Talk for Wiki Project "Feedback on everything please!"

Talk about this Project

  1. The edting was straight-forward enough. But theby-lines changed to my name, which was thoroughly inadvertant. I changed one small typo in Harry Ridgwell’s story about atheist churches. I did some formatting changes in Charles Turner’s story about Rohingya repatriation. Now I have byline in both stories and the edit function does not seem to work on the byline. (I already wrote Harry an apology note; I will do the same to Charles, and probably Harry too, on Slack.)

  2. Very recently (Id say today) you introduces some changes on how the site is rendered in mobile devices https://imgur.com/l6XRCmI
    Am I the only one that finds the main text layout “sub-optimal”?

    1. Even I found the same. I just joined and don’t know how to proceed. The person with prior wiki knowledge will be able to understand this. But making it user friendly can help the website a lot with navigation details and how to proceed.

  3. I see that you guys are using Sage 8 as the basis for your WordPress theme. I’m a lead developer of Sage, and if you need any help with anything regarding Sage or WordPress in general, feel free to reach out.

    (Out of respect to your “real name policy,” I won’t be using this account to edit any articles or participate in the journalism aspect of the site. I’m only here to donate technical support if you desire it.)

    1. Yes! We are big fans of Sage, there are so many things that enable us to build a clean and performant theme that got us to launch much more quickly; base.php, soil, bootstrap, gulp set-up, asset pipeline. We are mostly still on Sage 7 as we preferred vanilla PHP over blade (although many advantages of this I know). Also not quite ready for webpack, so still using gulp in our development workflow (I know, I know).

      We’ve obviously customised the theme somewhat, but would love to discuss any thoughts you might have regarding WikiTribune and how we might best leverage some of the newer features of Sage 8. Happy to discuss here or you can email me rich [dot] holman [at] wikitribune.com.

  4. If possible, I would like to have an rss feed for “drafts” too.

    This one ( https://www.wikitribune.com/feed/?post_type=drafts ) seems not updated (last entry in 2017).

  5. Published seems an odd classification for some articles. I have seen multiple articles with no content yet (or just setup content like what will go into the article) that are marked as published but really they seem to be in a research/drafting phase rather than the article being ready to read. Even if edits are expected, knowing when the core content is done over just the article is being worked on would be useful.

  6. I use gmail from a firefox platform.
    When a long message or response which fills an entire 15″ screen is posted *without* paragraph breaks, it is exceedingly difficult to read.
    That was the core of my concern.

    1. Thank you for letting me know Peter! I’ll see how we can look into minimising that. I see what you mean about talk comments without paragraph breaks.

  7. I want the community to know that on June 9th I released to the public my book “El Universo Antrópico” which you can read free of charge here: http://www.eluniversoantropico.com.

    The book covers a wide array of topics, including the Theory of Information. If my ideas are right (only time will tell) all structures in the Universe are essentially made of information, which provides an explanation to topics that currently are without one, such as the existence of life or conscience.

    I use the Theory of Information to build an Informatic Theory of Societal Development and explain that our contemporary societies exist in a stage of development I call the Third and are currently transitioning into the Fourth. In plain words, the changes we’re currently experiencing (Internet, mobile telephony, crypto-currencies and so on) are just a timid introduction of the profound changes waiting to happen in the next stage. For example, rather than evolving into a separate branch of knowledge, nano-technology will simply merge with Biology and we’ll master the art of writing genetic code at will and produce organic structures capable of manufacturing virtually anything you can imagine. Given that organisms self-replicate and self-sustain, we could potentially build cities over night.

    Internet as we know it today will cease to exist very soon and it will be replaced with more sophisticated information networks (rather than passively waiting for that to happen, I went to file a patent application for what I call Alternet on December). This is no minor change: combined with other technologies such as CNC (robots) the economic production will shift from specialization (I produce to sell and others produce for me to buy) to self-sufficiency (I produce for my own consumption). Don’t underestimate this change: given that most societal relationships today depend on mutual necessity, the existing social order will quickly collapse, posing a tremendous challenge to our societies. For example, will there be judges or cops when people no longer needs a salary?

    Anyway, I write this because want other members to know that I’ve been denied the site to promote my book. In my view, the reasons exposed doesn’t matter; in the end, the bottom issue is that the book will no be given coverage. We already had this discussion in December when I published my story on Alternet: some people kept insisting that it was “conflict of interest” for me to write about my own work but as you can see, the world didn’t burst into flames. We obey rules just for the benefit they provide. No benefit, no compliance. For those who insist that we obey rules simply because we must, I’ll remind you that slavery was once legal and enforced by the state. It’s a matter of bravery and cowardice: some people just don’t have the inner integrity and courage it takes to swim upstream.

    I stick to Peter Bale’s definition of news: “new, true and in the public interest”. El Universo Antrópico is new. El Universo Antrópico can be reviewed by anyone (it’s true in the sense that it exists). And El Universo Antrópico is in the public interest (it’s not a memory from my own infancy; it covers the most important topics of our age). Maybe everything what I say is nonsense, but isn’t that for the public opinion to decide? We just inform. And here, we’re failing our duty to inform.

  8. Even EULA’s are rarely full page(s) of text without a paragraph break. If you want readers, do not write prose which is as dense as a field of Evergreen blackberries.

    1. We use a lot of paragraph breaks which suggests that something has gone wrong with the UI. Could you please let me know how you’re accessing the site so that we can test/fix this?

  9. I have a few suggestions for fact-checks and some standarderized language. Here are some suggested ratings.

    1. True
    2. Mostly true
    3. Mostly false
    4. False
    5. Needs context
    6. True but misleading
    7. Undetermined

    1-4 don’t need much explanation (I hope). However I think we need 5, 6 and 7. which adds nuance to our ratings and to standardize them.

    Claims with one publicly verifiable uncontroversial source should be rated “mostly true” (unless there are counter claims from equally legit counter sources). Claims with clear video evidence or multiple independent verification from scientific or otherwise uncontroversial sources should be rated “true.”

    “Needs context”: Sometimes a claim can be strictly speaking false but the person misspoke or made a claim that needs more context for evaluation. One recent fact-check here illustrates this.

    There was the fact-check on Bernie Sanders’s claim that “43% can’t afford basics” of life. He made two other claims next to that claim in his tweet. The other two claims in his tweet had explicitly said “Americans” and “adults.” I found the study he used for those two claims and they asked American adults to survey their financial situations.

    So one might assume the 43% are American adults. Nope. He got the 43% from another study which surveyed the financial situation of households, not individual people. So while it is true of households, because he made it seem like it was of “American adults” by the context, I rated it “not completely accurate.” I didn’t want to say it was false because I figured that language was a little too strong. I also did’t want to say it was “mostly false” because it is true (at least according to one source) once put in the right context.

    I usually give people charitable interpretations (especially if they are speaking off-the-cuff or if English isn’t their primary language, which isn’t the case for Sanders, but still). So that claim needed more context. So looking back, I would rate this as “needs more context”.

    One can also make true but misleading claims. Example, say someone is asked whether they support some public policy X. They say yes because states with policy X have lower cancer, which is true as shown by high-quality studies.

    However, let’s say that all the high-quality studies show that this is merely a spurious correlation and that it’s not policy X that caused the lower cancer rate but some other factor that causes both (say the state’s economic development level). In other words, states with more financial resources are able to curb cancer and to implement policies like X.

    In this case what the person said was true but it’s misleading because policy X will not cause any lowering of cancer in a state. It’s merely statistical correlational.

    Some claims are hard or impossible to verify or have differing accounts from equally legitimate sources. These should be rated “undetermined” some something similar in meaning.

    Any suggestions on improvement to these?

  10. Front page not being displayed correctly.

    The homepage at https://www.wikitribune.com/ looks like it is being displayed using the default generic style, i.e. without the custom style and images.

    I am using Google Chrome and Windows 10.

    1. Hi Dan! Sounds like you might be seeing the new redesign? Or is this without any css at all?

      1. The CSS looks like it could be the default style rather than WikiTribune’s style. It has 4 tabs at the top, all, published, drafts and wiki projects, and then some headlines in boxes below. No images/photos.

        Other pages look fine, like a newspaper style, such as: https://www.wikitribune.com/top-stories/

        1. Thank you for the screenshot! That is definitely how it should be looking right now. What do you think?

          1. Well, it doesn’t look like a front page, more like the backend for staff.

            Perhaps that’s the idea? To encourage people to edit.

            I can understand it may be that the front page isn’t the main entry point anyhow, that visitors could be arriving from Twitter, etc.

            1. It’s meant to be the front page, and not because people don’t arrive there, but because I want people to arrive there.

              Yes, it doesn’t look like a traditional news site, more like reddit. And that’s the point: we want people to pop in and understand immediately that this isn’t “broadcast” like CNN or the BBC or Fox, it’s “participation” – you can edit.

              (As a side note, it’s worked incredibly well in terms of helping people get started. More changes to come!)

              1. I’m not sure Jimmy, I think you’re misdiagnosing the issue here. You obviously want the site to grow by emphasizing that people are welcome to contribute, but you seem to overlook that news stories are quite different in nature than encyclopedic entries.

                Wikipedia grew fast because most people are knowledgeable about something and they were given a meeting point and enough time to collectively build upon that knowledge.

                However, the topics covered in the news are largely unknown by the public, meaning that people didn’t contribute, not because they found the site hard to use, but simply because they had nothing to add to it. And it doesn’t help that news expire quickly.

                The site was fine as it was. We’re simply not meant to grow as fast as Wikipedia.

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