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Muppet Wiki:Current Events Archive 08 (April 2006)

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Archiving discussions from Current events.

Weeding out the stubs

We're almost at the wiki's five month anniversary, and I think it's time we started reducing the number of stubs on the wiki. We had kind of a frenzy of page creation in the first couple months. We've developed articles on a lot of those pages, but there's also a lot that we haven't. If you hit "Random page" a few times, you'll see that there's quite a few pages that have no content at all.

The worst offenders are the song categories -- especially Sesame Street Songs and Muppet Songs. There's over 750 pages in those categories, and I'd estimate that at least half of them have no content. They're either just a category tag, or just a category tag and a song box that lists the composer. That's a lot of stubs.

There's two possible ways to deal with this -- one is to try to get content to fill up all of those 300+ pages, and the other is to delete them. My proposal is to delete them for now. They can always be created again when somebody has the time to create real pages for them. Right now, they do nothing but junk up the wiki.

I also think we ought to work on a no-stubs guideline, where we discourage people from creating pages unless they have some content to put on them. We've done a lot of the infodumping, and I think it would be a good idea to build up the quality of the pages. What do other folks think? -- Danny (talk) 00:01, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

I'm in full agreement. There's so many of them that it's misleading, thinking a page already exists, and hard to track them all down. Dinosaurs Characters is also full of them, though potentially easier to fill with the DVD out and with voice/episode info already linked to each (I've done a few but for now, I've sort of given up until I have time to buy the DVDs). I would suggest that semi-stub pages by spared or perhaps actually labeled as stubs. By that I mean pages with no real text yet but either images or a performer template, like Shivers the Penguin, Uncle Henry, Judy, or Treasure Island (location). In the case of some of the locations, for example, the images are useful and provide a starting point, and for something like Shivers, I created him based on info from a 1983 Caroll Spinney interview that identified him as a recurring puppet for Caroll but with no other info. In those cases, maybe the template you used for Sesame Street Magazine, asking for help turning them into real articles, would be useful? --Andrew, Andrew Leal (talk) 00:18, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
My question is, what makes an article a "stub"? In the case of some of the songs, there is very little to put in the article, so would something that has just a line or two about the music be considered a stub? --Nate (talk) 01:29, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
Nate, Danny's not using the Wikipedia definition. I believe he means pages with literally no text at all, just a category tag, *or* a song template but no info beyond that (the latter I'd argue could probably be salvaged, I guess it depends on how detailed the template is). I think for our purposes, even a simple declarative sentence, "Blank Song was performed on blank" or "So and so is the author of Elmo Goes to Munich" provides something to build on and isn't completely misleading, suggesting a page and information exists when it's just a blank void. --Andrew, Andrew Leal (talk) 01:32, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, that's partly why I'm bringing it up here, so we can figure out what the definition is. The obvious example are the pages where there's nothing but a category tag -- I agree that the Dinosaurs Characters category is full of those. I would also include pages that have just a category tag and one piece of information (like a song box with "Joe Raposo" in it).
I think Andrew makes a good point about the stub pages being misleading. It could be very annoying for readers to click on a link, and find less information on the new page than on the page they just clicked from. I think if there isn't anything to say about a song, then maybe it shouldn't have a page. We could condense those pages right now, with the understanding that we could flesh them back out into their own pages once we have something to say about them. -- Danny (talk) 01:50, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
In that spirit, though probably one of the more harmless pages as it wasn't linked to anything, I deleted Shivers the Penguin for now, but made it a redlink on Caroll Spinney's page, where hopefully someone will notice it eventually and actually have any info on this mysterious recurring character (a Google search only turned up a claim that he was introduced in 2005, which either means the character was revived or there's two Shivers or who knows what). Though it also occurs to me that, for cases like that, where a stub would be created because simply nothing is known about the character save that he exists, maybe a Name That Puppet or Images Wanted type page would be useful eventually, to place requests for information or date checking and so forth. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 01:58, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
I agree about pages with only a category linked in them. They're pretty useless, but I would discourage against deleting them. Instead, it's a good oppurtunity to tag them as a stub so that the proper attention be brought to it. Meaning, the inclusion of either a description or composer details.
However, I'm against deleting song pages that exist which have composer information in them. That's good information, and I strongly oppose removing good information from the wiki no matter how "little" it is. In these cases, if it's a description you're looking for, these may also be tagged as a stub so that someone else has the opportunity to come along and flesh it out. -- Scott Hanson (talk) 02:02, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
Thing is, would anyone really notice or use the stubs, apart from us maybe, anymore than Dead-end pages or Wanted pages? And is adding a stub tag to 400 pages an improvement? I agree with you entirely on the song pages of course (though I'm not sure a "written by Joe Raposo" offers even "little" useful information if the page is linked to from the list of composed songs on Joe Raposo's own page and thus is redundant, unless it at least has a date or record information ro something), and for that matter, things like episode guides where, even if stubs, they at least provide a listing, though for things like Aliens in the Family Episodes, which consists entirely of stubs without even air dates, I think some sort of marker is needed for the whole category. It just seems to me that things like Name That Puppet and Images Wanted have encouraged more community involvement and page fixing, especially the latter, than Things you can do, even if many gaps remain, because it provides a clear list in one place of specific tasks, rather than asking for generic info dumping or just a whole mass of stubs. Especially since to my mind, there's a distinction between stubs as in undeveloped pages, and stubs which are just blank. Such a page could thus be used for general article improvement for pages which have content but are under developed or poorly written, like the video release pages discussed earlier. I wouldn't have known that Marjory the Trash Heap needed help if Danny hadn't mentioned it here, for example, and though it still needs work in spots, it's a far more respectable and informative page now, in my opinion. --Andrew
Well, that's what a stubs category does. It exists primarily to bring attention to pages that need work.
All I'm saying is that it's the quick and easy way out to delete 400 pages when we have an oppurtunity to improve them. -- Scott Hanson (talk) 02:22, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
I guess what I'm doubting is that a stubs category for 400 pages really *does* bring attention, any more than Wanted pages does for the most part, apart from the handful of us who do check there, whereas there's a greater number of users who will create a page if they see a prominent red link on a pre-existing article. Wikipedia has pages which have been stubs for months or a year at times. It does make it easier to keep track of which pages are actually blank, but what if we as a community decide to start using it for one or two sentence pages? I guess if you do insist on the stub route, then I'd argue that it thus be used only for utterly content-less pages. I'm still doubtful that it would really work, though. --Andrew, Andrew Leal (talk) 02:25, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

I think they could be deleted. Several times I've clicked on links or looked things up, only to find that there's a page with no information. If people actually know something about the subject of the article -- even if it's only song credits -- they can create the new article, but it's seems kind of pointless to have so many pages with nothing but category tags. -- Ryan (talk) 20:00, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

I suggest that we (temporarily) delete pages that have no content except for a category tag. In those instances, a redlink is actually more informative for a reader than an existing blank page. When you see a redlink on an article page, it brings attention to the fact that that page needs to be created, and it doesn't mislead readers into clicking on links that essentially don't exist. So when we delete those pages, we should keep the links there. Then, whoever is inspired to create those pages can do so, when they have time to fill it up with at least a couple sentences of content.
I'll go along with Scott about the song boxes -- you're right, having some information on the page makes the page worth having. So I'm just talking about pages that are completely empty. -- Danny (talk) 20:08, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
I'm on board with deleting pages with only category tags and keeping the song boxes. I know that, personally, I had to look hard for the composers/lyricists of some of the songs I added information to. I'm pretty sure I also icluded a sentence or two on those pages, but it would be a shame to lose that stuff. --Peter Pantalones 20:15, 2 May 2006 (UTC) (and his old skool sig)
Yeah, I'm sorry I suggested that. I didn't mean any offense by it. -- Danny (talk) 20:20, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
I was just using Special:Shortpages to start weeding out some pages that have just a category tag, and it looks like there are about 650 of them altogether. So if other people want to help out with this, you can go to that page and see them all. If you'd rather add content to the page than delete it, you can use the "What links here" button on the left navigation bar to see the information that's already on the wiki. -- Danny (talk) 21:05, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
I need to be finishing this never ending paper (and now its panic time, more than ten pages to go and due at noon tomorrow), but I'd like to suggest holding off on deletion of episode guides at least. I don't like the stubs, but on the other hand, for Farscape and The Animal Show, we have no links for most of those episodes and no list, so the stubs at least provide a clear season numbering system and starting point to be built up. In those cases, a big honking stub notice on the category page (since both of those are completely blank) would be more productive. Either that or just delete both of those categories entirely until someone has the time to do a blank pages (I don't like calling them "stubs") are nuked. --Andrew, Andrew Leal (talk) 21:39, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
Okay, good point. I'll put those back. -- Danny (talk) 21:58, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
Actually, there's already The Animal Show Episode List, so I don't think it's a problem to delete the Animal Show episodes. I'll make a Farscape Episode List too. -- Danny (talk) 22:33, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

Fab new signatures

Scott discovered a cool new way to make signatures for talk page posts, which you'll be seeing some people using. If you'd like to make one for yourself, here's how:

Click on the "preferences" tab at the top right of your screen.

On the Preferences page, put this in the Nickname box, with your User name and real first name plugged in:

-- [[User:Username|<font color="Blue">Firstname</font>]] ([[User talk:Username|<font color="Blue" size="1">talk</font>]])

Then check the "Raw signatures" box underneath, and hit the "Save" button at the bottom of the page.

Then, when you sign your talk posts, you just have to type the four tildes, and the new signature will appear. You can tweak that code in a bunch of different ways; feel free to play around with it! -- Danny (talk) 13:35, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

My intial test with signatures was to open up the italics code with two apostrophes and leave no finishing code so that the name, talk link and timestamp would all show up in italics. Turns out that in some cases, the apostrophes elsewhere on the page throw it off and end up making the talk link bold and unhotlinked. So, if you choose to go with italics, make sure you include both opening and closing code for it. Otherwise, things could get messy like they did on me and Danny's talk pages. -- Scott Hanson (talk) 16:08, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
Excellent! I just went ahead and did mine. Thanks for the info! George B. (talk) 03:08, 30 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm taking the italics out of mine completely. I think it looks better without the italicized parentheses. (Say that five times fast.) -- Danny (talk) 20:12, 30 April 2006 (UTC)
I think it looks better in italics. I'm keeping em in mine unless that's what's causing the talk link to become bold and unhotlinked in every other reply. I can't figure it out and it's pissing me off. -- Scott Hanson (talk) 20:35, 30 April 2006 (UTC)
Heh. Turns out there's nothing to figure out. I'd forgotten that when you link to a page that you're already on, the hotlink is stripped and the text bolded. -- Scott Hanson (talk) 18:50, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

YouTube template

In the spirit of consistent formatting, I created a YouTube template. When used in the context of a page, the outside links should be brief and non-intrusive. I feel this format fits that description and it's easy to use. In cases where YouTube is being linked to from the External Links section of an article, the way we've been doing it is probably fine, unless someone had thoughts about that. Either way, I've put the template to use on the moon, and I'm going to dig into Sesame Street News Flash where it can probably be best put to use. -- Scott Hanson (talk) 02:43, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

Oh, and while I’m on the topic, I think we should have a policy to not link to videos which are currently commercially available. We’ve been following this ethic on the TP forum for years, and it’s done us well. Technically, this is all copyrighted stuff, but there’s a certain moral coil I feel that’s being tugged when we offer the opportunity to view content that is available to buy, especially when that purchase supports a non-profit organization like Sesame Workshop. Soap box, off. -- Scott Hanson (talk) 02:48, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, I would like to make that a rule on the wiki, that we don't link to video that's commercially available. It's also worth noting that YouTube videos get taken down faster than ordinary websites do. Is it really wise to put in tons of YouTube links that might be outdated in a couple months? -- Danny -- Danny (talk) 13:17, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

Episode reference format

We talked about this a while ago, but we're still all over the place about it: How do we write a reference to a Muppet Show episode? There's three different ways that it's being done right now:

I think we should be consistent about it. Personally, I would prefer #1, although #2 is fine with me too. The one that I really don't like is "Episode 101 of The Muppet Show". I think it looks terrible, especially when it's an episode with a title, like "Episode 101: Beginnings of Fraggle Rock". That's just hard to read. What do other people think? -- Danny Toughpigs 15:06, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

I personally don't think it's important that each reference be the same format. Its inclusion in a sentence is dependant upon how the sentence is being structured. Sometimes one just feels more right than the other. And it's never the same. I go with a lowercase e juts because it looks better and makes more sense. "Episode" is not the name of the episode the way that "Let the Water Run" is. Which, speaking of, should never be written with the episode number in it any more than the guest star should be when citing a Muppet Show episode. -- Scott, Scarecroe 15:20, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
I've always preferred episode 101 of The Muppet Show. I like the lowercase 'e' for the same reasons Scott listed above. I also think that if an episode has a proper title that the title should, in most cases, be used instead of the episode number. --Peter Pantalones 15:46, 27 April 2006 (UTC)'
Right, like this: "...seen in the Fraggle Rock episode "[[Episode 103: Let the Water Run|Let the Water Run]]" -- Scott, Scarecroe 16:14, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, or "...seen in the second season Fraggle Rock episode..." --Peter Pantalones 18:06, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
I think we should still list a titile and number if we are listing episodes or appearances. --Minor muppetz 11:12, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
The issue isn't about removing episode numbers from the actual listings, Michael. The question is, within sentences, how best to list the episode, since the actual page link will include the number anyway. The main reason I've usually included the number with titled episodes from Fraggle Rock or Dinosaurs is just because, frankly, it's a bit of work trying to get the numbers right so the link works (and I don't like to use the redirects sans numbers, since in some cases, like The Finger of Light, the episode title is also a phenomenon or character or something within the episode, so that gets a bit sticky). Personally, I think linking Mupet Show episodes in lower case just looks weird. Even if it's not an actual title, whenever I've read interviews or reports or whatnot, if an actual preface is used, ala "Production #136" or whatever, it's capitalized. That's me, though, so if everyone else wants it lower case, that's fine. As for the "of", I think it makes sense with the simply numbered episodes, in some cases, but yeah, if we're redoing the listings for episodes with titles (which I should make clear I am in favor of, just haven't gotten around to redoing many pages yet), it seems odd unless more specifics are given. Something like ' "The Story of Blank" from the second season of Dinosaurs ', while longer, works for me, especially if, for example, the sentence is explaining a significant character debut. Otherwise, "The Dinosaurs episode Blank" works. --Andrew, Aleal 14:30, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
I've been doing it the #1 way, mostly. If the phrase "Episode 203" is a link, it looks better to me if the word "Episode" is capitalized. It just looks more like a title that way. But that's pretty much only with Muppet Show and Muppets Tonight episodes. If the episode has its own title, I would refer to it like, "the Fraggle Rock episode Beginnings," which to me looks and sounds pretty good. -Ryan PrawnRR 18:47, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
So, basically, every single one of us has a different way of writing everything. Well, I guess that's okay. -- Danny Toughpigs 19:03, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
I don't think it hurts, so long as it's grammatically correct. I do feel pretty strong about using the full episode number and title for the link rather than redirects. I've mentioned before that citing Episode 213 means nothing to me unless I know what who the guest star was, or the name given tot he episode. Which, when done properly, can be seen with a simple mouse rollover rather than having to click on the link, wait for thepage to load, see what it is, then hit back so you can continue what you were doing. Not that I'm saying most of us don't do that, just that I wish to keep that consistent. -- Scott, Scarecroe 02:06, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
Actually, there is inconsistency there, and I'm as guilty as anyone else. I'm fixing some of them right now, but that raises a question. If there's an insistence on not using the redirects, why do we even *have* the redirects? I assumed it was to save time and make it easier, especially when copying info from other pages which themselves just use the redirects with no roll-over, but if we're going to insist on that format, and I'm not saying its wrong, we might as well delete the redirects, because that renders them pointless, and their presence would just encourage continued usage of them. --Andrew, Aleal 02:18, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
I agree. Redirects might make it easier in the authoring process, but it complicates the research process which is what the wiki is here for. -- Scott, Scarecroe 02:20, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
We created the redirects before we decided on that format. So I'm okay with taking them out, if you want. -- Danny Toughpigs 02:30, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

Electric Rumors

Various sources have claimed over the years that Janice is based on Janis Joplin, Animal is based on Keith Moon, Dr. Teeth is based on (several celebrities), Floyd is based on the Beatles' album Sgt Pepper, etc. Should we have one rumor article about the origins of The Electric Mayhem, or should each one get a page? -- Scott, Scarecroe 14:36, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

That's a great idea. I think one rumor page for the Mayhem is good. -- Danny Toughpigs 14:55, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
I started a page, but I'm not sure what would be the best way to do it. It's tough also because the article is about squashing sources instead of confirming them. Basically all we know is that there have never been confirmed reports that the characters were based on those who people have said they were, right? -- Scott, Scarecroe 17:46, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
Dr. Teeth is the one with the most confirmation (the Elton John mention in the design sketch, and the Featured Creature entry stated he was "somewhat based on" Dr. John. The rest, I'd say use either Fozzie's Name or Marionette and Puppet as models, which start by describing the rumors or claims which might be used in support of the interpretation, and then the actual evidence. The biggest factor with the Mayhem, especially the Animal and Janice claims, is that Michael K. Frith did a lot of mix and matching of elements during the development, which strongly undermines the claim that a single musician inspired either, and of course, Janice started out as a male, with the only specific performer mentioned being Mick Jagger. --Andrew, Aleal 18:04, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
Nice page, dude. Very fleshed out. -- Danny Toughpigs 18:17, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Transcript format

I posted a Muppet Wiki transcript format page, to explain how people should set up transcript pages. This format is based on the discussions that we had about a month ago. Does anyone have any questions or suggestions? -- Danny Toughpigs 02:09, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Current Events navigation

Our navigational sidebar was getting a bit crowded, so I've placed a navbar at the top of this page here -- which is where they should be. If anyone has any ideas on tweaks, feel free to post them here. -- Scott Scarecroe 19:20, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Also, is Community portal used on a regular enough basis to warrant its inclusion on every page of the wiki? It crowds the box and I don't think anyone uses it on a daily basis. I haven't been there since December. -- Scott Scarecroe 19:22, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Well, I use it, if not on a daily basis, at least a few times a week. Sometimes it's the quickest way to access someone's talk page rather than thumbing through the page history and going from the user page to the talk page. Plus a few people, new users but also a few veterans, tend to type their names but leave off the signature entirely, so I find community portal useful in that regard, when a conflict or question arises or what have you. I use it far more than the category index, in fact (though I'm not arguing for the removal of that, either). --Andrew, Aleal 19:40, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Also, it's kind of a "carrot" to get people to tell us their names. Scott, the new navbar at the top is awesome! -- Danny Toughpigs 19:50, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Yeah. As the wiki community has grown, for those users who I don't communicate with as often, I've been using the portal list as a reminder of what their real names are. (I know it irks me ever so slightly when someone just calls me "Aleal".) --Andrew, Aleal 19:52, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Main Page picture nominations

Andrew and I were talking on Talk:Main Page picture nominations about whether we're going to delete pictures from the page, or just leave them up forever. I think we ought to have some way of taking out the pictures that don't get any votes, because otherwise we'll end up with an endlessly growing page full of pictures that nobody really cares for. So I came up with a process, and I want to get an okay from the people about it.

This is the rule that I'd like: Whenever the picture changes, any picture on the page that doesn't have any votes gets an X put under it. If a picture gets three Xs -- i.e., it doesn't get a single vote after three changes -- then it gets taken off the page. A picture with two Xs can be spared from the chopping block if somebody votes for it -- a single vote will remove all the Xs from that picture. So if you like a picture that hasn't gotten any votes after two changes, you can "save" it by giving it a vote before it gets a third X.

That'll weed out the pictures that nobody cares about and don't get any votes. Can I get an amen on this? -- Danny Toughpigs 19:08, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

Amen --Nate Radionate 20:27, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
Amen and Hallelujah! The only thing I'd suggest is changing the wording on the page about nominating as many pictures as you like. Right now, there's 18 pictures, including 10 with no nominations. (And of course, Nate turned traitor and abandoned Sweetums' legs without removing his vote). Anyway, it's that way mostly because folks have been nominating cool images, often in batches, so it's a bit overcrowded. So maybe just a qualifier that, while there's technically no limit, the more you add, the reduced chance of their receiving votes (and maybe a note that resubmitting is possible at a later date?) --Andrew, Aleal 22:05, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, I was thinking that probably that would thin out a bit over time. There was a rush of photos when the page went up, just out of initial excitement. When photos start coming down for lack of votes, people will start getting more strategic about it. -- Danny Toughpigs 22:15, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
Actually, that reminds me of another question that I forgot to ask about. What do you think about changing the picture weekly instead of every two weeks? Obviously, we have lots of great pictures to choose from, and it's kind of a fun process. We could change it every Sunday, if people were into it. -- Danny Toughpigs 22:18, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
Weekly sounds good, actually! (I should go through Time Piece again, and try to find a really weird image or two to nominate). The only problem is, I'm not sure if folks would remember to vote. Or conversely, they might remember it better if it were weekly. Hmmm... --Andrew, Aleal 22:21, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, I think people will remember -- especially when they see the picture change, and me announcing in the edit summaries that the vote is open again. Everybody place your bets! -- Danny Toughpigs 23:07, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
Just a note to Andrew....I didn't change my vote and abandon Swetum's leg. There are actually two Nate's on the Wiki. :) --Nate Radionate 21:29, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

References and Spoofs

There's been some confusion about the References and Spoofs categories, and I think we could make things simpler if we switched the names around.

Right now, we're using "References" for other shows that make reference to the Muppets (like The Simpsons or Mystery Science Theater 3000). "Spoofs" is for things that the Muppets make reference to (like Pinocchio or James Bond).

There's two problems with this system: #1. The category names are vague, so we have to explain the distinction to everybody. #2. There's a number of things that the Muppets make reference to that aren't really "spoofs", but that are referenced in Muppet productions. (For example, Charles Dickens, Beethoven and Fran Allison.)

So my suggestion is that we change "References" to be the category for things that the Muppets make reference to -- spoofs as well as other kinds of references. And then we come up with a new name for shows like The Simpsons that make jokes about the Muppets.

Unfortunately, I'm having a hard time thinking of a good name for that new category. The best I can come up with right now is "Muppet Mentions" -- i.e., shows and films that mention the Muppets. Can anybody come up with a better category name? Do you think that this is a good idea in general, or are you happy with "Spoofs" as it is? -- Danny Toughpigs 21:18, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

The next best thing to Muppet Mentions is "Muppet Allusions," which is broader but also sort of suggests that it's just allusions and not more overt parodies, so right now Muppet Mentions may be our best bet. Like I said, I do like the alliteration. A seperate category does strike me as needful, though. Re-reading the talk show transcripts on Toughpigs.com weilds a wealth of references, many of which are pretty funny if given context but peripheral and otherwise wouldn't fit in. Things like Snoop Dogg not appearing in It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie, since Kermit commented on it in public, would fit. (Sidenote: Has Kermit or anyone commented on Russell Crowe? Cause I'm really not feeling him being in celebrities for *not* being on Sesame Street. He should either go in references or in a list with Snoop Dogg and Sigourney Weaver and maybe even the Beatles of "People Who Might Have But Didn't Work with the Muppets," which is a heck of an awkward title and a lumped in concept). So, anyone else who hasn't left for the weekend care to weigh in? Fran Allison and Kylie Minogue need love, dash it! --Andrew, Aleal 22:29, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
Kylie Minogue is already in Celebrities, cause she did a duet with Kermit. And Snoop Dogg should be should be there, because he recorded a scene with the Electric Mayhem, even if it got cut. But yeah, we need somethin'. "Muppet Allusions" is okay, but I like the alliteration too. -- Danny Toughpigs 23:36, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
I'd forgotten Kylie had a more direct connection. But rewatching Episode 210: George Burns reminded me of two more references which aren't spoofs: Jascha Heifetz and Walter Matthau (and the latter is the punchline to an actual reference to Gracie Allen), along with two more unseen characters, Sidney the Agent and Joe Bravo. Feeding the Wiki is fun! --Andrew, Aleal 00:32, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
I saw Andrew's post on Tough Pigs, and figured maybe I should throw my two cents in, but it is pretty much the same opinion as you guys. Perhaps maybe we should consider three catagories?
Spoofs for things that the Muppets themselves feature in productions that are obvious parodies. Such as James Bond or Miami Vice, as well as people such as Madonna or Norman Rockwell.
Muppet Mentions could be for shows such as The Cosby Show or Family Guy, which feature references to the Muppets.
And References would be for things the Muppets reference in their productions. The only problem I would have with the category distinction for references is that it is a slippery slope. To me, things like Alice in Wonderland or the Beethoven Bust are both references and spoofs, while Russell Crowe and Fran Allison would be strict references. -- Nate Radionate
Yeah, the slippery slope is part of the problem we're trying to correct. We've already had confusing conversations about whether Charles Dickens is a spoof or just a reference. That's part of why I want to stop using "Spoofs", because it's too complicated figuring out what's a spoof and what isn't. -- Danny Toughpigs 17:55, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
So what about just Parodies, References/Homages, and Muppet Mentions? -- Nate Radionate
Parodies has the same problems as Spoofs. The idea is to make the distinction simpler. -- Danny Toughpigs 18:32, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
How about "External References" for things outside the Henson/Muppet universe that mention the Muppets and "Internal References" for things that the Muppets reference in their work. --Peter Pantalones 13:45, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
Hmmm, that's a thought. "Internal References" might sound like the Muppets are referring to themselves. Like, on the wiki, "External Links" are links to other websites, and "Internal Links" are to other wiki pages. -- Danny Toughpigs 14:07, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
"Internal References" makes me think of the sketch showing Herry Monster's stomach. That's just me, though. And yeah, we do have an "in-jokes" page for references to Muppet performers or productions, so internal references is close, but... Actually, I just thought of something... Would "Media References" or "Media Mentions" work for the Family Guy etc. stuff? Yeah, it might also imply magazine interviews and stuff, but some of that which doesn't directly involve sanctioned Muppet participation or publicity might fit in too. I mean the references the Muppets make are mostly to media things too, but it's a thought. Hoo boy, this is harder than one might think. --Andrew, Aleal 14:49, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
I know, it's tough, but we'll figure it out. "Media Mentions" is interesting. One thought is "References in Other Media", but that sounds bad. Grrr. -- Danny Toughpigs 15:29, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Well, since we seem to be more or less stuck, I'm going to switch it to "References" and "Muppet Mentions", and then we can change MM whenever we come up with a better name. -- Danny Toughpigs 13:02, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

That works for me. Actually, isn't Wikia finally supposed to allow category redirects soonish? That could make the task easier when/if we rename it. --Andrew, Aleal 06:04, 5 April 2006 (PDT)
I think the category redirects is a different thing. That's for a page to redirect to a category listing -- like, if a page has a link to Sigma Ceramics, and we wanted it to link directly to the Sigma Ceramics category listing. Right now, we have to type in the category tag as the link, but the upgraded Wikia software will let us just make a redirect, which is simpler. -- Danny Toughpigs 13:54, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

Transcripts

I've noticed there are a few pages which contain transcripts:

My question is: do they really belong here? I mean, they can be fun to read, especially while the clip is playing.

But on the other hand, for some, they may take something away from the experience of seeing the clip for the first time. As the old saying goes: seeing is believing.

Also, they take an awful long time to type, and while we may get some kind of feeling of satisfaction from such a long task, wouldn't it be a better idea to do things listed on the Things you can do page -- things the site could really use? (Furthermore, is there anyone who thinks "wanted transcripts" could be added to that page?)

I think transcripts are better handled on a site like Tough Pigs, which only one person can edit. Then again, maybe that's what I'm used to. On a site like this, which usually has smaller entries, a transcript feels like way too much information about such a small, insignificant sketch. In most cases, a simple short description will usually suffice. (However, "reference" pages like Family Guy and American Dad use only small, Muppet-related fragments of half-hour episodes, which, IMO, count as quotes.)

What do the rest of you think? --MuppetVJ 01:04, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

I think transcripts can be worthwhile. I agree with you that seeing the clip is better than reading it, but the average person reading the wiki doesn't necessarily have a searchable library of Muppet videos on hand. For research-type purposes, I find a transcript to be more useful than a clip, because you can focus on the words. I think the photos and transcript on The Wonderful World of T-Shirts is a good example -- anybody who's interested in that particular sketch would find a lot of good information there.
The problem with doing transcripts on Tough Pigs is that only one person can do it, and it's a lot of work. I started anthologies for the News Flashes, Ernie and Bert, and Grover the waiter, but I never finished any of them. If we collectively picked a project like that and got a bunch of people to do the transcripts, then I bet we could assemble a huge library that people would enjoy reading. That collection would also add information to a whole bunch of other wiki pages, too.
The question that I have is whether people think it's appropriate, in a copyright sense. Is it okay for us to essentially post scripts on the wiki? -- Danny Toughpigs 01:16, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, it'd be nice if we had more people willing to take that much time. There ought to be a transcripts category, assuming that it's okay. Each one deserves its own page, like on TP.
Also, about those unfinished anthologies: why didn't you just ask me for help? You know I'd do it. Wanna see an example? --MuppetVJ 00:03, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
Well, an anonymous user just uploaded Episode_101:_Juliet_Prowse_Script. I'm not sure about the legal question of copytights, but I know I'd feel more comfortable about it with sketches than with whole episodes. For one thing, the episode is now on DVD. For another, especially as formatted by our unknown friend, it's not very readable or especially useful. I'm not against transcripts, but I think we need to at least roughly define limits, and probably a standard format. This reminds me of our little image discussion over Michael K. Frith Sketches, where quite rightly it was decided the pics needed to be more closely tied to text and have a clear context and justification. Let's look at the three other transcripts (all done by Brad Fraggle, who does plenty of good work here, so if he wanted to take his time to transcribe, then good for him; Sprocket's Impersonations didn't feel a vital need, but I had fun doing it and I think others may find it amusing). Anyway, the Mr. Hooper transcript is only of the relevant dialogue regarding his passing. Since it's a famous and oft-referenced episode but one which younger viewers have either forgotten (I only dimly recall it myself) or never saw, I think it's useful. "Near and Far" is useful in demonstrating the personality differences between Fuzzyface and Grover. The "World of T-Shirts" is dodgier, but it actually works better as a transcript than the awkward summary did, and helps to illuminate which monster went with which "Frog" transposition.
A Juliet Prowse script, on the other hand, doesn't strike me as especially useful, and neither would full transcripts of feature films. Plus, given Google searches, they could be dodgier in terms of copyrights. Actually, this also raises a related issue re song transcriptions. I know this was mentioned before, and the idea vetoed. If we allow sketch transcripts, though, we need to either allow songs or have a clear rationale for why one is more problematic than the other. --Andrew, Aleal 03:26, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
This is probably unrelated, but for several years there has been a site called the South Park Scriptorium (I've even contributed there occasionally :)), which either means that A) it's okay to publish a transcript anywhere, or B) that Comedy Central is more leniant with that kind of thing. Confusing, isn't it? --MuppetVJ 04:11, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
I've talked to some lawyers about this issue before and they said something along the following... Transcripts are fine as long as you don't take credit for originating them, sell them or simply take the text straight from published sources (self transcribing is acceptable – copying a printed screenplay is not).
It's also a very good rule of thumb (just to be safer than sorrier) that you shouldn't publish full complete works (a full script of Muppet Treasure Island or of the entire Sesame Street Episode 0001 probably send some flags up and might get some people on your backs). As we know, publishing song lyrics will send flags up too because a song (legally) is a complete copyrighted work. Recently a few select musicians/record companies have gone after places that public their lyrics, guitar-tabs and such – this basically has caused the "better safe than sorry" blanket rule wikia set of "no lyrics". A song is a complete work and publishing all the lyrics is (in terms of copyrights) like publishing a whole movie transcript. However I was told that publishing individual skits, scenes and parts of a larger production are fine (in terms of copyrights) – like an extended quote (you can use a line or two of a song, just not the whole thing). The stuff ToughPigs does in their anthologies is ok. A Sesame Street sketch or Muppet Show bit is fine (and staying away from posting a whole show, the copyrighted production, in full is a good rule of thumb).
The Episode_101:_Juliet_Prowse_Script posted here does three thing I don't like: 1) it has bad formatting 2) song lyrics are included 3) its full work. Another problem with transcripts can be hard to double check. Someone could post a transcript to a skit and unless you can (and do) sit down, watch it and follow along, we would never know if it is accurate or just some fan going off a 15-year old memory of the sketch. A skit here or there can be fun, useful and insightful. But we shouldn't become the Muppet Transcript collector. They shouldn't outlawed...(yet). But we should keep them under control, use them appropriately and with judgment but still have fun. – BradFraggle 04:28, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, the Juliet Prowse script was posted by Dillon, an autistic kid who I've kicked off the wiki more times than I'm happy with. I've been e-mailing his mom, and trying to get her to help me keep him off the site. The weirdest part was that Dillon posted on the talk page, pretending to thank Scott for posting it, and telling him how useful it is. Don't worry about Dillon; I'll deal with him. It's nice to have that as a negative example, though, because it's pretty clear that it was inappropriate, useless, and badly-formatted, kind of like Miss Piggy's description of Mr. Scrooge. So that's what we don't want to have.
But the more we talk about it, the more comfortable I am with Tough Pigs-style transcripts of Sesame sketches. People do find the TP anthologies to be interesting and useful, and I think they would be here too. Guillermo, I'm glad you're offering to help with the anthologies -- but now that we have a wiki, it's even easier. If you feel like busting out some pictures and transcripts, you can just post them, without waiting for me to post it on TP.
Now, G's original point is true -- transcribing Sesame Street News Flashes isn't the #1 priority for the wiki right now. But collecting photos of Miss Piggy dressed as the Statue of Liberty isn't our top priority either, and I spent all night doing that. The wiki runs entirely on the power of whim, so if somebody gets it in their head to spend an hour typing up an Ernie and Bert sketch, I'd be the last person in the world to tell them that they're wasting their time. Bring it on. -- Danny Toughpigs 04:48, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
So basically,
Quotes and sketches = good
Songs, movies, and episodes = bad
? --GrantHarding 04:58, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, that's right. -- Danny Toughpigs 05:03, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
Should we make that a policy, and post it somewhere visible? --GrantHarding 05:18, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
Check it out ...
News Flash: The First Day of Kindergarten
--MuppetVJ 17:14, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
Excellent! I haven't seen that one yet. Yay! I played around with the formatting and posted it on Transcript format test. Most of the page is the way Guillermo posted it, so you can compare the two. What do you guys think? -- Danny Toughpigs 17:41, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
Was it deleted? It doesn't show as a valid link and loads blank. Or rather, doesn't load, it just shows the thing to start a new page. Agent0042 00:42, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
It's been moved to Transcript format test 1, as several other tests have been done since, all of which can be found here. --Andrew, Aleal 02:54, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
On one hand, it's quite a lot of space (and I don't necessarily agree with the quotation marks). On the other hand, it's easier to go through. Maybe I'll have a better decision by the end of the day. --MuppetVJ 19:38, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
I prefer a little less white space. Also, I prefer the tabs as shown on Transcript format test 2. Is there any way to keep the character's name and the dialogue on the same line and preserve the tabs? I think that would be ideal. --Peter Pantalones 20:01, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
I know, I'd like to do that too, but I can't figure it out. That's called a hanging indent... I can do it in Word, but I can't figure out how to do it on the wiki. I looked on Wikipedia:How to edit a page. I couldn't figure out hanging indent, but I did learn about blockquote, which seems useful. I used that on Transcript format test 3 -- it moves the margins in on both sides, which makes the text a little easier to swallow. I also took the quotation marks out.
Now, I kinda like white space, personally. I think on format test 2, the lines kind of run together. Reading off a computer screen is a little strenuous, so I think it's helpful to have a clear visual distinction between one character's lines and the next.
But if we could figure out hanging indents, then we could probably have less white space and it would still make sense visually. So if we can figure that out, then we're golden. -- Danny Toughpigs 20:40, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
I don't like too much white space in regular articles, when there doesn't seem to be a reason for it. In a transcript, though, I really like the format. It makes it easier to read and as you say, distinguish lines. Another thought to consider, though. While it can't be done for all transcripts, how would the format and the look be affected if/when pictures are added? --Andrew, Aleal 20:45, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
Pictures is a good question, we'll have to experiment with that.
I just created Transcript format test 4, which includes bootleg hanging indents. Basically, I did a preview of the page, saw where the line breaks were, and did the indents manually. -- Danny Toughpigs 14:18, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
Hmmm... The problem with the bootleg hanging indents is that it can only work for a particular screen size. I did the version on Transcript test 4 for 1024x768, but that means it won't look right for the other screen sizes. Growf. -- Danny Toughpigs 15:38, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
I really like Transcript format test 5. No joke. --MuppetVJ 18:00, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
Okay, here's my latest: Transcript format test 7. I used Scott's hanging indents from #5, simplified the code, put in more white space, and put in some sample photos. What do you think? -- Danny Toughpigs 21:23, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
Still more code heavy than I'd like, but easier than the last version, and the reduction of white space looks good. --Andrew, Aleal 22:38, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
Well, it's really just the same two codes, over and over. So it shouldn't be too hard to pick up. -- Danny Toughpigs 23:18, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
I think the stage directions should be tabbed over once more, so that they don't line up directly with the hanging dialogue tab. --Peter Pantalones 23:40, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
Okay, I moved 'em. Do you like it now? -- Danny Toughpigs 23:37, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, that's better. --Peter Pantalones 23:40, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

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