On Tue, Aug 26, 2014 at 5:03 AM, svetlana <svetl...@fastmail.com.au> wrote:

> - Look at newly created pages and collaborate on those with due care and
> attention to the new people? That'd be nice. (although imo the drafts
> process at English Wikipedia creates an unnecessary hierarchy -- I'd love
> to remain a peer and treat the newcomer as a source of wonderful knowledge,
> not as a reviewee or mentoree. For this reason, I might perhaps only do
> this to articles created in main namespace.)

Take a look through WP:PAFC--you'll find lots of new people, and many of
them getting burnt not just by rude comments but by waiting weeks for any
comment at all.

Quite a bit of gatekeeping is necessary there, however.  There's more
advertisements and copyvios than serious content coming in through that
channel.  I would prefer, however, that AfC head more toward quickly
assessing that, and take on a more collaborative role beyond the most
serious issues.

The gatekeeping function would be a lot easier if the New Pages Feed tool
was modified to work in this arena, but I'm told that there's been
resistance to this idea from engineering.   If that's true, and it may not
be, it's a pity.

Our automation for copyvio detection is also pathetic, I can catch more
copyvios by "pick a sentence, Google it" than CorenBot and its kin identify
automatically.  Smarter technology there built into the right tool for the
job would be extremely helpful, why are we throwing away the limited
resource of experienced editor's time doing mechanical checks?

- I had written a script [2] which makes draft review things more personal
> by not using a template in review comments, but I couldn't figure out whom
> to approach to get it deployed, or how to prevent ugly [3] templates on
> talk pages of people who submitted a draft for review.

There are a couple folks to talk to, but they all follow WT:AFC, and I'd
start there.  But better would be to figure out how to integrate that work
into Special:NewPagesFeed.

However, while all of this is true, I think it's not the biggest problem.

What is?  Right now, there are around 2600 new editors waiting for a
friendly word from anyone, and over 1000 of them have been waiting for
three weeks or more.

Endless waiting is not engaging.

Any discussion which attempts to imagine we can help attract and hold new
editors without finding a plausible, constructive solution to that backlog
is missing the forest through the trees.  Improved automation
(Special:NewPagesFeed, copyright detection improvements), nicer wording,
and so forth could both make the process more pleasant for experienced
editors to participate in and focusing attention away from serious problems
and onto engagement with editors with serious potential.  There is room for
technology to play a significant supporting role.

The whole process of new articles from new editors needs a fresh look as

80% of those new editors are going to fail at what they are trying to
do--their articles will get deleted. In most cases, no amount of help would
have saved their particular article idea.  It's a damn shame that
Foundation policy the editing community prevents us from educating them
before they invest quite a bit of work into articles that are doomed to
failure, because I'm pretty sure that "I put a good deal of work into
something over a couple months and it all came to nothing" is a recipe for
whatever the opposite of editor retention is.  And we need to face that
fact straight in the eye and come to some sensible way of fixing it.


Joe Decker
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