Forum:Article creation, the other side of the problem

From RationalWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

While all you guys are doing an admirable job trying to come to terms with a way to deal with some of the community scaling problems of the site, there is another issue that is causing problems unrelated to site structure or governance. People feel that the site is stagnant and not growing in its mission. That new article creation and improvement has stalled and too much focus has been on navel gazing our own site.

So I am going to try my hand at a few things to help with this end of the problem. I have done two pages, both need work and ideas are welcome. The first is the idea for a RationalWiki:Article of the day club. Basically I want to write for RW but its hard to get over the initial hump and start the work. Once I get going I really enjoy it and I love when something we have written actually has an impact on the debate in the larger world. It does happen quiet a bit these days. So I set up the idea to try and write one article a day, that's all. It is not overwhelming but even if I am the only one that joins a month or will create a lot of potential new material. Everyone is of course welcome and the more we have the better. The idea of a public pledge is the real heart of it, that extra motivation that I have set a goal in front of my peers and people I like and I want to live up to that pledge.

The second page is one that is similar though a little different from several other project pages. It is at RationalWiki:Sources for on mission articles. We have a few pages that are sort of like this, but I want this one to be a little different. It can link to any kind of site, pro-science, anti-science, but it should only link to pages that provide lists or potential lists of ideas. For example,, I linked to the new additions feed. Any suggestions or improvements on this would be great.

Finally, a simple request, would someone mock together a user box for the article a day club? I have never really played with those. tmtoulouse 19:26, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

Hey Trent, I agree with you that things have seemed to be stalled. Hopefully, once the community issues are smoothed out we can do more and some of those on a wikibreak will be inclined to come. This is a good idea. Maybe an article a day is too much for some but at least it gives a point of reference. Acei9 19:30, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
User box. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 19:31, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
It is, and it isn't. A half-way decent stub article, that describes a topic, provides a reference and offers hints of how to expand it can take about half an hour to do. I full blown fully referenced article on a difficult topic can take months. This is about spurring main space activity, not asking for dissertations. Stubs work great. I thought about structuring it as a "pledge" for "x number of articles by y day" but I didn't like that since it still allows for procrastination and then when you delay too long you wind up with that overwhelming feeling, realize its just a hobby and don't do anything. The article a day is about getting over that hump and creating one new thing a day, it doesn't have to be a master piece. Its about doing just a little bit, every day, and eventually creating something impressive but in mentally manageable units. I am, of course, open to suggestions, and even if I am the only one that signs up I won't mind. It is enough to hopefully motivate me to do something I haven't been doing as of late. Maybe others will be interested.
This is a volunteer project, and so no one is required to do anything at anytime, and you should always prioritize "real life" over wiki stuff. But if I have time to blow my lunch hour on peggle I have time to write something for RW. And frankly, I enjoy it a lot. It is just getting over that motivational hump. Whats the term in chemistry for a reaction that requires a large input of energy up top and then will self-sustain after that? tmtoulouse 19:37, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
wp:Activation energy, duh. And thanks Listener. tmtoulouse 19:41, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
Nice to see this happening. I'm a great believer in seeing the people here as being ravenous dogs who are waiting for a bit of meat to come along, and that meat is an article that can be prodded and poked. It still happens that if you put up an article people will go in and tweak it. I'm not very comfortable with targets, since I tend to write when an idea comes to me, but I'd happily say one substantial article or serious modification of an existing one per week. This works as a voluntary thing, and all we need is a steady flow of content to get people hooked. That's how we get over the hump. --ConcernedresidentAsk me about your mother 19:45, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
Addendum: We can play silly buggers, but we just need to be watching and encouraging people. Everyone, in theory, has a novel in them and we don't want to discourage people who come here with the idea of sharing that novel with us. --ConcernedresidentAsk me about your mother 19:46, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
Trent, it's really nice to see you wake up from your drug-induced torpor and drop by. I do concur with you that mission articles seem to be fading away. Even most of the HCM stuff including the LJ are really initiated by disagreements on talk pages. My own real life has recently seen quite an upheaval with the loss of a long-term contract and moving out of an apartment. As a married guy I don't know if I can subscribe to an article a day but I will try for one a week. Redchuck.gif ГенгисGum disease 11:54, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
I would think that AOTD wouldn't just be about writing a new one, but perhaps putting in some effort into a stub or one needing RWification. Also, you need bragging rights or there is no motivation. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 14:37, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
Paragraph a day would be good - all this helps to swing our heads back to mission mode rather than saloon bar mode, fun though that is. Totnesmartin (talk) 13:47, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

I must say, I've been having a lot of fun with cryonics. Provoked by dealing with stupidity, as always. AAAAAHHH I CAN'T COPE WITH THIS STUPID WOO BULLSHIT OF YOURS ANY MORE is always a powerful motivator for writing. So I suggest you look for a fight with dumb people.

(By pattern, that means the next article will be a table matching bad climate change denier arguments with bad creationist arguments. Even though in the UK they are not the same people, the arguments are actually jarringly similar.) - David Gerard (talk) 01:02, 15 February 2010 (UTC)