Project grants/Take the Lead!

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Basic information[edit | edit source]

Many articles on English wikipedia have deficient or poorly-written leads that do not summarise the article or present the information in an engaging manner. Now with increased mobile phone usage, this is becoming more of an issue as the mobile interface often shows the lead alone with other sections collapsed.

Previous attempts to improve leads include WikiProject_Introductions from 2005, WikiProject Lead section cleanup and WikiProject Lede Improvement Team among others. With over 200 pages missing a lead and many more needing intro cleanup, and they are just the ones that are tagged, this will be interesting.

Project details[edit | edit source]

Full project name

Take the Lead!

Project start date (include month, day, and year)

TBA, would run over a 2-4 week period at a time to be confirmed.

Project completion date (include month, day, and year)

See preceding

Please describe the project in 1–2 sentences

Entrants must improve article lead sections by (re-)writing and/or adjusting them to comply with our lead guidelines.

Amount requested

£250 in Amazon vouchers (as with the Core Contest and Stub Contest) - to be split among five (or nine) winners.

Project lead details[edit | edit source]

Are you an individual or an organisation?

Individual - unaffiliated with anyone.

Are you currently a member of Wikimedia UK?

No. I would not handle any money or vouchers myself but merely run the contest and coordinate the winners and getting WMUK person to convey vouchers to aforesaid lucky winners...

Project lead name

Cas Liber

Supporting member: KTC

Project lead username or email

Casliber (unified login)

Project lead title (position), if any

Coordinator-judge-type person....?

Project description[edit | edit source]

Plan would be to set up a contest page on enwiki. Spend 4-6 weeks promoting and circulating it at signpost, centralised alerts, village pump and various noticeboards. Set a competiton date over a one month period. Prizes could be done as follows: 1 x £50 voucher to person who writes most leads overall. 4 x £50 vouchers to be distributed randomly among all entries as a 'lucky dip'. i.e. list all entries in a linear order (quite easy to do on a page), then two people in WMUK can use a random number generator four times to come up with the four 'lucky entries'. Hence the more articles you enter the more chance you have of winning.

Alternately, we could have 8 winning numbers for £25 vouchers each - okay with that as well and might be good to spread the love around :)

Goals and measures of success[edit | edit source]

Project goal[edit | edit source]

Please briefly describe what will be accomplished if the project is successful.

Project goal

To reduce the number of articles with either poor or rudimentary leads, or no leads at all, on the English wikipedia.

Measures of success[edit | edit source]

Please provide a list of measurable criteria that will be used to determine how successful the project is. You will need to report on the success of the project according to these measures after the project is completed.

Measures of success

On today (29 May 2015 Anno Domini), there are 2173 pages categorised as missing a lead, and 14,623 listed as listing a lead cleanup. I have no idea how many more are untagged. I hope to measure them again at the start of the competition and at the end...and see how much of a dent we make....

Budget and resources[edit | edit source]

Project budget breakdown

£250 for Amazon vouchers. Else nil.

Non-financial assistance requested

Will require one or two folks fom WMUK taking a few minutes to generate several random numbers to determine who gets vouchers.

Impact and benefits[edit | edit source]

How will this project support Wikimedia UK's Outcomes, charitable objects and vision, values and mission?

Should make some sort of dent in number of articles with no or inadequate leads and hence improve the quality of the 'pedia.

Discussion[edit source]

Update?[edit source]

Hi Casliber, is this grant application still live, or could it be closed? You will see from the Grants page that grants can be paid only to members of the charity, so you'd either need to join or include in the grant proposal a member who would receive the funds. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 14:30, 28 May 2015 (BST)

For the record, Casliber have never personally received any funds. The office have always directly paid any prizes to the eventual winners. If Wikimedia UK would like a member to be a "sponsor" of such competition grant application, I'll be happy to be such a member for this, Core, Stub, and/or GAN contest that Casliber would like to run. -- KTC (talk) 09:04, 29 May 2015 (BST)
Thx Katie, I sorta dobbed you in on the other pages before I saw this (chuckle). Casliber (talk) 15:59, 29 May 2015 (BST)
Thanks Katie, that would be perfect. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 16:45, 29 May 2015 (BST)

Is it too early to discuss this? I'm not 100% comfortable this idea. Feels a bit like paid editing. Plus £250 while not a huge amount of money could be better spent on other things. Why not buy some fancy paper such as this and then put them in a nice presentation sleeve like this and give out winners and runners up certificates with maybe a box of quality street or a bottle of plonk if you really want to be generous. I've won several prizes for work in my lifetime and I have to say that the nice feeling you get is from the winning not from the actual value of whatever you win. Theresa knott (talk) 13:41, 29 May 2015 (BST)

Ok here's the thing. The prizes are for amazon vouchers (sorry forgot to add that - was in a hurry and doing stream-of-consciousness writing). I think books for learning are better than awards or a bottle of plonk. And speaking of personal experience, I spent several years in my early teens shit-broke....and would have really appreciated a book voucher or two more than decorative awards. I'll get back to filling this one out. Casliber (talk) 16:00, 29 May 2015 (BST)
Yes, this is a different take on what WMUK has been doing for some years, sponsoring "The Core contest", which Cas also runs. Most of the prize-winners are usually not in the UK, so physical prizes such as bottles of plonk etc aren't practical. Personally I think the outcomes of that have clearly made it well worthwhile, though as a winner in the past some might say I'm biased. Johnbod (talk) 17:28, 6 June 2015 (BST)
OK fair enough. In that case I give this project my support Theresa knott (talk) 14:38, 28 August 2015 (BST)

This seems like a sensible proposal overall. On the rewards, I've raised concerns about associating Amazon with WMUK before now, due to controversies surrounding Amazon in the UK, but I've come to the conclusion they're a reasonable prize compared to alternatives, and I'm happy to support giving them subject to some flexibility being given if a winner requests it. Paid editing per se doesn't bother me that much, though I respect that it is a third rail in the Wikimedia community, so direct cash prizes are probably best avoided. I prefer the £25 option when it comes to the distribution of the prizes, as I'm sure most volunteers would be happy with cash prizes at that level, and it does indeed spread the love around more. On the overall budget, I don't think £250 is unreasonable, though I think this request would be strengthened by reducing it down slightly given the budget constraints WMUK now faces. Perhaps a £200 budget with eight £25 Amazon vouchers – one going to the winner, and seven others being randomly distributed based on article submissions? CT Cooper · talk 22:04, 9 June 2015 (BST)

I am not privy to your budget. if you have to cap it at £200 then so be it, still plenty to go round. The more I think about it the more I prefer to spread vouchers in 25 quid aliquots...Casliber (talk) 11:27, 10 June 2015 (BST)

Update[edit source]

Back again. Just trying to tidy up Stub Contest before wrestling with this one. Casliber (talk) 13:13, 30 October 2015 (GMT)

Approval[edit source]

Based on the recommendation from the Grants Committee, the budget holder has approved this grant.

The contest is now scheduled to take place in January, further details at Wikipedia:Take the lead!

Update[edit source]

Right, at the conclusion of the contest, 606 articles (from 20 editors) have been improved as per the guidelines and now go into a raffle for Amazon vouchers. Can someone from WMUK provide me eight random numbers between 1 and 606? I can't choose a winner as they are so diverse and I feel like it'd be comparing apples with oranges. Hence happy to do 8 x £25 vouchers for the lucky eight numbers drawn rather than seven plus a lead-winner. Casliber (talk) 12:05, 1 February 2016 (GMT) Oops, gotta give folks 72 hours...forgot 'bout that....and I need to pick a winner I think.So seven lucky dip numbers it is...Casliber (talk) 01:25, 2 February 2016 (GMT)

@Casliber: Righto, we'll hold fire on the lucky dip then. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 12:09, 2 February 2016 (GMT)
@Richard Nevell (WMUK): sorry re delay. winner announced. Lemme know when numbers are up. Casliber (talk) 19:57, 23 February 2016 (GMT)
@Casliber: No problem, I've just emailed you the numbers. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 12:08, 24 February 2016 (GMT)

Report[edit source]

The Take the Lead! competition resulted in 20 editors writing new or expanding too-small leads in 606 articles. It is difficult to ascertain what dent this made in wikipedia's articles with small or no leads as it became clear to me beforehand that the number of articles tagged with lead problems (~2000 before the competition's commencement and ~ 1800 afterwards) was only a small fraction of all articles on wikipedia with the same issues (clicking the 'random' button will give you an idea!). Still, it was fun to run and attracted a different pool of editors. I think this is worth running again at least once and see what sort of headway we make. I am reluctant to tag all articles as it'd be alot of ugly tagging.... Casliber (talk) 04:43, 19 March 2016 (GMT)

Proposal to run the competition a second time[edit source]

I'd like to run this competition again as I think it may attract a wider range of editors than the Core Contest and spread the benefit around of improving leads for many articles - to attract readers on mobile phones, or just readers with shorter attention spans on desktops, who knows. I think cycling through different competitions adds novelty and variety. Casliber (talk) 01:23, 16 September 2021 (BST)

  • Right- thanks for the email confirmation. The plan would be to run this over a calendar month - this could be December 1 to 31 (which gives 7 weeks for promoting), or November 1-30 (which gives 3 weeks). I slightly prefer November as this is less of a focused slog than the Core Contest. The contest is all laid out at en:Wikipedia:Take_the_lead!. It worked out well last time - I have forgotten whether anyone else ended up joining as a judge for this and can't see anywhere recorded -so as last time, I (hopefully plus another judge) would choose one has best one and there'd be 7 lucky dip winners. Casliber (talk) 03:09, 11 October 2021 (BST)
  • Right - will run in November - afterwards will nag a nice WMUK member to draw random numbers for seven other prize-getters :) Casliber (talk) 02:18, 12 October 2021 (BST)
  • Hi. WMUK is happy to support this contest. I'll email you shortly to flush out the details. Karla Marte(WMUK) (talk) Karla Marte(WMUK) 13:53, 14 October 2021 (BST)

Report[edit source]

The Take the Lead! competition resulted in 18 editors writing new or expanding too-small leads in 247 articles. As with last time, it is difficult to ascertain what dent this made in wikipedia's articles with small or no leads a huge number of articles with this problem are untagged. Still, lead improvement is not focussed on in any other process on wikipedia as such, so I suspect it is a much-neglected part of encyclopedia-building that remains so - and is of increasing importance with the shift to phone use (over desktop/laptop use) I think this competition fills a unique role in this and is worth running again in the future. Casliber (talk) 01:06, 4 February 2022 (GMT)