Forums: Helping Hand > Featured articles!

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Hi all!

After looking at several other wikis' featured article systems (did you know Wookieepedia has two FAs per week backed up for nearly a year?!), I've knocked up a simple system for the FRW. Have a look at the code and documentation at Template:Featured article, and our first featured article summary template at Template:Featured article/1.

The system is simple: depending on the number of the month (January is 1, February is 2, etc.), the template selects one of the numbered sub-templates, and splashes it on the main page. Each sub-template contains a small summary and links to the main article. Since we currently don't have many featured articles to be proud of, the system updates bimonthly (i.e., every two months). I'll adjust it later as we need to.

Let me know what you think, or any errors or problems you find.

I think we should hash out some criteria for our featured articles. That is, what distinguishes a featured article from a merely good one? I have some ideas, please pick or refuse any or these. A featured article should be:

  • Complete: The article should give most everything about the subject. There should be a complete depiction from the standard sources. Common and important information should also appear. It doesn't have to be utterly exhaustive, with every tidbit from every obscure source, but there should be some little tidbits of lore to spice it up and surprise the expert FR fan.
  • Correct: We should be able to confirm that every fact presented is true and accurate. That goes with hand-in-hand...
  • Referenced: The article should be fully referenced.
  • Formatted: The article should be fully formatted in wiki article style, and sectioned out and infoboxed, with past tense, in-universe style, and good English text.
  • Important: The article should be on a reasonably well-known topic that ties into the larger setting, comes from multiple sources, or is just famous to readers. It's easy to make a quality article on an obscure single-source topic, but I think we should try to bring sources together. Note that this allows for famous single-source characters, for example, but I expect people will want to see them anyway.
  • Big: A medium-to-long article demonstrates completeness, and short ones are too easy to make good.
  • Illustrated: Pictures and separate quotes really spice up the article, breaking up walls of text, and make it look good. It also stands out on the main page.
  • Demonstrative: It should demonstrate all our practices, policies, templates and wiki code to budding editors. It should also demonstrate our usefulness to players and DMs (for example, presenting a fully developed community to play in or NPC to deal with).

Perhaps we need a system of selection or approval too? This prove that the article worthy of being featured. Some wikis have systems of voting for featured articles and lots of other issues, but our current method of acclamation (the "Hey, this is a great!") seems to do us well at this stage. How about if two other editors, including one administrator, agree that it should be featured, it can be featured?

The current contents of Category:Featured articles are:

  • Artemis Entreri: this seems complete and all cited, though I'll go over it properly later.
  • Cormyr: I see citation neededs, and I guess there should be more in the way of history, and culture and such, so I don't think it stands as featured.
  • Kelemvor: This needs some citations, and there's some out-of-universe writings. It might need more regarding Kelemvor's faith.
  • Procampur: for: User:Eli the Tanner (made by me)
  • Larloch: For: User:Darkwynters (made by me)
  • Waterdeep: Needs some more citations.

I'll admit I'm more familiar with my own work, and know my articles are complete and accurate, hence I've mainly been working with them on my main page work. So yes, it's self-publicizing. :p Meanwhile, I'm not entirely familiar with the others.

— BadCatMan (talk) 14:21, February 2, 2013 (UTC)

How about we start a forum post called Nominated Featured Articles where each of us can post links to our recommendations and get comments from other users/admins? If there are suggestions for improvements before an article is ready for prime time, they can go in the forum or the talk page of the article, whichever seems more appropriate. Once an article gets a consensus of approval, it becomes one of our rotating featured articles. What do you think, sirs?

Moviesign (talk) 14:47, February 2, 2013 (UTC)

BadCat, I agree with Cormyr, Waterdeep, and Kelemvor pages... an unreferenced page should definitely not be featured (if you disagree, please undo my edits). Movie, creating a featured forum is cool or we could use the Category:Featured articles talk to vote once a month (if there is nominations). Personally, I'm just an organization goblin, but BadCat (the Vast) and Movie (the Planes) you guys are writing fiends :) P.S. I like the template, BadCat!

Darkwynters (talk) 17:10, February 2, 2013 (UTC)

I think a forum post would gain more attention from regular users and get more action. It sounds like a good idea to have a dedicated discussion thread to nominate featured articles, or request specific improvements.

Another critera:

  • Realms-specific: It should be directly related to the Realms, and even if its on a generic topic, every part of it should have a strong Realms connection.

Special:LongPages ought to be a good place to start for looking for feature-worthy articles. Our absolute longest regular article, Kalach-Cha, looks like a good candidate. I've not yet been able to actually completely play NWN2 (my computer is too sucky), and I'm unwilling to read it and suffer spoilers though.

We can also have featured sources, for books, sourcebooks, etc. that are fully detailed, indexed, and have lots of articles on the wiki.

— BadCatMan (talk) 14:04, February 3, 2013 (UTC)

The phrase "little tidbits of lore to spice it up" got me thinking. Is there a way to create a sidebar or a box that text would flow around (like an image) and have say a darker background color and larger font text? I'm thinking the box should be either titled "Realmslore" or "Realms Lore", or perhaps we just begin the text in the box with "Realmslore:" by convention. This would somewhat mimic the sidebars in the manuals. I seem to recall there is some template for this, but I can't remember the details or what it was called. It should have a default set of color/font/size parameters so the look is consistent across the wiki. Just a thought.

Moviesign (talk) 14:44, February 3, 2013 (UTC)

For the record, Moviesign made a nomination thread at Forum:Nominated Feature Articles. Good work!

Following from there, I don't think red links should be a mark against an article, as they're mainly an issue for other articles (their problem being they don't exist). Also, a focus on a specific edition, whether due to available lore or it only existing in one edition, shouldn't be a problem as the wiki is divorced from the timeline and editions.

Moviesign, I think the existing infobox templates are just right for what you want. But what would you put in it? All information should be in the main article.

— BadCatMan (talk) 07:05, February 7, 2013 (UTC)

Red links not equal con, works for me—I nominated the article anyway. I guess the "Cons" section should really be more about possible improvements to the article so it better represents the ideals you put forth above. I agree that articles can focus on a specific edition, I just wasn't sure if there was a consensus that those articles should be considered for the Featrued Articles category. Being a 2nd edition player, I'm all for it, of course :)

My thought was that many of the good articles are long pages of text which are prime candidates for the TLDR syndrome (Too Long, Didn't Read). If we break out a juicy factoid from the text and put it in a side box in a bigger font and different color background, then it would attract the eye of more readers and perhaps get them to read farther than they normally would. The side box would not be new material but a snippet from the long section of text that surrounds it. Many magazines do this. I may experiment with this when I get the time.

Moviesign (talk) 14:01, February 7, 2013 (UTC)

Ah, I understand now. That sounds like a good idea. Yes, too many of our big articles and may be too big (I admit I've not yet read the current featured article nominees all the way through, unless I wrote them myself). Unfortunately, with mostly novels and text-heavy sourcebooks, some articles on this wiki will lack for relevant images.

Perhaps something like the Template:Fq floating quote would be a good basis for that? It's used at Shalara Swordshigh. Perhaps you could shade the background so it stands out, maybe something pale yellow or brown like a scroll?

— BadCatMan (talk) 14:44, February 7, 2013 (UTC)
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