The Signpost

From the team

A changing of the guard

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By EpicPupper and JPxG
Soldiers from the National Guards Unit of Bulgaria being relieved by their replacements during a guard mounting ceremony
Soldiers from the National Guards Unit of Bulgaria being relieved by their replacements during a guard mounting ceremony

Last April, Smallbones said he was preparing to step down as The Signpost's editor-in-chief. This month, he did... we appreciate his hard work and dedication over the last three years, and hope to keep seeing his ~~~~ around The Signpost.

This April, two guys nominated themselves as replacements, and in May the discussion was closed after unanimous support. It's official: these two guys are now the Editors-in-Chief. But what? Huh? Zuh??

We are the illustrious EpicPupper and JPxG. We're Wikimedians who have both written and edited a lot of Signpost articles, and are stoked to try and hold this thing together. In our new capacity as co-EiCs, we will be assisted by Bri, Ixtal, and Smallbones, the fantastic editors of The Signpost — as well as our contributors and readers.

Our plan is to keep doing what we've been doing: serving the Wikimedia movement by spotlighting the stories of our diverse readership. As a major publication on the English Wikipedia, The Signpost offers an opportunity for people to be heard who otherwise wouldn't be. We aim to advocate for free knowledge and access, and help build a positive community culture. We also aim to publish an absolute banger of a newspaper, which seems likely this month (with a whopping 25 articles).

Along with reviewing previous suggestions, we've identified potential action points in moving toward these goals. These include:

We have already made some improvements, such as creating a short URL for easier navigation (

We invite the community to provide feedback on these proposals and the project at large in our 2022 Reader Survey, open now. We hope that we will be able to conduct one annually. We immensely appreciate your feedback and thank you for your time.

Finally, we would also like to take this opportunity to invite more community members to join The Signpost team. Although many of our segments have active contributors, our writers need rest from The Signpost from time to time, and redundancy is much appreciated. We are looking for volunteers to help us with the following segments:

In sum, The Signpost always needs a hand with publication. If you can, please volunteer by sending us a message here. Thank you so much for volunteering!

The Signpost will continue to inform, entertain, and publish for years to come.

In this issue
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= 2022 Reader Survey =

Hello, and welcome to the first Signpost Reader Survey! We hope to incorporate feedback we receive into actionable, direct changes that reflect the state of our diverse readership. Please feel free to treat this page as a talk page; all questions are optional, and the regular talk page guidelines (signing messages, civility, etc) apply. Thank you for your participation!

How would you rate your experiences with The Signpost, on a scale of 1-10?

Optionally, leave a comment on why you gave the above answer.

How likely are you to recommend The Signpost to another editor, on a scale of 1-10?

Which columns of The Signpost have you read?

What are your thoughts on each of the following proposals?

Increasing social media reach - which channels do you use?

Creating a filtering tool for articles

Creating a scavenger hunt

Applying for user group status

Creating a non-editing role account to email both EiCs

Would you be willing to help contribute to The Signpost?

Do you have any suggestions for The Signpost?

General comments

February 2015 Signpost reader survey results
Yes, the watchlist messages need to be added by an administrator - it was my idea (Kudpung puffs his chest out) and I was an admin at the time. I won't elaborate on the good things you did, lest I get sanctioned again. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 07:24, 1 June 2022 (UTC)[reply]
A good exercise is to go through the archives of every issue since March 2018 and see which columns received the most reader comments, how apt they were (some are blatant PA, while the majority made excellent suggestions), and consider what it would be like if The Signpost were able to be selective about the readers' comment that get published, just like any other neswpaper or blog. That's the problem with The Signpost , it's neither one thing nor the other: it is expected by hardliners to kowtow to Wikipedia mainspace rules, but somehow produce interesting and compelling investigative journalism. I don't really know what is the most precarious - being an admin or being a Signpost E-in-C., the worst is probably being both (diffs available); for example, it's E-in-Cs and regular contributors all being male, The Signpost can't even mention gender related issues without being accused of misogyny. Time the newspaper did what the WMF did: poopooed its own MediaWiki and went to Wordpress. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 07:44, 1 June 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@Kudpung: I made a sortable table of the longest Signpost talk pages -- a veritable rogues' gallery. One can only imagine what it must have been like to post in some of these! jp×g 20:41, 1 June 2022 (UTC)[reply]
JPxG: All you need to do now is read them all! (if you haven't done so already). It's certainly a useful table for examining what changes can be considered for the future of the periodical, and it's something EpicPupper can use if he has time between his preparation for the next issue. At least starting with this one which was the moment when The Signpost had hit the most severe existential crisis in its history. One can only imagine what it must have been like to post in some of these!: you've only been editing seriously for barely 2 years and although you've done an amazing amount of very high quality work in that time, catching up on the history of The Signpost's is probably quite a daunting task.
The comments on the articles in the issues that have been published since Smallbones and Bri ensured The Signpost's continuation have not been free of controversy (nor were they during my short tenure as de facto temporary E-in-C); for most of that time since they took the relay however, I have been semi-retired from Wikipedia. The comments are nevertheless some of the most revealing, and some have created quite a storm including the forced deletion of some articles or severe post-publication tinkering. I'm sure Bri and Smallbones have thrown their arms up in despair more than once. It's interesting to note that many of the detractors have not been regular contributors to Wikipedia, and indeed have also rarely edited since that time either. Some simply appeared to have an axe to grind and while at times they might have enjoyed some respect from the community, while complaining about The Signpost journalism they think nothing of resorting to the lowest of sarcasm and PA. Interesting reading nevertheless because it demonstrates the contrast between the policy 'hardliners' and those who believe that anything goes in the newspaper's readers' comments sections, and with impunity - in much the same way as what makes RfA such a toxic process. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 01:33, 2 June 2022 (UTC)[reply]


"This April, two guys nominated themselves as replacements, and in May the discussion was closed after unanimous support. It's official: these two guys are now the Editors-in-Chief."
Guys. Really? You could not find another word in the vocabulary except a gendered-slang that can't tell the difference between male and female persons? How about using "gals" instead? * Whaaat? Ridiculous! * Because, of course, that would be an affront to the Wikipedia boys club. Pyxis Solitary (yak). L not Q. 03:07, 5 June 2022 (UTC)[reply]

I am not sure what this post means. Do you mean you'd prefer if we used a term that was more gendered, or less? jp×g 01:00, 6 June 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Less. How about ... editors? As in: "two editors" and "these two editors". Pyxis Solitary (yak). L not Q. 05:12, 6 June 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@Pyxis Solitary and JPxG: Been a few months, but: I can appreciate where Pyxis is coming from, but at the same time I'll point out that there is technically no inherent gender implication to "guys". Or there doesn't have to be, anyway. Yes, it's frequently interpreted that way, serving as the male counterpart to "gals" (a sense implicit in Pyxis' original comment), but ultimately the word's only gendered because we decide it is.
The actual origin of the word is mostly lost to the ages (it probably has something to do with Guy Fawkes, but even if so nobody's really sure how exactly), but nothing in its origins implicitly associates it exclusively with males. It's not clear when or how the word came to have that implication. The title of Guys and Dolls can be held up as pretty clear evidence of the word's male-gender associations (at least, at that point in time). However, it's also likely the play's title has been a major perpetuator of that association ever since. But there's no reason we can't reject that implication simply by choosing to agree on a different one. Some of us already do.
As with the word "actor", uses of "guys" in a gender-agnostic sense are growing more common as people divest the word of its arbitrary and unnecessary gender implications. (I'll self-{{citation needed}} here, since I don't have any sources to back me up on that. I've seen plenty of non-gendered uses of "guys" to refer to groups that were not exclusively male, and even seen it used -- by men and by women -- to address groups populated entirely by women. But my anecdotal observations have no value as evidence and would quite correctly be dismissed were I to present them as such. I wouldn't try to, anyway.)
OTOH, with social change being a slow process that's best measured on geological timescales, I recognize that not everyone is on board with genderless "guys". There are many women who object to being referred to as "guys", feeling it an implicit suppression of their gender. Furthermore, some transgender women have shared how painful it is for them to be addressed as "guys", which can be a trigger point for their own past experiences with being misgendered. Right now the word still has gender associations for the majority of English speakers. FeRDNYC (talk) 16:19, 6 November 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@FeRDNYC: While there are some good points to be had here, "guys" in this instance referred unambiguously to two specific male humans. If one or both of us had been female, we'd have said something else. jp×g 16:54, 6 November 2022 (UTC)[reply]


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