[WikiEN-l] Admin burnout

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Re: Admin burnout

Matthew Britton-2
Pilotguy wrote:
> ...
>
> The close-knit community of yesterday is gone, and I want it back. Less
> bitching, more supporting.
>

"Close-knit community" equals "cabal" when viewed from outside. There
will never be one such group, and I think there never was. Many smaller
groups exist, but any attempt to affiliate yourself with one creates
conflict with others.

-Gurch

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Re: Admin burnout

Arne 'Timwi' Heizmann
In reply to this post by Keitei
Keitei wrote:

> On Feb 9, 2007, at 9:42, geni wrote:
>
>>Editors are people. Being blocked hurts. Haveing your work deleted  
>>hurts.
>
> Why does being blocked hurt? If a block is just what happens when you  
> do such and such (like revert three times), why would that be a blow  
> to the ego? You wait it out, you can edit again, no big deal.  
> Ideally, you don't do anything which would lead to a block and  
> nothing happens.

Being blocked hurts simply because it is a slap-in-your-face message
that someone doesn't like you, and uses force to keep you out of
somewhere. Many users get blocked but don't realise that they were
violating some policy. Many users appear to regard the conflicts they
get into as a mere disagreement with some opinion, and then if they get
blocked it easily seems like the person is using their power unfairly to
enforce their opinion and to suppress the user's. If you were a new user
and you were to get that impression, I'm quite sure you'd feel hurt.

Timwi


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Re: Admin burnout

Arne 'Timwi' Heizmann
In reply to this post by gamaliel8
Rob wrote:
> On 2/9/07, Timwi <[hidden email]> wrote:
>   The _right_ way would be to demote the ones
>
>>who misuse it, not to prevent the constructive ones from being constructive.
>
> And who would be empowered to de-admin people?  Those people would
> become the cabal with the "special" "privilieges" instead of admins.

Oh, but the people who are currently empowered to _grant_ adminship
aren't considered a "cabal" by the admins!

It seems to me that this whole "cabal" thing usually refers only to
admins who do blocking or speedy deletions, but never to an admin who
enforces an AfD decision or a bureaucrat who executes the result of an
RfA. The reason for this is likely because there is sufficient
discussion going on in the latter cases. Blocks are not discussed, so to
a new user they can easily seem arbitrary and (perhaps) personal.

Thus, if de-adminship was discussed enough, it would probably solve your
concern. Of course, people who go on a rampage would still need to be
de-adminned quickly, but the discussion can still go on and the user can
perhaps defend their actions and get their permissions back if it turns
out they were acting correctly.

Timwi


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Re: Admin burnout

K P-3
In reply to this post by Arne 'Timwi' Heizmann
On 2/9/07, Timwi <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> Keitei wrote:
> > On Feb 9, 2007, at 9:42, geni wrote:
> >
> >>Editors are people. Being blocked hurts. Haveing your work deleted
> >>hurts.
> >
> > Why does being blocked hurt? If a block is just what happens when you
> > do such and such (like revert three times), why would that be a blow
> > to the ego? You wait it out, you can edit again, no big deal.
> > Ideally, you don't do anything which would lead to a block and
> > nothing happens.
>
> Being blocked hurts simply because it is a slap-in-your-face message
> that someone doesn't like you, and uses force to keep you out of
> somewhere. Many users get blocked but don't realise that they were
> violating some policy. Many users appear to regard the conflicts they
> get into as a mere disagreement with some opinion, and then if they get
> blocked it easily seems like the person is using their power unfairly to
> enforce their opinion and to suppress the user's. If you were a new user
> and you were to get that impression, I'm quite sure you'd feel hurt.
>
> Timwi


Other newusers, when they get blocked for doing exactly what an adminisrator
and long-time user do, get angry that Wikipedia policies are biased to favor
established users and administrators over newbies.  After all, when the
established user and adminsitrator do something and get away with it, what
right does any administartor have to expect that a newbie shouldn't act
exactly how they were shown to act?

Wikipedia has a lot of unwritten rules, number one of which seems to be post
more than humanly possible for anyone who knows any subject outside of
Wikipedia.

The trick to getting administrators to stay is to stop proliferating the
exact same type of administrators who already own all of Wikipedia, namely
editors who have endless time to do nothing but edit Wikipedia.  An
encyclopedia that anyone can edit is a brilliant idea, one of the leading
ones of the Cyberspace era.  But an encyclopedia created and edited and
administrated entirely by folks who live in Cyberspace 24 hours a day is a
prescription for a crappy encyclopedia.

A variety of administrators, limited time as an admin before you have to get
revoted (make it a year, it's no big deal, after all, so why should it be
dictatorship for life?), and limited admins with limited hoops to jump to
gain it, like admins with ISP blocking powers, again for one year.

Again, if it's no big deal, why is it such an exclusive club for only those
welded to cyberspace?  If it's no big deal, why is it granted for life?  If
it's no big deal, why can't anyone get it?  Especially anyones who don't
edit 24/7/365?  Thanks to God (insert diety of choice or remove as
necessary) for leap years.

KP
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Re: Admin burnout

Stan Shebs-2
In reply to this post by Marc Riddell
Marc Riddell wrote:
>
> [...] But, by not having such an organized support system for the
> reasons you stated, don't the wackos win? Who gives a damn if they see it as
> a cabal or whatever, the benefits can far outweigh the bullshit. I don't
> mean to belabor this, but, as you might guess, I'm a great believer in
> interpersonal support systems.
>  
If it was just a matter of wackos, then yeah, we would just ignore them.
But there seem to be a bunch of otherwise-rational editors who would
make trouble over it as well, and would take mutual support as a reason
to escalate the whole thing into "impending destruction of WP by
power-hungry admins". Just look at Cunctator's one-liner here - an admin
leaves in pain, and his response is "well, a little churn is good". I
encourage you to try designing a support system though, WP can't afford
to lose all its admins to "churn".

Stan


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Re: Admin burnout

George William Herbert
On 2/9/07, Stan Shebs <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Marc Riddell wrote:
> >
> > [...] But, by not having such an organized support system for the
> > reasons you stated, don't the wackos win? Who gives a damn if they see it as
> > a cabal or whatever, the benefits can far outweigh the bullshit. I don't
> > mean to belabor this, but, as you might guess, I'm a great believer in
> > interpersonal support systems.
> >
> If it was just a matter of wackos, then yeah, we would just ignore them.
> But there seem to be a bunch of otherwise-rational editors who would
> make trouble over it as well, and would take mutual support as a reason
> to escalate the whole thing into "impending destruction of WP by
> power-hungry admins". Just look at Cunctator's one-liner here - an admin
> leaves in pain, and his response is "well, a little churn is good". I
> encourage you to try designing a support system though, WP can't afford
> to lose all its admins to "churn".
>
> Stan

Let me follow that up a bit.  I think a little churn is good, too.
But there's a difference between "Joe's taking a break right now and
will be back later" and someone getting so frustrated that they start
getting abusive and then leave with no intent to return.

The difference between a break, or even taking a sabattical from admin
stuff while still contributing, and a burnout is rather clear.

People taking breaks is healthy and good.  Burnouts aren't.  I would
be extremely happy if we could figure out a consistent way to convert
impending burnouts into breaks.


--
-george william herbert
[hidden email]

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Re: Admin burnout

The Cunctator
In reply to this post by Arne 'Timwi' Heizmann
On 2/9/07, Timwi <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> The Cunctator wrote:
> >
> >>I can't speak for George (the OP), but I don't think I'm working from
> >>the assumption that we're doing anything wrong. I come to the conclusion
> >>that we do.
> >
> > Okay,  how have you come to that conclusion?
>
> I've already explained this elsewhere, so I'll only give a quick summary
> here. Wikipedia does something _right_ by letting everyone edit. The
> underlying philosophy is that everyone starts out as innocent, and is
> blocked from editing only if they show misbehaviour. Adminship is the
> wrong way around. Users start out as being viewed with caution and
> suspicion, and must "earn" their admin "privileges" by fulfilling some
> ridiculous set of criteria. The _right_ way would be to demote the ones
> who misuse it, not to prevent the constructive ones from being
> constructive.



Oh, I agree with that. I just was saying I don't think admins getting burned
out and taking a wikibreak is necessarily a huge problem.
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Re: Admin burnout

The Cunctator
In reply to this post by George William Herbert
On 2/9/07, George Herbert <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> On 2/9/07, Stan Shebs <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > Marc Riddell wrote:
> > >
> > > [...] But, by not having such an organized support system for the
> > > reasons you stated, don't the wackos win? Who gives a damn if they see
> it as
> > > a cabal or whatever, the benefits can far outweigh the bullshit. I
> don't
> > > mean to belabor this, but, as you might guess, I'm a great believer in
> > > interpersonal support systems.
> > >
> > If it was just a matter of wackos, then yeah, we would just ignore them.
> > But there seem to be a bunch of otherwise-rational editors who would
> > make trouble over it as well, and would take mutual support as a reason
> > to escalate the whole thing into "impending destruction of WP by
> > power-hungry admins". Just look at Cunctator's one-liner here - an admin
> > leaves in pain, and his response is "well, a little churn is good". I
> > encourage you to try designing a support system though, WP can't afford
> > to lose all its admins to "churn".
> >
> > Stan
>
> Let me follow that up a bit.  I think a little churn is good, too.
> But there's a difference between "Joe's taking a break right now and
> will be back later" and someone getting so frustrated that they start
> getting abusive and then leave with no intent to return.
>
> The difference between a break, or even taking a sabattical from admin
> stuff while still contributing, and a burnout is rather clear.
>
> People taking breaks is healthy and good.  Burnouts aren't.  I would
> be extremely happy if we could figure out a consistent way to convert
> impending burnouts into breaks.


Wait until they come back?
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Re: Admin burnout

Jeff Raymond
In reply to this post by George William Herbert

George Herbert wrote:

> People taking breaks is healthy and good.  Burnouts aren't.  I would
> be extremely happy if we could figure out a consistent way to convert
> impending burnouts into breaks.

Sometimes you just need a night to sleep things off.  My burnout became a
short break this week after I took a day and just didn't think about
Wikipedia.

Another is to give the opportunity to fix the problem that's being caused.
 Even if the resolution isn't to your liking, the ability to be heard when
you feel like you aren't being head often does wonders.

-Jeff

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Re: Admin burnout

Rich Holton
In reply to this post by K P-3
K P wrote:

> On 2/9/07, Timwi <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Keitei wrote:
>>> On Feb 9, 2007, at 9:42, geni wrote:
>>>
>>>> Editors are people. Being blocked hurts. Haveing your work deleted
>>>> hurts.
>>> Why does being blocked hurt? If a block is just what happens when you
>>> do such and such (like revert three times), why would that be a blow
>>> to the ego? You wait it out, you can edit again, no big deal.
>>> Ideally, you don't do anything which would lead to a block and
>>> nothing happens.
>> Being blocked hurts simply because it is a slap-in-your-face message
>> that someone doesn't like you, and uses force to keep you out of
>> somewhere. Many users get blocked but don't realise that they were
>> violating some policy. Many users appear to regard the conflicts they
>> get into as a mere disagreement with some opinion, and then if they get
>> blocked it easily seems like the person is using their power unfairly to
>> enforce their opinion and to suppress the user's. If you were a new user
>> and you were to get that impression, I'm quite sure you'd feel hurt.
>>
>> Timwi
>
>
> Other newusers, when they get blocked for doing exactly what an adminisrator
> and long-time user do, get angry that Wikipedia policies are biased to favor
> established users and administrators over newbies.  After all, when the
> established user and adminsitrator do something and get away with it, what
> right does any administartor have to expect that a newbie shouldn't act
> exactly how they were shown to act?
>
> Wikipedia has a lot of unwritten rules, number one of which seems to be post
> more than humanly possible for anyone who knows any subject outside of
> Wikipedia.
>
> The trick to getting administrators to stay is to stop proliferating the
> exact same type of administrators who already own all of Wikipedia, namely
> editors who have endless time to do nothing but edit Wikipedia.  An
> encyclopedia that anyone can edit is a brilliant idea, one of the leading
> ones of the Cyberspace era.  But an encyclopedia created and edited and
> administrated entirely by folks who live in Cyberspace 24 hours a day is a
> prescription for a crappy encyclopedia.
>
> A variety of administrators, limited time as an admin before you have to get
> revoted (make it a year, it's no big deal, after all, so why should it be
> dictatorship for life?), and limited admins with limited hoops to jump to
> gain it, like admins with ISP blocking powers, again for one year.
>
> Again, if it's no big deal, why is it such an exclusive club for only those
> welded to cyberspace?  If it's no big deal, why is it granted for life?  If
> it's no big deal, why can't anyone get it?  Especially anyones who don't
> edit 24/7/365?  Thanks to God (insert diety of choice or remove as
> necessary) for leap years.
> \ia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l
>

I propose an experiment:

Select at random 100 editors who meet some minimal criteria* and make
them admins. Make it clear to them that they may turn down adminship
without prejudice.

Then, we watch these 100 "probationary" admins for 3 months. If they
abuse their admin powers in that time, their admin status is removed.
Otherwise, we treat them as regular admins. The only difference with a
"probationary" admin is the level of scrutiny they receive.

If this works, then after 3 months we do it again. And again every three
months. Soon, adminship loses almost all of its "status" appeal. It's
just something you'll get if you hang around and keep your nose clean.

Of course, you can still apply through RfA. But I predict that RfA will
quickly become much less political and controversial.

*My suggestion for "minimal criteria":
    At least 50 edits to at least 10 different non-own-user pages for
each of the past three months, and
    No blocks in the past three months

Essentially, just enough to give a good indication that the user is
involved and isn't a trouble-maker. Nothing more.

Comments? Flames?

-Rich Holton
(user rholton)

        the

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Re: Admin burnout

David Gerard-2
On 09/02/07, Rich Holton <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I propose an experiment:
> Select at random 100 editors who meet some minimal criteria* and make
> them admins. Make it clear to them that they may turn down adminship
> without prejudice.
> Then, we watch these 100 "probationary" admins for 3 months. If they
> abuse their admin powers in that time, their admin status is removed.
> Otherwise, we treat them as regular admins. The only difference with a
> "probationary" admin is the level of scrutiny they receive.
> If this works, then after 3 months we do it again. And again every three
> months. Soon, adminship loses almost all of its "status" appeal. It's
> just something you'll get if you hang around and keep your nose clean.
> Of course, you can still apply through RfA. But I predict that RfA will
> quickly become much less political and controversial.
> *My suggestion for "minimal criteria":
>     At least 50 edits to at least 10 different non-own-user pages for
> each of the past three months, and
>     No blocks in the past three months
> Essentially, just enough to give a good indication that the user is
> involved and isn't a trouble-maker. Nothing more.
> Comments? Flames?


EXCELLENT idea. If Jimbo and the ArbCom like it (I'm picking the AC as
sanity checkers here) then the experiment should be declared.


- d.

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Re: Admin burnout

The Cunctator
On 2/9/07, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> On 09/02/07, Rich Holton <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > I propose an experiment:
> > Select at random 100 editors who meet some minimal criteria* and make
> > them admins. Make it clear to them that they may turn down adminship
> > without prejudice.
> > Then, we watch these 100 "probationary" admins for 3 months. If they
> > abuse their admin powers in that time, their admin status is removed.
> > Otherwise, we treat them as regular admins. The only difference with a
> > "probationary" admin is the level of scrutiny they receive.
> > If this works, then after 3 months we do it again. And again every three
> > months. Soon, adminship loses almost all of its "status" appeal. It's
> > just something you'll get if you hang around and keep your nose clean.
> > Of course, you can still apply through RfA. But I predict that RfA will
> > quickly become much less political and controversial.
> > *My suggestion for "minimal criteria":
> >     At least 50 edits to at least 10 different non-own-user pages for
> > each of the past three months, and
> >     No blocks in the past three months
> > Essentially, just enough to give a good indication that the user is
> > involved and isn't a trouble-maker. Nothing more.
> > Comments? Flames?
>
>
> EXCELLENT idea. If Jimbo and the ArbCom like it (I'm picking the AC as
> sanity checkers here) then the experiment should be declared.


Good idea. How about no blocks after the first week of editing? Editors who
are bold and learn from their mistakes would make good admins.
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Re: Admin burnout

Stan Shebs-2
In reply to this post by Rich Holton
Rich Holton wrote:
> I propose an experiment:
>
> Select at random 100 editors who meet some minimal criteria* and make
> them admins. Make it clear to them that they may turn down adminship
> without prejudice.
>  
You left out the three months of impassioned debate about a) the
selection process, b) the minimal criteria, c) the number of editors to
be selected, d) the connotations of the term "probationary", and e) the
very concept of doing an experiment in the first place.

:-)  (I  hope)

Stan


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Re: Admin burnout

geni
In reply to this post by Rich Holton
On 2/9/07, Rich Holton <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I propose an experiment:
>
> Select at random 100 editors who meet some minimal criteria* and make
> them admins. Make it clear to them that they may turn down adminship
> without prejudice.
>

So we increase the number of paper admins in return for what? Risk
benefit analysis doesn't look good.

> Then, we watch these 100 "probationary" admins for 3 months. If they
> abuse their admin powers in that time, their admin status is removed.
> Otherwise, we treat them as regular admins. The only difference with a
> "probationary" admin is the level of scrutiny they receive.
>

I have better things to do with my time than babysit admins. So do most people.

> If this works, then after 3 months we do it again. And again every three
> months. Soon, adminship loses almost all of its "status" appeal. It's
> just something you'll get if you hang around and keep your nose clean.
>

Statistically no. In fact you end up with resentment against the lucky
ones. At least at the moment there is some theoretical reason why
people are or are not admins.

> Of course, you can still apply through RfA. But I predict that RfA will
> quickly become much less political and controversial.
>
> *My suggestion for "minimal criteria":
>     At least 50 edits to at least 10 different non-own-user pages for
> each of the past three months, and
>     No blocks in the past three months
>

So I now need to be hitting users who stay just below the level of
blocking with 1 second blocks?

> Essentially, just enough to give a good indication that the user is
> involved and isn't a trouble-maker. Nothing more.
>
> Comments? Flames?
>

I strongly suspect you don't know all the things that it is
theoretically possible for an admin to do.
--
geni

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Re: Admin burnout

Stan Shebs-2
geni wrote:

> On 2/9/07, Rich Holton <[hidden email]> wrote:
>  
>> I propose an experiment:
>>
>> Select at random 100 editors who meet some minimal criteria* and make
>> them admins. Make it clear to them that they may turn down adminship
>> without prejudice.
>>
>>    
>
> So we increase the number of paper admins in return for what? Risk
> benefit analysis doesn't look good.
>  
[...]

OK, so I guess I wasn't joking after all!

Stan


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Re: Admin burnout

The Cunctator
In reply to this post by geni
On 2/9/07, geni <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> On 2/9/07, Rich Holton <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > I propose an experiment:
> >
> > Select at random 100 editors who meet some minimal criteria* and make
> > them admins. Make it clear to them that they may turn down adminship
> > without prejudice.
> >
>
> So we increase the number of paper admins in return for what? Risk
> benefit analysis doesn't look good.
>
> > Then, we watch these 100 "probationary" admins for 3 months. If they
> > abuse their admin powers in that time, their admin status is removed.
> > Otherwise, we treat them as regular admins. The only difference with a
> > "probationary" admin is the level of scrutiny they receive.
> >
>
> I have better things to do with my time than babysit admins. So do most
> people.



If you don't want to be involved, then don't be.
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Re: Admin burnout

geni
On 2/9/07, The Cunctator <[hidden email]> wrote:
> If you don't want to be involved, then don't be.

You didn't have a problem trying to tell us how to delete images.

--
geni

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Re: Admin burnout

Marc Riddell
In reply to this post by geni
on 2/9/07 3:44 PM, geni at [hidden email] wrote:

> Šyou end up with resentment against the lucky
> ones.

After reading all of the posts on the provocatively-named subject "Admin
Burnout", I am hard pressed to see anything "lucky" about being "chosen" as
one. How on earth would you go about persuading someone to take this on? The
whole day's posts have spoken about nothing but the negative side of the
job; are there any advantages - or are you simply hoping there are enough
masochists out there to fill the positions?

Marc Riddell


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Re: Admin burnout

George William Herbert
On 2/9/07, Marc Riddell <[hidden email]> wrote:

> on 2/9/07 3:44 PM, geni at [hidden email] wrote:
>
> > Šyou end up with resentment against the lucky
> > ones.
>
> After reading all of the posts on the provocatively-named subject "Admin
> Burnout", I am hard pressed to see anything "lucky" about being "chosen" as
> one. How on earth would you go about persuading someone to take this on? The
> whole day's posts have spoken about nothing but the negative side of the
> job; are there any advantages - or are you simply hoping there are enough
> masochists out there to fill the positions?

Why is anyone contributing to Wikipedia at all?

Answer: I think we all buy the premise that we're producing something
really good here.  There are different facets of "producing", from
contributing articles, to watching for abuse and vandalism and
protecting against it, and figuring out the shape and structure of
what we're trying to do.

All are important.  All are valued.  Some are more thankless than others.


--
-george william herbert
[hidden email]

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Re: Admin burnout

geni
In reply to this post by Marc Riddell
On 2/9/07, Marc Riddell <[hidden email]> wrote:

> on 2/9/07 3:44 PM, geni at [hidden email] wrote:
>
> > Šyou end up with resentment against the lucky
> > ones.
>
> After reading all of the posts on the provocatively-named subject "Admin
> Burnout", I am hard pressed to see anything "lucky" about being "chosen" as
> one. How on earth would you go about persuading someone to take this on? The
> whole day's posts have spoken about nothing but the negative side of the
> job; are there any advantages - or are you simply hoping there are enough
> masochists out there to fill the positions?
>
> Marc Riddell

You can see deleted edits you can speedy stuff without tagging and you
can block without going through AIV. You can edit protected templates
without messing around. reverting is less effort. Certian types of
page moves are only posible for admins

On the less official side people tend to think twice before attacking
you and you tend to get a free pass when it comes to being trusted.

On the against policy but can be done anyway if you are smart. You can:

Speedy rather than prod
Block new users who are being anoying


--
geni

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