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Bigred
10-12-2017, 01:10 PM
This is a big sticky issue we all need to get opinions on.

For Lexicanum's entire life it has had a very restrictive view on new user registrations.

Lexicanum is the most accurate warhammer wiki out there and in general we have quite high standards for sourcing and accuracy.

We also have the slowest growth rate compared to the other 2 main 40K wikis:

Wikia
1d4chan

Wikia allows anything and thus has very high traffic, but lower accuracy - and they use non-official art.
1d4chan allows just about anything from opinion, to profanity, to rules. It's an entirely different beast from what Lexicanum provides, but it is also growing fast.

How we do applications now

We have fairly robust registration requirements, and ask members to give us a lot of info, like a small writing sample designed to give us an idea of who we are dealing with. A large percentage of applications are turned down - usually for spammy email addresses, or extremely poor writing skills.

We (mostly me) manually check the queue for all the wikis and approve or disapprove things as often as I can.

The question - should we change this?

One complaint is that the entire process should be removed and we should allow instant registration to new users. This will give interested readers - instant satisfaction and keep them hooked. This WILL have a large impact on the community and we will have many more writers. The wikis will grow much faster. It also would remove the entire process of vetting new users.

The downside is:
There will be spammers.
There will be vandalism.
There will be well meaning writers who just can't meet the quality standards we require.

These accounts will have to be policed, banned when needed, and their posts reverted or moved. This will have to be done by the existing admins/bureaucrats.

This is how we handle things over on the Dnd-wiki.org wiki for Dungeons and Dragons, and it is growing steadily.

So what is your opinion on this?

How should we deal with new user registrations? I want the opinions of every admin and power user on lexicanum we can find.

We should also do a big update and promote a set of new admins to help police things before we make any changes.

Ashendant
10-13-2017, 06:39 AM
Well maybe if the DnD wiki is working then yo should definitely copy that.

My problems with the current user registration system is:
* It's too intrusive and asks too many personal questions of a users and while all of these, except the background, is optional it never tells new people that. A lot of people value anonimity on the internet and this fact severely detracts from new users.
* The wait between editing is often too long, when it should be automatic. This leads to people forgetting why they were editing and quitting before they could do a single edit. The problem with allowing this is spammers. There are two solutions I can see here: Ask a wiki contextual question to the registration or while editing when one is not yet approved (ex:"What deity is the game Age of Sigmar named for?), allow new users to edit but not create new pages until they've been approved.

Warhammer fantasy english has specially suffered in the lack of new users.

Gene
10-13-2017, 09:48 AM
I absolutely prefer the normal registration procedure (i.e. requestion). It wasn't implented for naught - before that we had massive problems with spammers (http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/mediawiki/index.php?title=Special:Log&dir=prev&offset=20100118154805&limit=500&type=block&user=&page=&tagfilter=&hide_patrol_log=1) (in fact I became sysop in the English Lex to help out banning and reverting) and the tool was a relief.

The registration itself did not lead to fewer new users - it was the change to the registration mask at a later time (we were genuinely shocked when we noticed it - it's an absolutely no-go). Before that we didn't ask for the real name or a biography (or telephone numbers 'to aid in identify confirmation'). Just for an appropriate username and some words (like how do you came to/why do you like 40k/WHF or what you want to contribute). That should be enough to detect most spambots. This was mentioned in the old forum btw (while I couldn't change the whole mask I modified the text in the German 40k Lex, for example from Real name: to Real name (optional, repeat username instead): - in German of course).

I suppose annother reason was the (very) long time between request and conformation some time ago (we talk about several weeks and more) - it killed many users interest.

So my suggestion is to get rid of the current registration mask and shorten the time until confirmation. And the english 40k Lex needs an active (regarding contribution) native sysop - I nominate Harriticus (he should be asked, though...).

Ashendant
10-13-2017, 04:18 PM
Yes, the difference of time between registering and being allowed to edit is what I meant. This is by far the biggest problem.

I suggest keeping the background question under different pretexts, and not allowing people to make their request without posting something in it, and adding a context specific question that can be easily changed by an admin will keep most bots/spammers away.

The Fantasy wiki also needs one bureaucrat.

AlphaRonin
10-14-2017, 06:05 AM
I support Genes proposal. Change the registration mask but not the registration process.
Three to four times a week I'm writing in the german WH40k-lex or at least check for user applications. This way registration for the german lex is ensured.

Bigred
10-15-2017, 11:51 AM
How's this:

The sections in red would be removed and the the optional fields at the bottom often get us good info we use to identify enthusiasts from the spammers.

For me the only tricky one is "Real Name" some legitimate users are uncomfortable offering it, but it also scares off obvious spam accounts.

https://www.belloflostsouls.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/lex-revised-revised.png

Opinions?

Ashendant
10-15-2017, 03:04 PM
How's this:

The sections in red would be removed and the the optional fields at the bottom often get us good info we use to identify enthusiasts from the spammers.

For me the only tricky one is "Real Name" some legitimate users are uncomfortable offering it, but it also scares off obvious spam accounts.

Opinions?

It doesn't scare off obvious spam accounts since they can provide any fake real-sounding name, as there's no way off checking if it's real or not. Then there's the fact that some people really do have fake-sounding name. Leaving the "Real Name" there would scare away more legitimate users, without any chance of scaring off any spammers. Most spammers also make accounts in mass with bots, so there's that.

I think leaving it would do more damage than good so either remove it or put an (optional) in front.

You should also put an Optional in the "other information" section.


I support Genes proposal. Change the registration mask but not the registration process.
Three to four times a week I'm writing in the german WH40k-lex or at least check for user applications. This way registration for the german lex is ensured.

The English fantasy lex doesn't have a native bureacrat so we would still have the same problems. Maybe standardise the "accept registered account" so any bureacrat account could accept them?

EDIT: Off-topic, but someone claims that "I am getting alot of messages that the site is not configured correctly?"

Gene
10-15-2017, 04:12 PM
I don't think the real name scares of bots, only interested people, and if someone wants to create a spam account manually (which is rare) he wouldn't give us the real one. It's not like we could (and want) really verify it.

Some words in the 'biography' section are necessary (to detect spambots) so I would keep it, but not for a 'biography' - that's nearly as awful like the real name. Just some words. Some users like to tell since when they're in the hobby or what's their favorite faction, some want to say how they want to help and/or improve the Lex, others list their sources - the new users should feel free to write whatever they want, long or short, as long as it's related to the Lex.

The 'Other informations' should be removed altogether. Maybe leave the additional notes box but any mention of phone numbers or websites should be eliminated.

Btw, is there a possibility to enable the users to create their own passwords from the start?

Edit: @Ashendant: ninja'd. :D (damn... by an hour).

Mmmh... now you've mentioned it - is there any francophone bureaucrat? I suppose not - maybe ask Bruenor?

Bigred
10-15-2017, 10:20 PM
Ok so how about just these?


Username
Email Address
Additional Notes (so we can get a small writing sample)



Exactly what level of authority is needed to approve the account applications? I thought it was admins only, but can bureaucrats as well? The mediawiki documentation is vague. Basically we need at least 1-2 admins/bureaucrats per wiki to be able to deal with approving registrations.

-Larry

OvA
10-16-2017, 01:25 AM
In the question of the modalities of the registration process, I agree with the points Gene made.

If help is needed in the German 40k-Lexicanum, I might join Alpha Ronin as a sort of secondary bureaucrat, checking for user applications twice a week on average. I'm not sure we need more than one bureaucrat though atm.

@Ashendant: I too get these messages in the english Lex sometimes.

Gene
10-16-2017, 05:17 AM
Exactly what level of authority is needed to approve the account applications? I thought it was admins only, but can bureaucrats as well? The mediawiki documentation is vague.

Only bureaucrats can see the requests and can confirm them, normal admins/sysops don't.

Ashendant
10-18-2017, 08:11 PM
When are the changes going to go through?

And what is the solution to the lack of bureaucrats to accept account requests?

Bigred
10-19-2017, 01:43 PM
OK, we need to ensure there is at least bureaucrats on each wiki (they can be the same person) who can do a weekly look at applications. Between the group, that should give us decent coverage.

1) are there any wikis who dont have anyone besides me (bigred)?
2) does any current admin want bureaucrat rights to do the weekly sweeps?


Timing wise - I have added the update to registration to our list of site jobs, but there are a couple of other jobs in front of it right now. It will be a few weeks.

-Larry

Ashendant
10-19-2017, 05:45 PM
OK, we need to ensure there is at least bureaucrats on each wiki (they can be the same person) who can do a weekly look at applications. Between the group, that should give us decent coverage.

1) are there any wikis who dont have anyone besides me (bigred)?
2) does any current admin want bureaucrat rights to do the weekly sweeps?


Timing wise - I have added the update to registration to our list of site jobs, but there are a couple of other jobs in front of it right now. It will be a few weeks.

-Larry

I think english fantasy only has you active. I would like to do the sweeps atleast for the fantasy eng lexi.

Also when the register page gets an update you should likely make a newpost about it promoting so we can have new editors from the get-go.

Ashendant
10-20-2017, 01:06 PM
Did you also put for fixing the emails in outlook being classified as spam and the problem with the invisible ad bar at bottom of the lexi?

AlphaRonin
10-21-2017, 03:08 AM
Working as a system engineer with specialisation in corporate mail systems, I can tell you, preventing a classification as SPAM is sometimes very hard. Nearly all mail providers, or administrators, or mail programs use an own kind of spam defence configuration. Finding a way to get clean through them all is nearly impossible. In this cases you need redefining the sending mail servers configuration mostly all time someone says "your mails are marked as spam in my app". In most cases it isn't a problem of the sending mail server but a misconfiguration of the receiving anti virus (with anti spam) and the mail program.

Ashendant
10-21-2017, 08:16 AM
Working as a system engineer with specialisation in corporate mail systems, I can tell you, preventing a classification as SPAM is sometimes very hard. Nearly all mail providers, or administrators, or mail programs use an own kind of spam defence configuration. Finding a way to get clean through them all is nearly impossible. In this cases you need redefining the sending mail servers configuration mostly all time someone says "your mails are marked as spam in my app". In most cases it isn't a problem of the sending mail server but a misconfiguration of the receiving anti virus (with anti spam) and the mail program.

The problem isn't really that the mails are classified as Spam, the problem is that outlook automatically deletes them unless you specifically say Bols mail is a safe one and even then it's not guaranteed that you will receive them. It doesn't send to garbage or spam folder, it just deletes them.

AlphaRonin
10-22-2017, 02:56 AM
The problem isn't really that the mails are classified as Spam, the problem is that outlook automatically deletes them unless you specifically say Bols mail is a safe one and even then it's not guaranteed that you will receive them. It doesn't send to garbage or spam folder, it just deletes them.

This counts to the category of a to strong set junk mail filter, depending only on safe lists. Automatically deleting mails is always a poor choice. You can try some other settings like Microsoft described here: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Change-the-level-of-protection-in-the-Junk-Email-Filter-e89c12d8-9d61-4320-8c57-d982c8d52f6b

I don't now the inner workings of Lexicanum mailflow, but the following things I can read out of the header and MXTOOLBOX.com:
1. You are sending: envelope-from="[email protected]";
2. But the following mail server makes the connection: Received: from belloflostsouls.net
3. bolsinteractive.com and belloflostsouls.net have different MX-records
4. None of both domains have an SPF-Record in their dns-entries.

There are a few things the mail admins of BOLS can do:
1. You can check the domain configuration and decide for one mail domain.
2. You can introduce SPF-records to better the SPAM-ranking.

Ashendant
10-22-2017, 12:26 PM
This counts to the category of a to strong set junk mail filter, depending only on safe lists. Automatically deleting mails is always a poor choice. You can try some other settings like Microsoft described here: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Change-the-level-of-protection-in-the-Junk-Email-Filter-e89c12d8-9d61-4320-8c57-d982c8d52f6b

I don't now the inner workings of Lexicanum mailflow, but the following things I can read out of the header and MXTOOLBOX.com:
1. You are sending: envelope-from="[email protected]";
2. But the following mail server makes the connection: Received: from belloflostsouls.net
3. bolsinteractive.com and belloflostsouls.net have different MX-records
4. None of both domains have an SPF-Record in their dns-entries.

There are a few things the mail admins of BOLS can do:
1. You can check the domain configuration and decide for one mail domain.
2. You can introduce SPF-records to better the SPAM-ranking.

The info on that link/article is either severely outdated or outright wrong, since I'm pretty sure I didn't ever change my junk email settings before and plenty of other people didn't and it was still being deleted.

Thanks, I hope the admins heed your advice.

Ashendant
10-25-2017, 03:35 AM
I think we should add a password section to the registry menu to bypass all of these problems with emails not being received.

EDIT: Is it possible to change a default position in the preferences from activated to deactivated after creating an account? I think having the "Email me when a page or file on my watchlist is changed" maybe why the email was automatically sent to be erased in the first place.

AlphaRonin
10-25-2017, 09:33 AM
What exactly do you mean? If an user is getting a new account, he can not have anything on his watchlist.

A user can edit his mailing preferences under "settings" and "e-mail options".
An administrator can not change these settings for any user.

Ashendant
10-25-2017, 03:37 PM
What exactly do you mean? If an user is getting a new account, he can not have anything on his watchlist.

A user can edit his mailing preferences under "settings" and "e-mail options".
An administrator can not change these settings for any user.

Problem is I receive lots of mails each time someone makes an edit to any page I edited before. So I went and check and turns out the "Watch this page" is active by default if you try to make any edit to any article of the Lexicanum.

The result of having both these options as active by default is: All the people that ever edited an article receive an email, everytime someone edits that particular article. This results in a lot of emails being sent in quick succession overtime. This might be why Outlook "blacklisted" the lexi email by default.

Bigred
10-30-2017, 06:42 PM
Thanks Alpha Ronin.


I don't now the inner workings of Lexicanum mailflow, but the following things I can read out of the header and MXTOOLBOX.com:
1. You are sending: envelope-from="[email protected]";
2. But the following mail server makes the connection: Received: from belloflostsouls.net
3. bolsinteractive.com and belloflostsouls.net have different MX-records
4. None of both domains have an SPF-Record in their dns-entries.

There are a few things the mail admins of BOLS can do:
1. You can check the domain configuration and decide for one mail domain.
2. You can introduce SPF-records to better the SPAM-ranking.

I've added the email mis-configuration data to the bug list for our IT guy to look at.

But I also agree that when you're dealing with mail and spam misidentification - there is only so much you can do.

-Larry

Ashendant
10-30-2017, 08:57 PM
Thanks Alpha Ronin.



I've added the email mis-configuration data to the bug list for our IT guy to look at.

But I also agree that when you're dealing with mail and spam misidentification - there is only so much you can do.

-Larry

Like I said I think you should change how the "Watch this page" is active by default. Sending an email to everyone that ever edited one article, everytime that article is edited is certainly not helping.

HotAsIce
11-21-2017, 08:57 AM
i got throught just fine