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The Ba Sing Se Times, Issue 49: 17 November

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avatar wiki's community newsletter

Discussion report
Announcements and discussion results:

Technical report

  • The new forums undergoing beta test by Avatar Wiki was rolled out earlier this week, archiving and replacing the original War Room forums. However, under community pressure, this action was later reversed. Currently, the responses of Wikia staff, and the discussion concerning the improvement of the new system, can be found here.

User rights report

48px-5161988.png From the editor
KettleMeetPot

Welcome to another (belated) issue of the Ba Sing Se Times! To our readers, we give sincere apologies due to the time constraints that have affected the release of this particular edition... However, on the plus side, without consultation, I have decided my deputy editors will now be working double the hours! So, from now on, expect no further interruptions to our fortnightly cycle, and double-doses of reading happiness at the expense of the staff! (To the Staff: you will not receive overtime pay on top of the $0 I already give you. Sue me :p)

Now, with humor aside, for those regular contributors that still remain with us, you may have noticed the removal of the Admin noticeboard... Among all the other forums included with the new forum system we were beta-testing for Wikia. Though the new system was foisted on us without warning a few days ago, resulting in a brief hiatus for the War Room, it was subsequently completely removed - along with the boards we had been using for months. A collation of reasoned community input into the matter, found here would be much appreciated by both the wiki as a whole and Wikia staff.

Now, without further ado, I will now let you, the reader, to continue you on to the meat and potatoes of the newsletter, something many of you have been starved of for months! But before I end this one, I must include a Happy Birthday to Krazykid51, one who did express that his birthday was on the 17th of November. So, then, enjoy your day KK51, and to our readers, enjoy this edition in earnest!

48px-2217546.png Inactivity on the wiki
Annawantimes

Inactivity is really nothing new on the wiki; activity normally comes and goes depending upon what has been released and what there is to do on the wiki. Lately, especially, many users have fallen less active or inactive altogether. The decrease in regular contributors here is made evident by the frequency of adminiship elections, with two occurring over the course of only two about two months.

One catalyst of wiki activity is generally the release of new content, which in turn requires the updating of articles and improvement of that content. This is also nothing new, and when we have less updates coming in, less users edit, and thus they become inactive. Another inhibitor of activity (to use another chemical term), has been the decreased presence of others on the wiki. In some cases, the absence of users urges them to become less active themselves and return when their fellow editors have returned as well. These two factors contribute to what the wiki is currently experiencing.

This decreased activity across the wiki calls to mind several Saturday mornings when new Legend of Korra episodes were released, and the wiki exploded with activity, with too many edits and comments to keep track of. When new information is released, it will gradually draw more users back to the wiki, and eventually the wiki will be as lively as it was several months ago. In my opinion, this period of decreased activity surely will not continue for too much longer.

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The Transcript Namespace
WaterbenderTaikai

The transcript namespaceisoneof Avatar Wiki’s lesser known namespaces. Currently, only a handful of users contribute to helping build our ever-growing collection of transcripts. Right now, there are 87 transcripts, but with more Legend of Korra episodes on their way, we will have many more. Some of you readers may be feeling a sense of guilt and sorrow (or maybe not). “How can I help? I don’t want the puppies transcript namespace to suffer any more than it has already,” you may ask. Here’s how: Edit the transcripts; it’s the number one thing you can do. Some transcripts still need scene elaboration. A suggested method is to watch episodes from Avatar or The Legend of Korra to refresh the scenes and lines in your mind. Then you can describe them in the corresponding transcripts. Even if you don’t want to rewatch episodes, you can still help contribute to the transcripts by looking for grammar and spelling errors, sentences to reword or fix, etc. To clarify, this not me forcing you to edit the transcripts. I’m just spreading awareness of the transcript namespace. On another note, try making a goal for yourself. Say to yourself, right now, the number of transcripts you want to help contribute to in the next week or so. Once you meet your goal, aim higher! The sky is the limit. In conclusion, the transcript namespace can only be helped by you, so contribute to make Avatar Wiki a better, completed place. :)

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A Speculation Piece: The Search
PSUAvatar14

Well, as one comic trilogy ends, so another begins. We went through the ups and downs of The Promise, and now move onward to The Search, which will answer a question that has bugged the fandom for many years - what happened to Ursa? Part 1 is due out in 2013, which leaves the door open for fan speculation and other questions in the meanwhile. I have come up with a couple of my own theories...see what you think of any of them.

  • Katara will join Aang at some point. This came up on discussions at another ATLA forum I'm involved with, and I have to agree with it. I have a hard time Katara would just watch Aang be on a journey with Azula while she's nowhere near him, considering Azula killed him in their last fight. While Yang has stated the rest of T.A. will take more of a backseat, don't be surprised if Katara pops up alongside Aang somewhere along the line.
  • Azula will try something. This speculation is based on TS's cover, which shows Azula apparently holding two balls of lightning in her hands, while also smirking and standing behind Zuko and Aang. What this attempt is, I don't know, but I would not be surprised if she were to try and strike at "Zuzu" within the contents. So, though chances are they will, the two young men need to keep their eye on the ex-princess.

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Requests for Rollback: A Rant
Godsrule

So I was looking at the Reqests for Rollback page to see if we have any new rollbackers. Surprisingly I saw the most recent rollback was me! I got my rollback over a month ago. I was surprised. There are so many good canidates out there. Honestly, I am bugged with seeing my name as the last one on thr page. I remember the first time I requested was on the weekend. On Satoday Ruen and Humble requested, and on Sunday Jr. and I requested. Four users in a weekend but none in a month?! What is this? There are soooo many qualified users here. Since that day I have been stalking the page and like I said, nothing new :( Seriously, I is sad! Becoming a rollback is fairly simple.

Step 1: Start watching Special:WikiActivity. Check the diff for every edit. Improve the edit or undo the edit if it needs undoing.
Step 2: While watching Special:WikiActivity also read the comments. If you have a history of moderating comments then you are more likely to be accepted.
Step 3: REQUEST! This is one of the most crucial parts of the process. Finish this and you are on your way to helping the wiki EVEN more.

And that's it. Follow those steps and I am sure you will get it eventually. Don't be discouraged if you get turned down. I got turned down one and you may. So get out there and start working!

from the fanon portal
48px-2249220.png Fanon News
AcerEvan

GENERAL FANON NEWS

Hey my fanon-folks! Good to see you again! Today, Acer is back for good. Please, fasten your seat belts before T-Rex attacks you or a mystical-poison spreads over your body.... I hope not.

Going to the General Fanon News or I call... Fanon Bulletin.

This time, I just want to say "Buy seven cookies and give them to Vortex author!" I can't see any annoying things on Vortex as you know it has "dark history" in the past. Let's pray for MightyBrit about his accident, as we know, written in Vortex chapter... He entered comma. Out from the accident, the first prologue was aangmazing! Siriusly? Yes! I see, you can see, the different style blended in one chapter, but blended nicely! Every characters were described vividly, greatly, I love this! You didn't, haven't, will not, won't, never want to, or ignoring to read Vortex? You should check up to dctors because I think your fanon-interest medicine is run out.

And have you noticed that I'm writing again? Yaay! I don't know how many fans of TCA:TFF are there, because the "popularity" or because the "low quality". >.< Just 'kid . Really, I'm back at writing world. [Cough] Thanks for the welcome, . [Cough]. ¬¬ Shameless.

Oppa fanon style!
Thanks to kuzon for his fanon style on writing, hilarious one. As you know yesterday, (several days back, actually) he did an "alone flash mob" by singing a really awesomeful song that disturb my whole life because the music broke my lesson on the class as my classmate practicing for art class, so... Sorry for the grammatical errors. That's it.
No offense. Really. I mean, now we have Oppa Fanon Style dance for breaking the dawn barren portal back to glorious.

Did you know that our lovely IsabellaLover back at the barnyard? How nice! We can see her masterpiece on writing by read the latest fanon series that I know, the The First Bender and one of the most potential story ever that I've read in Avatar Wiki, authored by Minnichi's Padawan, co-authored by IL..... Avatar: The Bending Prodigy! [Fireworks] You can read it now, I know you won't disappointed because the concept of the story is intriguing and interesting, moreover the format and organization.

Congratulation for Lady Lostris and Humble Imaginations, anyway. Sorry for the lateness, but they both have brought a brilliant fanon series and article last month, by winning the majestic Featured Fanon Nomination. And check the Fanonbending page regularly, nuff said. I just don't want you missed the voting, like Ratava-san did on ES nomination. But don't flood the voting, because.... Read it before vote it. Also don't forget to say thanks for Godsrule for his take-over the F.A.S. I can't, Minnichi can't, fanonbenders can't do that alone, I dare say. A lot of latemess (lateness X mess) were there, as we, fanonbenders are currently not really active as we did in the past. I hope he will do a great job, and I also hope his name will written on Fanonbenders page.

A:TSW now just has published its first sneak peek of "Slaves"! The idea of sneak peek was brilliant, just like Henry's middle name, trendsetter. He don't just trendsetting the sneak peek, but also DeviantArt and Slider, actually. Read the sneak peek and commenting before you want to publish your own sneak peek. ;) And don't forget to bring [[Category:Fanon blog posts because if you don't do it, people won't read it easily.

Okay, through the fanon portal, we don't have anything new, really new, today. Only a note for FRS applicants, I have to tell you that FRS WILL CLOSE THE OPEN SPOT UNTIL THERE ARE AT LEAST "blah" MORE APPLICANTS. So please waiting, or maybe, invite people that maybe potential to be a good reviewer to join. Thank you.


That's all, this time. Acer is going off... For good.

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Fanon Review: Political Animals by Omashu Rocks
Minnichi

I'm in a mad rush to burn through my list of late reviews before those exams get me next week. This is number 2 of 4 that are off-schedule...ergh! But as always, reading the fanons themselves is a wonderful break from my cursed academics. This in particular is one of the few that I'm a natural fan of...so let's stick around for some commentary on Political Animals by Omashu Rocks! Ever wonder how this guy has such a reputation in anything government-related? Look no further!

Earth Kingdom throne room
Only a naive fool would honestly believe that Ba Sing Se simply reinstalled Kuei as their leader and moved on peacefully. No, that would be possible in the most politically corrupt and morally bankrupt city in the world. Immediately after Ozai's defeat, cries for a change in government shot throughout the entire Earth Kingdom. While a few did favor Kuei to remain as ruler, most became addicted to the concept of holding a free Democratic election to determine who would become the President of the Earth Nation. Avatar Aang, believing it was not his role to use his influence to elect his preferred President, declared that candidates with similar ideas would form parties and a clear platform that the people could use to make their decision. Out the genuine belief that he was best for the position and nothing else, General How immediately joins the Liberal Party along with Lao Beifong and others. To How's dismay, General Fong and General Sung form the Military Party and vie for the nomination, vowing for a strong militaristic rule over the nation. To make matters much worse, Long Feng establishes the Communist Party, and began to run on a platform of "standing up for the people".

General How must deal with media scrutiny, violent protests, and the evil intentions of his main opponent while struggling to run his own family. He's about to find out what a tough contact sport campaigning for office really is.

In all honesty, I became interested in this fanon the moment I read the first sentence of the summary, and before a single chapter was released. Mr. Rocks has a knack of making one realize interesting points about anything he discusses; I most definitely would not have thought so deeply about Kuei's inadequacies if not for this fanon. And well, this intriguing style continues on throughout the story thus far! I don't even have to be a politics junkie to enjoy it.

The Scores

  • Plot - 9.6: Making politics into a good story? Under Minnichi's pen = impossible. With Omashu Rocks as an author = amazing! I never would've thought someone could combine the two elements of Avatar and real-world government in such a way. The beauty in this is that it can keep a political tone while still incorporating almost all the elements of a well-rounded story. Trust me, I've read too many assigned political "stories" that failed to keep my interest as strongly as this. The only minor setback is that sometimes I'd like to see more story focus on some of the characters, namely General How's opponents. I love the personal story that OR plays out in How's part, and this would be even greater if the same amount of background elements accompanied the others as well, especially on Long Feng's and Lao's part. But in all honesty, it was kinda hard for me to think of a flaw here. With nothing else to say, movin on!
  • Organization - 9.8: Very brilliantly organized indeed. This author can tackle something very complex like politics and lead politically-challenged people like me through it without trouble. The flow of things was just right, aside from a very veryyyyy slight rush past potential character story details, as I mentioned earlier. While the political hype is very interesting to read about, no doubt, a tad bit more time spent on character interaction would be nice.
  • Creativity – 8.6: I'm aware that this fanon contains numerous references to real- life political drama, of course, though I probably know too little about politics myself to recognize most of them. But I can still tell that the story relies very heavily on American political party trends for much of its plot, and as much as I like it I do have to recognize that these ideas are unfortunately unoriginal. However, the author's unique combination of these things with the bizarre world of Avatar prevents the deduction from being anything major, and I can bet I won't see someone else pull it off quite as well.
  • Writing – 9.0 (x3): Grammar's never been much of an issue for me and hardly counts in this deduction, as my scoring really only goes by any effect it might have on the reader (I probably glanced past any minor grammar issues without noticing, to be honest). One of the only "solid" problems that can be discussed here probably arises naturally from Mr. Rocks's own political views. Now I completely understand how this can very easily affect a story, but nonetheless I'll always encourage an author to keep trying their best to keep the story unbiased in their favor (referring to that point I made about how readers shouldn't "tell" who the author supports). Everything is crafted very nicely, but I can just barely catch a little edgy tone around the Avatarded Liberal party. Understandable if you know the author, of course, but this could be toned down even more for the sake of the story. Other than that, I'll remind the author to update the readers a little more often on surrounding details like the weather and how much time passes between events. All very little things overall to critique.
  • Character Development - 8.8 (x2) This is honestly one of my favorite parts about the fanon, but the number appears a little lower than the last just because of that point I made about the character backgrounds. The lives of Kuei and those in the Liberal party don't feel quite as in-depth and colorful as How's, and I'd love to hear more about them. Physical description can also fall a bit vague at times, as I noticed some instances where clothing was described more than anatomical features. But I'm forever impressed that the author can keep an intense campaign running in his story without overdoing it, and while keeping such a strong sense of personality in his characters throughout.
  • Action - Omitted: This is obviously not meant to be something filled with flying fireballs and war cries....well, not yet at least. (You never know how crazy those conspiring politicians can be!) But at this point it's only fair that I don't consider action in the scoring. The story's doing just great without it anyhow!
  • Believability – 9.0: Ah yes, there's always the most obvious question that may arise, which is "How can Ba Sing Se adopt a democratic system?" But I see this more as a "what if" scenario, and there's only so much you can gripe about that. It's like questioning Zutara for not being canon, or criticizing all those unique forms of bending that many of our fanon portal authors come up with. In the end, these are just pure ideas, and nothing more. A fanon is going to be an alternate universe of the show, no matter how big or small, and not really much you can do there for 'believability.' In Mr. Rocks's world, democracy exists in Ba Sing Se! It's the presentation that counts, and I think he's done a wonderful job. The deduction is only because I believe the story trends tend to pick up after real-life politics a little *too* easily at times and could just use some more elaboration. No biggie, though.

Overall Score: 9.07

  • Anddd that marks author number 3 who's ever received a 9.0 or above in Minnichi-reviewing history! Mr. Rocks now joins AvatarRokusGhost and Aritiane in this little group. I honestly dunno how my scoring ends up that way, but again I know that the list will grow too long soon enough. Still, thought I'd mention it anyway!


My advice for Omashu Rocks: Well buddy, this is obviously your zone. Don't stop now! Yes, do remember not to let yourself get carried away in the excitement of political ideals and to keep your characters nice and colorful, but in the end... I'm just waiting for your next update.

Who should read It Political Animals? Well, all you politics lovers should already be attracted by the title! But in all honesty, this fanon has the intense drama of any good story. Now go forth and read, I say!

50px-3467474.png Fanon Advertising Update
Godsrule

Hey everyone, Minnichi here- hey wait a minute. My Dai Li image isn't there. Gods' image is there. Well I guess I'm taking a break from FAS. Now to hand it over to Gods.


Okay, so here I am. Talking to you. Yeah. So what did you think of my Minnichi impersonation? Bad. Yeah. I'll tone it down. Or maybe stop it. Yeah. Back to FAS. We just wrapped up our advertisement of Aritiane's Phantoms whit all of its Phans (Thanks for the Phan thingmambob TyDy!) and are now on to our advertisement of Elements of Life. Hey wait a minute, why am I using our. I'm not part of the Fanonbenders. Or yet. I am going to apply eventually

Yeah. Back to FAS. Before I start rambling on how awesome EoL is I might as well tell you who won the contest. The winner is… NOBODY! Seriously nobody even attempted. JUST KIDDING! This week we had four people counting Minnichi and Acer. Excluding Acer and Minnichi we had TheLoKnessmonster and as always Typhoonmaster :D. Ty won for his amazing thoughts on Phantoms. Oh what, you had no idea we gave away userboxes. Well we do. Oh, there I go again saying we, I mean they give away userboxes. Yeah. Back to FAS. I use that too much don't I. Yeah. Back to FAS. This time the ad is about Elements of Life by Typhoonmaster! EoLmain EoL is a beautiful series of one-shots revolving around well any topic. Ty takes his time to craft each and every story. The plot of the one-shot revolves around what is happening in TY's interesting life. So let's keep it that way! Currently there are 10 one-shots there with room for more. So let's read it!

He manages to portray the character with out making him seem out of place, and without losing your interest. There are LOK one-shots, A:TLA one-shots and even some Roku one-shots.

Seriously, I can't reccomend this enough. READ IT I tell you, read it!


(Ominous music) 35px-5047861.png < Well hi there!

Minnichi here. And oh look, there's my Dai Li image. Snazzy!

So I see that someone has dared ninja'd me to writing the Ad Report, eh? Hmmm, well I think I might just have to, ohhh... Just kiddin'! Really. The first thing I felt upon seeing this, quite honestly, was relief. Like many others working in fanon usergroups, I've been unimaginably, agonizingly, tear-your-hair-out busy. Godsrule's gesture brings me to remind any of you who read this that you're free to help contribute to the BSST and various fanon portal shenanigans like reviewing and advertising anytime! I know that there're so many people dying to participate at the moment, with all 2 or so non-Fanonbender authors commenting in the F.A.S. rotation. Don't all rush at once, now!

Just taking a quick moment to address one of Godsrule's points now. Yes, there were winners of the advertising contest - but 3 out of 4 participants are the exact same as last time. So alright, I'll just say it: What will it take for you guys to join the bloody contest?! And on that note, I know that you are all capable of participating in contests; speaking as a host of a certain writing contest from last month, I faintly remember judging 20 or so entries...and these were long, detailed, and high-quality action scenes. This goes to show that 20 or more authors are perfectly capable of writing entire oneshots within a couple of weeks - but unable to leave a little comment about a fanon in need of attention? What could be the meaning of this?! (gasp)

Ohhh, that's right. My writing contest had prizes. Pretty snazzy prizes, too. SO...that's the way you wanna play, huh? Well here's a little secret: I occasionally award authors outside of contests for reasons not entirely related to writing, but more for their quality as a person and contributor to the fanon portal. Good contributors deserve epic art as much as good authors. See where this is going now? No? I'll announce it as directly and obviously as possible right here and now: Consistent participants of the fortnightly Fanon Advertising Contest who show genuine effort to aid a promoted fanon will receive a custom illustration from Minnichi's artist buddies at deviantart.com. The dates of awards and their frequency will be unannounced and completely at Minnichi's discretion.

There! That get your attention a little? And of course, as a friendly reminder to everyone, my artist buddies produce things like this, this, this, and oh the list goes on. Now these awards will not be handed out very easily, nor will they appear commonly. To ensure that only authors with a significant quality receive them, just as they did in my contest, this means that you have to be a very strong and consistent contributor to be considered. Whether this means that a winner will be selected one month or 6 months from now, point is you've gotta shine.

Got it? Let the unpredictable contest begin! And if not, well hey more money for me! I mean I do buy illustrations for people with points that are, heh, donated to me on Deviantart, but honestly you guys not participating just means more fanon illustrations for myself >:D You really want to let me keep all of them? So yep, start trying to convince me of your usefulness to the fanon advertising system if you're up for it! And if this doesn't convince you guys...well, I give up.

50px-4298791.png Vortex is Here
Suzon

The long awaited community blockbuster is finally here. Now, speaking for the authors of Vortex, AvatarRokusGhost, Minnichi, BlackMonkey, Wordbender, Mageddon725, Agent Slash, and myself, are very excited to be bringing you this. Now, if everything goes as planned (which we all know never works the way we'd like), we should see a tiny delay between this and the next chapter, and than a cycular release of chapters (possibly one-week to two-weeks). Chapter One is currently in development, and should be finished soon, Chapter Two is currently finished, but needs to be edited.

Now, I have a good feeling that everyone will like Vortex. Not only will it visit the contributed characters universes, it will visit the A:TLAverse, the LoKverse, and some familiar places (Omashu Rocks fans will like a location). There will be mild comedy, mixed with much drama and action. Vortex is looking like it will be between 14-21 chapters. We've already plotted much of the story. Unlike the prologue, written by all of us, the next chapters will each be written by a single person, and edited by all of us. We are hoping that our individual writing styles will merge together to form a single writing style, layered with our individuality.

We hope that Vortex will be one of the few group fanons that succeed - well, we guarantee, actually. Now, not saying it is definite, but we have also been talking about the 'future' of Vortex after Vortex. So, when it ends, don't be sad.

48px-3467474.png Fanon Fact Finders Interview
Godsrule

During the time of Avatar Kuruk, the four States lived in harmony, with the world divided into equal portions. But when Kuruk passed, the Earth State made its attack on the rest of the world. Seventeen years later Kyoshi discovers she is the Avatar and uncovers hidden secrets about the Earth State - their manipulation of the truth and their desire for domination. Can she learn all four elements before the Earth State conquers the world? Or will she not even make it out of Ba Sing Se alive? - A snippet of what The Kyoshi Chronicles is about.

Random polls

Staff Poll: what do *you*, reader, think of our (beloved) editor, and now admin, KMP?
 
31
 
7
 
1
 
5
 

The poll was created at 14:18 on November 17, 2012, and so far 44 people voted.
Out of the following, what do you expect from Wikia's new forum features?
 
11
 
22
 
1
 
8
 

The poll was created at 14:14 on November 17, 2012, and so far 42 people voted.
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