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The Ba Sing Se Times, Issue 15: 22 January

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Ba Sing Se Times Banner
48px-1025281.png From the editor
The 888th Avatar

It has been a whirlwind week for Avatar Wiki, to say the least. By today, a plethora of changes have been pushed through the community. While all of these new changes are ground-breaking, the new guidelines for article comments are in particular critical to the future reputation and success of the site.

The Ba Sing Se Times implores all users with the ability to delete - that includes administrators, fanon administrators and rollback users - to not spare ammunition in assaulting articles with large quantities of comments that can only be described as unworthy trash. On this site, the general deleting rule is to not delete if in doubt - that rule should now be relaxed for comments.

While a large number of anonymous commentators may be dismayed by the seemingly draconian guidelines and the way of thinking The Times is encouraging, it is very important for Avatar Wiki to maintain a good balance between our philosophy of allowing everyone with Internet access the ability to edit, and our need to remain the highest quality and most authoritative resource of Avatar on the planet. Volume is not the most accurate indicator of success, after all.



48px-1635895.png Ask Sokka
Will94 and Ianbernard

Well Ba Sing Se! Since Iroh was so rudely sedated, I have been asked to replace his spot this issue, and I hope I can guide you through your turmoily, turmoil, stuff.
Okay, first question...

Dear Sokka,
I was bought a baby moose lion for my birthday, and I am not sure what to feed it. When I asked the pet store owner, he said "we shouldn't talk about it." So anyway, what does a baby moose lion eat? Your friend, baby moose lion owner.

Dear baby moose lion owner,
I am not sure what baby moose lion's eat, but when they grow up, THEY WILL EAT ME! Yeah, I was buried in a hole, a cute little baby moose lion walks up, then not so cute adult moose lion tried to eat me! I mean, what is it's problem! Yes, I tried to eat it's baby, but that is no reason for IT'S NONSENSE!!
From Sokka.

Dear Sokka,
I was just wondering, why is your sword so fancy? Perhaps to make up for something less than extravagent? Perhaps, your fighting skills?
From Unknown Person.

Dear Toph,
Stop sending me letters.
From Sokka.

Dear Sokka,
A few months ago, I was taken by an ex-girlfriend to a fountain in the middle of Ba Sing Se. With the candles lit, and the moon shining, the fountain would look quite uh, cool. Anyway, recently the moon has not been sitting in the sky at the right, proper position, and I'd like to take my current girlfriend there. What could be done to fix this?
Regards, the scarred lord.

Dear, whatever.
THE MOON, IS DOING THE BEST JOB IT COULD POSSIBLY DO! HOW ABOUT YOU TAKE YOUR STUPID, GIRLFRIEND, TO SOME OTHER PLACE WHERE 'DA MOON DON'T SHINE! GO AND TAKE THE FOUNTAIN, AND SHOVE IT UP YOUR --- I'm sorry, wait... NO! I meant that!
From Sokka

Columnist's notes: Sokka sat in his office a few days later, and squealed when an angry Earthbending Toph walked into the office, and hit Sokka with pillow case full of bricks. Afterward the Fire Lord's girlfriend, raised her hand and slapped him out of his chair.
Sokka looked up, and frowned. "I hate the universe..."


48px-1040506.png New admin
Dcasawang1

Do we need a new admin? I just want to mention the reasons why we may need it, and why we may not. I’m not going to say anything about who should be the new admin. (This column is more like a summary.) Why we need a new admin:

  1. Some users think there is some difficulty in “contacting an administrator during the time of day when the wiki is busiest (around the evenings in American time zones)”.
  2. Important tasks where speed is essential are taking a very long time because the active administrators are not present during some hours. We have to wait for The 888th Avatar or Thailog.
    1. During some hours, if a vandal is attacking the wiki constantly, rollback users have to deal with him/her. The vandal can’t be blocked immediately. (Despite the new administrator noticeboard)
  3. Most community tasks are performed only by one admin

Why we don’t need a new admin:

  1. Policy states that the wiki has to have no more than five administrators.
  2. The problems mentioned in the first paragraph can be solved with other measures. The Administrator Noticeboard is available now. It’s a “centralized location for alerting administrators” about “vandalism, edit conflicts, abusive users, important or heated discussions, site problems and backlogs in site maintenance.”
  3. Despite the time, admins’ tasks are “being fulfilled”.
  4. Some users say that most of the current problems in the wiki are about fanon, so we would need a “fanon admin”.




48px-3287055.png Your opinion
Toph Lover

As we are all fans of Avatar, we all have our own opinions. Recently this wiki experienced a dark day when the shipping war began. Shipping is a fan created word where, Fans wedge two character names together to make couples. You may have heard names like; Maiko, Mai and Zuko, Kataang, Katara and Aang, Zutara, Zuko and Katara or Tokka, Toph and Sokka. Now, the shipping war is where fans were abusing the commenting section of the page saying that; Their favourite shipping is better, on other peoples comments! The shipping war has finally stopped. Yes! Believe your eyes! It has deceased.And we all hope it will stay that way. Another arguement takes place on the four nations pages. It's not as bad as the shipping war was. But it is still not fair. A message to say to all fellow wikians is; Your opinion is your opinion. Please don't bash a page just to express it in such a way that happened on quite a few. If you want to express it in that way please do it on your User Page (nicely still) or on the correct page your opinion please do it on the correct page. Just remember, Be nice! And have fun!

48px-2058216.png Vandalism & preventative measures
Water Spout

With increasing vandalism and alleged badge editing, it is not uncommon to find users expressing their support with regards to the demolition of the badge system. It seems as if the defacement of articles is often directly associated with badges, but it is important to note that this is not always the case.

In essence, badges are virtual awards rewarded to users who have achieved a particular objective in the wiki. Most can be obtained through habitual contributions over a period of time, becoming progressively harder to achieve as a user acquires them. As the initial set of badges are relatively basic, newer users tend to edit articles, in most cases without the intention of actually contributing to the articles in question, as a way of achieving rewards and establishing themselves.

The result is often the immediate vitiation of these edits by rollback users and normal contributors alike. This does not occur as frequently as it is made out to be, albeit remaining an issue to the overall quality of the wiki.

When dealing with this issue, it is important to consider that anonymous contributors tend to make the most edits that can be considered as vandalism and badge editing; badges are only awarded to registered users. It is also fair to note that administrators are keen on disciplining those who badge edit, through blocks and warnings.

Therefore, users should not blame vandalism and associate it directly to the badge system, as it is not always the case. This conclusion is as misleading as stating that the anonymous users are the sole causes of the wiki's problems. Contributors privileged with user rights should bear it upon themselves to prevent vandalism, as it is their responsibility as rollbacks. Moreover, users should not be quick to blame the badge system, and should assist in maintaining the quality of the wiki through undoing erroneous contributions and giving warnings to those who go against the policy.

Removing the badge system in entirety will not solve vandalism. Cooperation between users, administrators and the entire community alike will.


48px-1635895.png Undiscovered fanons
Will94

All fanon readers love finding a brand new fanon to read, and new writers like to be recognised for their work. Unfortunately this is usually hard, and even harder to advertise their unknown work, so this column will be dedicated to all those writers out there who want the community to know about their fan fiction!

This issue, the undiscovered fanon is Shoji's Journey, created by Keitonashita. The story follows Shoji, an established character in the episode of Avatar:The Last Airbender entitled The Headband. In the episode, he is one of the school kids that Aang meets, and is last seen watching Aang Earthbend his way out of the dance party. But in this fanon, he becomes so much more.

The series starts with a two part recap of The Headband, then continuing into its' own series entirely, starting with Shoji's discovery of Aang's Earthbending ability.

There have been fanons like this one, for example, Vulmens' Eyes of Katara, which also follows the story of a character through their eyes, but never has anyone dared to use a one time character, and no one could have succeeded but Keitonashita, who has used extraodinary talent in writing to expand on what was a boring character, into a hero.

7/10 stars.


48px-3042313.png My absence
Ianbernard

I know I’ve been gone for quite some time. Unfortunately, I was in a wreck while driving to see my friends. A man ran a red light, trying to hurry to get to pick up his daughter, and he t-boned me. My car flipped, and I was taken to ICU where I stayed for 8 days. I returned home at 10:30pm Sunday the 22 of January with a broken leg, fractured collar bone, and six staples in my head.

I’m fine, and I’ll recover, but I will be having to go to rehab Monday’s, Tuesday’s, Friday’s and Saturday’s for the next 4 weeks, and I will not be on all those days.

As for The Hawky Awards and my fanon, I’ll try my best to get those out, but for now I need to take a break from anything “stressful”, so my doctor says.

I just wanted to let everyone know I haven’t forgotten about y’all, and I’ll be back in full swing soon. XoXo


48px-2050906.png Avatar Wiki is changing
Courage the Cowardly User

Recently, the wiki has been making much progress in making new rules, proposals , etc. After much confusion, many users have been bringing up issues such as image changes, leading to new policies that help make the wiki grow. For example, we now have a page to report vandals, which makes banning easier.

This has made many users happy, and has cleared many issues the wiki has experienced. However, lots of changes and improvements still need to be made. For example, the forums have been flooded with spam and need updates and increased traffic. Mostly, however, the wiki is being improved and is doing very well.

So, the wiki has been continually improved, and is doing fine. Things still need to be changed, but, for the most part, it is doing very well.

Special mentions

  • AvaFan and French Froglegs, for (somehow) changing dozens of articles on Avatar Wiki to finally meet our policies on tenses.
  • Carloso, for tirelessly marking countless images as having no license specified, and notifying affected users on their talk page - a big help for the admins.
  • Kuzura, for translating countless articles into Russian on the Russian Avatar Wiki, and linking them all from here.
  • Will94 and Ianbernard, for writing an article at the last minute for this edition of The Ba Sing Se Times

Suggest users for this to the editor! This section is for users who have made some significant and creative improvement, have acted as a voice of reason or even have simply been kind to others.

Recommended reading

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48px-1025281.png Help guides: tables
The 888th Avatar

Have you wondered why, despite your best efforts, your tables never seem to look as good as those made by professional web designers? This week, I'm going to go through some techniques to let you rival them. (You'll need to switch to source mode for all of these techniques.)

  • Make your table pretty without doing anything much: You will see {| at the start of the table. Add a space after that and then enter class="wikitable". Add a space after that if there is more code on that line. Press save. Wonder at the colours that match the site. Example at List of Avatar Episodes.
  • Experiment with different borders: style="border:1px dashed black" will make your tables have a dashed black border around it. You could also substitute "dashed" for "dotted", "solid" (the default), "double", "groove", "ridge", "inset" and "outset". You can also make the border thicker by entering a number higher than 1 in 1px. As I detailed last issue, you can also change "black" for a variety of colours.
  • Rounded corners (will not work in IE): style="-moz-border-radius:8px; -webkit-border-radius:8px; border-radius:8px;" - Because each browser is weird in their own way, the "moz" is for Firefox, the "webkit" is for Safari and Chrome, and the last one should be for the shiny new browsers coming out this year. You can change the value (example here uses 8) to make your corners rounder or less round. Make sure your table has a background colour or a border defined though - otherwise it'll be nice yellowy corners on a yellowy background.
  • Make your tables collapsible i.e. they can show text or hide at a click: This is a bit more complicated; so I would base your designs on this (and I'm using an example myself in the process):


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