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Hi everyone. What I am about to write will hopefully express the views of many users throughout this site. I would like as much feedback as possible so we can reach an agreement with regards to the recently implemented "badge system".
I believe that part of the reason the badge system was implemented was so we could have more users on this site. Apropos, the site would grow quickly. While this may be true, I think the aspect of quality was overlooked. As it turned out, we got 100's of users making outrageously pointless edits just for the sake of earning these badges. The effects that I have noticed are the following:
A). An increase in pointless comments. By pointless I mean comments which add nothing to the wiki, inappropriate comments, and irrelevant comments.
B). An increase in pointless talk page discussions, which have nothing to do with the betterment of the Avatar Wikia or with any regards to the show.
C). Mass adding of images
In this sense, I do not feel that bringing more editors to this site has added anything to it. Many of the editors of this kind should limit their participation to being readers. I feel that this wiki has been "sidetracked". The number of pointless editors is now outweighing the number of good editors. My biggest fear is that the quality of the wiki is diminishing, and indeed, it has.
I understand that people do like to be rewarded, so I am going to propose an idea. Recently I have implemented a new template AvatarStar. I suggest that we abolish the quantitative badging "system" and approach this from a more subjective point of view, where it can also be monitored. How this should work is the following basic concept: Someone shows very good work around the wiki, and they earn the AvatarStar. It's a prestigious award. I feel that doing this encourages people who want to earn the star to actually make positive contributions. Everyone may be asking "well can't anyone just award it to anyone?". While this is partially true, I implemented something to prevent that. There is actually a category that allows us (administrators / rollback users) to keep track of who was awarded the star. If they simply didn't deserve it, there should be no problem to take it away. As a matter of fact, it should really only be the administrators who give the award. In essence, this expresses my view on the subject. It also proposes a solution where we can, perhaps, compromise in an effort to improve this wonderful site.