Tuesday, June 3, 2008

SUL Mania

en.wikibooks, like many other projects, is feeling the heat from the SUL-inspired usurpation mania. It seems I can't shake a stick without hitting a usurpation request somewhere. En.wikibooks has a page for all "administrative assistance". This covers everything from reports of vandalism, requests for rename, behavior problems, etc. We used to have multiple dedicated message boards, but these were all relatively low traffic, and admins hated having to keep them all on their watchlists. So, a while back, we merged all these pages into the single administrative assistance page. Now, we have a convenient single-point-of-contact where people can get all sorts of help from administrators.

This system works fine (and is a model of efficiency!) under normal use, but with the incoming wave of SUL name conflicts, we've become swamped. People post requests on the noticeboard. When they feel like we aren't responding fast enough, they post to our talk pages as well. I'm having to perform several renames every day, and it's wearing on my good nature. After all, I'm here to write books, not perform millions of renames. Plus, my time on wikibooks is limited each day, and I would like to spend that time writing.

I sent a message to our other three bureaucrats saying a few things:
  1. I wanted to create a sub-page for rename requests. This might only be a temporary thing, but it would help to streamline things, and keep the administrators noticeboard free from rename-related clutter. I have just created this page this morning.
  2. I think we need new bureaucrats. We only have 4, and not all of them are models of activity. Of course, a lot of our admin staff have been less active lately (we're in a bit of a seasonal slump right now). Either way, I think it's time we got some new blood into the mix.
  3. We needed to standardize some things. At the moment, we don't have pesky "rules" and "procedures" governing when and how a bcrat performs a rename or a usurpation. We leave this up to the best discretion of our bureaucrats. I generally like this state of affairs (it beats the nightmare of having to draft policy, heaven forbid), but a standard and efficient way to get this work done might be worthwhile. We still won't draft up a policy for it, but i would like to come to some general agreements between the bcrats nonetheless.
Yesterday, I got my account "Whiteknight" usurped at nl.wikipedia. To return the favor, I usurped two accounts for nl.wikipedians too. I've interacted with people from fr, vi, id, nl, and many other language projects. This is the most inter-language cooperation we've ever had!

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