Don't template the newbies either

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Don't template the newbies either

David Gerard-2
http://www.webhostingreport.net/blog/archives/2007/07/08/wikipediaorg-on-its-way-to-become-a-second-dmoz/

It's from a search engine spammer, but the point stands. Templating is
not only insulting to the regulars, it's insulting to all recipients.

How about some RFA opposes: "Too much templating, no conversation."
That should get the goldfarmers off the templating kick.


- d.

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Re: Don't template the newbies either

Todd Allen
David Gerard wrote:

> http://www.webhostingreport.net/blog/archives/2007/07/08/wikipediaorg-on-its-way-to-become-a-second-dmoz/
>
> It's from a search engine spammer, but the point stands. Templating is
> not only insulting to the regulars, it's insulting to all recipients.
>
> How about some RFA opposes: "Too much templating, no conversation."
> That should get the goldfarmers off the templating kick.
>
>
> - d.
>
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>  
A spammer (who indicated in that post an intent to spam some more) feels
insulted by getting told to knock it off? Terrible thing, terrible
thing. Most websites block linkspammers on sight without notice or
appeal. Warning linkspammers and vandals at all is nicer treatment then
they'd get most anywhere.


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Re: Don't template the newbies either

David Gerard-2
On 09/07/07, Todd Allen <[hidden email]> wrote:
> David Gerard wrote:

> > http://www.webhostingreport.net/blog/archives/2007/07/08/wikipediaorg-on-its-way-to-become-a-second-dmoz/
> > It's from a search engine spammer, but the point stands. Templating is
> > not only insulting to the regulars, it's insulting to all recipients.
> > How about some RFA opposes: "Too much templating, no conversation."
> > That should get the goldfarmers off the templating kick.

> A spammer (who indicated in that post an intent to spam some more) feels
> insulted by getting told to knock it off? Terrible thing, terrible
> thing. Most websites block linkspammers on sight without notice or
> appeal. Warning linkspammers and vandals at all is nicer treatment then
> they'd get most anywhere.


As I noted :-) However, templated responses when you could, um, type
some text are indeed insulting to all. And, more to the point,
ineffective - no spammer thinks *they* could be spamming.


- d.

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Re: Don't template the newbies either

Rory Stolzenberg
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
On 7/9/07, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
>
> http://www.webhostingreport.net/blog/archives/2007/07/08/wikipediaorg-on-its-way-to-become-a-second-dmoz/
>
> It's from a search engine spammer, but the point stands. Templating is
> not only insulting to the regulars, it's insulting to all recipients.
>
> How about some RFA opposes: "Too much templating, no conversation."
> That should get the goldfarmers off the templating kick.
>
>
> - d.


God, please don't. RfA is broken enough without having even more people
opposing to make a point about something they want people to do more. How
about you convince current admins on AIV not to demand 4 template warnings
before a block, or nom some CSD warning templates for deletion?
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Re: Don't template the newbies either

Ray Saintonge
In reply to this post by Todd Allen
Todd Allen wrote:

>David Gerard wrote:
>  
>
>>http://www.webhostingreport.net/blog/archives/2007/07/08/wikipediaorg-on-its-way-to-become-a-second-dmoz/
>>
>>It's from a search engine spammer, but the point stands. Templating is
>>not only insulting to the regulars, it's insulting to all recipients.
>>
>>How about some RFA opposes: "Too much templating, no conversation."
>>That should get the goldfarmers off the templating kick.
>>    
>>
>A spammer (who indicated in that post an intent to spam some more) feels
>insulted by getting told to knock it off? Terrible thing, terrible
>thing. Most websites block linkspammers on sight without notice or
>appeal. Warning linkspammers and vandals at all is nicer treatment then
>they'd get most anywhere.
>
Sounds like you don't get it.  Perhaps, over time, this guy would get
into trouble anyway.  For now he's just an example of how people are
treated - not just him but others  who rund afoul of someone's pet
rule.  When you talk to people with templates and threats, or prejudge
that a person is a spammer or some kind of other offender, your
behaviour is no better than what you allege this peron to be doing.  
Using templated threats as a first line of approach works only to keep
away thin skinned people who might otherwise become good editors if they
had half a chance.  This will also drive away experts who have something
to add to their areas of expertise, but who haven't the time to be
talked down to by clueless admins.

Ec


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Re: Don't template the newbies either

geni
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
On 7/9/07, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:

> http://www.webhostingreport.net/blog/archives/2007/07/08/wikipediaorg-on-its-way-to-become-a-second-dmoz/
>
> It's from a search engine spammer, but the point stands. Templating is
> not only insulting to the regulars, it's insulting to all recipients.
>
> How about some RFA opposes: "Too much templating, no conversation."
> That should get the goldfarmers off the templating kick.
>
>
> - d.

It depends on the situation. If someone has uploaded a copyvio despite
multiple warning notices I will throw {{subst:nsd}} at them if only
becuase it is more polite than what I would write. If however it looks
like someone just forgot to list themselves as a sorce or whatever it
will generaly avoid a template if only because  the responce rate is
higher (perhaps because it makes people think genisock2 is a real
person or whatever).

So templates do have their uses in some cases but are less use for
regular communication.

Untill I see more detials of this case it is hard to say which applies.

--
geni

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Re: Don't template the newbies either

Guy Chapman aka JzG
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
On Mon, 9 Jul 2007 08:04:12 +0100, "David Gerard" <[hidden email]>
wrote:

>http://www.webhostingreport.net/blog/archives/2007/07/08/wikipediaorg-on-its-way-to-become-a-second-dmoz/
>It's from a search engine spammer, but the point stands. Templating is
>not only insulting to the regulars, it's insulting to all recipients.

Spammer feels hurt at being called on his spamming.  Pictures at
eleven.

This message was brought to you by the office of "nothing to see here,
move along now".

Guy (JzG)
--
http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:JzG


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Re: Don't template the newbies either

Phil Boswell
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
David Gerard-2 wrote
http://www.webhostingreport.net/blog/archives/2007/07/08/wikipediaorg-on-its-way-to-become-a-second-dmoz/

It's from a search engine spammer, but the point stands. Templating is
not only insulting to the regulars, it's insulting to all recipients.

How about some RFA opposes: "Too much templating, no conversation."
That should get the goldfarmers off the templating kick.
Oh, please. Would you listen to someone caught speeding who suggested that having a standard form was insulting, and that they should receive a hand-written letter detailing their idiocy in beautiful copper-plate?
--
Phil
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Re: Don't template the newbies either

David Gerard-2
On 09/07/07, Phil Boswell <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Oh, please. Would you listen to someone caught speeding who suggested that
> having a standard form was insulting, and that they should receive a
> hand-written letter detailing their idiocy in beautiful copper-plate?


*cough* OK, I probably didn't pick the best example to hang the topic on ...


- d.

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Re: Don't template the newbies either

Phil Boswell
David Gerard-2 wrote
On 09/07/07, Phil Boswell <phil.boswell@gmail.com> wrote:
> Oh, please. Would you listen to someone caught speeding who suggested that
> having a standard form was insulting, and that they should receive a
> hand-written letter detailing their idiocy in beautiful copper-plate?
*cough* OK, I probably didn't pick the best example to hang the topic on ...
On a slightly more serious note, there does seem to be more of an atmosphere recently of "tie the admins up with red tape".

This business of "blocks shall be preventative rather than punitive", for example. Quite apart from the distinct echoes of Monty Python [1], who are you going to block in a preventative manner other than some clown who has been acting the goat, and how is that not punitive?

There seems to be a gang of people willing to jump into a thread on WP:ANI cudgelling any admin who makes themself available, and I don't like it.

HTH HANFD
--
Phil
[1] "…and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out."
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Re: Don't template the newbies either

George William Herbert
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
On 7/9/07, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On 09/07/07, Phil Boswell <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > Oh, please. Would you listen to someone caught speeding who suggested that
> > having a standard form was insulting, and that they should receive a
> > hand-written letter detailing their idiocy in beautiful copper-plate?
>
>
> *cough* OK, I probably didn't pick the best example to hang the topic on ...

Beyond the example issue...

I think that not using templates would be a problem.  The templates
are there for a reason - to make at least part of the response
standardized, in a goes-on-the-record-and-reviewable manner.

It's one thing to say "Don't *just* template, explain also".  Saying
"Don't template" breaks a whole lot of how we do stuff now.


--
-george william herbert
[hidden email]

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Re: Don't template the newbies either

David Gerard-2
On 09/07/07, George Herbert <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I think that not using templates would be a problem.  The templates
> are there for a reason - to make at least part of the response
> standardized, in a goes-on-the-record-and-reviewable manner.


What you're describing there is bureaucratic arse-covering, not human
communication.


> It's one thing to say "Don't *just* template, explain also".  Saying
> "Don't template" breaks a whole lot of how we do stuff now.


That doesn't make it somehow not bureaucracy replacing communication.
Because a template only communicates "you have been processed."
There's clearly not a human behind it, or there's a human pretending
to be a machine.


- d.

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Re: Don't template the newbies either

geni
In reply to this post by Phil Boswell
On 7/9/07, Phil Boswell <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On a slightly more serious note, there does seem to be more of an atmosphere
> recently of "tie the admins up with red tape".

Not remotely. Admins have gained significantly increased powers over
the last two years.


> This business of "blocks shall be preventative rather than punitive", for
> example.

Eh old school. Dates from the days when admins were more meant to be
enforcers of what the community decided (and the community
understanding the potential for abuse of power decided to limited what
admins could do to a fairly narrow set of conditions) rather than
doing whatever their "common sense" told them to do.

> Quite apart from the distinct echoes of Monty Python [1], who are
> you going to block in a preventative manner other than some clown who has
> been acting the goat, and how is that not punitive?
>
> There seems to be a gang of people willing to jump into a thread on WP:ANI
> cudgelling any admin who makes themself available, and I don't like it.

There appear to be a bunch of admins who have forgotten where power in
the project is meant to come from and I don't like that.

--
geni

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Re: Don't template the newbies either

Alex G-3
Don't template anyone?  Dear god, what are we coming too.  Then again, I'm a
bit biased on this, see [[WP:TTR]] - G1ggy

On 7/10/07, geni <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> On 7/9/07, Phil Boswell <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > On a slightly more serious note, there does seem to be more of an
> atmosphere
> > recently of "tie the admins up with red tape".
>
> Not remotely. Admins have gained significantly increased powers over
> the last two years.
>
>
> > This business of "blocks shall be preventative rather than punitive",
> for
> > example.
>
> Eh old school. Dates from the days when admins were more meant to be
> enforcers of what the community decided (and the community
> understanding the potential for abuse of power decided to limited what
> admins could do to a fairly narrow set of conditions) rather than
> doing whatever their "common sense" told them to do.
>
> > Quite apart from the distinct echoes of Monty Python [1], who are
> > you going to block in a preventative manner other than some clown who
> has
> > been acting the goat, and how is that not punitive?
> >
> > There seems to be a gang of people willing to jump into a thread on
> WP:ANI
> > cudgelling any admin who makes themself available, and I don't like it.
>
> There appear to be a bunch of admins who have forgotten where power in
> the project is meant to come from and I don't like that.
>
> --
> geni
>
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>
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Re: Don't template the newbies either

Marc Riddell
In reply to this post by geni
on 7/9/07 6:31 PM, geni at [hidden email] wrote:

> There appear to be a bunch of admins who have forgotten where power in
> the project is meant to come from and I don't like that.

No surprise here. Another leadership failure.

Marc


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Re: Don't template the newbies either

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by Ray Saintonge
> When you talk to people with templates and threats, or prejudge
> that a person is a spammer or some kind of other offender, your
> behaviour is no better than what you allege this peron to be doing.

Nonsense. For a start, seeing someone spam and concluding that the
person is a spammer is not prejudging, it's just judging. You don't
like threats? Should we not tell people that what they're doing will
get them blocked and just block them without warning? Or perhaps you
think blocking them is somehow unfair and we should just accept
whatever people do?

Templates are used for convenience. It is much quicker to type
{{subst:test}} than a couple of lines explaining why we want them to
stop. If you make vandal fighting harder you will reduce the number of
vandal fighters which will increase the length of time it takes for
vandalism to be found and fixed and increase the amount of vandalism
that gets missed completely. Not being very friendly to spammers and
vandals is a small price to pay to get vandalism fixed promptly.

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Re: Don't template the newbies either

The Cunctator
In reply to this post by Marc Riddell
I love getting all philosophical about how much DMoz sucks and how Wikipedia
shouldn't be like it but in a case like this it's best to avoid labels
("spammers" vs. "self-proclaimed super editors") and just look at the actual
case history.

Here's the complainant's account: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Nsusa

Most of his contributions were not spammy:
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Restless_legs_syndrome&diff=prev&oldid=72197023
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Castle_Rock%2C_Colorado&diff=prev&oldid=53033620
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Highlands_Ranch_Mansion&diff=prev&oldid=39157592

This one probably merited rollback:
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Web_hosting_service&diff=prev&oldid=143033625

If he had included his external links as <ref>s instead of in the External
links section, noone would have cared.

I don't care about the namecalling on either side. There's tons of
assumptions of bad faith on both sides here.
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Re: Don't template the newbies either

The Cunctator
P.S. Okay, he was cut-and-pasting. I've amended my remarks on his user page
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Nsusa)

On 7/9/07, The Cunctator <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> I love getting all philosophical about how much DMoz sucks and how
> Wikipedia shouldn't be like it but in a case like this it's best to avoid
> labels ("spammers" vs. "self-proclaimed super editors") and just look at the
> actual case history.
>
> Here's the complainant's account: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Nsusa
>
> Most of his contributions were not spammy:
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Restless_legs_syndrome&diff=prev&oldid=72197023
> http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Castle_Rock%2C_Colorado&diff=prev&oldid=53033620
>
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Highlands_Ranch_Mansion&diff=prev&oldid=39157592
>
> This one probably merited rollback:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Web_hosting_service&diff=prev&oldid=143033625
>
>
> If he had included his external links as <ref>s instead of in the External
> links section, noone would have cared.
>
> I don't care about the namecalling on either side. There's tons of
> assumptions of bad faith on both sides here.
>
>
>
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Re: Don't template the newbies either

George William Herbert
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
On 7/9/07, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 09/07/07, George Herbert <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > I think that not using templates would be a problem.  The templates
> > are there for a reason - to make at least part of the response
> > standardized, in a goes-on-the-record-and-reviewable manner.
>
>
> What you're describing there is bureaucratic arse-covering, not human
> communication.
>
>
> > It's one thing to say "Don't *just* template, explain also".  Saying
> > "Don't template" breaks a whole lot of how we do stuff now.
>
>
> That doesn't make it somehow not bureaucracy replacing communication.
> Because a template only communicates "you have been processed."
> There's clearly not a human behind it, or there's a human pretending
> to be a machine.


Bureaucracy has its purpose and point in the world.

Among other things, a templated list of warnings makes it easy for an
uninvolved admin to look and see "Was this troublemaking user warned
enough that they were in violation of policy?  Have they continued
past the clear warnings?  Should I block them now, or warn again?"

AGF covers a lot.  It could cover being very nice, polite, and
personal with everyone who replaces page after page with "P00p!", or
more topically who ads clear spam to dozens of WP pages.

In practice, right now, the vandal fighters on en are being more
abrupt than that in many cases.

Query: does AGF require us to always be personal (as opposed to
impersonal, template-only) with clear abusers?  Do clear abusers
deserve that?

Query: do those fighting vandalism regularly have enough time to do
so, and keep up with the flood?


--
-george william herbert
[hidden email]

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Re: Don't template the newbies either

William Pietri
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
Thomas Dalton wrote:
> For a start, seeing someone spam and concluding that the
> person is a spammer is not prejudging, it's just judging.

I don't think that's quite correct. Everybody acts foolishly now and
then, but immediately judging them a fool is indeed prejudicial.

I've been a rabid anti-spammer since before the web existed, so these
days I have a pretty short fuse on the topic. But I still try hard to
keep in mind that the first time somebody spams, they rarely know that
it's bad.

I have talked to a shockingly large number of well-meaning small
business owners who believed the promotional flyer for the bulk mail
package they bought. Until they have done it repeatedly or after
warning, I don't think of them as spammers so much as people who have
spammed. They were just trying to promote their business in a way that
seemed reasonable given their lack of knowledge.

> You don't
> like threats? Should we not tell people that what they're doing will
> get them blocked and just block them without warning?
>  

I don't like threats. I do like explanations. I think the difference is
Wikipedia's secret sauce: the assumption of good faith.

> Not being very friendly to spammers and
> vandals is a small price to pay to get vandalism fixed promptly.
>  

It depends on how you count the costs.

I think being actively unfriendly can get somebody's dander up. Some of
those people will become more persistent, or more sneaky. Some will
decide to get even. Many, because they still don't understand quite what
the problem is, will tell people how horrible Wikipedia is. Or just take
it out on their dogs.

On the other hand, people who feel they have been fairly treated (that
is, not as fools but as people who have unintentionally done something
foolish) have less incentive to take revenge. Perhaps now that they've
edited, they'll add something. Maybe they'll tell colleagues why they
shouldn't try to market themselves via Wikipedia. And it could they'll
even join us in tidying things up.

William



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