1. Post all suggestions for Pokemon Showdown in this thread. Do NOT post them in the Suggestion Box!
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rethinking the way smogon is operated.

Discussion in 'The Suggestion Box' started by Umbreon Dan, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. Umbreon Dan

    Umbreon Dan 〉λ=
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    i just got word that runescape is replacing its traditional gameplay manual with a wiki.
    this is a children's game that does not ban everyone under 13 and needs to keep the site family-friendly. if runescape is switching to a wiki, smogon does not have the "pokemon players are too stupid" excuse.

    other morons who successfully run a wiki: these people and these people.

    tennisace: i really thought i made this as clear as i possibly could. the difference between all traditional media and the smog is that all traditional media is founded on money and the smog is not. that is a fundamental difference and should affect the approach.
  2. Alchemator

    Alchemator my god if you don't have an iced tea for me when i
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    This doesn't mean that Runescape is making the right decision. In fact, I don't see how this change affects any arguments here in the slightest.
  3. makiri

    makiri My vast and supreme will shall be done!
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    I am locking this now.
  4. iDunno

    iDunno

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    lol I wouldn't say that conservapedia is successful...
  5. Pwnemon

    Pwnemon is a more intuitive player
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    I'm not in support of open Wiki, but I would like to say that this has happened MANY times in the past; if not in the threads themselves, it's called the Small Subjective Changes thread. Unfortunately I cannot really link to any examples because posts are deleted when implemented. But trust me it does happen.
  6. capefeather

    capefeather no shit
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    I highly doubt that something as big as an non-viable uploaded set would be in the Small Subjective Changes thread...

    Anyway, I'm personally hoping that at least some of the suggestions here are considered in some form, because there is a lot of truth in here and I'd hate to see it go to waste.
  7. macle

    macle frog jesus died for your sins
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    I just don't believe wiki is useful to a competitive site. Smogon's strategy dex as been the bread and butter for the site for vary long. It seems silly to stop it.

    Right now we have the most competitive and knowledgeable people posting analyses on site. I don't see how opening it up to anyone that wanders by with make it better.
  8. eric the espeon

    eric the espeon maybe I just misunderstood
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    sorry for the delay, zara brought up some fairly sane points which needed answering properly. then i had to move temporarily and... yea. anyway.

    That's not really my argument, though it's not entirely off the mark (though the non-english thing is entirely off the mark :p). My argument is partly that not everyone's going to write a whole guide by themselves (with some grammar checks), and that writing part of a page which is easy to collaborate on is an efficient way of doing something useful for the site. While it's true that smogon has a hell of a lot of top class contributors who've learned the system and can push things through, a large majority of contributors initially would start off with a small contribution, and seeing that work get used, or seeing that correction go live makes them much more likely to stick around. These contributors may not be of the same caliber as the current pre contribs anc contribs, but they have the potential to be just as good, and I believe are turned off by the current system. The other part of my argument is that maintaining information on many constantly changing metagames is vastly better done "live" than in big updates coming from forums, which very often have a significant time delay due to most writers not doing the whole thing super quickly. It's not a moral thing, it's a practical thing. I see it as a vastly superior contribution system if there is less in the way of people improving the site.

    There is a very easy solution to this: sighted revisions. That way edits may be submitted to anything, but must be approved by a trusted editor. You may say this is the same as small changes, but having the edit button clearly on any page, being able to preview the change, and make the edit directly are HUGELY important.

    If you don't think there will be people willing to check these edits.. you're wrong. The number of intelligent hardworking editors we have is easily enough to check a huge number of edits, and with clear guidelines handy it's not all that hard. The time spent checking edits is vastly smaller than it would be if those changes were posted in the small changes thread, which is already seen as an efficient use of badgeholder time.

    I disagree entirely. Wikis are able to handle subjective matter brilliantly when organized carefully, we already have a decision framework in the form of QC who would still play a major part in deciding what sets go up/stay up. Citations on wikipedia? Logs and usage stats on a competitive pokemon site. Experts on subjects? Expert battlers, and, you know what? We even have an objective measure of ability in ladder rankings.. Wikipedia would LOVE to have the set of things we have to refer to when deciding what should stay up.

    This would be a nice step, wikifying the creation process (and something I did/encouraged as a C&C mod), but.. why not go all the way?

    I would not expect a massive increase in quality of what we've got for 4th/5th gen, but with this kind of system I'm confident Smogon would be able to cover many, many more metagames well, and stay up to date much more easily.
  9. Woodchuck

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    I think I see where ete is going with the 'small contributions' thing, but I don't think a wiki is really the way to go with this. I think a neat idea would actually be to do a lot of articles like the threatlists, where each person reserves one 'entry'/section and writes that. People who want to do larger portions could do different things like full analyses, but enabling the splitting up of articles for collaborative work would make doing small contributions much easier. Even in a Pokemon analysis; the overview, set comments, and additional comments could all be delegated to different people. We could even have certain articles set aside for "contributors in training." The task for making the writing styles flow together would ultimately, I guess, land with the GP team, and that's where my idea has its biggest setback imo. I still think that it's worth consideration.
  10. Berserker Lord

    Berserker Lord unreliable analysis writer.

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    While I did have that sort of thing done with the 4th gen UU Clefable analysis, that was only because of a combination of me being under a time strain and not knowing how some of the sets played at all. Your suggestion is only really viable for a very small group of analysis and articles because once one person's done their part, he/she will have to wait on others to do it, and a major problem is that all but one part has been written up, but the last person is taking forever to write. That sort of thing works for a threatlist just because of the amount of writing actually needing to be done. Another reason why threatlists do this is because it allows people who really know how to use that Pokemon to write up a good discription.
  11. capefeather

    capefeather no shit
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    Actually, I may have thought of a possible example of this suggestion already having happened: old SmashWiki. However, I don't remember the details on how it was run, who could edit it, etc. I'm talking about before it went to Wikia.
  12. Lanturn314

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    You know, ete, I get where you're coming from, and the way you're saying you'd go about it makes a lot of sense on some levels. Just a few concerns:

    -One good thing about the current system is that it allows for feedback from people higher up in a way that is easily visible to the contributor and everyone in the community. This helps people to improve contributions in the future. With the wiki, I guess you could vm people to help them out or something, but that seems inefficient, and people might get discouraged if their edits were rejected, especially if they got no feedback whatsoever. The current system guarantees feedback. As someone who might start getting more into C&C once my school work lets up, and as someone who has a few leadership roles IRL, I can say that feedback is incredibly valuable, especially to people just entering the system. Even for people already on QC and GP, feedback is important, because not all QCers and GPers agree with each other all the time. Having the thread there with visible conversations is a far better way to come to a consensus than checking things one by one. It helps everyone improve. If the wiki system had something in place where you could make sure new contributors got some sort of feedback on their submissions (good AND bad), then that would be great. It would have to be easier to follow than bulbapedia's method, though, because that's really chaotic, hard to follow, and not immediately obvious to a new contributor. Also, their system doesn't really force anyone to discuss anything as far as I know.

    -Having unfinished stuff on-site is not ideal. Sure, maybe it would encourage more contributors, but... with the wiki system, if someone just wanted to write a skeleton or submit a moveset with no explanation, would you put that up or not? If so, it wouldn't be pretty, AND there would be no incentive for anyone to work quickly on the rest of it; instead of "rotting in C&C", it might rot on-site instead (which has the added disadvantage of looking unprofessional). If not, then that's not much different from the current system, except not as much would be required of the contributors, and there would be less feedback. From what I understand, in the current system, reserving an analysis to write gets you a big fire lit under you, and thus you're pressured to complete it satisfactorily, and if you do not do so, it gets re-assigned. This is not a bad thing. It encourages high-quality submissions along with high-quality contributors, and quality is much more important than quantity, right?

    -As for time spent checking edits, I'm really not convinced that wikifying the site would decrease that time from what is spent checking the small changes threads. Having a wiki with an obvious edit button would encourage far more edits than having the small changes thread. You probably see this as a good thing, but really, with an obvious button, you're far more prone to noob edits than you are with a thread that people have to search for. The act of searching for the thread is somewhat of a noob screen: even though noobs can post in those threads too, noobs with no knowledge probably aren't as likely to put the effort into looking for the thread and posting in it. People more dedicated to making the site better will make that extra effort. This might not actually turn out to be a problem, but it's something to consider.

    -As Macle said, "Right now we have the most competitive and knowledgeable people posting analyses on site. I don't see how opening it up to anyone that wanders by with make it better." Anyone who wants to contribute under the current system is perfectly free to do so. Anyone we would want to stick around would be the type of person willing to wade through a bit of red tape if it meant a better final result. The current system encourages only the most motivated people to contribute, but again, this is good in that motivated people get things done, AND they get things done well.


    Wow, I wrote an entire wall of text again. Sorry about that. I guess my main concern with the wiki idea is that it seems to encourage the more lazy sorts of submissions, whereas the current system encourages contributors to make well thought-out write-ups. That, and the feedback thing in my first bullet.
  13. eric the espeon

    eric the espeon maybe I just misunderstood
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    Glad I'm getting my points across, and I'll try to answer your concerns.
    Most wiki talk pages are indeed fairly confusing for new users, and don't necessarily get picked up on by editors. Even worse, there's no easy way to tell what you need to read if you've been replying to/editing a large number of pages. However, a combination of watchlists (with a few QCers watching each analysis, not much is going to get past them), and a threaded talk page extension gives a setup which seems significantly superior to most wikis, or for that matter the current one. The ability to discuss specific sets/issues in their own thread+having all the debate regarding an analysis tied closely to it/easily accessible for an interested reader is not to be underestimated.

    So long as it is labeled as such, I do actually think having an unfinished analysis up is better than having nothing. This is because for the reader, they want something which will inform them. They get zero information from a blank page, but a skeleton with some comments will give a reasonable idea of how the poke works/how to beat it. And I think to an extent you've got the incentives the opposite way around, many contributors would not want to be seeing incomplete work on site, so would have an even stronger incentive to get it tidied up asap. But, you're right in a way, there would be a lot less pressure on writers, and a lot let of the "oh god i signed up for this and am letting everyone down", which I think would decrease our burnout rate and lead to much greater productivity in the long term.

    With an appropriate system it's extraordinarily easy to check edits. Yes, I agree that the proportion of inaccurate edits would be higher with a system which puts it on display that users can edit rather than having it on the forums where far from all of the users go. However, the huge increase in overall edits and the fact that unhelpful edits can be denied with minimal effort should more than make up for it.

    As I said at the end of my previous post:
    By letting users chip in, and rewarding them by seeing their effort turn tangibly into something useful, you get a lot more of those users who are useful but may not want to "wade through red tape" as you put it, and get the people who are willing to do that working directly on what needs them most rather than putting barriers that simply slow them. This allows a site running an open contribution system to cover vastly more ground, even if it does not translate into much higher quality for the parts of site which are already a focus.

    I can see the reason for this concern, but lowering the barriers to contribution and making it easy for casual contributors to chip in need not come at the cost of the hardcore writers at all, in fact it should help them as well. Both the little fixes/suggestions and big writeups are important.
  14. zarator

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    Of course I'd agree with this if it were technically possible, Eric. But I hope you realize how different it is from the version presented in the OP. I'm pretty sure that many critics would agree with your point the way you described it in the quoted part.
  15. eric the espeon

    eric the espeon maybe I just misunderstood
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    That part of the OP seems somewhat unclear:
    since it implies that only badgeholders would be able to approve edits (or, "save changes to the site"), but in the paragraph after it speaks as if changes would appear live by any editor. Either way, so long as the policies are set up so that all additional pages that provide information a reasonable number of competitive Pokemon players would find useful, or changes which improve a page, are to be approved asap, and a large enough number of users is given access to approve edits (badgeholders seems like a reasonable group, they should follow policies laid out, and if they don't would have the privilege revoked), things should work very similarly with or without sighted revisions.

    As for technical possibility, it's definitely easy enough if we were to step away from SCMS (PO had a wiki online within two hours of me asking it to be put up), and I'd imagine that with some focused attention from a good programmer SCMS could be brought to the stage where it could handle it (though feature parity with mediawiki or BK's PokeCMS may take significantly more effort).

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