Talk:Main Page

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This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Main Page article.
This is not a forum for general discussion about the article's subject.

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Old and/or inactive discussions have been moved to the archive subpage.

Encouraging use of user talk pages

So, I've written this message, which I'm thinking of going around and (manually) placing on the User talk pages of everyone whose User: page is redirected to the main-article space, to point out that they won't receive talk-page message notifications unless they use their corresponding user talk page.

(This covers two types of users:)

  1. Those with user talk pages like User talk:BlueStapler, User talk:Hershey Almighty, etc. that are redirected to Talk:BlueStapler, Talk:Hershey Almighty, etc.
  2. Users like User:Hairplug4men, User:EJ Rose, etc. with redirected User pages, who have no redirect for their user talk page.

Basically it's about 50 people, I have a whole list. Most of them are probably not active users, but I'd plan to contact them all regardless. If they never see it, oh well. If they do, then great.

I just wanted to solicit feedback before I start.

With Special:ExpandTemplates, you can see what the message would look like when it's placed on Djonni's talk page (as an example). Click the following url:

https://wiki.godvillegame.com/index.php?title=Special:ExpandTemplates&wpInput=%7b%7bsafesubst:User:FeRDNYC/User+Talk+Message%7d%7d&wpContextTitle=User+talk:Djonni

You'll see the formatted message at the bottom of the page. -- FeRDNYC (talk) 01:51, 17 February 2019 (UTC)

It seems some people keeps on redirect their user page to another page for some reasons, tried to leave messages but it don't seem to reach through. Well it's not really a serious issue but still happens. --WardPhoenix (talk) 16:03, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
Honestly, though, that's fine and if people want to do it then more power to 'em. (There are all sorts of reasons why someone might want to, including intending their user page to be editable by other people. That's the reason Djonni (talkcontribs) specifically gives on his talk page.) If people want to keep a "god" page in the article namespace, as long as it's properly categorized no harm done. It's only when the corresponding talk page isn't redirected back to User talk: space that there's a down side. But it works just fine to maintain a non-User:Foo userpage at Foo, with a Talk:Foo page that redirects to User talk:foo, and doing that means they won't miss notifications. -- FeRDNYC (talk) 20:49, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
Sorry, the example-message URL above was "down" for a couple of weeks, as I'd repurposed the page in question to do canvassing for the JanuWiki post-mortem and forgot to set it back afterwards. Anyway, it's working again now. -- FeRDNYC (talk) 16:54, 13 March 2019 (UTC)


Theming or Other Event Brainstorms

FeRDNYC makes a really good point above that two big events a year would be amazing, but that there's also opportunities for smaller events. With the basis that JanuWiki should now be an annual event, perhaps this should be a list of other event or drive ideas (big and small) that we could do, to figure out how we could space things to still get necessary stuff done. -- SourceRunner (talk) 17:37, 23 March 2019 (UTC)

  • JanuWiki 2020: Year of the WikiGnome/GodWikiStmas -- Big event. Next JanuWiki. Starts when? Ends January 31, 2020. Wrap-up ends February 29, 2020. Theming granularity? Process certainties?
  • Guidelines and Guide Resources Drive

(Please expand)

  • Easter Interlink Special -- Small event. EIS Eternal would be willing to sponsor a small wiki event during the Easter week or two weeks, with the object of adding links between pages on GodWiki (with reasonable reasons for doing so). One of the wiki strengths is the ability to create an ecosystem of lore, and the best way to explore that is following links between pages. So there could be the a specific event that GodWiki editors and content creators each chose a pair of pages to interlink, and write the lore between them that explains their relationships in the ecosystem and links the two. A report to the "Help Request" page when finished a pairing would make the pair's linker eligible for a reward of some sort after EIS checks that it has been done and does make sense.
  • Trans-Lore-Ation -- Small event. A lot of Godville lore is in the forums and tucked away in little sections of personal chronicles. As players, we in common tend to "know" this lore to be true, but not have it on GodWiki. How about a small event where people scavenger-hunt their favorite descriptions of towns, taverns, monsters, and Godville myths from the older parts of forums and the crannies of guild and personal pages, then add excerpts and possible links to the applicable pages in GodWiki.
  • Stub It Out -- Large event. Survey what articles with the "Stub" tag are still stubs, and remove tags where appropriate. Expand articles that are still stubs.
  • "Wherefore ART Thou?" -- Large event(?). Adding art to the "picture needed" category articles. Some artists need a long time to plan, so this may need to be a slow or multi-phase event.
Could be associated with the stub event maybe?


Sounds like there is some good ideas ready for the oven. I'd say that if you want to throw an event, just go for it. Create a page for it and allow us to help for the preparation.
Maybe we should make like a planner for upcomming events. By the way, talks about upcomming event may be more appropriate on the main talk
As for JanuWiki2020 (or GodWikiStmas maybe), I'd say we have the time to see it coming. Let's care of other event before.
--WardPhoenix (talk) 23:55, 25 March 2019 (UTC)
As another idea for a possible event (I don't even know if it would be considered big or small), Category:Pictures needed is up to 314 entries. That's 314 existing articles (primarily ones that use {{Monster}}, {{Artifact}}, or {{Equipment}}) which don't have an image to go with their subject. Trimming that list down a bit could also be a good way to get non-writers involved in creating wiki content. -- FeRDNYC (talk) 06:39, 26 March 2019 (UTC)
Oh, yes, and Category:Stubs is up to 552 articles that (in theory) need fleshing-out.
I say "in theory" because some of them may not really be stubs, having been expanded since they were tagged that way. In the "Advanced options" at the bottom of the appearance preferences is the option "Threshold for stub link formatting". It takes a length (in bytes) an article's source must be so it's not considered a stub. Links to all articles shorter than that threshold will be colored with a darker shade of red than the standard redlink coloring.
I currently have that preference set to 1000 bytes, and still some of the items in Category:Stubs are colored blue. It's certainly possible for an article that's over 1000 bytes long to also be a stub, but it's also possible that there's already plenty of content there and the stub designation is outdated / overzealous. I'd say maybe 10-15% of the category's members show non-stub link coloring. -- FeRDNYC (talk) 07:00, 26 March 2019 (UTC)
These are great ideas for events, WardPhoenix and FeRDNYC. I've added them to the bullet point list above, and tried to evaluate them as large or small, based on your descriptions. Please feel free to expand or change what's in the bullet list.
WardPhoenix, good suggestion about the planner/calendar for events. Is something like that possible in GodWiki, FeRDNYC? --SourceRunner (talk) 15:21, 26 March 2019 (UTC)

I'd say that if you want to throw an event, just go for it. Create a page for it and allow us to help for the preparation.
— User:WardPhoenix

I would agree with that, with one small adjustment: When you decide you definitely are throwing an event, creating a page for it would be the first step in preparing for it, and can serve as the formal announcement of the upcoming event.
I think Djonni worked up to JanuWiki 2019 exactly the right way (whether intentionally or by pure luck): He put out feelers on the forums and in a proposal here at Talk:Main Page, and used those discussions to solicit feedback and take the community's temperature on the idea. Then once he was sure there was sufficient interest that he could commit to definitely doing an event, he pulled the trigger on creating the event page, at which point he had someplace he could link to as a "more information" resource when he made the official announcement(s) about the upcoming event.
At any stage of planning, there's always the possibility that an event could end up getting cancelled for lack of involvement or interest. Things happen. But that risk can be minimized by getting at least a core team on board before putting a lot of work into constructing an event framework for a "maybe" or "possible" event. -- FeRDNYC (talk) 14:43, 27 March 2019 (UTC)

Moved this to the main page as it is more appropriate place and also easier to reach (yeah I'm lazy to reach for januwiki page every time on my phone). By the way I think the EIS event would be quite interesting, and as easter is coming i'd suggest we start thinking about it if you really want to kick it. On a side note, I don't think a guideline event would be appropriate. Guidelines are supposed to be wrote by experimented and active users for beginners. That's more something we have to work on with experimented users I'd say. -- WardPhoenix (talk) 23:02, 26 March 2019 (UTC)

That's a fair point, re: the Guidelines. I guess it depends how broadly you define "event". Certainly, you're right, guidelines-updates aren't the sort of free-for-all activity where we'd put out a call to the entire Godville user community for participation. Maybe "an effort", or "a sprint" (to employ some of my least-favorite software development jargon), among those experienced users.
That being said...
  1. A lot of what's lacking in the current Guidelines articles just comes down to formatting, copyediting, structure, and layout fixes — things that could be done by almost anyone, especially with guidance, as there's no real expertise needed. (However, as they also need major content updates, they're definitely not entirely fixable by casual editors alone. But they could be vastly improved.)
  2. Because (as you say) the target audience for the Guidelines is inexperienced users, in my experience it's a huge mistake to write them without any input from users at or near that level. One of the things I learned in software development is that you never have the senior programmer, the one who wrote most of the code and knows every aspect of the software inside-and-out, write the instruction manual. If they try, 90% of the time it'll end up being unintelligible to the "average users" it's supposed to be written for.

    (It's the same reason you NEVER sign up for a freshman-level "Intro to Whatever" class if it's taught by that department's most senior, most published, most brilliant researcher. Very few people whose knowledge of a topic is at that level will be capable of "dumbing things down" sufficiently that they can effectively teach it to students who have virtually no background in the subject. Everything will go right over their heads.)

The two trickiest problems in documentation don't have anything to do with knowledge or accuracy of information: The first is figuring out exactly where your target audience is at in terms of background knowledge and skill level, so that you know which things need to be explained, vs. what they probably already know so you don't waste their time repeating it. The other problem, then, is being able to explain things at that level, without leaving out any of the information they need because it's just implicitly assumed or seems "obvious" to someone with more experience.
...But, all that being said I agree that Guidelines updates wouldn't make sense as an "event" in the JanuWiki mold, where we try to solicit come-one-come-all participation from as many users as possible. Heck, they may not be a very good fit for any sort of organized "group effort" at all — our best bet may be for someone to eventually just dive in and start making Bold changes to define an updated, improved structure for the content. Even if they only update a single Guideline article, once there's an example to work off of, other editors can pitch in to apply the same changes to the rest of the Guidelines. (That sort of example-based, follow-the-leader model is how most content-wide changes propagate here, really. Djonni created the {{hero or heroine}} template set, but he's responsible for only a handful of edits that applied those templates to article content.) -- FeRDNYC (talk) 14:43, 27 March 2019 (UTC)