Author Topic: Improving NIWA  (Read 46299 times)

Offline Xizor

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Improving NIWA
« on: December 14, 2010, 10:52:43 AM »
This thread differs from the suggestion thread in a very important way: this thread is to simply post ideas on how you think the staff can work to improve NIWA in fundamental ways, or to ask questions about things you think are fundamentally important to be answered.

Some basic guidelines for this thread:

- Respect is not an option. We as a staff work very hard to maintain not only NIWA, but our own sites as well. I personally am the Coordinator here, am a Bureaucrat at Zelda Wiki, and own Legendofzelda.com and manage it daily. I have a lot on my plate online, and that's not even counting things outside of the internet. I'm not the only one.
- Do not make demands or ask impatient questions. This goes along with the being respectful thing, but understand that just because you make a post in this thread does not mean that what you said should happen will happen. I imagine that if what you say we should do can't or won't be done, a reason will be given.
- Unless you are on Staff, please do not answer other people's questions. This will just lead to confusion if you end up being wrong, even if you know you know the answer. This thread is more about the Staff communicating with non-Staff than everybody, staff or not, giving ideas together. That's the Suggestions Thread.
- If you are posting about something you think is simply a problem that needs fixing, and have no viable solutions, do not make it an attack. Clearly state what you feel the problem is, and ask how to fix it. Let's try to make sure we only try to tackle one issue at a time.

I'm going to be very clear: If this thread becomes disrespectful, angry, or any form of unproductive or unruly, I will lock it and that will be the end of it. I hope, however, it does not come to that. I doubt it will. I just don't want to hear arguing later if it does, and I am forced to lock. As long as everybody, non-Staff and Staff alike, remain respectful and patient, this thread will be one of the best on the forum.

Now, let's get to talking.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2010, 10:55:22 AM by Xizor »



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Offline Greenpickle

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Re: Improving NIWA
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2010, 11:55:44 AM »
Respect is not an option.

This is a bit ambiguous, and confused me the first time I read it.

Something I'd like to see happen is for everything NIWA offers to be made easily accessible.  I  mean, there's a load of stuff hidden away in forums here and on various wikis - extensions, templates and the like - and it'd be great to have it on show.  And AFAICT, there still isn't a public list of contact information for those offering whatever skills they have to help NIWA wikis grow.

We need visitors to immediately see how wonderful collaboration between very individual wikis can be.

Offline Axiomist

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Re: Improving NIWA
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2010, 03:22:44 PM »
Not a bad idea for a thread. I want people to answer the question: What changes would you make to NIWA if you were in total control? or something. One thing I had in mind was to find more ways to get non-staff involved in NIWA things.

I had a little year-end idea for a regular editor/niwa member to manage. It shouldn't be done by a wiki's staff, but I was thinking to have something like usual "Viewer's Choice Awards"; in which regulars nominate and vote on things like "Best Main Page", "Wiki of the Year", "Best NIWA template bar", "Best Logo", etc...

I'd expect tons of activity on that and hopefully some inspiration for the wiki staffs to make improvements. Or really get a good idea of what others like from the other wikis. I see it only leading to positive results.


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Re: Improving NIWA
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2010, 10:59:53 PM »
I personally would like to know what exactly is potentially barring two wikis of the same series to join (i.e. two Pokemon Wikis)



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Offline TurtwigA

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Re: Improving NIWA
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2010, 11:09:04 PM »
By staff, do you mean all wiki staff and forum admins or just forum admins?

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Re: Improving NIWA
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2010, 12:00:38 AM »
One of the most major aspect I feel that is missing from the wikis is music. I know for a fact that Zelda Wiki has incorporated playable themes in, but what I was refering to is more general. Such as a gaming soundtrack. Considering that music is a major of element of my life, this would be a project that would i'd love to see done, and one which I'd fully take part in... in a non demanding way.  ;D
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Offline Maxite

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Re: Improving NIWA
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2010, 12:13:55 AM »
One of the most major aspect I feel that is missing from the wikis is music. I know for a fact that Zelda Wiki has incorporated playable themes in, but what I was refering to is more general. Such as a gaming soundtrack. Considering that music is a major of element of my life, this would be a project that would i'd love to see done, and one which I'd fully take part in... in a non demanding way.  ;D

I'd be careful in recommending music, especially music that is still under copyright. There are a LOT of lawsuits flying around these days over the distribution of copyrighted music without the proper licenses.

Offline BooDestroyer

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Re: Improving NIWA
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2010, 03:06:01 AM »
If there's one thing to improve with this community, it's that discussions here could stand to be kept more intelligent. It seems most people are so hell bent on editing wiki articles that they're forgetting that they're trying to hold discussions here. One would find a reply to their well-written posts (if so) and expect it to provide just as much insight, yet they see that it's a simple one-liner or a copy-paste from a wiki article (stuff they already know).

And really, if you're looking for discussions that are completely devoid of intelligent thought of any degree, then I suggest trying places like GameFAQs or Smashboards. Heck, MarioWiki's forum is a lot better for that kind of thing, because they're all so blind to everything that falls beyond their already-established preconceptions.

That's only my two cents, though.

Offline Axiomist

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Re: Improving NIWA
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2010, 04:28:27 AM »
I personally would like to know what exactly is potentially barring two wikis of the same series to join (i.e. two Pokemon Wikis)

Pressed for time, but I'm most compelled to answer this one. Most of us agree that having 2 Pokemon Wikis would cause too much trouble. Imagine trying to add an in-article link for Pikachu to your affiliated Pokemon Wiki, some one would have to get bent.

And as far as content goes, both would be encyclopedias covering the same subject matter. There aren't a whole lot of ways to present the same info in the same style. Eventually people would prefer one over the other, and we'll end up watching to see which wiki kills the other.

Offline Xizor

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Re: Improving NIWA
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2010, 04:33:06 AM »
I personally would like to know what exactly is potentially barring two wikis of the same series to join (i.e. two Pokemon Wikis)

The idea that if, just as an example, Bulbapedia worked hard and got into NIWA first, before Pokewikimania (made up name for nonexistent Pokemon wiki), then Bulbapedia obviously expects certain benefits from being a NIWA member. Adding a second Pokemon wiki dilutes those benefits, and only does so for Bulbapedia, while all other wikis continue to enjoy their status as the only wiki for their franchise. To do this against the will of Bulbapedia would be completely irrational and unfair - it's simply about seniority. If Bulbapedia consented to Pokewikimania's inclusion, then the issue is completely negated. It's only to benefit the wiki that got here first. In the event of two wikis from one franchise trying to join at once, or even when another wiki tries to join of the same franchise as a member, we try to encourage merging. This way, ONE source benefits from ALL that both wikis have to offer. It's the best option as far as viewers go.

I have always supported the One-Wiki-Per-Franchise Policy in that it's up to the current member from that franchise. Zelda Wiki would have to give its consent to add a new wiki about Zelda, even if the rest of NIWA wanted to add that member. Super Mario Wiki I believe had to give its consent for Donkey Kong wiki to join - I could be remembering incorrectly. Someone else on staff feel free to correct me if I'm wrong on that one.

As far as community goes, NIWA was never intended to govern its members or supplant their communities. One of the big things with Zelda Wiki is that Zelda Fansites operate it, and they each have their own communities that contribute to Zelda Wiki, and Zelda Wiki has its own community as well that does not replace any of those sites' communities. Similarly, Zelda Wiki's community remains distinctly separate from the forum community here. As a whole, though, they are all a part of the grand, all-inclusive "NIWA Community" and that's just the nature of what we've set up. If I had to compare it to a government, and I hate to, I'd say it's like a Confederation. However, we do not govern. NIWA does not enforce anything on its members. The only thing it does is protect its own reputation. Obviously, if NIWA wants someone to do something for "quality of reputation" then there is room for abuse. The simple solution is that we don't abuse it. I mean, how hard is that? ;)

If that didn't make any sense, and I imagine parts of it made no sense, please don't hesitate to ask me to clarify. I've worked 16 hours in the last 48, and got about 2 hours of sleep between the two shifts. :P



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Offline KidIcarus

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Re: Improving NIWA
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2010, 09:32:44 PM »
Why is the NIWA staff so large?

There are seventy-seven members. Judging from the first page, fifty-three percent have ten or less posts; thirty-seven percent have five or less posts; and twenty percent have one or no posts.

Offline Jake

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Re: Improving NIWA
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2010, 09:45:06 PM »
Why is the NIWA staff so large?

There are seventy-seven members. Judging from the first page, fifty-three percent have ten or less posts; thirty-seven percent have five or less posts; and twenty percent have one or no posts.
The NIWA staff is comprised of representatives from each wiki. The number of representatives is solely up to the directors of each wiki. As you can tell, the lack of posts from many staff members makes up for the large number that we have. Some staff members will be more active than others, but they're all there just in case they ever have something to say.

Offline KidIcarus

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Re: Improving NIWA
« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2010, 09:47:43 PM »
Okay, let me rephrase my question: What purpose does such a large staff serve?

Offline tacopill

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Re: Improving NIWA
« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2010, 10:16:18 PM »
My guess would be the nature of our set up. The staff here aren't staff in traditional terms. They are staff on their respective wiki's, and they are allowed to talk with other similar wiki staffers in the staff boards.

It's sometimes easier to get help from another Wiki staffer (someone who is familiar with the software) then it is to ask the regular users who may not no how the software works.

Now, a traditional staff, one established to serve NIWA itself, independent of any wiki may not of been in the designs when the founders originally came up with this; but this doesn't mean getting one is a bad idea. At least to me.

At the same time, i recognized, that we shouldn't make a staff just for the sake of it. In my opinion, We need to identify specific problems in the community, and seek out people who we best think will solve it.

So to summarize my view point, NIWA is doing well as it is. I simply am recommending a way to make it better, to keep us going strong.







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Re: Improving NIWA
« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2010, 10:16:48 PM »
Okay, let me rephrase my question: What purpose does such a large staff serve?
I don't think you can look at the NIWA staff like a traditional forum team. We're more like 'representatives'. We discuss and propose ideas for our wikis, and ensure that the voice of every member wiki is heard. The administrators are the true staff members, as they are the only ones with complete forum moderation tools. We're currently looking into the activity of administrators, and may make some changes at some point in the future.

So in reality, NIWA only has about 9 actual 'staff members'.

Offline Maxite

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Re: Improving NIWA
« Reply #15 on: December 15, 2010, 10:20:03 PM »
A better question other than "Why do we have so many staff" is "Does the fact that each wiki has different numbers of staff potentially throw off the balance of NIWA?"

I'm not terribly familiar with how matters are handled here at NIWA, but if a matter comes up, and each staff member is given one vote, then certain member wikis would get more say over the matter than others based solely on the fact that they have more staff. Are such matters given a "One vote per wiki" then?

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Re: Improving NIWA
« Reply #16 on: December 15, 2010, 10:36:58 PM »
I personally would like to know what exactly is potentially barring two wikis of the same series to join (i.e. two Pokemon Wikis)

The idea that if, just as an example, Bulbapedia worked hard and got into NIWA first, before Pokewikimania (made up name for nonexistent Pokemon wiki), then Bulbapedia obviously expects certain benefits from being a NIWA member. Adding a second Pokemon wiki dilutes those benefits, and only does so for Bulbapedia, while all other wikis continue to enjoy their status as the only wiki for their franchise. To do this against the will of Bulbapedia would be completely irrational and unfair - it's simply about seniority. If Bulbapedia consented to Pokewikimania's inclusion, then the issue is completely negated. It's only to benefit the wiki that got here first. In the event of two wikis from one franchise trying to join at once, or even when another wiki tries to join of the same franchise as a member, we try to encourage merging. This way, ONE source benefits from ALL that both wikis have to offer. It's the best option as far as viewers go.

I have always supported the One-Wiki-Per-Franchise Policy in that it's up to the current member from that franchise. Zelda Wiki would have to give its consent to add a new wiki about Zelda, even if the rest of NIWA wanted to add that member. Super Mario Wiki I believe had to give its consent for Donkey Kong wiki to join - I could be remembering incorrectly. Someone else on staff feel free to correct me if I'm wrong on that one.

As far as community goes, NIWA was never intended to govern its members or supplant their communities. One of the big things with Zelda Wiki is that Zelda Fansites operate it, and they each have their own communities that contribute to Zelda Wiki, and Zelda Wiki has its own community as well that does not replace any of those sites' communities. Similarly, Zelda Wiki's community remains distinctly separate from the forum community here. As a whole, though, they are all a part of the grand, all-inclusive "NIWA Community" and that's just the nature of what we've set up. If I had to compare it to a government, and I hate to, I'd say it's like a Confederation. However, we do not govern. NIWA does not enforce anything on its members. The only thing it does is protect its own reputation. Obviously, if NIWA wants someone to do something for "quality of reputation" then there is room for abuse. The simple solution is that we don't abuse it. I mean, how hard is that? ;)

If that didn't make any sense, and I imagine parts of it made no sense, please don't hesitate to ask me to clarify. I've worked 16 hours in the last 48, and got about 2 hours of sleep between the two shifts. :P

It all makes sense to me, thanks a lot.


A better question other than "Why do we have so many staff" is "Does the fact that each wiki has different numbers of staff potentially throw off the balance of NIWA?"

I'm not terribly familiar with how matters are handled here at NIWA, but if a matter comes up, and each staff member is given one vote, then certain member wikis would get more say over the matter than others based solely on the fact that they have more staff. Are such matters given a "One vote per wiki" then?

I imagine they operate by some majority rule like 2/3 majority if they vote on these things, so that one wiki can't take over, but I doubt it truly works that way.

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Offline smashbrother101

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Re: Improving NIWA
« Reply #17 on: December 15, 2010, 10:47:59 PM »
I'd be careful in recommending music, especially music that is still under copyright. There are a LOT of lawsuits flying around these days over the distribution of copyrighted music without the proper licenses.

My only question then would be why are we allowed to use game material but not the music? It just seems a little bit odd... But if you think it's a bad idea than that's fine by me.  :angel:
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Offline Maxite

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Re: Improving NIWA
« Reply #18 on: December 15, 2010, 11:21:04 PM »
Even at 2/3 rule, if a group of wikis formed a coalition they could still use undue influence over NIWA based again on their bulk of staff members.

As far as why we can use game material but not play entire songs? Two words: Fair use. We are allowed to use limited game material to demonstrate various points that we are making in the wikis (such as explanation of a character, or explanation of a game mechanic, etc...). I don't think it'd be wise to put NIWA or its wikis in the middle of a legal claptrap just for the sake of "being cool." The wikis don't make enough money to afford a lawyer to fend off lawsuits (and that assumes they make any money at all).

Offline Axiomist

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Re: Improving NIWA
« Reply #19 on: December 16, 2010, 02:09:57 AM »
Well, NIWA is a group we volunteer to be in, so you won't see anyone muscling the votes around. Theoretically it could be done easily by Zelda Wiki and it's large slate of crats, or Bulbapedia could always start some massive rank ups to swing a vote. But why would they?

I'll tell you this much, most of the things we vote on are near unanimous decisions. We discuss things as thoroughly as possible, and good ideas are clearly good ideas. I can't think of any examples of a close vote, but I'm pretty certain we are mature enough to recognize that we don't have a full consensus when a vote is leading by a slim margin. At that point, the issues are likely to be revisited with compromises expected from all involved.