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Nosedive of our U.S. Alexa rankEdit

For some reason that's of yet unclear to me (it can't be seasonal variation alone) our Alexa ranking in the U.S. has taken a worse nosedive than a 737 max with mcas on steroids. It doesn't seem to have caused real world consequences yet, but we should probably find out what's going on before it's too late Hobbitschuster (talk) 23:38, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Unfortunately, this observation is true. The cause is as unexplainable as the jump about two years ago. The nosedive started about three months ago (see here), is not yet stopped and was combined with a decrease of the count of U.S. visitors from about 15 % to 10 %. The values for India and Germany are more stable. The usual temporary changes within a year cannot explain this behavior, too. Maybe Wikitravel could improve its U.S. ranking. Unfortunately, the awareness of Wikivoyage is still low. The major part of traffic is coming from search engines and Wikipedias but not from direct access or from other websites. Social media cannot help, too, because of low usage. A better visibility of Wikivoyage could surely help but I do not know how to do this. --RolandUnger (talk) 06:28, 20 November 2019 (UTC)
It would be good to compare it with other website rankings sites like SimilarWeb and see if it is a trend occurring everywhere or only on Alexa (in which case the way Alexa measures website popularity in the U.S. might have changed). The German Wikivoyage shows a Seitwert ranking though I don't quite understand it. As you say, Wikivoyage still has low general awareness. Many people who end up here from search or Wikipedia don't leave with a sufficiently strong impression that they remember the site and visit directly from then on or follow us on social media. Apart from the fork, we tend to get minimal mainstream media coverage as well. The only thing I can think of is to place "Share" buttons at the bottom of articles, so when a reader finishes an article and thinks it's worth sharing, they can share it via email or a social media platform. Gizza (roam) 08:57, 20 November 2019 (UTC)
Yeah, we should in theory enable sharing, but there's a problem with that, in that it could be controversial to associate ourselves in any way with sites like Twitter and Facebook that, shall we say, have played very dubious roles in world politics. Ikan Kekek (talk) 09:22, 20 November 2019 (UTC)
Traffic for travel sites usually drops during northern autumn. Wikivoyage's drop in global Alexa rank is not worse than previous years. Also, the other site is no longer a relevant competitor. /Yvwv (talk) 09:52, 20 November 2019 (UTC)
I support exploring the idea of a share button, though think the politics stuff is a red herring. For better or worse, billions of people use Twitter and Facebook, and our content getting shared on those platforms to reach more people should be seen as a good thing.
What do the figures say regarding Wikitravel? Can we discount them as "no longer a relevant competitor" just like that? --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 10:38, 20 November 2019 (UTC)

I'm not taking about our global rank. Our U.S. rank shows dramatic short term movement that's not mirrored by that other site (in fact we've fallen behind it in the U.S.) or the global rank of either site... Could there be an explanation related to Google trying its hand with travel guides? Hobbitschuster (talk) 10:53, 20 November 2019 (UTC)

According to the data Roland linked to there are not one but two drops in the U.S. ranking as of lately; early August to mid-September 8,886 down to 18,911 (the ordinal numeral a little more than doubled) then the ranking improved somewhat up to 13,799 in October and then down to 28,458 until now (again the ordinal numeral a little more than doubled). Is that really normal? --Ypsilon (talk) 11:53, 20 November 2019 (UTC)
Hello, just chiming in here as a staff member who use to work with the search team and cares about Wikivoyage. :) It's possible that wikivoyage.org (the portal) traffic has diminished, but not the actual language variants. That's a little less alarming IMHO. Here's the stats for English Wikivoyage showing that since the beginning of 2019, page views have increased! And traffic to English Wikivoyage from the US makes up the overwhelming majority of traffic. That's pretty consistent over time too. Not to say we shouldn't be watching and be concerned, but to provide a little contextual relief (I hope!).
It could also be possible that Google, which makes upward of 95% of traffic (and there for greatly influences Alexa rankings) could be doing something different. CKoerner (WMF) (talk) 17:35, 20 November 2019 (UTC)
Throwing out another idea here: should Wikimedia be purchasing Google search ads? They could even be targeted to searches for "wikitravel", so that people could be educated and redirected to us. WT may not be a relevant competitor in terms of quality, but they are still very much a competitor in terms of traffic: their articles outrank ours for many search terms, leading many casual readers to make edits there. By representing themselves to the casual reader as the Wikipedia for travel, they also hijack and do ongoing harm to our reputation. Sdkb (talk) 20:11, 26 November 2019 (UTC)
This is a non-profit site. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:12, 27 November 2019 (UTC)
Indeed we do not advertise. The only place where Wikvoyage can and has promoted and raised awareness of itself are other Wikimedian sites. The edit-a-thon (to celebrate our 5th anniversary) was a moderate success. Many people came to the site for the first time and some new editors stayed on to varying degrees. As far as arbitrary statistical landmarks go, we are close to hitting 30,000 articles soon. Perhaps we should ask the WMF to post a box on the top of pages highlighting this and include a link directing people to main page. While it was nice to get people editing, it would be great to get people reading our best content. Gizza (roam) 10:02, 27 November 2019 (UTC)
There is a big difference between advertising and being a profit/non-profit organisation. Would be interested to see Wikimedia guidelines on promotion of sites, can anyone point us in the right direction? --Traveler100 (talk) 17:28, 27 November 2019 (UTC)
I rather agree with Traveler100. We don't, and shouldn't, allow advertising on Wikivoyage, but isn't that different from advertising of Wikivoyage? I think that's a question that's unanswered by virtue of never having been asked: Wikipedia obviously has enough name recognition to preclude any need for advertising, and the issue has apparently never come up in any of the smaller WMF wikis, but that doesn't mean we know how the WMF would respond to such an idea. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 17:53, 27 November 2019 (UTC)
Google used to donate a small amount of free advertising to non-profits, but I'm not sure if (a) they still do this, or (b) if we would qualify. (My guess is that they probably have the program, but that we wouldn't qualify.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:11, 27 November 2019 (UTC)
I, perhaps wrongly, read Ikan's comment as less about what we as a nonprofit should be doing, more about what we realistically can do. The Wikimedia Foundation is a charity, and clearly charities do advertise. But how much does an ad campaign on YouTube, targeted at travel videos, say, cost? How much would it cost to purchase Google search ads, as suggested above by Sdkb? I like the idea of advertising outside of the Wikimedia bubble in principle, but my concern is how practical it is. The first question the WMF would ask if we were to propose this as an idea is "how much will this cost?" --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 18:21, 27 November 2019 (UTC)
I would support the idea as long as we were in agreement with the WMF and the advertising campaign showed some potential. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 18:46, 27 November 2019 (UTC)
  • On a separate note, while I know that one person is unlikely to significantly change the website's rank, there was a period when I was extremely active here, sometimes making thousands of edits within a few days. Since I've not been so active on Wikivoyage, especially over the last couple of months, the rank has dropped noticably. Is it possible that there is a connection? Or would one user not be enough to impact the U.S. rank even by a thousand or so? --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 18:53, 27 November 2019 (UTC)
Getting back to the suggestion of Google advertising: Since Wikimedia doesn't profit from an increase in this site's Alexa ranking, what would be the good reason to spend money advertising it? Charities advertise because they need money for poor people, disaster areas, political causes, arts organizations, etc. I suppose Wikimedia needs money for servers, paid staff and such, so if they thought it was cost-effective to advertise, they'd probably already be doing it. But I don't think advertising on Google to raise a Wikimedia site's profile is likely to be cost-effective. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:21, 27 November 2019 (UTC)
It would not be aimed at making money, i.e. financial contributions, but encouraging new readers to the site and hopefully more contributors. --Traveler100 (talk) 19:35, 27 November 2019 (UTC)
On how much it costs, you decide what your daily budget is and are charge between $1 and $2 dollars per click through. So basically look at $2 per new reader, but obviously no guarantee they will stay. --Traveler100 (talk) 19:43, 27 November 2019 (UTC)
Sure, if the Wikimedia Foundation feels like just spending money with no money coming back to them. You think they do, considering that they've been asking for contributions for Wikipedia? I think not. I wouldn't even consider suggesting this to them. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:53, 27 November 2019 (UTC)
Their aim isn't to make money, though, so the fact that no profit will be generated from this venture is irrelevant. What is relevant is whether the potential rewards of the venture (attracting more readers, a subset of whom will become contributors - this ought to be a goal the Foundation shares) are significant enough to outweigh the cost. What do they fundraise for if not to make the wikis better in various ways, whether that be by hiring full-time staff, developing software improvements, or in this case increasing traffic? I still think it could be rather costly, and certainly don't think the chances of this being approved are very high, but it's worth exploring, potentially alongside other smaller sister-wikis. I am also grateful to Traveler100 for the brief explanation.ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 21:48, 27 November 2019 (UTC)
The last half year or so Alexa have had more information. E.g., Similar sites by audience overlap and sites linking in. It is clear that WV is way behind on sites linking in, except that one of them is Wikipedia (92 percent comes from Dictionaries and Encyclopedias of which Wikipedia is of course the top one). Elgaard (talk) 16:55, 4 December 2019 (UTC)
If you look at the Google Trends comparison of Wikivoyage with WT ([1]), you will notice that WT is a more popular search term everywhere except in Venezuela. Some countries are greyed out but it seems that WT triumphs over Wikivoyage is well over 100 countries. We benefit from Wikipedia's links to us, but apart from that I still feel WV is behind the old site on many measures. Gizza (roam) 23:27, 11 December 2019 (UTC)
Actually over a 5-year trend, we have made progress against them. In 2014, WT was being searched for 20 times more than us and now it's only 8 times more than us. That can be partially attributed to WT declining rather than us becoming more well known though [2]. When you compare Wikivoyage with Lonely Planet, in 2014 LP was searched 30x more than WV, while nowadays is 20x. So you could say moderate but not substantial progress has been made [3]. Gizza (roam) 23:33, 11 December 2019 (UTC)
Re WikiTravel vs WikiVoyage: Probably not completely relevant to Alexa Rankings but earlier this year travelling Peru, Bolivia & Chile I started using WikiVoyage but switched to WikiTravel as their coverage was more up to date and broader (i.e. they included towns WikiVoyage had nothing about). I believe there are reasons for this but I'm travelling SE Asia at the moment and not ready to get into a discussion (which would be a separate subject/thread/section anyway). I'll start a new discussion when I get home in a few months (or longer or whenever). Maybe relevant to Google search results (I've no idea how those affect Alexa. Reality is WikiVoyage should be way way above other other sites e.g. TripAdvisor keeps coming up in Google searches but whenever I look at it it's pretty useless and they "tours" they advertise are a complete joke. PsamatheM (talk) 15:50, 2 January 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for the update @PsamatheM:. Do you remember the names of any of the towns where Wikivoyage's coverage was weak or non-existent? We should make closing any gaps with them a priority. Gizza (roam) 05:05, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
@DaGizza: I'm travelling at the moment on "variable" internet and with only a tablet. So for now it's brief (and unverified) responses. From memory e.g. I wasted a lot of walking and sweat (very hot) in Trujillo (Peru) as the bus information is/was disastrously wrong (relevant bus companies have their own ticket sales not at central bus station so its walk and walk and walk). When I visited Jauja (Peru) WV then had no page (and Jauja is a quite amazing place, massive Tunanmarca ruins, Canoncitos de Pichiluli, etc.). But even now WV's page is pretty poor compared to what WT offer. Inaccurate information that causes travellers problems is a guaranteed way to quickly drive people away from the site. I gave up applying updates to WV soon after arriving in Peru when I posted a listing for an excellent tour (I'd done, free) and the "policy police" descended deleting it, followed by endless discussion to try and form consensus and I believe the listing was restored but "life is too short" and for one listing it was a farce. I actually have a really strong belief in projects like Wikipedia, WV, etc. but I believe WV needs to significantly reconsider aspects of it's attitude. I'm sort of preparing my ideas but wont start putting them up until I'm home and can properly engage in any discussion they might prompt (of course the might not prompt anything).PsamatheM (talk) 07:44, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
@PsamatheM: I agree that there's excess biting of newbies and even semi-established editors and blind adherence to many policies which don't necessarily improve Wikivoyage in the long run. One policy we do need to adopt from Wikipedia is "If a rule prevents you from improving or maintaining Wikipedia (or in our case Wikivoyage), ignore it." See wikipedia:Wikipedia:Ignore_all_rules. Many times, edits are just reverted without even an explanation in the edit summary let alone a personal message to the good-faith editor who would feel like they're being stalked and not welcome here. Gizza (roam) 01:03, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
There are a lot of things that I'd think could improve Wikivoyage that would deviate greatly from the Wikivoyage Manual of style, but that's my opinion, not the collective opinion of the site. And my question to you would be: How does Wikipedia prevent people from driving a truck through their guidelines, with their policy of ignoring rules? Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:26, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
Reverting an edit without explanation is just plain ignorant, except in the case of (a) obvious vandalism, or (b) repeated touting. At the same time, giving people licence to ignore rules would set us up for edit wars between someone who wants things done one way, and someone who thinks it's better done another way. The rules resolve these disputes and avoid wasteful edit warring. Eventually, anyone who joins a collaborative project has to learn that their work will be edited and changed by other users. It does not help newbies to let them think that their contributions are perfect just the way they are and aren't going to be changed by others. At the same time, not biting newbies is a really important practice, and I am sure I have been guilty of doing so in the past. Where an experienced editor is too heavy handed with newbies, it is important that other oldsters call them out on it. Ground Zero (talk) 04:03, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
@PsamatheM: I have substantially expanded the Jauja article with text adapted from the Wikipedia article. Could you take a look at it and add/delete/improve on my contributions as you see fit based on your experience there? With your help, and selective borrowing from Wikipedia, we could end up with a decent article, Thanks. Ground Zero (talk) 04:39, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
@Ground Zero: Two aspects.
1. I was not being critical of the article but using it as an example of somewhere that WT had good coverage for but (at that time) WV have no page at all about. (One of the contributory reasons that back then I gave up using WV as a source of information whilst travelling Peru, Bolivia & Chile.
2. Having only tablet, phone and variable internet I would not be able to work on the article until I return (maybe many months away). Probably breaking rules but specifically see posts on my own web site https://psamathe.net/tag/jauja/. Tunamarca is a very significant site. Cañoncitos de Pichiluli is amazing. There are not any tours so info on e.g. WV becomes even more useful. Both are close to the town to be part of the town article. Pueblo Viejo isn't enough to visit on its own but is worth going via it on your walk to Cañoncitos de Pichiluli (but you'd need the GPS coordinates as there is no "way to go" just a good start point and a network of paths used by local farmers and shepherds).
So for now (due to my current "mid-travels" state) I'll have to pass any work on the article back to you (or others). Feel free to take any info/text from my personal website, you have my permission to take any photos (either directly into WV or onto Commons (though please credit them to psamathe.net - though they are just a few photos I'd be putting up there anyway in due course and but I'd be exporting them from raws so quality/resolution would be better (but more about info than photographic perfection). Let me know if you need any details or info and anything (but I don't have originals with me). Sorry if I appear lazy not doing the work myself but if you/somebody could do the bulk I doubt there would be much for me to tweak.PsamatheM (talk) 05:13, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
@Ground Zero: In addition to above, Getting in by bus is at the bottom of the page https://psamathe.net/jauja-southern-sierra/ PsamatheM (talk) 05:29, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
Never fear, there's no problem in linking your blog in a discussion thread! Enjoy your continuing travels! Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:50, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
I've added a bunch of stuff from your cool blog, and another hotel, but I should stop procrastinating and get to planning my imminent trip. Ground Zero (talk) 13:49, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
Ikan Kekek, the English Wikipedia addresses the "Ignore all rules" problem these days mostly by giving it lip service and then rigidly enforcing Teh Rules in contradiction of the policy. When it does come up, there's usually a conversation about it. In its best form, it's really no different than how we decide things that aren't regulated, like whether a particular restaurant/bar combination business should be listed in ==Eat== or ==Drink==. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:13, 11 January 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for explaining that, WhatamIdoing. So I'm not sure having a similar policy would really result in any change here, other than confusion. Would you agree, or do you think it would be useful somehow? Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:19, 11 January 2020 (UTC)
I suppose that it has the potential to reduce the number of "Can we really block this guy, even though technically there's no obvious category in the blocking policy?" discussions from maybe two per year to one, which might be a small win. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:07, 12 January 2020 (UTC)
I'm not sure I see how. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:08, 12 January 2020 (UTC)
By replacing the long discussion about whether it's okay to block a user with a statement that "I decided to 'ignore all rules' and block that guy". It won't stop them all, but it might stop some of them. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:55, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
It's more of a value or principle than a policy. Thinking about it a bit more, WV:the traveller comes first covers similar territory so it's probably not needed here. Gizza (roam) 08:36, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
@PsamatheM: - I empathize. Same thing happened to me when I listed a tour in Berlin. We happily list hotels, and other businesses without any qualms, but somehow tours are off-limits. We are inconsistent in our policies, and its very frustrating. Pick up any guidebook that people pay good money for. You will see that hotels, tours, and other businesses are listed if they are helpful to the traveller. We seem to have made some sort of inconsistent purity pledge that shortchanges the fundamental goals of this project. Marvin The Paranoid (talk) 15:44, 26 January 2020 (UTC)
The walking tour in Peru that PsamatheM mentions was the occasion for a discussion that resulted in a site-wide exception for walking tours, so while PsamatheM's experience may have been trying, it actually led to a presumably permanent change (the guidelines changed over a year ago and haven't produced any disruption, so while not everyone agrees with them, they seem unlikely to be rolled back).
But when you say the tour policy "shortchanges the fundamental goals of this project", this is one of the goals:
Tours can be listed on Wikivoyage as long as they constitute a value-added activity. If a traveller could fulfill the substance of the tour on their own, the tour should not be listed.
And if it wasn't already clear that this site is directed at independent travelers, the end of the linked section is:
In practice this policy disallows listing most audio tours and guided tours since the substance of such tours can generally be fulfilled by an independent traveller, and the information provided on such tours should ideally be included in the appropriate Wikivoyage article.
The other part of this is something that you wouldn't remember because it happened a long time ago, but when we did allow tour links, articles like Florence were absolutely filled with spammy tour links and listings. A consensus on this site has so far agreed that the purpose of our guides is to enable independent travelers to visit the destinations we cover. Anyone who would rather take package tours probably doesn't need this site and won't have trouble finding such tours. Moreover, we simply lack the readership and expertise to try to do what we used to try to do with such listings, which is to judge which tours are good and which are pure money-sucks.
That said, exceptions to guidelines and policies are always possible (barring legal requirements, of course), but they have to be argued for on the relevant article's talk page. And if you want to change the tour-listing policy for the entire site, you can always start a thread at Wikivoyage talk:Listings and see if you can persuade a consensus to agree with your proposal. Whatever the results, someone will be unhappy, and that's the way it is and the reason why there are so many different sites - it's a Worldwide Web out there. Ikan Kekek (talk) 16:12, 26 January 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for the explanation and the history. It is good to know that there has been forward movement in this area. My edit was made a while back, when I was still new to WV, and I did not realize that a discussion could have been used to make my case for keeping it. --Marvin The Paranoid (talk) 16:39, 26 January 2020 (UTC)
We should make this clearer. I'm wondering where the best place is to start a discussion about where and how to make it clearer that all policies and guidelines that are not legally required could possibly be subject to exceptions on a case-by-case basis if a compelling argument results in a consensus for an exception on a particular article's talk page. That's how we've been operating, but perhaps there may be objections to the idea of case-by-case exceptions, too. Ikan Kekek (talk) 16:44, 26 January 2020 (UTC)
I'd say put another bullet on Wikivoyage:The traveller comes first saying something like "The community may come to a consensus not to apply a particular policy in a specific case, if applying the policy would be to the detriment of travellers." Powers (talk) 18:49, 26 January 2020 (UTC)
Good phrasing, though the mechanism for discussing things should be spelled out, probably. Let's discuss this at Wikivoyage talk:The traveller comes first. I'll start the thread now. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:55, 26 January 2020 (UTC)
Ikan Kekek One of the great problems with "organised tours" is how they are used. When completely independently travelling in Peru last years, in northern costal areas I took organised tours several occasions because no public transport was available and taxis were far far more expensive than the tour (and independent traveller could take a bus to a town, maybe then a taxi, maybe meaning an overnight stay but all ludicrous when an organised tour can provide transport cheaper and easier). Tour minibus would arrive at the site, I'd ask the driver or guide what time they were heading back and say "See you then" and I'd head off on my own - using them for transport but it is an organised tour. I'd given up bothering to add anything to WV after the "walking tour" grief mentioned above, but would I have got away with listing an organised tour on the basis it was way cheaper as transport than alternatives? or would it have caused another involved discussion ..... PsamatheM (talk) 16:52, 26 January 2020 (UTC)
Sure, on that basis. There are examples of listings of tour buses on the basis that they are transportation in various articles. I'm sorry you gave up adding content to Wikivoyage after a listing you posted caused a change in policy; how much more responsiveness could you ask for? Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:54, 26 January 2020 (UTC)
Here's the thread about making exceptions to rules: Wikivoyage talk:The traveller comes first#Exceptions to rules. Please have a look and comment on the phrasing, so we can agree on a form of words. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:13, 26 January 2020 (UTC)
Reason I stopped bothering was that I posted a useful, valid listing, useful to many independent travellers - it was immediately taken out followed by a "consensus discussion" .... Life is too short and given the massive shortcomings in so many articles on the site (both in complying with policy and with badly out of date information then the issue my listing created well illustrates how the site is missing the bigger picture. Spend ages focusing on a minor listing overlooking the vast amount of work needed elsewhere. And that is why I believe some changes in attitude are needed to stop driving much needed travellers away when they are the ones who could spot errors and fix them (but then they'll make a "style" or policy error and .....). But that is another topic and one I don't have time or resources to engage in discussion over at the moment. PsamatheM (talk) 13:52, 28 January 2020 (UTC)
@PsamatheM: It's easy to endlessly criticise this community's approach and then when challenged say "I don't have time to engage", but if you have an idea of how your old "grief" could have been better handled than by a discussion resulting in a change of policy that makes it easier for the type of tour you were advocating for be listed, then please share it. You got the outcome you wanted, but still it's not good enough. You talk about changing attitudes, but instead of presenting the better alternative for this site that you clearly envision, you carry on bemoaning things from months ago which you feel didn't go your way. I think we would all be more receptive to suggestions if you presented them in a positive way ("Here's an idea I had, this is why I think it would make Wikivoyage better, what do you think?"). But at the moment - and I apologise if I'm perceiving you incorrectly - I feel that you're quite happy to tell us all what we're doing wrong, but are not interested in putting forward constructive suggestions of how we could do better. I'd love to be proven wrong. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 15:26, 28 January 2020 (UTC)
@ ThunderingTyphoons!: As I said some way back in this discussion, I don’t have time to engage at the moment (I said “but I'm travelling SE Asia at the moment and not ready to get into a did (which would be a separate subject/thread/section anyway). I'll start a new discussion when I get home in a few months (or longer or whenever).” Struggling to even backup my photos to the cloud the internet is so slow and unreliable so to start a discussion now I’d probably disappear for a week and it would get very disjointed -hence my saying later not refusing to engage as your comment suggests.
I’m not bemoaning the past but using it as an illustration about issues. The grief to get one listing up was ludicrous. Better way to handle it would have been e.g. to leave the listing up and ask me to justify it as an exception, to trust somebody independently travelling “on the spot” to make a sensible judgement, etc.
I didn’t “get the outcome I wanted” - I wanted to provide information to help other independent travellers. The work to get one listing up made me decide my time was better spent travelling so all the horrendously out of date, wrong, misleading info about e.g. bus routes is probably all still misleading other travellers.
As I said I would be putting forward suggestions when I get home and have internet, laptop & time to discuss - now I’m not sure I can be bothered. I was interested in putting forward constructive ideas as I said earlier. PsamatheM (talk) 01:55, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
After all, Wikivoyage is not as well-known as Wikipedia. In addition, the main active people are mostly people in the community, and even many competitors like us are encountered, so the need for external promotion is necessary. Basically, the Wikivoyage channel I created on YouTube is to help the anyone know our Wikivoyage. I also hope that there are friends who want to publish promotional or teaching videos. You can provide to me about your G-Mail. I will Provide willing people to become admin, so you can post videos to YouTube channel of Wikivoyage.--✈ IGOR ✉ TALK?! .WIKIVOYAGER ! 16:21, 5 February 2020 (UTC)

Listing labyrinthEdit

Someone started comprehensively filling this county's article of Taiwan. However, most listings are without any valuable information, and I feel this is not very much of a help to travellers, because 1) we certainly do not want to replace Openstreetmap nor Google Maps - this is just duplicating their information without any updates guaranteed, 2) finding the actual valuable information in between all this "noise" now became more difficult.

I mean we should point out what is of interest to the traveller, not overwhelm him with countless and contentless listings, right? Not to mention the map that becomes similar unbearable.

Is there a guideline to handle this situation? Should we reduce the content to actual relevant listing? Thoughts?

Cheers Ceever (talk) 15:24, 10 January 2020 (UTC)

Hi, Ceever. Based on your description, I was expecting something much worse than what I see in this article. Most of the listings have some degree of description, though the list of night markets is indeed completely contentless. I think part of the solution could be to create articles for more of the towns in the county and move listings to those new articles. Of course I do agree that there should be descriptions of every point of interest, but I'm unconvinced the number of listings is an issue. I did see a peculiar description, though:
  • 1 House of Citizen-Memorial Hall of Attendance (行啟紀念公民會館). The hall was built for the Crown Prince Hirohito's visit to Taiwan in 1841. Wu Keming initiated the construction of the hall with funds he raised from community donations and government. It was also used as a public gathering venue for residents for meetings, seminars, banquets, and performances.    
1841? What year was this really built? If this refers to w:Hirohito, he wasn't even born till 1901 and would have been Crown Prince till 25 December 1926, when he became Emperor. So if this was built in a year ending in 1, 1921 seems most likely, as he would have been 19 or 20. In 1911, he would have been 9 or 10. Ikan Kekek (talk) 16:25, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
That was something I edited to try to make sense of it, but the original says the same thing:
"The establishment of the hall originated from the Crown Prince Hirohito's visit to Taiwan in 1841. The construction of the hall was initiated by Wu Keming, with funds he raised from community donations and government funds. It was alsoused as a public gathering venue for residents for meetings, seminars, banquets, and performances."
Was there an earlier Crown Prince Hirohito? Ground Zero (talk) 16:42, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
I thought of that, too, but the Wikipedia disambiguation is silent on that question. Ikan Kekek (talk) 16:55, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
Also, Taiwan was occupied by Japan only starting in 1895. I feel it's unlikely this building predates that. Ikan Kekek (talk) 16:56, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
I think the 1841 date is just wrong. w:zh:斗六行啟記念館 says it was built around 1927 in memory of Hirohito's 1923 visit. —Granger (talk · contribs) 00:12, 11 January 2020 (UTC)
That makes sense in terms of its appearance, too. If you feel inspired to do so, please edit the year of completion in the infobox in the Wikipedia article about the building as well as the listing at the linked article. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:16, 11 January 2020 (UTC)
You can always step in and split it into smaller regions. Hungary was in such state for long time, until a local hero started redacting it. And it's still ongoing (see e.g. Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok_County). I'd say having more listings is better than none, even if it's currently useless for a traveller - it's surely useful for the editors as a starting point (and it can be cleaned if they turned out to be really useless)... Still, I'd assume the guy adding those listings adds the most interesting stuff, not some encyclopedic lists - but who knows... -- andree.sk(talk) 21:08, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
I don’t think need too many listings without content. After all, we are not Wikipedia or even the phone yellow book, but we provide helpful travel listings. If you think these listings without content are worth interesting, you may Try to place on the discussion page. This is my personal thoughts.--✈ IGOR ✉ TALK?! .WIKIVOYAGER ! 16:44, 5 February 2020 (UTC)

Used files not usedEdit

There was a note put on a lot of talk pages that files are nominated for deletion. Good to have those messages, and the nomination (of a lot of files) seems to be justified. The odd thing is that on at least some of those pages I cannot find any of the files mentioned (see e.g. Northern Mindanao or Negros Occidental). No recent changes in the page history. What is going on? --LPfi (talk) 17:16, 16 January 2020 (UTC)

(On the file description page the articles are mentioned as using the files. --LPfi (talk) 17:21, 16 January 2020 (UTC))
(Also in the link list, such as Special:WhatLinksHere/File:BacolodCollageByMcLovintosh.jpg --LPfi (talk) 17:25, 16 January 2020 (UTC))
I too was puzzled about this phenomenon a few months ago. The pics are in the image parameter of Wikidata items linked to from the articles, and therefore the bot thinks they are in the article. --Ypsilon (talk) 17:37, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
OK, found it too, now. So we are warned about a default image for an item we are linking. A bit farther than I would bother, but perhaps better that way. --LPfi (talk) 17:47, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
Perhaps the bot message should be changed to hint at that possibility. I suppose there are users who only care about a couple of articles in their home (or favourite vacation) region, not following discussions in the pub and knowing little about Wikidata. No use confusing them. --LPfi (talk) 17:49, 16 January 2020 (UTC)

Embassy and Consulate listingsEdit

While I agree that this should be kept as it is useful for travellers who want to get visas or renew their passports, in the interest of usefulness to travellers, I think we should perhaps agree on a set of rules as to what we should list to keep the lists from becoming too unwieldy. For instance, some embassies have separate chancery and consular locations, so in that case, I think we should only list the consular sections, since there is probably no reason for you to visit the chancery unless you are some important government official (and if you are, your government will make all the arrangements, and you probably won't be relying to Wikivoyage). In the Canberra article for instance, I don't think we should be listing the U.S. embassy since it doesn't provide consular services. Residents of Canberra would have to go to the consulate in Sydney if they want to apply for a U.S. visa, and likewise, U.S. citizens based in Canberra need to go to Sydney to renew their passports. And in most cities with a Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (with the exception of Shanghai), that office does not provide consular services, and you'll have to go to the Chinese embassy/consulate if you want to apply for a Hong Kong visa, so it makes no sense to list the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office.

There is one complication though. In Singapore for instance, there is a separate visa application centre if you want to apply for a Chinese visa, and the embassy does not handle visa applications. On the other hand, if you are a Chinese citizen based in Singapore and want to renew your passport, that is handled by the Chinese embassy itself. In such cases, how should we handle the listing? The dog2 (talk) 17:34, 17 January 2020 (UTC)

Yes, good points. There's no point listing embassies that don't offer consular services to the general public. I would hope diplomatic staff do use Wikivoyage during their postings, but not to find their own office!
Issues like the China Embassy in Singapore can be handled on a case-by-case basis; both offices in that case are useful to travellers, so they should both be listed. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 17:50, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
I agree that we should only list offices that provide consular services and visa application centres. This is not the place for trade office information. Ground Zero (talk) 17:53, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
Consular services for residents of a country are not just routine stuff like passports, but also support for those in prison, or support to business travellers. So I think it is OK to list a consulate if it doesn't handle the routine stuff but would be useful to a small business looking to export.
I think we should also think about how we arrange the listings. In most cases travellers are either interested in their country's consulate to get help or a particular country's consulate to apply for a visa etc. Travellers are not going to look at the list of consulates in a city to decide which to visit - it would be more useful to have a page which showed where all the consulates of a particular country are on the map - a set of pages like Consulates of Australia. AlasdairW (talk) 18:34, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
In the scenario you mentioned, I guess the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office would assist you if you own a business and want to expand into Hong Kong, because that falls under the umbrella of trade relations. On the other hand, if you are a Hong Kong resident who is arrested in a foreign country, it is the Chinese embassy/consulate that will provide you with consular assistance, not the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office.
And yes, I think it might be useful to have pages listing the consulates and embassies of each country, but we need to figure out what articles like that should be classified under. The dog2 (talk) 19:54, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
Speaking of which, I'm not sure how it works in different countries but in Singapore, even though Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland each have their own embassies, visa applications for all the Nordic countries (including Iceland) are handled by the Danish embassy, though each of those individual embassies will provide consular services for their own respective citizens, so I guess that is an additional complication. I've tried to reflect that in the Singapore article, so let me know if you think this is an acceptable solution. The dog2 (talk) 20:19, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
The Singapore list looks good. The small size of the country does eases one aspect of this - there is no question of do I look in Perth, Adelaide or Melbourne for the nearest consulate if I am in Coober Pedy. AlasdairW (talk) 23:16, 17 January 2020 (UTC)

Wiki Loves FolkloreEdit

Hello Folks,

Wiki Loves Love is back again in 2020 iteration as Wiki Loves Folklore from 1 February, 2020 - 29 February, 2020. Join us to celebrate the local cultural heritage of your region with the theme of folklore in the international photography contest at Wikimedia Commons. Images, videos and audios representing different forms of folk cultures and new forms of heritage that haven’t otherwise been documented so far are welcome submissions in Wiki Loves Folklore. Learn more about the contest at Meta-Wiki and Commons.

Kind regards,
Wiki Loves Folklore International Team
— Tulsi Bhagat (contribs | talk)
sent using MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 06:14, 18 January 2020 (UTC)

Some of the photos that result from their contest might be of interest to us. We should particularly be looking for photos illustrating UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:19, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
I think we could do with more mention of cultural traditions within our Wikivoyage articles. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 12:19, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
Definitely. Ikan Kekek (talk) 12:26, 18 January 2020 (UTC)

Subway mapshapes for Hamburg not workingEdit

For some reason the mapshapes for the Hamburg U-Bahn and S-Bahn do not show up in the dynamic maps despite still being present in the source code. I just checked the Nuremberg article where the lines still show up so the issue seems to be specific to those lines, not the template in general. Hobbitschuster (talk) 21:46, 18 January 2020 (UTC)

Probably someone on Wikidata or somewhere inadvertently screwing up something... --Ypsilon (talk) 21:52, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
Looks like an OSM-user has gone ahead and moved the wikidata links into the route masters (A ↔ B) rather than a single route (A → B). I suspect this is the reason why it broke, since {{Mapshapes}} gets a bit pedantic about route masters (which don't show the lines themselves even in OSM. Take for example U4's master and Billstedt-Elbbrücke). I can understand why the edit on OSM was made: The WD item is for the line itself, not the line in one of its directions. I'm not sure if the template here can be modified to also work with route masters in OSM or not (@Andree.sk:). If not, the edit on OSM will have to be reverted to fix this issue.
-- Wauteurz (talk) 14:15, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
Yep, this is most likely the reason. Unfortunately {{Mapshapes}} can't really do anything about this, as this is technically {{Mapshape}} work - which in turn just uses the kartographer code. This limitation is there since the beginning, probably (it's documented also, in {{Mapshapes}}). So either we add the wikidata back to the single routes too, or... well, I would say there's no other option that would work in the near months/years, for us. -- andree.sk(talk) 06:42, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
Complicated option until such fixes become available would be to get all the coordinates and make an extermal file in Commons and use that or use the coordinates and make a hard copy on the Hamburg (or some selected) page. Other articles could then transclude that code. -- Matroc (talk) 02:27, 22 January 2020 (UTC)

The Wikimedia Foundation becoming the Wikipedia FoundationEdit

There is now a community discussion on Meta around the proposal to rebrand the Wikimedia Foundation into the "Wikipedia Foundation". I would encourage as many of you as possible to go and take a couple of minutes to understand the idea, and then express your views. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 12:16, 22 January 2020 (UTC)

I have some doubts about this, honestly. The trigger for the discussion was apparently a Norwegian newspaper saying that the WMF hired a design agency to do something about its "visual profile", and somehow a couple of editors jumped from "visual profile" to "renaming the organization". Honestly, I'd be more concerned about them deciding to change the logos in a "visual profile" project.
It's true that people have been talking about the possibility of letting affiliates rename themselves. (I gather that would ultimately be m:AffCom's decision. As trademark owner, the WMF currently prohibits that, but if the WMF permitted the option, then AffCom could recommend for/against it for any given group.) It's also true that User:Doc James, who is a community-elected board member, has long favored renaming the WMF to "Wikipedia Foundation". But I haven't been hearing anything about renaming the WMF from the branding project for months (and I have been talking to them off and on). It's just not a possibility that they are dealing with right now. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:16, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
User:WhatamIdoing to clarify I am in favor of the WMF having the option of renaming itself similar to how affiliates should have the option of renaming themselves. I am not pushing in either direction right now.
The question on meta was "Is it acceptable for the Foundation to use the name Wikipedia to refer to itself?" and I am of the option that it is acceptable. Travel Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 22:34, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
So what you're saying is this is unlikely to happen? At any rate, the community so far seems to be panning the idea.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 20:43, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
Whether "the community" (there's only one?) is panning this depends upon whether you think "the community" is synonymous with "the highly active editors who are comfortable posting in an English-language conversation on Meta".
I make no prediction about whether it will ever happen (beyond "not now"). I hate naming things, so I'd never volunteer to rename anything. That makes it difficult for me to make good predictions on any question about naming things. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:49, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
Also, if you get a message pop up from French Wikivoyage, it's because I mentioned your above comment over there to alleviate concerns that were brewing.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 21:16, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
Thank you for the link. I put in my 2 cents. -- Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:29, 23 January 2020 (UTC)

@WhatamIdoing: You did a great job of naming your account! Did that come before or after your employment? :)

There are indeed many communities and subcommunities within the wider Wikimedia community, and I do understand your concerns about an overconfident minority selectorate appearing to represent the whole movement ("will of the people, innit?"), but ultimately only those opinions which are expressed can be counted. Of the views expressed so far, a large majority is on one side of the argument.

There are some comments in languages other than English in the thread on Meta, and there are also discussions elsewhere in the community, such as on French Wikipedia's Bistro. We can all do our bit to encourage as wide participation in such discussions as possible, hence my posting here after seeing a post by another user on another wiki. I hope others will see this and put RfCs in other areas of the community they are familiar with.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 08:06, 23 January 2020 (UTC)

You doubtless meant "of the views expressed on wiki so far". ;-) There are people communicating privately, too, and some of them are unwilling to make their views public for fear of backlash. There are also people who have communicated their view privately in the past and whom we can confidently expect to never participate on wiki. Think about the donors who ask (all the time, according to Fundraising) why their donation "to Wikipedia" is instead going to some outfit called "Wikimedia".
Whether to count votes according to stakeholders (e.g., Wikimedia France's view counts the same as the French Wikipedia's community's view) or according to the number of individual humans (Wikimedia France's corporate view counts the same as my view) is something that the movement has never settled. The branding project's plan seems to be sending it all to the Board, and letting them decide how much weight to put on the various groups.
(My username [What am I doing right now, and is that what I want to be doing with my time?] is older than my time at the WMF. I started editing more than 13 years ago. I'm now 6 years into a three-month-long, half-time temporary contract with the WMF. I'd never have applied if it was meant to be a permanent position, but I'm happy with how it has worked out so far. Eventually, I will reclaim my volunteer status. I find that being employed interferes with my editing time.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:23, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for the explanation. Some people seem to feel that democracy is a basic principle of Wikimedia. It sounds like it isn't, and that the views of non-board users who don't donate money are merely advisory. Is that your feeling? Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:40, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
Well, the idea that we're a democracy either isn't a common idea, or it's a new idea.[4] Some individual communities operate in more democratic ways than others, but the overall movement isn't a one-editor-one-vote system. Given where we're talking, this is probably a good thing for us, because a democratic system would mean that the English Wikipedia could outvote almost every other group, and they probably would have voted to delete at least Wikinews and Wikiquote by now, and maybe other projects, too.
As for whose views matter, I'll start by saying that I'm not a lawyer, but that I seem to have spent more time talking to lawyers on behalf of (U.S.) non-profits than the average person. So IANAL, but AIUI, the board for any non-profit organization has a positive fiduciary duty to advance their charitable purpose. (For clarity, the WMF's charitable purpose is technically "education", not "support the community". Happily for us, most actions that support the communities also advance the educational purpose.) Separately, the WMF also owns the trademark for "Wikipedia", which means that the WMF has the exclusive legal right to decide how to use it. Combining these two, I conclude that the board has a duty to use that trademark in whatever manner it decides will best advance its educational purpose. If its educational purpose is, in the Board's judgment, best served by renaming the org, or by letting a local affiliate advertise itself as a "Wikipedia" group instead of a "Wikimedia" one, then that's its duty. I personally hope they will decide the opposite for the WMF, but I recognize that the decision ultimately will be made by the WMF's board (e.g., not editors, not donors, not affiliates), and on grounds other than my personal preference (but hopefully after considering the views of all stakeholders).
I also wonder whether this whole discussion is pointless. If you look at the strategy recommendations that were released earlier this week, the WMF itself might not even exist (in its current form) in a couple of years. The mostly-volunteer strategy folks are talking about devolution and creating two layers of organizations "above" the current WMF. In one scenario, the current WMF could become "Wikimedia Operations", with a special assignment to run the servers, and things like fundraising and grantmaking could be moved to a new organization at a "higher" level of the movement (or the other way around: the WMF turns into the top-level organization and splits off a "MediaWiki Foundation" as a third-layer affiliate). I've never been a big believer in internet petitions like this one, but this one may have a forest-versus-trees problem that is even bigger than usual. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:33, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for laying all that out there. Much appreciated. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:03, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
Yes, very interesting.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 23:41, 24 January 2020 (UTC)

Movement Learning and Leadership Development ProjectEdit

Hello

The Wikimedia Foundation’s Community Development team is seeking to learn more about the way volunteers learn and develop into the many different roles that exist in the movement. Our goal is to build a movement informed framework that provides shared clarity and outlines accessible pathways on how to grow and develop skills within the movement. To this end, we are looking to speak with you, our community to learn about your journey as a Wikimedia volunteer. Whether you joined yesterday or have been here from the very start, we want to hear about the many ways volunteers join and contribute to our movement.

To learn more about the project, please visit the Meta page. If you are interested in participating in the project, please complete this simple Google form. Although we may not be able to speak to everyone who expresses interest, we encourage you to complete this short form if you are interested in participating!

-- LMiranda (WMF) (talk) 19:01, 22 January 2020 (UTC)

Open call for Project GrantsEdit

Greetings! The Project Grants program is accepting proposals until Feburary 20 to fund both experimental and proven projects such as research, offline outreach (including editathon series, workshops, etc), online organizing (including contests), or providing other support for community building for Wikimedia projects.

We offer the following resources to help you plan your project and complete a grant proposal:

With thanks, I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 18:38, 24 January 2020 (UTC)

Template:Warningbox for IndiaEdit

As far as I know, the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protests in India are still active. Can anyone Indian colleagues tell about the current situation in India, so that I can confirm whether to issue Template:Warningbox for India? Many thanks.廣九直通車 (talk) 07:31, 27 January 2020 (UTC)

I'm not in India, but the UK FCO are warning travellers throughout India to avoid protests and large gatherings, and to keep abreast of the local news. The warning is restrained and relatively low down the list compared to the strongly worded terror alerts and advice to avoid all travel to Kashmir. I would say that a brief and measured warning box is appropriate, given this advice and the loss of life which some protests have seen.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 10:00, 27 January 2020 (UTC)

Face masksEdit

There is current discussion on what advice to give on face masks at Talk:China#New_coronavirus. I think the topic is broader than that, so I am raising it here.

There are multiple uses for masks.

  • I was in China during the SARS outbreak & had one then. Now many people use them against the new coronavirus; in parts of China it is even mandatory to wear face masks in public places. I doubt this offers much protection if you are not infected but am reasonably sure that if those who are infected cover up it reduces risk for others. I could be wrong on either point & would like to hear from those more knowledgeable.
  • People are using masks to avoid inhaling volcanic dust from the eruption of Taal Volcano.
  • They are often recommended for dust storms, e.g. see Beijing#Stay_healthy

There are several types of mask:

  • surgical masks, I think treated as single-use disposable items by surgeons but often re-used by others
  • N95 masks, see w:NIOSH air filtration rating
  • at least in the Philippines, reusable masks with some kind of fashion statement design -- wolf muzzle, vampire fangs, Hello Kitty, ... -- are fairly common

My guess is we need a discussion of these masks somewhere -- new travel topic? section of Infectious diseases or Travel in developing countries? elsewhere? -- and links in other articles. Pashley (talk) 04:25, 28 January 2020 (UTC)

Availability may be a problem. I've seen a "no more masks in stock" sign in a Filipino pharmacy and there are web reports like this: Sold-out Amazon sellers warn shoppers about counterfeit face masks as demand soars amid coronavirus fears Pashley (talk) 04:35, 28 January 2020 (UTC)
Actually, it can be confirmed that wearing surgical masks prevent the spread of diseases to some extent, as per this NYT report and this BBC report. However, it should be stressed that it is surgical masks, as normal dust masks are too loose.廣九直通車 (talk) 09:46, 28 January 2020 (UTC)
I agree that this might be a topic for us to cover. Cultural attitudes to masks vary as well – in parts of East Asia it's reasonably common to wear a mask when you have a cold, but not in the US. One challenge is that there seems to be some uncertainty about how effective surgical masks really are at stopping viruses.
Availability is indeed a problem. I'm in Cambodia, where there is only one confirmed case of the novel coronavirus, but even so surgical masks have become hard to find, let alone N95 masks. Hand sanitizer is also sold out at most pharmacies I've checked. —Granger (talk · contribs) 01:02, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
We have some existing content about face masks: Wildfires#Risks, Air pollution#Stay safe, and Severe weather#Air pollution, plus some notoriously smoggy destinations. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:59, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
Official position of the WHO is that face masks for asymptomatic individuals is not recommended at this time due to the lack of evidence that it'll prevent infection. Face masks are, however, indicated for symptomatic individuals to prevent spread. Best thing asymptomatic people can do is hand hygiene and social distancing.Thuegh (talk) 04:02, 31 January 2020 (UTC)

Interwiki linking confusing search enginesEdit

I stumbled upon something interesting in a recent Google search. Apparently we don't have any results for what I was looking for, but the search did pull up a lot of Wikipedia pages! Apparently since you can link to a Wikipedia page using the interwiki prefix such as w:Chicago Loop, and you can even type w:Chicago Loop into the search box and get taken to a Wikipedia page, search indexers are finding those interwiki links and counting them as pages on Wikivoyage! That's confusing if someone were to find those in their search results, and it's probably hurting our SEO since it makes WV look like it's mirroring content from WP. Does anyone know how this could be fixed, or where else I should report it? --Bigpeteb (talk) 18:00, 28 January 2020 (UTC)

If you put "drive in theater" in quotes in the Google search, the results are very different and most of the pages are on this site - I got 15 pages on here, 1 on commons, and a few ads; using the search box here gave 21 pages. I think that it may more be a feature of telling Google to search a specific site for several words - there may be some subtlety of the search syntax. You don't get WP results from the search box here, although other WMF sites do sometimes suggest pages from here in a right hand column. i don't think it is something to worry about. AlasdairW (talk) 22:09, 28 January 2020 (UTC)
It works the other way too! You can get Wikivoyage results from a search on en.wikipedia.org. I'm not as confident as Alasdair about whether it's affecting our site ranking or not, though. Big Pete's theory is at least plausible on its face. Powers (talk) 21:34, 3 February 2020 (UTC)

"The editor will now load. If you still see this message after a few seconds, please reload the page."Edit

Tried to fix a spelling mistake on Stromboli. I am getting this message every time I try to edit a destination page. I can edit this page just fine, though. 89.172.37.11 11:43, 31 January 2020 (UTC)

It works for me, so either it was a temporary glitch that has now resolved, or your web browser is unhappy. If you still have problems with it, then I have two suggestions:
Good luck, WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:41, 31 January 2020 (UTC)
Not a temporary glitch. It appears to be Javascript based. I can also duplicate it when I try to edit the page in Pale Moon with Javascript disabled. It looks like the new Javascript-heavy editor doesn't have a fallback for non-Javascript users. The action=sumbit workaround works. 93.136.59.172 11:26, 1 February 2020 (UTC)
It's supposed to have a fallback, and that fallback is supposed to be the 2003 wikitext editor.
What's your OS/web browser/other potentially useful platform information? And are you disabling all the Javascript, or just some of it (e.g., via NoScript)? WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:54, 1 February 2020 (UTC)
I realized I can get thru if I press enter again in Links. Digging deeper: it looks like the fallback is <noscript><meta http-equiv="refresh" content="0; url=/w/index.php?title=Nha_Trang&action=edit&section=1&venoscript=1"></noscript>. This fails to load in my desktop browser because I have meta redirections and/or noscript tags disabled since they're pretty much never used for anything but ad tracking and page hijacking, and in Links it requires extra confirmation to get redirected which kind of looks like the page didn't render in full. In addition I have Javascript turned off completely in browser configuration in my desktop browser.
It looks like a roundabout way of doing things to me. I think it makes more sense to put the normal editor on the original page, then redirect the user to the Javascript editor if their browser has Javascript. 93.136.119.51 15:18, 2 February 2020 (UTC)
I believe that websites generally work the other way around.
You've mentioned Pale Moon and Links. Both of those run on Linux, Windows, or macOS. Which OS are you using? WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:13, 3 February 2020 (UTC)

Where to put board game cafes?Edit

I was thinking about adding a listing for a board game cafe, but then realized that WV:STICK didn't have advice to stick such a thing. For the unfamiliar, board game cafes are places you can go to play games for a couple hours after paying a small entry fee. Usually offer some food and drink. They often also sell copies of games as well. There's some more background at these articles: [5] [6]

I'm torn between the 'buy' section (like book stores, because it's a similar atmosphere) and the 'do' section (which is advised for video games). Would love to hear other thoughts.  –Nucleosynth (t c) 05:09, 2 February 2020 (UTC)

Cafes belong in "Drink", and it sounds like the fee to play a board game is optional, like the fee to play pool at a bar. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:11, 2 February 2020 (UTC)
Not always optional; I think some establishments charge the fee on entry whether you get a coffee or not. Others don't let you play unless you pay, but getting food/drink is fine. However I worry we'd be doing a disservice sending hungry/thirsty travelers there unless they were looking for such a place specifically: the coffee isn't the point of such a place, and there's a lot more space and attention devoted to tables for gaming.  –Nucleosynth (t c) 06:03, 2 February 2020 (UTC)
Gotcha. In that case, I'd post it in "Do", because the point of the place is to play a board game. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:25, 2 February 2020 (UTC)
Sounds good to me, thanks!  –Nucleosynth (t c) 16:58, 2 February 2020 (UTC)

Itinerary style: waypoints and landmarksEdit

I launched the Stockholm history tour. While many destinations are waypoints, others (typically tall buildings) are landmarks visible from some distance; not intended to be visited during the tour, but mentioned as part of the presentation. Which categories should be used for waypoints and distant landmarks, respectively? /Yvwv (talk) 00:15, 3 February 2020 (UTC)

I'm not sure that there's a rule for this, but there is a generic marker template which would probably work best for both of these. Is the only difference between 'waypoints' and 'distant landmarks' that one is on the itinerary, and the other is not? --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 07:02, 3 February 2020 (UTC)
You can categorise them by a type of colour instead of a type of listing. For example, instead of type=see or type=do, if you write type=red, type=blue, type=black, etc. the colour of the listing marker will change to that colour. You can then add a key like in Presidents of the United States which explains what each colour means. Gizza (roam) 21:16, 3 February 2020 (UTC)
One can also put the key to be displayed after the title (text) of the mapframe (keep it simple of course). In addition, one can draw a shape and place it on the map and when clicked; its popup could then display a more involved legend. One can also move from 1 map location to another using links within that mapframe; or if desired, even to another article's map (position). It is also possible to introduce links on an article's page to pop up a map displaying only a select group (ie. a map with only See listings or only city listings etc.) All of course requires extra care, thought and effort. (Note: Remember using Kartographer can also be a moving target!) -- Matroc (talk) 00:43, 7 February 2020 (UTC)
I played around with the Stockholm history tour article data on this page to illustrate a few things I mentioned above (Some of which can be complicated to do) if interested. -- Matroc (talk) 05:44, 12 February 2020 (UTC)

How-to video: Create district overview mapsEdit

User *angys* asked me how to create dynamic district overview maps like in Kuala Lumpur or Amsterdam. Thus I made an explanatory video for him. Hopefully it can be helpful to other editors as well:

Create GeoJSON with JOSM and upload to Wikimedia Commons

Some additional explanation

In short there are two options to create a district overview map:

1a. geojson.io only
Go to geojson.io, draw the lines/polygons, give them the desired color and title. Copy the GeoJSON file and proceed to step 2. A certain disadvantage with this solution is, that you cannot merge nodes. So if you have 2 polygons right next to each other, they won't be perfectly aligned. With the solution in 1b this problem is nonexistent.
1b. JOSM & geojson.io (shown in the video above)
Draw polygons as desired and export as .geojson. Important: The export of polygons to .geojson only works as expected in JOSM, if the polygons have a describing tag assigned to it, which is normally applied to an area (e.g. landuse=residential)! You can assign the title tag to each polygon/line right in JOSM, if you don't want to do it in geojson.io (e.g. title=[[Amsterdam/Noord|Noord]]).
2. Upload to Commons
Create a new map in Wikimedia Commons and paste in the GeoJSON created in 1.
3. Create mapmasks
In order to grey out the irrelevant parts of a district article map you can paste the GeoJSON from 2. into the tool Mapmask <-> GeoJSON Converter to create the mapmask code.

--Renek78 (talk) 02:05, 4 February 2020 (UTC)

In case you don't want to give Google clicks: File:Create GeoJSON with JOSM and upload to Wikimedia Commons.webm. Thanks for this, Rene. —Justin (koavf)TCM 02:27, 4 February 2020 (UTC)
Thanks Justin, sounds like a reasonable alternative. Just the resolution is quite poor. --Renek78 (talk) 03:19, 4 February 2020 (UTC)

I'm back in action, and I need your feedback on my newest project!Edit

Hi folks. I know that other than the thrice-monthly DotM changeout, I've been pretty quiet onwiki lately. But I just wanted to drop a note here to say a couple of things. One, I'm back to full-scale activity, and other than the occasional short break of the type I just got through with, I have no intention of derelicting my Wikivoyage duties at any time in the near, intermediate, or far future. Two: I've begun work in earnest on one of the many itinerary and travel topic articles I've had incubating in my userspace for a while. I decided to start now partly to relieve the monotony of constantly updating the Buffalo district articles, but also because due to the Buffalo's upcoming re-districtification, I don't project that a Buffalo district article will be ready for the Main Page until at least 2021, and I'd really like to get a piece of my work on the Main Page before then (and if it's in the FTT category, for which we have significantly more trouble finding worthy candidates, so much the better).

So: presenting User:AndreCarrotflower/Buffalo-Pittsburgh Highway. By way of background (and I went into detail about this in the sort of proto-Understand section I sketched out earlier), the Buffalo-Pittsburgh Highway was a historic "auto trail", i.e an element of the semiformal 1920s-era road network that served as a predecessor to numbered state and federal highways in the U.S. And so the goal of this itinerary is not only to trace out the original route as closely as modern-day infrastructure permits, but also to compare and contrast what a 1920s-era traveller would have seen vs. a modern-day one, and to list attractions along the way with a particular highlight on historic sites (especially sites related to industrial history - promotional literature of the day dubbed the BPH "America's One Great Industrial Broadway") or anything else that would have been extant and accessible to visitors in the 1920s. I'm aiming for a September or October 2020 FTT feature, to take advantage of the autumn leaves.

So with that in mind, and also keeping in mind that the article is still very much in embryonic form, I'm soliciting first impressions from the Wikivoyage hivemind. (Focus on the #Buffalo metro area and #Cattaraugus County subsections, which represent the article in more or less its intended final form; the rest is just notes and outlines that I plan to expand on later.) Any feedback is welcome, but the particular questions I'd like help resolving are:

  • Is the information organized in an easy-to-understand way?
  • Are the listings too wordy?
  • Too many images?

and above all

  • Are the driving directions (italicized in the article) written clearly enough? (When my wife and I go on road trips, she usually navigates using my written directions, and my lack of clarity is often a pet peeve of hers.)

-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 01:14, 5 February 2020 (UTC)

  • Yes
  • No, not for anyone who actually cares about traveling to these places and learning. They are a little longer than usual but that's not a bad thing.
  • Definitely no.
  • Seems clear to me: it's not a for-sure until I'm actually on those roads but I feel like I understand what you're saying with your directions.
Great work, as always. —Justin (koavf)TCM 03:11, 5 February 2020 (UTC)
Thank you for the vote of confidence! To clarify: when asking if there were too many images, I should have said to think more in terms of "image density" than aggregate number of images. I intend for them to pop up on the right side of the page at roughly the same interval throughout the article as they currently do in the #Buffalo metro area section. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 03:38, 5 February 2020 (UTC)
Just quickly on images: You could definitely add 3 more if you like. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:08, 5 February 2020 (UTC)
I was wondering if maybe it should be tied in to industrial tourism. Buffalo, as we all know, was once an industrial city with many factories, while West Virginia is a major coal mining state. The dog2 (talk) 04:55, 5 February 2020 (UTC)
It looks good! It's a little early to make any final decisions, IMHO, but it looks like an excellent work-in-progress to me. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 23:19, 5 February 2020 (UTC)
Thank you everybody. Ground Zero, how about you? You've got a keen eye for these kinds of things. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 17:05, 6 February 2020 (UTC)
Hi Andre. Welcome back. I think that there is a strong advantage to have our destination articles be concise, and organized and formatted consistently. This makes it easier for travellers to find the information quickly, or look something up while they are on the road. Travel topic and itinerary articles are another matter. I think that they are places where we can let loose and provide more detailed and differently organized information -- whatever works best for the subject. If readers don't like it, they can move on to another article. This draft article, once cleaned up for first-person sort of stuff, will be a great resource for someone who wants to follow your route. And for those who don't, we have lots of other articles to suit them. Go for it, I say. Regards, Ground Zero (talk) 08:44, 7 February 2020 (UTC)

Chinese zodiac change.Edit

Hi guys, I started a discussion about this at Template talk:LunarNewYeardates. Please chip in if you have any points to make. The dog2 (talk) 03:29, 5 February 2020 (UTC)

Time for another edit-a-thon?Edit

Pardon me if edit-a-thon isn't common on Wikivoyage, I was drawn over to this project in the 2018 edit-a-thon to celebrate 5th year anniversary. Perhaps it's time to run another one (for March)? This should leave half a month to organize and set up an automatic way to count contributions after participants signed up. OhanaUnitedTalk page 04:50, 16 February 2020 (UTC)

There has to be some sort of arbitrary statistical landmark. The 10th year anniversary is too far away. The closest milestone I can see is the 30,000 number of articles which Wikivoyage should reach in half a year's time. This is the first multiple of 10,000 that WV would have reached in the post-fork era so it is a significant moment. You could say that quality is more important than quantity but you'd have a harder time convincing the WMF to celebrate 100 star articles or 1,000 guides compared to the total number. And the edit-a-thon will give everyone the opportunity to improve all of these articles. We definitely need a boost in our editing community. Many established editors have become semi-active or inactive in recent months and unfortunately nobody has replaced them. Gizza (roam) 08:34, 16 February 2020 (UTC)
Completely agree with the last two sentences by Gizza; it's been quiet around here lately. An editathon is perhaps something we can only use sparingly to achieve maximum impact. I wonder if there isn't something more long-term and ongoing we can do? External marketing has been mentioned before. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 10:40, 16 February 2020 (UTC)
It doesn't have to be around an anniversary or a particular milestone. Many edit-a-thons just pick an arbitrary time to start. OhanaUnitedTalk page 00:21, 17 February 2020 (UTC)
Yes, it could probably be an annual event... like the Asia month annual edit-a-thon in Wikipedia. If there are enough people here interested in making this an annual event (which would definitely help get a lot more activity at Wikivoyage), I don't see why we shouldn't have the edit-a-thon as an annual event... what's the worst that would happen? they'll just say "no". OhanaUnited, I suggest you consult with the user Atsirlin about this - he was the main force that made the 2018 Wikivoyage Edit-a-thon become a reality. Maybe he could help make it happen this time as well. ויקיג'אנקי (talk) 09:51, 17 February 2020 (UTC)
@OhanaUnited, ויקיג'אנקי: if that's the case, we could send a request at meta:CentralNotice/Request whenever we feel ready to have another edit-a-thon. As the topic of external marketing has frequently been raised on the pub, one thing we could additionally do this time is to include links to our social media pages on the landing page. There was a mixture of support and hesitancy when it came to including those links on our normal articles but as a trial we can see whether including those links will convert a few more first-time visitors to Wikivoyage into longer-term readers and editors if they start following us on social media platforms. Gizza (roam) 23:51, 17 February 2020 (UTC)

How do you feel about having a Discord server for for the English Wikivoyage community?Edit

I am currently looking to create one for the small Hebrew Wikivoyage community. I think it works a lot better than the IRC servers, it is a lot more secure, it gives us a lot more options to collaborate, and it is a better and more up-to-date way of welcoming the new editors interested in joining the effort.

I can see that many other Wikimedia communities have opened Discord channels as well.

I am mostly hoping that it would be a good place to have more natural communication with the new people whom are curious about Wikivoyage, and would like to chat in real time with our more active members (and because it can be used on a mobile app, this probably means more people would participate in the chats when someone new joins, in comparison to the activity in the IRC servers).

How do you feel about this idea? ויקיג'אנקי (talk) 22:21, 16 February 2020 (UTC)

I am not opposed in theory but I am very pro-IRC and do not see the value in moving to another service. How is it that IRC servers are not working? How are they more secure? I'd be interested in any sources you used to make these claims. IRC is very much a "if it isn't broke, don't fix it" situation for me but I am happy to be corrected. —Justin (koavf)TCM 03:18, 17 February 2020 (UTC)


Have you tried using Discord before? it is a much more up-to-date platform. Several things I like about discord so far (and i'm quite new to it still):
  • It is much more secure - people cannot look up your IP address or figure out your real email. The Wikipedia Discord server seem to accept only people with verified emails, while other Wiki servers I've seen accept anyone - So I guess, we could also decide if we want it to only be available to verified people or if it should be available to anyone whom wants to join in right away.
  • It works on both PCs and mobile devices, and the apps are very advanced - they are a sort of combination between a modern VoIP apps, IRC and internet forums. You can even have audio or video group conversations in it and people could send each other files directly if they want. I believe that it is also possible to configure it on your phone so that you would get a notification if there's any activity on the server while you are on the go.
  • While IRC is very nostalgic for many of us (I grew up with it in the 90s too), my impression is that Discord seems to have gradually become a popular alternative to IRC among younger folks these days. So using it as the main communication platform might probably better appeal for younger people considering joining the efforts.
  • While the user lists at the IRC channels only show users currently connected that are probably siting by a stationary PC, many times it seems to me that it is hard to get an immediate response in the IRC channels or even a late response. The situation seems to be less of an issue in Discord as the discord app on people's mobile makes it much more available to the members.
  • Discord servers seem to be programmable... allowing addition of many various useful features.
  • A discord server is similar to a forums platform - on the server we could create different channels for the main things our community is focused on ... for instance a channel for the main Expeditions, channels devoted for people focused on the site's maintenance, etc..
  • As the participants in it might be more active than IRC because it is more available to people in mobile phones, it seems like the perfect landing page to send new people to.
  • I understand that people don't have to install the app for it to work... if they want they could alternatively also use it through a web browser.
  • I believe concentrated collaborations focused on improving specific things would be much more easier through it due to all the features I mentioned above. ויקיג'אנקי (talk) 09:34, 17 February 2020 (UTC)
I personally have never used IRC, but I have used Discord before, and to this day maintain some small servers, some of which are related to editing on private wikis. I cannot compare the two, but I can offer a bit of insight perhaps. To correct ויקיג'אנקי:
  • The servers themselves aren't programmable. They are customisable to a large extend, but most of these customisations are done through the use of Discord bots, which are programmable and offer most of the extended usability of the servers. I don't have experience with programming and creating Discord bots though, so I can't really tell you what it'd take.
  • Discord largely has a young userbase and would most likely be a way to get more interaction going with younger (potential) editors, as well as being not too difficult to get the hang of for veteran editors. It does require an account, which is about everything you need as a participant. The platform can be accessed through the browser, on mobile through the apps, as well as on desktop. If it is any insight, the reason I never bothered with the IRC to now, is because the thing as a whole seems very dated and impractical to me. It seemed to me as though it'd require a lot more effort from me to set up than it'd gain me.
Other than that, the above is pretty much accurate. Discord as a community tool offers lots of possibilities. Through the means of a custom bot, I reckon it wouldn't be too difficult to, for example, transfer ranks between a server and Wikivoyage (speaking of autopatroller, sys-op, moderator and so on). This might not be ideal since not every WikiVoyage Sys-op might want to be an Admin on the Discord server, but that's details that need to be worked out later. Either way, depending on their rank in the server, a user can see different channels. Moderation servers and logs, for example, are best not shown to the average user, and visible only to moderators and admins.
I have seen bots around on "product support servers" that let one create a ticket, which is essentially a private room. This could be a way to let users make their own projects/expeditions, and users could browse these in one way or another. Also not unimportant: Channels are distinguished between in voice channels and text channels, and they do pretty much what you'd expect. These can be organised through categories. To visualise, this image shows the structure of one of the wiki-specific Discord servers I run. It's not got a load of members, so it's nothing big, but the essential structure is there: The general category contains a closed channel which no-one but administrators can post in, and is pretty much a landing page; general and learn-to-wiki are channels intended to as they suggest. One is the general discussion, the other a channel for helping people get the hang of wikitext. The about category is mostly for feedback to us (administrators/sys-ops) in several kinds of ways, and the category mod talk is for sys-ops' documentation and discussion. Finally, there's several voice channels for different purposes.
Either way, the sky is the limit when it comes to customising a Discord server. I for one would be in favour of creating one for Wikivoyage and wouldn't mind lending a hand to its creation. If there's any questions I may be able to answer as a more long-time user of the platform, as well as the owner of several servers, please do send them my way!
-- Wauteurz (talk) 20:12, 17 February 2020 (UTC)
We have to meet people where they are. For text- and voice-based collaboration, Discord is it. IRC works for what it is, but people have to make a concerted effort to find it and use it. Powers (talk) 20:49, 17 February 2020 (UTC)

Bookstores worth traveling forEdit

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/adventure-town-bookstores-worth-traveling-forJustin (koavf)TCM 07:59, 18 February 2020 (UTC)

Babel templatesEdit

Hey, I was just wondering where the templates for Babel are stored. I would like to update the Babel for Minnan/Hokkien/Taiwanese to add in the Chinese character version (which makes more sense than having the Romanised version, since Chinese characters are by far the most common way of writing Minnan, while the Roman alphabet is virtually never used by native speakers). I was also thinking of whether adding Teochew to Babel will be a worthwile endeavour. The dog2 (talk) 22:22, 21 February 2020 (UTC)

@The dog2: The template have been replaced with a parser function, so that instead of {{babel|en|es-2}} and templates on 800 WMF projects, you now input {{#babel:en|es-2}} and it's a part of the MediaWiki software itself. Changing this would probably be done via phab:. —Justin (koavf)TCM 22:49, 21 February 2020 (UTC)
Ahhh, so that makes it a lot harder then. The dog2 (talk) 23:27, 21 February 2020 (UTC)
In short, yes. But also makes more uniformity and ease of using the function across wikis. —Justin (koavf)TCM 23:32, 21 February 2020 (UTC)
@The dog2: I had a similar problem a few years ago with American Sign Language at metawiki. You can see the discussion here: meta:Talk:User_language#Issue_with_ase. It's possible that you might be able to make the changes at translatewiki.net, but I don't know for sure. —Granger (talk · contribs) 00:23, 22 February 2020 (UTC)
User:Amire80 will know whom we should talk to. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:41, 22 February 2020 (UTC)
WhatamIdoing, thanks for the mention.
As Koavf says, it's very good for uniformity. The problem for the particular case of Min-nan is that currently in MediaWiki we only have one variant of it, and it's in the Latin script.
However, it may be possible to add a Chinese characters variant. Since it's something that will go into technical details, I'll continue it on The dog2's user talk page. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 17:04, 22 February 2020 (UTC)

Under which section does one list gas stations?Edit

Would it be under 'Buy'? Andrepoiy (talk) 02:17, 24 February 2020 (UTC)

Depends on why you're listing it. Most of the time it's only relevant to Get Around: By Car; travellers don't really shop for gas. Powers (talk) 02:24, 24 February 2020 (UTC)
In most cases, don't list them at all; they are common enough that we need not give a list.
There are exceptions. Some stations are of historic interest or serve as landmarks for navigation, & in a remote or desolate area travellers may need to know where stations are to avoid running out of gas & being stranded. Pashley (talk) 03:31, 24 February 2020 (UTC)