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Test Case Wiki

Test Case Wiki

I would like to look at a specific Wiki and make recommendations as to improving the quality of content of the wiki.

I want to look at:

  1. What works
  2. What doesn't work
  3. What existing policies affected this wiki
    1. Did they work?
    2. If not, then why didn't they work?
  4. What could be done better
  5. What recommendations we would make regarding content quality if we were only looking at this one wiki

I am proposing this wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:2004_United_States_presidential_election_controversy_and_irregularities as a test case.

I want to disclose that I am a Political Science major, so am very aware of the entire debate in this election, as well as the proceeding 2000 election. While not a subject matter expert I have easy access to subject matter experts regarding this Wiki. I did not suggest this Wiki because of the topic, although my knowledge base would help me sort fact from fiction, rather because it is a highly contentious page and has already gone through a very vigorous process including being very carefully monitored.

Bhneihouse06:39, 6 December 2009

just as a point of clarification, which is offered with the idea of making sure that communcation is clear: what you're discussing is a wiki page. A wiki is a grouping of pages on a single site (for instance, this is the strategy wiki, and this is the Task force/Wikipedia Quality talk page. I'm just pointing this out so that we have a shared language, which makes things easier.

~Philippe (WMF)14:37, 6 December 2009

Thanks for clarification Philippe. I started by calling it a Page but wasn't sure that was correct so went back and edited and called it a Wiki.

Btw, most new users are going to call any page on Wikipedia a Wiki because to them a source of information is a Wiki, and that page informs users, even if it isn't doing exactly as intended in informing about a specific event.

This calls to mind that Wikipedia may need an interface for new users: what we are and how we work (not a mode, rather an introduction), perhaps in a sidebar that can be ignored by advanced users. As I have continued out of my "comfort zone" on Wikipedia (that of utilizing the information presented) into historical and procedural areas, I have realized how spread out the information is and how difficult it is to find much less understand all of it. All users, not just new users, need to constantly have access to what we are and how we work (and thus what is acceptable.) This is crucial if the goal really IS not to bite new users. And yes, I agree that new users have particularly sensitive ears.

I was hoping by all of us focusing on one page that we could give germane suggestions about improvement of quality (that can then be ported over to the Content Quality page that FT2 created). I am certain that all sorts of low and high level suggestions can be made, which will give us specific insight to the process rooted in an existing page/controversy. Since this type of controversy seems to be overwhelmingly identified as a barrier to quality, that can be addressed as well. Since FT2 has already worked with this page and so is very familiar with it, and I am pretty aware of what the content "should" be as a neutral POV on this subject, that gives us an insight into this page that we might not have if picking a purely random page, although I am not adverse to doing that. For the members of the task force not as familiar with this page or subject matter, they can apply their prior experience in dealing with improving content in contested pages/wikis in their subject matter area/interest.

I hope everyone else on this task force feels this is a worthwhile endeavor to focus our attention and energies.

Bhneihouse15:50, 6 December 2009

Yes, one of the other task forces (Reader Conversion? Community Health? I'd have to check) has recommended a series of wizards for new users. I think it's a good idea.

I totally understand your point about what new users may call it, and hope you understand that I treated it much the same way I would with any other new user - a gentle nudge about what the common language terminology was.

~Philippe (WMF)20:59, 6 December 2009

I hope what I posted didn't come across as criticism. It wasn't meant as such.

Every time I run into a wall or do step on my own feet I try to place the error in a bigger context.

Bhneihouse21:53, 6 December 2009

I originated this page as a new user, in 2004. It does have a lot of "meat", but even so, I would be wary of saying it's how a page should be written, as a 5 years on editor, today.

FT2 (Talk | email)00:34, 7 December 2009

I picked it for its problems, not as a statement about how something should be written. I want to evaluate what is/was/went wrong. :)

Bhneihouse01:22, 7 December 2009