Community Wishlist Survey 2021/Watchlists/Simple import and export of Watchlists

Simple import and export of Watchlists

  • Problem: As an experienced editor, I would like to be able to share a list of pages that another user can import to their watchlist in a couple of clicks so that they can easily start watching a list of pages on a particular topic. I would like to be able to generate this list via an export from my Watchlist.

Ideally this would be combined with multiple watchlists so that you could import/export just one category/tag of your watchlist rather than the entire thing.

This need came to me, again, during the 2020 US election. I had watchlisted ~250 articles relating to the election and wanted to share this with some new editors who were interested in monitoring election pages. To do this I went to the 'raw' version of the watchlist and copied the full list into a Google Doc. I then shared that along with instructions on where to paste the list in order to generate their election watchlist. Ideally I would like to have shared a single link that they could have clicked to import the pages to their watchlist.

  • Who would benefit: New users who want to quickly monitor a set of pages on a particular topic. This might be useful in events and campaigns, encouraging participants not to simple create their own content, but to also quickly get up to speed monitoring pages of interest.
  • Proposed solution: An export function for your watchlist that generates some ingestible list of pages (maybe this is simply the existing 'raw' functionality?). An import function that can take a list of pages and import them to your watchlist.

Maybe this could look something like the following:

  • I click 'Export' on my watchlist and choose a destination page, e.g. User:Samwalton9/Election watchlist. The raw list of pages is pasted onto that page.
  • Another user can click 'Import', pointing it at the page I generated. This imports the list of pages to their watchlist.


  • This would help with creating watchlist backups, i.e. to make sure all is not lost if I ever accidentally click the clear watchlist button. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 02:43, 17 November 2020 (UTC)[reply]
    Watchlist backups: Go to raw watchlist, copy, paste onto wiki page. (Clearing a watchlist is something all people eventually do as they come up against the limits either of the server or of their own willigness to watch several thousand pages for changes.) --Izno (talk) 18:04, 17 November 2020 (UTC)[reply]
    @Izno: (This either makes me proud that my watchlist pruning skills are apparently exceptional or concerned that I'm not part of the domain of "all people"... 🤖) {{u|Sdkb}}talk 03:24, 19 November 2020 (UTC)[reply]
    Sdkb, the x on the watchlist page hasn't existed forever, so a lot of people probably don't employ it as a tool to prune stuff that shows up that they don't care about. Then there's the "I watch ever afd I edit" set, whom will soon be served by watchlist expiry. It's also just possible you haven't been around long enough. ;) --Izno (talk) 04:25, 19 November 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  • Cool idea... but I think raw watchlist basically works for now. I don't really understand why you put it on Google docs instead of onwiki.... --Izno (talk) 18:02, 17 November 2020 (UTC)[reply]