Talk:Task force/Recommendations/Community health 6

    From Strategic Planning

    Broaden to make it apply cross wiki

    • IIRC, Wikinews uses "editor" as a user permission that incorporates some aspects of the "Senior editor" status described in this proposal.
    • On Wikinews Editor is a permissions group that allows the person access to tools that publish articles. This is based on the Flagged revisions.
    • I would like to see this re-written to make it clear that this would be applicable across all the different types of Wikimedia projects. We can use Wikinews as an example of how it works. FloNight♥♥♥ 15:13, 11 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      • Since some version of Flagged revisions is coming to Wikipedia English, there is going to be a discuss about how to decide who gets the ability to Flag the article, and move material into an article. This will highlight the need to delineate a subset of the community to be trusted to make changes to article. There could be conflicts over FA and Good articles if the established users (senior editors) are not brought into the process and it is seen as primarily administrator level actions that are being applied to their articles. English Wikipedia needs to work through this issue. Maybe a "senior editor" role on Wikipedia would help. FloNight♥♥♥ 15:37, 11 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    alternatives to "featured articles", alternatives to voting on nominees

    This has come up repeatedly in the "senior editor" discussions.

    We've been cautioned against using the RFA "voting" model. It's too much of a popularity contest, and it's too political for people who are really only interested in improving content. (However, I do think that discussions are good for dealing with exceptional cases -- people who fail the standard who are actually great editors, or people who meet the standard who are actually quite disruptive. So I left voting in as a 'last resort'.)

    So a good community "reputation" standard would have to:

    1. Avoid a direct political vote on nominees (unless they are an exceptional or controversial nominee)
    2. Reflect community consensus about reputation/quality

    That's where FAs came from: they reflect a consensus about quality, while avoiding a direct popularity contest. Is there some other standard that meets those two principles? Maybe. But people have had trouble coming up with any alternative. Randomran 16:43, 11 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    In my opinion, this proposal's selection criteria as written now does not separate out the novice editor from the experienced editor. There are many very good contributors that are not feature article editors. Some people spend their time editing articles in ways that add quality content but do not spend a long time on one article bringing it to GA or FA status. It is a style of contributing to work on one article in a way that shepherds it to FA or GA status. But there are many other styles of editing that show a commitment to quality article content, too.
    For example, some people re-write new BLP artilces to add sources if there are none, and remove unsourced content. After they make that one article met our minimum standards they move on to the next article. Many of these people are not administrators, and have no desire to be one. IMO, they need recognition as a Senior Editor, too.
    We need to look to be inclusive to bring in more people as long term established users. I think that we need to be careful not to make a very narrow way to get to Senior Editor. Let me give more thought to ways that we can grant the role to more people. FloNight♥♥♥ 18:45, 11 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I agree with you. Even if we expand the circle to editors participating to GA/FL/FA rescues, we will still miss some long term established user. "Senior Editor" will indeed be a great form of recognition for those improving wikipedia from the bottom and we will need that kind of recognition if we want initiative like setting a basic quality standard for every article to succeed because those editors will be the most involved by a such move. --KrebMarkt 21:20, 11 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I agree wholeheartedly. I think the "equivalent" of thoroughly building up an FA is to have built up several great sections (well referenced, neutral, no other major policy violations) in several articles. Coming up with a way to recognize such contributions is hard in practice, though. No one has been able to come up with anything, and it's not due to a lack of trying. I still think our best bet is to allow such editors to be recognized through an voting process (e.g.: they provide diffs from a bunch of articles and people support/oppose), although I'd like to avoid this kind of popularity contest as much as possible. Randomran 23:58, 11 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    I think we know what we are aiming for and why we do so. The mind wreaking part being practical implementation of the idea. I think in the very end editors asking for the "senior editor" stamp will present a "portfolio" of their edits demonstrating why they meet the criterion and answer questions. The vote would be using secret ballot with a rather high level of non-oppose/support vote to pass. "Senior editor" is a big deal because they will epitomize & symbolize a lot, editors that any users can rely upon in most circumstances. --KrebMarkt 19:45, 12 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    • Yeah, most roads seem to lead me back towards a voting to confirm each "senior editor" one-by-one. I still think there's huge value in having an avenue for quick approval without a vote, though, just to avoid politicizing the process. Randomran 21:06, 12 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      • That why i'm aiming for secret ballot to limit the room where editors can politicize the whole thing. The issue is there will be a difference in legitimacy between those who get it by quick approval process and those who get it by vote. In the long run editors having the choice between quick approval process or vote will probably prefer the later and this will turn into a de-facto "tradition". --KrebMarkt 22:23, 12 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    Extreme dangers of identifying a user "level"

    I must say that I'm entirely opposed to and frankly terrified by the thought of classifying users in any way by time or numbers. Logic is simple; Anyone with a "promoted" status or extra privileges automatically garner additional respect and weight, and conversely anyone marked as a new user would inherently be ignored in a manner even worse than how many non-registered editors are treated and stereotyped today. Though true that marking persons as new users might result in less "biting", they would also systematically be shunned in discussions and their contributions more likely reverted. We already have too much rationale of "it's an IP user" used to try to discredit persons at discussions in XfD and AN/I.

    The reverse being visually marking administrators, of course. No matter what anything written says, sysops inherently hold a stronger weight essentially everywhere they go. Indeed, the best administrators are the ones that we cannot even recognize without checking their user rights; they look like normal participants in discussions and since it's extremely unlikely that any tools are needed in typical day-to-day Wikipedia activities it's meaningless to point them out. Quite often the most successful administrator candidates fit into this idea of "hiding in plain sight". Sysops/Administrators are editors first and caretakers second, after all.

    Even if not displayed publicly in signatures, the fact remains that users would be able to claim themselves to be in a certain group and thus still carry extra weight. The extremely subjective nature of a "senior editor" classification seems particularly vulnerable... Number of articles contributed, high-grade articles, variations of WikiCup points, edit counts or any such marks are not remotely accurate indicators of a user's ability to handle extra responsibilities, to say nothing of when they could use them. It also has very little to do with knowledge of policies and guidelines or even common sense in a lot of places. Any desires to gather users for more specific reasons should be run through the normal Administrator nomination process, as recent trends there have already showed enthusiasm toward supporting candidates that have a certain area they work exceptionally well in and are very open in admitting that other aspects of the project do not interest them in the least. Encourage this. Having any sort of seniority or achievement system turns Wikipedia into just a normal internet forum. Don't reward the past-- promote a better future, just as we never act in a punitive manner for sanctions but look ahead. Datheisen 03:51, 20 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    • I strongly disagree, although you probably expected that. :)
    • I don't think there's any evidence that people disregard new users simply because they are new. If IPs are ignored, it's because people believe they are sockpuppets, or don't expect them to return.
    • The real problem is that new users are treated exactly as harsh as a veteran. If someone reverts a veteran, the veteran might push back, or leave a talk page comment, or move on and keep editing. Someone reverts a new user, and that's it, they probably scare them away. The most common excuse for biting newbies is "I didn't have time to look at their contributions, so I had no idea they were new." That's why "don't bite the newbies" has become nothing more than a slogan. Make it transparent, and you take away the excuses.
    • I also think you need to take a second look at the suggested criteria for marking senior editors, which is the number of featured articles, and contributions to noticeboards. Huge article and edit counts can be achieved by the most braindead but patient contributors. WikiCups are subjective. But featured articles represent a consensus that is hard to game. Participating at noticeboards is important too, because you can't fake dispute resolution. Either you can help people solve a dispute, or you can't. Randomran 14:37, 20 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I've come to this recommendation rather late and have just read it. I like it. I think the identifiable signature thing is a good idea. Also the FA aspect. Lots of facts to back you up. Great recommendation. --Bodnotbod 15:21, 20 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • I fully support labeling new users, I think it is a great idea. This is a check many of us would do ourselves, putting up an official logo would merely make it clear for everyone else. This would allow easier identification of those who are not already IPs or are missing a user page. It should be made perfectly clear, so that other users and sysops have no excuse for pouncing on new users, unless they are actually intentionally malicious. As a former sysop, I've encountered other sysops pouncing new users and alienating them time after time. Simple situations blown out of proportions by admins coming down hard on those who just don't understand. The English language Wikipedia has a policy against this, but in the heat of the moment many sysops fail to check.
    • Regarding senior editors, I think Randomran has it right - this is not going to be something that is easily attained. It will most likely be harder to attain than becoming a sysop (which usually requires little more than following procedure, keeping a cool head and doing vandal work). These people are already there and many are already respected by the community. Identifying them, again, just lets everyone else know. Giving them some extra powers and responsibility is just acknowledging their hard work and skill. We give significant powers to sysops who primarily specialise in maintenance work. I understand your concern about the dangers of "levelling" users, but this is already being done with sysops. Recognising senior editors means recognising good editors alongside good maintainers (sysops), both groups are important but good editors are much more equipped to deal with content issues.--Konstable 07:47, 25 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    I doubt castes will reduce hostility. 71.198.176.22 23:05, 26 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    • There already are different classes of users. You run into problems when there's a lack of transparency. Someone gets into an argument with supposedly identical users, only to have 12 people jump down their throat. Two users are arguing and it looks like a dramafest, except one of those users has been a borderline troll for 7 months, and the other is one of the most respected editors in the community. Someone gets into an argument with a supposedly identical user, without realizing they've only been there for a week and are ready to leave because of the bad experience. A lot of problems can be avoided just by making it clear who people are. See en:The Tyranny of Structurelessness. Structure does not mean inequality or castes. It means transparency. Randomran 17:39, 12 June 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    Excellent post about why we need senior editors and administrators

    The post was here, and made a lot of sense to me. If I find some time, I might even incorporate some of the assertions into this recommendation. Many of them can be supported with data. Randomran 03:46, 21 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    There's another discussion here. --Nemo 15:06, 16 August 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    Senior editors or rather mediators and tutors?

    I think that this page is quite confused: I mean, it says that we need senior editors to make it possible to find people who to ask for help about content disputes etc.; but "senior editor" awards, as well as bodies which deal with content issues, are needed only if you want to give somebody authority (i.e. power) over content, as opposed to giving him authoritativeness (i.e. reputation; I don't know if these two words have a different meaning as in Italian, sorry).
    But if your aim is to facilitate discussion and improve consensus building process (as proposed in Task force/Recommendations/Community health 7 and apart from the specific proposals there), it would be enough to improve [possibily topic-specific] mediation and tutoring projects so that users can find helpful users when they want, which is a very important thing (I think there's also a speach by Anthere at some Wikimania on this; maybe this Improving collaboration). On tutoring/coaching/mentoring see also wm2010:Submissions/Mentoring programs: Structure of the German MP and international comparison and included links. --Nemo 15:06, 16 August 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]