Staffing features

Featured articles director names deputy

Acknowledging the increasing workload, Featured Articles Director Raul654 has decided to appoint a deputy to assist him, choosing SandyGeorgia for that role. Other participants in the featured articles process generally supported the choice, although the discussion also led to some past disagreements being dredged up.

Raul654 and featured articles

A long-time Wikipedia contributor, Raul654 has been heavily involved with featured articles for most of his editing career (among other things). Having registered his account in August 2003, by the end of the year he had worked enough putting together an article on Isaac Asimov's Foundation series to nominate it as "brilliant prose" (as the featured article designation was then known). In a reflection of the gradual shift toward more stringent standards for featuring articles, today Foundation series is marked with cleanup tags instead.

After the renaming to featured articles, Raul654 progressively began doing more of the maintenance work to keep this process running smoothly. The first half of 2004 also saw some major developments on the road to Wikipedia's current layout, including a design overhaul of the Main Page and the introduction of the template namespace, which facilitated automating the rotation of featured articles to be displayed there. Meanwhile, featured article nominations were drawing more detailed critiques and competition to have articles chosen for the Main Page was increasing, and to the extent that someone was needed to make final decisions in the process, Raul654 added this to his activities. The title of Featured Articles Director was created and Raul654's work in this capacity formalized in some sense by a ratification process in August 2004.

Since then, the amount of activity in the featured article process has steadily increased. At various times, this has led some people to doubt whether Raul654 could adequately continue to oversee the process alone. He said he didn't feel overburdened, however, and kept on even as the volume of nominations swelled. He did become less personally involved in removal of the featured designation, which can only happen after a featured article review, and has largely been handled by Marskell and Joelr31 for the past year.

Appointment of SandyGeorgia and reaction

Finally relenting on this point for the core featured articles process, on Monday, 26 November, Raul654 said "I've re-evaluated my position on the matter" and announced that he was selecting SandyGeorgia to assist him. Raul654 explained that the two would share the workload and he would remain actively involved in the process on a day-to-day basis. If necessary Raul654 said he would pick an additional deputy as well, indicating that he already had a candidate in mind.

A much newer contributor, relatively speaking, SandyGeorgia made her first edits in February 2006, becoming a regular participant in the featured articles process within a few months. Interestingly, she is not an administrator and says she has no desire to become one. Her selection as Raul654's deputy quickly drew comments from other participants agreeing with the wisdom of the choice.

The appointment did draw questions, however, initially just about the procedure, with Rlevse raising the issue of whether the director and deputies should be subject to some kind of reconfirmation process at intervals. SandyGeorgia responded that with the demands of the work, "The term will probably be self-limiting." Later, David Shankbone also expressed a concern that "she tends to hold grudges", citing a disagreement going back to whether one of his images would be included in the Hugo Chávez article. SandyGeorgia tried to explain that the issue wasn't personal, but an acute sensitivity to potential conflict of interest, which kept coming up in this context because Shankbone, a prolific photographer, was seeking to have his images included in articles over others' objections.

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