Hi all, Atvelonis here. It’s finally 2016, and we’re starting to shape up as a wiki and as a community. Only a little less than a year ago, the wiki was in shambles. There were no active administrators and we had fallen greatly behind on content due to a drama-ridden and ever-dwindling userbase. However, thanks to a lot of hard work and persistence, we were able to overcome this and rise back up as a community. We worked together to abolish outdated, unwanted rules and, brick by brick, built back up our tower of knowledge, as it were. We built back up our staff and regained a foothold on our climb upwards.
There was some drama and trouble along the way, but as we did with everything else, we overcame it. No longer are we an unstable and hostile group—at this point, we have pulled ourselves up and are not that long a distance from overtaking our rival, the Utah Educational Savings Plan (UESP).
Jokes aside, we really have come a long way. I have a lot more faith in the wiki as a whole than I did last January, when things started to get rough. We’ve seen some fantastic editors join us and our existing ones working even harder in the time since then. Of course, I want to thank everyone who has made this wiki what it is today. Cheatcodechamp made some really good points about this in his thread, which I suggest you read if you haven’t already.
Now, the purpose of this blog is more to get us organized and together about what we’re going to be accomplishing this year. We’ve gotten through the worst part of our journey, but there are a lot of issues that we have to face. I think the top issue here is activity, especially staff activity. The number of staff members we have had recently has been around 15-20. However, a lot of those staff members have only been partially or not at all active, and that’s had an effect on the wiki. Right now, I would only consider 8-10 of the current staff members to be doing everything they need to be doing. It’s one thing to just be active on the wiki, but it’s another thing entirely to be regularly keeping up with all of your duties and jobs. A lot of our staff have busy lives to deal with and I understand that, but if you simply can’t find the time to come on the wiki, you shouldn’t be in a staff position. It’s a bad example to regular editors and to people from other wikis.
For example, some staff members seem to largely hang out in areas of the wiki that they are not supposed to be focusing on. There’s nothing wrong with having a presence on the chat, forum, etc.—in fact, it’s great if they’re able to do that—but by spending all of their time in an area of the wiki that their position does not cover they are neglecting their duties and the wiki is suffering as a whole.
Unfortunately, even some of the administrators are guilty of this. Now, as an administrator myself it’s my job to look after the place and all, but there is a LOT of work that has needs to be done, and it’s simply impossible for me to handle it all myself. I can sit on my computer editing for twelve straight hours and there will still be more to do. The only way for us to get everything done is to work together. The wiki can’t be improved if no one is here.
In the past we’ve been incredibly lenient about inactivity, but I think we’ve let the whole thing get a bit out of control. If close to half of our staff has inadequate activity levels, that is a serious problem. The remaining staff can’t be expected to maintain a wiki this large with such little manpower. You could be the best editor in the world, but it would be nigh impossible to keep the wiki running and expanding at the current pace even if you worked day and night to see it done. It’s been said many times by many people that what we need is a whole bunch of new editors. General interest in The Elder Scrolls is at its lowest point right now, and although we are still getting hundreds of thousands of pageviews per day we are not getting enough people who want to help out in the long term. While ESO has definitely had some impacts on our community, a new main series game isn’t coming out for at least another year or two or three, so we will have to make do with what we have right now.
That means all of you who are reading this are going to have to step up and do your part—staff or not, you are still members of this wiki and should treat yourselves as such. Ideally, you’d even go past that, and tackle difficult projects that no one else has been able to finish, but at least do what you can. I know you are all completely capable of small things like fixing grammar and formatting in articles, and I hope that you are all capable of adding content for the games that you’ve played. It may seem like we have everything for Skyrim, for example, but there’s still a lot you can do, and nothing’s stopping you! Get out there and edit something! The more games you’ve played the better. Here’s a good way to start: go to somewhere in the game you excel most in, and look around. Do you notice an item, creature, character, or anything else that could possibly be useful to readers? If you do, go onto the wiki’s page for it and add whatever you find useful. Even better, write a walkthrough for a quest or redesign an existing one. Just explain where to go in a dungeon, which characters to talk to, and everything else they need to know to finish the quest. It doesn’t matter what you’re adding or fixing, as long as you’re helping in some way. Literally anything you can help with will benefit the wiki.
Anyway, as I mentioned earlier, over the course of a few years the wiki has shifted dramatically from a fractured, drama-ridden, and overall unpleasant place to quite the opposite. From my perspective, it’s basically gone like this:
- 2014 = Drama year. There was a lot of turbulence and the wiki in general was in a dark time.
- 2015 = Community year. We largely redefined ourselves and our staff and as a result the wiki was finally able to make progress again.
- 2016 = Expansion year. Creating, building, refining. This year—hopefully, at least—the wiki will make a huge leap forward.
I can’t speak for pre-2014 because I wasn’t there, but right now we’re in a position to be able to hugely improve the wiki without much trouble; the community and staff as a whole have matured, and we have finally realized that working together is far more advantageous than arguing and causing strife. At this point, we’re able to focus on improving and adding content rather than constantly wasting time settling numerous petty disputes. Without going into too much detail because I don’t want this blog to be too long, here is how I’ve organize what we need to work on in a very general way:
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Add new pages and images. In need of the most work:
Build up existing pages. In need of the most work:
Polish existing built-up pages. In need of the most work:
This is extremely simplified, but that’s the gist of what we have to do. Hopefully, by the end of 2016 we will have a lot of this done. Now, remember that no one is going to appear out of nowhere and add or fix up all this content for us: we have to take it upon ourselves to sit down and get this stuff done. If that means sacrificing a little bit of your time every day, it’s something you’re going to have to deal with, especially if you’re a staff member. If we want to help the wiki, we can’t rely on other people to do everything for us. If we all did that, the wiki would be nothing. Luckily, you have all played the games, and you can all help, so if we work together to get this done well and quickly we will surely succeed!