Saturday, May 31, 2008

New page countdown

Many users are aware of and make good use of Wikipedia's Special:NewPages feature, but there is a problem that's recently come to my attention: pages will only be listed for 720 hours (30 days), and dozens of pages are at risk of "slipping through the cracks" without ever being looked at.

A page which goes past this point is very difficult to track, until it shows up as again as a problem for recent changes patrollers, OTRS responders, or manages to attract enough attention to get some (most likely negative) media coverage. We shouldn't let this happen. DragonflySixtyseven has been working hard to patrol pages at the back of the queue, and to enlist the help of others, but he can't go it alone. Links like this one will show you the last 150 pages in danger of slipping off the list.

Currently, pages are coming within just a few hours of falling off the back end of the log. Help is needed.

I've long felt that patrolling deeper into or at the back end of the new pages log should be the default behavior for many users; when we're not screaming for deletion seconds after a page is made, we're that much less likely to bite (or argue with) newcomers. If we're going even thirty days after the fact, most POV-pushers have left the site and many diligent newcomers who've stuck around will be more likely to understand WP's policies and actually cooperate reasonably. To me it certainly feels less rushed, and I've actually had time to improve a few pages.

Stacks are simple, yes, but leave the bottom of the pile to rot and fester. Let's try a queue and mind the back, first, when we can -- it's not going to stick around much longer, after all.

If you already do work with new page patrol, consider looking at the back of the list from time to time; if you haven't worked in this area, consider taking a few minutes to try it out, and you may just find it can be quite rewarding. One more time, this link shows the pages in greatest danger falling off the list.

6 comments:

Kelly Martin said...

First-in first-out patrolling makes so much more sense than the LIFO "everyone gang up on the same edits" approach used by the lightning-reflex RC patrollers today.

In my reason, the reason that FIFO patrolling has never caught on is that it requires coordination and takes away the competitive aspect of beating ClueBot that so many current RC patrollers get off on.

You can take the MMORPG player out of the MMORPG, but you can't the the MMORPG out of the MMORPG player.

lucasbfr said...

I have to agree with Kelly here. While we need some LIFO for the worst crap (copyvios, attacks, ...), most of the newpage backlog could very well be handled by looking at the bottom of the list first.

Many articles that started as obvious CSD end to be quite decent prose once settled for a couple of days (ok, a lot of crap -spam, garage bands- just remains accessible longer, but that's a small price to pay for the -small- amount of stuff that can be salvaged in the end). Quite interestingly, I found some items about towns in India, which is the same kind of articles that we are considering letting a bot write.

Unfortunately, even though this is sensible, I don't see the community taking this approach seriously any time soon. It's much funnier to whack a mole with Twinkle/Huggle and ask for perma-ban of editors experimenting with the system than to try to educate them (I admit I happen to take the easiest side once in a while).

We are losing contributions (who are sometimes outside our main 16-21 y/o male student average Wikipedian), and worst of all, we are having people who end bitter and either do us bad press or turn into something we have to deal with later. I don't know if WP is starting to get too big for its community to properly handle, or if this is just a feeling that comes with maturity (wiki-wise), once you've been there for a year or so.

fdlkj said...
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Matthew said...
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Matthew said...
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