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If someone could provide some hard data, it would be much appreciated, but as I'm sure most have realized, the wiki isn't nearly as active as it was before. I'm not proposing anything in this forum, I'd just like to know what some people think are the causes of this inactivity in general, and if there are any solutions.

In addition, if you happen to be online frequently between 00:00 and 14:00 UTC, please let us know, because as it stands that is our most inactive period, and on more than one occasion I've seen vandalism go unchecked during that period for a number of hours. Once my winter break starts (December 13th) I'll probably be more active during that time, as I imagine a lot of us will, but for the time being and time afterwards I think we should set up some sort of "night shift" (not proposing anything).

Thoughts? Joe Copp 04:29, December 6, 2013 (UTC)

DiscussionEdit

This is where time zones will start to come in handy. I know a lot of you guys on here are Brits, so you're 6 hours ahead of me. Joe, what zone would you happen to be in? Zombie Rank 8 Icon BOII Kylet357 · talk  04:43, December 6, 2013 (UTC)

EST. 00:00 to 14:00 UTC is 8:00 PM to 10:00 AM here, which coincides with sleepytime for most editors/viewers. Joe Copp 04:46, December 6, 2013 (UTC)
I can see it being mostly nighttime for people living in North America and Europe (and it's 2:00 to 16:00 here which is the hardest time for me to be active if I have school) where we have virtually all our editors. The thing is we have never really had a good amount of editors in Asia/Australia where that timezone would be at a good time, there was that miracle man but he's been inactive since February. Also, I generally check the changes from the night when I have woke up (via this page) but I usually overlook small changes from IPs which may or may not be vandals. -- laagone (talk)  10:44, December 6, 2013 (UTC)

Honestly that's hard to aggregate. I mean we have a few odd users going inactive and not enough new users replacing the old ones. I haven't seen many new users join the wiki in the past 6 months. I can't think of any clear way to change that except people being nicer to new comers. KλT 06:01, December 6, 2013 (UTC)

Thing is, you can super nice to someone, but it's still up to them if they want to continue editing concurrently. And if the drive isn't there, they'll bugger off. 07:05, December 6, 2013 (UTC)
I put the blame to two things. Firstly the series itself, frankly the CoD series may still be selling, but I don't think it's quite as amazing as it used to be, and as such that's going to have an effect on if people want to actually get involved in something related to Call of Duty. The other reason I think is YouTube. While I'm sure you know I like complaining about Activision and YouTubers, this observation is more factual. I think Call of Duty is at a point where it's more interesting to watch one of these users play multiplayer while talking about what they're doing as opposed to actually looking at the Wiki itself. While we have all the facts, campaign is often underlooked now, and Denkirson have a load of info from the files so of course YTers can get their info from there instead of here. And furthermore with their links with Activision they have access to information before us, and happily post it before we do, and due to our COD:LEAK policy, we end up behind. These are the main two reasons I can think of, mainly series degeneration and stronger competition. 07:03, December 6, 2013 (UTC)
Having said that, could you be suggesting that we should put more effort into our YT channel? Joe Copp 14:44, December 6, 2013 (UTC)
Joe, we currently have a thread open to any suggestions on how to expand effort into the YouTube channel. MLG is gonna finish up the BO2 campaign walkthroughs, I'm gonna start recording the Ghosts campaign tonight. Zombie Rank 8 Icon BOII Kylet357 · talk  18:03, December 6, 2013 (UTC)
It would be irrelevant to do so. People use YouTube for the videos alone, so even if we started utilising the channel, it wouldn't help the wiki activity at all. And at this point there's far too much competition to actually produce any videos that would receive as many views, furthermore, to actually compete against them we'd need gameplay footage of people on high killstreaks and such. And I only know of 2-3 people with recording software, and I'm too mediocre at Ghosts for footage considered "exciting" and I don't know about the other users. 22:42, December 6, 2013 (UTC)
So is it even worth the effort, in your opinion? Joe Copp 05:07, December 7, 2013 (UTC)
Well, for the outcome you want, more wiki activity, no. Even if we could set up a decent YouTube channel, people would just be using that, the wiki would still have just as much activity. 07:43, December 7, 2013 (UTC)

I agree with Sam. There's usually little reason why people would check here over YouTube and Den/Symthic, apart from people who actually happen to prefer encyclopedias and info leaning towards facts rather than a famous person saying "This gun is beast" because they got a K.E.M. Strike with it. -- laagone (talk)  10:44, December 6, 2013 (UTC)

Gotta agree with Sam here. Also, i am a little bit inactive compared to last month, due to school problems. And per Joe, we really should put more effort into our YT channel. --Cataphract_%28Civ5%29.png SlavByzantine_%28Civ5%29.pngTalkDromon_%28Civ5%29.png 15:48, December 6, 2013 (UTC)

I absolutely agree with Sam. The lack of new users with commitment and the abundance of youtube COD players are the main reasons for the inactivity. Lack of cooperation from activision and time zones are also other factors. Unfortunately I don't know what to do about it. --Personal AndImBatman Sig imageBats a.k.a Rarity Filly  19:50, December 6, 2013 (UTC)

I'll try and edit a lot more, I mean I don't play CoD any more but I'm sure I can look through articles and edit grammatical mistakes and that. I can try and help promote but the fact that so many Cod YouTubers are out there causes some major problems. Maybe we could work with one or two of them? Otherwise we just need to carry on as we are and hope a random influx of additional editors comes along. YELLOWLUCARIO TALK  17:56, December 7, 2013 (UTC)

I helped Drift0r once with something and that got us a small shout out. But as to if we could actually get a proper union with one of them is a bit unlikely, since there's not much we could offer them. They can just get stats from Denkirson, and they have Activision backing so they even know a lot of things before us. 07:03, December 8, 2013 (UTC)
Honestly out of all the "youtubers" drif0r would have to be the most laid back and professional of them all. I'd say we should shoot him an inquiry and ask him about it. KλT 08:11, December 8, 2013 (UTC)
He uses his Twitter account a good bit, perhaps we could contact him via our official Twitter account, or though a YouTube PM from our YT channel. Might look better if it comes from one of our Wiki named things instead of just a user. 10:40, December 8, 2013 (UTC)
He used to give us a credit when he posted his videos about Juggernaut health in MW3, if i remember correctly. --Cataphract_%28Civ5%29.png SlavByzantine_%28Civ5%29.pngTalkDromon_%28Civ5%29.png 11:14, December 8, 2013 (UTC)
Wickedshrapnel credits us in a lot of his videos, like his "This Gun Fucking Sucks" series. Joe Copp 19:54, December 8, 2013 (UTC)


I have the statistics for total pageviews we've received by day going back to January 2012 anyone wants it. US Army WWII MSGTSgt. ChiafriendRifleman 07:12, December 8, 2013 (UTC)

Yes please <3 Joe Copp 19:57, December 8, 2013 (UTC)
The statistics are stored in about 500 separate emails so it will take a bit for me to provide. I'm free for a few days so it shouldn't be too long. US Army WWII MSGTSgt. ChiafriendRifleman 21:26, December 8, 2013 (UTC)

I feel it's just the way the times are changing. We were the group that was brought in by Cod4-BO Era, the golden era of CoD. So many of us joined at once, and now we're all starting to go our seperate ways. New users come, but they seem to rarely have much interest to stay. Part of it's probably because people aren't getting as invested in the series, part of it is the already active community is starting to move on from the wiki, and part of it could be unrelated to either of those two things. The point is, it just seems like the golden era of cod is over, and as we move on and go our seperate ways, there are less people left to fill in the gaps. KUDLq.png 11:07, December 8, 2013 (UTC)

Perhaps one may argue that it is artificially extending the lifespan of the wiki's livelyhood, and perhaps that it may be in vein, but I think utilizing some basic community-building skills encompasses a large majority of imperative actions we need take in order to sustain activity here. Now, I'm not proposing anything, but things like Article Comments, Achievements, and a greater emphasis on welcoming and guiding new users through the editing process may prove beneficial in supplementing the number of users that stay and edit.

I can personally vouch for Article Comments and Achievements, having used them for quite a while now on Crysis Wiki, a wiki that has suffered the same problem for years as this one is just starting to: Limited interest in the subject matter. As soon as I was able, I enabled Achievements, and the abundance of low-level, "you made an edit!!" type achievements--at least seemingly--made it more interesting for new users to make edits (the reason we abandoned this system here was because it was deemed unnecessary in light of the massive interest in CoD at the time, and because of a minute amount of "edit whoring").

Achievement's effects are somewhat more objective, and I may be able to find some study on them at a later time, but on the more subjective side are Article Comments, which at their very core serve only to promote more basic activity and community involvement for anons/new users--even if this means sacrificing the current purpose of talk pages and settling for somewhat unrelated blog-style comments. I know there is valid reasoning against the Message Wall style cascading comment system, which is exactly what these comments would be, but at their core they can serve the same purpose as talk pages (to discuss changes to page content) and simultaneously foster more interaction between new users and article content (even if that ends up being opinions and irrelevant quips). Immediately after activating this feature on Crysis Wiki, I witnessed a vast difference in daily activity; while we had been steadily attracting some five thousand page views a day, we'd be hard pressed to conjure 10 edits a week, not including mine. You might witness by going there yourself that anons and new users apperantly enjoy adding their thoughts/opinions to articles as they would blogs, and if that would be any motivation or invitation to that user to stay or continue to edit, then the activation of the feature would be considered successful.

Lastly--and if I were to place whole-hearted support in favor of only one of these possible solutions, I would do so here--I believe we should be continually efforting to make transitioning into knowledge of editing and participating in the community on the whole easier. When I joined the wiki, I must say I was rather befuddled at the natural order of things on-wiki, and if not for my intense thirst for the CoD series as a whole, I might not have stayed on the wiki as long as I have. Since I can't say whether the new user experience has improved (since I haven't been a new user in four years), I will estimate that it has not, or has only marginally; thus, what we're found pressured to do most is to improve the new user experience. This may entail making more user friendly--or even interactive--welcome/editing templates; providing better Call of Duty Wiki pages to describe how to go about editing without having to resort to the cold, lifeless, intimidating, and impersonal page that is Help:Editing; or even going so far as to create several multimedia projects, such as introduction videos or "noob" chat sessions (where we invite new users specifically to come chat with a few experienced ones, whereupon they can ask questions or express concerns; this would also serve as a great mode to guage the user experience if we were to ask them to rate it) which might arguably fit Darwin's theme of simplification.

I may be wrong, but I feel that we're either on top of or rather close to a turning point in the life of the wiki, a crux at which we need to realize how to improve the wiki by its most basic mode, the editors; and if what we've realised in this forum is true--that we are losing user interest to YouTube channels--we must accordingly collaborate in order to slightly shift the direction of the wiki towards a more inticive experience whilst still retaining the core of encyclopedic origin. Joe Copp 13:17, December 9, 2013 (UTC)

When i first got here, i got scared by a lots of things. I think that things haven't changed to better. But enabling article comments... well... that would be a good idea for anons that want to ask something related to the page, but it would be a hell to have a maintenance about it. While on the other side, Achievements sound good. --Cataphract_%28Civ5%29.png SlavByzantine_%28Civ5%29.pngTalkDromon_%28Civ5%29.png 13:28, December 9, 2013 (UTC)
While the immediate sound of turning on achievements and article comments makes me cringe, thinking about it, it could make things better. The achievements sure would give much more people the incentive to contribute, which is good even were it for purely gaining the achievements. There has been trouble with achievement whoring in the past, true, but with currently more active administration it can be relatively easily noticed if someone is just doing edit massing with little to no changes and give them a proper warning in case of alleged achievement whoring and I consider the possibility of increased activity outweighs the potential risks. I'm not so positive about article comments however, I'm very against the Message Wall style because it can't be maintained and flexed so easily as regular talk pages, although I can see how it could make for tidier discussions about the article, and most importantly it's easier to find and use for a new user. And it sounds good to change the welcome templates and the corresponding stuff punched into a new user's face (metaphorically) to a more open way, maybe give a better and a bit more realistic approach on the most used community links and how to contribute, and obviously delete the Help:Editing link, that page seems pretty outdated and something I would not find much use of as a padawan. So, for now I support the idea of making these changes. -- laagone (talk)  13:49, December 9, 2013 (UTC)
Achievements might cause some more activity, but I don't like the idea of Article Comments at all. We already have the issue of people using the talk pages as forums, having article comments will just make them treat them like blogs, posting their opinion on whatever is on the page, but not actually about the page, for example claiming a weapon is shit because it has low damage or something. It wouldn't really help us, and would be more a nightmare to keep on top of. I know we've tried achievements before and they weren't that popular, and I don't think they'd really work too well on a large established wiki, they seem to be more for promoting smaller wikis that are growing in terms of community and size. 17:53, December 9, 2013 (UTC)
Also, these are more incentives to stay. And for "Achievements" we have UOTM (which as I recall everyone wanted to stay the same as it's only intent was to act as new user incentive). But right now our primary issue isn't incentive to stay, it's incentive to join. So we would need a completly different approach, and to be honest, before writing this comment, I just played 1 game of Ghosts and got so bored, so convincing people to join a Call of Duty wiki is harder than one would think. 20:51, December 9, 2013 (UTC)
Hmmm, I do feel like article comments could possibly bring some life to the activeness of users. I do generally see more people adding comments to blogs than actual mainspace editing, so I think this could help out. If it is possible, have both a talk page for the mainspace page (for the usual improvements of the article), and then have a separate blog area for discussing the content of the page in general. The only downside I can think of is opinions from this area leaking onto mainspace, but that can't be that big of an issue. 4XBy83R.pngAntiScootaTwotalk  02:10, December 11, 2013 (UTC)
You can't have talk pages and message walls on at the same time. And if we did have message walls and allowed our pages to be used like blogs we may en up looking a bit like the MLP wiki's pages, and to get what I mean here is a link to W:C:MLP:Pinkie Pie's page, and you can see how long the page is due to the comments section. Overall, the message wall would be more a hindrance than a help. 06:30, December 11, 2013 (UTC)
I think the page length argument is irrelevant since comments are located at the bottom of the page and don't even load until you scroll all the way down. That said, is there something inherently wrong with having a more opinionated talk section? Like I said before, you can still have the discussions about the page that need to get done, all while fostering greater community involvement. In fact, talk page discussions about mainspace articles aren't even that common. Joe Copp 08:25, December 11, 2013 (UTC)
Yes, but it's currently set up that the talk sections shouldn't be used as a forum. And with weapon pages all we'll get is a torrent of "this weapon is shit" or "this weapon is OP nerf it" or any other such comments. It'll just make the pages look very unprofessional and overall quite disgusting to look at. Furthermore, if we switch now we will lose all our talk page history, which since this wiki is so old is a lot, and given COD:LEAK's origin is found on a talk page, we couldn't afford to lose that. I'm not sure what you expect out of allowing blog style comments on articles, but given the community we cater for, they're hardly going to be civil discussions like this. 08:44, December 11, 2013 (UTC)
In fact, if it didn't remove talk pages, I'd just recommend we trial it, but since it will destroy all our current pages, I don't want to risk that. 08:46, December 11, 2013 (UTC)
Current talk pages would be archived, so nothing would be lost. Also, why was it originally established that talk pages shouldn't be forums? What is the fundamental reasoning behind that? Considering a change of perspective might allow you to glean some additional merit from the article comments. Joe Copp 09:48, December 11, 2013 (UTC)
And current policy regarding blog comments would be carried over to manage inappropriate comments as need be. Joe Copp 09:49, December 11, 2013 (UTC)
(Reset indent) Current blog policies would have no effect on a mainspace page. It will just turn into an opinionated mess. Talk pages are much cleaner, and it's always been set they shouldn't be used as forums ever since the talk page header template was made. We have the Watercooler for people that want to discuss things like weapons, we don't have to turn our mainspace articles into them. 10:12, December 11, 2013 (UTC)
In fact, as I stated, just look at the MLP wiki, just because it's at the bottom doesn't mean anything, it extends the page load time. Add on the fact people can add images further increases that, and will make image maintenace harder. And, your connection might be fast and think it's nothing, but I have a friend whos connection speed isn't that great, and they have issues loading some of MLP's pages with long comment threads. And I will state again, it will not help our wiki activity at all, it might make more anons leave opinions on pages, but it won't actually help us attract any mainspace editors. 10:17, December 11, 2013 (UTC)
Technically it doesn't increase load time. Article comments are lazy-loaded; they only load when you scroll down to the bottom of the page.  FANMADE_Animated_Derpy_Hooves_desktop_ponies_sprite.gif Sig1.png Sig2.png  14:26, December 11, 2013 (UTC)
Again, you've stated talk pages are "cleaner", but you didn't answer my question of why. We've been operating on the fundamental belief that talk pages shouldn't be used as forums for a long time but I don't think any opposing methods have ever been argued against it. Now that Article Comments are available, and arguably provide a more tactile reader experience, there's an actual reason to reconsider that belief system, whereas before there was no such motivation or need to do so (which is why it never happened). Article Comments would be taking talk pages in a different direction, not simply downgrading them. Joe Copp 15:45, December 11, 2013 (UTC)
If you haven't seen why I think they're cleaner then you haven't been reading my reasons. Take a look at some of our blogs, while blog policy may stop anyone from posting anything completly rude, they are still an area where people can debate opinions, and the addition of a section that allows users to add opinion will not aid pages in any way shape or form. The main reason we don't allow the talk pages to be used as forums is so they actually help the page in question, having about 50 comments on a weapon page either complaining about the weapon, or calling it their best ever helps us in no way, and with the chance that people will start debating over opinions of certain weapons will make the page look even worse. And again, I will raise the point, if you look at Pinkie Pie's page on the MLP wiki, it has ~3,000 comments, and most of them are just talking about the character and their like of her, in fact one even alludes to something she said being suggestive. The mainspace articles are where we are meant to be looking professional, we don't allow things such as speculation and opinion on to pages, if we allow a message wall then we will basically be allowing them on to the page by proxy and it will no serve any real purpose at all. 17:13, December 11, 2013 (UTC)
Sam, I see your point, but I think Article Comments are an idea we should at least try, more so then achievements. Achievements encourage edit farming, editing just for the sake of editing rather than to improve the quality of an article. Article comments would be used to post opinions, yes, and may lead to arguments, yes, but if we're trying to attract more users to our community, that's a great way too start. Allowing them to post and discuss their opinions on a page would be a great way to get more users active in the community, even if it meant a little more work for Admins (Possible Spam, Falming, Trolling, etc.). It's something we should at least consider trying, and just turn it off if it isn't working out.
Also, out of curiosity, would enabling article comments disable article talk pages? If that's the case, I'd probably be a little more opposed to the idea then I appear in my first paragraph because I like how Talk Pages are aimed at improving the quality of an article rather than discussing said article. But if we can have both a Talk Page and comments, and thus sections for both Quality Discussion and General discussion, I'm all for it.
Also Sam, I'm not really sure what you mean by making the articles uglier. The comments would only appear at the bottom of the page, even below the categories, and only once you scrolled far enough. The general page wouldn't change in the slightest. KUDLq.png 20:04, December 11, 2013 (UTC)
To answer some questions: Yes, they will disable talk pages, you can only have one of the two active at once. Secondly, I think they would make them ugly by their content. If you scrolled to the bottom and all the comments were well written and generally quite pleasing then it would look fine. However, it is far more likely, judging by general anonymous user edits on our blog comments and edits that many of these comments would not be structured, highly opinionated and likely to spark off some kind of debate, perhaps over if a gun is good or not. The only way this could be remided is via tightening of polcies, and since we had a forum before stating our blog policy was currently too tight (which was closed stating it's fine) shows that a tightening would not work. I know the comments aren't actually part of the mainspace article itself, more of an add on, but it will still be seen on the same page and will generally not look that great. 20:26, December 11, 2013 (UTC)
I agree with you, I think article comments are hilariously ugly. They make what should look like a professional encyclopedia look like a juvenile forum. Personal Poketape 8-bit Price Emblem flippedPoketape Talk8-bit Price Emblem MW2 02:28, December 13, 2013 (UTC)
Well, point is they could possibly increase readership. We won't do anything now since few seem to favor them, but maybe in the future if someone publishes some data on their effect, or we find a way to use them alongside talk pages, we can revisit them. Joe Copp 16:09, December 13, 2013 (UTC)
I don't have to watch a YouTube video to add a comment, and it's the same with a weapon page. Nothing is going to stop people going on a page, scrolling to the bottom ignoring the content and adding their comment. 00:17, December 14, 2013 (UTC)
This has been established. What I was getting at was that it may not be such a bad thing for that to happen. Joe Copp 00:31, December 14, 2013 (UTC)
I guess I should mention that I've retracted my support for Article Comments. No Talk Page is a no-go for me. KUDLq.png 00:50, December 14, 2013 (UTC)
There are Wiki's where article comments would be fine, and those tend to be smaller and more of a place where there isn't really anything big to discuss when it pertains to everything overall. Since articles often need to be discussed about here, having to scroll and look at a large cluster of article comments is not nearly as neat as a talk page. So I don't really think it'd help at all here. GhKJh.pngP90DeathmanuceaHlB.png19:03, December 14, 2013 (UTC)
(Reset indent) just to aid to the anti-comments bit, I'd like to show you a comment that was added to a talk page earlier, here. Granted, it's a valid question, but it's also one that we cannot answer, and won't help the page itself. Worse case scenario is a bunch of speculation comes up in some discussion about it causing invalid information to be added to the article. 07:37, December 15, 2013 (UTC)

If my memory serves me correctly, activity on this wiki began to drop off big time after Summer 2012. Fortunately, after Summer 2013, there wasn't nearly as big a drop. We still pull in 2 million page views a week anyway, which really isn't bad at all. While editorship may be down, readership is still doing pretty good.

I think that the main reason this has happened lies with the fact that all of us have become more busy in our lives. We may still be around, but we're not around as much. Personally I haven't had the time to edit nearly as much as I used to, because I've been hung up in college applications for a while now. I can imagine a lot of other users are, or were, in a similar situation.

It is also true that the series might be getting stale. As Damac said, a lot of us joined in the "golden era" of CoD4-BO. A lot of users joined in that period. After BO2 and Ghosts, we didn't get even close to the number of new accounts than we did after the release of MW2 or BO.

In my eyes the wiki itself is still a quality source of information with a great community. For the most part we get along really well, all drama here is kept to the absolute minimum and when mistakes are made we forgive and forget easily. I don't think the reason activity has dropped is due to the wiki or the community at all. Honestly this is one of the best online communities I've ever had the privilege of being in.

I'm saying this because it is hard to know what to do when the state of the community and the state of the wiki are not contributors to the decline in activity over the past 2 years, and instead the contributors are things beyond our control. I do have to agree with the notion that presence on YouTube, Twitter, etc. is highly useful. Social media is still a massive thing on the Internet, and we have outlets in them; they're just not as active as they could be. I do believe that good videos and an active Twitter can be of massive use.  FANMADE_Animated_Derpy_Hooves_desktop_ponies_sprite.gif Sig1.png Sig2.png  14:26, December 11, 2013 (UTC)

Just a heads-up, we are 29 on WAM thingy, while we used to be 9 (afaik) back in... June, i think. --Cataphract_%28Civ5%29.png SlavByzantine_%28Civ5%29.pngTalkDromon_%28Civ5%29.png 18:55, December 11, 2013 (UTC)

I'd chalk it up to the series getting worse. I think it might pick up depending on how interesting Treyarch's game is, because Treyarch makes the more interesting CoDs. (Zombies is a specific attraction.) I haven't played Ghosts, but from what I've heard it's just really stale and has the worst campaign of the series. Personal Poketape 8-bit Price Emblem flippedPoketape Talk8-bit Price Emblem MW2 02:31, December 13, 2013 (UTC)

Campaign isn't too bad, but it has a Halo 2-esque cliffhanger ending. 06:38, December 13, 2013 (UTC)

Uhm... how about putting polls on front page? --Cataphract_%28Civ5%29.png SlavByzantine_%28Civ5%29.pngTalkDromon_%28Civ5%29.png 15:19, December 20, 2013 (UTC)

What would that accomplish? We had polls at one point, but they were rarely changed and the same poll would remain there for months on end. Conqueror of all Zombies (talk) 15:46, December 20, 2013 (UTC)
Even if we've already tried that, he's thinking in the right direction. Joe Copp 18:11, December 20, 2013 (UTC)

Something I would like to suggest would be making the Wiki clan more open to users. The clan is currently small (I think I am the only clan member on Xbox One) and it would be nice to possibly improve on it. Maybe change the edit requirement to a decision by the clan leader based on user behaviour? 4XBy83R.pngAntiScootaTwotalk  00:19, December 21, 2013 (UTC)

Why are we worried, exactly? Edit

I'm sure this isn't the first time I've seen this discussion, but I haven't been here for over a year, for the simple reason that I stopped playing COD before BO2 came out. I'm going to put forward the contentious point that it's not the games that are causing a drop in activity. If anything, as more COD games get released, the wiki becomes a more valuable reference.

I've skipped most of the discussion here, but I'm raising a few questions:

  1. What exactly is activity defined by? Number of views? Number of edits? Number of editors?
  2. Is there a specific problem caused by a relatively lower amount of activity?
  3. What areas would benefit from more activity?

I don't believe it has anything to do with the community not being "nice" enough. People edit when they feel like they have something to contribute. Achievements is a bad idea because it encourages superficial edits for quantity rather than quality, but we can have all the ribbons and badges in the world to add as incentives and it still won't make a difference. Face it: we've actually done quite a good job of cataloging the series, so there isn't that much that a new editor would find in need of editing.

I finished MW3 yesterday and had a look at some character pages and found that some had poor writing style and fixed it, but that's pretty much the extent of what I could edit these days.

To share a few points from my perspective:

  • Call of Duty is not a dynamic setting. Unlike MMORPGs, the game is quite static. There might be a couple of patches, but nothing in the games really change. Even between releases, game mechanics don't change. Once we catalogue a game's content, there's not much that needs to be done.
  • COD is relatively narrow in scope. It doesn't have the lore and background of other epic-scale games, even with its alternate history lines.
  • COD doesn't have an evolving competitive scene. Many games have a strong competitive community in which strategies and metagame can be analysed and discussed, but COD does not have that (see above: the game is static).

This is just me, but as a veteran editor, the only thing that will encourage me to stay is if I still actively play the games. No amount of bells or whistles or welcome handshakes will make me visit a site I have no interest in. --Scottie theNerd (talk) 03:04, December 31, 2013 (UTC)

What Exactly can we Accomplish here?Edit

I want to make it clear that I'm not proposing this question as an attack against Joe for starting the forum, because the drop in Wiki Activity is a worrying thing, but let's be honest, what can we really accomplish here?

The community is against article comments and iffy about Achievements, two major things that could attract new users to stick around the wiki more often. I'm not saying they should be implemented, I'm actually against both, but those are two main things the wiki could change to try and attract new users, and it doesn't seem like they're gonna happen.

I've heard mentions of using Social Media more effectively. N7 and I brought the Wiki's twitter up to 13,000 Followers and Sactage got the Facebook up to 1500+ Likes, and that still wasn't enough to prevent our dwindling user base. Some people have mentioned Youtube, but honestly, what are we gonna do? No one wants to listen to someone dictate an article in a video with some gameplay thrown on top of it. The walkthroughs really only support the actual Wiki Articles, and aren't viable as "commercial" videos. Our most popular videos are informative ones. They may drive up the viewership, but they don't exactly attract more editors. The only videos that could really attract new users are the more fun one's like Joe's "12 Days of Modern Warfare 3" or Chia's "War is not a Game" Music Video. Even then, these videos don't really inspire people to edit for the wiki, they aren't presenting information or being used to clean up articles, they're just attracting Viewership. Given, the more viewers we have should increase the likely hood of more users becoming active but, as can be seen by our consistent 2 Million views per week, but our dwindling user base, this is not the case. Plus in the age of the "YouTuber" and with YouTubes incredibly strict copyright policies, I don't know how much of an impact we would really make.

Part of the blame can even be put on ourselves. Personally, I don't think we are the most friendly or welcoming wiki, especially to users new to Wikia. Our policies and editting guidelines are so strict that on the ocassions that I do see a user make an edit, in completely good faith, they more often then not end up with one of the pre-set warning templates.

Say you're a brand new user, and you've just found a leak for the next Black Ops III Map Pack called "Revival". It's gonna have 4 brand new multiplayer maps, a new zombie map, and a new weapon. You're excited and come to the Call of Duty Wiki to find more information. But what's this? They don't have a page for the DLC, not even any of it's contents. They have a short blog, sure, but all it says it that there's been a leak and it shows one of those crumby and glare filled pics from Best Buy. So, being the good and new user you are, you decide to help the wiki and make these five pages. You even upload the leaked image to use on them. There ya go. Seven new pages for the new info released. But then bam, all seven are gone and you're up your ass in these warning all over your "talk page" (What's that) about how you didn't follow any of the Wiki's "Policies" (You didn't even know those existed!). So there goes all your hard work, replaced with some warnings on your talk page by a user or admin who didn't even take the time to try to talk to you personally. Would you want to keep editing after that?

It's even hard to integrate into the chat. It feels almost like an exclusive club. Once you're in, great, you're in. But when you're new, everyone's judging you and you can tell. You're looked at with suspicion. Is this guy a troll? A Vandal? An Invader? Every word you say is a risk and open to being heavily criticized as it's pretty much you versus the chat.

That's not to say everyone is guilty in these situations. I don't think anyone on the wiki intentionally tries to drive away these new users. I know there are even a couple users who actively try to get newer ones involved. I just feel that the way the wiki operates is just not friendly to new people.

Finally, I think the series itself has also led to the downfall as well. Opinions aside, it doesn't matter if you think the series is better than it ever has been or is utter shit and falling apart, the fan base is much less engaged in the series. The "Golden Age" for CoD was probably MW2, BO, and MW3. The "Golden Age" for the wiki, the period where incredible amount of detail were added to every page that could possibly be made, was probably from Cod4-Half Way through MW3's content Season. The series itself stopped being attractive from a story telling perspective, the wiki disallowed tips and tricks from being put on pages, and people just didn't care to really "know" anything about the games, they were just games. Look at the page for Off Shore (MW3) compared to Carnival (MW2). Carnival is incredibly detailed compared to Off-Shore, because it came out at a time when finding every little detail and secret in everything related to Call of Duty was fun and exciting. Off Shore came out and everyone was just kind of like "Oh, another play space". You can argue that Off-Shore is newer and thus less detailed, but it's been out for almost two years and Carnival's page hasn't changed substantially in nearly four.

An even more striking example is probably the Zombies pages. Look at a the page for Der Riese or "Five", Call of the Dead, even Nacht. Look at all the detail thrown into those pages. Now look at Die Rise. It's not hard to see the difference in detail and quality. The gamemode that literally built it's fanbase off people getting excited to uncover stupidly tiny details and creating strategies for every room, is no longer compelling enough to make these same people want to share all the information they possibly can with the community, including editting it into every page related to Zombies possible.

And finally, my last piece of evidence that interest in the series is waning, take a look at the page for Logan Walker. The game has been out for a month now, and Logan's bio section only covers about 1/5 of the campaign. Logan is the MAIN CHARACTER of the game, and he's playable in nearly every mission (I can only think of 3 that he isn't playable in). You'd think people would have filled out much more of his page by now.

We are looking at an age where people play cod to shoot other people while being placed in maps with walls, floors, and maybe some ceilings. They don't care about details, the campaign, the story, the layout, the trivial facts. They don't want to take the time to type it out on a fan run wiki, it's not that important to them. They just want to play their game, and not care about it when they aren't.

To conclude this essay, I just feel there's nothing we can really do. We can't dictate people's actions and make them edit for us. We can't stop the veteran users from growing up and getting more busy and thus having to move on. We can't modify the way the wiki runs when the community doesn't want too and it runs pretty well. We can't save a series from slowly killing itself no matter how hard it tries. We just have to keep doing what we do. Our Golden Age is over, but that doesn't mean we're done here.

KUDLq.png 21:21, December 14, 2013 (UTC)

All I can say is:
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Iw5 cardicon soapN7 TC 21:30, December 14, 2013 (UTC)
While I agree that interest is dying and that the wiki is a lot of times grossly uninviting, I sort of disagree that we should take a backseat role. It's clear we're not ready to make drastic changes like implementing Article Comments/Achievements, but if we can take baby steps towards making it a more friendly place, it would likely be worth it in the long run. Joe Copp 21:45, December 14, 2013 (UTC)
What are these baby steps then? I know you opened this forum to present ideas, but when you use the term "baby-steps" you have to have an idea of what they would be, even if the idea isn't fully formed. KUDLq.png 21:48, December 14, 2013 (UTC)
Like I said earlier, it would all be in the effort to improve the user experience. We could make introductory videos, help pages that don't suck, more visually appealing welcome/notice templates, and put a bigger focus on what new users can do to help. Joe Copp 22:04, December 14, 2013 (UTC)
I've been trying to think of the right way to word this, but I'll just be blunt. I don't think any of that would help grow the Wiki's Userbase. KUDLq.png 22:40, December 14, 2013 (UTC)
Then I suppose that's where we differ in opinion. In my eyes, a smile and an inviting hand make all the difference in someone's decision to help out here. Joe Copp 23:38, December 14, 2013 (UTC)
A smile and helping hand they would actually see, I'd agree. But what can a new user do that seems (to them) anywhere near different than a veteran user? Who's gonna watch an "introductory video" when they won't even look at the policies? What exactly is wrong with the current welcome template that drives people away? I'm sorry, but I don't feel these things relate to more than 1% of the new user population, and that 1% would probably keep editing anyway.
This isn't a problem we "solve". There is no solution. It's going to happene whether we want it too or not. It's not even really a problem right now, considering how active our userbase is compared to several other wikis. I don't see a point in spending time making stuff that will honestly help nearly no one, when we could instead motivate the large community we already have to improve the wiki's content further.KUDLq.png 00:02, December 15, 2013 (UTC)
Earlier I tried a say, "experiment" with what is being talked about, a user joined chat, having upload about 20+ images with no proper name or license. Noticing this, instead of just deleting them and slapping a warning on his page, I talked it out with him, got him to read the rules, and he's one step closer to having the images he's uploading follow policy. In this regard, I think user interaction with new users (an open hand) is definitely better than slapping a template onto their page. Joining the wiki and uploading a few bad images can be resolved through a check and talk, not just a warning, it seems (That'd be another topic for another forum though, I think). GhKJh.pngP90DeathmanuceaHlB.png04:25, December 21, 2013 (UTC)
That's the kind of stuff I'm talking about. Joe Copp 08:42, December 21, 2013 (UTC)

"But then bam, all seven are gone and you're up your ass in these warning all over your "talk page" (What's that) about how you didn't follow any of the Wiki's "Policies" (You didn't even know those existed!)." --- I think that this is what scared most of the users in the May-August period.
And i must quote Shepherd here "It's been a tough week, gentlemen. We've lost more than we ever dreamed. But we will recover". CoD will surely commit "suicide" if it continues like this, but this wiki will live on. --Cataphract_%28Civ5%29.png SlavByzantine_%28Civ5%29.pngTalkDromon_%28Civ5%29.png 21:49, December 14, 2013 (UTC)


I don't really think there is very much we can do. Many of the users who joined this wiki around the time of CoD4-BO were in high school/college and how either don't have the time to edit the wiki that they had before or just have more important things to do. This, combined with the declining interest in CoD, makes it seem like we are losing so many editors and not gaining any new ones. We still have plenty of active editors at most times of the day, so I don't really think that a lack of editors is a problem at this moment. Conqueror of all Zombies (talk) 23:43, December 14, 2013 (UTC)

I'm gonna split off what P90 and Shot talked about just above a couple of days ago and say that I've noticed that we don't really greet new users much any more. Trust me when I say that just a "Hi there" or "How are you?" really does make a new user feel welcome. At the moment, when I scroll up to catch up on the chat, oftentimes I see a new user join, his/her presence get seemingly ignored, and then they leave never to be seen again. One of the main reasons that our chat used to be one of the biggest and most active on Wikia (to be fair, it still is, even if activity has declined) was because of how open and welcoming we were. I'm not trying to say that we've all turned stone cold-hearted, because we haven't; we are still welcoming. But we're more welcoming to established users than new users, and it would be good to try and be more welcoming to new users.

If what I am saying is rubbish, please tell me. This is just a personal observation.  FANMADE_Animated_Derpy_Hooves_desktop_ponies_sprite.gif Sig1.png Sig2.png  05:59, December 23, 2013 (UTC)

There is also a flip side to that issue. While it is true some users join and say hi and leave because they feel ignored, they often do so while chat is "dead", and as such no one is actually around to respond, and sometimes, by the time people do respond, said user has lost patience and simply left. Some seem to only have an attention span of 30 seconds and leave before anyone has even registered that they've said anything. I mean to a degree this whole situation works both ways. Sure we can be nice to a user, and that will make the feel welcome, but it also falls to them to want to actually reply. Such as this user Deathman claimed he spoke to in chat about their images, I'd like to know if they've done any major edits since that chat or if they've simply gone back to whatever they did before. Being nice to a user may well make them happy, but it's not a sure fire way to make them stay. I mean restaurant staff will treat you kindly when you go to one, but it doesn't mean you'll regularly return to that restaurant. 06:52, December 23, 2013 (UTC)
That's not to say that we should ever not be making an effort to greet new users. I think you may have slightly missed the point; nobody has suggested that being nicer will increase user adhesion by 100%. However, I'll be damned if it doesn't convince at least a few people to stay in the long-run. Joe Copp 10:09, December 23, 2013 (UTC)
Well if the the point was raised about "Trust me when I say that just a "Hi there" or "How are you?" really does make a new user feel welcome. At the moment, when I scroll up to catch up on the chat, oftentimes I see a new user join, his/her presence get seemingly ignored, and then they leave never to be seen again." I don't see how claiming treating users a bit better is "missing the point", because I can't see any other point to take from that sentence. 16:36, December 24, 2013 (UTC)
Closed - Dead. And as Damac points out, very little has been achieved here. 04:45, January 24, 2014 (UTC)
Side note: This forum was just a discussion and nothing more than a brainstorm at most. There was no real goal from the outset. Other than that, the nearly month-long dry spell of this forum pretty much confirms my original appraisal of decreased activity (which isn't to say that it wasn't clear already). Joe Copp 05:15, January 27, 2014 (UTC)
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