Forum:Featured Articles overhaul

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Forums: Yew Grove > Featured Articles overhaul
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This thread was archived on 1 April 2014 by Liquidhelium.

After some talk with Suppa Chuppa and Smithing, it was realised that our beloved RuneScape:Featured articles system is in need of a polish. I've taken the liberty to propose a couple of suggestions, so feel free to comment. Whether any of these are implemented or not, I also propose to do another delisting batch like last month. Elvarg and Godsword come to mind, but there are others.

1: Criteria
First of all, I think the criteria for featured articles should be improved a bit. Currently, it should be "in the mainspace, well written and informative (lovely) and in keeping with the style guide". That's...vague to say the least. Delete the second criterium and replace it with some more concrete points, for example:

  • Article must be of appropriate length; sections must be logically organised
  • Article's contents must be relevant but elaborate
  • Article must have an aesthetically pleasing image-to-text ratio; images should be place appropriately
  • Article must have a sufficient amount of (properly formatted) references*
  • Article must be written in gramatically correct English in a way that is pleasant to read (refer to the style guide)
  • Article must be up-to-date, complete, written from a neutral point of view, etc.

Something like that. It'd give a better idea of how something should look before being featured.

  • Created a maintenance template that says the page lacks references ({{References needed}})

2: Keeping FAs up to standards
If all featured articles remained as good as they at one point were, we'd have no nominations for delisting. Okay, fine, that's an exaggeration, but you get my point. Something Suppa and I discussed aeons ago was a monthly/bimonthly/... "check" of featured articles. Basically, someone (the article's main author, if there is one, its nominator, a volunteer or Cook) would eyeball over a featured article every X months to see if it's still worthy of being featured, taking into account recent updates that may have affected its contents, or any additions to the article that may have been sloppy, etc. If all is fine, they'd leave a note on the talk page or a designated subpage of RS:FA or something. If not, I imagine there could be a template at the top of the page saying "This featured article is not op to standards anymore due to X, Y and Z. Please help improve it otherwise it will be delisted." Something along those lines. If improvements aren't made within a certain time period, the thing is delisted right away (and may of course be renominated after being improved). This way, articles that have deteriorated since their nomination are filtered out and either patched up or delisted.

- "But nobody can be bothered to do this!
nou If a single person would have to check every article every month and do all the administration then no, this wouldn't happen. However, if each of us were willing to sacrifice five minutes or less to skim over an article and leave a message that it's good enough or not once a month/every two/three months, then it'd be an efficient way to keep the articles up to standard without too much effort. Alternatively, Cook.

An alternative method would be no make a new nomination for each featured article every month/... to re-evaluate its quality. Knowing the speed at which nominations are handled here and it being more work than necessary, I am not a fan of this. Still, it's an option.

3: Other stuff
Some other stuff;

  • Move the featured article template (with Mordaut) to the top of the page rather than the bottom. If an article is one of our best, it's probably better to state it right away for everyone to see instead of saying "btw this was one of our best articles" at the very bottom for those who bothered to read all of it. Edit: scrap that.
  • We could do something like an Article of the Month again, separately from the random FA on the main page. It could be a single line on SiteNotice or whatever Oasis has saying "[Month's] featured article is [article] - check it out!", basically selecting a random featured article for it. I'm not really in favour of this, but I imagine some would like it.

Well, that's about it, I think. Discuss. User_talk:Fswe1 Fswe1 Brassica Prime symbol.png 21:19, March 8, 2014 (UTC)


Comment - We can make a template to calculate the last time a FA was reviewed and add it to a category if it hasn't been reviewed since a certain date. After it's been reviewed just update the time in the template. It's probably be easiest to extend the existing FA template for this. cqm 01:28, 9 Mar 2014 (UTC) (UTC)

One minor problem with this is that the page will need purging every few days or the page will remain cached. cqm 01:44, 9 Mar 2014 (UTC) (UTC)
Given our current attention to featured articles, I don't think refreshing some pages is very feasible. MolMan 02:09, March 9, 2014 (UTC)
Mhm, otherwise it's a good idea. Can't a bot do it? User_talk:Fswe1 Fswe1 Brassica Prime symbol.png 07:33, March 9, 2014 (UTC)
A bot can null edit a page, it's not difficult. I'll have Camdroid do it if no one else wants to. cqm 07:52, 9 Mar 2014 (UTC) (UTC)
This is probably a topic for another time, but I have, for a while, wanted a fully automated bot to have a list of pages to null edit as part of a daily routine. If we wanted to reduce the null edits required, we could create a pseudo-category facilitated by DPL that finds pages with the featured template and uses include to grab the time in the parameter and handle stuff from there. This would reduce the required null edits to 1 and eliminate the need to create an actual category (not that I'm against doing so). MolMan 14:08, March 9, 2014 (UTC)
Additionally, I oppose adding the FA template to the top of the page. It's cumbersome and will add to the problem of templates at the top of the page seen in wikiamobile cqm 08:06, 9 Mar 2014 (UTC) (UTC)

Suggestion - Put Featured Articles in the shoe box we stuffed User of the Month in and return it to the cupboard. sssSp7p.pngIjLCqFF.png 01:20, March 10, 2014 (UTC)

I'd rather we try to improve FA instead of do away with it. Unlike FA, UotM was just a useless popularity contest that never improved community morale in a way it was "intended to". FA, if we can get it to work, would be a great way to showcase our best articles (i.e. what this site actually exists for) and give every editor an idea of what level of quality to strive for. Putting FA into a shoe box would also leave a hole on our main page. Formatting issues aside, our home page has no other actual content. It consists of news, lists, and a random pretty image. I think it'd be best of us to display some of best content as part of our first impression. This also disregarding the fact that most views come from Google... MolMan 23:42, March 10, 2014 (UTC)
Let me see if I can explain my thoughts here. If an article is not up to par, it should be fixed. To showcase our best articles makes it seem like the rest are crap. Especially if it's a quest article. This quest guide is worthy, but the rest aren't? Just how crappy are our quest guides then? We should focus more on improving all of the high traffic pages rather than just the featured ones. If anything we should have a section of the homepage showcase a random list of articles (like quests or guides, etc) so that they can be looked at and improved upon. Not looked at to make someone say "oh this page is awesome but man the rest suck". Our articles are not that bad (if they are, go fix them), so I don't see the point of sifting through and making strict featured article criteria that we won't be able to completely abide by as time goes on. Articles can fall from featured status with as little as one edit. We should focus more on keeping all things up to date and nice looking. sssSp7p.pngIjLCqFF.png 03:00, March 11, 2014 (UTC)
Lots of wikis have an improvement drive section on their home page that features random or poorly written articles, encouraging users to fix them up. It's not a bad idea. Ronan Talk 10:55, March 11, 2014 (UTC)
It doesn't necessarily mean every other article is bad. Also, that itself isn't a bad thing. Actually, it's good. If someone thinks an article is bad, they're more likely to try to improve it than if their impression was that it was perfect. Most if not all of our best editors came here because something was wrong with the wiki. If there's nothing to edit, there will be no editors. If anything, I want it to be more apparent how bad our articles are. I've already made two different forums about this kind of stuff. MolMan 13:04, March 11, 2014 (UTC)
Instead of overhauling FA then, perhaps we should do something like what Flay suggested? sssSp7p.pngIjLCqFF.png 04:22, March 12, 2014 (UTC)
I like Flaysian's suggestion. Alternatively/additionally, more space for events? ;) Ancient talisman.png Oil4 Talk 12:02, March 12, 2014 (UTC)
You realise you can just make the event section bigger by editing the template? Wink If fetus keeps up those shiny new pics, they could go in that slot. cqm 23:16, 12 Mar 2014 (UTC) (UTC)
Well I could but I don't like the idea of randomly claiming a much bigger chunk of the mainpage Putin-style. Ancient talisman.png Oil4 Talk 18:29, March 13, 2014 (UTC)
So I think it's agreed that we will have some sort of thing that Flay suggested on the mainpage, but I still have issues with an FA overhaul. Like what others have said, I am not convinced that people will help with this at all. We have enough trouble getting more people involved in community discussions, how are we going to get people to actually keep FAs up to standards? Who is willing to do this once a month/every-so-often? I'm not. It will become one of those bothersome things that everyone will get bored of after a few times. It just isn't feasible. sssSp7p.pngIjLCqFF.png 22:04, March 13, 2014 (UTC)
You think it's more likely that we'll get a healthy number of contributors for cleaning up articles than of us getting some checking good ones? If you have no faith in established editors checking in on featured articles, why do you have any for random editors checking in on (and hopefully improving) bad articles? This is almost contradictory. MolMan 23:12, March 13, 2014 (UTC)
Because I have witnessed both sides. New/random people often coming into chat asking for a list of articles that need help vs no one helping with featured articles since 2012. sssSp7p.pngIjLCqFF.png 23:32, March 13, 2014 (UTC)
That's because our current system doesn't actual require maintenance on featured articles. If we establish it as a criterion, it's more likely to become practice. I'm on during the most active times of the day, and I honestly see this happening very little. But just as well, if someone is looking for something to do (which is the most common thing, rather than asking straight out for articles that need help), why can't we ask them to look at a featured article. Both of these questions -- "Can you rewrite this article?" and "Is this article still good?" -- are questions we never actually bothered asking our general pool of editors, and both are questions we should be asking. I'm not seeing why you have strong preference for one over the other. Without a featured article system, any official way to recognize quality content, we become of wiki of nothing but "adequate at best". In addition to that, clean up of however many hundreds of bad articles is undoubtedly more demanding than periodic review of 20 or so. You're labeling the wrong thing as unfeasible. I can understand liking Flaysian's idea, but not doing away with FA. MolMan 23:45, March 13, 2014 (UTC)
Why focus on fixing already-decent articles when we have more critical articles that need help? People who are looking for something to do won't be looking to rewrite an an article that is already decent enough. They will be looking to fix typos or add links - basic maintenance tasks that many of our articles require. A basic editor is not going to know the difference between a good article and an article that was once featured. No one cares about featured articles; an editor is not going to read an article because it is featured. They are going to read an article because it is relevant to what they are doing/will do in RuneScape. I do not think that people care a lick about FA or keeping articles at featured status. We should do a poll and ask how many people actually look at our featured articles because they are featured. In my opinion and undoubtedly the opinion of our readers, having all articles at good-enough status is better than having a few at featured status and the rest at crap status. Of course editing bad articles is going to be more demanding. But what is wrong with that? It is more demanding because you're focusing more on this stupid FA crap rather than fixing what needs to be fixed. sssSp7p.pngIjLCqFF.png 16:24, March 15, 2014 (UTC)
That's analogous to saying only the weakest students in a class need extra help while the strongest are already good enough and thus require no attention. Which is ridiculous. Yes, we should absolutely encourage people to improve our "bad" articles, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't focus on keeping our best articles, well, the best. Also, you cannot speak for everyone here. Before I joined the wiki as a regular editor, I saw an FA on the main page, clicked it and thought that this is the best fansite ever. And indeed, displaying both pages that are great and pages that need help gives a much better impression than only showing our crap, which suggest we don't have any good articles. Which we definitely do; however, it is necessary to maintain them and not let them rot. User_talk:Fswe1 Fswe1 Brassica Prime symbol.png 16:37, March 15, 2014 (UTC)

To be fair, I don't think most of our readers are interested in a lot of the other features on the main page, including the "Community" section. This is evidenced by the fact a lot more people view the main page than use those features. That does not mean some of our readers will not be interested in these features. That does not mean that our readers will not be interested in reading the articles we feature on the main page; heck, just looking at the recent activity at RS:FA, it seems there are people interested in our featured article system. In fact, there has been more activity at RS:FA than RS:FI recently.
One of the main reasons we have the featured article system (since it's clear some people here are not aware of this) is to give readers who may be interested in writing articles a good model for writing them. Some readers may have a very poor idea of how to actually structure articles etc., and giving them a model for writing articles would be very useful. These featured articles are articles that have been determined by consensus to be one of the best articles; these are not articles one person decided was very good. Hence, featured articles are more likely to be a good model than an article that someone in chat might recommend you use as a model etc. In my time editing at Wikipedia, I noticed a lot of people suggesting editors look at featured articles to see how they could improve articles they wrote. At the RuneScape Players Wiki, I see a lot of people using the featured articles there to get an idea of how to structure articles they write. Even here I have referenced some of the featured articles for people to use as a model.
Second, the FA system gives people incentive to create high-quality articles. If someone writes a high-quality article, but their contributions are not recognized in some way, they may be less likely to continue writing these high-quality articles. With the FA system, these contributions can be recognized.
What I'm basically trying to say is the FA system here is beneficial, and there is definitely interest here in this system. In order to generate interest in the FA system, and continue generating it, we have to continue to ensure that the quality of our FAs is high; otherwise, it will lose those benefits that I mentioned above. Smithing (talk | contribs) 17:28, March 15, 2014 (UTC)
Adding links and fixing typoes are not tasks that are of any sort of priority. The reason people do these things is because they're easy menial tasks to do when you have no idea what meaningful tasks there are to be done (see also: my edits). You're also misunderstandind what FA check up will actually be: "Is this article still good?" Yes. "Okay, keep it featured for now." It's not going to be an everlasting cycle of nitpicking in that fruitless endeavor of true perfection. We're not proposing to make featured article fixing a task because, well, that's what featured means: This article is so good it requires no maintenance. But there's the problem of making sure they stay that way. If no major edits are made to an article that is featured, no review should be needed. There's only 2 things that could feasibly take an article away from featured glory: A major update. In this case, the article needs attention whether it was featured or not, lest it suffer from an obsolence tag. or A rewrite. But, honestly, if an article is rewritten while featured and that takes the quality down, perhaps that/those edit(s) should be undone instead. You're grossly over estimating the effort required for reviewing an article. It's one read over per article only ever so often. That's not a lot of effort. You're further assuming that having featured articles and reviews for them will prevent work from getting done elsewhere. That is absolutely false. Want to know what's even better than those two scenarios you named? A bunch of good articles and a small handful to call exceptional. Please stop thinking that tending to our best means ignoring the rest. It's blatantly incorrect. MolMan 21:41, March 15, 2014 (UTC)

Comment - The requested criteria is a lot more comprehensive than our current criteria, so it is definitely an improvement and I would like to see it implemented. Just a couple of comments: I think the criteria could use some touch-ups; for example, instead of "Article must be of appropriate length", which is pretty vague, we could use "Articles must be comprehensive, but not get off-topic (or go into too much unnecessary detail)". Perhaps we could also link to RS:CITE#What_should_be_cited, which gives a pretty good idea of what material should be cited, for our criteria as well.

The idea of the featured article check is pretty interesting. My only concern for this one is if there would be enough people interested in it. Maybe instead of requiring monthly/bimonthly checks, we would only require them if certain criteria are met (e.g., a cleanup tag is added to an article, the topic of the article or the article itself gets a significant update, the featured article criteria are updated, someone requests a check, etc.). This way, we focus on checking articles only when it is most likely to be necessary. But again, just an idea.

What I was thinking of doing was requesting all the articles except for 2009 Christmas event and Cook's Assistant be delisted, since all our other FAs are poorly referenced and many of them contain numerous other problems. We would be left with 2 (3 if Guthix becomes featured) featured articles on the main page for a few weeks, but perhaps this would facilitate the implementation of any new FA criteria. If our current FAs meet the criteria, then perhaps we would be more likely to consider them for any new FA nominations. Smithing (talk | contribs) 04:25, March 12, 2014 (UTC)

Comment - "But nobody can be bothered to do this!" Unless Cook can magically wave his trunk to make this problem disappear, then this remains a big obstacle (especially with an ever changing game). --Jlun2 (talk) 17:16, March 12, 2014 (UTC)

I like Flay's idea - I've long thought it a shame we don't make much of our FA's compared to wiki's like Wookieepedia or Uncyclopedia (however unfunny they are in reality). Whilst we are a little bit handicapped with the whole ever evolving game rather than content that doesn't change as much or is completely made up, the whole point of it is to improve the quality of our articles as a whole. Listing the not-so-good articles as a way of getting them improved does the same thing, or hopefully will. cqm 23:16, 12 Mar 2014 (UTC) (UTC)

Comment - Flaysian can take pride in his idea, but featured articles and articles that need clean up are not mutually exclusive. Our whole article maintenance infrastructure is bad and often leaves articles tagged indefinitely. I have a few ideas, but I think if we want to use Flaysian's idea, we should explore it in a different forum. There's absolutely no reason we can't have a featured section and a clean up section, and I'd really like to have both. MolMan 12:51, March 13, 2014 (UTC)

It would be beneficial to have both a section saying "These articles suck, go write stuff, kthx, now shoo." and the FA section ("Here's an example of a good page."). Also, why is the twooter feed huge? We don't tweet that much... User_talk:Fswe1 Fswe1 Brassica Prime symbol.png 14:36, March 13, 2014 (UTC)
While Twitter activity has been fairly low (which will hopefully change now that U7 is on the account as well), I don't mind it taking up space. What else would you put there anyway? Ancient talisman.png Oil4 Talk 18:32, March 13, 2014 (UTC)
Well, Flay's idea, for one. :P User_talk:Fswe1 Fswe1 Brassica Prime symbol.png 19:57, March 13, 2014 (UTC)

Comment - No time is given for how long it will take delist an article. What if a featured article suddenly is impacted by an update and is missing a significant amount of information. How long do we wait before we decide it's time to delist? MolMan 13:13, March 20, 2014 (UTC)

As for the checks, I'd say once per one or two month. If an article is suddenly obsoleted by an update; use common sense. Give editors some time, a week or two, to get things up-to-date. If an FA is supposed to be checked shortly after such update, I'd recommend waiting a few more days rather than immediately delisting the article for being obsolete. User_talk:Fswe1 Fswe1 Brassica Prime symbol.png 15:42, March 20, 2014 (UTC)

Comment - First of all, putting {{Featured article}} at the top of the page is a terrible idea. There's already way too much stuff at the top of most pages, and it's absolutely not worth it to use the remaining space on a huge jarring template that readers don't care about.

The truth is that nobody really cares about featured articles. Despite what some of you guys are saying, people for the most part aren't interested in reading our great articles because the're great. It just doesn't work like that -- demonstrably, readers aren't engaging with the featured articles simply because they're featured. I have stats on this that I can share if anyone wants them.

My bigger issue is that I'm not sure we should be devoting so much time getting those 9/10 articles up to 10/10, and making sure that they stay there. Is there really a great benefit to having 30 or so fantastic articles? Do people really notice the difference? I'd offer that the answer is no. Smithing said that people use featured articles as a kind of model for articles to aspire to -- I think that's kind of ridiculous, and I've never heard that argument used before on this wiki. Personally, I'd rather devote time fixing up poor articles, whether it's those in the obsolete/incomplete categories, or some kind of large-scale project like calculators or skill training guides. Things that actually need some help. Things where people would actually notice a difference in quality, because a bad article is much more noticeable than a great one.

Now, that's just me. I can't force people to edit the things I want them to (as much as I'd like that to be the case...), so if someone wants to spend time keeping FAs up to date, I might think that's kind of a waste of time, but I'm not exactly going to stop them. The problem with that? Nobody has bothered to do it! We've gone to all this trouble, Fswe's made this thread, set up all these proposed guidelines, seemingly with the expectation that we as a group will somehow come together and keep this project updated. Somehow I don't quite expect that to work. If someone wants to do it, do it...but don't expect the rest of the community to get it together.

One of the things I've always found a bit strange is that people can go to the effort of finding all of the things that are wrong with a featured article (here for example) but not actually fix them. It's one of the strangest practices I've ever seen on this site -- we come up with 20 things wrong with this article, and instead of improving them (which would actually help the content), we somehow think the featured article system is important enough that we decide it's more worth our time to make a thread identifying all these problems, doing nothing about them, and unlisting the article. What in the world is the point of that? It's less effort to fix the damn thing.

Quite honestly, we should consider getting rid of featured articles altogether. I don't think the benefit we're getting from the FA system justifies the current effort put into them, let alone the proposed effort and new delistment system. That's fodder for a different thread though. Right now I'm opposed to having a regular, sanctioned delistment checkup, and strongly against moving the template. I'm okay with the criteria for the time being, but those should be guidelines to help inform consensus rather than hard rules. At some point we need to have a more broad discussion of what we want out of featured articles, whether they're achieving those goals, and whether the system is worth keeping.

As for the idea of using main page space to try to get people to help update articles or help fix up bad articles, it's worth considering. We need to fundamentally think about what we want the main page to do. If it's there to showcase content and make us look good, obviously having some terrible pages there isn't the best idea. If we want to highlight the collaborative nature of the wiki and show people that they can edit and that we still need some help, it's probably a good idea. I do think at some level we should advertise the tasks and projects and things we're working on and could use a helping hand with, but is the main page the right place for that? Something I've been considering is using the sidebar space to showcase current projects and things that newb editors can help with, but it's sometimes difficult to just list out articles that need some love. Stay tuned for more about that part, though. ʞooɔ 23:04, March 22, 2014 (UTC)

I can admit that I've been one of those to overestimate the appeal of featured articles. Looking back, I'm being a hypocrite in my responses earlier (sorry fregglies), mostly because I'm keen on keeping FA just because I personally like the idea and because last week was bad for me (but no need to talk about that). Honestly, I've kind of hated featured articles because, as much as I'd like everyone to participate in it, no one does. This is apparent from any some-what recent discussion where I think the only consistent commenter is fartwall. Featured articles doesn't work here, and I'd like to stop kidding myself.
I think I was also really unclear on what I want from checks. I don't think I'm on the same page as anyone else with want I want either, so I guess I'll just try to elaborate: nothing new except maybe a page of recent revisions. The meaning of featured, to me at least, is that the article is so good it doesn't need any more attention. And I said earlier the only times review would be needed are when someone makes an edit (which, to be honest, every edit should be reviewed for any article), or when there's an updating affecting the article (again, another reason to give any article attention). I think the whole "new" thing I wanted with checks, would be detagging without discussion. But rethinking it, I don't think we could handle that. I mean, not only is fswe pretty much the only one who would do anything consistently, but the whole process will end up being a mess. My vision of this is bad, I can't see a more arduous version being better.
I guess all in all, I don't think featured articles is something for us. We're horrible with big, long-term projects, and this is something that's been obviously dead for a while. I think I've been just latching on to something that I like simply because I like it, not because it's practical for the wiki. I don't want to respond to your 4th and 5th because it'd just be redundant. I mean, I don't think anyone can deny those without sound a tad ridiculous. I think that as much as some people really would like to keep this process alive, it's not practical for us, effort-wise or benefit-wise. It really might be time to move on, but even if it's not, it certainly isn't a time to make it more demanding. MolMan 00:14, March 23, 2014 (UTC)
If you've ever edited at Wikipedia regularly, I don't think you'd find my argument ridiculous at all. Featured articles are always the first articles I check to help me structure articles that I'm working on. Without this system, the quality of the articles I write would be far worse; I've actually learned a lot reading these FAs. Also, it is very common to see people reference FAs to help them write their own articles; people do this all the time there. I'm confident that without the FA system, the quality of articles at Wikipedia would be worse.
Second, the reason I listed some of the things wrong with the Barrows article was because I couldn't fix them myself (for the most part). Listing these problems there allows someone who might be browsing the talk page of an article to see suggestions on improving it ({{Previous Featured article}} can be used to link to a previous delistment discussion). Listing problems with an article there also gives other editors things to consider when writing their own articles. There's really nothing wrong with listing problems you find with an article if you can't fix those problems yourself; it's better than doing nothing at all to help fix the articles, the alternative. Smithing (talk | contribs) 04:50, March 23, 2014 (UTC)
facebook has msg wall why dont we sssSp7p.pngIjLCqFF.png 07:06, March 23, 2014 (UTC)
Mol raises an interesting point about reviewing FAs after every edit. Because, technically, we're doing this already. All FAs are on at least one person's watchlist, right? And we all check changes to articles on our watchlist ten times a day, right? Reminiscent of how User:Alchez fixes every edit made to a selection of quest guides, a much simpler alternative to the entire monthly check system (which, face it, will probably have died after three months) would be to just stuff as many FAs as you can be bothered to "maintain" onto your watchlist and check every edit. And that would take no extra effort - because you're already doing that.
If the edit is bad, fix it. If you haven't got time, fix it later or poke someone else. If you still haven't got time, we could create a template ("This article is featured but has received one or more edits that aren't up to standard - please fix it. See the article's history for the edits.") bugging people to do that. If an article is obsoleted by an update, then it will take some effort to get it back up (dear god Mahmem and FotG)...but that's always the case. User_talk:Fswe1 Fswe1 Brassica Prime symbol.png 10:12, March 23, 2014 (UTC)
This is one of those things that just screams RS:NOT#WP. FA works for Wikipedia, yes. For us? No. If this discussion were about adding FA entirely, then the success of it on WP might be relevant, but it's not. I told Cook the very same thing about featured articles being good model pages (I was also thinking WP); when he asked me to reflect on that statement, he's right: who has ever actually used one to guide their writing here? Besides fswe. With how the FA system has shown itself to (not) work here, listing problems on an FA delistment and hoping someone might go to the talk page and then read the delistment to see what these problems are is like hiding a poisoned needle in a haystack. Problems should be listed on the talk page because not only are people more likely to actually see it, but they'll be able to reapond and comment without being yelled at for trying to edit an archived discussion. MolMan 13:06, March 23, 2014 (UTC)
Well, you and Cook were discussing getting rid of the FA system, so I think it's completely relevant. Its success at Wikipedia and several other wikis shows that it can definitely be successful here. One of the reasons FAs are rarely used as a model here is because they're of low quality (mainly because of our low FA standards, although they are getting a bit better). No-one wants to use crappy articles as a model for writing articles. On other wikis where FAs are successful, the quality of the articles are much higher and the process for featuring articles is a lot more stringent. Unlike here, people do use these articles as a model since they're of good quality. Instead of giving up on the FA system because the way it operates right now isn't working, which is easy to do, we could start by working on addressing the reasons why it doesn't work here so that it can be as successful here as it is on other wikis. Really, improving the system we have right now does not require a tremendous amount of work; Fswe suggested an excellent way right above your post on how we could ensure that articles maintain their quality.
To be honest, I think we should be gracious, not complaining, that someone took time out of their day to look over an article and provide suggestions for improvement. I really couldn't care less where they decide to leave these suggestions. Working our way around the problems you listed are easy. We could transclude the delistment discussions. If someone wants to discuss some of the suggestions being made without being yelled at, they can either discuss it with the person who made the suggestions (which is something that I always do) or copy-paste the suggestions somewhere on the talk page. Seriously, a lot of the people who made these suggestions, such as me, would never have done anything to help improve these articles hadn't it been for the FA process. Smithing (talk | contribs) 04:49, March 25, 2014 (UTC)
It would be relevant if we had never tried FA before and were curious how it would affect us. It's clear that the system doesn't work and the main problem is lack of people caring. Cook does have stats as mentioned, and they show that there is an almost non-existent interest in featured articles amongst our readership. As for models, if you could show people actually using FAs as models, it would help, but of the random editors who make large edits, how many of them actually do? I think you really should care about where you leave your suggestions. If you want them to be made, it should really be in a visible location. I think it's completely silly that you suggest you only want to improve an article because there was a featured system. Accusations of egotistical motives aside, why can an article not be good without recognition? I don't think the discussion for removing FA should be about what it can do, but rather what has it done for us already. MolMan 21:23, March 25, 2014 (UTC)
If people need a guide for making articles, why don't we have a few caught-in-time articles in the Style Guide or something for people (assuming they exist) to look at. No need to keep them updated or anything. sssSp7p.pngIjLCqFF.png 21:37, March 25, 2014 (UTC)
Mol: The problem with the FA system is the way it is organized right now isn't working. There's really two things we could do: Get rid of the system, or update it so it does work. It's obvious that there is interest from several editors, myself included, to work on this system. It doesn't make much sense to me to just get rid of the system, especially because it is clear from its success elsewhere that it can work, and the fact we have done nothing to improve the system for nearly four years (except for adding images to articles featured on the main page). If we tried our best to fix this system, but it still didn't work, then I'd definitely agree with you, but clearly we haven't tried much at all.
On to your next comment: If these delistment discussions were both linked to at the top of an article page and transcluded on the talk page, they'd be more visible than they would be if a suggestion was simply left on the talk page alone. Doing this would also require minimal effort on our part. Also, to further address the one concern you brought up before, we could add a big box or something similar around an archived discussion telling people not to comment on it.
There are three reasons I will leave a list of suggestions on how to improve an article: (1) Someone asks me to, (2) I have sufficient interest in the article, or (3) someone nominates an article to be featured. I don't read many articles on this wiki anymore, and people usually don't ask me to review an article (frequency 1/year). If someone didn't nominate an article to be featured, then it's unlikely I'd come across the article and leave comments to help improve it. I'd probably spend the time just going out for a walk, or doing some physics problems etc. If you're talking about editing articles myself, of course not; in fact, I don't really care much about recognition. But this isn't what I was trying to say in the first place. I usually nominate articles to be featured because I want good input on an article from a group of people, and I want the articles to meet a certain standard. Only a system like the featured article system could do that effectively. A peer review system would most likely become inactive pretty quickly here.
Fergs: There would likely be more featured articles than a few examples that we would post on that page. Say I wanted to improve an article about the Smithing skill. If the examples that were given didn't include an example of a skill article, then it wouldn't be as useful to me as seeing a featured article on a skill. With a well-organized article on a skill, I can have a good idea of how to organize an article that I'm writing. Also, using articles that were outdated wouldn't be the best articles to use as an example the style guide. This is not to mention that featured articles would likely be more visible than any example we put on the style guide. Smithing (talk | contribs) 05:22, March 26, 2014 (UTC)
Who are these people you keep referring to that are interested in helping with reworking the FA system and keeping it updated?? I think having, for example, a model skill article, quest article, area article, training article, etc would be sufficient. Whether they are outdated or not is irrelevant. A good article is a good article, regardless of the content. I don't really care if we have model articles or not, it's probably widely useless, but it would help the barely-existent amount of people you're speaking for I guess, and it would remove the apparent need you've argued for FAs. sssSp7p.pngIjLCqFF.png 05:44, March 26, 2014 (UTC)

If you look at a recent list of recent FA discussions, you'll see that there are people who are interested in helping out: RuneScape:Featured_articles/2014 and RuneScape:Featured_articles/Magic_(delist). Now, I doubt that most them posted there if they thought (at the time) that FAs are useless and weren't at least a bit interested in helping out. I know Suppa has also previously expressed interest. Maintaining a list of good example articles would also require some work. We would have to update these articles so that they meet our changing article standards. It would also be a very good idea to come to a consensus as to whether an article should be used as an example in the first place. If one person thinks an article would be a good example, but a lot of other people disagree, then there really is no point in using that article (it wouldn't be a good model).

This comment is directed to everyone: I think it would be a better idea to actually try for once to make it work, instead of just giving up on it. I'm really not convinced that it couldn't work if we didn't try to make it work; the success of the FA system elsewhere suggests otherwise. There is actually a couple of benefits that we can see even now. I mentioned these above (this is actually one of the two main reasons I use FAs elsewhere): "I usually nominate articles to be featured because I want good input on an article from a group of people, and I want [to make sure] the articles... meet a certain standard. Only a system like the featured article system could do that effectively." Smithing (talk | contribs) 06:23, March 26, 2014 (UTC)

Closed - Featured articles will remain as is for now. A new thread will be created to discuss more broadly the future of featured articles. --LiquidTalk 08:00, April 1, 2014 (UTC)