Wikinews:Water cooler/proposals/archives/2011/July

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Interview proposal for National Archives Wikipedian in Residence

Hey all,

Per this interview that just came out of the Washington Post, I've invited the National Archives (NARA) Wikipedian in Residence, w:User:Dominic, to consider doing an interview with us. I'm probably going to interview him next weekend, when he's had more time on the job to provide more insightful commentary on the relationship between NARA and Wikipedia.

Do you guys have any suggestions for questions I could ask? I'll come up with questions of my own, but I really would appreciate other people's input. Ragettho (talk) 14:24, 4 June 2011 (UTC)

Great idea! How many questions were you thinking about? You should put them on a subpage to work on, like at User:Ragettho/Interview proposal for National Archives Wikipedian in Residence. -- Cirt (talk) 18:27, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
It does sound great. Just a note, from amongst the advice on interviews at WN:OR: "when contacting sources, you must represent yourself as an independent author/researcher, not as a 'representative' of Wikinews." --Pi zero (talk) 18:48, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
Cirt: I'm not quite sure what I want to do yet. If he agrees to answer my questions, I'll put together a more concrete sketch of the interview.
Pi zero: Ok, I'll keep that in mind. Ragettho (talk) 19:50, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
yarrrrr! He said yes. I'll get started on a sketch of the interview soon. Ragettho (talk) 00:21, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

What is going to make for the most interesting read for as wide an audience as possible? If you keep that in mind when composing questions, you'll do fine.

There always has to be a degree of caution when reporting on other WMF projects, and that applies here in terms of making sure the interview is newsworthy. You will also need a lede that explains who/what a "Wikipedian in residence" is, doing so in such a manner that people will want to read further. --Brian McNeil / talk 07:25, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

I posted some questions on the page linked above. Let me know what you think! Ragettho (talk) 15:31, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
I've added one, which you may want to slot in elsewhere in the order. --Brian McNeil / talk 16:55, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. --—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Ragettho (talkcontribs)

Per WN:COE, I'm going to ask Dominic, the interviewee, to approve Wikinews interviews US National Archives Wikipedian in Residence before it gets published. Could someone please take a quick look at the article and make sure everything is alright? I'll probably keep editing the article over the next few hours, and will ask Dominic to see what he thinks about the article tomorrow. Ragettho (talk) 02:07, 28 June 2011 (UTC)

To state the (hopefully) obvious, the interviewee only has rightful editorial control over the accuracy of what they said. We aren't their mouthpiece; editorial control passes from them to you, and then from you to the uninvolved reviewer who peer-reviews the article for publication once you switch it from {{develop}} to {{review}}. --Pi zero (talk) 01:54, 30 June 2011 (UTC)
I'm uncomfortable with my above comment —even though it seems, well, true— because it under-represents the key applicable ethics passage, WN:COE#Avoid misrepresentation:
Do not publish any sort of interview story without ensuring that the interviewee is absolutely happy with the article's final text. Even if this means giving up the interview. Wikinews will only lose out if it offends interviewees — remember to respect that they have taken the time to talk to us!
Admittedly, I did squirm, just slightly, over the interviewee directly making edits to the article. When the interviewee begins to shade toward a journalistic role on their own interview, they're shading toward a conflict of interest (WN:COI). [Which in this instance was handled impeccably with full disclosure in the OR notes; I'm just saying.] --Pi zero (talk) 14:43, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

WN:Article wizard

Okay, I've got a complete draft of an article wizard. The main sequence is five panels (News event, Sources, Headline, Lede, Inverted pyramid), with three optional side panels along the way (Freshness, Newsworthiness, Advanced sourcing).

I'd like to solicit the community's input.

  • Things left out? (Things that should be omitted?) Things badly expressed? Are any panels too full, and if so, suggestions on how to fix?
  • Is the wizard in about this form useful enough to deploy, and if so, where/how?
  • Eventually, I hope the wizard can have blanks the user fills in as xe goes, and the wizard accumulates the information — sources, brief answers to basic questions, headline (which is the point at which it becomes possible to create the article), lede, body. I'm trying to work out what would be a beautifully simple and general javascript tool (or tools) to bring to bear on that. Suggestions??

--Pi zero (talk) 03:22, 30 June 2011 (UTC)

I like the idea, but I have a couple dislikes.
  • There are way too many info vision blurs over. I'd try to make it more step based, see User:Mono/Wikinews:Syndication for an idea.
  • Make it more how-to in general and try to enhance it with technology. For example, try implementing a search to see if the topic is already covered.

Thanks, theMONO 03:35, 30 June 2011 (UTC)

What I'm mainly getting from those comments is the need for the javascript aspect of the wizard.
  • The difficult, we do right away. Javascript takes a little longer.
  • I'm a firm believer in graceful degradation; there would have to be a version of the wizard for users without javascript in any case.
  • The wizard has a lot of information in it because there's a lot newbies need to know. I'm not sure if there's anything outside the purview of the missing javascript element implied by "how to". Other than a slight mention of active voice and similar, imho there's no realistic chance of the wizard teaching newbies to write English.
--Pi zero (talk) 14:38, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

COinS and hCalendar in {{Source}} and {{Date}}

Since this stalled, being on an under-used talk page and all, I'll bring it here, at the risk of restarting the firestorm. DENDODGE 20:52, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

Moved from Template talk:Source

The following has been moved from Template talk:Source.

Since BarkingFish doesn't seem to like my edits to this template very much, I'll try for consensus or something, although I doubt it's an issue anyone feels very strongly about.

Basically, I'd like to add COinS and hCalendar microformats to this template. The former has been used for this exact same purpose on Wikipedia for ages, and it's been in {{Date}} for a good few months, with no ill effects. It simply makes citation easier for some users, without changing anything for the rest.

The latter is recommended for anything that can be defined as an "event", with a summary (in this case, the title of the article, which I had in the format "Title" — Publisher, although that may not be the best way to express it) and a date/time (the publication date of the article). It makes our articles easier to parse for bots and software, and lets the user do semi-useful things like export the sources as events to be easily imported into a calendar or timeline. This does even less to the users for whom it isn't useful, being simply elements that wrap around what was already there.

I don't expect many people are watching this page, but I don't think it's really important enough for the water cooler, so I'll flag this discussion for a while, in the hopes of getting consensus either way. Personally, I don't feel particularly strongly, although I certainly see this as a net benefit to readers and the project. DENDODGE 15:56, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

This was discussed on the water cooler a while back, iirc. (Probably wrt {{date}}.) We should find that and provide a link to it here. --Pi zero (talk) 16:24, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
Found it! That was about {{Source}} and {{Date}}, but the source part got pretty much ignored, so we never got around to implementing it. Since then, I've learnt to use other formats, too, and I'd say hCalendar will be about as useful as COinS would, so if we do one, we might as well go for them both. DENDODGE 17:32, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
Oppose implementation - I dislike your changes, dendodge, because they are frankly utterly utterly unnecessary. As unnecessary as COinS is. You said it earlier on IRC - "it makes various tasks easier for a few people" - maybe it does, wonderful. How many people? Are we even sure people know what the fuck this is? Who uses it, why do we need it, what does it do, is there any real point in us inserting potentially useless crap into our pages? I know the answer to the last part of that, and it's NO. Unless you can actually justify what it does and why it's beneficial to us having it, I say that we do not use this, or any other "microformat". Get justifying. BarkingFish (talk) 23:09, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
I find it useful. Evidently, the editors over at The Other Place agree with me (and amazingly they had, AFAICT, little to no controversy). If somebody wants to cite one of our articles, they have an easy way to do so. If somebody wants to plot our articles on a timeline (which would be useful for a set of articles in a series of events, such as an uprising against some dictatorship), they have an easy way to do so. If someone wants to index all our articles using a bot, they have an easy way to do so. Personally, I find the COinS on Wikipedia useful when citing works for college essays; I have not yet had to cite a news article linked from WN, but I expect I, or somebody else, will need to. The hCalendar is a nice additional thing that has not been directly useful to me, and would be primarily useful to automated tools, but there are a number of end-user applications around the corner (the Firefox Operator extension being an example). The number of users it will help is small, but it is growing, and it's a hell of a lot bigger than the number of users it will hinder - none. If I hadn't told you about it, and you didn't have RC, you wouldn't even know it was there. But microformats are one of the first things I notice when I load a web page (because they put a handy little icon in my address bar), and I do use them for a variety of purposes. Other people do as well. DENDODGE 23:18, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
You know straight away what my answer is to that. We're not the Other Place - and this sounds like at the moment, it's about you. You find it useful. They're one of the first things You notice. And whether you told me about it or not, I can read recent changes and would have found this eventually. I'm not blind. BarkingFish (talk) 23:23, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
I specifically said "and you didn't have RC". And I'm talking about myself because you asked for proof that it was useful. I find it useful. I can't speak for anyone else, but the chances of me being completely unique in using microformats are very slim. They exist for a reason, and lots of people use them. And I know we're not The Other Place, but the fact that even they implemented these things with no noticeable controversy has to say something, as does the fact that they use them at all. So we have established that some people, such as me, find it useful - the next question would be, How is your experience impacted by these microformats? You don't like them, but what do they actually do to reduce usability or aesthetics? "Absolutely nothing" is the answer to that question. At most loading times might be slowed down by a millisecond for people on slow connections, but since all we're doing is wrapping spans around elements that are already there, even that is unlikely. DENDODGE 23:48, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
So why the "and you didn't have RC"? How could you use that as part of an argument when EVERYBODY here has access to RC. Come on, den, use some sense. And my main reason for you not doing the fiddling with the templates, barring the fact that I actually think this entire POS is utterly worthless, is that you're doing it on very high use templates, and regardless of what you think, those kind of changes should not be done without consensus amongst users (which is why you're now here :D ). You don't just go and change something for the sake of it without speaking to others about it. Implementing stuff because you implemented other similar stuff (I'd say hCalendar will be about as useful as COinS would, so if we do one, we might as well go for them both.) isn't a good reason to just go ahead. Discuss, decide, despatch. Anyway, I'm done, time to let others vote to do this, so I can look like a dick for not wanting it :P BarkingFish (talk) 00:05, 30 June 2011 (UTC)
I was simply pointing out that it doesn't change anything for the people it doesn't help - it wasn't supposed to imply that I was trying to hide it from you. And, yeah, of course I'm all for consensus - I just figured people wouldn't really mind. Had you been around to raise your objection at the time, I would have brought it here first. DENDODGE 00:27, 30 June 2011 (UTC)

Does anyone else care to weigh in? DENDODGE 20:52, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

Photos of mass murderers

Well, I guess every news agency does publicate their photos, if there is one available at the time, but I think we should not do that. They usually commit those crimes to get themselves known, and I feel that we should not support this intent by showing their pictures on the relevant news. The only exception of what I can easily tolerate is to publish the photo, if the suspect is still on the run. But again, this thought might be futile, as all the others display those pictures. - Xbspiro (talk) 00:35, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

Wikinews is not censored. The person is highly significant to the story, and our stories need pictures. Would you rather have a striking portrait of the killer, or a map of Norway? We are not going to take pictures out of articles because it might give someone some publicity. Would you also like us to remove the name of the gunman, because it gets him known? Is Lee Harvey Oswald now "that guy"? In a story about David Cameron, we will include a picture of David Cameron. In a story about a mass murderer, we will include a picture of said mass murderer. Whether it offends you or not. DENDODGE 01:10, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
I know that people's feeling of justice (well, only mine in this case), if it would have a significance here, could cause a lot of interference. Therefore I accept the consensus about "no censorship", but still wanted to express my opinion. I understand that it would be awkward to write an article without naming those in spotlight, and never requested such a thing, although what I wrote might imply this as well. I also understand that articles are better if they are illustrated.
The choice in the case of question, however, is not limited to choosing among the map of Norway and his photo. The article is about an event, and given that this file has been uploaded when it was not considered to be free, there would have been other possible choices ([1], [2]) under fair use which reflect more on the event and its aftermath itself, rather then the perpetrator. They might be more violent though. In general, for a speech of Cameron, it is better to include his picture taken on that event, rather than one taken at some other place and time. Sticking to free media, the Commons holds some about the parallel bombing, which could also have been used; but that is not about shooting itself. Using free media, however, would not ease my concerns, as his profile photo can be distributed freely now, just as I thought it will be. Basically, by showing his photo, we completely fulfill his wishes, while by not showing pictures of the incident or its aftermath, we do not underline what happened. It is also not true, that we do include the photo of the person in question all the times: take a look at this article for example, and then search the web for his photos.
Personally, I refrain from editing articles about such terrorist activities, since I deeply condemn them, and I think those who committed those crimes does not deserve an article polished by me at all. I only wrote this to make my previous words more understandable, and not to generate war. However, if you see weak points in my reasoning, please name them. Whether it will offend me or not. And again, I accept the no censorship principle, and I do feel that to start acting against it would be a dangerous precedent. - Xbspiro (talk) 12:43, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
Well, first of all, we can't use any pictures from the Independent, as they're a competing news organisation. The photograph of the killer was the best I could find at the time. If you can find something better, feel free to replace it. DENDODGE 12:51, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
You are right about the fair use problem, I overlooked, my bad. - Xbspiro (talk) 18:27, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
I don't think the guy was doing it to be notorious: he was trying to make a political point. Of course, it rather backfires because for the next however many years, anyone brings up political ideas similar to his, people are going to say "oh, isn't that the same idea that caused that guy to go and kill 89 kids?" —Tom Morris (talk) 13:22, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

Sarcasm is hostile "humor" and should be discouraged

(cross posted from Talk:Main Page) I was not the only one who didn't get the sarcastic comment made here.

I think a great deal of the "poison pen" stuff would be reduced if not eliminated if sarcasm were not used. See sarcasm

  • <copyright violation removed.>

Please stop the sarcasm here and in other areas referring to me. It causes a poisoned atmosphere. And remember, not everyone on this site is from the UK, so Pi Zero's comments in defense of sarcasm are very insular: "Ergom — the above exchange may be puzzling, taken out of context. Brian McNeil recently warned Mattisse against poison-pen denigration of Wikinews and its contributors. It may also be helpful to note that on Brian's first, serious reply, his appended question is a sarcastic allusion to a traditional saying." ??? Traditional saying? Again, are global contributor welcome, or only those from the UK or wherever the "traditional saying" comes from? Mattisse (talk) 14:09, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

  • The saying, supposedly, has Spanish origins. And, if you don't like the fact that there is a substantial British-English contingent on this project, make like a tree. --Brian McNeil / talk 10:35, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

Encouraging donations to Commons

I've created two new templates, {{Commons donate left}} and {{Commons donate right}}. I think the purpose of these should be fairly obvious. However, I'd like suggestions on how we could make them more distinct from the HYS templates I've copied most of the code from.

I do have one concern, which is what about people who're not logged in, or don't have user accounts on Commons. Should we be sending people to the Commons login page, with a "return to the upload wizard" redirect?

For making the box requesting image donations more distinctive, I'm wondering if rounded corners and a drop-shadow would suffice. I also suspect the clickable link to go and upload stuff should be more prominent.

Keeping the template size the same as, or slightly smaller than, the HYS ones is - to me - pretty important. Beyond that, consider this a 'design competition'. --Brian McNeil / talk 11:05, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

Donate your images
Do you have relevant images?
How about this?
It's not quite was I was going for, but I can't seem to make the shadow work properly. It's a start. DENDODGE 12:38, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
It does give me a couple ideas...
Donate your images
Do you have relevant images?
Not a massive change from yours, but noticeably distinct from the HYS templates. Still annoyed the drop shadow isn't quite right. --Brian McNeil / talk 13:55, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, I was going for bottom and right, but it ended up all the way round. The only way I can think of to do it would be with CSS - a few lines in MediaWiki:Common.css would do it, and then we could just apply a class to the template so it looks that way in every article. Anyway, the above is just something I did in thirty seconds to try and kick things off. DENDODGE 19:16, 30 July 2011 (UTC)