Wikinews:Water cooler/proposals/archives/2012/February

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Comment section

Has this wiki ever considered comment sections on news articles like several new sites around the web have? I don't know about everyone else but I enjoy seeing what other people think about a news subject. CRRaysHead90 | We Believe! 03:53, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

There's a comments page associated with each article. It's available on a tab at the top — first tab is the article, second is the article's collaboration (i.e., talk) page, third is the comments page. There's also a "have your say" template on each article, which links to the comments page. --Pi zero (talk) 04:00, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
I didn't see that, it needs to be more obvious, maybe a link at the end of each article. CRRaysHead90 | We Believe! 05:53, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
What, like this:
That, usually, is at the end of every article. What did you read that lacked this? --Brian McNeil / talk 09:01, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

Never mind me, I'll just be the corner...looking like an idiot. *facepalm* CRRaysHead90 | We Believe! 22:24, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

  • /me chuckles. Sometimes we all overlook the obvious, so get out the corner and participate ;-) --Brian McNeil / talk 00:25, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
CRRaysHead90 has raised a good design point! If CRRaysHead90 was confused about how to comment or read comments, then there are probably others out there, too. Brian hit on the key point here: The convention at other news sites is to place comments directly below a story so the audience stays on a single page and scrolls down. All the wiki-sites solutions to this, which involves going to another page, would be counter intuitive for the average reader, especially new readers or non-wiki people, as it goes against their expectations. CRRaysHead90 has raised a worthy consideration for redesign. I'm not exactly sure about the latitude that wikicode would give Wiknews for such a redesign that could fix this. That's a separate issue. Crtew (talk) 19:05, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
I just did a really crude test, and {{Comments:{{PAGENAME}}}} would pull in the content of the LiquidThreads comments page. It did lose the option to start a new discussion, so that may be sub-optimal.
I'm sure with some wikicode conditionals, maybe (as a sub-optimal workaround) some javascript to give users the "new topic" option, this is something that could be solved.
Related to this, does anyone know the status of LQT2 (or whatever they're calling it)? --Brian McNeil / talk 01:23, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Commons:Category:Freedom of speech - Crosswiki Sister Link project coordination

Regarding this category - I'm doing a cross-collaboration project as a crosswiki sister project coordination at Commons:Category:Freedom of speech. Please feel free to help populate the category locally at this project, that'd be most appreciated. ;) Cheers, -- Cirt (talk) 09:23, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

I'll give some thought to fashioning a suitable crawl for that category on my categories page. I've always suspected it was already pretty well populated (because it's a topic Wikinews is especially aware of), but some crawling might eventually capture a higher proportion of whatever desirable population is out there. --Pi zero (talk) 13:12, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
I can't believe we've only 39 articles that in some way cover free speech. But, I'm having difficulty think exactly what terms would best ferret out otheres. --Brian McNeil / talk 13:37, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
Well, I got a few by building category Reporters Without Borders, and I see BRS managed to pinpoint a bunch of others. Looks a bit better now. --Brian McNeil / talk 15:02, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
Looking up cats for user-generated websites, plus things like the ACLU, EFF, Liberty, etc etc seem to fertile hunting ground. I'll do some more after writing an article. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 15:10, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

Wow, thanks so very much everyone, this is quite a good response! ;) -- Cirt (talk) 17:26, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

  • Question: There's only one other language interwiki at Category:Free speech. Surely there must be other language Wikinews sites with the category? -- Cirt (talk) 17:34, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
Another language Wikinews may have an alternative taxonomy, with simply no very close analog to Category:Free speech. This is kind of what I found when I went looking for an analogous category at Spanish Wikinews: in their hierarchy, under Política, I find Censura — Censorship. --Pi zero (talk) 19:36, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
Even something analogous like that would be quite helpful, we should add those as interwiki links. -- Cirt (talk) 20:07, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

Wow, up to 282 articles in the category Category:Free speech, to whomever's helped out with this — thank you very very much!!! ;) -- Cirt (talk) 06:16, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

  • There is no 'overkill.' There is only 'open fire' and 'I need to reload.'Maxim 37.
Hopefully we can get the Wikinews Importer bot going again and have the latest shown In The Other Place. --Brian McNeil / talk 14:38, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
I agree with both Maxim 37 and Brian McNeil. ;) -- Cirt (talk) 14:56, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

Wikinews shorts vs Wikinews briefs

Let's see, things that weren't clear to me when I started out at Wikinews. One such confusion, was Wikinews Briefs vs Wikinews Shorts. The convention now is that most people use Wikinews Shorts as the format for what we know as briefs. The convention now is to include around 3 items. It looks like when Wikinews started out the convention was to write Wikinews Briefs instead and then shorts were introduced later. Do they both still exist as viable formats? Is there a difference? Should we put out a redirect at any mention of Wikinews Briefs to point people immediately to Wikinews Shorts. I don't think it's clear to the newcomer. In fact, I'm still not sure about this because I don't know the backstory :D Crtew (talk) 19:32, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

Part of the confusion to anyone new is that on the Newsroom page it says to write a quick brief and then the link creates a pre-formated page for a short. Yet the two names were used in the past and there is no clarification about a difference. It seems like you have to be part of the community in order to know what is going on.Crtew (talk) 19:49, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
One more point on reconstructing my confusion: The category for briefs takes the reader to a collection of Wikinews Briefs from way back. There is an entirely different category for Wikinews Shorts. Crtew (talk) 19:53, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
  • The news briefs were, as I recall, summaries of the day's published stories for use in audio reports. The shorts were,and are once again, a collection of articles too small to publish individually. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 15:22, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
Yep. That's exactly what I ran across digging for free speech. Briefs are usually the script for an audio report. They would take the content of a "Wikinews Shorts" article verbatim, and add a summary of any published main story. --Brian McNeil / talk 20:47, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
For my purposes, briefs are the things that, when going through the archives categorizing, I don't touch (they're redundant to other articles, so don't get categorized). --Pi zero (talk) 22:22, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia banned in Uzbekistan

Could be an interesting article. I'm taking care of a sick friend, don't have time to write it up at the moment. Someone else, perhaps? -- Cirt (talk) 00:48, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

Looks like it might need a splash of OR, for freshness and possibly to overcome the single-source problem (should a second source prove difficult to find). --Pi zero (talk) 01:11, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

Change Category:Free speech to Category:Freedom of speech

Can we please change Category:Free speech to Category:Freedom of speech ? That's the name given for the same category at all the other sister projects. Thank you, -- Cirt (talk) 17:32, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

  • Basically, no. That's an enormous job that would require a much better reason than "everyone else does it, let's just follow". I mean, if some brave soul volunteers I guess I'm not opposed, but it strikes me as a monumental waste of time. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 22:41, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
    • But couldn't a bot make it quite easy? :) -- Cirt (talk) 23:09, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
  • I think we'd want a better reason before we'd be well advised to do this. The category has been in place since 2005. There may be links to it all over the internet, let alone all over the sister projects. I'm not opposed to "renaming" long-standing categories on principle; one of these times I'll get up my gumption to propose renaming Category:Religion and its corresponding Portal:Spirituality, both to new names that match each other; but I see this Free/Freedom thing as a minor detail of form rather than a matter of principle, and without a principle I do think the weight of a long-stable high-profile category name ought to prevail. --Pi zero (talk) 23:36, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment This would've been a fsck of a lot easier if done before we ran round and thoroughly populated the category. I appreciate it is relatively easy with a tool like AWB, but I no longer _have_ a Windows install. To follow up on pizero's point: there may be links elsewhere, but there is merit in matching Wikipedia; where we do so (and when it's running again) the importer bot handles keeping links from Wikipedia pointing at us. --Brian McNeil / talk 00:59, 27 February 2012 (UTC)
As I understand the importer bot, there is no need for correspondence of names. The bot works off a DPL manually set up here in a subpage. I think the subpage name has to correspond to the Wikipedia name, but in any case, the DPL on that subpage can specify whatever we want it to. For example, a subpage could be called something like ...:Freedom of speech/Wikipedia (whatever the format is; I'd have to look it up), while the DPL on that subpage could specify category=Free speech. --Pi zero (talk) 02:52, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

We could easily leave a redirect in place to direct to the new category, this would solve the issue of links all over the Internet. :) -- Cirt (talk) 03:55, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Category redirects are evil. What one does is delete the old category (once empty) with a summary-line that links to the new category, so when someone visits the deleted category, the message telling them it's been deleted also links to where to go. From my perspective that's not really to the point, though; I'm more concerned here with seeming insignificance of advantage than degree of significance of disadvantage. --Pi zero (talk) 04:21, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

To my knowledge, this is the only sister project where the category has a different name than w:Category:Freedom of speech. -- Cirt (talk) 04:34, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

(In English, you mean, of course.)
I don't see that as in any way problematic. --Pi zero (talk) 04:44, 27 February 2012 (UTC)
Any way we can make cross-project-collaboration along this topic easier, is a good thing. :) -- Cirt (talk) 04:48, 27 February 2012 (UTC)
I don't see this making cross-project collaboration easier. In fact, as the category is already long since set up, I see it making life harder by requiring change. I propose to leave well enough alone. --Pi zero (talk) 13:04, 27 February 2012 (UTC)
  • I must repeat: "everyone else does this" is not in itself a good reason. Why will this make anything easier? Humans do understand what these words mean. They are not so stupid as to be unable to comprehend these are comparable. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 13:26, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Comment: Alright, fine, I can see the community consensus doesn't want to do this at this point in time. No worries, -- Cirt (talk) 18:07, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Wikinews workshops

I have to say I tend to agree with the recent comment on our Facebook page that there's frequently a failure to follow-through on stories.

There's no way we can assign people to write follow-up — the term "herding cats" springs to mind — but, it may be possible to improve things somewhat if we can increase the contributor base in a manageable way; that is, not get snowed-under with new contributors' articles requiring a lot of TLC to reach a publishable standard, but to bring onboard a few at a time who hopefully progress to reviewer stage in a reasonably short timeframe.

We've run #wikinews-workshop in the past, with a few logs from it kicking about in the archives. Rather than a free-for-all, which could rapidly degenerate, I'm going to run the idea past Crtew (talk · contribs) and Dr Blackall — do a few initial runs as 'virtual tutorials'. If a 2-hour session is restricted in attendees, and target articles, it should be productive.

Assuming success with groups of journalism students, we could probably set up to run the same a couple of times a week and invite a wider participation scope.

Thoughts? --Brian McNeil / talk 05:58, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

A virtual tutorial would be beneficial as a means of transitioning a group through the process after they've made their first edits and moving them toward getting their feet on the ground and running. I've also seen other sites, like CNN I-report, use weekly, one-hour meetings as a means of dealing with short process questions in a rapid fire Q & A style. Another approach could be a virtual one-on-one mentoring, but that is a labor intensive operation and could end up taxing the people who would otherwise be writing or editing articles or doing the necessary maintenance that the site requires. I wonder if communicating through wiki talk pages actually makes this less effective than an interpersonal contact.

In the long term, I've been considering a better way of getting students through information about Wikinews, or what people go through as they get started. This would be like a supplement to the welcome people get on their talk page. The folks at Wiktionary have a clear step-by-step tutorial on getting started there. Something like that could be developed as a teaching tool for Wikinews. It could be pulled up at any time.

It may be that a few of these or other ideas could be used together. Different people have their own preference for how they best learn. Still the undertaking of both developing citizen journalists and citizen editors is an ambitious and worthy one! Crtew (talk) 20:20, 28 February 2012 (UTC)