A Conversation for The Nearly but Not Quite 'Official' Peer Review Discussion Forum

Peer Review discussion: Some grim statistics

Post 21

AlexAshman


@post 2: "first may I ask why you're using "average" (which I take to be "mean") for the Entries actually on the FP, but "median" for those in PR?"

It's simply for the sake of convenience. There are plenty of flaws in the studies I've done, but if anything the result understate the size of the problem.


Peer Review discussion: Some grim statistics

Post 22

Malabarista - now with added pony

I think I misread what you wrote.

The phrase "We're all required to make the wheels of h2g2 run smoothly" can be interpreted two ways - "Making hootoo run requires volunteers" or "Anyone who volunteers for hootoo is required to make sure it runs", which just isn't possible. As Bel said, we can't force people to reply to ACE welcomes, for example.

Though maybe a follow-up message a week later if there's been no response would help?


Peer Review discussion: Some grim statistics

Post 23

Vip

There's only three regular ACEs? Maybe I should head back there. There were loads when I left.

I find PR quite a friendly place. I think the 'it's scary!' argument is more of an excuse for people who don't want to write in the first place (which is okay, of course).

smiley - fairy


Peer Review discussion: Some grim statistics

Post 24

AlexAshman


I think what Icy means is that the efforts we make need to be aimed at keeping the site going. Reviewing what we do as volunteers is vital as it ensures we're making the most out of the time we put in.


Peer Review discussion: Some grim statistics

Post 25

leighm

Vip - I think it's a bit much to say "It's scary" - but it can be intimidating for someone who has never written anything like this before (Like Me!)

I'm not an expert in anything and it's quite some time since I attended grammar lessons at school - the thought of writing a piece for review is a daunting one for me.


Peer Review discussion: Some grim statistics

Post 26

Vip

Finding a topic to write about is hard. Really hard in fact, and is the reason that in my seven and a hlaf years here I've written only a handful of articles, some of which were ideas that other people had and I took them on as they had smiley - elvis (left the site).

Perhaps we should also advertise the Writing Workshop to encourage those who are worried. Leighm, the Writing Workshop is a place to go when you think your article isn't finished to receive some input into where to go next with it.

smiley - fairy


Peer Review discussion: Some grim statistics

Post 27

Icy North



No, but if you believe there's a problem (and I've no information to suggest there is or isn't) then you could look into how you might maximise the number of responses you get. Maybe look at the format of the welcome messages, for example? Do the Aces review each others messages? Are the help pages good enough? Could you informally survey a few new-ish users and find out how useful they found the welcome message and/or the help pages in their first weeks? That sort of thing.

That sounds like a great idea, but I guess it wouldn't be an easy thing to manage.


Peer Review discussion: Some grim statistics

Post 28

Malabarista - now with added pony

Maybe besides figuring out what we need to do to promote PR and so on, we need to figure out where we're expending energy on things that just aren't working. smiley - erm


Peer Review discussion: Some grim statistics

Post 29

AlexAshman


That's a very good point, Mala.


Peer Review discussion: Some grim statistics

Post 30

Icy North



Have you looked through Challenge h2g2? (A1293365) smiley - smiley

Similarly, those of us with more ideas than time to write about them should post our ideas there.


Peer Review discussion: Some grim statistics

Post 31

Vip

OoooOOOOoooh! I've never seen that before! smiley - book


Peer Review discussion: Some grim statistics

Post 32

aka Bel - A87832164

The other day I left 50 welcome messages. Now imagine there are 50 new ones a week later, plus 50 to follow up (and I would have to search for them in my conversation list, which is unwieldy as it is, with all the ace welcomes) - I'd quit aceing immediately. It's enough work as it is. I do make it a point to reply to every feedback a newbie leaves me - as I know do the other active Aces. If I spent so much time hunting for newbies who never reply, I'd not have the time to reply to those who get back to me. The trouble is, that although Jim Lynn said that only those who signed up for h2g2 are shown on our list, this is not true. We have lots of people who aren't even aware that they've signed up for h2g2.


Peer Review discussion: Some grim statistics

Post 33

leighm

The Writing Workshop sounds like a good place - and frankly doesn't sound as "scary" as peer review smiley - smiley

I also think that anyone with ideas of what could be written about should have a place to post them - I think that may help.

I'm also going to have a look at the Challenge bit mentioned - might be interesting.


Peer Review discussion: Some grim statistics

Post 34

Malabarista - now with added pony

You know, this all reminds me of the recent Entry on NICE (the author and editor of which are both posting here, so that's handy...)

We have a finite number of resources (volunteer hours) - so while we're looking to get more, we need to prioritise where the ones we've got are going. I remember the PR discussion in that Entry, where, as in the media, emotions run high on not everyone's personal cause being classed as the most important...

h2g2's stated raison d'ĂȘtre is the Edited Guide. And so, to follow that logic to the bitter end, we should be channeling resources toward that - from making sure newbies are here to write Entries rather than chat to dropping smiley - thepost so volunteers who spend time writing there can spend that time writing for the Edited Guide instead. If the photographer and artist schemes are proven to do anything to encourage people to write, keep them, otherwise, drop them - and forbid them from making society badges and other "useless" things. I bet I could get four Entries illustrated in the time it takes to do one Anarchy Gordon...

But that's obviously not the direction we generally want to move in - while a few hard-liners might see it that way, the recent Talking Point has shown that most people who come here stick around because of the community spirit. And yet, we still only have a finite amount of resources. So do we encourage writing for the Guide at the cost of other areas of hootoo? Do we discourage "freeloaders", the large percentage of people who're here for the chat, or the Underguide, or whatever, but don't contribute to the Guide, yet still require volunteer time? Do we just accept the status quo? Do we try to convince the BBC that this site is worth maintaining even if the Guide dries up entirely? smiley - erm


Peer Review discussion: Some grim statistics

Post 35

AlexAshman


Challenge is a place to post ideas for entries, and the Flea Market plays a similar role as a place for abandoned entries.

In terms of the workload for ACEs - I don't think they should follow up new users that don't reply. However, some sort of review of the messages they use and the number of replies they get might be worthwhile.


Peer Review discussion: Some grim statistics

Post 36

AlexAshman


@post 34

I think your logic has been applied to too wide a scope, Mala. I think some of the volunteer schemes included in Icy's list (post 4) need not be considered when looking at the problem - rather, we need to look at specific matters that affect how likely new authors are to arrive, write and stay. In doing this, we need only focus on the time already being put in by volunteers associated with those specific matters.


Peer Review discussion: Some grim statistics

Post 37

Icy North

A couple of things about Challenge h2g2:

1. People may not always say if they've accepted one of the challenges, so please make sure that the entry hasn't already been written, before you start.

2. Any talk of Editorial free gifts/T-shirts etc should be ignored for the time being.

Mala,



Ansolutely not, the more the merrier. I was here for a couple of years before I started writing. The community always needs new blood and new ideas. Even if people never feel they can write for the EG, they might be tempted to contribute to the Post, or help review the entries in PR/EGWW, or make some other positive contributions to community life.

Alex,

I'm obviously more of a holistic practitioner smiley - winkeye


Peer Review discussion: Some grim statistics

Post 38

aka Bel - A87832164

F13805810?thread=6651720

is my welcome message. If you have suggestions on how to improve it, you're welcome. It's not set in stone, and has been altered a few times since I started as an ace. smiley - smiley


Peer Review discussion: Some grim statistics

Post 39

Malabarista - now with added pony

Well, that's the way I feel about it, Icy. But simply saying "all volunteers need to try harder" just isn't going to work, so we need to come up with some other strategies... smiley - winkeye


Peer Review discussion: Some grim statistics

Post 40

AlexAshman


...which is why I'm looking for ideas smiley - smiley


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