Proposal talk:Run an annual prize for best featured content

From Strategic Planning

I think is a good idea to increase Wikipedia quality. --Aushulz 14:31, 23 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]


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 00:09, 3 September 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Primarily, I believe it will improve the perception of credibility of wikipedia. I also think having an external judge will raise the quality bar for contributing editors.
I'm an occasional reviewer at en:wp:FAC, and I can see some merit in getting a panel of academics to review the FA articles for the year and award prizes to the best. It would also be easily done. However I don't think that we need an external judge to raise the quality bar - on EN wiki the problem we have is that the quality bar is continually being raised so that the number of featured articles is stabilising with old ones being delisted because they don't meet the current standards. As a consequence the featured article process is becoming detached from the other 99.9% of the wiki. I think that the advantage of an external judging panel would be neutrality, as many of the current FA writers are also reviewers. Its fine to have writers also being reviewers when you assess articles against a set standard, but not if you are assessing them all against each other to pick the best of the year. WereSpielChequers 14:17, 25 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Many Wikipedians not only do not write to achieve FA status for an article, but actively avoid the whole assessment criteria. They are no less worthy contributors, and sometimes are far harder workers, not seeking glory of being recognised but simply slugging along, making wonderful work for a given project. I feel that the users that will be recognised for this award will be the same users that push for FA/GA status and are prime movers and shakers in the assessment world rather than those that produce wonderful articles in low-key and hidden projects. You may answer, 'well they won't care then'; but then we may as well be the Oscars and award those that seek glory, and that makes this a vanity project.
Also if these are 'Elite' awards, they will tarnish incredibly quickly. If we give ten out a year, then only ten people will feel incredibly happy. How many will fight for the title next year; a hundred? It's elitist; and those that win will feel great, but hoe does it help average Joe? This appears to support those who contribute to a 'high' level, and know how to 'play the game', rather than the drones, who do most of the living and dying in Wikipedia. IMO FruitMonkey 23:34, 29 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]
Agreed absolutely, FruitMonkey. This is possibly the worst idea in the history of bad ideas for bad ideas for know where I'm coming from. Very few regular editors work on FA & GA Material, so if you're gonna do something like this, you are gonna make this award available to very very few editors. The majority of us regulars work on improving articles and cleaning up vandalism rather than building material to be posted on the front page or be "featured". So either you create something for the "regulars" or scrap this idea totally, cause you are gonna alienate a hell of a lot of people if you go through with this. BarkingFish 23:59, 29 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]
I'm quite a bit horrified by this proposal. I understand that the intention behind it is well-meaning... but the end result is a bit awful. The point of writing featured content is to write the best that Wikipedia has-- that's why so many editors proudly display the featured stars on their userpage. It shows them the height of what they've accomplished. So what does it take to reach that next level, this "annual prize for best featured content"? I feel that we're on a slippery slope here. Editors won't be as proud of the outstanding work they've achieved to reach that featured level, they'll instead wonder why "Article X" by some other dude won the award for the best of the year. I don't know, maybe I'm talking out of my ass, but one featured article should be just as cherished as another. Nomader 03:03, 30 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]

The only people who are discouraged by other people's achievement are toxic narcissists who are more than likely to find some other reason to disqualify themselves and drag everyone else down in the process. F**k 'em. The truth is prizes incentivise. But more importantly incentives incentivise. The vision of all equals together toiling in the vineyard is touching, but it stifles outstanding merit and discourages self-improvement. If we're all equally special then no one is. 09:21, 30 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Quote "If we're all equally special then no one is." - Thank you :) You just gave the best argument against this proposal ever! We're all equally special, we all contribute our own good work to wiki in our own way, be it vandal fighting, writing GA content, tagging images, licensing work, whatever. I think you just shot yourself squarely in the foot :) Prizes might incentivise, but the vast majority who spend 90% of their time on Wikipedia doing other important stuff, admins, vandal fighters, rollbackers - we're not Toxic narcissists, and I would appreciate you redacting that remark. The absolute truth is, most wikipedians would rather make 1000 articles better by correcting inaccuracies and removing vandalism than do one page to get it to FA or GA status. We've got better things to do with our time. :) BarkingFish 10:02, 30 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Did I say most people are toxic narcissists? No I didn't, I said the people who are upset by other's success are. The hell I'll retract that! 11:32, 30 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]
A major flaw with the wikipedia model is that it promotes mediocrity. Mediocrity in the sense that it values consensus over fact, argument and expertise. I've no doubt that this is precisely what attracts a lot of editors to WP, but not all editors are writers, and many of the best articles are the ones where one writer with considerable expertise exerts a natural leadership to create something of value. That you can't institutionalise that is exactly the reason it should be recognised and celebrated. 11:53, 30 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]

I think I didn't make my point clear enough-- featured articles are supposed to be featured quality. They uphold to the highest standard of Wikipedia writing, and to be able to have accomplished such a feat is impressive. However, how do we decide which articles get this new special award?
  • By vote? If we do it by vote, there's a possibility for bias which can spring up through certain editors being favored and topics on pop culture getting more attention.
  • By selection of a committee? If we do it through a group of set outsiders, there might be a bias against pop culture articles, and wikipedians will object to having their best articles selected by someone outside the community.
  • By a vote from readers? If we do it by a reader vote, articles on obscure topics which are just as important might be ignored.
I understand the reasoning behind this proposal, but one of the beauties of Wikipedia is that articles on topics that might not be as popular or well known like Karl Aloys zu Fürstenberg and Iridion 3D are given the same recognition of achievement as the Medal of Honor. And that's something that I think Wikipedia shouldn't lose. We have enough awards already, through barnstars and FA stars... I think if you really want to go ahead and do this, make a barnstar that you personally award every year to your favorite FA. But don't make it an official sort of thing. Wikipedia needs to give credit to those editors who edit the obscure just as much as those that edit the famous. Nomader 16:02, 30 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]
I think it would be very, very difficult to organise a good external panel to review the breadth of topics covered by our featured articles. For example, "academics and literary critics" would most likely be uninterested in non-traditional encyclopaedic topics. Furthermore, I think most of them would expect some sort of literary value in our articles. Iridion 3D for example is a great example of neutral, informative encyclopaedic writing, but Shakespeare it ain't. Our pillars of neutrality and no-original-research mean the prose on such topics tend to be very stale. Again, that will likely count against articles which cover topics which have had little previous academic coverage. 18:04, 30 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]

They uphold to the highest standard of Wikipedia writing. What you're not asking is why is that good enough? there might be a bias against pop culture articles God, I hope so. And that's something that I think Wikipedia shouldn't lose Why should it? There seems to be a belief on this page that this prize is going to replace FAs, somehow. Why? FAs still exist on German WP and coexist happily with the Zedler prize. 17:58, 30 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]

  • I understand that the Zedler prize and FAs coexist in the German wikipedia quite well, but I fear that adding another award may take away from the prestige an FA star brings to an article. According to WP:FA, featured articles "are considered to be the best articles in Wikipedia". Why do we need an award which goes beyond this? We already have barnstars which recognize contributions by editors in various fields, and I really feel that the FA star is recognition enough-- it shows that it is among the best articles in Wikipedia. I understand that the intention is to not replace FAs, but I feel that could be the end result. Nomader 22:59, 30 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]


(thread moved from proposal)

Showing a real barnstar
  • en:Wikipedia:Barnstars, The barnstars on english Wikipedia and other projects do serve this goal. Real barnstars do circulate, see picture to the left.
  • Reply:Yes, but they are still just slaps on the back from other wikipedians.



I think we should rename this article to "Run an annual prize for best featured content", as the word endow is misleading and overemphasises the financial side of a prize that might be purely honourary. WereSpielChequers 14:30, 25 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]

I'm cool with calling it that, but bare in mind that nothing is cost-free. Even if folks are donating their time, there is admin, publicity and logistics still to be paid for. Where will the money come from? 15:20, 28 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Some proposals will have a net cost, some a net saving. I see no reason to include the cost in the name of the proposal if the cost is, as in this case, relatively modest. WereSpielChequers 10:36, 29 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Need group awards: foster collaboration

30-June-2010: Individual prizes, while seeming to promote a drive for increased quality, can cause severe problems which instead thwart quality results, because of unpredictable, wild antics or disputes from some individuals. Some people might try to derail the efforts of other users, and if the winner is a pessimist, the award could be a major embarrassment for Wikipedia, such as the winner saying, "I will not accept this award until you block admin John Doe" – similar to George C. Scott refusing an Academy Award in protest of treatment of Native Americans. Loners have been known to create problems they can fix: someone first edits as an IP, hacking numerous articles, then slowly restores content to win the award. Whereas individuals can be highly erratic in activities and acceptance of awards, groups tend to be more balanced, more centrist and less likely to sneak around and derail the competing users, because their talk-page plans tend to alert other users who can discourage any wild scheming ("Whoa, we can't be doing that to another group" ).

Instead, define a set of awards presented to teams, not individuals, which could foster increased cooperation, to update balanced sets of articles. Plus, rather than having a single award which ends with a single winner (and everyone else as a "bunch of losers"), it would be better to have, perhaps, 8 group awards, named for qualities (not ranked as 1st, 2nd, 5th), such as "Best New Scientific Article Set" or "Best Revised Photo Collection" or "Best New Template Set". In summary, the issues are:

  • Avoid individual awards which could trigger wild personal antics.
  • Define group awards which foster cooperation and centrist work.
  • Define multiple awards which allow more "winners" (not everyone else "losers").
  • Avoid ranking awards (as 1st, 2nd 3rd) but rather "Best new article set" or "Best revised photo collection".
  • The "winners" would be the articles (or templates) in each set, and all people who worked on them.

Note, at the core, Wikipedia is a "wiki" project of collaboration, and needs to deter people from thinking, "Your edits here are destroying MY chance at winning THE award this year". Competition, in many cases, is merely instinctive, but collaboration is much more difficult, and it needs special incentives to foster better cooperation among people who would typically rather fight each other, than take time to reach a budding consensus. Defining and judging multiple awards can be very time-consuming, but there are many people who would rather judge and evaluate the writings of others, rather than engage in the detailed editing of numerous articles (consider the fans attracted to WP:AfD debates). A set of, perhaps 8, group awards could work to foster better quality in Wikipedia. In the future, other awards could be added, or skipped, depending on the work done each year. -Wikid77 10:50, 30 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]

I think you've missed the point that it'll be judged externally. I don't see any of this a a major problem, do economists game the Nobel prize this way? 12:13, 30 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]