From the editor

From the editor

Editor's note: This is a large article, but I really hope you'll read it all, because I find its results very important.

Last week, I asked readers to respond to a survey, in order to help us make the Signpost more relevant. I've reviewed the statistical results of the survey, which have been made available here. Of note:

Non-statistically, I found a lot of very interesting comments about our coverage. Below, I've given a few of the criticisms sent to us, and attempted to explain the reasons why this lack of coverage occurred. I've also asked a few questions -- please leave comments on the talk page if you have a response. I think a few of these questions are important, and I'd like your further opinions on these particular issues.

On a side note, I cannot thank enough the people who have written articles in the past and present; your work is extremely important, and I don't think others get the credit they deserve. As editor, I do very little compared to the writers, who write and organize the majority of Signpost content. Thanks again.

I hope I'm not beating ourselves into the ground too much. The majority of commenters had little or no complaints, and felt that we were doing a good job. However, I feel that many of the issues that I've added above are systemic problems that can be addressed, and I will try to address them over the next few months.

Thanks for reading the Signpost.


+ Add a comment

Discuss this story

These comments are automatically transcluded from this article's talk page. To follow comments, add the page to your watchlist. If your comment has not appeared here, you can try purging the cache.
Any comments?

Editors, Mailing Lists, and Size

I found the last three points most interesting.

(1) A positive feature on editors would be good, but maybe rather than focusing on individuals, have features on various active collaborations, such as the better-known WikiProjects, and maybe some lesser-known ones as well? There are enough "local areas" around Wikipedia to have features every week for several years. It is difficult to know which areas to feature, but maybe some statistical survey could point out the most active areas.

(2) Mailing lists. I'd love to see a summary of the important mailing list discussions. There are other areas that I don't get time to read as well, like the Village Pumps and various policy talk pages and noticeboards. If you had enough people to report, you could keep your finger on the pulse of what was happening in areas like that, and I think that could be interesting for people to read. Trying to focus on the different stuff, rather than the same old controversies or complaints.

(3) It would be nice to see a larger Signpost, but then it might take longer to read! :-)

(4) Personally, I'm interested in the history of Wikipedia. Any attempt at tracing the history of some areas will be woefully incomplete, but it would be nice to see a start made at documenting this, or pointing to areas where such work has been done. Are there any collections of timelines of various events?

I don't think I could commit to more than helping out, or providing tips more regularly, but would be happy to help where I can. Carcharoth 06:10, 25 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

By the way, I did forget to mention WikiProjects, as a few people mentioned those. I've added them in. Ral315 » 06:21, 25 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Regarding stories about ordinary people, I just met with this guy that has been with the Estonian Wikipedia from the start, Andres, and he seems to have built this mostly by himself (he has 120 thousand edits of about 700 thousand, and currently its passed 40 thousand articles). Very nice, humble person and as this is the kind of story I would be interested in reading myself then I may try to write a piece on him. It could be a series called Wikimedian of the week (that could include all of us!

More tech stuff, how many servers, gigabyte space etc..... I am always interested in such. Keep up the good work! Ulflarsen 06:39, 25 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

At WT:FC and other pages there have been repeated suggestions that we should have 'featured templates', 'featured Wikiprojects', 'featured user pages', et cetera. These invariably get 'shot down' because, while those things may help to build the encyclopedia, they are not, in themselves, 'content' like the rest of our 'featured' materials. The point of 'featured' status is officially to identify and showcase our best work to demonstrate what Wikipedia can achieve as an encyclopedia. However, it also has an aspect of 'recognition' which is important too, and the goal behind suggestions to 'feature' other efforts. If the signpost could take on the role of providing some of that 'recognition' for other areas of the encyclopedia I think it would be a very good thing. The recent article on the project around Template:Ambox is a good example - recognition to the project and template and notification of a new approach to the community at large. Some kind of weekly 'Community' column covering projects, users, trends, et cetera. --CBD 11:00, 25 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Next thing you know there will be a letters page... :-) Seriously, I think CBD's idea of a community column is a great idea. The other featured bits he mentions could almost be like the current "featured content" bit in the Signpost, but showcasing other stuff. Carcharoth 11:06, 25 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

I think Carcharoth's first idea is a very good one. I'm personally happy that the two-millionth article was not covered in depth: I think that represents Wikipedia's shift in focus from "increasing comprehensiveness" to "increasing quality". (Both are important, obviously, but we've reached a point where the second is more important than the first.) So, for instance, mentioning that Wikipedia:Suggestions for name disambiguation is down to 900 names (well, 907 currently) or that the GeneralxHotlist list at Wikipedia:WikiProject Missing encyclopedic articles is done (2 more to go!), might be milestones worth mentioning, and might be a reason to cover what these projects are attempting to do and why. In fact, it might be good to leave a note on each project page saying something like "Please let me know when any project milestones are reached, along with a short description of the project." Does this sound like a good idea? – Quadell (talk) (random) 13:05, 25 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

First off, thanks for all your hard work. The Signpost is an important institution and one more of those "I can't believe it's all volunteers" Wikipedia things.
With regard to size: That's a factor of volunteer strength. One of the groups I work with, The Madison East Timor solidarity community, literally has a volunteer base of four. We do what we can, which is never enough (as you can see by the poorly-updated website). All the people with brilliant ideas on what you can do differently and/or better (myself included) have a duty to volunteer some time or lower their expectations on seeing their ideas put into practice. I think it's remarkable that you do what you do, so please don't sweat the Signpost's size relative to that of the 'pedia.
I would indeed like to see more features and/or interviews with "ordinary" editors. There are some really remarkable folks involved here, and I never get tired of learning about them. – Scartol · Talk 23:56, 25 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Suggestion for covering RFAs and individual editors

Ral315, I found your follow-up comments to the survey interesting and informative. As an experienced reviewer at Wikipedia:Editor review and a voter at Wikipedia:Requests for adminship, I know the names and general interests of hundreds of Wikipedians. I keep a list of editor reviews I have done at User:Shalom/Editor review archive.

I would be willing to try "interviewing" individual editors as a weekly feature. The basic idea would be to ask one or two standard questions plus one or two questions tailored to the specific editor for that week. I don't know how interesting it might be to other readers, or if I'd really want to do it as anything more than a trial run, but I can give it a shot. Please let me know if the Signpost would want to run such a feature.

The next step would be to make a list of editors who might be good interview subjects, and to establish a user subpage for conducting these discussions. Please leave a note on my talk page because I almost never check my watchlist. Shalom Hello 15:16, 25 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]


The Signpost · written by many · served by Sinepost V0.9 · 🄯 CC-BY-SA 4.0