Requests for comment/Global banners

The following request for comments is closed. While consensus does exist in some sections below, this has largely been superseded already. – Ajraddatz (talk) 02:43, 16 January 2017 (UTC)[reply]

The purpose of this requests for comment is to gauge the Wikimedia community's views on the use of CentralNotice and global banners in general.

Global banners were originally written for the annual Wikimedia fundraiser. More and more, the global banners are being used for a lot of non-fundraiser-related reasons.

Please feel free to add your view below or support a view that's already been written.

Ban the banners for non-fundraising use


Global banners should only be used for the annual Wikimedia fundraiser. They should not be used during other times throughout the year for Wikimedia hiring or strategic planning or other similar non-fundraising-related reasons.

  • Support Support --MZMcBride 22:33, 1 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support Support but I would support an amendment to say that annual fundraiser is fine in addition to any other global banner that it put up for meta discussion/approval/notice first. Ottava Rima (talk) 22:40, 1 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support Support or make smaller. They're quite annoying to me, i don't think that 3 words need ~1 inch of space vertically. Pilif12p 22:41, 1 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose Oppose They are easy enough to hide. J04n 22:44, 1 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support Support - I have clicked "hide" on the current one about six different times. Tiptoety talk 22:44, 1 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose Oppose well its up to WMF, how they use the banners. They give us the place to breathe and work. Our focus is content, Foundation focus is substatial development. I would not remove from them a chance they can get a help for us.--Juan de Vojníkov 22:47, 1 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  • Comment Comment Should we not get full page banners instead? And more flash, please! Svippong 22:48, 1 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose Oppose, though global banners should generally be much more space-efficient than they have been recently. If it's a one-line message, can't it just be the height of one standard line? --Yair rand 22:49, 1 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose: I dispute they were created solely with fundraisers in mind; they can also serve to disseminate essential notifications and information widely. However, their over-use and mis-use has already severely harmed their usefulness/effectiveness, as well as caused deep-seated resentment in some wiki communities. - Amgine/meta wikt wnews blog wmf-blog goog news 22:53, 1 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  • I think it is reasonable to use CentralNotice for more than just the fundraiser. That said, the template staff are so fond of using is simply unacceptable. It must be much smaller and much less obtrusive, and it should be used less frequently.  – mike@meta:~$  22:56, 1 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose Oppose Really, it's not that big of a deal. Use the dismiss button or CSS them out of existence if you don't like them. There are plenty of valid non-fundraiser reasons to use global banners. --ShakataGaNai ^_^ 23:01, 1 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support Support Unless they make it easier to hide them and make them stay hidden, use them more sparingly, make a better attempt to avoid showing them to audiences for which they are irrelevant. Tisane 23:02, 1 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose Oppose CentralNotice is also very useful in other Wikimedia-related situations - like stewards elections or notice for all Polish projects about national Wikimedia Conference. LeinaD (t) 23:04, 1 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose Oppose Just hide them if you find them annoying. Also, my understanding is that using global banners for Foundation job openings has not been and will never be standard operating procedure. Steven Walling (talk) 23:07, 1 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  • Comment Comment, there are valid uses other than fundraisers (so I can't support the proposal) but the banners are being over used currently (so I don't want to oppose it and send the message that everything is hunky-dory). Far better though I think would be something like the "News for editors" page on the English Wiktionary. Thryduulf (en.wikt,en.wp,commons) 23:16, 1 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose Oppose No, they're very useful stuff for the whole movement - geolocated notices for chapters are also used, for example, and get people to meets and chapter launches. I see nothing whatsoever wrong with the Foundation and chapters using internal advertising in this manner, and think it's of sufficient indirect benefit to our mission to be worth its space - David Gerard 23:17, 1 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose Oppose they can be useful in many areas for fundraisers, multi project events and announcements etc. A better process on Meta may not be bad and I can certainly see reasoning behind having smaller banners especially for smaller events/announcements. But as a whole no, oppose. James (T C) 23:26, 1 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose Weak Oppose — I have to agree with Thryduulf. There are valid non-fundraising reasons to use the banners, but they're being overused. In fact they're so overused that I've tuned them out in my mind. This latest banner had to be pointed out to me on IRC, despite the fact that I'd been seeing it on 3 different projects. I auto-ignore them now, the same way I do banner ads. If that's what the WMF wants, then by all means they should keep using banners to highlight matters that may be important, but that are irrelevant to most of the community. Gopher65talk 23:26, 1 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  • Part Support Support Happy to see this limited to fundraising only. Will not support a limit of one run per year, as it may at some point soon become necessary to have more than one fundraiser (and the Foundation should feel free to run more than one a year if needed). AGK 23:54, 1 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support Support mostly. Actually, I'd like a system on Meta where users can agree on what to display on the banners (as noted above, this latest about job openings really doesn't concern most users. Also, we need to fix the banners so one does not need to click hide multiple times or use css hacks (which many users may not be familiar with), and I'm thinking of either a global opt-out method or the activation of a user preference to hide them. Other than that, I'll keep mocking them and hoping I see them less often.  fetchcomms 00:00, 2 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  • Comment Comment I am in agreement with Thryduulf that there needs to be great restraint in the use of banners to avoid letting WMF projects look too much like commercial sites. Fundraising is a fundamental, even a survival issue. There may be other fundamental issues. I don't believe that there is much that is really both important enough and urgent enough to warrant more frequent demands on user or contributor or even admin attention. Most users don't care and appreciate not having to care. At Wiktionary important WMF or sister project news could possibly be included in or linked to from "news for editors". "Banner blindness" is a well-known phenomenon. The net result of overusing banners in to shrink the useful area of project screens without actually drawing attention to the target subject matter. DCDuring 00:10, 2 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support Support, although I would not object to housekeeping notices such as the current employment opportunity notice if they could be made much smaller. BD2412 T 00:22, 2 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose Oppose The non-fundraising banners should not be so large, however. How does it look when the global banner is three times the height of the local one? Also, consider the possibility of a page on each wiki updated by a bot with Wikimedia-wide news so that items of concern to all wikis don't have to always be in-your-face with a banner. Adrignola 00:30, 2 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose OpposeSadads 01:59, 2 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose Oppose Avicennasis 02:11, 2 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose Oppose. I'd like to be kept in touch with meta things, although I don't care for the employment offers. — Internoob (Wikt. | Talk | Cont.) 02:56, 2 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support Support Unless we're given an option to opt out of it(like what they had for the fundraising banner). Bejinhan talks 06:52, 2 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose Oppose --Skenmy talk 08:38, 2 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose Oppose. There are at list two other campaigns where banners are really needed, it's Steward and Board elections, as these election are, without a doubt, important for all WMF projects. All other bannners should come only after discussion — NickK 09:18, 2 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose Oppose. As I said below we should be using banners to encourage our readership to edit as many do not realize that they are able. Half the size though.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 12:10, 2 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose Oppose. The following process allows for engagement with the community, so each banner can be considered on its merits. John Vandenberg 12:52, 2 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose  per Juan de Vojníkov 22:47, 1 August 2010 (UTC). (I'm assuming here that the Foundation decides what banners to put up and when. If that's incorrect, strike this comment.)—msh210@enwikt 16:04, 2 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose Oppose there are a number of legitimate uses of CenteralNotice besides fundraiser; however, I agree that it's use should be controlled harder and I suggest large fonts should be avoided as much as possible. Huji 17:49, 2 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support Support, although the only useful long term solution will be to deprecate CentralNotice completely. Otherwise, there will always be scope creep. More, because CentralNotice is deployed from Meta but mostly viewed on other wikis, there is never appropriate feedback about whether a given CentralNotice is appropriate, or even about whether they break the wikis they are displayed on - in my experience, they are more likely than not to cause display breakage, and many of them cause actual interface breakage (interfering with edit links, hotkeys, etc). The real reason to deprecate CentralNotice, though, is that it presently causes miscommunications - every worthless notice causes a few more people to turn the notice off in CSS, but at the same time, every worthless notice makes it look more and more appropriate to dump your announcement into CentralNotice where everyone can choose between being pissed off at another worthless CentralNotice or turning it off and missing anything that is only announced there. In the long term, this just makes CentralNotice an open sore, not a means of communication. Gavia immer 18:22, 2 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose Oppose There are good, plausible, non-fundraising uses of the banner regarding getting outsiders involved or emphasizing a particularly important effort (e.g. strategic planning). But non-fundraising uses ought to be discussed beforehand. Cybercobra 03:01, 3 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support Support They interfere with page loading and editing, even when they have been hidden. A "hidden" banner still pops up momentarily when going to an edit window, and I have been enormously frustrated as this often causes me to click incorrectly as the page format suddenly shifts as the "hidden" banner vanishes only after the page's initial loading. The less often this happens, the better. --EncycloPetey 03:48, 3 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose Oppose Banners should be used for reasonable purposes - none of the cases where they have been used are unreasonable. We can debate the implementation/design for sure, but not the fact of their use. Witty lama 11:12, 3 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support Support, at least until they develop a non-cookie based system: I visit WP from several computers every day and clicking [hide] gets really annoying. -AlexSm 14:42, 3 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]
    • Do you mean when logged in? If not, there is of course no way the WMF can individually track you as you move between computers so there is no way they can know if you're someone who has already seen and chose to hide one or someone who hasn't see one before in their lives Nil Einne 12:51, 5 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose Oppose The WMF should feel free to use banners, when they feel necessary, I don't feel they've ever crossed the line or come close and the number hasn't been unresonable. While I'm not completely opposed to discussion, I somewhat doubt a consensus model will work for a global thing of this sort, where there isn't even really any policy to fall back on, unless no one notices the discussion. I doubt we'd even get consensus for fundraising banners. As an aside, I've been interested in what I read from some of the non fundraising banners, and I doubt I would have seen what they mentioned otherwise even with a 'news for editors' page (besides that, it seems clear that with many of the recent banners the WMF is trying to reach non-editors so I'm not really sure why people think these should go on a 'news for editors' page). Nil Einne 12:51, 5 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support Support too much intrusive --by Màñü飆¹5 talk 00:19, 6 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose Oppose Kozuch 20:28, 7 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose Oppose rejects non-fundraising usage? Historically it has been used for other things which may or should be interests of global community as follows:
    ... and do you want drop all of them? Sounds coming only from instant thought, although I personally don't oppose not to use it for hiring, on the other hand, Wikimedia Foundation could use its own website for this purpose, particularly if they would like to see applicants from the userbase of these wikis. --Aphaia 21:03, 7 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose Oppose. Far too restrictive, though banners for most other uses really ought to be quite modest in size and tone. ~ Ningauble 15:48, 30 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose Oppose too restrictive --Church of emacs talk · contrib 20:01, 14 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support Support they're quite annoying. --Pietrodn · talk with me 12:45, 21 May 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose Opposestay (sic)! 07:07, 17 July 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose Oppose, they're a perfectly legitimate way of getting information out. And if an "annoying" banner is the worst problem in your life, count yourself lucky! Craig Franklin 12:11, 18 July 2011 (UTC).[reply]
  • Oppose Oppose Though there needs to be some process to limit their use. Elections/global polls are fine provided they can be targetted to those who qualify to vote, recruitment ads should go on watchlist notices rather than banners. Also as you would expect of an RCom member I would support use for research surveys, though unlike most of my fellow RCom members I would like to see some controls even on research use. WereSpielChequers 23:33, 21 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Require consensus for non-fundraising banners


Banners for things other than the fundraiser should be submitted for discussion on meta for at least one week (and the discussion advertised on foundation-l if necessary). Consensus should be achieved for the proposal itself (should there be a banner at all?) and for the actual design of the banner (does the message warrant taking up a huge amount of prime screen space for 3 words?).


Require complete banner dismissability


Due to the intrusive nature of global banners, any banner (fundraising-related or not) must have the ability to be completely dismissed. This ability should be available to both logged-in and logged-out users. Minimizing (reducing the size of the banner) alone is not sufficient.


Allow fundraising banners only in content namespaces


Due to the intrusive nature of fundraising banners, they shouldn't display to users who are viewing project-related pages and materials. These people are a very small subset of users who are almost certainly already aware of a fundraiser. They don't need to be bothered, logged in or logged out, when viewing pages such as an internal noticeboard.

  • Support Support --MZMcBride 00:51, 18 July 2011 (UTC)[reply]
    • Question: Do we have any statistics about banner clickthrough by namespace? I think this is a decision that shouldn't be made in the abstract. Are we walking away from $10 or $10,000,000? --Philippe 01:10, 18 July 2011 (UTC)[reply]
      • I'd actually be inclined to ask you for stats like this. :-) I know that the fundraising banners were removed for all logged-in users at some point during the last fundraiser. I also know that a vast majority of page views are for content namespaces, not for project-related pages. --MZMcBride 19:48, 18 July 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support Support - this makes sense, I doubt it would be a huge number in terms of lost-advertising revenue. Theo10011 09:16, 18 July 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose Oppose, Disagree with the very premise that global banners are "intrusive". Craig Franklin 12:10, 18 July 2011 (UTC).[reply]
  • Neutral Neutral. I don't think it makes much difference. It is a small subset of users, and they are already being "bothered" on content pages anyway. ~ Ningauble 13:24, 18 July 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose Oppose. --Yair rand 19:51, 18 July 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support Support -- while I agree with Craig in principle, we have better things to do with the attention of people who are engaged enough to be looking at anything other than a content-namespace page... related more directly and immediately to compiling a good reference work. SJ talk | translate   23:01, 18 July 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose Oppose This is currently not possible and it would be unnecessary if all banners were dismissable. It would also be very confusing for users to only get banners sometimes and not others. For example, someone arrives at Portal:Main Page and sees no banner, then goes to the featured article of the day and sees a banner, then clicks on the Featured Article star to see more about FA's and sees no banner... very confusing for no reason. Cbrown1023 talk 00:27, 19 July 2011 (UTC)[reply]
    • "Currently not possible" means absolutely nothing in this context. If the Wikimedia Foundation has made anything clear in the past few years, it's that development related to the fundraiser takes priority. This also wouldn't be a very difficult change to implement, I don't imagine. You check the current page's namespace against the wiki's content namespaces (which are defined).

      The point of fundraising banners are to inform people of a fundraiser. If there's a reasonably good chance that the people that you're trying to inform are already aware of the situation and you can reasonably reduce the level of noise (programmatically), why not? I doubt there would be much confusion from readers or users. It would leave the other namespaces open to internal notices, though. I imagine the sites utilizing local sitenotices or anonnotices would appreciate that. --MZMcBride 04:30, 19 July 2011 (UTC)[reply]

  • Support Support I support this zombie proposal. Ottava Rima (talk) 21:03, 19 July 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose Oppose. Redundant to a better proposal, as noted by Cbrown1023. (But namespace customization would be a good thing, in itself. This, however, would be an individual project consideration, not a global one.) Basic principle: central requirements, inflexible and possibly harmful in some cases. Local option, generally wise. If an option exists and local communities exercise this in a way that frustrates WMF goals, the WMF may directly intervene, they have the right and power. (And they can do this respectfully, seeking local cooperation.) Forceful intervention should be rare, it can cause great damage. --Abd 14:28, 28 July 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose Oppose I agree with Cbrown1023 & Abd. I think most people would use the "Dismissable banners" feature instead. Namespace customization might be useful, but is not a high priority. John Vandenberg 00:38, 7 August 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  • Weak Support, this is partly redundant to the dismissability idea, and if we were to protect logged in editors from these distractions I'm not sure I follow the logic of encouraging them to be outside of mainspace. But having the ability to do this may come useful at some point. WereSpielChequers 23:15, 21 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]