Wikiversity:Candidates for Custodianship/AFriedman

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AFriedman (talk • email • contribs • stats • logs • global account)[edit source]

I would like to request probationary custodianship. I have been on Wikiversity for more than a year. In total, I've made more than 3,500 edits to all Wikimedia Foundation projects, including over 2,000 to Wikiversity. My focus is on OR, and I use my Userpage space to conduct OR. I've also contributed to course materials, mainly in Biology and Computer Science. In addition, I've helped welcome new users. From time to time, I've reverted the vandalism I saw on this wiki. More than once, I've needed to email current custodians about new incidents of vandalism. I would like probationary custodianship because I want to use the tools to deal with vandals myself, and not have to spam people. --AFriedman 01:08, 22 December 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Questions[edit source]

  • ...

Custodians willing to mentor[edit source]

I strongly support this request for custodianship. AFriedman has been an active participant since Sept. 2008 and has made many valuable contributions in the area of biology. I would be glad to mentor. --mikeu talk 15:01, 29 December 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Candidate, please indicate here if you accept one of the above custodian mentors:

As discussed on my Talk page, I will accept joint mentorship by User:Mu301 (for the first part of my probationary period) and User:Jtneill (after January 22, when he returns from vacation). --AFriedman 18:59, 1 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

checkY Done - AFriedman is a probationary custodian as of 18:36, 2 January 2010 (UTC). --SB_Johnny talk 18:36, 2 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thank you very much. --AFriedman (talk) 03:19, 3 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This works for me. We'll coordinate the details with User:Jtneill. --mikeu talk 21:07, 4 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Mentors' recommendation for full custodian status[edit source]

I haven't been around much during AFriedman's probationary period, I'm sorry, so I hope others who have been mentoring could also chime in. AFriedman appears to have edited steadily and been keen to involve herself in admin issues, accumulating 100 or so edits (mostly in the user namespace) and has been trying out the sysop tools (e.g., see User:JacobFrank) in practice and for real e.g., It would be desirable to see greater contributions to the mainspace, however it seems to me that AFriedman has been usefully engaged in admin work and the WV community. I am encouraged by her clear and open communication style and feel comfortable with the prospect of working on WV together. I recommend AFriedman for full custodianship. -- Jtneill - Talk - c 11:33, 5 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Discussion and questions[edit source]

OK, I give my opinion then: According to me 100 edits in this period is not enough. (There could be a free time constraint, everyone might have that. But still...) I know that the quantity doesn't matter so much, but in this case the edits were focused to the user space almost exclusively. Also the candidate tried out the custodian tools, but just on a dummy account and not in real practice (see deletion log). As for scrap-page-deletions there was a plenty of occasions to maintain the project by removing inappropriate pages. Nothing personal AFriedman, just my opinion. --Gbaor 12:39, 5 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Edit: I went over your contributions and my initial opinion holds. But I also have to mention the exceptionally nice and interesting userspace and the very good move of semiprotecting a problematic page. --Gbaor 13:18, 5 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

To the questions:

  • In which areas would you like to contribute to WV? (either by adding content or maintenance)
I requested custodianship mostly so that I could carry out maintenance tasks, specifically ones that are vandalism-related. In my initial nomination for probationary custodianship, I mentioned that I would like to be "on call" to block vandals as soon as I saw them on the site. On 2 occasions before I had the tools, I'd needed to send mass emails to the existing custodians so they could perform the appropriate blocks, which I don't like to do. Blocking them myself would have been faster, and would not have led to spamming. Although vandalism requires a rapid response, thankfully, in my experience with WV it only seems to happen on occasion. During my probationary period, there was only 1 serious vandal I know of, originally blocked by Ottava Rima. I tinkered with the settings of the block and discussed this with Ottava. However, I don't want to block people who don't deserve to be blocked and if I need more time to show how I deal with vandals, that would be fine as well.
Re: deleting pages, I tend towards inclusionism both here and on WP, where I've made over 2000 edits. I know inclusionism vs. deletionism has been a heated topic earlier in Wikiversity's history. Although I don't tear my hair out when pages with little or no content get deleted by other admins, my philosophy is that all else being equal, deletion of pages is best avoided because it tends to discourage new editors and sometimes destroy useful content. Furthermore, the Wikimedia Foundation is not running out of server space any time soon. On Wikipedia, I've saved articles such as w:Margaret Clark, w:Avraham Qanai and w:Josue Lajeunesse from deletion. In my opinion, a "borderline" case of an appropriate/inappropriate Wikiversity page is Russian roulette (drinking game)--I don't think that a drinking game is a gainful learning activity and am not convinced it is appropriate for WV. I would like to hear other editors' opinions about this and about whether the page should be deleted, a discussion I've started on its Talk page. Gbaor, how do you find the inappropriate Wikiversity "scrap" pages to delete?
As for my contributions as a regular editor, with or without custodianship: My priorities change as I see how the project is evolving. At this point, Wikiversity has created a number of learning resources that tend to be rarely viewed except by the small group of people who are regular editors, and often, the people who are in their real-world courses. In contrast, its sister project Wikipedia is one of the best-known sites on the Internet, with an extremely active community. As a result, publicizing Wikiversity has become one of my highest priorities at this time. In this area, my major activity during the past month was to give a talk at w:Wikipedia:Meetup/NYC/Wikipedia Day 2010 (on Jan. 24) called "Open Courseware and Open Research: Realizing Wikiversity's Potential." Much of this talk focused on the need for increased communication between Wikipedia and Wikiversity, and how this could be realized--I'd be happy to discuss my thoughts about this in more depth. Over the past year or so, I've added a number of links from WP to WV, and I intend to keep adding more of those.
Because OR in Biology is my main topic of focus, my other priority at this time is to figure out ways to make at least some OR on Wikiversity more interactive. The 2 foci together (publicizing Wikiversity--and not necessarily in ways that lead to a larger "edit count" in "my contributions"--and making OR more interactive) also have the potential to reinforce one another because outreach can encourage people to be involved in the OR, and at the same time well-run OR may draw more people to the site. The Bloom Clock Project is a very interesting example of encouraging community involvement in an OR project. One of its weaknesses is that it requires a large number of contributors in order for the data that is gathered to fit together and be meaningful. Wikiversity as one of the smaller Wikimedia projects, may not have been an ideal host. An OR project that requires fewer contributors to find useful data might be more likely to take off, especially if it's publicized off-wiki. At this time, I am learning the computational tools to set up a research project about the evolution of gene duplication. I see this as a promising avenue for a "community involvement" research project that might require fewer contributors to function properly. Thinking over it, I wonder if it is ultimately more appropriate for mainspace than for Userspace. --AFriedman (talk) 20:15, 5 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Huh, this was a looong answer, but at least I/we know more about you. I will respond to everything in this section. I totally agree with your opinion about user blocks, that one needs to distinguish between a person with 1-2 vandal edits made probably from boredom, and a person who messes up the things here and will likely continue to do so. I also agree with your views on deletion. Personally I delete pages on sight only if these classify to be speedily deleted and try to keep the rest. Also if possible I keep the pages from novice users not to discourage them from further editing and improvement of those pages - very similar way as you explained this in your response. (By "scrap" pages I meant obvious test and vandal pages.)
From own experience I know that sometimes to take a decision in borderline cases can be hard (i.e. keep, propose a {{dr}} or delete as speedy). Same for the blocks (i.e. if the user/IP will continue vandalizing? If you give a ban - for what duration?). This is what I miss from your probationary period! It not the same thing to know the tools and to know when to use them. This was the reason I proposed a prolonged period for you. Now I am even more convinced that you will be an excellent custodian, but you need some more practice. --Gbaor 14:15, 6 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am totally with AFriedmann's inclusion/deletion ration; wv is in no way the WP, as the WP is an encyclopedia and nothing more. I see the wv at a higher level in that it can fulfill the Wiki phenomena, which I believe is about knowledge construction from all the bits of information floating around the Information Society. My definition of instruction creep is derived from discussion here; I see it really information creep; information restriction such was we find in the WP can be a vehicle to develop misconceptions from real knowledge (invariably for misconceived reasons) by perverting meanings, either overtly or surreptitiously. Here we have the opportunity to encourage all thought by allowing for different, and hence non-conflicting threads, so that different threads can be compared to see what really contributes to the single phenomena that we call Science. I want to mention that AFriedman's comment that Christianity is calcifying (my words) stimulated me to look closely at the the gospels through the WP to find ways to encourage my real-life Christian friends not to calcify (a work in progress).--JohnBessatalk 21:17, 13 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes. In the past, I have participated quite actively in policy development, including revising Wikiversity:What Wikiversity is not and expanding Wikiversity:Mentors. I will gladly do so again if specific policies seem to be relevant to issues that are pressing for Wikiversity. The policy of Wikiversity:Original research would not be my highest priority on WV at the moment. I don't see problems with the fine wording of this policy as anywhere near the most serious issue for the site. For example, I've communicated with a number of the other people who perform original research on WV, and I can't name a single example of a User whose OR compromises the integrity of the site because of its "crankiness." If and when the OR policy becomes a problem, I'd be happy to revisit it. At the moment, I think continuity of research is a far greater concern for Wikiversity, and this is more an issue of publicity than of policy. Above, I've explained how I am addressing this issue. --AFriedman (talk) 20:15, 5 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am glad to hear, that you are interested in policy development as well. You got a + point :) For clarification: In general I don't see any problem with OR at Wikiversity as well. It just worries me, that the possibility of OR is one of the cornerstones of WV and the policy is not even official... So if you agree with it as it is, maybe you could express this opinion of your there? What about the review process? --Gbaor 14:35, 6 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Will do. What aspect of the review process are you interested in my opinion about? --AFriedman (talk) 04:26, 7 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Voting for full custodianship[edit source]

Neutral - Frankly, I would give AFriedman an additional month of probationary period. I am sure that she will be a great full custodian, but he needs more practice in "real" situations. --Gbaor 12:43, 5 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Support - Full support. I've watched AFriedman quite a bit during the probationary period and I know that full custodianship would be appropriate. Ottava Rima (talk) 14:12, 5 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wait - I agree with Gbaor. Wikiversity is a learning community which can only work when people work together and help each other out with learning goals. Wikiversity participants tend to miss out on an opportunity to learn when people work mostly in the user space, and that doesn't benefit Wikiversity's learning community. Wikiversity already has enough problems with users who only work in the user space as it is. While I don't think custodians need to be particularly active, I do think custodians need to be able to work side by side with other community members. I think inactivity in community learning could be a bad sign. Also while I hope custodians will never have a practical need to use the tools and I think using the tools in practice situations is good, the circumstances in which the tools might need to be used differ from practice situations. For these reasons I think full custodianship should wait awhile longer. -- darklama  15:30, 5 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Support - AFriedman is certainly trustworthy and I can't imagine him abusing the tools. IMO that's all that matters. --SB_Johnny talk 00:40, 7 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Support - AFriedman has a long history of productive contributions and I have confidence in the use of the tools, but I would be fine with extending the mentorship. This is after all supposed to be a learning experience. --mikeu talk 13:59, 8 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Here her contribution to justify "I want to use the tools ".

Which is:

  • User talk:Mu301
  • User talk:...
  • User talk:...
  • User talk:...
  • User talk:...
  • User talk:...
  • (Redirected page to Russian Roulette (Drinking Game)) (top)
  • (Redirected page to Russian Roulette (drinking game))
  • Talk:Random ‎ (top)
  • Talk:...
  • Talk:...
  • Talk:...
  • Talk:...


I'm afraid she may have no free time left, if she can use those tools. --CestMoiLaVerite 07:11, 7 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What do you mean??? --AFriedman (talk) 18:06, 7 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The user [CestMoiLaVerite] was asked for more explanation of tis thoughts on his/hes talk page (s/he cant miss it...) And again here, I would like to ask you to explain more, because this is not a straightforward talk. --Gbaor 08:55, 8 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Support Looks good. Pmlineditor  11:06, 9 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Support. We need admins here that are willing to protect the integrity of this project and not allow it to become a haven for disruptive activities. Kaldari 16:24, 15 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Closure[edit source]

5 days are over. It seems positive to me... --Gbaor 09:47, 11 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think there might be a lack of consensus. I think the closest there might be to consensus is that 4 people seem to be of mind that he will be a good custodian, while 3 people also seem to be of mind that waiting awhile longer is a reasonable option. This could mean that AFriendman is good custodian but discussion of full custodianship should wait awhile longer. -- darklama  14:27, 12 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Overall the response has been very positive and I personally have confidence that we've got a good choice here. But I do feel that it is important that the community doesn't feel that the process is too rushed or that the candidates are not getting enough guidance in learning. My feeling is that it should be no big deal to extend a mentorship to give all wikiversity contributors an opportunity to get comfortable with the candidate and to allow plenty of time for the candidate to get a feel for when to use the tools in real world circumstances. The probationary period is extended for 4 weeks. --mikeu talk 03:31, 14 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Mentors' recommendations for full custodian status following probation extension[edit source]

AFriedman has undergone an extended probationary period for custodianship since 14 Feb (which I've left for a bit longer because of her mid-term exams) so that the community could get to her know her better. In this ~6 weeks there were ~265 edits, indicative of significantly increased activity. AFriedman has been involved in further testing of the tools (e.g., deletes and blocks (nb. one anon IP block was too long (indef) but has been corrected to 1 year by Ottava Rima) seem appropriate with good edit summaries). AFriedman has also been learning about MediaWiki in helpful ways e.g., the first person in a while to create and contribute a new Mascot: see User:JacobFrank. AFriedman has been involved in community discussion about current issues e.g., WV:CRs, Wikiversity talk:No shrines for vandals, Wikiversity talk:Original research by contributing her viewpoint and has been particularly helpful towards newcomers e.g., [2]. I have also found AFriedman to be very responsive to feedback in the mentoring process - our discussions are all on wiki - mostly on User talk:AFriedman and a bit on User talk:Jtneill. Her interest in promoting research and developing research policy on WV is also of note, particularly since WV needs development of these areas. AFriedman has proven to be level-headed and calm, but also to offer independent perspectives and to be bold. These all strike me as desirable qualities for custodians. Thus, I recommend AFriedman for full custodianship. -- Jtneill - Talk - c 00:34, 28 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Discussion and questions[edit source]

Questions. How do you decide to provide edit summaries? Why did you fail to provide a summary for this edit? Did that edit make a significant change to the nature of the learning resource? Do you think Custodians have a special obligation to communicate effectively with other Wikiversity participants? --JWSchmidt 16:01, 3 April 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

JWS, my process of providing edit summaries changes over time as I learn more. The edit in question came from a while ago, and since that time, I have made thousands of edits--on English Wikipedia especially, but also on Wikiversity. Yes, even the most experienced editors are still learning because there is so much information over here. At this point I will tend to write my own edit summary (in addition to the automated one, which I rarely delete) if (1) something drastic, such as vandalism or the deletion of information, has happened to the page in question; or (2) if I think there is likely to be a discussion re: the edit but I can still fit what I want to say about it in the space of an edit summary. If I can't fit what I want to say about my edit, I will tend to use the Talk page to discuss and will often write "See Talk page" or similar.
Now for the edit you asked about. I am wondering why you are inquiring about that particular one, out of my long history of Wikiversity contributions. But here are my comments. That particular edit was part of my ongoing involvement in editing "Other Free Learning Resources", formerly "Hunter-gatherers project." On January 16, 2009, back when the page had the old name, I commented on the Talk page that "its name is misleading." I thought the name would draw people who were interested in actual hunter-gatherers, rather than people who were interested in the page's real contents--an organized list of free learning resources from all over the Internet. No one has yet responded to this comment. After giving people many months to discuss a re-name, on September 11, 2009, I changed the page to its current name and made 3 other edits, including the one you asked about. I saw the summary of the first edit as a stand-in for the others--"moved Hunter-gatherers project to Other Free Learning Resources: More appropriate name than the previous one." My subsequent edits to the lede were an attempt to distance the page from its previous name and delete redundant text. In retrospect, I don't agree with every aspect of these edits. While the project still had the same objective before and after the edits, there was no longer an emphasis on the fact that analyzing learning resources is central to Wikiversity's purpose. BTW, I haven't seen very many Wikiversity pages devoted to the evaluation of learning materials, even though this is supposed to be a central purpose of Wikiversity. Even Other Free Learning Resources, since it was created, has mostly focused on listing learning materials rather than evaluating them. Ever since the Community Review of the page about the false DYK article on Wikipedia, I think there is going to be more peer evaluation on Wikiversity. It has become an area of interest to many editors. While research was the main focus of that particular discussion, evaluation could certainly extend to the educational aspects of online learning materials. If we're able to set up ways of evaluating new custodians, we should also be able to set up ways of evaluating research--and if we can evaluate research, we can also evaluate learning materials. As per your comments, I have made an attempt to restore the essence of the deleted text and mention the project's previous name.
Re: your last question. Yes, custodians should attempt to communicate effectively with other Wikiversity participants. Communication is part of good behavior on-wiki. As I see it, ordinary Users and custodians have similar editing and communication obligations--everyone over here should try to help the community as best they can--but custodians even more so. Let me put it this way. While no one should be doing what they shouldn't (how could anyone say otherwise, except for our mascot JacobFrank), this would apply even more strongly to custodians. When learning how to edit the site, I look to our existing custodians as models, and I believe all users but especially custodians should aim to be positive examples. Part of being a positive example is the ability to recognize and acknowledge previous mistakes--and everyone makes mistakes. However, custodians are the users who are considered trustworthy, fair and levelheaded enough to resolve disputes, e.g. by protecting pages--and this is an additional level of responsibility that is not required of ordinary Users. Since there are so few people with the tools, I also think custodians have more of an obligation to hang in when the going gets ugly or morally ambiguous. While ordinary Users can back out of these situations, custodians, who are essential to defending the integrity of the site, should not. (On Wikipedia, where I'm not a custodian, I'm still heavily involved with mediation--e.g. I've recently become one of the most active users in w:Wikipedia:WikiProject Israel Palestine Collaboration.) Any other questions? --AFriedman (talk) 02:00, 4 April 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Any other questions?" <-- I wish you would just start writing edit summaries. Should all pages concerned with original research be marked as involving original research? --JWSchmidt 03:27, 4 April 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
A summary of my rationale for this change was written at Wikiversity talk:Original research#Several comments, days to weeks before I made the change. While I think it's preferable to use the research template, making such a template (or even the policy you suggested) mandatory seems impossible to enforce. As I wrote, "I suspect many people won't see this [policy] page in time...Certainly, older research resources...won't be using this [new] Template." --AFriedman (talk) 04:08, 4 April 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I wasn't asking specifically about use of the template. I'm asking: should all pages containing original research be marked as containing original research? --JWSchmidt 07:25, 4 April 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If we can get our act together to do this, yes. --AFriedman (talk) 15:59, 4 April 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Voting for full custodianship 2[edit source]

  • Support I think I've said a lot on it before. Ottava Rima (talk) 00:49, 28 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support Good work all around. Enough said. Pmlineditor  08:52, 28 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support As I said above, support. --mikeu talk 14:02, 31 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support The performance has improved. Well done. --Gbaor 20:16, 1 April 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support, helpful recent work and general facilitation. SJ+> 22:54, 6 April 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support - I looked over his work, and I am seeing some valuable contributions in multiple arenas. -- Cirt (talk) 16:54, 10 April 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support upon careful review. --Abd 17:20, 15 April 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support AFriedman is sensible (my best compliment)--JohnBessatalk 15:31, 26 April 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support A very determined and conscientious contributor toward the Wikiversity project.--Pharos 16:16, 1 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support Grunny (talk) 09:27, 3 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Closure[edit source]

checkY Done - AFriedman is now a full custodian. -- Jtneill - Talk - c 13:22, 9 June 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]