This is a blog post that I am not keen on writing - but it's one that I think, in light of recent events - is one that must be written.
(Also, apologies - this may get a bit rambly in nature. I have had very little sleep, due to this problem).
In the last day, we've had a few editors (and Administrators) leave the site. We most certainly will miss EbonySkyrim, GhostAnubis, and TombRaiser.
I've spoken to them, and been unable to convince them to join for now - that's okay though. That's their choice, and if they need to go/take a break - that's okay. They may come back further on down the track - or they may not. And that's okay too. Their contributions have been invaluable.
That said - they are not the first editors (or administrators) to have left the wiki. It's unfortunate, but it does happen. (Heck, I myself have had to leave the wiki for a while after the stress got to me).
As much as I might want to be here all the time, I cannot do so, though. I have two small kids now, and they make it impossible to get anything done on here, unless its small edits. (I admit that, but in terms of purely admin-related tasks - that is sufficient to do a good job).
That said - I'm still here though, and I'm not going anywhere any time soon. We still DO have admins here. Not only myself, but Flightmare and Kennyanddenny are still here. As well as the patrollers, forum moderators and chat mods.
Where are we now?
I've put a header here just to highlight where the wiki is right now - the wiki is actually doing very well right now. In the past 7 days, we had 10million page views. That's a ridiculously high number of page views, considering that essentially nothing is happening in the elder scrolls universe right now (The hype from ESO has died down by now). That probably came out the wrong way, but it's essentially true. For instance, the week Skyrim came out, we got 40million pageviews (and incidentally broke Wikia's daily and weekly records), and had similar levels for the next few months. That's because the game had just come out. EVERYONE wanted to get info about it - and we had that. We still do, which is why everyone is still coming here, as well as for other games in the series.
Admittedly, some of the other games in the series oould use some work. Morrowind pages, for instance. (And Arena and Daggerfall, too). The wiki didn't have ANY of those pages before 2011. When I started editing, it went from a lore-ish wiki to one that focused on everything in the elder scrolls universe - and you, fellow editors (and past editors, too), helped shape it and make it what it is today. We're not perfect - but we're getting there. It's a bit of a slow burn right now. The edits are slower than they were this time last year, because ESO has been out for so long now. There's still some pages that need work (actually, quite a few) for these - but this is not an admin job. This is a community job. The community is what makes this site what it is - not the administrators.
I think we've lost sight of that in the last year or so. I know about the problems we've had in the past. There were a lot of tensions between editors. Things should have probably been done differently - unfortunately, the past cannot be changed. I'm not Akatosh, much as I might like to be. What I can do, though, is look at what caused these issues. Largely, it was because there was a percieved notion that Administrators were somehow better than other users and staff members. That's very over-simplified, I know, but I've done that to try and avoid going back over old grievances.
What can we do?
Well, there's actually something we can do about this. This is what kept me up at night - thinking about what we should do as a community. And I keep coming back to the same point in my head - we need to make it so that the admins aren't seen to be a kind of super-editor. (Again, oversimplified).
I don't deny this, I've NEVER been a fan of the green text for my username. I have spoken to other editors, and they seem to like having the colour system, so that new editors know who they can go to for help when they have it. That's a valid point.
Here's my suggestion though - instead of having a tiered colour system - we have just the one colour for ALL staff members.
I think that's probably the best starting point we can make moving forward. Chat and forum moderators do as much work (probably more) as Administrators in terms of "staff" tasks. Really, the only difference is (and I've seen it in the chatroom when I've been there) the belief that my edits are somehow "better" than another staff members, because I'm an Administrator. Which, honestly - is complete b.s.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again. (And I'll say it in the future, too, because it will still be true then). The staff members here are part of the community. EVERY editor on here is important, as collectively, we make the wiki a little bit better every day.
Sure, the staff members have to do a bit more work than others do - but that's what they /we choose to do. (That's why we volunteered to do it).
In terms of purely administrator tasks - most of the time, you won't even know its been done. The vast majority of administrator tasks happen behind-the-scenes. Every few days, going through and deleting pages that require deletion. Going though the vandalism in progress pages - and, *IF* necessary, taking action. However, even then, its the community that makes those two tasks possible. Editors are the ones that put up a page for nomination for deletion. Editors are the ones that see a page being vandalised and notifiy the vandalism in progress page.
Short version? The wiki is actually doing quite well right now - edits are fewer. (average 300 per day) - due to what every wiki has at some point - a lull in things happening with that particular topic/game/series/movie etc. We're still very active (Avg. 1.2 million pageviews a day). Edits will pick up next year when the console version of ESO happens.
The other main point - I think we should change the staff colouring system to just have the one colour. (To be determined by the community)... or get rid of it altogether, like it was back when it first started. (And like other wikis have).
So yeah - that's my thoughts on where we stand with the wiki right now. Sorry for the rambling.