A Conversation for View From the Queue
Wampus Started conversation Nov 8, 2000
This was sent to the Scout's egroups, and I got Anna's permission to pass it on, as it is pertinent to what View from the Queue talks about:
On the subbing side of things we're now down to the very last few entries that have come in via the old queue system. Subs' batches are now made up of entries that you've recommended, and quite soon you'll be seeing your efforts up on the front page. Which is good news.
The thing is that now that the changeover period is coming to an end, we don't have quite enough picks coming in from you and somebody with a spreadsheet and a head for numbers (Mark, in fact) worked out that we actually need three picks from you every time it comes round to your turn.
So, from now on, please can you recommend three entries from the Peer Review system. And thanks for all your hard work!
As entries that have been recommended under the current system get counted in the old queue's numbers, one wonders if the old queue is already gone, and most everything in there is now from Peer Review. This e-mail seems to imply so. I can believe that, as I've noticed that relatively few entries that the Scouts have passed on have gotten Edited and put on the front page. I'm guessing all those entries have gone into the current queue waiting for the old queue to get cleared out, and we're about to start seeing a bunch of entries Edited under the new system appear.
Furthermore, I think that counting the number of Peer Review threads is not really an accurate way of gauging the wait for Editing. As there is no formal way of rejecting PR articles, there are several articles near the bottom of the PR pile which, as they are now, will never make it into the Edited Guide, and/or the author has received comments for but can't be bothered to respond. I believe that was sort of the intent of Peer Review, that by having people discuss entries up for Editing, the cream of the crop of articles will rise to the top, and the less suitable entries (I have several ruder words for these) will sink to the bottom. But as time goes on, the cream gets skimmed off, but the others stay behind, and get counted as being waiting for recommending and Editing.
That was just a thought of mine. I can see some day that we'll have to put in some sort of vehicle for rejection, or else the pile of unsuitable entries will grow and grow, making it harder and slower to navigate the PR page.
Also, recently the idea was floated within the Scouts to take a more active role in pushing entries through. There are some cases of entries which are almost suitable for Editing, but not quite, and the author of the entry has not been online for long time. The suggestion would be for someone (Scout, Sub-Ed, whomever) to take the article, make a copy of it, and re-do it to meet the submission guidelines. This would be different from Sub-Editors jobs, because the article would be rewritten, and then resubmitted to PR. The original author would receive due credit for his submission, of course. This idea was brought up and discussed briefly, but hasn't been mentioned in a while, so I don't know whether anyone is actually in favor of it.
Fragilis - h2g2 Cured My Tabular Obsession Posted Nov 9, 2000
Thanks for the super information, Wampus. I will be sure to pass much of it on in my next column.
I agree that something will eventually have to be done about entries that are clearly unsuitable for editing. Perhaps it might be sensical to establish a process whereby a thread can be removed.
For instance, the Scout might post a final time explaining exactly what sort of work needs to occur for the entry to be suitable, and asking the author to resubmit the entry if they feel the work has been completed. Then the h2g2 staffers might move the thread to the entry's page so the author can go back and read the comments later.
I wouldn't use this method with entries that are simply controversial, or which are still being updated by the authors. But for entries where the author isn't responding or the entry clearly violates h2g2 guidelines, it might be the best course.
As for Scouts reworking entries, I think that is an interesting idea. But it is also a potential problem, as the line between Scouts and Sub-Editors begins to blur. Perhaps entries that show promise but need reworking could be advertised somewhere, and anyone up to the task could take it upon themselves to 'rescue' the entry? Then give joint credit. I dunno, it's just an idea. In the old system, the Sub-Editor simply took care of it. Now, it is quite confusing.
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