Wikinews:Water cooler/miscellaneous/Archive/17

Google news? edit

Does it pick up Wikinews? rootology (T) 15:47, 3 June 2008 (UTC)[reply]

No it does not unfortunately :-( DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 15:49, 3 June 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Lame. How does a site like ours get on a site like theirs? rootology (T) 15:50, 3 June 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Wikinews Reports, the blog highlighting our best articles, is on Google News however. Anonymous101 :) 16:43, 3 June 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Back in 2005 they apparently said we'd be in, but soon afterwards we were off again, and in 2007 we were still trying to meet their criteria. There's more on the issue here and again further down that page (#Google News), and in fact several times over the years. Chris Mann (Say hi!|Stalk me!) 00:51, 4 June 2008 (UTC)[reply]
I'm working on this again, there's a copy of an email in the wikinews-l archive that I sent to a contact in Google that Erik (Eloquence) provided. That was Friday, still no response. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:16, 15 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]
We have a tentative yes, please - again - see the mailing list. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:01, 17 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]
BTW, Wikinews is on Google News now, it appears. See here. Completely random, what they index, but it's better than nothing. -- Zanimum (talk) 14:49, 18 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]
It's a freakin' mess! They're indexing stuff marked as {{review}}!--Brian McNeil / talk 15:09, 18 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]
I remember reading somewhere that Google News only indexes pages with three consecutive numbers, so thats probably why they only index a few. Anonymous101talk 15:14, 18 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]
  • This is urgent!

Google news is now indexing pages where there are the requisite three digits in the URL, this is causing considerable headaches as sometimes it is picking up articles flagged as {{review}}, and not just those that are {{publish}}ed. First, we need to establish how we're going to present articles to Google so they go in the index properly. That likely involves changes to the FlaggedRevs extension so this can't just be a knee-jerk response.

I believe, from looking at how the BBC does it, we should have /wiki/ArticleName/<revid>. The flagged revisions extension should only serve this up to GoogleBot (or a list of bots that work for aggregators). All other unregistered users should get a redirect to the actual article page when they request a /wiki/ArticleName/<revid> page. The bot(s) should get a redirect to the latest <revid> page if a more recent version has been sighted/reviewed. --Brian McNeil / talk 10:20, 19 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

First of all, great work getting us indexed. That looks to be the right thing to do.. but is it technically feasible? Thunderhead 10:37, 19 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Why would it not be? I mean it is a developer thing and if everyone else has the means to do it then why wouldn't we? Maybe I don't know enough abut it to say, but at the same time everyone else manages to be in Google although it might be a headache for the dev's, I think it is possible and should be looked into ASAP. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 11:12, 19 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]
It is technically feasible, and if done right it will be a plus for the MediaWiki software - not just Wikinews. One of my key concerns at the moment is people being shrill and dramatic about the issue and not putting some thought into it before putting forward proposals or commenting on constructive criticism. --Brian McNeil / talk 11:19, 19 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Using the revid number is clearly the only reasonable way we are going to give each article a unique identifying number, so we have no choice but to put the revid in the URL. On the plus side, this will make grabbing the revid number of the revision that you reviewed easier (for the {{peer review}} template). I say we make this change as soon as possible. Gopher65talk 16:16, 19 September 2008 (UTC) Never mind, we're talking about using the table page field page_id, not the revision number, since it is unique to each page, rather to to each revision (to avoid google reindexing the same page with each revision). Oops. Gopher65talk 16:37, 19 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

We've added magic word __NOINDEX__ to {{develop}}, {{review}} and others. Has that helped in stopping Google from listing unpublished articles? --SVTCobra 11:16, 19 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

I don't know, it may have - if the magic word works in main namespace. However, we still need to address the 3 digit issue. --Brian McNeil / talk 11:19, 19 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]
I don't know that NOINDEX works in templates. I don't know that NOINDEX works in mainspace. Cary Bass (talk) 16:08, 19 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

(Unindent) If we used the revid for the three-digit thing, wouldn't that mean that the page would be effectively re-indexed by Google every time it was changed? Meaning at best an article hours or days old appears as published minutes ago, and at worst that a new copy shows up each time a change is made. What I suggest is we use the date - for September 19, 2008 we would use 19908 (19/09/08) - and then add an identifying number. So, the first article created on September 19 would have the number 199081. Of course, dates would be creation dates and not publication dates, but the code serves only for Google's software, so it doesn't much matter. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 16:43, 19 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

For anyone (like me) who was confused by references to "the three-digit thing", here is Google's own explaination of their requirements. After reading it, it is clear that it is at least three digits. So, if we make the date a component, we might as well include the year as four digits (because we will be around for several centuries). Assigning a random or sequential 3 digit number as an add-on to the "date number" also seems logical as BRS said (or should we compensate for the possibility of thousands of articles per day? Well better safe). However, it also seems to be very different from how MediaWiki software names pages. At this hour I do not have any good ideas. --SVTCobra 03:21, 20 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Is any work underway to implement one of the solutions discussed here or elsewhere? I'm anxious for us to be fully picked up by googlenews:). Gopher65talk 02:40, 25 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Reporters anywhere can participate in Phoenix Lander news conference(s) [cool stuff] edit

This could be totally cool. JPL is doing something interesting for the media regarding the Phoenix lander. I don't know if this will be a regular thing, and I only just saw it on the Phoenix homepage at JPL in Arizona. It reads as follows on the right of this page. Reporters can call in during the press conferences below and participate in the conference via phone. I think this can be really cool and there is on on Friday June 6 and Saturday June 7. You have to call before times listed below. It is NOT a toll free number.

"NASA and the University of Arizona, Tucson, will hold media teleconferences at 11 a.m. PDT (2 p.m. EDT) on Thursday and Friday, June 5 and 6, to report on the latest news from NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander mission. To participate in the telecon, reporters must contact the JPL Media Relations Office at 818-354-5011 BY 10:30 a.m. PDT (1:30 p.m. EDT) to obtain the call-in number and passcode."

I think this would be excellent for some OR. I am not sure how it works, but if we are lucky, we might be able to get a question or two in. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 23:42, 5 June 2008 (UTC)[reply]

I guess we missed Thursday. For me, this is in the middle of my workday, so unless it is extremely slow (and today didn't make it seem like tomorrow will be slow), I won't be able to place any calls. Might I suggest that you contact users like GW Simulations (talk · contribs) directly? I don't know if GW reads the WC, but I know this user seems interested in all space stuff. Cheers, --SVTCobra 00:15, 6 June 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Journalism quality declining in US? edit

This video, is really quite astonishing and shocking. I think that all of us can learn something from this, and might even be able to interview her. Alisa Miller illustrates the decline of American Media. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 19:41, 8 June 2008 (UTC)[reply]

I agree that this is an interesting talk, although I would suggest that Wikinews is slightly ahead of the pack on many of her points - we are highly dispersed and international, we have diverse coverage (I bet the Wikinews map wouldn't be quite so heavily biased towards the US and Iraq, although I can think of a few reasons we might be), and we are certainly less focused on celebrity stories like Britney Spears (although, substitute "Scientology" for "celebrity" and it's a different story, whether or not that's a bad thing). We are, however, not as far in the lead (or perhaps even running with the pack) when it comes to original content, which is more a case of reaching that critical mass we need to get a good flow of OR material in - the MSM has no such excuse for being republishers of Reuters and AP stories. The TED talks on collaborative creativity/open vs. closed/amateur vs. professional are worth a look too. Chris Mann (Say hi!|Stalk me!) 05:27, 10 June 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Admins edit

How can I become an Administrator????

First, you'll have to create an account. After that, please read WN:A. Nakon (talk) 03:46, 9 June 2008 (UTC)[reply]

"Nobody's Safe in Cyber Space" edit

The Canadian Press on Wikinews and citizen journalism edit

For those who didn't get this on the mailing list, I gave an interview to James Keller of the Canadian Press last Thursday. He was pretty friendly and seemed genuinely interested. I think this is reflected in the story. I got in the plug for anyone coming and having a go at writing on Wikinews, which was one of the goals I had with the interview. --Brian McNeil / talk 08:55, 26 June 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Very cool.   --SVTCobra 22:14, 30 June 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Phoenix Lander edit

Brianmc and I created the Category:Phoenix Mission and {{Phoenix mission}} (infobox) for all Phoenix Mission/Lander related articles. Since this is getting a lot of coverage here, we thought it was a good time. So just remember to use them :-P DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 21:08, 26 June 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Adding the infobox should automatically see the category added. If anyone feels adventurous they might add a section for previous missions to Mars and link to appropriate WP articles.
P.S. DF, note the edits I made to your comment to take out nowiki stuff. A ":" before Category: avoids listing there and instead gives a link to it. the {{tl}} template allows you to put in a link to a template. --Brian McNeil / talk 18:13, 27 June 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Credential reconfirmation edit

Over the next month I will be reconfirming the 46 credentialed Wikinewsies in an effort to wipe the stale names off the list. It is a very simple process. I will send an email to each credentialed newsie, and if I do not receive a 'yes' within 30 days (they will know that they need to respond within 30 days) then their credentials are revoked (in good standing). Once the month-long period is complete, I will furnish Wikinews with a list of names to remove. MessedRocker (talk) 05:13, 5 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]

I must have missed something. Who or what gives you the right to decide who has and does not have community accreditation? --Skenmy(tcw) 07:51, 5 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Considering that every time you email scoop there are about six or seven addresses bounce, I'd say we do need a cleanup. --Brian McNeil / talk 07:58, 5 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]
I would agree that this needs to be done but I'd prefer that users are asked to edit a list somewhere on Wiki in order to confirm in the interests of making the process as transparent as possible if this is the process that is adopted. However, is it really adequate for users to say "yes, I still want accreditation", should this not be something the community decides based upon their activity? I would suggest that rather than asking users whether they want to keep their accreditation, the community should be the ones to decide this whilst still attempting to notify them of this so that they can provide any input which may help the community in making their decision. I suggest that we should set a period of time, say six months without editing, and then list all of these users in an appropriate place for the community to vote on whether they should retain credentials.
Regarding scoop, even if a good number of users are removed there is always the possibility that email will fail to get through. It must surely be possible to reconfigure this system such that bounce messages don't find their way back to the original sender. Adambro (talk) 10:55, 5 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]

The Community® is welcome to do a reconfirmation as its pleases. This is the first phase -- the optional dropout phase, so that rather than put them through a community vote, they can bypass the whole vote thing. This is a program not based on the powers of myself (which are limited), but by each person's ability to either stick with the status quo or allow for their credentials to expire. And if they do not receive my message, that is their own problem. MessedRocker (talk) 17:29, 5 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]

I suppose that the key thing to emphasise when you email these users would therefore be that you are asking them whether they want to give up their credentials, not whether they want to keep them. I don't want users misled into thinking that by saying that they still want accreditation that this will actually mean they can keep it. I'd reiterate my suggestion that this is done on Wiki to a certain extent, users who wish to give up their accreditation should request so on Wiki. Adambro (talk) 17:42, 5 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]

YouTube Wikinews edit

Whoever's operating the Video Wikinews YouTube channel - YouTube's introduced a "reporter" type for citizen journalists that we should switch to :) Thunderhead 21:21, 5 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]

That'd be symode I believe. the wikinews youtube channel is unofficial by the way (I think) Bawolff 04:40, 8 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]
I think we were originally going to use it to publicise Video WN. Thunderhead 23:08, 12 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]
I beleive thats correct. However it should not have the wikinews logo there, as its not official, and all that. Bawolff 05:56, 13 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]
YouTube terms and conditions are not compatible with those of Wikinews. Plus the logo use is a big no-no. --Brian McNeil / talk 19:35, 13 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]

We have stats edit - I know it says wikipedia (Henrik said that the interface should be fixed after he gets back from vacation), but that is actually the statistics for number of hits for our Main Page. As long as there is the en.n at the begining of the url, its stats for english wikinews. Bawolff 18:30, 13 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Is it only working for now for stats for the Main Page? Cirt (talk) 18:49, 13 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]
No, see this for an example. Anonymous101 (talk) 18:51, 13 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]

There should be a thingy to make the traffic stats appear as an option in the toolbox at the bottom left, below search. Cirt (talk) 18:53, 13 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Add this to your special:mypage/monobook.js (or skin name):
addLoadEvent(function() {addPortletLink("p-tb", "" + wgPageName, "Page popularity", "t-stats");});

Bawolff 20:19, 13 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Sweet, thanks! Cirt (talk) 20:23, 13 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Note: per talk i overheard, that doesn't switch month. correct code:
addLoadEvent(function() {var d = new Date;
var m = (d.getUTCMonth() + 1).toString();
if (m.length === 1) m ="0" + m;
addPortletLink("p-tb", ""+ d.getUTCFullYear() + m +"/" + wgPageName, "Page popularity", "t-stats");});

However Henrik's server ran out of disk space, so at the moment, that goes no where. once he fixes it, that will lead to most recent stats. Bawolff 21:06, 13 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]

template:Popular articles is also back. Bawolff 00:11, 14 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]
See also Page Hits toplist (compare traffic | searches) --- Best regards, Melancholie (talk) 20:49, 21 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]

No article left behind edit

This evening after the sessions at Wikimania, Craig and I had a fairly good meeting with Sue Gardner, Jay Walsh, and the new chair of the WMF Michael Snow. The subject was, naturally enough, Wikinews, and discussion of how the project can grow and what options it would be feasible for the WMF to help with.

Earlier on, Craig attended Brion Vibber's session and the Flagged Revisions session. According to Brion the proper Comments extension is coming "soon". For the impatient among you, please read this as a commitment we will get it but it might be a couple of months.

Flagged revisions is up to us to assess and plan out how we want it configured, so those of you who have a MediaWiki install somewhere should install the extension and play about a bit then explain in less technical terms how it could be configured for Wikinews. A technical description of the proposed settings, a policy for that, and community consensus would be required prior to submitting a bugzilla request. There are, unfortunately, some other technical considerations to deal with. FlagRevs has not been developed with a view to integration with the DPL extension we use, and with provision of an RSS feed. This may not be too much of a disaster as we may be able to get someone to investigate this. My concern is that we may be pushed to look at DPL2 as the more recent extension.

Returning to the evening meeting, we raised the issue of the embargoed wiki. Sue is the journalist and gave some explanation of how the process works within a more traditional newsroom. This would be somewhere that Sue would have expected us to move things like prepared obituaries. When the issues with limitation of MediaWiki were explained, Jay suggested a more compartmentalised wiki, some amusement when I pointed out he'd just described Confluence, and Sue said that's what you'd use in a traditional newsroom. My take on this is we need to severely limit what goes into the embargoed wiki. I see a lot of problems with the current proposal being too much of a cabal and keeping secrets. The Benoit story could never have been done within that as the admission of who did it was public. The concept needs succinctly defined in one or two paragraphs that can achieve consensus. From there we need to work on the policies that will govern it.

Code of Ethics edit

A prerequisite to getting the embargoed wiki may be development of the code of ethics to an official, board approved state. This may be somewhere that we can get Foundation paid-for outside help to prepare a far more professional draft, but this involves the main section heading, "No article left behind".

Sue expressed concern that there have been times when she has read Wikinews stories and seen inaccuracies that have remained in place until the article has been old enough to be eligble for archiving. She aknowledges that it is particularly difficult for Wikinews to improve quality, but highlights that quality and accuracy are issues we really need to see improvement on to get serious embargoed information. This, again, would be an item going into the code of ethics.

A key item discussed as an ethical responsibility is to the readers, to ensure a specific minimum quality for them. To achive this it was suggested we define roles an editor could assume beyond simply editing. Examples of this would be fact-checking, copyediting, management of the leads, as well as the ever-needed staple of writing reports. Many people do this without extensive critical checking of their own work, and even when they do, it is too easy to overlook your own mistakes.

There is another aspect of this that was raised. It has been suggested in the past that we try and collaborate with journalism schools, and one of the concerns with that is that their educational programme will be tailored to fit more within the traditional constraints of a newsroom. Having clear definitions such as WN:REPORTER, WN:FACTCHECKER, WN:COPYEDITOR, WN:LEADSELECTOR would give them a way to have staff assign students to work on a specific task that matches what they would see in traditional newsroom. This may not seem to fit into a code of ethics, but it does because any news source has an ethical duty to its readers to ensure quality.

--Brian McNeil / talk 03:51, 19 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]

I don't like the idea of WN:REPORTER, WN:FACTCHECKER, WN:COPYEDITOR and WN:LEADSELECTOR. I don't think we need to limit what area people can contribute in as that is likely to lessen contributors. We should not focus on getting contributors from journalism schools, we should focus on the average person contributing. Anonymous101 (talk) 14:33, 20 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]
It is not intended to be a limitation for random contributors, but a workflow structure that allows collaboration with educational institutions. --Brian McNeil / talk 20:25, 21 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]
The discussion on article stages that would require such roles has continued on the talk of a sub-page in my userspace. Currently this stands at splitting {{ready}} into {{factcheck}} {{copyedit}} and a less onerous {{ready}}. Please read that flagged discussion and the talk and comment there. --Brian McNeil / talk 12:40, 24 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Items where we differ from conventional media edit

All of the Code of ethics documents you can look up for public service broadcasters and other news services can rely on certain sections and terms of the CoE to be a basic requirement all staff must meet. This is easy when people are paid to do this, it is part of your terms of employment that you fulfil specific obligations to the public you serve. As a completely volunteer project, Wikinews does not have a management that can instruct people to ensure that a high-profile prosecution is followed up on when the less notable outcome of the case arrives. We can't turn round to the person who wrote the article on the MIT student with the "fake bomb" in an airport and say, "thanks! Now, when the charges are dropped, or the case comes to court, write a followup piece." As a volunteer project we cannot force anyone to make that commitment.

Bearing this in mind, we must provide enough of a remit and guidelines for any third-party attempting to draft a code of ethics for us. They need an introduction to the project and background on weaknesses that exist due to its very nature. A CoE, by its very nature, will be an idealistic document, but it must be grounded in the reality within which we work; it must set an achievable standard.

Apart from the above - rather obvious - example of following up on the outcome of a prosecution, are there any other aspects of the project that limit our ability to reliably meet these same standards that a public-service broadcaster would strive for? --Brian McNeil / talk 16:25, 24 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Funding for printed materials edit

Sue has stated that a budget to be managed by volunteers may be set up for the non-Wikipedia projects. From this we would be able to draw the cost of doing printed material, such as leaflets and brochures for distribution at Chapter meetings, wikimeets, and academies. From my perspective this would require we develop the material. --Brian McNeil / talk 04:33, 19 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Other items edit

We have the option to put forward a proposal for specific items Wikinews needs. Brainstorm... --Brian McNeil / talk 09:04, 20 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Involvement of Journalism schools with Wikinews edit

From the discussion with Sue one of the things that a journalism school is going to find most offputting about Wikinews is the chaotic nature of contribution. Hence, my above mention of specific roles. A traditional newsroom will work with a process or work flow that starts at the reporter and ends when the article is published. Various people will be involved in the process, and they will pretty much stick to one task. Craig commented that initially Wikinews had such a structure but it did not work. I don't see any reason why we cannot define such a process then the exist regulars completely ignore it. This would be us set up to allow participation from a school of journalism as they could follow the workflow and the professor would be happy that the students were learning the 'traditional' approach to journalism.

An issue is to persuade them that rather than running the college newspaper they can do the same thing on Wikinews. Our existing workflow is really simple, {{develop}} -> {{ready}} -> {{publish}}. Additional steps such as {{copyedit}} and {{factcheck}} would be a minimum requirement to flesh out what they would expect.

What would happen in a traditional newsroom is they would use some huge, strict Content Management System (CMS) like Confluence. This gives them all the flexibility they need to set up horribly complicated rules, restricted access areas of the wiki (Yes, Confluence is a wiki - with a WYSIWYG editor). Articles flow through that to publication and once a specific task has been carried out you may not be allowed to have further input after it moves to the next stage. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:15, 20 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]

I don't think we need to add extra steps to the review process. I recently got a message to my talk page asking me to review an article that had been marked as ready for 17 hours. Imagine if we had three separate steps of reviewing. That could take 51 hours. Reviewing already takes too long, we should not make it take longer. (I did just skim read the above comment so if this comment is not relevant, I apologize) Anonymous101 (talk) 14:32, 20 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, and as Sue pointed out in our meeting she has looked at stories on Wikinews and seen factual inaccuracies which were not corrected, not even by the time the article was old enough to be archived. That is failing our readers, and - I am guilty of this too - people taking an article with the {{ready}} tag and just checking it for spelling and grammar, without reading the cited sources. --Brian McNeil / talk 08:40, 22 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]

This type of proposal is way too complex and will only serve to deter people from contributing articles and perhaps even greatly reduce the amount of articles/contributors on this site. The current workflow of {{develop}} -> {{ready}} -> {{publish}} is really satisfactory as is - we really just need to find a way to get people to keep articles in the "ready" stage and get at least one person to go over it and have them change the tag to "publish" - certainly for cases where there is a new user, someone with difficulties with the language, or articles on controversial subject matter. Adding more steps within the process will not solve anything if people are not using the current process we have and skipping straight to the publish step anyways. Cirt (talk) 21:08, 24 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Even when people tag articles as {{ready}} adequate work is not being carried out to verify that stories are factually accurate. This is unacceptable. --Brian McNeil / talk 21:10, 24 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]
I agree - I just don't think that adding ever more steps in the process is the best solution or will accomplish anything - I have witnessed users keep changing a tag on an article they wrote from {{ready}} to {{publish}} or {{develop}} to {{ready}} - again and again, even after other users tell them specifically on the talk page that there are still existing problems. This needs to be addressed before discussing what potential benefits additional steps could have, IMO. Cirt (talk) 21:18, 24 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]
This is not so much additional steps as making it explicit what should happen at the ready stage. --Brian McNeil / talk 21:43, 24 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]
There is a flagged discussion and much better put together proposal for this in a sub-page of my userspace. Please continue the discussion there. --Brian McNeil / talk 21:48, 24 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]

(edit conflict/last reply here) - Okay - and I can agree with nailing all that down - I just don't think we need extra tags for that - we could add extra text to the {{ready}} template and/or the {{develop}} template - something like: do not change the tag to (the next tag in sequence) until X has been done/checked by another user... Cirt (talk) 21:52, 24 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]

I obviously don't know what Sue said about the work-flow at traditional newsrooms and what journalism schools would want to see from us as far as how work is to flow. However, I imagine it to be that there is one or two lead reporters per article, where other people are limited to fact checking, copy-editing and perhaps providing some limited background information. This Thomson Reuters story Obama presses Europe on Afghanistan in Berlin is an example of what I mean. See how they credit two journalists at the top for the reporting, and then at the bottom, they credit people for the actual writing and editing. This type of workflow could be workable, though it would lead to more of a sense of "owning" an article by the original contributor than we currently have. However, it might hamper the real-time, super-collaborations that occur when something is truly breaking and unfolding as it is written. Our celebrated Coordinated terrorist attack hits London article is an example of a great article that I doubt could fit into such a work-flow arrangement. Such stories cannot wait through many stages before they are published. Just some food for thought. Cheers, --SVTCobra 22:01, 24 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]

To be blunt, I am geting somewhat irked at my efforts to improve quality being so quickly challenged and dismissed. The user sub-page in question is listed in the flagged discussions that appears on the main Water Cooler page, specifically User:Brianmc/Wikinews workflow. Am I to assume that the only reason this attracted attention was because I spent hours and hours working on it and filled up recent changes? --Brian McNeil / talk 22:06, 24 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]
I can not speak for others but in my case I was merely reading through this particular page and this particular discussion caught my eye. I apologize if it seemed like a challenge or a dismissal - I did not intend that to come across to you. I was trying to contribute positively to the discussion and simply point out what may or may not be feasible. Cirt (talk) 22:10, 24 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]
I am sorry if I appeared dismissive of the idea. That was not my intent, not at all. The work-flow scenarios will go a long way toward getting us carried by Google News and Yahoo! News, etc., as well as appealing to journalism schools. But one strength of Wikinews is the real-time aspect, and I think we need to find a way to have our cake and eat it too. --SVTCobra 22:25, 24 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Tips for Reporting on a conference edit

At the post-Wikimania party I had a short chat with Florence about where Wikinews could have done better in covering Wikimania 2008.

First problem was I wasn't sufficiently prepared. I only got the press pack on the first day of the conference. Since the schedule was available I should really have profiled all the keynote speakers myself. Since I just started up a new business that would have been rather difficult to do in the lead up to the conference. Had it not been a bloody disaster getting from the Airport to Alexandria I could have picked up my press pack the day before and done some preparatory work.

Next problem was (a) unreliable Internet access and (b) lack of points to power a laptop. I was not about to bring my girlfriend's machine and brought the older laptop. The battery in this would not hold a charge for a long session so would have died before the end of the session and I would have had to charge up before using it again.

There are several measure you can take to deal with this. First, if you can start a prepared article you will just need to edit the talk page and type in your reporter's notes - bypassing the paper and pen. Next, pack an extension cable in your laptop bag and get to the presentation room early. Check for somewhere you can get plugged in. The Egyptian bloggers who covered the conference did just that, and at the end of the presentation they were able to press "Submit" and their article was up on the blog.

Internet access was something outwith our control. In the dorms we were supposed to have WiFi access, but it was very unreliable. It was a miracle I managed to finish and publish my article on Diplopedia last night. In the library they had simply not anticipated the number of people who would have WiFi devices. If you did not get an IP address early in the morning the lease pool was used up and you could not get online. Some people were hogging the pool by having one IP for their laptop, and another for their iPhone. Assuming a similar setup for WiFi, get there early and get an IP pronto. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:38, 20 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Addendum: Cisco was one of the conference sponsors, it is disgusting that Internet access was not competently managed. --Brian McNeil / talk 10:15, 20 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Recruitment and retention edit

This is the perennial problem facing Wikinews. How do we get people to start writing? How do we keep them writing? Nobody I spoke to had any suggestions for that, apparently I was supposed to already have answers to these questions. As GerardM pointed out, trying to get Wikipedia to do less current events is tilting at windmills, Wikipedia has always done news, and personally I suspect that the people who do their In The News section on the front page jealously guard that and covet having access to put their contributions on the main page. We already have toolserver based mechanisms that would allow the listing of the latest half dozen or so Wikinews articles on the front page, but as that stands it would never be accepted. Before we can take that idea back to Wikipedia we need flagged revisions, and flagged revisions requires integrated with DPL so that an article that has not been checked can't appear on the WP front page - or ours for that matter. This is - as we all know - the same thing that would make it more likely to get into the Google news agregator. Craig and I spoke with Tim Starling at the post-conference party explaining this to him, and I believe we can get Sue onside to ask Brion to get this development scheduled. Of course, the RSS full-feed extension also needs integrated into FlaggedRevs - but before that happens the RSS extension needs to be brought up to WMF standards. Craig has looked at the code and his opinion is that Brion wouldn't put it on the servers. That needs fixed, then we introduce the new RSS, then it gets integrated with FlaggedRevs. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:54, 20 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]

I agree with Brianmc (talk · contribs) - Recruitment and retention is a major issue - basically because if we had more active contributors and more help on the project, that would help address some other issues. Not to mention that it would also add more dynamism and variety to the site. It would be really neat to have say over 20 new articles per day. Granted that going along with new users and more activity would also come an increased need for editing/copyediting and perhaps some sort of supervisory process over what makes it to the Main Page and the Main Page Leads (as I think Brianmc already mentioned in one of the other sections). It goes without saying that Retention is also key. Retention fosters growth as well as learning, and the ability for more experienced users to teach others. I think that w:User:Wikinews Importer Bot has increased visibility of articles a bit more on Wikipedia, but we must think of other ways to increase visibility/popularity going forward as well. Getting at least some sort of small list of DPL Wikinews articles onto Wikipedia's w:Main Page would really help as well. Cirt (talk) 14:06, 20 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Although I agree that Recruitment and retention is a major issue,, I am not sure that getting listed on Wikipedia's Main Page is the best idea. If a copy of a Wikinews dpl got listed on w:Main Page, Some Wikipedians would probably start requiring our admins to approve every article before it reaches the Main Page and then new contributors would be discouraged from listing new articled. Anonymous101 (talk) 14:41, 20 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]
That is something we would have to discuss - but I think if we had more contributors and more new articles and thus less ability to do ad hoc copyediting, we might want to think about more supervision before articles get onto our Main Page anyways. Cirt (talk) 16:13, 20 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Anonymous101, you are missing the point, this is a complex puzzle with many, many pieces. Before we would approach Wikipedia about getting the latest five Wikinews articles on their front page we would want to have FlaggedRevs implemented. Before we implement FlaggedRevs we want it updated to work with DPL and RSS. These measures would be the replacement for this admin approval you think Wikipedia would require. --Brian McNeil / talk 21:40, 20 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]

There might actually be a simpler way to work this to get some regular articles onto Wikipedia more prominently and I have a request out to w:User:Misza13 (creator of w:User:Wikinews Importer Bot) and will provide updates soon (hopefully). Cirt (talk) 00:45, 25 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Mobile Wikinews edit

I only briefly managed to speak to Kul, and he said he had some phone companies interested in Wikinews and providing it on their platform. I didn't manage to catch up with him and learn more about this, I believe he was ill two or three times while in Egypt. I have, per his request, forwarded on my presentation to give him a better idea about Wikinews. When he says he has cellular providers interested, he means they might put some money into Wikinews to get it on their platform.

Apparently Brion has a skin or some other method of putting a wiki on a mobile device, I believe this is more targetted at advanced devices such as the iPhone, but I will ask about that. It was interesting in the Diplopedia presentation to discover that they've developed their own mobile gateway, I expect my contact there can put me in touch with some of Department of State's more technical staff to find out how they did that. I believe their approach is a read-only gateway, but my personal opinion is that for Wikinews we really need a two-way system. People with mobile devices are a huge potential source of contributions - particularly of original reporting and on the scene reports. With the London bombings some of the photographs were from Wikimedians in the area, an easy upload mechanism would greatly increase our chances of getting such material. --Brian McNeil / talk 10:09, 20 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]

This already provides official, real-time, read-only access to Wikipedia. It should be trivial to activate it for Wikinews as well. There are several unofficial site listed here, some with write-access. It might be possible to convince them to include Wikinews. --+Deprifry+ 11:03, 20 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Deprifry, have you seen bugzilla:14755 and the discussion on the Water Cooler's technical section? Anonymous101 (talk) 14:43, 20 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]
I have not, thanks. --+Deprifry+ 15:35, 20 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Proposal to disable hotlinking edit

For all those interested, I have made a proposal to disable hotlinking on all Wikimedia projects. Please join the discussion at Meta. JohnnyMrNinja (talk) 20:56, 27 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]

This has been knocked back on foundation-l due to the ill-will it would create. --Brian McNeil / talk 10:54, 28 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]