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> CharlieEchoTangoSkidoo!, goodbye message
mbz1
post Sun 18th March 2012, 5:07am
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http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=...oldid=481622603

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...But leaving aside the personal attack by a pompous asshole, I realize now that I do not enjoy spending time on Wikipedia anymore. I'm not a drama queen, and this is not a ragequit, rather, it is the result of real life stress, lack of motivation, and a long trend of growing disillusion towards this project. Blocking vandals, deleting pages, granting rollback, and edit-warring with anons, this is just not what I envisionned myself doing here. I haven't been productive in content space for a while now, and I simply do not have the time and patience to commit to the maintenance side of this project anymore.

So, perhaps ironically, I thank the laughing idiot for making me take a step back here and think about my involvement with this project. I was never a great editor, or great administrator, but I gave it what I could, especially early on, and I'm proud of whatever small deeds I accomplished around here. I think now is the time for me to focus on what really matters.



He makes some interesting points. IMO sooner or later most work to be done on wikipedia will be maintenance. I believe maintenance is boring. I wonder, if one day there will be more vandals than admins who'd be willing to spend time blocking them, and users who'd be willing to spend time reverting vandalism.

This post has been edited by mbz1: Sun 18th March 2012, 5:18am
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Somey
post Sun 18th March 2012, 6:29pm
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QUOTE(mbz1 @ Sun 18th March 2012, 12:07am) *
IMO sooner or later most work to be done on wikipedia will be maintenance. I believe maintenance is boring. I wonder, if one day there will be more vandals than admins who'd be willing to spend time blocking them, and users who'd be willing to spend time reverting vandalism.

Well, there are those of us who believe, quite strongly and with significant amounts of anecdotal evidence as well as some statistical evidence, that most work to be done on Wikipedia is already maintenance and has been for at least two years.

As for the question of whether or not "vandals" outnumber admins, that depends on how you count - clearly there are vast numbers of "vandals" out there, far, far more than the number of admins, but the "vandals" only show up intermittently whereas the admins are there all the time. So realistically, you'd have to count both groups based on something like activity-per-day, or even activity-per-hour. Even then I'd say the number of "vandals" is probably greater, but with bots, "helper" programs like Twinkle and Huggle, and the "quick revert" links implemented a few years ago, it's far easier to fight one than to be one.

The real issue posed here, seems to me, is whether or not burnout incidents like this one with User:CharlieEchoTango are happening more or less often, and is there anything about more recent burnout cases that's different from cases that were common in the past. I'm forced to admit I haven't been observing this stuff as closely as I used to, but the general impression I get is that there is a difference, and it has to do with the effect of increasing amounts of manufactured drama on the people who are asked to "do something about it" when it happens.

"Drama" (as defined by the internet) is simply an inevitable byproduct of the Maintenance Phase - as opportunities for creativity are slowly eliminated, and "productivity" is redefined into something that's boring and mundane, people look for other things to interest them, and when they can't find them, they artificially engineer them. And nothing is more interesting than watching people fight, explode, implode, or self-destruct.

Ultimately, if they don't get this worked out somehow, the Maintenance Phase could give way to what I call the "Implosive Attrition Period," which would be the opposite of the "Explosive Growth Period" we saw in late 2005. And even if they do get it worked out, they're only going to slow it down - i.e., they're probably going to see a "Slow Attrition Phase" instead... though that could last for several years.
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mbz1
post Sun 18th March 2012, 6:53pm
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QUOTE(Somey @ Sun 18th March 2012, 6:29pm) *

QUOTE(mbz1 @ Sun 18th March 2012, 12:07am) *
IMO sooner or later most work to be done on wikipedia will be maintenance. I believe maintenance is boring. I wonder, if one day there will be more vandals than admins who'd be willing to spend time blocking them, and users who'd be willing to spend time reverting vandalism.

Well, there are those of us who believe, quite strongly and with significant amounts of anecdotal evidence as well as some statistical evidence, that most work to be done on Wikipedia is already maintenance and has been for at least two years.

Well, if you are to look, at DYK nominations http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template_talk:Did_you_know it does not look as that "most work to be done on Wikipedia is already maintenance", does it?

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Somey
post Sun 18th March 2012, 7:19pm
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QUOTE(mbz1 @ Sun 18th March 2012, 1:53pm) *
Well, if you are to look, at DYK nominations http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template_talk:Did_you_know it does not look as that "most work to be done on Wikipedia is already maintenance", does it?

How closely did you look at it? Most of the articles in question are either BLPs or about things that have appeared/happened within the last few years. There are also a number of what I'd call "obsessive detail-split" articles (like "Borges and mathematics," for example) that are arguably new content, but ultimately just extensions of existing articles that are probably too detailed (and trivia-bloated) already.

So then, the question becomes, does the normal ebb and flow of culture, celebrity, and current events produce enough "raw material" to continually satisfy Wikipedia's needs, in terms of providing a genuinely creative outlet for new and existing users?

It's quite possible that it does, and if so, Wikipedia could continue like this for quite a long time. What's more, if necessary they could, and probably will, lower the "notability" bar even further than they already have... But personally, I don't believe this question is settled, by any stretch.
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Eppur si muove
post Sun 18th March 2012, 8:36pm
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QUOTE(Somey @ Sun 18th March 2012, 7:19pm) *

QUOTE(mbz1 @ Sun 18th March 2012, 1:53pm) *
Well, if you are to look, at DYK nominations http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template_talk:Did_you_know it does not look as that "most work to be done on Wikipedia is already maintenance", does it?

How closely did you look at it? Most of the articles in question are either BLPs or about things that have appeared/happened within the last few years. There are also a number of what I'd call "obsessive detail-split" articles (like "Borges and mathematics," for example) that are arguably new content, but ultimately just extensions of existing articles that are probably too detailed (and trivia-bloated) already.

So then, the question becomes, does the normal ebb and flow of culture, celebrity, and current events produce enough "raw material" to continually satisfy Wikipedia's needs, in terms of providing a genuinely creative outlet for new and existing users?

It's quite possible that it does, and if so, Wikipedia could continue like this for quite a long time. What's more, if necessary they could, and probably will, lower the "notability" bar even further than they already have... But personally, I don't believe this question is settled, by any stretch.

Wikipedia is some way off running out of raw material. People are forever posting here about the relative density of coverage of material compared with a "traditional" encyclopedia. There may be relatively little scope for improving the coverage of Pokemon, (apart from deleting the lot, of course,) or stations on the London Underground etc. but psychology, medieval literature, philosophy etc are badly covered. Sooner or later, we will run out of works by the likes of Bach, Haydn and Telemann but they were so prolific that this will take a long time. Gerda Arendt is working through the Bach cantatas, but I can't see any sign of someone taking over from either Ottava or Peter Damien in covering what they were doing.

What the project becoming maturer means is that there is a need to reaximine the crowdsource model. It's becoming harder for just any old teenage nerd to produce new content. Admittedly there are new computer games released every week, National assemblies hold elections every few years and new politicians emerge but the proportion of new material that can be written by a youth with Google will reduce and the anount that needs people who have completed at least one degree or who have professional expertise increases. Just "anyone" however will have to concentrate on maintenance and power struggles.
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lilburne
post Sun 18th March 2012, 8:49pm
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QUOTE(Eppur si muove @ Sun 18th March 2012, 8:36pm) *

Wikipedia is some way off running out of raw material. People are forever posting here about the relative density of coverage of material compared with a "traditional" encyclopedia. There may be relatively little scope for improving the coverage of Pokemon, (apart from deleting the lot, of course,) or stations on the London Underground etc. but psychology, medieval literature, philosophy etc are badly covered. Sooner or later, we will run out of works by the likes of Bach, Haydn and Telemann but they were so prolific that this will take a long time. Gerda Arendt is working through the Bach cantatas, but I can't see any sign of someone taking over from either Ottava or Peter Damien in covering what they were doing.

What the project becoming maturer means is that there is a need to reaximine the crowdsource model. It's becoming harder for just any old teenage nerd to produce new content. Admittedly there are new computer games released every week, National assemblies hold elections every few years and new politicians emerge but the proportion of new material that can be written by a youth with Google will reduce and the anount that needs people who have completed at least one degree or who have professional expertise increases. Just "anyone" however will have to concentrate on maintenance and power struggles.



Wikipedia is not much more than an Almanac. A list of factoids, how many episodes, how many characters, number of time character appeared in series, and incomplete lists of this
and that.

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Eppur si muove
post Sun 18th March 2012, 9:00pm
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QUOTE(lilburne @ Sun 18th March 2012, 8:49pm) *

Wikipedia is not much more than an Almanac. A list of factoids, how many episodes, how many characters, number of time character appeared in series, and incomplete lists of this
and that.


Yes that is what is running out, or at least becoming restricted more to current events in the areas that the typical Wikipedia ephebe favours. At present there is an attempt to broaden the appeal to Asian nerds and female ones but maturer and more highly educated and specialised people are who are needed.
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standixon
post Sun 18th March 2012, 9:16pm
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QUOTE(lilburne @ Sun 18th March 2012, 8:49pm) *




Wikipedia is not much more than an Almanac. A list of factoids, how many episodes, how many characters, number of time character appeared in series, and incomplete lists of this
and that.


This is true. I actually find it useful as an almanac.

What I have found through the comments from the adults here, while lurking here, are the issues in the 'encyclopedic' articles of POV and COI. The utterly unnecessary catalogues of sexual behaviour and the appalling treatment in BLPs are some of the other reasons for despising Wikipedia as an encyclopaedia.

As I said in a recent post of mine, I don't/haven't posted much because I find that my views have been expressed, much more clearly and cogently, by the adult posters here.

I've used the adjective adult for a reason. It seems to me that the nastier problems of both this forum and Wikipedia arise from a lack of maturity, adultness, by the participants. It isn't a matter of chronological age. As a school master by trade I spent a lot of my time dealing with the problems caused by that sort of thing. I have found the recent postings here irritating in the same way, including those by the 'new' management. Hence some short posts of mine in impatient mode.

No doubt this post will be considered trolling.

Well so long and thanks for all the fish!

This post has been edited by standixon: Sun 18th March 2012, 9:17pm
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Bottled_Spider
post Sun 18th March 2012, 9:21pm
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QUOTE(standixon @ Sun 18th March 2012, 9:16pm) *
Well so long and thanks for all the fish!

Lack of maturity? Nonsense.

PS
Bet my dad could beat up your dad.
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Web Fred
post Sun 18th March 2012, 10:04pm
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QUOTE(standixon @ Sun 18th March 2012, 9:16pm) *
As a school master by trade


Ah, so that why you have the attitude you do.

Whilst on Facebook please understand that telling an adult to do something is not quite the same as telling a pupil to do it. The best you can expect is to be told to fuck off, the worst is something slightly more painful.
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EricBarbour
post Sun 18th March 2012, 10:11pm
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QUOTE(lilburne @ Sun 18th March 2012, 1:49pm) *
Wikipedia is not much more than an Almanac. A list of factoids, how many episodes, how many characters, number of time character appeared in series, and incomplete lists of this and that.

An extremely corrupt and weirdly biased almanac, too. Instead of focusing on almanac-like information, you get
massive tomes on cartoons, comic books, Dungeons And Dragons, Doctor Who, and sports trivia.

That's not an almanac, it's not even an almanac of pop-culture trivial. It's a babysitter for ADHD young males.

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jsalsman
post Tue 20th March 2012, 8:56pm
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QUOTE(mbz1 @ Sat 17th March 2012, 11:07pm) *
I wonder, if one day there will be more vandals than admins who'd be willing to spend time blocking them, and users who'd be willing to spend time reverting vandalism.
There are already more vandals than admins, but the mean time that vandalism persists has been falling in the past few years.

I am beginning to suspect that a large number of formerly active editors are still active, they just no longer log in. Is being able to upload images worth the drama that a username entails?

This post has been edited by jsalsman: Tue 20th March 2012, 8:58pm
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