakers there are out there. —El Millo (talk) 17:47, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm British. Many of Wikipedia's articles are in British English. Many others are so short and simple that they could pass for any variety of English, including British. As for the rest, I'd much rather have a blue link to text in a different variety of English, which I can easily understand, than the red link which would result if we split the encyclopaedia. Perhaps you could work on some user script which inserts the missing "u" into "color", or takes the spurious "u" out of "colour", according to your preference. Certes (talk) 17:41, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You don't seem that British to me. Real British would be I'm British. Many ouf Wikipedia's articles are in British English. Many outhers are sou shourt and simple that they could pass four any variety of English, inclouding British. As four the rest, I'd mouch rather have a bloue link tou text in a different variety of English, which I can easily ounderstand, than the red link which would resoult if we split the encycloupaedia. Perhaps you could wourk oun soume ouser script which inserts the missing "u" into "color", our takes the spourious "u" out of "colour", accourding tou your preference. ScottishFinnishRadish (talk) 17:46, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Personal attack intended to extract a negative response. How charming. TheCurrencyGuy (talk) 18:27, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Perhaps you should check a primer on descriptivism vs. prescriptivism, especially in the internet age (which links to more in-depth topical articles). WP doesn't have an "anything goes" policy toward language and its real-time evolution, but it certainly can respond to both local and professional writing convention of the current era. SamuelRiv (talk) 17:54, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I want a Scottish English version. Not a Scots version, just Scottish English, where I can write 'aumbry' without having someone change the spelling to ambry. Or I can use the word 'outwith' without fear of the GOCE. Seriously, this would be such an enormous amount of effort, for something which is (or should be) at most a very minor annoyance, it isn't worth discussing. Girth Summit (blether) 17:46, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Surely some code monkey could program a bot that would change Rod Stewart's Gasoline Alley to the correct British name of Petrol Alley. Cullen328 (talk) 17:50, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    lots of aumbry'sxaosflux Talk 18:11, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've tried very hard, and I'm just being crucified. I simply do not understand the facetiousness and ridicule I'm getting.TheCurrencyGuy (talk) 18:18, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Perhaps you should consider a break as your personal attacks are unacceptable and this is clearly too sore a subject for you to collaboratively deal with. PRAXIDICAE🌈 18:20, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I cannot cope when I make a proposal in good faith and just get nailed up. TheCurrencyGuy (talk) 18:22, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Then Wikipedia is not the place for you. It's pretty simple. PRAXIDICAE🌈 18:23, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Charming. And this is why this website is a mess. TheCurrencyGuy (talk) 18:25, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think Praxidicae is just making a practical suggestion - being able to handle rejection of ideas is pretty much required here, if you want to retain your sanity. I suggest the best thing you could do now is forget this idea (as it is clearly not going to be accepted), and think instead about how you could work on things that don't annoy you so much. It was clear that the English language thing got you riled up well before you started this discussion, and it can be wise to step away from things that do that to you. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 18:28, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
All I'm suggesting is a solution to a problem that has existed for two decades and is at a complete impasse. The amount of bad faith above is frankly astonishing. Why has nobody even taken the example I gave of Bokmal and Nynorsk into account? Those aren't even separate languages, just two ways of writing down the same language that are by definition entirely mutually intelligible. Why is the site obsessed with its American English imperialism when it could just cut its losses and fork? TheCurrencyGuy (talk) 18:33, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The answer is because that would create more problems than it solves - as people have explained, but you refuse to listen. Anyway, I'm going to give up banging my head against the wall now. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 18:43, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
One of the top ten visited websites on earth isn't really a "loss." Readers don't seem to be bothered, and the overwhelming majority of editors think the way WP:ENGVAR works is good enough. I suspect that most editors don't even care about or notice ENGVAR stuff. ScottishFinnishRadish (talk) 18:50, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Top 10 Village pump (technical) threads of the month[edit]

Everytime I visit Wikipedia:Village pump (technical) I find some useful thread. And that leads me to wonder what have I missed in the time that I did not see. I propose to create a newsletter of some sorts, where the curators add link to the "Top 10 Village pump (technical) threads of the month" (can be 5,10, 15 etc). And the newsletter be open to subscription.

Only the regulars of Wikipedia:Village pump (technical) would be able to build such a list as they know what is more useful and what is novice. This would only involve copying links to the threads, so the overhead is not as high as writing a Signpost. So I think it is doable. Please think about it. Overtime, this newsletter would lead to the creation of FAQ section of WP:TEAHOUSE, Such a FAQ would save time. cc @PrimeHunter Venkat TL (talk) 15:29, 3 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A good idea in principle. I often learn something useful here and occasionally help out. A column in the Signpost might attract a wider audience, if it's not too specialised. Although it's a good headline, think twice about a fixed limit such as ten: some months may have five or fifteen ideas which pass some arbitrary threshold of "topness". Another useful but time-consuming and thankless task would be to compile an index by subject or, better still, add the tips to appropriate sections of Wikipedia's existing help and project pages. Certes (talk) 16:04, 3 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Certes indeed, I envision a variable thread count, I used "Top 10" as an easily understandable "cliche" term. I agree attaching this to signpost will indeed be useful. Venkat TL (talk) 16:13, 3 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Why not? Cheers, · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 17:04, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

SVG film posters[edit]

I've started a discussion at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Film#SVG_film_posters regarding the potential for using SVG for film/movie posters. I'm soliciting feedback on an image I've already uploaded with an eye towards doing more if the example proves to be acceptable/popular. Please reply at the discussion there. Thank you! —Locke Coletc 04:14, 4 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Core Content Wikipedia[edit]

Why don't we create a new Wikimedia project, perhaps called 'Core Content Wikipedia' or 'Corewiki' or 'Wiki Essentials', that forks en-wiki entirely as is, with only one initial difference: WP:GNG reads A topic is presumed to be suitable for a stand-alone article when it has received significant and enduring coverage in high-quality academic sources? All good things about en-wiki (CC license; pseudonymity; everyone can edit; consensus-based decision making; strongly elaborated system of PAG; i.e., all Wikipedia principles and practices as they currently exist) would be retained, but it would be a project dedicated solely to 'traditional' encyclopedic subjects, those which have received enduring attention from academia.

An example notability requirement could be, 'there need to be at least three monographs or entries in scholarly encyclopedias dedicated to the subject'. In other words, really strict: it wouldn't just be no popular culture or no sports articles, but also no articles on recent events (or any other than truly pivotal historical events actually), no articles on politicians or journalists or academics or other potentially controversial figures (in fact, no articles on any other than the most prominent historical figures), no articles on counties, cities or schools, no articles on government agencies or minor/local political parties, no list articles, no name articles, no articles on every last obscure plant or animal (sub)species, no articles on every type of incomprehensible mathematical permutation, no articles on each cast member of Plato's dialogues, no articles on every supposed concept in Paracelsian alchemy –no articles, essentially, on most or all of the things of which it would not so long ago have been unthinkable that a serious encyclopedia would devote an entry to them.

This is not because it's not great to have articles on all of these things. That is great, it truly is. But it would be even greater to also have articles on core content that are of an altogether different level of quality.

The idea is that, because the sheer amount of articles would be reduced by such a huge factor (anyone hazard a guess as to the percentage?), the articles that would make the cut would benefit from an enormous increase in editorial and administrative attention. From recent changes to SPI, from AIV to ANI, the resources available would multiply. Imagine a project practically without BLPs, a seriously reduced rate of drama related to AP2 and other DS areas, and perhaps most enticingly to some, neither any form of cruft nor the endless disputes about it.

And if we're really lucky, maybe that's only where it starts. The quality of the core encyclopedic content will improve, attracting more readers. Google will prefer to display cc-wiki content where possible. The toxicity among editors will decrease (if only ever so slightly), leading more readers to start editing the thing and actually stay. Surely there will also be among those readers a lot of academics who got attracted to a new (but still pseudonymous, freewheeling, etc.) Wikipedia solely focusing on prominent academic topics. Maybe, just maybe, experts will finally come to regard the Wikipedia articles on 'their' subject as one of the things most worthy of their time and attention (in fact they already are, but for some reason academics just don't realize this yet). The general quality of cc-wiki might skyrocket to such an extent as to be incomparable to today's Wikipedia.

This is all of course assuming that a significant percentage of current en-wiki editors will make the move to cc-wiki. They will by no means all have to jump ship to make the editor/content ratio increase by a large factor, but a critical mass will still be needed. Once cc-wiki starts rolling, however, a lot of new editors will come in whom en-wiki would never have retained. I also think that a lot of us are already here for something like cc-wiki, but just have to deal with the reality that there's only en-wiki. Many will take the opportunity in a heartbeat.

A potential downside of the whole plan could be that en-wiki would initially be left with a smaller editor/content ratio, and perhaps an even smaller yet skilled editor/content ratio. But I think that this would only be very temporary, given the fact that interest in non-academic subjects will always remain high. It's in fact what made Wikipedia big in the first place, so I don't think it can really go wrong there. Initially there will be a lot of duplicate effort (perhaps the biggest drawback), but if all goes well we might gradually start redirecting en-wiki articles to their cc-wiki forks. It would eventually change the nature of en-wiki itself, which to an extent would also be relieved from some of the problems that come with core encyclopedic content (e.g., many content disputes could be resolved much quicker or even be avoided entirely if more experts were editing and patrolling the articles, and in any case en-wiki would be rid of these disputes together with the articles).

Sure, the whole point of forking core content articles to another project is to direct more attention and resources on them, which will always come at a cost for other types of articles. But I think there is good reason to believe that in the long term it could increase the general reputation of Wikimedia projects to such an extent that all projects would benefit: a rising tide lifts all boats. Having an online user-generated encyclopedia that is of truly high quality and a standard reference works for academics could be a real game changer, also for the WMF as a whole. ☿ Apaugasma (talk ) 16:17, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

We already do that within this project, at least in principle, via Wikipedia:Vital articles which lists the most important topics. And at a global level on meta:List of articles every Wikipedia should have. Created largely to incentivise article improvement for these core topics, but it doesn't attract too many editors. I would expect the new project to suffer from lack of dedicated editors. Any point in working for a stagnant project, with no growth? Further, academicians are always welcome to contribute here, and of course they work not only on very popular subjects but also on not-popular subjects. So, anyone wanting to improve articles on what they know would have to come to this project anyway. CX Zoom[he/him] (let's talk • {CX}) 17:45, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No. WP:VA is simply a selection of important topics. It's not a separate wiki that only contains articles on academic subjects and that actively excludes everything else. It's completely different both from a technical and from a community standpoint. Also note that even WP:VA5 with its 50,000 entries is a much more narrow list than the list of subjects for which three monographs or entries in scholarly encyclopedias can be found; rather expect something like the 228,274 topics covered by Britannica. Inclusion would be based on notability rather than on a curated list like VA. But the essential problem with VA is that people look at WP:VA1 or WP:VA2 and get utterly discouraged by the sheer difficulty of improving even just one of these 100 articles. The proposal above has nothing to do with that at all: there is not intent whatsoever to 'rank' topics, and it's in fact primarily about the 228,174 non-VA2 articles. The goal here is to create a project where a broad range of encyclopedically minded editors would for the most part be editing the exact same articles as they are editing now, but without the gigantic overload created by the (6,561,351 - 228,274 =) 6,333,077 articles of little or no academic interest. It's all about eliminating that overload. Think just about what patrolling recent changes would look like. I believe it would enormously stimulate growth. Of course, you may personally not be interested to participate (many here won't), and that's totally fine. But perhaps others would. ☿ Apaugasma (talk ) 19:39, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Apaugasma tends to have very thoughtful ideas so I'll read the proposal above once I'm home, but just to comment on the VA thing: It's an absolute mess in dire need of reform but without much interest from the community in maintaining it and thus without much drive to reform it.— Ixtal ( T / C ) Join WP:FINANCE! 19:50, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ixtal is absolutely correct about VA. Doug Weller talk 10:42, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
How would this work? Where would the Admins etc come from? Doug Weller talk 10:43, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
From en-wiki. Face-smile.svg It would copy everything, including a large set of the editor base. Initially en-wiki admins would get sysop on simple request. Obviously it would need very broad enthusiasm, especially from users with much more experience and know-how than me, to even just get to a test phase. I'm just airing an idea. At this point I guess I'm mainly interested to know, why would this not be a good idea? ☿ Apaugasma (talk ) 12:33, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Because it wouldn't work at all. Your arguments all seem to be from the point of view of editors, rather than readers. In fact such a project would fail to attract either, and would be very low on search engine results. Who would even know about it? Insofar as some articles are improved on the new version, the existing WP article would not (if I've got the idea right) benefit from this. Both editors and readers look at the parts of WP that interest them, and never see the ones that don't (ok, if people choose to review "recent changes", that's their look-out). I suspect most readers look at both articles that would qualify for this scheme, and those that don't. I entirely agree that we are failing to improve our "core" content enough, but really there's no great difficulty for editors in finding the weak spots and working on them an article at a time (which is essentially what I do much of the time). As well as the "Vital articles", which I must say I never look at, there are also the wikiproject ratings, where a combination of high importance and low quality is a useful quide to weak spots. Really, even editors who exclusively edit "core" encyclopaedic stuff should be grateful for all the sports & popular culture, which vastly boosts WP's hits, & keeps us at the top of search engine results, ensuring our work is read. Johnbod (talk) 13:59, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Let me clarify. En-wiki articles would (gradually) be blanked-and-redirected to their cc-wiki forks. Readers would constantly be sent back and forth between the two. There would be a high level of integration, both from a technical and a community point of view. The interface would be almost identical, just enough to mark out you're looking at a cc-wiki article. Reader's familiarity with the site would be instant from the moment we want it to be (by redirecting a large number of articles).
The purpose of having a separate wiki is to enable editors and admins who would like this to only spend time (patrolling, dealing with vandals and disruptive editors, community discussions, SPI, etc. etc.) on core content articles. This is not about incentivizing content editors to work more on (the weak spots in) core content, it's about allowing an entire project's resources (including editors who, say, spend all of their time doing anti-vandalism) to be solely focused on it. Yes, en-wiki will always attract more traffic and will continue to form the backbone of the WMF, but cc-wiki will also profit from that traffic by design. In the long term, en-wiki would in turn benefit from the enhanced reputation for reliability and quality brought on by cc-wiki. ☿ Apaugasma (talk ) 15:19, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Anyone who wants to work this way is already doing it. Cheers, · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 16:47, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have a number of questions.
  1. Who would decide which are to be the "core content" (CC) articles?
  2. If an article is selected as a CC article, and copied over, it would contain a cumber of links to articles not yet (or which will never be) selected for CC, which would then become redlinks. Would the persin copying the article to CC then be responsible for making redirects back to main Wikipedia?
  3. Would there be a period where the same article existed in two places (normal Wikipedia and CC Wikipedia)?
    1. How would updates to one be mirrored back to the other?
    2. Who would decide that it was time for one copy to be redirected to the other, wnd which of the two would be retained?
  4. Would counter-vandalism volunteers (all the way from casuals spotting random additions of "poop" right up to admins able to block and/or protect) be willing to patrol in two places at once?
  5. If a user is blocked on one, would they also need to be separately blocked on the other?
  6. If the CC regulars resolve some policy change, would that need to be separately proposed on normal Wikipedia?
I really do not think that this suggestion has any chance of being accepted, even if put to a full WP:RFC at WP:VPR. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 18:26, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hi Redrose64, here are some answers to your questions:
1. Notability guidelines (significant and enduring coverage in high-quality academic sources, see above) and editorial consensus. For edge cases we might create processes like Afi ('Articles for inclusion') and Afe ('Articles for exclusion'), somewhat analogous to AfC and AfD.
2. Yes, editors would have to redirect links back to en-wiki. Probably a bot could help us with that.
3. Yes. All of these things would be decided by local consensus. As long as there are two articles, anyone could copy between them provided there's consensus for the edits and attribution is given. However, I imagine that editors who would fork an article would also put some work in it, so redirecting the en-wiki page to the cc-wiki fork should in most cases be a fairly straightforward decision. We would probably have to create a guideline which would outline legitimate reasons not to redirect (e.g., redirecting to POV forks should be avoided; in general the CC article would have to be actually better as measured by compliance with core content policy).
4. I hope so. Some might find it refreshing to be able to shift from one project to the other every now and then.
5. That's a tough call. It depends on the general level of integration between the two projects. I would favor that accounts are blocked in both, but there's room for disagreement there.
6. Likewise a question of how far we take the integration between the two projects. I would favor that at least initially, cc-wiki would not have its own policies but follow those of en-wiki (except for the modified WP:GNG obviously, as well as some other necessarily differing guidelines). In time it would perhaps be natural for the two projects to develop their own policies, though it would probably be wise to keep core content policy as well as basic conduct policy the same.
Before even proposing there would need to be a lot more enthusiasm for it than currently seen in this thread. On the other hand, at this time I'm not only polling whether such enthusiasm exists, but also looking to actively disprove the idea as not workable. The above has mainly been clarification. Once it's clear what's meant (BD2412 nicely summarizes it below), it will perhaps be easier to tell precisely why it won't work. From your questions I gather that your main concern is duplicate effort, is that right? ☿ Apaugasma (talk ) 22:14, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Not just duplication of effort, but there would apparently be a requirement for extra effort. As things stand, once I have finished with watchlist checking and general housekeeping, I don't have enough time to add all the fresh content that I would like. I've already had to largely give up on Commons. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 23:22, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I see exactly what this editor is aiming for, and I think it is actually a brilliant idea. Have a separate wiki for the topics that are actually the most important topics, but integrated into the existing English Wikipedia so that the transition from one to the other is barely distinguishable. The criteria for inclusion for the new wiki would be "serious academic coverage", which would include a few hundred-thousand current Wikipedia topics, and excludes millions, along a defensible line of division. BD2412 T 19:42, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


This may be a far fetched idea but hear me out.

Vandalism on WP articles is not new, but dealing with it can be time consuming and is a waste of time that could be used on improving WP. I propose that a “dummy” article is created for the purpose of vandalism. I know it’s a crazy idea but there are other places that have Graffiti rocks such as Universities and Parks for the sole purpose to dissuade people from vandalizing over things like buildings and walkways. Wikipedia is not meant to be a place for arts and crafts, but then why do universities have them? Vandalism cannot be stopped on WP, even if this was made, but I think it's worth a shot and maybe it might help. I know it's very far fetched but what is the opinion on this? DiscoA340 (talk) 22:39, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

We have a sandbox. But no, we shouldn't encourage vandalism anywhere. Not to mention there are dozens of different types of vandalism which this would not begin to satisfy. PRAXIDICAE🌈 22:48, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There are several message boards that use "containment threads" to, well, contain problematic topics and behaviors. For this to be effective the thread has to be somewhat moderated (there's no such thing as a successful large unmoderated forum) and remain relevant for users, so I suppose it has to give some social feedback for vandals in the case of WP. Of course notable containment threads have generally awful behavior and the scattered analyses I've seen suggest they're self-sustaining (recent studies: [1] [2]). On a forum it's somewhat different as well because you can simply take a problematic post or thread and move it to the containment area, and the user who wants to monitor activity on their post is incentivized to stay there. Are we on WP supposed to take vandal's edits to a page, isolate the edited text, then post that fragment on a containment page, and that would somehow incentivize a vandal to watch that page? Or would a repeat vandal be locked into only being able to edit the contianment page? If so, why not just lock them from editing altogether, apart from say a sandbox?
One interesting public art concept this idea raises is a communal wiki page, in which any edit is possible except perhaps multiple reverts and auto-filtered spam. If properly tuned for edit size and frequency, it could look something like a communal canvas (e.g. r/place). That's of course outside the scope of WP, but perhaps doable on a fandom or wikia. SamuelRiv (talk) 23:11, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Why would a person wanting to vandalise Wikipedia bother to write on the graffiti rock? · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 17:01, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

VA 2022 Reform[edit]

It is most absolutely clear VA is in dire need of reform but exists without any drive from the community to improve it. However, as a ""core"" part of wiki (or at least our aims), I think it would benefit from a more structured concerns->solutions->voting system of reform similar to RFA2021. How could/should we go about doing so? I'm just tired of a tool with so much potential being ignored so deliberately by active/prolific editors due to its flaws. Surely something can be done about it? — Ixtal ( T / C ) Join WP:FINANCE! 21:20, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

OK, I'll be the first to look silly: what's VA? My first thought was Vital Articles, but that's not really a tool. Certes (talk) 21:53, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That is what I meant, yes, Certes. — Ixtal ( T / C ) Join WP:FINANCE! 21:58, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think you should discuss your ideas with the vital articles WikiProject, since those will be the editors directly affected. isaacl (talk) 00:14, 8 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't actually see that there is a big problem with it other than an apparent lack of editors interested in using the lists to improve content. A lot of time is (imo) wasted arguing about what goes on the lower level lists, but these will never be "right". But actually we don't know how many editors use them, so what the results are. Johnbod (talk) 01:20, 8 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]