Proposal talk:Be More Inclusive and Friendly to Newbies

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Granted, comprehensively not credible; from leaving your soul all over the roadway, and being crammed into a trashtruck's viewing. Credible would be, give the plenty yu think suitable from yu're perpective (give what yu would receive); give what you get (receive) as a Suitable Penty, the Golden rule and upIto The PlatInum rule. !Give the suitable plenty of what you re given ConstItItutIonally (ConstItutIonally on an individual basis respectIvely)! !The world attacks all religions except those of peaceful measure (metric); I re a ItMermaid! We Have been in existence about Fifty Years and have not lost the reputation on the tMermaids yet and won't! !I re with the It! ?Yu? !All told don't attempt to be too IntellIgent as someone will agree wIth yu! !And of course the same for, yu will be then caught! !It's upItonward to Super PlatInum for me, !Yu? Can, yea, can and may One, "Made Perfecter," my Impact Statement or Theirs, or even the original copy? !So, I disagree! Salutes, A tMerMaid | $$$


Some proposals will have massive impact on end-users, including non-editors. Some will have minimal impact. What will be the impact of this proposal on our end-users? -- Philippe 00:00, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

Good question (is this the place to answer it?).

I think the impact on end-users will be massive. The only way Wikipedia can continue to grow is to attract more authors and editors. New authors that may be attracted could be subject matter experts on topics not covered, or not covered well on wikipedia today. New authors could be older citizens in our communities who are not as technologically savvy and who may get discouraged more easily when receiving a comment like "this page is marked for speedy deletion because the topic is not considered notable." Similarly younger members of our community with the potential to grow into the next generation of editors and power-users could be attracted in larger numbers if the technical barriers to entry were lower, if the cultural knowledge required were reduced and if the pervading culture were more accepting of newbies. Not only would new authors from any of these communities add invaluable content, but they would also refer members of their communities to Wikipedia as well. Gene McKenna 4 Sep 2009 (I tried to sign using the four tildes but my account is only for wikipedia, not wikimedia and I tried to do the unified account thing but it didn't work, and isn't this just a great example of what this proposal is talking about?)

What it does not discuss is how to discourage those editors that now 'are not being nice' and what the effect would be if these are not part of the change (that is, they leave or are 'encouraged to leave'). How essential are these not-nice editors for the project (even assuming it is possible to handle them, this sounds very much like an uphill battle)? - Brya 16:54, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
Some good points by Brya. Nothing is done to discourage not-nice editors. In fact, not nice editors are actively encouraged, in particular, when it's a not nice administrator or a well established editor attacking a newbie or an IP. I got called a 13-year-old by a community banned user who is on probation. Any problem with that by administrators? None at all. In fact, I was the one blocked for a week without warning. I got threatened with a range block (I use phone company DSL, meaning an administrator was angry enough that I had a voice to threaten blocking the entire southwestern USA). Any problems with that? None at all. The gross antagonism to IP users is never discouraged. It's out of control. An IP posts a complaint on AN/I? 13 administrators jump on the IP, no matter what the complaint. I got attacked by countless administrators for trying to remove inaccurate articles from IPs are open targets.
But, there is one way to edit wikipedia that makes you more of a target than being an IP, it's being a newly-registered user. Than you're bleeding prey on the savanna.
As long as the community fails to discourage and actively encourages being not-nice to newbies and to IPs, discussing the benefits of being nice is pointless. There's no incentive to change.
I've been editing wikipedia for years as an IP. The hostility has grown. It's not this bad on the non-enlish wikipedias, though. -- 21:17, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

Merging with The Be Nice Proposal

I think merging the Proposal:Be_nice with this one is a good idea. The be nice proposal seems to be along the same lines. The content is a rather limited there, perhaps it could just be pointed to this proposal.

Gene McKenna 8 Sep 2009 (I tried to sign using the four tildes but my account is only for wikipedia, not wikimedia and I tried to do the unified account thing but it didn't work, and isn't this just a great example of what this proposal is talking about?)

'Merging' seems to be the wrong word: the Proposal:Be_nice is so short as to almost non-existent. This is a sentiment that is also present in other proposals. - Brya 16:44, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
I'm a mergist at least on this site, but I think it is worth keeping these two separate. When I think of the many things that could be done to make things nicer for newbies I don't see much overlap with the things that we could do for existing users. Mainly because biting of newbies is rarely intentional, sadly that isn't always the case among longer term users. WereSpielChequers 17:43, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
I would want it to be merged with Proposal:Don't "bite" campaign. It is like this one. ~~EBE123~~ talkContribs 13:24, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

4 very large themes

These 4 themes are actually each of them very substantial projects, and, as the proposer says each "is more of a general theme"

  • Providing greater leniency in standards that would cause a new article to be quickly deleted or other factors that may cause a new user to feel unwelcome or his contributions feel unwanted.
    • This needs to be very much fine tuned by article and user type--there's a very different approach to school children doing a naïve book report, PR professionals, and academics writing academic unencyclopedic articles--to give only three examples. It's not really greater leniency--it's greater accuracy and helpfulness--everyone needs a different and personal approach--even trolls have been known to become good contributors. But there is content submitted which does need to be removed immediately.
  • Simplifying the tools and customary practices amongst Wikipedia users and editors so that communication is simplified and the cultural practices (how to communicate, how to resolve disputes) are more easily understood.
    • There is a point in standardization--to try to get all the various people with their various degrees of Wikipedia knowledge doing things at least approximately right--I've seen many people try to be helpful and give very poor advice. Each individual procedure and process needs to be re-evaluated, and reworking any single individual one of them is itself an extensive project.
  • Creating easier to use tools to make text authoring, editing and adding other media easier.
    • allow about 6 months and one or two people doing extensive work to debug every one of them.
  • Changing the tone of communication and the expectations of some long-time members of the wikipedia community.
    • We can change particular communication techniques, but how to change the tone of a community is exactly the overall general question. Having said we ought to,how do we do it?
 DGG 16:44, 18 September 2009 (UTC)
  • This proposal as is is too vague as to be unactionable. I have been planning to open up an RfC on this on English WP very soon, so we can figure out exactly where we can improve. Will link to here. Casliber 20:32, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

Changing the tone suggestions

As calisber has pointed out we need some concrete actions, so I'll add my tuppence worth

  • Drop use of the terms 'vandalism' and 'vandal'. In wikipedia terms the term is used to cover all manner of sins, including (problematically) the misunderstanding of guidelines/rules/etiquette. Use of these terms is counterproductive in two ways:
    • It could offend new editors who had no intention of 'vandalising wikipedia'.
    • In meatspace some people get a kick out of vandalising, and indeed being called a 'vandal'
I propose we drop the term's use altogether, substituting the term 'unconstructive edits' and such more ambiguous and less offensive terms. This will reduce offence to new editors and diffuse the accolade of being termed a 'vandal' whilst also subtly hinting that constructive edits are the way to achieve kudos. This would require a great sweep of templates, some article names, projects and guidleines but its a great sweep thats required to achieve the aims of this proposal. Leevanjackson 16:21, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
If someone adds offensive and scatalogical terms or pictures to an article it is usually vandalism, if they are adding POV, reverting to what the world knew in their schooldays or adding spam we usually spot that and treat it differently. Occasionally someone makes a mistake and reverts a good faith edit as vandalism, in my experience editors who do that are only too willing to apologise if it is pointed out to them. But as we have far too much jargon on the pedia already, please can we retain one of the few terms that we use in a way that newbies understand? We already use terms like unconstructive edits wherever one can stretch good faith without it pinging one in the eye. WereSpielChequers 17:54, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
I would argue that our use of the term makes it MORE difficult to understand. How often, for instance, do we see good faith - though misguided - edits being labeled as vandalism? I think this term is so misused as to be radically misunderstood. -- Philippe 18:25, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
People lose rollback for reverting good faith edits as vandalism. Unlike speedy deletion where only admins can see deleted articles, any user can look at the edit history and take a view as to whether a good faith edit was reverted as vandalism - mistakes do happen, but they are rarer than on new page patrol, and more likely to result in an apology when an editor complains. Also there are few disputes as to what is and isn't vandalism, whilst there is disagreement as to what is and isn't speedy deletable. WereSpielChequers 23:37, 11 October 2009 (UTC)