Forum:Improving the RSWP

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Forums: Yew Grove > Improving the RSWP
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This thread was archived on 26 September 2010 by Liquidhelium.

There are some changes I have made to the RSWP in the past, mainly the system by which it is administrated to. When we discussed making the post official, there was consensus (and that links to the section of the said proposal I am referencing) to establish a team of editors to do as their name suggests. This was translated as having one main editor and two assistant editors, with Chia remaining as Editor in Chief (if not for ceremonial purposes alone). I changed this to the current system in an effort to keep things more organized, and it would probably do this if we didn't get a sudden drop in submissions over time. The Post used to be a great part of our wiki, though as the eye of the community moved elsewhere, it simply stopped functioning like it did. In this thread, I would like to establish some sort of consensus for the changes I have made in the past as well as propose some new things to increase interest again. This proposal will be rather long as it intendeds to make the procedures clear as to how the post and its functions are to be run, so I will break it up into sections.

Proposal

Submissions

This is the fundamental change that is intended to increase interest in the post. The problem that has lowered post activity is the fact that we no longer have issues. You can submit content at your leisure, essentially making it an assignment you can put off infinitely and completely forget about within a few weeks. I would like to return to having issues, though this time they would come out every two months.

The other change, which is just as important, is how they will be submit. I am sure that this alone will cause there to be some opposition to this proposal. The problem I have noticed is that submissions, even when we had issues, were viewable before the issue was considered complete. Ideally, all of them would be released at once and would have not been seen by anyone on the wiki other than those involved in editing them. How do we accomplish this? Take your pick.

  1. We create an E-Mail account that you can send submissions to, then the E-Mails are forwarded to the different editors (more on them below) for corrections. The cleaned-up submissions will then be sent back to the E-Mail account for posting all at once. This is the one I see happening, though I like the following option better.
  2. We create some sort of online drop-box for the submissions, similar to an E-Mail in-box, that anyone can add to but requires a password to read what is in it. To do this, it would require one of these things happen:
    1. We discover a website that does such a thing for free.
    2. One of our tech-savvy users create such a thing.
    3. We discover an extension enabled on Wikia that does this and have it installed.

There's some confusion as to what I mean by Drop-box. Think of it as a metal box with a thin hole and a padlock. Anyone can slip a piece of paper through the slit, but you need the key to open the box and get all the papers out. It's sort of like an E-Mail in-box, but it does not result in RSWP staff seeing the E-Mail Addresses of those that don't wish to make that info public.

I like the second option more (especially the third sub-option), but it's reliant on things we can't guarantee happening.

Again, the point here is to ensure that articles are not available for viewing before the issue is released. It's worth going the extra mile to ensure this is the case for a more magazine/newspaper-like-feel.

Editorial Staff

Originally we had one main editor and two assistant editors, then I changed it. The purpose of this section is to establish consensus for that change (or consensus to throw it out), spell out exactly what that change was and still is, and the procedure having to do with it.

There is one Editor in Chief. This will remain reserved for Chiafriend12 simply because he founded the paper in the first place. It is essentially a ceremonial position and has no obligations.

There will be one or more Deputy Editors in Chief. Their job is to delegate other RSWP job positions, promote the paper in general, and assure that the post runs smoothly.

Below him/her/them, there will be a series of editors in charge of overseeing different aspects of the post. Those aspects currently are as follows, though the EIC or Deputy EIC(s) reserve the right to add more if a certain aspect of the post becomes large enough. At the same time, they can remove some of the positions if the aspect of the paper is no longer large enough to require its own editor.

  • There will be an editor for each of the three categories. They are responsible for the editing of submissions in their respective categories, which is inclusive of dealing with the authors if their submission is below quality standards. They are also expected to encourage users submit to the post, especially in their respective categories.
  • There will be an editor of style, which has nothing to do with the style guide. The job of this editor is to work with the staff to ensure that each issue of the post is visually attractive. This job will likely be code-intensive, so it is required that whoever holds this position have a sufficient understanding of HTML/Wiki Markup.
  • There will be an editor for the writing of the Newsletter. This will be described in its own section.
  • There can be any number of assistant editors who are expected to be on hand for any other RSWP-related tasks. This position has no responsibilities or obligations in and of itself other than the previously mentioned expectation.

All the editor positions will be rotated every few issues in an effort to create more chances for users to get involved in something. Deputy EICs are expected to step down after an extended period of time for the same reason, though not at the same interval as the editors.

In the time I spent on the post when it was more active, it became quite difficult for the people administrating to the post to keep everything in order. Based on that experience, I believe dividing the work into these groups will make everything much, much easier and more efficient for everyone.

Update: Chia has resigned as EIC, therefore, the Deputy EIC position described above is now just EIC.

Issues

Every two months an issue will be released comprised of submissions gathered the two months previous. During that time, the RSWP page will feature all these articles, which will then all be removed at once with the next issue. Unlike the current system, a description of each article will appear next to the article link, these descriptions being like those used before the changes made to the post when it was made official. The ultimate layout of the post will remain mostly untouched by this change.

Issues will be released on the first day of these months.

  • May
  • July
  • September
  • November
  • January
  • March
  • April (Golden Quill Edition, see below)
Update: This is subject to change, seeing as how it skips both Halloween and Christmas.

Layout

Each issue will be styled appropriately for each issue. The layout itself will go mostly untouched should this proposal pass, with the following exceptions.

  • The Trivia section will be removed. It's difficult to come up with new and unique trivia on a regular basis.
  • The Poll section will be removed. We already have on on the main page.
  • the Community Quark Board will be removed. Its purpose is served in so many other places it's not worth thinking about.
  • There will be a description of each article. See details in previous section.

Newsletter

With every issue, a Newsletter will be sent to subscribers talk pages with selections from some choice articles at the discretion of the editing staff. This service has been available for some time now, but was too difficult to maintain. The ultimate format of each newsletter will be determined by whoever is serving as editor of the newsletter at that time.

The Golden Quill Award

Every year on April first, all submissions before that date but after the same day of the previous year will become eligible for that years Golden Quill Award. The editor for each category will pick six of what they consider to be the highest quality articles in their respective category. Unfortunately, we cannot allow any user to nominate an article, otherwise there will be too many contenders for the award. Articles will be eligible for the award unless the author requests otherwise. Submissions from those judging any category will not be considered for the award.

When the top six articles are chosen for each category, a special "Golden Quill Edition" will be created containing only those articles selected by the judges to compete for the award (though some extra content may be added at the discretion of the editing staff so long as it is appropriate for the nature of the issue). After two weeks, a survey will go up (likely using the same service as that used for the survey at Forum:Wiki changes) polling users as to their favorite of the six articles contending for the award. I am aware that RS:NOT#DEMOCRACY exists, though you have to keep in mind that the result of the award will not affect anything important, nor has any other method of voting/discussing/polling users for this award worked in the past (yes, we did attempt a "UOTM" style of voting when we did this last time).

The winner of this award will not get any actual award/prize other than something they may be able to put on their userpage and the gold star added to the navbox of their article denoting the win. A similar silver or bronze star will be added to the navbox of the second and third place articles, respectively. Finally, a green star will denote the other three articles. I spell all this out just to make things clear.


I wrote the proposal in one sitting, though it's been quite a while from when I started writing it to now, so it's possible that I forgot to add a section I've been thinking about (seeing as how this proposal has been in the works for several weeks). In that case, I will add it in. Thanks for reading the whole thing, and I look forward to your feedback. Magic-icon.pngStelercusIlluminated Book of Balance.png 00:37, September 12, 2010 (UTC)

Discussion

Support - As nom. Magic-icon.pngStelercusIlluminated Book of Balance.png 00:37, September 12, 2010 (UTC)

Neutral - I don't follow the wiki post. Full Slayer Helmet! Evil1888 Talk A's L Dragon Platebody! 00:40, September 12, 2010 (UTC) Steler don't like it when I do this. Full Slayer Helmet! Evil1888 Talk A's L Dragon Platebody! 00:51, September 12, 2010 (UTC)

Support - Hopefully this will make the RSWP more organized and a more used part of the wiki. I think the more open-ended submissions will help to get more people involved when they don't have a time constraint. BerserkHackr 00:49, September 12, 2010 (UTC)

Support - Our users that like to write will probably enjoy this, and since it will be more organised, will be able to get involved easier. svco4bY.png3Gf5N2F.png 00:51, September 12, 2010 (UTC)

Comment There IS an actual program/website thingy called 'Drop-Box' that lets multiple users share files. - [Pharos] 00:54, September 12, 2010 (UTC)

Where might I find this? Magic-icon.pngStelercusIlluminated Book of Balance.png 00:55, September 12, 2010 (UTC)
Im not certain if the boxes can be password protected but they might be - [1] - [Pharos] 00:59, September 12, 2010 (UTC)
=D i <3 the video. - [Pharos] 01:01, September 12, 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, that's not the kind of thing we are looking for. Magic-icon.pngStelercusIlluminated Book of Balance.png 01:04, September 12, 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, i didnt fully understand drop box before. I thought it was more group sharing and submissions. - [Pharos] 01:07, September 12, 2010 (UTC)
There's also box.net. --Iiii I I I 01:02, September 12, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - Could I be part of the editorial staff? :3 --Iiii I I I 00:56, September 12, 2010 (UTC)

You really don't think this is a bit overkill, Stelercus? Six editors, with the possibility of even more editors and a ceremonial EIC? The newspaper on Wikipedia only has one editor, and that's not even a very important role. No, we don't need to create 6+ positions of power that editors can vie for and then have the opportunity to flaunt them. One editor/editor in chief is enough, and Chia does not need to be one of them. (wszx) 01:09, September 12, 2010 (UTC)

I don't feel like I'm in my right to kick Chia out as EIC, though if the community wants to, go ahead. There was a time when I was doing all of those jobs, and I was spending multiple hours a day working on the paper (this, of course, being when we got more submissions). If users "flaunt" their position as editor, they will be replaced. If Wikipedia somehow gets by with one editor, then the format by which their paper functions must be quite different. I speak from experience when I say this: One user cannot quickly, efficiently, or comfortably run the entire post. Magic-icon.pngStelercusIlluminated Book of Balance.png 01:15, September 12, 2010 (UTC)
The Wikipedia post publishes about six articles weekly with one editor; I think our every-two-months post can do just fine with one as well. I don't mean flaunt in that they would go "Look at me I'm an editor on the post" so much as "how dare you interfere here this is my section of the paper" along with promotions of friends to editors with no particular need. As for Chia, if he's not actively performing the duties of an editor in chief, he has no business being one. (wszx) 01:28, September 12, 2010 (UTC)
The editor obviously has more time to spend editing. I am currently a student, which is time consuming in and of itself, and the vast majority of those writing/editing for the post are in the same boat. An advantage of having multiple editors that I have forgotten to mention is that it gives more users an opportunity to work on something within the wiki, seeing as how all the positions are intended to be rotated. I put this in bold to ensure people are aware it's the case (I should add that into the proposal). Magic-icon.pngStelercusIlluminated Book of Balance.png 01:33, September 12, 2010 (UTC)
I maintain that there is no possible way more than one editor is needed with a two month publishing schedule. It simply cannot be. (wszx) 02:00, September 12, 2010 (UTC)
Only three of the editors actually edit the submissions, another one puts the Newsletter together, another makes sure everything looks nice, and another sits on standby. Considering that the purpose of the wiki is to be a collaborative effort, and that the community is supposed to play a major role in all things that go on within it, I don't see a problem with having a larger staff. It's not a matter of needing so many editors, it's wanting them. Magic-icon.pngStelercusIlluminated Book of Balance.png 02:07, September 12, 2010 (UTC)
Maybe I misunderstand where you're coming from, wszx, so correct me. First you said that you don't think it's right to have 6 positions for people to vie for, saying that they'll make statements such as "How dare you edit my section of the post." Then you propose that the number of editors be dropped down to one. How would reducing the number of people allowed to edit the post lower the competition for the position? ... Or maybe you think there should be one "Editor in Chief" who coordinates the actions of any and all wiki members who want to help the post, and that those wiki members shouldn't be given any sort of ceremonial titles or recognition? Leftiness 15:37, September 12, 2010 (UTC)
Stelercus seems to be doing just fine as the editor now, so there would be no need to select any new ones. And yes to your second interpretation. (wszx) 17:58, September 12, 2010 (UTC)
I don't believe I ever asked to be in any high position. If I remember right, I just proposed and planned the project. Once it actually started I didn't do anything, as the project being mine in any way was not the intention. Being listed as an editor-in-chief implies that I actually do something and/or would be someone you would submit things to as things currently are. If I'm listed as the founder or whatnot I won't complain, but if I'm not listed at all I won't see anything wrong either. Dragon medium helm! Whaddaya know?Chiafriend12Better than rune!Loon is best buttlord 00:10, September 23, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - Google Documents would solve your problem perfectly, I think. Each editor creates a Google account, and the writer of each submission sets the sharing settings so that the submission is shared with the Google accounts of the other editors; nobody except the people that are added for sharing can view the document. Plus, multiple editors can collaborate on the document so long as they're added to the list of those allowed to collaborate. Leftiness 01:20, September 12, 2010 (UTC)

Only problem is it requires a Google account, which some people might not want to make. Something that does not require an account or lots of pages to work through would be best. That's still the best suggestion thus far. Magic-icon.pngStelercusIlluminated Book of Balance.png 01:22, September 12, 2010 (UTC)
Submitting to the paper is not compulsory, and anyone who wants to has to spend some time writing an article up, why not spend a few minutes creating a Google account. Plus, a lot of people already have one, it's free, with many benefits. 222 talk 01:48, September 12, 2010 (UTC)
Creating the account takes a minute on a slow connection, and then it takes seconds to get to the article: username and password, click sign in, click on the document title and you're in. That said, I looked around for an alternative, but I haven't come across one that doesn't require an account to be made. There's probably a more solid reason why the software creators decide they want accounts to be made, but, as it applies to you, requiring an account is the only way to prevent random people from viewing, editing, or vandalizing your work, so, even if you do come across something that doesn't require an account, I don't think it will fulfill your expectations as a tool. Leftiness 15:29, September 12, 2010 (UTC)

Conditional Support - Reforms FTW. The paper has been really stagnating over the past months, I was thinking of creating this thread, but I have no association with the paper, aside from reading it occasionally and (really) badly trying to move its pages around on RS:WIKGUILD. I would also like to ask that the Yew Grove section be removed as it is seriously out-of-date and can be misleading; a "notable discussion" is subjective. Otherwise the rest of it is perfectly fine, I can't see any problems with the 7-8 or so editors as it will ensure there won't be a bottleneck if someone is busy, etc. I have rethought my position on multiple editors, with the 7-8 editors working on specific sections of the RSWP, why not cut it down to 3-5 editors all responsible for the Post in general. That way if some sections receive more attention that others, we can allocate enough resources to each, while keeping the number of editors down. 222 talk 01:48, September 12, 2010 (UTC)

Neutral - I really think that this is a bit overkill. One person can do this in his spare time. Because the RSWP is not "the wiki at large", there really is no need to make a YG for this. Whoever wants to can just go ahead and implement the changes. --LiquidTalk 02:07, September 12, 2010 (UTC)

In addition to everything I have said to wszx (which was inclusive of saying that it's a bit much for one person to do in their spare time), Having one user run the whole post goes against the idea of community. The first two sections are the two that I feel really require community approval, but it helps for things to have been approved via consensus if some sort of controversy comes up surrounding it. Magic-icon.pngStelercusIlluminated Book of Balance.png 02:14, September 12, 2010 (UTC)

Partial support - It all seems pretty good except the Editorial Staff bit. I am fine with Chia being the EIC but all most of the other positions i don't like because it is just to much bureaucracy which has been shown to be a big turn off. All the other things are good but the positions are a bit restrictive and complicated.Hunter cape (t).png Sentra246Blue hallowe'en mask.png 09:28, September 12, 2010 (UTC)

I think the reason that went over so poorly is because it was an attempt to make a bureaucracy that would represent the wiki as a whole. Adding positions and titles in the post only affects those in the wiki post, and they only make decisions for those in the wiki post. I don't think positions for the post should be too much trouble, personally. Leftiness 15:42, September 12, 2010 (UTC)
But can't we just have 1 person who puts everything all together and everyone can write an article which will be sent to the 1 person who will then put it all together, it's much simpler and can do the job and if they need help with the style bit they can just get someone to help them with all the coding. Hunter cape (t).png Sentra246Blue hallowe'en mask.png 06:03, September 13, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - Instead of an online drop-box why don't you just create an RSWP gmail account which everything can be sent to and the people who put the paper together can have access to the account. It's very simple and free, what more can be asked for. Hunter cape (t).png Sentra246Blue hallowe'en mask.png 06:03, September 13, 2010 (UTC)

That's Plan-B, seeing as how some people may not want their E-Mail to be public. Magic-icon.pngStelercusIlluminated Book of Balance.png 09:25, September 13, 2010 (UTC)
Isn't it more of a hassle to email stories to an account? Everybody has access, sure, but then any editor is editing his own copy of a story. On Google Docs, there's the possibility of multiple people collaborating on the same copy in real time, and they can edit it with the online editor - without downloading and re-uploading another revision. Of course it's possible to download and re-upload through Google Docs, but I think it would be easier. Plus, you don't have to make an email public to have a Google account... Whatever. I don't even know why I'm commenting; it's not like I'm involved in the post. Leftiness 14:22, September 13, 2010 (UTC)
Anything that allows anyone (editors and special cases being the exception to this) to view what has been submit to it is instantly out. The whole point here is to ensure that nobody but those working on the post see any of the articles before the issue is put up. Magic-icon.pngStelercusIlluminated Book of Balance.png 18:41, September 13, 2010 (UTC)
You have to create an account. After an account is made, the document owner decides which accounts can see or edit it. Leftiness 22:22, September 13, 2010 (UTC)

Support - I helped write it with Stelercus. Go us! Jack 01:08, September 14, 2010 (UTC)

Request for Closure - The closing administrator must also determine what will be done about the controversy surrounding the organization of the editorial staff. Magic-icon.pngStelercusIlluminated Book of Balance.png 15:23, September 25, 2010 (UTC)

Use my idea! "...cut it down to 3-5 editors all responsible for the Post in general." 222 talk 09:24, September 26, 2010 (UTC)

Closed - The dropbox will be via email (unless someone can find a better alternative). Those who do not want to release their email addresses can create "throwaway" accounts, such as [email protected] (though I think that's already taken Frown). As for editorial staff, 333's idea is a decent compromise. Therefore, there will be three deputy editors in chief (and Chia will remain EIC, but he won't be expected to do anything). The other positions will not be created/retained. The issues, layout, newsletter, and golden quill sections will be implemented. --LiquidTalk 12:45, September 26, 2010 (UTC)

Chia will no longer be EIC, seeing as how he never asked for the position in the first place. Any further discussion on the issue can take place on my talk page. Magic-icon.pngStelercusIlluminated Book of Balance.png 13:15, September 26, 2010 (UTC)