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To keep this page from getting cluttered, I'm not going to copy the whole memo. It can be viewed here. I just want to say, above all, what wrote was not with malice; everything I've said is because I genuinely believe it will make Memory Alpha a better encyclopedia and a more cohesive community. I think that statement is true for all of us. We should each remember than in our responses. 05:33, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

Discussion Edit

Let me start by stating that I think this discussion is long overdue. I do not want to see these concerns to be just swept under the carpet (Which I submit is the number one problem with MA at the moment). We have a chance to re-evaluate our policies here in the context of each other. At the outset, I apologise if this goes away from the issues you mentioned Jaz, but these are definitely related problems.

Category Suggestions: I have to disagree with the idea that categories should be created ad hoc. Look at discussions such as the one about "Category:Professors" to see how discussion can lead to better categories. By discussing categories beforehand we can deal with the issues better and with much, much less effort. This process also ensures naming conventions are followed: it would be a pain to change the cat name on 50 pages just because someone capitalised the category name incorrectly.

What is the problem with categories is that they take months to get created. Seriously. If discussion is closed they should be made within a week. If there is no consensus after a month or so, they should be archived. Don't just let them sit in limbo.

Peer Review and FA: I cannot say it enough, but PEER REVIEW DOES NOT WORK. People do not seem interested in commenting on the quality of an article unless it's being deleted or FA. My solution? Scrap PR altogether. I'd change it so if you're looking for what can be better be done with an article, you can just submit it to FA. If people think something else should be done, they can say so there with constructive object votes "ie. I'll vote for this if you flesh out the info on X". I think there's no harm in more FA nominations.

Merges: Likewise with merges. They sit there for months... I suggest putting merges on a more visible central page, like pages for deletion. All discussions can then be ARCHIVED on the talk page, so after the decision is made the net result is the same. As it is, merge discussions on the talk pages of obscure articles tend not to be seen.

I'd recommend that exactly the same rules that govern deletions should apply, and that all merges MUST be resolved in the same period. To go even further, the two processes could be merged (pardon the pun), and we deal with all article deletions/merges in the same process. Already many deletions end up as merges, so there's no reason this couldn't work.

I intend to further reply to your other points Jaz when I have the time. I would ask other regular contributors that see this post to seriously consider Jaz's points and the proposals outlined above, and to reply. I think we can and should all agree that change IS needed.– Cleanse 04:08, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

I totally agree with your PR comments. I've always thought it would be better to have a two-stepped Featured Article process, where, first an article is submitted and it is discussed and worked on for a week or so, and then after is vote is taken. --- Jaz 19:22, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
Here are my thoughts. Also, let me preface my thoughts with this: Yes, I know we are not Wikipedia, and that some of my ideas do come from what I have seen there. However, as Robin Lefler said, "You gotta go with what works."
Administration: I do agree that a revamp of how administrators are chosen needs to be done. One of the things that I saw at Wikipedia was that each perspective administrator is asked three boilerplate questions and then each user who is eligible to vote is allowed to ask questions as well. These questions cover their experience at the site (i.e. "What do you consider your best work") and administrative policy (i.e. "How would you deal with vandals"). How would that work here? A perspective administrator is given a certain number of days to respond to questions before voting is opened. Why do I feel this would be a good idea? There are times that I (and others) would like to vote for administrators, however I might not have the time to research the user's edits. It would also give them a chance to respond to what would otherwise be "oppose" votes.
Peer Review/Featured Article: As mentioned here, Taduolus questioned why the Peer Review tag is only added to the talk page. It was argued that it may or may not get more people involved, however it was something very similar that got me to join. I stumbled across a "PNA" page, started clicking around to all of the various "background" pages and thought "Wow, I could join and help out." Renegade54 stated that (and I quote) "Administrative stuff shouldn't clutter up the articles any more than necessary." If it gets more people involved in Memory Alpha, why not. As for people not being involved in either process (as well as several others)...
Memory Alpha-Wide Announcements: It has probably been brought up somewhere, and shot down, but in my opinion several areas don't get the attention they deserve because people simply don't know about it. Is it possible to have a message sent to users when a new discussion is started at things such as Nominations for administratorship, Category suggestions, Peer review, Featured Article nominations, etc? Maybe set it up so that a user has been at MA for X amount of days or edited Y amount of articles? This would get more people involved.
I also like the idea Cleanse had about Merges. Unless I'm missing something, the only list I could find for articles that need to be merged is clicking on the "What links here" on the Merge Template. There does need to be a centralized location for discussion on this.
I'll agree with Jaz that more and more people are "Policing" with the Recent Changes. I'm somewhat guilty of this. Right now, I do it at work because I don't have time to do more there. I will agree that this can be detrimental, because people will spend more time policing than contributing. But I will also say that this can help in copy-editing (spelling, grammar, etc).
I will also agree with Jaz on "Fear of incompleteness." Directly from the Memory Alpha:Canon policy, I give you this: "Trek franchise articles. These articles are written from a "meta" or real life point of view, and are written about the Star Trek franchise. Subjects can include articles about the production of the episodes and movies themselves, as well as articles about novels, games, and other official materials, as well as pages about the actors and actresses. These pages are not covered by the canon policy." What I get from this is, if it relates to Trek and is official, it should be included here.
Maybe I've stepped on some toes, but hopefully it helps. ---- Willie LLAP 23:57, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
I agree with a lot of what Jaz said about the administrative elitism a lot of arguments do involve admins a very notable example being at Talk:Deputy Director, where an admin used his blocking power to end an argument. I also agree with everything Cleanse said, especially the mergers. I also agree with everything Willie said.
Smaller/obscure articles my issue I have is small obscure articles that get very little attention. I mean I'll come across one sometimes that hasn't been edited in over a year and that only to add something minor like a category. There has got to be a way to get these articles more attention.
So there's my two-cents, hope it helps.--Long Live the United Earth 01:06, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
Hey, guys, if this discussion is meant to be taken seriously and if you want to involve more of the community, perhaps you should move this discussion to a Ten Forward forum rather than as a subpage of an archivist's user page? That's where these things are supposed to go, after all. :/ --From Andoria with Love 04:38, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
Done --- Jaz 05:33, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
I didn't know those were considered personal attacks, and when I got a "Stop now" message I just thought "well he's the admin and I'm not, so I'm not going to argue." So sometimes I'm afraid to add to MA because I don't know if I'll get a good response or a bad one. --From TrekkyStar Open Hailing Frequencies 14:47, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
OK, I don't know what any of that is about, TrekkyStar, but regarding all the rest:
What a lot of drama! What a lot of noise! What a laughable thesis: "Why Memory Alpha is failing". Laughable, man. A failing wiki is not Memory Alpha. A failing wiki is like this. This laundry-list of concerns should not drive anyone to the brink, they are minor housekeeping details. Sure, discuss them, why not? But, jeezum, what a big whoop-de-doo! TribbleFurSuit 21:47, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
I'll make some quick thoughts, but I wonder if each point that was brought up should be discussed on a seperate page, to keep things straight.
  1. Fear of incompleteness- I'm not sure what definition of 'complete' we are using. We may need to discuss what level of background and analysis consitutes completeness. I wonder if subjective analysis has any sort of place in an area that is supposed to be about factual information.
  2. Elitism- I don't feel this is a big problem. I don't think the mere fact that someone makes a decision consitutes eliteness. I'd like to see some evidence that admins have made numerous decisions contrary to the wishes of the community. Also, it's not like an administrator's decision on something is the last, final word- it can be discussed ad nauseam if the affected parties desire.
  3. Hostility towards new editors- I'd like to see some evidence of that. When I first started, I felt no hostility from anyone, and (while I'm not here 24/7) I haven't seen much against others.
  4. Closed to new ideas- This article would seem to prove that wrong, as it would not be here if MA was such.
  5. FA status- I agree that PR seems somewhat pointless, as the FA nomination seems to end up being a PR by default. Perhaps a more cleary demarcated period of comment and improvement should be made before a vote is taken, and it wouldn't need to be a seperate process.
  6. Categories- I think the current structure for creating categories is good. As stated above, discussion can result in more clearly defining the category beforehand. I would agree, however, that category creation, once agreement is found, is taking too long.
  7. Academia- As I said above, I don't think subjective analysis or opinions has any place in an encyclopedia that is supposed to be about facts. I would support linking to an appropriate site, but that material doesn't need to be here.
I'm sure I'll come up with other thoughts later. Thank you to those who created this page.--31dot 23:21, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
More comments- Merges- I agree that either a central page for them similar to the deletions page, or combining the two, is a idea worth considering in depth.
Admin nominations- I'm not sure if we need a certain number of them or not, but I do think asking certain questions of any nominees is not unreasonable, though exactly what those would be should be discussed first.--31dot 02:01, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
I had a lengthy response prepared, but after the comments by 31dot and TribbleFurSuit, with which I agree, I think I can pair that down a bit. First of all, and most importantly, "Memory Alpha is failing" is a pretty big and bold statement to make - I'd say, Memory Alpha is not outright failing. It doesn't fail for me, it doesn't seem to fail for the majority of regular contributors, and apparently, it doesn't fail for the many Trek fans who are not contributors, but instead use this site as an encyclopedia, just as it is supposed to be.
Memory Alpha might be failing for individual persons, for individual reasons, of course. In these cases, it is valid to discuss the perceived problems. Sometimes, we will find that the problem really exists and can be solved - other times, we might find that this is not a problem of Memory Alpha, but of the contributor expecting something that MA just isn't supposed to deliver in the first place.
If and when we discuss such problems, it might really be best to do it on individual pages - this one has quickly become a melting pot of all possible problems someone sees, unrelated to each other and sometimes even contradictory. I don't think this page will help solve anything. -- Cid Highwind 10:22, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
I just want to say that the name is somewhat dramatic, and discussing this on seperate pages would make more sense because it is hard to follow everything and understand everything as you go down and read it.
Admin elitism: Also, let me clarify the elitism comments I don't think elitism is the right word, but natural frustation. When I say this I mean that the admin believes he has the correct idea and after editing it back and forth for awhile they just get frustrated and lock the page.
Category Creation: As to the category comments I think the problem is that a couple of supporting commenys will be made, no real discussion, and it will just sit there. I think some kind of time limit should be put on category suggestions.
Hostility towards new users: This one I don't think is a problem. I felt very welcome when I joined a few months ago. The only place this could come from is the blocking of some new users, but that is valid because they are vandalising stuff.
I will probably have some other responses but I'm done for now.--Long Live the United Earth 10:54, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Cid is of course, correct that many of these issues are really better suited for individual pages. I've opened up the merge issue on Memory Alpha Talk:Merge, and we can do the same thing with the FA/PR and Administration proposals.

Regarding this thread: While I think MA is certainly not failing, I do honestly believe there are some places where we can improve. This shouldn't be thought of as a bad thing: think of our policies as being like our articles: they can only improve over time. :-) – Cleanse 11:20, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

P.S. Just to clarify, I don't mean that we should be continually questioning our policies, thereby wasting time that, you know, is meant for actually writing the encyclopedia. I mean rather that when someone perceives problems with policies, we should discuss this.– Cleanse 11:23, 18 April 2008 (UTC)