From the editor
A sign of the times: the Signpost revamps its internal structure to make contributing easier
We received a large amount of feedback in our survey indicating that our readers found the idea of contributing to the Signpost difficult due to our opaque internal structure. If you happen to have any of the Signpost subpages watchlisted, you may have noticed Resident Mario's great amount of work in revamping our internal structure and, particularly, how we handle outside submissions. Concurrently, the Signpost editorial board is pleased to welcome Resident Mario aboard as an associate editor, focusing on design, templates, and administration, and our regular writer for "News and Notes." The board wishes to express its gratitude to Resident Mario both for the past, present, and future of his sterling contributions, and we hope you will join us in welcoming him.
As part of these changes, our new content guidelines outline for our readers the specific formats and particularities of our various regular and special sections, and they also formalize the three different ways in which you, too, can get involved:
- As a regular writer. Our content page describes in detail what each of our regular features aims to do—find a section you'd like to write for and send us a line so we can help set it up! At present, the Technology and the WikiProject report are in need of regular contributors. Even if you only wish to commit to a biweekly report or a small item in a regular section, we are interested in hearing from you; if helping in one of these ways appeals to you, please drop us a line. Our contact information is at the bottom of this article.
- As a copy-editor. If you are an experienced writer interested in making sure that the material we publish every week is as high-quality as possible, this is the position for you. In the newsroom, when a section writer or editor-in-chief marks something as "needs copyedit", as happens often on Mondays, Tuesdays, or Wednesdays close to publication, dive in! If you see something, be bold.
- As a contributing writer. Many past articles have been the result not of spontaneous contributions by our readers, but of our active solicitations to well-placed users who we hoped would give us some of their time to write about the Wikimedia movement. This week we reorganized and reformatted the Signpost's publication stream to make it easier for you, our readers, to reverse this process and solicit our help in publishing your thoughts.
As the third point in our statement of purpose outlines, the Signpost actively solicits and encourages the publication of works written by members of the community at large. We've constructed new and improved submission processes for all four of our irregular publications—special reports and op-eds, and our much rarer book reviews and dispatches—which seek to make it as easy as possible for you, our readers, to propose, debate, write, comment on, and ultimately publish your own writings, reflections, and research in the Wikimedia movement. All content in the Signpost is subject to approval by the editors-in-chief, but we are very interested in hearing your pitches and are open to all types of content. If you are willing to write about a topic that would interest the Wikimedia community at large, chances are that we are willing to publish it.
Have an opinion on something you'd like to argue, share, and put up for debate? Our opinion desk can help you find a community audience. Got an inside scoop on Foundation activities or project going-ons that you'd like to share? We've got the place for you—our special reports are likely the most widely read long-form journalism in the community. Perhaps you want to write about the featured content processes on the various projects, or perhaps review a recently published book related to the project? We'd like to reopen the featured content dispatch workshop and review desk for you.
We cannot emphasize enough that these changes were spearheaded by reader feedback—several comments in our recent survey made us realize that some readers were being actively discouraged from contributing to the Signpost by our admittedly confusing project structure. To those people, we thank you. We encourage further feedback from our readers, either via our talk page, our email, or via our IRC channel (#wikisignpost connect). Simplifying the Signpost's submission process is important to us, and we look forward to seeing more community-sourced features in the future.
- — Go Phightins! and Gamaliel, Signpost editors-in-chief
- The ed17, editor emeritus
- Pine, newsroom/publication manager
- Resident Mario, associate editor