Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Portals

WikiProject Portals Talk Pages

Tasks and

New Post | Watch Page
To discuss work on the portals, and project administration, including policy issues.

Dialog-information on.svg
Portal Design
and Ideas

New Post | Watch Page
Existing and potential portal design features and support tools. Technical stuff.


New Post | Watch Page
General portal topics and announcements that don't fit elsewhere

Shortcut: WT:WPPORT/T

Shortcut: WT:WPPORT/D

Shortcut: WT:WPPORT


Main Discussion Page

Shortcut: WT:WPPORT

All Discussion Sections

Archives: Index1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14
WikiProject Portals (Rated Project-class)
This page is within the scope of WikiProject Portals, a collaborative effort to improve portals on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
 Project  This page does not require a rating on the project's quality scale.
Note icon
See also: Guidelines • List of Portals

General discussion threadsEdit

Concerning portal guidelines and topic minimums (eom)Edit

Guideline discussions announcementEdit

Proposal to shut down or reform this WikiProjectEdit

The discussion has been closed and archived to Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Archive307

I know, me proposing shutting down a WikiProject I'm in? What am I thinking?

Well, I mainly joined to make sure things would go smoothly after that RfC to delete all portals - clearly it has not. As thus, I think a solution (among the others) would be to shut down the WikiProject responsible for many of the bad portal creations. Right now it appears all its doing is creating new portals, not maintaining or improving them - which is what a WikiProject is supposed to do.

However, a less extreme solution would be to reform the project to actually maintain and improve the portals it creates, and creates portals sparingly. I'm fairly certain a task force making sure portals meet standards would be beneficial to the issue, and also making it clear that not everything needs a portal.

I'm going for the latter option to reform - however, I'm going to leave the shutdown option up in the air in case people find good reason for it to be considered.

Addendum 13:48, 15 March 2019 (UTC) - Since I forgot to clarify (  Self-trout) here's two examples of reforms I could see being useful:

  • A quality scale for portals, like we use for articles - this could help with knowing which portals are good and which ones need improvement
  • Dividing the Project into task forces to make sure necessary tasks for the maintenance of portals are completed, as right now they clearly are not
  • Sub-reform for this would be to make a task force that deletes bad portals that don't meet quality standards and are not needed

Hopefully this can help clarify this proposal somewhat - if none of these can be done reasonably (which I doubt they can't) the shutdown option should be considered.

Kirbanzo (userpage - talk - contribs) 23:01, 14 March 2019 (UTC)

Survey on sub-proposal to shut down WikiProject PortalsEdit

There is a strong WP:SNOW consensus against shutting down WikiProject Portals. (involved close) — pythoncoder  (talk | contribs) 15:39, 20 March 2019 (UTC) (non-admin closure)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

  • Neutral as per above. Kirbanzo (userpage - talk - contribs) 23:01, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose firstly this is the wrong forum, secondly there is nothing in the nomination that explains why this is needed, or how it will result in an improvement to the encyclopaedia. Thryduulf (talk) 01:04, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Abyssal (talk) 01:35, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support: might as well. --K.e.coffman (talk) 02:23, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. There is consensus to keep the portal system but it has many faults, so a focus for improving it seems sensible. Certes (talk) 14:36, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose. Not necessary and not the best way to fix Wikipedia’s portals. — pythoncoder  (talk | contribs) 19:49, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose – Would amount to throwing the baby out with the bathwater. North America1000 01:19, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose For the same reasons. — AfroThundr (u · t · c) 19:48, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose For the same reasons. Bermicourt (talk) 22:37, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support Incompetent project that doesn't want to deal with the crud their members create. CoolSkittle (talk) 18:07, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose as ad hominem vindictiveness. The only rationale for deleting such a project would be a proper community-wide decision to eliminate all portals. This is not the venue for that; WP:VPPOL is. And this is not the venue for deletion of a wikiproject; WP:MFD is. WP:Process is important, most especially in deletion discussions and related matters, because damned near zero people are going to look for such discussions in an admins' "house organ" page like this. Hardly any non-admins watchlist this page or pay any attention at all to what is said here. It is not intended to be a venue for community-wide concerns in the first place, and even with belated addition to WP:CENT, discussing such matters here is a special kind of forum shopping, namely an attempt to appeal to a small cadre of specialist editors whose concerns about maintenance (and cop-like role of "going after" people for alleged behavioral flaws, often with little oversight, especially compared to WP:ANI process) will colour everything they do and say about the matter.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  20:58, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
Widely misleading arguments. This is a widely advertised and widely participated discussion. It came from a VPR discussion, linked from the very beginning. There are far more non-Admins than Admins involved here. Try to stick to facts. Legacypac (talk) 23:23, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support [non-admin comment :] opposed to portals, they harvest legitimate contributions yet the creators expect them to be automatically protected as legitimate contributions and outside of normal guidance on creation. There are cadres of users who think this is what wikipedia is about, or at least it is a way of making a big splash without knowing anything but how to tweak code (and then wikilawyer when challenged). cygnis insignis 06:10, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose Punishing a whole community for the actions of one person is not reasonable. WaggersTALK 16:49, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose per above. It's getting cold out... SemiHypercube 16:52, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose In the grand scheme of things I'd like to see portals deprecated, but doing so is not where the community is at right now. If there is consensus to keep portals, having a wikiproject to maintain them seems like a good idea. I also feel cold... Wugapodes [thɑk] [ˈkan.ˌʧɹɪbz] 06:47, 19 March 2019 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Survey on sub-proposal to reform WikiProject PortalsEdit

  • Support as proposer and per above. Kirbanzo (userpage - talk - contribs) 23:01, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose as the proposal is in the wrong forum and contains no details of what reform is being suggested, let alone how these reforms would solve the issues identified. Thryduulf (talk) 01:05, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • This is related to the discussion as the WikiProject is headed by the user being discussed here. Kirbanzo (userpage - talk - contribs) 13:48, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
    • Wikprojects are a collection of editors, not just one person. There is no evidence presented that there is any admin action required regarding the WikiProject as a whole collectively (not that I can immediately think of what that action could look like if it were), and there isn't even consensus that admin action regarding the single editor is required. Thryduulf (talk) 13:57, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Fair point, but considering the discussion below it should still be considered. Kirbanzo (userpage - talk - contribs) 14:00, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. I’ve been doing some reform work of this type by creating a page to clean up some of the damage done to the older portals. WikiProject Portals has an assessment page but I’m not sure how much it gets used. — pythoncoder  (talk | contribs) 19:49, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
    • It took quite a lot of discussion to form a consensus for those assessment criteria. Any portals would need to be evaluated against them to ensure they meet at least minimal quality standards (not including the other criteria in the portal guidelines). It will take a while to go through all of the portals and rate them on the quality scale, and that is one of our backlog tasks. — AfroThundr (u · t · c) 19:48, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support in theory. It makes more sense than the above "I disagree with you so I will try to just erase you" bullshit. However, it's not at all clear that the wikiproject, as such, needs any "reform"; rather, some specific decisions and actions taken by its participants have turned out to be controversial, and the community will discuss that (hopefully in a more sensible venue like WP:VPPOL), and the wikiprojects should abide by the result of that process. We don't have any indication this would not happen, so there isn't actually a "reform" to perform, nor is there yet any consensus of what form that should take anyway. Some people here seem to be under the impression that WP is going to come out against portals; others that it'll be against automated portals; others that it'll be against portals on minor topics (and sub-sub-sub-topics) that people aren't likely to seek a portal for; others that nothing is actual broken; others that .... There isn't a single direction of "reform" being proposed.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  21:03, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose The way to reform a project is to get involved with it. We've already had multiple discussions about how the project should be structured and how it should operate on the project pages themselves, and further suggestions there are always welcome. But proposing "reform" without specifying what particular changes are being suggested isn't exactly helpful. WaggersTALK 16:53, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
Exactly right, Waggers, exactly right. You've hit the nail on the head. ~Swarm~ {talk} 18:22, 20 March 2019 (UTC)
But is you see little need for portals why get involved? Legacypac (talk) 23:18, 21 March 2019 (UTC)
Nominating hundreds of portals for deletion is getting involved. If you see little need for them then fine, live and let live, they're not doing you any harm. The community has decided to keep portals, so either you respect that consensus and ignore them, or you respect that consensus and get involved with resolving whatever problem you have with them. WaggersTALK 12:58, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
  • Qualified support. The current project is far from perfect but it's hard to give unqualified support without a statement of specific reforms. We don't want thousands more portals, but last year's RfC shows that it would be equally inappropriate to "reform" into WikiProject Nuke All Portals From Orbit. I removed my name from the project's roster when portal creation grew rapidly. Since then I have done some maintenance but I see little point in improving pages that other editors are working so hard to delete. I could rejoin a project that combined improved existing portals with the right blend of identifying poor, narrow portals for deletion and creating portals in small numbers where clear gaps exist. Certes (talk) 13:32, 29 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Qualified support per @Certes:. As a participant in the Portal project, I would encourage them to adopt a more rigorous process for creating new portals, including qualifying criteria, and also for the maintenance of portals by the relevant project members. I'm disappointed that, while this discussion is going on, at least one portal that I help with has been nominated for deletion (it's not one of the automated portals created by TTH which is subject of a deletion nom that I support). Bermicourt (talk) 11:45, 13 April 2019 (UTC)

Discussion on proposal to reform WikiProject PortalsEdit

  • Query @Kirbanzo: - do you have any early thoughts about what some good reforms would be to shift the primary focus of the project towards maintenance/improvement over creation? Nosebagbear (talk) 23:11, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Transcluded to Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Portals. {{3x|p}}ery (talk) 23:36, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
  • No, do not transclude important discussions from AN to the relevant talkpage. Hold the discussion on the relevant talk page. Transclude to here is there is good reason, which there is not. Holding hte discussion here means watchlisting it doesn't work, and it wont be archived in the right place. Shutting down a WikiProject is not in scope for WP:AN. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 02:20, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • The Portals Wikiproject members can't even come up with a proper new guideline for what topics get a portal even when faced with a village pump imposed moratorium. The discussion is all over the place with no focus. Heck they did not even follow their old guideline about picking subjects broud enough to gain reader and editor interest. The only thing they appear to agree on is MORE MORE MORE and using WP:VITAL as a to do list. Their newsletter said they are pushing to 10,000 portals (off a base of 1500 old line portals). Now the number of portals will shrink until and unless they get new guidelines passed by an RFC. Legacypac (talk) 09:57, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • That old guideline wasn't generally followed, ever. That's because portals (except those on the main page) get about 1 to 3 percent of the amount of traffic that their corresponding root articles get. In other words, "not a lot". That's because almost all their traffic comes via WP internal links. Almost nobody googles "Portal". So, for the vast majority of topics, large numbers of readers and editors will never be forthcoming, and never were. Out of the 1500 portals, about 100 had maintainers (maintained by around 60 editors), and maybe 20% of them regularly edited the portals they maintained.
The WikiProject, and the community, need feedback in the form of hard numbers, in order to get a sense of what will even get used. How hard would it be to make a chart listing all the portals in one column, and their page views for the past month in the second column, and then sort the chart by the second column? That might provide some insight.    — The Transhumanist   11:05, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Sigh. :TTH, you had this data already. You know that portal pageviews are miniscule. At the RFC on deleting the portal namespace, stats were posted on pageviews, and not even all the portals linked from the front page had decent viewing rates.
Yet despite knowing all that, you personally created thousands of new portals, despite having all the evidence in front of you that they are useless.
And when I presented the evidence to you again, and asked you to desist, you were furious. Instead of assessing the issues, you posted multi-screenfull unfocused ramblings replete with shouts of "bias", "personal attack" etc.
The problem is not any shortage of information. The problem is that as @Legacypac notes above, the discussions in the WikiProject have no focus, no regard for available evidence, and no respect for community consensus.
Legacypac and usually disagree, but in this case we see exactly the same problem: a WikiProject which has a long and sustained track record of being utterly incapable of acting responsibly wrt the page within its purview.
This is not solely TTH's doing. TTH bears by far the highest responsibility because TTH has been both the most prolific creator and the most angry objector to calls for restraint, but several other regulars at WikiProject Portals have been equally unfocused and equally bonkers. For example:
So the community simply cannot rely on this group to set and uphold resposnsible guidelines. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 11:53, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
@BrownHairedGirl: I make the proposal 5. And it was a proposal. I Support a reform in WikiProject Portals. My idea is the existence of approximately 1000(level 3) single page portals layout, directly linked in tree model with the main page. The role of the wikiproject should be to organize this tree and develop tools to transform all portals into single-page layout portals.Guilherme Burn (talk) 12:11, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
@Guilherme Burn, no technical diversions. My point is not about how the portals operate; it's about their scope. And 20 pages is insanely narrow. A 20-page portal is just an bloated navbox. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 12:36, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
@BrownHairedGirl: I'm trying to figure out how you've come to the conclusion that WPPORT completely ignores evidence and consensus. The project discussions I've participated in have been rational and reasonable, and far from unfocused. Also, please try not to conflate individual editors' behavior with the project as a whole. I've seen no evidence that the WikiProject has acted irresponsibly regarding the Portal system. If you're referring to the several thousand new portals created by TTH, you should keep in mind that WikiProjects don't have any actual authority to dictate who can and can't create something (even if we were opposed to creating new portals). That's what guidelines are for.
We've been working to develop updated criteria for the Portal guidelines since November (rebooted from even earlier discussions in April) - which you already know, since you've participated as well. We're still working on the guidelines so that we have better, more concrete criteria to judge new and existing portals against (and which would make MfD easier for those that fail). Once we've developed consensus on these, they can be applied to the namespace to fix the portals that can be fixed, and remove the ones that can't (new or old). (Side note: Anyone with input or ideas is welcome to participate at WT:PORTG.)
Actions in the Portal namespace itself (for most of us, it seems) has mostly been technical fixes and tweaks to our tools. Also, your not agreeing with particular proposals does not make those proposing them irresponsible or incompetent. Talk pages are a place to discuss new ideas so that we can find the benefits and drawbacks of each. If we constantly had to worry about being labeled as irresponsible or incompetent for suggesting something, we'd never have any new ideas or get anything done. I've made plenty of suggestions that didn't pan out later, as I'm sure you have, and everyone else here. That's how we learn what works and what doesn't and build a better encyclopedia. In the end, that's what we're all here for right? — AfroThundr (u · t · c) 19:48, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
@AfroThundr3007730: that's not at all how it looks from outside.
  1. Last year, the project began developing automated portals, whose advocates claimed need little or no curation. No attempt was made to hold an RFC to determine whether the community found these automated portals to be a worthwhile addition. (I think I see an emerging consensus that they are not useful, or maybe useful only in some curcumstances)
  2. Following the WP:ENDPORTALS RFC which decided not to actually delete the whole portal namespace, the project decided to massively expand the number of portals, despite the clear evidence at RFC that many editors wanted fewer portals. At no point did the project initiate an RFC to establish whether there was a community consensus for the project's enthusiasm to bizarrely interpret "don't TNT the lot" as "create thousands more".
  3. You are right that a WikiProject has no powers of restraint on an individual editor. However, the project does have an ability to watch what is done, and to act a venue to monitor inappropriate creations, and to initiate cleanup as needed. I see no sign at all that the project has done any of that ... and on the contrary, when outsiders have challenged TTH's sprees of portalspam, other project members have rallied to TTH's defence.
  4. Even now, as a cleanup is underway, I see next to no assistance from project members. V few even comment in the MFDs. For example, take the most extreme case so far: MFD Portal:University of Fort Hare, an utterly absurd creation for which there exists precisely zero relevant selected articles ... yet none of the project regulars is visible.
    In my view, a WikiProject which shows zero interest in removing inappropriate pages within its scope is dysfunctionally irresponsible.
  5. The project's efforts to develop guidelines have been exceptionally poor. The discussions have been rambling and unfocused, with a persistent failure to distinguish between factors such as technical ability to create, availability of editors to maintain and monitor, actual usage data, etc.
  6. Above all, none of the proposals has been put to an RFC to gauge community consensus, so the guideline discussion have effectively been the work of a small group of editors who are united by a common desire to massively increase the number of automated portals.
  7. The result of this failure has been a walled garden of thousands of micro-portals, sustained only by the enthusiasm of the portal project ... and the absolutely inevitable massive shitstorm at the village pump.
What this needs now is a structured RFC, which brings together some or all of the proposals made at the project, adds proposals from outside the project, and seeks a community consensus. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 20:18, 16 March 2019 (UTC)


Hello to the members of this project. I noticed that the replacement of the Christmas portal with the Christianity one has led to the latter being a part of articles like Silent Night, Bloody Night, Robert L. May and Steam Railroading Institute which seems inappropriate. I guess the dilemma is that not every article about Christmas has to do with religion. I know portals have different guidelines than categories and I'm guessing it would be a major project to deal with this so whatever the members of this project decide will be fine but I did want to let you know about it. MarnetteD|Talk 05:10, 1 October 2019 (UTC)

@MarnetteD: at Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Christmas, I proposed Portal:Christianity as the best fit. The only response agreed with that.
I agree that in some cases it was merely the least-worst fit, and in a few cases not a fit at all.
But when I set out to do the replacements, there were only 136 article-space links to replace. The overwhelming majority to me look worth keeping, but obviously editors should review any they consider problematic and WP:BOLDly remove those they consider inappropriate. The small size of the set means that it is not a big job. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 23:53, 2 October 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for the info BrownHairedGirl. Your thought process sure makes sense and I'm glad to know that checking on this isn't as big a project as I thought. I've removed a few and this thread will alert other editors to be on the look out for any articles that may need looking at. MarnetteD|Talk 00:27, 3 October 2019 (UTC)
Glad that helped, @MarnetteD. I try to do the AWB run for each deleted portal as a single batch, to facilitate review ... but this is the first time that has actually been needed. So I'm kinda pleased that my self-discipline has had a use. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 01:31, 3 October 2019 (UTC)
Sweet - synchronicity - serendipity BrownHairedGirl. One of these "S" words apply - or maybe all three :-) MarnetteD|Talk 01:35, 3 October 2019 (UTC)
In the 80s and 90s, if someone said "fuck" or "shit" on the TV it was hilarious. And we would cry out, sort of, if you weren't allowed to say these words on the TV at certain times, something must be wrong because it was hilarious and nobody got hurt. Now people can say "shit" all they want on the TV. People rarely want to and when they do, nobody even notices. We got what we wanted, but we can never have that fun time back because you'd have to take the freedom away and wait for so long, that everybody forgot anything ever happened anyway. We'd all be dead. And I am like, that movie is about Christmas, but what has Christmas got to do with that movie? But of course over here in English speaking Europe, Christmas meant movies like Star Wars and Mickey Mouse, Home Alone, Gremlins... I dunno where you get your movies from over in America though... And I suppose if it's different, there's only so many ways we can find out, like when we search up Christmas at Christmas trying to figure out what to do. And stuff. Apparently, in Japan, the tradition is to take your girlfriend to KFC at Christmas. Isn't that romantic? Wonder what they do for halloween. Probably watch Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer or something... Yes of course I'm watching it, what do you think I am stupid? I'm the one who says uh stupid! Nevertheless... ~ R.T.G 16:50, 14 October 2019 (UTC)

Perhaps put portals at the top?Edit

Observing the slow decline of portals, I remembered a maxim on Reddit that few people read beyond the headline of a newspaper article before commenting. Despite numerous complaints from other Redditors and critiques of behavior, the trend keeps happening: people just read the headline and comment (without even reading other comments). There is an element of human nature that is sadly unchangeable. I think it goes to show that many humans are either very busy, or very lazy, or a combination of both.

The fact portals are placed at the bottom means that they cannot serve their supposed purpose, as their intended audience (in my view), the casual reader intending to see a short, easy to digest gateway into a topic won't see them; I would be very interested if the WMF is keeping track of how many people even scroll to the end of the article and what percentage do so.

I have read comments saying top-level articles like mathematics are better than portals, but many top-level articles are no longer short and easy to digest, and I don't see casual readers reading the whole thing to get the details of the subject, let alone go to the bottom of the page. I write many articles for scholars/people deeply interested in the subjects, but I think we as Wikipedians need to think with the casual reader, with an average level of education, in mind.

I strongly suspect that this human nature of not going to the bottom (for casual readers) is, in addition to the issues of displaying portals on mobile devices and Google now summarizing Wikipedia articles in its search engine, one factor on why portals with thousands of links are starved of readers. If portals are to survive, they should go to the top where readers first view the article, and if there are MoS restrictions that prevent that, either the restrictions go, or portals will be condemned to a slow decline for more years. WhisperToMe (talk) 11:44, 13 October 2019 (UTC)

If portals were to be given that much prominence, there would need to be a consensus that portals do indeed provide such a fine short, easy to digest gateway into a topic that they be highlighted at the top of the page. But given the generally abysmal state of design, content, construction and maintenance of wiki-portals, that case clearly fails.
Portals remain a solution in search of problem, which is why there are such poor pageviews for even the 8 portals linked from the top-right of the Wikipedia Main Page. That is one of the prime pieces of real estate on the whole of the internet: it's the key place on any internet page, and the main page gets an average of over 16 million views per day. Yet those 8 portals get between 1500 and 2300 daily views … so on average, only about one in 8,000 visitors to the main page follows a link to those portals. There's your measure of how little readers want portals, even when they are waved in the readers' face.
The enthusiasts for wiki-portals retain a faith that wiki-portals have some great inherent value, despite their demonstrable huge failings, and despite the web as a whole having largely abandoned portals for 20 years. They make lots of proposals to promote portals (mostly from a small set), but seem sadly undeterred by the evidence. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 15:11, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
…so on average, only about one in 8,000 visitors to the main page follows a link to those portals. Wow. Now I'm even more convinced that portals have to go. These statistics show that users aren't using portals not because they're badly maintained—they simply don't want to click on these thematic links at the top. The search box is all they need. I guess most people think that these thematic links are some sort of article catalogs and decide (correctly) that it would be easier and faster to just type in what they need. So there's no need even for "L0" portals. — UnladenSwallow (talk) 04:46, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
Some data we did about the above.--Moxy 🍁 05:14, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
Thanks, Moxy! I really appreciate this confirmation. Yes, it seems to be the case that relatively few people even go that far down. Re: UnladenSwallow's comment, I'm wondering what level of readership would prove that a certain portal "works"? I see the point that a reader would generally just type in what he/she/they want(s), but a person unfamiliar with a technical topic may not be aware what the topic contains and isn't willing to wade through a lengthy, detailed article (the link above explains the issue). How do we serve him/her/them? WhisperToMe (talk) 13:06, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
Am I the only that thinks that one in 8,000 is actually quite a high number? Given how many people use Wikipedia, and how many readers don't ever see even the main page because they just click through article links after googling a certain person/business/thing, I'd say that's a higher than expected number of portal users. To me, that stat suggests a decent number of WP readers actually think there is a value to the portal and click through. It would be a much worse ratio if not, I already expected the 8k to be bigger and am fiercely against deleting portals. I think we are all probablt interpreting the figures to support our arguments, but I can't help see myself that I thought the portals were less used and still saw them as valuable. Kingsif (talk) 14:19, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
I agree the numbers show usage. Organizations that deal with disabilities recommend portal navigation when using Wikipedia as popups, categories and nav templates are not seen by the majority of our readers (over 60%) because of mobile view invitations. If portals were linked in info boxes and visible to even mobile readers - readership would most likely increase.--Moxy 🍁 15:08, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
Having a portal link in the top right would probably look quite good too - as it does on the talk pages that have them. Kingsif (talk) 15:17, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
Oppose The reasoning is specious since it is based on WP:OR. Some to many readers read the whole article - others scroll to the bottom to get to the external links. The precedence could lead to lets move succession boxes - navboxes - external links - and even categories to the top so that they will be seen. IMO a change to Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Layout like this will need a well publicized RFC. MarnetteD|Talk 15:32, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
Original research is allowed on talk pages in regards to article planning and setup, although article content itself shouldn't be OR, and decisions based on published references (and debating the validity of concrete facts) should use published sources. Thanfully one can find references about general/overall internet behavior. WhisperToMe (talk) 00:17, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
I know it is allowed. I also know it is guess work with no proof that it is actually the case for readers of our articles. Policy changes based on it is not the ay to go. MarnetteD|Talk 00:25, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
I feel that the study presented above about overall Wikipedia article reading behavior is helpful as proof as it summarizes overall trends: I am aware some people strategically look at some articles for particular purposes, but the internet has grown to encompass much of humanity now, and it's more helpful to think of the average Joe, not a person well-versed in Wikipedia (or even a person well versed at research at an undergraduate level) who is using it for a strategic purpose. WhisperToMe (talk) 00:34, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
Portals are already place in info boxes all over so no real change in policy would be needed.--Moxy 🍁 15:36, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
A) I've never seen a portal in an infobox. B) Being in an infobox is not the same thing as being placed at the top of the article and C) If you want the whole s**tstorm about portals to resume just start placing them at the top of an article without the RFC. MarnetteD|Talk 18:28, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
I agree that I don't recall seeing portal links from infoboxes (although there's a bit of everything around enwiki, so it has probably been done somewhere). And I also agree that putting links at the top of individual articles is a bit of a slippery slope. However, I do wonder why there is a fixed list of portal links at the top of the Main Page, when most of the other content there is changed out periodically. There were a lot of bad portals, especially after the big expansion of semi-automated portals, but there are even more bad articles, and that's not stopped us from having a rotation of TFAs, etc. --RL0919 (talk) 19:47, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
Sorry wrong wording I mean in Navboxes in the lead normally seen in academic topics like Genetics - Evolution - History of Canada etc..these are not seen in mobile view.--Moxy 🍁 20:34, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
I agree that having portals higher up would dramatically increase readership and spur editors to care about them more, ending most of the deletionists' complaints. Wikipedia is a work in progress, everyone knows that. Nothing bad would come of the portals being higher up in articles. Portals are the first thing on the Main Page, and used to essentially be the Main Page, for a good reason. Encyclopedias should be broken down by subject, with topic overviews, it's a wonder people think the search function is a decent alternative to finding out everything Wikipedia has on a certain topic. ɱ (talk) 15:59, 8 November 2019 (UTC)

Every portal should fall under a single specific WikiProjectEdit

I propose that every portal should fall under a single, specific WikiProject. If there is not either a single WikiProject for the topic of the portal, or a single WikiProject under which the portal would fall as a subtopic, then the portal should not exist. There should be no intersectional portals combining topic areas. An example of such a portal would be the recently deleted portal for "Television in Australia" (see Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Television in Australia (2nd nomination)), or the current Portal:Football in Africa, Portal:Military history of Europe, Portal:Michigan highways, Portal:UK waterways, and Portal:Geography of Kenya. To the extent that these topics are important, they should already be covered in Portal:Association football, Portal:Kenya, Portal:United Kingdom, and the like. Similarly, to the extent that there is no Wikipedia:WikiProject Telephone, there should be no Portal:Telephones. bd2412 T 01:39, 17 October 2019 (UTC)

Oppose as per Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Guide#WikiProjects do not own most projects are dead because portals are not seen or have been deleted - thus no-one knows about projects anymore because portals are the only content namespace that we could recruit in. Looks like a set up for deletion crew over a rule to help portals get better.--Moxy 🍁 01:49, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
Tying portals more closely to projects would definitely help them get better. bd2412 T 02:16, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
Oppose proposal as worded. I have found the most useful aspect of portals is in enabling project editors to have an 'at-a-glance' overview of a topic and to use it to extend and improve coverage and balance of a topic. Portals are not articles so 'ownership' is not a factor; they are not owned by projects any more than the WikiProject pages themselves. So I think it makes huge sense that portals are supported and maintained by a WikiProject, but not to limit this to one portal per project. Why not take this in 2 stages: get portals under projects first. Then look at the support for and against one portal per project. Bermicourt (talk) 12:40, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
@Bermicourt: apart from the mega-navbox-style portals imported by you from de.wp, most portals barely even try to give an overview. They are crude, thin, magazines with a small selection of random highlights, often surrounded by forests of trivia such as fake DYKs and stale "news". Meanwhile, the head articles do give an overview.
I do agree that it makes huge sense that portals are supported and maintained by a WikiProject. However, a crude one-portal-per-project map doesn't work neatly, because some projects have very broad topics, such as WP:WikiProject North America. What we need is each portal to be actively supported by at least one active WikiProject. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 20:23, 19 October 2019 (UTC)
Bear in mind, I am suggesting this as one step, not as a cure-all solution. bd2412 T 20:37, 19 October 2019 (UTC)
@BD2412: if you refine and simplify that one step to something simple like any portal must be actively supported by at least one active WikiProject, then I think you will have a good proposal to take to RFC. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 20:49, 19 October 2019 (UTC)
@BrownHairedGirl:@BD2412:. Thanks, BHG, I agree. That makes a lot of sense. Bermicourt (talk) 09:54, 20 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose the exact statement but support the principle. The best scope of a portal may be wider or narrower than one wikiproject. Perhaps nominating a lead wikiproject would be a better implementation, even if it just defaults to the first one listed on the portal talk page. Let's encourage wikiprojects to get more involved with portals but not make an inflexible rule. Certes (talk) 13:28, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose, completely arbitrary. Nothing wrong with topics like Portal:American Civil War, which is both USA-related and military history-related. Merging such portals into bigger ones risks losing their focus completely. Also, while WikiProject infrastructure is useful when creating and maintaining portals, it is not necessary. —Kusma (t·c) 13:58, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment - This just isn't feasible because WikiProjects indeed have died. About 15 years ago WikiProjects were booming. Now... they're not. WhisperToMe (talk) 16:30, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Support something like this in principle, tho the precise proposal needs some tweaking. I partly agree with WhisperToMe's observation. But the reality is that both portals and projects have mostly died. Even after abiut 7 months of deletions, and ~950 portals deleted, MFD is still looking at long-dead portals … and while checking out projects related to the portals under discussion in the last week or two, I have found that an alarming number of their related Wikiprojects are dead or barely alive.
I don't see any evidence to support Moxy's claim that portals have ever led editors to WikiProjects. Portals had low readership even when projects thrived, and talk page banners seem to me to be a much bigger gateway to WikiProjects (e.g. {{WikiProject Spain}} is on the talkpges of 40334 articles, but only 2686 article pages link to Portal:Spain. It seems to me that the death of WikiProjects is due to a bunch of other, bigger changes in the editor base and in editing practices.
However, portals need Wikiprojects to support them. Without that project engagement, portals either rot, or became the plaything of one lone editor.
The main remedy is to continue the work already done to reduce the number of portals, both by continuing to remove portals which lack active maintenance, and by setting a much higher threshold for the notion of "broad topic". That means for example, removing nearly all portals on cities and sub-national regions, and also adopting BD2412's idea of culling the intersection portals, but a lot more such culling is needed, e.g. of portals for many countries.
I think that BD2412 has chosen the wrong venue for this discussion, because the portals project continues to be dominated by the same small group of editors who have left portalspace to rot for a decade without even assessing the state of the existing portals. Many of them have repeatedly opposed the deletion first of TTH's portalspam, and then of long-neglected portals on narrow topics. Insofar as I can see any strategic vision from the poral enthusiasts, it seems to be a halfway house to TTH's full-automation: using automated excerpt generation to avoid rotting of content forks, but leaving content selection of generally unscrutinised portals in the hands of a small crew of portal fans, rather than as part of wider community processes with more eyes involved.
In Q2+Q3 2019, this page had an average of only 57 views/day, and a median of only 30 views/day, while WP:MFD averaged 215 views/day .. and that 215/day doesn't include the many views of the MFD subpages which are directly linked from MFD notices. That huge gap in viewing figures explains the huge chasm between between MFD outcomes and the opinions expressed on this project page. Basically, the wider community supports the culling which this project's groupthink opposes.
So any discussion here is highly unlikely to be in any way representative of a broad community consensus. It should be at a wider forum, such as the village pump. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 20:13, 19 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose – A project about a topic being existent should not be a prerequisite for a portal about that topic to exist, as this just adds more instruction creep and bureaucracy, preventing the encyclopedia from being improved. Furthermore, Wikiprojects as a whole do not seem to be as popular as they once were, and in many cases, are not being utilized much, such as with talk page discussions about various matters. This would also equate to changing the goalposts for portal qualification in an unfair manner, whereby portals that already exist could immediately qualify for deletion based upon yet another new rule. In my view, requiring underutilized projects to exist for portals to exist doesn't fit in. North America1000 13:13, 7 November 2019 (UTC)

Duplicate portals for task forcesEdit

Is there a system for finding and fixing cases where a WikiProject banner has a portal for the main WikiProject, and the same portal associated with one of its taskforces? For example, this edit by BrownHairedGirl (talk · contribs) which resulted in {{WikiProject Pakistan|Islamabad=yes}} showing Portal:Pakistan twice. I fixed it, but how many other similar cases are there? --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 18:06, 19 October 2019 (UTC)

@Redrose64: that's probably the only one done like that by me. My usual practice in cleaning up after a portal deletion is simply to remove the portal link from a project banner template; I don't recall what prompted me to try something different there, but AFAICR it was the only one.
In the last few months, the vast majority of such portal link fixes to WPbanners have been done by me, so that's probably a one-off. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 18:56, 19 October 2019 (UTC)

Nomination for deletion of Template:Basic portal start pageEdit

 Template:Basic portal start page has been nominated for deletion. You are invited to comment on the discussion at the template's entry on the Templates for discussion page. Certes (talk) 16:22, 25 October 2019 (UTC)


Subpage of a failed proposal, Wikipedia:Portal/Guidelines/Categorizing brings a number of outdated information leading to WP: SMALLCAT, there is no need to create categories to include a single portal and its subpages. In a scenario of reduce portals and with the required categories already created I propose blank Wikipedia:Portal/Guidelines/Categorizing and tag with {{Historical}}.Guilherme Burn (talk) 15:23, 8 November 2019 (UTC)

If we tag as Historical then its status will be clarified and we don't need to blank the page. Certes (talk) 16:03, 8 November 2019 (UTC)

Impact of portals exclusions on portal space global pageviewsEdit

I regularly consult Wikipedia:WikiProject Portals/Popular portals and realize that even with the exclusions of over one thousand portals (some with over 1,000 monthly views) the global pageviews of the portal space have not decreased.

This may be an argument in favor of those who advocate fewer well-maintained portals.

Is there any tool that can quantify the evolution of pageviews more accurately?

I also realized that after upgrading the portals are more viewed, but still do not attract the attention of editors. Examples: Portal:Computer programming and Portal:Chess.Guilherme Burn (talk) 15:28, 12 November 2019 (UTC)

Request for commentEdit

North America1000 03:46, 13 November 2019 (UTC)
Return to the project page "WikiProject Portals".