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Muppet Wiki:Current Events Archive 16 (Jan 2007)

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Archive of Current events discussions.

Elmo, Rosita and Governor Huckabee

Anyone know what this is from? -- Brad D. (talk) 01:59, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

It looks like something done for the Healthy Habits for Life initiative at the National Governor's Association Forum. [1] There are also a number of other PSAs done with other US govs. [2]Scott (talk) 00:57, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

Haha!!

I might be late on this, but a friend just showed me this and it cracked me up: [3] -- Matt 25 January 2007

Thanks, Matt! Looks like it helped Brad start an article for The Onion. — Scott (talk) 21:09, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

Today on Muppet Wiki nominations

Hey guys: I need some help with the Today on Muppet Wiki nominations. I'm running dry, and I need some more nominations, please! -- Danny (talk) 02:47, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Forum?

Have you considered adding a wiki-forum here? It's not a forum in the traditional sense (although that may be possible later) more a way of arranging pages. You can see a simple version on the Central Wikia here, or a fancier version at Memory Alpha. I'll be happy to help with the set-up if you want this. -- sannse (talk) 08:48, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

I think right now we're okay with what we have. It seems to be working fine. But thank you for your offer, I appreciate it! -- Danny (talk) 02:47, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Orphaned Images

Please see Category:Orphaned Images. — Scott (talk) 22:57, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Category Proposal: Cinematographers

In response both to our discussions of production crew and the feeling that new categories should be propsed on current events first (which hasn't really been followed as of yet, admittedly), I'd like to suggest the creation of Category:Cinematographers. It's one of those gray areas that's both a creative job, especially as they often determine certain aspects such as color palates and so on or create new techniques and approaches, and also a technical one. But I think it could be a worthwhile category (with the same proviso, as with other pages, that one can actually say something about the individual and/or their work than one sentence). Currently in Category:Production Crew, there's pages for Del Ankers, Alan Caso, John Fenner, Oswald Morris, and Ted Nemeth, and there's at least a few more cinematographers who would make for interesting pages (i.e. Robert Paynter, who worked on The Muppets Take Manhattan, was a frequent collaborator with John Landis and subsequently shot Frank Oz' Little Shop of Horrors, a couple folks who were "regulars" on Henson/Creature Shop projects, and so on). And probably Frank Biondo, as head cameraman on Sesame Street It will probably never be as large as Category:Composers, maybe 12 names tops, but it seems a worthwhile distinction to make in terms of the larger discussion of creatives vs. technical. Plus it would more clearly leave whichever "Production Crew" entries are kept on their own, as unique flotsam, individuals about whom there's something interesting to say or who had double status (i.e. cast members who were also in the crew, or crew members who also acted in bits, and so on). In fact, I'm thinking that should be renamed "Miscellaneous Crew" or something, and "Production Crew" become an umbrella category, ala Characters or Actors. Thoughts? Is this a useful distinction to make, or too technical? I think the pages we have thus far, though mostly the work of myself, are at least fairly interesting, but I also don't want this to turn into another collection of stub pages, just random names with one credit each. There's still plenty of pages in Writers, Directors, and Creature Shop Voice Actors that are in that state. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 18:35, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

I like the idea of having Cinematographers category, and I bet it's probably easier to find information about cinematographers than other types of film crew such as best boys, grips, etc. Peter 05:13, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

Creature Shop character pages

Discussion moved from Talk:Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

I created this page in the style of pages like the entries for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Dr. Dolittle, but I have concerns. Specifically this --- Harry Potter fans are ravenous. I'm enough of one myself to know this. We don't watch this closely and who knows what sort of articles we could have cropping up. So I suppose the usual question applies here --- if I or anyone else wanted to create pages about Harry Potter, or Draco Malfoy or whoever, is that okay? And then certain other aspects of the film, etc. Oh, and the article is a bit barebones to start out with, but I'll be expanding it soon. I need to get more info about the Creature Shop involvement, but like pretty much anyone else, I have easy access to this film, so I should be able to get a full list of Creature Shop crew involved pretty quickly. George B. (talk) 16:54, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Here are my thoughts on the issue. I don't think we ever made a hard fast rule on what coverage of Creature Shop films is, and isn't okay on the wiki. But my theory on Creature Shop characters (or Creature Shop whatever) is that we should only create specific articles for:
(a) things related to a production produced by The Jim Henson Company (such as Labyrinth, The StoryTeller, Dark Crystal, Frances and Farscape).
or
(b) individual things provided by, or related to, the contributions of the Creature Shop (i.e. animatronic/prosthetic characters; or merchandise that mainly feature, or revolve around, the aspects of the Creature Shop contributions).
For example, with regards to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I think characters such as Michaelangelo and Splinter are fine and have a direct Muppet/Henson connection; whereas a character such as April O'Neil' or Casey Jones don't – they were simply characters portrayed by Judith Hoag and Elias Koteas while they were acting along side the Creatures in a non-Henson production. I think "Celebrity" and "Creature Shop Actor" pages for anyone who acted along side the work of the Creature Shop (and especially for those that acted through the work of the Creature Shop) are great and fine for inclusion, but the characters they play seem irrelevant to us. We could create well over 1,000 articles just to cover Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Characters, Culture, Locations, etc. and very little would actual be relevant to the Muppets, Jim Henson or the Henson Company/Creature Shop. What makes a page about Professor Severus Snape significant to Muppet Wiki? I think any relevant information on the connection would be more fitting on Alan Rickman. If you look at the list of Creature Shop Productions I think we should provide full coverage for the Henson productions (the bold items) and just focus on the Henson aspect for the others. But that's just me. This is just my opinion. What do others think? If others disagree, I can get to work on those highly-anticipated Loch Ness and Around the World in 80 Days character pages to round things out. -- Brad D. (talk) 04:45, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I agree. I think that means we'll have to cut a few Hitchhiker's-related pages, but that's a small price to pay in order to keep the odious and hateful Harry Potter off the wiki. -- Danny (talk) 04:53, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
The main pages affected, then, would be Arthur Dent (unless we keep him since he was also referenced by name in a Farscape episode), Zaphod Beeblebrox, Ford Prefect, Humma Kavula, Trillian, and possibly The Guide (depending on how we feel on that; the guide graphics were all supplied by another company), The Dolphins (probably allowable since they're both animal actors and characters), plus Dr. John Dolittle and the category tag on King Arthur (the Merlin Characters page only has him anyway; the mini-series, despite Steve Barron's direction, as far as can be determined, was not produced by the Jim Henson Company as a whole, and it only has two or three creatures). And in which case, I'd suggest then that any non-Creature character red-links on any films or actor pages that fall outside of this definition be removed. In general, I agree. I may not personally care for Category:Jack and the Beanstalk Characters, but we're the best place to cover them, and those from MirrorMask, Gulliver's Travels, etc., whereas there's plenty of other sources for Harry Potter and so on, and while I myself adore Gosford Park, I can't foresee any benefit to creating character pages for the movie (I haven't even created pages for the actors yet, even). On the other hand, I'm strongly inclined to create pages for the folks in Rat, which was produced by the Jim Henson Company, and not limited to the Creature Shop effects. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 17:00, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

I think we're getting close to a policy statement, so I've moved this to Current events. Once we come up with a definition, we should create a policy page. (Same goes for the Crew Positions discussion below, if we haven't done that already.)

So, here's my understanding of the discussion so far.

Jim Henson Company productions -- The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, The StoryTeller, Gulliver's Travels, Buddy, Rat, Farscape, etc:

  • Any reasonable page is okay. Actors, characters, merchandise, locations, culture, what have you.

Non-Henson productions that the Creature Shop has contributed to -- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Witches, The Flinstones, Lost in Space, The Odyssey, etc:

  • An article page about the film/production, obviously.
  • Anything directly related to the Creature Shop is okay. Creature performers and designers are good. Articles about the Creatures (or the digital effect, or whatever) are okay.
  • Articles about the main people involved -- director, writer, actors -- still up for discussion. Personally, I think those are okay, because they widen the scope for possible connections to the Muppets, showing the full range of people who have interacted with the Henson universes. I find them amusing and interesting.
  • Not okay: Characters, locations, culture, songs. (An exception: If the subject has another connection to Henson/Muppets. For example, the Arthur Dent reference in Farscape could make him wiki-relevant.)
  • Merchandise is only okay if it's directly related to a Creature Shop character/effect. For example, a behind-the-scenes book with information on the Creature Shop is good; a soundtrack album with no Creature Shop characters is not.

There's the possibility of splitting hairs here: A Lost in Space toy of the Creature Shop-designed robot is good; a Lost in Space toy that's just Matt LeBlanc is not. But what are hairs for, if not to be split? -- Danny (talk) 17:48, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

I think The Witches may be a gray area just because, while not released under the Jim Henson Company banner, it was also more than just a "work for hire" situation limited to creature elements, with Jim Henson as executive producer and discussing it in detail in interviews prior to his death as a pet project, in a way he didn't do with Ninja Turtles and so on. But that probably doesn't matter, since speaking for myself, the non-Creatures in that film are pretty boring (I only created Grand High Witch, in fact, because Nate asked me, to show off the great Creature Shop prosthetics). I'm just mentioning it for the record. Otherwise, I fully agree, though the soundtrack decision also seems to negate The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (soundtrack), unless it's allowed because one song is about Marvin the Paranoid Android, unquestionably a Creature. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 18:11, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
I had a talk a while ago with Andrew that relates a bit to this about the international translations. The result was that listing movies that have creatures, created by the creature shop, that talks was relevant. But for a production like The English Patient would not qualify for listing in international translations, since theres no creatures in it. Henrik 19:02, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
I think characters with extensive, or notable, Creature Shop prosthetics - such as the Grand High Witch - can be included if properly done. I think animantroic, digital and prosthetic characters (provided by the Creature Shop) are notable. But I don't think human characters and non-Creature Shop provided characters from the non-Henson productions are relevant to our cause here. -- Brad D. (talk) 04:58, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree with most of what's been said here about limited non-Henson stuff on the Wiki. The one thing that I would like to suggest is that actors who appear in productions with effects/animatronics/etc. by the Creature Shop should only be included in the Celebrities category if they interact directly with Creature Shop characters/effects in the movie. After all, not every actor in The English Patient deserves to be on the wiki. In this instance, I'd allow Kristin Scott Thomas to be hyperlinked, since she has a pre-existing connection, but Willem Dafoe would be unredlinked, since he neither has any other wiki connections nor does he interact with the Creature Shop effects in The English Patient. -- Peter (talk) 05:37, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
I like having everybody in Celebrities. That's a fun category, where we're basically playing the "Six Degrees of Separation" game, collecting all the celebrities that have connections to the Muppets/Henson. Obviously, Lily Tomlin has a much stronger connection than Willem Dafoe, but it's fun to browse through the category and see how people connect. -- Danny (talk) 12:14, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
Yeah. While I sort of share your perspective, Peter, thus my own reluctance to personally create pages for actors exclusively in the pure CG effects movies, like Gosford Park or The Talented Mr. Ripley, if you try to base it exclusively on actors who interacted with the Creatures, you severely limit it, even with some folks who keep cropping up in Creature Shop Movies. It's just too much of a hassle to keep up with. And even by that standard, Willem DaFoe would deserve his own page: false animatronic fore-arms and hands were combined with him for scenes where his character loses his thumbs! -- Andrew Leal (talk) 12:28, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

Quality article nominations

I want to remind everyone that Muppet Wiki:Quality article nominations is open for your nominations and votes. There's six nominations up right now that are due to be passed or rejected in the next few days, so your votes and comments will help to determine the first batch of articles that are awarded with "Quality article" status.

You can also nominate any article that you think is one of Muppet Wiki's best.

The "Quality article" idea will help us to show off our best work to new readers, and it also helps us to focus on making Muppet Wiki the amazing and comprehensive resource that it is. I hope everybody participates! -- Danny (talk) 11:51, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Sesame book covers wanted

I just added a whole boatload of links to Images Wanted for Sesame Street book covers. If anyone adds a new book that we don't have an image for, or need a better quality one, please add it to Images Wanted. I don't want to have to go through all 600 pages again in a few months! TongueScott (talk) 18:45, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

Sorry about that. I never think of using Images Wanted. Thanks for adding all of that. -- Danny (talk) 20:10, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

Proposal: New rule for moderators

Recently, Brad enforced the transcript policy on two pages. Now there's nothing wrong with that, but he didn't give a reason why he can't come up with a better description for each transcript. This confuses me, because he's written more articles than most of us. It inspired me to propose this new rule for mods: if we know we're capable of doing something to an article, we should do it ourselves, or ask each other for help, rather than be lazy and say on the article's talk page, "I don't feel like improving this article right now, so I'll bitch about it instead" (that, I feel, reduces us to the level of an unregistered user). This isn't to say that we don't need the "Attention" category, which consists of pages that need the kind of help we're incapable of providing. What do you guys think? --MuppetVJ 06:14, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

I have a mixed feeling on that with transcripts (and I don't think Brad "enforced" the policy as much as gave a reminder of it). To me, on transcripts, the person who created it should be responsible for the description to justify it. In the case of the two articles in question, that was other Danny/Wile and you yourself. I agree Brad sometimes gets out of line, but with transcripts, I don't think it's necessarily fair to expect others to write why it's important and should be saved. That said, a better way to handle that would be for Brad or whoever to leave a brief, polite message on the page of the person who created it, as a heads up. By the way, this wouldn't be a moderator rule anyway since Brad isn't one, but a general one. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 13:52, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
I've done the "I don't feel like improving this article right now" messages, and I feel like that's appropriate sometimes. The great thing about the wiki is that everybody helps each other. When I've used that kind of message, I don't mean it as "I'm going to bitch about it". Sometimes, I notice something that could be improved, and I don't have the time at that moment to do it, but I don't want to forget about it.
I think it's mostly a matter of tone. When we're talking to other contributors, we should try to be collegial, and not bitchy or threatening. Everybody slips sometimes, because you're not paying attention, or you're in a bad mood. But it's a good thing to be mindful about. -- Danny (talk) 14:57, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
I'll admit, I've done the "I don't feel like improving this article right now" thing too, although usually not so much in the talk page as on the Summary comments thing. Sometimes, though, it's not so much a matter of not feeling like it as it is not having access to the specific information to improve it. Sometimes it isn't though. George B. (talk) 22:15, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
I think that these kinds of messages are fine. None of us are getting paid here, its all a labor of love; thus if someone has something more pressing or simply doesn't feel like it, so be it. However, I do think that if one goes through the effort of saying that improvement is needed, they could say what kind of improvement they're talking about so someone else might be able to make the changes. It varies by context, but some kind of brief explanation of the needed changes would be enough. Like Danny said, we all help each other here, so as long as everyone is civil, we can afford eachother some laziness :) --Cantus Rock 23:38, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

Crew Positions

Do we have any list anywhere of crew positions for Muppet productions that are covered by categories? I've noticed that categories such as Writers and Producers don't seem to be sorted into any larger category. George B. (talk) 04:19, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

Can you actually wait before you create any more of those pages? I don't see the point of having a bunch of pages for camera operators like Shawn Harkins. I know we're pretty free with who we create pages for, but I don't think those are notable enough to deserve their own page. If we really got into it, the wiki would be littered with random crew members. -- Danny (talk) 04:23, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
Okay, fair enough, I suppose. So I suppose the usual question is back in effect --- how minor is too minor for the person to merit their own page. I mean, somebody saw fit to create a page for John R. Tierney and nobody stopped them or deleted their page, yet I don't see any more info there then any of the pages I just created. I mean, what you said really. The Wiki already has a fair number of crew pages for fairly minor positions that don't have much info. I wasn't aware at any time of any rule that you can't create a page for a particular crew member if the position is considered "too random" or "not notable enough" --- which also sounds like an extremely arbitrary standard to me. P.S. --- If it was only non-Muppet info that I was adding, I would have asked right away. But these are people who are Muppet crew members. George B. (talk) 04:34, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
That page was created back in April, and the standards have evolved quite a bit since then. I agree with you that that page is the same as some of the ones that you just created, and whatever decision we make about it will apply to that page too. It's easy for a stray page to go unnoticed for a while. You tend to dive into new projects headfirst, creating a couple dozen pages all at once -- and if you happen to be pointed in the wrong direction, then yeah, people notice. -- Danny (talk) 04:34, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
Okay, that's fair. Well, I'll keep a close eye then on the discussion as to what we decide to do with this. Particularly exactly what standard we use to determine whether or not a crew member is significant enough to merit an individual page. Oh, and yes, I won't add any more of those pages for now unless I have strong reason to believe that there's precedent that the particular crew member can be considered major. Ah well. Back to work on finding such crew members to add to the "Projects with Muppet Connections" page. George B. (talk) 04:36, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
Dude, I really don't appreciate your tone. -- Danny (talk) 04:37, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, I'm sorry about that. I'll calm down now. Allowing emotions to get the better of me --- not good. George B. (talk) 04:39, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
Agreed, I'd rather not see Category:Boys Who Have Carried Water to Jerry Nelson. I would support a list of camera operators if we had something interesting enough to say about them though. A quote from a book could point one in the right direction, perhaps. — Scott (talk) 04:43, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
I think looking at Category:Production Crew as a whole would help in this case, as well as how we handle credits in general. Our general rule is to limit them to "Muppet relevant" people. That is, writers, performers, producers, Muppet Workshop, etc., and many pages don't even have the latter yet. When you get down to camera operators, video editors, and caterers, it's worthwhile to be careful. Plus, we've been deleting even pages for performers if all the info that exists is one credit or whatnot. My own feeling on this is that the notability of such people depends on two basic issues. One, is how extensive or notable their contribution to the Muppet/Henson "canon" is. Take someone like Dick Maitland, whose been with Sesame Street since the beginning and worked on other Muppet productions aside; brief as it is right now, Blake Norton would also fall under that rule. The other would be if the article is as interesting as any other would be on the Wiki; i.e. does it say more about the person beyond two lines, have a picture, etc. Quotes from or about the person's contributions to Muppet/Henson work help there as well. Though I created them myself, I like to think Del Ankers and Ted Nemeth would fit under that rule. Then there's pages like Frieda Lipp], just a vague credit list, or Tierney, or Fred Christie (one credit, not even a complete sentence in the article), or Karen Specht. Do we really care about the Sesame Street hairstylist, if that's all that can be said about them? (I'm also not too fond of Steve Chadwick myself; production supervisor for Nelvana, which did produce animation for Nelvana, but such a vague role, and didn't work on the Muppet portions; in a case like that, just a brief credit on the page itself should suffice, I think). I'd also be inclined to favor Scott's suggestion of, in cases like that, a general list of Editors, etc. These are just some thoughts right now. I'm dealing with a lot of stress from the theft of my PC (and everything on it), and thus loss of many academic and Wiki materials, screengrabbing/scanning abilities, etc., but I'll try to check in on this later. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 14:06, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, I think "Muppet-relevant" is a good way to look at it. I agree with George that we should have a guideline for this, which we can post on the "Production Crew" category talk page, and wherever else it would help. So here's a first pass at who deserves their own pages:
Yes: Writer, Director, Executive Producer, Producer, Associate Producer, Designers and Creative Supervisors in the Muppet Workshop or Creature Shop, Art Director, Production Designer, Music Coordinator, Costume Designer, Original Music, Choreographer, Puppet Wrangler. Plus anybody from the "No" list if there's anything Muppet-relevant to say about them, like an overview of their career with the Muppets, or a quote.
No: Line Producer, Associate Director, Stage Manager, Video Editor, Audio, Production Coordinator, Hair and Makeup, Technical Director, Video Engineer, Camera Operator, Tape Operator, Electrician, Lighting Board Operator, Carpenter, Props, Set Decorator, Production Assistant, Production Intern, Accounting.
Basically, what I'm trying to do with that list is to divide the titles into the "creative" jobs and the "technical" jobs. That's a tricky thing to do, because it's a fuzzy line -- there's technical aspects of being an Associate Producer, and there's creative aspects of being a Video Editor. Still, if you have to say it leans in one direction or another, then this is how I think it would separate.
I think that the creative jobs are notable enough for us to create articles about them; the technical jobs aren't. That's not to say that those people aren't interesting or important. It's just that there's so many people who get credits. I just compiled the above list by looking at the credits for A Celebration of Me, Grover, and there's over a hundred people credited, just for a direct-to-video special. I haven't counted the credits on something like Muppet Treasure Island, but there's got to be hundreds. If we were to include a page for each person doing a "technical" job on each movie, TV show and special, then we'd end up with literally thousands of pages that have nothing but "Lighting Assistant: Muppet Treasure Island".
That being said, the above list is a draft, and up for discussion. What do you guys think? -- Danny (talk) 15:15, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
I think that's a good sample list. And here's some more rambling on how to make a "no" list entry work, I think. Stephen Finnie, set decorator, doesn't have a page yet because I haven't gotten around to it and doing it properly. *But* such a page could work by stressing the fact that he was a set decorator on over half a dozen productions, ranging from the early Toronto-taped Muppetland specials like The Frog Prince to Fraggle Rock and A Muppet Family Christmas, include the quote about him from the Fraggle wrap video (while we decided against a transcript on that, I think isolated quotes, as the Fraggles praise the production crew, could enhance pages.
Also, it's worth looking at what we already have categories for, which we do for Writers, Directors, Designers (which includes builders. art directors, set designers, etc., and usually wranglers, but if there's enough, we could probably give them their own category), Animators, Composers (including arrangers and conductors), and even Choreographers. That includes just about everything from the yes list. Miscellaneous creative contributions are sometimes better examined through articles, like Stunt Muppets or Muppet Show Musicians. We created "Production Crew" to house the flotsam articles, but it might be worth looking at the category as a whole, consider turning it into just a category housing, like Category:Actors. I don't know if we can do it just yet, and there's still a few from the "No" list whose histories are interesting enough to merit keeping or a "Miscellaneous Crew" category (or for double duty folks, like Chet O'Brien, who we include mainly as a cast member, but worked behind the scenes for decades). But for example, while a Camera Operators category seems excessive, I could theoretically see a "Cinematographers" category as a possible, if enough people thought it would work; I've never paid much attention to them myself, but it's a creative contribution, many of those used for the Muppet movies have interesting histories or have been in the business for decades with impressive credits, or quotes can be found about their specific contributions from presskits, etc., and while I'd hesitate to include a random Camera 3 operator from one video in that, someone like Frank Biondo, who has been with Sesame from the beginning, been caricatured, appeared as himself in an Elmo's World montage, etc., could go there. Just a few more thoughts. And for examples of how extensive our database could become, and how many tiny stubs could be floating, here's the British Film Institute's Sight and Sound review and credits list for Muppets from Space, and even that's been shortened. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 19:55, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
Absolutely, I think if you can write an interesting article about somebody, then they can have a page. The thing that I would object to is doing what George did -- going through a DVD credits list and creating a one-sentence page for every single name in the credits. -- Danny (talk) 20:04, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
Yeah. I'm about to post something on Category talk:Production Crew. While discussion of the broader issue should probably stay here for now, where it's more visible, I'm going through what's actually in the category, and how it fits the loose criteria we're slowly forming, with my notes on which ones currently work and which ones don't, in my opinion. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 20:46, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
Oddly enough I was going to point out the Karen Specht page last night for this discussion (because I ran across it two days ago), and add my support to the side of not having one-line pages for every single production crew member. Then I realized I was too tired to write coherently :o). I like the yes/no lists above as a general guideline with the minor caveat that I think "makeup artist" should be yes if a character is created via makeup in the production, or substantial ageing or other makeup effects are used. I have no real feel for how often that might happen in creature shop/henson productions but wanted to toss it out there. -- Wendy (talk) 00:51, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
Absolutely. We already have Nigel Booth, and any other Creature Shop prosthetic folks should go in too. But that's not the same as making a page for the make-up lady on Christmas Eve on Sesame Street or whatnot. If they can legitimately fit under "Designers," they can have a page. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 01:18, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
To be clear, if these positions do become lists, would every name contained therein be a redirect to their list?
As long as everyone who deserves credit is represented here in some way, I'd be happy with this. Part of their representation is being able to type in their name and have it lead to a proper article, so I assume the answer would be yes? --Cantus Rock 06:11, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
If somebody works as a Video Editor in one production and an Assistant Director in another, then we can't make a redirect to both pages. I think it's acceptable to be able to type in a person's name and get a page of search results where you see the pages that list him/her.
And I think we're making a distinction between people who "deserve credit" in the movie scroll and people who "deserve credit" on the wiki. I don't think we need a page of Production Interns. Some things might be true and factual, but they're not notable enough to be on the wiki. -- Danny (talk) 12:19, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

Quality article nominations

I want to make sure that everybody knows that Muppet Wiki:Quality article nominations is up and running. As discussed below, we're creating a new category for "Quality articles", to show off our best work. If you haven't seen the nominations yet, come by and add your voice to the discussion. -- Danny (talk) 15:04, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

The use of YouTube

I'm kind of concerned about the use of YouTube links on the wiki. We've expanded our coverage of individual Sesame Street sketches in a huge way over the last few months, and that's brought in a wave of YouTube links, added by a variety of different contributors. Right now, Ernie and Bert Sketches: Apartment has 25 YouTube links.

The good thing about YouTube links is that it's a nice extra research tool. It gives people access to information about individual sketches that they otherwise wouldn't be able to know. Ideally, the wiki of the future is part of a worldwide multi-media database, blah blah blah.

The bad thing about YouTube links is that they die. A lot. Especially when they're copyrighted material. I have absolutely no evidence for this, but I would estimate that at least half of the YouTube clips that get posted on the wiki will be taken down within a year. A year is like two lifetimes for a YouTube clip. Which is fine, who cares, except then the wiki is littered with hundreds of dead links within a year, and it's nobody's job to check the links and make sure that they work.

So Muppet Wiki readers in the far-off year of 2008 will be very excited when they see that every Ernie and Bert sketch has a YouTube link -- and then very frustrated when they discover that half of the links don't work.

I hate to say it, but I don't think there's a solution for this problem, except to say that people shouldn't post YouTube links on the wiki. I know it's harsh, but I think we should take them out, and make it a policy not to add them anymore. There, I've said it. Bring on your lightning bolts!

If there are folks who disagree with me, my question is: What's the system that we can use to weed out the dead links, as they go offline? -- Danny (talk) 23:28, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Just now, I removed two dead YouTube links. In general, I tend to agree. I know Scott created Category:Pages with YouTube links to help police them, but I don't know how useful it is. Some links have been up more than a year and may be around another year or even two. Others last less than two months. Plus, we're constantly having to remove links from things which are currently commercially available, or removing specific links which we think don't need to be publicized, like Henson films. YouTube is a fantastic resource, for image grabbing, to confirm performers and fuzzy memories, to transcribe things, etc. But it's always with the unknown factor of how long it will last. It's sort of like Amazon.com. By now, most Muppet fans know it's there, and know how to find stuff, and I don't see it as our duty to collect the entries, especially if they're taken down, put up again under a new URL, etc. I'd think they could still be used on talk pages, as proof of something, and I don't see anything wrong if users want to include a link or two on their personal page. But for the database itself, right now, dropping the YouTube links might take care of a lot of hassles. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 00:19, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
If a YouTube link is dead, it's because A) the user removed it out of precaution, or B) the user's entire account got deleted for some other reason having nothing to do with Sesame Workshop, or C) not all of the link was copied. That said, I don't think we need to remove them. --MuppetVJ 01:28, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
Now Sesame Workshop hasn't called in their lawyers in to get stuff yanked off YouTube (yet), but Disney (Muppet Holding Co), Henson and other copyright owners have. I've uploaded over 20+ Muppet/Henson videos over the past 6-months and only 3 are still up there (My account hasn't been shut down but the videos were taken down). And even if it doesn't get taken down for legal reasons, stuff goes down for other reasons. I've removed more than a handful of dead links over the past year here.
Aside from the problem of dead links, there is also the issue of copyright. Now we aren't actually publishing the content and it would be hard to legally punish Muppet Wiki or its editors for linking to the content; but we are, in a way, supporting and enabling the illegal breach of copyright. Wikipedia has a rule that states: "If you know that an external Web site is carrying a work in violation of the creator's copyright, do not link to that copy of the work." It is somewhat of a moral dilemma (I love watching the videos, I've shared some, I spend more time than I should watching this rare and awesome stuff, I even hope specific clips surface...but it doesn't make the distribution of these videos any more legal).
Also, I've never been clear on what our "policy" is on video links – what videos are ok and which aren’t (I know commercially available stuff is out, but there are other "grey" areas). There are so many songs, episodes, sketches, appearances, films, specials and other Muppet/Henson works not on VHS/DVD that could uploaded and linked to (some I've linked too only to have other remove the link later). I actually brought this up on External link guidelines as I have no idea where we currently draw the line on linking to what is essentially all illegally posted copyrighted content. -- Brad D. (talk) 11:59, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
That's a good point, but a tricky one. We actually violate copyright ourselves on the wiki. We don't post videos or song lyrics, but we do post photos that we shouldn't. It's typical for websites to claim that screencaps are "fair use", but we have a lot of promotional photos that are copyrighted images. Now, I don't think a copyright holder will ever come after us. I've cheerfully violated copyright on Tough Pigs for five years, and I never heard a word. We just need to think about how much copyright violation we want to live with. -- Danny (talk) 12:35, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Search feature under construction

Hey folks: The people at Wikia are currently working on upgrading the search feature. They started trying out the new feature last night, and they're still working on different options today. During the transition period, things have been pretty wonky. Right now, the search isn't doing full-text searches for pages that were created recently -- but I'm sure that'll change soon enough. Scott and I are talking to the folks at Wikia about what we're seeing and how things are working, and we're telling them about the changes that we need to make the site work for us.

If you want more up-to-the-minute information and discussion about what's happening with the tech stuff, you can join the Wikia mailing list... -- Danny (talk) 13:50, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

I'm pleased that they're sorting out the search feature. It seems to be a lot better now. Now if I want to get to the Ojo page, if I accidentally put in oJo, it still takes me there. George B. (talk) 18:44, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, there'll be some more change to the search feature, but I'm happy to see that it's better now than it has been for a few months. -- Danny (talk) 19:57, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Quality articles

What about having a special tag or image that could go on all articles featured on Today on Muppet Wiki? How about having a Today on Muppet Wiki highlight --- members nominate and vote on their favorite past featured articles and the winners are put together in a special feature. George B. (talk) 05:20, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

Well, a lot of times "Today on Muppet Wiki" isn't necessarily a superb article. Sometimes it's just something that's current, like the announcement of a new DVD or an upcoming talk show appearance. If you wanted to come up with the most loved articles, then that's something to think about, but I think Today on Muppet Wiki is too whimsical to be the core of that project. -- Danny (talk) 05:52, 23 December 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, I agree with Danny on that, but George is onto something. Today on Muppet Wiki is kept in its own archive so that doesn't need to be chronicled with a special marking, but I definitely think something like a "Muppet Wiki Seal of Approval" tag would be great for articles that go above and beyond with their information. Some of these articles have been featured as Today on Muppet Wiki items, but overall one does not have to be the other. The awarding of this honor, like the Themes issue, can be a subjective and based in individual preference, so if it were to be put into place, it would definitely have to be something we vote on. However, I think the voting for something like this could work almost exactly like the Main Page picture nominations; nominate, specify a required number of needed votes, and a finite time frame for voting. Sounds pretty cool to me.. :) --Cantus Rock 18:20, 24 December 2006 (UTC)
That's a cute idea, maybe a weekly or biweekly award. If we can come up with a cute name and a cute graphic for it, then I'd be all for it. -- Danny (talk) 19:30, 24 December 2006 (UTC)
Hmm. Ideally, a cute name of that nature would tie into the content of the Wiki. I suppose we could call it Kermit's Seal of Approval or Bear's Seal of Approval :), but the only problem I see with something like that, I suppose, is somebody confusing it with an actual endorsement from somebody official. In the more mundane department, perhaps something like the Muppet Wiki Special Feature. I guess I'll have to think no this some more... George B. (talk) 04:11, 25 December 2006 (UTC)
May I submit (with paper *finally* done), The Fred Award. Since there's already a precedent, and what better than a bowling trophy to mark the articles so favored? -- Andrew Leal (talk) 06:04, 25 December 2006 (UTC)
Ooh, I like that. -- Danny (talk) 13:39, 25 December 2006 (UTC)
I like it too. It's clever and it's not so immediately recognizable that somebody casually browsing would mistake it for some kind of official endorsement. George B. (talk) 18:14, 25 December 2006 (UTC)
Okay, so are we going to get on this, then? I can design the graphic if nobody else here wants to, but I would imagine somebody else here probably has a better idea of how that should look, given that my Muppet interests tend to be more towards Bear in the Big Blue House and Sesame Street. George B. (talk) 16:06, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

I think denoting quality articles is a great idea. So to get the ball rolling on this idea and to move forward (as it sounds like people are for having some such thing). Wikipedia has "featured articles"; what if we did something like this? With a nomination process similar to this? Feel free to polish these ideas and continue discussion so we can get a system that works. 05:43, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

I like the graphic! I think the award should be given to those articles nominated and three votes cast in support. — Scott (talk) 17:29, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
I was thinking it would be a weekly award, voted in the same way as the Main page picture nominations. If all it takes is three votes, then almost anything could get the award. We'd have a bunch of Frackle pages in no time. -- Danny (talk) 17:36, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
I think the idea is not just to mark our personal favorite articles or simply pick best of the nominees, I think it should be to catch the best articles on the wiki. So here's my idea: Each week the award would be awarded to an article – and if there is a tie it could go to the multiple articles (and maybe in dire cases of poor voting/nominees that week, nothing would "win"). Users can nominate any article (only 1 nomination per user can be up at a time). Users can vote "support" (and say why) or "objection" (and say why!) for any nominee. They can vote their support/objection to as many nominees as they want. Scoring wise, supports are like "+1" while objections are like "-1". The winner needs at least a score of 3 (meaning at least 3 more supports than objections) and they have the highest overall score. Having people allowed to object give a "checks and balance" to prevent a bunch of bad pages getting in. And objections also give quality feedback to make an article better. Allowing users to support/object to multiple nominees prevents the winner from being just the best of the current nominees and turns out to be any article with that can get lots of support with little objections. -- Brad D. (talk) 19:47, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
I don't like the idea of "awarding a trophy" to articles because they're "winning a contest." I figured the icon was supposed to be more symbolic than taken literally. I think it makes more sense to put together a category of our very best articles that match the criteria of Muppet Wiki:Quality articles. This is not a list of our favorite topics. We already do the weekly thing for "Today on Muppet Wiki," what's the sense in doing it again? — Scott (talk) 19:55, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree, its not a contest to get our favorite articles. It would be awarded to mark the best articles. -- Brad D. (talk) 19:59, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
Totally agree. The award should be given by merit, based on overall consensus and discussion. George B. (talk) 20:02, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
Okay, now that makes more sense to me. I didn't understand the system that you were proposing before. Now that I see what you're talking about, it sounds good. -- Danny (talk) 20:03, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

To get us started, I suggest a sandbox list of potential articles. Discussion should then be open to determining whether or not they meet the criteria. — Scott (talk) 20:13, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

I set-up Muppet Wiki:Quality article nominations. If we want we can just open up nominating of articles there. -- Brad D. (talk) 20:31, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
I see that very rapid progress has been made on this, but I'd like to propose mentioning this on Current Events before we go any further. While the themes and category creation issues still have not been fully resolved, and while this has been a reasonably active discussion, it's still such a major addition, especially with nominations, that I'd feel more comfortable if it were mentioned there, just on the off chance that interested parties have somehow overlooked the discussion, and especially if we do wish to encourage nominations. Secondly, while I'm fine with sandboxing and discussion on talk pages of nominees, I'm beginning to feel a bit uncomfortable with the rapidity of this. That is, the Quality Article and Nominations things are fine pages, but right now they're still primarily Brad's work, and I'd feel more comfortable if we allowed at least a day or so for a fuller review and agreement of the specific language and criteria *before* we start nominating; thus, while changes may well still occur based on how it goes, as we've done with main page picture voting, we'd have a slightly steadier starting ground. I'm still on dial-up, and need to vacate shortly since my mother may need the phone, but this should definitely be added to Current Events, if someone could do so, or else I'll take a stab at it when I next get online. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 20:45, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree, having some more review and polishing of the criteria and process would be good before we put it in effect. And posting about this on current events to let everyone know what's up is a good idea too. There is no rush to get this thing started today. -- Brad D. (talk) 20:53, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

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