We're picking up! Thank you to all of the editors who have been showing up to add material. We're finally accelerating and the place is quickly coming into form.
A reminder to all of the new editors that you have equal ability to change anything around here. That includes this page, the main page, templates, images, anything! Feel free in that vein to use the wiki to discuss ideas with other uses as necessary.
Hey, don't go running, we're still here! The administrator needed a break from working on the wiki and that slowed things up, but we're still around, and ...
We just hit 500 pages! Still small admittedly compared to some other wikis, but we're far and away the largest pinball wiki on the web, and we're getting to a point where there's lots of constructive for anyone to do. So jump in!
There is one unique advantage to the Wiki format that I would like to start pursuing. One problem in the pinball world is how to keep effective high scores. There is no single ruling body that players and/or organizations generally agree to judge such things, though some try.
While it would be good to try to develop one someday, one way that this wiki can help is to at least collate the high scores that are currently known. For an example of how this would look, take a look at the page for The Simpsons Pinball Party. Simply listing the scores by event fulfills the role of this web site as an encyclopedia, since this is simply factual information, and yet since the page makes no determination regarding which scores are "official" and which aren't it effectively sets the question aside to be settled elsewhere. And besides, it's fun to see what scores others are getting in the world's major events. So have at it!
One easy way to help that I have not mentioned is to make redirects. Redirects are articles that do nothing but redirect to other articles. This is handy for articles that might have several different spellings, such as people's names, or machines that aren't always referred to by their actual name. To make a redirect, create the page and then enter for the text of the page simply:
#REDIRECT [[Page name]]
Awesome! We have people! Hello again to everyone.
With the updates now coming faster one of the things I wanted to remind everyone is that you are not restricted in what you can contribute to: anything on this wiki, including this, is fair game. I have my ideas for where this could go, but they are no better than anyone else's. How this wiki develops is a choice that is up to everyone.
With that said, I would actually love it for someone to update the main page a little better than I have. It is still using a format closely based on the one that started the wiki, and I would like to make it look as alive as possible. I might also finally get that logo going, though if anyone else has the ability and the time, it's all yours.
We have our first allowed use of images! Brady Miller of Game Plan Pinball has been kind enough to allow use of his images for this wiki. I've started with Agents 777, and will probably get to adding an image to each of the Game Plan machines (I knew there was a reason I felt compelled to make a stub page for each). One thing that you can do is to find other people who will allow use of their images, or just create and upload your own! It greatly improves an article just to have at least one.
Sorry for the long period in between updates, but we are still running. I have added more stubs and more different types of pages. Besides continuing to create more machien stubs (we currently have about 150 of more than 5000 known machines), some things that beginners can do to help is to create more Individual year pages, terminology pages or people pages.
One thing that this wiki can also be excellent for is as a storehouse for the results of tournaments. I have already created the stub for PAPA 9. It can be expanded upon, or more stubs can be created. Please of course be sure not to go overboard with including your own minor events; a page listing the results of bringing three of your friends over to play last night probably shouldn't be included just yet. :-) But with the current renaissance of tournaments, there is ample opportunity for expansion.
OK, I think I've got enough machine stubs in place that new users will have an easy launching point. All of the ideas from the first current event entry of course still hold and probably will so for a while. For anyone looking for easy jobs, I would suggest looking at the 2006-09-24 entry below for basic ideas. Data for editing machine pages can be grabbed from the Internet Pinball Database, a site with pretty solid accuracy of information.
For myself, here are my current top priorities:
- I'd like to come up with a good linking standard from machines to manufacturers. Here's the sticking point: "Stern", "Williams", and other manufacturer names can refer to one of several different entities. But since people tend to refer to the company that manufactured a machine by its short title I don't think that using the long name first in articles is the best strategy either. Right now the standard I'm using is that I'm linking all machines under by Williams to the "Williams" redirect page. This way if we want to change it later we only have to change that one page instead of several hundred machine articles. Still, I'm not convinced this is the best strategy, and yield the floor to anyone who has a better solution.
- We're going to quickly run into the problem of multiple machines with the same name. I'm not sure how much we even need a set standard here, but at least thinking about the problem before we go too far in probably wouldn't be bad.
- I was trying to figure out how to replicate the infobox used on the Wikipedia machine pages, and hit my wall of knowledge when I hit the .css pages.
- Besides that, though, a bigger issue is what we want the title infobox to look like. The one that we are using so far is grabbed from Wikipedia, but there's much more information that we could include in there. I have no strong thoughts about this.
- One bigger problem that we're going to have is photographs. The ones used at IPDB are explicitly not public domain. It could be possible to contact the photographers through them, but I'm not sure how good a time investment that is. Barring that, we can either hunt down photographs that we do have permission to use or simply snap some ourselves. I plan to do some of the latter, but there is clearly a huge volume of them this would entail.
One last reminder: I am the current lone administrator of the Pinball Wiki (and lone user for that matter), but I plan on using that role in the bare minimum I absolutely need to, and my minimum is very low. In other words, feel free to edit this page, the main page, anything editable on this Wiki at any time. That's what gives Wikis their magic, so in the words of the great and powerful Wikipedia, be bold! - Fractalchez 00:38, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
The Pinball Wiki is underway! So far we have the barest of stubs in place, and the home page has only been nominally modified from its original text. If you want to help get this started here are some ideas:
- The simplest thing to do would be to add more stub pages like the ones we have now.
- Take one of the stub pages and expand it into a starter template that we can use for other pages. Some games do have pages on the original Wikipedia that you can use for ideas, though copying directly might not get the best results. Still, if you think you can make something here that way, go for it.
- The main page could use modification to make it more clear that this Wiki is actively maintained. This will be a bit easier once we have more content, but there's probably room for fixing even now.
- If anyone can make a logo (top left corner) and favicon (tiny con to left of URL), that would also help brighten things up.
- We'll soon want more categories than just Titles and Manufacturers. Possibilities include but are not limited to: events, people, fictional characters, mechanics, history, playing terms, rules/rule sheets, other games (ie, games related to pinball that aren't pinball, like pachinko), organizations/leagues, media, theory.
A note here: right now it is only me here, and my own overall wiki expertise is moderate, so a lot of this I'm still learning myself. So I won't be able to provide immediate answers to everything. But I believe enough in the Wiki model that I think that that won't be a hindrance; if we get enough interested people together to work on this, I believe it has the potential to be an excellent resource for the pinball playing community.
Cheers! - Fractalchez 23:45, 24 September 2006 (UTC)