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Wiki comments/suggestions

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jwarrend
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Joined: 08/03/2008

I started a new thread for this since none of it pertains to whether we should go live for not.

First, overall, it looks great. You guys have done an amazing job. My suggestions are mostly little things, and shouldn't hold up the show if other more pressing things are needed. It would be nice if:

-- the "new forum posts" on the right site should show the 10 most recent *discussions*, not the 10 most recent *posts*. It should work like the current scheme does

-- It would be absolutely great if we could add a calendar application to facilitate scheduling in the GDW, one that anyone could edit to sign up for a slot. In practice, we can probably work around that by using the Wiki format, but mainly, I am looking for a system where people don't need to go through me to sign up for GDW slots. (but of course, we'll still need to supervise the GDW to make sure people aren't abusing it, etc).

-- The big one: there needs to be some structure imposed on the Blogs (ugh, absolutely positively hate that word; is there any possible way we can call it something else?) and image galleries. As it stands now, they are going to be a complete mess, kind of like the current journals system is. There has to be some way for a searcher to extract useful information from them.

Here's a simple suggestion: separate the Blogs into subcategories by topic; eg, rulebooks, lists of games in development, descriptions of game progress, etc, so that when people create a Blog, they assign it to one of these categories.

Perhaps in addition, when a player is posting info about one of his games, he would also have to enter a couple of "keywords" about the game, possibly indicating its theme, mechanic, etc. I'm thinking here of these blogs being somewhat analogous to the BGG database, which is tremendously useful for learning about games without knowing specific titles or authors. I'd like something like that here, where if you have a new bidding game about the Spanish Inquisition, you can find out quickly who is working on something similar.

Also, it should be possible to output the blogs by author rather than date entered, since, if I want to find out what zaiga is working on, I shouldn't have to scroll through 10 pages of people who posted more recently than him.

I think the blogs could be useful but also potentially very hard to utilize, and it's important to impose structure from the outset rather than retroactively.

Other than that, everything looks great. I'll see if I can't write some content for the game mechanics section as Dave requests. I don't see that as being crucial to the launch, though; the "design encyclopedia", being somewhat static, should be done carefully and authoritatively; it's ok if it's not ready to go from day 1. That's a long term project, in my opinion.

Great job!

-Jeff

phpbbadmin
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Joined: 04/23/2013
Re: Wiki comments/suggestions

jwarrend wrote:

-- the "new forum posts" on the right site should show the 10 most recent *discussions*, not the 10 most recent *posts*. It should work like the current scheme does

Argh! I can't believe we missed that. Thanks! I've enabled The Last Topics module, but I need to apply the same changes to it that Dave made to Last posts.

Quote:

-- It would be absolutely great if we could add a calendar application to facilitate scheduling in the GDW, one that anyone could edit to sign up for a slot. In practice, we can probably work around that by using the Wiki format, but mainly, I am looking for a system where people don't need to go through me to sign up for GDW slots. (but of course, we'll still need to supervise the GDW to make sure people aren't abusing it, etc).

Yes, we need to try this.

Quote:

-- The big one: there needs to be some structure imposed on the Blogs (ugh, absolutely positively hate that word; is there any possible way we can call it something else?) and image galleries. As it stands now, they are going to be a complete mess, kind of like the current journals system is. There has to be some way for a searcher to extract useful information from them.

Here's a simple suggestion: separate the Blogs into subcategories by topic; eg, rulebooks, lists of games in development, descriptions of game progress, etc, so that when people create a Blog, they assign it to one of these categories.

Perhaps in addition, when a player is posting info about one of his games, he would also have to enter a couple of "keywords" about the game, possibly indicating its theme, mechanic, etc. I'm thinking here of these blogs being somewhat analogous to the BGG database, which is tremendously useful for learning about games without knowing specific titles or authors. I'd like something like that here, where if you have a new bidding game about the Spanish Inquisition, you can find out quickly who is working on something similar.

Also, it should be possible to output the blogs by author rather than date entered, since, if I want to find out what zaiga is working on, I shouldn't have to scroll through 10 pages of people who posted more recently than him.

Wow! That's a huge request. First, as for the name, we might be able to change the language file to journals, I'll look into it. I'm not too keen on the word blog either.

Second. Categorization. I just looked into it. There is a way to categorize the blogs, but there is currently no way to display that category when you list the journals. Also there is currently no way for the user to set the category, as far as I can tell, currently only the admin can set the category. We'll need to look into this.

Third. As for keywords... I'm not sure it's necessary. The reason I say that is because you can currently search ALL sections of tiki over the entire site, or you can choose to search only a single section, such as the journals. The search is in the upper right. Try it and let me know what you think. The only flaw I see is that currently there is a seperate search for blogs and blog posts, but perhaps that can be remedied. FYI - The difference between a blog and a blog posts is that the blog describes the purpose of the blog, while the posts are the actual entries added to the blog. For example, I might have a blog for Wreck Ashore that briefly describes the game, and then the blog posts would be the actual entries I made regarding the progress of the design. I'm kind of hesistant to use keywords because either we'd have to define them beforehand or the searcher and the blog owner would have to be of the same mindset when choosing to describe a particular topic.

Quote:

I think the blogs could be useful but also potentially very hard to utilize, and it's important to impose structure from the outset rather than retroactively.

Completely agreed.

Quote:

Other than that, everything looks great. I'll see if I can't write some content for the game mechanics section as Dave requests. I don't see that as being crucial to the launch, though; the "design encyclopedia", being somewhat static, should be done carefully and authoritatively; it's ok if it's not ready to go from day 1. That's a long term project, in my opinion.

Great job!

-Jeff

Jeff, this is exactly the kind of input that I need from you guys. Thanks!
-Michael

jwarrend
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Joined: 08/03/2008
Re: Wiki comments/suggestions

Darkehorse wrote:

Second. Categorization. I just looked into it. There is a way to categorize the blogs, but there is currently no way to display that category when you list the journals. Also there is currently no way for the user to set the category, as far as I can tell, currently only the admin can set the category. We'll need to look into this.

Third. As for keywords... I'm not sure it's necessary.

Let me make my suggestion more precise. What I think would be really great is if we had a database of "games in development" that was analogous to the BGG database, so that you could go and look by category, by theme, or by author, and see what others are working on. The search is fine, if you know what you're looking for; sometimes you just want to browse.

I don't think this is something that needs to be in place before we go live; I just think that in the long run, it would increase the usefulness of the blogs if there's a way like this to group them.

Here's perhaps a simple way to start: create a wiki page that lists all of the "games in development", and encourage users to add links to their game blogs onto this page. They could be sorted by username or game title, alphabetically.

Ideally, as I mentioned, we could also have theme and mechanics keywords and you could sort the list by those. If BGG can do it, then it's clearly possible to do that. But it might also be difficult to impose a database-like structure on wiki-like content. You guys would know more than me about that.

Just trying to think of some way to make the journals/blogs a little more useful than they are in the old site.

-J

FastLearner
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Wiki comments/suggestions

Me, I love the word "blog" for this. I thnk it will encourage people to make entries more regularly, to think out loud through the game design process for a given designer. "Blog" is the word used for that kind of electronic document today... I know you know that, but you may not have considered the social implications of the name. Well, at least from my perspective.

jwarrend
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Joined: 08/03/2008
Wiki comments/suggestions

FastLearner wrote:
"Blog" is the word used for that kind of electronic document today... I know you know that, but you may not have considered the social implications of the name.

I do know that, and I know that I'm fighting a losing and probably futile battle here. As a general rule, I don't like jargon; I find it to erect obstacles to communication much moreso than it enables communication. Calling our game journals "blogs" feels like jumping on a bandwagon that I personally find irritating.

In general, I tend to think that things should be timeless -- art, movies, music, games, etc. And I suppose it's that preference that causes me to dislike jargony words, because they lock something in a particular moment and therefore can become dated.

As I said, I know I won't win this one, I just feel like, with the Wiki, we're striving for something timeless here -- yes, something that's dynamic, but something that's timeless nevertheless. If the day comes when "blogging" stops being the buzzword activity of the moment, I fear the site will lose some of its relevance. Probably an unfounded concern, and anyway, it's mostly just a gut feeling of distaste than anything else.

Still, there you have it.

-J

FastLearner
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Wiki comments/suggestions

Fortunately for its survival, blogging has a meaning that journaling does not: it refers to public journaling, on which people are invited to comment, link to other people's journal entries, etc.

The term "email" and "emailing" seem to have survived just fine, and even if it someday becomes, say, 3D VR video & surround audio email, we'll likely call it email, because it was the word used to describe a basic concept that didn't exist. Simiarly, there was no way to realistically post a public journal for others to comment on prior to the net.

Jargon for jargon's sake, I'm with you, 100%. I'm sometimes frustrated by the invention of words for which there is already a perfectly good and understandable word. But I'm all for words that are used where there wasn't one before.

That said, if we decided to call them journals, that's fine, I'm not hung up about the word blog. I do think it would have some positive effects, but not so much that it's worth any kind of controversy.

-- Matthew

sedjtroll
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Joined: 07/21/2008
Wiki comments/suggestions

I completely agree that the word "blog" is annoying, irritating, sounds bad... however there's nothing that can really be done about that. It's been ehtrenched into culture, as Matthew described, and that's (unfortunately) the accurate word to use here.

I similarly (or even moreso) hate the word "geek," even more than the word "blog". While "blog" is irritating, "geek' actually has underlying meaning that, to me, isn't really favorable. When I was a kid, that was an insult, and I don't see why people in our hobby have an itching to use the term to describe themselves. Not to mention it sounds incredibly silly.

I'd like to say a huge thank you to Michael for not incorporating the word "geek" into the BGDF website in any way! If the compromise is I have to call journals "blogs," then that's something I can live with ;)

While I'm doling out thank-yous, I should mention that the work everyone has done on the wiki (and the website in general) is comendable. I wish I could have been more help - I haven't even been around lately. I'm getting back into it though, and I hope I can be more of a presence in the future. I'm really grateful this website exists, so thanks again!

On that note, I haven't checked out the wiki in a while, I suppose I should do that.

- Seth

phpbbadmin
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Joined: 04/23/2013
Wiki comments/suggestions

Pisser! For some reason we're missing about 5 days worth of work on the Wiki. Did someone do something to the DB? If no one did, then I need to request that you guys don't make ANY changes to the wiki until I can get to the bottom of what went wrong (just in case the ISP can restore our DB).

-Michael

phpbbadmin
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Wiki comments/suggestions

Ok never mind. Apparently we aren't on the gamma webserver anymore. Please use:

http://69.57.154.93/~bgdf625/tiki/

Thanks.

-Michael

Brykovian
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Joined: 07/21/2008
Wiki comments/suggestions

Is it down or did it move again?

-Bryk

phpbbadmin
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Joined: 04/23/2013
Wiki comments/suggestions

Brykovian wrote:
Is it down or did it move again?

-Bryk

Woops.

Moved again.

http://67.15.188.23/~bgdf625/tiki/tiki-index.php

Also we lost a few days worth of updates. Nothing major from what I can tell.

-Michael

FastLearner
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Wiki comments/suggestions

I'll be back on wiki changes this week. Glad to see I can reach it now.

-- Matthew
-- Whose work and life changes are eating up a surprising amount of time

zaiga
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Wiki comments/suggestions

Darkehorse wrote:

Also we lost a few days worth of updates. Nothing major from what I can tell.

-Michael

Are you sure? I can't seem to find the game examples I added (Carc, SoC, PR) >;(

phpbbadmin
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Wiki comments/suggestions

zaiga wrote:
Darkehorse wrote:

Also we lost a few days worth of updates. Nothing major from what I can tell.

-Michael

Are you sure? I can't seem to find the game examples I added (Carc, SoC, PR) >;(

Damn it! Why is it that every ISP I get keeps treating our data like so much garbage? Let me see if I can recover it.

-M

phpbbadmin
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Wiki comments/suggestions

zaiga wrote:
Darkehorse wrote:

Also we lost a few days worth of updates. Nothing major from what I can tell.

-Michael

Are you sure? I can't seem to find the game examples I added (Carc, SoC, PR) >;(

Rene,

I know this sucks, but would you be totally adverse to readding these entries?

In regard to the server, apparently the ISP did send out a notice about the move, but I think my Yahoo spam folder gobbled it up. I probably want to move my contact e-mail over to my G-mail account.

-Michael

zaiga
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Wiki comments/suggestions

Darkehorse wrote:
I know this sucks, but would you be totally adverse to readding these entries?

I haven't saved them myself anywhere, so I'll have to completely rewrite them. I'll see if I can find some time... probably not in the coming weeks, though.

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