ProfessorTofty (talk) 00:51, October 20, 2012 (UTC): So now that I have gained admin status, I wanted to float to the community the idea of possibly enabling some additional Wikia features. These are features that are available to any Wikia wiki, but which are optional. The features we can add include:
Article comments: Users may post comments at the bottom of an article. Essentially replaces talk pages, though talk pages can still be created manually if desired.
My thoughts: Meh. I have this enabled on Eternal Sonata Wiki and it may work for some wikis, but talk pages are so established here, and this really just seems like a magnet for off-topic comment trouble on a wiki that receives as many hits as this one.
My vote: Leave disabled
- It was once tried to establish them here. The admins did not want them. They were deleted. So I think, too: Leave disabled. 15:53, October 20, 2012 (UTC)
- I strongly oppose article comments. A good example of how article comments are detrimental is, I think, Downton Abbey Wiki, in which the bottom of pages are invariably flooded with "Violet is such a great character!", "DARNED VERA, I DON'T LIKE HER AT ALL", "RIP, *spoiler*", or "Eeeeugh, Thomas is gay". Article comments discourages the use of talk pages (which are so well-established and used to great effect in this wiki) and increases focus on comments on the subject of the article and not the article itself. -- 16:34, October 20, 2012 (UTC)
Category Exhibition: "The most popular eight pages in your categories are already displayed as images, but this feature will list all of your pages as image links sortable by name, recency, or popularity!"
My thoughts: I tried this on the Eternal Sonata Wiki, but the lack of pictures on many of the pages at the time I tried it meant that it didn't work well at all. It might be worth trying here, but I have no strong feelings about it.
My vote: No opinion
- No opinion 15:53, October 20, 2012 (UTC)
- Oppose. There are several categories whose majority of the articles don't have images (or all the articles have no image at all), such as this one. I think this measure would make such categories look bad, and would make navigation on larger categories a bit queer. -- 16:34, October 20, 2012 (UTC)
Message Wall: Messages to other users are posted on a new threaded Message Wall system and users can receive alerts of new messages within a thread and e-mailed notifications of responses.
My thoughts: This is a good feature that has been enabled on a lot of wikis, but it seems to me it may be problematic on a wiki that has long established talk pages. Existing talk pages would be moved to an archive and replaced with this.
My vote: Weak leave disabled
- I like them, but the admins here prefer much more the talk pages. 15:53, October 20, 2012 (UTC)
- Oppose. Talk pages are the way to go IMO. -- 16:34, October 20, 2012 (UTC)
- Oppose, merely because I personally do not like the Message Wall system. Perhaps if some of the changes that were made to the new forum system they're trying out are back-ported to Message Walls, I could support our using them, but right now I feel they are weaker that talk pages. -- 1337star (Drop me a line!) 00:03, October 23, 2012 (UTC)
Top Ten Lists: "Top 10 Lists allow anyone on your wiki to create a votable list. If you're looking for a great way to get junior editors to interact with the wiki, this is it! Enabling this feature will add "Top 10 List" as an option when you click 'Add a Page'"
My thoughts: Meh eh...
My vote: Leave disabled
- Leave disabled. 15:53, October 20, 2012 (UTC)
- Oppose. -- 16:34, October 20, 2012 (UTC)
Achievements: Commonly referred to colloquially as Badges. Users are rewarded for certain editing achievements with emblems that appear on their userpage. Badges can be customized with both unique names and images.
My thoughts: The general argument against this is that it encourages spam editing and editing for the sole purpose of getting badges. However, since I enabled it on Eternal Sonata Wiki, I haven't noticed any uptick in vandalism, but then again, I've never really noticed any vandalism at all. On the other hand, I find that the badges for editing once a day encourage me to pop in at least once a day even if I'm busy, thus keeping at least some activity going on the wiki as far as fresh content goes. In any case, Badges aren't granted to unregistered members anyway, which is where a lot of the spam and vandal edits come from.
My vote: Enable and customize
- I like them and when the old system would work beside the badges, I would say o. k. When all what you have already earned is away, you don't get a majority. And when I remember right that was the cause not to enable them here. 15:53, October 20, 2012 (UTC)
- No opinion. At a first glance, it seems a nice little incentive for users and/or potential users, but RobertATfm does make a valid point. I don't have a strong opinion on whether to enable or not. -- 16:34, October 20, 2012 (UTC)
- No opinion/weak oppose. If other users think this is useful, I wouldn't complain having this enabled. I personally wouldn't be encouraged to edit more by such a system (on any wiki, I'm not just saying that because I already edit here quite a bit), but I suppose I cannot say if others would or not. -- 1337star (Drop me a line!) 00:03, October 23, 2012 (UTC)
Article comments: On the Fastmail wiki, these mostly attracted spam and off-topic support requests which should have been made by raising a support ticket or by posting to the forums. On the World Of Cars wiki, one anonymous poster took advantage of the fact that there were no active admins to block him, to post dozens of inane comments to articles (over 100 to one article) — I think he was trying to break the site with a buffer overflow error. He has now been blocked, but the comments have proved unfeasible to remove as they have to be deleted one by one.
To my mind the Talk-page system is vastly superior to the Comments system; multiple spam comments can be deleted in one swoop, most spammers can be locked out of a talk page simply by semiprotecting it, and replies can be made to replies, not just to the original post.
My vote: Leave disabled
Category Exhibition: It sounds to me as if this would vastly increase the visual clutter and the loading times, especially on slow connections such as mine tends to be between 17:00 and 23:00 British time. My vote: Leave disabled
Message Wall: My vote: Leave disabled — see Comments
Top Ten Lists: My vote: no opinion
Achievements: My experience (on the Fastmail wiki) is that this doesn't really encourage editing generally, it only encourages vandal editing. There was even one filth who vandalised two pages by inserting into them a spurious image of a waterfall, solely to "earn" the relevant badge. People should be editing a wiki because they want to improve it, not because they want to rack up points in some silly game; for the latter, they can always go to Pogo. I was going to turn off Achievements on the FM wiki, but the bureaucrat beat me to it. :-)
My vote: Strong leave disabled
- My opinion on that is that if people intend to vandalise, I'd rather know about it and fast, so that they can be blocked. So if someone is adding a spurious waterfall, then the response should be block, and fast. Maybe one warning if it's not obvious what they're doing at first. Same response if the badges weren't there. ProfessorTofty (talk) 16:44, October 20, 2012 (UTC)
- Thanks everyone. Well, it looks like the general consensus is to leave everything disabled, with the possible exception of Badges. With that said, is there anyone that would be willing to lend their support in favour of at least giving Badges a try? The feature can be disabled at any time, so if we find that it's creating too many problems, we can just flip the switch, and it goes away. And if it turns out that it's not really causing problems, then we've gained a fun new feature. ProfessorTofty (talk) 17:52, October 24, 2012 (UTC)