User talk:HJ Mitchell

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I'm wondering if we ought to have a couple of standard templates and a space for discussing the approach for dealing with spammers and vandals. We seem in the habit of indef blocks as the first step and it might be an idea to move to at least one 24 hour block first with an associated template with a fair explanation of what this website is, where else they can try playing with wikis in general and a warning about why the next step could be an indef. We could even bundle these into a user script that any :wmuk admin could then reuse as a handy bust-vandals-but-be-nice tool. Cheers -- 08:42, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

Hey Fae. It might be worth discussing it at the water cooler if we ant to develop a standard approach, but personally I don't think we should give blatant spammers the time of day. If it's obviously in bad faith, and it's the kind of thing that would be deleted from just about any wiki, I would just block them. I take a similar approach on Wikipedia, though I might give them an "only warning" first, depending on the severity of the spamming. I might cut some slack for people who are trying to write encyclopaedia articles that are overly positive in tone, but most of the stuff we see here is pretty obviously in bad faith and a lot of it looks coordinated. Harry Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 18:20, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

Wiki conference 2012

Thanks for your changes on the page Harry. I have actually copied that over from 2011 one, but it is good that this year's version does not have the mistakes. Daria Cybulska (talk) 11:03, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

Fair enough, I'll let you off then. ;) There are a lot of errors like this on this wiki, and they irritate me, so I fix them where I spot them! Harry Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 16:27, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

Welcome template

Hi, I put the auto sig in after having to add the 'clear' template. If you use it and have to sign it, the signature would be in the next paragraph rather than against the text, which seems a bit naff. I'm not actually sure why you would object to an auto signing template, it saves a step in the process. -- (talk) 10:57, 10 May 2012 (UTC)

I hate templates that automatically add a signature. It's nice to give people the option to leave a personal message at the end of the boilerplate (before the signature) and the pedant in me hates the double hyphen. That said, the sig appearing on a new line is indeed naff. Is there nothing we can do to fix that? Harry Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 18:18, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
I've changed it so that parameter "1" allows a custom message after the main text or to automatically include a sig if you choose not to add such a message. Regards, Rock drum (talkcontribs) 18:30, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
I've changed it to what I believe is your intended changes Rock drum. KTC (talk) 19:31, 10 May 2012 (UTC)

Train the Trainers

I am pleased to announce that the Train the Trainers event which you have expressed interest in will take place on the weekend of 9-10 June at the Wikimedia UK office, 56 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4LT.

The timings of the training are roughly: Saturday 9:30 am - 6:30pm, Sunday 9am - 5pm. Light breakfast and lunch will be provided; we are also planning to go for a meal after the training on Sunday.

It is vital that you do not miss the start of the training session, so before confirming your availability please do make sure you can make the start time of the training.

We are able to cover travel and accommodation, including if you need to travel on Friday - an advance notice will be appreciated!

Please reply promptly by emailing (or 0207 065 0994) and confirming your availability - places are limited.

If you are not able to attend this time, we will have another training in October, and you will be more than welcome to sign up then. Richard Symonds (talk) 15:18, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for tidying up the Five Year plan page Harry. Jon Davies WMUK (talk) 11:44, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

You're welcome. Always happy to help. Harry Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 13:25, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

Hi Harry. Post-event, I thought I'd respond to a couple of points you raised, while they're on my mind.

First, giving feedback. We didn't discuss integrity in that session, but integrity is important to you (and, I hope, the rest of us) and you don't want to be insincere, corporate etc. What I do is make an internal promise to myself that I'll never give people compliments if I don't truly believe what I'm saying. If I've nothing positive whatsoever to say about someone then I'll not say anything, and seek not to work with them. The sandwich exercise becomes not an exercise in saying things to ingratiate yourself to people, but in thinking about your reaction to them in a way that stops the tendency to amplify their negative qualities.

Secondly, you said you interpret training more in terms of working "at the computer" than what we were doing in the training workshop. You know all about being a WP admin and I don't. I'd like to learn properly, ideally in a workshop environment with you and other admins training me and other experienced non-admins. It seems to me that knowing what to click on to use the tools is a tiny part of being an admin, and that it's much more about exercising good judgement and responsibility, knowing your remit, knowing what pisses people off, and so on. So I'd hope the training would involve lots of group activities, discussions and so on with people moving about a room. That's something I think WMUK trainers should be aiming to do and I think you could play a role in delivering that, when you're comfortable with it. Even though this all comes down to computer use, I'd advise aiming high and thinking beyond the computer: those skills will be useful in all sorts of settings, not just WP. Seems you've learned it can be fun- hope so! Cheers,

Hi Martin. Sorry it's taken me a while to get back to you. It was a really interesting weekend, and although some of it wan't directly relevant to the kind of training Wikipedians are used to delivering, I certainly came away with lots of things to think about and I'm sure others did. I probably wouldn't use the feedback sandwhich as such, but being asked to give feedback in that way is a useful exercise in itself, as it forces you to think of something positive, even for the deliberately shocking presentation in the role play, and that's definitely something I'll remember.
As to styles of training, I've always thought that if participants to do something for themselves, it's more likely to sink in and they're more likely to have the confidence to do it again on their own. But it's not always practical to have everybody at a computer (and it wouldn't be much use if teaching non-admins about being admins, for example), so it's certainly useful to prove that you don't need a computer.
Oh, and being an admin is not nealry as exciting as everyone seems to think it is, but if you want to know more about it, I'll happily talk about it with you or anyone else who's interested. :) Harry Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 08:08, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

WMUK events list

I think you are right to have deleted the meeting with Midas, although I was told by Mike to put as much as possible in - something to work out as we go along. I don't know what the general rule is - e.g. people delivering talks normally figure there. Daria Cybulska (talk) 14:30, 22 June 2012 (UTC)


You know, "who" is considered an acceptable alternative to "whom" in all situations these days (except by pedants trying to look clever ;)). Language moves on - try to keep up! --Tango (talk) 20:14, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

You're mistaking "acceptable" for widely [but incorrectly] used. I don't deny being a pedant, but "who" and "whom" are different words. Correctly using them in speech doesn't really matter, but in a formal, written document, it does matter. But you needn't take my word for it—have a look at what Wiktionary or Wikipedia have to say on the topic; Grammarly also have some excellent humorous explanations. Harry Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 22:12, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
English isn't French. There is no academy defining it. It is defined simply by how it is used. The Wikipedia article you link to quotes numerous grammarians saying that it basically isn't used any more, except by people that think using it brings the prestige. --Tango (talk) 22:18, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
That it's not used in common speech is not a reason to not make a formal document grammatically correct. I strongly suspect that you will struggle to find any professionally written document that uses "who" as an objective pronoun. However, "who" is three characters and "whom" is four, and we have taken up many times that number of characters already, so I suggest we agree to disagree. Harry Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 23:06, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

Isabelle photo

Thanks for keeping an eye on the copyright material - when I secured the photo Rockdrum suggested to upload it as copyrighted, I was working with him on this. We wanted to have her profile ready as soon as possible for her start on Monday (so now her profile page is missing the content User:Isabelle_K_Yates). What would be the best way of solving this? Thanks, Daria Cybulska (WMUK) (talk) 11:01, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

Ask her, or whoever own the rights to the photo, to release it under a free license. Or take one on Monday when she starts and upload that as CC-By-SA. But it would be slightly ironic if an organisation that "exist[s] to help collect, develop and distribute freely licensed knowledge (and other educational, cultural and historic content)" couldn't get a freely licensed image of one of its own staff. Harry Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 15:07, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

Risk register

Hi Harry,

I don't know if you want to say something at Talk:Risk Register#Risk numbering. It's all gone quiet.

Yaris678 (talk) 10:36, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

Do I want to? Quite frankly, not really. I'd rather write an encyclopaedia article. In an ideal world, that document would be written to a professional standard (that would take more time than I have online atm), and a conscious decision would be taken on whether to use MediaWiki's in-built section numbering (my preference, because it's tidy and you don't have to change everything if the number of risks changes) or to manually number each risk. I think it was just copied and pasted from elsewhere on the Web. In the imperfect world which we inhabit, I'm not going to take offence if you revert me. Harry Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 18:56, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
This is the thing. I'm not bothered either way. Both you and Fae make good points. I kinda wish there was some technical fix that addressed all concerns but I'm guessing that doesn't exist. What I am more concerned about is that all discussions on the page seems to have stalled without resolving some issues. The numbering issue looks like it is one to try to resolve early so I thought I'd try to get that one going. More concerning from my point of view is the discrepancy between how the scoring system is purported to work and what was done. Is it just someone's bad maths? Yaris678 (talk) 16:33, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
Yep, probably bad maths. My opinion as someone who has been hired in the past as a risk consultant, is that this document started from the wrong place so it's probably too much work to sort it out. Anyway, my views are on the record at Minutes_9Feb13#Sunday_10_Feb_2013, so there seems little point in harping on about it and funking up the place with an endless tide of negativity when I can just walk on. Cheers -- (talk) 17:00, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

WMUK Conference 2013

Hi Harry, thanks for all your efforts for the conference this weekend, glad I was able to participate and appreciate the work that goes into organising these things! I was wondering if you (or I can ask someone else?) would be able to add to the talk/proposal page a link with my post-event blog and embedded slidecast: ? Cheers, Sjgknight (talk) 08:35, 10 June 2013 (UTC)

Hi Simon. I can of course put a link there, but it wouldn't be seen by many people; that page was more-or-less dead from the moment we wrote the schedule. You might be best talking to Stevie, who might be able to repost it on WMUK's blog or something. Best, Harry Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 15:01, 11 June 2013 (UTC)

What happened on Sunday 7 July 2013?

Apparently, there was a Wiki meet-up on Sunday 7 July 2013 in Coventry. The page about it Meetup/Coventry/8 says from 1.00 pm onwards. I got there at about 8.00 pm and I could not find any Wikipedia members. Is there going to be a report about the meeting? Why has discussion about the meeting been on Twitter? Why not have some discussion on one of the Wiki talk pages? Why have the questions on this talk page not been answered? 11:32, 9 July 2013 (UTC)

Hi, sorry you missed us. The meetup started at around 1pm, but I think the last of us left and walked to the station together at about 6pm. The meetup tends to fizzle out naturally by about that time. I didn't know there had been discussions on Twitter; there's not normally much discussion about meetups because they're just informal gatherings. I suspect nobody answered the questions on the talk page because nobody saw them—the pages on Meta are normally just used for people to sign up in advance, so they don't get much attention after the meetup. Feel free to email me (harry.mitchell at next time and I'll send you my mobile number so you can ring me if you can't find us at the next meetup. Harry Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 14:22, 9 July 2013 (UTC)
The page about the meeting says "13:00 onwards", so I thought that it would have got going quite well a few hours after 13.00pm. I did not expect it to fizzle out by 6pm. I think that it would be much better to put an anticipated time range for the next meeting and not just the start time. I would have thought that the people who organised the meeting would be watching the talk page. 10:14, 10 July 2013 (UTC)

Proposed deletion: Activities/Geographical diversity

Harry, a quick courtesy link to Water_cooler#Proposed_deletion:_Activities.2FGeographical_diversity. Cheers, MartinPoulter (talk) 14:43, 31 August 2013 (UTC)

Wikidata training

Hi, you previously expressed an interest in attending a Wikidata training workshop. The date for the event has now been set for Saturday 28 September. Please sign up at Wikidata training if you are able and plan to attend. Regards -- Katie Chan (WMUK) (talk) 13:41, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

The time for the event have been set for 10:30am-3:30pm. Lunch will be provided. Please check to make sure the time is okay for you. Regards -- Katie Chan (WMUK) (talk) 14:43, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

WMUK Members Survey

Hello Harry! I know from the water cooler discussions that you are one of a number of people interested in thinking about membership recruitment/membership generally of the chapter. I am today drawing a few specific people's attention to this as something I'm going to develop in the next couple of weeks. I'll announce on the Water cooler and mailing lists but I'm flagging it up to people who have been involved with membership matters or had strong feelings about last years survey questions - both non and current members. Please do throw in some thoughts or edit the questions as they develop :-) Katherine Bavage (WMUK) (talk) 15:16, 14 October 2013 (UTC)

Thank you!

At the risk of beginning a somewhat circular conversation, I wanted to drop you a note to thank you for thanking me for my edit on your *chuckle* grant proposal. It's lovely to feel appreciated once in a while! Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 11:28, 2 April 2014 (BST)

You're welcome. I like the "thank" button; it's one of the most useful thing the WMF have ever done. Though I don't know what you're chuckling about—you're top of the list for when the Taser arrives in the post! ;) Harry Mitchell (talk) 17:43, 2 April 2014 (BST)

Marjon photos

My photos from the editathon and the Marjon campus are now up on Commons, see Commons:Category:University of St Mark and St John. I know Gill was interested in seeing them, but I don't have her contact details. The general photos from Plymouth I haven't sorted yet (I took 182, plus another 95 on the train between Plymouth and Exeter) so they'll not be up for a few days at least. Thryduulf (talk: local | en.wp | en.wikt) 20:58, 6 April 2014 (BST)

Thanks for that, Chris. Some good photos in there. You seem to have a knack for capturing funny facial expressions! Do you mind if I get rid of File:WMUK Marjon 2014-04-03 08.jpg? Not the most flattering angle... Harry Mitchell (talk) 21:17, 6 April 2014 (BST)
That's fine. Thryduulf (talk: local | en.wp | en.wikt) 22:40, 6 April 2014 (BST)

You beat me to it

Thanks for taking care of the vandalism. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 17:08, 27 May 2014 (BST)