With respect toward the good intentions of RFA review efforts, this boycott expresses principled opposition to mistaken priorities. Far too much talk goes into requests for administratorship itself and far too little effort goes into identifying and preparing worthy Wikipedians to become good sysops.
The numbers speak for themselves:
* Fewer than 400 edits ever to Wikipedia talk:Editor review, which has been active since May 3, 2006.
* Fewer than 400 edits ever to Wikipedia talk:Admin coaching, which has been active since February 10, 2006.
* Over 25,000 edits to Wikipedia talk:Requests for adminship since April 15, 2005. That's also 5000 edits from March 10, 2008 to June 26, 2008.
* 63 pages in Category:Wikipedians on Editor review/Backlog.
* 39 unfulfilled requests at Wikipedia:Admin_coaching/Requests_for_Coaching.
* 1137 pages in Category:Wikipedia_administrator_hopefuls.
Our current body of administrators is largely comprised of people who figured out what they needed to know by the seat of their pants: this is an extremely self-selecting group. Most of the people who would be suitable and motivated administrators need training. They need serious preparation in the processes, responsibilities, and pitfalls of administratorship.
We should direct our efforts toward the following:
* Establish best practices for admin coaching
* Create a coaching manual
* Make coaching a priority responsibility of administratorship
Good preparation is not about instructing people how to game RFA. It's about determining whether an editor has an outlook and temperament shared by good administrators; it's about seeing that they want it for the right reasons; it means ensuring they have enough field experience before they ask for the tools; it means cautioning them about the exponential rise in trolling they'll encounter once they get sysopped. Good training means familiarizing people with the work administrators do. In particular it means identifying and preparing people to help out in understaffed areas.
The author of this statement has been coaching Wikipedians for adminship for a year and a half. By preparing people to assume the responsibilities of administrators, every single one of the author's coachees was successful at RFA.
RFA reform has been endless talk with virtually no tangible results. It is time for this madness to stop. We need better training.
To sign, please visit this page.