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Muppet Wiki:Current Events Archive 26 (May-June 2008)

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Archive of Current events.

VEE Corporation Archives

If anybody's near Austin, Texas, I ran across this listing. It looks like something similar to the CTW archives in Maryland. I just wanted to mention it in case one of us wants to go there someday. -- Ken (talk) 04:20, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

Ad on the main page

Muppet300

Hey guys: Wikia is testing out some new ways to put ads on the site. The internet ad market is changing, because advertisers aren't happy with leaderboards anymore. Wikia has to find some creative ways to offer a variety of ad sizes.

The challenge is to increase the click-through rate of the ads, without getting in the way of the people who actually create all the content. There are going to be a bunch of tests rolled out on different wikis over the next few months, and we're going to see how well we can meet both goals.

We're rolling out the first test on four of the most prominent wikis, including Muppet Wiki. The test is to put a 300x250px ad at the top right of the main page. You can see it right now on the World of Warcraft main page, and the screenshot here is a mock-up of what it would look like for us. There's a new set of templates that we'll use to create two columns, with a fixed 300px column on the right.

This doesn't change our current main page design that much -- the existing right column is about 270px. But it pushes down the picture and the upcoming events box, so we'll probably end up moving stuff around to make it work better.

Anyway, this is basically a heads-up. Wikia needs to figure out how to make enough money to stay in business, and Muppet Wiki is one of the flagship wikis, so we have to be team players on this. We're going to switch the main page over to the new two-column format sometime this week, and then we can all work on rejiggering the page to make that format work for us. I'll let you know what's up when I find out more. As always, power to the puppets and peace to all people. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 02:54, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

I'm all for keeping Wikia running, but I already notice a problem with the WoW Wiki site. Shrinking the window down horizontally, I get a scroll bar before I hit 1024 window width (actually when the interior width goes below 1024 pixels, not counting the right-hand scroll bar, is when the horizontal scroll bar appears). That means anyone on a 1024x768 monitor is not going to see the full width. I understand 800x600 is rare these days, but 1024x768 is very very common! For comparison, I can shrink our current main page below 750 pixels before getting a scroll bar. Powers 16:14, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
Oh, I'm glad you told me about that. I checked with our designer, and he looked at WoWWiki -- it turns out they specified a minimum width for one of the boxes that made the whole thing larger than 1024. We'll mention it to the WoW admin, and he'll fix it. Thanks! -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 18:56, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
Well, the 300x250 banner is live on the front page now, and far be it for me to complain about online advertising seeing as how it pays my bills, but it's really pretty ugly. And on my screen, which is at a 1024x768 resolution, you get pretty much none of the main page picture. Now, I, too, am all for keeping Wikia running our Wiki for free, so I'm not intrinsically opposed to banner ads. But the 300x250 is much higher up on the page with respect to the content than on most websites, which usually have some content between the header and topmost 300x250. Also, the content in both the 300x250 and 728x90 ads is pretty redundant, so if people aren't clicking on the 728x90, they aren't given much more incentive to click on the 300x250 aside from its slightly more prominent placements. Do we know if Wikia eventually plans on running Flash ads in these placements? Also, Wikiw probably isn't going to release current and target click-through rates, but do we know what the breakdown is of people visiting our front page directly and what percentage of unique visitors are editors? -- Peter (talk) 17:04, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

Skin

Okay, I played with the skin again, so sue me. What do you guys think? I'm not married to it -- if folks don't like it, we can switch it back. But I thought I'd try something new. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 23:44, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

Ick. I absolutely hate that blurred background banner. Nice idea but it looks pretty ugly, especially with the Google ads bumping into it, and makes it harder to make out the Wiki name. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 03:10, 18 May 2008 (UTC)
Looks good to me. Lighten up, Andrew. --MuppetVJ 03:47, 18 May 2008 (UTC)
Danny asked for opinions, G. and I gave it. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 03:55, 18 May 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, if we decide to go with this, we'll have to add a little glow behind the logo to make it stand out more. I nominate Scott. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 05:14, 18 May 2008 (UTC)
Looks good to me. I love it! -- Brad D. (talk) 05:33, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

By the way, props to Wendy for the background banner. I just switched the colors around a little. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 05:49, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

Is there any way to fix the blur on the background? As I noted, blending with the regular logo doesn't help, but in general, the mass of colors and images, which end up looking blurred or washed out or indistinct in many cases, causes literal eye strain every time I see it. I've switched back to Monobook in the meantime. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 22:11, 18 May 2008 (UTC)
I greyed out the image slightly - is that what you mean by blur? It would be, for me at least, fairly chaotic to have it at full strength I think. And then the logo would be really lost. I could presumably make it fainter, but I suspect that would worsen your "blur" problem... The only other option I can think of is to make it a greyscale image, but that doesn't seem muppet-y to me. Perhaps Scott, whenever he gets back, can works some better magic. btw, if you just use Monaco-jade skin with the customization off, the site will look almost exactly as it did two days ago. -- Wendy (talk) 22:31, 18 May 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing that out, Wendy! That works. Yeah, I meant the grey, which looks like a filmy coating, a tiny image when its blown up to 300, or the kind of thing I'd see with my glasses off, and for these eyes at least, it still hurts a good deal to look at for any length of time (or else hurriedly scroll past it, and when editing several pages in succession, using random page, or having multiple windows open, it's especially painful). Like I said, I like the idea, but maybe something simpler, with maybe just a few characters (especially since it repeats until the Google ads cover it) might work better. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 22:50, 18 May 2008 (UTC)
Well whatever we use, will almost certainly have to repeat as there is no other good way to accomodate varying screen widths. Danny thought of using curtains, but that is very heavily Muppet Show, and I wanted something that represented more of the Muppets. If you can suggest a better image or have other ideas I'd be happy to experiment further. (btw, checkout Redwall Wiki for what happens when you don't grey out the image....) -- Wendy (talk) 01:14, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Actually, that doesn't bother my eyes nearly as much, mostly because it's an even pattern of book covers with the author's name and so doesn't look as cluttered or provide as much visual information which, on the monitor, looks strained (it probably hasn't helped that I had to switch to a flat screen LCD when my old monitor died; I'm still getting used to it general, but that banner really has an effect which most other websites, at least those I visit, don't). I switched back for that, and the greying/blurring plus the sheer number of obscured images with different colors is still painful; the worst probably comes from the upper middle, here, but the collective effect is really bad. And I know it repeats, but that's why I think something simpler would work (maybe a row of character profiles on black or something else which is more wallpaper/pattern-ish, or even an array of title cards ala Redwall, though that's less interesting and probablywouldn't work as well here). On the ad end, it's just a bunch of painful specks. I'm switching back now, just looking at it while typing this hurts. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 01:40, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Personalmonaco

Andrew, if it's causing you pain, it's possible to create your own background strip that only you would see. I just tested it out at User:Toughpigs/monaco.css, and it works great, as you can see in the screenshot.

I wouldn't necessarily recommend that particular image, obviously... it was just the first thing I had at hand for the test. You can put up any image that you want, and then copy this into User:Aleal/monaco.css:

#background_strip {
	background: #ffffff url(http://images.wikia.com/muppet/images/e/ee/Sesamestreetsign.jpg) repeat-x;
        border-color: #ffffff;
}

When you have an image that you want to use, click on the picture on the Image: page, and then copy the URL. Paste it in the place of the (http://...Sesamestreetsign.jpg) link. After you save, press Control-Shift-R to refresh your cache. You should see the new background strip.

Obviously, if lots of people are bothered by the current image, then we'll find something else to use. But if it happens that you're particularly sensitive to it, then you can change it for yourself. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 03:08, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Nah, if everyone adores it but me, I'll just stick with the non-customed Monaco. So far the only folks aside from you and Wendy who've responded are Brad and Guillermo, though. The nice thing about the Wikia upgrades and skin options is if everyone likes a particular look save one or two people, the one or two don't have to use it. The only other thing which bothered my eyes as much as the blurred banner was the theatrical Speed Racer trailer, though, so I'm not sure I'll be the only one (probably depends on how many users are nearsighted/farsighted or have other eye trouble/sensitivity in general, which since we're talking about people who work regularly on a Wiki, may well be slim). -- Andrew Leal (talk) 03:27, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

I like it, although it makes the logo text look a little plain. I'm horribly nearsighted but it doesn't bother my eyes, and it's nowhere near as distracting as the Redwall banner that Wendy linked. Not to say Andrew's concerns aren't worth noting, of course; this is just another data point. Powers 16:05, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

Dude, I run the MSI Wiki and I want a skin like this (with the avatars and profiles and stuff), can you polease tell me how to do it? Thanks, Akira Otomo Talk | Contributions 18:49, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

Sesame Workshop appears to like us

I just discovered that Sesame Workshop appears to have an official "fan" page on Facebook. They seem pretty legit, as the content is very current and professional. If not for "Sesame Workshop" mentioning "its" favourite Sesame Street clip (without identifying themselves as so-and-so from PR) to start off a thread, I'd be completely convinced.

"Fans" include Ryan Dillon, at least one Thirteen WNET NY employee, and at least six people who appear to be posing with the actual puppets from the show in their profile photos, and most of those are listed as NYC or Hoboken residents.

This fan page, whether legit or not, has recently linked to the Grover's mom series on ToughPigs and Muppet Wiki's article on the Sesame Place election. -- Zanimum 15:37, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

It looks like it's legit. The official SW website has a link ([http://supportus.sesameworkshop.org/site/c.nlI3IkNXJsE/b.2748675/k.50B5/Donor_Frequently_Asked_Questions.htm see the graphic on the left). —Scott (talk) 16:12, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
Here's another shout-out: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=12728707854&id=13759741267&index=21 -- MuppetDude 15:37, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Mentioned on BuzzSugar

Muppet Wiki mention: http://buzzsugar.com/1114999 Powers 02:57, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Neat, thanks for pointing that out! —Scott (talk) 03:31, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Season 39 info

I wasn't sure where to put this, but Channel 5 here in LA just had Ross King (their entertainment reporter) interviewing Heidi Klum and Elmo. They said that she filmed a Word of the Day segment for "compliment", and then they chit-chatted for a couple of minutes. They also mentioned that the new season starts August 11th. Hope other people can use this! -- Ken (talk) 05:56, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

Link suggest and editing tips

Hi ever'body: A couple new features were launched this week, and I want to make sure everybody knows how they work.

The first one is Link Suggest, which works for Firefox users (and possibly IE users). When you start typing a link, a drop-down pops up that offers suggestions for the link. You get the most-linked pages first, so typing [[Ernie gets you [[Ernie]] first, and then [[Ernie and Bert Sketches: Apartment]]. We've got some long article titles, especially for sketch pages, so this can be very helpful. It'll also be helpful to remind people about disambiguation pages, and avoid linking to redirect pages.

Unfortunately, there's a bug in the feature for Macintosh users -- hitting the down arrow through the list moves the cursor. I've reported it, and hope to get that fixed soon.

If the suggest box is getting in your way on a particular page, you can hit escape to make it go away. If you want it to go away all the time, you can turn it off on Preferences:Editing.

The other feature is the Editing Tips panel that replaces the sidebar on edit screens. This is mostly for new contributors, to make the "help" stuff more visible in the moment when they really need it. If you don't want to see it, you can turn that off in Preferences:Editing.

If you guys have any thoughts about these features, please post 'em... I'm always trying to give feedback up to the people who build this stuff. So if you like them, don't like them, they don't work, whatever... let me know. -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 18:26, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

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