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

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new category on royals

I'd like to propose that Wikinews have a category for royalty. We've written a lot of articles on royalty already, especially the British royal family, and I think that organizing them into one category would be useful. Does anyone agree, and if so, how would this be implemented? Ragettho (talk) 15:04, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

If we can list at least 5 articles on that, then just create a Category:Royal page and get the pages tagged. Thanks for the idea. --Gryllida 03:36, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

Ok, but I think Category:Royalty might work better. I'll get started on that soon. Ragettho (talk) 04:19, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
Wait... we only need five articles? i.e. I don't have to find every article written about royalty and request that the category be added? Ragettho (talk) 04:25, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
While it's recommended, it's not necessary for category to be created - we can create it like this first, and then tag other articles. Gryllida 04:30, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
Thank goodness... I was ready to quit when I found hundreds of search results to sort through. :/ Ragettho (talk) 04:32, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
A few thoughts.
  • You'll want a category name that's very lucid — both in that one understands what it is when one sees it, and in that one naturally thinks of that name when considering adding an article to some such category. For example, when we recently created a category about the ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent), we finally decided to call it Category:Red Cross and Red Crescent, because if you're looking to enter a category in HotCat, you don't want to go hunting for it under "I".
  • A really good category should be one that naturally gets added to. If somebody writes an article, and there's nobody around who's specifically looking out to populate this category, it should just naturally occur to people to add the article to that category. You can't expect people to carry around a database of all possible categories, and check each article to see if it should belong to any of them. This is why, for example, I'm uncomfortable about our Category:Targeted killing; I don't think it even occurs to people that they might want to add an article to it.
  • When you do create a category, use template {{topic cat}}.
--Pi zero (talk) 04:36, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
... did I pick a bad name for the category? I'm not quite sure what your implying here. I'll use the template you recommended. Ragettho (talk) 04:38, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
Heh. Just basic principles. I think Category:Royalty is a good choice for the purpose.
I now realize I left out one basic principle. Every topic category should be a descendant of one of the major topic categories — the major children of Category:News articles by section, like Category:Politics and conflicts and Category:Culture and entertainment. I'm guessing Category:Royalty is "culture"; I guess I'll HotCat that now. --Pi zero (talk) 05:03, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
Wonderful! Thanks for the help you've given so far. Just another thought: the monarch in some cases is the head of government, so perhaps Category:Politics and conflicts is appropriate here as well?Ragettho (talk) 05:13, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
The way we use the hierarchy, one doesn't make topic cat A under topic cat B unless all aritcles in A should go in B. This is why I hesitated in choosing a parent category. Category:Royalty becomes, in effect, a different category if one puts it under Category:Culture and entertainment than if one put it under Category:Politics and conflicts, or again under both. I'm still not 100% sure I chose correctly. Is it true that every article on royalty should also be listed under culture? Certainly some articles on royalty should also be listed under politics; is it possible, at least in principle, that some of them shouldn't be listed under politics? --Pi zero (talk) 05:35, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
No, I don't think that every article on royalty could be listed under culture. King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, for example, doesn't strike me as a particularly cultural icon. However, if we must pick a category, it could be argued that royalty is always a part of politics, depending on how one defines politics. I define politics to be the activities we engage in to determine who has power, and although many monarchies today are ceremonial in nature, they still play a big role in that allocation of power. Ragettho (talk) 06:06, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
True, some monarchs are pretty much purely political creatures, in context. As for whether all royalty is political, another way to look at it is that even in countries where royalty have no governmental power at all, their doings can still have political consequences. Okay, let's try it and see if it works. --Pi zero (talk) 06:24, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

first articles

We may create a "first article" category, where people would put their first article once it passes a basic review (that isn't biased and copyright violation, but may fail the style guide). Then put that at the bottom of main page. They would feel easier at the start and address the issues in next articles. This is in no way a final proposal and I'm expecting potential modifications/feedback responses. --Gryllida 03:35, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

I'll skip the familiar objections, for now; they can be reiterated later if necessary. (They're potent, it's just that they'd drown out what's new here).
The thing is, I don't think the style guide stuff —that doesn't bear on other criteria— is the major obstacle this seems to imply. An article that really doesn't have anything wrong with it except some style details is easy enough to fix up — and people can even ask for help with it. Helping them do the right thing seems like a more directly assault on the problem to me — and of course it's what I'm working on. (To a person with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.) See below. --Pi zero (talk) 04:24, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

Wizard update

I've added two things to the list of steps suggested to me by Brianmc, both at the front: before finding sources, choose a news event; and before even that, understand that writing is an iterative cooperative process between author and reviewer. I've tried to communicate that on the first panel, with both text (that many will skip) and a colorful picture that grabs the eye. I've got about two panels to go — which means (because this is proving direly challenging) I hope to finish before the end of June.

That's only the low-tech version of the wizard, that it should degrade to gracefully without javascriipt. I really want a true wizard where you fill in dialog boxes as you go, and information accumulates, and it helps with deploying what you've entered. Which probably means a very cleverly chosen simple-and-general javascript tool of some sort, which I'm contemplating while working on the non-js panels. --Pi zero (talk) 04:24, 8 June 2011 (UTC)