Hi everyone. As many of you know, 8 months ago FANDOM began producing Featured Videos that live on wiki pages. We did this to accomplish three key goals:
- Reach a web audience that is increasingly looking for video content, and do it in a way that compliments the text content that has been built over many years.
- Use pre-roll advertisements in front of Featured Videos to dramatically reduce the number of advertisements on any given wiki page.
- Improve page load times by reducing the number of advertisements.
A few months ago we produced some videos for RuneScape Wiki and Old School RuneScape Wiki that did not live up to the standards we want in Featured Videos. Among other issues, we used content that would easily become out of date. We knew that in order to produce Featured Videos, we needed someone who has a ton of RuneScape expertise and the videos needed to be produced in a way that minimized the likelihood that they would become out of date.
We turned to a freelancer recommended by the community here and worked with him and his expertise in order to produce a first cut of these videos. We incorporated the feedback given to us by some of the admins here and also put them through a rigorous internal review, so we could ensure that these videos were the best that they could be.
We know that the addition of Featured Videos may lead to some questions and concerns about how they will impact page performance, so let’s talk about the changes we’ve made to advertisements and page performance over the last several months.
One of the biggest concerns expressed by RuneScape and Old School RuneScape admins and community members is in regards to the number of advertisements per page and their impact on page load times and user retention. Because of the Featured Videos we have across FANDOM, we were able to slash the number of advertisements on every wiki page by 30%. This new ad layout was completed in October 2017, but was being rolled out to several countries beginning in July.
Across FANDOM, the decrease in advertisements has led to major improvements in page performance. The average page load time on desktop across the entire site dropped 46% from the beginning to the end of 2017. For RuneScape specifically, the numbers are very similar: average page load times on RuneScape are 44% lower than they were one year ago.
This has had a significant impact on user retention. In that same period of time, the number of pages that a single user reads per visit to the wiki increased 17% - and that number is increasing, a trend we expect to see continue. The increase directly correlates to when the new ad layout began to roll out worldwide. Your readers are beginning to notice the improvements in page performance, and they are sticking around longer as a result.
You can see these changes illustrated here:
This chart shows the changes in page load times and pages per session from January 2015 to December 2017. The peak page load time was in February 2017, and it has been consistently trending downward since July 2017. The slight uptick at the end of the year is due to typical end-of-year traffic increases and ad differences.
We know that this does not address every concern people may have, but we do hope it's a major first step. You've said for years that advertisements are a problem, and we've said for years that we agree - and now, finally, we have been in the position to do something about it, and the results are pretty spectacular. There's also more to come very soon: we'll be applying many of these same successes to mobile, and we're working on making even more strides to improve page performance.
In the meantime, if you have any questions about Featured Videos, advertisements, and page performance, please don't hesitate to ask them here so we can discuss them with you. -BertH (help forum | blog) 18:36, February 12, 2018 (UTC)
No. - The Treasure Trail one is already going to be outdated within the month.18:42, February 12, 2018 (UTC)
- We'll be updating the videos as needed based on the changes later this month and in the future. -BertH (help forum | blog) 18:46, February 12, 2018 (UTC)
Question - Is the placement of trending articles on every shot of a wiki page intentional? It looks like it was added as a last ditch attempt to add some branding to a video otherwise devoid of anything FANDOM. User:Cqm/Signature
- I'm also sceptical of the benefits to mobile. The video takes over half the page by default, but doesn't use any volume. It's like a pet sat between you and the TV staring at you, waiting for you to notice it. It's not a popup and in the traditional sense, but it's only marginally better. User:Cqm/Signature
- I dont think I was very clear what I meant by mobile benefits. The claim is the videos are better for page load but there's no obvious improvement to UX compared to the old system. Previously, a full page ad might be one in X with no real correlation. Now they're on specific, high traffic pages and obscure the vast majority of the content. While the overall number of ads might decrease, impacting high traffic pages also impacts the reputation of the wiki especially as RS moves to mobile platforms. User:Cqm/Signature
- The video is easily dismissed once you start scrolling down (just to be clear for those who may not be checking it out on their phones). The viewer is getting a video relevant to the page content, rather than multiple ads about something else. Historically you've been very concerned about ad quality and quantity, and page performance. We view this as an improvement and hope that you do as well. -BertH (help forum | blog) 23:25, February 12, 2018 (UTC)
Comment - Before giving any opinions here, I want to be completely transparent here given that there are mentions towards admin involvement in the videos in Bert's post. As most people will know, FANDOM implemented featured video before and it resulted in a pretty negative forum thread and posts on Reddit. It was clear that nobody liked them, and as a result Jagex contacted FANDOM on our behalf to help resolve the issues and get the videos, which were abysmal at time, removed from the wiki. FANDOM acknowledged the videos were of poor quality, and over the last few months we have been in communication with them privately, and at one point had a video conference with them, to talk about the issues we have - not just with the videos.
It's clear that what we want as a community and what FANDOM want aren't the same. So, while we absolutely do not want the addition of the videos, they were clear that it was something they were going to do anyway, and thus we tried to help them at least improve the quality of the videos here. The videos that are done by a freelancer was recommended by us, and there was an initial draft of the videos which still had some issues which we told them about and they fixed. We helped with improving the scripts so that things made sense, and we suggested changes that are more ambiguous and would allow the videos to make more sense after game updates.
With that said, myself and I'm sure the majority of other people stand by the fact that featured videos are an unwelcome and unnecessary addition to the wiki. It clutters the page, the autoplaying is pretty annoying, the videos will still become outdated quickly, and I feel that the wider RuneScape community will also become just as frustrated about it as they did before. I do have stronger opinions about video, but I vocalised that already on the previous thread. 19:01, February 12, 2018 (UTC)
Comment - I'm not gonna waste my time writing a long comment. We don't want these videos and we don't need these videos. They're gonna be outdated quickly and there's no way these videos are ever gonna be better than reading the actual pages. Even new players won't be benefiting from this shit, and on top of that these videos are just gonna irritate everyone checking those pages. Absolutely fantastic, keep up the good work.21:51, February 12, 2018 (UTC)
Comment - These videos are an eyesore and frankly annoying. They will autoplay and start playing other videos too without pausing it manually. It's just giving users another reason to hate Fandom and Wikia. They will get outdated and I highly doubt that they'll bother getting updated. There's already invasive ads that users complain about and this is definitely not gonna help. Please get rid of the abominations. --User:KelseW/Signature 23:33, February 12, 2018 (UTC)
Comment - Echoing what has been said in the first rollout of featured videos (Both on the wiki and on external websites) and what has been said above, we, as a community (both editors and viewers) have been vocal in our disapproval of the videos. Based on the 2 "test videos" on the money making guide and treasure trails pages (the 2 with the highest traffic), they don't compliment the article in ANY way. They serve as an unhelpful introductory "this article is about" and do not provide any useful or knowledgeable information within it. The videos start off muted, although 99% of the provided details come from the voice... and the 30 second pre-roll advertisement that you have to sit through (if you dont have adblock/a Wikia account) is just a joke in its own right, considering it's ¼ of the length of the video.
AAAAND to top it all off, after the atrocious monstrosity of the joke you call a "featured video" is over, it autoplays (similarly poorly edited) videos... OF NO RELATION to the game/community/wiki, until you manually stop it.
The quality of our articles are only as good as we present it. By having the videos in which we have little/no say in its content as the poster-child of the culmination of our content that everyone will be forced to see (taking up 50% of the page and another 30% advertising, or as the little cute video box popup that noone likes), preceding any of the work we put into creating articles, it will show us in a bad light.
If people want video guides for certain topics, they will go to external sites, where video creators have, and will continue to, create up-to-date video guides unfettered from the grasp of Rhea/Wikia
The main problem is that RuneScape is an actively developed game.... which means content can change on a whim... markets go up and down... and these videos will get outdated pretty fast. The clue scroll rework is literally coming in 2 weeks. how long would we expect:
- a writer to write a new script
- the content creator to collect all the info they need to come up with a video
- the editor to put it all together
- and publishing on the page
it will take several weeks, and by that time, lots more info will be known, and the video will need to be recreated again reflecting that.
there is a reason why every video maker has to recreate a guide on a skill/boss/money making/xp methods every few months.... content changes.
sorry for the banter and displeasing our wikia overlords, but it has to be said
TL;DR: No-one wants them.
ALL HAIL ZAMIK WIZARD@@!1@
- edit: i'd like to point out that the videos are significantly better over the old, so ya got that going for you :)
yeah, fuckin' hell no - You clearly didn't learn from the last batch of complaints. Then again, Fandom knows diddly about what its users want. Last time, you couldn't be assed to fact check. This time, I doubt you'll do any different. Currently taking bets on how long the Treasure Trails guide will be outdated before you guys update it again (and that's IF you update it!). --WINE OF GOOD HEALTH (Actually Stinko) 01:09, February 13, 2018 (UTC)
Please no - I'll admit the videos are an improvement. That, however, doesn't negate the fact that they are unnecessary and impractical. All hail the Zamik Wizard. 01:29, February 13, 2018 (UTC)
*sigh* - Here we go again... Firstly, Treasure Trails will be getting revamped on 26 February, 2018. Those changes will make the current video obsolete. How quickly will it be updated? Months? Years? Secondly, users don't choose to visit the wiki because they want to watch a video. There are other websites for video watching. At the very least, give visitors a choice as to whether they want to watch the video instead of having it begin to play automatically. It is quite intrusive and annoying.01:56, February 13, 2018 (UTC)
Comment - "Treasure Trials" [sic]. Yeah, nty. User:I Am Me/Signatures 02:21, February 13, 2018 (UTC)
Comment - A suggestion to improve the featured articles module would be to have it give a larger delay between videos. Three seconds is absurd, especially if I were to like the video, the following video that is selected from the seven listed happens too fast and it isn't obvious that clicking the right > arrow prevents it from jumping to the next video. It's also worth noting that even muted, the videos eat up too much data. The Treasure Trails article video looks to be about 46MB and I know that many that play the game and use the wiki end up having a terrible time due to their provider. Having videos of any substantial size is pretty bad. If you could serve the videos as WEBM when possible instead, that would alleviate some concerns.
Now as for the actual content for what we have on this wiki, I do not think they add depth to the articles. Unlike other forms of content like Harry Potter or Dragon Ball (even with weekly episodes), RuneScape's constant and consistent updates renders a lot of anything that might be worth seeing in video form become outdated quickly. Since videos appear to be here to stay, I would like to see less of page take-over advertisements for things such as this often seen ad past November as they do not scale at all appropriately at 1440p or higher. Ryan PM 05:44, February 13, 2018 (UTC)
No - If we wanted to have videos on our pages, we'd rather make them ourselves for content that is likely to remain static. Even then, such videos would not work for a Wiki documenting an ever-changing game. People are here to read. If they want to watch a video, they can just go to YouTube. The Real Sonickyle (T,B,C) Date Written: 22:29, February 13, 2018 (UTC)
Reality check - Some people may be under the impression that these videos are not here to stay. That is not the case. It simply does not matter how many of you say No or anything else. What does matter, however, is that we have a chance to influence the videos in a direction that better exemplifies what we do here on the wiki. Ideas and suggestions for improving the content at least have a chance to guide this in a better direction. Work with what we have, not with what we wish we had. Degenret01 (talk)
Comment - Tbh this iteration of the video's are much better than the previous atrocities. However like (almost) everyone above has commented, these video's are unnecessary, unneeded, and do not add anything of value to the article that people have looked up to READ about the subject. If people wanted to watch a guide, they'd go to YouTube. I'd like to see the video's to go away, however I realise Wikia/FANDOM will keep them. So, I would suggest that the video's will need to be updated once outdated, which in the case of the Treasure Trails video is going to be very soon. On 26 February 2018, the Clue Scroll Rework will be released making the video instantly obsolete. The question is how long it will take before the TT video will be updated after the rework is released, because I know editors are very excited to update the pages for all things related to clues (they are probably even more excited to do the new content though :P). If the video's are not removed, then at least update them WHEN outdated. Because with a game that changes EVERY week, the possibility ALWAYS exists that content is altered in the game, and making the Wiki, and thus the Featured Video's as well, obsolete. Salix of Prifddinas (Talk) 12:53, February 14, 2018 (UTC)
- We’d absolutely welcome help and participation from anyone in the community who is interested! That offer has been open since the very beginning. The first stab at doing RuneScape videos a few months ago did not result in good quality videos, and we've really been hoping to have some input from the community. It sounds like there is general agreement that this new set of videos is much better, and finally getting review and input from some of the admins was a huge part of that.
- We’ve made plenty of updates to the video creation processes since the program started. Sannse’s blog on Community Central from a few weeks ago goes into more detail. But tl;dr, you are welcome to be part of this. As Degenret01 said, the videos are here to stay, and being part of creating this new type of content is the way to make them as good as possible. Would you like to review scripts? Give feedback on first cuts? Maybe you’re interested in making videos yourself? Let us know. You can apply to be a script writer using this form. Use Special:Contact to let us know if you are interested in reviewing scripts or creating videos.
- The new mobile games will bring a whole new set of players to RuneScape, so don’t assume that every visitor to the wiki is a seasoned expert, uninterested in “overview” content. The video might be one of the first things these people view on the wiki, and finding good content here (rather than YouTube) will only help to make those people loyal readers and community members.
- One of the biggest areas of concern is the accuracy of the videos and making sure they are up to date with the latest changes in the game. We hear this and are committed to making sure that the videos are helpful. If something is outdated, we’ll take it down until we have an updated version available — we’ve already made arrangements to have the Treasure Trails video updated as soon as possible, for example. We’ll need your help here as well; please alert us to anything that’s a problem.
- For those of you who dislike the videos, I encourage you take heart in the data shown in the graph on my original post. The Featured Video program has allowed us to make improvements in areas that you guys have been vocal about for many years. If you don’t see the videos as a positive addition to the wiki, then at least see them as a trade-off with net positive results. -BertH (help forum | blog) 19:52, February 14, 2018 (UTC)