UESPWiki talk:Community Portal/Archives

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Reorganizing (Again)

I just did a significant reorganization of the Community Portal (CP) and its archives.

First, I did the reorganization without first discussing it because I knew it would be much easier to understand what I was proposing if it editors could see a concrete example of what I was proposing. But really setting up such an example required modifications in a few places, and therefore didn't lend itself to a sandbox. So I did the changes to the real pages, fully aware that the ideas might not be accepted. If the consensus of this discussion is that some or part of the changes need to be undone, I will do whatever is necessary to clean up my mess.

This is not a set of completely new ideas (in my opinion), but rather an evolution of what we've been doing, trying to respond to some of the shortcomings that have become apparent over time. For example, I've tried to take the idea of listing major discussions at the top of the Community Portal, but I've expanded/revised the idea, including a better definition of when to add/delete topics, so that all editors (not just admins) are invited to help keep the discussion box up-to-date and relevant, instead of, well, very stale ;)

The problem is that we need to be able to better manage community-wide discussions, both short-term and long-term. Some of the features I think we need are:

  • It should be easy to find active discussions, especially ones that are soliciting broad input from the community
    • Having most of the discussions on the Community Portal semi-works. But still, there are discussions that take place elsewhere. And the CP tends to become bloated and hard to manage if all of the lengthy discussions are on just one page.
  • It should be easy to catch up on what's been happening on the site. Similar to the previous point, but also that it should be possible to review what's changed if you come back to the site after being busy with real life for a month or more.
    • A concise list of recent discussions would be easier to scan than the entire Community Portal page.
  • It should be easy to find old discussions on a given topic.
    • The current system fails badly on this front. There have been proposals (e.g., New Archiving) about how to better archive the CP discussions (which I still think are worth pursuing). However, putting discussions in easy-to-find places to start with will only help to enhance any organization system.
    • I think discussions should, wherever possible, take place on the talk page of the relevant article. When you're interested in why a given policy exists, you should be able to flip to the discussion page and immediately see all of the relevant discussion. So policy-related discussions should be on that policy's talk page. Less archiving is needed, because the discussions are not all in one mega-list.
  • The less maintenance is necessary, the better. And in particular, reducing the number of tasks that rely on admins, even if it's just because everyone else is intimated by the task or uncertain what needs to be done.

What I have done and why?

  • Moved Discussions to Policy talk pages: I moved the discussions about namespaces and disambiguation to their talk pages, namely UESPWiki talk:Namespaces and Help talk:Disambiguation
    • The new talk pages are the most appropriate place for these discussions long-term
    • To make it possible to find the discussions, they've been added to the Active Discussions list
    • I'm not going to go through old discussions and move them. However, I wanted to start implementing this system now so that editors can see what specifically is being suggested; my proposal is that future discussions would just immediately start on the appropriate talk page.
  • Archives of the Community Portal are now all on the Archives subpage. This is a listing of all past discussions from the CP page, including both major discussions and standard archives.
    • This allows the CP page to be reserved for high priority, i.e. active, discussions.
    • The major discussions list is a complete list, where it should always be possible to find all of the major discussions, instead of having to look through two (or three or four) different places to find a particular topic.
    • Any active major discussions will also have a link on the main community portal page, but the Archives page is where a permanent link to any discussion is always kept.
    • Only one archives link is on the CP page. With 13 archives, it had already turned into a list that was too long for the CP page; the problem was only going to get worse with time.
  • Added new template to major discussion pages.
    • It should now be easier to recognize which discussions can be edited and which ones are resolved.
    • The major discussions are being categorized in the Archive category (including some new categories anticipating additional plans to revive/expand that category system).

How am I proposing that the new pages be used?

  • New discussions:
    • If you have a community-wide discussion, start it on the most relevant talk page (i.e., a policy talk page), then add a CP link in the Active Discussions section. If in doubt, start the discussion on the CP. If another editor subsequently realizes there's a better place for the discussion, it can be moved at that time.
    • If a CP discussion turns into a major discussion (i.e., reaches the point where the discussion needs to be split into subheadings or starts to have links from other places), it should probably be moved to its own CP subpage, added to the list of Major Discussions, and added to the list of Active Discussions.
  • Regular editors:
    • If you want to keep abreast of discussions, bookmark the CP
    • When you notice an Active Discussion topic has been added to the CP, bookmark that talk page, too.
  • Infrequent editors:
    • Check the CP once/week to see what discussions are listed.
    • If you're inactive for more than a week, pull up historical versions of the page, one/week, to see what has happened
    • That should give you a complete overview of all community-wide discussions that have happened, even those in random locations
  • If you're interested in a topic's background
    • Goal is to make it so you can just go a topic's talk page, and everything relevant is either there or linked to from there.
    • This is just one step towards that goal, but I'm hoping to work on some other ideas too.

Questions:

  • Should interval before a discussion is declared inactive be more than a week (to help editors who are inactive for a month at a time)?
  • Any feedback, questions, suggestions?

--NepheleTalk 22:03, 20 June 2008 (EDT)

I finished organizing the rest of the Community Portal Archives, and have started working on the Administrator Noticeboard. But I do have several questions.
  • (This is regarding the whole "moving namespaces" thing) Will we have to go back and fix links in the archived discussions from the Tamriel to the Lore namespace (and change the Archive-Tamriel to Archive-Lore along the way)? Or can a bot take care of that?
  • What about archiving other discussions (such as talk pages where important issues where resolved)?
I also want to create an "Users who are Archivers" category (similar to cartographers, mentors, and other such classes, but it doesn't have to be official). These people should have at least some knowledge about the archive categories and how the process works. They could be in charge of overseeing the archives (and archiving newly archived discussions as well, as it can be quite tedious to learn the process). People who need to reference past discussions could ask where exactly a certain discussion is. I already have an Userbox for that on my user page. Just an idea, and I want to see what others think about it. Vesna 02:00, 6 July 2008 (EDT)