Hold off on nominations?
This is a great idea, but can we hold off on the actual nominations? Evan and Jpatokal were working on templatising the listings at Wikitravel:Listings. When it comes out, I suppose using that template should be mandatory for star articles. We'd have to go through the nominations procedure all over again. — Ravikiran 10:57, 15 May 2006 (EDT)
- For now I'm just running an article (one I built) through the processs as an alpha-test. - Todd VerBeek 11:16, 15 May 2006 (EDT)
How do we determine when an nomination actually translates into a Star? Do we wait for some minimum number of editors to "support", wait some number of days and upgrade it if there are no objections, or some other process? - Todd VerBeek 11:35, 15 May 2006 (EDT)
- I'd say 14 days; with at least three people in support of making the article a star; if someone does object the issue must be addressed (If the issue is addressed and is inconsistent with MoS, or just doesn't work, then two more people must vote (A total of five people voting) in favor before the votes pass). If we go with this Isle Royale National Park can officially be a star. -- Andrew Haggard (Sapphire) 16:11, 27 June 2006 (EDT)
- If we change the "at least three people" et all suggestion to just "a consensus is reached after 14 days with no outstanding issues" would that be sufficient? That would be similar to what is done elsewhere on the site. -- Ryan 14:35, 18 November 2006 (EST)
- I'd like to have a way to say that, if I made some objections, I'd like a chance to review to see if they've been met. Also, it would be great to have a way to put more of the editorial discussion on the Talk: page for the article, rather than having it way over here on this page instead. --Evan 11:22, 22 December 2006 (EST)
We have nearly 12,000 Wikitravel articles now, but as of today there are only six that are star status - by my math that's 0.05%. I'm not sure why the percentage is so low, but I suspect it's one of the following:
- We've set the bar very, very high, and it's exceedingly difficult for an article to become a "star" article.
- People hate making maps.
- Not enough good articles are being nominated.
Hoping that the issue is item #3 above I've added two more articles to the nomination list, and would hope that others might be able to find a few good articles to nominate as well. If the two nominated articles fail, hopefully we can clarify what the exact status criteria are in item #1 above and more clearly spell that out on the Wikitravel:Article status and Wikitravel:Star articles pages. -- Ryan 14:30, 4 November 2006 (EST)
Star de-nomination process
A lot of effort goes into selecting and vetting Stars, and I don't think any single user — even the Dear Leader — should have the right to unilaterally strip that away. I suggest two alternative approaches:
- The Star is granted for a specific version of an article, and can't be taken away. The Star template is modified to go up top, state the date and provide a link to that version.
- A Wikipedia-style review process is instituted to review whether an article still deserves a Star.
Discuss. Jpatokal 12:05, 20 December 2006 (EST)
So this doesn't apply to what just happened necessarily, but... what about 'protecting' Star Articles, and changes to the article be proposed on its talk page. That would help with articles that are deemed Star not to take a turn for the worse by inexperienced editors... if there's no objections to the new info then someone can add the info that's very familiar with the MoS. Surely someone will object to that since it's slightly anti-anyone-can-edit-a-page, but just a thought... Cacahuate 12:17, 20 December 2006 (EST)
- So I did what I should have done before, actually looked at the link you provided... I think the Wikipedia process there is quite good... denominating should follow a similar process to de-nominating... by consensus, and I think what you're saying is to put a Template:Destar or some sort of template box at the top saying it's been voted for destarification, please discuss 'here'. OR - the box could say that the article has 2 weeks to 'recomply' with the MoS or risk destarification... Cacahuate 12:30, 20 December 2006 (EST)
- As I'm fond of asking, "what problem needs solving here?" The present two controversies aside, most of the de-Star actions I've seen taken (and I have taken several of them myself) result from someone unilaterally proclaiming an article a Star, then someone else coming in and saying "whoa! we haven't followed the process!" Any move toward a formal de-nomination process should be done in such a way that the de-starring of such unilateral declarations not be impeded, else we're going to be inundated with things that are unilaterally, even capriciously, proclaimed Stars, but require more consensus and effort to fix than to screw up in the first place. Given the relative frequency of the two classes of problem (maverick applying a Star versus unilateral removal of Star), I'm not sure this fix is really needed; let's see if a solution can be reached on the Dalian and Berneray issues and only then decide whether to proceed with this. -- Bill-on-the-Hill 12:32, 20 December 2006 (EST)
- I'm just bringing this on the table for discussion. But unilateral starring is not in scope here, slapping an ad-hoc Star is out of order and can be destarred at all. Jpatokal 12:52, 20 December 2006 (EST)
- I think it is. Adding a "star" template is no different from adding any of the other status templates. It's neither permanent nor does it require any special permissions. My understanding of this nomination process was to catalyze the great review process that happened with Penticton (see Talk:Penticton). That is, someone who thinks an article is a "star" can solicit the opinion of the many people intimately familiar with the MoS. --Evan 11:29, 22 December 2006 (EST)
- Everyone who has ever said "this article is a Star right now" has been wrong. There is always some little nit to fix, and this improves the quality of our Star articles. Anyone and everyone is welcome to nominate the star, and two weeks for the review and fixes is just not too much to ask. If we start getting Star-quality articles which require no changes during the review then we could revisit this issue. Also, we want an article to get to Star status while a contributor is actively working on it. If this process is bypassed, it could be weeks before someone notices that an article is a star, reviews it, and then takes the star away. With this process, we all work together on the problem while the contributor is still here and paying attention. -- Colin 21:35, 22 December 2006 (EST)
- I think the star nominations process is an advisory process, not a binding vote. The article status system is not a prize awarded by a vote, but an objective set of criteria. There are clear criteria for making an article a star, and if the nominations process fails to meet those, it's a problem with this process, not with the wiki nature of our project. If we want to decide that certain parts of Wikitravel articles -- the status tag -- are un-editable, I think we're going down a dangerous path. --Evan 12:33, 20 December 2006 (EST)
- Who's saying they're uneditable? We're simply discussing how to handle the situation that just happened in the future, before admins get in to rollback wars. And I think a process for destarring an article should be similar to starring an article. I would say now is the time to work this out or begin to, the traffic on this site will be really huge at some point and this issue is bound to creep up again, no? Anyway, to further the thoughts above, maybe the 'docent' for a particular star can be in charge of MoS'ing new edits to it... sort of how Jpatokal is so on top of the Singapore edits... Cacahuate 12:43, 20 December 2006 (EST)
- Eh, I really don't like getting into any Special Person X is in charge of Y stuff... I hope Docents-ness never gets confused with "in charge of"-ness. That's a dark and slippery slope indeed. Maj 17:06, 20 December 2006 (EST)
- i agree, but i don't mean 'in charge' in the sense of being it's ruler or that their word is higher than anyone elses, i'm saying if someone knows a place (and hopefully the MoS) well enough to list themselves as a docent for that area, maybe part of docent-ing can be cleaning up any new additions to match the MoS. just trying to think of ways to keep a star article a star article without saying "don't touch because it's already perfect". Cacahuate 01:01, 21 December 2006 (EST)
I am not advocating this, but if an article goes to hell why not just revert it back to the day when a consensus was reached that the article was a "star?" -- Andrew H. (Sapphire) 13:56, 22 December 2006 (EST)
- Well, if you're not advocating this, why not? :-) Seems like an entirely appropriate response that makes a formal process for de-starring unnecessary. I repeat: what problem needs fixing here? -- Bill-on-the-Hill 14:54, 22 December 2006 (EST)
- Bill and Sapphire, that solves new bad additions, but what about new good additions to a star article that don't match MoS immediately? My hope would be that whoever comes across it and knows the MoS well enough to say "this is no longer star status" would just fix it instead of starting a conversation about why it is no longer a star. Cacahuate 03:39, 23 December 2006 (EST)
- I didn't want to throw a bunch of caveats at this since I'm not particularly interested in this discussion, but that should be expected, I think. If it's beyond repair then we should discuss "de-starification", but that's a highly unlikely scenario (We do have the CotW process and the "history"). I don't understand why people are thinking so much about this. If the only reason people are so worried about an unlikely scenario is because of the wording, then whatever, let's say "Star status is not permanent." -- Andrew H. (Sapphire) 03:47, 23 December 2006 (EST)
- I agree that it's not exactly the most important thing going on, I'm personally concerned with it because I think it's sort of fun to give articles the final push they need to become "perfect", which I've been doing with Berneray and Flores. But it involves a lot of effort, that I wouldn't be so willing to give if I know that it could just go to hell a short while later, and then admins/experienced editors come across it and say "hey, it's not a star anymore" and strip it away instead of just fixing what's wrong. I agree that any status shouldn't be permanent, but being that the current way to make an article a star is through significant effort on the part of several people, I just agree that it should take more effort than a simple changing of the status back to "guide". As said above, maybe placing a box at the top that says something to the effect of "This star article no longer matches the MoS and may be destarred in 2 weeks if not corrected" or something. But again, my hope is that anyone willing to place that on the top of a page would instead just fix whatever has changed. Cacahuate 05:24, 23 December 2006 (EST)
There's another possible scenario, which I'm afraid we've just encountered, which is where someone looks at an article that's been declared a Star and says, "Um, no it's not, and it never really was, so I can't roll it back, and the problem is missing info, so I can't fix it myself." I'm sorry I missed the original discussion (been really busy), but I was just looking through the articles that got starred while I was away, and found that Dalian quite simply does not meet the criteria. (Only one of the district articles is actually "guide" quality; the others range from "usable" to "non existent because you probably wouldn't go there"!) - Todd VerBeek 05:41, 13 February 2007 (EST)
- Dang! Todd's got me. I think de-starification is a real option, in that case, and should probably be formally brought up somewhere like a Wikitravel:Nominations for de-starification. I think it should operate to the similar to the votes for undeletion page. -- Sapphire 14:32, 13 February 2007 (EST)
- Why not make it work like Star nominations. Just say what's wrong with it and if we're lucky people will jump in and work on it and resolve the outstanding issues. And if the article is not fixed in the judgement of consensus, then yeah remove the star. So yes, I support having a page for nominating stuff for de-starring. -- Colin 14:48, 13 February 2007 (EST)
- I don't think it's going to happen often enough to need its own page. We could just run an article back through the process here, with the consensus determining whether it's a Star or not. - Todd VerBeek 20:51, 13 February 2007 (EST)
- Works for me. Plus the people interested in evaluating articles will have just one page to look at. -- Colin 21:29, 13 February 2007 (EST)
- That all sounds great. So who's got the balls to put Dalian on here and make it the first de-star nomination? - Cacahuate 17:02, 15 February 2007 (EST)
- I've got the conejos for that. (Practising my dyslexic Spanish) :) - Todd VerBeek 18:30, 15 February 2007 (EST)
Quick thought that passed through my head while I was debating whether to nominate Ann Arbor as a Star candidate: Should Star articles have at least one Docent? I think there's a case for it; without a Docent we're not really providing full service to the traveler. I wouldn't de-nominate existing Stars for lack of Docents, but maybe for the future, it should be considered. (BTW, Ann Arbor does have a Docent.) -- Bill-on-the-Hill 12:15, 8 May 2007 (EDT)
In addition to the archive/slush process, I think it might be useful to keep a record of starnom discussions on article talk pages. Anyone object to adding that to the process explanation on this page? --Peter Talk 20:20, 2 August 2008 (EDT)
- I think this is a good idea...it's useful to have the article and the starnom discussion in the same place. I think though, as it's an archive, maybe it would be a good idea to lock that specific discussion on the talk page so that no one can change it...just a thought. Asterix 15:54, 20 August 2008 (EDT)
- Unfortunately, it's not possible to lock a specific section. I usually just put any new comments to archived discussionsunder a line (----). --Peter Talk 17:04, 20 August 2008 (EDT)
- That would work too. Asterix 18:16, 20 August 2008 (EDT)
- You could also do it as a sub-page like Talk:San Francisco/Star nom with a banner on top noting it's an archive and not an open discussion – cacahuate talk 00:55, 21 August 2008 (EDT)
- That could also work...from what I have seen people will change everything and anything on this site, sometimes intentionally, and other times completely by accident — I've done it myself! It can be a pain to revert the edits, and I see that some of them never get corrected, so whatever is easiest and effective I'm in favor of. You'd probably have to include any de-starify info when applicable too. Asterix 18:56, 30 August 2008 (EDT)
Thoughts on Star nom process
Star articles: Last minute checklist
- Is the article complete — See definition above.
- Grammar and spelling must be near perfect — See definition above.
- Imagery: does it have a map and several good quality pictures
- Listings should be in alphabetical order — geographical order is also acceptable if it is deemed better.
- No duplications...a listing should appear under one section only — if there is ambiguity, put it under the section that it most applies to.
- Time and Date: Use: M,T,W,Tu,F,Sa,Su — "...daily" not "Daily..." — "midnight and noon" not "12AM and 12PM" — — "AM PM" not "am pm" Examples: "M-F noon-11PM" and "9AM-9PM daily"
- Section introductions are not mandatory but should be present when they serve to improve a section.
- Use "—" (mdash) for breaks in thought.
- Use abbreviations for addresses...St, Ave, Ln, Blvd.
I was just wondering lately about how to improve the level of consistency in the Star nom process. For example, imho, the version of San Francisco/Fisherman's Wharf that received a star here...., was not actually a star. I know that I am probably shooting myself in the foot here, because I wrote 90% of it, but I have to be honest and say that I think that it was still just a guide article even after passing through the star nom process. Here is a shortlist of what was still wrong with it:
- It was not complete — Over 12 million people come here every year and the article only gave them one budget hotel to stay at and two budget restaurants where they could eat for under $10. It was also missing some key festivals, Bars, Coffee shops, and "See" stuff as well.
- Other than the "See" section, all other listings were not in any order...geographical or alphabetical.
- It lacked section introductions (verbage), and looked more like just a long laundry list of items.
- It definitely had a lack of quality pictures
- It lacked balance in a lot of areas, eg. given their importance, Alcatraz and Angel island listings were too short.
- Lots of MoS issues: "Daily..." instead of "...daily"
— "12AM 12PM" instead of "midnight noon"
— "Avenue and Street" instead of "Ave and St"
— "ndash" instead of "mdash"
Anyway, after a bit of work it is improving and I think the current version is probably approaching a star by now, but, using this as an example, I wonder would it be helpful to put an info box on the Star nom page that serves as a checklist both for people nominating and people critiquing. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list of everything that an article should have, but a shortlist of some key ingredients and common pitfalls in articles. I think that it might promote more consistency between star articles and also embolden new users with information to encourage them to join in on a critique...after the last nom of San Francisco/Golden Gate, to be honest I was left wondering why bother writing these things at all if no one is going to read them...only one person read it...Not cool!!!
It would potentially go alongside the star nom article under the "Nominations for Star status" section. Something like the one above? Anyone agree or disagree? Asterix 13:40, 3 September 2008 (EDT)
- Oooh...now I feel bad, since I was the one who nominated Fisherman's Wharf. :P Anyway, I think having a shortlist like that is a great idea. But perhaps we should re-visit (or at least broaden) some of our definitions. For instance, on Wikitravel:Article status, the first criteria for star is "The article is essentially complete." What do we mean by "essentially complete"? How can we show new members (or even experienced members, wink wink) how to recognize an "essentially complete" article when they see one? PerryPlanet 14:08, 3 September 2008 (EDT)
- Don't worry about it...I agree though that the defintions need nore specificity, as does the process itself. Asterix 15:55, 3 September 2008 (EDT)
- Shame on us then for not catching all those (especially MoS issues)! I like the infobox. Two quick things: 1) Get out sections for city districts are definitely not mandatory. For cities with lots of districts (like San Francisco) they are nice, but would be pointless for a city with 2-3 districts, for example; 2) Section introductions have not been mandatory in the past, but I would be happy to include that in the criteria (at least for those sections that would merit an introduction). Lastly, monitoring the "complete" aspect is really tough. We only have a small pool of users who contribute to the star-nom review process, and we'll probably never have a better understanding of whether it's complete than the article author. Not to say it should be dropped as a criterion, though! --Peter Talk 14:48, 3 September 2008 (EDT)
- The purpose of my edit was certainly not to apportion blame or shame on the person who nominated, nor those who critiqued it, so "shame" is definitely the wrong word. I was just upset that so few seem to get involved...now that the fabled "50 minutes" are over, I see that indeed no one else did jump in, making it a record low for any star nom...a solitary one person! A Lot of work went into that and I think I have a right to be pissed...that's lame!
- Going forward though, the only important thing is how to improve the star nom process, so let me make my proposal a bit clearer...
- Include a info box as mentioned above. The one above is only based on my personal experience, other people can add to it as well. Also, if it's at all possible (from a technical standpoint), a check box beside each point in the info box would allow the article to be broken up. One person could check it for MoS issues, another for grammar, and another for duplications etc etc. This will allow people — that don't have huge chunks of time to read large articles thoroughly — to still chime in on a critique if they have only 10 or 15 mins to spare.
- As PerryPlanet mentioned above, the definitions of Article status lack specificity. For example, how many photos is enough/too many. I think that these need revising as well.
- Instead of placing the extra burden of reminding everyone on the nominator, how about just making the Star nom process more visible to users. Why not put another heading under the "Featured Articles" info box on the Main Page informing everyone that there is an article under review for a star and asking them to join in. If possible (from a technical standpoint), it would have an auto-updating banner saying "Three days left to comment!" If we don't advertise the nom process better, then it's always going to have a limited pool of people who participate, as mentioned above.
- I agree that the period should be extended, but I think that 20 days is uneven and 30 is a bit too much...it's hard on the nominator to forecast what they'll be doing for the next month. I vote for an even 21 days/3 weeks.
- I think that, unless it is part of a continuing discussion, no one should be allowed to post new "objections" in the last 48 hour period of a nom. It's unfair to the nominator to expect them to be maintaining a vigil right up to the last few minutes.
- Given that the period has been extended one week, anything that goes over the three weeks, without addressing the major objections, should be "slushed." Asterix 19:42, 3 September 2008 (EDT)
- I'll disagree with the last two points—I don't think there's ever a good reason to slush an article that clearly is going to become a star. If someone finds something wrong towards the end of the timeframe, post it, and let the author make the needed corrections at their leisure, and make it a star once its done. Once slushed, there's a whole lot of pointless archiving and renomination that would have to be done to make it a star—I don't see any benefit in that. We slushed O'Hare International Airport, for example, and I don't think anything was gained from doing that. If this is not what we have written at the top of the project page, then we should fix that. --Peter Talk 19:59, 3 September 2008 (EDT)
That's OK, I can however think of a couple of reasons why having a tighter nom process would promote better articles. However, it seems like that would be quite a debate, so perhaps another time. For now I'd prefer to work on the more actionable points that we appear to have agreement on, between the three of us at least.
1. I've added the info box. Feel free to edit it if appropriate. I wonder, for the reasons I mentioned above, if adding checkboxes instead of just "*" is feasible?
2. Are we in agreement then on the 3 weeks, if so this needs to be changed on the nom page? Also, imo, the following statement is ambiguous. I think it should also be changed, anyone agree?
"After fourteen days of discussion if a consensus is reached that an article is a star then its status can be updated. Note that a consensus means that any outstanding issues should have been addressed; if issues remain then the discussion should continue or the article should be added to the slush pile."
3. In regards to expanding/clarifying some of the definitions on the Article status page, I think that the hardest, and most pressing one, is to define the word "complete." So, in the interests of having a first tentative stab...
"For the purposes of this guide, complete means that circa 85% of all "relevant listings" should be present. In sections where there would be an abundance of listings, relevant listings pertain to the more popular and unique listings. In sections where there is a distinct lack of available listings, all listings become relevant."
4. We're in agreement then that something should be added to the Main Page to indicate that there is a new star nom? From a technical standpoint is it possible to have that auto-updating banner to indicate to people how many days are left to vote? I also think that as part of the process the nominator should also post a note at the Travellers pub.
5. If all of the above is agreed on, we will need to change the instructions on the nom page also to reflect the change in the process. Asterix 15:17, 4 September 2008 (EDT)
- To my knowledge, checkboxes are not possible. 3 weeks sounds good, and I've updated that. I like the ambiguity, but not the vagueness of that statement, and have tried to tighten it—does it look good now? For me, "complete" means nothing relevant is missing—anything that someone who really knows the area would expect to see, and everything that a tourist should know about, within reason should be included. Articles should also not be bloated with less relevant listings, and we should probably indicate that in the star status criteria. I like #4, but we should discuss it first at Talk:Main Page, since not everyone who cares about main page display is reading this discussion. An auto-updating banner would require a bot, and I do not know how to make one.
- Pub would be a good way to publicize star noms. We might also want to mention on the project page that you don't have to leave a detailed critique to vote on the star—feel free to just voice support for the hard work someone else has done. It feels good to get those responses, and that's a good impetus for people to create star articles in the first place. It's disheartening when only the authors comment! --Peter Talk 17:47, 4 September 2008 (EDT)
- I've added an extra step to the process for publicizing at the Pub. Also, I couldn't agree more about the "impetus" bit, and I agree that the explanation you worked on looks better now. I think though that from this persons point of view a slightly more well defined process would help, so I added the phrase "... in reasonable time." I did so because I think that not everyone can forecast what they'll be doing in 4 or 5 weeks time, and if they don't have slightly more defined timeline that might also take away from their "impetus" to go through the process. Feel free to revert though if you disagree. As regards point #4, I have left a note on the main page's discussion page. No responses yet... I'll leave it another while before further discussion here. Overall though, I think the star nom page is coming along nicely since we've all tackled it...it seems much clearer now... at least to me anyway!Asterix 13:42, 8 September 2008 (EDT)
- Ok, so there is still no response from the main page on point #4...I think it's been about a week. I'll leave it a bit longer but it looks like there is no strong opinion there. So, if we are still in agreement that something needs to be done about this, I wonder what is the best way to do it? We could just add a new heading under the "Newest Star Articles" like the following: Under this would be a link to the article(s) itself. I guess that the heading above would stay there permanently and the individual article links would be added, and removed 3 weeks later by the nominator as an extra step in the nom process. Anyone think this is OK, or have any alternative ideas about it? Asterix 13:28, 9 September 2008 (EDT)
- I think a main page change is too much of a big deal to go forward without support. I'd recommend giving a statement that barring objections over the next two weeks, you'll add the message. Personally, I think it would be much more useful than a long list of "newish" stars. Heck, Chicago's been up there since March! --Peter Talk 13:47, 9 September 2008 (EDT)
- Just a quick point, on the example of specifying how many photos is enough/too many, that's actually something I don't want to be more specific. Wikitravel has tended to avoid making that one a strict rule, and I think that's good because different places are going to give you different photographic opportunities. 8 photos is good for any San Francisco article, but might be pushing it somewhere else. I'd rather leave that as a sort of "however many photos you feel are necessary" kind of thing. There might be other things I feel shouldn't get too specific, but I just wanted to jump on that one really quick. PerryPlanet 21:12, 3 September 2008 (EDT)
Could we perhaps extend the process time for star nominations? Maybe 20 days? I really like going over top-quality articles and leaving thoughtful critiques, but I tend to miss the deadline, since I need a good open chunk of time to really look over the article (and I don't always have such chunks).
I don't know if a longer period of time might also help get more people chiming in, but if it did that would be an added bonus. Leaving something like a "last call for votes" comment on the star nom page itself can also be helpful. --Peter Talk 14:57, 3 September 2008 (EDT)
- Absolutely. Heck, I say let's make it 30 days! Stars are a big deal, we should give ourselves plenty of time to look over them. PerryPlanet 16:17, 3 September 2008 (EDT)
lack of star.noms
Why is there such a lack of nominations for star? I mean it's depressingly low! Only three! I think one of them will be gone soon because I believe it's been given the right to be a star. I don't get it. Personally, the only ones I truely feel comfortable nominating is one's that I've worked on in places I've been (so I know what's missing). So why don't other people nom? I don't get it. From my eyes, some look like they're ready-but I'm not sure due to the fact that it's not a city I've been. Is it because no one even wants to work up to star-if so, that's just a smidge sad. Seriously ,I don't get it. Keep smiling, ee talk 16:21, 13 November 2008 (EST).
- Stars are a lot of work. To call an article a "star" is to essentially say that it's complete, barring changes in the destination that need to be reflected in the article. I would rather have Wikitravel full of guide-level articles and no stars than have a few stars and the rest just usable. LtPowers 17:23, 13 November 2008 (EST)
- Understandable to the everydetail. But, wouldn't you want a large amount of guides and stars than lots of usables and guides? I'd like to see at least 10 more in the next year, but it'd probably creep barely to 5 more. To me it just seems that no one seems interested. I know its a lot of work-I'm working on my own currently (Edmonton/Central) but I just don't get it. Stars only get updates for new listings, delete listings, and minor edits and pictures. Usually. Keep smiling, ee talk 17:31, 13 November 2008 (EST).