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The Ba Sing Se Times, Issue 23: 14 May

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48px-1025281.png From the editor: Group effectiveness
The 888th Avatar

As most of the wiki probably knows, user groups recently returned to Avatar Wiki in a bid to make it easier for users to engage in article editing. While it is the opinion of The Ba Sing Se Times that the running of these groups be fully autonomous of the wider community, certain decisions in this regard made by some of the user groups are a cause for concern.

There are certain practices that should not be recommended. One is limiting the number of users permitted in the group. If the aim of these groups is to encourage more editing participation, and there are capable users on the wiki who are qualified to participate, any such limit can be harmful to the strength of the wiki. Another is the concept of the founder retaining final control over the groups they create. This weakens the concept of user groups being a means for collaboration, and contradicts the Avatar Wiki philosophy that the will of the masses is the highest law.

User groups should prove to be a defining aspect of the success of this wiki. Their flourishing should not be limited by well-meaning, but ultimately stifling, sets of rules.

48px-1635895.png Undiscovered fanon & new project
Rassilon of Old

Jumping right into it, this issue's featured fanon is A Bird Could Love a Fish, by Theavatardemotivator. Setting out to write a Kataang shipping fan fiction, Theavatardemotivator (better known as TAD) has created a beautiful spin on the romance between Aang and Katara, presenting it in the best way possible, and has done a fantastic job. To my suprise, the series does not run chronologically with Avatar: The Last Airbender, but jumps back and forth within the series.

The series has received exceptional reviews from Avatar Fanon Wikians, and TAD's writing has improved to a state of uttermost brilliancy. The original and very different writing style is a fresh change from the typical novelistic writing style of most fanon on the wiki, and TAD is doing a fantastic job with putting a creative twist on a story we all love and know. So far, eleven chapters have been released, and I look forward to more!

8/10

Recently, the wiki has been discussing ideas for an Avatar: Clash of Worlds reboot, a comedic series chapters written by several fanon authors, also mentioned was the idea of a compilative fanon series written by the community in celebration of Avatar Wiki's sixth birthday in July of this year. These ideas got me to thinking, these compilative series have become widely popular, and Clash of Worlds has become one of the most popular series on the fanon portal, and I would like to suggest an idea.

Previous fan fiction wikis I have been involved with have held fanon project specials, much like Clash of Worlds, and in the past few weeks, I have been tweaking this idea, to try and make it a more regular occurence, and with that I would like to present the Common Series Project. The Common Series Project aims to publish an entire series based on the collaboration of Avatar Fanon authors supplying chapters and their own ideas to form one series. The series would not be like Clash of Worlds, in which authors use their own characters, but use already existing characters, or original ones, based on the desired setting.

To start on the setting and characters, there are obvious options we can take;
a) Aang and the rest of Team Avatar, set after Avatar: The Last Airbender's end,
b) Korra's journey in Republic City, written with speculation, or
c) A brand new Avatar, location, characters and story line!

I have already spoken with three popular fanon writers, and I plan to invite two others if they come on IRC when they next get the chance. But just because I am inviting writers, it doesn't mean I don't want and need more! Depending on the agreed length of the series, which is currently fifteen chapters. As the series progresses, and based on its' popularity, and the amount of writers willing to take part, the series' length can be altered, but for now, fifteen should be ample. For more information on the project, please see my blog.


48px-1025281.png Help guides: Talk page practices
The 888th Avatar

Wiki "talk pages" are a very unique system, with very few similarities to be found among other internal site messaging systems across the Internet. Because of this, they can be very confusing to follow, especially "user talk pages", the pages where messages are left for individual users. The aim of this guide is to improve your own practices so that understanding talk pages is made easier for everyone.

  • Sign your posts with ~~~~ (four tildes). The tilde key can be found at the top left of most modern computer keyboards. It's one of the first things new users on wikis are told, but the number of people who don't follow this or often forget is striking.
  • Use indentation to separate your comments from the comments of the previous posted. The best way to follow this practice is to stop using the rich text editor, which is what pops up for all new users and anonymous users when they edit a page. After changing to using the wikitext (or "source") editor in your preferences, using indentation is simply a matter of typing one more more colons (:) before each paragraph comprising your talk page comment. The more colons used, the further away from the left edge of the page your comment is. If you're finding that your comment is too far from the left edge, then reset indentation by using no colons before your comment. A good example of a talk page where indentation is extremely consistently applied is my own talk page.
  • Always post at the bottom of a thread. Never try to post "replies" to Person A's comment if Person B has made a further comment below Person A's comment. Instead, refer to Person A in your comment placed below Person B's comment. This makes the flow of discussion much easier to follow for people who try to enter it later.
  • Archive your user talk page if it is too long. As a general guide, on this wiki, we consider a talk page over 60kb in length as too long. Long user talk pages take longer to load and cause scrolling and readability problems for the poor people with smaller screens (i.e. those with laptops, netbooks etc.). Requesting automatic archiving of your talk page by bot from me is the recommended way to do this, but if you're confident that you know how to archive your own, that is perfectly acceptable.
  • Reply to user talk messages on your own user talk page. The practice of replying to messages from other users by posting on their talk pages is popular because it alerts them to the reply with "You have new messenger hawks". However, doing this makes the exchange much harder to understand later for both users when a reference to the archives is needed. Third parties also find it much harder to understand what's being said, and this can often be important, particularly in conflict resolution processes. The recommended way of using user talk pages is therefore to reply to any messages in the exact place where the first message was left. If you post a message for another user, you can check for their reply by "following" their talk page (click the button at the left of your bottom toolbar). If your own replies to messages on your talk page don't seem to have been read, you can always use {{newmessages}} to ping the sleepyhead on their talk page.
  • Put your signature in a user space template if it is too long. If your signature is just that bit fancier, it's probably best to make sure you're not leaving lines and lines of code for every little post you make. If you're not sure how to make your signature a template, ask away.




48px-3287055.png Avatar: Legends of the Arena
Moon Beam

Avatar - Legends of the Arena is an online game about Avatar. You have to pick an element at the beginning of the game and then train your person to gain higher levels. The game's server was down before I downloaded it, and it still is. I've hear rumors that they will work on the game once LoK is out, but I don't think they will. I am currently very close to un installing the game. But if I do and then the servers are up I would be very annoyed. And because I've never played the game properly, I'd want to download it again, and waste more Internet. Because I don't know what the game is like, I want to know from the people who have played it, if it's worth the stress. So what are your thougts? And who is having the same problem as me?

Editor

For my fanon, The First Anti-Bender, I currently have 3 editors; Skybender101, Aang20791 and Lego lord. I don't think that it's enough, because I'm not very confident with my grammar skills. If you would like to be an editor of my fanon please let me know! I'd appreciate your help.


48px-3527810.png Fanon advertisement
AvatarLover

Hello, world! In this article, I want to talk about one of my fanons: Feet of Toph. In this fanon, we go through Toph's perspective and thoughts. If you enjoy Vulmen's fanon, Eyes of Katara, and/or one of your favorite characters is Toph, then you should check this fanon out!

The Ba Sing Se Times needs YOU.
Have a great Avatar or Avatar Wiki joke?
An interesting opinion about the wiki?
A fanfic that desperately needs readers?
Just write a column,
and send it in to the editor.

48px-3511228.png Demotivated
Theavatardemotivator

Editor's note: Watching this episode through while reading this column is recommended.

Chapter 9: The Waterbending Scroll
A commentary and review (and some demotivation) of Book 1: Water, Chapter 9: The Waterbending Scroll.

Previously in Avatar: Parseltongue. Misspellings. Some TVTropes. And Dumbledore — I mean, Roku.

Figure 1

Yes, if you can catch the reference — let me say that everything is better on a nutshell.

Aang is walking around on a flying bison. That would be like you walking around on top of a flying jumbo jet. Nah, I’m sure he’ll fine.

I mean, come on. It’s not they have physics in the Avatar world or anything.

The Avatar is worried about learning Waterbending. [gasp] Guess what?! There’s a Waterbender right next to him! Oh my—from where did that come?

Hey, wait.

Aang.

[hands reader a bag in which to catch their exploded mind matter]

Why do you want to learn Waterbending?

You already know it.

Think back, if you will, to the previous freaking episode.

Think hard.

That’s right.

He was Waterbending.

[hides as reader’s mind explodes]

Yep. Exactly.

Figure 2

Well, Aang and Katara find themselves a nice waterfall lake, incidentally the only one around. Aang immediately strips—he likes to show himself off to all the girls, you know, the imaginary ones—and starts for the water.

Katara forces him back into clothes, and the faangirls groan.

In the meantime, Zuko is still clothed.

Haha, take that, you stupid Zuko fans.

[pokes a hot poker at the rabid fans]

Sokka is reduced to cleaning the gunk out of Appa’s feet, which actually sounds like a better job than practicing something you already know.

Aang: So, what shall we do first, O Wise Teacher?

Katara: Let’s start with [phrase removed due to nature of children’s show]. Hey! Who changed the script?! Zuko, do you know?

Zuko: [hides paintbrush behind back] Who, me? Oh, uh . . .

Figure 3

Monkeyfeathers, I don’t think—

No, wait, you shouldn’t—

Look, I know you’re still—

Anger is not the—

“BRYKE! Y U NO TELL US ABOUT PAI SHO?! I’ve spent years trying to put a set together! I still don’t know how to play it! Oh yeah, sure, all the random wikias and how-tos have it, but that’s not official. Come on. I’ve suffered through three years. Can we maybe get a Pai Sho lesson in LOK? Please?! Pleeeease?! I’m dying! I’m begging you! I’ve even switched to drinking tea—speaking of which, I don’t think leechi is an actual flavor—and I’m trying to grow an Iroh beard! I really, really, really want to be like Iroh. Pleeeeeeease! I must know the secrets to Pai Sho! Take pity on an old fool like me!”

Erm.

That wasn’t your usual style of ranting, Monkeyfeathers.

Figure 4

You know that feeling of déjà vu, where you know you’ve seen something beforehand, but you can’t quite place it?

Gee. Look. Katara is angry again.

See, she doesn’t realize that Aang is the Avatar and therefore has power over 9000. Thus, she attempts to teach him some random little piddle moves like waves (back-and-forth), etc. Naturally, when Aang masters in about five seconds what it took her years to figure out, she gets more than a little upset.

And then he manages to create a wave and give himself some “holy” music, she gets angry. Because she never got any “holy” music.

So, my hypothesis?

Either she’s PMSing, or she’s pregnant.

But! We still have about nine months left in the show; a little less, I suppose. We’ll have to see what happens with Preggie Katara Time.

Meanwhile, Katara asplodes in Aang’s face, tearing into him like some little jealousy demon. Oh come on, Katara. Give the kid a break. He’s like the Karate Kid. He’s just good. Maybe you should realize that as a girl, you wouldn’t even be allowed to Waterbend at the North Pole. That’s right. Take your place as a rag for men, Katara. Be proud of your raggy-ness! Be proud!

Oh, and if you so much as touch a—eyelash? No hair, uh—on him, I will personally take a chainsaw to your dirty little mouth.

[grabs Aang] Because if you’re gonna mess with him, you gotta go through me first.

[snarls]

Figure 5

Since girls are easily distracted, Sokkaang decides to take her shopping! What fun. This is also when Katara realizes that she will be controlling the finances in the Kataang household. Aang doesn’t know how to say ‘no.’

Which, to Katara, isn’t exactly a bad thing.

You’d think that the money a king gave them would last more than four episodes. I mean, really? Two of those episodes had nothing to do with buying or walking around, either! I mean, you’re joking. What happened? Did Haru steal all of it? Did Aang secretly use it to purchase a betrothal necklace? I mean, come on. This is ridiculous. What did Bumi give them? Three copper pieces?!

Er.

Make that two copper pieces.

Figure 6

Since Katara is so interested in said, ahem, interesting developments, she quickly goes out and is dragged into the first place she can find.

Because, remember, when you’re on the lookout for things, ah, legally conspicuous, remember to see Slim Cognito.

He’ll sell you anything but the R.H.Y.N.O.

After the crazy monkey statue goes and hypnotizes Katara, throwing her moral compass out of whack with a good lie-cheat-steal magnet, the pregnant woman, having no self-control, decides to buy a stolen Waterbending scroll. Aang, on the other hand, is more concerned with not letting Momo be eaten. No one likes being eaten, trust me.

See? It’s all part of Momo’s diabolical scheme. Scheme, I says! Scheme!

Figure 7

Somewhere, Wan Shi Tong is turning over in his library.

Moaning.

“They practically shoved a spoon down Team Avatar’s throat full of We’re-Pirate-Juice! And they still don’t get it?! Ooh, Sokka “cleverly” realizes that they’re actual pirates. . It’s not like their costume, mannerisms, appearance in a TV show, etc., weren’t dead-drop hints—if not just the answer itself! Rather than be actual smart people and pretend not to be pirates, they just go ahead and say, Oh, yeah, we, like, totally scroll that, like, totally rad scroll, yeah! Sure, we’re pirates. Just go arrest ‘n’ arrest us. Here are my wrists. Go ahead. Clamp those chains, clamp ‘em nice and—”

Ahem, Monkeyfeathers, I don’t think the blog is the time to go through your perverted fantasies.

[claps hands]

I tried that coin trick, and I still can’t get it to go. I know you can do it, though, unlike lightning redirection.

[glares at Iroh]

Gee, thanks for getting me hit with lightning, Uncle Lazy.

Figure 8

Special mentions

Suggest users for this to the editor now!

Random poll

How much time, on average, do you spend on Avatar Wiki per day?
 
9
 
8
 
25
 

The poll was created at 14:43 on May 14, 2011, and so far 42 people voted.


48px-1025281.png Technical updates
The 888th Avatar

This report outlines any notable technical changes made by Wikia and by Avatar Wiki admins in the last two weeks.

  • Highlights for administrators in blog and article comments has been restored by me. The CSS for these highlights had not been functioning correctly in Google Chrome 10 (many comments by non-admins were highlighted, and some comments by admins weren't), and I had commented it out. However, Chrome 11 appears to have fixed this issue.
  • More domain redirections to avatar.wikia.com were successfully requested. Several old duplicate wikis that members of the community had reported (in a rather vocal way) late last year now redirect straight to our wiki, such as korra.wikia.com.
  • A new sidebar element for the latest edits to Avatar Answers has been implemented by Wikia and appears by default for all unregistered users. It is hoped that this will increase activity there.


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