This page is an archive of a community-wide discussion. This page is no longer live. Further comments or questions on this topic should be made in a new Senate Hall page rather than here so that this page is preserved as a historic record. Graestan(Talk) 16:24, March 10, 2010 (UTC)
My name is Lewis and I am currently conducting a report on internet wikis for a University assignment. I was wondering if anyone is able to answer any of the following questions about Wookieepedia for me? Your answers are greatly appreciated.
Why did you get involved in Wookieepedia?
Is there much conflict on articles in general?
Are some users considered more authoritative than others?
If yes, what constitutes or is the basis for, this authority?
Are you targeted by hackers/trolls? Are these attacks related to the fact that the site is a StarWars wiki?
What does the role of an administrator or moderator involve? Have you banned people or been aware of anyone who was banned?
How is conflict regarding accuracy of information resolved?
How does Wookieepedia differ from other Star Wars fan sites?
Is there an established hierarchy amongst the contributors and administrators?
How are the featured articles chosen?
As only minor Star Wars fans, we find it hard to understand the devotion to detail of many of your contributors and other users. How do you explain such devotion?
I got involved into Wookieepedia exactly two years ago by following a link on one of the Star Wars forums and being amazed at the useful information present here.
In general, there is little conflict over articles. However, disagreements do happen, but in most cases they are quickly and politely resolved on either forum, user page or article's talk page.
Yes, generally, the established users are considered to better understand standards, rules, policies and precedents than freshly-registered users or anonymous editors. In fact, almost all changes made by such irregular contributors are checked by "recent changes patrollers" for vandalizm or violation of one of our policies.
Yes, and quite frequently. Some attacks are directed at Star Wars in general, while other target specific users. However, given our large amount of active contributors, all vandalistic edits are reverted almost immediately.
The administrators are selected by the community and are recongnized as the people who have the tools to enforce community-accepted policies and decisions. Yes, several editors have been permanently banned for their in-constructive behavior.
Wookieepedia is entirely based on officially released canonical information, thus, whenever a dispute ensues, checking original sources if the first, and usually the last, we have to do.
Wookieepedia is better than any other fan site (and better than many of the official sites as well). Wookieepedia exists not as a message board for a small community, but rather the most complete and accurate version of any Star Wars encyclopedia available to the public, encompassing information from even the most old and obscure sources.
Again, look to answer for #3 and #4. Wookieepedia is a meritocracy: the more useful contributions a user makes, the more valuable he is seen by the community.
Choosing a featured article is long, but rewarding process. Usually, a user or a group of users selects a subject they are interested in and performs a massive amount of research, checking all existing sources that have even the smallest bit of info concerning the topic. After that, begins a long process of writing a full, comprehensive article, written in proper prose and completely sourced for all available info. Following that, the article gets nominated and other users begin reading the article and siting their objections concerning content, missing info, grammar, choice of words etc. The nominator begins addressing the objections, with the reviewer striking them when they deem them covered. In the end, the article must be voted by five of the Inquisitors, a small group of trusted editors who review, monitor, and improve all aspects of Featured Articles.
Star Wars universe is big. Bigger than any other fictional universe in existence, period. Casual fans, who had only seen the movies/cartoons and played several games, cannot get even close to understanding the enormous size of it - or the level of detail. For example, the number of planets within the galaxy alone is almost 4,500 (four point five thousands). The history of Star Wars covers a time period of more than 25,000 years (twenty five thousands). The number of books (both fiction and non-fiction), comics, games and other stories had also long ago topped a thousand, so we don't even bother counting anymore. And most of the stories are connected and refer to each other in some way: a character originating in a the video game gets written into a novel; a character from the novel finds his way into the Role-playing game; the RPG charatcer get illustrated into a comic book and the comic book creation appears on the big screen in one of the movies. The enormous amount of detail, connection between the stories that make the galaxy feel like one big living place and the diversity of subjects is the reason of the devotion to Wookieepedia, because one cannot ever obtain all those sources (unless he is working for Lucasfilm) or find time to familiarize with them (unless he's getting paid for doing it full-time) all by himself. Thus, by adding several pieces each, we create the most accurate and complete source of information about Star Wars available to public, allowing countless readers to learn about aspects of the Universe they would never know otherwise.
Since this is a survey, I guessing that you're expecting multiple responses. Unfortunately, Mauser pretty much nailed it all down already, so I'm only going to answer the first question, since he answered the other ones already.
I first encountered Wookieepedia after seeing this userbox in 2007.
Indeed, seems to me that Mauser got it down pretty well. I visited the site all the time to look up information about Star wars, and found it to be a very realiable and informative source. Two of my passions are for Star Wars and writing, so eventually, I joined. Also, for further information on some of your questions about the site, take our site tour. Jonjedigrandmaster(Jedi Beacon) 01:41, October 16, 2009 (UTC)
Having handed out lots of surveys throughout my school year, I think its time I set down to do one myself. By the way, this is my final year at high school and I'll be going to university next year. Having done so many surveys, I can sympathize with you and am more than willing to help.
I got involved in Wookieepedia because I was interested in Star Wars. For a while, I edited Star Wars entries in Wikipedia before they expelled us in the Great Lucascraft Purge. It is also a means of leisure and to escape stress in life as well as to reward myself.
Not common, though you do have the occasional flame war or volcano when some hot-headed fellow thinks that his way on the highway is the best and that everyone else should follow it. Or, some users refuse to recognize changes in canon or policies and that escalates. However, the administrators are able to handle them.
There are some natural leaders and computer experts among us so they naturally assume a leadership position within the community. These become our administrators and bureaucrats – positive control. Then there are those strong but assertive and self-centered users who think everything has to be done their own way. Often that causes conflict and they eventually have to leave the community. No different from real life work situations.
They need to gain the respect and trust of the community first, just like any company or head of state. We have a process for electing administrators. If it has been proven they have violated their powers and obligations, they can be removed however.
Oh yes, some attack Star Wars articles in general. However, the majority have a grudge against other users or they are just there to cause trouble. That's why we have administrators – they're our equivalent to the cops.
Administrators are those regular contributors who display leadership and computer skills. Under our rules, administrators have to be adults – at least 18 years. This is understandable since teenagers can be unreliable when moody. I'm a teenager so I can back this up.
All information posted on Wookieepedia has to be canon. Most of the conflict is generated by naming policies (eg. Star Destroyer versus Star Dreadnought) or changes in canon like the Jedi Exile's gender. If it gets too hot, we have a referendum at the Senate Hall or Consensus track. Can get petty and bitter sometimes.
We belong to the family of Wikias. Information has to be written in an unbiased and proper way – we frown upon poor grammar and slang. We don't take sides. For example, a fascist villain like Ysanne Isard gets the same treatment as Luke Skywalker. Articles are required to cite sources so that we can ascertain their authenticity. It's like a proper encyclopedia or serious school project. We have some users with atrocious grammar.
We're a meritocracy but some users are more equal that others, quoting George Orwell's Animal Farm. That's why we have administrators to provide a leadership role.
Mauser pretty much explained it away.
We draw a lot of influence from Wikipedia particularly in the use of proper prose and citing resources which involves a lot of stamina and research. Most of our success stems from the vast scope of the Expanded Universe, not only the six films. The EU consists of novels, comics, games and source books written by authors, artists and game developers who are licensed by Lucasfilm and thus get the canonical stamp. The Expanded Universe media franchise is fed by a lot of consumer demand. Pretty much our devotion is the same type of devotion that a group of workers have for building up a successful company. Like, Martin Luther King and Gandhi's devotion to their cause as well as that of their supporters helped them to achieve their goals.
Hope this is helpful enough.
Andykatib 04:11, 16th October 2009 (UTC)
Well, questions 2-11 have pretty much been answered, so here's my response to question #1: I first found Wookieepedia when it popped up in a Google search for "Lightsaber forms". For a few months I browsed without editing, mainly because I didn't want my IP address to show up publicly for privacy reasons. In January, I spotted an formatting error in a template, and decided to register so I could fix the error without compromising my privacy. I've been editing ever since. —Master Jonathan(Jedi Council Chambers) 05:49, October 16, 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, everyone else already answered the other questions but I can give you #1: I co-founded Wookieepedia. Yes, you can check the main Wookieepedia article to verify that and see the full history, but even that doesn't detail the many reasons why it was just a good idea to do it, though I can break it down for you in simpler terms. Back in 2005, Wikipedia was a place where obscure fan articles went to die. Not to say that Wikipedia doesn't have good fan articles; in fact it has thousands upon thousands. But Wikipedia wouldn't allow an subject that only had one line of information on it, much like you might find with an obscure planet or character here: "X was a planet or a person." Additionally even items that had some level of detail, but were still not notable enough to the general public, were merged to giant lists. Well that was just not how I wanted to see SW information disseminated. Simultaneously an user there started placing SW articles up for deletion, and so began the hording of information to place on the new Star Wars Wiki, later dubbed officially as Wookieepedia. Btw, Chad, our other co-founder, coined that name, and he got the ball rolling by conversing with Wikia, then Wikicities. I'll admit that I had no idea how to make a wiki, and people were just starting to get past the idea of a portal on Wikipedia. I just said, why not have a whole wiki? And so over 4 years later, here we are, ready for your enjoyment. :) -- Riffsyphon1024 10:28, October 16, 2009 (UTC)
Same as everyone else, so here's my #1: I was editing Wikipedia, trying to add information on minor SW characters that kept getting deleted because of the notability standards, so I came here, checked to see if there was an article on 8t88 (whom I thought at the time was an incredibly obscure character) and upon discovering that the page existed, I was hooked! —Milo Fett[Comlink] 17:04, October 16, 2009 (UTC)
If I remember right, I found a link to the site in a review by TheForce.Net late in 2005, loved the site, and have been editing since then. Mauser's answers to 2-11 sum up the rest, like everyone else has said. —Xwing328(Talk) 00:36, October 20, 2009 (UTC)
I have to get in on this.
I was searching for some random thing or other on Google. I vaguely recall it being related to either X-wing Alliance or Jedi Outcast. Give me a break, it was 2005.
Not as much as you'd think. Most of the time, conflicts can be resolved in short order with a talk page discussion or a quick jaunt to IRC.
In theory, no. In practice, yes.
This is a meritocracy. Do good things and you get recognized for it in time. Act too big for your britches and you'll never make it.
Hackers? No. Real hackers wouldn't bother. Anyone who does bother with Wookieepedia and thinks they're a hacker is sadly mistaken. Trolls, oh hell yes. It's not related to the topic of the site so much as the fact that some people just have some kind of masochistic compulsion to throw themselves against a brick wall.
What does the role of an admin involve? I am the brick wall. Have I banned people? Oh, ho, ho, have I ever. Once someone makes it clear through their words or deeds that they don't belong here, THEY ARE GONE. PERIOD.
PPOR. If it can't be cited, it's out. Doesn't get much simpler.
Wookieepedia is different in so many ways that it's hard to condense it into a little sound bite. Suffice to say, we're both deeper and wider than any other Star Wars reference, up to and including the Holocron, and people who work for Lucasfilm know it.
How does one explain devotion to Wookieepedia? If you want to get technical about it, the most devoted of us probably have some mental defect like OCD or Asperger's. As for why Star Wars, it's because it's just better than other fictional universes. We don't have insanely restrictive rules about what the parent company considers canon like Star Trek does, and we don't have a reboot every few years like various comics do. Everything fits as well as we can make it, and sometimes it's up to us to make it look good. And that's just pure awesome.
Because I could. I wanted to be a part of the community.
Only certain ones, from what I have noticed, particularly those articles relating to perhaps a recent episode of TCW.
Some are, yes. It is usually due to how long they have been here, what powers they have, and overall personality. Does such authoritativeness bother me? Nope. To each their own.
I already cited my reasons above.
Nope. If it happens, it's usually related to something else, perhaps a slight against that person. Perhaps I reverted some vandalism and they got snippy. That would be the extent of it, though.
As with any community, the roles of administrators and moderators are to keep the peace and maintain order. However, they are still members of the community and I believe that they should not allow such power to go to their heads. I have seen abuse of power in other communities, it's not pretty. Some just tend to forget that with great power comes great responsibility. I, myself, am only a moderator. I've warned a few troublemakers and reverted vandalism, but I have never banned anyone. When I administrated a forum, I banned people, but even then, I was considered by most to be a very lenient admin. I have seen people get banned and reported perpetrators for blockings as I patrol the Recent Changes in the late hours.
Pull out the appropriate sources and quote lines of text from those sources.
Strict policies regarding fanon set it apart, along with the maintaining of an encyclopedic style.
Well, if there is, I've seen it amount to mainly who is who in regards to rank and title. Otherwise, not really.
Well, I cannot speak for others, but for myself it's guilty as charged by reason of mental disease or defect. I'm an aspie, I get obsessive. But, I've grown up with the Galaxy Far Far Away and am drawn to it for the multitude of story possibilities, characters, alien races, biology, and anything else that can set my overactive imagination into motion. To be a contributor to an encyclopedia for a universe I love was just the next logical step. I'm a nerd, I love Star Wars and always will. So, I don't mind spending my nights contributing to an online encyclopedia about a fantasy space opera.
A friend mentioned it to me, and I noticed the huge range of articles it had. Every time I clicked on the random article link, I'd always end up with something I'd never known about Star Wars. So after like a year of procrastinating, I gave in and joined, and got involved in WP:GAN work. Besides, I was like 12. Not much to do at that age.
Not usually, but conflicts do happen every now and then.
Like in any community, there will always be those who are better at certain things than others.
People get banned all the time. We give warnings, and when that fails, blocks follow. We have alot of policies governing what you can't do here. Most of it is common sense though, really.
Look at the source for canonical info. 9 out of 10 times it solves the problem. In the case of conflicting canon sources we use consensus and/or ask people from Lucasfilm or something.
This one's been well summed up already, and I'm too lazy to even do a copy-and-paste :)
See the whole meritocracy thing. Note though, that There is No Cabal. Whatsoever. Seriously. Heh.
By the simple process of nomination and objection. We have a series of policies on what is considered a correctly written article.
No medical condition here. At least, not that I'm aware of. I guess its similar ot a hobby or something. Why do people collect, say, baseball cards (that's what they do over in the US right?)? For me, the people are nice, and it just makes me... extremely content to know I'm writing and contributing to a large project. Hope this helps. SoresuMakashi(Everything I tell you is a lie) 06:59, October 20, 2009 (UTC)
My responses ...
Because someone was wrong on the Internet. I don't remember from whence I was linked - TheForce.Net, probably - but it was in April of 2005. I decided I wouldn't edit anything there ... except someone had added Saxton-fanon to the page on Grand Admirals, an area in which I had some expertise. And gosh darn it, this fledgling Wiki seemed to need articles on the Tiss'shar, and corrections on some of the hyperlane articles, and an article on the Chimaera, and ... and I registered, and have been here ever since.
In general? No. But some topics do elicit rather heated debate.
De jure, Wookieepedia administrators and bureaucrats are given a certain amout of extra authority, including administrative autonomy, which gives them a lot of leeway to carry out that authority. Many users have also acquired a certain amount of de facto authority through their regular presence here; the opinions of an established regular user naturally carry a lot more weight than those of a new or infrequent user, even though officially there is little difference.
We actually get far fewer trolls than in previous years, but they still appear. And yes, many trolls choose to edit Wookieepedia to add reminders of the "fact" that each and every single editor to ever edit Wookieepedia is a pathetic loser with nothing better to do with their time than edit a nerd encyclopedia. The irony of this never ceases to amuse me.
As others have already linked, Administrators have a fairly well-spelled out list of abilities and responsibilities. Yes, I've banned people, and I suspect everyone who has spent any length of time on this site has encountered a user who was ultimately banned. As I said, trolls do still appear, and sometimes even regular users engage in behavior that, after ignoring warnings, ultimately gives us no option but to ban them to stop it.
Through discussion and consensus, generally. Most of the time, the problems are clean-cut; either a Star Wars work provides evidence for an assertion or it doesn't. Sometimes, though, things aren't so clear-cut; a recent textbook example is this recently closed Consensus Track thread.
The unique nature of Wiki collaboration sets us apart from the majority of other Star Wars sites, and our sheer size sets us apart from other Star Wars related Wikis. New content is being constantly added as hundreds of users around the world add little bits here and there; during even our slowest hours in the middle of the American night, edits are still often made at least once every several minutes. This has resulted in the largest repository of Star Wars lore anywhere on the Internet, one which even offical Star Wars contributors use.
This heavily overlaps with question 4, but to summarize our internal power structure: At the bottom are anonymous contributors. They lack some of the editing capabilities granted registered users, and are always viewed with suspicion by the Administration, since most trolling comes from people who never bother to register. Next come newly-registered users; they're on their way to becoming regular members, but they don't get full editing capabilities right away in order to weed out trolls. Next come users who have been registered long enough for those restrictions to lapse; these are the bulk of our contributors, and the heart of the Wiki. Regular users who have demonstrated a basic understanding of Wookieepedia are often voted Wookieepedia:rollback rights; basically, they are given a single administrative tool, the ability to quickly revert vandalism and other bad edits. If a user has been around long enough and has demonstrated dedication and good judgment, they are often voted into the administration, which has more tools as delineated on Wookieepedia:Administrators. Finally, a select few administrators are voted Bureaucrat powers, the ability to carry out the technical side of promoting a user to rollback, administrator, or bureaucrat status.
Others have already linked to the process for choosing featured articles.
I have always loved continuity. Most franchises either don't care about it, or aren't good at it. Star Wars is different; everything counts, and a tiny detail from a previous work might have a role in a story decades later. A good example is Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor; the premise and central conflict of the novel was taken from a late 1990s Essential Guide, expanded from an offhand remark in a novel from the early 1990s. The villain was a character that first appeared in newspaper strips in the late 1970s, established as being the same character as another villain briefly mentioned in a roleplaying sourcebook from the early 1990s. One of the villain's minions was a character from an early 2000s novel, while one of the heroes' allies was a character that originated in an early 1980s comic book. You don't need to know any of that to enjoy Shadows of Mindor, but it's immensely rewarding if you DO know all that. Star Wars is a colorful tapestry; sure, each thread might be brightly colored and enjoyable to look at in its own right, but if you step back and see how it all works together, it's awe-inspiring. Wookieepedia is a display that lets you see parts of the tapestry you might otherwise not get to see; editing Wookieepedia is a way to make sure that threads you particularly enjoy or find important are visible in that display.
Everyone who answered all your questions nailed it, so I'm gonna answer the first one and the tenth one.
My father used to bring me home articles from Wookieepedia. I read the first one and I loved it, and was determined to join. As soon as we got internet, I joined.
Aside from the Featured Article nomination system we have, we also have a Good Article nomination system. Those articles that are 1,000 words or less fall under this category; however, it still goes through the same process that the FA's do, being review by various users and the GA's counterpart to the Inqs, the AgriCorps.--Jedi Kasra (comlink) 22:57, October 22, 2009 (UTC)
Guess I'll give this a shot:
I used to edit Wikipedia, where I noticed lots of articles that were inappropriate for a general-purpose encyclopedia. So I often directed people to these fan wikis, where they could create articles to their hearts' content. I eventually decided to edit a Wookieepedia article on a whim.
I don't see much conflict regarding articles. There is some, but it's not that often you find it.
I guess it depends on where you hang out. In general, administrators have more real power than others, but there are groups that have special authority over Featured Article selection and Good Article selection. Then again, there is reputation that grants authority. I know of a few people who are considered "experts" in a particular area of the wiki who aren't necessarily administrators or these other officials, and they have authority out of sheer reputation in their field.
I kind of answered this already in the previous response. A lot of "authority" also comes from relationships around the wiki. People here often hang out on internet chat, for example, where a lot of friendships tend to be made and reinforced, helping you when you need favors in other areas of the wiki. For example, if you're trying to track down a source you don't have, or if you want a second opinion about something. But, again, this isn't really "authority" so much as normal relationships and reputation.
I've never noticed much vandalism or trolling.
I know of some people who have been banned or blocked temporarily, but I don't have the power to do so.
Typically, sources in Star Wars are pretty cut and dried. If someone puts up information that is challenged, we go to the source material and find out who's in the right. Occasionally, things remain murky, and we put up a special tag to denote that the article may be under dispute. From time to time, powers that be at LucasFilm or its subsidiaries will make a comment, which we then can use to sort through these questions.
I don't really know, as this is the only SW fansite I regularly visit.
I suppose there might be some informal hierarchy going on with regard to who's been around the longest or has the longest contributions list, but for the most part, no.
Basically, you post it up on the FA nomination page and wait for other people to tell you what needs fixing. You make the changes or explain why they aren't necessary after all, and eventually, you net 5 votes from other users who agree that your article really does represent the best of the wiki. Some of these votes must be from a select group known as the Inquisitorius who are selected for their ability to spot good material like this.
Meh, how to do you explain any pastime? It's a hobby, that's all, so we do it for the same reasons people go fishing or collect stamps or watch Chuck Norris movies. Hope this helps. ~ SavageBob 02:38, October 24, 2009 (UTC)