User:Wikia (sorry, this may just be ditziness on my part)[edit]

Toughpigs said:

I'm the staff person who's working on the welcome tool. There's a lot of customization that you can do with this, so hopefully I can help you make it work the way you want it to. welcomebot

Okay, here's a question... Yesterday I changed MediaWiki:Welcome-user from "@disabled" to "@sysop @disabled".  According to the documentation, it should have stayed inactive, but it began to make postings.  Moreover, it used the signature of someone who has never edited here [1], and failed to check whether users had contributed prior to the bot's activation [2] [3].  Are these bugs?    Ryan W 03:33, September 8, 2009 (UTC)

Hi Ryan -- Yeah, you're supposed to use either "@sysop" (to have it signed by an admin) or "@disabled" (to turn it off. You used both, which I haven't seen before -- it looks like what that did was just turn it off for admins, so the welcome was signed by a staff member. The bot doesn't check whether people have contributed before the welcome tool was turned on -- it just checks to see if there's anything on the talk page, and if there isn't, it leaves a welcome.
You've turned off the welcome tool now... Is there something else you'd like to do with it that I can help you with? -- Danny<staff /> (talk) 04:56, September 8, 2009 (UTC)
Hey, is it possible to disable welcome bots for oneself globally? So that I could edit pages on a wikia wiki without getting user and talk pages created in my name? --Gez 10:37, September 8, 2009 (UTC)
Unfortunately, no... That's on the list of things to work on, but we haven't had time for it. If it bothers you to get a welcome, then one way around that is to post on your own talk page first. If there's something on the talk page, then the welcome tool won't post a welcome to you. -- Danny<staff /> (talk) 16:01, September 8, 2009 (UTC)
See here, but to answer your question, no, not me personally.  I don't mind if others use it as long as they avoid directing newbies to me, because I think that's bad PR — newbies tend to ask Doom-related questions which I have no clue how to answer.    Ryan W 00:41, September 14, 2009 (UTC)
Well, it's an opportunity to be nice to new people, which is important if you want your community to grow. -- Danny<staff /> (talk) 22:15, September 16, 2009 (UTC)
The assumption there is that automated messages are a type of "being nice to people".  Not everyone agrees with that.  For example, welcomebots have been banned at Wikipedia for quite a while (one Wikipedian asked the audience to think about how much they loved automated telephone-answering computers).
As I said in the other thread, the same opportunity to be nice to new people exists without the bot: our 0-2 new accounts per day (usually 0) are clearly visible in the recent changes list.  Perhaps we don't have anyone making sure each and every one of them gets a welcome message.  IMHO that may not be a bad thing, if it helps everyone remember that we are an encyclopedia and not a social networking site.  (In fairness, some of our editors consider that an extreme position, and promulgate things like internal PWAD reviews, using our new blog features, and putting WIPs in user space.)  New people who take the trouble to bring interesting questions/viewpoints about the subject matter will still get responses.    Ryan W 19:50, September 20, 2009 (UTC)