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Muppet Wiki:Current Events Archive 18 (March 2007)

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Archive of Current events.

Muppet Show Episodes Available on Video

This is a new category that I'm putting before the group for discussion. I know that I for one have trouble keeping track of which eps (other than Season 1, of course) are commercially available, so I'm starting this as much for my own sake as anyone else's. I think it would be nice to have a handy reference for that.

I'm counting: Disney DVDs, Time-Life VHS and DVDs, and also the UK "Best of the Muppet Show" DVDs which featured different episodes. I have no idea about international/dubbed episodes on video. Whatever's usually the rule on international stuff should be applied to this category as well.

To keep the list from being unwieldy, I'm excluding: tiny clips from episodes that appear on compilation tapes, and movies & television specials featuring the TMS characters. I'm only talking about complete episodes of the original show.

When I say "complete," of course, there may be episodes that have something missing on video, such as some of the Season 1 shows. But I think everyone knows what I mean by complete vs. just some random clips from an episode.

So: yay or nay to this category? Any possible exceptions or qualifying comments? -- Tom H 20:05, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

I think this might work better either as a list, or as a template. See Sesame Street Episodes Released on DVD for the list format. The episode template for Sesame Street also has a DVD slot (in this case, the more generic "Video" would be appropriate) for when full or mostly full episodes have been released. True, there's fewer cases with Sesame, but I still think either of those options would work better, and also allow for breakdowns by seasons, qualifying notes about multiple releases/edits, etc. A category would just be somewhat redundant, an additional tag slapped onto the episode pages, and opens the floor to similar categories for every other show which hasn't been released in its entirety yet. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 20:17, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, I think a list would work better, plus a line in the episode box. Episode 0131 is an example of how it looks in the Sesame box. -- Danny (talk) 22:30, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Ohh, OK. That makes sense. And it looks nice too. Do I need to create a category for "Muppet Show Lists" then, or what should this be categorized under? -- Tom H 17:56, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, there's already a category like that. I placed your new article (Muppet Show Episodes Released on Video) there. —Scott (talk) 21:22, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

Edit this page

I found out how to do a new wiki trick -- changing the "edit" button at the top of the page to say "edit this page". I just changed it on Oz Wiki, so you can see how it looks there.

The idea is to help new readers to understand that they can edit wiki pages. Folks at Wikia have told me that there's evidence that once somebody makes their first edit, they're likely to stick with it. The challenge is to help people take the plunge, and make that first edit.

I think this would help to make that row of buttons a little more accessible, and maybe get us some new contributors. Wikipedia is using it too, although their button uses bold letters, and I don't know how to do that.

So what do folks think? Would you like for the button to say "edit this page"? -- Danny (talk) 16:41, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Yeah! Anything that helps new people find their way around sounds great! -- Ken (talk) 06:33, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
Oh, good! How about some other folks? I want to get a couple of responses before I go ahead and make such a big change... -- Danny (talk) 11:19, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
No objections here. —Scott (talk) 15:12, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
No objections here either. -- Brad D. (talk) 15:14, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
Okay, cool! It's done. -- Danny (talk) 18:09, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

Character tags

I started a discussion at Ghost of Faffner Hall Characters, and Andrew thought that it could be worth moving here.Henrik 12:11, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
Should a puppet that have been reused in a background role be tagged as a character from Ghost of Faffner Hall, for instance Baby Tree Creature. Or should they play a vital role before they should be tagged ? Henrik 16:41, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

That's a good question. Generally, we only include characters in the production categories they first appeared in, or appeared regularly in (Kermit's categorized as both a Sesame Street and Muppet Show character, as is only right). Right now, there's two categories that are the major exceptions, Muppet Televeision Characters and Muppets Tonight Characters includes all characters and puppets to appear on the series, and an occasional exception will be made (Food appeared once in "The Land of Gorch," but was a recurring backrgound figure on Fraggle Rock). It's so utility puppets don't wind up in dozens of categories; if they were re-used as a named character, i.e. Beastie and Rude Dude, the second variation gets its own page in the specific show category. Andrew Leal (talk) 16:48, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
Ok, so a character should be given a new identity, with a name, in order to be tagged to a specific character group. What defines a recurring background character, some puppets have appeared in Ghost of Faffner Hall in about half of the episodes. Are those characters recurring ? Henrik 17:14, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, like I said, Food is an exception, that shouldn't be the rule. But thinking about it, I'm not sure why he should be an exception, or why Muppets Tonight and MuppeTelevision are handled differently (except the latter two featured the most established Muppets, most as themselves, some as cameos). But we don't do that with From the Balcony Characters; I don't think we should either, but it seems we should be better able to articulate how this works. It might be worth moving this to Current Events. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 17:18, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

New search

The upgrade has happened, and we now have a new search feature. Scott and I talked to the Wikia tech folks over the last week about it. We can now search within tables and templates, which we weren't able to do before -- and with more and more of our content going into tables, that was an important feature. Also, the indexing should be more stable, so we don't go through any more periods where new changes aren't indexed in the search.

Still, this is a beta version, so there may be some bumps. If you see anything that looks weird with the new search, please post them here, so we can talk to the tech people about it. -- Danny (talk) 16:39, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

PS. It actually isn't indexing at the moment, of course. That may be because of the upgrade. I'll check with them about it... -- Danny (talk) 16:43, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
Outside of the indexing, it seems to be working great. For the first time in ages, I can easily search for commonly misspelled words (like "epsiode"). And scratch the former, it's indexing now! -- Andrew Leal (talk) 17:01, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
Actually, I've found a lot of problems with it already. Redirects are screwy, and some common results are screwy too. I just wrote to the tech folks. -- Danny (talk) 17:08, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, I can see that. When the first result for The Great Muppet Caper is Lewis Kazagger, and the movie page isn't visible at all in the first 10 results or so, something's wrong. It seems to work more effectively when searching for text within an article (I haven't had any problems with that), but less so for direct matches. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 17:22, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
I just heard back from the tech folks... They disabled the new search for now until they can fix the big issues. So, it's back to the way it was for the moment. I'll post when I know something more. -- Danny (talk) 17:54, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Upgrade

Just to let you know, we may have downtime between approximately 8 and 13 UTC (1am and 6am PDT) on Tuesday 20 and Wednesday 21 March. This is to allow work to upgrade to MediaWiki 1.9. -- Sannse 19:37, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Portals

I want to draw everyone's attention to Portal:Main, an experiment that we're working on to create a better way to encourage new readers to browse through our basic content. It's still in the early stages, so we need some help and feedback.

There's a discussion going on right now at Talk:Portal:Main, so please post responses over there... I'm just posting this here to make sure people know about it. -- Danny (talk) 15:39, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Albums Again

Mark just added an image and album-box for the 8-track release of The Muppet Movie (soundtrack). That meant three album covers+album boxes lined up on the page, and a 4th on the way with the UK release version. I moved everything but the LP to a gallery for now, but I think it is worth discussing how we want to handle albums with multiple releases in general. Do we really want a cover & box lined up down the page for every release? Or should we come up with a better way to handle multiple releases? On A Christmas Together (album) there's just a lengthy text section to handle the issue; do we want to use that in general? Or is there some compromise between text and images? A table? A Gallery like I tried on TMM Soundtrack?? What do people think? I personally like either the gallery or a table if enough of the cover images are available, with the original main release having the RHS big image and box. -- Wendy (talk) 18:01, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

I was thinking the same thing. What if we had a second template just for titles with multiple releases? —Scott (talk) 18:11, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
That gallery is really pretty, and I didn't like the long column of pictures down the side anyway. I added the John Denver Christmas Together 8-track to the image page for the cover, which already had two other images galleried on it. That's another way we could try, but I think the click through to get to that is unnecessary. In fact, when we come to consensus I have to remember to go and change the Denver (unless that's how a lot of other people like it.) Mark (talk) 18:16, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
I think I'd implemented the Denver fix as an alternative to showcasing each variation of the CD covers which hadn't really been necessary to show all on the page. I think a gallery on the article would work better for titles with multiple releases accompanied by a template tailor-made for handling various formats and catalogue numbers. —Scott (talk) 18:27, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
I like the gallery and template idea, too, because I was thinking about a similar situation that I'm having with putting in data for the SS LP's. Some of the albums have up to 5 different variations, which includes cassettes and 8-tracks that have a different number than the LP. I would like to have a gallery for those titles, and in the cases where we don't have pictures, keep alternate numerical info in the article until we find pictures. -- Ken (talk) 02:15, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
I think the way that Wendy did it was perfect -- the original release cover at the top, the original release info in the box, and then a gallery below with reissues and details. I don't think we should create more complicated boxes, especially when some of the time the difference is just catalogue numbers. -- Danny (talk) 15:05, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
On a related note, I'm not sure we should be using the header "Track Listing" for the LPs. The term "Track" was really used by consumers until the CD was introduced. I don't think Sesame stuff started coming out on CD until the late 80s, maybe even early 90s. What about Song Listing or Album Content? Other suggestions? —Scott (talk) 02:25, 17 March 2007 (UTC)
Well, my 2-LP set of Star Wars from 1977 has liner notes, where every song is discussed from a musical and thematic standpoint, and they use terms like "Main Title: Side 1, Track 1." The term "album", which used to refer to a book of 78's and predates the LP, to me sounds kind of dated now, because now if you say "albums", people think "records", so I think a CD entry would look funny if it said "Album Content". That's why I went with "track" because it was already there, and it was used before the CD era. Also, that will keep things consistent throughout the entire database, the only difference being that "Side One" and "Side Two" won't be on CD entries. Or, if people don't like "Track", we can put "Song Listing" on the listings. I would just like every release to have the same term. -- Ken (talk) 01:48, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
Really? I have the 1977 Star Wars album (20th Century Records 2T-541 0898), and there aren't any liner notes referring to the songs as tracks on my copy. I'm not trying to be difficult, I've just never heard the term used in relation to records. Is there something more ambiguous we could use? —Scott (talk) 02:16, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, it's a 2-sided square white sheet of paper with text by John Williams about the music, and other text about George Lucas. (By the way, the (0898) meant that the album cost $8.98 in 1977!) Anyway, I don't mind using "Song Listing", except that not all tracks are songs. We could use "album content", since, because the term "album" goes back to the 1920's, can mean a collection of songs in any format. (Now that I think about it, using "track" on tape-only titles would be strange as well.) "Track" used to be used in the audiophile/technical world back in the 1960's and 1970's. Tonearms would be measured in amounts of tracking force (how heavy they were, measured in grams), and records would "track well" if they didn't skip or get warped. (Sorry, I'm a record geek.) So when CD's came along, and sides went away, the back covers started listing "Track 1" to whatever. So you're right; people do use "track" more often now. So, I vote for "Album Content". -- Ken (talk) 03:44, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
I just tweaked The_Muppet_Movie_(soundtrack)#Other_Releases a bit. It's better than a new box on the right and makes the gallery a bit neater. —Scott (talk) 02:29, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
Ooh, that looks wonderful. -- Danny (talk) 02:32, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
I like it too! And though it's labeled AGN, I could see it potentially working in other cases where a gallery is preferable to a table, but still recquires notes. I'd like to try it on Muppeteers in Non-Henson Acting Roles, for example. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 02:43, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
Should I change it to something like galleryheader now before we start using it everywhere? I used AGN because it was shorter than using albumgallerynotes everytime. —Scott (talk) 02:48, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
Actually the AGN made me smile because for a brief moment I wondered why Scott was making a template for Active Galactic Nuclei. "galleryheader" or even "gallerynotes" would work though. -- Wendy (talk) 03:01, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
I think Wendy just out-geeked me Tongue ... I kept with the acronym route and moved it to Template:GNH, which is just as pleasing to me as compact regions of galaxies. —Scott (talk) 03:06, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Pirates!

Can we do something about these ads on the side of the page that are trying to sell stuff that's obviously illegal? Right on this page I see a DVD for The Muppet Musicians of Bremen, and some kind of iPod offer for the John Denver Christmas special, and elsewhere I've seen an offer for all 120 Muppet Shows for only $23.99! I know we have to have ads to keep this site free, but can we maybe get them to at least put up stuff that's legal? -- Ken (talk) 06:51, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

That's pretty much outside of our hands, though, and of Wikias. That's the way the Google Ads system works, and it's not the "legal" people who usually need to advertise via Google Ads (with a few exceptions). The only thing that can be done is just not click the ads. It's not something that can be individually controlled. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 06:59, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
I've heard of other sites petitioning Google to remove illegal ads from AdSense, and even block certain objectionable ads from appearing on individual sites. Powers 14:32, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
The problem may not be entirely out of our hands. Similar ads have been showing up at The Bionic Wiki, and I've been thinking about dropping a note to Wikia about it -- I just keep forgetting. It's more than a little ironic that we don't allow contributors to post commercial links to legitimate merchandise, but visitors can instead be lured by the illegal products. It obviously shouldn't be that way, and I'm prepared to get pretty passionate about that actually. —Scott (talk) 16:14, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
It's definitely worth complaining about, but outside of scratching Google ads, I don't know that there's a lot of direct control. However, Wikia probably has enough clout to where they can put it to Google, perhaps. I noticed the feedback for Google Ads allows one to "report a violation." But their list is pretty limited and vague: ad doesn't match the site, "inappropriate or offensive." While I'd say these kind of ads are pretty inappropriate (oddly, right now a Muppet Show bootleg ad is above a legit blurb for DisneyMoviesClub), it seems like Google is aware that some of their advertisers are of dubious legitimacy, at least one would think they'd have to be, since this kind predominates everywhere that uses Google ads, not just Wikia. There's a slot for reporting those who use trademarked terms (!) but not the actual selling of illegal product. I just left a complaint anyway, but the main point I was making is that there's no way we can currently choose individual ads. I agree that it's worth complaining about the questionable ones, though. I'm just not so sanguine that Google will do anything about it, considering how widespread and how long established this problem is. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 16:21, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
I got a google adsense account so I know how the things work. It's possible for the account owner to block certain adds in what is called competitive filter. So Wkia should be able to block the adds, however theres a limit on how many URL's that can be blocked this way. You can download a preview tool and install it on IE, then you can see a few examples of adds that will appear on this site, and be able to get the URL that needs to be blocked without clicking on the adds. Henrik 16:39, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm guessing that the people who are selling bootleg DVDs probably don't have one consistent address -- like spammers, they probably move around a lot, specifically to evade being blocked or caught. If there's a limit on how many URLs can be blocked, then I don't know if it would be worth it for Wikia to play whack-a-mole with an ever-changing list of bootleg sellers. Still, it's worth asking them about it. -- Danny (talk) 17:48, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
Actually, it occurs to me that it would be worth it to keep track of the pirates, to see how many there are, and whether they're using different URLs. When we talk to the Wikia folks, it'll be good to have some documentation. I'm going to start a list at Muppet Wiki:Pirates. -- Danny (talk) 17:54, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
Of course, it's also possible that our outraged clicking on these ads is what's making them pop up so often. -- Danny (talk) 18:21, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
Heh. Our clicking probably doesn't help, but that doesn't seem to determine it. It seems to be triggered semi-randomly by text on the page, so any mention of "Batman" or superheroes also gets Batman bootlegs. I've seen this on other websites. One I visited, CartoonBrew.com, kept getting so manuy ads for cheap cartoon bootlegs that the only way they stopped it was to discontinue GoogleAds and set up their own ad system. Unfortunately, I don't foresee Wikia doing that, but they definitely need to be aware of what's going on. I think GoogleAds knows and doesn't care, but the Wikia folks may not be aware. I admit I'm not so sanguine that it will change a thing, but at least they'll have been informed. Personally, I always ignore the Google ads for precisely that reason, since they basically seem like a formalized version of spam. Right now, the legit ads seem to mainly be DisneyMovieClub.com, ebay, assorted car dealerships, and assorted educational firms, and the like. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 18:31, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
I think the ads are partially determined by the content of the page, and partially by the click-through. By clicking on tvshowplanet.info ads, I think we're making it more likely that those kinds of ads will keep showing up.
And there's no way that Wikia will change their relationship with GoogleAds; that's the main source of revenue for the company. The best we can hope for is some tweaking. We may just have to suck it up and live with it. -- Danny (talk) 18:36, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
Clicking on ads won't make the appear often. The ads are only based on the content of the page. If you are worried clicking on the ads you can always use the preview tool that google offers, it can be installed in IE and then you can view a few of the URL's without clicking on the ads. Henrik 18:47, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
Okay, that's good to know. -- Danny (talk) 18:53, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
I just talked to Sannse, and they're fully willing to block any sites that the community finds offensive or sell pirated content, though she says that experience has shown the advertisers do re-register with a new URL/ad. Alternatively, there are banner ads, which are easier to control. Anyone against creating a list of sites here: Muppet Wiki:Google Ads to remove? -- Zanimum 18:41, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
Wouldn't that be the same info that's on Danny's Pirates list? -- Ken (talk) 01:36, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
I guess I should read the whole discussion through. (sorry) -- Zanimum 14:58, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm glad that you asked Sannse about it. Personally, I am much happier with the text ads than banner ads, especially if there's any motion involved in the graphics. I would accept occasional pirate ads rather than a banner ad.
That being said, it might be worth showing Sannse the Muppet Wiki: Pirates list. There's only four URLs there. We could try blocking those, and see what happens. If the same people come back with different URLs, then we just have to live with it. I'll write to Sannse. -- Danny (talk) 16:05, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
For the record, Wikia has gone on record as saying that they'd never use graphical ads. So if they ever start showing up, be sure to mention it. They appeared once and it ended up being an error (on Wikia's or Google's part, I don't remember). —Scott (talk) 16:17, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
They already exist -- Dofus has them. I think Wikia is experimenting with different methods on different wikis. -- Danny (talk) 16:37, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I think it's a case that they wouldn't force anyone to use graphical ads, but they leave the option open. I agree though, pirate text is better than flashing. -- Zanimum 15:02, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

I just heard from Sannse. She says that she'll get the list on Muppet Wiki: Pirates blocked. I asked her to let me know when that's done, so we can see whether it worked or not. -- Danny (talk) 15:34, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

I think they must have done it, because it looks like we're getting a better class of ads now... -- Danny (talk) 13:55, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Format for album pages

A thought that I had today is that we should figure out how we're going to format the entire album information layout before I (and anybody who wants to help) start any major rewriting. If you look at the first few Sesame Street LPs, there are many different ways that people have been putting in the song titles, names of characters, composer credits, side numbers ("Side 1" vs. "Side one"), and one album even has the copyright year next to every song!

So I feel that we should decide how it should look, and then just basically clean it up. The info is mostly all there already, so it's like 75% done. I just don't want to have to do it again, if we decide something different. -- -- Ken (talk) 9 March 2007 (UTC)

I just tweaked The Sesame Street Book & Record page to be my preferred format. I like having the songs and characters listed, with the writer/composer below in smaller type, and no copyright date. I also want to avoid using bold and all-caps as much as possible -- it always looks like someone's shouting.
For layout on the page, my preference is: Opening text description, Track listing, Cast, Production credits. In the case of reissues, the infobox has the information on the original release, and then the reissues are listed in a section under the track listing.
That page also has "Album notes" transcribed from the back of the record. Personally, I don't like those, and if it were up to me, I'd take them out. There were 13 albums released in 1974, and they all had the same album notes; I don't think we need to put the same thing on all those pages. I don't think they're that useful, anyway.
But that's just my preference. What do other people think? -- Danny (talk) 15:27, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
I mostly like the format. I do wonder if composer info is a bit redundant, if it's on the song page. But it also keeps it consistent for cases where all song info is limited to the album, so I'm okay with it. I think the only question is how universal the format would be. That is, mainly just for Sesame Street and similar character-song based albums, or for movies too? For example, with the Muppet Christmas Carol soundtrack. The page could use some clean-up (I don't like having the track lengths), but I also don't know if we'd need to put Paul Williams' name under everything. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 16:13, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
That's a good point. I think we could say that we'll have composer info unless it's the same composer for the whole album. (Which basically is just five Muppet movies anyway and a couple of specials; the others have all different composers like the Sesame albums.)
I think the composer info is notable enough to keep on the album page -- I can imagine a reader being interested in that, in the same way that they would be interested in the characters. Yeah, it's on the song pages, but so are the characters. But I don't think the copyright date is inherently interesting in the same way; that's just clutter to me. -- Danny (talk) 18:10, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
That all makes sense to me. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 18:21, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Danny, I saw what you did with SS1, and did you NOT want to make the characters' names linkable? I liked having that on there. I'm going to have to go back over there and make some notes, because it's too hard to remember what all the variations have been on the LP's. And as far as album notes, it wasn't just the first series. Pretty much the entire run of the label looked the same on the back. But I like having all that on there, because if a person lands on a page, and the names are linkable, they can read about the cast and crew, and if I were coming here as a regular person, that's the kind of stuff I'd like to read about. -- Ken (talk) 06:51, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
I didn't unlink the character names; they must not have been linked in the first place. I agree with you, linking the character names is good. I'll go add those in on The Sesame Street Book & Record.
As for the album notes, I don't think they work at all. The cast and credits are already linked. If somebody wants to know about Matt Robinson, then we have a huge, awesome article about him, which is way more comprehensive (and more up-to-date) than the four lines about him from the back of a 1970 album. I really want to take those out. -- Danny (talk) 17:47, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm mixed on the album notes. They're not all identical, and are useful in showing how CTW was promoting the show and performers at the time (like albums where Fran Brill is "introduced" as a new performer). Some of the awesome info on Matt Robinson came from those liner notes, and it's good to have them to go back to. On the other hand, I agree with you that they don't really work on the album pages. I think they're useful artifacts, just like the stuff you've been digging up from the archives, but mostly for internal use in Wiki research by us addicts; they don't really help the casual reader or improve the album pages as articles of themselves, and can be distracting and cluttery. I'd be in favor of collecting all the ones which aren't directly repeating themselves in a Sandbox article, for our own use as reference, but taking them off the album pages. The exception should probably be for those where the notes are doing something different, like The Year of Roosevelt Franklin, where the notes are quotes from people and politicians about Roosevelt, and summaries of each bit in Roosevelt's voice. That's fun to read on its own, and gives the album a context and captures some of the flavor of it, in a way which an early Loretta Long bio doesn't. That's my take on it anyway. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 17:58, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree completely. -- Danny (talk) 18:03, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
Hmmmmm. I'm just thinking out loud here, but I was considering everything on the back covers as album notes. Are you talking about leaving all cast and credits in each entry, but moving stuff like "Will Lee was on Broadway in 1929" somewhere else, or incorporating it into his bio page? -- Ken 22:29, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, we're talking about the sections labeled "notes," the biographies, the "Messages from Sesame Street," etc. I think the cast and credits sections should stay; if it's decided they should be reformatted (currently, like the notes, they mimic their appearance on the album packaging, and not the way we handle credits on other pages), that's fine. But I don't think they should be excised. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 22:34, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
No, those are cool, although I wouldn't mind formatting them in a different way. I really don't feel like we need to mimic the back of the albums at all. What's on the back of the albums is information that we can use, nothing more. Actually, now that I think about it, posting the "Album Notes" is really weird. We don't reprint the back cover of books. Why are we doing that for albums? -- Danny (talk) 22:38, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, now that I look at it again, the "Production credits" don't make any sense either. The album credits Joan Ganz Cooney as Executive Producer, Danny Epstein as Music Coordinator... These aren't album-specific credits. This list also has Engineers on it, and folks like that, which we decided that we weren't going to list in this discussion from January.
Just to explain to Ken: The reason why we're just figuring this out now is that a contributor named Scotty J. created most of these Sesame album pages. He's a big albums fan too, and he did a lot of work early on putting those pages together. But that was back in January 2005, and the wiki style has evolved quite a bit since then. Nobody's bothered to go back and really look at this format until now, because you've come along and brought it up. So now we have to look at what Scotty set up, and see if it fits into the current style.
So I'm going to take out the "technical" production credits, and just leave the "creative" credits -- producer of the album, writer, cast. -- Danny (talk) 22:55, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
Well, I was going to say something after my Will Lee question, but I backed out to check something, and I lost my page. But oh well. My post was probably too much opinion anyway. I was going to say that it would be neat to preserve the Columbia albums as they were in one form or another, since for the first 5 years, they were all we had. But now that I read Danny's comment that we don't copy the backs of books, he's right. I'm sure the backs of early SS books had cool stuff to read on them, too. I guess I'm just attached to early SS LP's, and I had no problem with having every last word on there. The first thing I thought was, "Cool!" I guess the bottom line is that this is an encyclopedia, not a fan site (and I keep having to remind myself of that). So I guess we should use the relevant info as it helps to create articles about the people involved. The main thing that I would use in coming to a site like this, is to see what songs were on which album, and what other albums a song was on, and we're already doing that. -- Ken (talk) 23:07, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

New article box

We already have this on Help:New page, but one of our new contributors didn't see it, and I think that might be true for other new people. Is there a more prominent place we could put this? Would the bottom of the main page work? -- Danny (talk) 13:56, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

The box is currently Help:New page. The problem is it's only linked from a couple of user pages and the Help:Contents, which itself is one link away from the FAQ. So it's not very accessible right now. I don't have any suggestions/preference on placement, but I agree that we should make it more visible. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 14:02, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, Andrew and I cross-posted as I was figuring out that it's on that help page and edited my post... -- Danny (talk) 14:03, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
The problem is that not enough new users read the help pages. Is there a way to make it more clear that Help means the place where you can seek guidance on wiki doings? —Scott (talk) 15:50, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Maybe we should add it to that top bit of info on the main page, right after "Check out the FAQ"... -- Danny (talk) 15:59, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Actually, we should just replace that link with Help:Contents. The FAQ is a part of the Help section anyway. —Scott (talk) 16:11, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
I can dig it. Do you still think it's relevant to put that new article box anywhere? -- Danny (talk) 19:48, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't know if it's practical, both in terms of coding and space taken up, but a logical place to my mind would be below the search box, so users can find it easily. The help section is great, but then they have to browse topics, then click to find the box. It's not *that* much work, but many new users are probably in a hurry, and if feasible (i.e., if it doesn't wreck the set-up and just serve as an ugly distraction), I don't see anything wrong with making it a little easier for them. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 20:20, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't know if we can put it below the search box -- and I actually wouldn't want it to be mistaken for the search box. But it's good to keep thinking outside the box, so to speak. -- Danny (talk) 20:21, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

MSN Article

Not a great article by any stretch, but I though someone might be interested, if only for the ridiculous title: MSN: Is it Time for Big Bird to Die? --Cantus Rock

And I normally so like Martha's columns. =( Powers 12:24, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Search test

Hi folks. The latest improvements to search are about ready, and we want to try it out on a busy wiki. But there may be glitches of course, so I wanted to see if you would volunteer as guinea pigs! ;) You can see what it will look like here. Any objections to the test? Thanks -- Sannse 08:30, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Hi, Lisa! I don't know, I have such mixed feelings about this. I don't want to be a bad sport, especially when we're always asking for fixes and improvements. But I know that we're hoping to start another test soon, turning off anonymous edits, and I would hate for unforeseen search problems to get in the way of that test. What do you think about that? -- Danny (talk) 14:10, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
It appears pretty and workable enough, however there are several functions that are broken. 1) I don't like that we can't split up search results into page title matches and page text matches. 2) If I'm on Muppet Wiki (or Lost Wiki or Star Trek Wiki, etc) why would I want to search Wikipedia? Already most folks confuse the two, and isn't the point to help build up Wikia rather than send people to Wikipedia? 3) The phrase "all wikis" might be confusing to some. That header should be more Wikia specific. 4) Searching within a template finally works, but not within a table. That's a huge problem for us as much of our content is within tables. 5) Searching for a page containing two words in separate parts of the article does not work at all. —Scott (talk) 16:10, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, I don't know if we're temperamentally the best guinea pigs. Because this is such a busy wiki, we need really good functionality, and if there's a problem with the search, it'll really frustrate our most active users. -- Danny (talk) 18:07, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
It's a busy wiki we need... it won't get a real test on a less active one. But no matter :) thanks anyway -- Sannse 18:38, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Okay... Thanks for asking us, though. We always appreciate the attention. :) -- Danny (talk) 19:35, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Scott, I'm sorry, I meant to reply to your comments. I've added them all to our (off wiki) bugs and feedback page. I think the only one I disagree with is 2. I search Wikipedia several times a day, usually for the same term I'm looking for on Wikia. Being able to do this while staying on the wiki I'm working on is very useful (like many, I use a tabbed browser). Hopefully others will find it equally useful and so stay on Wikia, rather than being distracted off. Either way, I think it's a useful feature to give our users. One of the bugs you found (no. 5) has been fixed, hopefully the others will be nicely fixable too. Thanks again for the feedback -- Sannse 12:52, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, I think the tabbed search is cool. It won't be useful for everybody, but if you don't like it, it's harmless. I like the idea of using the search to connect each wiki with the rest of the wikiverse, as long as the search for the wiki you're on doesn't suffer in some way. -- Danny (talk) 16:22, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

George Zima

Apparently this dancer, who was on Broadway for 14 years, was on Sesame Street as Pete the Street Sweeper. Does anyone with better knowledge of the earlier years than I remember a segment like this? (He also acted as the back of a dancing cow puppet for an Ethel Merman show, and was on Captain Kangaroo.) -- Zanimum 17:09, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

n@n: Jimmy Wales

This prominent podcast interviewed Jimmy Wales, and Jimmy mentioned this site. -- Zanimum 19:50, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

Is that the same podcast from last month? —Scott (talk) 20:16, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
It is. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 20:25, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, we'd heard that one -- but thanks, Nick! If you find anything else, please let us know. It's cool to see the wiki mentioned out there in the world. -- Danny (talk) 20:41, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

Did you also already see the Fortune magazine article? -- Zanimum 20:16, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Albums template

We've needed an albums box for a long time, to match our book and episode templates. I've created a first draft of an album template, which I'm testing out on The Sesame Street Monsters!, The Muppet Movie (soundtrack) and Grover Sings the Blues. What do people think? Is there information that should be in that box that isn't? -- Danny (talk) 16:54, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

I'm confused why they're being called "Songs From" whatever. Couldn't we just have it say, "Album Title"? And are we going with British or American spelling of "catalog(ue)"? I've been meaning to bring up what spelling we're using, since I've seen different spellings of words in various places. Anyway, I would go with "Title", "Label", "Year", and "Catalog Number". Or something to that effect, as long as those 4 items are in the box. -- Ken (talk) 05:51, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
The thing is, titles don't actually belong in a template. The title is at the top of the article, and the first text. "Songs from" is to denote what it's taken from at a glance, in the same way the episode etemplate notes the series. If it doesn't work, I'd say remove it, but I don't think adding the title helps. And generally, we use American spellings, unless it's spelled that way in a quote. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 12:29, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
I just looked up "catalogue" vs "catalog". It seems like either one is okay in the US. -- Danny (talk) 13:54, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
I took the pound sign out. It's an odd character that could potentially confuse the code of any future enhancements we might want to make to the template. I can't think of any other info the template would need, but I'm sure I'll think of something once the template's being used on 100 pages. —Scott (talk) 20:14, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
Okay, I understand about "Songs From" whatever, but what do we do with albums that are "concept" albums, like Kermit Unpigged, or Bert and Ernie Sing-Along, with either some or all songs not from a show? Other than that, I like the 4 items in the box. -- Ken (talk) 03:52, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't know if we want to denote this in the box or just in the article itself, but the only other bit of information I could think of would be format(s) - LP, cassette, CD or whatever. -- Brad D. (talk) 04:00, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
Ken, for concept albums containing original material the "Songs From" field would be left blank. Brad, a formats section might not be a bad idea. —Scott (talk) 04:10, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
Oh, format is a very good idea. Let's add that. -- Danny (talk) 04:12, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, that's really cool, especially since sometimes albums were re-issued on CTW cassettes years after their original LP release. I'm finding that out now that I'm finally finding LP's from 1983-1984, with titles listed on them that I didn't even know had been released on cassette! -- Ken (talk) 05:26, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

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