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Revision as of 21:46, March 20, 2008 by Magda (talk | contribs) (Suggestion: Eliminate directory articles)

This is a general discussion page for OrthodoxWiki Administrators to work out various administrative issues, notes, and to-do lists. Our host and first-among-sysops is FrJohn.

  • For the sake of grabbing attention with new notices, it's probably best to put new subjects at the top of this page after the "Useful Admin links."
  • If you are not an administrator and would like to leave a note for the admins to see, please put it on the Talk page.
  • For a who's who, see Category:Sysops and Special:Listusers&group=sysop.

Useful Admin links

Suggestion: Eliminate directory articles

I'm of the opinion that we ought to eliminate all the directory articles. Here's my rationale:

  • The function is fulfilled far better by sites like and other regional and jurisdictional sites.
  • Keeping them up to date and fully accurate is almost impossible.
  • Keeping them representative of Mainstream Chalcedonian Orthodoxy only is a continual problem.
  • They're somewhat irrelevant to the role of OrthodoxWiki as an encyclopedia.

What do you think? —Fr. Andrew talk contribs 08:16, August 28, 2007 (PDT)

I agree. Keeping the listings up-to-date will continue to be a large workload especially with the addition of personal information such as the resident priest, that can change frequently. Having discovered the OrthodoxyinAmerica site really makes keeping a directory in Orthodoxwiki redundant. Wsk 18:45, August 28, 2007 (PDT)
Just adding another comment to "bump" this again to attention. Let's axe the directory articles! It's too much work to keep them going, and there's no way we'll ever be as accurate or useful as existing sites. I'd like it if other admins would comment on this. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 11:40, March 20, 2008 (PDT)
Judging by the accessed count at the bottom of those pages, it looks like they are being used, do you find much out of date info on them? - Andrew 12:39, March 20, 2008 (PDT)
I may very well be a large contributor to the accessed count. Fr. Andrew, thanks for the "bump," as I don't believe I'd seen this thread before, which raises excellent points. My only preference for having a directory on OrthodoxWiki is that I can *fix* things when they're wrong, like broken links. That desire can easily be focused on submitting corrections to the jurisdictional sites and/or Also, I'm not sure what happened to the ROCOR directory. That being said, I have begun coming across regional organizations (included in the "external links" sections) which are not necessarily pan-Orthodox; would there be an appropriate place to include those links? —magda (talk) 14:46, March 20, 2008 (PDT)

Wikimedia Commons

I just ran across the storehouse of images and other files related to Orthodoxy on the Wikimedia Commons.

How do you think we can integrate these or best draw attention to these as a source for articles? I think, as a rule, we should prefer images with open licenses to those from our other benefactors.

Fr. John

Year-end inventory

Please see OrthodoxWiki:Inventory. Thanks.

New Features

As of Nov. 21, 2005 I've enabled the option to show the # of users watching each page. (Check down below, near the metadata stuff.) I've also added a feature that allows bureaucrats (i.e. me) to rename users without hacking through the database directly. This should help with the occasional request for account renaming. Fr. John

Nov 28 update - Added Special:Editcount

Awards, Recognizing civic virtue on the wiki

I've been admiring Wikipedia's use of barnstars to award people who contribute their time and talent to the wiki. We should keep this in mind as we continue to grow, and figure out how to adopt something like this for our local practice.

A few links of interest here:

Don't forget the mention of barnraising on the OrthodoxWiki:Community Portal.

Talk page archives

What do y'all think about what to do when an article's Talk page becomes unwieldy? My own opinion is that we should follow Wikipedia's lead on this and create archival subpages (see my Talk page or this Wikipedia page for an example), though Joe Rodgers prefers that we instead erase Talk pages whose issues have been dealt with, that the history of the Talk page should serve as an archive.

The reason I'd like to see them archived instead of erased is that it is useful to see what relevant discussion has occurred regarding an article, which would be extremely tedious to try to track by attempting to sort through the changes in the history. Additionally, having the archives available makes it possible for precedents in our work to be searched for and made use of.

What do you think? —[[User:ASDamick|—Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!)]] 19:09, 28 Jun 2005 (EDT)

I'm the sort of person who keeps everything, so I'm voting archival before erasure. What are the marks of a talk page which needs to be archived? One person might have a different sense of "how full is too full" than another. —magda 20:23, 28 Jun 2005 (EDT)
I agree, FWIW, that a record would be good to keep. I vote for archiving over erasing. ——Dcn. David talk contribs 17:00, 5 Jul 2005 (EDT)

Blank articles

I've been searching about for blank articles and turning them into links in existing articles, basically just to keep things tidier. It seems to me that having articles with no content at all (not even an external link) ends up skewing our results in Google and can be frustrating to a user who clicks on a supposedly filled link and finds nothing at all. I'm of the opinion that the best way to keep outlines of potential growth areas is to keep them as links until there's actual content to offer.

I can of course go and undelete the articles I've deleted if there's a consensus that we should have these blank articles, but it seems to me that a link serves just as well as a placeholder and eliminates the problems I mention above. --Rdr. Andrew 08:26, 14 Apr 2005 (CDT)

Most of these are my fault - sorry! I think what you're saying makes sense! Fr. John

Appointing Sysops

I just wanted to share some thoughts about how I've gone about appointing sysops. Basically, I'm looking for a few things:

  • Some degree of sanity as well as a healthy dose of balance and humility in content submitted and dealings with other people online.
  • A demonstrated commitment to OrthodoxWiki and a desire (or at least a willingness) to take on some of the administrative burden for keeping this site in good order. This generally means a good record of broad interest in the wiki.
  • Finally, some ecclesiastical standing (as a cleric, seminarian, presbytera, recognized Orthodox personality, etc.) is desirable but not required. This is so because it is helpful to have those who are, in one way or another, "authorities" in the Church moderating things, and, of course, public recognition helps establish the credibility and status of OrthodoxWiki.

"If anyone aspires to the office of sysop, he desires a noble task" (cf.1 Tim 3:1) - If I've overlooked you or if you have someone to nominate for sysop duties please leave a note on my user talk page. Of course, I reserve all rights in terms of appointments and terminations.

So far, I've been pretty liberal in knighting sysops -- at this point we can use all the help we can get, and it seems to me to be a good thing to empower a robust band of trustworthy members to help manage the site. Fr. John 21:58, 27 Feb 2005 (CST)

Spam Battleplan

I notice we've been getting hit by spambots lately. Sadly, I doubt this problem will resolve itself. If it stays at this level, I think we can handle it, but if it increases substantially we'll have to take some preventative measures. What I would like to be able to do is implement a captcha system for anonymous posters. I was searching over at today and found only a teeny bit of discussion about this. The more radical solution would be to disable edits by anonymous users altogther. I don't think it's the best solution, but at least we can know that this would be the worst case scenario.

You can rollback an article by clicking on "diffs" from the Recent Changes page and then "rollback," or clicking "history" on that page, then "compare," then "rollback." Note that anonymous edits can never be marked as "minor" so they'll always show up on "Recent changes."

If the spam bots ravage the site too seriously, we can restore backup of the entire site from the previous day or week, and then lockout anonymous users from editing.

So, let's keep on the watch against spam! Besides exhorting you, I just wanted you all to know that there is a plan and spam won't destroy us! (the crowd cheers and runs exuberantly from the stadium).

Fr. John 18:00, 11 Feb 2005 (CST)

Update: See OrthodoxWiki:Vandalism for further discussion of this. - Fr. John 16:55, 30 October 2005 (CST)

Featured Article

What do y'all think about changing the Featured Article on a weekly basis? Also, how do we choose? Perhaps we could rotate the choice between sysops who would like to participate. --Rdr. Andrew 09:04, 8 Feb 2005 (CST)

It might be a good idea to "watch" the Template talk:Featured page. Should we each try to come up with a possibility for a featured article once a month or something (at least when we only have one left in the queue)? —magda (talk) 09:29, November 11, 2005 (CST)

Standard Welcome

Methinks a useful practice for us to begin would be to have a standard welcome that gets added to every new user's Talk page as soon as a sysop notices his registration. Included could be links to the Community Portal, the Style Manual, help pages, etc. This is what the one on Wikipedia looks like: Wikipedia:Template:Welcome

Perhaps the best way for us to do this would be to have a template with the welcome in it (Template:Welcome, perhaps, which is what Wikipedia does, too), so that we could just post {{welcome}} --~~~~ in the new user's Talk page and not have to update each Talk page every time we want to include something new in the welcome message—we could just update the template.

Thoughts? --Rdr. Andrew 12:33, 2 Feb 2005 (CST)

Okay. Sorry to ask basic questions, but I can't find the answer elsewhere. How do you know when a new user registers? Is there a log that can be "watched?" I noticed a new name show up on the Recent changes page, but could not tell whether or not he had been lurking for a while in the background. Fr. John sent him the welcome message, so I guess he's new. And then Rdr Andrew sent the Welcome message to a User that hasn't shown up recently in Recent Changes. How did you know if he was new? --DcnDavid 22:53, 1 Mar 2005 (CST)
What I do is scan Special:Recentchanges and Special:Listusers regularly. If I see a name I don't recognize, I send them the welcome. Eventually, I'll probably just scan Special:Recentchanges for such checking as our user base grows and my memory starts to fail.  :) --Rdr. Andrew 11:09, 2 Mar 2005 (CST)
See whether the Database table I've made at the Yahoo Group would be of any use. We could appoint a day/schedule/person to update it periodically, but this might prove useful in making sure we're "noticing" new people, not people who don't use their accounts as often. --magda 13:32, 2 Mar 2005 (CST)
(Just thought I'd post this here for documentation now) I think the best way to find new entries, is the new user log, Special:Log/newusers, with a red talk link. - Andrew 12:07, March 4, 2008 (PST)
I have question about new users who create accounts on commons.orthodoxwiki (and orthodoxsource)? Is there a welcome message for them? - Andrew 13:11, March 13, 2008 (PDT)


What are the situations when this template should be added and removed? —magda (talk) 14:06, November 29, 2005 (CST)

Hi Magda, I think we should add it to a user's page whenever they advertise their independent group in any way. This would mean if they use an ecclesiastical title in their user name, or if they provide links to their group's homepages. We'll let them do this (where appropriate), but should make sure their identity is clear so nobody gets confused (and also so that no one thinks we're endorsing their views, which would hurt our credibility considerably). I'm trying to make this into a formal policy at OrthodoxWiki:User_guidelines. — FrJohn (talk)