Talk:Main Page/Archive 3

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Transparency problems

On occasion, the logo does not show as transparent in IE 6: namely on the main page and on the multilingual portal.

I read today that Microsoft is going to fully support PNG transparency in IE 7. Supposedly the betas are going out later this summer. It's amazing that they've let this bug fester for so many years.
If we don't mind "hard-wiring" the logo for the current background color, I suppose we could make a transparent GIF instead (has the patent expired yet?).
Any other ideas? — DV 10:05, 16 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Short of switching from IE--which I just did? No.

Being Bold: New Main Page layout

The new main page layout is up. It will have to be tweaked. Be Bold. This is only a current morph, based on many many comments in the archives of this page, the Water Cooler, personal talk pages, Meta discussions, IRC comments and requests, and e-mails. I've run out of time (they're throwing me out of here!) or I'd continue to refine this...

The Lead Article template (Template:Lead article) Should be updated regularly/often, whenever an article is deemed to be well enough written, is of International interest, and has a good quality public domain graphic.

TTFN! - Amgine 01:35, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)

  • Well, the main problem is the inclusion of the categories box. As the categories are currently inactive, it's a real blight. For example, go to North America, and go to the first story listed, and you'll see that it's from Dec 4 2004! That is BAD! When the new server-side system to list the last so many new item in a cat is implemented, the cat system will be great - indespensible, in fact. But right now, while it doesn't work, this box should be removed.
  • The other problem is having a lead story. This is inherently point-of-view - we are suggesting to the reader that one story is more important than another. That's simply never true - it's too subjective, too dependent on who or where the reader is. We should only list the latest stories in order of appearance, and let the user decide what is important to them. Dan100 (Talk) 19:53, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  • I also note that at the time of writing, the lead story is from yesterday. This suggest that my fear that we simply don't have the man-power to maintain something like this right now is grounded. Maybe be when we're bigger, but we shouldn't be running before walking!
  • Further, and this is probably my biggest criticism, I think it's a shame the masthead isn't a template, so other users (ie me! ;) can edit it, as it was with {{welcome}}. With only a handful of admins but a reasonable number of quite responsible editors active on the site, I don't think it's time to put control of the main page into the hands of only one or two people :(. Dan100 (Talk) 20:29, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Sometimes I can be really dumb :). The appropiate bits are {{MainPageHeader}}, {{Lead article}}, and {{WelcomeSandbox4}}. Dan100 (Talk) 20:39, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Great feedback! Here's my comments:

  • There are a variety of projects underway to make automation of the categories possible. The goal is to get at least one of these implemented immediately; it has been under review by the devs for almost a week now. We are also actively recruiting wikignomes to adopt some of these categories, to try to keep them up to date. You can help out both the automation and the topic/region maintenance by using appropriate categories in your articles. You may also want to come up with your own technical solutions for issues you see.
  • The lead article is also editable by anyone. You are encouraged to write lead story content: the guidelines are simply subjects of international interest, with a graphic, and well written.

- Amgine 20:58, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I think the best way to fix the problem of the categories really would be to simply remove the box for now. Once the system is implemented it can come back. I don't think we should be advertising the fact that we haven't sorted it out yet in this way :(.

Plus points about the new page - no article count, that was a bit pointless. The quick links are really useful, and I also kinda like the dropping of the old 'welcome' text, it shows we don't need Wikipedia's cast-offs :) Dan100 (Talk) 23:00, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I agree with Dan100 that the categories are a mite empty at present, but I still think they're a n improvement. Maybe we should hide them for a few weeks, but overall, I'm strongly in favor of them. Pingswept 03:01, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I say we make the first page a user sees our front page. The site's skin should be focused around the news, right behind it is the creation of the news. Litte extend summarizes of the articles from today, similar to the paragraph on the top story, next to the headlines would help make the page more accessible. The page should become a regular stop for people looking to grab the latest news, and grab it from an alternative source. --Alpharigel 00:12, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Weather map date

Right now, the weather map is from the 6th of January, 2005. Andrew pmk 02:03, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Fixed. I updated the page to use the templates that look up the names of the current map images. — DV 04:42, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Browse latest news by

Um, so what is the point of this box on the main page? When I create a new article, am I expected to create a link on:

  • The main page
  • The region page
  • The subject page

? - Borofkin 02:10, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)

No. The current process is to add an article to the daily archive, which is listed in the Latest news template.
The current plan is to eventually include an automated process for the main page which will collect the latest stories, based on the categories added to an article, for the regions and subjects. Each of the region and subject pages will likewise have automated processes for building their sections.
In the meantime, to give your article the largest opportunity to be read you can link it in the three locations. As an option, you might wish to "adopt" one of the regions or subjects, and make sure all the latest relevant articles are linked to that region or subject. Others may likewise be linking your article to their adopted section. - Amgine 17:09, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Yay, for the new layout; and yay for automagicing the cats The bellman 02:58, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Xwords

The crossword puzzle has been popular, anecdotally. It has increased traffic, and was one of the few things which was consistently commented on (positively) with the front page. There have been two opinions voiced opposed to it, four in favour, on the various talk pages. It has majority support, and should be restored.

More importantly, it causes no harm.

- Amgine 22:42, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Where'd the Crossword go

The crossword was just removed from the front page, the reason cited was a lack of consensus for its inclusion. Can we have some more ppl expressing thier views, because this is the first ive heard of anyone not loving the Xwrd. The bellman 22:44, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)

The crossword exists at two locations on the front page - instead of in the main banner, which should probably be reserved for more general-interest links. Maybe we should make a crossword category for the top "sections" link to better allow access to archived crosswords. -- Davodd | Talk 23:40, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I put it back. There's strong consensus for it. Dan100 (Talk) 08:02, 5 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Where is this consensus? If there is one, then we should alter our Wikinews:Mission statement to include word games instead of focusing on being a news source. -- Davodd | Talk 09:03, 5 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Please see Wikinews:Crossword poll for a slightly more structured version of the debate and a potential way to form consensus. -- IlyaHaykinson 21:32, 5 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Where is the Caribbean?

In which region does one put Caribbean articles. Change Central America to Central America and the Caribbean? Squeakfox 00:34, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)

That's a tough question. Most of the countries are listed on the North America topic page, I think. - Amgine

Main Page does not show enough NEWS!!!

In a full screen browser, when the Main page comes up, you can only see ONE (1) news article summary or headline. The purpose of a news site is to show news headlines/summaries to let someone choose what they want to read in detail. I know that if I scroll down, I can see lots of headlines, but I should not have to scroll down on a news site. Every other news page in visit regularly shows LOTS of article headlines on the immediately viewable first page. See for example news.google.com, www.topix.net, www.findory.com or even news.yahoo.com.

And there is ROOM for more news headlines. There is always a lot of wasted whites space below the lead article summary. Also there is a huge amount of page real estate wasted on the right side with the box to allow browsing by topic and by the virtually worthless world temperature map. Please move this entire box into the frame on the left hand side or lower down on the page. The world weather map is particularly slow to load and is too small to be usefull. Besides, how often do I want to know the temperature anywhere else in the world - other than where I am.

Please reorganize to allow lots of news headlines to show in the part of the page visible without scrolling. PLEASE! I love Wikipedia and just discovered Wikinews, but I will not use it as my main news source until the page allows me to see more headlines on the first page. Please no comments about how I am too lazy to scroll - I really consider this to be an important issue of the usefullness of Wikinews. - FrankH


I agree with FrankH that we can get more news on the front page. I suggest:

  • eliminating the words "Main Page", along with the white space that surrounds them
  • In the grey banner, eliminate the following links:
    • "weather" (as the mini-weather map is visible)
    • either "welcome" or "get involved" (I would merge the content of these pages. I prefer "get involved.")
  • move "subject" under "region" in the right hand box. On a small screen, this box dominates.

Pingswept 04:41, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)

FrankH is right. The easiest way would be to lose the (barely to non-functional) categories box and the small weather map and links (a link to weather in the banner menu is enough). Dan100 (Talk) 22:42, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Alright folks what about Wikinews:Sandbox/Main Page compact. Is that version better? Dan100 (Talk) 23:35, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Yes, Dan100 - that is MUCH better. Thanks! So how do you get this agreed to and implemented? FrankH 23:44, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)
One possibility is bringing the matter up in the IRC channel, another is highlighting this discussion on the Water cooler. Dan100 (Talk) 01:32, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)

There is zero added news content in this layout. All you've done is limit the ability for people who have more focused news interests to find a page more relevant to their interests. It also does not take into account planned upgrades to the software. I would suggest a horizontal menu above the lead, including a link to #Weather. - Amgine 01:41, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I have no problem with the links etc moving to the left hand frame or lower down on the main frame. Dan100's Sandbox example DOES show more news content on the screen that you see WITHOUT SCROLLING. That is what I was asking for. With the Links that you want lower down on the main frame you will be able to get to a more focused interest after scrolling down. Ultimately if you are ONLY interested in one of the more focused subject areas or regions, you should get to that page and then bookmark it so you can get there in just ONE click on your bookmark. -- FrankH 05:18, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)
You mean, like you could do by bookmarking Template:Latest news? But yes, I understand what you're suggesting. This layout was implemented, however, as a temporary one while working on other developments. We're still waiting on the implementation of the extension.
You might be interested in seeing a "sandbox" that Pingswept has been working on: User talk:Pingswept - Amgine 05:32, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)

The categories box could be turned into two menu pages - by category and by region. Then we could just have 'Categories' and 'Regions' (linking to the pages) in the main page header next to Latest news. Dan100 (Talk) 14:43, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)

And here it is in action. Putting the subject and region links where I have maintains usability consistency (and visual consistency to boot). At 1024x768, even with large tool bar icons, bookmarks bar, tab bar, status bar and task bar on screen, I can still see the top of latest news. Remember - most users don't scroll - the internet 'below the fold' effect. Dan100 (Talk) 15:14, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Arg - did a non-radical temp fix to remove excess whitespace from under the Main Page lead story. -- Davodd | Talk 01:20, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)

YAMPL (w/Wikimedia RGB masthead) - Amgine 04:35, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I think that YAMPL is a great layout Amgine! The only question I have is why have the small, unreadable (and not very usefull (IMHO)) world temperature map taking valuable space on the right hand side when the full size map is at the bottom of the page? Other than that, I think this is GREAT! -- FrankH 15:14, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I like that too and wouldn't object to it being implemented. A few points though:

  • I think we should keep the colours of the large 'WIKINEWS' the same as the colours in the logo (as now), and probably have the time in black (red is a little 'Geocities' :)).
  • I also think we should retain the small weather map but remove the large one at the bottom (who ever looks down there anyway?!). The small map is a useful attention-grabber for the Weather pages, but the large map doesn't have an obvious purpose and must greatly increase the pageload time.
  • The Breaking news box adds yet another page we have to manually maintain - do we really have hte man-power? And even if we do, wouldn't it be better spent writing content rather than on admin tasks? As an alternative we could just put the developing stories template into the Breaking news box. Dan100 (Talk) 15:46, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Yeah YAMPL is a much better layout - thanks for includeing the Culture and entertainment, Disasters and accidents, Economy and business etc. links - I was getting worried that they were going to disappear as a result of this conversation! CGorman 16:03, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)
To chime in on YAMPL, I think I really like the current homepage over it. I think YAMPL is too colorful and has unnecessary boxes that break the content flow. -- IlyaHaykinson 16:41, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)
<grin> The colors of the masthead are easily changed; in fact the entire masthead can be replaced with a very small edit. The use of boxes is primarily to differentiate news articles (white backgrounds) from non-news-articles (colored backgrounds).
This layout also experiments with the use of {{:articlename/Lead}} and {{:articlename/Teaser}} (or whatever it was I called those files) to build boxes automatically, in preparation for 1411. There is also a limited-width version - YAMPL-600. - Amgine 17:04, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I like the idea of using the /Lead or /Teaser inclusion, but I would like to see the following things changed on Sandbox5 before it gets pushed:
  • The masthead colors changed back from christmasy colors to the logo's gray/light-gray
  • The boxes around the lead and latest news removed (I really think they distract from the flow of the page)
  • Remove the breaking news box by default (put it in a comment in a template, perhaps?) — we don't always have breaking news, and having an empty box makes it look like something is broken
The mechanisms for lead and teaser inclusion are pretty cool, though! -- IlyaHaykinson 18:32, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Okay, okay... The colors are being sqeezed out of it... Behold the monochrome YAMPL masthead is now shades of grey (from the MainPageHeader) and I plan to fade everything else. I'm also thinking of building a somewhat skinnable version, but I'd rather hold off on that kind of work unilt 1411. - Amgine 16:05, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)
This won't get alot of support I imagine but I think we should get rid of the devloping stories and the other stories needing editing. If people want to edit they should be able to find it and if not a simple link should suffice. It seems like it takes up alot of room for little benefit. The front page should be about reading the news, and not neccessarily editing it. Muskoka 19:27, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Your prediction that this won't get much support is spot on! Wikinews (currently) is absolutely tiny, it has only a handful of regular editors and desperately needs more and more contributors. When a newbie comes here for the first time and sees developing stories - that is the possibly the first time they will fully understand that they too can get involved in writing. The developing stories section needs prominent positioning on the main page until the site reachs a much higher level of activity. CGorman 19:41, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I agree with Muskoka, but I think we might want to wait until we have a few more regular contributors. Even though we have lots of obvious indicators that you can edit Wikinews, people don't always get it right away. If we take away the Developing Stories section, it would be even less obvious. Pingswept 22:01, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I agree with you Gorman on the number of contributors and the need for more. However if the big title at the top that says '

Welcome to Wikinews, a free-content news source that anyone can edit.' does not lure people, almost nothing will. That's as simplistic as you get no? Are you saying that 'developing stories' will get more people than the sign that says that? I find that a little hard to believe. Muskoka 02:17, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Amgine/Sandbox5 and the Weather

The laws of nature demand that the the box surrounding the weather is sky blue. (OK, well maybe that's just my opinion.)

And the Developing stories bg color is hurting my eyes - it's too bright.

As for the content, it makes sense to remove the large weather box at the bottom of the page, as long as the small weather box stays near the top of the page. (I agree that we need to reduce the main page loading time.)

There are four more major regions coming soon, (Middle East, Central and South America, and Asia), so the Weather box on the main page will become a convenient "shortcut" gateway to the top level pages within the larger set of regional weather reports that will soon be appearing on the main weather page.

Otherwise I like the Amgine/Sandbox5 layout as it appeared at the time of this posting. — DV 10:19, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I don't have your ability with colors, DV. Could you pick out a set of background and border colors to complement the current logo? Or perhaps a set which work with the Wikimedia logo's RGB? - Amgine 16:05, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)

The front page DEFINITELY needs to show more news stories! -- 70.57.139.181 10:23, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC) (Dpr)

'Welcome to Wikinews...'

I believe we should bring back the 'Welcome to Wikinews, the free-content news source you can write!' text back. We're not picking up new contributors at the rate we should be and I think the problem stems from a lot of lay visitors not understanding how wikis work, and not realising that it depends on them joining in. A small 'Get involved' link isn't enough.

While I'm sure putting it back would be criticized on aesthetic grounds, I believe we should not yet be putting form before function. We have way too few editors for people writing to few stories a day for this to be used as the main news source at the moment Right now we need to be working on getting a larger base of contributors so we can work towards that goal. Dan100 (Talk) 15:52, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)

This is not borne out by the statistics; we have had more contributions by non-regular and anonymous users since than prior. - Amgine 16:47, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)
We are growing at about 4-6 percent a week, which is pretty fast. We get growth spikes during news stories - I think that getting press works better than adding back that one line, but I have no objection to the re-add. -- Davodd | Talk 22:41, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I do. We've just spent several days talking about reducing the non-news on the main page. Now we have something which is not necessary eating top-of-page acreage. There isn't a problem, don't fix it. - Amgine 07:50, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)

At this stage, building a thriving community of contributors is much more important than a pretty front page. Amgine: what statistics? Do you have sources? I note an jump in IP edits as soon as the text was added. Dan100 (Talk) 09:57, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Well at least let's not make it so intrusive. I reduced the type size and removed some of the bold styling to make it easier on the eyes. (I also edited the awkward wording.) — DV 10:09, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)

You're apparently right, Dan100. I guess I'll quite commenting on front page layouts. - Amgine 20:36, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)

800x600 compliance

Main page is 800x600 busting. - RoyBoy 24.141.72.95 01:25, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)

A proposed narrow scheme to link to the Weather Maps

 
Narrow World Weather Link Proposal

I created this mock-up of a possible way to have links to all the current and the new coming-soon Weather maps. My goal was to create a narrow block that could fit in a narrow frame on the left or right side of the main page that would use less space and allow more space for news. The current small weather map is unreadable and is significantly wider that what I am proposing. I am not sure I succeeded in my goal of reducing space since this is still pretty wide and having 8 small images that are 32 by 57 for a total of 14,593 pixels is not much smaller than the 19,000 pixels of the 200 by 95 current weather map. However, it does have the advantage of being oriented vertically. Maybe we don’t need a map for each sub-region? Just a world map image and text links to all the other regions?

Does anybody have an idea for avoiding having oC and oF links for each region? My only thought is to have two radio buttons directly under the heading World Weather banner that would look something like this:

World Weather
O oC    Θ oF

(Excuse my attempt at using character graphics to show radio buttons.) If we can use a cookie to remember the users choice between the radio buttons for oC and oF then the user would not need to ever choose between them again. Then we could have a bigger world map icon and just the region map icons with NO text (if you think the regions are recognizable without text). Another alternative is to just have the world map icon and then have text names of the other regions. Either of these alternatives would certainly result in much less screen space used.

If anyone likes this use of radio buttons for prechoosing between oC and oF, I will be happy to make up another strawman graphic proposal.

I don’t have the expertise to actually implement any of this, but I would be happy to tweak the images (or anyone else – like DV? – feel free to tweak them also). It won’t hurt my feelings if no one likes this idea, so fire away and let the feedback begin… -- FrankH 05:39, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)

As much as I would love to have cookies and radio buttons and other custom controls, such as being able to click on a map image to navigate to the version of the Weather page which has that map selected, none of those capabilities appear to be available in the current implementation of the MediaWiki software. Clickable images always send you to the image repository - we can't redirect such clicks to content pages.
However, using non-clickable, blank, regional "icons" for each map is a nice navigational hint which I would like to add to the small weather map box. This is already being done on the main weather page if you want to see what it looks like. (On the main Weather map page, choose one of the regions other than World to see what the blank regional "icons" look like on the various regional pages.
While the regional icons in the small weather box could be stacked vertically or in two columns, a one column version of the small weather box only makes sense if the main page design is somehow altered to provide a spot for such a narrow box, so a two-column span is a better fit for the current main page layout. — DV 07:07, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Well, with those restictions I can see that there is not much that can be done. Too bad. The fact that you can't even make an image click go to an arbitrary page is very limiting. If you at least had that ability (to redirect an image click) there are some other possibilities, but without that you are stuck with just text for useful links. Has any developer investigated the feasibility of at least allowing image clicks to redirect? Without that capability, I give up... -- FrankH 07:38, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Don't give up too soon. Perhaps a new "redirect" tag could be added to image links to allow pointing to another page. A few folks here on Wikinews have the technical know-how to pursue such ideas, so there's still a chance of making this happen. — DV 07:45, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I think, although I'm not too up on Wikimedia bugs, that making images click-through to a specific target page is quite a high priority for the devs. I wouldn't be suprised if it was implemented soon. Dan100 (Talk) 12:39, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)

How do you get the featured article on the Main Page updated?

I just edited United Iraqi Alliance win slight majority and I would appreciate someone checking to see if I made appropriate changes since this is the first WikiNews article I have edited. If is acceptable please update the excerpt of the article that is shown on the Main Page - or tell me how to do it or how to find out how to do it. I could not find anything in the Help section about updating the featured article on the Main Page. Thanks. -- FrankH 08:54, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)

You can edit the lead story from the first link in the Tasks section of The_Newsroom. -- IlyaHaykinson 09:00, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Also available in the Workspace Dan100 (Talk) 12:23, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)

j

The Spanish Portada

Is rather nice. We could learn a lot from them - no large weather map makes for a more compact page, no large banner header that uses a lot of space for not much benefit, more news higher up the page, and the categories box is much further down (where it belongs, as they're so out of date). The only thing I don't like is the 'requested articles' box, but we could just put Developing stories there instead. Dan100 (Talk) 12:40, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Big home page

I think that you can create a Main Page for the big news (a new war, a big earthquake) with the title of the new very big and a link to a portal with all the news related.

Lead Story NEEDS to be Updated Regularly

Here in my time zone it is March 2 and the Lead story is still Feb 28. Surely something newsworthy has happened in 2 days. I think we need a volunteer to update the lead story at LEAST daily if not 2x a day. And no, I am not volunteering, and yes, I know that anybody could do it, but I think we need someone to be responsible for that task. Any admin? If someone else updates it that is fine, but this person should be responsible for updating it at least 1x or 2x a day. Otherwise this is "Olds" and NOT NEWS! -- FrankH 01:59, 3 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I am sorry to say that I am about to give up on WikiNews after only a few weeks here. First the lead story does not change for 2 days and now it is First Swahili office suite released which I unfortunately do not consider to be the kind of lead story that I want to read about. Maybe I will come back in a few months and see if things have improved. Sorry to be negative and I hope nobodies feelings are hurt, but what sounded like a good idea (WikiNews) has turned out to be a disappointment to me. I thought people would have to do a better job o aggregating interesting and important news stories than the robot at news.google.com, but I think I will go back to Google News instead. Sorry. -- FrankH 04:31, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)
That's unfortunate, FrankH. The lead story actually changed twice today. Furthermore, 55 million Swahili speakers just got their first word processor. To me, that's a big story, and you can read about it in exactly zero major media outlets right now. I'm also a little disappointed that Wikinews hasn't taken off faster, but I don't see giving up as a way to get the better news source I'm looking for.
Anyway, come back in 6 months or a year and see how things have developed. Maybe some other people will have stepped in to fill your shoes. Pingswept 04:49, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Sorry, I did not mean to imply that the Swahili story was not news and that it should not have been written. I would have been happy to have seen it listed in one line on the main page. I just did not think that it had the significance to the WORLD that is implied by being the lead story on the main page. Surely something has happened in the past 24 hours that is more significant to the world as a whole? -- FrankH 15:23, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I've updated the lead with a major story - hope it looks better now. I agree with you that we are very slow to update it. I checked wikinews this morning at about 13:00GMT -there was NO new news on the front page - the latest news was March 3. Oh well, were still growing... you can call it growing pains. CGorman 16:22, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • This is exactly why I opposed having a lead article - we just don't have the manpower to keep it up to date, and sometimes not even the stories to do so with. That's why I've bookmarked my own Main Page and use it exclusively. I want to concentrate on writing and editing, and not be distracted by maintence tasks (I have great respect for those who do do such work, such as keeping the region/subject pages up to date!). Dan100 (Talk) 17:29, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)
We have plenty of manpower to keep the lead article updated. I'm rather puzzled that we don't.
I hope we don't end up with a "feature director" like Wikipedia uses, a role which is a bit too close to a censor for my taste.
I've put up a number of Lead articles, but not every day. If I did so, would I be accused of monopolizing the lead article with the stories I am interested in?
Rather than get rid of the Lead article, we should encourage diversity on Wikinews even more than we have, by explaining to new contributors how they can put their stories up as the Lead article too.
We certainly should update the lead article every day. I will make more of a point to do so if that's what it takes to keep that feature of the site intact. But I hope other contributors will step forward more often.
Not a day goes by that a subject worthy of a lead article isn't in the news. For example, China just read a new law into the record which establishes a legal basis for them to attack Taiwan if they get too uppity - I'll write an article about that today. If no one has a better lead story, I'll post it as the lead article later this evening.
It would be all too easy to be lazy and declare that if we can't even find one story each day that is important enough to be a lead headline, that we might as well start scaling back the site, but that is stinkin' thinkin', and I hope we don't succumb to that.
The answer is not to timidly wallow in our shortcomings.
We should be optimistic that Wikinews will continue to grow and improve.
DV 19:51, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)

It's not wallowing in our short-comings, it's being realistic. The fact is, it's often out of date. Most editors are too busy doing other stuff than to look after the lead article. Having a lead article raises other issues which you touch on - how can we fairly decide what is most 'important'? Who should have that say? Dan100 (Talk) 22:23, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Actually the lead story has been updated very frequently in the last few days, so I think we might have solved the problem to a great degree already. We just need to make sure we continue in the same vein. -- IlyaHaykinson 23:31, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I've been attepting to keep the page up to update lately (since this trend was started) - and more importantly to keep the lead article relevent and significant. CGorman 20:34, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • The WikiNews organization seems in quite a state of flux in the few days that I have come in contact with it. Please allow an observation from an recent outsider who hopes to help...
    • The news contributions to this site are generally not fully developed or well rounded by the originating authors. It is my impression that WikiNews hopes of being relevant to the discerning, or casual reader, who must rely on external links provided at the base of an article to complete a full news picture. If true, this means news consumers will surf outside the WikiNews environment to satisfy their curiosity. This is not "sticky". This is, in my opinion a bad thing as it dilutes the relevance of WikiNews. This site must have a "rebound effect" whereby the user returns.
    • Is it realistic that reasonably high quality reporting will be submitted? By my reckoning, this site has been working since late 2004. I is my opinion the quality of reporting has been almost fully established. Is it possible that in the absence of reporting not requiring intense editing it is possible for the site administrator to performe site maintenance and other issues demanding attention. The pressure must be relieved by a maintenance manager to clean up the site!
    • "Being Relevant News" is measurable! ('BRN' --> can I claim coinage of that?). Why don't WikiNews articles show up on a Google search when Wikipedia references do? How come other news organizations are posted on Google and not WikiNews? There is obvious work to be accomplished here.

Edbrown05 06:35, 13 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Self sabotage

It used to be perfectly straightforward to put on article on the front page. Now it is well nigh impossible, and I cannot figure hoe to get my new article Proposal to ban VoIP in Costa Rica onto the front page. Why is it now so difficult. HELP! --Squeakfox 16:29, 3 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I managed to get the article up by creating Wikinews:2005/March/3 on my user page. It was so easy before and has been made really difficult to post an article. I only didn't give up because I had already written the article, and I do mostly know how wiki works, but this new posting method is only going to discourage people from contributing. Which, frankly, baffles me. --Squeakfox 18:49, 3 Mar 2005 (UTC)

It could because the site has been changed quite radically since you were last here. Re-read Wikinews:Writing an article; it's been updated and should help you out! BTW, using the Assistance section on the Water cooler get you help quicker in future. Dan100 (Talk) 17:32, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Date format

The dare format used is American (month day year). The vast majority of the world uses day month year. It is more logical. Can WikiNews dates please use the world format rather than the American format?

Large parts of the world use year month day, instead of day month year. We have a general guiding principal to use what ever format (for times, dates, spelling, etc) is commonly used in the place being written about. When this is not clear cut (as it often is), it's basicly a "first author lays down the rules" system. Also in future please sign your messages with the following ~~~~, so that it is easy to see who said what. The bellman 12:32, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Currency

Can you please write currencies like pounds, dollars, euros, etc, in the ISO 4217 format like GBP for British pounds. The reason is that no-one can get confused with say, $125 is either 125 US dollars, Canadian dollars, Australian dollars & New Zealand dollars etc. 159753 16:16, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I looked at the ISO standard referenced and the only codes I would have recognized without looking them up were the USD and EUR. How about a more user friendly policy of actually spelling the name of the currency out in real words? -- FrankH 01:17, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Many currencies have easy abbreviations used standardly. . .or if they are hard to identify at first, they can be glossed at the first appearance and used in abbreviation thereafter -- 70.57.139.181 10:18, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC) (Dpr)

Requested articles

I'm going to try removing this. I think it adds very little to the site - just a long list of red links, that sees little ever being turned into articles. Rather than people just creating a headline and leaving a few links, I'd rather see them attempt to create articles themselves. They can use Submit a story for that. Requested photos seems to get very little traffic, and I don't think having abandoned stories on the front page is a great idea. Everything will still be available in the Workspace. Dan100 (Talk) 20:21, 12 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I immediately noticed the loss. At least one user (Edbrown05) had been putting his articles there. (I can't tell whether he had been filling stories requested by others, or putting new stories there.)
I like it, Dan100. Submit a story is working reasonably well, and requested articles is not worth much-- we can get a list of possible articles from Google News very easily. Requested photos might work some day, but so far, it's been a total failure. Pingswept 23:08, 12 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Potential libel

This could be libelous:

  • "Defendant shoots Judge, three others at Atlanta courthouse"
"During the trial of a man yesterday for rape at an Atlanta court house, the man on trial stole the gun of a nearby deputy and shot dead the Judge, a reporter and another deputy."

I doubt whoever wrote that actually saw it happen. Statements like these need attribution at least.

I'm not a lawyer, just a journalist. Maurreen 23:11, 12 Mar 2005 (UTC)

You're right, Maurreen. Could you rewrite that sentence in the article so that it's properly attributed?
It looks like it has been fixed. I was confused because I didn't see an edit button on the main page. Maurreen 05:10, 13 Mar 2005 (UTC)
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