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48px-3026053.png Guest editorial: To stay or not to stay
Lady Lostris

"This edit is weak, just like the rest of your contributions! They did not deserve to exist in this wiki — in the Avatar Wiki! Prepare to be undone. Prepare to be DELETED!'"

In the light of some recent events and a blog post, I’ve begun to wonder: “Are we Edit Ozai’s?”

Avatar Wiki is a safe haven for all of us. There a lot of users here, all with different goals, different interests, different backgrounds, but a common love: Avatar and Avatar Wiki. Some just come here to chat or comment, while others are becoming the next Shakespeare, Charles Dickens or Jane Austen on the Fanon Portal. And then there are those addicted editors. You know them, the ones that are always stalking the “recent changes” and tirelessly looking out for the general quality of this wiki’s pages. All this people have come together to form a wonderful, lovely and supporting community.

Or at least, that is how the resident, well-known users see it. But what about those hundreds of anonymous and not known users? Many of them come here to explore our vast information about Avatar and some of them also try to chip in to better our articles, but when they do, their edits are watched like a hawk and many of them end up being reverted. In the light of a recent blog, it would be very hypocritical of me not to admit that I am one of those “watching hawks, ready to revert bad edits”. Whatever we do — most of us, not vandals of course — we do with the wiki’s best interest at heart, both the hawks and the new editors. But maybe, somewhere along the way of our noble goal in trying to rid the Wiki of bad edits, the Hawks have also lost some of their kindness.

48px-1635895.png From the fanon portal
Rassilon of Old

The ongoing work to the Fanon Portal is proving to be fairly successful, with currently more readers of fanon than we have had in a long time. A lot of more unnoticed fanon have become well read and loved by the community, and we're steadily seeing a slight improvement in article quality, so thank you all for you consideration, help, general friendlyness and politeness on the Portal, regarding others' fanon and their possible inexperience.

Now we need to move on to the next step in imroving the Fanon Portal, and that is categorization. I've been plundering through fanon pages - both on the Fanon Portal and Mainspace - and there have been quite a few 'incestial categorizations'. Now, that is a term I just made up, and what I mean by this, is when an article is categorized as Category A, and it is also categorized as Category B, this is normal, but when Category B is a sub-category of Category A, it becomes redundant. A recent series of bot edits made by myself to various Legend of Korra reflects this, and I will use it as an example.

After Comic-Con, we established quite a lot, include names of characters, and naturally, these respective articles were created. However, it may not have been a concious decission, but all of the Korra character articles were categorized incestially. Each character page was categorized as Legend of Korra characters and Legend of Korra, but Legend of Korra characters is a sub-category of Legend of Korra. See what I mean? A page was categorized twice in the same category 'branch'.

Now, obviously on the mainspace, there is a vast amount more moderation of articles, and so usually these errors are picked up on quickly, (I would have missed it but I'd just gone through quite a categorization spree that same night, and noticed the error) but in the Fanon Portal, there is not this same amount of moderation. Before I propose an outline in the War Room, I'd like to suggest a "Fanon Portal Categorization Guide" be created so that newer users, and even more experienced ones, can see how their fanon articles should be categorized. Please vote in the poll below to tell us how useful you think the guide would be, and maybe extend on that in the comments below.

Speaking of categorization, we are currently considering genre categories to be created, for a more comprehensive listing of fanon, and an easier way to find fanon suited to your liking, so have a look at that please. Also being discussed is the synchronization of News and Updates pages on the Fanon Portal, for a more effective procedure for reading the latest news for fanon, read that here.

*puts on cheesy commercial voice* Has your fanon gone unnoticed? Do you know it would be the best fanon, if only people read it? Well we have what you're looking for! Fanon Advertisement! No, but seriously, under-read fanon is quite an issue on the Portal, and advertising your fanon on another person's fanon might get you the readers you need! We are currently running a sign up form for 'beta testers' of the new feature. Just list your name and fanon on the list, and over the next few weeks, we'll asking you what you think of the advertisements, are they distracting? Do they make you visit the advertised fanon? All sorts of questions about the new procedure so we can gather your feedback and proceed with the improvements from there. So please sign up so that we have more spaces for testing!

And it has been observed by many, that ever since the creation of {{Discontinued}}, more and more fanon have become just that, discontinued. Why? Probably because of the two years we have had since the last episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender, people have forgotten about the wiki! They've lost interest, they've decided to spend their precious time elsewhere - on, or off Wikia - and due to this, we are finding more and more fanon articles that are abandoned. Sometimes, they are good quality! Other times, not so much. I find that more and more people just move the fanon into the creator's Userspace, but what does it do there? It gathers dust, and does nothing. So please, if you find a fanon article that has been discontinued, and it is of low quality, instead of dumping it in the Userspace where it does nothing, take that extra three minutes to tidy up grammar, fix the coding, add the odd template or category. I'm not saying that the Userspace method isn't effective, it is highly effective - with active users - but if the creator is inactive, just take that five minutes out of your 1440 minute day to clean up that odd article, just so it isn't moved to the Userspace and rots there.

The next issue of the Ba Sing Se Times will feature the brand new "Fanon Editorial", a specialised section of the BSST just for fanon! So myself and The 888th Avatar will be taking submissions for the Fanon Editorial, as well as for the normal editorial, from right now until the 3rd of September, so submit your articles to either of us by then to be featured in the brand new series of the BSST! Have a great week.

General Iroh
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-1040506.png Fanon review

For people who don’t know, this fanon, “Engagements” is a fanon written by PSUAvatar14 which consists of two parts: Maiko part and Kataang part. The first part takes place three years after the end of the war, while the second part takes place a year and a half after the first one. Both are about the two men plotting how to “make the next move” in their relationships, asking their girlfriend for their hand in marriage. Both stories are amazingly written, but I’m going to comment only the Kataang part as it’s the one I liked most.

Aang and Katara: A year and a half after Mai accepted to become the new Fire Lady, Aang decides that it is time he too “made his move” as he was ready to live forever with Katara and start a family with her. So, after some advices of Sokka, he starts “crafting his masterpiece”, making a special betrothal necklace with a symbol of their two elements, a mix between water and air. After careful preparations and his struggle in keeping his big plan a secret, he prepares a perfect day only for them: a dinner followed by penguin sledding and a romantic conversation while walking to a special place under the moon, remembering good moments and the times when they met.

Aang’s feelings are accurately shaped, as showed by his insecurity about Katara’s possible reaction to his proposal, to which he will try to make all things perfect that day for his girlfriend. Katara’s thoughts are also perfectly written (it’s mentioned that Vulmen helped in this aspect), although they are not explicit at first due to the narration is centered on Aang, they are mentioned every some paragraphs, showing that she feels exactly the same and she had been waiting for that moment for a while.

Sokka’s intervention in the story, although brief, was important, since it encouraged and helped Aang to ensure that what he was thinking to do was the right thing. Sokka didn’t need to see or hear anything to know what his friend and future brother-in-law was planning. When he discovered Aang’s big plan, he supported him and said he was really happy for them. As a personal opinion, I’d like to have seen a longer appearance of this character.

The elaboration of the necklace, and the necklace itself, is a great element in this story. One of the best scenes is the moment when Aang starts thinking how to make the betrothal object and Katara surprises him doing something secretly. This part has a great dialogue between the two lovers; it shows the love and confidence they have for and in each other and lets the reader know how much the relationship between the two has advanced in those years. (Note: Thanks again, PSU, with the references to ABCLAF around these moments I finally understood the meaning of the title of TAD’s fanon ^^).

Romantic moments are very well described. The actions taken by the Avatar are precise; as he had planned, the memories they start to bring to the present (including the Penguin Sledding, what they actually repeat) make a suitable atmosphere to the climax where Aang’s nerves start to increase until he hears the answer he was yearning. As I commented once about “Reunion”, this is what really would have happened.

48px-3026053.png Veni. Vidi... Revert!
Lady Lostris

The new profile-I-zoomed-in-too-much-with-my-browser-banner of wikia. Who doesn’t know what I’m talking about? Of course, everyone knows. Why? Because the banner practically jumps of your screen, demanding your attention like a little 3-year-old toddler. You might as well use it as a blindfold 'cause you will not see anything else on that page except that banner. My biggest question: why, Wikia, WHY?

But, that’s life. There will always be things happening that you don’t like, so we’ll have to live with it... Yeah right, not this time! Let’s go over our options here, because you know what they say: “If you can’t beat them, beat them anyway because that is the last thing they will expect!” But in this case “beating them” doesn’t really count as an option as it would mean that we would have to hack their mainframe (or whatever) to delete the code that brought forth the ugly arch enemy to your eyes. And is illegal... Or at least seriously frowned upon.

So let’s move on to our second option: “If you can’t beat them, join them”. Yeah, like that is what I want to do. Join the forces of ugliness? No thank you. Let’s move along, nothing to see here.

So that brings us to our third option: “If you can’t beat them, make it bearable and sulk in a corner — sulking is optional”. So how to make this bearable. Again, we are faced with several options. The first one is to gouge out your eyes. Although that does effectively block out the banner, it leaves us with some “minor” side effects, to which I do not have a solution yet, so let us rule out that option. Second possibility is to cover the top half of our computer screen with a picture of your favorite person/thing in the world. Obvious advantage of this technique: you get to stare at a picture of your favorite thing/person in the world all the time! Side effects of this technique may entail reduced site activity, computer failure caused by heavy drooling over the picture or sore eyes from staring at the screen to long without blinking. Again, we are faced with on option that is very tempting.

Special mentions

  • Hasdi, for tirelessly working on improvements such as comment headers.

Recipients may use the {{User special mention}} userbox on their user pages. Suggest users for this to the editor!

Random poll

How helpful would a fanon portal categorization guide be?

The poll was created at 01:50 on August 21, 2011, and so far 30 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.

  • New user profile mastheads have been implemented by Wikia, to a mixed reception from the wider Wikia community. Other than a number of privacy nuts, the concept behind this redesign has generally been praised. There are several widely-criticised design flaws, however, most notably including excessive under-utilised space. I am confident that these will be rectified in the coming weeks; thus, no site-wide styling changes are currently planned.
  • Colour scheme changes have again been applied via CSS to the admin dashboard by yours truly in the interests of better matching the wiki's colour scheme, per a recent update to its design in response to community feedback.
  • A Twitter logo was added to the "Wikia Anime on Twitter" on the main page by yours truly. This is intended to decrease the amount of "blank line space" that results from tweets taking up just over one line.
  • From Wikia: "We're introducing a change to the recently-adjusted category links functionality. Now, links that were formerly red links will have class="newcategory" added to their code, so you can change the view to red links in your personal CSS." If you wish to use this in your personal CSS and you are not sure how this can be accomplished, comment below.

  • Never heard of The Ba Sing Se Times? Find out more here.
  • You can also receive a delivered edition of this newsletter to your user talk page, particularly useful if you fall behind in staying up to date. Subscribe here.
  • Have something to say about one of the columns? Have a suggestion for the newsletter? Want to contribute? Comment right here on this blog post.

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