Thank you to everyone who was involved in answering the wiki's survey this year. Whether you're a regular editor or simply just a reader, it has been extremely useful to gauge feedback from the community. So without further ado, here goes.
The survey received 2,374 submissions, which is 877 more responses than last year's survey received.
The following methods were used for promoting the survey:
- The wiki homepage
- The wiki sidebar
- In the wiki news section
- In a Yew Grove thread
- In a /r/RuneScape thread
- In the #welcome channel on RuneScape:Off-site/Discord
918 of the clicks through to the survey seem to come only from the sidebar module, which suggests that it was extremely effective in catching people's attention and directing them to the survey. We didn't really track clicks from anywhere else, as we tended to use a direct link to the survey in those places.
During the survey, a different set of questions were provided for people that answered that they have never edited or barely ever edited. Some questions that I will mention below are for those responses, so do not be confused if you never saw those questions when taking the survey.
These are not necessarily shown in the order that they were included in the survey.
This makes sense. Most of our survey clicks I assume came from the wiki itself, as we had much broader promotion than last year. The sidebar promotion for the survey seemed to be a big help. This graph looks more or less the same as last year's graph for the same question.
Now this is slightly more interesting. There are less people that don't edit the wiki compared to last year. Of course, the fact that there were a lot more responses may have something to do with it though. The good thing to note is that every piece of the pie chart looks like it has expanded a bit compared to last years results. There are more people editing a few times a day, occasionally, and rarely. Any edit is an edit, right? I'm glad that we seem to have more of these.
I think the obvious points to make about these are that our quests/skill training guides should be maintained more regularly than they currently are. As with anything in the game, with time, things can become outdated. Our calculators could probably do with refining. Update articles, while not really useful to people, aren't complex or particularly time-consuming to maintain, so I don't think this graph gives us reason to start considering devoting less resources to them. It's nice to know that people think drop tables are helpful, as we tend to spend a fair amount of time (especially during events) working on them to ensure they are accurate.
These are pretty self-explanatory. There's a fine balance between a high quality article and those that have a lot of unnecessary information, and I think this graph proved that the former is much more favoured by our readers.
Out of everything in the survey, this is something that confused me the most. Apparently, our community efforts are never heard of. We didn't really touch on this in last year's survey which is why I wanted to include it this time around. I think there are a few potential reasons for these results. With the Events Team I think at least on places like the RuneScape subreddit, we spam it quite regularly with our "___ event is starting in ___ minutes" posts and that kinda pisses people off. I don't think anyone really knew our Discord server existed, though we do have a pretty obvious message in the sidebar about it. Our in-game clan isn't really advertised much anymore, but I guess it's not going to get that much attention from non-editors. Our Twitter account isn't great. If we're honest, it's used irregularly and doesn't have as much interaction with the community as it could do. The subreddit interaction is perhaps better than most other things, which I'm glad about - I've been making a little bit of an effort to interact with people there (such as sharing analytics earlier in the year). Lastly, there's a little bit of negativity about The Wikian than the other community efforts and I think this could in part be down to spite because of the title's exclusivity, but also because of the way we give it out (I'll touch on this later).
I would have cut the 'Never heard of it' bars out of this graph, however I think they're really important to include given that it indicates that we aren't pushing our community efforts near enough as much as we should be.
I guess the people here that answered that it was very hard to edit are either casual editors or those that only edit on occasion. I think if we take all of the results from each of these answers and put them together, we can conclude that our editing guides could do with being refined, and we should provide help for editing some of our most common types of templates.
It's good to see that more people seem to be using the source editor than Wikia's VisualEditor, as the VisualEditor is fairly bad. Of course, if the wiki was running on an updated MediaWiki version and used the actively maintained VisualEditor extension, it would run and behave a lot better. It's not actually a bad editor, but Wikia's version of it is. We should continue to push users into learning more about editing source wikitext.
- Dark mode isn't really that important, but can be nice to develop when there's nothing else to work on.
- Articles about JMods aren't really important either, so we should probably reduce the time we spend on maintaining these articles.
- Invention is important. I'm not sure if Gaz' project is still going on, but it is vital that we continue our work on invention related info if we haven't covered everything already.
- Missing images are kinda important. I guess they make things look nice.
- It is a mixed bag as to whether ironman support is something that we should dedicate time to, but I feel like we should make an effort to make our info ironman friendly where possible.
- Quick guide chat options are more or less the same. If we're able to add them in we should, but it might not be too necessary to make extra effort in going through and replaying quests or something for these.
- Existing guides are obviously getting more and more obsolete after each update, so there should probably be a conscious effort to improve these. Things like our money making guides are some of the biggest issues, I think.
- I'm unsure as to why guides on editing the wiki didn't get as much support as I'd assumed, but I guess editing isn't really something that most people are interested in.
It's nice to see that most people who have edited have created an account. There's not much more to say about this question other than that.
For these questions, I'll post the top answers and their percentages/results compared with all of the other answers in the question.
Is there any reason that you haven't edited much, if at all?
Out of 2,208 responses
- I hardly ever find anything that needs editing (1,150, 52%)
- I'm afraid of getting it wrong or breaking something (1,046, 47.4%)
- I'm not interested in editing (687, 31.1%)
- I don't understand how editing works (537, 24.3%)
- I don't want to create an account (409, 18.5%)
- It takes too much time and effort (242, 11%)
Other answers include: the rules are confusing, someone tells me I'm wrong, always gets reverted, lack of experience, I did not know I could edit
What kind of edits have you made?
Out of 166 responses
- General spelling fixes and minor edits (151, 91%)
- Uploaded or edited images (88, 53%)
- Reverting vandalism (72, 43.4%)
- Created new articles (70, 42.2%)
- Created or modified templates/modules (65, 39.2%)
- Contributed to on-site discussions (52, 31.3%)
- Adding charm logs (40, 24.1%)
Other answers include: anything, major rewrites, translations/interlanguage links
For these questions, I'll show a tag cloud of some of the most reoccurring words, then go into more detail about some responses that kept popping up.
What part of editing has been most difficult for you to do in the past?
The biggest issue people seem to have is either with the editors (particularly the source editor), and editing templates. I think there isn't a lot of documentation on how to edit certain templates on the wiki. Documentation on how to use them is nice, but if something goes wrong or needs changing then it should be clear to editors - especially new editors - how to fix this.
The responses to this question also featured some criticism on how we handle people that are making edits, e.g we don't handle the edits with good faith. There seems to be a slight problem with the way that "admins" act in this regard when reverting changes, though I suspect that the use of that word is probably down to the confusion about it being a wiki that anyone can edit, and not every long-term user is an "admin".
Do you have any suggestions on what would encourage you to edit?
The answers to this question were mostly an overwhelming amount of "if there was a guide". I think that with this coming up as an answer so much, we should push the guides we have at RuneScape:Editing to be more visible. Having it nested under a menu at the top of the page is accessible, yes, but many people just won't look there. I should note that we included a link to the editing guides during the survey, and a lot of responses here seem to reflect the fact that they only noticed we had guides because of that link.
As you'd expect, there is a fair amount of requests for incentives, which I think we do try and provide with things like The Wikian title. I guess we don't make that visible enough either though? Perhaps it might be a good idea to look into running editing competitions with in-game monetary rewards or something like that, which could perhaps get a lot of people into editing.
Is there anything that you think could be improved that hasn't been mentioned?
To be honest, I think it's clear to see what the majority of responses to this question were by looking at the tag cloud above. According to a lot of people, our guides are outdated. The main guides that came up specifically in answer to this question were our money making guides and monster/boss strategy guides. I know that a lot of editors probably aren't interested in PvM much, but it might be a good idea to try and find some of the people that are to help improve the monster guides.
The money making guides are in a sorry state. Unfortunately, with how RuneScape is, it can be hard to provide up-to-date money making methods and ensure that the guides are always detailing the most efficient and "best" methods. We already took steps earlier this year to reduce how obsolete the guides are by removing those that have a negative profit from the list on the article, but there is still a lot of work to be done.
Calculators fall into a similar bracket - they work, but people tend to use sites like RuneHQ and Tip.It for their calculators as they are up-to-date and have more features. I think we can definitely make an improvement to improve our own calculators, but I imagine that knowledge of editing them is something that not a lot of people have. Aside from guides in editors' userspace, we don't have any actual guides that detail how to modify these.
There are also some mentions of preferring there to not be a requirement to have an account. I feel like this is something that has been misinterpreted or hasn't been clarified enough. Anyone can edit wiki articles, apart from those that have some kind of protection (which not many do). While it is better to create an account to be able to get better recognition and to edit protected pages, it isn't a necessity. I'm not sure what we can do to clarify to people that editing is possible without an account, but maybe it's something we should think about.
There are some suggestions on systems like being able to request for other editor's/admin help (I guess this similar to the issue system that Gaz was working on at one point. I'm not sure what came of that though.
Is there anything else you would like to say?
Users have resorted to using Adblock (I wouldn't blame them) and some are having problems using the wiki altogether in conjunction with playing the game because of the amount of ads on the screen. Maybe it would be useful for Wikia to see how much their ads are actually impacting readers and cut down on them. Though, maybe I'm just too hopeful.
I don't understand what exactly has caused typing something into search that matches an existing page title to go to the search results instead of the page. It is annoying, and has been picked up on by a few people in this survey. There are also responses about the lack of responsiveness of the search bar. Ball is in your court here, Wikia.
Other than a lot of Wikia-related stuff, there are a lot of "thanks" and "keep it up". I think this shows that the content that we create is used by many, and found helpful by the wide majority of the community. There has never really been a good way to give thanks for edits or contributions, so it's nice that this can happen through the medium of an anonymous survey. In the future it could be nice to have a "thanks" system on the wiki for edits that isn't intrusive and generally helps people feel encouraged to edit more.
Support - "2,374 submissions, which is 877 more responses" - How many of those were flarefox though? Or did you cut them out before showing us the results?--21:09, September 17, 2017 (UTC)
- Flarefox did spam some responses but got bored after about 10, he definitely didn't influence anything other than writing "flarefox was here" in every field lol (which wasn't taken into account anywhere) 21:15, September 17, 2017 (UTC)
- He actually did that? How...utterly predictable? I kinda expected my final thoughts to be the only joke response; I don't think Flarefucks understands teh pride we take into editing and providing a resource for fellow RuneScape players...then again, I do not consider him to be "playing" RS anymore when all he does it unfairly rig in-game raffles. But still... --WINE OF GOOD HEALTH (Actually Stinko) 02:48, September 18, 2017 (UTC)
Wikia Adverts - I did not include this on a poll response because it is a Wikia-related issue. The advertisements have been incredibly blood sucking of my browser (and ultimately computer's) memory. I literally installed Ad-Block because of Wikia, for example. I am posting this here in case someone from the company reads these. --Internetboxwiki (talk) 21:46, September 18, 2017 (UTC)
Comment - Excellent overview. Well-written and I agree with the points you make. Looks like the survey gave some good input this year, with only a few minor hiccups. Oil4 Talk 23:26, September 18, 2017 (UTC)
Comment Great work! I was waiting for these results to come in. One thing I'd like to say though - as an outsider looking in on the Wiki - you guys should definitely look into doing more community engagement-type events (not just PvM). Giveaways, social events, minigame events on dead minigames, etc... Even though the Wiki basically has a monopoly on the RS fansites, it would still help you get "out there" more. I talked to Scuzzy and Cook a while back on Discord when they contacted me about my survey answer, and if memory serves me right they were both in support of this (pls correct me if I'm wrong). More positive community interaction can only help us, right?
Another thing you guys need to be really aware of is the "DBAD" rule and assuming good faith. There's going to be new editors, you all were new editors at some point. These new editors are going to make mistakes. They'll format things wrong, they'll use an outdated template, they won't cite something, they'll add something in that's not relevant or not noteworthy, they'll try to upload media to the RS Wiki for their profile page, etc.... The important thing is to be kind and patient. We should want to encourage more people to start editing the Wiki, but sarcasm of ill-worded replies and jabs in the edit summary will scare newcomers off very quickly. Remember - we're online, we can't see other people's facial expresssions. If you say something that you think is cheeky, it could very easily come off as being rude to a newcomer that's not familiar with the Wiki's unique community atmosphere. LisaaRS (talk) 03:59, September 19, 2017 (UTC)
- Events on "dead minigames" unfortunately don't tend to be that successful. While it'd be nice to be able to single-handedly re-invigorate Trouble Brewing, it's probably best to leave that to specialised FCs and focus on the events that do bring people in and hopefully build the community. PvM just so happens to do that more than most.
- I'm curious why you think we're not that newbie friendly? I realise we've made mistakes in the past, but I'd hoped we were improving in that area over the past year or two. Do you have any specific examples? cqm 19:00, 19 Sep 2017 (UTC)
- What about teaming up with other FC's and groups to host special events? Collaboration might actually be even better than the Wiki trying to go it alone. You guys really need to put more emphasis in community engagement, I think it could add so much to improving the Wiki
- As far as not being noob-friendly, I can't name any specific cases, but certain people on here and even in-game (Wikian title holders too, I might add) have sometimes given off the impression of being rude, impatient, and/or judgmental. It's very discouraging for a newcomer to continue editing if they're witness to something like this. LisaaRS (talk) 02:28, September 20, 2017 (UTC)
- Side note/random idea: Community creations & projects aren't allowed to have their own pages here for obvious reasons (which I agree with), but would anyone be opposed to making a separate Wiki specifically for these things ("RuneScape Creations Wiki," or something similar)? If people know it's being run by the same people as the RS Wiki (and if this Wiki endorses it), it would be a huge contribution to community engagement. LisaaRS (talk) 02:28, September 20, 2017 (UTC)
- I've passed your idea about teaming up with FCs to the Events Team. I'm not sure if we've done anything similar in the past, but I think it's worth exploring.
- You're free to make whatever pages you want in your userspace - we never have or will put restrictions on those. I'm not really sure what creations would include, but I feel we've done so well over the years by keeping our scope relatively narrow. Over at Avatar Wiki, they've more or less re-invented themselves using fan fiction, but I suspect that wouldn't work so well here given the general lack of overlap between editors here and the more creative RS-related wikis. Ultimately, we want to get people on the wiki to improve it, not to dilute the community across multiple wikis. cqm 07:48, 20 Sep 2017 (UTC)
Comment - I'm pretty late to this party but cheers for running the survey. I've added a couple of specific ideas for improvements to RuneScape:Maintenance/Project ideas. A lot of the things mentioned are some large outstanding projects that are difficult to address: bestiary, calculators, more accurate drop rates, boss strategy guides...
Perhaps money making guides could be something tackled with its own survey. A lot of people mentioned outdated or infeasible methods. We could ask for those to be identified and delete or archive them somewhere. We could also ask what new money making methods should be included to get some direction for updating the guide. Missing/old images is something I am hoping to address now I
sortof have internet access again. It's a large job so I'm setting it up as a project and would love some help with it.
Frustratingly people are unaware of our community features and editing guides (even that they can edit at all). It's hard to know how to push these things more than we already do. I love our new homepage but perhaps this is something we need to look at again and cut down to just having some key information about our community and editing rather than trying to cover a lot of RuneScape content as well?19:10, October 5, 2017 (UTC)
Closed - it seems discussion has died out. Thanks Jayden for running the survey and presenting the results so well.13:24, October 17, 2017 (UTC)