Wikivoyage talk:Welcome, copyeditors

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New policy discussion[edit]

I spent a lot of time changing articles I've written just because other people swoop in and change things according to whatever their personal preference. It's been especially tiring as these mostly change one district of a city, making me change the other districts to their personal preference.

This has really taken a hit for the worse lately, with some editors making it a sport to force their personal style differences throughout work mostly written by others. I think this should stop, and thus wrote this policy page as a proposal. I think it's mostly a new policy, but under the "Spelling" section I proposed somewhat of a policy change. I hope to get some more input on this. Globe-trotter (talk) 13:22, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

I think the text could use some refinement, but if the gist is essentially "avoid pedantic edits" and "do not impose your style preferences on others" then the idea has merit. That said, does Wikipedia have any similar policy that we could use as guidance, rather than starting completely from scratch? It would be good to incorporate lessons-learned from other projects like Wikipedia into whatever policy we design. -- Ryan • (talk) • 00:09, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
I am inspired by the Dutch Wikipedia for this guideline. It's been in use there for many years. A large part of the text is essentially the same, but I've adapted it for Wikivoyage. The gist is indeed what you mention—if you could come up with a better name, I'd be glad to hear. Preferably one with at least a little bit of a positive tone; but maybe that's actually more effective. I now went for "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". Globe-trotter (talk) 01:08, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
I think this new policy is needed, I salute you for taking the initiative to write a draft of it, and I support the goals and general shape of the guidelines. I do have some specific comments, though: First, I think it is entirely proper to edit articles about places in former British colonies like Malaysia, Singapore, and India to eliminate any American spellings. Second, I wonder if you aren't going a bit too far the other way on whether it could be reasonable for people to plunge forward and change the internal substructure of an article without starting a discussion in Talk first. I also don't think the starter of an article has to be accorded any special consideration other than our thanks for starting the article. I'm thinking more along the lines of: "Don't edit an article just for the sake of editing it. Edit it to add content; subtract touting, vandalism, or misleading information; or to improve its basic grammar and readability. But don't edit an article if your objection to it is just that you prefer one equally clear, accurate form of words over another." Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:09, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
Side note: I have no idea what pleonasms are, and would have to look that word up in a dictionary. Is it essential in the article? Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:29, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
The intent of the draft is not to make people go to the talk page first if they want to change the structure of an article. Changing the structure is fine (encouraged) if it's an improvement, but not if it's just for personal style purposes. Maybe some rewording could be done to reflect this better.
And pleonasms (like burning fire) is just an example of spelling mistakes. I wanted to point out that fixing spelling mistakes is allowed, as they improve the guide.Globe-trotter (talk) 04:33, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
The sentiment in the first para is great. However, each section of the article goes through and highlights the exceptions, until the entire article seems to almost take on the opposite tone to the title, highlighting the areas where we should be changing unbroken stuff. --Inas (talk) 05:02, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
I think I figured out what was bothering me about some of the wording:
"The article templates guide the section headers, but within sections the writer can more or less free to choose its own structure. Only change the structure if the current one is clearly worse, wrong or misleading. Do not change it just because you have a personal preference. If in doubt, find consensus on the talk page."
"Worse" is pretty strong. How about changing the language from negative to positive?
"The article templates guide the section headers, but within sections the writer can more or less free to choose its own structure. Change the structure only when the change is a clear improvement. Do not change it just because you have a personal preference. If in doubt, find consensus on the talk page." Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:08, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. And Inas, indeed, a lot of exceptions are listed. Make changes as you feel is necessary. I'd rather not have many of these exceptions, but I tried to make this page fit somewhat in with other policies, instead of making it conflict with them.
Someone added that words of other varieties should be added in brackets. I think this is not necessary. We'll users writing airplane (aeroplane), color (colour), purse (handbag). It doesn't stimulate lively writing or relaxed reading. Globe-trotter (talk) 05:29, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
That's a good point. And therefore, we should probably avoid making this a policy guideline and just do it ad hoc when appropriate.
I made an edit to the draft, along the lines I mentioned above. See if you like it. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:42, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
I aim this to be a policy guideline, else it wouldn't be effective. I think we should just get rid of that section. Globe-trotter (talk) 18:07, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
This guideline in general seems to directly contradict plunge forward. Her Majesty's Britannic Empire and Commonwealth extends far beyond "Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom" so a user who sees "colour" misspelled as "color" in an article about Jamaica would be entirely justified in fixing such errors. Dump the Americanisms in Jamaica (New York) if you must, but in the Commonwealth we use English. K7L (talk) 18:41, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
It supports plunge forward actually, by making users contribute in the language variety they're comfortable with. Forcing them to write in a foreign variety is an impediment to contributing. "Color" is never a misspelling, it is correct usage of English, just of a different variety. Sure, some countries could be added to the list, such as all the Commonwealth countries. But why would you want to force an American visitor to Jamaica to write in a different variety? We want the content, in whatever variety. The bad implications of this are currently being demonstrated at Talk:Indonesia#Edits. Globe-trotter (talk) 19:07, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

I don't agree with the first sentence. Many things that are not clearly wrong may still be improved. The second sentence is closer to the mark of where this should be focused. (The last sentence of the first paragraph needs revising or removal following the page name change.) Nurg (talk) 20:07, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

I agree with you, Nurg. I have made a lot of edits for better readability, elegance, or pithiness. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:29, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
I've made a few changes, along the lines I suggested above. The thing here is, that improving the article for readability, elegance or pithiness is a great thing. Such improvements to articles are always welcome. However, changes that move us sideways to match editors personal style preferences don't improve anything, and just involve us in futile time-wasting. So, lets continue to make changes, but only where there is a holistic improvement to the article! --Inas (talk) 22:55, 3 February 2013 (UTC)
I like the new language. I think it's clear and comes across as calm and balanced. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:23, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

New title[edit]

It is a great improvement.

The first time I found this page was under the title "If in doubt, do not overtake". On seeing that on the New Pages list, I thought it was someone offering obvious driving advice. I came here wondering whether I should delete it or it should be tagged for merging, and was quite surprised at the actual contents. Pashley (talk)

The Dutch Wikipedia uses that name, it's where I got the inspiration from :-) But this one works a lot better indeed. Took me a while to think of it though. Globe-trotter (talk) 04:20, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

I have a serious issue with the title If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Just the thought of this idiom causes me severe frustration. If we think about society, there's so many things that ain't broken, but could always certainly do with improvement. A town might have a basic library with no issue whatsoever, but decides to build a new, larger one to improve the area's facilities and the education levels. How would have our society ever evolved from the Stone Age of clubs and caves if we had followed this ethos? In relation to our wiki, there was nothing "broke" about our old Main Page that we imported from WT. It worked fine and did its job. But we decided to improve it regardless, to give the wiki a breath of fresh air and introduce new ideas and functions. I like the general gist of the policy, but I would strongly oppose such a title. JamesA >talk 03:14, 2 February 2013 (UTC)

Indeed. If we replace "Wikivoyage:Plunge forward" with "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" I suppose we don't need that pesky 'edit' tab at the top of our pages any more. K7L (talk) 04:47, 2 February 2013 (UTC)
This page had a different title before, please think of something better. A bigger library is an improvement over a smaller, dusty one, and any improvements are encouraged under this policy. Actually, the English Wikipedia already has this policy in its manual of style, as Nurg points out below, and the Dutch Wikipedia uses this policy page as well, except it has a different title.Globe-trotter (talk) 13:39, 2 February 2013 (UTC)
It's not just the title. The tone of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it means that you do not "improve" things that are not clearly wrong...These edits are unwanted, because they lead to irritation and conflict, cause edit wars, and drain a lot of precious time better spent on other work" is to discourage editors from attempting in good faith to improve articles. That's not the way we do things here. 66.102.83.61 16:17, 2 February 2013 (UTC)
It encourages editors to improve articles, instead of letting them discourage other editors. We have a big problem with users forcing their personal style on others' work not backed by any policy measure whatsoever. Globe-trotter (talk) 17:33, 2 February 2013 (UTC)
Plunge forward is really aimed at reluctant editors, who represent the vast majority of our readers—they're worried about doing something wrong, or stepping on other people's toes. (It's sometimes invoked unconvincingly by editors who have trouble with Wikivoyage:Consensus.)
This policy looks to be aimed at an irritating, tiny minority of editors, who have taken it upon themselves to embark on an insipid mission of pedantic pettiness in the field of trifling style parochialisms, and in the process distract and waste the time of our productive editors. I also think it needs refining, but the basic intent makes sense. --Peter Talk 20:22, 2 February 2013 (UTC)
Yes, that's the balance we need to find - between combating pedantry and avoiding any kind of inhibition for constructive edits of any kind. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:44, 2 February 2013 (UTC)
How about Wikivoyage:Don't be a pedant—no one cares but you, and you're being annoying? --Peter Talk 18:37, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

What Wikipedia says[edit]

The 3rd para of Wikipedia:Manual of Style says "Where MOS makes provision for more than one style option, editors should not change an article from one of those options to another without a substantial reason. Revert-warring over optional styles is unacceptable. If discussion cannot determine which style to use in an article, defer to the style used by the first major contributor." It also has a whole section on National varieties of English, which includes a subsection Retaining the existing variety. Specifically on dates, there is Dates and numbers#Retaining the existing format. Nurg (talk) 05:58, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

Retaining the existing variety is also problematic, because then whoever first edited the article gets to decide whatever variety should be used. I think people should write in the variety they're comfortable with, whoever edited the article before. It's the content we're interested in, not the language variety. Indonesia apparently was somehow (unjustly) turned into British English, and now we have a contributor who has to defend himself for writing in American English, the variety he is comfortable with [1]. I think this is very unwanted, and discourages editors like him to contribute. Globe-trotter (talk) 18:06, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

Do we need this?[edit]

I am not convinced this is necessary as a separate policy, though the basic idea is obviously good.

Just revise spelling policy as I suggested some years back at Wikivoyage_talk:Spelling#Suggestion:

  • writers: use either American or Commonwealth English, whatever you are comfortable with.
  • editors: do not "fix" dialect differences; there are far better uses of your time than changing "center" to "centre" or "traveller" to "traveler, or vice versa.

Then perhaps add a few new points in other things listed at Wikivoyage:Manual_of_style#Writing_style, and we are done. Pashley (talk) 17:50, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

I'd prefer not to see a proliferation of policy-like documents with names like Wikivoyage:Slippery slopes and Wikivoyage:If it ain't broke, don't fix it which, by their tone, discourage change and therefore discourage innovation. A proposed change needs to stand or fall on its own merits, not merely on "but that's the way we've always done it". K7L (talk) 18:09, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps the proliferation is itself a slippery slope? Anyway, Wikivoyage:Slippery slopes has been around for ten years; let's keep discussion here to the one article. Pashley (talk) 18:32, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
I don't think that is the tone at all. Lets focus on changes that are innovative and significant. I see articles like this and Wikivoyage:Tone hopefully bringing out the best in our contributors. Allowing them time to write articles that are different and diverse, without being brought back to earth with some insignificant change every edit they save. --Inas (talk) 20:40, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
Agree with Pashley. This policy is too restrictive, relegating formatting and polishing work to only pre-star status articles. I especially dislike the line about not changing somebody else's image size, as there are all kinds of legitimate formatting reasons for doing so.Texugo (talk) 21:10, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
According to this policy, changing image sizes is fine if there is a legitimate reason for doing so... Most editors here think this policy forbids a lot, while it doesn't. It just works as a way against tedious useless edits. Tedious spelling issues take up a lot of time. I've been changing the Bangkok pages multiple times according to whoever happened to change one particular district article to his/her personal preference without changing the other districts. And well, frankly, they are right. Those edits can't be reverted on sight, because their personal preferences are not incorrect. Without this policy, I have to change all articles every few months, as every few months someone new swoops in to change everything. Talk:Indonesia#Edits also shows why the policy is needed.Globe-trotter (talk) 21:22, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

I believe the policy on districted huge cities (and regions) is already that changes to districting schemes must be discussed first and thus can be reverted on sight, as far as I know.Texugo (talk) 21:29, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

Sometimes, I find that photos are too small to easily see salient features. I've been holding back from enlarging them because of this proposed policy. So maybe those of you who are driving forces behind writing it would want to be aware that there are things in it that can be misinterpreted. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:24, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
I didn't mean about the district schemes, but about style and spelling preferences. An editor comes in and changes all mentions of "minutes" to "min" in one district article, but not all the others. An editor changes one district article from American English to British English, but not the others. I had one changing all instances of air-conditioning to A/C in one district article. These are just some of the examples that took place in the Bangkok articles, and there is nothing to do about it. Their changes are not incorrect, but they are pointless as I'd be in charge of changing all the other districts and meanwhile we'd have an inconsistent look across the Bangkok articles. Globe-trotter (talk) 22:34, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
I still don't see a necessity for a new separate policy. Nothing here that shouldn't already be covered elsewhere, and any general idea that is trying to be presented is obviously so vague and misleading that, as was mentioned explicitly by Globetrotter and referred to by Ikan Kekek, most editors think this forbids things that it is not intended to.Texugo (talk) 06:36, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
So how would you solve the examples I just described? Tedious spelling issues are taking up a lot of my time here now, while that really isn't what's supposed to happen. Some users especially make it into a sport to force their style and spelling into certain articles. And well... I can't even blame them. Nowhere is written they shouldn't. Globe-trotter (talk) 12:06, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
Change the spelling policy along the lines I suggested at the top of this section. Pashley (talk) 13:49, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
The spelling policy mostly deals with British/American English, not any other personal preferences on style, structure, vocabulary and language use. Of course we could include this page in the spelling policy page, but it would bring it out of balance and wider its scope... Globe-trotter (talk) 14:32, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
So what's your suggestion? Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:26, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

Another attempt[edit]

This seems to be failing to get traction, so I might have another attempt. --Inas (talk) 22:46, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

Any better? --Inas (talk) 01:53, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
It's reading better to me, but I still have a problem with this sentence: "However, try to maintain some of the style of the original editor, rather than imposing your own." What's sacred about the original editor's style? Nothing, in my opinion. If my style is clearly superior in readability, pithiness, completeness, or/and elegance, I reserve the right to go with it. And everyone should do the same when reading articles written in my style. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:13, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
Updated accordingly. --Inas (talk) 05:30, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
And I made some slight edits to the update. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:44, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

Continuing objections?[edit]

I'm ready to run with this wording. What are the continuing objections? Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:25, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

Looks good to me. Nurg (talk) 01:07, 23 February 2013 (UTC)
As I see it, we are happy for new contributions of information to be written in the style that the contributor is comfortable with, but copyediting should stick to changes that are compatible with the local English usage and MoS, and try to be stylistically consistent within the article (and districts/sub articles if applicable). • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 07:09, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
A very fair summary as usual, Peter. I think the policy is ready for prime-time. -- Alice 11:53, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

Implementation[edit]

Is it time for us to implement this now? There seems to be a pretty clear consensus above. --Nick (talk) 23:44, 16 May 2013 (UTC)

I have put in my comment in previous section as part of the lead, as it seems to summarise the intention quite well. If there is any objection, go ahead and remove it.
Do we wish to discourage trivial copyediting? Changes that make no visible change to the article, like removing extra spaces between words or between headers and the formatting "=" signs? Perhaps a request in the lead. Please don't waste your time or ours by trivial and pointless removal of spaces or line breaks which have no affect on the code efficiency or appearance of the page. If you want to do this while making a real edit, go ahead, just don't make edits that are only trivial." I find it annoying on Wikipedia to go through my watchlist and check a page to find that the entire scope of the edit was to remove the spaces between the "=" signs and the text in a few section headers.
Yes, I think it is time to implement. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 06:27, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
I delete a lot of double-spaces between sentences, though that's usually not the only change I'll make. I don't think such edits should be discouraged, and I like it, for example, when Curtaintoad puts in missing periods (full stops) and corrects spacing mistakes. If that's what someone wants to do and it's correct, why should they be discouraged, when others don't want to spend the time? The thing I look askance at is "correcting" spelling from one variety of standard English to another when there's no obvious reason for it - like when the article is about Ethiopia or Uzbekistan, neither of which is a hotbed of either British or American English. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:00, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
I concur that it's time to implement this.
(I can understand both Peter Southwood's and Ikan Kekek's points about just making spacing changes or spelling corrections. I'm an editor that often makes these nitpicking types of changes - however, I usually do them when I'm copy editing and started editing in order to make more substantive changes. Some people are not very confident about their English and I don't think we need to discourage them. Consistent spelling is a real problem and I really do think our Wikivoyage:Spelling page should offer clearer and more practical advice; something like http://wikitravel.org/wiki/en/index.php?title=Wikitravel:Spelling&oldid=2037315 is much clearer for a new editor to understand.) -- Alice 08:48, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
To be fully clear, I support people editing for the purpose of making spacing changes and corrected misspelled words - yes, even if that's all they're doing. I don't want to discourage those kinds of edits. Ikan Kekek (talk) 09:02, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
And I see that there are ways in which the spelling article you linked is clearer than Wikivoyage:Spelling. Ikan Kekek (talk) 09:05, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps just a reminder that these types of edits should be marked as minor? Texugo (talk) 11:55, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
I am absolutely in favour of correcting punctuation and spelling, but making an edit purely to remove a space between sentences when the extra one makes no difference wastes other people's time when they patrol the article. Making those changes when there is a real edit as well is no problem, and is a better time to do it. I check any change by an unknown editor to the pages I watch, it is easy to vandalise and leave the page with the same bitcount, and mark it as minor. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 13:52, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
Well, when Curtaintoad makes these kinds of edits, he always labels them accurately, so that they needn't be patrolled. I suppose the problem arises only when a user who isn't trusted to honestly label his/her work in an editing summary makes these kinds of edits. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:31, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
The problem is not with people you know and trust, it is with editors you don't know. On WV this is not a big problem at present for those of us who have been here a long time, but on WP there are hundreds of people who make trivial edits, and not all of them are well meaning and/or competent, so unless you are familiar with the name, you have to check, otherwise there is no point in keeping a watchlist. WV may get that way too. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 07:16, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
So are we going to discourage these kinds of edits in general but make an exception for trusted users? That seems like a sensible way of dealing with this. I just don't want anyone taking it upon themselves to discourage Curtaintoad from helping out, and pointing to a new policy on edits to add full stops and delete extra spaces for support. Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:02, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
OK by me, we can't stop them anyway. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 10:55, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
Fixing trivial typos is fine, assuming there is visible difference for the reader. The issue is things like changing double spaces to single spaces between sentences, and removing the spaces between the equals signs and the text of headings - these things only make a difference in the edit box and make absolutely no difference to the appearance of the saved page. These are changes that, as a courtesy to editors who check changes, are best only made when one is making another, non-inconsequential change to the same line/paragraph. But how much of a problem is that here? Peter S indicated it is a problem on WP. Nurg (talk) 10:58, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

Low key policy changes, followed by dramatic article effect[edit]

This policy has had considerable resistance, because we all want people to improve articles. But the fact of the matter remains, that if a person only edits an article to impose their preferred style over an equally understandable style, the actual effect is just to suck time from the people who have to review the change, and try and sift through the significant and insignificant changes also made at the same time. Some of these changes are made as a result of style changes that have little community support, and next to no discussion. They are made at a rate where a reasonably engaged person with the project (checking in once or twice a week) can't possibly keep up with the changes, and can find several pushed through after returning from a short trip.

As a first step, it is time to give this article more prominence. --Inas (talk) 23:20, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

Redirects from local names[edit]

Earlier redirects from English variants to an article name were encouraged. I added local names. I think it is good to be able to find an article without knowing the English name of a place. This is important when one is reading local information and wants to have more information on places mentioned. I think redirects even from improbable names are seldom harmful. --LPfi (talk) 07:36, 2 October 2013 (UTC)

Should there be a page on the most common copy editing mistakes?[edit]

Swept in from the pub

I just spent several minutes editing Shanghai/French Concession to eliminate capitalization of mere directions (e.g. "walk West [sic]"). That's one really common mistake: Mere directions do not get capitalized unless they're part of proper names (e.g., West Lake, West Palm Beach, West Broadway). Another extremely common error on this site is to avoid hyphenating hyphenated adjectives, such as "[a] 19th-century [thing]", and capitalizing "Century" in that phrase is also extremely common and incorrect. I also often find the common names of plants and animals capitalized in park articles (e.g., Lions, Tigers, Bears [oh my! hahaha, if you've seen Wizard of Oz, you get the reference]), and those, of course, aren't proper names either. One more error which sometimes straddles the line between a mistake and an attempt at touting is to capitalize "Hotel", "Motel", "Resort", etc., when not given as part of a name. Finally, it's also extremely common to see words like "park", "university", "beach", and so on with initial caps when not being given as part of a name. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think that's correct in any dialect.

Is this the kind of thing that should be placed in Wikivoyage:Welcome, copyeditors (incidentally, when did "copy editor" become a single word?)? It would be really nice for it to have wider publicity, which I hope this thread helps with. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:15, 11 January 2016 (UTC)

How about just linking to w:Wikipedia:Basic copyediting? Or is that page not travel-specific enough? Powers (talk) 00:43, 12 January 2016 (UTC)
But surely DA BEARS are still capitalized, aren't they? ;-) Hobbitschuster (talk) 00:44, 12 January 2016 (UTC)
I see no harm whatsoever in linking that Wikipedia page, but I do think it's not sufficiently focused on the types of errors most often seen on this travel guide. And yes, "Da Bears" are capitalized. :-) Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:17, 12 January 2016 (UTC)
If a Wikipedia guideline is linked, it should be made clear it is not a guideline of ours. The advice is often very detailed, and sometimes goes against our practices (it seems most of this guide was applicable, but not all of it). --LPfi (talk) 16:39, 12 January 2016 (UTC)
So should we abridge it to fit our "culture" better? Hobbitschuster (talk) 18:16, 12 January 2016 (UTC)
Abridgement wouldn't be sufficient: The specific things I mention above, and perhaps others (any editing errors other patrollers have been seeing repeatedly), should be added, too. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:28, 12 January 2016 (UTC)

Discouraging New Wikivoyage Editors[edit]

Swept in from the pub

Hi! Why is it necessary for the Wikivoyage community to be so discouraging to new members?

Today is only my second day as a participant in the Wikivoyage edit-a-thon 2018, and less than 10 days as a Wikivoyage member, yet already two members have felt it necessary to run me to ground for adding a library to the cities I was editing. The document Wikivoyage:Where you can stick it clearly shows that libraries, colleges, universities, and schools are allowed, but apparently these members, with many edits under their belts, feel the need to point out that I am wrong to list them. Even more absurd is both of them felt the need to welcome me to the community, and then tell me I screwed up (when I actually hadn't).

Which leads me to wonder:

  • Why is every edit I make being put under such a large microscope?
  • Shouldn't the Wikivoyage community be actually welcoming to the new editors and edit-a-thon participants?
  • How is Wikivoyage going to retain these new editors when they are immediately pounced upon?
  • Did the editors (patrollers?) who apparently have nothing other to do than minutely inspect newbie edits really join Wikivoyage to do nothing other than play "gotcha"?
  • When was the last time these editors (patrollers?) actually created new content, created new articles on the site, and/or formally made improvements to articles?

I see the Wikivoyage edit-a-thon 2018 as a tremendous opportunity for the Wikivoyage community to expand the number of editors, but if this is the way that new community members are being treated, do you think that any of them will really stick around after earning their Wikivoyage Edit-a-thon barnstar? Will they even stick around to complete the challenge? Yes, the Wikivoyage policies need to be upheld, but these editors (patrollers?) definitely do not make being an editor here fun.

Please encourage and gracefully correct the many (hopefully) new editors who have shown up because of the Wikivoyage edit-a-thon 2018 challenge. Doing so will only create a better site in the long run.

Respectfully, Zcarstvnz (talk) 23:40, 12 February 2018 (UTC)

I've looked over your edit history, and regretfully I have to say that what you see as "members running you into the ground" could more reasonably be seen as nothing more malignant than experienced editors offering gentle guidance to a less experienced editor. Obviously we welcome contributions from newbies, otherwise we wouldn't be having an Edit-a-thon. But the other side of the coin is newbies need to be willing to respect that there's a certain way things are done around here, to understand that it's that way for a good reason, and to be counselled when they (understandably) make missteps that come from inexperience. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 00:47, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
While some of the traffic being brought in by the edit-a-thon is harmful or vandalism, I am seeing a w:WP:BITE or two being taken out of newbies: this for example. A link to WP is perfectly legit if it's made from a {{listing}} but, instead of turning the paragraph into a listing in this instance, an experienced editor has merely stripped out the inline WP links and treated everything the new user has contributed as wrong. I looked at Wikivoyage:Links to Wikipedia, the policy stick which was being wielded in that instance, and what I saw looked badly out of date - mw:extension:RelatedSites as the primary or only way to link to WP? Isn't that being deprecated? We do need to be a bit more cautious here, instead of endlessly insisting "but that's the way we've always done this". K7L (talk) 09:18, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
It's awkward for new editors and patrollers. I mean, I just looked at this edit to Australia, and I thought there were so many ways it could be improved. Its a bit encyclopedic, couple of typos, a bit technical for a traveller, and I think I could rewrite it better. But I left it. Maybe I'll go back another day. But it's hard to do. I'd be really interested in what Zcarstvnz thinks we could do to encourage editors like them to stay. Do we give an explanation? Do we leave well intentioned new edits alone for a week - there is plenty of stuff here to copyedit if we have the time? WDYT? --Inas (talk) 09:38, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
K7L, my bad, but I'm frankly unclear on where to put the Wikipedia tab into a listing. It would be a hell of a lot simpler if we had it automatically appear in every listing template. Ikan Kekek (talk) 09:42, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
Most of the edits that User:Zcarstvnz made to the Schaumburg article remain in the article. In any collaborative project, contributors have to accept that their work is going to be edited by others. Ikan and I both explained our edits on his/her talk page. We were trying to gracefully correct and encourage the new editor. I would welcome any suggestions on how to do that better next time. I have posted a follow-up message on the editors talk page. Anyone can check our contribution history to see what content we've added and what articles we've created. I keep a list of the latter on my user page. Ground Zero (talk) 11:59, 13 February 2018 (UTC)

In response to User:Inas, I think the best ways to begin to retain new editors are twofold: patience and encouragement.

Patience. If a newbie (including myself) is working on a page and a more experienced user comes along and starts changing things simultaneously, this is very frustrating. Before I am posting anything I am looking at other Wikivoyage pages, and there may be a gap of time between posts in the same edit session. Should well intentioned new edits be left alone for a week during the edit-a-thon? I imagine that's too long, but giving editors, especially new editors, the freedom to create new content during the edit-a-thon, even if it has incorrect elements (style, wording, format) without being reedited by a patroller for a couple of days would probably be appreciated. As long as they are not vandalizing or causing harm, couldn't the "perfect" page formatting wait a few days, and let the editor create in peace? The edit mentioned by User:K7L this is the perfect example. Fifteen minutes after making the edit in question, someone was there correcting something (that appears to have actually been okay). Isn't this an edit-a-thon and not a correct-a-thon? This morning I created too red links on purpose. I haven't had the time to go and create the necessary pages to support them, but I intend to do so in the next couple of days. Shouldn't there be some leeway to give the edit-a-thon members some extra time to work toward filling in the content like this, and not have someone immediately go and remove the red links?

Encouragement. I have no idea how many editors or new editors are participating in the edit-a-thom, but I imagine someone or a group of administrators are tracking this statistic. Have these editors and new editors been welcomed to the edit-a-thon? Have they been thanked for completing their first 4000 byte update to the site, or at some other interval? I am not talking about the standard Wikivoyage welcome, but an actual message from someone that they might be able to go to for assistance, as opposed to an anonymous account (like this one). A mentor is probably too strong of a word, but just knowing that someone can help is encouraging in itself. But part of encouragement is also having revisions and edits made by other members actually be correct. The adding of schools and libraries that I was told was incorrect is one example. If the patrollers revoke a change, but they are consistently incorrectly revoking, this is actually discouraging. Shouldn't the patrollers be experts at what is allowed to avoid frustrating the community and especially those who have joined the site specifically because of the edit-a-thon?

I hope this is helpful, and is obviously just my perspective from having been here less than two weeks. Respectively, Zcarstvnz (talk) 13:15, 13 February 2018 (UTC)

Hi, Zcarstvnz. Thanks for your contributions, for joining us, and for coming to talk to the rest of us about your experience. I hope that you decide that you like us and will stay. We're small enough that we don't have people who just patrol other contributors' work: everyone's a content contributor, and some of us do other things, too.
I think some of this is easy: edit conflicts are painful and cause lost work, and it's a good idea to avoid them whenever possible. (For folks watching edits, some research suggests that a 30-minute gap since the last saved edit is usually the minimum safe distance.)
Some of this is also complicated. For example, you've given the example of adding a listing for a library above. On the good (great!) side, you added information about free internet access at the library; on the irrelevant side, you added information about interlibrary loans, which (a) basically every public library in America offers but which (b) is strictly unavailable to travelers to Schaumburg. Some of it's also not clear: can non-residents realistically use those children's DVDs? I've lived in places where travelers were able to check books out of the public library, and in places where they're not, as well as in places where DVD players were available on site and places where they weren't. So looking at this from the POV of an actual traveler, I'd personally include the library, remove the interlibrary loans, and try to clarify the media-viewing situation (and maybe make sure, if you haven't already, that the library's internet access doesn't require logging in with your library card number). WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:27, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
My message to you was (a) not just the standard Wikivoyage welcome, but also contained specific remarks from me; (b) you don't need to know my personal name to be able to communicate with me, so I don't understand your point about "anonymous accounts" at all. My record is all there in my edit history. I don't reject criticism, but I kind of feel like you are asking for something close to perfection from longtimers. We remember consensuses that were unfortunately not sufficiently documented, and in my case, I remembered an existing policy on Wikipedia links but I'm insufficiently familiar with a newer policy on where Wikipedia links can be installed optionally in a listing template. These are problems, but it's not like either you or we have been operating in bad faith. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:48, 13 February 2018 (UTC)

Two ideas come to mind to address problems raised in this discussion:

  1. create a standard banner that editors could put on an article to let other editors know that an article is a work-in-progress that would disappear after 24 hours, and
  2. including the Wikipedia link line automatically on See and Do listings to make is easier to add those links.

Comments? Ground Zero (talk) 21:24, 13 February 2018 (UTC)

I like the idea behind the banner, but unfortunately I think that it may be of limited value. For me edit conflicts are most likely to happen as a result of following a change that appears on my watchlist. In that case, I tend to view the differences, and the banner is not displayed when viewing differences.
The Wikipedia link line whould be added to the standard See and Do listings - it is already displayed if the listing editor is used, so this inconsistency should be fixed. (WP links can be added to other listings but this is uncommon, and adding it as standard in Eat etc would encourage the addition of WP articles about chains, not individual venues.) AlasdairW (talk) 22:03, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
I would make it standard for all forms of listings. It could be blank whenever there is no Wikipedia equivalent, just like the much-misused "alt" tab. Often enough, it will be useful for "go" listings of train stations, airports and the like, even superhighways, and for unique hotels, restaurants and bars. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:47, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
I can see the value for "Go" listings, but Eat, Drink and Sleep listings would so rarely have a Wikipedia entry, that I think it would be more confusing for editors who think that they should try to find a WP article. I have also concluded aftet poking around that I lack the programming skills to make this happen. Ground Zero (talk) 23:03, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
I have mentioned before, but worth restating. A number of regulars have worked hard to create and keep quality articles, it is very tempting to fix an edit as soon as you see it. What I try and do (but sometime fail on my own self control) is wait a while before correcting a new edit I feel could be improved. What I have in my browser is a bookmark folder call "Wikivoyage - articles to revisit". With a new entry I will bookmark it and place it here. Then at a later date revisit the page and clean out the bookmark folder. --Traveler100 (talk) 06:55, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
I tend to leave the diff open in a tab, and get back to it later. (Main advantage: it doesn't require a separate workflow; whenever I see the tab later, it's likely time to make the edit. Main disadvantage: I do this for a lot of things (things I want to read, things I want to edit, things I need to remember...), so I have about 100 tabs open right now.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 07:14, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
Well, based on this discussion, I've made changes to the Wikivoyage:Welcome, copyeditors article. That's not policy, of course, but it gives us all something to consider. --Inas (talk) 22:57, 14 February 2018 (UTC)

Copyediting articles[edit]

Swept in from the pub

Does anyone know of any popular articles that have a lot of content copied from WT or WP that could do with being rewritten to help SEO? Just name an article and I'd be willing to work on it. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 17:50, 27 July 2019 (UTC)

Copyscape is a useful tool for finding articles like that, though I believe it allows a limited number of searches per month. —Granger (talk · contribs) 00:08, 28 July 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for telling me about it! --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 12:13, 28 July 2019 (UTC)
It looks like Florida would be a good starting point. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 16:57, 28 July 2019 (UTC)
This would make an excellent Expedition. Can you put the list of articles on an expedition page? Maybe a collaboration of the month? Ground Zero (talk) 17:21, 28 July 2019 (UTC)
Yes, an expedition would be a great idea. You don't mind if I set one up? --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 17:23, 28 July 2019 (UTC)
I have created User:SelfieCity/Copyediting Expedition. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 17:26, 28 July 2019 (UTC)
I would support and join it. Ground Zero (talk) 17:27, 28 July 2019 (UTC)