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Scaling issue--too united?

I've got this nagging though in the back of my mind that the next project we do we shouldn't all work on at once. We should spread ourselves out more. This is probably obvious to some, but a lot of articles don't need more than two (maybe three) members of the team helping out. It will do more harm than good to have 20 editors all working on one article, like King Arthur or whatever. Maybe put an unofficial cap on the number of members helping per article? With this many good editors, we could have 4 to 5 one-article projects on the stove actively working toward FA and could get several per month without breaking too much of a sweat. It depends on the state of the article when we take it on and the help we get from the editors already working on it.

Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize...

Also, to help get consensus on things, could I ask that all proposals for new missions be brought up on the proposals page, and not here? It's so easy to lose track of things on this page. Wrad (talk) 23:06, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

I think we should put all proposals up for a "motivation" test. Drop a note on the article's talk page saying that we are thinking about helping out and see if anybody bites. If no one does, then it probably isn't worth our time. The article I think is most deserving of our attention right now, even more than King Arthur, is Force. That is an article that will have a very hard time getting to FA without our help, but has a group of very motivated editors and is at FAC, but is not doing too well there so far. Wrad (talk) 23:22, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
My memory stinks: are you sure Force is at FAC?  :-) That's exactly the sort of article I hope you all will focus on: long-standing, motivated editors, almost-there articles that just need a push to get over the hump. But I'm not sure about the idea of a note on the talk page: Rudyard Kipling is likely an abandoned FA that could be restored. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:29, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
True, activity breeds activity, so if we started working on it, people would come, in theory. Hasn't always worked in my experience, though. Wrad (talk) 23:31, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
Mmmm. Force failed FA. So sad. Such motivated editors... I'm sure we would be greatly appreciated there. Wrad (talk) 23:33, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
In terms of scalability, consider how little effort it would take for the talent on this page to bring Force over the hump, working with established editors there who know the standards, have the research, just need help pulling it together ? There are so many of those. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:36, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
And we wouldn't need everyone. Just a few who were interested in helping with it. We'd definitely have room for Kipling. We just need to be really picky and we need to be willing to turn people down :( Wrad (talk) 23:43, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
How about if, instead of limiting editors, you limit time? Make it a test case. I'd wager if everyone descended on Force, it could be back at FAC in a week. Smaller projects. For that matter, Raul has a FAC up that's got two opposes (Parallel computing); how nice is that? It needs come copyediting. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:49, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry for joining the conversation so late, but I have to smile at the idea that Force could be back at FAC by next week; it reminds me sweetly of the passion put to use in my old griefs and my childhood's faith. I'm willing to believe that a few editors could indeed turn it around in a week, but you all should not underestimate how much substantive work is left — it's not only dashed cosmetology. ;) This was my first-ever oppose at an FAC. I believe the chief editor appreciated the suggestions and critique and may be even now re-organizing the article. If the article is indeed undergoing major surgery, then fewer editors might be better than many, and those few should be willing to read up on (the history of) physics. As Scheherezade says, "a warning for those who allow themselves to be warned." But we shouldn't be daunted; every day is St. Crispin's Day at Wikipedia. ;) Willow (talk) 12:05, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

What do you think? A week of (organized) mayhem after Llosa is done? Wrad (talk) 23:55, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

  • Note: I've already left a massive list of "things to do from a layperson's perspective" on the force talk page. Awadewit (talk) 00:04, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
  • All the better. Wrad (talk) 00:06, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

I think that we could easily have several different types of missions concurrently - perhaps each month feature 1 article that is close to FAR, 1 that has recently failed FAC (or recently passed GA() but has highly motivated editors behind it, and 1 article that's never been to FAC but has highly motivated editors behind it. With the number of people now signed up, we should be able to pick and choose which articles to get involved with. I might not have time or interest in any of the articles for May, say, but may be interested in one of the ones for June. Karanacs (talk) 02:34, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

More on scaling and our potential

More reflections on this issue. I am delighted to see many more editors signing up on the FA-Team page. This could be the beginnings of a shift towards editors wanting to do everything they can to help an article reach FA status, rather than each presenting additional hurdles for an article to cross before it achieves the coveted bronze star (I stress that this is an epsilon shift, as all editors have the quality of the encyclopedia in mind, and all editors want featured articles to be the best). However, it is now completely natural to raise issues of scaling, both in terms of what needs to be done to make the remaining 99.9 percent of Wikipedia better, and in terms of making FA-Team activity scale.

As has been pointed out already, in Mission 1, it was actually only necessary to have two or three FA team members watching each article, and this is something which scales. I only watchlisted two articles long-term, and probably watchlisted five in total. But the project didn't simply work because the team had the articles covered. It worked because there was a collective sense that we were achieving something. When I heard of the great work going on at "El Senor Presidente" (even though I was not watchlisting it at the time), it encouraged me to raise ambitions about what could be achieved at the articles I was watchlisting. The collegial spirit of the FA-Team, the sense of a common purpose, is what has the potential to make it drive the creation of great articles (an amplification of the force driving Wikipedia, if you like). It is now a collection of amazing editors (yours truly excluded; I've never created an FA), but it is not just that. Amazing editors will do amazing things anyway, but the FA-Team has motivated these editors to do something really different. The contributions by editors such as Mfreud, Lincolnchan, ABarratt and so on, generated by this collaboration, are really amazing. This can scale to some extent, but scaling it is as much a matter of psychology and motivation (on all sides) as it is a matter of pragmatism. For this reason, I have been doing whatever I can do to create a feeling of FA-Team spirit. Even if we are working on many different things at any given moment, we are all working side-by-side. This is the spirit which I felt in Mission 1, and this is the spirit which I believe has the power to achieve many things. Geometry guy 01:20, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

I just want to say that no one is questioning the huge benefits of the MMM mission. The question is "Now what?" Who do we want to be? Where do we want to apply ourselves? What are our priorities? Wrad (talk) 01:26, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
Also, remember that "the team" and the camraderie has been around for a long time, so, there's also a question of how this project distinguishes itself from WP:1FAPQ, which had very impressive FA numbers. If the goal here is to bring in new and more editors, Projects and articles, how can it best do that? And do it to maximum benefit without taking too much FA production away from the 1FAPQ team? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:47, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
What camaraderie? I didn't know there was camaraderie at 1FAPQ. I just see the list as a motivating force - I feel guilty when I don't achieve my promised goal. Here, I feel like there is a little community of people working towards generating more FAs and more FA-producing editors. We chat about how to do this. :) Awadewit (talk) 01:53, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
Was it only me?  :-) I thought everyone tried to dig in to help each other there. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:58, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
(ec) I take your point Sandy: it is a cornerstone of the FA-Team approach that it engages new editors and encourages them to produce more good work. The success of (the still ongoing) Mission 1 from this perspective is not yet clear, but you can be sure that it will be discussed. However, at the very least, Mission 1 has worked from the point of view of team bonding and has created a sense of what the FA-Team's purpose is. Despite my long post above, I hope we can hold off a thorough post mortem at least until the remaining FAC is decided. Geometry guy 02:01, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

(undent:) I'm still not really here, as I'm off to the conference dinner in two minutes, but hope to contribute tomorrow. --jbmurray (talk|contribs) 03:36, 20 April 2008 (UTC)