Support Like SandyGeorgia, below, I have been following this since practically its beginning. Since unlike other recent RFA candidates, I do not have direct experience with this nominee, I was not originally intending to !vote, expecting it to end, as most of those recent RFAs have, with the mop being conferred.
But no, it turned into another one of those RFA dramas that we inevitably have every few months. The opposes racked up over Q7, and then I thought this was another one headed for withdrawal. But the supports held their own, enough that this will likely go to a 'crat chat (the RFA equivalent of extra time, or, more accurately, a shootout?)
Many of the hallmarks of RFA drama are present. We have oppose !votes that focus on the one issue identified early on that do not elaborate further (I would, however, single out Sandy's lengthy and considered oppose as one that, had it been cast much earlier (though I understand why it took so long) could have really elevated this discussion. I would advise the closing 'crats to give it a serious read). And, equally predictably, the oppose !votes have generated supports that are more in the vein of "I oppose the opposes".
When I am not familiar with a candidate, I tend to look for the names of users and fellow admins that I have known long and come to trust. There are some of those on both sides here, making good arguments as I would expect them to, but not as many as I usually see. I wonder if others are reading this and sitting it out as I had been expecting to do.
I decided a few days ago I was going to !vote neutral, something I don't think I've done before in an RFA, on the grounds that while I didn't think the oppose reasons were compelling, I couldn't find a reason to support, either. In the former instance, I think the opposes are putting way too much weight on the nominee's minimal role in content creation. "He has no DYKs! No GAs!" they cry. "And certainly no FAs! How can we make him an admin?"
Well, I think we should stop ourselves right there. Yes, I agree content work is an essential for an admin who will be (as I try to) out on the front lines reviewing and responding to reports of possible user misconduct. More times than I can count, my own experience (which grows all the time) has been invaluable in getting inside the head of a user who might be on the verge of getting blocked for what they believed with all their heart was good-faith editing and helping them realize what they were really trying to do, or how they might better do it.
But Pppery has said he does not intend to be that admin (although I have some thoughts on that later). And I respect that choice.
We need to ask ourselves, by treating community recognition as if it were a metric, indeed the only metric, of skill in that area, are we perhaps ultimately driving people away from the project, and (to return to the subject of this discussion) adminships? Newer editors who, as many newer editors do, see things like this and think, gee, I think I could be an admin one day, develop articles for GA or (worse) FA in order to get cred here, then nominate them ... only to be so shell-shocked by the comments and all the things they did wrong without even knowing about them that they just give up and leave.
We need to understand that some editors are just going to be happiest, and best for the project, improving content without collecting green circles and gold stars ... and that work can be enough to qualify them for adminship. In the absence of recognized content to show off here (not saying nominees should't do that), we can certainly look at what a nominee has done in editing articles. It may be harder for some people, but them's the breaks.
For that reason I decided that before !voting, I at least owed Pppery the courtesy of looking at an overview of his editing.
Which I did. And I found the stats paint a different picture than that I find in the opposes.
Instead of focusing on one or two articles (but I will later, because I have to), I first looked at his overall stats. And lo and behold, an editor whose opposes for RFA call content-impaired turns out to have made the greatest share of his edits, a third in total, to article namespace. In his first year article namespace edits were also his biggest share (beating out project namespace by a mere two edits, to be fair). He has always made at least 500 such edits in a year, and last that accounted for half his edits. He is on pace this year to devote an unquestioned majority of his edits to articles.
Granted, if we look at edits to pages within the individual namespaces, we do see that quite a few pages outside article space get more of his attention. But, excepting edits to one's own user talk page (which will probably be the most edited page for most of us, anyway, or at least up there, guess where Pppery has made the most edits? The Help Desk! Oh my, spare Wikipedia from an admin who frequents the help desk! What is the world coming to? (And I think it is only fair then to ask some of the most determined opposers here how many edits they have made to HELPDESK ... before anyone asks me, I freely admit (to my regret) that my answer is going to be a big fat goose egg)
Now let's turn to the individual articles Pppery has given the most attention to. As already noted, there is Magic: The Gathering rules, where some opposes weighed him in the balance and found him wanting.
Well, again, guess what? By character count, he's the second-most active editor on the article (and the number one editor on it by that measure hasn't edited that article in six months). By total edits he's the top editor.
We can also look at his actual edits to that article. I see an editor using edit summaries, adding, revising and moving significant amounts of content, adding sources, fixing his own mistakes, and in general showing mastery of content editing.
Then we can look at Amphetamine, an FA (Maybe we should also consider in our RFA evaluations that an editor might work on articles that have already been recognized, and do a good job there, instead of seeking to improve articles to that point, as a measure of their fitness for adminship?). This article ranks second among Pppery's most favored in article space, and while these are largely technical and made over a few days a couple of years ago, I see nothing there that changes the impression I got from the edits to the MTG rules article.
My total takeaway picture is of a user who knows his limitations in content work and stays within them. Wow. We have had so many edit who have been prolific content creators but then imploded, whether after getting the mop or not, and are now spoken of in hushed tones only. This might not be a bad idea to give the tools to an editor who seems 180 degrees away from that.
And really, we do need admins who can handle the technical side. I recall years ago at a meetup, so many years ago that RFA was looser than it is now, hearing about "some Swedish guy" who'd been given the bit primarily because he was a whiz at writing template coding and that skill was badly needed in editing a lot of protected templates. Granted, for that we have the template-editor right now ...
So instead of sitting on the fence and making a spectacle of my moral superiority for doing so, I have entered the arena and stand on what is still the majority side of the room. I have no illusions about this !vote tipping off a big cascade of late supports that will push this nomination back into the green, but before it ends I had to make my opinion known.
Before leaving, however this turns out, I do advise Pppery that adminship is never so neat. It is inevitable that at some point after you get the tools you will be contacted from out of the blue by some user you've never heard of who urgently needs your help with another user on some page about something you never knew existed (and Murphy's Law says it will happen late at night, after you've just finished a very tiring and repetititious but very necesary task, either editorial, technical or administrative, and the red "1" will appear just as you're about to log off. Trust us on this.
So at the very least you might want to do something like help clear out CAT:SD at least once a day if you can. Daniel Case (talk) 05:34, 6 August 2023 (UTC)
- I do believe your entry is longer than mine (thanks for letting me out of that record :) and I enjoyed the read and your thought processes. But ... Just pointing out, again, that no one in this RFA (or most) is asking or saying that admins need to write FAs (although there was a time that was probably true); I don't know how that comes to be misstated in so many support votes in RFA after RFA, when best I can tell, no one in the oppose column has said that (maybe I missed it ?) One way to look at an editor's content work is ... by doing it just as you did! (We may disagree on whether amphetamine should be an FA, but that's another story.) The "oppose the opposes" are not all reading the opposes :) Regards, SandyGeorgia (Talk) 06:10, 6 August 2023 (UTC)
- Just as (and I think you would agree) the "Oppose per Q7"'s seem to have just found that as the first oppose and not really looked into anything more.
- And yes, Sandy, thank you for your gracious followup. Would that we had more of this. Daniel Case (talk) 17:32, 6 August 2023 (UTC)