Fwd: [Wikitech-l] Fwd: Autoconfirmed article creation trial

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Fwd: [Wikitech-l] Fwd: Autoconfirmed article creation trial

David Gerard-2
It may seem a big goal, but perhaps en:wp can emulate the success of
en:wn. Will we achieve the best-practice level of seven layers of
review? We can but hope.


- d.



---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Chad <[hidden email]>
Date: 13 September 2011 17:18
Subject: [Wikitech-l] Fwd: Autoconfirmed article creation trial
To: Wikimedia developers <[hidden email]>


Forwarding to wikitech-l. Private e-mail threads are not a transparent
way to discuss this.

-Chad


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Snotty Wong <[hidden email]>
Date: Tue, Sep 13, 2011 at 12:02 PM
Subject: Autoconfirmed article creation trial
To: Jimbo Wales <[hidden email]>, Jimmy Wales
<[hidden email]>, [hidden email], Philippe Beaudette
<[hidden email]>, [hidden email],
[hidden email], [hidden email], [hidden email],
[hidden email], [hidden email], [hidden email],
[hidden email], [hidden email],
[hidden email], [hidden email]
Cc: Kudpung <[hidden email]>, [hidden email]


Dear WMF staff and developers,
I'm User:Snottywong on en-wiki and I'm emailing you on behalf of
several other en-wiki users who have been helping to organize a trial.
 The trial, which you may already be familiar with, is to temporarily
restrict new article creation to autoconfirmed users.  If you're
unfamiliar with the details, you can catch up by reading the original
bugzilla thread I started in an attempt to implement the trial.  (See
https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=30208)
The bugzilla thread has largely become stale, there has been no
activity for several weeks.  It's clear that some developers are not
in favor of this trial, as they believe it will result in a reduction
in new editor retention.  It would be an assumption of bad faith to
say that the developers are purposely ignoring the bugzilla thread in
the hopes that the volunteers who organized it will give up on trying
to implement it, but sadly it appears this may be happening.  This
email is an attempt to reopen the lines of communication between the
volunteers who organized this trial and the developers, in the hopes
that this more private communication will facilitate coordination.  I
can assure you that nothing you send me in an email will be publicly
posted.
The situation, from the perspective of the volunteer editors who
organized the trial, is this:  We put together a proposal to restrict
article creation to autoconfirmed editors.  We posted notices to the
proposal in the most public places on Wikipedia, the village pump,
WP:Centralized discussion, etc.  Over 500 editors contributed their
opinions to the proposal over the course of 2 months.  The proposal
was then closed by an uninvolved admin, with the view that the
proposal had been widely endorsed and there was consensus for the
change.  The admin also noted that there was strong support for a
trial of the changes before they are made permanent, and that this is
the direction in which we should proceed.
Anyone familiar with Wikipedia knows that it is spectacularly amazing
for a proposal that was open for 2 months with 500+ editors
contribution to actually succeed.
So, we proposed the change, got strong support for it, and then we
asked you guys to make it happen.  And we feel like the response we
got was "we don't think that's a good idea, so we're not going to do
it."  This was a very disappointing response for us, partly because of
the hard work we had put in to organize the proposal and the trial,
and partly because it goes against the fundamental Wikipedia concept
of governing by consensus; one of the most important aspects of
Wikipedia which has gotten it where it is today.
After digesting this response for awhile and regrouping, we understand
your natural instinct to protect Wikipedia from a change that you
believe could hurt it.  This is the perspective we're coming from as
well: we believe that the number of inappropriate and very poor
quality articles that are created every day by very new users is
hurting Wikipedia in a different way.  We do our best to patrol these
new articles and we try to ensure that these inappropriate articles
don't make it past our defense mechanisms, but there are simply too
many to handle and plenty make it through.  This is evident when you
click the "Random article" button a few times.
It's also understandable that it's easy to assume that this trial, on
the surface, will lead to less new editors and less new articles.  On
the contrary, we believe that it will lead to more serious editors and
better quality articles.  Quality over quantity.  We believe that with
Wikipedia approaching 4 million articles, there is a natural decline
in the number of new things that can be written about; and that
instead of focusing on creating new articles, editors will begin to
focus on fixing the ones we already have.
But, we will never know what this change would bring unless we
actually try it.  This is why we want to implement it only as a
temporary trial, and reserve judgment until after the trial.  We need
your help to make this happen.  Specifically, we need:
1. Your cooperation.  Nothing will happen if you guys stonewall us and
refuse to act, and this would be a devastatingly disappointing outcome
for dozens of editors.
2. Your expertise.  Changes to the MW software are required to
implement this trial.  Some comments on the bugzilla thread imply that
these changes are relatively minor.  We also need to collect copious
statistics about the effects of the trial.  We can do much of this
work ourselves, but we need your help in both collecting the
statistics as well as determining which ones are important.
3. Your creativity.  Obviously, preventing people from creating new
articles will produce some level of an annoyance factor for them.  The
more positively we can communicate this restriction to new users, and
the more options we can give them to create new articles and become
autoconfirmed more quickly, the less annoyed the users will be. If we
can make them feel like they've earned the trust of other editors by
the time they become autoconfirmed, they will be that much more
invested in the whole concept of Wikipedia.
We have started some of this work at WP:ACTRIAL, but there is only so
much we can do as volunteer editors with limited time and no developer
access.  We need your help.  Please let us know if we can come
together to make this happen, and let's lay out a road map for
cooperatively and collaboratively implementing this trial.
Best regards,
Scott (User:Snottywong)

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Re: Fwd: [Wikitech-l] Fwd: Autoconfirmed article creation trial

Gwern Branwen
On Tue, Sep 13, 2011 at 12:24 PM, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:
> It may seem a big goal, but perhaps en:wp can emulate the success of
> en:wn. Will we achieve the best-practice level of seven layers of
> review? We can but hope.

And in turn, I look forward to the study of the effects of this
change, which will never happen despite all promises before.

--
gwern
http://www.gwern.net

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Re: Fwd: [Wikitech-l] Fwd: Autoconfirmed article creation trial

David Gerard-2
On 13 September 2011 17:35, Gwern Branwen <[hidden email]> wrote:

> And in turn, I look forward to the study of the effects of this
> change, which will never happen despite all promises before.


Apparently just over 50% in favour is "broad consensus". Who knew?

(Almost as good as the person who told me "we achieved consensus
against that change" and it was, literally, a straw poll with two "no"
and one "yes".)


- d.

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Re: Fwd: [Wikitech-l] Fwd: Autoconfirmed article creation trial

MuZemike
Does anyone think we can really get an actual "consensus" for anything
big anymore on en.wiki?

To take from Beeblebrox on the Signpost not too long ago
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2011-08-29/The_pending_changes_fiasco):

"There seems inevitably to come a point in any such attempt where there
are simply too many voices, too many nonsensical objections, too much
petty bickering to get anything done. This is a growing, systemic
problem at Wikipedia, and eventually we are going to have to deal with it."

The near-converse applies when developers "boldly" turn relatively minor
features on without "community consensus", as seen at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Village_pump_%28technical%29/Archive_90#Watchlist_emails 
. That is, people complain up and down about it. It is impossible to
have everyone happy about everything.

-MuZemike

On 9/13/2011 11:38 AM, David Gerard wrote:

> On 13 September 2011 17:35, Gwern Branwen<[hidden email]>  wrote:
>
>> And in turn, I look forward to the study of the effects of this
>> change, which will never happen despite all promises before.
>
>
> Apparently just over 50% in favour is "broad consensus". Who knew?
>
> (Almost as good as the person who told me "we achieved consensus
> against that change" and it was, literally, a straw poll with two "no"
> and one "yes".)
>
>
> - d.
>
> _______________________________________________
> WikiEN-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l


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Re: Fwd: [Wikitech-l] Fwd: Autoconfirmed article creation trial

Carcharoth
Possibly a really professional approach with full-time resources
devoted to explaining things and producing a detailed FAQ and managing
expectations to slowly build a consensus. But that jibes uncomfortably
with the approach where groups of volunteers try and produce the same
results. It also feels like campaigning to try and grow a consensus
rather than working with what is there already. But that may be needed
in cases where opinions are all over the place and people may not be
fully informed about something or may polarise into different camps.
All gets rather political, really.

Carcharoth

On Wed, Sep 14, 2011 at 7:35 AM, MuZemike <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Does anyone think we can really get an actual "consensus" for anything
> big anymore on en.wiki?
>
> To take from Beeblebrox on the Signpost not too long ago
> (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2011-08-29/The_pending_changes_fiasco):
>
> "There seems inevitably to come a point in any such attempt where there
> are simply too many voices, too many nonsensical objections, too much
> petty bickering to get anything done. This is a growing, systemic
> problem at Wikipedia, and eventually we are going to have to deal with it."
>
> The near-converse applies when developers "boldly" turn relatively minor
> features on without "community consensus", as seen at
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Village_pump_%28technical%29/Archive_90#Watchlist_emails
> . That is, people complain up and down about it. It is impossible to
> have everyone happy about everything.
>
> -MuZemike
>
> On 9/13/2011 11:38 AM, David Gerard wrote:
>> On 13 September 2011 17:35, Gwern Branwen<[hidden email]>  wrote:
>>
>>> And in turn, I look forward to the study of the effects of this
>>> change, which will never happen despite all promises before.
>>
>>
>> Apparently just over 50% in favour is "broad consensus". Who knew?
>>
>> (Almost as good as the person who told me "we achieved consensus
>> against that change" and it was, literally, a straw poll with two "no"
>> and one "yes".)
>>
>>
>> - d.
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> WikiEN-l mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
>> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l
>
>
> _______________________________________________
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> [hidden email]
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l
>

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