Submissions:2018/New Editors and Promotional Editors

From WikiConference North America
Jump to: navigation, search

Due to limited space, WikiConference North America 2018 unfortunately could not accommodate this submission in its program this year.
Please check out our Unconference for opportunities to present and share there.


New Editors and Promotional Editors

Theme (optional)

Editor Recruitment & Retention

Academic Peer Review option


Type of submission



David Goodman

E-mail address

Wikimedia username


Affiliation(s) (optional)

Wikimedia New York City


Most newcomers want to write about specific subjects. Often, they will be in an area under attack by promotional content: a local company, political figure, admired professor, political initiative.

(My working definition is that a promotional article tells the reader what the subject would like them to know, while an encyclopedic article gives what the general reader uninvolved with the subject would want to know.)

In these fields, the good faith newcomer's article is likely to be similar to one from outright promotional PR staff and paid editors. There are complementary reasons: The overall real world language customarily used in these areas is promotional. Most of the available sourcing is influenced to considerable degree by advertising and promotionalism. Many of the existing Wikipedia articles in some of these areas have been written by promotional editors for promotional purposes. Newcomers often assume this is the accepted style, and pattern their article accordingly, Not all new editors are in good faith. Most incoming articles in these areas by new editors--or at least have new usernames--are in fact promotional articles; in earlier years, usually written by the subject or someone on their staff, nowadays, often by a paid editing firm, declared or, most often, undeclared.

It can be very hard to tell them apart. The explanations of the subject are little help, because it is not possible to tell someone's honesty on the internet. (In editathons, by person-to-person interactions it is usually possible to tell. -- quite a few editathon participants are intent upon writing about themselves or a family member,) One guide is their willingness to accept criticism--promotional editors will generally insist on writing what they intend to write--but sometimes good faith newcomers unfamiliar with our conventions can be equally stubborn.

We need to do two different things: Remove existing promotional editors while discouraging new ones. And we need to learn better how to help good faith beginners write and improve articles. My talk will be about the developing methods for doing these.

Length of presentation

30 minutes

Special requests

must not conflict with A dozen ideas for newcomers -- Best time is right after that presentation

Preferred room size


Have you presented on this topic previously? If yes, where/when?

not on this specific topic; I've talked about various aspects of the general problem at various WP meetings

If you will be incorporating a slidedeck during your presentation, do you agree to upload it to Commons before your session, with a CC-BY-SA 4.0 license, including suitable attribution in the slidedeck for any images used?


Will you attend WikiConference North America if your submission is not accepted?


Interested attendees

If you are interested in attending this session, please sign with your username below. This will help reviewers to decide which sessions are of high interest. Sign with four tildes. (~~~~).

  1. Shalor (Wiki Ed) (talk) 15:29, 16 August 2018 (UTC)
  2. Slowking3 (talk)
  3. Ian (Wiki Ed) (talk) 13:18, 17 August 2018 (UTC)
  4. WWB (talk) 05:18, 20 August 2018 (UTC)
  5. Add your username here.