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Thread: The Banner Saga - Factions Wikia

  1. #21
    Would it be feasible to move the wiki to Mediawiki software instead, and host it independently? I think it'd have a lot of benefits: most of all, control over every aspect of the wiki by the community. It wouldn't suffer from the bloat and advertising of Wikia (their editor doesn't even work for me half the time!), and though I'm not very familiar with Wikidot, that website is probably less familiar to most wiki editors.

    All we'd need is someone to host it. Like I said in my post on the "forums" on Wikidot, perhaps we could persuade Stoic to host it? All it'd cost them was bandwith, if a knowledgeable user had direct access to the software.

  2. #22
    @Kimberly. Yes, I think that might be good. I set it up on Wikidot because that is what I know (and I do not know CSS and HTML, much less anything about hosting); and also for the reasons given above (I know how to, e.g., write the definition of "puncture" in one place and make it show up in four others [on each of the archers], or to easily list the infoboxes [the thing with the image and stats] for all archers on one page).

    As you say, *I* know how to do this, but most wiki editors are far more familiar with the MediaWiki way. Moreover, all these things I know how to do can probably be done on that platform. I guess it really depends upon the number and enthusiasm of TBSF's more tech-savvy fans (who know about hosting and whatnot). As it is now, only four people have contributed to either wiki. I encourage you to approach Stoic about setting up an official wiki on different software if you think that's best. For now, there's no harm contributing to the Wikia and Wikidot wikis, as they serve as a resource for players, and their material can be migrated/copied if and when a better site is set up.

    As far as control goes, if the Wikidot platform is okay, it's easy to hand over control of the website to Stoic and (I think) relatively easy to host it on a different url (one that isn't *.wikidot.com). You might consider this...I think the Wikidot syntax is fairly straightforward and the website itself doesn't have any confusing overhead.

    As I said above, I probably wouldn't like to shut down the Wikidot one if a MediaWiki one were started, as I've put work into it and it has a very easy reference page for stats...but I don't see leaving it up as a problem...?

    What do others think? Preferably, others who would be interested in contributing to a wiki

  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by franknarf View Post
    @Kimberly. Yes, I think that might be good. I set it up on Wikidot because that is what I know (and I do not know CSS and HTML, much less anything about hosting); and also for the reasons given above (I know how to, e.g., write the definition of "puncture" in one place and make it show up in four others [on each of the archers], or to easily list the infoboxes [the thing with the image and stats] for all archers on one page).

    As you say, *I* know how to do this, but most wiki editors are far more familiar with the MediaWiki way. Moreover, all these things I know how to do can probably be done on that platform. I guess it really depends upon the number and enthusiasm of TBSF's more tech-savvy fans (who know about hosting and whatnot). As it is now, only four people have contributed to either wiki. I encourage you to approach Stoic about setting up an official wiki on different software if you think that's best. For now, there's no harm contributing to the Wikia and Wikidot wikis, as they serve as a resource for players, and their material can be migrated/copied if and when a better site is set up.

    As far as control goes, if the Wikidot platform is okay, it's easy to hand over control of the website to Stoic and (I think) relatively easy to host it on a different url (one that isn't *.wikidot.com). You might consider this...I think the Wikidot syntax is fairly straightforward and the website itself doesn't have any confusing overhead.

    As I said above, I probably wouldn't like to shut down the Wikidot one if a MediaWiki one were started, as I've put work into it and it has a very easy reference page for stats...but I don't see leaving it up as a problem...?

    What do others think? Preferably, others who would be interested in contributing to a wiki
    Setting up a MediaWiki is fairly simple, I think, and well-documented. Getting the hang of all of the extras that can make it better might take longer. But I imagine something similar is true of Wikidot. When I say "control", I mean the ability to install whatever you like, to control your own user database, to not be bound by someone else's terms of service, etc.

    If a Mediawiki were started, it wouldn't make much sense to keep two competing wikis as well. But we could port all of the information--does Wikidot have an export feature? It's pretty easy to share pages between Mediawikis, but I don't know if that'd be cross-compatible with Wikidot.

    I have experience in administering a wiki, so I know a fair deal about Mediawiki software, but I'm not too familiar with hosting one. I'm a quick learner, though, so if somebody's willing to let me have access to their server and there's nobody better, I wouldn't mind stepping up to the plate.
    Last edited by Kimberly; 02-19-2013 at 08:09 PM.

  4. #24
    Community Management Sean's Avatar
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    What are thoughts on doing the wiki on TBS? There is a good vbulletin mod for a wiki:

    https://www.vaultwiki.org/screenshots/

    But, if its more fun to keep it off-site, no issues to go down that road. Also, haven't thrown this idea by the team so there may be other reasons not to have it on the official site.

    Thoughts?
    Sean "Ashen Temper" Dahlberg
    http://www.seandahlberg.com/

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    What are thoughts on doing the wiki on TBS? There is a good vbulletin mod for a wiki:

    https://www.vaultwiki.org/screenshots/

    But, if its more fun to keep it off-site, no issues to go down that road. Also, haven't thrown this idea by the team so there may be other reasons not to have it on the official site.

    Thoughts?
    I just sent an e-mail (not having seen your reply yet).

    I'm not sure what the big benefit of running it inside vBulletin would be, though. It'd also be something most people would be unfamiliar with, and a link from the forum toolbar to a Mediawiki would have essentially the same effect. It'd be just as "on-site".

    In what way does vBulletin save its user database? Hypothetically, I can imagine it being possible to link forum accounts to Mediawiki accounts.
    Last edited by Kimberly; 02-19-2013 at 08:22 PM.

  6. #26
    Community Management Sean's Avatar
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    Two benefits I would see is (1) it uses a single user-login. You wouldn't have to create a separate account just to edit a wiki. Second is that it uses the same WYSIWYG interface that vBulletin uses so you wouldn't have to be adept at "wiki code" to participate.
    Sean "Ashen Temper" Dahlberg
    http://www.seandahlberg.com/

  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    Two benefits I would see is (1) it uses a single user-login. You wouldn't have to create a separate account just to edit a wiki. Second is that it uses the same WYSIWYG interface that vBulletin uses so you wouldn't have to be adept at "wiki code" to participate.
    There are some extensions for Mediawiki that add a better editor, like WikiEditor. That makes editing more accessible, I think. I think a full WYSIWYG editor is probably out there, too--one benefit of Mediawiki is that there's lots of extensions.

    Besides, people don't have to format everything perfectly to participate. It happens all the time on Wikipedia for example that someone will add a well-written text that's awfully formatted, and other editors will turn it into a proper article.

    And it may be possible to link the two user databases, though I don't know enough about vBulletin to say.
    Last edited by Kimberly; 02-19-2013 at 08:51 PM.

  8. #28
    If vBulletin allows us to share a login with the forum, I think that would be by far the best way to set up an official wiki. The more editors the better, and with everyone on the forum already having a login, we'll only need a very small fraction of users understanding the formatting rules (among whom will probably be Stoic folks and mods).

    I don't know if a co-existent unofficial wiki would be harmful (by splitting editing effort and whatnot), but I'd move most of my own effort over if the editor were easy enough. I'd certainly leave the wikidot one up until the new one had all the basic info. I could make it members-only later to keep it off the search engines, but, you know, besides Wikia and Wikidot, there are already a couple bot-developed empty-shell "wikis" out there that do pretty well on Google. I'm sure a wiki.stoicstudio.com would take the top spot if set up...

    @Kimberly, Re "control." I think I understood you correctly. Wikidot has some sort of open-source version, but it is not kept up to date and I'm not sure what the ToS on the engine would be. Besides, of course, it probably doesn't even have any plugins/extensions, if that's the motivation for getting a more open ToS.

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by franknarf View Post
    If vBulletin allows us to share a login with the forum, I think that would be by far the best way to set up an official wiki. The more editors the better, and with everyone on the forum already having a login, we'll only need a very small fraction of users understanding the formatting rules (among whom will probably be Stoic folks and mods).

    I don't know if a co-existent unofficial wiki would be harmful (by splitting editing effort and whatnot), but I'd move most of my own effort over if the editor were easy enough. I'd certainly leave the wikidot one up until the new one had all the basic info. I could make it members-only later to keep it off the search engines, but, you know, besides Wikia and Wikidot, there are already a couple bot-developed empty-shell "wikis" out there that do pretty well on Google. I'm sure a wiki.stoicstudio.com would take the top spot if set up...

    @Kimberly, Re "control." I think I understood you correctly. Wikidot has some sort of open-source version, but it is not kept up to date and I'm not sure what the ToS on the engine would be. Besides, of course, it probably doesn't even have any plugins/extensions, if that's the motivation for getting a more open ToS.
    If the two alternatives were to be a vBulletin wiki or a Mediawiki with a userbase linked to the forum, which would you support?

    As for control, I don't really mean as in "open-source". Rather, if you host your own Mediawiki, you can basically do whatever you want with it. You can freely change user groups, the design of the wiki, you control your own user database, you can run an Orwellian regime in which banned users are deleted from history, and so on. There's no entity that can come in and say "no, we don't like what you're doing"; the community is self-contained. If Stoic were to host the wiki, of course we'd have to play by their rules, but considering the short distance between us and the development team (socially speaking), I don't think that'd be much of a problem.

  10. #30
    Not that my support is worth much but ... I dunno. You know MediaWiki, and surely other TBSF'ers do, too; also, I bet that MediaWiki's platform has more features and is better maintained. On the other hand, Stoic's folks know vBulletin, and it would presumably be easy to visually integrate it with the rest of *.stoicstudio.com ; besides aesthetics, that might lower the barrier to entry from the forum.

    Oh, that was just a casual aside about control. And here's some more: I mean, hypothetically, the Wikidot folks could have some ToS that restricts the ToS that Stoic would impose (were they to choose that platform for an official wiki, ... which they probably shouldn't do .

  11. #31
    Member Dysp's Avatar
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    I'd prefer the MediaWiki option, so the wiki stays separated out from the forums. It just seems cleaner that way. I chose to populate the wikia because it's quite commonly used for games. I know wikias get cluttered with ads, and presently, I have no clue as to who the admin is. I didn't want to mess up franknarf's wikidot project because I had never edited a wiki before. I'm all for whichever route leads to a supported and consistently edited wiki that players can find easily. If you have experience then lead on! I'll probably hold off on any more edits for right now, and wait to see which direction this goes.

  12. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Dysp View Post
    I'll probably hold off on any more edits for right now, and wait to see which direction this goes.
    On the other hand, it might be nice to have something in place for the public launch. It's not a one person job to complete it, but the closer the better; and whatever's put there can probably be easily copied over (y'know, because Wikia uses MediaWiki!).

  13. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Dysp View Post
    I'd prefer the MediaWiki option, so the wiki stays separated out from the forums. It just seems cleaner that way. I chose to populate the wikia because it's quite commonly used for games. I know wikias get cluttered with ads, and presently, I have no clue as to who the admin is. I didn't want to mess up franknarf's wikidot project because I had never edited a wiki before. I'm all for whichever route leads to a supported and consistently edited wiki that players can find easily. If you have experience then lead on! I'll probably hold off on any more edits for right now, and wait to see which direction this goes.
    I've got some Wikipedia experience and some experience building a wiki out of nothing. As far as the sliding scale of "overgrown bureaucracy" to "Wild West" goes, that's pretty much both ends. I know how to set things up, I just lack experience with the technical side of hosting.

    On a different note, I think we need to settle on a proper name for the wiki."The Banner Saga Wiki" isn't particularly memorable, and gets kind of annoying to type. The name ought to be unique and relatively short. How about Menderwiki or Menderpedia? Y'know, seeing as the menders record history. Alternatively, the more straight-forward but less original Bannerwiki/Bannerperdia. (It is an iron law of wikicraft that your name must end or begin with "pedia" or "wiki". )

  14. #34
    Community Management Sean's Avatar
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    This is a question I struggled with when I worked on SWTOR because one of the initiatives I was big on was having a central place for players to go to. The truth is, the majority of a gaming community doesn't know about the auxiliary sites. To this day, I still run into players from WoW who do not know about TankSpot or WoWHead. They just use the official website. So, having a spot on the official site where they can actually access information like that is usually better for the whole community.

    The other side of the coin is that some players feel less invested when the wiki is "official". I started my career as a fan-site operator. Back in the day, I worked at Stratics, XRGaming, Crossroads, and then the Vault Network before jumping onto the development side of the fence. Fansites and fan-creations are great because you can generally do a little more with it that an official site cannot. You can also give it a different personality.

    Whether there is an official wiki or not, I do not thing that will stop fansites from being created. Look how much information is on the official WoW site and yet, I see no lack of fansites that take that same content and give it their own unique twist. In fact, one of the things I noticed when talking to fansites when I led the community team for SWTOR is that most of our fansites liked the challenge. They wanted to show how their site was better and how they could make it an nice satellite or micro-community to the greater SWTOR community.

    Anywho, me just rambling out loud...
    Sean "Ashen Temper" Dahlberg
    http://www.seandahlberg.com/

  15. #35
    The "ideal wiki" I had in mind was one that is officially endorsed but not really officially run. That is, it would be made by the community and policed by the community, with Stoic existing as a kind of final level of control. Policies, style, standards, etc. would be made by the community, and Stoic would only need to flex its muscle in rare circumstances. So, an official wiki would still have the freedom of a fan site, albeit with controls in place to keep things from going off the deep end.

    I think it'd be great if we had lots of fan sites for The Banner Saga, but at the same time, I heavily oppose schism when it comes to a wiki. Wikis are typically driven primarily by one small group of very frequent editors, and to a lesser extent by a large group of infrequent editors. In that small group, one editor more or less can make a big difference. Schism has the potential to split the core group of editors, and in doing so, doom both the first project and its offshoot. In short: a multitude of fan sites is great, but there ought to be One Wiki to rule them all, One Wiki to find them [the editors], One Wiki to bring them all [the information], and in the darkness bind them [into articles].

  16. #36
    Member Dysp's Avatar
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    Those are both very good points Sean and Kimberly. I don't think of game wikis as fan sites, though. However as Sean said, some players will never know about auxiliary sites, and a wiki will be that regardless of naming. Once TBS-F is officially on Steam, the player-base will no longer need to be first routed through the the official website to actually play the game. That would create a community that won't even know-about/use the forums and official site. In a case like that, I'm the sort of person who would bypass the forum and go straight to the wiki for information.

    As far as searches go, I don't know if it would be a better strategy to have two separate sites or one. I have no idea how something like that vBulletin option would be crawled and ranked within the forum.

    ---

    Now that you stated that, Kimberly, I think one primary wiki is necessary. One wiki is going to overshadow the other eventually, reducing editor effectiveness.

    As for naming the wiki, I don't know enough about viking or Saga history to make a witty wiki name. (I wanted to type that :P)

  17. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Dysp View Post
    As far as searches go, I don't know if it would be a better strategy to have two separate sites or one. I have no idea how something like that vBulletin option would be crawled and ranked within the forum.
    If the wiki were to be part of stoicstudio.com (e.g. wiki.stoicstudio.com or stoicstudio.com/wiki), then in search engines they would basically "share" PageRank, to a certain extent. That is, links to the wiki and links to the rest of the site would be mutually beneficial. If you made them separate domains, the wiki would compete with stoicstudio.com. (You can see this effect by searching for an obscure term, and seeing how often the Wikipedia article for it comes up--even if the article in question isn't very good, it benefits from Wikipedia's high overall Pagerank. Similarly, a newly set-up Wikia will rank highly because Wikia in general has a high Pagerank.)

  18. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Kimberly View Post
    I've got some Wikipedia experience and some experience building a wiki out of nothing. As far as the sliding scale of "overgrown bureaucracy" to "Wild West" goes, that's pretty much both ends. I know how to set things up, I just lack experience with the technical side of hosting.

    On a different note, I think we need to settle on a proper name for the wiki."The Banner Saga Wiki" isn't particularly memorable, and gets kind of annoying to type. The name ought to be unique and relatively short. How about Menderwiki or Menderpedia? Y'know, seeing as the menders record history. Alternatively, the more straight-forward but less original Bannerwiki/Bannerperdia. (It is an iron law of wikicraft that your name must end or begin with "pedia" or "wiki". )
    Considering that the Menders record history wrong, I'm not sure it's a good name to use.

    As for HTML/CSS, I can do that no problem.

  19. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    Considering that the Menders record history wrong, I'm not sure it's a good name to use.

    As for HTML/CSS, I can do that no problem.
    Touché. What's your opinion on Bannerwiki/Bannerpedia? I'm not too fond of either; they work but they're not very original.

    The Mediawiki installation guide notes that "MediaWiki can be difficult to install for the average computer user who does not have experience with Apache, PHP and MySQL." We wouldn't have to mess with this too often, but it'd probably be best not to leave it up solely to a developer, because I've had previous bad experiences with that. (For example, they'd never have the time to get around to installing extensions or changing certain settings.)

  20. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by Kimberly View Post
    The "ideal wiki" I had in mind was one that is officially endorsed but not really officially run.
    Refer here to the never-ending battles around which wiki would become the "One True" Team Fortress 2 wiki - after years of endless migration from one software platform to another, eventually Valve had to step in and anoint one as the "real" wiki. To this day there is still a for-profit runner up that scraps content from the real wiki, so even the "word of god" didn't entirely settle the issue.

    My personal opinion? I've never liked wikias wikis, too much overhead from the wikia network gumming up the mix, but other than that I don't care one way or the other where the wiki ends up.

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