Grants talk:IdeaLab/Assembly line editing
Hi Coin945, I'm Jethro, one of the Wikimedia Foundation staff who is running this campaign on measuring community health. Thanks for your idea on this method of editing that specializes particular roles. I wanted to ask how this idea relates to the theme of the campaign, because while the idea is clearly related to editing, I'm not sure how it relates to assessing how healthy a community or a particular process is so much as it is suggesting a new approach to organizing editors or distributing tasks. Could you describe how it is related to this topic? If it's not related to measuring community health, this is not a problem, but I will likely move this idea to IdeaLab where folks submit ideas about Wikimedia projects generally, whereas this campaign is focused on that specific theme. Thanks, I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 05:28, 21 July 2018 (UTC)
ːHi Jethro, pleased to meet you. Upon reevaluating my project idea, I am a bit underwhelmed with how the idea was not particular well fleshed-out. Some of the questions didn't even get a response from me - perhaps this is because wasn't asked them in my application process because I'm sure I would have written something down had I been prompted. In terms of community health, I think the Assembly Line Editing concept has value in terms of alleviating the pressure on each individual editor to be a master at everything, instead allowing them to specialise into certain areas (perhaps having training programs to create standouts in different fields), and encouraging collaborations by 'passing' articles from stage to stage as it is being prepared. Having more attention on the unseen or underappreciated areas of Wikipedia such a GA reviewers and taggers would also reduce the backlog of articles, as it would be a noticed and equal part of the editing process. As I said in my nomination, we are all general "Wikipedia editors", with a bit of fluctuation here and there but no real ability to define what we are, rather than our own self-description, but that's merely a preference. Additionally, this would help to reduce the feeling of "ownership" over articles and foster a greater sense of collaboration.
In terms of measuring community health as a result of this proposal, there are various SMART goals you could haveː how much the backlogs are reduced due to more people specialising in that area, a qualitative longitudinal study on how stressed individual editors feel who want to create great content but who feel burdened by everything they have to do, an uptake in article collaboration, an increase in article planning on talk pages (writing over 2 weeks, templates and categories for 1 week, copyediting for 1 week, sent to GA) etc.
One more thingː On Wikipedia, at least from my perspective, people are enticed to become newbies with the promise of writing articles. Writing content. But noone really talks about all the other jobs available at this wonderful organisation. All the behind the scenes people, all the types of tasks across Wikimedia that need to be filled. It's like if everyone in the army became a soldier. Then you wouldn't have an engineers, scientists, musicians, strategists, admin officials etc. If soldiers is all that is advertised, soldiers is all that you're going to get. And you'll expect the unseen maintenance work to keep chugging along, even though noone really has an appreciation for how it all works underneath.
This is all a bit of a brain dump, but I hope that you can see the seed of a viable idea in there somewhere. You're more than welcome to refine my proposal using information here, plus your own thoughts if you think it's something worth pursuing that fits within the outline of this project. This is something I've thought a lot about, and I hope that the principles behind it could be implemented in some small way, if not in an official capacity, then as a general Wikipedia guideline to remind Wikipedians that we do not have to bear the burden of every aspect of an article, and that specialisation-based collaboration should be encouraged (as opposed to three different editors trying to write their version of an article together).--Coin945 (talk) 03:58, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
How are you under the impression that we disallow so-called assembly line of editing (which's a bad choice of word)?.I, for one, typically spend my time on en-wiki, maintaining articles, tagging them, participating in deletion discussions, executing closures and copy-editing articles.Then, there are folks who almost spend the entirety of their wiki-time in running sock-puppetry checks and blocking abusive editors.Some are hard-core content-creators, churning featured-articles like a clockwork.We co-exist together and quite quite well, sans some occasional friction.Winged Blades of Godric (talk) 08:57, 22 July 2018 (UTC)
Hi Winged Blades of Godric, please see above for some further information on my proposal. But I will state here that in a general sense, I personally have found that there is a lot of burden on the individual editor to bring an article up to GA/FA from scratch, with little help from others because we're all in our little world. Similarly, the people in the background who keep the clockwork running (the "police" of the Wiki-world, if you will) are, as they are in the real world, almost a distant and ominous figure to us plain old editors, and we only interact with you if we've done something wrong. I' could be talking about administrators and moderators, but also people like taggers and categorisers who in my experience sometimes get frustrated when I could have done it myself. But in my own experience slowing down to do all of that maintenance stuff can be tiresome, and I would argue it is more efficient to deliberately leave an article untagged/categorised/orphan etc., only for someone who does that for a living to sweep through and do it in a flash. This would as extend to the overall process of an article's 'life-span'. As I said above, there could be a clear path to GAː 2 weeks in writing, 1 week templates/tags/links, 1 week in copyediting, 2 more weeks in touch-ups, then nomination at GA. This would streamline the work and help give editing a purpose toward a clear future goal. If people specialised in areas rather than be a general 'wikipedia editor', then you're have more people as GA reviewers and in the Guide of Copy Editors which would help to clear the backlog. As I also said above, at the very least this wouldn't have to be a rigid, strict policy, forcing people to have 'job descriptions' and be working to strict deadlines. But even a policy just reminding people are that dont have to be an expert at everything, just as long as they try to be an expert in 'something', would go a long way.--Coin945 (talk) 04:08, 1 August 2018 (UTC)