Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Did You Know? Guest Post by Rick Duffy

The following is a guest article by Rick Duffy, he is one of the newest members of the English team.  He created pages for Stan Romanek, Skepticamp and Jeff Peckman as well as the Bryan & Baxter Wikipedia page that he just got on the front page of Wikipedia yesterday.

Want to also mention that in the 8 hour window Bryan & Baxter was on the front page it received 1,933 views.   These are mostly just the curious not necessarily skeptics.  This is not preaching to the choir, this is real outreach. 

The last page I submitted to DYK was for James Underdown.  That page hit over 5K views during the 8 hour window.  In that case I got a picture as well as the hook to appear on the main page.  You never know what kind of hits your going to receive.  It depends on other articles that are competing at that time, news events happening in the world, and the time of day the page hits.

I always forget how to go through this process, so I will be referring to this next time I launch a page.  Our goal is to try to get a DYK for every article we launch.  Also all of Wikipedia uses DYK, so no matter what language your writing in, we need to try and get the DYK.

Rick was very successful this week, he is also a wonderful editor and a much better writer as you will see. 


Did You Know …

The Wikipedia main page (at least the English one) features news, history, and various Wikipedia articles, and receives about seven million hits a day. Beneath the main article is a section called Did You Know (DYK), which contains links to a handful of interesting new content. These links are cycled to new links every eight hours.

You can nominate articles, even your own, to be included in DYK. This can help not only increase its exposure, but people may follow the links within your article, and find out more about the other subjects and people you talk about. This high visibility and propagating wave of browsing makes DYK a great tool for spreading skepticism to the world.

I recently had an article included in DYK, and this write-up explains the steps I followed to do it. At the end of the article I include links to the official DYK rules and procedures on Wikipedia. But overall, my steps were:

Step 1: Write new content
Step 2: Write a Hook
Step 3: Create DYK Nomination
Step 4: Add this new template to the big DYK Nominations page
Step 5: Work with the reviewer’s comments
Step 6: Watch the DYK Queue
Step 7: Tell Everyone

Step 1: Write new content

Only new articles of at least 1,500 characters are eligible for DYK. This means either a brand new article, or an article that has been so expanded that it is at least five times bigger that it was.

For DYK, “new” means the content was published within five day prior to its DYK nomination. So when creating your new article, develop it in your private space. And only publish it when you are done, and ready to nominate it for DYK within five days. But take your time and get it right, especially all the necessary citations, since once in the review process editors will be on the lookout for any violation or deviation from the standard content policies and guidelines. My first DYK attempt was rejected because I quoted too much content verbatim in my article, rather than summarizing or rewriting it.

Step 2: Write a Hook

The links under the DYK section have this format:

Did you know… <hook>?

For example:

Did you know… that paranormal claims investigators Bryan & Baxter do not investigate the paranormal, but rather the legitimacy of the paranormal claims made by others?

The hook is some interesting fact about your article that will ‘hook’ people into looking at it. It should be concise, under 200 characters, and contain the article name linked in bold. The hook also must be contained within the article itself, with a reputable citation.

Step 3: Create DYK Nomination

Once you’ve published your content, and have the hook in mind, you are ready to nominate your article. Usually Wikipedia requires everything be done from a neutral point of view (NPOV), so it might seem like a conflict of interest to nominate your own article. But in this case, it is ok, and is actually encouraged.

A lot of Wikipedia pages look like big articles where someone typed a bunch of text into the page. But actually some (maybe most) are assembled by Wikipedia itself by pulling in smaller templates of content and building a bigger page. The DYK process does this a lot, so you will be working on what seem like isolated page templates, but they all later get pulled into a bigger page.

To nominate your article, you go to this page:

This page really has everything you need to know about the DYK process, and you should probably read it all, but I’ll continue relating below how I worked through it.

Here you will fill in your article’s title, and when you press the Create nomination button it will begin to create a nomination template. For this example, I typed in the article name Test. It then displays a new page, with a bunch of explanatory text, titled:

Creating Template:Did you know nominations/Test

You will scroll down and find the page edit box:

And fill it in (you don’t need to fill in everything, just the following)

Notice in your hook, you make sure you bold and link your article name. In this case, I am pretending I created an article called Test. (Obviously you would use your hook, not my test hook about being deleted).

Enter an edit summary below the edit box like you normally would before saving any Wikipedia edit (e.g., Nominated TEST at DYK) and save the page as you normally save a page edit. You should then see a new page, something like this:

This is your nomination template for your article, where all the action will happen, and where reviewers will make comments. Notice at the top the tab says UNWATCH. This means you are watching the page, and any changes here will appear in your watch list. If it doesn’t say UNWATCH, then WATCH it. As editors come over and make comments, you need to notice them, and respond. If you don’t respond in a timely fashion, the page will not make it through the DYK process.

The review process could at this point go on longer than five days, so that limit only applies to nominating your page after you publish it, not how long it may take to get through the DYK process.

Step 4: Add this new template to the big DYK Nominations page

The big DYK Nominations page is:

Before reviewers will notice your nomination, you now must edit the above page (it’s actually the same page where you pressed that Create nomination button) and insert your new template under the date when your article was made public (which is not necessarily today’s date.)

So for our Test page, we add this line:

{{Template:Did you know nominations/Test}}

And then add an edit summary before saving (e.g., Listed Test DYK nomination for discussion).

Notice in the figure, it shows I scrolled down to the July 18 section, and inserted the Test template at the top of the section.

Like all things in Wikipedia, it helps to look at how others did something, and this big page is a great place to peek in on other nominations in progress.

Step 5: Work with the reviewer’s comments

If all goes well, reviewers will begin to view and perhaps add comments to your nomination template, which since you watched that page, will appear in your watch list as changes to the template you created:

From this point on, this is the only page you’ll be editing.

As editors make comments there, they will add four tildes ~~~~ at the end of each comment. As you edit this page and respond to them, you must also add ~~~~ at the end of each of your comments. This simply signs your name with a timestamp. So when you see a comment with something like this at the end:

Created/expanded by Rjmail (talk). Self nom at 20:08, 9 July 2012 (UTC)

You don’t actually type out all that text. Just append the four tildes ~~~~ and it will be replaced automatically with all that timestamp text.

Also, as you respond, you can prefix your responses with :, or ::, or :::, or :::::, etc. These colons simply indent your reply so it sort of creates a thread-looking discussion.

If the editor suggests a change to your hook, you can propose new hook text anywhere in the discussion, but prefix it with an Alt, like *'''Alt!''', or *’’’Alt2’’’, etc

You can see examples of these things in progress, and how my own discussion with an editor proceeded here:

If all goes well (which for me it did this for this article, but it didn’t for my first article), a reviewer will mark it as reviewed. And then another reviewer will hopefully promote it to the DYK Queue, which puts it on the real track to appearing on the Wikipedia front page.

Step 6: Watch the DYK Queue

If it gets promoted (which you’ll see on your watch list), your work with the hook is probably done. In fact, you can no longer edit your template. It is now in one of the queues on this page:

There is a PREP section (where your hook arrives first), and a QUEUE section, to which it will later (mysteriously) move. Once in a Queue, the hook will automatically be added to the Wikipedia main page according to the schedule listed on this Queue page:

In this sample schedule, if our hook had dropped into Queue 1, it would appear on the main Wikipedia page July 19 at 1AM Los Angeles time. And it will remain there 8 hours, at which point that section will be replaced by the hooks in Queue2, and so on.

Step 7: Tell Everyone

When your hook makes it to a Queue, it seems to be guaranteed to move to the main Wikipedia page (though, there is always the chance that some admin will notice something horribly wrong and decide to pull your article). But if things are looking good, you might want to spread the word that your article will be featured on the Did You Know section, between its given hours, and so try to drum up some additional traffic.

Any DYK article that gets over 5,000 hits in the time it is in the DYK section will be added to the high rollers page DYKSTATS:

Final Comments

This was based on my second try, and first success, in getting an article into the DYK section. I’m sure there are other circumstances and issues you may run into that I did not, but the reviewers seem very helpful and willing to shepherd the newbie.

Once you have submitted your fifth DTK, you can’t submit anymore, until you become a reviewer yourself. But you don’t have to worry about that for your first couple DYK nominations.

Finally, the following links seem to contain everything you’d ever want to know about the DYK process:

Good luck, and happy editing.

1 comment:

  1. Good cooperation! I think before writing an article one should gather lots of related and supportive info and then it should be presented in a wonderful way. Thanks for the tutorial with a specific guideline.