Forum:Discord collaboration, guides and links
Note: despite my history of great ideas around April 1st, this is actually a serious proposal.
Hey guys! I'm making this thread to discuss how the wiki interacts with the sprawling web of RuneScape-related Discord servers, particularly specialty/strategy-oriented Discords. I think we have a really cool opportunity to work with some of these communities and incorporate their deep knowledge about specific parts of the game, onto the wiki.
- Discord? Huh?
In case you recently got out of a coma (or prison), Discord is a chat app where individual communities can create servers for their members to chat in. The wiki has one with about ten thousand members, there are official RS/OSRS servers, a lot of clans have 'em too. In the last year or so, Discord has become the dominant place for people to chat about RuneScape, to the point that it's probably on the same level as Reddit or the wiki or YouTube in terms of community importance.
Here's my attempt at a semi-exhaustive list of RuneScape-related Discord servers. The focus of this thread is on the servers that I think of as "knowledge-based": groups that are dedicated to doing one thing really well, and have honed strategies for it. On RuneScape 3, the most prominent examples of these are high-level PvM groups ("PvM Encyclopedia" for general stuff, "Elite Dungeon Teams", "Solak FC", etc), but there are other areas like Ironman Mode ("Rs3IronScape"), Barbarian Assault ("BA Teams"), speed running, and others where there's a tight-knit community that's really good at that particular thing. They have tons of tribal knowledge (sometimes written down, sometimes not) about mechanics and strategy for these things.
- Why should we care?
Because comparatively speaking, our PvM/Ironman/minigame strategies are usually way below standard. It's widely acknowledged in the RuneScape community that the wiki's high-level strategy guides are not the best around, and they're sometimes years out of date.
The people in these Discord servers are the experts at these particular bits of content, and if we can cajole and incentivize them to put their knowledge on the wiki, then some of the biggest weaknesses of the RuneScape Wiki can just be “fixed”.
I think this is plainly desirable: PvM, Ironman and other strategy guides have been near the top of our todo list for years, but they've never really gotten done because we just don't know enough. Wouldn't it be better to recruit the people who live and breathe this stuff?
- How do we recruit them? (AKA the slightly controversial part)
Of course, if it's so easy, why hasn't it happened yet? For the most part (with a couple happy exceptions), these folks haven't contributed their specialized knowledge to the wiki. I think that comes down to a couple big reasons:
- They don't know they can, and that we want them to;
- Contributing to the wiki doesn't align with their incentives, and doesn't help their community.
That first issue can be partially resolved by reaching out to these groups (which I've been doing), and gauging their interest level in contributing to the wiki. I've never encountered anyone who was outright opposed to helping the wiki, but that's a far cry from getting them to go write guides today.
That's where the second issue comes into play: these groups really like the wiki (and boy do they use it extensively), but their main priority is to grow their own community on Discord. Contributing a guide to the wiki doesn't really help with that, and in some ways it might even hurt. Because of this, some of these guys are apprehensive about writing for the wiki.
So here's my proposal: Under certain conditions, if one of these communities contributes a strategy guide to the wiki, we would "partner" with them and put a small Discord widget on that article, linking to their Discord server.
This completely changes the incentive structure, and at least with the folks I've been talking to, immediately gets them on board to contribute anything and everything. The PvM Encyclopedia guys already created a Nex AoD guide (eventually meant for mainspace) that is miles better than what we had before. Over on OSRS, there is a speedrunning guide that has a link to the relevant Discord, and nobody seems to mind.
I think this is well worth it, and has a some other pretty major benefits:
- These Discord links are genuinely useful to the players: whether it's for setting up teams or getting some specific advice, it makes their lives a little bit easier if they know where to go (and believe me, not everyone knows about these Discords). It's a nice "thank you" to the community that's maintaining the page, but it's also just a good thing to have regardless.
- It solidifies our relationship with these specialized communities. and may well bring in a lot of new editors for things besides the strategy guides. I was really pleasantly surprised by how quickly the PvM Encyclopedia guys took to editing (they were even reading the style guide!), and Merds uploaded a bunch of expensive dyed item images that we got from them. This is an awesome way to get some good people closer to the wiki community.
- Isn't this against policy? What are the risks?
I don't think this breaks the "no ownership" rule: the person (or group) that contributes this guide to mainspace doesn't have any more control over the page than anyone else, even if they maintain it. I like to think of it sort of like the "Adopt-a-Highway" program that's popular in the United States: if you take responsibility for keeping a section of highway clean, the government will put up a sign with your organization's name on it. It doesn't mean you suddenly own the highway or control at all what other people do on it: it just means you did something nice, so you get a very tiny incentive.
The more concerning policy is our rule against mentioning Friends Chats on articles, which has been in place for many years and mainly exists as a deterrent against edit wars. The most recent thread on mentioning Friends Chats failed largely because there was a lack of criteria for whether a chat would be considered "well established", and this could lead to edit wars and other toxic behavior that we want to stay out of.
If we go in this direction for the strategy guides, we need a clear community approval process for deciding when we allow these links. I think most people would be okay with linking the PvM Encyclopedia if they were responsible for a really good Nex guide, but what's stopping some clan from making a half-assed guide for something so they can put their link up?
- Initial proposal for community approval process
This whole thing is very similar to how we (used to) do link exchanges (RS:LINKS) with other RuneScape fansites. Times have changed, and fansites aren't really the entities we should focus on working with now: people have moved over to Discord servers.
If a fansite wanted to affiliate with us, they'd make a Yew Grove thread explaining who they were, and it would be up for community approval. In broad strokes, I think we should do the same thing for Discord servers. Some additional guidelines (very much open for debate):
- The group should be acknowledged by the RuneScape community at-large as experts in a specific area, and should be in good standing with the community.
- The community on the Discord must help write and maintain a set of pages related to the Discord's purpose. Preferably, some of this should be written before the YG thread so we have an idea of what improvements we're getting.
- We aim for servers with at least 500-1000 members (refer to the spreadsheet!), although that shouldn't be seen as a hard rule for niche servers (e.g. speedrunners).
- The Discord must be moderated, and follow the Rules of RuneScape.
You'll notice a lot of these are somewhat subjective -- that's why we need the consensus process on top of it. These should just be some guiding principles, and everyone is free to interpret them how they want, or bring additional pertinent information to the discussion.
Discord links added without community approval should be reverted.
I hope this set of criteria is good enough to assuage some of the concerns about edit warring and notability.
This feels like a really effective way to get useful specialized content on the wiki, provide something helpful to the readers, and maybe get a bigger tent of editors. It's a little bit different than what we've done before, but I think it will be successful if we can agree on how to choose who we work with.
Very little of this proposal is set in stone: feel free to propose some alternatives.
Support - Have been working with the PVM encyclopedia guys and they're great.22:06, 2 April 2019 (UTC)
we would "partner" with them and put a small Discord widget on that article, linking to their Discord server
Can we get some more clarification about what such a widget would look like? I would've thought that some kind of simple non-intrusive banner that links to the server (like a miniature version of what we have on the main page) would make more sense over the implied use of the official widget 22:18, 2 April 2019 (UTC)
- I was thinking about something ãlong the lines of the thing we get when we send an invite link through discord. Cook?
22:21, 2 April 2019 (UTC)
- A mock up Jayden made of a banner - I'm personally a fan of this, it's neat, non-intrusive, and consistent with obviously wiki styling/other wiki templates. 22:36, 2 April 2019 (UTC)
22:57, 2 April 2019 (UTC)
Support - As long as we're actively checking the discord servers being linked to uphold the standards defined, I think this is a win-win situation.
It would also be nice to see a process for new discords to be vetted and linked to in some kind of application. If this takes off and others we don't know about (whether that's because they're under our radar now or the topic the server would be on doesn't exist yet) want to get involved, I think getting affiliated should be relatively pain free and in no way daunting to potential affiliates. cqm talk 23:21, 2 April 2019 (UTC)
Comment/Oppose - All of this is too vague, with wishful thinking sprinkled all over. Most high-level bossing discords are merely groupfinder hubs with hardly any guidance going on and the "knowledge" is never written down. I don't see how a link to their discords on wiki pages would be any incentive for them. They do not care to share the extreme high-end know-how with an average player. These groups are most often not looking for the type of person to read the shitty boss guides on the wiki in the first place, they're looking for already experienced players. The discord servers expanding organically through word of mouth between friend circles in-game. That's how the apt get into the "tribes". The part of the proposal about a pvm/boss discord leader making a thread on YG to request affiliation is pure fantasy if not borderline wet dream on your part. You're not providing an incentive here. I'm pretty sure the time it would take to write a proper guide for some of these pieces of content they'd rather spend actually fighting the boss. The fact that you managed to get two people to start expanding the AoD guide is nice but not representative. Secondly, assuming you manage to get some people involved, you have not mentioned what happens in a situation when more than one discord wants to "adopt" a boss. How would conflicts get resolved? What does even "established" mean? The penguin hide and seek article tiptoes around the fact that a friends chat for the acvtivity has existed for the past 11 years and you want to make an instant leap into de facto endorsing such a flimsy community construct as a discord server for a boss released 6 months ago? Discords come and go and strategies change all the time. Thirdly, due to the complexity of endgame play, it's easier to watch and learn (or learn as you go in-game) than read a complicated wiki article. What's more, writing an in-depth bossing guide without resorting to slang and low quality prose is difficult if not impossible. I do agree that the current situation is not ideal. It has been a problem for quite some time. However, I think there's a certain depth of specialist information that will never materialise on the wiki. I believe videos will remain the domain of high-level bossing guides, unfortunately, and wiki will never be more than a brief reference. 5-x Talk 23:37, 2 April 2019 (UTC)
- If the basis for your opposition is that these discord servers won't be interested in this, you're just wrong. I've already had discussions with the PvM guys, Achievement Help, ED3 (before today's incident), ironman groups on both games, speedrunners on OSRS, and Spine has talked to a few others like Volcanic Mine on OSRS. All of them were extremely enthusiastic and on board with this idea. It's not a fantasy, and I think they can speak for themselves better than you can.
- There's an entire chat on PvME with about ten people planning out how to convert the rest of their guides to go on the wiki. It ain't just two people. I'll address the rest of your points later but I needed to immediately point out that what you're saying isn't reality. ʞooɔ 23:47, 2 April 2019 (UTC)
- I don't think the fact that because videos are considered the 'optimal' way to learn high-level bossing means we shouldn't attempt to create high-quality guides here on the wiki, and thus get help with these from those knowledgeable 23:51, 2 April 2019 (UTC)
Comment - I know this was discussed in Discord the other day, so I'm just going to bring it up here too - the topic of also adding FC affiliates to relevant pages. Although yes, it would be harder to maintain a meaningful relationship with them due to the (likely) lack of offsite community, I think including them on pages would be quite helpful to readers. Penguin hide and seek, and Portables FC are the first to come to my mind here.
Also, to clarify, I like this proposal23:58, 2 April 2019 (UTC)
Mostly support - I have some concerns:
1. Beginner/User friendly. I'm not talking about 5-x's "tribe" mentality because this isn't very true in discord servers. The whole point of PvM Discord servers are that they're open to anyone who is interested in finding a team for the boss, and not necessarily for people who want to learn the boss. But the issue is that discord servers themselves aren't very good at teaching newbies and it's more luck-based on finding people who are willing to teach new people (which is hard to find). It might be rather daunting for a noob reading our strategy pages to join this discord server which completely overwhelms them. Is that our problem? Maybe not.
There are exceptions: when Solak came out, a Solak FC + Discord server came out which was huge because so many people wanted to reclaim their completionist cape and no one knew strategies, so people were willing to go with anyone. It could be great to affiliate with a server on a new boss.
2. FCs linked with Discord Servers. By endorsing the discord server, do we endorse the friend chat? (eg "Deep Sea Fishing" --> "WhirlpoolDnD" FC). We may as well mention the FC then.
3. Community-approving servers. I'm a little skeptical about how we as a community are going to approve discord servers. I think this might not be a huge issue because there's only so many affiliates possible, but I'd like there to be big leniency for small growing unique servers (eg: Think if a Trouble Brewing Discord server just started up with people who are so knowledgable).
4. VIP channel (suggestion).
I think it would be very worthwhile if we have a #vip channel on discord where we can invite specific members from our discord affiliates and we can discuss privately with them if we need to. Private discussion could be about affiliate status, discussion about how their server is going (eg is their moderation up to scratch), or even just a portal if they want help with something. I don’t want it to be “another admin chat” so I would heavily emphasise that there shouldn’t be any off topic conversation in it because then it just looks bad on us.
But other than these points, I think this is a no brainer - not just for our Wiki, but for our discord server. Unless I'm mistaken, we're currently not affiliated with any discord server yet we have over 10,000 RuneScape Players (of course a large reason for this is because we're RS3 + OSRS). Our strategy pages for PvM bosses *do* suck, and we would definitely benefit from this. Haidro (talk) 00:22, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
- tRaNsPaReNcY aNd No PrIvAtE cHaNeLs. 03:18, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
- Not really a fan of having yet another private channel, and I'm sure you can understand why. 03:19, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
- Alright since I talked with a couple people about it (in a private channel!!), I agree having one channel on our side isn't worthwhile, but having a channel on each server for us to talk with admins/mods would be a good idea. Haidro (talk) 04:17, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
Support – I agree that the wiki is lacking in top-quality guides on the wiki for high level content, I often need to search around for decent guides on specialised content and it would be great if they were conveniently on the wiki. I think the proposed partnership idea is a good way to bring high quality guides to the wiki as many of the discords have the same broad goal as the wiki to inform and help players. I believe any discord banner should be non-intrusive and that approval process should be done on a page by page basis Fire🔥(talk) 00:34, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
Support - With the increasing amount of external resources that players use other than the wiki, our policies need to be adjusted to accommodate the player. I did speak with the player who manages the Volcanic Mine Discord in OSRS, and they are open such a partnership, though we will need to set guidelines and restrictions that everyone will be on board with. -- SpineTalk 02:22, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
Support - It sounds like a win-win situation. Better guides on the wiki and advertising for their discord servers in a non-intrusive way. I disagree with really promoting friend chats still, though if the friend chat's discord server is found to be of high quality and assists our guides/content, I could be convinced to list those friend chats. 03:18, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
Support - I think this will benefit the community overall and will help encourage those that specialize in certain areas of the game to contribute to their knowledge to the wiki (especially for thsoe that may have never considered contributing) by reaching out to these sorts of groups. -- sfox 18:24, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
Support - I certainly think this would benefit the community more than it would be a problem. But to do this, we will need people monitoring the pages to make sure that they are upkeeping. I would just be reiterating all of the wonderful comments already laid out in this post about my concerns, so for now I will say that I support this decision.
On the topic of Friends Chats, why don't we just make a page specifically for helpful friends chats that's not specifically mentioning one or two per category? Just make a bunch of categories and let the friends chat people add their chat to that list. That way nobody is fighting over who gets to be on the wiki, as the wiki is for everybody. Obviously these will need to be monitored so trolls don't make those trolly edits, but this is something that is already done by our fantastic admins. I know that having a list of FC's would be an amazing reference. But, that is for another discussion :)11:53, 4 April 2019 (UTC)
Conditional Support - I like this idea, I really do, but I myself can only support this if the chats in question at (or us, the wiki, ourselves) least make sections on each guide that can be read by people not looking for a super-comprehensive thing. In other words, there's an in-depth thing and a dumbed-down version on each guide page; I say this because...oh, let's say I'm learning non-AoD Nex for the first time (personally never killed her without darts, myself, so would be accurate), but I'm the kind of person who has to follow a guide *as* I fight her. By the time I read one of the proposed guides, I'll likely die in the time I could have spent fighting Nex. So I guess this would kind of include tl;dr's of each affected guide, just for people who don't have time or don't understand the comprehensive stuff while also allowing those that *do* want that information to have it.
Support - Below the reasons:
- I also see that this can be a win-win situation for both the wiki and the partnered discord. To be partnered that discord server should pass a let's say request for affiliated discord then it's okay as it was decided by the community to affiliate with that specific discord server. This would become a RfAD for short (since RfA and RfD are already taken, but RfAD isn't :P).
- It should also be possible to unpartner with a discord server in case something happens that's detrimental to the relationship with the wiki community and/or the RuneScape community at large.
- The banner that links to a specific discord should also have a link to the request for affiliated discord of that linked discord server so there won't be any miscommunication about why the discord server is linked.
- I still think we shouldn't add friends chats, but like Ty said if a partnered discord also has an friends chat then I too can be convinced to list the related friends chat(s) of that discord server.
Also I'm assuming this won't affect the ban on citing Discord messages right? 17:36, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
- I'd suggest just making a YG thread for each one like we used to do for affiliated sites. I can't imagine we'll be inundated with applications. cqm talk 18:21, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
- As long as there's a community discussion regarding it then it's good. Also TIL a synonym for flooded (inundated). :P 18:51, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
Support - As for the people asking about the vetting process, I feel like a similar process to how rs:title is awarded; a server is nominated, brief snippet of their specialty and why they should be chosen, and discussion.
I have no arguments against this. Having the input of people who have effectively specialized in different activities is very useful. Hell, it could carry over to skill guides as well (which are somewhat subjective and largely hilariously out of date). We have users on here who 'specialize' in different contributions (image editing, calculator editing, etc.). So, as long as the information these groups can provide is objective and not biased toward themselves or against others, I have no issues with mentioning this. I thought we used to have a little banner for 'unofficial' worlds, which in my opinion equates to the same thing. Badassiel (talk) 17:45, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
- Amending my last statement: As the point of wayward admins got referenced, it seems silly that this would even be an issue. It's not as if the groups who might contribute their knowledge will get adminship with their affiliation. Please do correct me if I'm wrong, but there's little to no risk of a power hungry butthurt leader deleting the site or the wiki discord
unless Gaz gets hit on the head REALLY hard...Badassiel (talk) 00:17, 6 April 2019 (UTC)
Support - seems like a great mutually beneficial opportunity for us to get these guides up to scratch and build our relationships with other RuneScape communities and for them to get more exposure of their existence.18:11, 6 April 2019 (UTC)
Comment - It sounds like the guides would be in the mainspace, does anyone have any thoughts on what happens if more than one Discord wishes to write guides to the same piece of content - i.e. would we have two affiliate banners/boxes on a single article if they both contributed? Use subpages (/some other approach)? Admittedly, I'm not sure how likely this is, though I think it's possible if, say, two groups were preparing a guide for a piece of content in userspace. - Rawny (talk) 21:37, 10 April 2019 (UTC)
Comment too - On the subject of "Discord links added without community approval should be reverted.", it might help to list affiliated Discords in the template for the banner/box and make said template admin-protected. Then the template could be made to only show the banner/box if supplied with a recognised Discord (name). (Please accept my apologies if either of my comments have already been discussed, I skimmed the discussion a few days ago but haven't read it all in depth.) ^^ - Rawny (talk) 21:37, 10 April 2019 (UTC)
Support/Comment - I personally think this would be hugely helpful to both communities. Whenever I've tried to learn bosses, I normally will read what the wiki says then go to the RS Forums and see if I can find anyone offering to teach it. This can sometimes cause me to join a FC or discord of a smaller community, where I'll struggle to find someone to help teach, or find out that while the technical knowledge is there from the wiki, it's vastly different (at least for me) talking it out with someone who has a vast amount of experience and can help guide step by step since I can't really consult the wiki while doing a boss. This idea, I feel, would give the wiki a lot more experienced feel in terms of explanations as well as having a source to go to that someone could interact with others in the moment, or, in other cases, just find teams. As for their discord channel, I like the idea from Jayden when it comes to advertising their channel. - Meganerd3000 02:03, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
Closed - As the consensus seems to be that it is mutually beneficial, Discord servers can now be linked to from pages that that community worked on. This will be done with a template as shown above by Merds including a link to their Discord server as well as a link to the discussion during which they were approved to be a partnered Discord server. These discussions can be started here on the Yew Grove. Discord links added without community approval should be reverted. A server can also be removed as partner should it be necessary. This would also require a community discussion on the Yew Grove.
A discussion for application to be a partner should focus on the following points:
- The community on the Discord must help write and maintain a set of pages related to the Discord's purpose. Preferably, some of this should be written before the YG thread so we have an idea of what improvements we're getting.
- The Discord must be moderated (by its own users, not by the wiki), and follow the Rules of RuneScape.
To keep an overview, a page with a list of partnered Discords should be created and maintained to be up-to-date and be protected to some level so it cannot be vandalised. This page would need to include links to those discussions too (the application to become a partner and the discussion to de-partner the Discord server if that exists similar to the list of former admins).
One point that warrants further discussion is the issue what to do when two or more Discord servers want to be linked from the same page. As such, I'm leaving this point open for a future thread.02:36, 21 April 2019 (UTC)