Howdypedia:Issues

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In the course of Howdypedia's history, a number of issues have come up, some technical, and some not. While IRC offers a good way to get a consensus on matters in real time, a list of current issues allows for participation by those who aren't on IRC, and helps to compensate for timezone differences. It also leaves a paper trail, so that precedents don't appear to come out of thin air.

Current issues

Issues currently confronting the wiki are listed below. Polls may be included (usually after at least a day or two for discussion), but remember that polling is not a substitute for discussion (or, polling is evil).

"Lockdown"

The blanket restrictions on editing are finished. I didn't provide any public rationale during the month that the database was locked/editing was limited to administrators: In short, I felt (and most other community members agreed when I asked them in private) that the wiki was growing at a rate and in a direction that could degrade its overall quality. Given that a handful of editors makes most of the relatively few edits, I felt that locking the database was a reasonable way to halt rampant growth and provide a chance for restructuring. Because of what developed into my own (and others') apathy, the wiki was left immutable for much longer than I originally intended. I doubt that there has been any long-term harm to the wiki (and hopefully a reopening will make people excited about editing again), but my own performance was less-than-decisive and -impressive. —Emufarmers(T|C) 21:30, 19 October 2007 (PDT)

Discussion

Access restrictions

I'm still thinking about completely blocking unregistered users from editing (and working on a way to do so elegantly), but int the meantime, I've decided to limit the creation of new articles to "autoconfirmed" users—those who have been registered for at least 24 hours. This is exactly the same as it is on Wikipedia, except that the time to become "autoconfirmed" is 4 days there! Unregistered users can still create new talk pages and edit existing articles (unless those articles are protected or semi-protected).

A brief rationale for this: Most of the contributions we receive from unregistered users are unhelpful or destructive, or are just spam. Unregistered users have made some good corrections and minor adjustments to articles at times, though, so I'm not going to cut off general editing access (at least not yet). —Emufarmers(T|C) 12:33, 27 April 2007 (PDT)

Discussion

Sounds good to me. --AdventuresII 15:26, 27 April 2007 (PDT)

Nofollow tags

rel="nofollow" tags are added to all external links on MediaWiki by default. I disabled this a while back, however, since the main purpose of nofollow tags is to prevent spam, and spambots are a very minor problem here. Still, there are potentially some other issues involved: At present, if I set nofollow tags off for the wiki, there isn't any way we can add them selectively for a particular link (if you're wondering what sort of links I'd want to add them to, consider the links in the commercial advertising section below; I wanted to include them for reference, but I don't want to "endorse" them, which an un-nofollowed link does, in Google's eyes). I'm a bit of a PageRank-chasing loonie, so I suppose this might seem rather trivial to everybody else, but it is a factor. I asked in #mediawiki about whether selective nofollow tags would be a possibility for wiki markup, and the response was to either do it myself, or find someone to do it for me. In the meantime, nofollow tags for all external links, or for none? --Emufarmers(T|C) 21:05, 28 January 2007 (PST)

Discussion

Settled issues

These wiki issues are settled, for the moment. You may continue to post comments regarding them, however, and you may also request that they be moved back to the current issues section if you feel they need attention.

Tagline

I changed our tagline from From Howdypedia to From Howdypedia, the unofficial Bang! Howdy wiki. I also changed the css so that it'll now display the tagline below every article's title, the way it's done on Wikipedia. What do people think? —Emufarmers(T|C) 01:00, 16 April 2007 (PDT)

Discussion

Cool beans. --Sivius 01:02, 16 April 2007 (PDT)
Sure. The Conster 05:08, 16 April 2007 (PDT)
Meh.-STK 19:34, 16 April 2007 (PDT)
Sticks out a little too much. --AdventuresII 19:42, 16 April 2007 (PDT)

Footer copyright notice

What should the copyright notice in our footer look like? Options I've come up with (with notes below some of them):

If we include a link to the license, we'll probably want to say "text" instead of "content," like with the Wikipedia version below, since most of our images are actually copyrighted by OOO. This is the same as YPPedia's footer,.

This is basically the same as Wikipedia's footer. Perhaps we could then add another line about how Bang! Howdy™ is a registered trademark of Three Rings Design, Inc.

This is the same as the above, but with an external link to the license, instead of a verbatim copy.
--Emufarmers(T|C) 21:05, 28 January 2007 (PST)

I've gone ahead and set it up as the fifth option (with nofollow tags). I'll consider this settled, unless anybody wishes to bring the issue up again at a later date. --Emufarmers(T|C) 22:27, 9 February 2007 (PST)

Discussion

Commercial advertisements

YPPedia doesn't have ads, but since I'm hosting Howdypedia on my own shared server right now, there's no reason I couldn't add advertisements. What I would be looking at is contextual advertising like Google AdSense (which Wikia uses), or maybe something like Federated Media Publishing (which Wikia also uses, although I don't know if a site this small has a chance), or Text Link Ads. Any ads would most likely be on the sidebar, under the "toolbox," like with Uncyclopedia, or on the right hand side of the screen, as with other Wikia (probably not, though, since that would cut into article space). I feel I should be honest and say that most of the revenue from ads would go straight into my pocket. If ads really raked in the dough, I could think about upgrading the site's hosting (although it's presently far, far, far under capacity as it is), but this would basically be for my own monetary benefit. Of course, I am hosting the site, but it's not as though I'm actually paying anything more for that, except for large investments of time. I could also add a link back to my personal site in the bottom-left corner if I wanted to, but again, do I really have that right? I definitely won't add this sort of thing if people are opposed to it, so speak up. --Emufarmers(T|C) 21:05, 28 January 2007 (PST)

I've had the ads up for about five days now, and I haven't gotten any complaints. (Then again, I haven't gotten any comments since then regarding the ads at all, so maybe a lack of feedback is just the default.) --Emufarmers(T|C) 22:25, 9 February 2007 (PST)

What ads? Laughs -Fehwar- aka. Malt

Discussion

Ads for the win! The Conster 12:03, 4 February 2007 (PST)

Heartily endorse, etc. --AdventuresII 19:31, 4 February 2007 (PST)
The ads don't really show much..surely they should be making more use of the space? --Sagacious(talk) 04:24, 12 February 2007 (PST)
Google AdSense policies technically require that ads only be placed on "content pages," so I've modified the MediaWiki code so that ads won't show on editing pages, category pages, MediaWiki namespace pages, etc. --Emufarmers(T|C) 06:05, 12 February 2007 (PST)
If you're paying for server useage you should get some return from it. besides, I hardly noticed them. --Fatfriar