Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Wikipedia essays/Archives/2015/November

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Wikipedia:Don't bold your !votes has been listed at Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Don't bold your !votes. -- Softlavender (talk) 10:19, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Proposed talk page template for user essays (in userspace)

Please ping me. -- {{u|BullRangifer}} {Talk} 06:56, 7 November 2015 (UTC)

There is already information given on the category page: Category:User essays, and in Wikipedia:Essays and Wikipedia:User pages, that says the above. However, some users may like to use it, as it does readily sum up community expectations, and puts them at a point of most importance. I support the creation of this template, though it is up to each user what tags they put on their personal essays, so this should be a tag that is simply made available, rather than a tag that is proscribed. To make that clear, it might be wise for associated documentation to say that the tag may only be placed on a personal essay by the user themself. SilkTork ✔Tea time 09:01, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
That all makes sense. I don't know how to do the documentation or where the template page should be located. We need a project member who is a specialist in templates to do this. -- BullRangifer (talk) 15:12, 9 November 2015 (UTC)

Proposed talk page template for essays in mainspace

Please ping me. -- {{u|BullRangifer}} {Talk} 05:06, 8 November 2015 (UTC)

If an essay is moved into projectspace the person who started it has to accept that it will be modified, and that modification may include being deleted, renamed, and changed beyond recognition. If they don't wish that to happen, they should instead keep it in their userspace. Putting a tag on any page in userspace saying that the original creator needs to be consulted before edits are made is against the spirit of Wikipedia. Also, in my experience there is rarely a point at which everyone would agree a viewpoint has "totally changed" so this has the potential for Wikilawyering type discussions that suck up time for little purpose. The best course of action if the fellow Wikipedian who created the essay and moved it into mainspace is concerned about it, is to advise them to watchlist the page, and if there are changes to it they disagree with they should start a discussion with the person who changed the essay, and if that is not satisfactory, then open up the discussion to get a third or subsequent opinion. Basically what we do already. SilkTork ✔Tea time 08:48, 9 November 2015 (UTC)

This obviously has to do with ownership, and I understand the concern with ownership behavior and have studied it before making this template. It's a fine line to walk! The guideline for essays has the following to say about essays in namespace:

"It is important to keep in mind that like anything else on Wikipedia, essays are not owned by anyone, including their creator. Nothing is in stone. However, disputes between editors writing an essay should be handled differently from writing an article, because there's no need to agree on a single "right" version. When your viewpoint differs significantly from that expressed in an essay, it is usually better to start a new essay of your own to provide a rebuttal or alternative view, rather than re-writing an existing essay to say the opposite of what it has always said." (bold added)

I have tried to capture the essence of that view in the template. Whether I have done it very well is another matter, and would appreciate tweaks which get the point across better.

Most PAG here apply with different force, depending on whether one is dealing with the encyclopedia proper, or with project namespace and userspace. This also applies to WP:OWN. When it comes to the degree of ownership allowed, the guideline recognizes that essays in project namespace lie at a spot in between articles (the encyclopedia itself) and user pages (not the encyclopedia):

  • Articles (the encyclopedia): No ownership at all. No advocacy at all.
  • Essays (not the encyclopedia): Partial ownership allowed, and advocacy regarding improvement of the encyclopedia allowed.
  • Userspace (not the encyclopedia): Extensive ownership and some advocacy allowed, but never complete.[1]

Wikipedia is an encyclopedia consisting of articles, and they may not be used for advocacy unrelated to Wikipedia. By contrast, pages in Wikipedia namespace (also known as "project namespace") may be used to advocate for specific viewpoints regarding the improvement or organization of Wikipedia itself. Project namespace includes essays, portals, project pages, etc., which are part of the behind-the-scenes inner workings of the Wikipedia project, but are not part of the encyclopedia proper. -- BullRangifer (talk) 16:05, 9 November 2015 (UTC)

Alternate wording

SilkTork, is that better? -- BullRangifer (talk) 05:11, 10 November 2015 (UTC)

The paragraph you quote was added in 2011 after discussion regarding an edit war on Wikipedia:Hardcore pornography images. Such essay edit wars are not common enough to justify a template warning on other essays. We tend not to put up warning templates on pages because there are so many things we could warn people not to do that pages would become unwieldy, and we don't wish to inhibit editing. I think having a paragraph that people can refer to if an edit war does start is sufficient. Though the recent addition of "Because the reason an essay exists is to express an editor’s POV, it is wrong to eliminate or erase that viewpoint by hijacking the essay" is perhaps too narrow and too judgemental. Not all essays are about an editor's POV, and by that point in the paragraph enough has been said about the topic to get the point across without recourse to terms such as "hijacking". :-) Anyway, again, well done on creating the templates, and I hope you get a bit more feedback from others. I am not watchlisting this page, and I don't have ping enabled, so if there is anything you'd specifically like me to comment on, please drop a note on my talkpage. SilkTork ✔Tea time 11:03, 10 November 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the information. It's always interesting to know how things became the way they are. The templates are intended for voluntary use, so we'll see how this works out. Thanks for the help. -- BullRangifer (talk) 15:08, 10 November 2015 (UTC)