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User Groups have been re-created.
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In order to arrest a decline in canon editing activity, and to make it easier for users to co-ordinate improvement projects, I think it may be beneficial to bring back user groups. User groups are literally groups of people who are collaborating on a single project. Our own Standards Council is a good example. Other examples could include a group to write transcripts, or a group to improve film articles. Benefits of having projects such as these include:

  • A single place to discuss improvements, to improve co-ordination and reduce duplication of effort and potential miscommunication.
  • Improve motivation for users to edit articles, by reducing the impression that users have to "go it alone" on massive tasks. Twenty people each writing a little bit gets more done and feels easier than one person doing it all.
  • Make it easier for existing informal collaborations to attract more contributors and thus improve the speed at which such collaborations proceed.

User groups would of course be themed around Avatar organisations (e.g. "Ember Island Players"). Thoughts? The 888th Avatar (talk) 05:33, April 25, 2011 (UTC)

I like this idea. I support it 100%. I think it is quite creative and it will help organize this wiki better. --Toph Lover (talk Toph-end-c4 contribs) 05:36, April 25, 2011 (UTC)

Added note: To further improve motivation, individual user groups could even hand out userbox awards to members of their groups that make outstanding contributions to the group's project. The 888th Avatar (talk) 05:38, April 25, 2011 (UTC)

I definitely think this needs to be put into effect and pushed forward. We have some users now already performing some of said tasks, including how Natsu11 was busy with the self-proclaimed task of properly referencing numerous articles. This would be a great location to put all that. However, I think we need to have a rule in place quite similar to what we have for Rollbacks - a period of inactivity that would leave a Rollback stripped of their rights should be put in place here; as said inactivity would have them removed from the project. Vulmen (talkcontribs) 05:56, April 25, 2011 (UTC)

This would be a good idea. To make sure that people understand that they can edit other parts of the wiki other than their group's, a simple guideline explaining the concept and general things. For an example, just because your in a group about a subject more popular than another doesn't give your any more rights than the person who monitors a less active one. -I am the R3V3LAT10N. (talkcontribs) 06:02, April 25, 2011 (UTC)

I came up with this:

If a user joins a specific user group, they may still edit other parts of the wiki. However, these users do not have any additional rights and are not above any other user (ex: a user is on a film use group, that user does not have more authority than a user not on the group.).

  • A user may only join up to 3 user groups.
  • After a period of two weeks, a user group will be screened by an admin or bureaucrat to see if it is helping the wiki or merely a social group. Social groups will be deleted.
  • If a user is banned, they may be removed from a user group.
  • User groups must follow policy, if they do not, they may be deleted.
  • A user group must have more than one member in order to be "official".

--  Sokka-spriteOlorin The White  Talk  Contribs  Friends 06:12, April 25, 2011 (UTC)

Instead of if a user is banned they may be removed from the group, i think it should be If a user is banned they will be moved from the group. --Toph Lover (talk Toph-end-c4 contribs) 06:15, April 25, 2011 (UTC)

I thought of some names, like 888 said: The Ember Island Players, Terra Team, Team Avatar (and/or The Gaang) The Dai Li and The Southern Raiders. --Toph Lover (talk Toph-end-c4 contribs) 06:23, April 25, 2011 (UTC)

TL, those are good ideas, but I think it's more important for the groups to be put into place before we name them. Once they're established with members, they can have a vote on what they would like to be called. Those should be kept in mind, but ultimatley it should be up to the group members. -I am the R3V3LAT10N. (talkcontribs) 06:28, April 25, 2011 (UTC)

I like the draft, Olorin. One change; 'In the case of a permanent-block, the user is auto-removed. In the case of a temporary block, the user may be removed at group discretion.' Vulmen (talkcontribs) 06:29, April 25, 2011 (UTC)

Everyone seems to like this idea. When will it be made official? --Toph Lover (talk Toph-end-c4 contribs) 06:31, April 25, 2011 (UTC)

Remind me as to why didn't this idea stay in practice? It's simply innovative, efficient and it sure looks like it'll work perfectly! AvaFan MsgMe 07:54, April 25, 2011 (UTC)

I love the idea! One thing: Could we fix the grammar mistakes?

If a user joins a specific user group, they may still edit other parts of the wiki. However, these users do not have any additional rights and are not above any other user (ex: a user is on a film use group; that user does not have more authority than a user not on the group.).

  • A user may only join up to 3 user groups.
  • After a period of two weeks, a user group will be screened by an admin or bureaucrat to see if it is helping the wiki or is merely a social group. Social groups will be deleted.
  • In the case of a permanent-block, the user is auto-removed. In the case of a temporary block, the user may be removed at group discretion.
  • User groups must follow policy; if they do not, they may be deleted.
  • A user group must have more than one member in order to be "official".

If this comes out, I'm starting a grammar/spelling user group (the Comma Crusade! Joke, joke). ;3 TAD, theavatardemotivator - talk 11:20, April 25, 2011 (UTC)

I can tell you right now that I will not hesitate to join a user group that needs my help, especially one that deals with spelling/grammatical errors. Why didn't we think of this sooner? Bassmasta2012 (talkcontribs) 11:27, April 25, 2011 (UTC)

A. I would definitely join the comma crusade, and B. I wholeheartedly support this idea, as it's efficient, clever, and gives room for user creativity. I wholeheartedly intend to contribute to the flourishing of this wiki, and therefore must begin contributing to the improvement of canon articles. Lovelyb0nes (talkcontribs) 11:30, April 25, 2011 (UTC)

This is a fantastic idea. I remember reading on Community Central about the success of user groups on Glee Wiki I think it was. I think the User Group Policy/Guidelines looks good, I do have a suggestion however. Perhaps when this becomes official, and user groups are created, each user group has its' own forum thread in The War Room, where members of the group can discuss what they are/have/will be doing, new members, how they can improve, etc. It is just easier then the alternative of having half a million blog posts with three to four line ideas, trying to schedule an IRC Meeting, or copy pasting messages to several talk pages. How does that sound?

Also, we should start coming up with the types of user groups (don't worry about their names or members as of yet). Thinking on the spot, I can come up with groups for;

  • Fixing grammatical and punctual errors. (credit to Theavatardemotivator for the idea, not the name ;D)
  • Updating pages with new information. (not really that imperative until The Last Airbender: The Legend of Korra comes out)
  • Improving voice actor pages with the proper layout and credits, so forth. (not too sure about what needs to be done on that front)
  • Improving film namespace articles. (very broad, so I had the idea of having "Sub-groups")
  • Character pages
  • Location pages
  • Object/weaponry pages
  • Finding an adding appropriate images to articles that require them. (pretty self explanatory)

Well that is all I can think of off the top of my head. So suggestions, agreements, disagreements? Rassilon of Old (Talk - TTFF - Teru) 11:40, April 25, 2011 (UTC)

I would prefer the user groups to use project pages/project talk pages as their discussion space, as per the only "user group" in the traditional sense in existence at the moment, the Standards Council. I think we really should leave the forums purely for "sitewide" discussion. The namespace is "forum", not "committee", after all. ;) The 888th Avatar (talk) 11:45, April 25, 2011 (UTC)

I'll have to agree with 888 on that one. I also agree with everything Rassilon suggested, but I suggest a group that works with all his aforementioned subgroups in the canon articles that need improvement. Bassmasta2012 (talkcontribs) 11:50, April 25, 2011 (UTC)

I agree 100% on these rules, regulations, and what-not. But would he HAVE to join a group. I'm not really big on editing because I could really screw something up with my clumsiness. So don't expect me to join many groups, if any at all. But I fully support this anyway. The Crystal Bender-Aang-end-c1 11:59, April 25, 2011 (UTC)

No, participation would be entirely voluntary. Encouraged, but entirely voluntary. :) The 888th Avatar (talk) 12:06, April 25, 2011 (UTC)

I agree with this. I think it worked well in the past, until users started creating user groups for everything, and one user was in five groups at the same time. I like the rules of Olórin, although, I'd add another one, usergroups must have a limit of users, maybe 5 or 6.

I also agree with 888 too, about using "project pages/project talk pages as their discussion space". It works, since there are no problems with it in the Standards Council.

Also, a usergroup dedicated to reference articles (I think someone mentioned Natsu already) would be useful. Dcasawang1 (talk) 13:01, April 25, 2011 (UTC)

I think this is a great idea! Olorin's rules are great. But I think that before naming a group we will have to chose the theme of it . And of course, Avatar related names. I agree with the things 888 said about "project pages/talk pages as discussion space". Ah, and one more idea. First, there can be fun groups who can do one thing like: discuss about the movie or rate some episodes. Things like that. Also, after we devdelop this idea more, we can have something like a contest. Each iser (if he doesn't want, he doesn't need to participate) chooses one group to belong in and every group chooses a theme, together, maybe with a meeting on IRC. Then, they develop on this theme, doing something like a project. After a certain amount of days, they post it on a section at the Fanon Portal and the ones who don't participate vote for the best. I don't think it will work right after we create the groups, but after we get them going smoothly we can try it. It would be fun. AvatarFreak21 The First Storybender 15:13, April 25, 2011 (UTC)

I can't say I understand what 'contest' would be involved group compared to group. But sure, down the road, I don't see why we can't tinker with ideas. But let's save that for another topic, as you said it could come about best later after said groups are established and running. Vulmen (talkcontribs) 16:49, April 25, 2011 (UTC)

It would be very friendly. The one who wins gets a surprise. And every group would get to make research about an Avatar theme, so we would learn as well as having fun. I think it would be great later on. AvatarFreak21 The First Storybender 17:00, April 25, 2011 (UTC)

Per Vulmen. Toph Lover (talk Toph-end-c4 contribs) 19:51, April 25, 2011 (UTC)

I'm completely against the idea of having "contests" and social groups. After all, the idea is to increase main namespace editing, this project will fail at that if we make social groups. If someone wants to do a contest, do it on a blog.--  Sokka-spriteOlorin The White  Talk  Contribs  Friends 01:44, April 26, 2011 (UTC)

That is correct O'lorin. --Prillin101 (talkcontribs) 01:45, April 26, 2011 (UTC)

I have to agree with Courage here. The Wiki is not for socializing. You want socializing? Make a page on your userspace. Bah! By the way: Taking names for the Comma Crusade (I'm thinking of naming it the "Dai Li"), a group which focuses on spelling/grammar correction. If you're interested in joining, you first have to pass an editing quiz made by me! I'm a professional editor, so, you know . . . TAD, theavatardemotivator - talk 01:48, April 26, 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure AvatarFreak21 completely understands what the user groups are about. They are for promoting creative editing on the mainspace, with small 'teams' working on a particular thing to improve. The groups are not socializing groups, just as the wiki is not a social network, rather an encyclopedia with social interaction amongst its' editors.
Okay, now that's done, contests? Definitely, as long as they do not subtract from improving article quality, and they promote constructive editing within a user group's 'theme (ie, grammatical edits in the 'Comma Crusade'). Actually, on the 'Comma Crusade', I think it is a great idea, I would join, and I think that quiz is a good idea for the user groups which can utilize it. A small test, if you will. Going on my 'image standards' user group idea in my previous comment I believe, the leader or the person in charge of recruitment creates a page in the user space of the user wishing to join, for example:
User:Rassilon of Old/Image Standards recruitment test
. In the case of the Image Standards, a mainspace page would be copied there, but with images littered throughout the page with wrong sizing, placing, etc, and then the user wanting to join would have to fix the images in the article, with proper image layout enforced. This is a way of testing one's ability and competence in that particular area of editing. Thoughts? Rassilon of Old (Talk - TTFF - Teru) 02:48, April 26, 2011 (UTC)
I don't want to bog ourselves down with too many predetermined rules for user groups. I believe that each user group should be able to run itself based on its own rules, unless those rules directly contradict sitewide policy. By all means, you can use those kind of rules for a user group you create, and it seems to be a sound methodology. :) The 888th Avatar (talk) 02:56, April 26, 2011 (UTC)

This type of things are there in many wikis. I support it. And when Korra starts, we will user groups Natsu-Talk-See My Work 06:50, April 26, 2011 (UTC)

When Korra starts? We'll use it ASAP. And 888, I agree that each group should have its' own terms, or rules/guidelines, obviously as long as they don't breach Avatar Wiki Policy, or User Group Policy, if we make one that is. Rassilon of Old (Talk - TTFF - Teru) 07:27, April 26, 2011 (UTC)
I believe we should have an overall User Group Policy, rules to govern the fundamentals of every group, i.e. Users are permitted to join a maximum of only 3 User Groups (or any listed by Olorin). And individual groups could have their own set of unspoken rules, such as little to none grammatical errors in editing for the groups dedicated to fixing them in the first place. AvaFan MsgMe 07:41, April 26, 2011 (UTC)

Seeming everyone likes this idea, when will it be made official? I know, we're still working out the "kinks" but, it seems the guidelines are good, and most of us like it! Toph Lover (talk Ahaha contribs) 07:34, April 26, 2011 (UTC)

Generally, proposals are considered to have gathered consensus when there isn't any significant dissent after two weeks, with a provision to close early if there are no replies for three days. Considering the universal support so far, I think we might be able to bring it in early but leave the discussion open for any further opinions. I can probably restore the old pages and do some rewriting of them by tomorrow. The 888th Avatar (talk) 07:45, April 26, 2011 (UTC)

If you want help with restoring and possibly rewriting the pages or anything, I'll happily help you out. Just give me a list on my talk page with instructions of what you would like me to do, and I'll do it when I get back from dinner. Rassilon of Old (Talk - TTFF - Teru) 07:56, April 26, 2011 (UTC)

Thanks very much, but unfortunately, as only admins can restore pages and we need to maintain old page histories, I'm afraid there's no technical way for you to help, at least in the initial restoration. :( The 888th Avatar (talk) 08:12, April 26, 2011 (UTC)

Instead of restoring the original pages (you mean the different groups?), why don't you let us create entirely new ones? That way there won't be confusion as old groups are taken down and whatnot. I think that, since this has had universal support, that we should start it as soon as we can. We want the Wiki spotless by the time LOK fans start browsing through. TAD, theavatardemotivator - talk 10:51, April 26, 2011 (UTC)

What do you mean by restoring, and by the way I agree with creating User Groups. --Prillin101 (talkcontribs) 11:31, April 26, 2011 (UTC)

Can we get this show on the road? TAD, theavatardemotivator - talk 20:24, April 26, 2011 (UTC)

Prillin, by restoring he means to "undelete" the page. We had user groups before, but then they were deleted due to their inactivity. Dcasawang1 (talk) 22:23, April 26, 2011 (UTC)

I can't be the only one not shocked at the fate of original user pages, correct? That sort of issue happened all the time back at the MEF wiki. But in all seriousness, it's clear that the unanimous support from the community that has been expressed toward this project is ample justification to reinstate the User groups. To all of the admins and those on the Standards Council, or whoever gets to make this decision, the desire of the community is clear. Reinstate the User Groups ASAP, as a shot of adrenaline to the heart for this wikia's editing. Lovelyb0nes (talkcontribs) 22:42, April 26, 2011 (UTC)

I meant restoring the original base page, which I've now done. :) The 888th Avatar (talk) 23:46, April 26, 2011 (UTC)

Okay, so I have had a few more ideas. I have been monitoring the new user groups, and started adding them to the list of user groups, and I have noticed that the general layout of the pages have been very different. I was thinking that we should create a universal layout that all user groups should use, and then modify to the group's needs. I also thought about navigating through user groups, and I created this:

Fanon advertisement

A screencapture of the fanon advertisement on an article (bottom right).

Fanon advertisements are small boxes which appear on the bottom righthand corner of a fanon article that has images linking to the advertised fanon, in the case of the image right, White Lotus. The prupose of the advertisement is to promote new and old that may not be otherwise noticed by the community, as well as any other fanon. The advertisements are created and handled by Fanon Administrators, and rotate every two weeks.

All advertisements must be requested by the fanon's author, and must include a requested image to be used, as well as a short quote or tagline from the series.

To request an advertisement, there are several guidelines that need to be met:

  • The requestor should be either the fanon's author, or an editor of the fanon with permission of the author. In the case of a fanon having multiple authors, the majority of the authors must be in agreement. Be sure to link this discussion when requesting.
  • The fanon's main page should be of high quality. If a fanon is denied advertisement due to this reason, a Fanon Administrator will give you clear directions as to what needs to be changed.
  • The same applies to chapter pages, as this is where a user will spend most of their time (reading the chapters).
  • The requested image to use for the advertisement must be of the correct ratio (333 x 250). This is to ensure the shape of the advertisement does not obstruct any article content.
  • The caption/quote for the advertisement should be around ten words. Of course, the length of a sentence can vary, but ten should be the target.
  • The and its related articles should have a clear category structure.
  • The fanon must not be discontinued, inactive, or have been completed for over two weeks. The two weeks ensures that fanon releasing their final chapter can still be advertised, though older completed fanon cannot be advertised.
  • The fanon can not currently be featured (on the Fanon Portal main page), though it can have a featured article.

Promoting your fanon

If your fanon is not eligable for advertisement, but it is still unknown, there are other ways to promote it. You can write a blog post advertising it on the Fanon Portal main page, or you can request a review from the Fanon Review Squad. I took the inspiration from the navigational template used on administrator, etc. pages. Should we make it mandatory to add that to the tops of pages? Rassilon of Old (Talk - TTFF - Teru) 10:32, April 27, 2011 (UTC)

Adding the template . . . We should probably have a universal layout to avoid confusion, yes. TAD, theavatardemotivator - talk 10:45, April 27, 2011 (UTC)

The template does look nice. My only concern with it is what if so many new user groups are added that they don't all fit on the top bar. Also, doesn't the category of usergroups already provide a link between the pages? --AvatarRokusGhost 11:58, April 27, 2011 (UTC)
Well then, I think the layouts of Avatar Wiki:Council of Shippers and Avatar Wiki:Minor Character Council should be considered as 'templates', if you will. And I can always just add a second row, and I thought it would just make sense to have a link to Avatar Wiki:User Groups. Not sure why, just did it. Rassilon of Old (Talk - TTFF - Teru) 12:03, April 27, 2011 (UTC)
Wouldn't it make more sense to construct a list in a navigation template to put at the bottom of the page? That would eliminate the problem of not having enough space. ;) The 888th Avatar (talk) 12:09, April 27, 2011 (UTC)
I myself am not a fan of those templates at all. In fact, I rather despise them. Let's wait until the spaces are filled, then worry about it. :) Rassilon of Old (Talk - TTFF - Teru) 12:14, April 27, 2011 (UTC)

In turn, I can't say I like the look of a tab template with entries stretching across four lines. It's too tall at the moment, and if I were to fix that now, the spaces would be filled. I like the idea of two line tab template even less... When I say navigation template, it doesn't have to be one of those templates such as can be found on Wikipedia. Elementary navigation — just links separated by bullets inside a div with a different background colour — would do. The 888th Avatar (talk) 12:27, April 27, 2011 (UTC)

What exactly did you have in mind? Could you provide an example please? Rassilon of Old (Talk - TTFF - Teru) 02:53, April 28, 2011 (UTC)
Sample. The 888th Avatar (talk) 04:21, April 28, 2011 (UTC)
Perfect! Looks nice, slim, sleek. I like it. Rassilon of Old (Talk - TTFF - Teru) 04:34, April 28, 2011 (UTC)
 :D The 888th Avatar (talk) 06:42, April 28, 2011 (UTC)
 :DD Imma going to go ahead and put it in a template. What would you like it to be called? Template:User groups navbox?? Rassilon of Old (Talk - TTFF - Teru) 07:22, April 28, 2011 (UTC)

Sounds good. The 888th Avatar (talk) 08:00, April 28, 2011 (UTC)

Thanks to 888, everyone should have a navigational template at the bottom of their User Group pages. If you are using the prototype I made, please delete it. Thanks. :) Now onto the layout, again, I suggest we take the layout of Avatar Wiki:Council of Shippers and Avatar Wiki:Minor Character Council as templates, and then implement these changes to the best possible layout. Agreed? Rassilon of Old (Talk - TTFF - Teru) 08:50, April 28, 2011 (UTC)

Hi everyone, could you please see this new forum thread for further discussion on another subject related to user groups? Cheers, Rassilon of Old (Talk - TTFF - Teru) 02:15, May 4, 2011 (UTC)

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