The Signpost

News and notes

Newbies vs. patrollers; Indian statistics; brief news

Contribute  —  
Share this
By Tilman Bayer and Jean-Frédéric
+ 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.

Some media articles related to the Bhagat Singh/Valentine's day hoax can be found here : The Hindu  : Bhagat Singh page ‘vandalised' on Wikipedia ; CNN-IBN "Twitter blooper: Bhagat Singh hanged on V-Day" ; MiD DAY  : "An online Valentine's Day blooper" ; Bangalore Mirror  : "Bhagat Singh gets new death anniversary on Twitter" -- Tinu Cherian - 05:53, 1 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]

In response to Sue Gardner's comment about "avoiding extrinsic rewards", I find her words familiar. Maybe it's because, many years ago, I was trying to negotiate a raise from a boss who said very much the same thing -- but believed he needed more extrinsic rewards of a monetary type. Nevertheless, writing as someone who has hung on Wikipedia for eight years fueled almost solely by intrinsic motivation, I would not find extrinsic monetary rewards demotivating. Or to put it another way, anyone who has a family & bills to pay can attest that getting a little money is a big help in explaining to one's spouse the value of contributing to Wikipedia. -- llywrch (talk) 05:52, 1 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Direct payment for writing articles is bad and can easily kill the golden goose. But there are other ways, competitions with prizes are not poisonous and we have used that with success. In a competition between Wikipedians in Estonia and Norway around one thousand articles were created and the prizes were extended weekends, sponsored by the two countries embassies. Quite successful and a win-win for all parties involved. Ulflarsen (talk) 11:13, 1 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]
I'd be interested in your views in, say, 20 years, when you have a family, a full-time job, & bills to pay. You may be more sympathetic to my argument. When your life priorities include those three items, it is hard to be anything more than an infrequent & marginal contributor not only due to the pressures of research, but finding the time to write, to submit content -- & to deal with the slippery slope of policy issues, encouraging other contributors & all of the other joys of the Wikipedia community. I wish that wasn't the case, but the grim reality is every hour I spend on Wikipedia is an hour I find I must take away from either my employer or my family. Neither understands why I deny them the time & attention they expect. And this might be why there are few contributors who match my profile -- over 50, married, & with children. -- llywrch (talk) 20:34, 1 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]

As I have noted in other forums, the project has spent the last four or five years building tools to make it easier to delete things. In that same time we've spent just about zero time building tools to make it easier to write new articles. As a result, deletion takes one button press and creation takes longer than ever. It should not be surprising to anyone that we have a problem. Maury Markowitz (talk) 11:46, 1 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]

I think if we remove the icons in messages (except important ones such as vand-4), and add in a couple of typos on purpose, it will be a lot more friendlier. Kayau Voting IS evil 12:53, 1 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]

I have three suggestions for making Wikipedia more newbie friendly:

  1. Make it easier for newbies to contribute in small ways. For example, come up with an API for the Wikipedia equivalent of facebook features such as the like button and Open Graph. I wouldn't facilitate (or even allow) just any website to use the API, but for the ones that do, over the long term such a feature would engender goodwill by giving people a way to suggest that a particular web page has content the reader considers worthy of inclusion in an encyclopedia. Such a feature is non-trivial: it would require a lot of back-end work so that the text and the reference candidate a newbie suggests would find the right home in a particular section of a particular article.
  2. Semi-automated tools like Twinkle and Huggle need work when it comes to tool users with itchy trigger fingers. I don't use the tools so I can't be specific about what new features are needed but I have been the unwarranted victim of their use. As a past victim, what's needed is as better assessment of the target editor's intentions, a kind of two-phase commit preceding the reversion, during which the tool user is forced to pause and consider what they are about to do. Perhaps the tools can generate a report based on assessments by Wikipedia:Edit filters and other automated anti-vandalism features, if that would put the attempted edit in context. The tools should also make it easier to compliment a target editor's contribution than it is to revert their work. For reversions that are clearly not intentional vandalism, a talk page post should be generated that identifies why the reversion happened and welcomes their interest and suggest relevant alternatives, such as the use of the WP:WIZ.
  3. Attempt to categorize a newbie's attempt at contributions, and bend over backwards to encourage users interested in topics currently under-represented. Certain topics (I won't get specific) get incredibly fine-grained attention from editors, while others seem almost grudgingly covered. Approach Google or another search engine provider about getting an api from them that wikipedia could use to categorize the apparent topic that a newbie is attempted interested in. Experienced editors could them volunteer to sponsor such a newbie. (talk) 13:57, 1 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]

NPP and Newbies

Those who think New Page Patrollers are too mean to Newbies should spend more than 2 minutes patrolling New Pages. Spend at least 2-3 weeks doing it, experience wading through the attack pages, hoaxes, vandalism and other garbage, only to find a few articles that are potentially NOT one of the aforementioned three and then be attacked by someone for being too hard on Newbies. And 50% of the non-malicious new articles are just non-notable memes or something someome nade up one day. Wikipedia is a volunteer effort and the Wikimedia Foundation gets what it pays for. Anyone suggesting that Twinkle and Huggle should be killed ought to have their head examined. - Burpelson AFB 15:45, 1 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Thank you for reminding me that some editors are still grounded in reality. It is really annoying when people seem to think that Wikipedia is supposed to be a Utopia where everybody trades cupcakes and eats gumdrops from Happyland while writing articles. Any discussion about recent changes and if automated tools are hurting the feelings of newbies is worthless without mentioning that those bots are preventing massive amounts of stupidity and garbage from entering the encyclopedia. A real discussion would at least need to talk about the "good faith newbie" to "clearly a vandal" ratio. There's a lot of talk going on about how to change Wikipedia to encourage editing. It's not clear to me that any change merits the risk involved. Wikipedia isn't perfect. It will never be perfect. Yet, surprise!, it's still getting better! So barring any major problem, I say maintain course. Jason Quinn (talk) 16:22, 1 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]

I think an important point is that NPP often are effectively also newbies (<1 year). This isn't necessarily a bad thing, it's a menial job, and it's good that new people are coming in to replace the ones that give it up. It is something to keep in mind though. Gigs (talk) 18:13, 1 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Writing good articles is hard. As we raise the bar of what is considered appropriate, contributing to Wikipedia becomes harder. This is NOT a bad thing. Maintaining what we have is becoming more of an issue. I would prefer to spend time writing content but there is so much vandalism in need of reverting. If the time required for me to revert vandalism doubles as seems to be suggested above I will be seriously temped to walk away. We need more tools to maintain quality not less. The fact that we allow users more than one opportunity to add vulgarity to articles IMO is already too generous.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 18:39, 1 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Writing anything good is hard. Period. I spent three hours last week writing one new article, & it's not even complete. I spent another three hours finishing a second article, which has sat half-finished for about three years because I didn't have the time & materials in one place to finish the job until now. In terms of writing & research, both represent the equivalent of writing an undergraduate-level term paper. Wikipedia, as is often said, has passed the point of harvesting low-hanging fruit. This means any new articles that are more than a stub require doing research -- something I suspect schools don't teach any more, if they truly ever did. Doing research for articles Wikipedia doesn't yet have requires more than a couple of Google searches to find information: one needs to go to libraries & consult things called "books" and "periodicals" which, if one is lucky, will lead you to the books & periodicals which actually contain the material one is looking for. Doing research requires learning how to find things, which includes using bibliographies & book lists. And sometimes research is nothing more than trudging thru piles of tediously boring reports to find the one item that you need. -- llywrch (talk) 21:28, 1 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]
My thoughts exactly. Writing good content is based on a degree of mastery of English writing skills as well as good research skills – skills that are not really picked up from editing Wikipedia but rather from places like school. Given the wide array of demographics we have here, it is clear that a few people lack both of those skills. –MuZemike 21:37, 1 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]

I think the discussion above might miss the point. I don't doubt that there's a terrible good to bad ratio involved in NPP. However, that means we need to make it very close to perfect. Decades of anti-spam work have demonstrated this is both a requirement, possible, and able to be completely automated. And let's not forget, the automated anti-vandal tools are pretty cool. Perhaps more effort here is the path to a better solution? Maury Markowitz (talk) 00:07, 2 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]

I recently spent a little while trying to make uw-3rr a little less bitey. The trouble is everything has been put in for a reason, so taking it out is uphill. But as Colin Chapman said "loose weight and simplicate". I totally agree with Kayau that dumping icons (wonderful art though they are) and even bullet points and other "template like" features will help warning templates look more like a genuine message from a genuine editor, instead of a rubber stamp or parking ticket. We could even use the template system to vary the wording "Hi! Welcome to Wikipedia, I noticed your edit to.." "Hey! I would like to welcome you to Wikipedia. I saw your edit of the article..."

I'm pretty certain some variant of "test1" is the most widely used warning template and {{Welcome}} must be high too. Rich Farmbrough, 00:33, 2 March 2011 (UTC).[reply]

I did propose to change the icons on page-deletion templates to be just a little bit less bite-y, the discussion is here: Template talk:AfD-notice#CENTRALIZED DISCUSSION - Replacing icon (File:Ambox warning pn.svg). It wasn't accepted. Also some discussion on disabling Twinkle for page-deletion, here: Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 80##A deliberate "governor" on nominating articles for deletion, also did not gain traction. I guess part of the issue here is that the people deciding these things are regular users who use these tools and templates, and the "customer" (the person on the receiving end) are new and less-regular users who don't have a voice in these discussions. Don't know what do that about that. Herostratus (talk) 16:14, 3 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]

This may be a bit of a non-sequiter from a something-even-less-than-newbie commenter (considering starting, up by the way), but would adding a permanent article titled, "Why You Want to Start Editing Wikipedia" to the home page be an effective attractant for interested parties? You could include anectdotes from long time editors etc. I think you can figure out where I am going with this. I suggest it because that is the sort of thing that I would be interested in reading before joining. Just a thought. (talk) 19:29, 4 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]

"Become a regular contributor to Wikipedia, where you can enjoy spending long periods of time characterized by frustration & discouragement, punctuated by all-too-brief & fleeting moments of sheer overwhelming satisfaction"? Well, I'm sure whoever compiles that page will filter through all of the submissions from old-timers like me, & may discard that one. ;) -- llywrch (talk) 00:45, 5 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]

You are mean to newbies. There are accusations made that are uncalled for and both the patrollers and admins get away with it.You proclaim someone guilty and do not gather the facts and then come to a conclusion,but make your facts fit the conclusion you already had.You pretend the best you can to assume good faith. You are as phony here. Don't insinuate something,just come out and say it. If you have an accusation at least be specific so there is a chance of coming to an understanding. Also do some fact checking first. If someone removes information ,check the source and see what it says before you call it vandalism or disruptive editing. Stop acting like you are God. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:15, 7 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Now, Wikipedia is going to the new stage of improving the quality via control the articles. Patroller and admin are getting old in term of experiences and we look newbies who don't now any rules of Wikipedia and delete. Is there any research on "steady state"?--Tranletuhan (talk) 04:48, 13 January 2016 (UTC)[reply]


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