Encyc:Community portal/Archive 1

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This is the Encyc community portal. Encyc and related topics can be discussed here.

The purpose of this page is to serve as a place where Encyc users can get together and develop plans for improvement.

See also[edit]

Issues for discussion[edit]

Feel free to add your own!

What is the purpose of MediaWiki Encyc?[edit]

I propose that this site is best situated to document the history of Wikipedia/Wikipedia Review, the relationships of users there, and also to give articles exiled from Wikipedia a new home. The site can be used for other things, of course, but I modestly suggest that WP topics will be our core competence. One 01:04, 30 August 2008 (EDT)

I disagree. It is ultimately Emperor's decision, and if he wants it to become a kind of Wikiabuse II, then that is his business. The reason why I wrote things here that were not encyclopaedic was really quite simple: many of my posts on Wikipedia Review going back to the beginning had been wiped, or else edited, so that people looking back couldn't get a reliable history of what had happened. Indeed, the whole Kato/CBOrgatrope mess was so confusing that about the only people that really understood what was going on were Somey, Moulton, me and of course Kato himself. Somey and Kato of course had a vested interested in hiding it, and for whatever reason Moulton chose not to speak about it. Most people were just clinging to a misconception of what had happened, and were basing their beliefs on lies. So with Emperor's implied permission, I said what had happened. What I said were not opinions, they were facts of what had happened. Some people have since misrepresented them as opinions and in some cases even called them lies.

With that being said, once that is all tidied up properly, it would be good to have it free to describe anything, as Emperor originally wished. It's not like WP/WR issues make up the majority of articles. Oh wait, maybe they do make up slightly over 50% right now, but it doesn't need to stay that way. Blissyu2 13:48, 30 August 2008 (EDT)

Definitely not WikiAbuse II. I have no desire to replay that one! Emperor 18:30, 30 August 2008 (EDT)

What are our rules for verifiability?[edit]

I've written two modest statements at Encyc:Verifiability and Encyc:Point of view. I propose that some sort of verifiability requirement should be mandatory in the case of controversial and reverted material. At last resort, I believe that users who will not verify article claims may have to be booted, but first verifiability must be established as a background principle. One 01:04, 30 August 2008 (EDT)

I think that we should make sure not to say anything that is libellous. Even if someone's real name is not used (hence avoiding legal repercussions), we should be careful not to say anything that is blatantly false either. If something is false by accident, that is fine, as it can be sorted out. I don't think that we are aiming to have another Encyclopaedia Dramatica. Opinions are good, of course, but in most cases they aren't really appropriate at all. I suppose I have put a few opinions in here, but the majority of what I have said is fact. Some of it can't be verified with links because the links were deleted, but they can be verified by agreed history and logic. In my opinion, that is good enough. Blissyu2 13:50, 30 August 2008 (EDT)

How do we handle opinions in articles?[edit]

Most of the articles on the MediaWiki Encyc have been written by a single user and are deeply infused with that user's point of view.

First, I would like to say that Blissyu's efforts give this site a great running start of useful content. I really appreciate having him there. There are more stories in Category:Former Wikipedia Reviewers than I was aware of or even imagined. That said, most articles on this site do not distinguish between fact, conjecture, and opinion.

I believe that the opinions of Blissyu and others can often be enlightening and welcome in articles. However, opinions must be identified as such. I therefore think that most the articles here will need an overhaul. To this end, I've created the {{opinion}} tag for marking claims that are really just opinions. For example, a sentence that sounds like the author's opinion can be quickly tagged like {{opinion}}.[apparently User:One's personal opinion] Later, these sentences could be rewritten or evaluated by others later.

A related issue is when opinions are relevant to the subject. This is a more open question. For example, I think it's interesting that Blissyu (the former purported owner of WR) has strong views. Should they go in the relevant article? I dunno, but it's not a black-and-white issue. It would be different if it were some random shmoe--like me. Blissy's opinion might matter, mine does not.

In any case, the first step is to mark these opinions as opinion. One 01:04, 30 August 2008 (EDT)

As stated above, in the majority I stated fact, not opinion. Where I did state opinions, I did so rather obviously. For example, on my article on Igor Alexander, it is my opinion that he couldn't possibly be Alex Linder. Who knows, maybe he is. On the other hand, it is a fact that I owned Wikipedia Review until February 16th, 2008, and was still the owner as at when I was banned from there. Some people, however, have stated that they don't accepted that to be fact. I have displayed evidence that proves that (not to mention that it was never disputed by anyone and was claimed thousands of times over), yet some people don't accept that evidence and instead decide to pretend that it is opinion. It is not opinion. It is fact. Blissyu2 13:53, 30 August 2008 (EDT)

I agree that most of what you've written strives for accuracy. The mass of content you created is a good start, and it's the only reason I took notice of this site. But, for example, citing an edit history as "proof" that someone is Chip's sock cannot qualify as fact. It's the basis of an opinion. Most of the other opinions are of this type--not baseless, but not verified fact. //One 18:16, 30 August 2008 (EDT)
The answer to bad speech is more speech, right? Besides, I doubt that things like the history of Wikipedia Review matter much in the great scheme of things. Let people have their opinions. Emperor 18:32, 30 August 2008 (EDT)
Good point there. Janeyryan is not guaranteed to be Chip Berlet. They are, however, guaranteed to be an abusive user who, per Wikipedia's own rules should have been banned, and furthermore they are someone who acts with authority as if they were Chip Berlet. If they are not Chip Berlet then if anything that is worse than if they were, because then they would be taking advantage of his position on Wikipedia but not actually having that position. I thought that it was important to note this, although perhaps it could be written elsewhere. I don't know if Janeyryan is being discussed on Wikipedia Review, but really it is easier to discuss it in a more thorough manner using a wiki. There is nothing libellous or potentially libellous in that article, and it is obviously an opinion, so why is there an issue? Blissyu2 10:54, 31 August 2008 (EDT)
No, it's not obviously an opinion. It's written as a flat fact, just like everything you write. //One 19:16, 31 August 2008 (EDT)
I agree, and I've modified it to reflect that. Let me say that as the checkuser who ran the check on JaneyRyan, had it been Cberlet, I'd have announced it loud and clear. Trust me on that one, and I'm pretty sure Thatcher would have done the exact same - Alison 21:48, 1 September 2008 (EDT)

Is there some threshold of notability for articles?[edit]

For example, some edits suggest that there should only be articles for especially notable users on Wikipedia and WR. I tend to agree, but I propose that this threshold is fairly low. A few hundred WR posts, or opining on several WP controversies is enough that explaining the user's history would be helpful to readers and therefore worthy of an article here. One 01:10, 30 August 2008 (EDT)

I used my own guidelines, which I didn't really tell anyone before, but this is what they were:


  1. They have an existing article elsewhere that is popular and well known (e.g. on Wikipedia, Encyclopaedia Dramatica).
  2. They are/were a moderator/administrator/founding member of Wikipedia Review (there aren't that many of them).
  3. They were in the anti-cabal group of Wikipedia Review (most who were ended up as an admin at some point), which has its own rules for who is worthy (trustworthy, 500+ posts, liked by all).
  4. They had a notable argument with someone on Wikipedia Review (e.g. Malber, Amorrow, Grace Note).
  5. They are a notable administrator of Wikipedia (especially if they have their own sub section on Wikipedia Review).
  6. They are a Wikipedia user with more power than they should have (aka cabal member), e.g. Chip Berlet, Antaeus Feldspar, Lulu of the Lotus Eaters.
  7. They are a sock puppet or suspected sock puppet of either a notable administrator or a user with more power than they should have (e.g. Janeyryan, Sweet Blue Water).
  8. The article documented a well known controversy that might need to be explained.

I also left a clause in there that nobody's privacy would be invaded. If someone made a credible argument that it was invading their privacy to have an article here, then that article could be deleted or else edited to protect their privacy. Blissyu2 14:05, 30 August 2008 (EDT)

We're not paper. As long as our resources can keep up with it, I don't mind having an article about every single Wikipedian. What purpose does deleting such articles serve? Emperor 18:39, 30 August 2008 (EDT)
Given that when you delete things they can be undeleted (and hence still take up the same space), I am not sure why there is a need to ever delete anything - EXCEPT for when it might be breaking a law. I for one agree with the oversight command, although sadly it has been used abusively more often than responsibly (or at least it was in the beginning). I did wipe one particular article here for privacy concerns, and I have had an agreement that there is no point in having an article on Giggy as it seems that his role in trying to hurt me was accidental, and really he has no other claims to fame. Blissyu2 10:56, 31 August 2008 (EDT)

BLP/name issues[edit]

I propose that this site never include real names or purported real names of individuals. We should be here to document the struggles on these sites for the curious, not to ruin reputations. One 01:04, 30 August 2008 (EDT)

I will clarify that, in general:

People's real names will be given for one of the following reasons:

  1. They are a well known public figure, who is sufficiently notable to have an article on Wikipedia that uses their real name, and the article is talking about issues relating to them that describe things that are publicly attributed to their real name (e.g. we can talk about George W Bush on here happily).
  2. They use their real name on the internet and are a notable person per above and do not have a pseudonym that they can go by. In these cases, however, we need to be extra careful about what we say about them. This is why I prefer Snowspinner and Thekohser even though they do go by their real names.

People should not fear having their real names attributed to various things. It is one thing to have people do a web search for "Blissyu2" get various nasty rumours and lies; quite another if that is your real name. Blissyu2 14:09, 30 August 2008 (EDT)

I think these are good rules. //One 18:18, 30 August 2008 (EDT)
Are we planning to be full of "various nasty rumours and lies"? Emperor 18:40, 30 August 2008 (EDT)
I don't think that this would be a plan, no. For one thing, that's what Encyclopaedia Dramatica is for, so why repeat it? But sometimes, with all good intentions, you end up saying something which someone doesn't like. That's the issue. My point is that if we take the Snowspinner vs (his real name) example, Snowspinner the username has done a variety of despicable things, and of course he was the central figure in his own scandal. It is quite reasonable to attribute those things to him the Wikipedia user. On the other hand, I don't think that that should cost him a job or a relationship - unless of course he chooses to use his Wikipedia identity. People from time to time look up on Google people's real names of people they know, even people they just met, to find out about them. If they do that and suddenly find something like that, even though it might be true, well, it doesn't seem to me to be very fair. Snowspinner isn't a public figure, he isn't George Bush, and so I don't think that he should be faced with the same things. Blissyu2 10:59, 31 August 2008 (EDT)

What do we do about edit wars?[edit]

I'm not sure what to say here. We've already had edit wars, and Emperor apparently hopes to take a hands-off approach toward blocks. Any ideas? One 01:04, 30 August 2008 (EDT)

We haven't really had edit wars. At worst, we have reverted once per day. That's not really an edit war. Ultimately some kind of an agreement has been reached. Blocking should be reserved for people who are trying to destroy the site, not for people who want to have their opinions heard. Every place I have managed I have said that I will only ban people who are trying to ruin the site. You DO need to ban them. You should NEVER ban people who are trying to make the place better, no matter how misguided they might be. Unless of course you are trying to make it an exclusive club. Sadly, Jimbo Wales didn't set sensible rules when he started and hence Wikipedia was ruined when they ended up overdoing it. There's nothing wrong with banning vandals, or people who are trying to ruin the place. There is something wrong with banning people who are trying to help to make the site better. Sadly, Wikipedia Review in many ways has gone down the same path. There was nothing wrong with banning Malber and Grace Note. It probably would have been reasonable to have banned David Gerard and Snowspinner, although we didn't. We had to ban Amorrow for legal reasons. But a number of the bans we made we really shouldn't have made. Loyal trusted and well loved users were banned, which really wrecked the place. Of course, it still has a reason for being, but it is being run very very badly. Somey said that he would fix all of those problems but ultimately he made it worse. I hope that Emperor doesn't go down the same path. Other than Grawp's silly renaming (I note that you can no longer move articles) there has been no reason to ban anyone here really. Blissyu2 14:15, 30 August 2008 (EDT)

Actually Grawp's not even blocked anymore. No one is. I guess if things get really out of hand I can start swinging the banhammer, but even then I think the years-long indef. bans of Wikipedia are too draconian. Besides, tracking down sockpuppets and block evaders seems like a big headache. Emperor 18:45, 30 August 2008 (EDT)
What I think that Wikipedia should have done is to ban people outright. No "banned for 1 day" nonsense - just ban them or don't ban them. If you ban them for a while, then think that they deserve another chance, or they write to apologise, then unban them. Bans should only ever be for when they are trying to wreck the project. If someone who was trying to wreck the project and was banned for it comes on under a new username and isn't trying to wreck the project, it is utterly stupid to ban them. The whole concept of sock puppetry is stupid. It is one thing to punish people for using 2 accounts at once to rig votes and win edit wars - I agree with that. But banning people for being suspected of being someone else who was banned, when the new person isn't doing anything wrong is utterly, utterly stupid. They are almost always guesses anyway, and they get it wrong more often than they get it right. What is the point? It just creates a nasty air about it. I am sure that that was not Jimbo's aim when he started it. Blissyu2 11:03, 31 August 2008 (EDT)

Is a rule-based system the best way to run the Encyc MediaWiki?[edit]

This is quite a Moulton-like question. As Emperor, agreeing that rules will take priority over my whims is quite an idea! In some ways, this could make things harder, in that evil genius game-players would have an advantage over well-meaning mavericks. Emperor 18:28, 30 August 2008 (EDT)

I have been to many internet projects over the years, from blog sites to muds to talkers to web forums to MMORPGs, to turn based online strategy games to real time strategy games. In the end, the majority of them put up 1 single page worth of rules. These rules will be decided on by the owner, although other people can advise them. Even Blizzard only has guidelines, and at a whim any of their administrators can ban anyone at all for any reason at all, which basically is because they don't like them. I have found so far 3 places that had what they pretended to be "laws", that went for more than 1 page. They were: Live Journal, a talker called Crystal Palace and Wikipedia. In these cases, if someone was banned, their name was smeared forever, they would destroy their lives and so forth. Of course, Live Journal at least kept their ban logs private, but LJ Drama would happily bash whoever got banned and make up stories about them, so it was just as bad. The worst of the lot was Wikipedia. The main reason why the smears are as bad as they are is because they pretend that they have real laws. How many people who were banned from Wikipedia actually broke any of their rules? How many people, who broke rules, are still there? Janeyryan in almost every edit has broken a Wikipedia rule, yet is allowed to remain happily, while someone who didn't do a single thing against a single one of their rules got an indef ban after 8 productive months just because someone thought that they were me.

I have also seen places that have no rules at all. In my opinion these places tend to be not quite as bad as the ones with huge rules, but are nonetheless worse than the ones with general guidelines. Usually 1 A4 page worth, with 10 1-line rules is a good way to go.

My rules for my MUD, as a guideline for you, are:

  1. Have fun.
  2. Do not ruin the fun of anyone else.
  3. Do not do anything that breaks any laws. If in doubt, don't.
  4. Do not multiplay (if an imm, can have your imm and main character only).
  5. Do not cheat. If in doubt, don't, per rule 3.
  6. Generally agree with the theme of the place and the idea of it.
  7. Do not give spoilers to people who don't want to know them (per rule 2).

Actually we only have 7 rules. I have never banned anyone, and have so far penalised 3 people - all for bug abuses. In each case, I gave a warning and removed the advantages that they gained from the bug abuse.

Something like that, or along those lines, is all that is required. These are, of course, guidelines. In the end, if someone went on there and started screaming out abuse to me and how much I suck, I would most likely ban them. You don't need a rule to say that, you just do it. Blissyu2 11:15, 31 August 2008 (EDT)

  • The purpose of a set of rules is to define a fair game. When everyone plays by the same rules, the game is fair. But note that rules define a game (which is a special case of drama). When the rules of the game allow for some creativity (as they do in a dialogue system where free-form conversation is a big part of the game), then the game is better characterized as a drama. The long standing belief in "Law and Order" (i.e. the belief that rule-driven systems are orderly, stable, and predictable) is simply a popular misconception. Well over a century ago, mathematicians laid the foundation for Chaos Theory, which reveals and demonstrates that rule-driven systems are inherently chaotic in nature (in the mathematical sense of the term). In other words, Politics is a Game of High Drama. Moulton 14:50, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
One thing I like about rules is that they give new users an idea what to expect in response to certain situations. They can then avoid blundering into situations where they get demonized. Auggie 15:12, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Well, I suppose if you are going to stick with rules, then you can make a rule against demonizing people. Of course, that begs the question of who referees or judges an instance of demonization. Would you empower someone who is feeling demonized to simply state, "I am feeling demonized," whereupon the demonizer is automatically obliged to cease and desist? Moulton 15:27, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm fairly conflicted about the whole thing. I see rules as tools we can use, but they have limitations. They're kind of like fixed fortifications in warfare (Patton's "monuments to human stupidity"). Kind of useless unless you have good people backing them up. "Brave men are a city's strongest tower of defence - Alcaeus" ... so ideally if you have a bullying situation the decent people in the crowd will take charge and make things right. Auggie 15:57, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
  • I can understand your cognitive dissonance. You may have come to the game of online communities too late to be familiar with the mantra of The Well: "Tools Not Rules." This mantra reminds us that there is something fundamentally different between tools and rules. Think of a toolbox. You can reach into the toolbox and pick out the right tool for the right job, where the right tool is the best one for the job at hand. A rule is generally a restriction on the use of some power. But very often the restriction only applies to the lower classes, not to the priestly class. A better analogy for tools would be a library of functions that anyone is free to call upon, on an equal basis. My favorite tool is Creative Problem-Solving. It's a tool that anyone is equally free to use. And only a woolly fool (like Gomi) would have the hubris to try to outlaw it. Moulton 20:46, 24 September 2010 (UTC)

How can we best complement Wikipedia?[edit]

Although it claims to be the sum of knowledge, Wikipedia has effectively ceded whole areas of knowledge because of notability standards, deletionism, etc. There's an opportunity here to fill in the gaps.

In addition, Wikipedia is becoming clogged with media. We can avoid slow-loading pages and system demands by remaining text-only, while at the same time keeping operating expenses dirt cheap. Emperor 18:28, 30 August 2008 (EDT)

Right. I think that Wikipedia has 2 main weaknesses:

  1. With regards to controversial and topical issues, they cannot hope to agree with NPOV and hence either adopt 1 POV or else they have a mixture of different ones, which makes it impossible to read and because of all of the focus on bias they often forget the factual accuracy of it.
  2. There are a number of controlled articles that are perverted towards a false perspective. Whilst the idea of a controlled article is fine in theory, what it needs to balance it is a controlled article that represents another perspective.

If we could have articles that dealt with these issues, then we would be set.

In other words, if we had articles on controversial and topical issues, that focussed on facts and didn't worry about whether it was biased or not, then we would be having more useful articles than the ones on Wikipedia are. If an article was controlled towards a false perspective and we were able to show a more accurate perspective, then that would be useful too.

I don't know if that is what you are aiming for. There are many weaknesses with Wikipedia, obviously. But striving for such things as trying to do it better than Wikipedia does would be a good thing. Blissyu2 11:20, 31 August 2008 (EDT)

Who is our audience?[edit]

I'd like to write at a reading level below that of Wikipedia. Not quite like Simple English, but I think that the academic-speak at Wikipedia has gone way overboard and made it much less useful as a general purpose encyclopedia than it used to be. I've been thinking that it might be nice to aim towards the level of a bright high school student. In this way even articles about mundane things like paper could end up being more useful here. Emperor 18:28, 30 August 2008 (EDT)

Simple English Wikipedia, in actual fact, writes in a far too complicated way. Just the same, if it was written to a level that the average person who would read it could understand it then that would be good. Most of the time, Wikipedia is fine. Sometimes, though, it forces you to click on something else in order to understand it. This should be avoided. Each article should stand alone. Blissyu2 11:21, 31 August 2008 (EDT)

As far as not being able to understand what something is without clicking on the link, I think this is a major problem with Wikipedia. I'd go so far as to say that we should try to make every article on Encyc a free-standing work that would make sense even if printed on paper and read by someone with no familiarity with the subject. Emperor 22:47, 31 August 2008 (EDT)

What's our slogan?[edit]

There's space on the browser title bar for more than just "Encyc". For example, Wikipedia puts "Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia". Any ideas? The winner gets a free extra value meal from me at the first Encycmania event. Emperor 22:50, 1 September 2008 (EDT)

Maybe have a new page for the slogan contest and advertise it on every page, to start you off. That's what we did at Wikipedia Review, at least until Somey took it all over and pretended that all of the slogans were his idea. Still, it worked out well. Blissyu2 06:11, 3 September 2008 (EDT)
"The drama encyclopedia"? User 16:11, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
"Blissypedia - the encyclopedia that Blissy thinks he owns" - Alison 17:23, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
If that were true, people like you wouldn't be allowed to put in defamatory nonsense about me. Quite dramatising it up and stick to facts, thanks. Blissyu2 02:11, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
Are you the only one allowed put defamatory comments up here? I am sorry - did I step on your toes? BTW - reverting your nonsense when needs must is "contributing positive things" - just you don't think so. Stick to the facts, Blissy! - Alison 03:17, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
Everything you say or do is negative. Nothing I have said here is defamatory. If I ever got anything wrong by accident, I changed it later. You on the other hand, have inserted and reinserted deliberately false and defamatory content, which has been proven false in a court of law, and are issues of great personal distress for me. Really, you are the worst kind of person. Blissyu2 03:59, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
You, sir, are deluded. No, really! Take a serious look at what you're saying here and remember - you brought me in here - Alison 11:03, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
Nothing I have said here is defamatory. If I ever got anything wrong by accident. So it's OK to defame people, as long as it's an accident? I wonder if that defence would work in a civil trial? Lolmann 12:38, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
Moron. I put in facts here. If I accidentally put in something incorrect, it was corrected. I *DID NOT* bring Alison here. She came here herself, and I asked her what she was doing, which she NEVER responded to. That is one of her MANY *HUGE* lies that she has told here. There are some horrendous lies being told about ME, which *WOULD NOT* stand up in a trial of any kind. I have been to court about libel and slander, and won. I have had people threaten me with law suits about libel and slander, but none of them had enough merits to go to court. Why? Because, quite frankly, I have never in my entire life libelled anyone. If you say something that you believe is true, are found not to be true, and retract it, it is NOT libel! I am 100% certain that if it exists as an old diff in a wiki that was reverted by someone else, then it DOES NOT count as libel or slander. If, however, on the same wiki, a bunch of morons such as Alison and all who are following her, are DELIBERATELY and CONSTANTLY adding and re-adding stuff which is blatantly false and slanderous, then that most definitely IS slanderous! Do you guys ever even think to look at a legal textbook or anything? Some of this rubbish is quite simply that, rubbish! Now, why don't you guys stop this nonsense about TEARING THINGS DOWN and instead work on something POSITIVE! My contributions here are positive, all of yours are destructive! Blissyu2 17:20, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
Keep your hair on, Mr MEREDITH. JumboWells 17:36, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
ME, ME .. it's ALL ABOUT MEEEE. LOOK AT MEEE!!! - Alison 18:15, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
Alison created her account on the 14th of July, 2008, then went asleep. On 5th of August, 2008, Blissy created a stub article in her name and filled it with lies; "She was recently involved in pretending to do a check user", etc, etc. You get the idea. She only began editing after that incident, in which Blissyu2 continued to spread moar lies about her. Now he wishes she'd leave and really soon, he'll start to beg. Look what you started, Blissy. This one's about YOU again :) - Alison 18:15, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
You see Blissy (can I call you Blissy?) All you've done for this website is turn it into a grade-z attack site, none of your "facts" can be proven in the real world, you provide no links to your "evidence" - Yet when other criticise you and provide links to what you've said and done, you cry OMG YOU LIE. Also, the non attack pages you've written are crap. JumboWells 18:30, 22 September 2008 (EDT)

As I seem to be the only person actually contributing positive things, as opposed to tearing down other people's work, I will suggest a slogan here:

"Encyc: the mini Encyclopaedia"

Encyc to me sounds like it is miniature. But I don't know. There doesn't seem to be an exact aim here, so hey. Blissyu2 02:13, 22 September 2008 (EDT)

No images[edit]

Maybe I didn't make this clear. No images, especially the kind that look like nonsense. Too much trouble. Emperor 20:15, 22 September 2008 (EDT)

I was very impressed with Jonas's contributions, I should add. I am disappointed that he stopped. Nathan and I have made up now, so I am happy with him too. Of course, obviously, I am happy for anyone to edit here. It just seems that a number of people here of late have no aim other than to destroy me. I was happy with User:One as well, and wish that he would come back, as he was quite positive (sadly misinformed on some issues, but generally good). I am not sure why Alison isn't banned, as she is the main crux behind all of the recent attacks (indeed, I am quite convinced that all of the others are either her or else meat puppets of hers). Blissyu2 10:32, 23 September 2008 (EDT)
Emperor can checkuser me all he likes. None of the other accounts were me, in fact, I've only one account on here; this one. Isn't it fun that when you've walked the long road and have been repeatedly refuted, that you have to lie and speculate wildly in order to "get your way". Just remember - I'm here to make this site better and my improvements that I make do that in every way. When Root had Wikiabuse running, I was a daily contributor over there - and a constructive one at that. Go ask him. You, on the other hand, are like a petulant little boy; once you don't get your way, off you go to your blog to post the stuff you can't post here with impunity. Just as well nobody reads it :-D - Alison 10:58, 23 September 2008 (EDT)


Having just played with the import function, I've got to say, the template stuff on Wikipedia has gotten really ridiculous. The level of technical sophistication it takes to manipulate article content has gotten way beyond what is supposed to be required with a wiki. I propose we keep templates to a minimum, and keep them simple. Remember, most people trying to edit a wiki for the first time are asking things like, "What do those brackets mean?" Those are the people I think we need here, and Wikipedia is losing out on. Emperor 04:49, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Oops - I just added a few here the other day, because a lot of the Disney pages were broken. The embedded references use cite book / cite web, so I kinda added them. The #if went missing when you updated the wiki, as parserfunctions needs to be put back in. That's why they looked kinda weird after the upgrade. And BTW - thanks for upgrading the wiki, it's waaay better now - Alison 04:57, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
ParserFunctions are back. I took them out again momentarily because of a stupid database issue, but then put them back in when I realized that the problem was something else.
I'm not mad that you put some templates in, just a bit frustrated with what Wikipedia's become. I actually was a participant there circa 2005-2006, and it was much easier to get around. Now I get a headache just trying to read the wiki code behind the articles. Anyway having the templates here might be good for imported files, and we could always decide not to use them.
It was basically this stupidity that caused me so much aggravation. I kept getting an error message when trying to access World War I and Causes of World War II, and it was because the character set used to communicate with the database changed because the developers thought it would be a good idea, and made it impossible to get to the articles. To fix it, initially I changed $wgDBmysql5 to false, but then I realized that for the loss of just those two articles, I could go with the flow, leave it as true, and then be somewhat future proof (at least until things radically change in 6 months or so). I guess those programmers need to keep themselves in business, right? Emperor 11:48, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Short Urls[edit]

I'm thinking of changing to short urls, eg encyc.org/wiki/Main_Page instead of encyc.org/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page. Don't be surprised if it happens.

I tested it the other day and it worked, but I couldn't get a redirect working for existing old-style links. I will try again but there's a chance that our old links to this site might not work. Considering that most of them are on Encyclopedia Dramatica, maybe that's not such a bad thing. Emperor 22:30, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

Encyclopedia Dramatica[edit]

I'm taking out links to Encyclopedia Dramatica. It is full of viruses. Please help remove the links, and add no more.

Linking to a site that contains viruses is death to a new up-and-coming website such as ours.

Sorry if this smacks of "BADSITES". Call me a tyrant if you must.

ps - I always hated that site. Emperor 14:51, 2 November 2008 (UTC)


Thanks to Alison for her help last night in dealing with some vandalism. I'm thinking that we might need some permanent administrators.

Unlike Wikipedia, however, I want to make it clear that admins will only be allowed to use their powers for technical problems and to deal with clear, unambiguous vandals (e.g. Grawp).

What do you think? Should we have additional admins at all? If so, what should be their role? How would you like them to be selected?

For the record, I think Alison is a good candidate because of her technical knowledge of Mediawiki and because she has shown herself to be trustworthy during the trial period.

Note that for now Emperor and WikiSysop are the only two administrator accounts. Emperor 14:21, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Thanks, Emperor, for the vote of confidence :) However, I'd rather someone else got the job as I'm largely retired from both wikis and from drahmaz - Alison 21:47, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
I would volunteer but I don't think I'm ready for that sort of responsibility. I can't be trusted to be neutral when I need to be. Nathan 00:20, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Ah well, you can see I've operated in arbitrary Sole Flounder-like mode as usual. Emperor 05:16, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Damn dictators!! :) - Alison 05:17, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
*eyes everyone* Well, let's see how it goes. *attempts to fly under the radar* Nathan 05:27, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
And are [[::User:User|User]] ([[::User talk:User|talk]] · [[::Special:Contributions/User|contribs]]) and [[::User:Naerii|Naerii]] ([[::User talk:Naerii|talk]] · [[::Special:Contributions/Naerii|contribs]]) both "clean, unambiguous vandals?[1] I'm not wheel-warring over this, but they were about as politically-motivated a block as I've ever seen on Wikipedia. And that's not even starting on fully protecting mainspace pages, so now nobody can edit Alison, Blissyu2, CBOrgatrope, Kato, Robert Black (professor) incident. Any pages I've ever prot'd as sysop here have been in user/talkspace or templatespace. Mainspace prots are a form of censorship - Alison 22:49, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
Alison's right. The idea was to have some administrator eyes on the wiki, just so it doesn't get wrecked by a vandal. Blissy please unprotect and unblock, or I'll have to desysop you. There already is a Wikipedia. Emperor 23:32, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

What I expect from Administrators[edit]

  • Use your powers to help maintain the site, i.e. vandal-fighting
  • Do not use your powers to gain advantage in content disputes

Possibly more to come in the way of instruction. Emperor 05:16, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

I'm good with all that :) BTW - you now need to make yourself a steward in case you need to de-sysop any of us. 'Crats can't do that - Alison 05:20, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Really? I thought I desysopped you this morning. Emperor 05:25, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
You did, actually, yes! Hmph! :) Must be the way it's configured right now. Ah well, all the better - Alison 05:28, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
I supppose the best policy, which I've adopted this ages ago, is, "If you're not sure, ask first. If you're really not sure, don't do it." You have no idea how long it took me to learn that one. Nathan 05:27, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Some of us are still working on that one ;) - Alison 05:29, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

Additional mandate:

  • Redact personal information

Administrators are now authorized to remove personal information when they find it. Posting real names, telephone numbers, or addresses of individuals is grounds for blocking under the "threatening/harassment" option. Note that this site has very few administrators and we are not guaranteeing that we will find everything. Emperor 21:38, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

See also[edit]


Great domain! ;) How about allowing editors to place 1 small Adsense units on pages on which they have made the greatest contribution? This could be placed in a standardized way. Maybe you could place Adsense units on the main page, and community portal. :D And the logo looks a bit squished on Mediawiki here, but, in the scheme of things, I suppose that does not matter a great deal at this point... ;] Writer 03:13, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

AdSense is more a MyWikiBiz thing. It's also very complicated, you have to install a plugin, I really can't see Emperor doing that and it's not something I'd agree to. Nathan 03:35, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Hi Writer and welcome. Nathan's correct. I'm not a big fan of Adsense for a number of reasons. Besides being a technical problem, it also leads to people getting all goofy about money. I'll work on the logo one of these days... I keep putting it off. Emperor 04:05, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
But must they get all goofy  ? Fair enough though. :) -(Writer) 17:11, 1 February 2009 (UTC)


I'm thinking about changing the logo. What do you think of the one now? I was never really too crazy about the old logo.

My objectives with the logo redesign:

  1. Friendly and welcoming
  2. Not techie or nerdy
  3. Encourage the women, elderly, and children demographics to participate
  4. Easy on the eyes and cheeerful
  5. Inspire creativity
  6. Remind people that it's a wiki

The cartoony flowers seem to fit the bill. Emperor 20:55, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

Needs transparent background, imho. Not bad though. Nice even. =d Writer 21:04, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
I couldn't figure out how to get transparent background, but I agree it would probably look better. I used vistaprint.com. Better than before though. Emperor 00:06, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
Hmm. I don't know much about that. I do know that in Gimp (gimp.org) it could be pretty easy. Oh well. Looks good. Writer 03:53, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

Instant Commons like features[edit]

Any chance Instant Commons-like features might be enabled? See: http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Manual:$wgForeignFileRepos#Using_files_from_Wikimedia_Commons_:_ForeignAPIRepo

Interesting idea. I was unaware of this. Part of the reason that we don't have pictures is because I don't want to worry about the legal and vandalism problems. However if all images first have to get on Commons we might be able to get them to do the work for us. Of course we'd still have to worry about bandwidth getting out of hand and driving up operating costs of Encyc. What I don't want to see happen is things get to the point where we can't operate as a non-profit or have to start something like Wikia.
I also rather like the idea that all of our articles are understandable without the use of images. Apart from blind people, I think it also makes things work better on mobile devices and forces us as writers to be a little more descriptive with our language.
It's late and nothing's happening tonight. I'll think about it. Emperor 04:49, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
It is my understanding that this feature does not affect your bandwidth usage, other than the image tags in articles [[Image:name|thumb|right|description]] (about what, 50-200 bytes per image?).

Encyc talk:Questions[edit]

As I try to reexamine all the things that make wikis work well, I'm wondering why we call this page "Community Portal". Could this name be intimidating or off-putting to people unfamiliar with wikis? I went ahead and started a Questions page, which maybe will evolve slightly differently. Emperor 05:25, 16 February 2009 (UTC)


I tlooks as if most articles are not categorised. Can we organise a project to look at every article and add appropriate categories? It may be necessary to creat new ones, of course; I have recently created Category:Literature and Category:Music.--Contributor 08:18, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Gah, do we need projects? Projects reek of work, and once something starts being work, it stops being fun. Once something stops being fun, you get power tripping. It is all a downward spiral from there. By all means if someone feels like adding categories, do it, but I don't see a problem with articles existing by themselves without a category. Some things don't neatly fit into categories anyway, and someone working away making categories may mess the thing up somewhat. By all means do it, but yeah, I don't think that anyone here will volunteer for a project. Blissyu2 06:38, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Of course this is a voluntary project; the overall aim is to produce a useful work of reference, but everyone will participate as and how they wish.--Contributor 07:43, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Encyc policies[edit]

I am going to go to Encyc:Policies to suggest some policies. As with everything else that has been suggested here, I don't really expect User:Emperor to decide on anything, but I will at least state my opinion based on what I think that the aim of the site probably is. Emperor can feel free to over-ride me (etc). Blissyu2 15:15, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

Time for Google anti-trust???[edit]

???? =D

Pretty pictures[edit]

I'm thinking of allowing images, and maybe installing that Commons download sharing extension. Bandwidth has been pretty manageable.

This latest stuff with country leads makes me think that there's a real opportunity for a simpler wiki that isn't written in Simple English. Emperor 16:44, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

Addendum. I want this site to remain at least somewhat family-friendly. No pictures of boobies or choads. Emperor 16:59, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
As you are probably aware, I am for using $wgForeignFileRepos, at least in principle. And as you know, this certainly is your wiki. I've had mostly a rather excellent experience with it at both Wikademia.org and Selfindulgence.org. I presume you mean no breasts unless they are used in the context of how they may be shown in a publication like National Geographichic, but not Playboy. Or maybe you want it even a level below National Geographic. Your wiki. And it certainly all seems enforceable enough. If you do decide to activate it, the top code block there should work. :) You know how to figure it all out. Wikademia
Is that the same as Instant Commons? I don't want to steal any bandwidth from them, just use their pretty GFDL pictures.
Regarding National Geographic pictures, I guess maybe. Slippery slope issues haven't been big problems here. Emperor 21:32, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Instant_commons -> it says - "These are draft development specifications, not documentation. This feature does not exist yet. [break] Actually it does. It's called $wgForeignFileRepos. All information on this page is old stuff and unlikely to be correct." --- So... it doesn't exist, but actually, it does... however that works. That little disclaimer links to http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Manual:$wgForeignFileRepos . Wikademia
Jesus, what a mess! I'm not touching this stuff until someone with a brain writes the documentation. We'll just get our own pictures. Emperor 16:38, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, I just tried it and I'm running into problems because PmWiki is also installed and the .htaccess stuff is getting too complicated. No pictures for now. Emperor 17:23, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
Ack - all that stuff can be a PAIN. Depending on who your host is, it might be worth at least sending them a support ticket or giving them a call. And if it is a "3rd software issue" and they tell you that it isn't their issue, then there is always mwusers.com and mediawiki.org/wiki/Support desk (or something like that), if your are interested. So.. maybe some other time. :) Wikademia

Super amazing fantastico picture[edit]

test... :sob:

how do you like the super amazing picture?

Logos - in case there is an interest[edit]

http://wikademia.org/File:Encyc.png Wikademia

Thanks. I'm glad it's backed up somewhere. Emperor 17:24, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
lol ya, that, and also, it's a transparent background... :cheesygrin: Wikademia
Thanks, looks great! Emperor 01:55, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
File:Silly grin
thanks! :grin:

No follow[edit]

How about turning off no follow in settings? We can just have policies about what will and will not be linked to or selectively nofollowed..... partially like Wikisynergy and Wikademia. Wikademia

I didn't know nofollow was the default. Sorry about that. I can turn it off, but just out of curiosity, do you know how to leave it on and still put Wikademia on some sort of whitelist? Emperor 17:03, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Manual:$wgNoFollowDomainExceptions There; I think. Wikademia
ok, tomorrow. Emperor 02:00, 4 September 2009 (UTC)
I went ahead and just turned off nofollow. We'll see... if we're plagued by spammers we can always turn it back on then then go the whitelist route for Wikademia and other legitimate sites. Emperor 00:56, 6 September 2009 (UTC)

My nonsense[edit]

I plan to move much of my non-sense to http://www.illogicopedia.org/wiki/Main_Page . thank you for enabling my idiocyncracies until i found a more suitable wiki to express them.. Wikademia

I had never heard of Illogicopedia before. That stuff is funny! Emperor 00:29, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
I just ran across it on Google, I think. It is sort of funny (yes, some, perhaps, even funny to me, in my opinion, i think i lol'd), in my opinion, but while still being sort of... perhaps... silly... it does not seem to cross the line into much tasteless crassness, in my opinion, and personally subjective judgement. Wikademia


how about it? there are about 216 million americans online. and about 1.6 billion humans online. what percentage of those speak english? Wikademia

Changing course[edit]

I'm considering:

  1. Nuking the PmWiki
  2. Nuking all the personality-driven internet stuff on the MediaWiki, and focusing only on dry encyclopedia-like stuff
  3. Opening back up to IP editing

Comments? Auggie 18:13, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

On Nuking the PM Wiki - personally, I think if it is not too much trouble, important everything there on there to here.. then nuke it. If there are duplicate articles create an Archive namespace here and put them there. or something like that. Just don't destroy content.
Nuking all personality driven stuff on here... no comment. I don't really oppose or support... maybe put it on a different namespace.. or just let it sit... i dunno. Don't really care.
Open back up to IP editing.... I've been thinking about turning off IP editing on Wikademia... I don't have a strong opinion either way.

PmWiki demoted[edit]

The PmWiki never really worked out like I expected, and the PmWiki developer community seems to be losing some momentum. Now, the MediaWiki has earned the top spot, and all browser queries to http://encyc.org will go to the MediaWiki. For those still interested in seeing the pmwiki, http://encyc.org/pmwiki still makes it available. I tried to do the best I could switching everything over and still preserving as many old links as possible, but if anyone finds bugs please let me know. Auggie 19:48, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

Unclear as to why I should edit[edit]

I suppose I could edit to promote my sites. Otherwise... I should edit because? Wikademia

Thank you for your honesty, as always. I'm wondering if this question has come up on Wikipedia, and if so maybe there's an essay somewhere we could copy under creative commons. I understand it might seem pointless to edit a wiki encyclopedia sometimes but consider:
  1. Teaching is a fufilling experience
  2. Writing sharpens your own mind
  3. It' a nice, free hobby that won't get you in trouble and makes you a better person
  4. Plus as an early adopter you can say you were there in the beginning.
I'm sure that there must be other reasons but we'll save it for the essay. Auggie 12:32, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
  1. Teaching to people who don't want to learn results in failure
  2. You can write using pen and paper
  3. Reading books is nice too
  4. Age is of little importance

But anyway, you should edit because you find it enjoyable. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ 19:39, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

5: It's not that other place - Alison 21:30, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

And don't you get a warm fuzzy feeling every time you see the Encyc logo that you improved with the transparent background? Auggie 06:00, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

IP editing[edit]

Spam from IP addresses got really bad in the last few days, so I turned off IP editing for now. Anyone who wants to edit Encyc can easily do so by registering. Auggie 02:54, 28 June 2010 (UTC)


I got an e-mail message today to say that User:Versatile had edited my user talk page. Why? I don't recall asking for anything to be removed. I am not sure what has been removed, because I haven't added anything on Encyc for ages (I kind of don't have anything more to add really, as I only like to write about things that I actually know a fair bit about) but it worries me that something has been removed from the history on my own talk page without my knowledge or permission.

I then checked through my contributions, and found, incredulously, that the Wikipedia Review page had been altered from the hugely long, very accurate thing that I/we spent ages on to some tiny piece that says nothing. Why? There was nothing inaccurate there. I mean you could add a bit to it, since it is obviously out of date, but surely you WANT to have a bit of accurate information about it on there. Surely that's the whole point of Encyc, that it isn't as full of censorship and nonsense.

I also note that the page on Stephen Hawking was deleted. Why? It was entirely factual, pretty much straight off his web sites. What was wrong with it? This new admin Versatile just up and decided to wipe it. What for? Because he is a guy that is still alive? He is a pretty darn famous fellow and I don't think that he minds. There was absolutely nothing negative or untrue or unproven in there! Absolutely absurd to delete it. I know that Versatile (yes, the same person that wiped it) has recently changed the new Biographies of Living Persons policy but it STILL didn't go against that! Please restore that page!

I also noticed, absurdly, that the page on the USERNAME Runcorn was wiped and replaced with information about an obscure town. Uh, what? Why did we go through all of that work for if someone is going to just wipe them?

I have grave concerns about this new administrator, and, while I haven't seen what else they have done, if this is a sample of the work then I dare say that they are trying their level best to destroy all of the work on Encyc over so many years. Blissyu2 10:51, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Hello Blissy and welcome back. You can rest assured that I appreciate your role as an early adopter and all the content you contributed. The new Encyc:Biography policy was one that I arrived at in response to some criticism and also in thinking about the problem myself. Ultimately I decided that we simply don't have the manpower to police hundreds or thousands of biographies of living people, and that lots of people might be offended if they read controversial things about themselves or people they care about here. There are so many other interesting and beautiful articles that we could write, and I don't want the project to be derailed over a relative handful of articles that nobody seems interested in generating or taking care of anyway.
We were careful to redirect and not delete a lot of this material in case anyone ever returned and wanted to export it to another, more appropriate venue. Auggie 15:54, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
So what you are saying is that all of the truthful, factual and relevant information about Wikipedia Review that I spent over 100 hours over needs to be destroyed, that the factual, truthful and relevant information about the Poetlister scandal also needs to be destroyed (in spite of both of them being about pseudonyms and in no way being biographies of living persons) and generally that all of the work I spent hundreds of hours over gets destroyed, deleted, and f***ed over? Is that right? That you have embraced censorship, that you promised you would never do. Is this correct? Blissyu2 14:27, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
A lot of time has passed. I didn't know you felt so strongly about it. I recognize that you spent a lot of time producing that material and I respected your effort by leaving those articles unchanged for years. Honestly I didn't think you'd care anymore. I'll write more later. I'm busy right now but hopefully we can come to some mutually agreeable resolution. Auggie 16:14, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
I see you reverted some articles, and no one has reverted you back, so it looks like we don't even really have a conflict right now. Is that ok? Auggie 17:33, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
One other thing. As much as you and I love Encyc as it stands, it needs to have some flexibility to evolve. That's why I intentionally keep many things vague. I think that many articles about Wikipedia Review, rather than enlightening people, make people say "WTF is a windybear" and "Encyc is a joke" and "I'd be scared to contribute there". I don't want people to write us off. I want a wider group to participate. I want people who would be scared to write for Wikipedia to write for us. Does that make sense? Auggie 17:49, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
Awbrey and Kohs were scared away from Wikipedia in 2006. Why aren't they here posting their valuable material? Gridlock 19:54, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
Kohs runs MyWikiBiz and keeps track of Jimmy and does a lot of other things that I have no idea how he finds the time for. About Awbrey I don't know. I think he likes having precise control over his articles and shouldn't really be working on wikis. MyWikiBiz is a good place for him because it lets him use the software more like a traditional content management system. Auggie 21:00, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

What is the purpose of Encyc?[edit]

There is already Wikipedia, so surely the point of Encyc is not to have articles exactly the same as Wikipedia. If we wanted them to be the same, we would just have Wikipedia! There has to be something more, something greater in some ways. What is that greater thing?

Most of the articles I have added have been corrections to Wikipedia articles, bits that Wikipedia didn't want anyone to know about. Some of them were examples where Wikipedia was pushing a lie, others were simply examples of censorship. The aim for the articles that I wrote was to inform people beyond what Wikipedia had.

I have no problems with an article such as Wikipedia Review being added to with any information beyond the 2007 information. I have no problems with reviews about some of the popular editors being altered. What I do have a huge problem with is DELETING HISTORY. This is stuff that doesn't exist anywhere else, because the people that stole Wikipedia Review from me (and yes, they very much did steal it, check the evidence) want to lie about it. So all of the evidence was on Encyc and nowhere else. DELETING THAT IS CRIMINAL! I cannot accept or tolerate that that is deleted. It is more than just censorship, it is encouraging a criminal action.

As for the Poetlister scandal and all that that entails, it is akin to the Essjay scandal and is there to inform. I am quite happy for all identifying aspects to be taken out, and, indeed, as at the last version, they were. We are talking about pseudonyms. It is not going to hurt a real person by mentioning pseudonyms. This is also very important to keep. I note the deletions of these articles that more than 100 hours of research went into creating, by User:Babbage. This is a major problem, and flies in the face of all that Encyc stands for. It is, in short, destroying Encyc to have such behaviour, to have such censorship.

BLP, as we agreed previously, is used on Wikipedia as an excuse to engage in rampant censorship. While there are valid concerns about, say, if there was an article about a non-notable person who is mentioned by name, wiping things about pseudonyms or about incredibly famous people like Stephen Hawking is just abuse of this "rule". The fact that the same people that wiped them re-wrote the rule highlights the abuse.

Do I care about history being changed? Do I care about truth being changed? Ha ha ha ha ha. What do you think? These things need to be restored to their factual versions. If you want to make a 2nd article, feel free. If you want to ADD to them, feel free. But wiping a lot of important work, no, that's not on. Blissyu2 23:08, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

The purpose of Encyc is providing a web space where people can write things. These things wouldn't be accepted on the free encyclopedia for a variety of reasons. Mentioning pseudonyms doesn't hurt a person directly. Obviously if you say "pseudonym has done X" it's bad, if he hasn't actually done X. If he has, obviously that would be verifiable in one way or another, and then could be put in the page. The poet scandal is just a dramatization of the obvious: anyone can write anything and anyone can PRETEND TO BE anything, as there's no method to verify the identity of people who are online. That would be basic knowledge of how internet relationships work, etc. but people's knowledge on this is shaky. It was stupid for people at WR and at Wikipedia to believe that there was a woman behind the Poet account to begin with, as gender/sex are irrelevant online for sites which aren't a chat network.
Two or three years later, the actual person behind the identity theft is here, somewhere, and seemingly has stopped his tricks and doesn't pretend to be anyone else who exists in the 3D world. It's an improvement.
Now, i think Auggie has chosen to delete pages pertaining to real person X Y even if the page is under an alias, to avoid harm or defamation, if the subject X Y has asked to have it deleted. Perhaps Babbage or Versatile are the former identity thief mentioned above and wishes to have that page removed due to BLP concerns.
The same goes for Blissyu2 if you choose to have it removed! --Gridlock 23:44, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
I think that we had enough evidence to verify that what we were saying about Poetlister was true and proven to be. Similarly with the Wikipedia Review history. These things have news stories written about them and verifiable information so any concerns about truth are irrelevant - what was said was definitely true without question. They were also pseudonyms so any concerns about RL harm are irrelevant. What is left? People concerned about factual things being written about pseudonyms? LOL. Or, conversely, people concerned about the truth being known about something. Censorship nazis, basically, are what we are talking about. Blissyu2 00:16, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
I'm not normally one to be agreeing with Bliss here, but why is it okay for Poetlister to come here and censor everything while redacting stuff from his talk page as 'vandalism', yet he's busy writing smack on other people on his various fetish wikis? What's with that? That certainly doesn't seem fair, nor do I see any 'turning of new leaves' so long as that stuff is going on. Frankly, it's the hypocrisy of the whole affair that bugs me the most - Alison 00:51, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
Ok the take-home message I'm getting here is that maybe Babbage went a little overboard with deletions. I'm going to give him a chance to make things right.
From your end maybe we can avoid words like "criminal" and "censorship nazi"? I mean, all that kind of talk really does is make me want to stick to the current draconian Biography policy, nuke all the pseudonym WP and WR articles, and spend my time alone writing about flowers and various breeds of kittens. Auggie 02:57, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
As far as I'm concerned, Encyc is meant to be a general purpose reference work. My aim is to ensure that all the very short sub-stubs are replaced by worthwhile articles, and to add new articles as they occur to me. If others want to turn it into a place to re-hash controversies that happened years ago on other web sites, I'm not interested. Evidently, nor is Auggie. And may I remind people of the fundamental rule Encyc should not hurt people - Users are discouraged from publishing personal information or conducting extended campaigns to present living people in a bad light.--Babbage 09:08, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
Okay, look, as a personal thing, the thing that made the biggest difference to my life was the events surrounding the Port Arthur massacre and the censorship surrounding that, the cover up surrounding that. That made the biggest difference to my life out of anything else. And I have understood that the single most important thing in life is to avoid cover ups, to avoid truth changing, to avoid lying about important historical things. Cover ups exist all over the place, as I have begun to understand, and, while things like the cover up with the Backpacker murders personally don't make any difference to me, it is nonetheless most likely doing as much damage to other people as the cover up with the Port Arthur massacre did to me. Now, Encyc is just one project and Auggie, you are just one person, but for me, the single greatest damage that Wikipedia does is to encourage blatant cover ups and truth changing. Encyc for its entire existence to this point has avoided cover ups and truth changing. Now, suddenly, in the past few weeks, it is being encouraged. The cover ups in relation to Wikipedia Review are the most alarming but the cover ups in relation to Poetlister and the whole affair are also pretty drastic. These are things that make a difference to people's lives. For Encyc to encourage what amounts to lying, well, it makes it no better than Wikipedia, in any shape or form. And if Encyc's aim is purely to be no better than Wikipedia, then what, pray tell, is the point of Encyc? Blissyu2 06:03, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

Traffic surge[edit]

I get asked all the time, "Does anyone actually read Encyc?". Well the answer is obviously, not as many as read Wikipedia. However if you're curious, sites like Alexa and Compete can give you a rough estimate, though they tend to lag a bit. August was a great month for Encyc. Thanks everybody! Auggie 20:06, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

Nice bro. Just hope it's steady and not temporary. Tex 21:20, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
  • You have a chance to take a measurement. I haven't been very active here, other than to archive my otherwise atrocious and forgettable song parodies. But recent weird events at W-R have adjusted how I divide my time among Wikis, blogs, forum sites, and Facebook. I dunno if you will get a surge or not in response to an uptick in my participation here. But it would be helpful if you kept an eye on the stats, just to see who (if anyone) follows me here from W-R. Moulton 15:00, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
Thanks Moulton. The last month has been good to us. Compete now puts us neck and neck with Wikipedia Review and MyWikiBiz with regards to unique visitors, and Alexa is also reporting good numbers. The internal statistics show a lot of interest in the Jimmy Wales article with over 600 visitors in the first half of November coming in from searches for "jimmy wales salary", "jimmy wales net worth" and similar. Interestingly, the old PmWiki World War II article is also seeing a big surge. I think web users are simply starved for good content at this point, and Encyc has a lot of room to grow. Auggie 15:22, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
  • I suppose the fund-raiser is a factor in the uptick in interest regarding Wales and his remuneration. Recall that I had something to contribute to that collection plate. Moulton 15:32, 16 November 2010 (UTC)


  • E Pluribus Unum
  • Novus ordo seclorum
  • Annuit coeptis

Other ideas? I like Latin because it sounds badass. Auggie 06:19, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

  • "Auribus Teneo Lupum" - Alison 04:11, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
In a friendly way, right? Auggie 12:51, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
lololol :) Wikademia 17:57, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Disgustibus non est pudendum. (There is no accounting for dicking around with disgusting crap.) Moulton 07:44, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
eh... Auggie 12:51, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
How do you say, "Rip out the wolf's throat." in Latin? Wikademia 19:26, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Jeez I better not get a wolf mascot. I'd be worried about him. Auggie 22:41, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

Imported templates[edit]

I really hate Wikipedia's templates because I think there are way too many of them and they are difficult for newbie's to figure out. However, not having them makes importing pages really difficult. So I imported a bunch but I hope they aren't used too often. One exception might be infoboxes. I'm starting to really like them. I guess that's because they are packed with information without the usual fluff. Auggie 02:10, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

SIR's idea[edit]

Hello, I am SIR I would like to say that it would be great if we make this Encyc different to wikipedia in some ways. For instance, we should add articles that teach a language, others that express how is the life in a particular part of the world, not just information that can be find in wikipedia, also opinions and new of diverse things happening in the world. We should think about different options. That is innovation. Let us go big. I don not know what you think please let me know

Hello SIR. I'm all for going big as long as it doesn't interfere with other users' enjoyment of the site. Thanks for the article. You might also want to check out Wikademia, which is focused exclusively on teaching, learning, and research. And I really do need to learn Spanish already. Auggie 21:47, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
Welcome Sir, and thanks for the plug, Mr. Auggie. Indeed, Wikademia does have a place where Spanish resources can be created and organized. http://en.wikademia.org/Spanish Wikademia 22:09, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

Encyc mailing list[edit]

As some of you may know, I was recently given administrative rights. As an admin, I set up this discussion mailing list where Encyc users can discuss Encyc in a little mailing-list-based forum. Send an email to encyc-request@freelists.org, leave subject blank, and put the word subscribe in the body. Send. You will be sent an automatic email. Follow the steps from there. To post, email encyc@freelists.org, subscribers only. Join, Encycians! Star651 11:12, 9 May 2011 (UTC)


This spam is getting a little much, and I'd rather not bother with CAPTCHA. I'm thinking of just shutting down open registration for a while. Any objections? Auggie 14:56, 4 June 2011 (UTC)

  • Please do! - Alison 19:36, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
Ok done for now. Auggie 20:03, 4 June 2011 (UTC)

Consul position[edit]

I'm thinking of taking a step back from the MediaWiki, maybe letting the users run with the site a little more. I like the Roman idea of a "consul", i.e. two leaders who take turns, alternating each week, with veto power over each other. Auggie 04:04, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

Can Wikipedia be competed with?[edit]

I noticed a thread over on WR about whether any competitors to Wikipedia are viable. Here is why I think Wikipedia is vulnerable:

  1. Reading level is way too high
  2. Large number of contributors has homogenized the writing
  3. Articles have been affected by the opinions of the writers at Wikipedia in a bad way.
  4. Much of the readership of Wikipedia comes to read the popular articles

How Encyc can beat Wikipedia

  1. Write better - gear articles towards average people with average reading levels and give them what they might be looking for in a Google search
  2. Focus on the top 20 articles, then the top 100, then the top 1000


I want to take the top 20 articles on Wikipedia, import them, improve them, and make Encyc have better top 20 articles by 1/1/12. Then, by 3/1/12 I would like to have the top 50 complete and by 6/1/12 have the top 100.

This is putting the cart before the horse. You won't get anywhere unless you have high quality contributors who could realistically improve a top 20 article. And of course someone who could do that on say history might flounder if he/she took on something in chemistry. So firstly approach some potential editors, or persuade former editors to return. Then once you've done that, work out what subjects are their strengths and find some articles on those subjects.--Oxonian 07:40, 21 September 2011 (UTC)


There is nothing anti-Wikipedia in any of this. It is the wiki way to try to make better articles, and Wikipedia encourages the sharing of its content. If we are good enough, Wikipedia may copy our articles back. Auggie 19:08, 19 September 2011 (UTC)

Link to the top/most viewed WP articles? Wikademia 03:29, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
Something like this, though I think I saw a better list somewhere else. We could probably skip the pop culture stuff that we know will be forgotten in a few months. Auggie 03:37, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

Criticism of...[edit]

What's the deal with these Criticism of articles? On Wikipedia they have them for the United States, Israel, Apple, and Microsoft, but curiously not for any other countries that I can find including France, Russia, and China or even for Wikipedia itself. How do encyclopedia writers decide which institutions deserve criticism articles and which don't? And please don't say "reliable sources", because clearly that's not what Wikipedia is doing. I could find reliable sources criticizing China in about three seconds. (not to pick on China, but you know what I mean) Auggie 13:37, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

2000th article coming up[edit]

I'll leave it up for grabs. Who wants the honor? Auggie 03:46, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

Mailing List and Facebook[edit]

Please subscribe to the Encyc mailing list and like Encyc on Facebook. If we don't have a decent number of subscribers by May 6, 2012, the Facebook page and Freelists mailing list page on Encyc will be deleted, and we will no longer have discussion groups. So subscribe now! - Star651

Star has been working on this and I think it would be nice if a few people joined. I've been slow because I don't want to dominate everything myself... would be nice if there were a few things around here that were just regular members, if that makes sense. I'm also barely keeping up with all the other things I have to check to keep things going. Auggie 18:52, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

Computer trouble[edit]

I was doing some regular maintenance last night, screwed up royally, and restored from a backup. But at least one problem has been reported since then, so if anyone notices anything wrong please just let me know and I'll see if I can fix it. Auggie 02:27, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

New default skin[edit]

I've declared Vector as our new default skin in case anyone is confused. You can still get Monobook if you want it by logging in and the Preferences-->Appearance-->Monobook Auggie (talk) 20:24, 21 June 2013 (CDT)

Create a book[edit]

Encyc now has an extension that allows you to create a book and have it printed via PediaPress, just like on Wikipedia. To access it go to Special:Book or just click on "create a book" in the left menu. Thanks to User:Star651 for suggesting this extension. Auggie (talk) 00:01, 26 June 2013 (CDT)

Visual Editor[edit]

It looks like Wikipedia went live with the Visual Editor today. I've got to say, I like what I see. It's still buggy as anything but it's going to get there. I think we ought to wait it out a bit and let them work out the kinks for a few months. Auggie (talk) 20:09, 1 July 2013 (CDT)


I am pleased to announce that we have upgraded to Mediawiki 1.22. If there are any bugs please let me know. Auggie (talk) 22:48, 28 December 2013 (CST)

Upgraded to 1.23.1 today. Auggie (talk) 21:09, 7 July 2014 (CDT)

Encyc has been mentioned in a book about online encyclopedias[edit]

Genre Analysis of Online Encyclopedias: The Case of Wikipedia By Anna Tereszkiewicz

I leafed through some of it on Google Books am going to buy a copy. It's great to know that we have worldwide recognition for what we're doing here. Auggie (talk) 10:45, 30 December 2013 (CST)

WikiProject: Blackjack[edit]

Call this a crazy fantasy, but with all the recent interest by experts in the field we have a real chance to become a premier destination for blackjack information on the web. Unlike Wikipedia, we can get into some fine detail and not have to worry about deletionists attempting to push content off into Wikia. Let's do this! Auggie (talk) 11:28, 11 January 2014 (CST)

Demotion of the PmWiki[edit]

I have removed some of the clean url code from the PmWiki. It is still available at http://encyc.org/pmwiki . An example page is http://encyc.org/pmwiki/France, formerly known as http://encyc.org/France .

The reason for this is that Google was prioritizing the PmWiki due to the directory structure and it was affecting the results when you search by site. Dozens of pages that get very little traffic were coming up ahead of MediaWiki pages simply because of where they were in the directory.

As much as I love the PmWiki, I felt that this was time.

Long story short, if you use the PmWiki, you might need to update your bookmarks with an extra /pmwiki in the URL. Auggie (talk) 09:19, 22 January 2014 (CST)

Ad test[edit]

It is the internet's best kept secret that Encyc actually gets some pretty good traffic, and I've been dying of curiosity to see how much that would be worth if it were to be monetized. As of today, we're running a banner ad at the bottom of the pages to see. If it makes any real money we'll see about what to do with it, maybe offset some of the site-running costs, donate to charity, or give a token sum to some of the best contributors over the years, like a one-time gift card or something. Auggie (talk) 08:14, 17 April 2014 (CDT)

Hmm well that was fun, but the ads are distracting to me. I'm taking them out. Auggie (talk) 12:15, 25 April 2014 (CDT)

Secret questions[edit]

State capitals are getting too easy. I think I reused some by accident. Trying something else. Auggie (talk) 08:16, 8 July 2014 (CDT)