Steward elections are over – 4 new stewards elected

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:

Year Candidates Number of new stewards
2017 7 4
2016 14 2
2015 14 8
2014 13 8
2013 10 6
2012 9 8
2011-2 18 8
2011-1 21 10

We’re running out of stewards

After this year’s steward elections, we have now just over 30 stewards. Well, now, when I write this there are 35 stewards, from which 2 already said they are resigning and their rights will be removed soon, and some may also lose their rights after the steward confirmations are completed, but I’m not going to talk more about it here.

When looking back to March 2014, there was 38 stewards. Since establishment of the steward user group in 2004 there were chosen every year from 5 to 12 new stewards, But this year, in 2016, we only got 2 new stewards. It’s very little. And let’s not forget that 4 stewards resigned between December 2015 and January 2016.

I agree that it’s very hard to find good candidates every year. But on the other hand I think that the requirements are too high. Many users who are voting expects that candidates can speak many languages, are active on many projects, and have been active for over 3 years.

This year, without saying any names, there was 3-5 candidates who didn’t get enough support / withdrew, who would have been a great steward.

The next steward elections will be in 2017 (if no changes will  be done for that).  And it’s very probable that some of the current stewards will resign before it, as has happened every year. So it may be that we have 30 stewards at the end of 2016.

From my perspective stewards are  in very important role in Wikimedia. Without them small wiki’s are full of spam, vandals here and there, and what would happen with user rights? I don’t even want to imagine Wikimedia with no stewards. The less we have stewards, the more work will be.