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I put the picture from the top left up as the user icon... can't really read it though
It looks good, though, Kirstov.
I have been trying to use this to communicate and establish a dialogue with our followers, but can't seem to do so. Any suggestions?
This may seem like an "well, duh" thing to say, and more than a bit off-topic, but I think it has to do with the following assumption: at the moment, our wiki really is most meaningful only to us and people like us. We enjoy updating it. It gives us a sense of satisfaction to create well-crafted and well-sourced articles about a campaign setting that we believe in. However, it is currently still (for the most part) skeletal and basic. A person really has to look around our site in order to get to information that he couldn't easily find by opening one of paizo's books and reading for five minutes. Yes, he'd have to know where to look, but books like the Campaign Setting have an index, so one can find out that way. So how do we get out of the skeletal stage? Well, it's hard. We're getting there, but it's a slow process, but until we do we're only going to attract a limited amount of people that just want to read. Sure, we'll get the potential writers and editors, but I think that's a much smaller group.
What was your experience at PaizoCon, Mark? What kind of feedback did you get about the wiki? Did people say they used it?
To be honest, people said they gave it a look and then went to their Campaign Setting. Both freelance contributors and regular players & GMs said that it was a cool project, but that it was easier just to read the original source material. I think the main thing we should be focusing on is convincing other people that it's a project worth contributing to, and making joining and starting work on the site less intimidating and more welcoming. Whether we succeed at that, our focus should be getting everything from the CS onto the wiki. It's the main source of competition with us. There simply isn't enough material out there that needs to be cross-referenced that the largest resource in existence is the CS. We need to make the wiki as complete as the CS as quickly as possible so that everything we add from then on will make this a larger compilation of information. Yeah, easier said than done. But it's what Erik Mona has suggested multiple times when I asked him what he'd like the wiki to be. At the same time, Wes Schneider has said he wants the wiki to catch all the throw-away details mentioned in passing and put them in places where they are easily found (like the tribes of Ogrekin mentioned as existing throughout the world that aren't then listed in the CS under those specific nations.) So we have to decide what we want to focus on as a community and really push to get that done. I've been doing a lot of structural and administrative things lately, so I could improve on the content front as well. When we have the blog, hopefully we can better communicate to chroniclers who might not read the forums or talk pages or the shout box what's going on and what we're really pushing to get completed.
Thanks for all that info, Mark. I think duplicating the CS, except with hyperlinks and even more references to other sources is a great thing to work towards. With all the material out there, I think it's easy to get lost, intimidated and distracted. I think we should call those the three phases of Pathfinderwiki work :) Focusing on just one source and then expanding from there is a good way of helping with that.
Also agree that the wikiblog will make it easier to communicate with everyone. These forums IMO are very awkward.
I don't know that we can compete with the CS. It is just such a dense, well organized source of information. I've always thought that (like Wes by the sound of it) the wiki's strength would be having a lot of eyes synthesizing information form a lot of minor sources. That said, I too am guilty of coasting by on wickedly minor edits while you other guys do the hard work of actually writing articles.
That is also kind of why I started compiling a list of items, and for those that I think will get more than one source at some point, waiting until they have at least two sources, preferably sources from 2 different subscriptions). where I can cross reference Data so readers can't just go to one source to find everything I wrote. While I know this won't work with many things until more adventures take place in the same area as the chronicles items, but that way we have information that subscribers of one line or the other may not
Aeakett, I agree that the strength of the wiki is to pull disparate pieces of information together in one source. But to do that, we need the core foundation. To use an awkward and probably ineffective metaphor, we need a donkey to pin the tail on. I have wanted for some time to start with a document and go through it page by page, making an entry, no matter how small, for every proper noun that I come across and as many of the general terms and concepts as I can. With the Campaign Setting that's a lot to ask for. But I think we need to do it. When fiction and the inevitable influx of licensed 3rd party products (like Open Design's Azlant underwater project that Wolfgang is begging James to let him do) start flooding in, we'll never have the necessary framework from which to branch off. The CS is a huge competitor for us, but as BrOp says, hyperlinking is a gamechanger. It's why people use the d20srd and not the downloadable SRD documents from WotC.
So! I propose that we dedicate ourselves to doing the following: 1) go section by section through the CS, making as detailed of articles as we can without plagiarizing. Don't worry about making awkward articles for minor subjects that lack further info than a sentence here or there in the book. As long as they have adequate citations we can rearrange them all later. 2) Try to use the messageboards, the upcoming wiki blog, twitter, facebook, etc. to get even one or two more dedicated people on board to help with this one task. 3) Set up a better system of accountability such that a Chronicler can call dibs on a project and the community can gently encourage them as they see it through to completion. Right now we have people who are saying they will do demon articles who then do three and get distracted, leave for a bit and come back doing articles on named NPCs from APs from two years ago. If we can get ourselves to focus (and I'm as bad as any) then I think we can really start to see the project going where we want it to go.
We'll have the blog on Wednesday, and I will make an introductory post there about our short-term goals and welcoming people to what might seem a very unfriendly (albeit useful) site at the moment. We'll see what we can do from there.
@Cpy Kirstov, While that's a great way to start the cross-referencing, I think we need to make stub articles and find ways to incorporate these single line, throwaway details into the rest of the wiki and not wait for them to be mentioned again. They never will be if contributors don't know what's been mentioned before. I talked a lot to some of the freelancers about that at PaizoCon and they said that was one thing they could really use. Cause for the major stuff they can go to the CS. But they need to know when writing an article on Cheliax that there is a city called Vyre that was the birthplace of a cult by looking in the Cheliax entry. Not be searching for Vyre. We need the information to trickle down, not up. Which is why I think we should all focus on making full articles on as many of the topics in the CS as possible.
Lots of good ideas here! I definitely think that we should focus on the "core" articles as Yoda puts it. It terms of readability, I think it's very important for people to be able to start their reading with more familiar terms (Cheliax, Absalom, Asmodeus) and then work their way through to the less-familiar sub-sections of those topics. Sure, often people will search for a specific term and want all the info on that specific subject, but structurally it feels like those core articles are the foundation. So what exactly are the core articles for me? Hmm, I'd say all the countries, gods and major cities that have been detailed in depth for starters. Right now the country articles are LESS complete than their entries in the CS, and until they are more complete and hyperlinked I think we won't attract the bigger crowds, as has been mentioned.
Having said that, this is a big, Big, BIG project. The d20srd was nothing compared to this, but he did it very well. I think we should strive to become the Pathfinder-fluff equivalent of it.
Alright, well, I already have most of the proper nouns from the Eando Kline fiction pieces on my user page. As I am much better reading about people than places (sorry, just get distracted when reading about nations) I'll start there and the back50 or so pages ( from equipment on 208 on to the end) Each blog entry will include an updated list of pages that I have completed, that way if someone finishes their part and wants a sliver of the end of the book, they can take it without re-reading what I already wrote about by mistake.
So what specific sections are you saying you will handle, Earl? 214-243 and 248-251?
I'll do anything missing from 208-237 (a lot of this is crunch heavy, so I'll see what I can pull put of the crunch) and 240 through the appendixes. (the 238+239 are time and space, which are mostly covered already. I just don't think I could do them justice.
I am working on the timeline at the moment (200-203). I'll let everyone know when I am done.
My schedule is a little bit irregular, so I will keep on completing the wiki with small details. Please tell me if you think I have to concentrate to a specific group of topics.
Dmeta, if you have limited time, it might be best to concentrate on a smaller section of the Campaign Setting. Would you be able to take care of the race and class section at the beginning of the book? Maybe the "Beyond the Inner Sea" section? If tackling something from the CS is too much, then continue making the edits you are; no contribution will be discouraged.
I am afraid I cannot reword big chunks of CS material, but I will try within the weekend. Usually I don't have the CS in my bag. :)
That's fine then. No one's asking you to do more than you can do. There's nothing saying that everyone who works on the wiki must be involved in the CS inclusion project. You've been adding a lot of great stuff on your own since joining the team, so continue with what you're doing. Every little bit helps, whether its an individual edit or a mass of edits based on an ongoing project.