An outsider's view on en-admin-only whatever and the rest

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An outsider's view on en-admin-only whatever and the rest

Delphine Ménard
crossposting to wikipedia-l as this is an international issue
=========
Hi all,

as a totally non-en person, admin on other wikis and actually working
"behind the scenes", I would like to give my view on what I believe is
needed, and why an en-admin-only channel and list won't help to the
extent that is needed. This is long, but please bear with me.

Let me try to make this more concrete.

OTRS (http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/OTRS) receives a lot (and here I
mean "A LOT") of complaints.

Those range from:
 "there's a mistake in this article, please fix it", to:
"You're defaming me, delete this article/those revisions, or I will
sue you!"  through
"this page is an enormous copyvio from my site!"

with as Sam Korn already pointed out, various degrees of civility.

The problem is the following:

Only a few people have agreed to help on OTRS. It's one thing to spend
hours editing wikipedia, it's another to want to spend hours alone on
a boring screen answering (most of the time) crazy emails. We have
appealed to the en population several times (why en? because it is the
one most attacked, but actually, other wikipedias are suffering from
the same problem, and as we grow, these will get bigger and more
numerous) and have gotten only very few answers. Fine, I can
understand that.

The people who *are* working on OTRS are for some "good editors", for
others "better e-mail answerers" than "editors" (me, for example). In
the end, I think anyway that we *will* have to pay someone to answer
those emails. As I speak, there are 280 unanswered emails in the
info-en queue. Probably most of these are spam, but even sorting spam
takes an awful lot of time.

What happens is this: you get an email with a complaint, you go see
the page, realize there's about 2 hours of work on the page, and get
discouraged. Because on one hand, you can't really go "public" with
the complaint (it's, after all, an email, gives personal information
etc.) and on the other, you *know* that something needs to be done.
Here you have two options:
-either you take the two hours to fix the article, but then, there are
still 279 emails to be answered in OTRS.
-or you go to a person you know, who you think could be good at fixing
the article.
Here two options again:
-the person you chose to tell does have two hours and can fix the article
-they don't and it gets forgotten
and maybe a third one:
-They don't have the time, go to other people, the "issue"  is somehow
broadcasted, makes the front page of USA Today... and you know the
rest.

So what's the solution?

I don't think that the solution is en-admin-only anything. I think the
solution is something that would be more like:
- The wikipedia community at large realizes that there *are* problems
with some articles
- The wikipedia community at large *knows* who is: "good at NPOV",
good at "speedy deleting", good at "cleaning histories", good in
"Famous people stuff", good at "sourcing an article".
-The wikipedia community at large *does* agree that something needs to
be done to clean up Wikipedia in a (sorry, but it's true) hidden kind
of fashion.
-The wikipedia community at large decides to "appoint", "elect",
"designate" (whatever suits the wikipedia community at large) a few
trusted users who are reknown for the things listed above and agrees
that they should all get together on one list where the people working
behind the scenes (in OTRS) can just forward the email and are *sure*
that it is going to be taken care of in a timely and discreet fashion.

NB. This list should not be of 800, it should not either be of 20, I
am thinking something along the lines of 50-70 people from all across
the wikipedias (because there are problems that may be repercuted from
one language to the other- see tron for example), admins and
non-admins (I can cite at least 5 people on fr who are not admins whom
I would trust to do that kind of stuff better than many admins).

I am not sure how we can do that without ever falling in the "clique"
type thing. But how different is it from all the "associations" of
every kind that I have come across on en? Not sure.

What I am sure of is this: either the wikipedia community at large
acknowledges the problem and tries to find a solution *together*, or
we'll end up (not tomorrow, but soon enough) by having to "pay" some
"NPOVers", or "history-cleaners", or choose them in a cabal-fashion,
to do the work. Because the work to be done is there and most of it
has to stay a little private.

The idea is to have people who know how to do this stuff (NPOV,
sourcing), who are recognized for doing it well, who can get together
on an article and work together on it when the complaint comes in, who
are ok with doing it as part of their "normal" participation on
wikipedia. The only thing is that their "work" will be a little
directed. ie. "Please look at these 20 articles, that are a copyvio of
this site". They can be tasked with asking people outside the list to
help them etc.

This is what it's all about.

Hope this long email helped a little, and that it will spark ideas...
I am for my part, short on ideas about how to deal with this stuff,
and afraid that some day it will backfire in a much nastier way than
just the front page of USA Today.


Delphine
--
~notafish
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Re: An outsider's view on en-admin-only whatever and the rest

Walter van Kalken
I like your idea Notafish ....... I would certainly volunteer for this

Waerth/Walter

>crossposting to wikipedia-l as this is an international issue
>=========
>Hi all,
>
>as a totally non-en person, admin on other wikis and actually working
>"behind the scenes", I would like to give my view on what I believe is
>needed, and why an en-admin-only channel and list won't help to the
>extent that is needed. This is long, but please bear with me.
>
>Let me try to make this more concrete.
>
>OTRS (http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/OTRS) receives a lot (and here I
>mean "A LOT") of complaints.
>
>Those range from:
> "there's a mistake in this article, please fix it", to:
>"You're defaming me, delete this article/those revisions, or I will
>sue you!"  through
>"this page is an enormous copyvio from my site!"
>
>with as Sam Korn already pointed out, various degrees of civility.
>
>The problem is the following:
>
>Only a few people have agreed to help on OTRS. It's one thing to spend
>hours editing wikipedia, it's another to want to spend hours alone on
>a boring screen answering (most of the time) crazy emails. We have
>appealed to the en population several times (why en? because it is the
>one most attacked, but actually, other wikipedias are suffering from
>the same problem, and as we grow, these will get bigger and more
>numerous) and have gotten only very few answers. Fine, I can
>understand that.
>
>The people who *are* working on OTRS are for some "good editors", for
>others "better e-mail answerers" than "editors" (me, for example). In
>the end, I think anyway that we *will* have to pay someone to answer
>those emails. As I speak, there are 280 unanswered emails in the
>info-en queue. Probably most of these are spam, but even sorting spam
>takes an awful lot of time.
>
>What happens is this: you get an email with a complaint, you go see
>the page, realize there's about 2 hours of work on the page, and get
>discouraged. Because on one hand, you can't really go "public" with
>the complaint (it's, after all, an email, gives personal information
>etc.) and on the other, you *know* that something needs to be done.
>Here you have two options:
>-either you take the two hours to fix the article, but then, there are
>still 279 emails to be answered in OTRS.
>-or you go to a person you know, who you think could be good at fixing
>the article.
>Here two options again:
>-the person you chose to tell does have two hours and can fix the article
>-they don't and it gets forgotten
>and maybe a third one:
>-They don't have the time, go to other people, the "issue"  is somehow
>broadcasted, makes the front page of USA Today... and you know the
>rest.
>
>So what's the solution?
>
>I don't think that the solution is en-admin-only anything. I think the
>solution is something that would be more like:
>- The wikipedia community at large realizes that there *are* problems
>with some articles
>- The wikipedia community at large *knows* who is: "good at NPOV",
>good at "speedy deleting", good at "cleaning histories", good in
>"Famous people stuff", good at "sourcing an article".
>-The wikipedia community at large *does* agree that something needs to
>be done to clean up Wikipedia in a (sorry, but it's true) hidden kind
>of fashion.
>-The wikipedia community at large decides to "appoint", "elect",
>"designate" (whatever suits the wikipedia community at large) a few
>trusted users who are reknown for the things listed above and agrees
>that they should all get together on one list where the people working
>behind the scenes (in OTRS) can just forward the email and are *sure*
>that it is going to be taken care of in a timely and discreet fashion.
>
>NB. This list should not be of 800, it should not either be of 20, I
>am thinking something along the lines of 50-70 people from all across
>the wikipedias (because there are problems that may be repercuted from
>one language to the other- see tron for example), admins and
>non-admins (I can cite at least 5 people on fr who are not admins whom
>I would trust to do that kind of stuff better than many admins).
>
>I am not sure how we can do that without ever falling in the "clique"
>type thing. But how different is it from all the "associations" of
>every kind that I have come across on en? Not sure.
>
>What I am sure of is this: either the wikipedia community at large
>acknowledges the problem and tries to find a solution *together*, or
>we'll end up (not tomorrow, but soon enough) by having to "pay" some
>"NPOVers", or "history-cleaners", or choose them in a cabal-fashion,
>to do the work. Because the work to be done is there and most of it
>has to stay a little private.
>
>The idea is to have people who know how to do this stuff (NPOV,
>sourcing), who are recognized for doing it well, who can get together
>on an article and work together on it when the complaint comes in, who
>are ok with doing it as part of their "normal" participation on
>wikipedia. The only thing is that their "work" will be a little
>directed. ie. "Please look at these 20 articles, that are a copyvio of
>this site". They can be tasked with asking people outside the list to
>help them etc.
>
>This is what it's all about.
>
>Hope this long email helped a little, and that it will spark ideas...
>I am for my part, short on ideas about how to deal with this stuff,
>and afraid that some day it will backfire in a much nastier way than
>just the front page of USA Today.
>
>
>Delphine
>--
>~notafish
>_______________________________________________
>Wikipedia-l mailing list
>[hidden email]
>http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikipedia-l
>
>  
>
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[WikiEN-l] Re: An outsider's view on en-admin-only whatever and the rest

Alphax (Wikipedia email)
In reply to this post by Delphine Ménard
Delphine Ménard wrote:

> crossposting to wikipedia-l as this is an international issue
> =========
> Hi all,
>
> as a totally non-en person, admin on other wikis and actually working
> "behind the scenes", I would like to give my view on what I believe is
> needed, and why an en-admin-only channel and list won't help to the
> extent that is needed. This is long, but please bear with me.
>
> Let me try to make this more concrete.
>
> OTRS (http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/OTRS) receives a lot (and here I
> mean "A LOT") of complaints.
>
<snip>

I'd like to add that helpdesk-l (which is just a regular old mailing
list) suffers from the same problem, except that we have no way of
knowing who has answered what until someone else posts a reply to it,
and there are a lot less people working on it. At present I have a
backlog of over 2300 messages, some of them from December last year. If
you are interested please visit
http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/helpdesk-l - we mostly use
the OTRS messages (http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/OTRS/en), but
Humblefool and Jareth have some other messages at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Humblefool/Helpdesk_boilerplates and
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Jareth/Boiler respectively.

Maybe we should shut it down and all move to OTRS. I don't know.

--
Alphax - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Alphax
Contributor to Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia
"We make the internet not suck" - Jimbo Wales
Public key: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Alphax/OpenPGP


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Re: An outsider's view on en-admin-only whatever and the rest

Maru Dubshinki
In reply to this post by Delphine Ménard
On 1/24/06, Delphine Ménard <[hidden email]> wrote:
...

> What happens is this: you get an email with a complaint, you go see
> the page, realize there's about 2 hours of work on the page, and get
> discouraged. Because on one hand, you can't really go "public" with
> the complaint (it's, after all, an email, gives personal information
> etc.) and on the other, you *know* that something needs to be done.
> Here you have two options:
> -either you take the two hours to fix the article, but then, there are
> still 279 emails to be answered in OTRS.
> -or you go to a person you know, who you think could be good at fixing
> the article.
> Here two options again:
> -the person you chose to tell does have two hours and can fix the article
> -they don't and it gets forgotten
> and maybe a third one:
> -They don't have the time, go to other people, the "issue"  is somehow
> broadcasted, makes the front page of USA Today... and you know the
> rest.
>
> So what's the solution?
...
> Delphine
> --
> ~notafish

If the problem is really apparent, why can't you tag the page appropriately?
I don't think adding a new layer of procedure will help anything;
people who already have the time and such will already be working on
the cleanup category.

~Maru
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Re: An outsider's view on en-admin-only whatever and the rest

Delphine Ménard
On 1/25/06, Maru Dubshinki <[hidden email]> wrote:

> If the problem is really apparent, why can't you tag the page appropriately?
> I don't think adding a new layer of procedure will help anything;
> people who already have the time and such will already be working on
> the cleanup category.

Sure.
Let me just take a look...
[[Category:NPOV disputes]] 1800 articles tagged.
[[Category:Articles which may be biased]] 196 articles tagged
[[Category:Accuracy disputes]]  1000 articles tagged
[[Category:Pages needing attention]]  198 articles tagged
[[Category:Possible copyright violations]] 199 articles tagged

Of course, my "urgent request" will be taken care of within the hour.

Cheers,

Delphine
--
~notafish
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Re: An outsider's view on en-admin-only whatever andthe rest

Phil Boswell
"Delphine Ménard" <[hidden email]> wrote
in message
news:[hidden email]...
On 1/25/06, Maru Dubshinki
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> > If the problem is really apparent, why can't you tag the page
> > appropriately?
> > I don't think adding a new layer of procedure will help anything;
> > people who already have the time and such will already be working on
> > the cleanup category.
> Sure.
> Let me just take a look...
> [[Category:NPOV disputes]] 1800 articles tagged.
> [[Category:Articles which may be biased]] 196 articles tagged
> [[Category:Accuracy disputes]]  1000 articles tagged
> [[Category:Pages needing attention]]  198 articles tagged
> [[Category:Possible copyright violations]] 199 articles tagged
> Of course, my "urgent request" will be taken care of within the hour.

So modify your reply to the complainer: instead of saying "oh yes, I've
taken care of it personally; you don't need to do anything" try saying "as
per normal Wikipedia procedure I've tagged it for urgent treatment. Please
feel free to help out yourself."

Maybe you can recruit editors this way, and at least they'll start with some
sort of motivation. Obviously someone would want to check that said
motivation didn't carry them away :-)
--
Phil
[[en:User:Phil Boswell]]



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Re: Re: An outsider's view on en-admin-only whatever andthe rest

sannse


Phil Boswell wrote:

> "Delphine Ménard" <[hidden email]> wrote
>>Sure.
>>Let me just take a look...
>>[[Category:NPOV disputes]] 1800 articles tagged.
>>[[Category:Articles which may be biased]] 196 articles tagged
>>[[Category:Accuracy disputes]]  1000 articles tagged
>>[[Category:Pages needing attention]]  198 articles tagged
>>[[Category:Possible copyright violations]] 199 articles tagged
>>Of course, my "urgent request" will be taken care of within the hour.
>
>
> So modify your reply to the complainer: instead of saying "oh yes, I've
> taken care of it personally; you don't need to do anything" try saying "as
> per normal Wikipedia procedure I've tagged it for urgent treatment. Please
> feel free to help out yourself."
>
> Maybe you can recruit editors this way, and at least they'll start with some
> sort of motivation. Obviously someone would want to check that said
> motivation didn't carry them away :-)

This just isn't practical.  If we have an irate politician writing to us
and threatening to sue, "fix it yourself" just isn't going to wash.
Especially if there are three regular POV-warriors sitting on the
article day and night putting the problem text back.

We have to accept that not all people with a complaint are willing or
able to edit.  And I somehow doubt that "well he could have edited it
every day for three months to keep it ok" will be a good defence in a
libel case.  Or worse - "he should have tried using the dispute
resolution process"

We /do/ often encourage people writing to info-en to join the project.
But it's simply not appropriate in all cases.  And those where it isn't
are generally the ones with the potential to blow up in our faces big-time.

--sannse
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Re: An outsider's view on en-admin-only whatever and the rest

Maru Dubshinki
In reply to this post by Delphine Ménard
On 1/25/06, Delphine Ménard <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 1/25/06, Maru Dubshinki <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > If the problem is really apparent, why can't you tag the page appropriately?
> > I don't think adding a new layer of procedure will help anything;
> > people who already have the time and such will already be working on
> > the cleanup category.
>
> Sure.
> Let me just take a look...
> [[Category:NPOV disputes]] 1800 articles tagged.
> [[Category:Articles which may be biased]] 196 articles tagged
> [[Category:Accuracy disputes]]  1000 articles tagged
> [[Category:Pages needing attention]]  198 articles tagged
> [[Category:Possible copyright violations]] 199 articles tagged
>
> Of course, my "urgent request" will be taken care of within the hour.
>
> Cheers,
>
> Delphine
> --
> ~notafish

Why is your urgent request more urgent than all those others?

If your point is that there is entirely too much work that needs to be
done, and that we should start cloning our best editors to try to
catch up on the backlog, I wholeheartedly agree!  :)

~Maru
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Re: An outsider's view on en-admin-only whatever and the rest

Michael Snow
In reply to this post by Delphine Ménard
Maru Dubshinki wrote:

>On 1/25/06, Delphine Ménard <[hidden email]> wrote:
>  
>
>>On 1/25/06, Maru Dubshinki <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>    
>>
>>>If the problem is really apparent, why can't you tag the page appropriately?
>>>I don't think adding a new layer of procedure will help anything;
>>>people who already have the time and such will already be working on
>>>the cleanup category.
>>>      
>>>
>>Sure.
>>Let me just take a look...
>>[[Category:NPOV disputes]] 1800 articles tagged.
>>[[Category:Articles which may be biased]] 196 articles tagged
>>[[Category:Accuracy disputes]]  1000 articles tagged
>>[[Category:Pages needing attention]]  198 articles tagged
>>[[Category:Possible copyright violations]] 199 articles tagged
>>
>>Of course, my "urgent request" will be taken care of within the hour.
>>
>>Cheers,
>>
>>Delphine
>>--
>>~notafish
>>    
>>
>Why is your urgent request more urgent than all those others?
>  
>
Because, for example, it might deal with a matter that creates potential
legal liability for the Wikimedia Foundation. Which would make it just a
little more pressing than the question of what is really known about
[[Celtic Christianity]].

These are not problems for which "Just tag it and we'll fix it later" is
an appropriate response. Hence the sarcastic reaction when that response
is given.

--Michael Snow
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Re: Re: An outsider's view on en-admin-only whatever and the rest

Maru Dubshinki
On 1/25/06, Michael Snow <[hidden email]> wrote:
...

> Because, for example, it might deal with a matter that creates potential
> legal liability for the Wikimedia Foundation. Which would make it just a
> little more pressing than the question of what is really known about
> [[Celtic Christianity]].
>
> These are not problems for which "Just tag it and we'll fix it later" is
> an appropriate response. Hence the sarcastic reaction when that response
> is given.
>
> --Michael Snow

And again, I don't think you've differentiated the articles you are
concerned about.
The entire copyvio category is a "potential legal liability" as well.
Are you talking about a few rare extraordinary exceptions? In those
cases, what is wrong with simple and old methods like raising a gang
of editors on IRC or asking another editor to take care of it?

~Maru
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Re: An outsider's view on en-admin-only whatever and the rest

sannse
In reply to this post by Alphax (Wikipedia email)


Alphax (Wikipedia email) wrote:

> Delphine Ménard wrote:
>
>>crossposting to wikipedia-l as this is an international issue
>>=========
>>Hi all,
>>
>>as a totally non-en person, admin on other wikis and actually working
>>"behind the scenes", I would like to give my view on what I believe is
>>needed, and why an en-admin-only channel and list won't help to the
>>extent that is needed. This is long, but please bear with me.
>>
>>Let me try to make this more concrete.
>>
>>OTRS (http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/OTRS) receives a lot (and here I
>>mean "A LOT") of complaints.
>>
>
> <snip>
>
> I'd like to add that helpdesk-l (which is just a regular old mailing
> list) suffers from the same problem, except that we have no way of
> knowing who has answered what until someone else posts a reply to it,
> and there are a lot less people working on it. At present I have a
> backlog of over 2300 messages, some of them from December last year. If
> you are interested please visit
> http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/helpdesk-l - we mostly use
> the OTRS messages (http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/OTRS/en), but
> Humblefool and Jareth have some other messages at
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Humblefool/Helpdesk_boilerplates and
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Jareth/Boiler respectively.
>
> Maybe we should shut it down and all move to OTRS. I don't know.
>

I think that something needs to be done to bring the two versions
together.  It seems clear that people are writing to helpdesk-l,
thinking that they are writing to the "site owner's" email address, and
asking questions that would be better answered officially.  And there
are plenty of mails on OTRS that could be better answered by a general
help desk.

The only way I can see of bringing them together is on OTRS.  Perhaps
with two queues, one official mail and one helpdesk.

I don't know, but I do think it's something we should look at.

--sannse
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Re: An outsider's view on en-admin-only whatever and the rest

Alphax (Wikipedia email)
sannse wrote:

>
>
> Alphax (Wikipedia email) wrote:
>
>> Delphine Ménard wrote:
>>
>>> crossposting to wikipedia-l as this is an international issue
>>> =========
>>> Hi all,
>>>
>>> as a totally non-en person, admin on other wikis and actually working
>>> "behind the scenes", I would like to give my view on what I believe is
>>> needed, and why an en-admin-only channel and list won't help to the
>>> extent that is needed. This is long, but please bear with me.
>>>
>>> Let me try to make this more concrete.
>>>
>>> OTRS (http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/OTRS) receives a lot (and here I
>>> mean "A LOT") of complaints.
>>>
>>
>> <snip>
>>
>> I'd like to add that helpdesk-l (which is just a regular old mailing
>> list) suffers from the same problem, except that we have no way of
>> knowing who has answered what until someone else posts a reply to it,
>> and there are a lot less people working on it. At present I have a
>> backlog of over 2300 messages, some of them from December last year. If
>> you are interested please visit
>> http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/helpdesk-l - we mostly use
>> the OTRS messages (http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/OTRS/en), but
>> Humblefool and Jareth have some other messages at
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Humblefool/Helpdesk_boilerplates and
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Jareth/Boiler respectively.
>>
>> Maybe we should shut it down and all move to OTRS. I don't know.
>>
>
> I think that something needs to be done to bring the two versions
> together.  It seems clear that people are writing to helpdesk-l,
> thinking that they are writing to the "site owner's" email address, and
> asking questions that would be better answered officially.  And there
> are plenty of mails on OTRS that could be better answered by a general
> help desk.
>
> The only way I can see of bringing them together is on OTRS.  Perhaps
> with two queues, one official mail and one helpdesk.
>
> I don't know, but I do think it's something we should look at.
>
Unfortunately there will always be people who use the wrong one.

--
Alphax - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Alphax
Contributor to Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia
"We make the internet not suck" - Jimbo Wales
Public key: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Alphax/OpenPGP


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Re: An outsider's view on en-admin-only whatever and the rest

sannse


Alphax (Wikipedia email) wrote:

> sannse wrote:
>>I think that something needs to be done to bring the two versions
>>together.  It seems clear that people are writing to helpdesk-l,
>>thinking that they are writing to the "site owner's" email address, and
>>asking questions that would be better answered officially.  And there
>>are plenty of mails on OTRS that could be better answered by a general
>>help desk.
>>
>>The only way I can see of bringing them together is on OTRS.  Perhaps
>>with two queues, one official mail and one helpdesk.
>>
>>I don't know, but I do think it's something we should look at.
>>
>
>
> Unfortunately there will always be people who use the wrong one.

Yes, but with OTRS it is easy to switch email from one queue to another.
  If there were clear guidelines as to what goes in which queue, then it
wouldn't be a problem that some mail initially got in the wrong queue.

Or we could have one big queue - with both addresses leading there (and
/many/ more helpers on it!)

--sannse
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Re: An outsider's view on en-admin-only whatever and the rest

Kat Walsh
On 1/26/06, sannse <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
>
> Alphax (Wikipedia email) wrote:
> > sannse wrote:
> >>I think that something needs to be done to bring the two versions
> >>together.  It seems clear that people are writing to helpdesk-l,
> >>thinking that they are writing to the "site owner's" email address, and
> >>asking questions that would be better answered officially.  And there
> >>are plenty of mails on OTRS that could be better answered by a general
> >>help desk.
> >>
> >>The only way I can see of bringing them together is on OTRS.  Perhaps
> >>with two queues, one official mail and one helpdesk.
> >>
> >>I don't know, but I do think it's something we should look at.
> >>
> >
> >
> > Unfortunately there will always be people who use the wrong one.
>
> Yes, but with OTRS it is easy to switch email from one queue to another.
>   If there were clear guidelines as to what goes in which queue, then it
> wouldn't be a problem that some mail initially got in the wrong queue.
>
> Or we could have one big queue - with both addresses leading there (and
> /many/ more helpers on it!)

I like the idea of using the ticket system for both addresses: grant
access liberally to the helpdesk queue (anyone interested and
reasonably clued) while having a smaller crew of people to answer the
mail that really must be handled carefully and discreetly
(confidential concerns, potential media blowups, etc.), to be easily
moved back and forth. I don't think helpdesk-l works as is, as it's
difficult to keep track of messages, and the boilerplate responses are
a *big* help answering mail in OTRS. (You can see these at
<http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/OTRS/en> - it's amazing how much of
the mail we get is people applying to our university or wishing to
email celebrities.)

The possible benefits of having the helpdesk as a list -- many
experienced eyes all looking at one question, openness, easy signup,
etc. -- are negated by the sheer volume of the list, dearth of regular
volunteers, and the fact that many people are confused about the
difference between sending to the private info address and to a public
mailing list -- I don't think anyone anticipated the sheer volume of
it when it was created.

Oh, and in response to the initial post and others regarding
confidentiality vs. transparency -- Delphine absolutely has it. Some
issues need to be confined to a group of people who can be trusted to
handle things discreetly. I don't think "admins" is the right group,
as many trusted users are not admins, and many admins are not good
with this sort of work. But a "volunteer fire department" of sorts is
necessary. I know there are people I will beg and plead to go clean
things up where I haven't the knowledge, resources, or time to do so,
some of whom are admins and some of whom aren't (or weren't, at
least).

Tagging for cleanup is not a feasible option. Things sit in cleanup
for months, and most do not get acted on quickly because there is no
urgency about them. They're not marked by priority, in general, and
requests for grammar fixes are lumped in along with great unsourced
info dumps. Where people are *actively complaining*, sometimes with
legal teeth behind it, however, there is urgency, and it's not enough
to wait until someone passing by has the inclination to take it on.
It's good to have a crew of people who can do the "dirty work" --
sourcing, fact checking, NPOVing -- while the PR crew does the (often
equally difficult) task of corresponding with the affected people,
explaining how things work, calming them down. (Oh, yeah, and
hopefully dissuading them from pursuing legal action.)

-Kat
one of your friendly neighborhood OTRS crew

--
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Mindspillage | (G)AIM:LucidWaking
"Once you have tasted flight you will always walk with your eyes cast
upward. For there you have been and there you will always be."
- Leonardo da Vinci
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Re: An outsider's view on en-admin-only whatever and the rest

Andrew Gray
On 26/01/06, Kat Walsh <[hidden email]> wrote:

> The possible benefits of having the helpdesk as a list -- many
> experienced eyes all looking at one question, openness, easy signup,
> etc. -- are negated by the sheer volume of the list, dearth of regular
> volunteers, and the fact that many people are confused about the
> difference between sending to the private info address and to a public
> mailing list -- I don't think anyone anticipated the sheer volume of
> it when it was created.

I signed up to assist helpdesk-l, some time back, and I got out a
couple of emails before being overwhelmed. I do like the idea of
merging the systems - even if a mail sits on OTRS for a while, it is
at least clear that it's yet to be handled. It seems a better system
for it, though the idea of having the seperate "sensitive" and
"general" streams is smart. And it removes the number of people who
think Wikipedia "ignores them" through not recieving a reply from
helpdesk-l, which they think is an official contact...

(That said, I haven't signed up to OTRS yet - who do I email?)

--
- Andrew Gray
  [hidden email]
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Re: An outsider's view on en-admin-only whatever and the rest

Sam Korn
On 1/26/06, Andrew Gray <[hidden email]> wrote:
> (That said, I haven't signed up to OTRS yet - who do I email?)

See [[m:PR department]].

--
Sam
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Re: An outsider's view on en-admin-only whatever and the rest

Florence Devouard-3
In reply to this post by Kat Walsh
Kat Walsh wrote:

> On 1/26/06, sannse <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>>
>>Alphax (Wikipedia email) wrote:
>>
>>>sannse wrote:
>>>
>>>>I think that something needs to be done to bring the two versions
>>>>together.  It seems clear that people are writing to helpdesk-l,
>>>>thinking that they are writing to the "site owner's" email address, and
>>>>asking questions that would be better answered officially.  And there
>>>>are plenty of mails on OTRS that could be better answered by a general
>>>>help desk.
>>>>
>>>>The only way I can see of bringing them together is on OTRS.  Perhaps
>>>>with two queues, one official mail and one helpdesk.
>>>>
>>>>I don't know, but I do think it's something we should look at.
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>Unfortunately there will always be people who use the wrong one.
>>
>>Yes, but with OTRS it is easy to switch email from one queue to another.
>>  If there were clear guidelines as to what goes in which queue, then it
>>wouldn't be a problem that some mail initially got in the wrong queue.
>>
>>Or we could have one big queue - with both addresses leading there (and
>>/many/ more helpers on it!)
>
>
> I like the idea of using the ticket system for both addresses: grant
> access liberally to the helpdesk queue (anyone interested and
> reasonably clued) while having a smaller crew of people to answer the
> mail that really must be handled carefully and discreetly
> (confidential concerns, potential media blowups, etc.), to be easily
> moved back and forth. I don't think helpdesk-l works as is, as it's
> difficult to keep track of messages, and the boilerplate responses are
> a *big* help answering mail in OTRS. (You can see these at
> <http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/OTRS/en> - it's amazing how much of
> the mail we get is people applying to our university or wishing to
> email celebrities.)
>
> The possible benefits of having the helpdesk as a list -- many
> experienced eyes all looking at one question, openness, easy signup,
> etc. -- are negated by the sheer volume of the list, dearth of regular
> volunteers, and the fact that many people are confused about the
> difference between sending to the private info address and to a public
> mailing list -- I don't think anyone anticipated the sheer volume of
> it when it was created.

I am totally with mindspillage here. Two queues and movement of emails
between the two.

For those who do not know the system yet, our OTRS contains now possibly
15-20 (?) queues and emails just circulate from one queue to the other,
as needed. Some queues are just to answer information requests, others
are more specialised (board, legal, donations etc....).

If I had one thing to ask for OTRS improvement, it would be for it to be
able to better clean up spam though...


ant

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Re: An outsider's view on en-admin-only whatever and the rest

Alphax (Wikipedia email)
In reply to this post by Kat Walsh
Kat Walsh wrote:

> On 1/26/06, sannse <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>>
>>Alphax (Wikipedia email) wrote:
>>
>>>sannse wrote:
>>>
>>>>I think that something needs to be done to bring the two versions
>>>>together.  It seems clear that people are writing to helpdesk-l,
>>>>thinking that they are writing to the "site owner's" email address, and
>>>>asking questions that would be better answered officially.  And there
>>>>are plenty of mails on OTRS that could be better answered by a general
>>>>help desk.
>>>>
>>>>The only way I can see of bringing them together is on OTRS.  Perhaps
>>>>with two queues, one official mail and one helpdesk.
>>>>
>>>>I don't know, but I do think it's something we should look at.
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>Unfortunately there will always be people who use the wrong one.
>>
>>Yes, but with OTRS it is easy to switch email from one queue to another.
>>  If there were clear guidelines as to what goes in which queue, then it
>>wouldn't be a problem that some mail initially got in the wrong queue.
>>
>>Or we could have one big queue - with both addresses leading there (and
>>/many/ more helpers on it!)
>
>
> I like the idea of using the ticket system for both addresses: grant
> access liberally to the helpdesk queue (anyone interested and
> reasonably clued) while having a smaller crew of people to answer the
> mail that really must be handled carefully and discreetly
> (confidential concerns, potential media blowups, etc.), to be easily
> moved back and forth. I don't think helpdesk-l works as is, as it's
> difficult to keep track of messages, and the boilerplate responses are
> a *big* help answering mail in OTRS. (You can see these at
> <http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/OTRS/en> - it's amazing how much of
> the mail we get is people applying to our university or wishing to
> email celebrities.)
>
> The possible benefits of having the helpdesk as a list -- many
> experienced eyes all looking at one question, openness, easy signup,
> etc. -- are negated by the sheer volume of the list, dearth of regular
> volunteers, and the fact that many people are confused about the
> difference between sending to the private info address and to a public
> mailing list -- I don't think anyone anticipated the sheer volume of
> it when it was created.
>
I support this idea. How soon before we can change helpdesk-l to an OTRS
queue (oh, and maybe call it helpesk and have helpdesk-l forward there...)?

Completely burned out,
--
Alphax - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Alphax
Contributor to Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia
"We make the internet not suck" - Jimbo Wales
Public key: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Alphax/OpenPGP

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Re: An outsider's view on en-admin-only whatever and the rest

Maru Dubshinki
On 1/26/06, Alphax (Wikipedia email) <[hidden email]> wrote:
..
> I support this idea. How soon before we can change helpdesk-l to an OTRS
> queue (oh, and maybe call it helpesk and have helpdesk-l forward there...)?
>
> Completely burned out,
> --
> Alphax - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Alphax

Darn! I had just joined helpdesk because I heard the current editors
were almost burned out and I wanted to avert it. :(

~Maru
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Re: An outsider's view on en-admin-only whatever and the rest

Alphax (Wikipedia email)
Maru Dubshinki wrote:

> On 1/26/06, Alphax (Wikipedia email) <[hidden email]> wrote:
> ..
>
>>I support this idea. How soon before we can change helpdesk-l to an OTRS
>>queue (oh, and maybe call it helpesk and have helpdesk-l forward there...)?
>>
>>Completely burned out,
>>--
>>Alphax - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Alphax
>
>
> Darn! I had just joined helpdesk because I heard the current editors
> were almost burned out and I wanted to avert it. :(
>
Don't worry, you're quite welcome to stay on...

--
Alphax - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Alphax
Contributor to Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia
"We make the internet not suck" - Jimbo Wales
Public key: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Alphax/OpenPGP

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