Uncyclopedia:Recruiting Editors Brainstorming

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A page to discuss recruiting more editors.

Ten years ago our fathers brought forth on this internet, a new wiki, conceived in libel, and dedicated to the proposition that not all articles are created equal.

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For those without comedic tastes, the self-proclaimed experts at Wikipedia have an article about Uncyclopedia:Recruiting Editors Brainstorming.


How can we attract more Uncyclopedia editors?

Here is the place for brainstorming about attracting more good editors of this project - people that have a sense of humor, write well, and are knowledgeable about subjects that need work.

This issue has been brought up a number of times over the years. Some forums or short-lived projects have addressed the issue, but there is currently no active drive:

Discussion as to the worth of the ideas, and discussion as to whether or not we need to actively recruit editors, belong on the talk page.

Who we need[edit]

People who have "knowledge" we need:

  • Aspiring comedians (in just about any field)
  • People from under-represented groups (non-English speaking countries, etc.), or who know a lot about them (See Uncyclopedia:Foreign Office

People who have good editing skills:

People who have the time and motivation to edit Uncyclopedia:

  • Students
  • Retirees
  • Unemployed

... and of course, any combination of the above.

How to reach them[edit]

And, how can we reach those people?

Through other websites[edit]

To date, Uncyclopedia uses social media, mostly though its Facebook and Twitter accounts, to promote featured articles. During the website's early years several now infamous articles were highlighted on Fark and Reddit bringing a lot of exposure for the website. No articles have been submitted to Fark in several years and neither is there an official "subreddit" for Uncyclopedia.

Link to Uncyclopedia on your social media profiles, game profiles, job resumes, etc. and refer your friends to do the same. donate if you are able to and haven't already. If we exceed our annual needs we could use the extra money to advertise Uncyclopedia on other sites, develop another mobile app, or improve our current one.

Forums[edit]

For instance forums about a subject that we need editors for. The members of official forums for WrestleCrap, as an example, might be interested in contributing articles relating to professional wrestling. Similarly, online communities at general humor websites such as Fark and Thinkatheist might be worth approaching. Wikipedia has a list of the Top 50 internet forums. An editor with an account may want to extend an invitation to some of these communities?

Contributors to other wikis built on specific topics, like a video game or TV show, have wiki experience and are less likely to be intimidated by the wiki editing process. A list of the most popular wikis is also available on Wikipedia.

Another option could be to branch out to editors on Wikipedia such as those associated with its BJAODN, Comedy, and Department of Fun projects. It might also be helpful for editors in need of a "wikibreak".

[edit]

We could ask for some websites to have a little blurb, something like:

The collaboration of the week on Uncyclopedia is Franklin D. Roosevelt! Help welcome!

It would, well, work kinda like an ad banner. OK, technically, it would be an ad banner, but for free. Some specialized site could have info for the appropriate collaboration of the week. Or they could randomly include a stub from a defined stub category (This Uncyclopedia article needs your help!)

YouTube[edit]

Uncyclopedia has a YouTube channel that is used for UnTunes recordings. We could also use this to promote writing competitions and create audiovisual content (e.g. a spoof "recruitment" video to recruit Uncyclopedia editors).

By email[edit]

Humor mailing-lists[edit]

Send messages to humor list-servs about relevant Collaborations of the Week/Fortnight/Month as they come up. Also, suggest that teachers and professors encourage students who have written related papers to add some of what they've written to an article or release their writing and post it on related talk subpages (Talk:Articlename/term paper).

E-mail Newsletter[edit]

Though this can't really be considered "recruiting," it would work to raise awareness. On the news-letter, we can include a few of the articles that need to be worked on. And of course, anyone could forward it to a friend.

Chain Letter/E-mail[edit]

A humorously-worded chain letter or email would certainly get some attention on the web.

On Uncyclopedia itself[edit]

Editing cues already exist, of course, most noticeable are the stubs.

Through schools[edit]

One of the great things about Uncyclopedia is that it often uses humor to educate the reader. Onomatopoeia, for example, is one of many articles that takes a comedic approach to a "boring" or difficult subject that students would otherwise avoid.

Through Teachers and professors[edit]

Find your old teachers and tell them about Uncyclopedia! See them in person, telephone them or email them. You can do the same for university professors and principals (headmasters).

Teachers can:

  • Refer to UN in their classes
  • Use UN articles as an introduction to topics mentioned or covered in their classes, in the process improving UN

Student projects[edit]

Teachers often ask students to do a research project and write a paper. As papers, they could write UN articles. They could write separately or in teams, and write new articles or improve existing ones. Teachers can evaluate the contributions of each student, including their citation of sources. UN would get new articles, improved articles, and publicity. Students would learn how to do research, collaborate, write encyclopedically, and use wikis.

This could for PhD candidates (I'm sure Category:Quantum mechanics could be improved) as well as for kids in primary school (Fixing things in Category:Stub?)

Writing classes[edit]

Public schools and universities often have comedy and creative writing courses. Schools may try to organize creative writing classes around UN. Often terrific papers go to waste as students have no apparent outlet or use for them after a grade is given. This is also true for student newspapers and college pranksters.

School clubs[edit]

Contact Schools and encourage the formation of Uncyclopedia "clubs." Schools, especially inner city schools, are looking for ideas and ways to give students positive after-school activities. It may help this to allow and encourage schools to organize clubs where the entire focus is editing Uncyclopedia pages.

Public libraries and campuses[edit]

We could have ready-made small posters (or flyers) to put on public annnouncment boards, especially in public libraries. "Are you a bookworm? Uncyclopedia is looking for skilled editors to pursuit a free encyclopedia for all!". Same for campuses.

Directly contact groups[edit]

Reporters[edit]

Contract major media reporters, they are very alert and good at writing, reporting. Perhaps retired editors who have moved onto bigger and better things may be willing to plug the website?

Alternately, creating articles on major newspapers and publications (particularly those that have previously covered Uncyclopedia) may attract readers to the website.

Retirees[edit]

There are more and more computer-using retirees every day. They can have expertise, research skills, generally better writing skills than current students, and time. They can feel like they are contributing.

It would be worth the time and effort to specifically look for retired scholars, professors, journalists, engineers, etc.—maybe there are associations we could reach out to, we could try to get a line into magazines, etc.

Unions[edit]

Contact the National Writers Union, of the Writers Guild of America; there are lots of struggling writers with time on their hands.

In fact, we could contact any union and try to have a request for help passed in their journal. It could be a good way to reach people with technical specialized knowledge.

Related work[edit]

What can we do to prepare for reaching out to people?

Collect stories[edit]

We could ask new editors why they decided to work on Uncyclopedia, how they heard of it, whether they were readers a long time before, whether they edited unregistered, etc. It could be an optional part of the welcome ritual (but maybe it'd scare people away too). TKF's Uncyclopedia Retrospective project similarly contacts retired editors for this purpose.

Make posters, fliers, etc.[edit]

We could have a "recruit editors" poster / flyer contest, for campuses, libraries, etc.

Incentives[edit]

Why would anybody want to edit a page on Uncyclopedia. Providing incentives is key:

Pay people to come and edit![edit]

Cracked has thousands of wannabe writers lining up to write and it has to have the worst creative limitations and most spiteful editors of any site. Why is it still so popular? They give out money for all featured articles. Now we're not suggesting Uncyclopedia get a million ads and adopt that model instantly, but small ads in the sidebar and the bottom would theoretically generate a tiny bit of revenue we can reinvest in more PLS competitions a year. People come for a chance at a $100 prize and stay for another 5 or 10 articles or even more. We know the idea of money brought Nikau back in late 2011 to write something for the PLS. Uncyclopedia Store merchandise could be awarded as an alternative to cash.

Page counter[edit]

People like to know if anyone has read what they have written. Adding a page counter would provide a useful indicator.

  • Or if it is too ugly on the main page, put it on the talk page.
  • I agree with the talk page suggestion, maybe just like a star if the page has over x number of hits or something.
    • Or different coloured stars/shapes depending on the level of interest in the page.
  • Or why not distinguish editors according to how many times their contributions have been read? This is at least as useful a measure as measuring the total number of edits.
    • This would add some performance measure which might be a measure driving those motivated by competition or numbers.

Documentary book writers[edit]

Example: UN buys their books if they contribute significantly to certain pages. These books can then be offered as prizes in UN writing competitions or as Bounties.

Create a virtual equity market[edit]

Allow readers to invest virtual money in pages they appreciate. The editors would then receive some percentage of that investment. People might become interested in a page's valuations, as signified by trading activity.

Preserve an easygoing comedy-friendly environment[edit]

Communicate with IPs and new users who create original content and are attempting to be funny. Politely tell them why their article is ICU'd/deleted on their IP or user talk page where they will likely see it rather than just in edit summaries or article talk pages. Also offer them some advice and direct them to our Beginner's Guide.

Make real efforts at community collaboration, e.g. Imperial Colonizations, Pee Reviews, rewarding valuable contributions, debating the merits of various socioeconomic philosophies, asking others to help you with articles, etc. And hopefully the UnSignpost will continue (although I may have ruined it forever with my poor attempt at stealing Wikipedia's styling).

Social structure[edit]

It looks to me that some kind of protection to promising new editors or existing high-quality editors would be useful. I get the impression that some people hang around only briefly, especially when running into conflicts. Retention of useful people would be swerved by an active group that keeps an eye on things.

Ways to reframe the problem[edit]

Ok, we might have a long way to go.

Are there other ways to reach our goal (more and better edits to Uncyclopedia) apart from attracting new editors?

Get the current editors to edit more[edit]

By asking them to leave their jobs / drop their studies / break up with their spouses.

Reduce the number of editors that leave Uncyclopedia[edit]

It's nice to bring new people in, but how about experienced editors who leave the project because of a bad experience? Looking into ways to prevent them from leaving, or at least trying to understand why they leave, could be useful too.

Also, update our Missing User Project page and try to bring back former contributors. Threats of violence are encouraged. If the users are dead, ask their grieving family to join the site.

Encourage interdisciplinary & 'meshing' projects[edit]

By getting schools, translation offices, voluntary organizations, etc. involved in mutally beneficial projects.

Require editors to log in[edit]

Anonymity supports a certain level of vandalism. Signing one's work supports a certain level of accoutability. The less time spent on cleaning up vandalism, the more time can be spent on enhancements.

More automation[edit]

One primary reason why this place is losing old editors is the janitorial shit which needs to be done on a daily basis almost in order to keep this place tidy. It's 100% the most boring and thankless job on the internet and people almost feel obligated to do it rather than write content. Most of these tasks could be done by bots almost and on other sites like Wikipedia probably are. The issue being we don't have someone with the time to write the many maintenance scripts to make maintenance as close to redundant as we possibly could. Archiving is boring, going through backlogs is boring, yadda yadda you get the idea. Rant over.

  • Write an AJAX WYSIWYG-like user interface to allow direct editing, without clicking on an "Edit" link. It would be more inviting to anyone to edit. This is also likely to reduce the server load. Currently a page is loaded once to be viewed, then a section of wiki text is loaded to edit, then again to be previewed before posting, etc. The new interface can show the edited page without sending it to the servers, and only send the changes (not whole sections) once the user clicks on "Save". The AJAX program would automatically load into the web browser together with a Uncyclopedia page, and not require separate installation. It could be cached by the browser, so that it is not loaded every time.
  • Write stubs automatically using Google's "define" query. Copyright would not be a problem, as these definitions are always short, usually less than 40 words.
  • Write a program that would use clustering analysis to guess the right words to link in articles and link the first use of the words. There would be more correct links than currently, therefore less work for editors.
  • Require everyone to log in to edit, and make it easier to log in. In place of a "Log in" link, the UN pages should include two small boxes containing the test "name" and "password" respectively and small button, "Log in".

Improve the credibility of administrators[edit]

  • Set fixed terms for administrators. Require them to be reappointed at regular intervals using the same consensus criteria as initially used.
  • More consistently sanction administrators who arbitrarily and capriciously take actions to further their own biases, regardless of established policy or lack thereof.

Stop the stub-stamp project[edit]

One disheartening thing about Uncyclopedia is the enthusiasm of people attaching stub tags to any articles shorter than a certain prescribed length, regardless of content. It is like a stamp, marking pages "condemned", or "not good enough". Similarly, this is also a common complaint against {{fix}} tags.

External links[edit]