Posts Tagged ‘wiki’

Race!Fail: Search terms generating visits

March 15th, 2009

Over at Fan History, we’ve mostly been reading about Race!Fail. Our reading has been helped along because another admin and a contributor have been developing a list of links related to Race!Fail.  I first noticed a few search visits a few days ago as a result of the articles and so I was kind of curious as to what people were interested in Race!Fail as it pertained to Fan History’s content and how they interacted with it.  So we took a poke through Google Analytics and the following table should give you a good idea.  We thought it was interesting.  (Coffeeandink?  Not so interesting.  Patrick Hayden? Much more interested.  Will Shetterly? Not as fascinating as Elizabeth Bear.)

Fan History's Race!Fail related keywords as of March 15 2009: bear eliazbeth novel race bear poc elizabeth blood and iron   racefail coffeeandink coffeeandink outed elizabeth bear   writing the other   elizabeth bear + racism elizabeth bear cultural appropriation elizabeth bear debate elizabeth bear literary elizabeth bear open apology elizabeth bear other elizabeth bear race elizabeth bear race fail elizabeth bear racism elizabeth bear racist elizabeth bear racist character elizabeth bear wank elizabeth bear writing the other elizabeth bear   blood iron racist elizabeth bear   racism elizabeth bear   racist elizabeth bear   wank elizabeth bear, racism elizabeth bear's racist comments fandom wank elizabeth bear fandom wank race fail fandom wank race fail 09 higher races doctor who wiki kerfuffle doom cultural bear livejournal race wank livejournal racewank neilsen hayden race wank nielsen hayden race fail patrick nielsen hayden bear elizabeth patrick nielsen hayden deleted journal patrick nielsen hayden race fail patrick nielsenhayden wank patrick nielson hayden bear racism race and fandom race fail race fail 09 wank race fail nielsen haydens race fail wiki race fail   + nielsen hayden race in fandom race wank race wank meta livejournal racefail 09 racefail 90 bear racefail fandom wank racefail fandomwank racefail patrick nielsen hayden racefail wank racefail, patrick nielsen hayden racefail/wank09 racewank race-wank racewank 09 racewank 2009 racewank hayden stargate race fail teresa nielsen hayden  teresa nielsen hayden racist teresa patrick race nielsen hayden the doom race wank theresa nielsen hayden race science fiction theresa nielsen-hayden   wiki coffeeandink wiki race fail will grace list wiki will shetterly race fail writing the other elizabeth bear writing the other   elizabeth bear writing the other, elizabeth bear

The most commonly searched for phrase getting here was Elizabeth Bear Racism.  The most pages per visit?  Race-Wank.  Interesting stuff.

#rcc09 RecentChangesCamp patterns

February 22nd, 2009

Session notes:

This presentation is not about grudging about this time. It is about discussing patterns in a non-personal.


  • Absent organizers

Past organizers who didn’t help this year. New organizers who fell off. Things happen in their lives so that they can’t happen.

  • Chaos happening.
  • Challenge of volunteer management
  • Mutual accountability

Wiki people don’t necessarily want to have a person with whom the buck stops because we are wiki people. The flat mush is also an issue because there is no one person who can drive tings necessarily.

  • Venue finding

How hard it is to find a venue? This is a date finding issue. It needs to be done far in advanced.

Issues with who is planning the date. Need more lead time to get sponsorship. We need dates declared.

This year the mailing list had the venue found earlier. It was better than previous years.

  • Mailing list vs. wiki

Some information found on the mailing list should have been put on the wiki that was not on the mailing list. The wiki is a way that some people prefer to communicate only.

Users should be allowed to chose their way to get notifications. Don’t try to force people to get e-mail notifications of changes to the wiki.

  • Stagnant community

There is a feeling with some people that we haven’t grown in terms of how many people attend that some of the early organizers would have wanted to attend. We didn’t do enough out reach to some of the related communities. This could be a big part of a marketing. We didn’t do that in ways that we could have. Outreach needs to improve.

  • West coast attendance

Some people are not going to attend unless wiki events are held in California. If it moved off the west coast, would people attend? Could we do it successfully? How do you tap into local communities tech wise to promote events?

  • Open Space model

This is a good space. Some people are scared to use Open Space. They see it as hippy dippy. There are some cultures aren’t used to it. They are scared of trying to use the space.

  • Persistence of community

What do you do to invite the gifts of people in the community to look into the future? Ask people to help with the future based on how they self identified how to give. Volunteers need to be plugged into a system where they an be most effective. Project management tool might be needed as a way of trying to help organize the event. This could also help create mutual accountability. It helps create a safe space where people can create a safe space where they need to step out.

  • Reinventing the wheel

We know things people need for conference. Every time, identifying those things again takes time. Things include t-shirts, conference space, invitations, facilitator, food, sponsorship.

You could create a date independent invitation where you ask people to help get the space as part of the invitation.

People worked for a month to rewrite the previous invitation. Do we need to do that again? Invitation might need to be customized for different communities. People who aren’t techy. People in neighboring tech communities. People who use them as part of their job (university, government, business professionals). Passionate people who use wikis but don’t see them as part of their use as part of their identity.

  • Sponsorship

We don’t treat sponsors right at RCC. We need to print banners about them. The sponsors aren’t on the wiki as well as they could be. Some sponsors are reliable but a lot aren’t. We need a committee for sponsorship so that there isn’t any duplicating of sponsorship.

  • Conference call

Is conference call a good thing? Is it a walled garden? If we do it, we need an agenda before the conference call to encourage people to attend.

  • Future wiki events

Wikimania is in late August 2009 in Brazil.

WikiSym is in the fall in October in October in Orlando.

Wikimania 2010 will be in western Europe.

WikiWednesdays are local and scattered. There isn’t really formal organization.

We need a RCC in the late winter, early spring for the next one.

People have been tossing up an idea of a west coat wikimedia meet up. It doesn’t necessarily effect our community.

Is there a value opportunity for moving the event? Do we lose momentum by moving the event around? Do we lose the leadership? If it isn’t kept in Portland, there isn’t a great way to do that.

Fan History is optimized for strange key phrases… like incest wiki.

January 9th, 2009

Over on twitter, I’ve been having some conversations with SEO non-fandom folks about key phrase optimization. The major question I’ve had is would a site rather be optimized to have one keyword as the top search result or ten keywords which appeared as number ten in the search results? The answer tends to be context specific. I’d love to get more opinions on that. What are your thoughts?

As a result of these conversations, I went looking through Fan History for phrases where we’d been optimized near the top. One phrase that I see about once a day is “incest wiki” which Fan History ranks number 2… right behind Wikipedia. (And ahead of Fandom Wank, and FanLore which are both fandom wikis. And ahead of wikitionary, simple English Wikipedia.) This phrase that we’re optimized for gets us an average of 4 visits a day. (Where the average visitor for that keyphrase visits 2.5 pages per visit.) It isn’t one we were looking for optimization wise but we’ll take it because there is a huge community of incest fan fiction fans around and there have been some large discussions about it that have had an impact on fandom.

The incest article could use a lot of work because it really isn’t as good as it could be. If you’re knowledgeable about the subject, please contribute.

Wow! 39499 edits…

January 8th, 2009

Fan History was created back in May 2006 so it has been around for a while. For much of this time, I was one the only contributors amongst a handful semi-regular contributors. I knew at one point that my edit total was above 15,000 but since my status was changed to bot status (to remove it from normal view on RecentChanges as when I start editing, I can make 50+ edits in a few hours which made finding other edits hard), I hadn’t had an accurate count.

So last night, I was chatting with some wiki folk and Nick Burrus of AboutUs offered to get me a total count. That count, found here, totals 39449 edits on 17250 pages. Given a rough estimate of 930 days of Fan History’s existence, that’s an average of about 42 edits a day. Lots of wiki work. :)

A wiki isn’t about one person though. It is about a lot of people who help out. ContributionScores gives an idea of others who help out. Excluding admins, SLWatson made 6201 edits. Followed closely behind is Susanmgarrett who made 6090 edits. Greer Watson made 1787 edits. Maygra made 764 edits. That’s a whole lot of contributing and the admin staff at Fan History is deeply grateful. We wouldn’t be as awesome as we are if you all weren’t helping out.

Autopatrol: Not all edits will be looked at…

December 6th, 2008

… not that we promised it before. We’ve added a new user class to Fan History. Details below.

Patrolled edits are edits that an administrator has looked at. They are generally looked at to determine if the edits are formatted correctly and in compliance with the rules. All edits done by non-bots and non-admins are generally, but not always looked at to insure that. Users who have been put in the auto patrolled user group will not have their edits looked at by an administrator. Their edits will automatically be marked as patrolled.

A special class of users was created where their edits will not be monitored. The group belongs to a user group called Autopatrol. Fan History’s administrators decided to create this special class of users because we have a few regular contributors who consistently make great edits and they can come in and sometimes make a few hundred edits in the course of the week. That’s a lot of edits to mark as reviewed when admins know from past experience that all those edits are likely to be good ones. To save time and make it easier to look at edits that need to be looked at more, this group was created.

Fan History administrators make every effort to patrol edits for violations of the site’s rules. Because our staff is volunteer run, our staff is unpaid and our admins have lives and other interest, we cannot promise that every edit that is done by users who are not in the non-patrolled category will be looked at. The site is not responsible for the content created, updated and added by contributors. If you discover an edit that violates the rules or that you are otherwise concerned about, please contact an administrator at or leave a comment on the appropriate talk page.

Spotlighting great wiki contributions – and contributors!

December 4th, 2008

Here at FanHistory we like to take the time to thank those who have put in considerable effort to help update the site and make it better by sharing their fannish knowledge, experiences, and time.

This week I’d like to take a moment to thank two individuals especially for their recent efforts. Susan M Garrett has worked very hard in the past to help make Forever Knight one of the best-organized categories on FanHistory. If you’re interested in expanding or reorganizing the information on your favorite fandom on FF, the Forever Knight category is a fantastic model to follow and copy, thanks to Susan’s work. She has also done the same with The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne, and lately has put a lot of work into the Star Trek category as well.

Organizational/structural work on the wiki can be tedious and challenging–and something I often find myself sludging through when I’d rather be working on actual content–so we really appreciate those who put the time into helping out with this challenge. Thanks, Susan!

Another individual we’d like to thank right now is DM-Kellie, a member of Police fandom who worked very hard on a wonderful entry about “The Flag”, a unique fan-driven project that became a major component of the Reunion Tour for many Stewart Copeland fans. The wiki entry does a beautiful, thorough job of explaining the Flag’s history and importance within the fandom, and is just the kind of well-developed, detailed content I know we’d love to see more of here at FanHistory.

The article on The Flag is also mirrored between FanHistory and The PoliceWiki, as part of the partnership between our two sites. We would love to see more such partnerships develop with time, as it helps provide exposure and potential increased user bases for both wikis.

So once again, thanks to our “spotlighted” contributors for their hard work! We can’t grow this site without the efforts and input of such individuals who volunteer their time into bettering the information on the fandoms they know and love best.

RecentChangesCamp 2008

May 13th, 2008

From May 9 to May 11, I attended RecentChangesCamp 2008 in Palo Alto, California. It was a camp, conference, gathering of people who are involved in some ways with wikis. People who showed up included representatives from of Wikipedia including their CTO and a few people really involved with the organization, people affiliated with Wikia on the technical, business and community end, representatives from wikifarms including WikiSpaces, a few academics interested in the collaborative possibilities for using wikis in an educational setting, a number of people involved in all levels of WikiHow, representatives from AboutUS, people who had taken their wikis into the commercial realm, and people who run smaller wikis that are in various stages of content and audience development.

I attended this event with pretty much zero expectations regarding it. I learned about it because one of the things that we’ve been talking about behind the scenes on Fan History is how there is a wiki community out there. We’ve had discussions regarding how to plug in to it, what it could do for us and our place in it. We also knew that Fan History is at a stage where we’re almost ready to take things to the next level. It is just something scary to contemplate. None of the people most heavily involved with Fan History had done something similar and none were particularly plugged in to the bigger wiki family. There seem to be local groups around in some places which have meet up that sort of deal with these issues but non were particularly local to me. So having heard about RecentChangesCamp 2008, it seemed to be a really good event to attend to help me learn about various issues, do the networking that we know needs to be done and then take that information back to Fan History, to share with our administrators and users. Still, it felt like a crap shoot. That’s a lot of money to go when you have no clue if it will help you meet your goals for attending. But things came together and I attended. And it was worth every penny and anxiety about attending.

RecentChangesCamp 2008 was run using OpenSpace. A description of OpenSpace is: “In Open Space meetings, events and organizations, participants create and manage their own agenda of parallel working sessions around a central theme of strategic importance, such as: What is the strategy, group, organization or community that all stakeholders can support and work together to create?” I didn’t really know this before I got there and my first thought was “How is this going to work?” but work it did. There was a really diverse group of people there, with various needs and various interests who created their own panels. They included a panel on who edits Wikipedia, a panel about encouraging people to become more involved with wiki editing, a panel on the future of Wikipedia, a panel on how to use wikis in education, discussions on which wiki platform worked best, and some more technical discussions.

For my part, I facilitated two discussions: A panel on wikis and fandom and a panel on marketing your wiki. The fandom one was interesting. It turned in to not what I necessarily thought it would be. At times, it was more of a general overview of what is fandom, how does fandom identify, who is watching fandom than it dealt with some of the very real policy issues that Fan History has to deal with: Fandom privacy concerns, use of real names, identity issues, behavioral patterns in fandom that at times run counter to the expected norms for wiki behavioral norms. Some of those were covered in brief. We also discussed funny things in fandom, some of the bad things fandom does, etc. I also tried to make clear that while there are bad things fans do, there are plenty of good things. The bad are just easier to mention, funnier to talk about and are easier in terms of creating discussion. I did feel reassured by the end of the panel that Fan History is doing many things right in terms of how we’ve transitioned in our policies to be less about my personal project and more of a project for the whole fannish community. It is awesome when your peers, in this case people in the wiki community who have been there and done that, reaffirm your actions or give you advice on how to improve in areas where you need help.

The other panel I facilitated was about marketing your wiki. The first half of this panel was mostly a conversation between myself and Evan who ran WikiTravel and runs vinismo. He also helps out with We discussed various strategies for marketing wikis. Both of us were pretty much on the same page regarding how to do that. Our marketing strategies were pretty similar. Contact bloggers. Use tools like digg to improve your search engine optimization. Know your community. Network and network. Use various tools to help with search engine optimization. Find content for your wiki that makes you unique. Give people a reason to invest in your project. Get the right people involved. Use controversy to your advantage. When Evan left, the discussion continued with two or three other people where the conversation tended to be a bit more context specific to specific needs. There was one guy who wanted to make that panel but couldn’t and we couldn’t really reconnect before the end of the camp in order talk about the subject more so we met for breakfast in the Mission district the next day to discuss it.

I also attended a panel on community building, and a discussion on using wikis for data gathering and how to include that, how to make sure the data is good, etc. I also took part in a discussion on using wikis educationally and some of the issues connected with that. One thing that came up was the question of training: Do you need to train people to gain online and information literacy? Or is it something that needs to be absorbed and shared through a broader culture?

Outside of the panels, a lot of what I did was networking. It was one of the major reasons I went. For anyone thinking of going to this camp in the future or thinking of attending a similar event for this reason, it really is worth it. It might be worth checking out who is going to help determine if the people you want to and need to network will be there. I knew that Wikia looked like it had people who would be there, Wikimedia foundation had people who would be there, a few academics who were doing work related to my MSEd, people who participated in smaller wikis who I could discuss specific smaller wiki issues with would be there. And really, fantastic. I got the chance to chat with a lot of those folks. They were really helpful. It reinforced one of the themes of the camp of the wiki ohana. This is a community of helpful people who definitely have a sense of community that extends beyond their individual projects. (And that extends beyond just wikis to include giving people rides to places like Oakland.)

I also had a lot of fun. There were interesting side discussions for those of us being butterflies. One involved what a Amish wiki would look like and what the principles of an Amish wiki would be. It wasn’t very serious but it was seriously entertaining. There was another conversation about fandom wank and the Open Source Boob Project. The who participated in it added to the entertainment level.

Fan History comes away my having attended this having gained a few things:
1. Fan History is ready to be part of a wider wiki community.
2. We’ve got contacts who can help us in the future.
3. We have leads on how to grow the wiki in order to be more successful.
4. We gained information that can be shared with others who help out with Fan History.

If you’re in fandom and you’re helping with a wiki, I can’t urge you enough to be bold and try to participate in the wiki community on a wider level.

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