This year we were close to get just a few candidates, but fortunately we got some more applications during the last days of the nomination period. A total of 9 users nominated themselves, but 2 of them were disqualified before the voting started.
A year ago I wrote in my blog that We’re running out of stewards. There I said that we will have 30 stewards at end of year 2016, I guessed it right. I think that only changing something in the current system can stop the drop in amount of stewards we have.
But now we got 4 new stewards, and will lose some old stewards during the next days after the confirmation results are ready. And it’s expected that during 2017 some of the other stewards will resign (no time / personal life), as happens every year.
What should we change to get more stewards?
I have no idea. Are the requirements too high? Or are users too fearful to apply if they feel they won’t be elected anyway? Some can fear the questions that will always be asked, they are sometimes quite tricky! I’m not blaming it, it’s good to test knowledge of the candidates. How about changing the voting system to SecurePoll so other users can’t see who voted whom? At least then other users can’t “follow” how others voted.
This is just my personal opinion, but I feel that many users who are voting don’t basically even know what the stewards are doing. They just come when they see the central notice banner and vote based on candidate statements, or what languages they can speak. Some can look at their contributions, and if they edit their favorite wiki, it’s positive.
There has been also some drop in number of active cross wiki vandalism patrollers (i.e. users that belongs to the SWMT). And of course I mean those who are actively in IRC, not just listed on that page. Active SWMT members are usually good candidates for steward.
How to become a steward?
This is not an official guide! Don’t take it too seriously.
So briefly, join SWMT, use IRC, go to cvn-sw channel, revert a lot of vandalism in many different wikis, become a global rollbacker, then a global sysop, and if you are not yet, become a sysop in some Wikimedia (content) project! And the most important, report cross-wiki vandals in wikimedia-stewards channel so that other users get frustrated of your reports and they want that you can take action by yourself and stop reporting 😉
About my steward time
I have now served as steward 2 terms (from 2015). Sure it’s normal that some of us have no time to stay active, and thus want to leave the stewardship. If you want to be useful you need to be active in some area. My biggest “interest” as steward is in (globally)blocking/locking vandals and set user rights.
You can never know about your future, everything can happen in your real life that can affect to your activity on Wikimedia projects. Editing Wikipedia, serving as steward, both should only be hobbies, and only done when you have time and you are interested of them. If you are too busy or stressed, just take some kind of vacation from wiki work and come back when you feel like you like to do things again.
List of last years steward elections’ in numbers:
||Number of new stewards