Forums: Yew Grove > Discussions, Message Walls, and other changes for the RuneScape Wiki
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This thread was archived on 4 December 2019 by Masuta Who.

Hey everyone,

I'm a Fandom staff member, here to clarify a few things and to inform you of changes we're making on the RuneScape Wiki.

As most of you are undoubtedly aware, the community that originally built this wiki and made it the great resource it is has moved away from Fandom to a different host. As a result, this wiki was left without admins and largely without active editors.

As is Fandom's policy in such cases, the wiki here was kept, and we hope that new RuneScape fans will find their way here and become contributors, so a new active community can grow. To make that happen, we are working on some changes that we hope will open up the wiki to new contributors. For one, we are removing old userpages (not contributions!) for a clean slate. (Anyone who has been active here and would like theirs restored can request that, and we're happy to do so.) This is a pretty radical step, but the Fandom team feels it's necessary for a fresh start.

In addition, we are enabling Message Walls since they're easier to use (at least for beginner wiki editors) than talk pages.

The biggest change we're making is the addition of Discussions, to add a social space to this encyclopedic site. We've found that this feature helps wikis retain more visitors and gets them to contribute to the community. While most of them may not graduate to article editing, the wiki can still benefit from the energy and ideas these users bring. If you're not interested in socializing here and don't want to use this feature, be sure to set your landing page preference to something other than Community Feed.

I'd like to clarify one last point: After the departure of the wiki's original admins, User:Masuta Who has stepped up to take on administrative duties. He is not a Fandom staff member, but he is here to help this wiki thrive and he has Fandom's support.

Fandom as a company has taken some steps and made some feature changes in the last couple of years that did not put our communities and their needs first, and that understandably angered quite a few users. This was certainly at least partly the cause for why this wiki's original community left. Going forward, it's our goal to collaborate with the community whenever possible rather than dictate changes. We encourage anyone wishing to edit here to reach out and let us know how we can help! Mira Laime @fandom  (help forum | blog) 22:41, April 2, 2019 (UTC)

Edit: We have also decided to disable user blogs for the time being since you can share personal opinions, recommendations, etc. via Discussions now.


Fandom as a company has taken some steps and made some feature changes in the last couple of years that did not put our communities and their needs first [...] Going forward, it's our goal to collaborate with the community whenever possible rather than dictate changes.

Let me get this straight. You acknowledge that you need to listen to the community, and then your first major act is to unilaterally delete all userpages? I guess it wouldn't have made much difference if you'd started a forum in advance, since there's no one here to read it anyway.

We believe that this action will rid the wiki of unused, outdated, and problematic user pages, while having a minimal impact on active users.

This is dumb as shit. These "problematic" userpages have sat there for a decade doing nothing. It's pretty clear that you're just trying to erase all evidence of the fork. You've not only deleted the forking thread without reasoning (I would like to hear one from you now), but suppressed the log entry to make it look like it never existed. And by deleting userpages and turning on Message Walls, which conceals old talk pages, you've effectively wiped all locations in which users may have had links to the new wiki.

You have no ability to keep up with game updates, you will never build a new community, and this site will eventually die off. --Masuta Poo (talk) 09:09, April 3, 2019 (UTC)

See, the problem is that you don't even make any sense. Removing user pages for a clean slate? Who needs a clean slate? For what? What are you even trying to accomplish? You know what, it doesn't even matter what you are trying to accomplish, because removing old user pages does not accomplish it. It's a ridiculous idea cooked up in the night by people who have zero idea of what they are doing. This is the type of thing that made the old community leave, Fandom doing random crazy shit that makes no sense and not listening to the people. Whiskey Straight (talk)

When we say we want to do a better job at working together with the community, we are referring to the community of people who want this wiki to thrive and any new users that might join it, not the community that has left and wants this wiki (which is now competition) to fail.
When a community forks, Fandom does indeed remove anything that could harm the remaining wiki's chance of attracting a new community. That includes deleting links to the forked wiki, debates about the fork, and blocking users who have moved to the new wiki but keep coming back to sabotage the wiki they've left behind. That may be irksome to those who have left, but it makes perfect sense from a business standpoint.
You can compare the user page deletion and other changes we're making to moving into an apartment someone else has moved out of, but left their things behind, and for which they've kept the keys. As the new tenant, you'd probably throw out whatever they left behind that you can't use, you'd change the locks, and you'd repaint the walls to freshen up the place. You wouldn't just move in and leave everything as it was when the previous tenant abandoned it. Mira Laime @fandom  (help forum | blog) 16:19, April 3, 2019 (UTC)
Fandom needs to make business decision, no argument there. You need to block vandals, no argument there. You need to remove links to the new site, yep, valid business decision. Saying that deleting old user pages is like painting an apartment for new tenants still makes no sense. You didn't change the wiki background pic, page layouts, formats, or anything else people actually see when they visit article pages. Very simply, it is an act of petty vengeance, and everyone knows it. If you want some petty vengeance, go for it. Just have the integrity to admit it. Right now your above reasoning sounds like Trump babble, and everyone stares and thinks "Is he serious? Does he think that? Does he expect people to believe that? There's no way..." Whiskey Straight (talk)
From our point of view, most are either very old and unused (in which case this is a housekeeping measure), they contain problematic content such as templates that generate redlinks elsewhere, for instance (also a housekeeping issue), or they were used to direct people to the new wiki (which we don't allow for reasons explained above). Those that are currently used for legitimate purposes or even just missed for nostalgic reasons, we're very happy to restore. That's also a way of taking inventory of people who are still/newly around and want to engage.
We may still change the background image or other more visible aspects of the wiki, if we see room for improvement somewhere. We're not changing everything about the wiki
Can you clarify what specifically about the user page deletions strikes you as petty and a pure revenge act? Mira Laime @fandom  (help forum | blog) 18:11, April 3, 2019 (UTC)
You realise deleting everybody's userpage + especially signatures is gonna create even more redlinks? — KelseW (talk) 18:23, April 3, 2019 (UTC)
True, some links in user signatures will now be redlinks. However, there was a significant amount of redlinks on userpages. The user page deletion creates a number of new ones, but compared with the number it eliminates (and given that we eliminated script errors from a lot of improperly used infobox templates, among other benefits), it's not a bad trade-off. Mira Laime @fandom  (help forum | blog) 22:43, April 3, 2019 (UTC)
"When a community forks, Fandom does indeed remove anything that could harm the remaining wiki's chance of attracting a new community. That includes deleting ... debates about the fork"
This is clearly inconsistent with how Wikia has treated forks in the past:
None of these forum threads have been deleted. Every single one contains a link to the new wiki. --Kardashianfan224 (talk) 07:11, April 5, 2019 (UTC)
These examples are years old and don't compare to the situation here. What we consider harmful to the remaining wiki after a fork depends on the case at hand. Mira Laime @fandom  (help forum | blog) 17:02, April 5, 2019 (UTC)

You talk about business sense and tenancy as if bytes on a page are nothing but dollars in your pocket and that there's nothing wrong with that attitude. You talk about mistakes made but not lessons learned and unsurprisingly have no real idea why everyone left other than the vague notion of something in the last couple of years. This wiki built up an enormous amount of goodwill in the community over more than a decade, and now that said goodwill has been capitalised upon, you're down to enabling random features in the hope that it might inject some life into what is otherwise a sunken ship.

Deleting user pages is a bizarre reaction to the invented issue of maintenance - you now have hundreds of redlinks more than you did before. Unilateral, far-reaching actions do more to shine a light on the lack of community here than anything the former community could have ever attempted. cqm talk

I assume nothing would bring back the community that left this wiki, regardless of how willing to cooperate Fandom would be now - we missed the chance to work with them before they made their final decision. Now that they are gone, we'll do what we can to establish a new community here. Time will tell if that is indeed impossible, given how much goodwill was lost. Mira Laime @fandom  (help forum | blog) 22:43, April 3, 2019 (UTC)
Time doesn't NEED to tell. The Fandumb experience is horrible. Ad-ridden pages, autoplaying videos editors will not and did not want, insecure and buggy, and more and more aggravating decisions by people who clearly do not play the game the wiki is about. And the cherry on top is that everyone knows this, and anyone with half a mind will stay FAR away from this wiki. Look at it this way - r/runescape and r/oldschoolrunescape universally hates the Fandumb version of the wikis; there are LOADS of people who would love to see this one deleted and completely 100% gone because of malicious software in ads and slow loading times. Naturally, that wiki deletion won't happen, because the bottom line for Fandumb is money, editors of a passion project about making a collaborative encyclopedia for a certain subject be damned, amirite?
I'm sorry. You know what you're doing is wrong, but none of you at Fandumb give a shit so what does it matter, I guess. And no, I'm not spelling it Fandom anymore; I'm spelling it Fandumb from now on when referring to any former-Wikia thing, because I was burnt and I'm not eager to be burned again. 7kyt1iT.gif --WINE OF GOOD HEALTH (Actually Stinko) 23:36, April 3, 2019 (UTC)
Fandom has alienated a number of communities in recent years with restrictions on customization and feature decisions such as (and especially) Featured Video. I do indeed not know the details, but I strongly suspect this community's departure was due to the same if not very similar reasons. Fandom is under new leadership and currently re-evaluating the company's strategy and priorities. We can't undo what's already done, but we would like to ask anyone who is sticking around to give us the benefit of the doubt. If you can't do that, that is perfectly fair - but understand that we won't engage in debates about what was done wrong in the past, only about where we can go from here. Mira Laime @fandom  (help forum | blog)

Mira, thanks for your replies. Along with everyone else who's commented so far, I'm still very concerned about this. You say that "Fandom as a company has taken some steps and made some feature changes in the last couple of years that did not put our communities and their needs first" – but Fandom won't be able to solve the problems that it has caused by continuing with the same approach, ignoring its users.

You mentioned how "Fandom is under new leadership and currently re-evaluating the company's strategy and priorities", and ask us to bear with the company – but as this is the only example we have of its new approach, and it's alienating even more of your users, I think you really need to refocus as soon as possible on re-engaging with your editors on their own terms, and ask yourself what the underlying problems are in your company ethos that continue to drive away the people who freely add value to the company as you go forward. This is absolutely vital, and Fandom is almost unique in this respect (despite whatever consultants or executives from other business sectors might say – collaboratively crowdsourcing your content needs a focus on listening to and supporting your editors as your top goal, and the rest will follow).

This applies across the entire site, but in the case of this wiki, moving forward, are you willing to listen to the people who are here now? You've deleted all of the user pages to get a "fresh start" – the same thing could be achieved by restoring the pages, then blanking them (or better still putting a template explaining why they've all been archived, and putting a positive message for the future) – this would allow new editors to view the page histories if they wanted to, and would prevent thousands of redlinks which would just give the wiki a "ghost-town" feel. You also deleted the Forum thread that discussed the fork – by trying to hide this you're perpetuating the problems that led to this point – one positive way forward would be to keep it – show that you're not the bad guys – and again put your own message about what happened, wishing well the people who have left after writing so much content for the site (Fandom owes them that at least), but looking to the future for this wiki and encouraging new editors to come forward.

The business interests of this company and the interests of its editors are not polar opposites – they should align – and, as an employee working for this company with these communities, it's vital that you push the company on our behalf to try to genuinely understand what's driving its editors away – don't give up on the fight for Fandom's soul! --xensyriaT 14:09, April 7, 2019 (UTC)

I actually agree with all of that. Yes, the people who built this wiki have put an immeasurable amount of effort and care into this resource. It is imperative for Fandom to respect the work its editors do and to meet their needs rather than taking their enthusiasm and loyalty for granted - we have recently reminded ourselves of that truth and aim to follow up that realization with actual changes that help our users.
I wonder, though, how many of the users who take offense at this step are users who truly want this community to thrive vs. users who used to be community members here and now just resent Fandom and the fact that this wiki still exists despite the fork. Deleting all user pages wipes out some of the history and emotional fabric of a community (so yes, it is a really drastic step) which is very offensive to someone who had part in that. If you weren't a part of all that, or if you were but you have broken with that community and not moved away with them, would you care as much? Plus, blanking all users pages rather than deleting them would have posed a different technical challenge. Our resources aren't unlimited, and deletion is more straightforward. Plus, the redlinks this created really don't have much of an impact on the wiki - they have a much smaller impact that it may seem.
We are aiming to work with (and listen to!) those who genuinely want this community to do well, and who contribute to this community now, which can't be said for the vast majority of former members who have left. For many other community forks, we have allowed links to the new wiki to remain on the site, or we've kept a record of discussions that led to the fork, or even allowed former admins to keep their rights. However, this wiki's former community has aggressively attempted to sabotage it on multiple occasions, ignored warnings, and so made us feel more drastic steps are necessary to protect the future of the community here. We don't want to advertise this wiki's dramatic recent history to new visitors (just like you wouldn't rant about your past failed relationships on a first date). We'll probably not reach an agreement on this, but I hope I could at least make Fandom's reasoning a bit clearer. Mira Laime @fandom  (help forum | blog) 03:24, April 9, 2019 (UTC)
Just remember that how fandom reacts / treats this wiki also impacts how editors on other wikis view you. If you focus too hard on salvaging this wiki in a way that's not being civil and shows no respect, it leaves a bad impression (I for one still edit other wikias, if smaller); and even with the sabatoge thing, be the "bigger person", focus on PR instead of what has clearly come of as petty vengeance (even if you disagree / it truly wasn't your purpose). I understand you can't go forward on the wiki without stepping on some toes, but that's different than stomping them. I say all this as someone never even very active in this wiki's community; but I always respected how this wiki was run, often using this wiki's setup as inspiration/a resource, and while they were strict I respected the people who used to run it.
And I'm sorry, but I've used wiki bots before; it would not have been -that- hard to just blank all user pages/adding a template vs deleting them all. Also, history logs are a big part of wikis, and purposefully removing them by deleting user pages comes of as shallow. In closing, I don't think anyone is expecting you to do nothing; everyone knows you don't delete wikis and that you make sure they continue running - your a business after all, and it's just good business - but it's also good business to not disrespect what's left of the community, many of which edit else where.
Show Aside
Actually, as an aside, figured I'd just throw out my impression of wikia as a company. Pros: You have fast and great support / communication with admins on smaller wikis. You also try to make wikis more "modern" feeling (both good and bad), let most wikis exist without issue unless you REALLY can't for some reason (almost all removed seem just as I recall), do keep updating and innovating (all visual editors, message walls, etc), load times are good, and I love most technical updates. You make it easy to edit and create wikis, comments make people realize they can engage (even if most aren't that constructive), and the admin panel is nice. Cons: You NEVER admit your wrong in any meaningful way, or if you do it's because you were basically forced to. You rarely consult the wider community before doing said changes (you just gives a heads up, say your doing it, ignore the complaints, do it anyways, then wonder why people dislike it); I get people dislike change, but that doesn't mean just ignore all feedback. While as a business there is a balance you must play, editors get much less focus in updates recently. Just the whole "fandom" rebrand; that speaks volumes as a con to me. Just how ad heavy stuff can be. Lack of any customization for mobile (I assume since your apps can't handle it). Your strong-arm when wikis wish to leave, and giving as good/worse than you get. Two-face/lots of half truths/dodges on various things when you can't admit your wrong/don't want to address a point (I understand your a business, but this happens uncomfortably often to me). Also, whenever I have gotten a wiki notification you guy have a new update, my gut reaction in last year or so is dread. I love the technical updates. It's just any large update you make makes me wanna weep. Neutral: As much as many of your changes bug me, I think many updates I hate do try to fix an issue everyone can agree on; just typically you don't ask the community how they think the problem should be solved, do your own thing, never mention WHY your doing it, and then just go full steam ahead. I imagine it's also partially due to you as a business having differing goals/mixed goals, but I think if you tried to at least have community input (if not consensus) during the later planning stages and actually implement stuff -before- putting some updates live, people would be less annoyed, be they wikia wide or on a specific wiki. Sorry for the long aside, and sorry nothing I said will change a single thing.
Fewfre 🔎 K🧀05:24 Thu, 11 Apr 2019
Are you sure the majority of users (of those who notice the change and care) would prefer it if their user page was blanked and/or replaced with a template, rather than deleted as it was? Whether or not we could have configured a bot to do that instead, I wonder if that really would have tread more softly on most users' toes. If it turns out we still need a specific user page, we can restore it, along with all its history. Depending on your personal preference, you may feel deleting a page is worse than altering it, but not everyone may feel that way.
In any case, you do have a point about giving users more of a heads-up when changes come, and to give the community a chance to express their opinion and suggest an alternative course of action. That is reasonable and hopefully something we can do going forward. Mira Laime @fandom  (help forum | blog) 21:31, April 16, 2019 (UTC)

First things first, have you even listened to the whatever community there still is on the wiki, and what they want? What about the years of resources built in the userspace? What about the years of discussions in the user talk namespace? Is this wiki nothing more than a money making cow to you? Have you still not learnt from your previous flaws, which led 2 of your largest communities to leave? {{SUBST:User:Utkar22/Sig|10:45,11-Apr-2019}}

We're happy to restore any user page that contains something that's still valuable to the wiki and its current users. Nothing was fully lost. Mira Laime @fandom  (help forum | blog) 21:31, April 16, 2019 (UTC)
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