A month ago we (that is, Cook, 5-x, and myself) put out a survey for the wiki on reddit and in the sidebar (where it has remained) to gather feedback on stuff. A month on, I think it is time to review it and decide if we want to act on anything.
- All screenshots and data as of around 19:00 UTC, 11 August 2016
The survey had 1497 submissions. This is pretty bad, given we had 17 million pageviews over 690,000 unique users on the wiki in the same period. A 0.2% return of viewers -> survey takers seems lower than I expected.
The survey was distributed in three main means: via a link in the sidebar of every page, the wiki news section of the main page, and by a reddit post.
The reddit thread got a score of 117 and sat in the top area of the hot section of /r/runescape for about a day, as is usual for a thread of this type. I don't remember if it hit #1, but I wouldn't be surprised.
The link on the wiki (in both places) was a bitlink for easy tracking. They were clicked a total of 433 times (between approximately 60-120 times per week), so I'd expect 300-400 survey submissions from that. So that 0.2% from earlier is really 0.06% at best. (You should be able to see some bitlink stats here.)
Reddit formed around 70-80% of surveys submitted, so we should maybe consider more direct interaction with subreddit - I know many of us already are. Our on-site advertising methods are (or at least were for this use) fairly poor.
On to the actual results. I'm going to divide this into two sections - graphable questions and free-answer questions. I'll throw on my comments as appropriate.
Shoutout to those guys that never visit the wiki but took the survey anyway.
I think this is what you would expect - most people don't edit the wiki.
Maybe we could react more quickly? I'm not sure what else we could really do.
(Second graph edited to have the labels visible). So, one at a time:
- Having relatively recently played back through a lot of quests, I concur that our quest guides are top notch
- I don't really follow any of the money making guides so I'm not sure of the quality of them
- Isobel has reworked many of our skill training guides and I love what she's done to them; there's still some that need love, though
- Monster strategy guides maybe don't get updated as quickly as they should with new updates (gear and such); some boss guides are fairly meh mostly because we just don't have enough high level bosses writing the guides.
- Get help from some of those guys? Get them to edit? Introduce user-owned guides?
- I have no complaints with most items or NPCs
- Monster pages are generally fine, but the bestiary itself needs love. Its on my backlog, if I get time to do stuff with it, but if anyone wants to seize the initiative, go for it.
- Many of our calculators - especially skill training and such - are woefully outdated and need a lot of love to bring them up to a good standard.
I'm surprised that 'no' got any selections with the 'I am now!' option.
I don't think we can draw anything from this without further info. Sometimes people find something wrong, but without additional info we can't see about fixing it.
Combine the two 'no' options and this is basically the same graph as the 'how often do you edit' one.
I feel that the two biggest reasons have the same fix - learning and practicing editing with wiki format makes it more likely you won't 'break' anything, and if you do you're more likely to understand why and fix that.
Discussion of this might be worth its own thread. I have some mock-ups and ideas for it.
That's, in order:
- Making calculators
- Making dialogue and quest transcript pages
- Making dungeon maps or NPC location maps
- Creating new money making guides
- Making or updating monster strategy pages
- Taking pictures
- Revamping skill training guides
Series of Y/N questions, so it won't add to 100%.
As encouraging as these percentages are, converting them into people that actually do stuff is hard.
Expected, if annoying. Most of the awful stuff only happens to logged out users.
Shoutout to those that adblock mobile but not desktop.
There's way too many responses to give all of them the time they deserve, so here's some impressions of stuff.
- What is your favourite page on the wiki? Why?
- 258 responses
Most of the categories mentioned above have many mentions, particularly quest guides, money making guides, monster guides, calculators. Treasure trails guide, GEMW, Thaler, and Revolution get mentions too. Many mentions of specific pages with price analysis (eg divine charge).
- If you could change one thing about how the wiki operates, what would it be?
- 294 responses
A lot of 'nothing/NA/idk'. A lot of complaints about ads and mobile. Several complaints about the on-site search being bad. Many of the suggestions are highly specific, so here's some more notable ones:
- "Don't allow 'important' pages such as skill-training or money-making guides to be released without being 100% complete. Old/new/unfinished content is hard to read."
- "I think having a team of video creators to make video guides for bosses could help immensely, as I find text only guides to bosses to be more difficult to learn from."
- "Reviewing old content more - updating it with up-to-date information."
- "item : drops, the beasts drop pages are complete, but multiple items do not have a redirection to which monster drops them."
- WIP - needs to be finished by someone else now that mol is gone
- "Please add a quickly noticeable 'how to reclaim' and 'location pre/during/post quest' for items and npcs respectively"
- "Shave the normal quest guides down, they're bloated and borderline unreadable"
- Even with quick guides, some of the quest guides could be trimmed a bit
- "Update time gated activities such as big chin and sinkholes to show accurate time until start. In many cases it shows inaccurate time or doesn't show a time at all for certain time gated activities."
- "More instructions on how to add and edit things."
- "cookmeplox needs a raise."
- What is the most recent thing that you found on the wiki that was incorrect, missing, or not good enough?
- 299 responses
Again, a lot of 'nothing'. The majority of these are on specific pages, but here's some wider ones:
- "Would like all quick guides to have chat numbers to speed through (ie, 2-3-1-4)"
- "Some tables are cutoff, making me have to manually shift them to see the rest (for example Morvrann)"
- "F2P skill guides"
- "Strategy for Telos/Araxxor/Raids doesn't describe some tactics."
- "Browsing weapon special attacks, many of them don't have documentation on how hard they hit."
- What would make you start editing the RuneScape Wiki? How could the wiki get you hooked?
- 247 responses
Once again, a lot of 'nothing'. Several 'I'm already hooked'. Many 'I have no interest'. A lot of 'make it easier to edit' and 'better editing guide'. Many suggestions of incentives and/or credits.
- "Is there was an ELI5 page on wiki editing/formatting."
- "Some sort of motivation; piling time into editing a site when you have no idea whether anyone notices your work or whether it helped someone out is a lot harder to justify than if you had some way of seeing how helpful your changes/additions have been."
- "If the wiki had an open and bigger community"
- What do you think of the wiki's site layout, theme and overall reading experience?
- 375 responses
Mostly 'good/great/fine/etc'. A few comments about the poor mobile experience and ads in general.
- "I would like to change color, sometimes hard to read on white..."
- A darkmode would be nice. There might be a way to do this automatically with JS and a crazy CSS URL.
- "It's extremely well done, so much so that I find other wikis unusable in comparison. My only complaint is that some articles really show their age, especially with over exaggerating minor enemies and hazards."
- Anything else you want to tell us?
- 293 responses
A lot of 'no'. Much 'thank you'. Very meme. Wow.
- "Keep up the good work!"
- "I think the wiki needs more information about ironman"
- "Praise elifint"
- "I'd like to see a bit more of the community side of the RSwiki, I didn't know about any other people on the wiki. Pages that needed to be revamped had to be stumbled upon and edited out of free will rather than looking to revamp something that someone else pointed out."
- "Tell us on Reddit more how to help"
- "Have you considered helping out smaller RS-related Wikias that are struggling more than you, such as RuneScape Fan Fiction Wiki?"
- "Pokémon Go has consumed my life please help"
- "Some of the not-so-bad wikia features are disabled on RS wiki. I think things like Blogs, Badges and (B)comments would help improve the wiki and get more people to participate in it, plus it'd help form a closer community to the place, as right now it's very broken and hidden away right now, and after years I still have no idea what 90% of the injokes like bad fetus mean..."
- "The bossing guides are a massive wall of text, with some information omitted due to it being "common knowledge"; quite daunting for people new to bossing. Perhaps divide the individual bosses' guides into unique pages for each combat style? Just one possible solution."
- "Mr. G W likes smelly socks.™"
Here's my conclusion on stuff:
- Many areas could do with love, particularly older guides and calculators. Its all well and good tagging pages as obsolete, but if they're never fixed that's bad. Pages still obsoleted by EoC or EoEoC should really be looked at as a priority.
- A quick issue form is worth considering - probably going to make another thread for it, though
- We need a good 'how to edit' guide that's more than just a cheatsheet. Here's some ELI5 editing guides I mocked up on imgur. They really need to be cleaned up, images cropped and focused, and all moved over to the wiki. I think that the images are key to making the guides easy to understand, particularly the first three of these.
- #0 babby's first edit
- #1 being mediocre via the visualeditor
- #2 the beginnings of an introduction to source mode - there's also User:Gaz Lloyd/wikicode which covers similar ground without images; if anyone picks this up, I would suggest comparing/contrasting basic wikicode to markdown (used in reddit comments)
- I would have maybe a slightly more advanced source mode guide - using templates and more advanced table stuff - then a 'very' advanced guide for making templates a la User:Gaz Lloyd/Guides/Calculators, and maybe an intro to lua guide. Possibly also a DPL guide.
- Other guides that aren't directly coding could be on taking and uploading images (we have several user-made image editing guides to follow this up), and policies - though many policies can be built-in to the guides.
- Strategy pages need to be more in-depth with the technical mechanics and include more images to back this up. We may want to solicit help from high-level PvMers that don't edit. We could probably have a general 'combat guide' to consolidate general combat advice.
- Several projects need completion:
- Monster infobox
- Drops item list, Store item list, etc
- Invention; disassembly infoboxes and bulk data
- (add yours here)
- Pester wikia more about ads and mobile, not that they'd listen
"I like turtles." @Gaz#7521 22:58, August 11, 2016 (UTC)
Right. So basically, We need to get better into the access ability of beginners, updating the boss guides to streamline them and give Gaz a raise.23:25, August 11, 2016 (UTC)
- But then he won't be the professional unpaid guy who does the thing :,( -- 22:42, August 13, 2016 (UTC)
Comment - Honestly, the main and perhaps the only major issue I see is that people seem to be too scared to edit. Encouraging people to edit by notifications on here as well as reddit etc. would go a long way I feel. Besides that we should probably try to be as lenient as possible on new users, as stressed veteran editors can sometimes scare them off. bad_fetustalk 00:58, August 12, 2016 (UTC)
Comment - Admittedly, I was hoping for about triple the number of responses we got, but it's a result nonetheless. If I had to name the three most important things we can learn from this, I'd say that:
1) The quick issue form is definitely worth looking into.
2) Calculators, money-making guides, skill training guides, and monster strategies aren't good enough.
Scuzzy's magical responses of mediocrity (Only some memes i promise) -
- "Monster pages are generally fine, but the bestiary itself needs love. Its on my backlog, if I get time to do stuff with it, but if anyone wants to seize the initiative, go for it."
- Taking pictures at 91%
- Looks like im out of a job :^)
- What is your favourite page on the wiki? Why?
- item : drops, the beasts drop pages are complete, but multiple items do not have a redirection to which monster drops them." WIP - needs to be finished by someone else now that mol is gone
- If someone can give me the run-down, I'd be happy to help out where I can.
- I'd like to see a bit more of the community side of the RSwiki, I didn't know about any other people on the wiki.
- I have been thinking for a while we need to do a little bit more on the community side - I wasn't about to say anything, though, as I feel like I don't have the right to say anything because I haven't even attended any wiki events - but since we're on the topic, I feel like more of an effort could be made (Sorry Gaz, ily)
- Some of the not-so-bad wikia features are disabled on RS wiki. I think things like Blogs, Badges and (B)comments would help improve the wiki and get more people to participate in it, plus it'd help form a closer community to the place, as right now it's very broken and hidden away right now, and after years I still have no idea what 90% of the injokes like bad fetus mean..."
- I stumbled across our
parasitesister wiki about a month back, the Brazilian RuneScape Wiki. I spent most of my time there scrolling through some very badly translated pages (via chrome) in a vein attempt to find any information about Local Moderators. One thing I did pick up on was how it felt like this wiki but from another dimension. (I'm not calling Brazil another dimension, hear me out). It was the same format, except they had badges/trophys/message walls, and comments. It made me wonder why we don't do this. Seriously, what's the downside? If there's one thing people love, its imaginary internet points.
- I stumbled across our
All in all, I get the general gist that people are intimidated by wikicode/our own editors. Speaking from past experience, it can be pretty discouraging when you attempt to make an edit and then it's reverted with a snide remark, just because you didn't know any better.
I'd like to hear your guy's thoughts on some of my thoughts. --22:40, August 13, 2016 (UTC)
- Re:community; I think the events team is doing a splendid job. Good mix of bosses and minigames. Could add some more of those to the rotation, and maybe re-introduce wikifests. Events are probably one of the best ways to 'showcase' the wiki community, insofar as I cannot think of much else... Could make a thread on the RSOF and pester a jmod to have it stickied, where people can post issues they find on the wiki and we refularly check back to reply, or something. Might be more accessible than the wiki (could work side by side with the quick issue form too) for most people that do want to help but don't know how. Just a random idea. And nay I do not know why this post is a reply to you. 08:18, August 14, 2016 (UTC)
I don't know how much reverting edits is going on these days, but if someone puts in an edit in good faith and it gets reverted/undone, it more than likely can put them off doing any more editing. I would like to suggest, as I did years ago to a mostly different group of wikians, that if you do undo a good faith edit, take 30 seconds and tell them why on their talk page. And not with a template. If you take that time, make it personal, it will make them feel better about why it was changed and more welcome. Maybe link to the Style Guide. Encourage them to try again. Ask them to make an account. Crap, lost where I was going with this. Just wait until you're old! I know the main page is getting revamped but I haven't checked the whole thread yet, but are we including ways to invite people to join our community instead of just reading the articles? I will throw out there on the Badges issue I think it is not the way to go. Newer editors will see there is no way to compete with experienced editors making hundreds or thousands of edits a month and will be discouraged, and it also encourages edit count versus quality. By some of the comments above I see it is our quality in need of fixing, not quantity of articles. Ramble over, time for a nap. Degenret01 (talk) 16:40, August 14, 2016 (UTC)
About badges and blogs - 5 years ago we tried the badges on a 2 week trial, and they were disabled after causing a lot of bad edits 1. We have also discussed blogs and came tae the conclusion that they were mair hassle than they were worth 2. Template:Signatures/Ciphrius Kane 18:03, August 14, 2016 (UTC)
Thoughts - Content-wise, people do seem to think we're doing a decent job in most areas which is encouraging. Shoutout to Gaz for mentioning skill guides: there are many left to do, mainly combat ones (I don't know how to combat well enough to do anything with these) and buyable ones (what happened to interactive skill guides project :(?). Could do with more people's help just to keep the relatively updated ones up to date (I’m hoping to get them updated with The Arc & Wilderness stuff before my holiday is over).
I have been here the past few weeks’ updates and our response to updates does seem a little slow compared to things like Reddit. It also seems like most of our experienced editors are not active around the time of updates being released (myself included usually). Since Jagex are now pretty forthcoming with information about future updates I have been trying to make sure the information they release is documented and that we get at least some articles prepared in advance. I hope this is something that is helpful for editors who do update the wiki following game updates as well as being something players are interested in. If you’re interested in this stuff please do help out with it. Like Gaz, I’m not sure what we else we can do to improve our response to updates and I think we generally do okay with them.
I have some reservations about using a quick edit form, please do make another thread about that if you consider taking the idea further.
There are suggestions we can act on for improving content; some of which might be relatively easy projects for us to complete (like adding the "dropped by" section to all item pages). On the other hand I feel like many of the suggestions are things that have already been brought up when we've surveyed people before (calculators, strategy pages, bestiary). The problem here is that these larger projects require alot of manpower that we just don't seem to have.
This is why I agree with Chess that the most important thing shown by this survey is how negatively people feel about editing here. If we want to make these big improvements we need more people to help out with them. Guides on how to do various different things around the wiki are something that might help people get into editing. We have many things telling people what standards we expect their edits to be up to but little guidance on how they can actually do that, which can't help the perception that we seem to not want new people to help us. Better editing guides should be combined with things people can be directed to get involved with, since new users seem to see a lack of things that need improving. Perhaps we can have greater exposure of our maintenance categories and a resurrection/greater use of projects.
To add to that I agree with Degenret has said about communicating with new editors about their edits. Using edit summaries is all well and good but I’m guessing a lot of new editors are unaware of how to use a page history to find out why their edit was changed. If someone has put some effort into making an edit here we should do them the courtesy of contacting them directly on their talk page and politely explaining to them why their edit was removed/changed and letting them how they can do whatever they were trying to do better. If people are taking the time to contribute here but are finding their efforts are removed seemingly without reason, or have a negative response from people here, it is no wonder they are put off from continuing to edit.
The responses about the community here are interesting, I would have liked to see more questions about this. There seem to be a lot of misconceptions about the wiki (like that we get paid to edit and that the ads benefit us in some way) and I’m not really sure how we can address more than we already attempt to do now. Our regular editors seem to be something of a mystery to outsiders. We have various community features (IRC, on-site chat, clan chat, discord, twitter...) but perhaps we need to do better with using them as a way for new and established editors to communicate. Again, I’d have been interested to have questions about people’s awareness of/opinions on our community features. I would guess many people aren’t aware that the wiki has these things as we don’t seem to have that high a number of people using some of them, e.g. [[Special:Chat]] is pretty dead a lot of the time. Events might be a good way to involve people on the community; but I think they need to be organised more regularly for that - there’s a lot of events scheduled now but there had not been any all year until last week. Greater promotion of our community features and involvement of regular editors in them might go some way towards helping people see who edits here/how our community works. People seem to like us reaching out via reddit and we get more of a response by promoting our discussions on there, we should continue doing that.15:34, August 15, 2016 (UTC)
nice thread, A+ --05:44, August 17, 2016 (UTC)
in agreement with fetus, this is a nice thread. User:Walrus068/Signature 01:42, August 19, 2016 (UTC)
Comment - the bar graph for the money making guide is flipping me off, pls ban08:37, August 19, 2016 (UTC)
FUCK DEAD, I NEED MORE SUPPORT In response to "Strategy pages need to be more in-depth with the technical mechanics and include more images to back this up. We may want to solicit help from high-level PvMers that don't edit. We could probably have a general 'combat guide' to consolidate general combat advice." I'm testing out hidden subsections of Boss Strategy pages so that Role or Technique content can be kept in-line with phase mechanics without getting too cluttered. Example Yakamaru/Strategies#Centre_pool_.28Start.29. Expanding this to other bloated pages like raxxor/rago/rots will tidy up the pages (at least imo) and allow for more feedback from pvmers. Sojurnstrs (talk) 23:14, September 15, 2016 (UTC)