Forum:Close the Welcoming Committee

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This thread was archived on 7 January 2012 by Ajraddatz.

Back in July, the Image Maintenance project was closed and turned into a hub for information on image maintenance. This was due to the disorganisation and inactiveness of the members of the wiki, and it was no longer seen to be fit for purpose.

I believe that there is another project within our wiki that has reached a similar point: the welcoming committee. I had a look through the list to see who was still actively welcoming users*, and found that only 20% of the members were still doing so, with the majority being near the bottom end of the list. The list has 150 members on it at time of typing so that makes 30 members actively welcoming, with at least 1 being active by days.

This is not the only problem. I have been able to identify quite a few members who have never welcomed anybody, such as Tobias686, Zarosiskool, Mackayla and Blue A10, whose 3 edits composed of signing up and welcoming him or herself. There was also somebody who had been indefiently blocked 2 years ago on the list.

This, along with the "committee" part of the name, does seem to give the idea that it is some sort of trophy to be on the list. As such, this does not really help with welcoming new users, as it does seem to give off the idea that only those on the committee have the authority to welcome and/or make changes to welcoming (See User talk:Runescape assasins for an example). Indeed, one of our more active welcoming editors - AnselaJonla - isn't on the list.

Also, as a final point to this section, as with any list that gets out of control duplication can happen and did 3 times with the committee before the duplications were removed.

*If they have welcomed a user in the past 6 months

What I am proposing we do is something similar to what was done with the Image maintenance project: scrap the list and turn the page into a hub for helping people welcome others. I have summarised what should happen if this passes in 4 stages:

1. Archive the page in its current format and rewrite it to remove the members list

2. Remove references to the committee from the page

3. Alter Template:Userbox/welcome to the past tense or remove it altogether

4. Rename the page to RuneScape:Welcoming or something similar

I have created a mockup of what the page and userbox could look like here.

Another solution would be to perform a cleanup of the list. However really all this does is just sweep the problem under the carpet until a few more years, as this does not deal with getting people to welcome, nor with the possible false perception of authority. What I've done Ciphrius Kane Talk 20:03, December 26, 2011 (UTC)

Discussion

Oppose - This will bring no benefits other than making users who can no longer sign up disinterested. People may say that the list is exists only as a "trophy", but it is not so. The people who sign that list do so because they, whether it be in the short-term or long-term, have an interest in welcoming new users. It doesn't matter if that interest lasts only temporarily; it is a plus that will make someone else's job easier. Aside from 4 people of out +150, that goal has been accomplished admirably. I don't see what the referenced user's talk page has to do with anything; the editor who left them that message had made the conscious choice not to sign up (as they were aware that the project existed), and didn't in any way state that only members of the welcoming committee could greet new users. Also, the list dates back nearly four years. A large amount of editors will naturally have become inactive; removing the list would only make remembering the project more difficult. I think if anything is to be done with the project, it should be to expand the committee's role, e.g. establishing a "buddy system" to commend new users for their edits, etc. Also, the prototype you proposed looks like it's been sliced in half. It's far too short and has hardly any content. Removing this list will bring more harm than good. Ronan Talk 21:20, December 26, 2011 (UTC)

You seem to be implying that joining the list is mandatory to being interested to welcoming, which can put people off. Also, if you check the second message, the first sentence puts it pretty clearly that he felt that he wasn't supposed to welcome the new user as he wasn't a member of the list. Also, how will removing the list make the project harder to remember? Image Maintenance is still remembered and that list was removed. And as for the prototype, I was just removing the list, and that is what is left with. You are welcome to add content to it if you want. What I've done Ciphrius Kane Talk 21:50, December 26, 2011 (UTC)
It's not mandatory, it's a likely incentive. It was the first sentence I was referring to; he never said that he couldn't welcome users, he just noted that he wasn't on the committee. Removing the list will make it harder for users to remember the project as their signature will no longer exist on the page. And yes, Image Maintenance is still remembered. It's not participated in. There's a substantive difference. Ronan Talk 21:56, December 26, 2011 (UTC)
Oh it isn't is it? What shall we tell the likes of Spineweilder and Coelacanth then, who go around updating obsolete images? That although they are doing is image maintenance, cause it doesn't have a list they're not doing image maintenance? What I've done Ciphrius Kane Talk 21:59, December 26, 2011 (UTC)
Uh, no. User A notices welcoming committee. User A signs up to feel involved in the community or w/e. User A gains the enthusiasm to welcome user B. My comments are being taken way out of context/exaggerated. I don't know what Spineweilder or Coel have to do with anything here. Ronan Talk 22:09, December 26, 2011 (UTC)
The way your words are reading, to me at least, implies that you believe some editors need the validation of their name being on a list in order to take part in a project, in this case welcoming new users. This is kind of insulting, both to those users who signed that list and to those users who are active in welcoming new players without having signed up to that list. In my case I didn't even know that list existed until today. It's not essential, at all. And if editors need their name on a list to motivate them... well, maybe there's a reason they're inactive now. Small recharge gem.png AnselaJonla Slayer-icon.png 22:16, December 26, 2011 (UTC)
Words are being misconstrued here. As I view it, the list is purely an incentive; whether it is successful or not for individual users is largely irrelevant. If it's unsuccessful, nothing happens. If it's successful, welcoming editors becomes easier. There's not a whole lot to it. It's not "insulting". The pros outweigh the cons. Ronan Talk 22:24, December 26, 2011 (UTC)
I think that one of the big things we all tend to agree on is that incentivisng contributing to the wiki, whatever it happens to be or scale of it, is the wrong way to go. For me, and I'm sure for other people, welcoming new users is just a fundamental maintenance task that we do when we see it. That hasn't changed since I signed the welcoming committee in July 2010, of which the exact date happens to be a mere two and a half weeks after I joined the wiki. I don't think the notion of incentivising welcoming makes a whole lot of sense, taking into account two factors. Firstly, the fact that the amount of welcoming you can do is limited to the amount of new users there actually are. Taking that into account, secondly because of how quickly it is done already. I know that there are more than adequate users who near-immediately welcome new users when they see them on the Recent Changes, including myself. And for the occasional few that slip through, I know other users and myself check through the recent user creation log on a regular basis for users that haven't been welcomed. As a result, I see no value in incentivising something that is limited and is already done very efficiently. My personal opinion is that any incentive gained from signing a page that the person probably won't remember doing in a month due to the sheer minorness of it, is minimal, and bordering on non-existence. I'll let other people debate that, however. On the topic of the effects of specific incentive gained from signing the welcoming committee, assuming it does indeed exist, my opinion is that if someone is so lazy that they need a form of incentive to simply post a template on a page, then... well... I don't know where this sentence is going, but you get my point. Just my two cents. Matt (t) 10:00, December 27, 2011 (UTC)

Support - keep the basic guide, maybe add a bit more info to it, but remove the list and all references to it. It's not necessary. Small recharge gem.png AnselaJonla Slayer-icon.png 22:17, December 26, 2011 (UTC)

Support - I don't think the list is discouraging people from welcoming new users (the page clearly states that anyone can join, so I don't quite understand why you would hesitate to add yourself to the list). Nevertheless, it's outdated and unnecessary.  Tien  22:33, December 26, 2011 (UTC)

Support - It's hardly a committee or project anymore. Like image maintenance - it's just something you do. If people need incentive to welcome users, such as the committee list, I certainly wouldn't want them editing our wiki. x_x I've thought through and through on a buddy system like Flay mentioned, but I don't think it will work. It'd be too complicated and wouldn't help new users stay. Also, a suggestion: Change the userbox to say "This user welcomes new users" or something instead of making it an old useless userbox. sssSp7p.pngIjLCqFF.png 00:51, December 27, 2011 (UTC)

Strong support - I never understood why users had to 'sign up' to a 'committee' to welcome new users. All welcoming is is posting a template on a page, and having to 'sign up' to do something so basic, so simple, so fundamental, is pointless. Matt (t) 01:33, December 27, 2011 (UTC)

Strong support - That list is more of a guestbook of who has read the contents of the page than anything useful. As for the supposed incentive, everyone who has welcomed someone without being on the list is proof otherwise. 222 talk 03:40, December 27, 2011 (UTC)

Support - It's just a guestbook that's not serving any real purpose. People are still welcome to welcome people. Farming cape (t).png Lil cloud 9 Talk 04:01, December 27, 2011 (UTC)

Strong support - I know I've been gone way too long, but I've welcomed many more users than some of the folks on that list (many of whom I have never heard of). I never joined the committee, despite knowing of its existence. The example Ciphrius showed of an editor believing he didn't have the right to welcome anyone because he wasn't on that committee? Sad. Very sad. For that reason alone, I'd gladly see the committee gone gone gone. On side notes, I agree with Fergie that the userbox should say "This user welcomes new users" and would also like to point out that your concept of what the "RuneScape:Welcoming" page could look repeats the fact that you should subst the template (repetition makes for poor writing; or saying something again makes the writing poor). Hofmic Talk 06:50, December 27, 2011 (UTC)

All I've done is taken the current page and removed all mention of the committee. Feel free to edit it if you think it could be improved What I've done Ciphrius Kane Talk 16:58, December 27, 2011 (UTC)

Oppose closure, Support list clearance - Just trim down the list, get rid of everyone but a select 10 or so people who have been actively welcoming people, remove the trophyism part of the list just by making it a mini-information base of who you can expect to welcome you to the wiki. RSN: Warthog Rhys Talk Completionist's cape... Coming soon. 11:12, December 27, 2011 (UTC)

What benefit would that bring? And what are really the odds that an IP would know about that page before creating an account? Matt (t) 11:14, December 27, 2011 (UTC)
I must agree, it would be pretty unlikely, if not impossible for a new user to know of that page before being welcomed, especially considering how fast new users are welcomed nowdays. 222 talk 11:18, December 27, 2011 (UTC)

Support - All people really need to do is welcome people, if I'm not mistaken. --クールネシトーク 13:09, December 27, 2011 (UTC)

Slow down for a second. It isn't a real committee. It is just a list of names compiled for people to feel good. They never had any official standing or anything, being on or off the list does not allow nor prohibit one from welcoming people. Just ignore it.--Degenret01 14:13, December 27, 2011 (UTC)

Like I always say, we don't need what is unnecessary if there's no major benefit. --クールネシトーク 14:24, December 27, 2011 (UTC)

Strong Oppose - There is no reason that the welcoming committee should be closed. So what if it seems to look like a trophy, at least other users are being welcomed to our wiki and feeling important from the very first message on their talk page. When I joined the welcoming committee, I tried my best to stare at the wiki activity (I was a noob then... and now) looking for all red link talk pages I could welcome new users on. Ido think it would be a good idea to take off some inactive members though. Hair 03:38, December 28, 2011 (UTC)

What does closing the committee have to do with making others feel welcomed? People will still welcome users whether or not a "committee" exists (if you want to call it that, Degen has a point). Hofmic Talk 08:34, December 29, 2011 (UTC)

Support - Per Urban.  —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Touhou FTW (talk).

Closed - the welcoming committee will be removed, and the page replaced by information on welcoming new users. While opposers cite the fact that it is not an official committee, but rather an unofficial group of people that anyone can join, the mainstream argument is that it is not needed and not used in the current age of the wiki. Ultimately, most people believe that it is no longer an active project, and as such it makes more sense to replace this with a page explaining how to welcome users. ajr 20:57, January 7, 2012 (UTC)