Homestar Runner Wiki Forum

Fun Fact Reform
Page 1 of 1

Author:  furrykef [ Sat Nov 20, 2004 3:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Fun Fact Reform

I think the fun facts are getting entirely out of hand. It used to be that we listed only easter eggs -- remember those days? Now in sbemail virus, we have fun facts taking up somewhere between a quarter and a third of the page (temporarily split into "Fun Facts" and "References", but for our purposes this is a Fun Facts section). I know that "virus" had a disproportionate amount of references to other H*R (and possibly non-H*R) stuff and other things to take note of, but come on!

The reason I'm really writing about this is because despite my efforts to try and contain this, people are still adding silly Fun Facts, for instance, a little while ago somebody noted that Edgarware (in sbemail virus) reported "a new record" because Strong Bad never ran the program before. I take issue with this "fun fact" because anybody who has looked at that part of the transcript or seen the e-mail can easily see that for himself, so it's not fun. Moreover, it's not necessarily even a fact. What if Edgarware had a preprogrammed starting record (like an arcade game with a preprogrammed starting high score)? Kind of a silly counterpoint, I know, but it doesn't help any. This "fun fact" just doesn't belong.

Then we get "fun facts" that are just a little too obtuse or silly. I'm surprised nobody (as far as I know, anyway) wrote something like, "Strong Bad pronouncing the semicolon as if it were a question mark when he reads the e-mail aloud is a reference to the Greek language." I'm sure if more people knew that Greek uses a semicolon as a question mark, though, somebody would have put that there...

As I said in the thread about "virus" (which I won't dig up the link to, but I'm sure Jones or Tom will if they're not feeling lazy, but I am, so there), perhaps we should start a "fun fact approval process". We would have a single page, something like HRWiki:Fun_Fact_approval or something. (I'm sure somebody could come up with a better name, but the name isn't the point.) A fun fact would be submitted to this approval page under an appropriate heading instead of posted directly. There would be two exceptions to this rule: old pages with few fun facts can have more added freely (those with many should still use the approval process), and stuff that really, really obviously belongs on the page can be posted directly. Stuff posted on the approval page can be added directly by the admins at their own discretion (they have a good sense of what makes a good fun fact); other logged-in users can vote on items that haven't been added yet. Sure, the page will be pretty messy, but it could regularly have stuff moved to archives. Moreover, better that it be a little messy for a few people than a huge mess to everyone. Yes, it will discourage the submission of fun facts, but hey, the way things are getting, that's not necessarily a bad thing.

By the way, what I mean by "obviously belongs" is mostly the extremely obvious references to other toons. Nobody's gonna argue that the "FLAGRANT SYSTEM ERROR" is a reference to 50 e-mails, and nobody will argue that this should be noted. If, however, the poster has the slimmest of doubts that a certain fun fact is notable, it should go through the process. For instance, part of the table turning into a black and red grid may be a reference to StrongBadZone -- but it might not be. You may be pretty sure, but unless you're dead certain, and (this is a key point) unless you're sure everybody else would be dead certain, it needs to go through the process.

This is just one idea, though. Anybody got others? What do you guys think?

- Kef

Author:  TheNintenGenius [ Sat Nov 20, 2004 6:03 pm ]
Post subject: 

Part of me believes this is a good idea, yet part of me thinks that, if a Fun Fact Approval Page were created, not many people would use it and things would just end up going on as-is.

Author:  Hysterical Woman [ Sat Nov 20, 2004 8:03 pm ]
Post subject:  fun facts

I like Fun Facts, because it's nice to learn about all the references and suchlike on It's what being a Homestar geek is about. I would rather have too many fun facts than none at all. I voted to keep things the way they are.

The Fun Fact page idea did interest me, but you didn't explain how it would work. Also, like TheNintendoGenius, I'm not sure people who use it.

Author:  furrykef [ Sun Nov 21, 2004 2:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: fun facts

Hysterical Woman wrote:
The Fun Fact page idea did interest me, but you didn't explain how it would work.

Yes I did. I said people would post a proposed fun fact under the appropriate heading on the page, and admins can either add it themselves or let other people vote on it (which people could do before admins even see it). Adding a fun fact would be just as easy (which I think is a good counter to the argument that "nobody would use it"), you just have to do it on a different page and it won't be added for a while (if it's accepted). Personally, I'd rather have quality over quantity. Fun facts like the ones that were overflowing that page make me want to avoid reading the thing altogether.

By the way, the fun facts header on each page would probably be created with, say a {{funfacts}} template which would include a message that has a link to the approval page. So they just have to click that link first before submitting something for approval, so getting to the page wouldn't be a hassle, either.

Author:  Lunar Jesty [ Sun Nov 21, 2004 3:20 am ]
Post subject: 

The admin are not going to cater to your every whim. It should be like the Wikipedia votes for deletion page. Personally, I think, THIS BEING A WIKI AND ALL, all the mods shold do are punish no goodniks.

Author:  furrykef [ Sun Nov 21, 2004 3:43 am ]
Post subject: 

Lunar Jesters wrote:
The admin are not going to cater to your every whim.

Umm... what the heck is your problem? I'm not trying to rule the wiki or anything. Are you saying I shouldn't make suggestions because I'm not an admin? I do have an idea of what they will and won't go for, y'know. Not saying they'll go for this, but it's not like I'm just walking in and making unreasonable demands that the admins do this or they do that.

It should be like the Wikipedia votes for deletion page. Personally, I think, THIS BEING A WIKI AND ALL, all the mods shold do are punish no goodniks.

I don't think an approval process is contrary to the wiki way (you yourself just brought up the example of Wikipedia's VfD page, which is an approval process to do something). I've said above that it won't be necessary in many cases (most pages still have few fun facts, I think). It's not like people would be prevented from editing the pages directly if they think something really belongs there. Indeed, we could even just let them post the fun facts directly and move them to the approval page if we don't like them.

Author:  Lunar Jesty [ Sun Nov 21, 2004 4:01 am ]
Post subject: 

I missunderstood. I thought you wanted Tom to just go up to a fun fact and say if HE thinks it should stay or go.

Author:  furrykef [ Sun Nov 21, 2004 5:58 am ]
Post subject: 

I talked about it with Tom, and we decided more or less to go ahead and try it out. So, currently, for sbemail "virus" only, we're using the approval process.

* * * * *

EDIT (to keep you anti-double-posters happy)

Well, we already had our first user to break the rule. An anonymous IP, at that, and the "fun facts" had already been rejected (multiple times) or otherwise devoid of value. Sigh.

Anyway, I'd like to paste a comment that The Paper left on my talk page (so that it doesn't look like everybody's dead against this):

The Paper wrote:
What a clever and useful tool you have created! And your newly-developed acronym "STUFF" was a nice choice as well! I think you're doing a good thing here, as noted directly by your recent "policing" of the addition of obvious fun facts in virus - an increasing "annoyance" by new users of wiki (with the IP addresses and "no name brand" edits!) ...Heh. I think you're taking a great step toward creating a coherent list of fun facts - that are just what a veteran wiki user such as yourself would want them to be - fun AND factual. Keep up the great work, buddy. --Teh P. 01:43, 21 Nov 2004 (MST)

(By the way, I can't take credit for the acronym: that was Tom's idea.)

Haven't seen any negative reaction to it on the wiki itself yet (or really at all since the time we set it up), though I'm sure there will be some.

- Kef

Author:  InterruptorJones [ Mon Nov 22, 2004 3:37 pm ]
Post subject: 

Okay, I've been puzzling over this. It's a tricky one.

Yes, the fun facts are out of control. Yes, "reform" is a good thing. The trouble, as always is the newbies and anonymous users. The same sort of people who keep posting stuff on the "H* updates" page just below the "Do not edit this page for any reason" warning.

But, if you can do it, and do it well, and are willing to police this stuff, I think it's a good thing. It will lend an air of official-er..-ness to the whole thing, which will be helpful to newbies who ask "why was my stuff deleted?"

But you have to police it. That means not only checking every single fun fact that gets added, it also means making sure fun facts don't get deleted without going through the process.

Your other challenge will be keeping your "Usables" page organized. It's gonna get ugly, real fast. Take a cue from Wikipedia and put some very clear instructions on how to add your fact-for-deletion and your vote. And consider using sub-headings for each fun fact so there's a [Edit] link for each, since the section for each email runs the risk of getting pretty unwieldy.

You also need to establish a time limit or something on the voting, after which you can say that a deletion has been "decided" upon. A couple days, maybe?

Also, it may be worth archiving that stuff so that you have something to point newbies at and say "see? we voted on it." This might be a legitimate use for subpages; check with the other mods.

Anyway, carry on. I'll be watching to see how this turns out. So far, it seems to be going well.


Also, people seem to be focusing on the "fun" aspect a lot. Now, as a geek, I think a lot of things are fun that others don't. Long division, for example. Anyway, do we want to be removing facts simply because they're not "fun"? What if they're interesting or informative, but not fun? Is "Fun Fact" a misnomer? Something to consider.

Author:  furrykef [ Mon Nov 22, 2004 4:14 pm ]
Post subject: 

Well, when you have three pages of "fun facts", I think any new ones had better be "fun". That's decided by consensus, which is why we have votes.

I, too, thought about the subheadings. We'll need to put in the macro that'll keep them from showing up in the TOC, though (I need to look that up).

I don't think deletion of fun facts has to go through the process: something that clearly does not belong can be taken right off (or moved to the talk page). But in most cases, yes, they should, and we should watch for unwarranted deletions. But I don't think that will be that common because the problematic users are usually adding too many, not taking others away. It's usually the more responsible and logged-in users that do the pruning.

Yeah, I noticed that the anonymous users are a problem. I'm tempted to force people to log in if they want to edit anything -- I believe that is possible with MediaWiki, isn't it? Then when somebody does it then we have somebody to say "don't do that" to.

- Kef

Author:  racerx_is_alive [ Mon Nov 22, 2004 5:12 pm ]
Post subject: 

To me, this seems like a good use for the Discussion page attached to each e-mail.

I think a header or a footer to the Fun Facts: section could say something like:

Use the Discussion page for this page to get a consensus before adding or deleting iffy fun facts.

Author:  InterruptorJones [ Mon Nov 22, 2004 5:31 pm ]
Post subject: 

racerx makes a good point. Use the same format as the Usables page but move it to each email's talk page instead.

Author:  furrykef [ Mon Nov 22, 2004 5:32 pm ]
Post subject: 

Well, with our new system (should we keep it), that's the way it will still be handled for most pages. For instance, somebody added "little animal" to the STUFF page and I said, no, we shouldn't do that. The STUFF page is for pages that would overflow with fun facts given half the chance, like "virus". Otherwise the talk page would either overflow with votes or people won't put as many fun facts there, because talk pages aren't dedicated to stuff like that; they're more general.

Also, this keeps the worst of the fun fact problem concentrated in one place: the admins don't want to monitor a bunch of talk pages (and the ordinary users would want to even less). Also, people who go to vote on one thing might come across something for another toon/e-mail that they normally wouldn't have, and vote on that as well.

Remember, the idea is that the STUFF page is mostly for emergency cases like "virus", where the normal way of doing things just doesn't seem adequate.

Author:  InterruptorJones [ Mon Nov 22, 2004 5:35 pm ]
Post subject: 

furrykef wrote:
the admins don't want to monitor a bunch of talk pages (and the ordinary users would want to even less)

Hmm, good point.

Author:  ramrod [ Mon Nov 22, 2004 7:00 pm ]
Post subject: 

What I think what we should do is keep the fun facts, but make sure that they don't get too out of hand, like in virus.

Author:  furrykef [ Mon Nov 22, 2004 7:09 pm ]
Post subject: 

Umm, great. That tells me nothing whatsoever. :P

Author:  ramrod [ Mon Nov 22, 2004 7:14 pm ]
Post subject: 

What I mean is that we should keep it the way it is now. It's fine, but we just have to make sure that people don't try to add all types of crazy crap to it.

Author:  furrykef [ Mon Nov 22, 2004 7:38 pm ]
Post subject: 

Yeah, but we need a means of doing that. And I think that means of doing that needs to be more elaborate than ripping out the same thing for the 1024th time.

Author:  Drhaggis [ Sat Dec 04, 2004 1:30 am ]
Post subject: 

I have stated my case before, but I think we should use the Talk Pages as they are intended: To discuss the content of the pages.

Having it all debates in one spot is a step backwards.

Admins dont need to keep track of all the discussions going on because the community decides on content, not Admins. There is no need for an admin to approve a fun fact.

People will be adding all types of crazy crap to articles for the lifetime of the Wiki, such is its nature. This is true if fun facts are debated on a Stuff page, or on the Talk page.

Dr Haggis

Author:  The_KOT [ Tue Jan 04, 2005 12:39 am ]
Post subject: 


Author:  ramrod [ Tue Jan 04, 2005 12:55 am ]
Post subject: 

The_KOT wrote:
KOT, try not to SPAM please. Anyways.... The STUFF is a good idea because now we can a discussion about the facts. It should be like, there's two weeks of voting on a certain fact, and if there is a over whelminling (sp?) majority, then it's decided. If it's close, then let it go for another week.

Author:  thefreakyblueman [ Tue Jan 04, 2005 12:56 am ]
Post subject: 

The_KOT wrote:

...excuse me? What does this mean?

Author:  furrykef [ Tue Jan 04, 2005 1:09 am ]
Post subject: 

It menas that he bumped this thread for absolutely no reason.

Hang him. ;)

Author:  TheNintenGenius [ Mon Jan 10, 2005 5:51 pm ]
Post subject: 

The only thing I can say about STUFF as it is right now is it seems to have descended into madness since I left somehow. It's such a maze of bad formatting and overabundance of "disputed" fun facts that I'm scared to even look at the thing now.

Author:  AgentSeethroo [ Mon Jan 10, 2005 7:11 pm ]
Post subject: 

Is there a team that has the specific job of verifying and approving fun facts?

The STUFF page is nice and all, but it's a mishmash of crap, last I checked.

Perhaps a few people could step up and take the challenge?

Author:  TheNintenGenius [ Mon Jan 10, 2005 8:39 pm ]
Post subject: 

I would, but at the moment I'm still trying to get myself re-acclimated to the Wiki after my break. This might be tricky too, since looking at the Wiki more thoroughly, most of the most recent problems seem to have all been created by some loony called the Fun Fact Avenger, since he was apparently the one adding Fun Facts in clumps of three to the page, and also seems to have the rather boneheaded and bizarre theory that the Chapman Bros. never make pop culture references at all, ever, period, so even insinuating that the Chapmans would reference to ANYTHING outside the world of Homestar is absolutely ridiculous.

Of course, I should be putting it on this user's userpage, but whatever.

Author:  FireBird [ Tue Jan 11, 2005 12:16 am ]
Post subject: 

It's most certainly one of the biggest piles of crap I've seen in a while. It takes like, five billion years to load.

Maybe we could create pages like [[HRWiki:Select the Usable Fun Facts (emails)]] or [[HRWiki:Select the Usuable Fun Facts (toons)]] or whatever. Just a guess.

Another helpful thing would to not give fun fact a name. It's confusing. And maybe a shorter intro. Ooh, ooh! And a Table of Contents, while were at it!

Author:  GARBLEDINA!! [ Tue Jan 11, 2005 4:31 am ]
Post subject: 

Drhaggis wrote:
Admins dont need to keep track of all the discussions going on because the community decides on content, not Admins. There is no need for an admin to approve a fun fact.
Dr Haggis

:sm: I could not agree with this more. From my understanding, this is the whole point of the wiki. If everything we suggested had to go through approval, why would it matter if we updated or not? Wouldn't it be easier to just have the admins update the site and no one else work on it? Part of the enjoyment I've had on this is that I can update something and see it there immediatley, and not have to hope it gets approved or hope it is even read. Approval for fun facts...well, takes all of the "fun" out of it. I've had a few things of mine deleted (no clue as to why, but whatever, I just put them back in), but mostly the things I update stay there.

Here's an idea: what if we tagged every fun fact we added? This way, we could know who typed what and if there is disagreement, it can be discussed in the attached email thread. Just an idea.

Author:  AgentSeethroo [ Tue Jan 11, 2005 2:41 pm ]
Post subject: 

Here's an idea: what if we tagged every fun fact we added? This way, we could know who typed what and if there is disagreement, it can be discussed in the attached email thread. Just an idea.

Not a bad idea, either. However, it would make the pages look a little TOO crowded and unorganized. Also, we'd have a jillion threads going on about one fun fact or another.

Back to the "STUFF" team, I'm not suggesting that the Admins review and approve everything that goes on the site. I'm just saying that if we don't like something, it goes and stays gone.

Author:  TheEggman [ Wed Apr 06, 2005 2:49 am ]
Post subject: 

Oh yeah, this topic is dealing with the current problem... yeah... cuz "Keeping everything as is" is working out SOOOO well...

Page 1 of 1 All times are UTC
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group