Talk:New editor engagement
|Thread title||Replies||Last modified|
|Watchlists||0||12:15, 6 May 2013|
|Keep It Simple, Make It Simpler||1||22:40, 22 April 2013|
|EASY way to add new DISAMBIGUATION PAGES||2||22:40, 7 February 2013|
|Wikipedia service awards||0||22:28, 7 February 2013|
|A fundamental problem||5||22:18, 7 February 2013|
|bridging communities||0||00:17, 5 April 2012|
More? My 'Welcome' to Wikipedia included 65 links, starting with a nine page tutorial to get me started. After reading it and visiting a few of the links, I felt intimidated rather than welcomed. I searched for a mentor with similar interests. The page was hopelessly out-of-date but I found a source of simple self-help. A Wikipedian, Pluma, created homework for adoptees including some fun stuff. In one long evening I learned how to help fight vandalism and patrol new pages as well as basic editing. I felt prepared to contribute to Wikipedia; I think that I have done so.
Looking at the New Editor Engagement page, I worry that too much effort may be spent on adding more. In my opinion, simplifying things for new editor's will help more than adding to an often confusing and intimidating collection of links to tutorials, rules and guidelines. Doctree (talk) 16:33, 22 April 2012 (UTC) (who appreciated the new 'Global profile' feature)
Here is my ONE suggestion, Sumanah: A way to create a new disambiguation page by a simple copy-and-paste (i.e., two steps or less).
In the early days of Wikipedia, there was an intrinsic inclusiveness that arose from the transparency and simplicity of process, AND the elegance and excellence of its content. It was a high-performance system.
Technologists need to serve users, not the other way around.
Warmly, Ryn Miake-Lye ryn AT sciencedriven DOT net
Last edit: 23:32, 13 February 2012
Thanks for this great suggestion :). We're always looking at ways to improve the wiki, and make it easier for outsiders to use. I don't think we've targeted anything specifically at disambiguation pages - we have a very small staff, and from a software point of view, disambig pages are pretty much the same as any other page - but we are developing tools to make editing overall much easier, which should (indirectly) help with disambig pages. Have you seen things like the Visual Editor?
If you mean the project currently doomed to failure since it can't parse templates (and it explicitly states that template parsing is so difficult that it's not going to bother implementing that) even though virtually every single English Wikipedia page has at least one template on it if not multiple templates (infoboxes and references), the project that also can't handle simple tables, the project that can only handle really basic stuff that's already in the edit box like bold, italics (which only take a minute to get used to), then yes, I've seen it. I think it's a waste of both time and money.
- Apparently, there are now plans to integrate template editing in the Visual Editor. I think it's still unfortunately doomed to failure, because of the gigantic ball of mess that are cite templates. Granted, citations are very important, they keep things legal/moral (no stealing of ideas and avoidance of biography of living person lawsuits, etc.), but they are a seriously serious tangled web (this may seem like hyperbole, but start following the code and see what it does and you'll soon see exactly what I mean).
I don't see any way they can get rid of the "biting" of newcomers without overhauling their policy. Mainly, the problem is that Wikipedia deletes a lot of useful content because it doesn't fall within their idea of what Wikipedia is supposed to be about. No matter how nice, polite and civil they are about notifying people that their useful content just got put up for deletion (or has already been deleted), it's not going to make those new editors very happy.
Yeah, there are a lot of other wikis out there where people can post their content. But those wikis aren't sufficiently integrated with Wikipedia to take advantage of the economies of scale that Wikipedia offers; therefore, those other wikis tend to fail. The WMF has not placed a high priority on interwiki integration, even among WMF wikis; there are no integrated watchlists, interwiki page existence detection, etc. That's probably a large part of the reason why those other projects haven't succeeded to anywhere near the extent that Wikipedia has. It's easy to complain about such problems, but I also intend to address them by coding some solutions.
For the record, these are some of the relevant bugs:
I think that one major issue that haunts Wikipedia is the speedy deletion process. In my opinion this requires a change of culture, or atleast a new implied rule to be put in place: If the first reason you come up with to put an article up for speedy deletion is that 'you have never heard of it', then you should immediately recuse yourself from the process and ask another editor to step in, or just leave the topic alone altogether. The speed with which perfectly reasonable material for the encyclopedia is deleted, most often without any notification in advance or after the fact, can only lead new editors to think that taking part in Wikipedia involves some sort of mystical process that is not at all obvious and very exclusive. I and a few others obviously have managed to fight through some of those early snubs. But it is easy for me to imagine that most editors-in-waiting, young and old, when faced with that first hurdle just decide to take their contribution potential elsewhere. This really needs to be addressed with concrete changes to policy, culture and practice, sooner rather that later.
They probably take their contribution elsewhere, e.g. to a personal blog or smaller wiki (e.g. Wikinfo), but then they lose a lot of the advantages of integrating their content into a massive project like Wikipedia. After all, who reads those smaller wikis? Not many people.
Nor do many people watchlist and improve the articles. People don't have time to be actively involved in a bunch of different wikis, especially when they have overlapping content. It's unnecessary duplication of effort that people generally seek to avoid. Fortunately, I think Inclupedia will solve these problems for us.
Last edit: 22:15, 7 February 2013
The thing is that Wikipedia is a lot stricter than it used to be. Wikipedia was like Wikia back in the day. I remember coming in back in 2005 and 2006 and never once bothering to include a reference with what I was writing because it was "obvious". References were only for those contentious things like "person X is of ethnicity Y" or something like that. Now every Wikipedia article needs to meet the high standards that are expected of articles. This leads to a lot of really great articles and prevents a heck of a lot of dross and stupid self-promotion, but it also makes it more difficult to write an article than it was back when Wikipedia was brand new. Also, Wikipedia doesn't devote the coverage to single subjects that some other sites do. For instance, take a look at the minor aliens in Doctor Who and Star Trek, they're all clumped together on single pages (because there's only a line or two about each of those aliens). These changes are mostly necessary. Wikipedia would conceivably get sued way more often, but it does make it more difficult to write an article. Articles aren't books, it's not about writing what you know, it's about research projects.
OCLC are looking for a wikipedian in residence.This might be a good place to start in trying to bridge between Wikieditors and communities/disiciplinary groups who use wikipedia as a promotional device.
As "Ideally, the Wikipedian in Residence will work as a community coordinator and strengthen the relationship between OCLC, library stakeholders, and the Wikipedia community" this is the one activity - New editor engagement - which might help provide a common focus. i.e. while the aim for WP will be to engage and retain "new editors", the rest of the world, which is trying to coalesce around disciplinary groups, wants to lead readers from their general search towards a community who can engage them in more datailed inquiry. At the same time there is anticipation by the "average" internet user that (cool) communities will use tools which are far more advanced, and easier to use, than IRC.
My point of focus is around these research networks, where they look to provide the infrastructure (for global disciplinaty groups) and take little interest in "the content". At the moment they are investigating which services they should be providing to their users. Wikipedia, to me, seems like the first one.