Unused userboxes

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Re: Unused userboxes

geni
On 2/16/06, Jimmy Wales <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Having said that, I heard today that the number of userboxes, and in
> particular the number of very problematic userboxes, has exploded.  I
> think this is seriously Not Good For Our Loving Little Community.
>

"Our Loving Little Community" has been a thing of the past probably at
least as long as I've been an admin. We have 800 admins. Certainly not
little and to be honest there are many on there I don't know at all.

> I am not doing anything about it just yet, but I am willing to concede
> that my nonviolent social request that people knock it off and think
> about what it means to be a Wikipedian has not gotten very far.

When and where did you make that request?

>
> As far as I can determine, and I am very much aware that I am here
> prejudicing the terms of debate, this is a cultural battle between
> wikipedians and people who have stumbled into this cool site they heard
> about on CNN where you can write whatever the hell you want and argue
> with people for fun.

Nothing is that simple. People who belive " you can write whatever the
hell you want and argue with people for fun" have always existed. Some
learn some give up and some have to be removed. They have always
existed they always will exist. Not really a problem. At least not a
new one.


Trying to profile the sides is pointless since the pure userbax
contiversy cuts across pretty much all the traditional conflict lines.

There is a conflict going on between the older generation and newer
generation on wikipedia but that always happens. The latest generation
is influenced by a different eniviroment to the older ones. They
respond by behaveing slightly differently to the older generations.
This always happens this always will happens. There is some friction
sure but you just have to live with that for the most part it will
sort itself out.

You notice the conflict this time because more than in the past it
effects your role within wikipedia. Simply put when it comes to day to
day running you don't have one any more. The current generation
doesn't know you. They have no reason to. Thus there is not going to
be as much automatic deference.


--
geni
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Re: Unused userboxes

Stan Shebs
In reply to this post by Jimmy Wales
Jimmy Wales wrote:

>
>As far as I can determine, and I am very much aware that I am here
>prejudicing the terms of debate, this is a cultural battle between
>wikipedians and people who have stumbled into this cool site they heard
>about on CNN where you can write whatever the hell you want and argue
>with people for fun.
>
I mentioned this a while back, and didn't get much response at the
time, but we do encourage people to create accounts ("Registering
a free account takes only a few seconds, and has many benefits.")
irrespective of whether they intend to contribute usefully or not.

We're not like a provincial university where the local legislature
has decreed that that everyone has to be accepted in regardless of
ability. Given that we now have a surfeit of volunteers, perhaps we
should be thinking about ways to gently raise the bar, rewarding
the good editors while inducing the poor ones to find another wiki
more in line with their talents.

Stan

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Re: Unused userboxes

MacGyverMagic/Mgm
In reply to this post by Zzyzx11 at Wikipedia
A lot of them are being subst: into pages. So you won't be able to see
they're being used from the what links here of the template itself.

Mgm


On 1/7/06, Zzyzx11 at Wikipedia <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> Here's something that crossed my mind:
>
> As the number of userboxes continues to increase, I am starting to see a
> number of them that are currently NOT being used by ANYONE. So in a couple
> weeks from now, if these same userboxes are still not being used on any
> userpage, shouldn't they be put on TFD like any other unused, orphaned
> template? Why or why not?
>
> Zzyzx11 at en.wikipedia.org
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Zzyzx11
> [hidden email]
>
> _________________________________________________________________
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>
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Re: Unused userboxes

Steve Bennett-4
In reply to this post by Stan Shebs
On 2/19/06, Stan Shebs <[hidden email]> wrote:
> We're not like a provincial university where the local legislature
> has decreed that that everyone has to be accepted in regardless of
> ability. Given that we now have a surfeit of volunteers, perhaps we
> should be thinking about ways to gently raise the bar, rewarding
> the good editors while inducing the poor ones to find another wiki
> more in line with their talents.

We have a surfeit of volunteers? Maybe badly utilised volunteers, but
I see evidence of a lot of work to be done and not enough people to do
it.

Gripe for today: people who make one-word edits to badly written
articles. How do we get people to be very bold on budding articles,
without using "be bold" as an excuse to rewrite established articles
from scratch without consultation?

Steve
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Re: Unused userboxes

MacGyverMagic/Mgm
It's not because they're not bold, but deciding on culling and eventually
rewriting is time-consuming and not something everyone has time for. At
least with one word edits, the article shows up in recent changes.

Mgm


On 2/20/06, Steve Bennett <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> On 2/19/06, Stan Shebs <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > We're not like a provincial university where the local legislature
> > has decreed that that everyone has to be accepted in regardless of
> > ability. Given that we now have a surfeit of volunteers, perhaps we
> > should be thinking about ways to gently raise the bar, rewarding
> > the good editors while inducing the poor ones to find another wiki
> > more in line with their talents.
>
> We have a surfeit of volunteers? Maybe badly utilised volunteers, but
> I see evidence of a lot of work to be done and not enough people to do
> it.
>
> Gripe for today: people who make one-word edits to badly written
> articles. How do we get people to be very bold on budding articles,
> without using "be bold" as an excuse to rewrite established articles
> from scratch without consultation?
>
> Steve
> _______________________________________________
> WikiEN-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
> http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l
>
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Re: Unused userboxes

Stan Shebs
In reply to this post by Steve Bennett-4
Steve Bennett wrote:

>On 2/19/06, Stan Shebs <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>>We're not like a provincial university where the local legislature
>>has decreed that that everyone has to be accepted in regardless of
>>ability. Given that we now have a surfeit of volunteers, perhaps we
>>should be thinking about ways to gently raise the bar, rewarding
>>the good editors while inducing the poor ones to find another wiki
>>more in line with their talents.
>>
>
>We have a surfeit of volunteers? Maybe badly utilised volunteers, but
>I see evidence of a lot of work to be done and not enough people to do
>it.
>
If you look at RC, new articles, etc, you'll see thousands of editors
working away. A great many of them are just rambling on about their
boring high schools and deservedly-obscure garage bands (or adding
userboxes), and there are quite a few who never go on to do anything
more substantive. So we have plenty of participants, just not enough
of the kind that add much value to the project.

To some extent it's unavoidable - there will always be more high
school students than experts in quantum mechanics - but it's not
clear to me that large numbers of the very average is an adequate
substitute for smaller numbers of the scholarly-minded. To abuse
an analogy, the bazaar only works when people actually bring
goods and money.

Stan

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Re: Unused userboxes

Steve Bennett-4
On 2/20/06, Stan Shebs <[hidden email]> wrote:

> If you look at RC, new articles, etc, you'll see thousands of editors
> working away. A great many of them are just rambling on about their
> boring high schools and deservedly-obscure garage bands (or adding
> userboxes), and there are quite a few who never go on to do anything
> more substantive. So we have plenty of participants, just not enough
> of the kind that add much value to the project.
>
> To some extent it's unavoidable - there will always be more high
> school students than experts in quantum mechanics - but it's not
> clear to me that large numbers of the very average is an adequate
> substitute for smaller numbers of the scholarly-minded. To abuse
> an analogy, the bazaar only works when people actually bring
> goods and money.

Ok, so there are two possible scenarios:
Wheat and chaff: 1 in every X contributors is a useful contributor. If
we want more useful contributors, we need more contributors overall,
and put up with the chaff, and develop strategies so it doesn't get
too annoying (with respect to any chaff reading this list :))
Amateurs and professionals: If you host a karaoke night, Pavarotti
doesn't show up. Useful contributors and pokemon fans are two
fundamentally different beasts (with respect to Pokemon fans).
Attracting more amateurs won't bring in more pros, and may even drive
them away.

Who wants to offer their opinion on which model is more accurate?

Steve
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Re: Unused userboxes

Matt R-2
--- Steve Bennett <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Ok, so there are two possible scenarios:
> Wheat and chaff: 1 in every X contributors is a useful contributor. If
> we want more useful contributors, we need more contributors overall,
> and put up with the chaff, and develop strategies so it doesn't get
> too annoying (with respect to any chaff reading this list :))
> Amateurs and professionals: If you host a karaoke night, Pavarotti
> doesn't show up. Useful contributors and pokemon fans are two
> fundamentally different beasts (with respect to Pokemon fans).
> Attracting more amateurs won't bring in more pros, and may even drive
> them away.
>
> Who wants to offer their opinion on which model is more accurate?

It could be that both models fit to an extent. Maybe it's a trade-off: the many
and various trolls/vandals/flame warriors/cruft/POV-pushers undoubtedly keep
some better contributors away, but, by the same token, our openness and
egalitarianism attract valuable editors amongst the "chaff" that we just
wouldn't have otherwise.

Larry Sanger thinks that we and the expert-led Digital Universe encyclopedia
project will occupy "socially complementary niches" (http://tinyurl.com/kok5r
).

-- Matt

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Matt_Crypto
Blog: http://cipher-text.blogspot.com


               
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Re: Unused userboxes

Guy Chapman aka JzG
In reply to this post by Stan Shebs
On Mon, 20 Feb 2006 06:46:30 -0800, you wrote:

>If you look at RC, new articles, etc, you'll see thousands of editors
>working away. A great many of them are just rambling on about their
>boring high schools and deservedly-obscure garage bands (or adding
>userboxes), and there are quite a few who never go on to do anything
>more substantive. So we have plenty of participants, just not enough
>of the kind that add much value to the project.

I think there is a need to engage more with the newbies, to be more
creative in how we welcome them, for example pointing those who are
writing about their high school club to the Schools project where they
will find an unending source of to-do waiting for them.  Of course,
since many of them are motivated primarily by a desire to document
their high school club this may not be productive.  But it might be.

Userfying instead of speedying (except for blatant copyvios, and I
don't include copy & paste from their own website here) is also more
welcoming.

The downside of that is that I now spend a lot of my time on the
project doing those things and not writing articles myself.  I'm not
an especially good editor, so it's no loss, but it does feel good
sometimes to just shut the door on that crap and do something else.  I
might start using my old account for main-space edits...
Guy (JzG)
--
http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:JzG

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Re: Unused userboxes

Steve Bennett-4
On 2/21/06, Guy Chapman aka JzG <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I think there is a need to engage more with the newbies, to be more
> creative in how we welcome them, for example pointing those who are
> writing about their high school club to the Schools project where they
> will find an unending source of to-do waiting for them.  Of course,
> since many of them are motivated primarily by a desire to document
> their high school club this may not be productive.  But it might be.

My first contribution to Wikipedia was a university club (not sure
it's notable, but it's so far evaded deletion), and an article on the
local pub where this club frequently met (eventually AfD'ed for
"nonsense" and non-notability). I like to think I"ve become a useful
wikipedian since then.

So yeah, anyone who wants to write about their high school club stands
at least some chance of being made useful.

Steve
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