WP:AFD and public relations

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WP:AFD and public relations

David Gerard-2
I did an interview yesterday and got a taste of the effects of AFD on
Wikipedia's relations with the outside world. The guy's a podcaster of
minor notability - http://bicyclemark.org/ . (Though he has listeners,
so is doing better for notability than a lot of podcasters.)

The thorny bit was talking about WP:AFD and its ... little ways. He
sprung on me in the interview that he had created an article on
himself, it was deleted as "vanity", several of his readers recreated
it, it was deleted all those times too, and apparently some of the
deletion discussion comments were more than a little spiky. I think I
talked my way past that one OK ("this user is a native speaker of
Bullshit"), but it was a tricky moment. I explained that if he got
referenceable notice from third parties, that may show that he was
notable enough to probably rate an article; that next month he might
become vastly popular and clearly rate an article; and emphasised that
the edge cases are always the painful ones.

(He says the podcast should be up tonight or Saturday morning.)

This is a minor podcaster, not broadcast media. But the point remains
that this sort of thing causes real problems. Many think we shouldn't
care about media image, but those dealing with our sometimes shaky
relations with the outside world are understandably sensitive to
potential PR disasters of this sort. It would be almost no effort at
all to go through AFD and find a hundred diffs "proving" that
Wikipedians are rude bastards, for example. (I'm sure someone can
suggest it to Mr Orlowski at the Register.)

So please, when discussing things on AFD ... FOR FUCK SAKE, COOL IT IN
YOUR COMMENTS AND TREATMENT OF OUTSIDERS. AND PEER-PRESSURE OTHERS TO
DO SO. Thanks.


- d.
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Re: WP:AFD and public relations

Matt R-2
--- David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:
> The thorny bit was talking about WP:AFD and its ... little ways. He
> sprung on me in the interview that he had created an article on
> himself, it was deleted as "vanity", several of his readers recreated
> it, it was deleted all those times too, and apparently some of the
> deletion discussion comments were more than a little spiky.
>
> So please, when discussing things on AFD ... FOR FUCK SAKE, COOL IT IN
> YOUR COMMENTS AND TREATMENT OF OUTSIDERS. AND PEER-PRESSURE OTHERS TO
> DO SO. Thanks.

Well, you were likely being deliberately ironic, but still, it's not
particularly convincing to shout obscenities at Wikipedians encouraging them to
"cool it" with their treatment of others :)

Personally, I don't think it's a PR problem to have deleted a vanity page from
some podcaster whose best claim for notability appears to be he "has listeners,
so is doing better for notability than a lot of podcasters".

How about we talk about something that vaguely matters? I think it's a much
more serious PR problem for the English Wikipedia that the German Wikipedia is
lightyears ahead of us in distributing CDs/DVDs/print editions. Where's English
Wikipedia 1.0? I heard that the plan was to have it finished by December
2004...

-- Matt

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


       
       
               
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Re: WP:AFD and public relations

David Gerard-2
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
Matt R wrote:

>Personally, I don't think it's a PR problem to have deleted a vanity page from
>some podcaster whose best claim for notability appears to be he "has listeners,
>so is doing better for notability than a lot of podcasters".


No, it's an example of larger broadcasters. They do get their stuff
deleted too. This is a taster of the sort of relations it creates.


>How about we talk about something that vaguely matters? I think it's a much
>more serious PR problem for the English Wikipedia that the German Wikipedia is
>lightyears ahead of us in distributing CDs/DVDs/print editions.


Yeah, it's not like we'll have to work with anyone else or have any
sort of good image in the world to get that accomplished.


- d.
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Re: WP:AFD and public relations

David Gerard-2
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
David Gerard wrote:
>Matt R wrote:

>>How about we talk about something that vaguely matters?

>Yeah, it's not like we'll have to work with anyone else or have any
>sort of good image in the world to get that accomplished.


I'm pleased to see WT:AFD is taking this a bit more seriously as a
symptom of the problems:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WT%3AAFD#Public_relations


- d.
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RE: WP:AFD and public relations

Peter Mackay
In reply to this post by Matt R-2
> From: [hidden email]
> [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Matt R
 
> How about we talk about something that vaguely matters? I
> think it's a much more serious PR problem for the English
> Wikipedia that the German Wikipedia is lightyears ahead of us
> in distributing CDs/DVDs/print editions. Where's English
> Wikipedia 1.0? I heard that the plan was to have it finished
> by December 2004...

Is there an update on this? I just got a question on HelpDesk about this,
saying that Jimbo had given an interview in mid 2005 nominating about now as
a target.

Peter (Skyring)


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Re: WP:AFD and public relations

geni
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
On 1/27/06, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:
> So please, when discussing things on AFD ... FOR FUCK SAKE, COOL IT IN
> YOUR COMMENTS AND TREATMENT OF OUTSIDERS. AND PEER-PRESSURE OTHERS TO
> DO SO. Thanks.
>
>
> - d.

I tried adding a less umm blunt version of this to the afd2 template.
It was slightly reverted.

--
geni
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Re: WP:AFD and public relations

Matt R-2
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
--- David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Matt R wrote:
>
> > Personally, I don't think it's a PR problem to have deleted a
> > vanity page from some podcaster whose best claim for notability
> > appears to be he "has listeners, so is doing better for
> > notability than a lot of podcasters".
>
> No, it's an example of larger broadcasters. They do get their stuff
> deleted too. This is a taster of the sort of relations it creates.

Do you mean this debate?

   [[Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Mark Fonseca Rendeiro]]

Doesn't seem overly "spikey" to me, unless I've missed further debate
elsewhere. Why exactly do these Wikipedians need to "cool it"? As AfD goes, it
seems pretty harmless. I'm sorry, but I don't really think it's constructive to
shout and swear at Wikipedians based on what appears to be an unconvincing
example of us treating outsiders badly.

-- Matt

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


               
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Re: WP:AFD and public relations

David Gerard-2
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
Matt R wrote:

>Doesn't seem overly "spikey" to me, unless I've missed further debate
>elsewhere. Why exactly do these Wikipedians need to "cool it"? As AfD goes, it
>seems pretty harmless. I'm sorry, but I don't really think it's constructive to
>shout and swear at Wikipedians based on what appears to be an unconvincing
>example of us treating outsiders badly.


Whether he's overreacting or not is actually not so relevant. When we
piss off people with an audience, they will tend to say so to their
audience. Is this something to be avoided if possible?

  [  ] yes
  [  ] no

Feel free to stay in self-righteous denial about a PR nightmare.


- d.
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Re: WP:AFD and public relations

Matt R-2
--- David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Matt R wrote:
>
> >Doesn't seem overly "spikey" to me, unless I've missed further debate
> >elsewhere. Why exactly do these Wikipedians need to "cool it"?
> > As AfD goes, it seems pretty harmless. I'm sorry, but I don't
> > really think it's constructive to shout and swear at Wikipedians
> > based on what appears to be an unconvincing example of us treating
> >outsiders badly.
>
> Whether he's overreacting or not is actually not so relevant. When we
> piss off people with an audience, they will tend to say so to their
> audience. Is this something to be avoided if possible?

I think the AfD response to that particular page was completely reasonable. If
that guy was upset about his treatment here in this instance, then  that's just
his problem. They did not need to "COOL IT" "FOR FUCKS SAKE".
 
> Feel free to stay in self-righteous denial about a PR nightmare.

Any chance you could be less rude? I'm in "self-righteous denial" just because
I didn't heartily endorse your comment? Come on. It's quite reasonable to
question your example, particularly when it doesn't really demonstrate any
problems of the sort you claim it does.

>From what I've seen in press articles, Wikipedia's real PR problems come from a
perception of unreliability, and not from how we treat questionably-notable
people who decide to write encyclopedia articles about themselves.

-- Matt


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


               
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Re: WP:AFD and public relations

geni
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
On 1/27/06, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Matt R wrote:
>
> >Doesn't seem overly "spikey" to me, unless I've missed further debate
> >elsewhere. Why exactly do these Wikipedians need to "cool it"? As AfD goes, it
> >seems pretty harmless. I'm sorry, but I don't really think it's constructive to
> >shout and swear at Wikipedians based on what appears to be an unconvincing
> >example of us treating outsiders badly.
>
>
> Whether he's overreacting or not is actually not so relevant. When we
> piss off people with an audience, they will tend to say so to their
> audience. Is this something to be avoided if possible?
>
>   [  ] yes
>   [  ] no
>
> Feel free to stay in self-righteous denial about a PR nightmare.
>
>
> - d.

Is there any reasonable way of deleting article's that will never
result in pissing of the author or subject of the article?

 [  ] yes
 [  ] no

If not what level of pissing off is acceptable and what is the
optimium cost benifit point.
--
geni
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Re: WP:AFD and public relations

Charles Matthews
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
"David Gerard" wrote

>Feel free to stay in self-righteous denial about a PR nightmare.

My past experience, not always but sometimes, is that phrases like "PR
nightmare" can be used as a smokescreen for doing the 'wrong thing'. As in:
why are we not doing the 'right thing' here?  Well, it would be a 'PR
nightmare'.  Or in other words, having maturity enough to get round to
admitting the organisation is fallible makes image management harder.  (Of
course, image management for an organisation that is infallible is like
falling off a log.)

To get back to WP and David's point, which is not invalid by any stretch of
the imagination, we should continue to delete pages about living people that
are clearly self-promotional rather than informative.  We actually cannot
screen out the creation of such pages, so we have to delete them.  We
enfranchise anyone who can type, so there is going to be some juvenilia
posted.  Our PR line actually must factor that in: we are not EB, you don't
have to have an office in a prestigious academic institution for your
opinion about what goes in WP to matter to _us_.  So, yeah, some ignorant
things are said.  But, look, who exactly is fighting to combat ignorance on
such a broad and accessible front, as of January 2006?

I agree with David that people should be calm, cool and collected as they go
about their business; and with Morven that profanity has not very much to do
with achieving that aim.

Charles


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Re: WP:AFD and public relations

Haukur Þorgeirsson
In reply to this post by Matt R-2
>    [[Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Mark Fonseca Rendeiro]]

A model AfD, except for the word "vanity" which was unnecessary and
irrelevant (though, as it turned out, true).

If you are unhappy with the way this article was deleted, David, maybe you
could tell us how you would have preferred it to be deleted? I'm asking in
good faith. How would you have expressed a delete opinion on that page if
you had done so? And, if AfD were replaced with some other system of your
choosing, how would you have handled this article in that system? Or do
you think that deleting this article under any system does more harm than
good?

Anyone who's been on this mailing list for 15 seconds knows you don't like
AFD but I'm still not quite sure what you want to replace it with. You've
suggested disbanding it altogether with the argument that it only deletes
some 200 articles a day anyway. But disbanding it and replacing it with
nothing would greatly increase the influx of new marginal articles. People
who've previously been turned off by having their stuff deleted would be
"back in business". The place would start filling up with articles on
non-notable people, dolls, webcomics etc. ;)

But I know you're not actually a super-inclusionist. Just a couple of days
ago you said on [[WT:AFD]]:

"Note: my personal opinion is that almost everything nominated on AFD does
in fact deserve as quick, messy and painful a death as can be managed."

I'm not sure what to make of that. What system do you envision to achieve
the following two aims?

a) Solve the PR problems currently generated by AFD.

b) Deal a quick, messy and painful death to almost everything currently
handled by AFD.

But I'm probably misinterpreting, considering the opinions you've
expressed elsewhere - like cautioning against haste in deletion - you were
probably being ironic. Presumably what you want to do is:

b) Deal a slow, clean and painless death to almost everything currently
handled by AFD.

Regards,
Haukur

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Re: WP:AFD and public relations

John Lee-5
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
David Gerard wrote:

>Matt R wrote:
>
>  
>
>>Doesn't seem overly "spikey" to me, unless I've missed further debate
>>elsewhere. Why exactly do these Wikipedians need to "cool it"? As AfD goes, it
>>seems pretty harmless. I'm sorry, but I don't really think it's constructive to
>>shout and swear at Wikipedians based on what appears to be an unconvincing
>>example of us treating outsiders badly.
>>    
>>
>
>
>Whether he's overreacting or not is actually not so relevant. When we
>piss off people with an audience, they will tend to say so to their
>audience. Is this something to be avoided if possible?
>
>  [  ] yes
>  [  ] no
>
>Feel free to stay in self-righteous denial about a PR nightmare.
>
>
>- d.
>  
>
Telling people to cool it won't solve anything, from my experience --
especially in a volunteer project. As I've been saying on [[WT:AFD]], we
need to reduce the volume on AfD so people:

   1. Don't get stressed out and all tense from voting "delete" on a
      dozen garage bands, and carry this attitude over to possibly valid
      article deletion debates;
   2. Are able to devote more time to reviewing the points of fact on
      each controversial debate, and thus come to a more reasoned
      conclusion;
   3. Don't have to worry about brevity for the sake of ensuring all "nn
      bio" articles are deleted -- many AfD regulars keep their comments
      brief because they have to spread their attention over almost 200
      debates everyday.

John Lee
([[User:Johnleemk]])
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Re: WP:AFD and public relations

John Lee-5
In reply to this post by Haukur Þorgeirsson
Haukur Þorgeirsson wrote:

>>   [[Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Mark Fonseca Rendeiro]]
>>    
>>
>
>A model AfD, except for the word "vanity" which was unnecessary and
>irrelevant (though, as it turned out, true).
>
>If you are unhappy with the way this article was deleted, David, maybe you
>could tell us how you would have preferred it to be deleted? I'm asking in
>good faith. How would you have expressed a delete opinion on that page if
>you had done so? And, if AfD were replaced with some other system of your
>choosing, how would you have handled this article in that system? Or do
>you think that deleting this article under any system does more harm than
>good?
>
>Anyone who's been on this mailing list for 15 seconds knows you don't like
>AFD but I'm still not quite sure what you want to replace it with. You've
>suggested disbanding it altogether with the argument that it only deletes
>some 200 articles a day anyway. But disbanding it and replacing it with
>nothing would greatly increase the influx of new marginal articles. People
>who've previously been turned off by having their stuff deleted would be
>"back in business". The place would start filling up with articles on
>non-notable people, dolls, webcomics etc. ;)
>
>But I know you're not actually a super-inclusionist. Just a couple of days
>ago you said on [[WT:AFD]]:
>
>"Note: my personal opinion is that almost everything nominated on AFD does
>in fact deserve as quick, messy and painful a death as can be managed."
>
>I'm not sure what to make of that. What system do you envision to achieve
>the following two aims?
>
>a) Solve the PR problems currently generated by AFD.
>
>b) Deal a quick, messy and painful death to almost everything currently
>handled by AFD.
>
>But I'm probably misinterpreting, considering the opinions you've
>expressed elsewhere - like cautioning against haste in deletion - you were
>probably being ironic. Presumably what you want to do is:
>
>b) Deal a slow, clean and painless death to almost everything currently
>handled by AFD.
>
>Regards,
>Haukur
>
>  
>
As I've been saying, I believe if we get more individual attention to
the 1% of all debates that stir up these problems, we can effectively
resolve this without cannibalising the existing system. The problem is
that due to our consensus decision-making process, major deletion
process reform cannot move forward (this was already true 1.5 years ago
with [[Wikipedia:Preliminary Deletion]], which would probably have
effectively tackled a lot of obvious "nn bio" articles). Tinkering
around the edges only works for so long -- CSD can't be expanded forever.

John Lee
([[User:Johnleemk]])
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Re: WP:AFD and public relations

Haukur Þorgeirsson
> CSD can't be expanded forever.

Sure it can :) Just make [[WP:SNOW]] a speedy deletion criterion: "If you
think an article doesn't have any chance of surviving AfD then just go
ahead and delete it."

But if someone disagrees you'd better be prepared to undelete...

Regards,
Haukur

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Re: WP:AFD and public relations

Nick Boalch
Haukur Þorgeirsson wrote:
> Just make [[WP:SNOW]] a speedy deletion criterion: "If you
> think an article doesn't have any chance of surviving AfD then just go
> ahead and delete it."

I appreciate that your comment was intended humorously, but
nevertheless: half of the point of AFD, to my mind, is that it may bring
an article to the attention of someone who can improve it to the point
where it doesn't need deleting.

Cheers,

N.

--
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School of Modern Languages & Cultures       Tel: +44 (0) 191 334 3456
University of Durham                        Fax: +44 (0) 191 334 3421
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Re: WP:AFD and public relations

Phil Boswell
"Nick Boalch" <[hidden email]> wrote in
message news:[hidden email]...
> Haukur Þorgeirsson wrote:
> > Just make [[WP:SNOW]] a speedy deletion criterion: "If you
> > think an article doesn't have any chance of surviving AfD then just go
> > ahead and delete it."
> I appreciate that your comment was intended humorously, but nevertheless:
> half of the point of AFD, to my mind, is that it may bring an article to
> the attention of someone who can improve it to the point where it doesn't
> need deleting.

So you're saying that nominating an article for AFD is a cunning way to jump
the clean-up queue?

That's a Baldrick-worthy plan, and I don't even mean clever Baldrick from
Series One.

As I have said before, if the AFD regulars put half the effort into cleanup
that they do into AFD, there would be many more high-quality articles on
Wikipedia.

HTH HAND
--
Phil
[[en:User:Phil Boswell]]



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Re: Re: WP:AFD and public relations

Charles Matthews
 "Phil Boswell" wrote.
>
> So you're saying that nominating an article for AFD is a cunning way to
> jump the clean-up queue?
>
> That's a Baldrick-worthy plan, and I don't even mean clever Baldrick from
> Series One.

Certainly is.  I have always resented this.  Someone tells me: 'clean that
up now, I mean now, or it's binned', and I think of them less well.

Charles


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Re: Re: WP:AFD and public relations

Nick Boalch
In reply to this post by Phil Boswell
Phil Boswell wrote:
>> I appreciate that your comment was intended humorously, but nevertheless:
>> half of the point of AFD, to my mind, is that it may bring an article to
>> the attention of someone who can improve it to the point where it doesn't
>> need deleting.
>
> So you're saying that nominating an article for AFD is a cunning way to jump
> the clean-up queue?

No, as I suspect you know perfectly well from the context that is not at
all what I'm saying.

I was drawing a distinction between AFD, a process which lasts for a few
days and gives ample time for an article to be improved to a point where
it's improvable, and CSD, where the article is just gone.

Does this make sense?

Cheers,

N.

--
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School of Modern Languages & Cultures       Tel: +44 (0) 191 334 3456
University of Durham                        Fax: +44 (0) 191 334 3421
New Elvet, Durham DH1 3JT, UK               WWW: http://nick.frejol.org/

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Re: WP:AFD and public relations

Bryan Derksen
In reply to this post by John Lee-5
John Lee wrote:

> Telling people to cool it won't solve anything, from my experience --
> especially in a volunteer project. As I've been saying on [[WT:AFD]],
> we need to reduce the volume on AfD so people:
>
>   1. Don't get stressed out and all tense from voting "delete" on a
>      dozen garage bands, and carry this attitude over to possibly valid
>      article deletion debates;
>   2. Are able to devote more time to reviewing the points of fact on
>      each controversial debate, and thus come to a more reasoned
>      conclusion;
>   3. Don't have to worry about brevity for the sake of ensuring all "nn
>      bio" articles are deleted -- many AfD regulars keep their comments
>      brief because they have to spread their attention over almost 200
>      debates everyday.
My favourite suggestion is to simply extend the duration of an AfD
listing to a month. Takes the time pressure off, allows plenty of time
for lengthy discussion and fixing of articles that need it. Since the
rate of inflow and outflow doesn't change this would have no significant
impact on the "backlog" aside from a one-time expansion of about three
weeks' worth of AfD listings (not much in a multi-hundred-thousand
article work).

Further changes to AfD may still be needed but this strikes me as a
reasonably nondisruptive first step.
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