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Wikitravel talk:Destination of the Month candidates

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Contents

This page is intended for meta-discussion about the DotM/OtBP process itself. Discussions about candidate articles should go on Wikitravel:Destination of the Month candidates.

Archives of older meta-discussions can be found at Wikitravel talk:Destination of the Month candidates/Archive.


OtbP candidates in Japan

So there's an index called Off the beaten track in Japan which lists, well, off the beaten path destinations in Japan. Most are not up to DotM standards but this may prove useful in the unlikely event that we start running low on places. Jpatokal 22:54, 30 April 2006 (EDT)

Timing of DOTM

When nominating DotM, it states you must say a good time to visit, and this is when the article will be featured. Surely it would make sense to feature it a few months before the best time to go, since it takes time to make travel arangements etc? EG it is good best to visit X in August, so feature the article in May/June, so you can get to X in time for August?

I second this proposal--similar to publications in newspapers/travel magazines, we should feature a destination well in advance, so that if it evokes much interest from the reader, he could enjoy going there this year, not the next year. --DenisYurkin 11:16, 5 October 2009 (EDT)

Enhancement

I made some changes so that the blurbs that get on to the main page on the 1st and 15th can be written right here. That way, whoever wants to update can copy it instead of writing a good summary fresh under time constraints. When this gets botified, the bot can do the same. — Ravikiran 21:28, 13 November 2006 (EST)

Very good idea! Although the full justification looks a little funky? Jpatokal 21:58, 13 November 2006 (EST)
I've played around with it. Does it look better? Whoever updates the DotOTBP next should keep in mind that the div tags should not be copied along with the blurb. — Ravikiran 22:44, 13 November 2006 (EST)
I split the "blurb" section out from the nomination section, so the layout of the blurbs should now be closer to what will actually appear on the Main Page. -- Ryan 16:17, 15 November 2006 (EST)
So I decided to go one step further and actually just copy the code from the Main Page. Feel free to revert if that's not helpful. For my part I think it's helpful to be able to judge exactly what the new DOTM / OTBP will look like, particularly how much space it's going to take up. -- Ryan 16:24, 15 November 2006 (EST)
Agreed on all points; it's useful, and better as a stand-alone section rather than part of the table. -- Bill-on-the-Hill 22:32, 15 November 2006 (EST)
And I've gone ahead and templatised the blurbs. Behold Template:DotMOTBP! But will someone correct the capitalization for me? — Ravikiran 00:17, 16 November 2006 (EST)

So where is everybody?

Interest in this feature seems to have sagged alarmingly. A number of candidates have been proposed, but reactions seem to range from "<yawn>" to "oh, not really." Meanwhile, the queue is getting rather depleted. Can we liven things up some, at least to the point of replenishing the queue? -- Bill-on-the-Hill 21:34, 1 February 2007 (EST)

Well, the queue does reduce the urgency of things a little, which is what it was supposed to do -- we no longer have the previous "OMG WTF we need a DotM tomorrow BBQ!!!11!1" situation we used to have at the end of every month. But I'll poke around and think of some candidates... Jpatokal 21:54, 1 February 2007 (EST)


Criteria for OTBP v DOTM

I have thinking for a while now about whether we need to agree some rough criteria for distinguishing OTBP form DOTM. See discussions at Wikitravel:Destination_of_the_Month_candidates#Zion_National_Park and Wikitravel:Destination_of_the_Month_candidates#Windsor_.28Ontario.29. For instance, Hoi An was OTBP when it's a primary tourist destination in Vietnam, but Swansea is probably outside the top 20 destinations in the UK. -- DanielC 08:28, 7 February 2007 (EST)

Yeah, popularity is always a relative concept -- Hoi An is well known among the Indochina backpacker set, but it doesn't (for example) have a single branded chain hotel and gets only a small fraction of Vietnam's tourists, which totaled a piddly 4 million in 2006, while Wales racked up 8 million.
My rule of thumb is that if you say the name to somebody on the other of the planet, and they've heard of it, it's a DOTM, while if they haven't, it's OTBP. For example, "Canton" (=Guangzhou) probably rings bells for most people, while "Hoi An" will draw blank stares. Zion's pretty borderline, and on this scale the Windsor that doesn't have a big royal castle would be OTBP, while Detroit would be DOTM. It would be nice to have a more quantitative measure of popularity, but I'm a little at a loss as to what that might be -- should we really start counting visitors per year? Jpatokal 12:18, 7 February 2007 (EST)
Not a bad metric, although I think it would misclassify Denali National Park (about as off-the-beaten-path as you can get), at least for people who know that Denali = Mount McKinley. But is there really a problem that needs solving here? There will always be a continuum between places that are definitely OTBP (Panmunjeom, Svalbard, to name a couple we've featured) and others that clearly aren't (Paris, New Orleans). Rather than getting too prescriptive, let's just have the discussion when a place seems to fall squarely in the gray area, as is the case with Windsor and Zion. Discussion is never a bad thing -- is it? -- Bill-on-the-Hill 12:55, 7 February 2007 (EST)
Jani we Americans are little, how do you say... uncivilized. You say Canton and we think Pro Football Hall of Fame. Windsor is an unusual place, because it's not OTbP since well over 20 million people use the border crossing every year and it's easy to get to from within the Continental U.S. This is an indication of cultural experience and values, but if you ask any Midwesterner about Windsor we don't think castles and England we think of Ontario.
I like Bill's proposal and leave it up to a coin toss. -- Andrew H. (Sapphire) 13:25, 7 February 2007 (EST)
How about having DotM for places that people will have heard of (the kind of places that are on the country's list of main cities/attractions (i.e. Paris, Kruger National Park, Dubai, Yellowstone National Park), your OtBP places are the ones that your average Joe from the other side of the world would never have heard of. For instance, Berneray is a good OtBP, as no one says, "I'm going to Scotland, we must go to Berneray." Rather they will say, "We're going to Scotland, we have to check out "Edinburgh" or "Loch Ness"... So I guess OtBP is for all the quirky little towns/cities/villages/national parks/islands that no one in the world would think to go to... -- Tim 13:39, 7 February 2007 (EST)
I agree partially with Bill - there is of course a continuity and there will always be room for debate. However, what I was looking for was for us to provide a bit more guidance - after all there is some distance between Jpakotal's perception - "My rule of thumb is that if you say the name to somebody on the other of the planet, and they've heard of it, it's a DOTM, while if they haven't, it's OTBP" and Tim's "So I guess OtBP is for all the quirky little towns/cities/villages/national parks/islands that no one in the world would think to go to." There is also the issue of what we are taking as our baseline - is it that the place is OTBP for the country concerned, or the whole world, or a mixture? However, being a pragmatist I would rather keep the DOTM "category" quite wide as there seems to be less really good city articles around at the moment to choose from compared with small OTBP's which are much easier to sort out in a few edits. -- DanielC 16:42, 7 February 2007 (EST)
These things are cyclic; for quite a time there were many more DOTM candidates than OTBP candidates.
Let me propose an exercise for the reader. Go through the articles appearing on Category:Usable articles and Category:Guide articles (or at least as many as you have patience for -- exclude "travel topics" and phrasebooks) trying to decide whether, in your own mind, they qualify as DOTM candidates, OTBP candidates, or "don't know." You can probably do this just by looking at the names of the places for 90+% of them, without reading the article. Then report back what you find. Are there really that many articles that fit into your personal don't-know category? If so, then maybe we should do as Daniel suggests and solidify the guidance, but I don't expect there to be, and if there aren't, I just don't see this as a thing to spend much time worrying about. -- Bill-on-the-Hill 17:35, 7 February 2007 (EST)
Surely the point is not whether you can personally put destinations into a DOTM or OTBP pile, but whether your distinction agrees with other people. -- DanielC 17:43, 7 February 2007 (EST)
Well, do the exercise. I just made a fast pass through the Guide articles (also excluding countries and major regions), with the result: 107 DOTM, 79 OTBP, 13 Don't Know. (This took me less than 10 minutes.) If others are coming in at roughly those same numbers, I don't think we have a problem here. If not, let's look for a way to fix it. -- Bill-on-the-Hill 17:52, 7 February 2007 (EST)

To me the difference is a qualitative one, but one that can be illuminated by quantitative distinctions. The main difference is what they're for: DOTM is to show off the depth of Wikitravel guides, demonstrating that we've got great articles for the places you probably want to visit. OTBP is to show off the breadth of Wikitravel guides, demonstrating that we've got articles for great places you probably didn't even know you wanted. I think they'll usually appeal to different kinds of travelers. History so far suggests that in most cases, there's a natural consensus about which is which. As for more formal criteria, I don't think the "have people heard of it" test works very well, because it's too subjective. A question like "how many visitors per year" is a little more useful, not because that's the real criteria (which is why I don't want to set a hard number on it), but because it helps settle the "have people heard of it" test more objectively (e.g. "Oh, it only gets 50,000 visitors a year? That's pretty OTBP, I guess"). - Todd VerBeek 18:07, 7 February 2007 (EST)

Yes, that's probably a good way to resolve the lingering uncertainties. Searching out visitor data is more effort than is needed for most nominees, though. Treat it as a "tiebreaker" and move on. -- Bill-on-the-Hill 09:32, 8 February 2007 (EST)

Berneray's pic, and pics in general

Specific: For Berneray, I like Image:A_boat_at_dawn.jpg more as an arty eye-cacher for the front page, although I'll readily admit the current one is more descriptive. It'd just be nice to have other colors than green and blue for a change... Jpatokal 18:29, 25 April 2007 (EDT)

General: I propose that DotM/OtBP nominations should henceforth suggest the image as well, so this can be fought out ahead of time. Jpatokal 18:29, 25 April 2007 (EDT)

Sounds like a good idea... and that's a nice image too for Berneray – cacahuate talk 19:09, 25 April 2007 (EDT)
Wasn't part of the idea behind displaying a DOTM/OTBP preview on the nomination page so that people could tweak the photo and text prior to a destination launching on the main page? Is there anything else that needs to be done to meet your proposal for picture selection? As it stands now we have one month available to determine how the destination will look when it shows up on the main page, and any discussion can happen as it is happening here about the Berneray photo (I vote for the prettier picture - dawn photo - btw). -- Ryan • (talk) • 21:57, 25 April 2007 (EDT)
I don't think it's necessary to propose the photo explicitly as part of the nomination process. With most candidates there's one photo that sorta jumps out at you as the obvious image for the front page; exceptions like Berneray can be dealt with by simply toggling the proposed photo, as I have just done. (That dawn shot is so good that I think it's actually clear in this case too. BTW, the copyright on that one should be updated to our standards; I think it's clear from context that our Scots friend intended to release it, but we should be rigorous about such things.) -- Bill-on-the-Hill 22:35, 25 April 2007 (EDT)

Tagging former DotM/OtBPs?

As the list grows ever longer, it's getting increasingly difficult to remember which articles have been DotM/OtBP'd already. Should there be some tag on the article itself or its talk page to say that it's already been selected, the way we flag former CotWs? Jpatokal 23:50, 16 June 2007 (EDT)

That sounds good... I would say top of the talk page similar to Template:Pcotwcacahuate talk 00:01, 17 June 2007 (EDT)
See the discussion on Wikitravel talk:Article status#Putting status icons on the title bar. That never really went anywhere, but the comments were all favorable. -- Ryan • (talk) • 01:33, 17 June 2007 (EDT)
Good idea. It also lets readers know that this is something we consider(ed) a quality article. And if it was a good place to go in June 2006, it's quite possibly a good place to go in June 2008 for the same reasons. Gorilla Jones 23:10, 17 June 2007 (EDT)
This really should be done. What must happen to make it so? -- Bill-on-the-Hill 23:51, 17 June 2007 (EDT)
Well, I (or anybody) can whip up a plain-jane colored box for the Talk page in seconds, but I think the question is whether we should use heavy wizardry like the status icon thing on the destination itself instead. Jpatokal 08:15, 18 June 2007 (EDT)
A good idea and I agree with Gorilla Jones' reasons for adding the tag on the main page, though I don't think it should be too obtrusive. Something like the present tag for announcing that WT won the Webby should be fine. WindHorse 10:05, 18 June 2007 (EDT)
Unobtrusive would be good - however, I think the space where we mention things like the Webby and Meet up should be reserved for universal announcements across Wikitravel, so clogging it up with symbols for this that and the other wouldn't be best. I guess we have to figure out whether this is a logo to help us when we are editing, or whether its something to help the average traveller who uses the site but won't get into the nitty gritty of picking DotMs. Whichever we decide its primarily for, will help us figure where it should go... -- Tim (writeme!) 16:19, 18 June 2007 (EDT)
Wikpedia has a star in the title bar to reward a featured article. Something like that can be done, but I think that a star should be reserved for Star articles. — Ravikiran 00:48, 19 June 2007 (EDT)
I borrowed from Wikipedia's featured article template and came up with User:Wrh2/Sandbox, which is an example using two 20 pixel icons in the title bar (although it could be done with one, three, ten, whatever). Unfortunately I can't figure out an easy way to make it so that clicking on the image leads to the Wikitravel:Star articles or Previously Off the beaten path pages, but at least the mouseover can explain what the icon is for.
If this is of interest and someone is willing to make appropriate icons it should be easy to throw together a couple of templates that actually implement this - I'm imagining something like {{title icons|{{star}}|{{otbp}}|{{pcotw}}}}, where the "status icons" template handles all of the CSS and the "star", "otbp", etc are their own templates that simply display the image. Feedback much appreciated. -- Ryan • (talk) • 02:10, 19 June 2007 (EDT)
Strip out the extra braces and just do {{title icons|star|otbp}} etc -- you can invoke the templates in Template:Title icons. Jpatokal 02:46, 19 June 2007 (EDT)
Thanks for the suggestion. I've put together a totally-untested and definitely broken suggested template layout on my sandbox page. I'm not a fan of having a lot of disclaimer boxes on articles ("this is a star! and it was a previous destination of the month!") so icons would seem to be an unobtrusive way to easily convey a lot of information about an article. -- Ryan • (talk) • 03:03, 19 June 2007 (EDT)
I've cobbled together some sample templates that actually implement this functionality, and they are implemented on User:Wrh2/Sandbox. The template code still needs to be cleaned up a bit, but I don't want to do too much work until there is some agreement that these sorts of icons are actually something we want to start using. If we do want to add icons for previous DOTM, previous OTBP, previous COTW, and star articles then it would be good to have better icons - I just grabbed a couple from commons, but I don't think that they are iconic enough to make sense to a new user. -- Ryan • (talk) • 01:16, 20 June 2007 (EDT)
Yes for DotM/OTBP, Yes for Stars, Maybe for Guides, No for everything else. I particularly don't think that previous collaborations should be tagged in the article page. That is what the talk pages are for. — Ravikiran 01:26, 20 June 2007 (EDT)


The Italians are sneaky. Clicking on an icon should now go to the appropriate page. -- Ryan • (talk) • 02:32, 19 June 2007 (EDT)
The star (or similar icon) is good if the tag is to be used only as a means to alert regular contributors that an article has previously featured as a DotM or OtBT. However, if it is also meant to promote that destination as a suitable place to visit at a certain time of the year, then obviously more needs to be written, perhaps something along these lines: 'Taipei featured as Wikitravel Destination of the Month for January 2007' However, I think that such a tag should be unobtrusive (perhaps like the Webby award announcement, though not in that location), and placed in a prominent position - maybe top left corner. So, as Tim says, we first need to define the main function of the tag. Is it to alert regular contributors or both alert regular contributors and promote the destination as a suitable place to visit at a certain time of the year? WindHorse 02:40, 19 June 2007 (EDT)

I like the idea of icons in the title bar if they're good and unobtrusive... but don't really like the idea of more text there. For sure I'd support a star icon for star articles. And if a good icon came up for PDOTM or POTBP then maybe that too... but if we need a sentence saying something similar to Template:Pcotw I would rather it just go on the top of the talk page the way we've been using the pcotw template... I don't think the other things are important enough to warrant more text up there. Except maybe the current DOTM/OTBP. I'm surprised we haven't already started using at least a normal little box at the top of the current dotm/otbp like we do for cotw. I never realized that. – cacahuate talk 23:23, 19 June 2007 (EDT)

Ryan, thanks for efforts. The icons seem fine, and I particular like the global design. WindHorse 01:23, 20 June 2007 (EDT)
So then should we use a good ol banner for the current DOTM/OTBP's, and icons for the previous's? I agree those icons aren't bad, and if you think you can come up with something more iconic, that would be great too  :) – cacahuate talk 02:29, 20 June 2007 (EDT)
I don't think a banner is necessary, adding to the front page already gives plenty of exposure. Jpatokal 04:15, 20 June 2007 (EDT)
I'm working on some designs for icons. I have a set that are based on the Wikitravel compass-star logo, and some others that are not quite as distinctly Wikitravelly. - Todd VerBeek 09:15, 20 June 2007 (EDT)
Very cool. CSS I can do, but icons - not so much. I'll take a stab at simplifying the template code a bit later tonight if I get a chance, although anyone who wants to is obviously welcome to make modifications.
As a side note, there seems to be support for tagging DOTM, OTBP and star articles with an icon in the status bar. Ravi indicated he doesn't want to tag COTW articles, and I don't think guide articles should be tagged since we don't currently have a standardized way of gaining consensus for what is actually at "guide" status. There was also a brief mention of tagging articles with docents - is there anything else that we would or would not want to tag? -- Ryan • (talk) • 12:29, 20 June 2007 (EDT)
Docents already have a box in the left margin which I think is sufficient.... agree not to tag guides or COTW... I think it should sort of be an awards section... articles that have been highlighted because of their greatness... which would be stars, dotms and otbps... – cacahuate talk 20:41, 20 June 2007 (EDT)
STARDOTMOTBP.png
Here are a few ideas for Star and DOTM/OTBP icons. The DOTM/OTBP icons were generally designed in pairs, but the Star icon in the same row doesn't necessarily go with them (hence the different row-identifiers). The top few are based on the Wikitravel logo, inspired a bit by Mark's original treatment of the triangles fluttering about; the two rows below are more freestyle designs; Star 6 is the standard barnstar and row F are the clip-art samples Ryan picked out. I hope that the concepts behind them are self-explanatory; if not, they probably aren't that great of concepts. :) One of the main considerations was making them simple enough to "read" at about this size, and keep in mind that only DOTM or OTBP will be on a given page (and Star will usually not be on either), so they need to work independently of each other. Opinions/preferences/comments/suggestions are invited. And the drawing board is still available to go back to if these all suck. :( - Todd VerBeek 22:48, 20 June 2007 (EDT) Responding to some of the feedback, I've added a couple more variations on the most popular options, including simpler version of 1 and 2, and versions of C and D with colors changed for enhanced Wikitravelity. - Todd VerBeek 09:14, 21 June 2007 (EDT)
    • Hey Todd, thanks for your efforts. Comments: They are all pretty cool. Preferences: DOtM, OtBT line C and D both have a simple design, but clear indication of their meaning. They both get my vote (with no preference for one over the other). WindHorse 23:14, 20 June 2007 (EDT) Whoops, forgot to vote for the star. I'll follow Bill's lead - 2.
    • Agreed, thanks, they're all well thought out. I prefer star #2 (4-pointed star lines up with our master logo) and DotM/OtBP D. -- Bill-on-the-Hill 00:03, 21 June 2007 (EDT)
    • Nice work! I didn't think it was possible to come up with a tiny icon that says dotm or otbp, but you managed a couple good options. I also like C and D... C is more WT style, yet D is slightly more obvious in illustrating the point. I like all of the stars, but would lean towards one of the 5 pointed ones... 1 and 3 are probably my faves... #2 wouldn't make me think "star" immediately. – cacahuate talk 01:08, 21 June 2007 (EDT)
    • I'll add in another vote for C and 1. D is too un-Wikitravely, and 2 onwards are barnstars, not Stars. Jpatokal 02:56, 21 June 2007 (EDT)
    • Disclaimer: I've got the artistic sense of a rock, so I'm going for what hopefully will pass as constructive criticism; please don't view these comments as anything that would hold up determining that a consensus has been reached. That said, to me E looks the most interesting, but I don't think it passes the obviousness test. Would it be possible to utilize the idea for B (arrows made from the logo elements) and combine them with E (arrows towards or away from a destination)? It seems like that would achieve both the goals of re-using a common icon theme and conveying a message of function to a user. And thanks for putting these together! It's awesome how the varied talents around here lead to a fairly well-rounded guide. -- Ryan • (talk) • 02:29, 22 June 2007 (EDT)
Bump! It would be nice to get this implemented in the near future - any additional comment? We can always change the icons later if desired, so it wouldn't be too terrible to just start marking former DOTM, OTBP and star articles if there is some agreement to do so. The consensus seems to be towards tagging the articles, so any additional comments? -- Ryan • (talk) • 17:12, 26 June 2007 (EDT)
Yeah, let's do it! Coming back to it now a few days later I think C and 1 are still the best. – cacahuate talk 19:31, 26 June 2007 (EDT)
I like 1 (good fit with the Wikitravel theme) and 4 (simple, like a star-shaped link), and E/G, now that the colors are within our range. I like the map-esque feel and they're intriguing designs. I understand the logic of C/H (and prefer the color scheme of the latter) but there's so much whitespace in the OtBP - I think my first assumption would either be that something hadn't loaded properly or that the OtBP dot was a spot on my screen, not the site trying to tell me something. Gorilla Jones 19:54, 26 June 2007 (EDT)
So barring further dissent (and I still think E has the most potential) can we start this out shortly using C and 1? Speak now or forever hold your peace... -- Ryan • (talk) • 23:24, 27 June 2007 (EDT)
C and 1 are fine with me. WindHorse 23:31, 27 June 2007 (EDT)
Me too. Let's just roll this out, it's easy enough to change the icons if somebody comes up with a killer design later. Jpatokal 04:40, 28 June 2007 (EDT)

C and 1 sounds like they have the most general support, so I've uploaded them. See Isle Royale National Park for a look at two of the icons "in action". - Todd VerBeek 09:03, 28 June 2007 (EDT)

Looks nice. Since 1 is more solid-colored (and prestigious among our articles), maybe make that the one on the right? Gorilla Jones 09:17, 28 June 2007 (EDT)
The order they're displayed depends on what order you specify them when you template the article, so we can't impose that with the template. (Counter-intuitively for non-Hebrew-writers, the first one you list goes on the right.) - Todd VerBeek 10:54, 28 June 2007 (EDT)
Can we display the month in which it was OtBP in the onmouseover? "Off the beaten path, June 2006" instead of just "Previously Off the beaten path". I like having the month in there, for the reasons I mentioned at the beginning. Gorilla Jones 11:13, 28 June 2007 (EDT)
Hey, Todd, the icons look great. Thanks for your efforts. Regarding, Gorilla Jones' idea. Can it be implemented? If so, I think it is worth acting on. WindHorse 12:04, 28 June 2007 (EDT)
Adding non-uniform text would require some template changes - instead of writing {{title-icons|star-icon|otbp-icon}} we'd need to do something like {{title-icons|{{star-icon}}|{{otbp-icon|July}}}}. If that's agreeable then I can make the change tonight, or if someone has time during the day then please go ahead. As to the Hebrew (right-to-left) listing of icons, that's a bit more difficult to solve due to the need to use CSS absolute positioning - if someone else wants to try to address please go ahead, but I probably won't have the time to investigate. -- Ryan • (talk) • 12:11, 28 June 2007 (EDT)

Woohoo, I think this was a great idea. Good job guys! I'm gonna start adding to some more articles too – cacahuate talk 12:57, 28 June 2007 (EDT)

What do people think about adding image:star-icon.png to the star templates that go at the bottom of the articles? - Todd VerBeek 14:21, 28 June 2007 (EDT)
That sounds like a good idea. Maybe stick it somewhere on the page that lists the star articles, too, just to make the branding consistent. Also, thanks, Ryan. Gorilla Jones 14:33, 28 June 2007 (EDT)
Regarding the suggestion of allowing the month to be specified for previous DOTM and OTBP articles, the approach I suggested above will break all of the title-icons templates that have been added to articles thus far. I'd rather not do that unless there is a clear consensus to do so, so please let me know if specifying icon-specific text is something that's desired, otherwise I'll leave things as they are. -- Ryan • (talk) • 14:37, 28 June 2007 (EDT)
Agree with Ryan. It's easy to get from the icon to the previous-DotM/OtBP pages, where the specified month can be found. Let's not break anything for the sake of marginal added convenience. As for adding the star to the templates, sure, why not, but not urgent. -- Bill-on-the-Hill 15:48, 28 June 2007 (EDT)
Regarding the idea of displaying the month with the icon, I understand Bill's point, but I'm inclined to think that we should set up the best format we can. Also, for both DotM and OtBP, we only have 49 pages to change. That isn't a major operation, and from then on it is one page at a time. As for the template, I have no strong opinion either way. WindHorse 23:25, 28 June 2007 (EDT)
Yeah, don't let my haste in adding the templates get in the way of new developments ;) And I didn't do the otbp's yet either, just dotm's... – cacahuate talk 02:50, 29 June 2007 (EDT)
I don't think that adding onmouseover text indicating the month it was featured would be particularly useful. While we try to put them on the main page when they're good to visit, those choices are very arbitrary and usually exclude a half-dozen or more other months when the destination is also good to visit. And more importantly, if a person who's already reading the article for Gotham City can't tell when a good time to visit is, there's something wrong with the article that onmouseover text won't fix. -Todd VerBeek 08:51, 29 June 2007 (EDT)
Good point, and there are also other mitigating factors why a destination is chosen for a particular month (such as, not wanting to run too many articles from the same region in succession). However, in general, the month for which an article features will be one of the most favorable times to visit the place, and therefore I think adding the onmouseover function that indicates the month that the destination featured would be helpful to some degree. Certainly, it is not essential aspect, but it could be a nice bonus. WindHorse 09:51, 29 June 2007 (EDT)
I can't speak to deliberations in the past, but it seems to me we're being very careful with month placements of DoTM and OtBP this fall and winter - there's been plenty of discussion for Albuquerque, Namche, Guinsa, Hiroshima and others to the effect of "that's one month too early / that's one month too late". I think seeing that Article X was DoTM in June would be intriguing for some readers and would lead them to want to find out why. It helps move them from a casual browser to an involved reader. Gorilla Jones 10:44, 29 June 2007 (EDT)
I think you may be expecting too much to come from a simple onmouseover event. For that matter, I think debates over whether a destination should be featured this month or that month ascribes more importance to that decision than it warrants. Featuring Swansea next week isn't going to send people scurrying to visit south Wales before July is out. I think the value of picking season-appropriate DOTMs is to avoid looking crazy because we're singing the praises of Iceland in January, and to show people who may be going there around this time of year that we have good info for them. It isn't so we can plan people's vacations for them. - Todd VerBeek 13:19, 29 June 2007 (EDT)

Icons into sidebar?

So the Japanese wikitravel is also adopting the DOTM icons, and some people there were wondering if it'd be possible to copy Wikipedia's trick of showing little stars etc next to the interlanguage links if the article has been dotm'd/starred on another version. Whaddayathink? Jpatokal 07:09, 9 July 2007 (EDT)

Why not (no idea from a technical pov though), it could guide people wishing to translate articles. Tensaibuta 08:38, 9 July 2007 (EDT)
Sounds good to me too. Things promoting more interactions among the various language-wikis should be encouraged. How hard would it be? -- Bill-on-the-Hill 17:03, 9 July 2007 (EDT)
According to [1], it seems to be built into Mediawiki. I couldn't get it to work on my homepage though... Jpatokal 00:37, 10 July 2007 (EDT)
An examplecacahuate talk 00:53, 10 July 2007 (EDT)
A trial (css, js, template, result). MediaWiki:Common.css and MediaWiki:Common.js don't seem to be enabled, so I run it on my local pc. -- Tatata 01:51, 13 July 2007 (EDT)
Nice job Ta! I think that's a great idea – cacahuate talk 04:05, 13 July 2007 (EDT)

Single district as destination?

Is a single city district fair game for DotMing? This was recently floated for Chicago, and if the article's good enough, I don't see a reason why not. Jpatokal 10:43, 15 September 2007 (EDT)

In this specific case, the coverage of Chicago is getting so good (with every prospect of continuing improvement courtesy of Marc and Peter) that I'd rather just see the whole place featured, the better to show off all their great work and present information holistically. That's the preferred general approach, IMO, but in cases where one district dominates the city from a traveler's perspective (definitely not true of Chicago), I could see an exception. Got anything else in mind? -- Bill-on-the-Hill 14:02, 15 September 2007 (EDT)
It seems that the preference should be to use the full city as the DOTM, although if there was an example where the coverage of the city wasn't up to the standards required but one district was DOTM-worthy then using the district would make sense. Similarly, if there was some timely reason to highlight the district ("April is the 300th anniversary of Poodoo's founding") that would make sense as well. -- Ryan • (talk) • 14:09, 15 September 2007 (EDT)
Just to clarify things, I think that the reason this came up was not about making a single district the DotM, but rather the OtBP destination of the month. The district in question was Chicago/Bronzeville, which is very rarely visited, unlike Chicago the city, and actually is not even included in other guidebooks (except Michelin, I think). I'm not commenting either way, though, about whether we should do this—it feels like a conflict of interest since I wrote that article ;) --Peter Talk 19:36, 26 September 2007 (EDT)

Any opinions about this in general? Or specifically, some of Tokyo's districts are starting to get within spitting range of DotMosity or OtBPyness, but the city as a whole is still far from it. Jpatokal 04:36, 18 July 2009 (EDT)

I think it's a no-brainer. It would be odd to exclude certain articles from the DotM process that are included in the star process, especially since we have a travel topic coming up. Districts come into shape long before a huge city is ready to be featured, and can be plenty distinct from the city as a whole. I'd love to put the aforementioned Chicago/Bronzeville up as an OtBP for February (Black History Month in the US). Gorilla Jones 11:32, 18 July 2009 (EDT)

Boracay Island: DOTM or OTBP?

Boracay Island is one of the well-known destination in the Philippines. I am not sure if it is an off-the-beaten path because the island is not that secluded nor isolated. The place has numerous hotels, resorts, restaurants, even a marketplace and residential districts. Also, there is a lot attraction within the island such as caves, man-made gardens, people, etc. A domestic airport was purposely built for the island located on the immediate district in the mainland Aklan.

It's definitely a DOTM in my opinion. Jpatokal 23:27, 3 November 2007 (EDT)
I wasn't sure where it best fit when I nominated it, and in fact was hoping for exactly this discussion. The partition between DotM and OtBP in some cases is pretty murky. However, it seems to me that if we consider Dalian OtBP on the grounds that nobody outside China has ever thought of it as a destination even though it's a huge city, other cases where a destination is important for "domestic" travel but out of the way to "international" travel might properly be considered OtBP. How international is the clientele that visits Boracay? If it's primarily Filipino, I'd still argue for OtBP, while if it's significantly international, that changes things. -- Bill-on-the-Hill 00:25, 4 November 2007 (EDT)

Phrasebooks as DotM/OtBP?

I'd like to nominate the Japanese phrasebook, but the current rules (written by moi, as it happens) say "Any destination, region, itinerary or event that passes the What is an article? test is eligible for DotM/OtBP." Hai or chotto muzukashii? Jpatokal 08:34, 9 May 2008 (EDT)

Chotto muzukashii. I dunno...I always thought of the DotM/OtBP as something you could see and do. Can you visit a phrasebook? Is a phrasebook a "destination" (hence the "Destination" of the Month)? PerryPlanet 13:45, 9 May 2008 (EDT)
Discover might be a better place to feature the phrasebook. It is rather interesting to know that the months don't have unique names, but are simply numbered, while the first 10 days of each month is actually names. --Nick 14:53, 9 May 2008 (EDT)
I don't think it's a suitable DotM (and certainly not OtBP), but I wonder: do we have enough good-to-great itineraries, phrasebooks, travel topics to populate a "Featured Article" front-page item separate from DotM and OtBP? If not, how many more would it take? I like where Jani is going with this, there are equivalents on Wikipedia and elsewhere, and the main page has been sorta stagnant for a while now and could use something new and exciting anyway... -- Bill-on-the-Hill 17:15, 9 May 2008 (EDT)

Virgin Gorda

Stop stop stop, the other picture is much much much better, than the current suggestion displayed as the next change on the candidates page! Can we change it? pretty please with sugar on top!? :o) Sertmann 20:54, 2 November 2008 (EST)

Sure. Look at it now. -- Bill-on-the-Hill 22:23, 2 November 2008 (EST)

Talk

Before I talk about it-I am not just saying it for Edmonton and Banff and other candidates (I've nominated). I mean, looking at a lot of them don't get replys for weeks or months. To me it's sad and shows that the site seems to have a lack of interest in it despite it being wonderful. I'm sorry if this causes people to be angry. I do not mean it that way. But I am just wondering-why does it take so long for people to reply to them? It just doesn't make sense. Of course a few, like Walt Disney World Resort - which has a lot of attention towards it, get instant replies (not instand-but what 3 within 2 days? as opposed to others that've been on for months and have only gotten 2?)...so why not the others? I just wondering-I'm not trying to make people comment but I don't see why a group of people that I know could don't. Keep smiling, edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 14:06, 18 November 2008 (EST).

People are still thinking about things, and there's no rush. We already have destinations lined out six months in advance, so there's really no need to worry about scheduling these yet. The Disney World article generates discussion because there is obvious controversy, while there isn't anything unusual about a Banff nomination. People will comment in due time, but please remember to keep a long term view of things—that's just how wikis work. --Peter Talk 14:16, 18 November 2008 (EST)
Thanks for the lovely comment Peter. Yeah I know theres no rush, but I'd really like some comments regardless. I am really trying to be patient. Thnkya! Keep smiling, edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 14:31, 18 November 2008 (EST).

6mo

It looks as though we have a lot of nominations that get the general opinion of "ok". Some dotms or otbps are good and there is so many i feel like we should start scheduling, of course, it can always be changed. I think we should extend it to a year. I have seen one's for July, August, September, October already that could be scheduled. What do you think? I understand it is a dumb idea and you will all bash it down most likely ;). edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 14:04, 6 December 2008 (EST).

This IS what it could look like. Now there is still some blank spots, as there has been with 6mo, but it is pretty filled. Remember these could be bumped for others still for a particular reason. Thoughts?

Month DOTM OTBP
January 2009 Phnom Penh? Saint Martins Island?
February 2009 Boracay? Preah Vihear?
March 2009 Walt Disney World Resort? Wake Island?
April 2009 Basel? Tywyn?
May 2009 San Francisco? Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park?
June 2009 Birmingham? Odense?
July 2009 Jakarta? Dalton Highway?
August 2009 Edmonton? Hovd?
September 2009  ? Saba?
October 2009 Frankfurt? Preah Vihear?
November 2009  ?  ?
December 2009  ? Spring Green

edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 14:17, 6 December 2008 (EST).

Anyone can feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm under the impression that there's an unusually high amount of activity in the DotM nomination page now than there's been in previous times. It wasn't too long ago that we were struggling to figure out how to fill out the winter months. Now I'm not saying EE's idea is a bad one; it might even be a great one. I'm just saying we might not want to consider the current state of the nomination page as a setting to make a change that will stay in place forever. Then again, Wikitravel is growing, maybe this high amount of activity will continue? PerryPlanet Talk 14:43, 6 December 2008 (EST)
Maybe people didn't find the good articles then or maybe there has been more activity on articles and now they are good-eg Dalton Highway, Edmonton. I think we could do this but if we find shortages, go back. edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 15:08, 6 December 2008 (EST).

I think it would be a mistake to try to extend this table beyond 6 months or so. A little review of history is in order here...

There was a time when the discussion on this page was limited to finding the next DotM from a list of candidates appearing here. That had problems, because it often led to a last-minute scramble, or worse, real arguments about what article should get the nod. "Due diligence" was not being done. The 6-month table was an attempt to remedy that and conduct the process with some advance planning and deliberation, and in my view it has been successful in that. However, concerns were voiced, even with the 6-month table, that having it might reduce the discussion of interesting candidates, because of a sense that things were getting "locked in" without benefit of that discussion. For quite some time there was evidence that that concern might have something to it -- and although the current discussion is fairly active, it's actually no more so than back during the one-month-at-a-time phase.

Having more candidates than boxes in the table is a good thing, not a bad thing; it allows the very best candidates to be identified, and provides incentive to improve the ones that aren't the very best. Between that, the concern about suppressing discussion, and the fact that long tables are cumbersome to read (there's a reason why we aim at no more than 9 bulleted points per heading in articles, after all), I'd much prefer to leave this system as we've got it now. -- Bill-on-the-Hill 15:55, 6 December 2008 (EST)

I completely agree with Bill's reasoning above. 6 months is long enough. If a destination is in the table, that deters further discussion on the article's worthiness as a featured destination. There's no problem that will be solved by extending the calendar beyond 6 months. Gorilla Jones 18:53, 8 December 2008 (EST)

What if to go with what I am saying and what other people have been saying, we extend it, but not 12mo, how about 8mo. I just see lots of noms that are definitely ready to be scheduled, and if we happen to have a shortage, then we can shrink it. edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 14:04, 8 December 2008 (EST).

Scheduling discussion

Just a suggestion, but as with the nominations, can we have discussion beneath the table. I realize this might clutter things a little, but it would be nice to make comments regarding the timing and which articles should be placed in the table. Of course, suggesting when an article should be featured belongs in the nomination of the article and maybe in the discussion beneath the article...but I'm talking about "we should switch blah blah" or "someplace was nominated long before this other someplace...if both are good to visit in the spring, why shouldn't the first one nominated be featured earlier" and other issues that may arise. What led me to think about such an issue? Well: I'd like to comment that 5 of 6 featured articles in three consecutive months are in east Asia (Harbin, Yakutsk, Phenom Phen, Preah Vihear, & Boracay)...two of those in Cambodia. I understand that there are limited articles to feature in the winter and there may not be better choices...but shouldn't we spread articles out geography-wise? Anyways, what do you all think? AHeneen 18:19, 6 December 2008 (EST)

I'm open to the idea, but the immediate problem that comes to mind is that this would clutter the page very quickly. We would also have to have an archiving process (which can be a pain). --Peter Talk 18:52, 6 December 2008 (EST)
I do think this could work, but what we should do is archive it after discussion is done. edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 14:02, 8 December 2008 (EST).

Asian

Okay, Looking at the schedule, there is too many Asian places. Yes, Asia is a big place with a wide range of places and stuff to do on a vacation, but we've already had a few Asian locations. NOw - looking at the OtbP, it isn't until April when we actually get a non Asian one. Honestly, we need at least one non Asian one just to break it up. You know how much heck American cities get for going 2 in a row, this is 3-4 in a row. Next dotm/otbp for Feb/Jan - All Asian! Phnom Penh, Saint Martins Island, Boracay, Preah Vihear!! Aren't both of the ones on our Main Asian? Anyways, lemme know what you think and what to change one of them to. edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 00:44, 13 December 2008 (EST).

We've got ten times more people here in Asia than y'all over in North America, so pipe down and wait for your turn =P
Slightly more seriously, it's common for winter destinations to be in Asia, because (with the exception of a few ski resorts) the vast majority of North America and Europe is rather unpleasant at that time, and we have regrettably few nomination-worthy articles in the southern hemisphere. I've swapped Wake Island into Feb though and suggested Putrajaya for March (instead of Preah Vihear, which would mean two Cambodian destinations in quick succession). Jpatokal 07:10, 13 December 2008 (EST)
Okay, Jpatokal,thank you. North America and Europe aren't bad in winter, it's just depends on what you want and usually it's better in summer, but winters' ok. edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 17:43, 13 December 2008 (EST).
Asia is quite a big place, and terrain and culture varies wildly across it, I don't see this as a problem at all... it's far different than featuring too many US destinations in succession. Bangladesh and Cambodia couldn't be more different. – cacahuate talk 20:11, 13 December 2008 (EST)

Qualification for DOTM/OTBP

The rules currently say:

  • "Any destination, region, itinerary or event that passes the "What is an article?" test is eligible for DotM/OtBP"
  • "All objections have to be based on the guidelines above: poor formatting, missing information, etc. Personal opinions, dislikes, etc do not count."

Yet Walt Disney World and, apparently soon, Wake Island are about to be slushed due to fuzzy objections like "it's expensive, very commercial, and lacking in any form of "culture"" (for WDW) and "it isn't open to the general public" (for Wake). I think this is unacceptable: we need to either agree to stick with the stated guidelines, or amend them. Jpatokal 22:26, 15 January 2009 (EST)

Hi Jani. I am still new at this and have a question about the DOTM/OTBP process. The nominations page states these are not valid criticisms:

"Wrong time of year" and "Wrong type of place." It goes on to say, "Articles are supported or opposed based on their content. Timing can be worked out later."

I am curious. Where is the approproate place to discuss timing, sequencing and rotation? This page or the Nominations page? It currently seems like the scheduling gets all wrapped up in the copy editing and manual of style discussion. Regards, WineCountryInn 23:56, 15 January 2009 (EST)

What that bit of the rules (which I wrote) is trying to say is that it's fine to discuss timing, but you should/cannot oppose something just because it should be in January instead of July. Currently scheduling is mixed together with nominations, which is a little messy, but there are no better idea at the moment. Jpatokal 01:28, 16 January 2009 (EST)
I slushed WDW since LtPowers wanted to reorganize, districtify and what not, as far as i'm concerned it was leaning towards a concensus to feature it. --Stefan (sertmann) Talk 00:32, 16 January 2009 (EST)
In that case it shouldn't have been slushed, since that implies it was rejected... Jpatokal 01:28, 16 January 2009 (EST)
Oh, where should it go then? Stefan (sertmann) 02:59, 16 January 2009 (EST)
I just thought it was silly to feature it as a DotM while there were still significant concerns about the size and scope of the article (as seen in the star nomination), because then once we did get it fleshed out we wouldn't be able to feature the improved article(s) as a DotM. LtPowers 08:11, 16 January 2009 (EST)
I think WDW is fine to slush, it can be renominated once it's been sorted out, same as a star nom. I do however think that it's time to revise the criteria for dotm, since it's now being taken so literally. At the moment I could kick ass on the Fresno page and nominate it and well, it meets the criteria, so...
For Wake Island, I'm not trying to be ridiculous and say it's the end of the world if we feature it, but I just really don't see how I'm the only one objecting to it. Very difficult to get to, in my world, means you have to apply weeks ahead of time for a permit, travel 19 hours in a bus, hike through a cave, send smoke signals to the village elder, then hop into the village on one leg to avoid offending the women... all that I'm cool with. But if you can only visit Wake Island by emergency landing or getting a job there, I think we've crossed the line of reason, and I think it looks like we're desperate and short on good articles to feature – cacahuate talk 13:07, 17 January 2009 (EST)
I think rather than "we're short on good articles to feature", having a place like Wake Island as a featured article instead demonstrates the depth of articles that are on Wikitravel. What other travel guide would include articles about such obscure destinations? As to the quality of the article for an OTBP, it is:
  • Interesting.
  • Well-written.
  • Complete.
To me, that's the type of article we WANT to feature. The fact that it is next-to-impossible (currently) for a non-employee to visit Wake does not make this article any less great - it is an enjoyable read, and perhaps we may inspire someone to visit one day, either as an employee or after it becomes easier to get there. -- Ryan • (talk) • 13:33, 17 January 2009 (EST)
Obviously we can both be right, but I would like to believe that people would look at the front page and think, "Wake island? what the hell is that" click on it and go "wow, that's pretty amazing information for a place that is off limits" (And in my dreams promptly go update the most obscure place they know of) --Stefan (sertmann) Talk 13:36, 17 January 2009 (EST)
I think those are all arguments for why it qualifies for an article, and why maybe it qualifies for guide or star status... but not why it should be featured as a dotm (which implies that you should go there, when in fact you can't)... but I'm clearly in the minority so I'll bow to consensus :) – cacahuate talk 03:39, 18 January 2009 (EST)
At the risk of inflicting further trauma on a long-dead horse, the criteria on the Previously Off the beaten path page are simply "Off the beaten path is a showcase article about a lesser-known or unusual travel destination, selected monthly by Wikitravel's users." My understanding has always been that we aren't necessarily saying "you should go there", but we are saying "this would be a great place to go, and here's a great article about it". If (for example) the South Pole article was updated to guide status (if that's even possible) then I think that would be another great OTBP nomination, despite the fact that you either have to get a job with Raytheon, the NSF, or have hundreds of thousands of dollars to set up an expedition to visit; we don't necessarily have to feature places that are regularly visited, but can instead mix in a few destinations that inspire people with the possibilities for travel, even if those destinations are out of reach for the vast majority. -- Ryan • (talk) • 04:29, 18 January 2009 (EST)

Uh-oh

We're a little short on dotm noms, mkay???? Can someone write up a good article on a large destination this afternoon and nominate it please? Slackers – cacahuate talk 12:11, 19 January 2009 (EST)

That's because Boracay and Walt Disney World were just pulled out of the queue. Boracay is almost ready to go, the Eat/Sleep sections just need a little TLC... Jpatokal 03:21, 20 January 2009 (EST)
Good job with the map, should we put it back on schedule for feb then?


Optimal dotm areas

The project page states in the criteria for dotm candidates that, The nominated article should not cover too large a subject (e.g. "India" or even "Indiana"). My suggestion that we feature Northern Territory would violate this criterion. But what is the reasoning behind this policy? If we had a fantastic guide to Indiana (we don't), I think that could make for a perfectly fine dotm/otbp feature. That could apply for countries as well—if we actually had any countries at guide status. This hasn't come up in the past for the simple reason that until Northern Territory, we lacked a single region article at guide status. --Peter Talk 11:26, 25 February 2009 (EST)

I think I wrote that way back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, but you're right, as long as the article is up to snuff I don't see much reason for it. Jpatokal 11:43, 25 February 2009 (EST)
Yes, I think that countries, states, and regions would be fine to feature as long as they meet the other requirements. A lot of people plan trips that way anyway. They first look at the country and then a region of the country and plan all of their travels within that area. Perhaps it will also encourage people to update/add to the broader categories... ChubbyWimbus 00:33, 27 February 2009 (EST)

August scheduling

Moving this debate off the main page -- while I have nothing against either Okayama or Hamamatsu, I think having two Japanese DotMs almost back-to-back is a bit too much, and that the steam bath of August is a dreadful time for any Japanese city. Edmonton's flaws are not fatal or unfixable, and August is a good time for it, so I'd be tempted to push for that instead. Jpatokal 07:17, 1 July 2009 (EDT)

I don't have a problem with that timing. There's a month between them, and there won't have been a Japanese DoTM or OtBP for more than a year prior to August. In the overall scheme of things, that's not excessive. We shouldn't get in the habit of scheduling articles until they're ready. Gorilla Jones 09:04, 1 July 2009 (EDT)

Okayama lead pic

Dead?
Boring?

IMHO the top pic is superior both photographically and informatively. It's not "dead", it's showing a Japanese garden that still looks quite striking even in winter, while the 2nd could be from any old boring park. Jpatokal 02:55, 10 July 2009 (EDT)

I see what you're saying; you won't see a picture like the first one in another guide, and perhaps the one I uploaded is stereotypical... As the lead pic, I felt it should be presented at its best, to look appealing. I don't think the first picture is really any more "Japanese" than the second one (they were taken from exactly the same spot). The only difference in them is that the grass is dead in the first and green in the second. It's not a sand garden. I have a lot of other pictures, but the grass will be green in all of them, as well, because they were all taken the same day. The castle picture looks nicer, but the grass is dead there also, and the Saijo Inari picture is not dead but it is grey and brown. A green garden adds color to the page and makes it appealing. I honestly thought the picture posted prior to the new one was fine. Where did it go? ChubbyWimbus 03:20, 10 July 2009 (EDT)
It's still on Wikitravel Shared, and can still be used. If you go back into the page history, such as here, you'll see it. I strongly prefer the top garden pic. Forget for a moment whether the plants are alive or dead — there's so much dead space in the bottom pic, which is dominated by that pond, and it's barely distinguishable from the trees, so more than two thirds of the photo is an amorphous forest green mass. (It looks a lot better at full size — some good photos just don't work well as thumbnails.) The top pic shows the activity of the gardeners through the interplay of shapes, and has a much broader range of colors. Gorilla Jones 08:27, 10 July 2009 (EDT)

Certainly the top one is more dynamic and a better photograph from a compositional point of view, but does it accurately represent the destination to the traveler? LtPowers 09:40, 10 July 2009 (EDT)

Certainly, if you go in winter. Jpatokal 10:06, 10 July 2009 (EDT)
I'm not sure that it necessarily does reflect how the garden looks, though. This garden is much more open than most Japanese gardens. Those who visit during the winter will be treated to dead lillies, dead trees, a small barren plot of farming soil, tropical-looking plants that may still look appealing, the buildings, this view, and a sea of dead grass. It's hard for me to overlook all that... People who visit gardens do not really want to see any of that. I agree that the picture IS more dynamic; the angle is good, but I think it is deceptive. I visited Ritsurin Park in Takamatsu in January, which is a lot less open and full of green pines, but even so, there are many places where I thought to myself, "This would look really beautiful in the summer." Deciding to visit Korakuen Garden during this time is a decision that must be weighed against the fact that you will only get to see an outline of how beautiful the garden will be later. I'm not necessarily thrilled with my picture as a thumbnail, either, but I would prefer something a little more appealing. Does anybody else have photos of this garden? ChubbyWimbus 12:21, 10 July 2009 (EDT)
I think you're overstating the extent to which the garden is diminished in the winter. It's not a sea of death. I've only been to Korakuen once, in cherry blossom season, and my photos look nothing like either of the above. (They're not worth uploading, though: [2]) The season is part of the experience. I've been to Shukkeien in Hiroshima in every season, and it's no less beautiful in the winter. Hama-Rikyu in Tokyo was also lovely in both seasons I saw it. Gorilla Jones 14:37, 10 July 2009 (EDT)
The top image has much better color contrast, more interesting composition, and does look more unique than the latter, which is overwhelmingly green and static. IMO, questions of representativeness are a lot less important when choosing a DotM photo for the Main Page. That's our portal, not our guide, and style should trump substance (not to say that I think either has more substance than the other)—the point is just to catch a viewers eye and get them to click the link. --Peter Talk 16:06, 10 July 2009 (EDT)
Oh, for the front page the top pic is far superior, I think. =) LtPowers 16:16, 10 July 2009 (EDT)
For someone who has the chance to see a garden in different seasons, the winter may be interesting and would certainly be easier to appreciate. If it's a one-shot deal, I don't think many people would feel that it looks best in the winter. This picture came from the Japanese version of the Wikitravel Okayama page. What if this picture (the first) is used for the Main Page and a different picture were used on the actual Okayama page? I know I'm putting up quite a fuss, but I don't HATE the first picture; I agree with everything people are saying about the contrasts and such... I would just like something showing the garden at its best. ChubbyWimbus 17:42, 10 July 2009 (EDT)

I just created a Flickr account and uploaded some of my nicer photos of the garden (ignore the random museum picture). This way you can browse through the album and say what you like (if anything) rather than me uploading random photos to try out [3]. ChubbyWimbus 18:19, 10 July 2009 (EDT)

How's this for a compromise: we put the winter pic in the lead and the DOTM, but we add a summer pic or two into the park section of the article? Jpatokal 22:58, 10 July 2009 (EDT)
I wouldn't be against that. Although the city has a lot more to offer than just the garden, it is by far the most well known and most popular attraction here so two pictures probably wouldn't be overkill. With that, I have a question (and follow-up): The first being whether or not people think the compromise is necessary or if everyone would prefer that picture stand alone. If the consensus is that the first picture is best without any others, I'll respect the consensus. I don't want people to think they have to add another photo on account of me being difficult; Even when I disagree, I've always respected consensus/policy (once I'm aware of their existence) and I don't want to be unreasonable. If it is agreed to add another picture, what picture do you want to use? ChubbyWimbus 01:19, 11 July 2009 (EDT)
If adding another photo for the parks section, I'd suggest one that is pretty different from the lead. One of the castle(?) would be good—I like this one best [4] (the other's sky is too bleached). --Peter Talk 02:35, 11 July 2009 (EDT)
I've posted the picture you suggested on the page. I wish the quality was a little better, but does it look right on the page? ChubbyWimbus 16:22, 24 July 2009 (EDT)

Colorado Wine Country press release

I'm pretty sure this is the first time we've had a press release dedicated to a Wikitravel DOTM:

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2009/07/prweb2684934.htm

Might be worth linking in from "Welcome, business owners" etc as a showcase? Jpatokal 01:22, 28 July 2009 (EDT)

  • Thanks, Jani. I do have to ask, has Wikitravel formulated a policy about third party press releases? I looked everywhere on the Web site and found nothing. Is this something that the community needs to address? Looking forward to Aug 1. WineCountryInn 18:12, 29 July 2009 (EDT)
As long as the third party clarifies its relationship to Wikitravel in the press release, I can't see how there would be any concerns. Speaking only for myself, I think yours was terrific, marks a unique highlight in this site's history, and should be held up as a model for anyone else who'd like to do something similar. Gorilla Jones 18:18, 29 July 2009 (EDT)
Wow, thanks, Gorilla. I appreciate the feedback! WineCountryInn 18:27, 29 July 2009 (EDT)

Require Wikitravel Format

I don't know if this is already a requirement or not, but it is not often mentioned as a reason for not supporting a destination however, I think it would be useful to require articles to use proper formatting before they are featured. Right now Kanazawa, Olomouc, and Frankfurt are all up for nomination and are close, but they are not properly formatted. The issues brought up against these are mostly related to formatting (lacking addresses, etc.), because I think users would add the information in the "Edit"/"Add listing" if it were there, but it is too easy to forget these things when the pages simply mimic Wikitravel format.

DotM/OtBP are often the only place an article receives critique (aside from collaborations) prior to star nomination, so it would be helpful to use this as an opportunity to mold articles into exactly what Wikitravel wants them to be. If formatting were something we looked for when considering a nomination, I think these other problems would also be easier to detect and correct. It would also assure that exemplary articles are being featured and push them all closer to star status at the same time. ChubbyWimbus 22:19, 29 August 2009 (EDT)

Whooops, hadn't seen this one. Anyways. While I do see your point, we have many legacy articles written before the new format was introduced, featuring any of those would require a fair bit of work. While this is OK for personal hobby horses like Chicago, Helsinki recent Bali or my own Copenhagen. I can see situations where such a policy would discourage from nominating perfectly good articles, on the basis that you don't really want to spend hours upgrading articles you have no real relation too, other than thinking it's a great article. --Stefan (sertmann) Talk 16:18, 13 October 2009 (EDT)
I suppose it may, but the nominator is not necessarily obligated to be the one to do it. Nominating a DotM/OtBP does not have as much responsibility accompanying it as nominating a Collaboration of the month, right? After it is nominated, if the biggest issue with the article was formatting, any of us could do it to get it featured. Because I know what a Wikitravel article should look like, when I see these articles that are not formatted properly, they look a bit sloppy to me, but if the formatting is the only problem, then there is no reason why it should have to remain that way... For Niamey, I think you started formatting it already. The consistency is just nice.

Also, featured destinations are a great place for newcomers to get a feel for how we want articles to look before plunging forward themselves. It is tedious work taking all the information and transferring into the boxes, but I think the end result makes the feature shine... ChubbyWimbus 19:52, 13 October 2009 (EDT)

While star articles are clearly designed to be exemplars, I don't think that's the real role of the DotM/OtBP features. Their real purpose is to attract new users—the vast majority of which will be people who read our guides, not write them. Something like listings format is, I think, too minor an issue to block a DotM nomination—what's more important is how interesting the article is. It of course is requisite that the article be good for it to be interesting, but the nitty-gritty of formatting perfection isn't that big of a deal. Whereas a new visitor seeing a cool guide featured to an exotic destination like Niamey is a big deal. --Peter Talk 12:00, 14 October 2009 (EDT)
I dunno. I definitely looked at the featured articles when I first came to see how things should be, since I assumed if it was good enough to be featured, then it was good enough to copy. If we don't require proper formatting, then what does the "and listings/headers/etc. that match our manual of style." indicate in the requirements? The formatting is part of the manual style. ChubbyWimbus 00:05, 15 October 2009 (EDT)
Having listings in the Wikitravel:Listings format isn't required for guide status (only for star status), so I don't see why we should require them here. The bit about "listings/headers/etc. that match our manual of style" was written long before we were using the new listings format (and actually, we still explicitly allow un-templated listings in the manual of style). IMO, it would be nice, though, to feature the star articles a little more prominently on the Main Page, in order to put our best foot forward to the world. I'll suggest this there. --Peter Talk 04:20, 1 November 2009 (EST)

Forbes article

Forbes is running an article on ten of "Europe's Hidden Travel Gems" [5]. Would some of those be good OtBP candidates? Pashley 12:06, 28 September 2009 (EDT)

They would be great if the articles were of a bit higher quality. Stari Grad and Meteora are still at usable. The former's not that far off, though, and would be a great OtBP. --Peter Talk 14:57, 28 September 2009 (EDT)

Is Africa of the beaten path?

Swept in from Niamey nomination

I sort of feel like each country deserves to at least have some DotM-worthy destinations. Niamey and Agadez appear to have the nation's international airports. Perhaps Agadez is more famous, but that would still only give the nation 2 potential DotM candidates. With Agadez being unsafe (as AHeneen states), that goes back to just this one. Most cities in the world are OtBP, and to be honest, a lot of people in the world would not even be able to match Accra, Nairobi, Abuja, Addis Ababa, or most African capitals with their country. Our current DotM (Hamamatsu) is not really a known city outside of Japan... I know the statistics and facts will all point to Niamey as OtBP, so I guess the argument falls more on principle. If we just use the statistics, I think we sacrifice DotM diversity. There are only 4 African destinations in the top 50 tourism nations, and only one (South Africa) is outside of North Africa [6]. Khartoum would surely be a OtBP, as well. ChubbyWimbus 23:28, 13 October 2009 (EDT)

I've added a bit to the see, do, & learn sections. There really isn't a plethora of things to do in Niamey. In response to ChubbyWimbus: I don't think something needs to be in the Top XX destinations in the world or even in a region to qualify as a DotM, i just think it should be a a place which attracts tourists or is well known. What little tourism Niger has attracted has all been near Agadez, and since that's practically ended, Niger is a country with few tourists. Even for Sub-Saharan Africa, most Southern/Eastern African countries, Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal, & the Gambia (I'm guessing) see more tourists than Niger...I really think it's off the beaten path. Even for W. African, there are far more popular places like Senegal, the Gambia, Mali, Ghana, Cameroon, as well as people mostly passing through countries like Burkina Faso, Togo, Benin, even Mauritania (people driving down from Europe) and then Nigeria & Cote d'Ivoire have sizable expat populations and are well-known. Niamey even see less tourists than another OtBP nominee Arusha, which see thousands of tourists annually who are either traveling south into Tanzania from Kenya or are stopping to explore Kilaminjaro or the Sarenghetti(?). Just my opinion.AHeneen 01:48, 14 October 2009 (EDT)
I do agree with you... Because Niamey does not actually have that much to do, it certainly reads like at OtBP destination, I admit. I guess my main concern is if the entire nation of Niger is OtBP, how many other nations would we also consider to be completely OtBP and where would they be? I imagine none would be European. Would we do that to Belarus? Or will it be Cameroon, Burundi, Togo, D.R.C., Central African Republic, etc.?
(I do appologize for making this such a long discussion. I'm really happy to see some African destinations that are actually up to standard and ready to be featured!) ChubbyWimbus 02:38, 14 October 2009 (EDT)
I think the UN data is a good metric for determining this in a neutral kind of way; http://data.un.org/CountryProfile.aspx?crName=Niger. Belarus nearly has double the number of tourist arrivals Niger has (and this only included organised tours) , and yes AHeenen you are right - every surrounding country except Chad has at least double the number of tourists Niger has (though Chad only has half).
In my view Dakar, Lagos, Acra, Abidjan, Tripoli, Bamako and Algiers are DoTM cities, while Porto-Novo and N'Djamena are OtBP and Ouagadougou is a border line case. --Stefan (sertmann) Talk 06:29, 14 October 2009 (EDT)
OK, climate section dictates Nov-Feb, so I shuffled it in in February, not meant as a push to make this as a OtBP, if there is a consensus it's a DoTM we'll just move it over there. --Stefan (sertmann) Talk 17:27, 14 October 2009 (EDT)
If we use the "neutral" way of determining what is OtBP versus what is DotM, we shut out a large portion of Black Africa. This is why the "neutral" way doesn't end up looking so neutral. Essentially, we would shut out half of Central Africa, 3/5 of Saharan Africa, 6/14 West Africa, and 4/13 of East Africa (None of Southern Africa would be shut out). Benin was not included in that list, and it is a bigger destination than Belarus, according to that website, yet I imagine we would allow Belarus a DotM. If Burkina Faso is borderline, then that greatly increases the number of nations that cannot have a DotM. This is why I think the argument is a bit beyond statistics and tourism data. Statistically, most of Africa is OtBP, but such limits make the site appear biased, even if the neutral source is used as justification. It seems like a slippery slope, but it's not as if the DotM needs to be so exclusive. Eventually the site will exhaust them, and I assume it would be at a faster rate than OtBP, which most destinations fall under. That's why I don't see why we can't just give each nation the courtesy of being allowed at least one potential DotM destionation. ChubbyWimbus 23:27, 14 October 2009 (EDT)
Probably right on all counts, but, what's the problem here? so most African cities are of the tourist trail, isn't that exactly what OtBP is? considering the quality of our African guides I doubt this is going to turn into an issue any time soon anyway. --Stefan (sertmann) Talk 00:49, 15 October 2009 (EDT)
I agree with Sertmann. It's not biased to feature African articles as "off the beaten path" if that's what they really are. I don't understand why "allowing" each nation a destination that could be DotM is somehow courteous; there's nothing pejorative about "Off the Beaten Path". LtPowers 09:26, 15 October 2009 (EDT)
One more "me too". Vast chunks of Africa are OtBP, as are eg. most Pacific island nations and large swathes of Central Asia. Even in congested old Europe you could make a pretty good case for eg. San Marino, Kosovo, Moldova or Liechtenstein as OtBP.
All that said, I don't think classifying nations as OtBP or not is particularly useful, and being "fair" just doesn't come into this at all. Calling a place OtBP doesn't mean "don't go there!", it means "there aren't too many people visiting this place, why not check it out?". Jpatokal 09:48, 15 October 2009 (EDT)

What about the idea that at least the top destination in each country be considered a DotM? In the case of Niger, I think that would be Agadez, so Niamey would remain OtBP. I concur that OtBP is not a negative thing (and for some it may even be more interesting than the DotM), but there is obviously more involved in DotMs than simply not being OtBP, because there is support for Khartoum as a DotM, yet it is not really a major tourist destination. Hamamatsu is now the DotM, but it's not a major travel destination either (although it probably sees more visitors than Khartoum). Discussions have taken place before about whether DotMs should represent the top world destinations versus the top regional destinations. I guess this is a branch of that argument. Would it be so bad to consider the top destination in each country to be DotM-worthy regardless of how popular the country itself may be? What do you think about doing that instead? ChubbyWimbus 16:54, 15 October 2009 (EDT)

I don't see what would be gained from doing that. Again, there is nothing pejorative about "Off the Beaten Path". Any policy that requires the capital of Nauru to be billed as one of the world's major travel destinations isn't serving travellers very well. Gorilla Jones 22:47, 15 October 2009 (EDT)
I don't think it's a matter of "traveler coming first". I mean, Nauru has an international airport, so it's not as if it's difficult to get there if you want to go. It's not off the beaten path in terms of accessibility. It's just a matter of people not choosing to go there. Hamamatsu is only known within its country, and even then it is nowhere near the most popualar within Japan. I don't even know if it's among the top in the Chubu region. Why would Japan be given the privilege of having a DotM that isn't a major destination in the world, region, or even the country itself while entire countries and regions in Africa "don't fit the bill"? I'm surprised that people are actually opposed to having diverse DotM features. ChubbyWimbus 23:32, 15 October 2009 (EDT)
Again, there's this odd idea that having a DotM-worthy city is a "privilege" granted by this site, while others must settle for the lesser honor of OtBP. What makes an article a DotM is the volume of travelers who go there, not that it's better than that month's OtBP. Gorilla Jones 23:59, 15 October 2009 (EDT)
Then why is Khartoum not considered OtBP? Compared to most places, the overall volume of tourists there is... not much. The only stated requirements for DotM are that they must be "Well-known and/or popular destinations", but no statement is made about what a "popular" destination is. There are popular destinations in the world, popular destinations in South America, and popular destinations in the Gambia. We can all formulate our ideas on where that line is drawn. I don't know exactly how broad anyone is thinking, and there doesn't really seem to be any consistency about it either. At what level do we judge what is "popular"? ChubbyWimbus 00:16, 16 October 2009 (EDT)
Travellers do not necessarily equal tourists. There are no tourists in Riyadh (since Saudi doesn't do tourist visas), but it was featured as a DOTM because it's a ginormous city and a important business destination.
And oh, regarding anointing the capital of every nation as a DOTM, I'd like to hear some arguments in favor of Melekeok (pop. around 250). Jpatokal 09:05, 16 October 2009 (EDT)
I dropped the capital city idea in favor of the most popular/visited destination in each nation, because it makes more sense and is also consistent with the DotM requirements. ChubbyWimbus 14:27, 16 October 2009 (EDT)

what results a DotM typically brings?

I wonder what value it gives to an article and/or to its key contributors when the article becomes a DotM? I mean, besides "1 month of fame" for the contributors--what else? Are there many previous examples when a featured destination got really a significant contribution during being featured? What other results the previous featuring brought to the respective articles and authors??

For example, I'm thinking on whether it's a right time for Lisbon to be featured. On one hand, it's quite young and immature--and ideally I would nominate it after I find enough time to contribute with my experiences from the recent trip. On the other, it's quite possible that I won't have enough motivation to contribute fast--but if DotM will bring one or two active long-time contributors/local experts, I would definitely vote for "release early" here. --DenisYurkin 14:58, 18 October 2009 (EDT)

I think it depends on the type of work that needs done on the article. If it is a matter of formatting, grammar, or something that can easily be fixed, an article could be a reasonable nomination. If you are looking for help adding content, organizing the page, etc. then it may be a better candidate for the collaboration of the month. DotM nominations are better for receiving critique on an article for you to personally address rather than for receiving help building an article. I imagine if others have been to Lisbon and see potential in the article, it could generate some motivation to make the improvements to get it featured, but I think that's a hit-and-miss sort of thing and not really what DotM nominations are meant for. ChubbyWimbus 17:46, 18 October 2009 (EDT)
DOTM/OTBP are meant for showcase articles, at guide or star level. If it's not at guide level, it shouldn't be even proposed, and I'd set the bar pretty high up for major cities/destinations like Lisbon. Jpatokal 09:25, 19 October 2009 (EDT)

Can/Should Any Self-Sustaining Article be DotM/OtBP?

Although it states that disliking a place is not a valid reason for not supporting a nomination, the nomination of Franklin received some reactions that made me wonder: Is every self-sustainable article able to become either DotM/OtBP? Are there instances where an article that has enough content to support a page but should not be featured because it is too boring? ChubbyWimbus 03:05, 14 December 2009 (EST)

I am not sure the initial reactions to Franklin were ones of dislike. Rather that is was not a very interesting article. Surely a DotM/OtBP should involve an article which makes people want to visit that location? --Burmesedays 01:06, 20 December 2009 (EST)

February scheduling

Why the non-American/Asian stipulation for dotm? We've only had one American DotM in the entire year of 2009, and that was in February. And I agree with what I thought was the rough consensus at #Asian was that Asia is a little too large to discriminate against—a very different case from having lots of features from one country, rather than lots of features from any of 47 countries. --Peter Talk 00:41, 20 December 2009 (EST)

I'm European, it's in my nature to discriminate against Americans :o) More to the point, I was a little unsure about this one, central America is a bit of both so I just slapped it all together. But since Tobacco caye is in English Speaking Belize, I guess South American destinations are perfectly fine. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 10:15, 20 December 2009 (EST)
Asia is enormous, but if we'd have to split up the world, I certainly think it'd be nice to have DOTM varied across the different continents. As we have Bali, the Gili Islands, Vientiane and Nara in the list, and we had plenty of articles from Japan and the United States before, it'd be nice to have some cultural and geographic variation. I think you could be right about the Middle East though, I wouldn't mind having a DOTM from that region. Globe-trotter 09:54, 20 December 2009 (EST)
I guess I'm not too happy with the newly added practice of stating no-X/Y destinations in the schedule. Especially because I think what matters more in scheduling is featuring the destination at a good time—Copenhagen this month made a lot of sense, D.C. makes sense for April, July for Bayreuth, etc, for the reasons we discuss in the respective discussions.
I absolutely agree that it's nice to get geographical diversity from month to month, but I don't think we should be adding definitive "none of this" lines in the scheduling box—we can work that out in a more organic and consensual manner, I think. At any given time, we don't have a very long list of guides that a) haven't been featured before, and b) would make good features, so I don't think we can be too persnickety. Case in point, the box is supposed to be basically full 6 months in advance, and we don't even have a dotm in the second row right now. --Peter Talk 15:00, 20 December 2009 (EST)
I think generally everyone has it in mind to diversify the featured articles, and we do as best we can. We have some unique nominations, like Khartoum, but it is not ready yet. I think I agree with Peter that we have to work with what we have. If someone could whip up articles like Tehran, Nairobi, or Montevideo, then I would definitely support them, but we aren't at a point where we can choose anyplace we want to feature... ChubbyWimbus 01:47, 21 December 2009 (EST)

DC Image

I am just wondering if there are any cherry blossom pictures of DC for the front page image, since that is the reason we are featuring it in April? There is no problem with the current image; I just thought that if we had a nice cherry blossom image, it might be better. I have some with the Washington Monument, but perhaps someone else has more good ones? If not, it's not a big deal! Just thought it'd be nice to coincide the image with the seasonal significance. ChubbyWimbus 00:35, 2 March 2010 (EST)

I've scoured the internet over some 10 times, and there really aren't any worthwhile free pics of D.C.'s cherry blossoms (although this could be perfectionism on my part talking, I suppose). I could try and take some myself, but that would have to wait until, well, we feature it ;) --Peter Talk 01:19, 2 March 2010 (EST)

April 2010 OtBP

We need an OtBP selection for April, and I would not support Kawasaki at this time -- it's far too short and lacking in eat/drink options. We could bump Hilversum up from May, but it looks like Sakhalin, Falun, and Ravello are also ready to go if need be. Thoughts? LtPowers 08:57, 15 April 2010 (EDT)

I think April is probably still winter in Sakhalin? Falun should maybe not be featured so close to Tromso? That leaves Ravello for me. Another alternative would be Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park.--Burmesedays 09:11, 15 April 2010 (EDT)
I flipped a coin, and it told me we should feature Ravello. --Peter Talk 09:59, 16 April 2010 (EDT)
I support Ravello, it should be fine around now and it's actually one of few locations in Europe that is not effected by the volcano ash. Peter: just do the change. jan 10:41, 16 April 2010 (EDT)
Done. Norway and Italy are sufficiently different that it's not a huge deal to feature two European OtBPs in a row. But Hilversum is up next and that would make three. LtPowers 11:09, 16 April 2010 (EDT)
It will be more than just two: We had Norway, now Italy, then Netherlands, Russia, and Sweden. It's almost half a year of European OtBPs. ChubbyWimbus 19:55, 16 April 2010 (EDT)
Point taken, although calling Sakhalin "European" is stretching the definition to the breaking point. It's farther east than Shanghai for heaven's sake! =) LtPowers 20:48, 16 April 2010 (EDT)
And Europe officially ends at the Urals, 5000 kilometers to the west. To me it's an Asian destination by any standards I can think of. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 23:42, 16 April 2010 (EDT)
Europe may end at the Urals, but Russia doesn't, and despite the fact that most of the country is in Asia, it's not viewed as an "Asian nation" by any standards I can think of. Even if Sakhalin's culture is more Asian, Russia is European, so I think it still looks like 5 European destinations in a row. Geographically, it seems like a stretch to call it European, but I still see it as European. No matter, though. Although the next feature really should be outside of Europe (non-Western would be even better), that still leaves some time to find/improve other articles. ChubbyWimbus 00:55, 17 April 2010 (EDT)
Indeed. I suspect very few of our users would regard anything in Russia as being Asian, even though it is. If we want non-European OtbPs: Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park has been ready for quite some time - could be OtbP or DotM as stated in the discussion, same goes for Jiuzhaigou Nature Reserve, Kununurra is definitely ready and Dogon Country is almost ready. I will keep an eye out for more candidates. --Burmesedays 01:51, 17 April 2010 (EDT)
Whoa, I couldn't disagree any more. Russia is a country of Europe and Asia, in terms of geography, culture, spirituality, and history. Any other way of thinking about it is just wrong. --Peter Talk 02:13, 17 April 2010 (EDT)
I am not disagreeing with that. Perception amongst the general populace though is surely that Russia is in Europe. Not saying that is correct. And in any case, let's not get hung up on that. The issue is, we need some more non-European OtbPs :). --Burmesedays 02:18, 17 April 2010 (EDT)
lol. It's like Xinjiang to China: Clearly "Middle Eastern/Central Asian" culturally, but being in China makes it (East) Asian. Being in Russia makes Sakhalin European. It's the way people are educated about Russia, I think and perhaps also the way Russia portrays itself. Is Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park nice in May? If it is good, I think it might be the best option, and in May it wouldn't create Asian overlap with the nature reserve later. ChubbyWimbus 03:52, 17 April 2010 (EDT)

I think Hilversum should not be featured in October as then it gets cold and wet in Northern Europe and imho the city is a spring or summer destination. I think at certain times European destinations are very pleasant to visit but exploring European cities in late autumm or winter is less pleasant... My suggestion would be that in May we feature Figueres and Hilversum. For non-European Dotm we also have Vientiane ready (instead of Figueres) and Bromo could be good for October. jan 03:37, 22 April 2010 (EDT)

I thought this might be the case when I switched them. The main issue is that we want to avoid 5 European destinations in a row, but those that are left are all in places that are not so good winter destinations. Probably the current feature (Ravello) would have been the best to move to October, but we can't do that now. Hilversum seemed to be the best option to move (although I knew none of them were really good)...Can the Swedish or Sakhalin be moved to October? If none of them could be moved to October, then I guess our only options are to just feature the string of European destinations OR hold one until next year... ChubbyWimbus 02:16, 23 April 2010 (EDT)
Ravello is perfect for this time of the year but might have been okish for October. Falun and Sakhalin are only summer destinations because it is dark and snow will fall... I think it's not bad to have five European destinations in a row as i think the featured destination should fit with the weather. jan 03:39, 23 April 2010 (EDT)
There are plenty of other places to go in Northern Hemisphere summer besides Europe. LtPowers 09:05, 23 April 2010 (EDT)
Like Sakhalin. I don't think the argument that it's Russia and therefore people will think Europe holds water for several reasons. Not the least of which is that someone of that opinion wouldn't have heard of Sakhalin before, and would need to check out the article. We could even include something in the blurb like "At the far east tip of the Asian continent..." or something like that. And besides, isn't the idea just to feature articles with a good spread of geographical representation? Sakhalin does not represent Europe in any way shape or form. --Peter Talk 09:39, 23 April 2010 (EDT)
Well, Hawaiian culture and history don't coincide with the United States, but if we featured Honolulu after Halifax, I'd say they are two destinations from the same region (North America), despite Honolulu's obvious position in Oceania. That's not good geographic representation, even though they are on opposite sides of the world. It would look rather boring/stale to order the features like that, and I think this is much the same: Half a year of only European destinations? It's just boring, and I am not talking about the destinations themselves being boring (they're not). Just the way we feature them.
Putting one destination without ties to Europe in-between a long string of those with ties to Europe is not meant to offend anyone or put down the feature that is moved/held; It just keeps us fresh and varied. I think it's good for the features and is the policy of how to feature destinations. ChubbyWimbus 03:15, 24 April 2010 (EDT)
CW: I think you are too much oriented on geographical maps because Hawaii and Halifax has nothing in common and in my view are not even at the same continent. Sakhalin is so far from Europe that you can't seriously argue it's Europe. Is this really important for you because most others don't seem to share your opinion on that rather wide definition of continents. jan 05:09, 24 April 2010 (EDT)
I didn't literally mean they are in North America, and I see the examples are just getting everybody off on tangents. Featuring an American destination after a Canadian destination would seem dull and undiversified to me, regardless of whether it were Honolulu and Halifax (which are far) or Vancouver and Seattle (which are quite close) and certainly 5 European ones in a row is extremely stale, regardless of location. Even if you call it 4 European destinations and Russian Sakhalin, it remains rather dull. The point is not about whether Sakhalin is in Europe, Asia, or anywhere else: It's simply that there are too many European destinations bunched up together. Do we no longer care about diversity? We have another site to put in there, so I don't see why there is opposition. I was under the assumption that diversifying features was important to the community as a whole, but I guess if there is such a strong backing for this unnecessary Eurocentric string of features and Wikitravel doesn't actually care about diversifying features, then I am mistaken and there is nothing left to say. ChubbyWimbus 05:46, 24 April 2010 (EDT)
I really don't mind of we switch stuff around, but May 15 to Jun 15, is a really good time to feature Sakhalin - it's the best time to go, and it still leaves some room for those who should get inspired to sort out this route before the ferry service to Japan halts for the winter in September. And come on, there are 9000 kilometers between Ravello and Sakhalin, and I can't think of many destinations that are more different than those two.
So for now how about we do Sakhalin > Bromo-Tengger > Hilversum > Franklin > Falun > Kununurra? From what I know about those destinations, that would be good times to feature all of them --Stefan (sertmann) talk 06:19, 24 April 2010 (EDT)
I'm feeling kind of stupid for not noticing this earlier, but Kununurra is said to be nice from April to October according to the nomination, so it could really be placed anywhere. I think either of those would work. I've updated the main page so everyone can see how these changes look. ChubbyWimbus 18:16, 24 April 2010 (EDT)
I just switched Falun and Hilversum because the main attraction of Falun is only daily open during the summer also northern Sweden is much nicer in July than late September... jan 04:58, 26 April 2010 (EDT)

Slushpiling

In the spirit of keeping the article clean, and to give a clear indication of how many realistic candidates are up for scheduling, what are the criteria for slushpiling? How long should a nomination that is seemingly going nowhere sit in the article? I would suggest the following could be slushpiled:

--Burmesedays 03:44, 29 April 2010 (EDT)

  • Space is also ready for slushpiling.
It's a bit sad that nobody seems to have knowledge of Christchuch because it is not far away from our standards. A map and the sleep section are the only issues. I fully agree with Lisbon which is too far away to make it. jan 03:52, 29 April 2010 (EDT)
Not sure about these. When considering when to slush or leave, I always look at the page history; if the article is being worked on fairly diligently, I leave it. If not, slush it. Christchurch has not had anything going on since mid-March except for the past couple of days.
Lisbon has had a steady flow of contributions, but I didn't really check the quality. Only a couple have been reverted, though. User:DenisYurkin seemed interested in this nomination however, s/he has not made any contributions to it in a long time. ChubbyWimbus 09:59, 30 April 2010 (EDT)
Indeed, I asked for criticism--but after receiving it I've realized that personally I can't address any of the issues raised. I've just copied the criticism to Talk:Lisbon#ToDo to help potential contributors to identify how they can help.
AFAIK, Lisbon is not currently worked on actively by anyone, so I think it's quite OK to slushpile it for now. --DenisYurkin 16:24, 30 April 2010 (EDT)

Nominations

We've had a number of nominations lately such as this one that simply list a destination name with no rationale behind it. The second sentence on the nominations page is the following:

You can nominate an article you would like to see featured; just say a few words about why, and select a good time to go.

My preference would be that if someone is unwilling to state even one sentence about why something is being nominated then the edit should simply be reverted; it takes time to look at an article and comment on why it would or wouldn't be a good choice, and I think any nomination that shows the nominator didn't bother to read any of the nomination criteria is more a waste of time than a true nomination.

Given that short rant, is there some agreement that nominations made without any rationale can simply be removed and ignored? We can add a line to Wikitravel:Destination of the Month candidates#Nominate stating as much to avoid any possible confusion. -- Ryan • (talk) • 15:10, 18 June 2010 (EDT)

In principle, I wouldn't mind such a rule, but in practice a number of those no-text DotM suggestions are actually fairly worthwhile. LtPowers 20:34, 18 June 2010 (EDT)
Agreed: introduce the rule, but if another user sees the nomination and votes yea, let it stay. --Peter Talk 20:30, 19 June 2010 (EDT)
Peter - fully agreed; if someone takes the time to comment on a nomination then there would be no reason to remove it. And LtPowers - while some of these nominations are worthwhile, I just feel strongly that there should be some responsibility on nominators to do the bare minimum to justify the nomination - we've got tons of great articles and no lack of nominations, so it doesn't seem like we're losing much if we remove empty nominations. -- Ryan • (talk) • 21:09, 19 June 2010 (EDT)

"Smuggled"

Re: this edit, I meant "snuggled", not "smuggled". Just a typo. LtPowers 09:59, 15 August 2010 (EDT)

Ah, that makes more sense! Sounds much better! ChubbyWimbus 17:26, 15 August 2010 (EDT)
Anyway, it was somewhat facetious, not wanting to re-insert "nestled" but recognizing that the clause needed a verb. LtPowers 10:49, 16 August 2010 (EDT)
Well, there is still a month if someone thinks of another way to word it! ChubbyWimbus 19:21, 16 August 2010 (EDT)

Kakadu scheduling

Is there any way we can adjust the scheduling so that we don't have two Australian OtBPs in a row? (Kununurra currently; Kakadu NP next month) LtPowers 08:48, 18 October 2010 (EDT)

I'm sorry I didn't notice this. There was a period where the Destination of the Month pages were not showing up as "watched" on my profile for some reason, so I missed this and didn't pay attention when I changed them. ChubbyWimbus 02:23, 17 December 2010 (EST)

Curmudgeonly griping

Formattingwise, both Vientiane and Kakadu are in pretty terrible shape, and not really the kind of stuff we should be showcasing as the best of Wikitravel. And the queue is looking pretty empty too. What's going on? Jpatokal 07:00, 15 December 2010 (EST)

A lack of available options? LtPowers 08:32, 15 December 2010 (EST)
Maybe, by some chance, Mayrhofen look mature enough to be nominated? --DenisYurkin 15:21, 15 December 2010 (EST)
I agree, but the pickings are slim. Discussions about articles have ceased, and new nominations have not been proposed in a while... Usually the summertime is when we rely on old nominations to carry through and the winter is when we get contributions, but either we don't have enough people improving articles or we just haven't found the articles that are up to standard... The OtBP needs switched now, though. Is the next one okay? ChubbyWimbus 04:39, 16 December 2010 (EST)
Out of all the OtBP on the list Pensacola appears to be the most complete. It needs work on the formatting. The see/eat/drink/sleep listings are fairly complete. The history section could use some pruning. The Petrified Forest National Park page is quite minimal in Eat/Sleep/Drink, and that map doesnt look particularly good or helpful, but it is complete as far as it probably could be. Perhaps it will fill the void till the next month? - Cardboardbird 06:11, 16 December 2010 (EST)
Pensacola is off the beaten path? LtPowers 09:03, 16 December 2010 (EST)


Well then it's decision time, since this is already late. Pensacola or stick with Petrified Forest NP? Pensacola is definitely more complete, but either will do. (If anyone would like to do the switch themselves, that would be appreciated) ChubbyWimbus 16:10, 16 December 2010 (EST)

Since it was already 2 days late, I just went by the schedule, so Petrified Forest National Park is the OtBP this month. And thanks Sertmann for scouting a couple more nominations!

June DotM

Tomorrow's June 1 and the only comment on Lyon is a non-support. There's no way we should feature it on the front page.

Aside from Lyon, the candidates that appear ready to go are Walt Disney World, Antigua Guatemala, Frankfurt, Kanazawa, Kuching, and Kabul. 2011 has been heavy on Asian DotMs so far, so I'd prefer to avoid those latter three (plus there is an outstanding Strong Objection to Kabul). That pretty much leaves WDW, La Antigua, and Frankfurt (though La Antigua might be OtBP, hard to say).

Thoughts?

-- LtPowers 12:55, 31 May 2011 (EDT)

Both Frankfurt and Walt Disney World are fine choices I'd say. --globe-trotter 13:05, 31 May 2011 (EDT)
Ryan went ahead and proposed Disney World for June, so if someone wants to slap it up on the Main Page, I'd greatly appreciate it! Otherwise I'll try to do it tomorrow. ChubbyWimbus 22:08, 31 May 2011 (EDT)
I've taken a stab at writing the blurb, but don't have time to actually make the change right now. LtPowers 22:41, 31 May 2011 (EDT)

Yikes!

What's happened to our schedule? Have we run out of good articles? I'll try and nominate a few, while I have longer term projects in my back pocket. --Peter Talk 20:22, 2 June 2011 (EDT)

Same old thing again. The OtBP list has only one upcoming article and the rest of the nominations have only a few comments. There are two newish nominations without comment. Some have a laundry list of fixes and no apparent interest to do the fixing. It's hard to tell which one(s) look likely to be ready by August. It would be terrible to put a substandard article up there if none are ready by the 15th. Could we get some comment going to at least identify those that can be brought up to standard quickly? - Cardboardbird 10:30, 8 July 2011 (EDT)
I nominated Nusa Lembongan for DotM but it could equally be OtBP. It is a Star so ready to go at any time.
Of the other current OtBP nominations, the following look ready to me: Nanao and New Orleans/Lower 9th Ward.
Of the other current DotM nominations, I think we can schedule Kanazawa and Kuching.--Burmesedays 10:52, 8 July 2011 (EDT)
I will have a dig around for more. There are other Indonesian articles which I know are ready, but that might get to be a bit of a broken record. --Burmesedays 11:29, 8 July 2011 (EDT)
Thanks Burmesedays. You come through, yet again. - Cardboardbird 12:08, 8 July 2011 (EDT)

Wikitravel:Destination_of_the_Month_candidates

Moved here from traveller's pub

Hi! We have a significant shortage of suitable nominees for Dotm/OtBP. Feel free to comment and work on current nomination or add more suitable articles! Thanks in advance, jan 10:32, 22 February 2011 (EST)

OtBP

Are we going to have an April OtBP? It's 4 days late and no one has commented for a long time... ChubbyWimbus 01:36, 19 April 2011 (EDT)

The only ones that appear ready are Oxford, Wakkanai, and Jeju. If we do Oxford, that's two U.S. destinations in a row. Wakkanai is in Japan, which really doesn't need tourists right now. Jeju would probably be our best bet. LtPowers 09:44, 20 April 2011 (EDT)
Actually, it would've been three in a row, but no worries. I got Jeju up now. We don't seem to have (m)any users working to get articles up to guide status for featuring like we used to... ChubbyWimbus 00:25, 21 April 2011 (EDT)

Problems with Previously Off the beaten path

I have changed this month's OtBP on the main page. I have tried repeatedly to edit Previously Off the beaten path to add the June and July selections but keep getting an error message, "..... unable to create thumbnail, permission denied....". Please can somebody else try.--Burmesedays 12:01, 18 August 2011 (EDT)

Same problem for me. --Peter Talk 17:02, 18 August 2011 (EDT)
I just deleted several images (per VFD) without getting any errors, but the images are still there and there is no record in the deletion log. Something is clearly amiss - I've filed a bug report at shared:Tech:Permissions errors with images. -- Ryan • (talk) • 20:09, 18 August 2011 (EDT)

Lack of interest continues

Shall we can this feature altogether? The lack of interest is disheartening. We spend so much time debating unimportant minutiae here, and at the same time neglect this high profile feature. We still don't have a worthwhile schedule despite efforts to drum up interest. If DotM is to continue, can somebody please write the text for Mykonos and then make the DotM change (due now)? Or please just write the text and I will make the change. --burmesedays 10:42, 1 September 2011 (EDT)

I tried to think of some prose yesterday, but I'm not really familiar with Mykonos. I have now written something, you can adapt it a little if you want and then put it live. --globe-trotter 11:38, 1 September 2011 (EDT)
I have a candidate i'll try to bump up to something useful during the weekend. I think it's one of wikitravels prime features, and it would be sad to see it go --Stefan (sertmann) talk 13:21, 1 September 2011 (EDT)
I think scrapping this feature would be throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Instead, perhaps make the nominations more complete and the criteria a bit less ambiguous/subject to nitpicks? I'd suggest:
  1. We should create a template to use in nominations that includes a preview of how the article will look on the front page so that every nomination comes pre-packaged with photo & description.
  2. This template should also include a field to indicate a good time to feature the article.
  3. Nomination criteria should simply be guide or better. If someone nominates a non-guide article then it should be immediately slushed, but so long as the article is at least guide status it's a valid nomination, and for any complaints about prose, formatting, etc see Wikitravel:Plunge forward.
While it would obviously be great if all featured articles were perfect, I think that the nomination discussions often become bogged down in subjective objections that make the process more of a chore than it needs to be. -- Ryan • (talk) • 22:50, 1 September 2011 (EDT)
That all sounds good Ryan. Would it be possible for you to get that template together, and put the draft up for discussion? For the record, I think this is one of our more important initiatives here. It would be great if any editors who feel likewise could post some candidates, and comment upon outstanding nominations on the project page. --burmesedays 02:24, 2 September 2011 (EDT)

(Re-indenting) I'm imagining something like the following:

{{DotmNomination
| place=Nusa Lembongan
| status=star
| time=June-September would be best
| comment=This is one of my absolute favorite places because they have
  sideways fish that look like [[:wikipedia:Blended wing body|blended
  wing body]] airplanes.
| nominatedBy=~~~~
| DotMImage=[[Image:Nusa Lembongan Mola Mola.jpg|none|200px]]
| DotMBlurb= The island paradise of '''[[Nusa Lembongan]]''' is a world
  away from the hassle and hectic pace of much of [[Bali]]. Neither hawkers
  nor traffic mar the magnificent scenery; this is a fine place to just put
  your feet up and relax. Main activities include surfing, diving and
  snorkeling in the vivid aqua blue waters.
}}

...which would generate:


Article status: star (must be guide or above).
Time to feature: June-September would be best
Nominated by: Ryan • (talk) • 21:27, 7 September 2011 (EDT)
Comment: This is one of my absolute favorite places because they have sideways fish that look like blended wing body airplanes.

Nusa Lembongan Mola Mola.jpg

The island paradise of Nusa Lembongan is a world away from the hassle and hectic pace of much of Bali. Neither hawkers nor traffic mar the magnificent scenery; this is a fine place to just put your feet up and relax. Main activities include surfing, diving and snorkeling in the vivid aqua blue waters. (more...)


"Support" mentions could be placed below this template as is currently done. Every nomination would thus have an image and a description, a field to call out the "guide" status explicitly for anyone making a nomination, and a "time to feature" field to ensure that no nomination is made without that info. -- Ryan • (talk) • 14:14, 3 September 2011 (EDT)

Excellent work Ryan. The only downside I can see to this is that the nominator has to put together a little chunk of prose. But the benefits certainly outweigh that minor concern. Let's go for it, I say. (Oh, and that's a very amusing description of a sunfish :)) --burmesedays 21:13, 3 September 2011 (EDT)
I like the template idea but I'm concerned filling it out might be a bit daunting to the casual editor and put them off from nominating. Granted, most nominations seem to come from seasoned editors but we shouldn't put up barriers that limit nominations to that small pool. Perhaps still allowing one liner nominations and then putting in a template with descriptions etc once it gets a bit of support? - Cardboardbird 00:24, 4 September 2011 (EDT)
With good instructions, that shouldn't be a significant problem. LtPowers 13:47, 4 September 2011 (EDT)
The template has been created as Template:DotmNomination. Comments appreciated. -- Ryan • (talk) • 21:32, 7 September 2011 (EDT)
Really good job Ryan. Thanks.--burmesedays 21:44, 7 September 2011 (EDT)
I love it. Make it known when we decide to update the DotM nominations page to suggest this template, and I'll start filling up the page.
Slightly unrelated, but one thing that does discourage me with DotM is when articles that do meet guide status wind up getting slushed due odd reasons, in particular concerns over whether we should be recommending the destination, or whether it is difficult/dangerous to travel to. Similarly, it's frustrating to see perfectly good articles like Arusha get slushed over concerns about coverage in the surrounding areas. I hate to renominate slushed articles, though... --Peter Talk 23:50, 7 September 2011 (EDT)
I have already started :). --burmesedays 00:59, 8 September 2011 (EDT)
Should the Luang Prabang link in the template be removed since the same link appears immediately above in the section header for the nomination? See Wikitravel:Destination of the Month candidates#Luang Prabang?
And to Peter's point about nominations being slushed for subjective reasons, per #3 above I would propose that any article that is guide or above is a valid nomination - the only valid reason to object would be if the article is incorrectly tagged as a guide, and any other objection can be responded to with "Wikitravel:Plunge forward". We could then modify the approval criteria to "X number of support votes with no valid objections" - that allows people to not vote for destinations that they don't want featured, but won't stop a good article with X votes from being featured just because someone thinks Walt Disney World is too commercial or Arusha doesn't have good coverage of the surrounding areas. My two cents. -- Ryan • (talk) • 01:15, 8 September 2011 (EDT)
But I don't think the points are completely invalid. The point about Arusha was made because most people who visit Arusha are only there because they plan to use it as a safari base, so I think it is a good idea to make sure that there is information in the articles of the places connected to it in that case. The Disney issue for me was about the type of destination, which would have become a policy-forming discussion had I cared enough to push for it (although others did object for personal reasons). I think flexibility is still necessary unless we are so desperate for articles/nominations that we are willing to feature anything. Some guide articles are only guides because they are large articles rather than because they have useful content. ChubbyWimbus 18:38, 8 September 2011 (EDT)
I agree with ChubbyWimbus. Current policy states that only formatting issues should hold back a nomination, but I think this policy goes beyond its intended target. The DoTM has been designed to interest the traveler in possible destinations and show off our best articles on the frontpage — so good formatting is required. But that doesn't work the other way around — good formatting does not immediately make an article good front page material. Many articles, I think, should not be featured on the frontpage, including airports (like O'Hare International Airport), war zone territories (like Kabul or Mogadishu), and to be frank, having attractions and businesses on the frontpage (like Isha Yoga Centre or Walt Disney World) also strikes me as wrong. I even think "I don't like it" could be a good argument, as some places are really not interesting enough to be showing off. Imagine Poipet becomes guide status, why would we show it off on the frontpage? It's a horrible place, and if the description is fair, it would probably get a horrible description too. As such, I don't think articles should only be "objectively" measured by just formatting, a DoTM choice is by definition subjective and I think should only be featured by community consensus. --globe-trotter 19:29, 8 September 2011 (EDT)

(re-indenting). I partially agree with that. Not liking a place can't really be a reason not to feature it though. That is far too subjective, and very much in the eyes of the beholder. For example, I think Kuala Lumpur is a remarkably unattractive and uninteresting city, and one of the last places any traveler should think of visiting in Asia. Others would have a very different opinion. All that being said, I do think we should avoid uninteresting places as much as possible. Airports are certainly a no-no for me.--burmesedays 20:08, 8 September 2011 (EDT)

So, globe-trotter, just what in the world is wrong with featuring a star-level article on a destination that receives over 20 million visitors a year? That's more than the entire population of the state of New York. Heck, that's more visitors than Canada gets in one year. LtPowers 20:10, 8 September 2011 (EDT)
Why don't you nominate it, and we can have that discussion there? Otherwise, I can see this discussion thread slipping even further off-topic.--burmesedays 20:15, 8 September 2011 (EDT)
To the comments regarding subjective objections above - one of the original points raised in this discussion thread was that nominations get bogged down in subjective arguments that can't easily be resolved. The above proposal is that opposition to nominations should be based on objective criteria, but assuming that "X" votes are required to actually feature an article, only those articles which have enough votes would be featured, so if you don't want to see a place featured don't support the nomination. Some people may not like seeing Walt Disney World or Kabul on the front page, but we currently have a problem where otherwise valid articles with plenty of support can't be featured due to concerns that are impossible to address. -- Ryan • (talk) • 20:20, 8 September 2011 (EDT)


There is no objective way of picking DoTM. It's subjective to only care about formatting, while there are many other factors important to make a destination frontpage material. I just gave some examples, didn't mean to intensify a specific debate about WDW. All I meant to say is that only community consensus should be applied to decide on a DOTM — if the community decides that WDW should be featured, then it's all fine with me. And Ryan, I don't think it's a problem if concerns are impossible to address, some destinations have nothing that needs to be addressed I think. Some destinations are just plain horrible and I think should never be featured. Showcasing O'Hare International Airport on the frontpage would be absurd, and it fulfills all current criteria. I could nominate it right now, and technically, it'd be featured next year if we'd follow current rules. --globe-trotter 20:32, 8 September 2011 (EDT)
I think the notion that our features are somehow "recommendations" odd, and the notion that our features drive traveler choices in trip planning silly. --Peter Talk 21:49, 10 September 2011 (EDT)
For what it's worth, using personal opinion about a destination's "worthiness" also contradicts the current Wikitravel:Destination of the Month candidates#Select criteria. Quoting:
Please note that the following are not considered valid reasons to oppose a nomination:
  • "I don't like it." All objections have to be based on the guidelines above: poor formatting, missing information, etc. Personal opinions, dislikes, etc do not count.
  • "Wrong type of place." Articles are supported or opposed based on their content. Whether it's DoTM or OtBP can be worked out later.
We have several years worth of precedent where criteria beyond those spelled out currently have been considered valid for consideration, so a credible argument could be made that usage of the DotM/OtBP feature has changed and the selection criteria should be updated, but I would actually argue (as I did above) that we should stick with objective criteria and use a threshold for a minimum number of "support" votes as the sole determining subjective factor. -- Ryan • (talk) • 17:51, 11 September 2011 (EDT)
I agree. Our nominations often get held up on what essentially is the "I don't like it" objection, whether it's a destination owned by a private company, hard to get to or with restricted access, "dangerous," or simply uninteresting. (I've been guilty of such objections.) This is especially frustrating for anyone who has been hard at work improving such articles. But the point is valid that some destinations aren't necessarily worth featuring (O'Hare being a good example), and I think Ryan's suggestion of a minimum number of support votes is a good way to limit nominations of, well, places no one is interested in featuring. --Peter Talk 19:31, 11 September 2011 (EDT)
What minimum number of votes do you propose? So few people bother to comment on these nominations, I am not convinced that a hard number will work.--burmesedays 21:16, 11 September 2011 (EDT)
How about 3. If a certain number were required, that would make these "votes" more important, maybe making it more worth voters time? --Peter Talk 00:40, 12 September 2011 (EDT)
Even if there are 3 supporters, the support still has to be weighed against whatever opposition their is, regardless of how many supporters there are. If the opposition is legitimate, then otherwise infinite support is meaningless. I think we've all seen support for bad articles. It is the reasoning behind support vs opposition that should determine both validity of the user's vote and the featurability of the article.
"I think the notion that our features are somehow "recommendations" odd, and the notion that our features drive traveler choices in trip planning silly." If the features are not recommendations and we don't have any hopes of inspiring any sort of travel through features then what the heck is the DotM/OtBP to you? Just a space filler? I find it odd that someone would NOT think of it as a sort recommendation. ChubbyWimbus 05:45, 12 September 2011 (EDT)
I very much agree. At the very least, it's an encouragement for people to read up on that particular destination, but for most visitors it's surely a recommendation. The Nusa Lembongan article that was featured recently convinced me that I really really should see Indonesia, and made us start planning a trip. I'm surprised that the main reasons for featuring would be content and format-related. That mostly matters to WT-writers. For travellers, of course there has to be some guide quality information, but "interesting places" are way more important than format. Frankly, if someone wrote a guideline stating otherwise, I think he or she just made a mistake and those guidelines should be up for discussion and change. "I don't like it" is not a usable comment to me, but "it's a boring place for visitors" or "it's a war zone" totally is. Justme 06:36, 12 September 2011 (EDT)
As an aside, I am delighted that the Nusa Lembongan article had that effect :). I am actually sitting on that very island listening to the crashing surf as I type this message. Have a look around the Indonesia articles - we have a lot of good ones, not just Bali. --burmesedays 07:03, 12 September 2011 (EDT)

(re-indenting) I think that casual users of Wikitravel do view our featured sites as some sort of recommendation. I don't necessarily think they should, but I am sure they do. We have in the past (and I believe I remember you saying this Peter), made the point that a featured article should make a destination sound interesting and give the reader a reason to want to go there. Above all, I think the featured articles should be about interesting places. They should also be at at least guide standard as clearly we want to showcase the best we have. Those are my considerations.

Safety is not a factor that especially concerns me, as it means different things to different people. Any traveler can make his or her own informed decision about that. I have traveled into so- called "war zones" before, and no doubt I will do so again. That's a conscious decision anyone can make using their own criteria, and one that we cannot.--burmesedays 07:03, 12 September 2011 (EDT)

Excuse the upcoming wall of text:
I think the DotM serves the purpose of recommending that people read our guides (and hopefully decide to contribute). Wikitravel has no vested interest in promoting anything other than itself. That's why we feature well written, well formatted articles, and articles that show off our strengths, rather than simply featuring interesting destinations. Svaneti is one of the most fascinating and beautiful places in the world, but it would not serve our site well to feature it until it features better content.
The point I have made in the past, or what I should have made, is really more that articles should be written in such a way that they are interesting to read. If a place is boring, then we should not be telling anyone otherwise. As I said, though, I've been guilty of the "I don't like it" trap too.
In any rate, if we are not going to limit objections to issues with the articles, but are going to allow objections to the actual destinations, then we should come up with an idea of what types of objections are allowable (and I think we'll have trouble agreeing on this):
1) Danger. For the reason Burmesedays says, I don't think "danger" is a good point of objection. Different people have different comfort levels with risk (and generally don't calculate risk rationally, anyway—someone spending two days in Kabul is far less likely to die there from exotic violence than they are at home in a car crash, or of a heart attack from not exercising and eating too much cheese ;)). If a place has danger of some sort or other, that's something we should be clear about in the article, and not be so arrogant as to think we are directing traveler choices. Should we limit what type of danger is acceptable? Plenty of people wouldn't travel to Chicago/Bronzeville, but we featured it. Would Baltimore be off limits? How about Slovakia, which regularly tops lists of countries with the most traffic fatalities per capita? Anywhere in West Africa, due to the risks from mosquito-borne, potentially fatal illnesses? Yakutsk is cold to the point of real danger in the winter, but the article contains information about what to do in the winter. In any rate, we're just recommending that people read the article, which is a pretty safe activity, and potentially a fun activity that gets people interested in Wikitravel.
2) Boringness. This is the one objection to which I am somewhat sympathetic. If the point of the feature, as I see it, is to get people interested in Wikitravel, then featuring dull destinations will not be effective, as they are generally difficult to make into interesting articles. This is highly subjective though, and it's potentially offensive to the author of an article to say, "you wrote about a boring destination, nobody cares."
3) Commerciality. This one is contentious here, but I don't really understand why. I guess people might not like the business that owns a destination and therefore don't want to inspire people to patronize it. One could make the same argument about non-commercial destinations though—"I don't like the Cuban government, so lets not feature Cuba."
4) Accessibility. I don't think this is a good point for objection. Again, the point of the feature, as I see it, is simply to interest people in reading/contributing to our guides. Besides, there are an infinite number of things that can restrict access to destinations. U.S. destinations are not visitable for the vast majority of mankind, for reasons of cost and the difficulty in obtaining visas.
Or we could avoid all this morass and allow objections only on objective grounds pertaining to the quality of the article, and let a minimum number of supports take care of the weeding out features undesirable for some other reason. --Peter Talk 16:14, 12 September 2011 (EDT)
I think we all agree that any featured article should have good content too, and a bad article should never be featured, no matter how wonderful the destination. In the same way, I think a truly boring destination should never be featured, no matter how perfectly the content of it is formatted. I don't think we need a lot of guideline discussions though. There will be case to case discussions anyway and I think it's just fine when a writer of a seemingly boring place can actually make a case strong enough to convince us all to not vote against it. This is a tiny community and if we just have a rough understanding of the ideal candidates, that should get us a good way ahead.
Basically, I think there are plenty of fantastic places in the world without the problems you mention, so we shouldn't have huge problems finding suited destinations. If we do, we should join forces more to bring a suited place up to guide status, once a month. As for safety, I don't think we should worry too much about minor arguable risks, or even some disputed but quiet territories. However, with so many other destinations in the world, it seems bad taste and bad timing to feature active current or very recent war zones, as it would be to feature areas recently damaged by natural disasters. Justme 17:01, 12 September 2011 (EDT)
I think there are plenty of articles that meet the loosely defined criteria. What we need is more people finding and nominating. It is somewhat ironic that this discussion thread has elicited far more response than any nomination ever does.--burmesedays 21:14, 12 September 2011 (EDT)
For whatever it's worth, I stopped contributing regularly to DotM nominations when it became a similar process to Wikitravel:Star nominations - the current process of finding near-perfect articles, and then further having to argue for the validity of a nomination like Walt Disney World, requires a not-insignificant effort expended on tasks that I don't get much enjoyment from. If the result of this discussion was a simplified, clearer process for getting articles featured as DotM or OtBP I'd be likely to contribute more often. Similarly, I'd also be fine with a stringent process that involves lots of people, but as you've pointed out, despite the attention this discussion is getting very few people have clicked over to comment on any nominations. As a result I think we're left with a great feature that is somewhat stalled, and sadly there don't seem to be many supported suggestions for getting it going again. -- Ryan • (talk) • 23:03, 12 September 2011 (EDT)


I think in the case of safety, ongoing conflicts may be moot but new developments are valid reasons for opposition. For example, if the Fukushima article was a guide and had been nominated for the March OtBP, it would look like a sick joke to feature it 4 days after the disaster. But I would not oppose a "dangerous" place like Palestine if it were a guide.
Can we delete objections or cross them out as they are addressed? Some destinations may start with many objections but after a dedicated user addresses them, people do not come back for a long time. Also invalid objections are really annoying and seem like they should be deleted. Of course, I could then see someone getting mad if they felt their objection was valid and someone just deleted it...
As far as boring vs interesting goes, I do think it is the responsibility of the author to make the article interesting. People objected to Franklin (Venango County) with the "Looks boring" objection and at first I was a little offended but then as I wrote my response regarding the important question, "Why would (or should) anyone go here?" the comments made me realize that I had written a dry article that actually didn't highlight what made the town interesting, so although it stung a little to read comments that said it looked lame, it gave me more focus as I rewrote and added more content and it was featured. Maybe it's still boring to some people but I think many articles can be written in a way that makes it interesting and is still truthful. Some places are interesting only to travelers with specific interests which may be boring to most other travelers, but if the article is written with that in mind, it can still be a respectable and featurable article. I guess my point is that the "it's boring" objection should still be qualified. Articles that are written in a boring way can be salvaged, so I think when the "it's boring" argument is used we need to say what the issue is because there is often potentially helpful input hiding behind the grim "it's boring" comment. ChubbyWimbus 09:30, 13 September 2011 (EDT)

About safety, I do agree that general safety issues should not be a concern. But there is a limit, and I think articles where you need to read War zone safety before heading off fall within this reach. Kabul is hard to judge, but just reading the news today [7] shows its hard to predict at best and highly dangerous at worst. So better to feature a destination like that when travelers can more safely go there. --globe-trotter 11:52, 13 September 2011 (EDT)

Schedule

By necessity, the majority of the currently accepted nominations are in Asia. Europe in particular is severely lacking candidates, and Africa always has. If anyone can find some non-Asian candidates, please do post them. --burmesedays 23:55, 3 September 2011 (EDT)

The new template

I have now templated all outstanding nominations except Staraya Russa (which I know Peter will want to do) and Eindhoven (which I will leave to g-t as I was struggling to make it sound interesting). Kabul is templated but needs blurb. Also, anyone please feel free to improve the blurb text in any of the templates. I know next to nothing about some of these places). --burmesedays 01:21, 9 September 2011 (EDT)

Love the template Ryan, but you are correct - the destination Wikilinking on the top left should go, as it repeats the sub-section heading directly above. We should keep the sub-section heading for indexing purposes.--burmesedays 01:21, 9 September 2011 (EDT)

Heading removed. -- Ryan • (talk) • 01:26, 9 September 2011 (EDT)
Great template! --SaxonWarrior 05:47, 11 September 2011 (EDT)
Nice template. Need to update "Nominate" section.AHeneen 15:34, 27 October 2011 (EDT)

Schedule again

I've gone with Bath over Celle for December's DotM because we just had a German city in July.

We currently have three Southeast Asian destinations scheduled for December and January's OtBPs and January's DotM, all of them on the heels of November's OtBP, also from Southeast Asia. I don't think this is ideal in any way. If someone could take a stab at spacing them out a bit more, I'd appreciate it.

-- LtPowers 10:14, 4 December 2011 (EST)

Request for nominations

We're running low on nominations - if you've got a favorite article that hasn't been featured in the past then now would be a good time to nominate it. -- Ryan • (talk) • 13:22, 17 March 2012 (EDT)

Is it OK to nominate an article that I have been personally working on? Jjtk 14:48, 27 March 2012 (EDT)
Of course. Nomination criteria are at Wikitravel:Destination of the Month candidates#Nominate. -- Ryan • (talk) • 15:42, 27 March 2012 (EDT)
*Bump*. We've got an extremely tiny queue at this point, so nominations and comments on existing nominations are very much needed. -- Ryan • (talk) • 14:15, 15 April 2012 (EDT)
We're now down to the last viable DOTM nomination, which I've penciled in for June (although August or September would be better). If ever there was a time to nominate your favorite destination, now would be it. -- Ryan • (talk) • 22:28, 1 May 2012 (EDT)
Assuming we feature London, I should have Baltimore up to star status for the next feature. I'll have Maryland (which is a rather nearby destination to Baltimore...) ready for our first state level feature not long after that. New Orleans is just one sustained push away as well. But yeah, the lack of new options for DotMs speaks volumes to the downhill trajectory we have been on for some time now. I do remain optimistic, though, that we will be able to turn things around this year. --Peter Talk 20:31, 2 June 2012 (EDT)

Buffalo/London

I'm still in favor of featuring London in July, and optionally extending it to August, due to the Olympics. If we feature it in August, even if we start on July 27, it's too late for anyone to do anything Olympics-related, and the feature will extend long past the end of the event. We should feature London in July and save Buffalo for later.

Regarding Buffalo's blurb, this version I think over-emphasizes issues important to residents over issues important to tourists. "a growing and diverse economy, high quality of life and low cost of living" are fairly irrelevant to tourists; with a limited amount of space, we should put more focus on things that will attract visitors.

-- LtPowers 13:24, 18 June 2012 (EDT)

I think London should definitely be featured during the Olympics, so making it the DOTM for both July and August makes the most sense to me. I penciled Buffalo in for July solely because nothing was listed and we're 12 days away from the new month. -- Ryan • (talk) • 13:34, 18 June 2012 (EDT)

Recent events, or lack thereof

I'm noticing a lack of interest and participation in DotM/OTBP over the past month that is even more severe than before.

Several weeks ago, I promoted Nevyansk to OTBP for August 2012, without any comment positive or negative. Yesterday, I took the liberty of updating the Main Page to reflect the new OTBP, as well as the necessary updates to the DotM candidates page and the OTBP archives. Despite the "plunge forward" credo, in a collaborative project like Wikitravel I don't know that I feel comfortable acting unilaterally on so frequent a basis.

Buffalo seems to be settled as the September DotM, but soon enough it's also going to be time to decide on a September OTBP. The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park seems like the odds-on favorite for that, but I notice that the (admittedly minor) problems mentioned by some of the commenters have not been addressed. Personally, I tend to concur with User:ChubbyWimbus that the article seems short and lacks a certain je ne sais quoi. Given that, I don't know that I would be comfortable placing the C&O Canal on the schedule officially without running it by any other Wikitravellers.

I have made several nominations for possible future DotMs and OTBPs, about which I have received no feedback either positive or negative. It seems to me that having several DotMs and OTBPs ready to be slotted in to the schedule at any given time will make it easier for us to not continue doing this in a last-minute way. After September, I don't see any DotM or OTBP nominees that have anything remotely resembling a consensus to justify placing them on the schedule.

- AndreCarrotflower 04:57, 16 August 2012 (EDT)

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