Grants:Project/Rapid/Bri/Signpost publication manager

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Bri/Signpost publication manager
Pay for a Signpost publication manager to keep the project more on-schedule. At current publication rate about every four weeks this should fund three new issues.
targetCross-Wikimedia. Since it is published in the English language it may chiefly impact English Wikipedians.
start dateMay 10
end dateAugust 10
budget (local currency)US$360
budget (USD)US$360
grant typeIndividual
contact(s)• Bri

Proposal withdrawn due to a volunteer appearing for 2018 Issue 5 and beyond.

Project Goal[edit]

The Signpost is considered an important community commentary about all Wikimedia-related activities, and a means by which the community actually organizes itself as a community. Its loss would be a great detriment to the entire project.

As described in an op-ed written by ENWP administrator Kudpung, appearing in the March 29 2018 issue of The Signpost, there is a severe problem with timely publication. This followed a January 17, 2017 published note from the editor-in-chief calling out "Our core team is small and overtaxed; we miss publication deadlines" and asking for more help.

The Signpost Publication Manager is a non-editorial administrative role that "pushes buttons" to publish content created by other editors. It requires some facility with Wiki markup, some technical intricacies such as templates, transclusion and so forth, and potentially Javascript, though it can be accomplished manually without use of scripts.

The Publication Manager departed on 16 January, about the time of the call for help, and the position has remained unfilled (see snapshots of filled positions March 20, June 5, September 6, December 31). The goal of this proposal is to explore interim paid position of Publication Manager, a position which is currently vacant. At the end of the experimental period, a volunteer Publication Manager may step forward, or we may wish to continue funding a position. If a volunteer is found, within the time parameters explained below, there should be an additional grant to cover training of the volunteer (one of the tasks outlined at Signpost Newsroom).

Note: This is not a counter-proposal to Grants:Project/bluerasberry/fund a Signpost publisher; the funding amounts are roughly the same at 3 hours per issue: Bri's proposal for 3 issues versus bluerasberry's for 45 issues. This should be considered an interim fill with a ready-to-go publisher.

Project Plan[edit]


Tell us how you'll carry out your project. What will you and other organizers spend your time doing?

The exact steps required for publication are outlined here. These activities (1-11 and 1-5 following) will be executed for each published issue through the end of the grant period.
Abbreviated publication steps listed below.
  1. Create an issue contents page.
  2. Move each section to a subpage of Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/YYYY-MM-DD.
  3. On each section, double-check that the footer exists, add if required.
  4. Change Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Issue to the date of publication, and update Volume # and Issue #.
  5. Edit main page, starting with the generic TOC skeleton.
  6. Create a new single-page edition.
  7. Create archive page
  8. Remove "draft" templates from the headers of each section.
  9. Purge the cache of current issue and some other stuff.
  10. Announce the new issue on WikimediaAnnounce-L.
  11. Mass-message post the Signpost on ENWP subscribers' talkpages.
  1. Tweet
  2. Mass-message on Meta
  3. Update archives page
  4. Archive/clear Newsroom for next issue
  5. Add link from last issue(s) to the current edition's sections.

How will you let others in your community know about your project (please provide links to where relevant communities have been notified of your proposal, and to any other relevant community discussions)? Why are you targeting a specific audience?

Signpost volunteer contributors have been notified on the Newsroom talkpage, and has feedback from more than one reviewer
The proposer's talkpage with 100+ watchers has a notice of the grant proposal
The Signpost readership is already involved on discussing the proposal at the March 29 op-ed feedback page.

What will you have done at the end of your project? How will you follow-up with people that are involved with your project?

Three issues of The Signpost published at four-week intervals. Involvement with volunteer editors in Signpost's newsroom to provide standard project management deadline notifications. Community notification of availability via Twitter, Facebook, English Wikipedia mass-messaging and Meta mass-messaging.


This grant proposal does not cover

  • Content creation
  • Tool development
  • Training any users other than the proposer
  • Responding to incoming social media
  • Publication via RSS; it is assumed this is stable and automatic


How will you know if the project is successful and you've met your goals? Please include the following targets and feel free to add more specific to your project:

  1. At least three new issues of The Signpost published on managed schedule
  2. No significant decline in readership due to timeliness issues
Publication is self-evdent by the work product, a new issue of The Signpost, correctly published as multi-page and single-page editions, and announced via publication channels described above.
At the end of the trial, we should have a better understanding of how transferable the process is to another Publication Manager (PM), what further documentation and training would be required to close gaps, and whether the community works well with a paid PM.


What resources do you have? Include information on who is the organizing the project, what they will do, and if you will receive support from anywhere else (in-kind donations or additional funding).

I have published one issue as an interim volunteer, and will utilize my own knowledge to carry forward for three issues.

What resources do you need? For your funding request, list bullet points for each expense:

  • Publication Manager labor: $360. My experience with the March 29 issue leads me to estimate three hours time per published issue. The funding is based on the rate $40/hr (BLS labor code 15-1100) for three hours per issue for three issues ($40 x 3 x 3 = $360).
  • Passwords for Twitter and Facebook accounts $0.
  • Mass-message permissions on ENWP and Meta $0.
  • Cooperation of The Signpost volunteer contributors $0.
  • Management and cooperation of Signpost volunteer Editor-in-Chief $0.


  • Support Bri and I talk sometime. We have never before discussed this issue, but from here forward we will. This project proposal is similar to what I drafted at Grants:Project/bluerasberry/fund a Signpost publisher in May 2017. When I drafted that grant proposal, it was not my idea, and I only got the idea from other people who did not want to write it, or be named, or defend it. The biggest criticism that I have for Bri's idea is that I think it is too much work to establish a paid publishing process on the amount of money they propose. Available WMF grant money on the scale of several thousand US$ should not be a limiting factor given the established value and impact of The Signpost, if there is some consensus to try to relieve pressure with money. I like my proposal, I like Bri's proposal, and I would like Bri's proposal expanded to request more money and run for a longer pilot term. Blue Rasberry (talk) 15:14, 30 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Support I hope this makes the Signpost to be on time. Regards, Krishna Chaitanya Velaga (talkmail) 03:52, 1 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support per the community's comments at here. Jcc (talk) 17:34, 4 April 2018 (UTC)
  • This is an even cheaper alternative to the other grant proposed for this topic. Clearly, WMF is holding out for an artificial intelligence to write articles if it won't spare $360 to help en-wp flourish. Chris Troutman (talk) 08:50, 6 April 2018 (UTC)