Help & FAQs

Feedback on everything please!

Natalia is our VP of Digital and is very keen to have a very detailed open dialogue with the community in a very agile and vocal way to help her understand as deeply as possible what the needs of the community are. Right now, Jimmy and Fiona are the only people on the team with deep MediaWiki/Wiki experience and we are giving feedback as quickly as we can, but of course we don’t spot everything and we also want to iterate/innovate on traditional wiki experiences.

Let’s gather product ideas here and then Jimmy and Natalia will review and prioritize.  Some things will obviously have to wait as we have limited resources, but other things (particularly things that are both easy and crucial to collaboration) can be done quite quickly in the next few weeks.

Feel free to edit this page, but mainly let’s use the talk page to put forward ideas.

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History for Project "Feedback on everything please!"

  1. Julian Garamendy removed extra space
  2. Natalia Avdeeva added a link to the Talk page
  3. Jimmy Wales new page requesting feedback

Feedback on everything please!

Talk about this Project

  1. I don’t know if anyone else feels this way, or if this was already mentioned, but in the future I think there should be editors in different timezones. That way, if someone a few hours ahead or behind GMT makes an edit, they get feedback in a timely manner. Again, apologies if this has already been mentioned or addressed. Overall, this seems fabulous and well executed.

    1. Hi Sarah.

      I’m in the U.S. on the Central Time zone (-6 GMT). I just approved your date edit on the Puidgemont hearing. That was a good catch. We also have a few folks a few hours behind me, on the U.S. West Coast, in New Zealand and Southeast Asia. I apologize for not getting to your edit sooner — it’s very much appreciated.

      Regards,
      Steve

      1. Hi Steve,

        Thanks so much for the reply. I was just reading about all the editors around the world and felt a tad ridiculous for making that comment.

  2. I’m not sure if anyone else is seeing this, but when I’m visiting the Talk section on all other articles other than this one, the link brings me to the bottom of the page instead of the dialog box.

    1. Hi Joel, how do you access the Talk link and what device / browser do you use?

      1. Hello Natalie,

        I’m using it on Safari 11.0.1 on my MBP.

  3. Making it easier to check sources will cause more people to actually do so. For me the easiest way would be to have a box pop up when you hover your mouse over a source (those links within the texts) that tells you the actual source with some other information.

    1. While I agree that having the source easily accessible to verify, I’m not sure that I would want it to be a pop up text box as I read with my curser and find it very annoying on websites that do that.

      Having it as a hyperlink that I can follow is the better option for me.

  4. It would be nice to get a notification when someone replies to you or comments on a project or story you have been involved with.

    I think this feature would drive more engagement as people could be notified, potentially, instantly as opposed to having to go to certain projects/talks/articles sporadically to check if there is something new.

    1. Just to clarify, I know there is a notification button but it doesn’t seem to be working.

      1. Hi Mark, thanks for your feedback. We did had an issue with email notifications on Talk pages but looks like it’s now fixed.

        Agree completely regarding importance of instant notifications. We will be improving / streamlining notifications on the website very soon.

  5. Auto-scroll rather than pagination would be a nice feature.

    1. Thanks Leo, we will be looking into it.

  6. I know this is not a priority but i think it could be an useful thing. I’d love to be able to change the graphic aspect of the articles in order to experience a more comfortable reading. I’m thinking of a kindle like approach, users could change font,background,ecc… If this is too difficult maybe you could add only a dark theme or something like that.
    Thank you

  7. When editing our profiles, some countries are missing from the list.

    I am from Jersey, but have to indicate that I am in the UK. That’s not entirely correct.

    I’d recommend using the ISO 3166-1 list which includes the whole planet.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_3166-1

  8. This is a great initiative, however i find the formatting of the home pages a little odd, specifically the habit of putting more than one headline together in the section highlights. See the example of the Current Affairs highlights below where Zimbabwe and Malta headlines are put together- I think you need to separate then by bullet points or separators because at the moment it looks like a single but very confusing headline.

    Current Affairs Army has Mugabe in custody, EU lawmakers urge Malta probe

      1. +1 on this one!

        Although I didn’t read it like that originally, reading it again can easily be misinterpreted as such.

  9. WikiTribute’s power is the same as Wikipedia, we need everyone contributing as you have mentioned. I think it gathers more value when the people contributing have some value of authority. When I click onto a contributor’s profile I can only see the contributions they have made, and nothing about them. It would be cool to see that the contributor is an engineer on the project, or an eyewitness, journalist, etc. Then something like an automated ranking system that said that “This article has been 75% verified” based on the number of significant contributors or verifications.

    1. I second this. A full vetting of a person’s background along with the contributions they have made will automatically lend credibility to the stories.

    2. A story should stand on its own feet, the truth is the truth, regardless of who wrote it, or what supposed authority they may or may not have.

      You won’t even find the name of the author(s) within a main news item on BBC News, let alone any information on background checks. Yet, their news seems to carry quite a bit of credibility.

  10. I’m interested in learning about how each section rank orders the headlines. Currently it seems like it might be ordered based on first publish date/time (I could be wrong).

    One of the frequent criticisms of many media sources is that aside from obvious biases in the reporting, they choose to highlight certain stories over others, knowing that most digital consumers do not read through “today’s edition” entirely.

    The way Twitter Moments tackles this is to use the volume of interactions with the story and the speed at which a story is spreading. Reddit, on the other hand, allows users to explicitly upvote or downvote a post to determine its ranking.

    I wonder if WT has any plans to use real-time data to help rank order the story, or if the editorial board would take on the bulk of that work.

    I’m not necessarily arguing either way, but curious what the WT plans to do.

    1. Hi Leo,

      In some sections stories are manually ranked by our editors, while in others, e.g. “Last Updated”, they are ranked based on “last edited” date.

      We don’t have firm plans yet, but, as WT grows, we would be looking to introduce more sophisticated ways to rank content.

  11. Within the article editor, how do we insert a non-breaking hyphen or space?

  12. Within the talk pages for an article we can “flag something as biased”.

    But, how about being able to flag something as unbiased?

    So, what about some system that allows people to indicate whether or not they believe an article to be biased or not?

    There’s also the possibility of an automated system which could flag up articles which are too reliant on a single source.

    1. What is biased for a person can be unbiased for another. How can u justify any thing as bias? All we can do is accommodate voices of all concerned!!

  13. Hamburger menu not expanding on my Android phone on chrome. Was working yesterday, but this morning it won’t open to show the menu

    1. Thanks Gareth, we will fix it shortly

  14. There are many graduate students out there with knowledge and experience in many areas in nearly as many courses. Leverage higher education as a source of potential editors, journalists, etc. could be beneficial if possible. Is there a way to form partnerships with universities? Graduate students and professors more so than most any other group focus on writing well sourced articles, so why not find a way to use that. Personally, I am doing something similiar, where a class project is being used as a way for our class to write dissemination pieces, which are shorter articles that help bring academic concepts and otherwise things that most people would not be exposed to.

    1. Dave, thank you, that is a really good idea and I am talking to one university j-school in the UK and another in the States on this idea. Do you have any recommendations of other faculties or places? I think you’re right. Peter

      1. Dave/ Peter,
        The Conversation may be a useful source for academic contributors wishing to engage more widely. It is funded by universities and there are several editions across the world. Here is the UK edition:

        http://theconversation.com/uk

        1. Very cool. Thanks. Another source I’ve used is https://www.project-syndicate.org/. Similar in that its experts and academics, for the most part, but it’s more opinion.

      2. I’m a PhD student at the University of Colorado. The UC school system is composed of 4 separate schools, of which Boulder (where I am) and Anschutz (graduate medical university) are highly research-oriented. School systems might be easier than approaching individual schools, since there might be a 4 for 1 deal. My undergraduate degree was from Purdue, another possibility as it is very research-oriented as well. The California school system might be another possibility. Also, it’s an idea that I personally would be interested in being part of being a PhD student. I’m positive there are many other students that would be as well.

  15. Whenever an articles mentions an important document, report, legislation, etc. I would like a way to directly download that document as opposed to linking to a website. Website URLs can change or errors can happen, but if the document (which is generally publically available by default anyway). As articles mentioned documents a library can be built where users can easily access primary sources. If an article is about the Paris Climate Agreement, a link will be available to download the actually document. An article about US healthcare can link to relevant bills and legislations (Obamacare) and some reports discussing it. As more articles are written the repository and library will grow. I’m sure other things like this exist, but for an average user they are not aggregate and each document might be a pain to find. This could standardize the process.

    In a similiar vein, a further reading section where users can go beyond the source to do personal research. Perhaps each source can just link to the Wikipedia page, which can be given some special attention to adhere to WikiTribunes standards.

    1. I absolutely love the going beyond the source idea and couldn’t agree more which is why we have recently done a couple of book lists and further reading on Catalonia for example.
      https://www.wikitribune.com/story/2017/11/11/culture/great-reads-understanding-modern-russia-100-years-on/15718/
      We will steadily improve the sources & references to add more material though it is not entirely easy to make this a workflow that can be efficient and reasonably fast but you make very good points.

      1. Dear Peter,

        Hosting the docs on wikitribune itself likely creates copyright issues. Nevertheless you should have an automated download to your internal journalist accessble database; else you may miss the evidence in the future due to broken links.

        Best regards,

        MIchael

    2. The UK gov is doing a pretty good job with its library of things like acts of parliament , includes the original acts and revisions.

      For example: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2017/30/contents

      That link pretty much does it all.

  16. I would like to see stronger partnerships with academia and relevant organizations. Probably would be useful in a more in-depth analysis section. There are long-term issues that can be very complicated and composed of many stories. These stories would be best written by people academics and experts in the respective field. WikiTribune could come up with a system by which academic or experts could be asked to write about a topic that could be the basis for understanding a larger issue. Perhaps a detailed overview regarding Brexit could be part of a project that aggregates all news regarding Brexit. It is daunting trying to familiarize oneself with a certain topic. It oftentimes discourage people from learning about a topic. There could be anthologies of certain topics. Academics would be able to describe how and why something happens beyond the what, when, and where, to give readers a deeper understanding of an issue. Furthermore, there are many journals and high-level magazines with very good information in them. International Security and Political Science Quarterly are two good examples of journals that discuss international and world affairs in an academic format. I stress academic journals since they already go through the peer review process. Bridging the academic and expert areas with normal journalistic reporting, I believe, is a potentially important and relevant to the mission of WikiTribune. I don’t have a fully formed idea, I just wanted to get the generalities out there.

  17. Is WikiTribune planning to publish podcasts/ audio/ video, eg interviews, discussions? If so, what would be the approach to providing source references to the assertions/ opinions of participants in the piece?

  18. Is WikiTribune planning to allow opinion pieces (with transparent sources of course)? In most publications these are of course clearly marked as opinion, as opposed to reporting.

    1. David, right my view is no, we would not publish opinion or what is classically described as commentary.
      I don’t believe media anywhere is clearly labelling the difference between reporting and opinion and that dilemma is almost at the root of what Jimmy is trying to do with this project. We will do Q&A interviews where someone with a view or expert knowledge can impart that but with the discipline of a journalist or member of the community asking them the questions.

      The closest we have gone so far in this area is Essays. I set those up because we started getting a view long and good pieces from community members who had specific knowledge on an important area and were prepared to put aside their more florid opinions in favor of thought-out pieces. For example, Jean Jacques Subrenat https://www.wikitribune.com/user/jean-jacques-subrenat/ has written several pieces in which he has been able to add links and information to justify what assertions he may wish to make.

      Is there anyone in particular you would like us to get a Q&A with or an Essay?
      Does that answer come close to explaining our resistance so far to getting into the opinion and comment game?

      Peter

      1. Dear Peter,

        You may more detailed explain the borders between commentary, opinion and analysis. They are somehow overlapping and often being used in the same manner.

        Best regards,

        Michael

  19. Regarding media files, I think it would be useful to have another field for a link to other versions of the file, i.e. linking to the place where that file was found by the uploader, where its licencing details can be seen.

    That would make it easier to check the photos origins, and avoid copyright infringement.

    Also, it would be handy to be able to keyword media files, so that they can be more easily found when the library has grown much larger.

    And photo EXIF information should also be displayed.

  20. A discussion about the Black Cab article crystallised a thought that has been bothering me about the WT articles so far. They tend to reflect my world view and seem to me to be jolly nice and sensible. But almost by definition they will have no impact on those who will (if they get past the first paragraph and its world view) see no evidence that their “reasonable” point has been even thought of, let alone discussed.

    The standard alternative of “on the one hand and on the other” rapidly degenerates into “blah” that says nothing.

    In the Black Cab discussion, the key word (from James Mitchell) was “stakeholder”. The discussion about Uber, Black Cabs, congestion, air quality … becomes instantly clearer (and scarily complex) if one has a reasonable list of stakeholders and their interests. As soon as I tried to write such a list, any story such as one about self-sacrificing, “doing it for their families” Black Cab drivers pitted against the “clinging on to their GPS to make a quick buck” Uber drivers, becomes impossible. You quickly find yourself looking at statistics of bus/tube passenger numbers to know whether it would be a good or bad thing to have more people taking public transport rather than using any cab, or trying to calculate the economic impact of a busy finance worker hanging around trying to find a cab.

    This is NOT a comment on the Black Cab article, it is a comment about how WT contributers might systematically find a way to welcome a wider range of readers to their articles by showing up front that they have thought through quite a few stakeholder viewpoints. If each reader felt that there was a reasonable chance that the author(s) had at least acknowledged their stakeholder viewpoint(s), this might encourage a larger variety of readers to explore the viewpoints of other stakeholders.

    I can imagine a Stakeholder pop-up on an article with a brief summary of how the various issues might look like to those who play a part in any given issue. At the very least a “behind the scenes” summary of the stakeholders relevant to the topic at hand would be a great way for those who wish to dig deeper to at least think “Golly, I had never looked at it from the X point of view” or “OK, the author at least had some idea of X even though they chose to focus on Y”.

    1. That’s the essence of what Jimmy’s trying to achieve I guess and also to avoid TALK becoming the sort of desert of tit-for-tat abuse that Comment sections have become. I think all reporters have to work harder to check their privilege and “lower-case ‘l’ liberalism” and think about other angles. On the other hand – and this has been a discussion on this story about gender and sexual harassment — https://www.wikitribune.com/story/2017/11/03/gender/sex-and-power-is-this-a-turning-point/14961/ — the idea that there is some sort of counter-narrative that there isn’t a problem with harassment is bordering on the ridiculous. We are trying to be neutral but not uninterested. I do not expect us to be doing stories about say, modern-day slavery which then says “on the other hand…”

  21. Hi, the WikiTribune site doesn’t render properly on Android 7.0 on my Moto G4 Plus using Firefox or Chrome (not tried other browsers). The text disappears off the screen (portrait or landscape)and scrolling isn’t possible. This link shows an example:

    https://www.wikitribune.com/project/creating-your-story-and-editing-wikitribune/

  22. I’m sorry in advance if these have been brought up before:
    1. Are there plans to add more capability to the search function? Namely filtering by date published (time interval, last 24 hours, etc.) or category?
    2. Is there an easy way to get information by category? If I only have 3 minutes between meetings, I may want to quickly scroll through a specific category of interest, for example.
    3. On a similar note, are there thoughts about creating a customized “menu” with user pre-populated categories for quick access? For example, if I want to keep an eye out on news about the upcoming Alabama senate election, I’d love to be able to quickly access that rather than go through the search feature.

    1. Hi Emilia, thanks for your feedback. Yes, we will be looking to improve navigation and search on the website.

      You can now filter stories by categories using the list at the bottom of All Stories page: https://www.wikitribune.com/all-stories/
      Stories are currently sorted by “Last Updated”, but we will be looking to introduce more options for sorting and filtering.

      You can also use a search box in the footer to search for specific topics.

      We are planning to improve how we surface categories on the homepage and possibly introduce customisation, especially once we have more content.

  23. Hi. I have had a quick look around some initial feedback on the structure of the site. I feel like there is room for a little bit more functionality when it comes to engaing with non-journalist, ‘passive users’ like myself. As an example: I don’t want to personally submit stories for publication because I wouldn’t trust myself to be able to communicate it in a non-biased, fully researched and clear way, but there are certain issues that I would like to see professionally covered. I want to help out by submitting ideas/parts of stories and then have this go through some sort of process before being published. My options seem to be to write a story myself and submit it for review or to submit a suggestion in the daily news agenda page. In the agenda page there is a place to put stories which I think should definitiely be covered and another place to put things that might need more research and I understand that it will be wiped every day. I imagine that if this site were to receive a massive influx of users like myself wanting to submit story ideas that require more work , it will result in a lot of “stories” being submitted for editiorial review, but which are actually just requests for someone else to cover it. Also the daily briefing suggestions page could get quite full and will probably have some items submitted again and again by new users. What am wondering is why there is not a highly visible page dedicated to ‘tip offs’ and ‘in depth-coverage requests’. This would be something that could feed into the daily agenda, but in a more structured way. What I mean is tip offs could be submitted via a web form that collects a bit more info about what it relates to. The data could then be processed automatically using some rules to surface important or much requested items. There could be a filtering system, which could save a lot of time in reviewing submitted “stories” or items added to the agenda page. The “in depth-coverage requests” could be handled slightly differently; people could submit a topic and then tag it using various categories and describe exactly what they would like to see covered and how, defining a rough spec for an in-depth article that the community would like to see given a professional treatment. Other users could then “star/fav/upvote” these proposals. This would bring out the topics that users want to see covered in depth without too much repetition in terms of submitted “stories” or items coming up in the daily agenda again and again. Perhaps there is already plans for something like this, but without it I imagine that hundreds of thousands of passive contributors would make a few things unmanageable for the editorial team. In short I think a bit more carefull use of some structured input via forms and filtering algorithms would be handy if this site is going to scale. If I have a quick way to submit a tip or have a say in what I would like to see covered I am more likely to do it. As it is I don’t want to submit a “story” and I don’t want to just go adding things to the agenda. I thought that were be more of voting/liking etc going on and didn’t realise that it would be a wiki top to bottom. I thought it would have features found in apps like https://consider.it/ , https://www.loomio.org/ or https://represent.me/ Maybe am wrong, but I think as it is there won’t be a high volume of participation from folk like myself, but maybe that is the idea 🙂

    1. Hi Richard,

      Thank you very much for your valuable feedback. The current version of the site is a pilot, and we are observing and measuring how our audience is using it. We are very keen to experiment with different ways to engage both “casual readers” and “active contributors”.

  24. I don’t see that much news about China. Don’t you think we should publish news about China as well?

  25. We need more on the facts behind what is going on in the UK government. Did Boris make the Iran situation worse? Did Priti Patel tell lie? We need to know if we can trust our government and the journalists are our best hope to hold them to account. And yes, please make it look interesting so that people will read it. 🙂

    1. Thanks. I think on Iran we won’t know until the woman’s sentence is reviewed but it is very clear her family and employer believe the remarks damaged her case. What would you like to see on Johnson and Patel that you aren’t seeing from others? I ask because with her story, for example, the evidence seemed so clear we weren’t necessarily able to find a way in to the story.

      1. My attitude is that government should be transparent and accountable. Normally, we see ministers with what I assume is a very staged view to protect them, but with Johnson his comments seem to be getting through unedited. There are the Iran “training journalists” comment, Syrian “bodies” comments and Myanmar “The Road to Mandalay” comments to name just the latest ones. The thing is that he doesn’t even seem to recognise these as being inappropriate at the time. In my mind this makes him unsuitable for a serious job in politics, especially representing this country abroad. So why is he not accountable for his inability to do the job properly?

        As for Priti, we seem to be getting two stories, neither with any evidence. Did she lie to the PM or did the PM know and there is some other story here? Again, if the government was transparent and accountable, then we’d know. In this case we need to know did she jump or was she pushed?

  26. Possible to add more than 1 heading? I only see 2 options, “paragraph” and “Heading 2″…

    And also an Index where you click on it and get the page to scroll down on that section?
    It would be also useful for referencing parts of articles from other articles since we’d have the ‘#’ on the url, something like https://beta.wikitribune.com/project/feedback-on-everything-please/#section2

    1. I’ll look at the linking to parts of articles, also being able to bounce within an article can help. In our existing style heading 2 is the only label to use on “crossheads” or sub-headings.

  27. Was it deliberate to not have a search function in the site?

    1. The Search function is at the bottom of the page – in the footer. They have stated that they’ll be looking at moving it as they continue to refine the site.

      1. Thank you for the info. Yes I think it would be a good idea to put the search at the top.

  28. RSS feed link on footer with social would be nice.

    1. There was a post to an RSS feed somewhere, but hopefully, when they continue to redesign the site, it’ll be added into it.

  29. Could we have a search function on the front page please?

    1. It’s there, but it’s just at the bottom of the page. They’ve mentioned that they will be reworking the site and move it up soon’ish.

    2. David, it is on the footer of the page at the bottom. Its location may be reviewed as you might imagine.

  30. Could we add a sidebar on the front page that shows news items prioritised solely by global impact? This is likely to be fairly consistent over time (daily deaths from global poverty / health issues, refugee crises etc.) but a healthy reminder of what is most relevant to most humans. These topics have a tiny presence in traditional news media – would be great for WikiTribune to help re-balance. Thanks, Jamie.

    1. Attached has some more colour… this is US centric but news neglect is even more extreme when you consider global context http://niemanreports.org/articles/it-cant-happen-here-2/

  31. Daily News Agenda – can we make this more prominent?

    1. Yes, good idea. Thank you. It’s a work in progress but glad it is useful. Peter

      1. It is helpful. As I’ve mentioned in other “Talks”, I want to get involved in trying to find interesting items to report on and seeing what others see as something to bring up to WT as needing to be reported is very interesting.

  32. Is it possible to delete/archive a project?

    1. Any staff member can delete a project for you. For projects – just drop me a line.

  33. I can only imagine the flood of input WT is receiving. But I need to say this – with precious space and attention span, why do we have the same story showing up in 3 different places on the front page. ie. the “Emmanuel Macron” piece, I understand how it’s happening, but does it need to happen?

    1. I felt the need to jump in quick to say, in no way am I judging or critiquing the article itself or the author, not at all. Just the frequency that some articles on many days, occupy two or three places in the various ‘categories’ of front page articles.

      1. Kevin,

        I think you are making a great point. I visit WT a couple of times a day to see if anything new is developing and the same stories are popping up. Now, like you said, there’s no issues with the stories, but I’ve also noticed that even when they are edited (punctuation change or whichever), they pop up at the top again. I usually have to go through the history to see what has changed.

  34. im not sure wikitribune will ever take off because its too general and too narrow in its coverage. I’d like to see wikitribune being successful enough push others news orgs into being more wiki like, with links to source documents, but I doubt it will happen.

    1. We do have links to source documentation in many stories and aim to improve this as well as transcripts and clearer signposting of links. This interview, for example, has the transcript: https://beta.wikitribune.com/story/2017/11/10/russia/david-satter-interview/18546/

  35. Being able to read the section that somebody is commenting on in the talk page, either via letting people click on a paragraph to go to talk page and allowing that paragraph to seen above the talk/comment, or by allowing people to highlight a section of words and the being shown above the talk/comment.

    1. Thanks Steve, that’s a very good point. We are somewhat limited by WordPress, but will be looking to further improve editing / Talk experience

  36. New Design: I like the design and having the Editor’s Choice with a larger picture on top.

    I would prefer all entries were single column and put the occasional double and triple columns as singles. I think this would make it easier to read.

  37. Any interest in stepping outside of the global/national news and starting some hyperlocal coverage?

    I know there’s a serious hole in the NYC news landscape. It was made wider on November 2, 2017 by the loss of DNAInfo and Gothamist. Why not use a single neighborhood of New York City as a launch and test case?

    To give you a sense of the disproportion of news to news outlets:

    There are 8,537,673 residents of NYC organized into 59 Community Boards, 77 police precincts, 1,800+ public schools and 16,350 bus stops.

    NYC has just three major daily newspapers: The New York Times, NY Daily News and The Post. All of them cherry-pick the news. None of them cover it in bristling detail the way a daily paper might (have) in a city the size of just one of the 59 community boards. 

    WikiTribune would be a brilliant place for local news.

    And, separately, forgive me if this has already been raised. I balked at reading all of the 285 comments listed under “Talk” before posting this. Maybe listing by topic would be helpful for others, too? Jessica

    1. I think it’s an idea worth piloting. Like a WikiTribune/Craigslist approach. As an antidote to monolithic pubs/news outlets, we could create our own newshoods.

      1. I like that.

        also to WT: please add ability to like comments in the talk pages. or perhaps the community should even consider up/down voting?

  38. Having contributed a number of stories, edits and comments to WT, I would like to share with staff and community colleagues some observations drawn from my experience. In order to facilitate feedback, my observations are presented below as separate items, but of course they are part of a comprehensive approach proposed by one contributor.

    DATE, TIME, PLACE. Here’s a comment I posted today on ”Feedback On Everything”:
    – The date of first draft of a story has not always matched the moment when an author actually submitted it online for editing.
    – On Talk, the time of posting a remark is indicated as, say, ”2 days ago” or ”10 minutes ago”, but that is unreliable as there seems to be no authoritative clock function valid throughout WT.
    – Edits, whether from editorial staff or by community members, present the same problem.
    – Another area of inconsistency: community contributors are recognized (for example in my case) as having ”joined 20 Sep 2017”, whereas in fact my donation, as well as my first emails to WT Team, date back to April 2017.
    – My proposal: date and time should be provided in UTC throughout WikiTribune: stories, editing, Talk, Slack. A small plug-in could be added on the home page to provide date/time equivalence in various time zones around the globe. This is one no-expense way of catering to a global community.

    1. FROM LANGUAGE-SPECIFIC TO GLOBAL APPEAL. In one of my earlier stories, I had added, after the names of some non-US and non-UK people in the news, their names in their own script. Peter accepted this on a trial basis. Considering that WT is aiming at enlarging its appeal beyond an English-language readership, I suggest this practice should be adopted and widened.

      As I am not aware of the policy and calender regarding the enlargement of WT beyond English, my comment here may be off the mark. But as a matter of principle, I would encourage the founder and the leadership of WT to consider that one of the great strengths of Wikipedia is being able to offer authoritative articles (say on physics or mathematics) which have been translated into other languages, but also articles by native-language contributors on more specific subjects. In the case of WT, the Korean missile crisis is of potential interest to informed readers not only in Asia, because nuclear proliferation is a global threat, while a butter crisis in France might not be considered worthwhile for readers in Chile or Indonesia.

      1. EDITING. During the whole period of WT-beta, understandably the challenge took on many forms: recruitment of journalists, re-assignment of tasks, revving-up IT, honing tools on Slack and on WT-beta, launch of WT-pilot. It’s amazing that all this has been done while keeping up the good mood online. Under these circumstances, a community contributor sometimes had to adjust to his/her story being entrusted to journalist A, and learning the next day that it would now be handled by journalist B. More problematic was the fact that, at least in my case, the Talk record of interaction with Staff seems to have been accidentally deleted or displaced.

        For the future, and as far as possible, it would be more productive to keep the same drafting/editing tandem from first draft to publication. Their interaction is really facilitated by the Talk function attached to each story. In this way, once a story is published, further comments from community members can concentrate on substance, rather than on process or style.

        1. REFERENCES, LINKS. Our Editor’s highly useful guidelines on Sources could be enlarged in its non-English section. But these guidelines need to be more widely followed. This would also be a way of showing WT’s consideration for linguistic and cultural diversity.

          Thanks.

  39. Hello staff & community colleagues, I’d like to suggest some date/time improvements, both on pilot version of WT and here on Slack. Here are the problems I have noted as an active community contributor. * The date of first draft of a story does not always tally with the moment when an author actually submitted it online for editing. * On Talk, the time of posting a remark is indicated as ”2 days ago” or ”10 minutes ago”, but that is unreliable as there seems to be no authoritative clock function valid throughout WT. * The edits, whether from editorial staff or by community members, present the same problem. * Another area of inconsistency is in the way community contributors are recognized (for example in my case) as having ”joined 20 Sep 2017”, whereas in fact my initial donation, as well as emails to WT Team, date back to April 2017. * About ten years ago, when I was on the Board of Directors of ICANN, there was the same problem throughout the corporation; my proposal was accepted and gradually implemented, so that all data concerning date and time are now provided in UTC, and in addition, say for a country- or region-specific activity, that time zone would also be indicated, for instance San Francisco, Vienna or Mumbai. * I would urge staff to examine this challenge in a holistic way, so as to ensure consistency throughout WT, whether in drafting, editing, or communicating on Talk or Slack. * I took the liberty to bring up this topic because the founder and launch team of WikiTribune are no doubt keen, as I am, to make it a truly global success. Thank you.

    1. Hi Jean-Jacques, thank you very much for your feedback. You are absolutely right, we need to make timestamps consistent and precise throughout the site.

      Regarding the “joined” date, looks like we have a bug in the system: many profiles display the date of when the new user page was created, rather than the actual registration date. We will look into how to fix it.

      We will later look into whether we could pull the date from our fundraiser website, where you have made you contribution. At the moment, the old fundraiser website is independent from the beta site, and we don’t even have the option for users to register there – so, technically, there is only the “first payment” date rather than the “joined” date.

      1. Hello Natalia, thanks for the feedback and additional information!

      2. Oh, and another point: for most of humanity, a.m. and p.m. mean nothing. They are more a source of confusion than anything else, so 2 p.m. is best written as 14:00. Thanks.

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