Forum:Clans and this Wiki

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This thread was archived on 15 January 2010 by Robert Horning.

For those that have been paying attention on the forums and on the R S Wikia clan chat channel, I've been trying to set up a merchanting clan that is trying to defy the "traditions" of the manipulation clans that have been running rampant on the Grand Exchange and are the topic of numerous flame fests and rants on the RSOF. If you really want to find the details about this clan, you can see [http://runescape.wikia.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=4470 the forum thread] where I started this concept.

As a means to support the organization and establishment of this clan, I created a new user account for the purpose of having a place to discuss the activities of this clan, and to have it placed in a neutral location that wouldn't be tied to a particular user account. While I don't mind being seen as the founder and early organizer of this clan, I want to allow others to step forward in a leadership capacity and not feel that they always have to be in my shadow.

For some reason, User:9the Enigma9 has moved the user pages from User:Adam Smith Clan to sub-pages of my user page, and then in a move I'm particularly not comfortable with, has blocked the user account as a common vandal with an infinite block, citing security concerns. To me, while I'm not pleased with the page moves (and the redirects being left out... those should have remained as there are external links to these pages), the straw that breaks the camels back, so to say, is this user block. I guess it could have been worse: The pages could have been deleted as well.

So far as I know, having multiple accounts for editing is not against any rule here on this wiki, although abusive sock puppetry is legitimately bad etiquette and frowned upon. Even if you apply Wikipedia's standards due to a lack of applicable policy here, what I did here would have been considered acceptable on Wikipedia by its standards. I don't buy the security argument here, as the account is perfectly secure and won't be hacked into... unless some way to hack into an account at Wikia will happen that can compromise all of the accounts on this and all MediaWiki-based websites. That sounds to me as a rather significant security obstacle.

I guess ultimately the issue here boils down to what sort of support or lack thereof should this wiki have in regards to clans. Yes, I'm fully aware of the RS Clans Wiki, although I have seen a significant duplication of effort there that I'd rather see be done here instead. For this particular clan, I'd like to use the GEMW data for some of the clan projects, and to have the clan members "give back" to the wiki as well in terms of maintenance of the [[RuneScape:Market]] page and other economically oriented articles.

At the moment I feel like I'm being driven away from the wiki community. My motives for creating the clan page in the user space is out of frustration that no other venue would have been considered acceptable for something like this. If I was going to put this as a sub-page of my user page, I would have done that in the first place.

To make the point clear, here are my questions to the RS Wiki community:

Can user community groups (aka "clans" or other player groups) have a place on the wiki, or are they forced to go elsewhere?

If user groups are allowed to use the resources of this wiki, how should those pages be organized... and in what "namespace" should that sort of content be located? Why is the method of creating a new user for clan space unacceptable? Why would having clans as sub-pages of RuneScape:Clans be worse, unacceptable, or better? Should this only be something found on an existing and active wiki contributor's user page? Under what policy would content related to a user clan be removed?

None of these are easy questions, and I'll admit that what is happening right now with clans and user groups has been done on an ad hoc basis. Perhaps the time is ripe to force this issue out into the open for greater discussion to find what we might want to do about clans, and I'd like to do this in a positive light that encourages community participation rather than being negative and rejecting of ideas just because they haven't been done before. Yes, I'm pushing the boundaries of this wiki community and perhaps seeing what is acceptable here, but I'm stating there is an unmet need here that should be addressed, and I thought my way of addressing this issue at least didn't step on too many toes. If some other way could be done, I'm open to legitimate suggestions, but the changes that have been made here are to me unacceptable as it lacks policy or community consensus.

At least I'm not a new user getting this sort of treatment, and I do have some rather thick skin. I can take some criticism, but I also know I can push back here as well. That is precisely what I'm doing. --Robert Horning 16:28, November 10, 2009 (UTC)

Discussion

Comment - First of all, I must say that I think that moving the pages and blocking the user was not the best idea.

I think a clan namespace would be hard, because only two custom namespaces are allowed and we already have Exchange: and Update:. One of the many restrictions on Wikia.

I'm not sure about clans. I don't completely understand why we wouldn't give them space on the wiki, be it as a userpage, subpage of RS:Clans or user-subpage. Ancient talisman.png Oil4 Talk 20:01, November 10, 2009 (UTC)

The issue with multiple namespaces is a political and not technical issue. Wikia doesn't want user commnities to willy-nilly create namespaces like you would create new articles, as there is a hard technical limit... of just over 100 new namespaces. It is also a technical challenge that requires a professional technician (at least somebody who can interact with the root configuration file) to make namespace changes, so a new namespace is not something to be done lightly or for trivial reasons. I'm not convinced that a separate namespace is needed here, but ruling out that option isn't something that has to be done either. --Robert Horning 14:02, November 11, 2009 (UTC)

Comment - Enigma's actions were inappropriate and there is no rule that says you can't have more than one account. However, we don't need a separate place for clans like RuneScape:Clans because there is already a [[w:c:runescapeclans|RuneScape Clans Wiki]]. Andrew talk 21:07, November 10, 2009 (UTC)

Yes, Enigma did not do the right thing. I suggest it is brought back to how it was. Slayer helmet.png

Elijah talk

21:12, November 10, 2009 (UTC)

Comment - I really don't see why Enigma moved 'em, so I think it'd be best if they were put back where they were. ASATO MA SAD GAMAYA 21:26, November 10, 2009 (UTC)

Comment - I agree with the statements above mine. I also believe that clans have no place on this wiki, and the only clan that is an exception is our own R S Wikia. Unlike User:Goldmerch, that account was not solely created to advertise a clan, and was actually a Wiki-project of sorts. Now that's a throwing weapon!Doucher4000******r4000I'll eat you! 21:57, November 10, 2009 (UTC)

Comment - I moved them and blocked the user because this happened to me before. I had a user for my clan that was moved to a subpage and the userpage was deleted. (User:Heroes Clan) I assumed the admin that did this knew what he was doing, so I thought you shouldn't have users for clans. I was simply doing what I had learned to do in the situation, I realise now that they may not have been the best of actions, and I apologize for causing any grief. — Enigma 00:06, November 11, 2009 (UTC)

Comment - I support clans on the wiki, although I do not think a separate userpage is the best place for it. Userpages are for users. I think clan's would be best put onto a subpage of a user's userspace. I do not see why that would be a problem. It is true there is no policy saying that people may not have 2 user accounts, but I, actually, think there should be (unless if a user abandons their old account and starts fresh). That is just my 2 cents. Cheers, Chicken7 >talk 04:45, November 11, 2009 (UTC)

Userpages are for users who edit the wiki. A clan is not a user and will never edit the wiki. I fully support Enigma's actions. kitty.pngPsycho Robot talkSilver bar.png 04:48, November 11, 2009 (UTC)

Comment - I would have to agree with Psycho on this one since I personally thought about doing what Enigma did (I decided not to do it). I would have contacted Robert instead of deleting the pages outright however.

The clan was not assisting the wiki in any way whatsoever, instead just being a station to help advertise the clan. The only things that make it different from any other clan in RuneScape is that it has some Wikians as members and that it wants to use some of the Wiki's facilities like the GEMW information. (To me at least) Neither of these reasons are a good enough to warrant the inclusions of clan advertisements on the wiki due to the possibility of easy abuse. Unicorn horn dust.png Evil Yanks talk 07:11, November 11, 2009 (UTC)

Comment - I strongly oppose the use of the wiki to organise clan activity. I support the decious to move the page and if it were me i'd have gone a step furthar and requested the entire page move instead to the RS Clans Wiki --Gold ore.png Mercifull UK serv.svg (Talk) 09:20, November 11, 2009 (UTC)

I thought this wiki was about all things pertaining to Runescape. Is it in question that this page is at least related to activities or content about Runescape? What this does do is to strike at the heart of the matter for what role, policy wise, clan activity ought to have on this wiki. They don't deserve a "mainspace" article, but perhaps some other sort of support for clan-based activity.
I guess ultimately I'm questioning even the rationale for creating the clan wiki in the first place. It is offensive to me that a significant part of the player community is being told to "go away, we don't want you" and sent to go somewhere else. In looking through the clan wiki, I see articles that IMHO ought to belong here on this wiki, in the main space articles (not about the clans themselves, but the clan mechanics and information about clan support). I see enormous duplication of effort going on, and to me this is a significant loss to the overall wiki community. This is a duplication of effort for having separate teams of administrators, vandal fighting, and a host of other wasted effort by breaking up the community in this fashion. I see similar "communities" of RuneScape players setting up "sister wikis", and I'm even questioning if those independent wiki communities can be viable in terms of attracting enough volunteers to keep the wikis maintained.
I'm not even necessarily completely opposed to what Enigma did here, as this is clearly an unsettled issue. Clearly there are factions within this wiki development community that aren't thrilled with seeing clan activities be discussed or organized here. I'm hoping that perhaps I can convince these opponents to clans and wiki-based clan discussions/organization pages that there is a place that can be had on this wiki for players who want to group with like-minded folks. I am saying that, one way or another, a clear policy needs to be made on this issue and consensus on this topic established rather than presuming this is against policy when no such policy exists. That is my reason for bringing this up. I hope such a policy could be written... to either permit and find a home for projects like this or to send it on its merry way to some other website... with or without wikia affiliation. --Robert Horning 13:45, November 11, 2009 (UTC)
I would have to agree with Robert Horning there.
Why do we have multiple wikis when we could have it all right here? If you ask me, as the "main" wiki for RuneScape, we are better organised in terms of administration, and we have better more visitors since this wiki is "for all things RuneScape". People end up here more often than in the Clan wiki, or the Fan Fiction wiki, or in any other RuneScape-based wiki. If you ask me, I would rather see all the wikis merge, so we can become one big, happy family... Smile We could pool our resources, and grow as a unit. Instead, we have been "competing" among ourselves for users, page views, and visitors. It's sad, really, when you think about it.
I think we should consider allowing clans to advertise here, probably in a centralised location like RuneScape:Clans. I don't see how having clan advertisements would open up "the possibility of easy abuse". Aren't admins supposed to take care of vandalism and abuse?
If we ever decide to merge the clan wiki with ours, this wiki would have some limitations. In the Clans wiki, they have a namespace just for clans ("Clan:"). Here, we wouldn't be able to provide a namespace for them. Cry
And to whoever it may concern: Before moving "stuff" into a userspace, I think we should warn/inform the user before planning to move those stuff. Treat the userspace like a user-owned house. If someone messed around my house, without me knowing, I would definitely be irritated.   az talk   15:08, November 11, 2009 (UTC)

Comment - I think we are potentially missing out by telling people who want to write some page about clans to go elsewhere. Whether you like it or not, clans are significant in the RS community, and we ought to think about recognizing them better. True, we don't have a namespace to provide, but why can't we allow either a page like RS:Clans or let them have a separate account like what Robert was trying to do. If we designate specific user accounts as clans it would be very similar to having a separate bot account. The only real concern is that no sockpuppetry is going on, but if an account is clearly identified as a clan, this wouldn't happen. I'm just throwing around some ideas, hopefully we can figure something out. Air rune.png Tollerach hates SoF Fire rune.png 18:00, November 11, 2009 (UTC)

If we don't allow a clan itself a vote on anything I don't even see why sock puppetry would be something to concern ourselves about, it would be pointless.--Degenret01 00:20, November 12, 2009 (UTC)
I think it'd be great if we can merge all the RS wikis. Although, I am not sure Wikia would be thrilled; it seems their only aim nowadays is to get as many wikis as possible. I think clans should be a part of this wiki, and not just a userbox on someone's page or something. But having its own userpage is just not appropriate I believe. What I truly think we should do is ask (nag) Wikia to let us have one more namespace. If we show them the benefits, such as a much stronger community and larger userbase, I think they'd agree to it. If not, I still think a user subpage, or subpage on RS:Clans or something would be best. Cheers, Chicken7 >talk 06:17, November 12, 2009 (UTC)
-ahem- The RuneScape Clans Wiki has been its own separate community that has existed since mid-2008. Why would it be fair to take that away? Andrew talk 07:01, November 12, 2009 (UTC)
A good point. Although, they are not such a well-known, popular wiki. Chicken7 >talk 09:06, November 12, 2009 (UTC)
In fairness here, the clan wiki was set up, in part because a certain group of users were told persistently that they couldn't have a place here (such as an article about a clan) and to vent their creative energies, they moved on. It doesn't really even take too much effort on even a small minority of a community to cause this to happen. The forum community has been similarly pushed away from the main wiki community, as has other small aspects as well. The greater question is if we should be more inclusive about "factions" and sub-groups of the player community on this wiki, or if it would be better to make this wiki an encyclopedia-only project? There was considerable resistance to my GEMW project when it first started, and even calls to close it down once the GE Database was released. I certainly still see some hostility to some new ideas here where it seems much, much easier to simply ask wikia for a new wiki space. BTW, this wiki has been here a fair bit longer than since 2008. The first edits were made in April, 2005. So why did this community persist for 3 years including some clan content, and then the clan community felt they had to move on due to not being welcome on this wiki anymore? --Robert Horning 15:11, November 12, 2009 (UTC)
The wiki has changed a lot over the years. Some of the changes for the better, some are not so good. I find we are becoming less community like then we used to be. Maybe it is just me, but 2 or so years ago when I started out here, it was a real close wiki community. Now it seems we are a strict encyclopedia, a little like Wikipedia which I despise for its lack of communalism. Cheers, Chicken7 >talk 06:03, November 13, 2009 (UTC)
I agree... it used to be a tighter-knit community back then (when I started visiting this wiki, before I joined sometime April/May 2008). I guess some of the editors simply left, and moved on... For example, semi-retired or fully retired users such as Kytti khat, Pointy, Skill, Ilyas, Earthere, User:Sacre Fi, and Endasil, and the countless others I haven't mentioned. You people will be sorely missed...   az talk   09:16, November 14, 2009 (UTC)

Continued

The limit on namespaces is three... Help:Custom_namespaces Hello71 19:11, November 14, 2009 (UTC)

That is something we can live with... and this discussion is not about trying to establish a "Clan" namespace, even though I don't think that option should be completely ruled out either. BTW, the limit isn't three, but Wikia would be very uncomfortable having a community asking for more than three without a very compelling reason for an additional namespace. It costs Wikia some money in terms of professional labor costs to make the changes necessary to institute a new namespace... something that shouldn't be taken lightly. Wikia is willing to work with communities, and to let them know that this is an option and not that they are trying to straight-jacket the design of the wiki. Three is generally a good compromise to keep the request from getting out of hand, but still allows the option for a new namespace to be created. I do think Wikia is worried about establishing a precedent that would have some smaller wiki say "but the RS Wiki has 5 custom namespaces.... why can't we have that?" and then having to take care of a whole bunch of new namespace requests. The technical issue is not a problem, this is a political issue that is arbitrary and of Wikia's own making that has nothing to do with the MediaWiki software. --Robert Horning 01:07, November 15, 2009 (UTC)
I was just pointing out the fact that the 'political' limit is three not two. Hello71 20:11, November 15, 2009 (UTC)
Wikias arguments for only having 3 namespaces is rubbish. As a bureaucrat on a large independently run wiki we quite happily use loads of different namespaces without a problem. None of us get paid to do it. --Gold ore.png Mercifull UK serv.svg (Talk) 12:49, November 17, 2009 (UTC)
Actually, it's more like recycling. Every namespace change has to go in LocalSettings.php [1] (don't bother trying) so that's an extra 2 minutes of work for each namespace, making it more like recycling (still almost useless but something). Hello71 02:31, November 18, 2009 (UTC)
Regardless, shall we drop this issue? This discussion isn't dealing with the root issue, which is the role clans should play in terms of having clan-related content within this wiki. If/when we get consensus on that topic (which seems fairly certain, but that is the point of this forum posting), we can decide on where we will put it afterward. A clan namespace is hardly even one of the leading options being discussed right now. --Robert Horning 18:47, November 18, 2009 (UTC)

Closing Discussion - I said my piece here with this discussion, and I got a fairly good sense of the community on this issue. I really appreciate all of the comments that were raised here, particularly in regards to broad general support for allowing clans on this wiki. No real policy changes can be based off of this discussion, however, even though support for culling pages about clans has almost no support either. Perhaps some time in the future somebody else will revisit this issue. --Robert Horning 14:05, January 15, 2010 (UTC)