Wikinews:Water cooler/proposals

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Source for funding and sharing[edit]

Institute for Nonprofit News Has the Wikinews community ever reached out to join the INN? I think this could be a good way of getting funding and sharing resources with other news agencies performing journalism in the public interest. —Justin (koavf)TCM 17:03, 2 October 2016 (UTC)

We'd need an incorporated entity. Wikinews is just part of the WMF; Laura wanted us to set up an incorporated entity, of course, but the WMF sabotaged that. --Pi zero (talk) 18:17, 2 October 2016 (UTC)
@Pi zero: Then could we get the WMF at large to do it or Wikinewsie? —Justin (koavf)TCM 18:44, 2 October 2016 (UTC)
I would not trust the WMF to get involved if they were willing to, which I don't think they would. Their collective notion of what they should be doing, while painfully at odds which what they should be doing for the sake of Wikipedia, is far, far more at odds with news principles. And Wikinewsie is atm an internet domain, not a legal entity in itself. --Pi zero (talk) 22:25, 2 October 2016 (UTC)
@Pi zero: Sorry: that's what I was trying to ask--can we incorporate it as an independent non-profit? Would you be interested? —Justin (koavf)TCM 22:42, 2 October 2016 (UTC)
That would be a question on which to bring in Brian McNeil. I'll look into whether I can get in touch with him after the review I've just started. --Pi zero (talk) 22:48, 2 October 2016 (UTC)
@Pi zero:, @Brian McNeil: Let me know what I can do. —Justin (koavf)TCM 22:54, 2 October 2016 (UTC)

@Pi zero:, @Brian McNeil: Do you think we could incorporate for funding? —Justin (koavf)TCM 22:40, 2 November 2016 (UTC)

Saving the articles[edit]

Many news applications have an option to save an article to read later. So, should we provide an option to save the articles for future reading for registered users? And it has to be different from the watchlist as the watchlist keeps on growing.
acagastya 09:15, 17 October 2016 (UTC)

Hm. There would have to be persistent data storage somewhere, to remember which articles are involved, and it would have to detect when a previously-saved article has been read. It can't be stored on the public wiki, since that would create an invasion-of-privacy problem. Cookies, I suppose; I've never worked with them, so don't know the techniques. Javascript, probably. --Pi zero (talk)
We will create a script and mention how it works and that script will create a link on the left hand menu to add the article to a pager in userspace to do that. If the article is already listed, there will be an option to remove it. How about that?
acagastya 13:41, 17 October 2016 (UTC)
Based on cookies, or storing info in the public wiki?

Sounds... challenging to implement. In competition with, well, everything else.

There is no left menu in the mobile view; I'd think mobile users might be a significant part of the clientele for the feature.

All my objections as may be, this is an interesting idea. It would probably want to be a gadget, perhaps (once working smoothly) enabled by default for all registered users. --Pi zero (talk) 14:11, 17 October 2016 (UTC)

Weekly live chat meetings/workshops[edit]

I would like to experiment with weekly live chat sessions at #wikinews-en or #wikinews (which is better?), announced on-site and on social media, where we can get together and collaborate on

  • possibly helping newcomers (if there are any attending) to write, or
  • try to get the review and draft queues killed (if no newcomers are attending, or if there's enough contributors attending to handle both tasks).

This is a hard question because of timezones. Which day of week and what time would you be available at in UTC? What do you think of the idea?

I would be willing to do note-taking for each such meeting, if I am attending and people are interested in notes (people ABC attending, so-and-so X article written, article Y corrected, article Z reviewed, etc). Thanks. --Gryllida 00:45, 24 October 2016 (UTC)

18:00-20:00 (easier) or 10:00-11:00 (harder) any day of week. --Gryllida 00:45, 24 October 2016 (UTC)
That is the UTC time? (It would be difficult for the south east Asian citizens as that would be college/ working/ school time.)
Agastya Chandrakant ⚽️ 🏆 🎾 🎬 🎤 📰 08:09, 6 December 2016 (UTC)

Disaster template[edit]

Can we remove the tornado image from the template?

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10154319397873049&id=48245858048

Every story in the category takes the image as it's lead on Facebook, even if there's an actual image in the article. -- Zanimum (talk) 01:44, 6 December 2016 (UTC)

@Zanimum: Is this a recent development? For some time we made sure the main image on the article was at least 260px, because brianmc had reported a problem with facebook if the image was smaller than that, but now that you've jogged my memory I realized I forgot and stopped doing that a while ago (not sure exactly when, off hand). --Pi zero (talk) 02:56, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
So select a different image, or remove it. In any event, we will not and can not reduce our site to suit somebody else's. If it is no longer possible to choose another image or deselect, that's Facebook's problem. BRS (Talk) (Contribs) 11:18, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
I tried to remove it a week ago, but it appeared to be a template in the template. I don't see how removing a generic image would be a reduction. In other templates, the generic images are genetically relevant, like the Ukraine flag and map for Ukrainian articles.
Yes, @Blood Red Sandman:, on desktop you can substitute images, but ultimately we need to make things as easy as possible for readers to share Wikinews content, to ensure we're supporting the maintenance of an active readership base, how ever they choose to find the content.
Not sure how long term the issue has been, @Pi zero:. I've been the one updating Facebook for the last few months, it's possible that I've just forgotten. -- Zanimum (talk) 11:33, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
Replacing the image with something preferable, that's an acceptable solution. I'm more than happy for that kind of action to aid with fb. Simply removing the image altogether, and leaving a bland text-only infobox? That's something I'm not up for. Especially if the problem's roots aren't even with Facebook themselves but rather an insistence on doing things via mobile. Mobile browsers are improving all the time but they still aren't fit for purpose, in much the way mobile phone cameras only became serviceable in the last few years. BRS (Talk) (Contribs) 11:51, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
@Zanimum: I've heard you were updating facebook, which is deeply appreciated. Customizing the infoboxen is designed to be easy; at {{Disasters and accidents}}, it says "Customize this infobox here" with a link to a table containing customizing parameters. In this case they're likely self-explanatory, though there's a link to where documentation on the fields can be found. I agree with BRS, a different image would be fine; I've been thinking for years the Disasters and accidents infobox image is often less topical than the images on other infoboxen. As I mentioned, making the main image a little bit bigger might fix the problem, which I don't mind trying although there's a bit of a problem with remembering to do it consistently. --Pi zero (talk) 12:32, 6 December 2016 (UTC)

Been chewing this over. How do people feel about using a closeup of a blue emergency vehicle light for the infobox? Preferably on a red vehicle, implying a fire and rescue service (don't want the subconscious association to be police). BRS (Talk) (Contribs) 00:52, 17 December 2016 (UTC)

That sounds like a good concept, to me. --Pi zero (talk) 00:55, 17 December 2016 (UTC)
Commons seems remarkably sparse; I did find File:Red Lights and Sirens.jpg which feels a bit busy for an infobox. One option is to dig through loads of fire engine images and crop one in HD that already focuses on, say, the cab. BRS (Talk) (Contribs) 00:59, 17 December 2016 (UTC)
@Zanimum: @Pi zero: Have replaced with File:Blue lightbar (fire and rescue).jpg, uploaded for the purpose after finding Commons rather sparse and trawling through Flickr for a while. Hopefully this should work better as a fallback disasters and accidents generic pic. BRS (Talk) (Contribs) 02:57, 17 December 2016 (UTC)
That is a good choice. I would say a military helicopter might also be suitable since military personnel are involved in either helping out causing the disasters and accidents.
Agastya Chandrakant ⚽️ 🏆 🎾 🎬 🎤 📰 03:22, 17 December 2016 (UTC)

Suggestion for content[edit]

Cross-posting partnership Do you think that we could encourage more growth and activity here by seeing if other alternative media publishers would be willing to cross-post some content here? I wanted to run it by the community before I bothered even asking any other venue. I know that ProPublica allows some of their content to be posted elsewhere and the Independent Media Center has a kind of overlapping mission to ours. Maybe some public radio providers and stations would be interested in a partnership? I imagine that they would be willing to license some of their work for us, especially if we had a strong program of sharing info. Does this seem doable to anyone else? —Justin (koavf)TCM 04:15, 8 January 2017 (UTC)

My first reaction is caution. Anything submitted needs to go through our review process; and we need to upgrade our review capacity — part of my long-term technical effort here — before we would be able to handle a major new influx of material. That said, any plans that can't be realized now might become workable later; so, with that in mind, what sort of alternative media publishers were you thinking of? --Pi zero (talk) 06:06, 8 January 2017 (UTC)
@Pi zero: Indy Media and ProPublica I mentioned above. I know that Common Dreams also posts media that are already CC-BY/CC-BY-SA licensed. For that matter, if we had a good relationship with some local alternative weeklies that might be good as well. Not necessarily something that skips review altogether or which works entirely as a link-trading scheme--I'm not suggesting some kind of news quid pro quo. But maybe if things can be "fast-tracked" for trusted sources or that we can have a banner on pages that are part of some kind of news-sharing. Mostly I'm thinking out loud here. —Justin (koavf)TCM 07:26, 8 January 2017 (UTC)
For text, why bother releasing content already released elsewhere? It can actually be detrimental to do so; another language edition tried mass imports and while article counts exploded, readership plummeted and the contributor base withered. For other media, that's more interesting. A text-for-photos trade, for example could be of mutual benefit. So too could be a relationship where, say, an Internet radio show recorded our articles for broadcast and we got audio files. BRS (Talk) (Contribs) 07:50, 8 January 2017 (UTC)
@Blood Red Sandman: I'd definitely be more interested in learning about that mass-import project. Can you tell me how I can learn more? —Justin (koavf)TCM 17:50, 8 January 2017 (UTC)
Took me a moment to find, but meta:User:LauraHale/Wikinews Content Import Analysis. BRS (Talk) (Contribs) 15:59, 9 January 2017 (UTC)
@Blood Red Sandman: Fascinating and explains why sr.wn is larger than here (which I knew but not why). Could this be a problem of volume? Shooting from ~2 articles a day to ~100, almost all of which are imported is probably a factor. Maybe encouraging our partners to also link to us? As an aside, the study on m: says that pl.wn has ~25,000 pages but n:pl:Special:Statistics says ~11,000--did they mass-delete half of their content? —Justin (koavf)TCM 19:14, 9 January 2017 (UTC)
Sr's folly is certainly an extreme example. But it illustrates the basic underlying problem, which is a lack of point to repeating content found elsewhere, especially when that content's unlikely to match our own policies. (As to the pl discrepancy, I don't know the answer to that but would also love to find out.) BRS (Talk) (Contribs) 11:10, 10 January 2017 (UTC)
@Blood Red Sandman: I don't disagree with you--I can see that this could and has been a problem. It still seems to me like we can have more commentary or expand upon something here, even if its base is content from elsewhere. Maybe not. —Justin (koavf)TCM 16:09, 10 January 2017 (UTC)
Our review process is a bottleneck. We want some inflow of contributors, of course, but until we alleviate the bottleneck we won't be able to take advantage of a major increase in contribution. So the bottleneck needs to be addressed first. A few years ago, when the en.wn community split, with the "hard news" folks staying here and a significant faction leaving to form a non-wikimedia "fork", both sides of the split agreed the bottleneck is a problem, we just disagreed about how to address it. The faction who left wanted to lower standards for publication; the faction who stayed treated our review standards as central to the idealism that defines us and hoped to find other means to relieve the bottleneck. (The fork collapsed, which I see as an inevitable consequence of losing track of core ideals.) My plan is to develop semi-automated assistants so we can do the same human tasks but do them more easily. --Pi zero (talk) 17:16, 10 January 2017 (UTC)