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Forums: Helping Hand > Horde Editing! A wiki-wide project proposal

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In the Forum:10th anniversary discussion, we raised the topic of community-wide projects to help develop the wiki in key areas. We said:

"After collaborative efforts at Eilistraee, Forgotten Realms Wiki:Requests, and others, I like the idea of a collaborative project. Say we pick something that's key to the Realms and a drawcard for the wiki, something bigger than any of us could do alone (say Drizzt Do'Urden), then we all work on it together, picking different sources or aspects and working it up as we can. (I think Wookieepedia does something similar.) That could be quite a lengthy endeavour of course, interrupting our regular work, but maybe we could manage one a year." (User:BadCatMan)

"I think the idea of a wikia-drives to work on certain articles (e.g. Eilistraee) would be a good initiative which we could all pitch in for the anniversary. Provided we come to a consensus on which article(s) to tackle." (User:Eli the Tanner)

"On the topic of joint, wiki-wide projects (now I've found where I got the idea from), Wookieepedia does "Barn-Burners", where they occasionally pick general topics for everyone to work on, provide lists of likely subjects, and users claim articles to write or develop. I think this would be quite effective here: one complaint I've seen is that the FRW is not comprehensive (as noted on TVTropes), which is generally a correct one except for a few topics that are the main editors' pet interests. Cormyr is a key realm of the setting, yet we don't have much to say about Arabel. "Horde" editing would focus us on some key topics and clear a lack of important lore quite quickly. That may be more effective than all of us working together on a single article like Drizzt Do'Urden and the potential editing clashes.

"Hmm a "Barn-burner" would be interesting!" (User:Terrorblades)

Here's what I would like to propose:

Purpose

The Horde Edit project has two main goals:

  1. To bring the FRW community together in a joint project, to promote collaboration and the sharing of ideas, styles, and techniques. Often, we have our own individual projects on unrelated topics, and while we work independently, it's easy for us to work in a vacuum.
  2. To develop lore on the wiki, to provide more complete and comprehensive articles on key topics that one editor might not otherwise be able to cover on their own.

One complaint against the wiki is that it isn't comprehensive on topics readers want to know about. Instead, editors add lore and create articles about things that interest them or are useful to their own games. I think this is quite fair – we can only expect people to work on what interests them – but it's a shotgun approach to making the wiki useful to fandom. Realms like Cormyr, the Dalelands, Waterdeep, the Sword Coast, and the Moonsea are the big-name regions: they were created in Ed Greenwood's own games; they're core areas of the campaign setting books; they're the settings of many novels, adventures, and games; they're often talked about by fans, and I imagine what they want to know about. However, our own interests seem to tend toward slightly different places. For example, I filled out the lesser-known Vast. I developed Ilmater and his church, but Eilistraee is a more popular deity. Some editors concentrate on making articles on minor NPCs or filling in red links, but those aren't necessarily going to be read.

I don't want to stop editors working on their own projects, but it would be nice to encourage the development of core topics. This horde editing can happen alongside or in-between our personal projects.

Duration

I propose the Horde Edit run for a year. We have a small community, and this gives everyone time to work on these extra projects around their personal projects). It can go on longer if people are still working on Horde Edit articles, or be cut short if we finish early or get bored.

Topic

I feel the topic chosen should be a core subject of the Realms, something that many fans will want to know about, and that will fulfil the wiki's aim of being a useful resource. Lore should be available from a range of sources to enable more people to work on it, and it should be independent of the edition or either side of the Spellplague and Sundering divides.

There are two options I see:

  1. A single, big article taken from Most Visited, something that the vast majority of our readers are reading, especially after Googling it and coming here. For example, a famous character like Elminster or Drizzt Do'Urden; a big-name deity like Mystra/Mystra (Midnight), Lolth, or Cyric; or the drow or tiefling article. (Eilistraee has been done already.) Developing these would effectively improve the FRW's image and help attract new readers and editors. It could be done quicker too. However, working on a single article could be a problem, resulting in editing clashes and people writing up the same lore, and would require some close management of editors.
  2. A wide umbrella topic that can produce many articles of different types. For example, Cormyr, Dalelands, Waterdeep, or all things drow – not just those articles themselves, but everything in them or descending from them: places, characters, items, etc. This lets editors choose their own topics within that, write their own articles, and work semi-independently, with fewer clashes.

Organization

Whatever kind of topic we decide on, we can make each propose something we feel needs development and argue for it (that can be a little self-serving; I would propose Cormyr, already having some Cormyrean projects on the go), then vote on them.

Next, someone creates a page listing and linking all the potential articles within that topic or other breakdown of the topic. For example, lists of all villages, towns, and cities in Cormyr; all current NPCs; all past monarchs; noble houses; merchant groups; all forests, mountains, rivers, lakes, roads; etc. For another, different phases of Drizzt's life, book by book. We also list all sourcebooks, novels, and adventure modules detailing that topic. Particular issues among these can also be discussed. Articles already done can be listed (but can still be expanded on with lore not already included).

Then, anyone who wishes to participate can put their name down and reserve articles and/or sources they wish to work on. As articles are completed, the links can be shifted to a completed section, and participants can reserve more.

Aims

A project should have the following minimum aims:

  • All pages included should be formatted, referenced, and suit all style rules;
  • Lore from the main campaign setting books (the FRCSes) should all be included;
  • Lore from the main splatbooks (the additional sourcebooks) should be included if possible; and
  • Major events from novels should be covered in some way.

Thoughts?

So, what do people think?

— BadCatMan (talk) 09:49, November 2, 2015 (UTC)


This might be fun, as long as it doesn't create pressure on folks. This is our hobby, not our vocation, after all. Two other topics that come to mind are Dragons, since it's Dungeons & Dragons, and Ravens Bluff, which I've been meaning to get back to for years now. Dragons are a huge topic, Ravens Bluff would be smaller (especially compared to Waterdeep), but I'll try to contribute to whatever.

Before I read the Organization section above, I was thinking that we should write a Featured Article on the chosen topic that would be the branching off point for everyone to pick a red link and go at it. Any FA of this scope would be full of {{Main}} tags and lists of links while still covering the major historical points, people, and places. Your "working page" idea is simpler and quicker, but hopefully would result in a FA eventually.

Question: Do you think more fans would be more interested in a topic of good alignment, or evil? Perhaps Thay? Just a thought.

Moviesign (talk) 18:27, November 2, 2015 (UTC)


Hence the slow rate / long duration and the do-it-as-you-like model. And me proposing a project that suits my existing plans. ;)

Another option is to ask folks on the Candlekeep forums (it seems they're more willing to post there than here) what they feel the wiki needs more of. But that's likely to produce an edition war and a wide variety of fan favourites with no clear choices.

I don't expect a Featured Article to be produced, but ideally the core article of the project would be developed enough to become one. But that would be a single-article project: lots of people working on the one page, rather than multiple pages. I imagine that would be a separate part of the umbrella project.

I added an "Aims" section above.

No idea. My main gauge is perceived popularity: what is popular with authors and designers (where the sourcebooks and novels are usually set); what is popular with players and fans (what they usually play and discuss); and what is popular with wiki readers (where they usually go, as listed at Most Visited). From the latter it's generally drow, tieflings, mind flayers (maybe they just like evil races?), and major characters and deities (all alignments).
— BadCatMan (talk) 13:22, November 7, 2015 (UTC)
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