User talk:Gray62

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Latest comment: 5 years ago by Gryllida in topic Reply to Gryllida
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Haiti abduction story


Thanks for helping expand this considerably. I appreciate you admitting English isn't your mother tongue, but you do very well in the language despite that. This would probably be worth adding to your bookmarks and having a read through a few times; it is one of the best short guides I've seen on improving English-language writing.

The main things I've noticed in copyediting your contributions were use of "that", "also", and a couple of other 'noise' words which can usually be dropped if writing in a news style. Then, to a lesser extent, run-on sentences. One of the best solutions to that problem is the semicolon; formulate two distinct, but related, sentences and join them in that way. --Brian McNeil / talk 17:36, 1 February 2010 (UTC)Reply

Thx to your great support, it was a real pleasure! And I appreciate your tips, I'll try to avoid those noise words next time. As for the run-on sentences, I'll try to think of that, too, but I'm afraid that's a bit of a German habit! :D Gray62 (talk) 17:41, 1 February 2010 (UTC)Reply

Cern scientist suspended after controversial presentation


Hi. Saw the article you'd created. I added a few missing elements, and left some notes in a {{cleanup}} tag. --Pi zero (talk) 13:56, 2 October 2018 (UTC)Reply

Thx. Every help is appreciated! I'm not that experienced with Wikinews and, to be honest, not that interested in this story. I just wanted to put content from Wikipedia, which may be deleted (nktability is disputed), to better use. Gray62 (talk) 14:06, 2 October 2018 (UTC)Reply
Oh! Be careful about material from Wikipedia: The projects have incompatible licenses, so that the copyright on Wikipedian material doesn't allow posting it on Wikinews.

(We have some ideas on how to make it vastly easier to write for Wikinews, basically giving writers moment-to-moment interactive guidance on what to do; but how to provide that sort of help is genuinely difficult, stuff nobody has ever done before, so it's taking us a long time and great effort to try to make it happen.) --Pi zero (talk) 14:17, 2 October 2018 (UTC)Reply

Really? That's not how I read the license at Wikipedia. It says I'm free to adapt the content. Anyway, there shouldn't be license incompatibilities between Wikipedia organisations. This only hampers the common use of content and it looks like especially Wikinews needs every resource it can get. If there's any license problem, it needs to be solved. Gray62 (talk) 16:38, 2 October 2018 (UTC)Reply
The needs of news are not compatible with the license conditions used on other projects. I don't know, off hand, where there's an extensive discussion of the whys and wherefores; it is mentioned, without great elaboration, at Wikinews:for Wikipedians and at Wikinews:Copyright. It's not a problem to be solved, it's a difference between the purpose of news production and the purposes of other wikimedian sisters. --Pi zero (talk) 17:05, 2 October 2018 (UTC)Reply
Thx for the info, very interesting! But the stance expressed there is imho tragically misguided. Not to discourage you, as a contributor, but, sorry, imho this site is doomed if there's no big chances. The news stories created here are too few and not even covering the biggest headlines of the day. No surprise now for me that Wikipedia rather uses its own news section. Certainly the license problem is a major reason for that. Anyway, fact is, this news stub is based on an old version of Alessandro Strumia, with only light editing applied. I'm afraid it has to be deleted. I won't invest work into rewriting it. Could you pls list this article for speedy deletion? I don't know how to do it. Gray62 (talk) 17:26, 2 October 2018 (UTC)Reply
If this project were permanently stuck in its current state, yes, there would be no future for it. But it's not. I'm providing review to keep things alive, but I'm also pouring my effort into the initiatives that will create the future of the project — which I see as vital to the future of wikimedia, and through it, the wider community of the internet. Wikipedia can't do news, it's fundamentally incapable of it, and the fact that the Wikipedian community isn't aware that their project can't do news is an aspect of the problem. Note, though, that "not covering the major stories of the day" is missing the point: although there's nothing to keep us from covering the major stories of the day, it's not our main purpose, and in fact those aren't the stories we're best suited to. --Pi zero (talk) 17:42, 2 October 2018 (UTC)Reply
Well, all the best for your efforts, Pi. I totally agree that this site needs a fresh start, a big change from the bottom up. And I do see the problem in using a wiki for real time news creation, too. The dependency on sources will always result in Wikinews being late to report what's happening. Imho the way to go should be news roundups of the big issues, that provide a thorough coverage of a topic that a single news story at a mainstream media co can't do. A way for readers to get all developments and details at one place. The site has to be focussed on providing a real value for the people, or else it's doomed to be a vanity project for a few enthusiasts. Ok, Pi, I'm crossing fingers for you, I hope Wikinews will have a future! Gray62 (talk) 18:02, 2 October 2018 (UTC)Reply
Thanks. :-)

Of course I have to resist the temptation to comment on specifics of what needs to stand firm versus what needs to be transformed (though I did write an essay about some key elements if it, yonder).

(On a somewhat lighter note, though, have you noticed the extraordinary extent to which Wikinews and Wikipedia do things the opposite way from each other? Wikipedia puts AGF on a pedestal while Wikinews explicitly tells users not to AGF. Both projects have neutrality policies called "NPOV", but the actual criteria are incompatible so that featured articles on either project could blatantly fail the other project's neutrality criteria. "OR" on Wikipedia stands for "original research" and is something you're not supposed to do, while "OR" on Wikinews stands for "original reporting" and is the most prized, and most challenging, form of content we produce. And "synthesis" on Wikinews is the kind of thing you're talking about, based on sources published elsewhere, our most common type of article and serving a number of useful purposes... and being closely related to what Wikipedia calls "analysis", whereas we have stern prohibitions against "analysis", by which we mean roughly what Wikipedia prohibits under the name "synthesis".) --Pi zero (talk) 18:45, 2 October 2018 (UTC)Reply

Tools, shmools, the existential problem of Wikinews lies deeper than that. Sorry, Pi, not to belittle your ideas, but Wikinews is simply too small, and too much of a failure, to be able to afford a different licensing policy than big brother Wikipedia. There can't be any reasonable doubt that such incompstibilities discourage users from crossing over from other Wikimedia sites and from reusing content. But this site desperately needs editors and content, so all incompatibilities have to be resolved in favor of Wikipedia's standard. That's a major issue and without it being done all reasoning about new tools is just a waste of time. Btw, what the hell is “AGF“? It's wikilanguage and wikilawyering that's a major reason for the lack of editors at Wiki sites. Who wants to study all those effing rules before adding even one new info, really? Grrr. Gray62 (talk) 19:19, 2 October 2018 (UTC)Reply
I don't expect to convince most people with stump speeches that the wiki experience can be profoundly transformed (all projects, btw, not just Wikinews) by a certain sort of change to the underlying medium of wiki markup that allows wiki communities to grow interactive assistants in a similarly crowdsourced way to how they grow the wiki content. I expect to convince most people by doing it, and letting the reality speak for itself. Especially so with folks who —for perfectly understandable reasons— don't think it'll work. Sometimes things have to be seen to be believed. There are times when words make all the difference (we're talking about wikis, after all!); but there are times for deeds rather than words. --Pi zero (talk) 19:50, 2 October 2018 (UTC)Reply
Sorry, Pi, you will need stump speeches, for getting consensus for your desired changes. Not that I care much, I don't even know what you mean with “markup“, and as I explained, imho new tools are a secondary issue when the obvious failure of Wikinews has to be addressed. Gray62 (talk) 19:59, 2 October 2018 (UTC)Reply
Not to worry, re consensus. There's also latent demand for what we're trying to supply, if we can tap properly into the long tail (which is one way of describing the challenge). Anyway, I appreciate your good thoughts. And we'll see what we'll see (I have often, over the years, suspected that the ongoing story of Wikinews is a soap opera). --Pi zero (talk) 20:55, 2 October 2018 (UTC)Reply
Whatever. Good night.Gray62 (talk) 21:24, 2 October 2018 (UTC)Reply

"The news stories created here are too few and not even covering the biggest headlines of the day." -- you are free to leave tips, they would be worked on. Recently this link has been added to the site notice which is visible at the top of each page until you dismiss it. (There is a more detailed note about this process in my essay, in the link in my signature.) If you have ideas how this process can be improved, they are very welcome.

"The dependency on sources will always result in Wikinews being late to report what's happening." -- contributors are allowed, particularly with accreditation, to see information first-hand, or to contact relevant entities (researchers, weather stations, witnesses, etc) directly to obtain information before the mainstream media does. (In my opinion this may be easier for local news.) This is meant to address this problem -- however, a lot of 'get-inforation-from-existing-sources' stories are written to allow contributors to practice bias-free writing, something that mainstream media lacks, and currently this kind of articles are the majority of output. Gryllida chat / how do YOU get started? 21:02, 2 October 2018 (UTC)Reply

Well, what is theoretically possible for engaged editors who are willing and able to put a lot of efforts into prociding stories for Wikinews is one thing. Reality is totally different: There's a whole lot of five stories of limited attraction on the mainpage. That's pathetic and won't attract a significant number of readers. With lots of respect for and honest interest in the creation of bias free articles, but a site without readers is just a vanity project. That's not my cup of coffee. Good night! Gray62 (talk) 21:24, 2 October 2018 (UTC)Reply
I'm sorry that I angered you. Visiting WN:RA, clicking 'add a tip', writing 'A security guard assassinated Turnbull, the prime minister of Australia' in the subject line and clicking 'submit' takes about 5 seconds. This is rather basic and does not require (much) engagement. If a contributor is not willing to participate in such a straightforward process, then I am not sure what changes are on the table. Gryllida chat / how do YOU get started? 00:36, 3 October 2018 (UTC)Reply
To clarify: I am open to suggestions. However, at this stage the 'I can not do this much work' or 'I do not have this much time' concern seems to be addressed. If you can address it better, I would be glad to hear how, and participate. --Gryllida chat / how do YOU get started? 11:20, 3 October 2018 (UTC)Reply
Hey, you didn't anger me, Gryllida, it was just that imho this site is going down the drain because of a lack of interesting content and thus readers. As a somewhat typically German guy, I'm not good at being polite, I'm sorry. All the best to you folks and pls excuse me for not having enough faith in Wikinews being on the right track. Gray62 (talk) 06:44, 5 October 2018 (UTC)Reply
Gray62 I am concerned with this also.
How does German Wikinews compare in this regard?
If you're proposing low standards for publication -- to avoid daunting people with the difficulties involved in successfully publishing -- then this is already the case at the requested articles page. Entries can easily be added there. For a moment consider that this page is the main page of Wikinews, and get started. (I am not sure whether extending this consideration to the 'real' main page would make a big difference.) Among other things I may be curious to know whether German Wikinews uses such a system... --Gryllidamsg/chat/jmgse 06:57, 5 October 2018 (UTC)Reply
I just took a look at German Wikinews and it's an even bigger tragedy. Even without knowing the language, you can see this by checking the datelines: For heaven's sake, there's tens of thousands of blogs who are updated more regularly! A new story every other week, that doesn't qualify as a “news“ site at all. Very obviously, nothing positive to be learned from your German colleagues, they fare even worse. Gray62 (talk) 08:14, 5 October 2018 (UTC)Reply

Reply to Gryllida


To be honest, I've never used German Wikinews, so I don't have a clue if they fare any better, but I will take a look at their site. As for English Wikinews, even though not having much experience here - having only contributed to two articles and failed to create a third - there's some issues that deserve discussion, imho:

- You're like 20 admins (about every second also being a bureaucrat. Hmm.) here, apparently w/ journalistic experience, yet you fail at collectively creating even one relevant news story a day. Pls excuse my lack of politeness, but what are you folks doing all the time? Even if you drove all other editors away, and treat this as your vanity project, 20 guys should be able to get something done? If you don't care, why are you bureaucrats here?
- The “one reporter writes a story“ approach discourages collective efforts, where small scale editors like me may contribute one paragraph or new details. I suspect it may be too much to ask for to expect one editor to invest the time into writing the whole story on his/her own. Also, the strength of Wiki software is its enabling of collective work, so that's the natural way to go. Encourage participation, every bit helps.
- The license issue is preventing the reuse of Wikipedia content here. As I see it - no matter if you folks like it or not (there seems to be some unhealthy animosity or snobbishness towards Wikipedia here) - there's WAY more newsworthy content written every day at the bigger site than here. It could be so easy to copy the best of it, use it for creating a stub, add additional sources or paragraphs, and use your copyediting skills for the final journalistic touch. But NO, the outdated license used here prevents that, even though it could significantly increase the output of Wikinews. Whatever the reason is for this (I suspect stupid rivalry w/ WP), it can't be more important than the urgent need to create more content here. High time to get rid of lofty ideals that aren't working!
- All differences between WP rules and Wikinews ones should be put to the test and preferrably all of them eliminated. For instance, the counterintuitive idea to request an article. It's a Wiki and Wiki users don't request anything, they hack away! The situation is simply too desperate, Wikinews can't afford the luxury of driving any willing editor away who doesn't want to learn yet another set of Wikilaws. The environment here, where like 20 admins jealously guard their hobbyhorse, and claim review control about what gets published, isn't very inviting for new users in the first place. To increase attraction, participation and output, you need to make it more easy for Wiki users from other sites to cross over here, not harder.

Ok, so much for my initial thoughts. I'm sorry, but I did say before that we Germans are impolitely direct and not good at beating around the bush! I hope I didn't offend you. Anyway, nobody needs to listen to my maybe stupid ideas, but you folks should have a hard discussion about changes. Because the status quo ain't working. The main page doesn't even look like a news site because of a lack of content. That needs to change. Well, I'm crossing fingers. Gray62 (talk) 08:02, 5 October 2018 (UTC)Reply

Gray62 if you find article requests page ridiculous, I guess you (or any news author) can create a new article and tag it with {{Helpneeded}} to signal that they are no longer working on it and someone needs to complete it. I think often people create incomplete articles and walk away and it is not until a day or two after this that I realise that they did not plan to finish it.
Also when making a full article we have this large 'write everything' template which is making things complicated. I may be able to work out a version of my 'getting started' process which creates a new article with a simpler template. --Gryllidamsg/chat/jmgse 11:20, 5 October 2018 (UTC)Reply
The 'requested articles' page has one technical advantage: the headline and content can be easily modified at the same time. At Wikinews modifying the article title can be more needed than at Wikipedia... --Gryllidamsg/chat/jmgse 11:26, 5 October 2018 (UTC)Reply
Advantage, shmadvantage, what's it good for if people don't know this or don't care, Gryllida? Hell, I didn't know about this when I contributed to two stories here years ago. You said it yourself, it took you two days to notice that the editor had abandoned the story, and by then it had become stale. Wringing hands about this and pointing to how the system is supposed to work doesn't help at all. It ain't working, period. The focus needs to be on changes to revive Wikinews now! The old system is a failure, stat, it needs to be replaced with a better one that is better suited to encourage participation. Without such changes, there's no future for this site, the plug will be pulled, eventually. Gray62 (talk) 11:42, 5 October 2018 (UTC)Reply
Revised. --Gryllidamsg/chat/jmgse 12:24, 5 October 2018 (UTC)Reply
Good effort, Gryllida, but most editors won't invest 12 weeks, I'm afraid. There has to be a way to include occasional editors, with their lower qualification, in news production, too, imho. More experienced hands are needed to get a story through the review stage, of course. Gray62 (talk) 12:31, 5 October 2018 (UTC)Reply
The non-12-weeks ones can simply click the 'level 0' button. Revised the page again to make this clear. --Gryllidamsg/chat/jmgse 12:54, 5 October 2018 (UTC)Reply
That's nice, thanks. Gray62 (talk) 13:05, 5 October 2018 (UTC)Reply
No worries. I really look forward to your tips. Here is the article creation box again (a bit customized by me compared with the standard process), in case you visit this page more often than others - just write the headline, click 'Go', then click 'Save changes' on the next page:

--Gryllidamsg/chat 22:07, 7 October 2018 (UTC)Reply

Hi Gray62,

Happy New Year! How are you? To follow up on our writing earlier, you are welcome to sign up at User:Gryllida/welcome a bit if you like. I am simply looking for testers to check that the message delivery is working correctly. The end aim is to assist newcomers with writing their articles, but simply testing that the system works from technical perspective would be greatly appreciated.

--Gryllida (talk) 04:14, 8 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

Water cooler


I noticed your comment on "Wikinews for Wikipedians." I recently posed a thought experiment about what would happen if we got 100 new contributors who read all our written policies and guidelines but didn't take "mentorship" from reviewers, basically if they followed all the written rules but none of the unwritten ones.

I started a thread about whether to update our written neutral point of view policy to reflect current practice. I'd welcome your thoughts.

I would personally appreciate it if you could be extra polite and tolerant if you decide to participate. It seems everyone, including me, is already a little riled up. Darkfrog24 (talk) 16:14, 29 October 2018 (UTC)Reply