Archive of Current events.

Cleaning up delete

Can one (or some or all) of our admins delete what's in the Delete category? There are currently 278 items in there. I may be deleting some more things, and I didn't want it to get even bigger. I know there are a lot, so there's no rush; I just wanted to mention it in case people didn't know about it. Thanks! -- Ken (talk) 02:30, January 14, 2011 (UTC)

Yeah, Ken, if you've noticed the logs lately, I've been deleting a lot (but hardly anyone else is, and more has been added), and when there's this much of a backlog (it was over 300 just a couple days ago), it takes awhile. Right now my own browser is giving me fits (plus I have a writing deadline off-Wiki) but I'm tackling it a little at a time. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 03:40, January 14, 2011 (UTC)
Oh, sure, take your time. I wouldn't expect one person to do it all (unless they wanted to)! Thanks for your help (and good luck with your writing project)! -- Ken (talk) 06:13, January 14, 2011 (UTC)
I actually didn't know about it before, so thanks for pointing it out Ken. I wiped out a bunch today and will do more later if I have time. -- Wendy (talk)@fandom 18:24, January 14, 2011 (UTC)
All cleaned out. Feel free to add your stuff Ken. -- Wendy (talk)@fandom 20:24, January 15, 2011 (UTC)
Thank you! -- Ken (talk) 02:14, January 16, 2011 (UTC)

Layout builder

Introducing the Layout Builder -- Open call for community testers

Worth trying, for something like Sesame Street episodes, or something else highly formatted? I don't know if it's desperately needed for anything. -- Zanimum 03:43, January 13, 2011 (UTC)

To avoid a rumor...

This thread was posted at Muppet Central to avoid a potential rumor. It may be an overeaction, but I'm posting the thread here, to alert us as to avoid posting the rumored info at Muppet Wiki, just in case. --Minor muppetz 03:47, January 5, 2011 (UTC)

This is what he's most likely talking about, but I don't think anyone's taking it seriously. — scarecroe@fandom 04:20, January 5, 2011 (UTC)
Sadly, when stuff like this results, it's the kind of thing that needs to be nipped in the bud. I can't count the number of reversions I've done of people entering fantasy-land, pie-in-the-sky, never-will-happen-in-a-million-years wish list data (such as what makes up most of Idea Wiki) on Wikipedia as if it's fact. And most of it relates to Disney and/or the Muppets. Powers 20:34, January 6, 2011 (UTC)

Happy New Year!

You won't believe what's ahead in 2011! I'm already in the new year over here in Europe, and we have insta-grow mustaches, new old flying DeLoreans, exploding toothpaste, and brand-spankin' new Muppet movies... so come on over, everybody! Don't be shy! Ein frohes, neues Jahr! :) — Julian (talk) 02:06, January 1, 2011 (UTC)

Jim's Red Book pictures

I've noticed a bunch of images from the Jim Henson's Red Book website being uploaded to the wiki recently. They are all watermarked with a big Henson Company logo across the image. Obviously the Henson Company wants to brand the images and documents posted on that site. We usually try to avoid watermarked images. Do we want to be taking these marked images and putting them all over the wiki? Or would it be better form to just link to the relevant entries on the Red Book site rather than copying the material here. -- Brad D. (talk) 07:59, December 29, 2010 (UTC)

Yeah, and in most of the cases, the user in question hasn't been adding the link to the source entry (I found them by going backwards). I'm against this wholesale borrowing (and some of it is even duplicating what we have, as with the Ed Sullivan pic). In a few cases, if it's the only way to visually depict something, I'd be okay, but so far I'm seeing a lot of notebook scribbles and so forth, and a lot of stuff which really isn't that interesting as a *visual* anyway (any interest comes from the facts to be gleaned therein). That's actually been our policy with a lot of oddball Henson-related paper artifacts anyway (where watermarking isn't an issue, just whether having it on the Wiki really adds anything). I'll try to do some cleanup when I have time. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 08:29, December 29, 2010 (UTC)
P.S. Early on, we talked a lot about trying to avoid "image farming," sticking pictures just for the heck of it. Now with galleries, that happens a lot more, but it still helps to have a reason, to use them to illustrate something. If everything's on another website and in a specific entry and actually better contextualized, the link works best. However, going through what's here, while almost all of the handwritten random Henson notes really don't seem to help us here (frankly a typed out summary would make more sense but still seem kind of random), I found this storyboard image from The Witches. Right now, the whole watermarked image on the page isn't that vital in my opinion, *but* an item on my to do list for ages has been creating a page for Mike Ploog, the noted comics and production artist who did the storyboards. Cropping that to the single mouse image on the bottom as an example of Ploog's work makes more sense to me. Also, chances are if we want to use non-branded versions, we could ask and it wouldn't be an issue. We borrow from a lot of sites and frankly I've been seeing more and more watermarked stuff, whether from e-bay or a bunch of Muppet Magazine scans from someone else's site with a big "Property of So and So" on it (which we really should recrop). So that's a broader clean-up campaign and right this moment I'm not concerned about that quite as much as whether it even makes sense to upload all of this stuff (legitimate questions we've raised before, as for example with A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa). If we narrow it to what we *really* want on the Wiki, then it should be a lot easier to make arrangements for nicer versions of what we want (and in many cases, really, the best of all is the videos Henson's been uploading to accompany the entries, and often we can find better examples just by screengrabbing from those, rather than some random memo). -- Andrew Leal (talk) 08:46, December 29, 2010 (UTC)
I actually do not like using watermarked images. Aside from the fact that they tend to be sort of ugly, I think it's not polite. I do tend to ignore the ebay watermark as it was not placed on the images by the people who made them and the image itself gets taken down shortly after the auction ends, but for the rest, I try to avoid them. For images from a henson company site I would vote it's better form to link to it than to copy it. Ditto anything that says "property of so and so". -- Wendy (talk)@fandom 03:01, December 31, 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, I agree, Wendy, I was just pointing out that we've had a lot more images of that kind surface in recent months (an example right here), so that's really a larger clean-up/policy issue beyond the Redbook. I don't feel bad about *cropping* out for illustration especially if it's really the only source (and Ebay images get pulled after auctions), but in an example like that Pinocchio image, it's not us scanning the whole out of print story but somebody else's scan which they labeled precisely to note where it came from, while we don't even link to the site. So if we want to upload it all, we should at least remove the marks and also link to the site as the source (though I'm more in favor of just using a cropped version as an example of whatever specifically we're trying to illustrate; if we think it might be pulled later, we can park on the talk page). -- Andrew Leal (talk) 03:52, December 31, 2010 (UTC)

Search is down

Hey guys -- You've probably noticed that search isn't working right now. There was a big failure in the index that they're working on fixing. I've been talking to the engineers every day about it. We need to reindex the whole site, starting with the most popular wikis. (I've asked that Muppet Wiki gets bumped up on the priority list just because they like me and I'll kick them if they don't.) So I'm hoping that we'll see search results again within the next day or two. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 18:23, December 22, 2010 (UTC)

On the plus side, the results will be all up to date finally :) -- Wendy (talk)@fandom 18:48, December 22, 2010 (UTC)

It's five! It's five!

Looks like I'm the first one to the party. Muppet Wiki is 5 years old today! So while I'm waiting for others to share their thoughts, enjoy this video! -- Ken (talk) 23:35, December 5, 2010 (UTC)

Yay! Go us! - Oscarfan 23:50, December 5, 2010 (UTC)
Woah, I totally forgot about this milestone. That is very cool! I'm going to go have a delicious birthday cake before some big blue monster gets to it first.. Matt H. (talk) 01:01, December 6, 2010 (UTC)
Yo, five! -- Jon (talk) 20:22, December 6, 2010 (UTC)
D'oh! If I'd remembered, I might've created a birthday logo first, instead of the snowman. Well, happy 5th... and happy winter! :) — Julian (talk) 22:32, December 6, 2010 (UTC)

Minimalist Muppets

Thought folks might find this cute: Powers 14:10, December 3, 2010 (UTC)

That's awesome, thanks for posting the link! -- Danny@fandom (talk) 20:30, December 4, 2010 (UTC)


Is there an easy way to get to Special:Upload, or do I just need to add it to my Tools? Powers 18:05, November 19, 2010 (UTC)

Yes. The easy way to get to Special:Upload is to add it to your MyTools menu. — scarecroe@fandom 18:06, November 19, 2010 (UTC)
You can also click on the Add a Photo button in the sidebar on the right... It lets you do all the Special:Upload stuff in a popup window. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 19:43, November 19, 2010 (UTC)
That sidebar doesn't show up on the main page, though. Powers 17:49, November 20, 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, the idea on the sidebar is that you'll upload from whichever page you wanted to add images to. For general usage (or creating new pages), add it to your tools. That's what I've done. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 18:41, November 20, 2010 (UTC)

Category galleries

We've got our category galleries back! The engineers figured out a new solution for how to get the pageviews data. It's still collecting updated data so the galleries aren't perfect, but it's a lot better than it was, and it'll be back to normal over the next day or so. Yay! Just in time to be able to roll this feature out sitewide. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 00:58, November 17, 2010 (UTC)

Community Corner

I think the MediaWiki:Community-corner (which appears on the side of the Recent Wiki Activity page) needs some updating - hasn't been updated since December! Many of what were originally put there as "current event" pictures are way out of date. We might want to drop some of the pictures/links (like Wembley's Egg Surprise and Fraggle Rock: The Animated Series: The Complete Series), add some more relevant ones, and change things like Muppet King Arthur to Muppet Sherlock Holmes and The Muppet Show Comic Book: Family Reunion to The Muppet Show Comic Book: The Four Seasons. -- Brad D. (talk) 03:41, November 16, 2010 (UTC)

I'd update it myself, but the page is locked. -- Brad D. (talk) 14:53, November 30, 2010 (UTC)
I hear you. Been trying to update it myself before, but I don't have the required rights to do so either. — Julian (talk) 00:05, December 1, 2010 (UTC)

Category Galleries

Don't know if others are seeing similar things, but the category galleries don't seem to be pulling the right pages. It should be the most popular pages in that category, but it doesn't seem to be doing that. For example The Muppets Characters is showing: Beaker, Miss Piggy, and The Swedish Chef (which seem appropriate), followed by Abbot, Abe and Bernie, Accordion Player, Afghan Hound and African Masks (which are just the first 5 articles in the category). -- Brad D. (talk) 13:22, November 8, 2010 (UTC)

Yup, see below :) — scarecroe@fandom 16:34, November 8, 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, I'm trying to get it fixed... The engineers are trying to figure out what went wrong with it. It was working great for a while... -- Danny@fandom (talk) 17:27, November 8, 2010 (UTC)
Oh well, turns out the fix for it is more complex than I'd hoped. I've turned it off and we can put the old portals back for now. I'm going to keep working on this; this is a great feature and we may need to figure out a different solution for it. Sorry for the back and forth on it. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 17:58, November 11, 2010 (UTC)
Did that affect the wiki in any other way by chance? Everything seems to have gotten a lot slower recently, new pictures refuse to refresh and entire pages won't load at all anymore. S'up? — Julian (talk) 17:42, November 13, 2010 (UTC)

The problem with images not refreshing, and oftentimes refusing to show up at all anymore, has been really frustrating over the past couple of days. Is it just the Frankfurt server that's affected, or does this Wikia problem occur around the globe? — Julian (talk) 17:09, November 14, 2010 (UTC)

No, I'm getting it too. -- Ken (talk) 01:02, November 15, 2010 (UTC)
No, there's just been frustrating database problems the last few days. It's been crappy, sorry. Nothing to do with any feature. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 01:10, November 15, 2010 (UTC)

Related pages

Hi guys! We're starting a new test of the related pages feature (the "read more" section) -- it's now at the bottom of the page instead of after the third section. We've got info now on how many people click when it's in the middle of the page (short answer: lots), so now we can see if it makes a difference putting it at the bottom of the page. I know that you guys haven't really liked having it in the middle of the page, so now I'll be able to see if it makes a difference either way. As always -- I really appreciate everybody's patience when I use our wiki as a guinea pig for new stuff. :)

In other related pages news, we've also fixed the bug where long titles were breaking in the middle of a word. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 18:19, November 5, 2010 (UTC)

P.S. Speaking of new stuff, there also seems to be a bug right now with the category galleries -- some of them aren't showing the most popular pages anymore. This is happening on other wikis, too. I've reported it -- I'm hoping we can get that fixed soon, I love them galleries. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 19:09, November 5, 2010 (UTC)
That's great news! I love that box so much, but seeing it interrupt pages has stunted my growth :) — scarecroe@fandom 02:46, November 6, 2010 (UTC)
I like it a lot too and I'm glad it's back at the bottom of each page (at least for now), where it doesn't interrupt the page flow. Just a question about the "Read more" feature though: how does it pick the image that's to be displayed? On Die Muppets Weihnachtsgeschichte, it currently displays the "wrong" images for Muppet Movie and Muppets aus dem All... possibly because those are the newest ones uploaded/added to those pages? That wouldn't really make much sense. — Julian (talk) 20:30, November 14, 2010 (UTC)
Looks like related pages is staying at the bottom of the page -- moving it to the bottom didn't affect clicks much, so we might as well leave it there. Hooray for testing! The way that the images are chosen is a little mysterious to me -- it's a combination of the location on the page, the size of the image, and maybe other stuff that I don't know about. It generally works great so I haven't asked a lot of questions about it. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 01:13, November 15, 2010 (UTC)

Skin and Wordmark

Hi all! You may have noticed we've been playing around with the skin and logo for the wiki. I got some messages on my talk page last night after I signed off, so I thought I'd redirect the discussion here to avoid confusion. Danny and I worked on the skin as an alternative to the all black background we were using when Oasis launched. I also got a lot of complaints that the logo was missing our signature Kermit Eye, so I was itching to get that back in. The font I used was a sort of pencil sketch style hoping to fit in with the sketch theme we were using for the skin.

I had some problems with the first version. It's hard to replicate the 1970s Muppet font for the word, WIKI. Other Muppet fan sites are already using the classic Muppet logo, and quite frankly are doing it better. It didn't really fit with the new skin, didn't use as much space as it could have and was just plain ugly IMO. I got negative feedback on the pencil sketch font I used for the new one, so I set it to just plain text for now.

If you've got some other feedback, feel free to respond here rather than on my talk page. Thanks! —Scott (talk) 16:56, October 5, 2010 (UTC)

What's the source of the character sketches used in the new skin? -- Brad D. (talk) 18:32, October 6, 2010 (UTC)
American Greetings cards. —Scott (talk) 18:35, October 6, 2010 (UTC)
I'm not trying to take the focus away from the "New skin stuff" discussion, but wanted to also offer something for discussion that I'd been working on tonight. I'm really not happy with the current logo, and since I quite liked the classic Muppet font approach, I took a little time out of my day to replicate the 1970s Muppet font for the word WIKI. I also tweaked the word MUPPET slightly to give the established Kermit eye a rounder shape to nestle in. Despite not having too high of expectations, I'm really hoping that you guys dig my approach of a fully customized, yet very classic logo for this place:


Here is how it would look like if you picked it to represent us. I think it also goes really well with the theme. Please let me know what you think! — Julian (talk) 23:09, October 14, 2010 (UTC)
Ooh, I do like that very much! -- Danny@fandom (talk) 23:40, October 14, 2010 (UTC)
Before I scrolled all the way down, I was wondering "Could we combine them both?" I like Julian's logo a lot! - Oscarfan 23:53, October 14, 2010 (UTC)

I think Scott wanted to make a couple tweaks on Julian's design -- but he just went away for the weekend so I'm putting up Julian's, cause it's beautiful. If Scott is making a tweaked version, then he can upload it when he gets back.

Julian -- this is super awesome! -- Danny@fandom (talk) 18:16, October 15, 2010 (UTC)

Yay!!! Thanks, guys! I'm happy the work payed off. What kinds of tweaks would you want to be made? — Julian (talk) 23:02, October 15, 2010 (UTC)
I have no idea... I just know that he asked you for the psd yesterday, so I assumed there was something he wanted to do? But maybe not. Who knows with that boy, he crazy. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 23:09, October 15, 2010 (UTC)
So much better -- it's beautiful! I was so happy when I stopped by and saw it up there. Thanks Julian! -- Wendy (talk)@fandom 15:01, October 16, 2010 (UTC)

You're very welcome, and I'm really glad that the folks that voiced their opinion do like it. If the pending tweaks have something to do with filling the available space on the right hand side, we could just play around with it like this. Though, if possible I'd just get rid of the space and add another menu spot for Fraggles. Or do the Wikia logos have to be this certain width? — Julian (talk) 21:50, October 16, 2010 (UTC)

New skin stuff

Hi guys! There's some more news in the ongoing evolution of the new skin. We've had the new look for a few weeks now as part of the public beta -- but on most other wikis, people haven't seen it yet! Next week is the big switchover, when all readers will see the new look on all of Wikia. Very exciting stuff.

So we're still making lots of little adjustments all over the place, and there'll be more next week as the new look goes live-for-real. One change that you might have noticed is that the text got darker starting today -- we're also going to bump up the font size another point, probably next Wednesday. There are also some minor changes/bug fixes to lightboxes, line spacing, a whole bunch of things. More tweaks coming.

Also starting today, we're testing out another new thing -- related pages are back! I came up with the original idea for the related pages box last spring, and it was super successful -- our tracking showed that it was the #1 most-clicked part of the skin on most of the wikis it was on, better than search or the Recent Activity links. We made a new version for the new look which makes it more visual and interesting -- it's pictures now, instead of a box with text links. We're the first wiki to try out the new version, to see if it still works as well as the previous version.

A couple notes about the new related pages: There's a known bug right now -- long article titles don't wrap correctly, so sometimes it breaks in the middle of a word. That'll get fixed by next week, but we went live with it anyway because what the hell, it's only some pages and we wanted to see how it worked.

Also -- you'll see that the new "Read more" section comes in the middle of the page on long pages. That's intentional -- it's set to slot into the page at the third section heading, or further down if there's a floated picture that would cause a collision. The idea is that for many readers, they may be getting tired of a long article by the time they reach section #4. On Kermit the Frog, for example, that's five screens down. So it's a little bit of a lifeline for a reader who's been on the same page for a while and might appreciate a little visual cue to try something else before they get bored and leave the site. As always, we're testing this out to see what the impact is on clicks... if it turns out that it doesn't work as well in the middle of the page as it did on the bottom, then we'll move it down again.

So, lots of change... I hope folks are still feeling okay about the wiki and not too shaken up. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 22:23, October 13, 2010 (UTC)

I liked the "related pages/read more" triplet better at the bottom of a page (it looks messy to me on pages like this one), but I do like the visual upgrade. Just something that I noticed: Is it possible for us to take categorized redirects out of the pool of offered pages? It looks funny, when all it says is "REDIRECT Dashiell Hammett -- The Thin Man." — Julian (talk) 10:44, October 14, 2010 (UTC)
I like this as well. What about moving it over into the sidebar on long pages, theres plenty of room in that on those pages. Also I agree with Julian about the categorized redirects. Henrik (talk) 11:01, October 14, 2010 (UTC)
Henrik, great idea! All of that dull white space on the right hand side would be perfect to make use of on long pages.
Danny, are you guys working on letting us customize the menu again in the future? It's a feature I am sorely missing. Another thing I noticed about the menu: "More characters" under "Sesame Street" in the top menu links to "Sesame Street Characters", whereas "More characters" under "The Muppet Show" links to "Muppet Characters" right now. I believe it would make more sense for it to link to "The Muppets Characters," as that's the characters one would be looking for when using that link. — Julian (talk) 13:55, October 14, 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, the redirects showing up is a bug we just found yesterday -- we also saw one page that showed a youtube tag in that text area. I filed tickets for both of them, and they've been fixed in the code (although we won't see the fix until the next code release on Wednesday). These are filed under the heading of Things You Don't Realize Until You Test It Live.
The placement is really the big thing that we're testing with the new related pages. We already know that related pages is popular, and adding pictures to it will only make it better. So what we want to know is: are people happy to see related pages in the middle of the article, or is it unpleasant/confusing? If people don't understand why it's in that place, or they mistake it for a gallery, then they'll be less likely to click on it. So we'll see what happens with the clicks, and if they're noticeably lower than the old version, then we'll try it out at the bottom of the page.
For the personal customized menu -- that is something we're looking at. Stay tuned for that... -- Danny@fandom (talk) 15:45, October 14, 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Julian that on some pages it just becomes confusing with the way our pages are layed out. On The Muppets (comic strip), for example, it makes it appear like The Muppet Show Comic Book and Muppet Peter Pan are part of Gilchrist's work. And it somewhat gets lost and becomes confusing in pages where it would be surrounded by a bunch of big galleries (like Elmo Variants or Muppeteers in Non-Henson Acting Roles). -- Brad D. (talk) 16:50, October 14, 2010 (UTC)
I would agree that it either must always appear at the bottom of the page, or must be formatted so that it doesn't look like article content. =) The current method is way too confusing. Powers 19:03, October 14, 2010 (UTC)

I hear you guys -- but I've been getting a little skeptical of the word "confusing" lately. Testing the new skin, I've heard that a lot of different elements described as confusing -- but the people who say that aren't actually confused. (Not just about Related pages -- about lots of different things.) I think some people are using the word confusing when they really mean unexpected, or distracting, or eye-catching. If it turns out that people are actually confused by it, then I'd expect them to say "what the heck is that", rather than "I know what that is, and I think it should be somewhere else." Y'know? So like I said, we're testing the placement -- but the most important thing is to find out how often people use it. If people are actually confused by it, they won't click.

Plus! This just in -- more new skin stuff. They fixed the "category gallery" feature that we tried out last week, and now it works really well, so I turned it back on. It shows the top eight most-viewed pages on every category page. So now we know who the most popular Sesame Street Monsters are, and Illustrators, and Muppet Songs, and Sesame Street Plush. This gives readers a great new way to find the pages they're interested in, and it gives us a new way to find out what people are reading! I hope you guys like it. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 21:18, October 14, 2010 (UTC)

I can't speak for how everyone else is using the word, but I suspect that "confusing" means that they see something that normally isn't there and assume that for people who aren't familiar with wikis will say, "Huh? What is this non-related thing doing in the middle of the article?" I love Related Links 2.0 but it doesn't feel like it's in the right space now.
Love the Category Gallery! I'll miss our customs, but these are really fun! — scarecroe@fandom 21:27, October 14, 2010 (UTC)
I'm having fun poking around categories and seeing which articles are most popular. For example, in Fraggle Rock Characters, the order goes: Fraggles, Red Fraggle, Boober Fraggle, Gobo Fraggle, Doozers, Uncle Traveling Matt, Wembley Fraggle, Mokey Fraggle. I wouldn't have guessed Red would be the Fraggle with the most traffic! If merchandising is any indication, Mokey's spot is no surprise, but I would have wagered Wembley being higher. Fun! — scarecroe@fandom 21:38, October 14, 2010 (UTC)
Question about Category Galleries: When a reader clicks on a link in the new Character Gallery, does that count for its popularity? I would hope not, otherwise, people are going to keep clicking on what's there now, leaving little chance that other articles that gain organic popularity have a chance of bumping them out, thus keeping the list fresh. For example, it's particularly fun to see Katy Perry on Category:Sesame_Street_Guest_Stars. It shows that the recent debacle over her boobs has resulted in lots of people searching for her. But if readers are continuously seeing her in that gallery, they're going to keep clicking her boobs, keeping her in the most heavily visited pages in that category. Which makes it less interesting because at some point that popularity didn't happen on its own anymore. — scarecroe@fandom 21:44, October 14, 2010 (UTC)
Also, the logic used for what goes in the thumbnail is a little odd. For example, in Category:Musical_References I'm getting quoted text for the Peter and the Wolf thumbnail, but the software had two images to choose from. — scarecroe@fandom 22:10, October 14, 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure how often the count updates... But I think we'll see it change when there's a real shift in people's interest. Elmo will probably always be the most visited Sesame character, but other categories might be more fluid. To take a sad example, Norman Wisdom is #4 on the Creature Shop Movie Actors category right now, because he died a couple weeks ago, and there's always extra interest about people when they die. Similarly, "Hot and Cold" is #2 on Sesame Street Songs because of the recent Katy Perry controversy. The galleries may help to raise clicks to the top pages, but there's also lots of clicks from article links, Google searches, the Recent Wiki Activity module, etc. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 22:18, October 14, 2010 (UTC)
I don't care for the "Related pages" in the middle of pages. If I were reading the Kermit the Frog page, I'd find it odd to suddenly see something about Bats in the middle. Also, I too see the image gallery for categories problem; Category:Song Spoofs has the opening text of Healthy Food instead of the image from the article. - Oscarfan 22:18, October 14, 2010 (UTC)

Hmm, that shouldn't be happening -- I'll check into it. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 22:19, October 14, 2010 (UTC)

Right, that's my point about organic popularity (but I think some of it was removed when someone got an edit conflict). If the software counts clicks on Katy Perry in that gallery, Katy Perry won't go away when people's interest shifts. — scarecroe@fandom 22:31, October 14, 2010 (UTC)
Oh, no -- I meant that it recalculates at some period that I don't know what it is. It might be the last 7 days or 14 or 30 or whatever. But it reupdates after a while. Norman Wisdom died two weeks ago, and the Katy Perry thing was about two weeks ago too, so I would guess that it's around a 2-4 week window. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 22:53, October 14, 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure I understand. Does it or does it not count clicks from the gallery? — scarecroe@fandom 22:56, October 14, 2010 (UTC)
I get what you're saying, and was wondering the same: Do clicks on these new category galleries count as well, so that "trendy" ones will less likely disappear "organically," because they'll naturally be clicked on more often due to their already established presence?!? Oh, and I just found a very odd bug with the "Read more" feature on Fozzie Bear photo puppet replica, citing the intro of the page that the feature is on, instead of the intro of the page it links to. In case it's gone when you guys try to find it, here's a screen grab. — Julian (talk) 23:38, October 14, 2010 (UTC)

The category galleries data is based on pageviews of the page. It doesn't matter where those views come from -- categories, article links, search, whatever. It's based on views, not clicks. It is possible that certain pages will become even more popular because they appear in the category gallery, and that that increase in popularity will keep those as the top 8 for longer. But as much as I love the category galleries, they're not that influential -- people use article links, wiki search and Google search a lot more than they'll ever use the category galleries.

Julian -- thanks for the bug report! This is exactly what we're looking for this week, so we can keep figuring out and squashing bugs... -- Danny@fandom (talk) 00:35, October 15, 2010 (UTC)

Ah, that's where I was confused. It's based on views, not clicks. Thanks. That's too bad. I kinda liked how natural the popularity is right now. Is there any way we can exclude views coming from clicks on those galleries so as not to skew it unfavorably? — scarecroe@fandom 00:38, October 15, 2010 (UTC)

For the record, just because something is confusing doesn't mean people won't click on it -- some users will always click on things even they aren't sure what they are. If they misidentify the section as article content and click on it, versus correctly identifying it as meta-content and clicking on it, we have no way to distinguish those two use cases.

"Confusing" doesn't always mean "People won't know what it is." It can also mean "People won't be sure what to do" -- that is, whether to keep reading the current article, or to move on to one of these other articles. Or "People will wonder why this content is placed at this specific position in the article".

For me, even if people are reading an article, see the "Related Pages" section, and use it, doesn't mean it's necessarily in the right spot. It could be pulling people away before they finish reading the current article, long before they would otherwise navigate to a new page. Which may be fine if, say, it came right after the TOC or something, but arbitrarily placed in the 4 spot, it makes for a very artificial decision point.

There is also the problem that it looks like a normal article section but it cannot be edited. There's no indication that it's meta-content, which may be fine for readers but will be very confusing to readers who might want to try editing.

(NB: I had no good way to thread this properly with the rest of the discussion, apologies for just tacking it on the end here.)

-- Powers 00:48, October 15, 2010 (UTC)

On some pages I think the Related Pages section works great (such as Rowlf the Dog). On some pages with lots of galleries I think it becomes a distraction (such as Elmo Variants where it is a confusing interruption from a gallery of various Elmos). And on some pages I think it's almost misleading (such as The Muppets (comic strip) where one might be confused or led to assume that Boom Studio's recent comics are part of Gilchrist's strips' bibliography due to the related pages placement and format).
Due to the format of the Related Pages, there is nothing that really makes it stand out from the article's actual content. And I think it becomes confusing when it's placed near other galleries (which we use for a lot of our lists here). I think when it gets placed within a page using galleries for lists is can almost make it look like those related pages are part of the listings and can mislead, distract, or confuse readers looking at those galleries. -- Brad D. (talk) 13:40, October 15, 2010 (UTC) -- Brad D. (talk) 13:40, October 15, 2010 (UTC)
On the read more, I'll join the chorus. Two really bad examples right now are Shalom Sesame and China. I suppose it's meant to auto generate after galleries, but it is disorienting, and not just to new readers and editors. It disrupts the reading experience. The "Related pages" are basically intended as recommendations or "Further reading," which is great, but it really shouldn't interrupt the *present* reading experience. If it weren't for our own structure, I'd almost prefer them on top. Second issue is that the recommendations themselves so far seem to sometimes be almost as random as those Amazon "Since you bought Dumbo Special Edition, we think you'll want the Complete He-Man" e-mails. For China, right now it links to three articles: Central Park (another location), Gorilla Suits (well, both are quality articles, and fun reading) and Is Cookie Monster now the Veggie Monster? And there, it is easier for we editors, especially those of us who have been around long enough to follow article growth and categorization, to fathom to some extent how they work (though yesterday it pulled up one of those "Characters who have had human body parts" things, and I had no idea what the heck it had to do with China, or the other recommendation, Iowa). For newbies, it's just "If you like birds and animals, we've got music too!"
On the other hand, I *love* the category images. I've been playing around with the pages that come up. One big plus in my book is, since it gives us some measurement of what people are actively vewing right now and in an immediately visible way (compared to "Most viewed pages" and stuff), it's a good motivator. In some cases, there's the "Yay" of seeing an article you labored on with a high rank. In others, you can tell the subject or person is popular but the page itself is actually kind of weak (John Candy). So that encourages us to beef up those pages. I didn't realize until I saw it come up that Martin Short actually has only the one Alice pic and nothing from his Sesame or Muppets Tonight work (especially since he played different characters, and himself, in the latter).
One note re category images: since (when working) they seem to pull the top image, it's an incentive to make sure that the main image is either the clearest or most relevant to the subject (when possible, sometimes it isn't) and will look at least decent when pulled up. Example? John Hurt popped up on Category:StoryTeller Actors (naturally). But the image it pulled didn't even show him, just a lot of background and part of Jim Henson's head. I clicked and realized that a behind the scenes image was used there, a tall image with lots of background then, below, Henson and Hurt looking at a folder. It's neat, but I moved it to the gallery on that page and put Hurt as Storyteller back up, since it looks better anyway but especially since it's being pulled. Anney McKilligan on Category:Designers: I don't know if we can find a better pic for her, but right now when it pops up, you just see a big Hello Kitty. So things like that. In some cases we're using "representative" images because we can't find a person's photo (a character, book cover, design) so that's unavoidable for now, but in other cases, just some fiddling (or re-sizing and cropping; the pic on David Stephens isn't bad but shows too much of the set so that you can't really see him even on the page, let alone in the gallery). So this is basically just a tip, something we need to adjust our editing habits for (and really, it makes for better looking pages anyway on the whole, even if they weren't being pulled). -- Andrew Leal (talk) 18:50, October 15, 2010 (UTC)
Can there a be a different way of designating what pages get a "Read more" section in the middle? One appears on "I Love My Hair", which isn't even that long an article, despite having three sections to it. - Oscarfan 22:53, October 20, 2010 (UTC)
I've noticed that some category pages (Dinosaurs Episodes, Henson Films) still show images added by users in addition to the top-viewed pages added automatically. Should the user-added images be removed? --Minor muppetz 20:30, October 25, 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, looks like Scott fixed 'em -- we just forgot those. I'd like to keep the galleries on the Sesame book lists, though -- Grover Books etc. Those are supposed to be chronological lists... I could move 'em to a separate page but I think they work okay the way they are, even with the redundant auto-generated pics underneath the big gallery. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 00:24, October 26, 2010 (UTC)
I am a bit mixed on how I feel about this "automatic most-viewed pages" thing in the categories, but I feel it might be a "****** if you do, ****** if you don't" situation. I thought the whole point was to present the readers with images of what they'd most-likely want to search for. I know that many of those galleries (at least those made by moderators) were made up of the most-visited ones (and it is cool to know which pages in eahc category are the most-viewed), while the Sesame Street episodes category gallery was made up of what fans would most-likely be searchign for. I made some of the categories based on what I think fans would look for on certain subjects, but of course we shouldn't just go by what we think casual fans would most-likely search for. And most of these galleries do currently include images of the pages I would expect fans to search for (maybe someday we'll see more obscure stuff at the top of category pages).

Since the category galleries include the first picture on each page, it does seem like it'd be hard to help casual fans on certain things, mainly Sesame Street epsiode numbers and title cards for episodes of shows like Muppet Babies, where each title card is basically the same. I also felt like a gallery of Sesame Street videos should include the covers (and I think there was a discussion a while back concernign whether the top image should be of a video cover or title card). Maybe in cases like these we could put an image of a mor eme orable/notable scene next to the title card so those browsing categories will be more likely to know what episodes are in the gallery. --Minor muppetz 03:29, October 26, 2010 (UTC)

Shalom Sesame 2010

The DVDs come out tomorrow and Shalom Sesame has a official website online now: Link, but won't be update till December. The site does post a movie trailer of what's to come. -- Steven 07:48, October 5, 2010 (UTC)

Images on category pages

Hi guys! More fun things happening with the wiki. We're currently testing out a new system to put images at the top of categories pointing people towards articles in a more visual way than the list of article titles. This is based on the cool stuff that we've done on our Muppet Characters category, etc -- making an automated system that helps people do the stuff that we've previously done by hand. As always, Muppet Wiki is at the forefront of modern wiki design! :)

So -- it's being tested out on a few wikis, including this one. Let me know what you think; I'll make sure the people who are working on it hear our thoughts... -- Danny@fandom (talk) 00:46, September 29, 2010 (UTC)

Looking at it now... It's not working correctly yet. It's supposed to be pulling the most visited articles in the category, but looking at The Muppets Characters, that's not what's happening. Or maybe it is, and the data hasn't had time to be sorted yet. I'll investigate... So if it looks funky right now... then that's why we do these tests. :) -- Danny@fandom (talk) 00:52, September 29, 2010 (UTC)
It's showing up for me. This is what is looks like on Category:The Muppets Characters. —Scott (talk) 00:56, September 29, 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, what I meant was -- those aren't the right characters. It should be giving us Kermit, Piggy and Fozzie, not Abe and Bernie. So it's not pulling the right data for which items to display. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 01:13, September 29, 2010 (UTC)

Would it be possible for some of the category pages to "opt out?" It is redundant on pages like this one where we choose our own images (though it would be great if we could still implement the new design).

Or better, would it be possible to manually tweak them? That way we'd have the new design, our own choice of images and the order they go in, and possibly even choose to only have six (instead of eight) links showing on pages like this and this one for example, in order to still show a logo or whatever might get in the way. It'd be great if that was an option at least, as more flexibility in design would (most likely) equal prettier pages. — Julian (talk) 22:55, September 29, 2010 (UTC)

Well, the goal is for these to replace our manual category galleries. I like the ones that we've created, but I have to admit that my grand vision of having awesome galleries on all the major categories... turned out to be a heck of a lot of work that we didn't feel like doing. The new galleries save us the trouble, and the new image-cropping code works really well.
For right now, though -- it turns out that they're using the "Most visited" data feed, which is buggy, so we're not getting the right articles in the galleries yet. George is working on it. So I've turned it off for now -- we'll put it back on when we start seeing Kermit on the Muppet Characters page. :) -- Danny@fandom (talk) 01:31, October 1, 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, I get that it's supposed to save us the work to add them manually. But the option to tweak them manually (in terms of a composed link order and a fixed link quantity) would still make a lot of sense for a bunch of the category pages, some of which I've sampled above. Can George take that into consideration as he's working on it? — Julian (talk) 15:43, October 2, 2010 (UTC)

Wikia's New Look, part 2

In the interest of tidiness, I'm refreshing this discussion with a new thread. Also, please check out Wikia's FAQ for the new look. —Scott (talk) 17:28, September 24, 2010 (UTC)

Wikia's New Look

Hey all. Starting tomorrow, Wikia is going to be rolling out a new skin many moons in the making. We're one of a handful of test wikis getting it first to play with all the bells and whistles. Danny's been working on this tirelessly with the Wikia team, and as he's away for the week, I'll be the point of contact for questions, concerns, and bugs being reported here on Muppet Wiki. The skin is being turned on at approximately 10am pst/1pm est on Wednesday, so as long as you have your preferences set to let admins override your skin choice, you should be seeing it when you're logged in (and it will be the default for users viewing the wiki who aren't logged in). I've been using the skin for a little while, and I think y'all are going to dig it. If you're having trouble finding anything, have a bug to report or whatever, reply here, or post on my talk page. Thanks! —Scott (talk) 19:47, September 21, 2010 (UTC)

I'd been meaning to try this sooner (a few days ago Wikia finally okayed me to beta test) but forgot to set my preferences. Not surprisingly, it's utterly horrible in IE 8, with "random page" and "wiki activity" actually covering up "Muppet Wiki." I'm not too crazy about the facebook thing on the front page but I can understand the reason for its presence ([Edit: Ah, it was there before, just didn't pop out until the color change). The content seems really squeezed by the right sidebars, especially the Wikia spotlight stuff. The Wikia spotlight also doesn't work here since in some cases you actually get the same spotlight ad three times in a row, so that just adds to the distraction (I suspect it's a generating mechanics issue rather than one with the skin, though).
I do kind of like the photo slideshow, though; it's useful, but I'd prefer it in another place. "Edit This Page" is also an adjustment, but I think that's mostly a familiarity issue. In general, I'm finding most of the side stuff too busy, *but* I like the colors. I've also had *very* mixed feelings on the anticipated "added by" on all images (since it doesn't really add, just distract) and the talk pages are now further hidden for those unfamiliar, though I do like the icon and find it more efficient myself. I may be underestimating users, but I know we've frequently had to point out the existence of talk pages in the past (the icon now resembles comment boxes on blogs and websites, so I also hope it won't encourage random opinion chatter over discussion affecting the article's content, as opposed to thoughts on the subject). That's very much a "We'll see what happens" though. So mixed feelings on the whole, but clearly a lot of work and thought was put in (and the edit box actually seems improved, with the summary blank and options popping out). I think I'll fiddle and see if I can fix some of the side things to fix my own usage needs (or I may go back to the old preferences), and then I'll enjoy it more. I'll point out additional stuff as I encounter it.
Oh, and chances are this won't be fixable since it involves IE *and* galleries, but (and this actually surfaced a few weeks earlier) in IE, gallery images appear stacked on top of each other, rather than alongside, requiring scrolling. It doesn't exist on Mozilla Firefox, though now thanks to the skin change and the stuff on the side basically shrinking the article space, it seems to allow exactly two images per gallery row.
Okay, finally figured out what happened to "My tools," including history and what links here. Seems anything and everything else I'll need to add manually. I'm figuring that out (and in its own way it does encourage one to basically define it right away by what one uses, so that makes sense)... but since it's not recognized as a tool, Muppet Wiki:Community is no longer available except by manually typing (or just favoriting the page in browser bookmarks), and that was the main way I accessed current events, and likewise other people (we started that in fact to make sure newer or more casual users could be aware of that and other important pages). Could that be fixed later according to the needs of individul wikis? Unless it's just a result of my seeing the beta skin (I know the formal rollout test for all Muppet Wiki users hasn't begun yet). I've also noticed more eyestrain so far, though I'm not entirely sure what aspect is causing it (and assuming it's not partly general tiredness). EDIT: Aha, I see "Talk:Muppet Wiki" now redirects to current events, so that takes care of one concern right away (and makes a lot of sense really). -- Andrew Leal (talk) 02:03, September 22, 2010 (UTC)
Cool, I didn't expect to be getting skin feedback before launch :) It sounds like you found the new location for links to editor tools. For those who will be seeing the new skin tomorrow, the toolbox has moved from the left navigation column to the bottom toolbar under MyTools. That menu is customizable, so you can put your favorites in there (I quickly added What Links Here and Multiple Upload as I use those all the time).
As for galleries, the new default width should be (fingers crossed) going live tomorrow. So there will be three columns of thumbnails again.
Regarding your other comments and observations, I think you hit the nail on the head in that the new layout will take some getting used to. When I first started using it, I kept moving my mouse left to find the Recent Changes link, but now I'm naturally looking down at the toolbar for that stuff like it's second nature. Like riding a bike :) —Scott (talk) 02:32, September 22, 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, I just noticed a "Wiki Stuff" on top next to Sesame Street, housing all the community/policy type stuff. Was that there before, or did I just not see it? Regardless, that helps a lot. I still don't like the way the right sidebar stuff squishes content though, but I may either get used to it or. They *definitely* should look into making sure the sidebar Wikia spotlights don't duplicate. Since there are also three of those below, one of which right now is the Owls of Gawhatsit which is on the side as well, and two of the bottom ones plugging Glee, it definitely feels like overkill, so if the randomizer or however it's done can at least prevent redundancy, it would help a lot, at least make one feel more tolerant. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 03:49, September 22, 2010 (UTC)
Five things that I'm wondering about: 1) Does our logo (Kermit's eye) not appear next to or around the "Muppet Wiki" title anymore? 'Cause there's this big, blank gap below the top Wikia header and above the Muppet Wiki "Home" bar at the top of the main page for me now.
2) I loved to be able to customize the left hand (now top) menu with Monaco. If Wikia strives to be user friendly not just to the general public (who probably care a lot more for Random Muppet character, or a shortcut to Elmo), but also to its user base (who'd like to manage their own frequently visited pages through that menu), then it seems to me like it should be a top priority to offer customization again. Please don't tell me that that's a thing of the past, but that I'm just too stupid to figure it out on my own!
3) Is the tool "Achievements Leaderboard" only available to admins? Because I can't add it to "My Tools," even though HelpTools says that it should be available to anybody.
4) Wiki code such as <ref> and </ref> shouldn't appear in the "read more" boxes; it's confusing and it ain't pretty:
5) Lastly, we seem to have a lot less space available for content on the left hand side now, with the right side bulking out with Wikia ads and all as much as it does. It seems especially annoying to me on longer pages, when there's all this unused, potential space below the community stuff and ads. And it's not just because I'm sitting on a wide screen monitor, as we've had set widths before, that totally worked around the issue.
I really hope all this made sense. :\ — Julian (talk) 13:13, September 22, 2010 (UTC)
6) And I just noticed that clicking an image to make it bigger doesn't use all the available browser window width anymore, like it did before. Again, probably just an issue for folks with wide screen monitors, yet a backward step nonetheless. — Julian (talk) 13:18, September 22, 2010 (UTC)
7) Hmmm, then there's the user pages... as long as we don't show the usual community stuff and Wikia ads on the right hand side on those, couldn't we just make use of the available width again, so that there isn't this big, white gap to the right? It seems awkward.
8) Also, I actually like that hovering over our user name or the "Edited X time ago" right under the page title (basically most of the little down arrow icons) immediately opens up a drop down menu (though, it's a bit confusing that the little arrow within the "Edit this page" button that gets you to the "Move" option doesn't do the same). Is it possible to have the same for "My Tools" at the bottom, as a "drop up" menu in that case? That'd be swell! — Julian (talk) 13:47, September 22, 2010 (UTC)
1) The logo is coming. We have a development team working on that. I haven't seen it yet, but Danny made sure that they used the Kermit eye.
2) Custom user navigation doesn't seem to be an option right now. Not sure if that's on the table, but I can find out.
3) Achievements Leaderboard is only for wikis that have that feature enabled. We don't have it yet, but it's something Danny was toying with. If you want to check em out, look at and make an edit to a page. A badge should pop up that are collected on your user page.
4) What page is that <ref> code coming up on?
5) I reported this some weeks ago, but I don't think it's very high priority given the amount of other things to tweak with the new skin. I agree, once the ads and wiki stuff are done, there's an awful lot of white space that looks funny on the right.
6) I think this is just due to the extra border that the lightbox has now.
7) I'm assuming the dev team intends to do something with that space, but I'm not sure yet.
8) The hover vs click menus appear to be a difference between access to links that are content, and those that are tools. So for example, in addition to the fact that you have to click MyTools to bring up the menu, you have to to the same for the arrow next to the Edit button to bring up the Move link. 'm pretty sure this will remain for consistency's sake.
As for content space, yes we are losing a little bit of it, but I think the price is worth it considering that the right column now has all the ads, and logged-out readers don't see ads in the content space. That's a huge win IMO, and I've quickly gotten used to the more narrow space for content keeping that in mind.
Hope that addressed your concerns. Feel free to keep em coming. This is sure to be a busy day :) —Scott (talk) 17:30, September 22, 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for all the answers, Scott! :)

Re: 1) Its up! Too bad the logo doesn't include the eye anymore, but I do like the classic Muppet font! At least the eye lives on as the "favicon," I guess. I think the background image idea is good too, but wish they would've taken a better, more cheerful image of Kermit instead of this same-old-same-old pose.

Re: 2) Yes, please find out! It's something that has made navigation so much quicker (=better), and I would sorely miss it.

Re: 4) I found it on the Kermit page, but the real problem is that the Penguins page starts with a sourced quote (see the screen grab), which is unusual. But a quirk nonetheless, and therefore probably a lucky find.

(Kind of) Re: 5) Especially now that the background is light green, a lot of images don't work as well anymore. And while it's just a matter of work to make all the white space in images like this, this, this and this transparent, it's just a lot of extra stuff to do. Though, maybe I'm alone in thinking that some images like those look cool when taken out of the framing lightboxes...

Re: 6) No, it's not due to the extra border. The above screen grab I posted, for example, fills only about two thirds of the browser window height. The problem is that it's now set to not go beyond the content width, whereas before, clicking an image would make use of the entire available browser window width, always non-discriminatory to what kind of a screen you were using.

That's all I've got for now. :) — Julian (talk) 18:45, September 22, 2010 (UTC)

"I think the price is worth it considering that the right column now has all the ads, and logged-out readers don't see ads in the content space." Just quoting you, Scott, because the layout shift does make a lot more sense now, though like Julian I would like to see the space fully utilized (and like I said, I don't think any user, new or veteran, needs to see three plugs for the same Wiki in a row). But that is a plus (especially when I share a page to a non-registered friend, now I know they'll see what I see). Also, I love the Muppet Show font. So that's a plus. And this is indeed a good place to test the skin, since we have so much content and have used almost every tool and trick in the book, so stuff that might take longer to catch on other Wikis pops up here. On the whole, while like Julian I would like to customize my navigation, I'm finding enough potential so far to keep experimenting. And Kermit is a comforting presence in the left corner. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 20:10, September 22, 2010 (UTC)
Re: personal navigation menus, it's not a current option, but please use the feedback button to suggest it. —Scott (talk) 20:31, September 22, 2010 (UTC)
Is it possible to get the green colours back in the Monoco skin? If not, why not? Matt H. (talk) 20:54, September 22, 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for getting rid of the light green background color, whoever's responsible for doing so! To me the white looks cleaner and content stands out better. Also, how about if the right hand side content (community stuff and Wikia ads) only scrolls along down a page as long as there actually is content, and then stops to "avoid the void" on the right (and stays put, just like the new bottom bar does)? Feedback button usage in full swing! :) — Julian (talk) 21:02, September 22, 2010 (UTC)
And because it's still there... what's up with the big, blank gap between the top Wikia header and the Muppet Wiki "Home" bar at the top of the main page? Is that space reserved for potential ads? — Julian (talk) 21:12, September 22, 2010 (UTC)
Re: Feedback tool... yeah, definitely take advantage of that. The dev team is looking at that constantly (including Danny when he gets back).
As for the space on the main page, yeah that's for ads. —Scott (talk) 21:21, September 22, 2010 (UTC)

I don't think I'm seeing all these changes everyone's talking about. I have my Skin set to "New Wikia Look", but it looks like standard Monaco. Powers 21:20, September 22, 2010 (UTC)

Hi Powers. You may want to try unchecking "Allow admins to override my skin choice." Also try clearing your cache (shift+reload usually). See if either of those helps. -- Wendy (talk)@fandom 23:10, September 22, 2010 (UTC)
I don't see that option. I've seen it before, but right now I don't see it at all. Powers 00:08, September 23, 2010 (UTC)
... and as soon as I posted that reply, boom! There's the new skin. How odd. (The section edit link is really hard to find now, BTW.) Powers 00:10, September 23, 2010 (UTC)
yes, I just realized that the option is gone today. Sorry about that! But I'm glad you got to see the new skin. -- Wendy (talk)@fandom 03:23, September 23, 2010 (UTC)
It'll take some getting used to. I do like however that I can actually access the Wiki on my school laptop now. Since school started, they screwed Wikia sites up so they're practically un-readible, especially this one. It still isn't normal, but I can log in and edit at least. EDIT: But, what's the reason that everything has to be shifted off to the left? - Oscarfan 00:28, September 23, 2010 (UTC)
Everything's shifted to the left now so that the right column can accommodate the widgets and ads (note that ads don't appear in the content anymore). —Scott (talk) 01:43, September 23, 2010 (UTC)

It seems that the new skin are using the info boxes a little different. Everything are now shown in the info box even if something are left blank. Heres a few random links to demonstrate what I mean. The Me I Wanna Be, Wichita Lineman, Elmo Has a Little Lamb. Henrik (talk) 09:45, September 24, 2010 (UTC)

Well it took me a while to figure out how to view the source (it's protected, so Wikia "helpfully" hides the edit link for non-admins), but I suspect it's because it's using CSS to hide the fields rather than Media Wiki parser functions. My guess is that the class "hiddenStructure" isn't defined in the site's new CSS. Powers 15:28, September 24, 2010 (UTC)
Powers was right. I have fixed it for now. -- Wendy (talk)@fandom 16:17, September 24, 2010 (UTC)
Should it still be reported then ? Henrik (talk) 16:24, September 24, 2010 (UTC)
No -- that's why I removed the message. Basically it's a side effect of a desired behavior and easy to fix. -- Wendy (talk)@fandom 16:37, September 24, 2010 (UTC)
Are there any performance concerns with using the parser functions rather than CSS to hide the fields? Powers 14:21, September 26, 2010 (UTC)

Season 35 eps on ABC Kids site

The site for the Australian channel ABC Kids has a few full episodes of Season 35 online: Link. The episodes won't load for me (the other clips will), but some of them we don't have guides for. They may be the Australian edits though. - Oscarfan 14:57, September 18, 2010 (UTC)

New Amazon downloads

On September 27, the same day that the new season starts, Amazon will be releasing approximately 43 Sesame Street albums for downloading for the first time. You can see the page here. They're all things that have been on CD at least once. I say "approximately" because some albums are cut into multiple pieces, like Songs from the Street. Anyway, to me this is a huge deal, because it means iTunes is no longer the only game in town for downloading Muppet music. Since I'm still new to the whole downloading thing (I'm old enough to remember buying Sesame records when they were new in the stores), I wasn't sure if we wanted to cover it, or how. Danny and I had talked about downloads a long time ago here, and pretty much everything we said still applies. Anybody else have any thoughts? -- Ken (talk) 06:24, September 15, 2010 (UTC)

Automatic page reloading?

While looking at The Muppets Kitchen with Cat Cora, if I scroll to the bottom, the page appears to quickly reload three or four times, to the point that if I want to go Back to the previous page (via the browser's Back function), I have to hit the button three or four times. It's not specific to that page, but it's the first one I noticed it on. It doesn't seem to happen with shorter pages like Cat Cora or Angelo, but it does on longer pages like Craig Shemin or Miss Piggy. Powers 13:55, September 14, 2010 (UTC)

Oh, that's very strange. I'm going to check around and see what's up. Thanks for reporting that... -- Danny@fandom (talk) 16:32, September 14, 2010 (UTC)
That problem's not been exclusive to this wiki; all wiki's are having problems like this on some pages. --Edward Rankin (talk) 19:32, September 14, 2010 (UTC)

Oh, look. I think it's the ads -- the three small ones that display at the bottom of every content page. I scrolled really quickly down to the bottom of Miss Piggy and checked my browser history. Sure enough, four entries. I hit back, one ad went away. Back again, another ad disappeared. Back one more time, the third one disappeared. Hmm! Powers 22:45, September 14, 2010 (UTC)

Yeah, I checked it out... This is a bug coming from an experiment to late-load the spotlights at the bottom of the page. We'd like to load those only if you scroll down the page, so that we don't spend time loading pieces that people don't see. But that's causing the problem of adding extra pageloads in your history... The engineering folks are looking at it and figuring out a fix. I'm really glad you mentioned it; they didn't realize it was causing that problem. Thanks! -- Danny@fandom (talk) 01:27, September 15, 2010 (UTC)

WatchList or Followed Pages

A little while ago, the 'Watchlist' choice was replaced by 'Followed pages'. I find this irratating. Because when it was a "Watchlist" one could go onto the "My Watchlist" page and see when any pages on my watchlist had last been changed (or at least if they'd been changed in the last month). Whereas with the 'Followed pages' page it just listed the pages, it does not state if they have been changed. To find that out one has to go onto the page itself and then it's history. Which is several steps. I note that Wikipedia itself still uses the 'Watchlist' rather than 'Followed Pages'. and I think the older system is better. Emma 09:45, September 5, 2010 (UTC)

Yeah, I noticed that myself some time ago. Fortunately Watchlist hasn't actually been replaced as a function, just no longer listed. You can still access it by typing it manually, Special:Watchlist. Bookmark it too. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 15:45, September 5, 2010 (UTC)
You can also click the "Followed Pages" tab on the My Home activity feed to see the latest changes to pages you follow: Special:MyHome/watchlist. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 16:17, September 5, 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the information. That makes things a lot easier. Emma 20:47, September 12, 2010 (UTC)

Links in picture captions

I was editing the site recently with the Rich Text Editor turned on, and I realized that a lot of our major pages don't work with the RTE. If a page has a link inside a photo caption, then the RTE can't handle it (for boring technical reasons), and the editor defaults to the wiki text editor.

I'm pretty sure that most of us longtime editors use wiki text anyway, which is why I hadn't really noticed it -- but new people use the RTE, and we've found that new people are a lot more likely to save their first edit and become a contributor if they don't have to see wiki text.

New people are also more likely to try their first edit on one of the major pages of the site, because that's where they're likely to be reading. But a lot of our major pages use links in photo captions -- Kermit the Frog, Sesame Street, Big Bird, etc. We're giving a lot of new people the wiki text editor when we could be giving them an easier first experience.

We already have a policy that we don't link the same name multiple times on a page, but a lot of the links in photo captions violate that policy. For example, the Sesame Street page links to Ernie and Bert in a caption, the Jim Henson and the Kermit page both link to Sam and Friends, etc. I understand the desire to give readers links that explain the text that they're reading, but I don't think it's worth disabling the RTE to add links that sometimes duplicate links that are already in the text.

I'd like to propose a policy that we take links out of the photo captions. What do other folks think? -- Danny@fandom (talk) 21:11, August 28, 2010 (UTC)

We had a conversation about this recently and decided that links in image captions were important for a reader. The first thing a reader sees on a page are the pictures, and if we're identifying what it's from, but not linking to it, it's a frustrating experience. In some cases, one would likely assume we don't have an article for it on the wiki. Or else you're forced to resort to scanning through the article to look for the link or manually search for it. I don't think we should make our content that hard to find. Links in the captions are useful and necessary. —Scott (talk) 21:28, August 28, 2010 (UTC)
Scott makes good points. And beside the duplicate links found in picture captions (that would be a bit harder to find elsewhere on the page), there are some links that simply can't be found in the article itself (due to the only connection being the image). So, the easy accessibility to anything and everything that we cover—just one of the things that makes a wiki so cool—would get lost in part if we banned links from captions. How hard is it for the tech team to figure out a solution? To avoid the problem, can't they just make it so the captions won't be readable/editable in the RTE? I'd be sad to see them go. — Julian (talk) 01:06, August 29, 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure that those links are necessarily that valuable. For example, on the Sesame Street page, only two of the 16 pictures on the page have links in the captions, and most of the links are to major characters -- Ernie, Bert, Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch. On the Animal page, only 1 out of 6 pictures has a link, and it's the word "his". These are nice, but they're not really necessary to the reading experience. We're also inconsistent about it -- on the Frank Oz page, we link Cookie Monster, Kermit the Frog and Robert De Niro, but not Kevin Clash or The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson.
We can't do a technical solution to this right now -- it's not up to the Wikia techs, it's a conflict created in the core CK editor code that our RTE is based on.
So I'm just questioning whether linking "his" on the Animal page, or "Season 29" on the Prairie Dawn page, is worth losing potential new contributors. I think the RTE is more important to the new editor experience than the caption links are to the reader experience. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 01:20, August 29, 2010 (UTC)
How many editors are we losing vs the amount of readers we're frustrating with lackluster content? —Scott (talk) 01:38, August 29, 2010 (UTC)

"Lackluster" is a huge exaggeration. I don't think any of the examples I've given are make-or-break for whether a reader enjoys the wiki. And in general, I think losing one potential new editor is a big deal. That one editor could turn out to be another Ken, or another Enrique. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 02:19, August 29, 2010 (UTC)

I'm coming back to this because I've been playing around some more on the site using the RTE, and it's embarrassing how few of our major pages open in the RTE. Somebody that I work with was trying to show me how something looks in the edit window, and she opened Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Elmo, Big Bird -- all of them defaulted to wikitext. She finally looked at me and said, "Find me a long page on Muppet Wiki that uses the rich text editor." It took me four more tries.
We've got 16 characters pictured on our Muppet Characters category page, and only three of them open in the RTE. This is just a huge screw-you to prospective new editors.
I know that probably everybody reading this page uses wikitext, so it doesn't seem like a big deal -- but we really do have actual click-tracking and user-testing evidence that shows that seeing the wikitext editor turns people off, and that people who see the rich-text editor are more likely to make their edit and want to make more edits.
People visit the Count von Count page every day. They see something that triggers their interest, and decide to try making an edit. This is a magical, precious moment -- it's really hard to get someone to take that step. Then we show them the wiki text editor... and we're way more likely to lose them. I can't believe that we think that a link on Susan Sarandon's name is more important than that. It's just not. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 00:02, September 2, 2010 (UTC)
I'd wondered, some days ago, why certain users were seemingly randomly, without explanation, taking links out of captions. Suddenly it makes sense. I always use wiki text, but I have to agree, that if it takes that many tries to find an editable page (and the caption links really affect content to a very minor extent, or could be moved to the image page for the record when it's something like sourcing), something's wrong. So cast my vote for taking them out, at least for now. Also, a suggestion, in cases where a link caption *really* seems indisputably vital to explaining an image, than arguably a swap or re-arrangement could be made with the galleries. I don't like galleries for galleries' sakes, but the format and the gallery notes header lends itself to that kind of thing. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 00:14, September 2, 2010 (UTC)
If you guys don't mind me asking, what exactly does the rich text editor do that makes people stick around more than the old system? I thought the old way was pretty easy when I learned it, and I'm the kind of person who doesn't always "get" computer stuff right away. I've been here so long that I just jump right to where I need to get to, so I'm just curious what new people see. -- Ken (talk) 01:51, September 2, 2010 (UTC)
Ken, the rich text editor is a "what you see is what you get" style editor. There is no markup code visible. You can try it by going to your preferences, under editing, and clicking to turn it on.
I actually don't think the links in image captions are critical in most cases, and I have to agree with Danny that it's silly if a new user can't edit Count von Count's page because we linked to Ernie in a figure caption. I would support having no links in captions but allowing for exceptions in cases where there is no other link to the information on the page. I don't know that every page needs to be RTE-friendly but we could make an effort towards getting more of them that way. -- Wendy (talk)@fandom 02:17, September 2, 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Wendy; if we don't really need them and they hinder new users, it's best to get rid of them. A question though, does it apply to source marks as well, like the one on Count's page? - Oscarfan 02:24, September 2, 2010 (UTC)

Yeah, the ref tag inside a photo caption is also considered "complex code" and disables the RTE. Basically, the problem is that images are already inside double brackets, and putting another set of brackets or tags inside those brackets makes the RTE's head hurt. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 16:43, September 2, 2010 (UTC)

So it looks like Scott would rather keep them, but the other folks who have posted are okay with taking link captions out. I'd like to call this one done -- we'll take out captions in links unless there's a really important reason to keep an individual link. Scott, do you have any thoughts, or can we wrap this? -- Danny@fandom (talk) 21:32, September 3, 2010 (UTC)

New Bug?

Popping on to check things out today for a few minutes, I did a search of new pages and saw that a video was added A Fantástica Miss Piggy DVD. When I clicked on the link there is no content at all and the page says, "This page needs content. You can help by adding a sentence or a photo!" The page also links from The Fantastic Miss Piggy Show, and it isn't a red link. Is this a wiki bug? Did the page not really get created, or was created as a blank page? It gives me no options of doing a history scan. Did a moderator delete the page but it isn't turning up as a red link? -- Nate (talk) 17:41, August 31, 2010 (UTC)

As a side note, it is a red link from here when I posted it. Which confuses me even more. -- Nate (talk) 17:42, August 31, 2010 (UTC)
The page was moved to A Fantástica Miss Piggy by Danny. I would have presumed he just deleted the redirect, but there's nothing in the log. But it is an oddity so thanks for reporting it. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 17:55, August 31, 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, I moved the page and clicked "suppress redirect". Nate, where'd you see the link to the moved page? -- Danny@fandom (talk) 17:58, August 31, 2010 (UTC)
As he said, the original link is on The Fantastic Miss Piggy Show still, and in blue. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 18:02, August 31, 2010 (UTC)
Oh, sorry, I see now. That is weird. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 18:04, August 31, 2010 (UTC)
I made an edit to the page, and when I saved, the link was red. I think it was a cache problem -- we were seeing an older version of the page that included the blue link. When I edited it, the cache busted and now we see the red link. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 18:06, August 31, 2010 (UTC)

This isn't about the links, but what's up with the images lately? New versions of a file aren't changing and now some images aren't even showing up (the ones I just uploaded to episode 3736). Was the upload-disabling yesterday supposed to help the issue? - Oscarfan 18:45, August 31, 2010 (UTC)

Forget the latter, I see them now. - Oscarfan 18:49, August 31, 2010 (UTC)

22,000 pages!

Just because I like to keep track of these things, I wanted to mention that we hit 22,000 pages this week, and the new season of Sesame Street hasn't even started yet! I also noticed that we hit 20,000 last November, and 21,000 this past March, so I hope Sesame's next 26 episodes (and whatever else comes our way) will help us hit 23,000 pages in time for our 5th birthday this coming December! -- Ken (talk) 03:56, August 22, 2010 (UTC)

Image loading issues

Is this just my computer, or is there some issue with images on the Wiki? A lot of the images aren't loading for me. The images in the sandbox page I just made aren't showing up at all. - Oscarfan 02:25, August 8, 2010 (UTC)

I've been having the same issue for a couple of days now, possibly a week or longer. (I'm excited for you working on a Sesamstrasse videography though!) — Julian (talk) 02:31, August 8, 2010 (UTC)
Huh, now they seem to be loading properly again, at least on some pages. - Oscarfan 13:15, August 8, 2010 (UTC)
There's a problem with thumbnails, but Wikia is working on it. They seem to just be very slow, so sometimes you will get them and sometimes not. -- Wendy (talk) 15:56, August 8, 2010 (UTC)

Does this also apply to old thumbnails not being updated when a new image is uploaded on an old filename? (See, for instance, Does Disney own the Muppets? and File:Disney2004report.jpg.) Powers 14:23, August 23, 2010 (UTC)

Amazon's free international Sesame episodes

Neat! Amazon's Video on Demand service is now offering 12 free episodes of international Sesame shows. Here's the link. It's one ep each from 12 different countries, including Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Russia... awesome! Plus they have dates. :) Lots for us to play with! -- Danny@fandom (talk) 09:25, July 30, 2010 (UTC)

"We have detected that you are not located within the US. Due to licensing restrictions Amazon Video On Demand customers must be located in the United States when viewing videos online." ... grrrr! Isn't this somehow counterproductive to the entire international aspect of Sesame? — Julian (talk) 23:22, July 30, 2010 (UTC)
Sorry about that, Julian! Maybe you can ask the Workshop if they'll put them on in the future. I'm hoping that they'll expand the shows to include Plaza Sesamo, Sesamstrasse, and maybe even classic US Sesame episodes! -- Ken (talk) 04:29, July 31, 2010 (UTC)
I just wanted to add that's it's cool to see finished episodes of the 3 shows profiled in The World According to Sesame Street. -- Ken (talk) 04:41, July 31, 2010 (UTC)
I've tried some of the web proxy sites I normally use for US restricted sites and unfortunely they don't work. So I guess it's time to consider a payed VPN. Henrik (talk) 08:16, July 31, 2010 (UTC)
I've watched a few of them, and I noticed that they don't have episode numbers. Do any of our guidemakers have any ideas on what to call them when we build guides for them? -- Ken (talk) 04:08, August 7, 2010 (UTC)

New photo gallery, part deux

So, I've been working a lot to fix our galleries (just go through my contribs for the last two days). So I'm obviously at the fifth level of grief over figuring out what to do with this new thing. When it works, it looks beautiful. Some galleries go easily into one of the three styles (square/landscape/portrait); some require actual Photoshop work to make the pictures fit (for cases where it's a more prominent page that I'd feel embarrassed if someone landed on it looking less than stellar); some I've used a mix of gallery styles for; and fewer where I had to bend over backwards to make compromises.

There's still a lot of cropping going around, particularly for galleries where there's an extreme difference in length-to-width ratio (some examples: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10]). I don't know what to do about these yet. None of the styles are a good fit without drastically cropping the image. It's more of a problem on galleries that we're using link= on (such as our disambig pages) because the reader can't click the thumbnail to see the full picture; they have to click through to the page to see it which is an extra step (and kind of defeats the quick rerouting purpose of a disambig page).

After I hit up all my favorite pages, I started randomly going through the list of 4,000 galleries and found some surprises. Firstly, I forgot how many pages we use galleries on, and how we've been so clever about integrating them into an article. A lot of pages we use them for what they're called, a gallery of pictures. But we've done a lot to get them to fit into weird positions and layouts on other pages, living peacefully among our right-aligned article images, tables, templates, etc. One particular problem comes up in cases where we had a gallery within the body of text and a column of pictures on the right. We've been aware of how to fit them into that space by using widths=170 for a lot of them, but in cases where we'd been just using the plain <gallery> tag, they're all whacked out now because the old default width for thumbnails (I think it was 100px or 120px) was smaller than the new default (200px). I've been fixing them by giving them a width that works for fitting them into that space without looking borked (which is still 170px).

So, all these tricks seem to be working for now and we can still have some nice looking galleries. But there's some rethinking we have to do about the way we've been creating galleries for the past four years that requires a little bit of inspiration rather than just dropping them between gallery tags and being done with it. (This also means we'll have to keep a closer eye on new contributors making new galleries, and especially adding to existing ones that we've carefully crafted, as the process is not nearly intuitive.) Going through all 4,000 pages that use galleries probably isn't feasible, but they should all be checked at some point. Check out your favorite pages, and if you can, go through the list and see if there are any others you can fix if you don't mind. As always, feel free to post here with any oddities and/or better solutions you may find. —Scott (talk) 15:45, July 17, 2010 (UTC)

There's been a fix just went live to help with the "one tall picture" problem -- pictures in the mixed orientation are now restricted to 1 width : 1.75 height. So really tall, thin pictures like Big Bird's Blunder Book on Big Bird Books is still pretty tall and thin, but not nearly as much as it was when it was showing the full height.
This is live now, so we may be able to keep the mixed orientation on some of the galleries where we were using square or portrait... Toughpigs 10:45, July 19, 2010 (UTC)
Also, a clarification: If the pictures in a gallery are all landscape or all portrait, you don't need to set it to "landscape" or "portrait". The landscape/portrait cropping cuts the picture to a particular set of dimensions that the portrait pics in the gallery don't necessarily have. So setting the orientation to mixed allows the pics to be the actual size that they are.
For example, Scott split up the gallery on Big Bird's Birthday Party into a set of portrait pics at the top and then landscape pics underneath. He set them to portrait crop and landscape crop, which you can see here, and it cut off bits of the pictures. I just set them to both be mixed orientation, and (in my opinion) they look better that way... You get the full pics. Toughpigs 12:12, July 19, 2010 (UTC)
The top two images on Big Bird's Birthday Party don't look so bad because they're close in height. That's one of the few exceptions in contrast to those that have a more striking difference in height. Frankly, they look horrible and we should fix them when we find them. We know this is a wiki and that a wiki is never done; but to everyone else, this is a website, and such unsightly things make it look like a broken website, or at best, on par with a Geocities home page from 1997. Big Bird's Birthday Party does however serve as a good example of being somewhat creative with the orientations by splitting them up into separate galleries. It would be easier if a limit could be placed on height, but I think we've been working with the limitations pretty well. I'm mostly happy with the more prominent articles now using some form of the above. It's just going to take some practice for everyone to get used to it. And like I said before, keeping a close eye on new editors and helping them figure out how to use it. —Scott (talk) 18:31, July 19, 2010 (UTC)

After some feedback and messing around, the photo gallery team decided to go with a 1:1 width/height restriction, so now galleries look similar to the way they used to -- but without the boxes and gray stuff around them. I think this clears up the stuff that we were grieving over? Toughpigs 12:33, July 21, 2010 (UTC)

I just altered the gallery on Character Style Guides to be just a "<gallery>", and I love it. It looks very nice still. I love the green border on them. -- Nate (talk) 16:06, July 21, 2010 (UTC)
That definitely helps the look of pages we care less about IMO. It still leaves an awkward look with different widths and heights, marked by random extra spaces of white which just looks messy. But yeah, it's not as bad as it was, and removes some of the immediacy I was feeling in fixing a lot of pages; especially our disambigs where it doesn't really make sense to rearrange the galleries according to orientation like we've been doing for other pages. On the pages where we are using orientation and have made them work, I think they look terrific. Galleries look a thousand times better/more sleek/classier when there's some uniformity to them, and thus make me more proud to show them off. —Scott (talk) 17:28, July 21, 2010 (UTC)

New photo gallery

Hi, guys! The photo gallery feature got updated today, with some new features for customizing the way that galleries look. We have tons of galleries, so poke around and see how your favorite pages look. I think in general that there's a big improvement -- no more gray boxes around the pictures!

One thing that's going to require some adjustments is galleries with mostly landscape/square pictures and then a couple really tall pictures, like Sesame Street Discography. The height of the rows is set by the width/height of the tallest pictures... so we'll have to figure out how to fix those. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 16:41, July 14, 2010 (UTC)

One option for that is to use the cropping feature to make everything square -- I tried it out on User:Toughpigs/Discography gallery test. Most of the pics look great, and the tall ones are cut off a bit. But -- that's mostly a navigation portal to get people to the album pages, where they see the full-size picture. So that might be okay. Anyway, that's an option. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 16:51, July 14, 2010 (UTC)
My honest opinion at first poke around, I'm not too impressed. Especially with the making things square fix. Pages like Cleopatra look bad right now, tons of white space, and the square fix cuts off the pictures too much and sort of defeats the purpose of the gallery. Same with Kissing Muppets.
Pages designed as a visual gallery of character types, Spiders, Rodents, Insects, look kind of funky. I don't think squaring off the images would work well either. The "square" option on something like Spiders doesn't look nice either, as it takes the smaller pictures and blows them up, distorting them, and the larger ones get cropped, often cutting out the object that is the focal point (or having it way off center). I think those pages are neat little resources, and I hate to lose them. One option I guess would be to find better quality photos for the galleries.
For pages where a lot of content is included with the gallery shots, such as Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade look nice. As do galleries with no information on the pictures, such as Macy's Windows (although it does need to be tweeked in one spot).
The last critique I have is on a page like Worms, where the gallery is a nice visual addition to the page, but the captions are so far below the picture, it is confusing. -- Nate (talk) 18:01, July 14, 2010 (UTC)
The weirdness on those is happening because the vertical spacing for the rows is based on the height of the tallest picture. When we do mixed galleries with landscape and portrait pictures, something has to give somewhere -- there has to be some extra space around some of the pictures to make everything come out even. With the old gallery, that extra space was represented by big gray borders around the images.
On the Worms page, almost every picture is a short landscape except for three -- Dusty and Eartha, the Worm from Labyrinth, and Squirmy. I took those three out on User:Toughpigs/Worms gallery, and it looks great. So I think what this means is that we need to be mindful of the relative proportions of the pictures in galleries. I'm sure we could get a landscape pic of the Labyrinth worm and Dusty & Eartha, and I can cut that Squirmy pic to be more landscape without losing anything important.
So this actually does give us some more control over how the gallery looks -- in the previous version, every picture was put into a square box, no matter how it looked. Now it's more sensitive to galleries with landscape and portrait pics. Of course, more control means we'll need to play with it to make it work right. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 21:08, July 14, 2010 (UTC)
Another thought -- for some galleries, we could split up the pictures between landscape and portrait. Compare User:Toughpigs/Macy's Windows gallery with the corresponding gallery on the Macy's Windows page. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 21:13, July 14, 2010 (UTC)

I'm not too impressed with the new galleries either; and Nate gave good examples for some that have turned bad, and won't look much nicer once images are being cropped for conformity's sake. While I didn't necessarily favor the gray lines at first, they gave a gallery consisting of both portrait and landscape images a very nice visual balance. The only problem with the previous version was that only the widths were adjustable, whereas the version before that would let us set widths and heights individually (as is possible again). In short, for the sake of visual balance I would prefer the option of a fully adjustable outline. — Julian (talk) 21:27, July 14, 2010 (UTC)

Another problem affecting pages like Muppet posters, is that something seems to be just a tiny bit too wide for galleries that previously displayed three images (200px) per row. At first I thought it had to do with the new default border, and that its width value would need to be set to "None" in order to quickly fix the problem, but that doesn't seem to be the case since the border only shows up when opening the "Add a photo to this gallery" editor, and not yet on the page as it is. I hope we don't need to go through oodles of galleries now, changing the widths to 199px in order to get rid of the awkward white space to the right. Can something be done about that? — Julian (talk) 21:56, July 14, 2010 (UTC)
I agree with the points Julian brought up. The Muppet posters page now looks sloppy. I think before, as Julian said, it had a nice visual balance. For a small gallery on a page like Humpty Dumpty its a great tool, but the bigger pages are showing issues. On the mock up page for the Macy's Windows, it was also bleeding over outside the page (I can leave a screen grab if needed). And I also don't like, as once again Julian said, the "awkward white gap" on the right side of the page. Also, will the captions be automatically centered under the pictures, or will we need to manually do that? Left justification on them looks funky. -- Nate (talk) 22:05, July 14, 2010 (UTC)
We've got 4,031 galleries on the wiki. I think if we split them up into a thousand each, we can probably get through them all. —Scott (talk) 22:07, July 14, 2010 (UTC)
Can't tell if Scott is making a funnier or is serious. If you are serious Scott, is that something the "crowbot" (I think that's its name) can do? If we had to adjust to 199px, that is. -- Nate (talk) 22:13, July 14, 2010 (UTC)
Unfortunately I haven't been able to get croebot to work for some time. —Scott (talk) 22:34, July 14, 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, what's the 200px / 199px problem? I'm not sure what the awkward white gap is. Also, to answer Nate's question: The default caption alignment is left; we can set it to centered in the gallery editor. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 22:44, July 14, 2010 (UTC)
On pages like the Discography test you made, it looks alright. On others (like the posters, it's not as good. Just an odd thing: When I wasn't logged in the Cleopatra page, the gallery was in rows of three, then after logging in it, was in just rows of two with a big chunk of white space on the right side. - Oscarfan 23:10, July 14, 2010 (UTC)
Oh, I just figured out what the "awkward gap" problem might be -- Some of the pages are cached, so you're getting a weird mix of old gallery/new gallery. I realized that when Enrique pointed out that Cleopatra looks different when you're logged-in and logged-out. I think that the logged-in view is the correct one; the logged-out one (with the weird gap) is a cached version. So it looks like things are better with 199px -- but that's just because you made an edit to the page, and that busted the cache. We'll see everything in the "199px" version when the cache clears; probably tomorrow. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 23:28, July 14, 2010 (UTC)

Yeah, I think this is going to make us rethink how we use galleries a little. The previous gallery format always looked kind of blah -- never really good, never really bad. So we've gotten used to the idea that you can just add any old picture to a gallery and that's all there is to it. It's been kind of slapdash, because there wasn't much we could do to make it look any better or worse.

The new system is designed to help you make galleries that look good. When the pictures all follow the same basic alignment, then the galleries can look great. When we've used the slapdash approach and added really tall pictures and really wide pictures, the galleries look terrible. We may need to start making different choices with galleries, like not using a particular picture (or cropping it differently) if it's going to disrupt the rest of the gallery.

So far, our attitude has been: throw in everything. We might have to change that, and take a more "designed" approach to the photo galleries. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 23:24, July 14, 2010 (UTC)

I'm not wild about the autocrop; it works fine on some things and less fine on others. However as a quick fix until we have time to recrop/resize the images that don't work to square ourselves (the mind boggles at the magnitude of that task) it's preferable to the crazy sizes gallery. I absolutely hate the way the gallery looks "unbordered" -- to my eye the little black box around the image is really important for some reason in unifying things. Especially on pages where some of the images have white space (eg. tshirts), and where not all images have text under them.
I think the main issue is simply the sheer magnitude of how much we use galleries already. If we were starting from very few, and creating them all now it would be no big deal at all. So yes the changes cause some awkwardness and we'll be fixing this forever (thanks for the number Scott! really encouraging!), but it's here, so we might as well make the best of it. -- Wendy (talk) 03:18, July 15, 2010 (UTC)
As far as the discographies, since the LP and CD covers are square, can we maybe splice some white space on to the pictures of cassette covers, so they'll actually be square too, but look the same as they did before? If we can't do that, I can live with cropping, as long as we can try to capture the main part of the picture and make it look nice. There are only about 15 tapes in the whole discography. -- Ken (talk) 04:24, July 15, 2010 (UTC)
I'm not crazy about the idea of cropping everything. Maybe that's just because I've always been a big supporter of widescreen over pan-and-scan. However, I will say that new gallery looks very nice... on some pages. The examples Nate showed us are hideous, and i could think of a few others that probably don't look so great (like Henson and Muppets pictures). However, Alternate Puppetry Techniques looks quite nice. It would be nice if the new gallery could somehow accomodate for different sized pictures so we can avoid cropping everything.--Justin 05:17, July 15, 2010 (UTC)

Yeah, this is going to be a case-by-case thing. Some galleries already look great, some will look good if we use the cropping, some will look good if we play with the size of the images ourselves. It's definitely going to take some playing around before we're used to it. Toughpigs 16:59, July 15, 2010 (UTC)

I recommend we hold off from redesigning any of the 4000+ galleries until a later date. (See today's announcement) Otherwise, we might just end up having to go through them all again. We already have a tremendous amount of work on our hands, I'd rather not double it. —Scott (talk) 17:18, July 15, 2010 (UTC)
Its not a big deal, but is there anyway to override the latest gallery format until things are settled down, the changes happen, and to help discourage anyone unfamiliar with whats going on from messing with it? (and to make ugly pages look pretty again for awhile) -- Nate (talk) 17:45, July 15, 2010 (UTC)

Actually, the changes that Sarah talks about there are months away, and shouldn't impact the photo galleries. This is the way photo galleries are now. Toughpigs 18:54, July 15, 2010 (UTC)

Here's a test case using Cleopatra.
  • Cleopatra/square - most of these look pretty good. The obvious exception if "Famous Femmes du Histoire"
  • Cleopatra/landscape - not much of a benefit over square.
  • Cleopatra/portrait - better for "Famous Femmes du Histoire" but now cuts out "Miss Piggy's Poster Book"
All of them are better than what's currently on the article. I keep flipping back and forth between square and landscape, unable to decide which I like better. If only there were an option for the taller thumbnails to offset which part was aligned to the frame; for example, if "Famous Femmes du Histoire" could be nudged down 20px or so, it would be perfect. Or heck, if by default the thumbnail took the top of the taller images instead of the middle. —Scott (talk) 19:53, July 15, 2010 (UTC)
Here's another test with Wedding Piggy: portrait‎, landscape, square. I think I like square the best. And I could almost get used to the fact that heads are going to be cropped out of thumbnails if only it were more clear to the reader that clicking on them gets you the full image. Maybe a magnifying glass icon appears when you rollover the thumbnail with the mouse or something. (Something like this.) —Scott (talk) 20:02, July 15, 2010 (UTC)
While I still believe that the general need for height/width conformity in order to gain back visual balance within our galleries is a big backwards step, I agree that the square format oftentimes proves to be the lesser evil. Scott is right in that something needs to be done about tall images not centering so awkwardly. And I like the idea about making it more clear to visitors that clicking an image does indeed magnify it in most cases. — Julian (talk) 20:35, July 15, 2010 (UTC)
I feel bad that we all feel a little negative about the new gallery feature, since it is obviously something that the creative folks have worked a long time on, but I also agree with Scott and Julian that an indication that the image, when clicked, can be viewed full size is nice. As well as the taller images being centered higher, since that most often will be the focal point. Another question to, below the gallery is the button to "add a picture to this gallery." While that is a nice fuction to encourage folks to make additions in editing, can it be turned off? I ask this in the thoughts of grouping landscape images in a seperate gallery from those in a square gallery, without the button somewhat breaking the visual dynamic of the page, if that makes any sense. Although its a little thing that I guess can be overlooked. I'm thinking breaking down some galleries into like-sized images is a good option, given the "here to stay" gallery update. How are some of the other wiki sites reacting to the new gallery? Is it mostly a positive reaction elsewhere? -- Nate (talk) 20:46, July 15, 2010 (UTC)
Square is the best I think with those examples. And I have a suggestion that might help, as well. We could add a note to the galleries, suggesting that the viewer click each image to see the full pictures. I think it's nice to see all the pictures in a singly gallery, but if that's the case, it would be good if we could adjust how each image is cropped, as was suggested.
After seeing Scott's examples, I feel a little better about the galleries, and a little more excited about them.--Justin 21:31, July 15, 2010 (UTC)
And another example: User:Gribbaziggy /Kissing Muppets. It looks pretty good, with the exception of Carmen Electra and Tim Curry. --Justin 21:36, July 15, 2010 (UTC)

searching the wiki

I just noticed Nate's note to Danny about search. Sometimes search might not work the way you'd like it to. One alternative is to use Google to search just the wiki: nursery rhymes site:muppet.wikia.comScott (talk) 17:01, July 9, 2010 (UTC)

Helping Hand

Do we have an article for this? - Oscarfan 18:27, July 8, 2010 (UTC)

Well, that was painful to watch. But I did see Uncle Matt, Red, Sprocket and Bean Bunny. Is it the same Comic Relief as A Night of Comic Relief 2? —Scott (talk) 18:35, July 8, 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure. On Wikipedia, it's mentioned that this was just a music video made in 1991 as their annual charity single. - Oscarfan 18:41, July 8, 2010 (UTC)
Spotted another Bunny Picnic bunny as well, maybe Twitch. Also a clearer version of the video is here. I thought I saw Khriusha the Pig and Punch and Judy Puppets as well, which is cool. -- Nate (talk) 19:00, July 8, 2010 (UTC)

This is from the annual 'Comic Relief' varity programme that we have in the UK. Each year there is some sort of single music release, and this was from 1991. I'm sure that Mike Quinn and Karen Prell performed Matt and Red, and I think Dave Barclay performed Sprocket. I'm 99% sure that one of the Henson kids performed one of the Bunny Picnic puppets - can't remember which one though. There is a line in the song which Matt and Red sing which is "Without a hand, The Muppets wouldn't have a show, without a hand, Thunderbirds are NOT go!" Wozza 20:21, July 8, 2010 (UTC)

New skin test

Hi, guys -- I've noticed something unfortunate in the wiki stats: the number of average pageviews per visit has gone down recently. On average, people used to look at 10 pages per visit to the wiki. Since May, that's gone down to 8 pages per visit. That means that people are coming to the wiki, but they're not sticking around as long.

The drop seems to have started around the time that we put up the new Kermit skin in mid-May. The new skin is a cool idea, and many people like it, but it's possible that our readers aren't as pleased with it.

The drop is especially bad for people with smaller screens. Folks with a 1024-wide screen don't necessarily even know that it's supposed to be Kermit, because their screen isn't wide enough to see the collar shape -- they just see one shade of green around the logo and then a darker shade of green below the sidebar. So for them, the wiki just got darker and two-tone; they don't see the coolness of it being Kermit.

We're going to try taking the new skin off for a week and see what happens. If the pages/visit stay low, then maybe it's nothing to do with the skin; if they go back up, then we'll figure out what to do. We'll be doing that soon... -- Danny@fandom (talk) 16:32, June 21, 2010 (UTC)

Could we at least change the background to a different color? The white background makes it hard for me to see the user info at the top. - Oscarfan 19:43, June 21, 2010 (UTC)
The user links at top should be showing up now. As for the background, I'd like to do something different for that space. I have a hard time working on the wiki when it's so washed out and open. Having some color there helps the reader focus on the content so long as it's not too busy and distracting. —Scott (talk) 19:57, June 21, 2010 (UTC)
So, the idea with the photo collar background is not being given a chance then? Or might there still be one, if the average pageviews per visit don't go up during this test week? — Julian (talk) 20:27, June 21, 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, we're going to see what happens this week with the pv/visit. Once we know more, then we can make a plan... -- Danny@fandom (talk) 21:40, June 21, 2010 (UTC)

Can I play devil's advocate and ask a question? Are visits down on other popular wikis as well? It seems like even our regular folks here (myself included) have been more quiet of late. I hate to black list the fantastic Kermit background with something it is not blame for. -- Nate (talk) 15:28, June 22, 2010 (UTC)

Pageviews per visit aren't down on other wikis, as far as I can see. That number tends to remain stable unless there's a special event (like a movie or game release, or we get linked from a popular blog) or there's a problem with the site speed.
We're not totally sure that it's because of the Kermit skin, so we're doing the test to get some more info... If it's not the skin, then maybe something else is going on. We'll have some more information in a little while... -- Danny@fandom (talk) 18:24, June 22, 2010 (UTC)
Hi, guys -- We did the week of having the Kermit skin off, and it does seem like the skin was depressing our pageviews per visit. The numbers went back up when we took the Kermit skin off.
So we're going to leave the site the way it is right now. Wikia is working on redesigning the look of the site this summer -- we'll see a new skin rolling out sitewide in the early fall. I'm one of the people working on the project -- it's a huge endeavor. I can't say much about it right now, because we're really just starting the design process.
Anyway, the new skin will have different ways to customize -- so we can take another shot at making a Muppety skin in the fall, using the new tools. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 00:08, July 1, 2010 (UTC)
That's kinda disappointing. My eyes hurt staring at the white background when I'm on here. Oh, well. Look forward to seeing the new skin this fall! --Justin 01:16, July 1, 2010 (UTC)
Don't the Star Wars and Star Trek wikis have custom backgrounds? How are they doing? -- Ken (talk) 04:24, July 1, 2010 (UTC)
Lots of wikis have custom skins; I'm not sure anybody has ever tracked whether a new skin depresses page views before or not. Star Wars and Star Trek have had theirs forever though, so I'm not sure how you would tell with them. It's possible that in our case the green skin made the site seem less serious/official and more fan-like. Or maybe not everyone loves green Kermit skin like we do.... :).
That said, anybody who prefers the green skin can use it by copying this code and pasting it into a new page called 'User:username/monaco.css' (put in your own username, and make sure monaco is not capitalized). If you use the RTE, make sure you switch to "source" mode before you paste it in. Save it. Then go to your preferences and unclick the box that allows the admin skin choice to override your own. You will have to bypass your browser's cache (usually shift+reload), and you should then see the Kermit skin. -- Wendy (talk) 05:12, July 1, 2010 (UTC)

contracts and checks

Where does this contract belong? Here is another part of it: File:Juhl_contract1.JPG -- Wozza 19:48, June 6, 2010 (UTC)

I'm not sure it does belong. On the one hand, personal contracts and checks feel invasive. On the other hand, they're pretty old and sort of historical documents at this point. I'd be interested in hearing thoughts from others. —Scott (talk) 20:00, June 6, 2010 (UTC)
That's what I thought they are so old, and are totaly useless to anyone but still quite interesting! Wozza 20:22, June 6, 2010 (UTC)
Personally, I'd say treat them the way we tend to do CTW archive documents and other things of that kind. We don't just clump every document in a gallery, but they can be useful if trying to support a specific fact or discovery. Nothing leaps out in Juhl's contract right out but possibly something in other pages from it, or if one wanted examples of signatures for some reason for Jerry Juhl's page (if the latter case, I might actually favor cropping, but specifying where it came from). In the case of the check, I don't see anything relevant in a payment to a cable company, but if we wanted an example of the company's personal check letterhead, it could be useful. So to my mind, things like this are worthwhile as documentation sources or exhibits only if they illustrate something specific to an article or subject, or parked as a starting point for further research. I wouldn't bother to just collect them for the sake of having copies of every internal or personal accounting matter related to Jim Henson (and for the most part, even using it just to show "So and so made so much" isn't that relevant). That's my take. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 20:33, June 6, 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, I agree. It's always nice to have access to archive documents, but these are routine and have no particular interest. I'm always glad to see the crazy things that Warrick digs up, but this one doesn't really belong anywhere. Bring on the next thing, Warrick! :) -- Danny@fandom (talk) 23:31, June 6, 2010 (UTC)
The contract is interesting. I never really thought about it, but it makes sense that such a contract would be necessary for Henson to own the rights to Jerry's work. Not sure where that kind of information would go, but it is kind of fascinating... though perhaps it is only fascinating to me. It'd be nice to keep it around as an historical document, but I agree that it doesn't seem to have a place right now.--Justin 02:25, June 7, 2010 (UTC)

That's not a special part of the contract... That's completely standard boilerplate for people who are working on a television show. There's nothing special there about a relationship between Henson and Juhl; it's what any writer working on a TV show would have. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 03:13, June 7, 2010 (UTC)

I'd just never seen an example of that sort of contract before. I know it's not unique, it's just interesting to me personally. --Justin 04:11, June 7, 2010 (UTC)
this is the website that has the information on, just search 'Jim Henson' and take a look. Here is a really interesting contract regarding the Land of Gorch on Saturday Night Live! -- User:Warrick 16:33, July 6, 2010
Which website? —Scott (talk) 20:38, July 6, 2010 (UTC)
Oops! Wozza 20:24, July 7, 2010 (UTC)

Hi guys -- The "sponsored links" test has been up for about six weeks, and we've decided to turn it off. We only got one taker for a page sponsorship, the official Sesame Street Store link on the Sesame Street page. That was a cool advertiser, but nobody else took the opportunity, and we don't want to have an extra ad on all the pages if it's not working. It was a good experiment, and thanks to everybody for being patient while we tried it out. The stuff we learned from this version may feed into a future version of the feature.

As a courtesy to our one paying customer, and because we love them, I added the Sesame Street Store link as is to the list of external links on the Sesame page. I think it would be good to keep a good relationship with those guys, so that we might get more opportunities to connect with the official Sesame site. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 18:38, June 2, 2010 (UTC)

Fred Get Me a Twenty


I'm sure this is the wrong place to discuss this, but I couldn't think of a better place. Phil Chapman on Muppet Central just posted a link to this: Fred, Get Me a 20. Is there anything on the wiki covering this? I couldn't find any. The poster of the video said that "Fred" is played by Joe Raposo and the boss played by Danny Epstein. Plus it would make a good addition to Gorilla Suits. --Justin 15:51, May 10, 2010 (UTC)

Awesome! I totally had a SIRE! I haven't seen this in 35 years, and yet I knew it the second it started. And I never knew that was Joe and Danny. Anyway, yeah, I would mention it on their pages, and Gorilla Suits, since I don't think it would get its own sketch page. -- Ken (talk) 01:17, May 19, 2010 (UTC)
Here's a screenshot we can use for Miscellaneous Cameos and possibly Gorilla Suits. ---- Jesse (talk) 01:51, May 19, 2010 (UTC)

Cheapest Muppet Movie

Since Lylle Breier has said that the next movie will be Segel's Greatest script and the Cheapest treatment from Henson's days has been set aside, should the link in the sidebar be changed from pointing to Cheapest to either the general movie news page or the Greatest article? Also should the picture at the top of the main page be changed from the Cheapest logo to something more general? -- Brad D. (talk) 16:08, May 6, 2010 (UTC)

Good points both, thanks for mentioning it! I have a customized sidebar, so I didn't even think to update that, but I just did it now. —Scott (talk) 16:25, May 6, 2010 (UTC)

Disambig Pages

I was just working on the page for Max when I noticed that only the characters on Disambiguation pages are linked, and not the productions they are from. Should we also link the books/shows/movies, or if that person wants information on that particular project they have to either type it in, or go the character page and click from there. Silly question I know, but something that grabbed my attention. -- Nate (talk) 19:58, May 5, 2010 (UTC)

We've got a bit about that on our policy page. The only thing that should be linked on disambig pages are the things that are being disambiguated so as to most quickly get the reader to the content they're looking for. —Scott (talk) 20:02, May 5, 2010 (UTC)
Perfect. The one place I didn't think to look. Thanks Scott! -- Nate (talk) 20:10, May 5, 2010 (UTC)

Official citation

Muppet Wiki's crossing borders again: look at this post on Sesame Street Partners Japan's blog... (look for Joey Mazzarino's picture) -- Zanimum 17:35, April 24, 2010 (UTC)

Hi, guys: There's a new thing that we're going to start testing out on Muppet Wiki today -- a space at the bottom of article pages for "sponsored links". I'm going to turn it on right after I post this, so you'll be able to see what it looks like -- it adds an extra heading under all the content for Sponsored links, with a link to "Sponsor this page".

When people click on the link, they can pay $5/month or $24/year to add a text link. The link will appear as another bullet under that heading, with the website name and a line of description. All of the ads need to be approved before they actually appear on the site -- they're going to go to the head of our Community team for approval before they get posted.

This is something that Wikia has been interested in lately -- we want to see if people are interested in sponsoring super-targeted text links, and if it takes off, then maybe it'll help us cut out other kinds of ads on the site.

We want to test it specifically on Muppet Wiki, because there are two advertisers who have asked recently about posting affiliate-link ads on this wiki. One of them is a major, officially sponsored site which would be very cool to have as a sponsor of the wiki. So I'm turning it on now, and we'll see how it goes.

The feature is super brand new and still pretty clunky. We wanted it up on the site so that the advertisers could see what it looks like and start playing with it. Anyway, it's up now. Let me know what you guys are thinking; I'm bringing feedback back to the folks creating the feature. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 22:16, April 21, 2010 (UTC)

Is this only for companies, or can individuals contribute, too? Is it for companies of any size? Would ads disappear when people log in like the other ones do? Can you say who the advertisers are that want to sponsor the wiki? (Sorry for the multiple questions!) -- Ken (talk) 01:35, April 22, 2010 (UTC)
I'd suggest that the "Sponsor this page" link be italicized text under the heading, rather than part of the bullet list. I was very confused when I first saw this on a page (before I read about it here) and thought that somebody had mis-labeled a real link. -- Wendy (talk) 01:42, April 22, 2010 (UTC)
Answering Ken's questions: Anybody can put a sponsored link on a page. It's $5/month per page, so if anybody feels like spending that money, then they can feel free to use it. When you click the Sponsor this page link, it just takes you to a simple form, and then you go through Paypal to pay for it. So it could be anybody with a website that they're willing to pay to promote -- so someone with a Dark Crystal fansite might want to sponsor the Dark Crystal page, or something like that.
The logged-in question is part of what we want to gauge -- it's possible to make the whole area go away for logged-in users, like all the other ads do. When we talked about it, I was wondering if the people who love the wiki (like us) would want to see them, just so we could see who's sponsoring a page. (Otherwise, we'd have to log out in order to check.) On the other hand, it's kind of distracting and irritating for us, so if it turns out to be more distracting than helpful, then we can take them off for logged-in people.
I can't say who the advertisers are right now, because if it turns out not to happen, I don't want to spread their name around. Hopefully, we'll see that happening soon.
Wendy: That's a good point; I hadn't thought about that. I'll bring that up as a potential issue... -- Danny@fandom (talk) 20:48, April 22, 2010 (UTC)

Could it only show up for logged in users when there is a sponsor? I think regular users might find it interesting to see when people sponsor a page, but the blank link for logged in users is a little annoying. -- Nate (talk) 20:57, April 22, 2010 (UTC)

I'll ditto Nate's suggestion, if it's feasible (and it might be more work than it's worth), or if it can be one of those things that registered users can set preferences for. Particularly if "sponsor this page" link stays where it is, it is confusing and distracting. An actual ad would be less so. Actually, the current position raises another question. Would the sponsored links follow the same limits placed on other ads (as far as placement and so on)? If, as you suggested, they ultimately replace the other ads on those pages, it might be less of an issue, but right now the "sponsor this page" bumps up right against the content and is particularly noticeable on smaller character pages, like Duck Clark. So I'm just theorizing as to how it will play out once there's an actual ad there. On the whole, though, I like the idea, particularly since (at least one hopes and expects) it might take away some of the randomness and include sponsors that more closely tie in to the actual articles. The readers have an increased chance of going "What the heck?" at certain ads (as happened when Kermit the Frog played host to Playboy), advertisers increase their chances of the ads being seen by someone who'd actually click or want to use their product/service (or visit their related fansite), etc. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 01:17, April 23, 2010 (UTC)
How does this affect our external links and external link policy?
We currently provide relevant external links for free. If, as you say, someone with a Dark Crystal fansite wants their link on the wiki, what's stopping them from just adding it to the "external links" section of the relevant page for free? Why pay? We have plenty of links to related fansites listed all over the wiki. Are you suggesting we stop that? For example, should we remove the links to "15 Seconds to Curtain!" and "Your Face!" on the Scooter article unless the owners of those sites specifically pay for them? Are we going to stop posting links to the product reviews and interviews from Muppet Central and Tough Pigs unless those webmasters pay? Cause if not, what would ever motivate them to pay for a link, when they are already getting them for free?
I guess I understand it for special shopping links to company/retailer e-stores (which aren't allowed under our normal "external links" guidelines). But how does this work for fansites and other related resources and links; shouldn't we be encouraging that those links are being added and collected on the wiki already? -- Brad D. (talk) 03:00, April 23, 2010 (UTC)
Brad, it's nothing to do with that or changing the policy, it's just that anyone has the option to buy an ad. We do limit external links in the sense that we don't include every random, not very good Miss Piggy page, only those with useful information. Someone else who wants to shell out five dollars for a link (or a link on more than one page, where we limit it explicitly) has the choice to. Or even things that are related in a broader sense, like say a comic book database, someone's own pop culture blog or Muppet fan blog which otherwise wouldn't fit here, etc. Basically, it's just an option if someone actually feels like doing so, and it's way too early to tell if anyone will (and if they do, I do expect a lot of them will be of the kind that wouldn't fit directly as links on their own, as has happened when folks want to spam, but if clearly set apart as promotion that's paid for, then it's not an issue). It's not a change to policy. Heck, someone might want to pay to sponsor Gorilla Suits with a link to their dissertation on the mating habits of gorilla, or some such. Not sure how likely any of this is, it's just that private individuals can indeed choose to pay for an ad (subject to the usual approval process). -- Andrew Leal (talk) 03:36, April 23, 2010 (UTC)

Okay, the first actual sponsor has bought an ad -- on the Sesame Street page, there's an ad for the official Sesame Street store. This is the officially sponsored site that I was mentioning earlier, and I think it's cool to have them buying an ad on the wiki. They've started with one page; I'm hoping they like it and add more.

Ditto on Andrew's response to Brad -- the example that I've been thinking about is Jay from Sesamestreem. We went back and forth a bit on the idea of him adding links to Sesamestreem on album pages, and ultimately decided not to allow it as one of our external links. But if he's interested in paying 5 bucks a month for them, then that's something he could do under sponsored links now. Same for something like The Muppet Mindset on the TMS page or whatever.

On the styling: This is still very much a work in progress. Before we launched, I asked them to make some changes on the spacing and the bullets to make it look more integrated with the site; that got accidentally reverted with a new code release late last night, so now I'm asking them to do it again. :) There may also be a change to the text of the "sponsor this page" link coming up.

This section does blur the line between content and ads, and that blurring is partially intentional. There's a big problem with "ad blindness" on the web -- people know what an ad box looks like, so you just skip past it without even looking at it. That makes life easier for people who read the web, but worse for the advertisers who are actually trying to get your attention.

In general, Wikia struggles with bringing up our "click-through rate" for ads -- there's so much great content on the site that people who come here tend to stay and read, which means they don't click on ads as much. Now, we might say, good, that means we keep all the readers -- but if the click-through is bad, then the relevant, classy advertisers don't want to bother advertising on our site, and we get stuck with all the bottom-feeder remnant ads like body fat reduction, in increasingly aggressive places. So it's this ongoing dance, figuring out how to place ads so that some people click on them and leave the site, but we don't chase away readers or contributors with crappy, obnoxious ad placements.

So, all that being said -- this is super early days with this particular feature -- the Sesame Street store is actually the very first customer. So we're seeing if this works at all, and then seeing what we need to do to make it work better -- for the advertisers, the readers and the community of contributors.

I've asked them to hide the section for logged-in users right now -- I was thinking that it might be helpful for us to be able to see if someone's bought an ad, but at the moment, we've got 21,000 pages and only one ad, so we're getting annoyed by them for no real reason. It's Friday, so that might not happen until Monday, but I'm hoping for earlier. Right now, the person who's approving the ads is telling me when she's seeing requests, so I can let everybody know when there are new ads on the page (if people care). So there you go, lots of info... Thanks to everybody for your thoughts, and your beautiful and generous patience as we try something new. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 17:40, April 23, 2010 (UTC)

Okay, I have a couple of other questions. We already have a link to Amazon's official Sesame Street store on Amazon's page. Would this be unfair competition, since the Workshop is buying an ad, but Amazon isn't? What about the videos and books that link to an actual Amazon page for that item? I think we had started that because if people bought an item on a page linked from the wiki, Wikia would get some of the money. Would that also be a conflict? I'm a little confused where to draw the line between things like the Workshop buying an ad, so people will go to their store, and links we already have to buy stuff on Amazon.
And I'm a little nervous about Sesamestreem, only because I don't want to put us in a position where the Workshop would get mad at us over things like piracy and copyright infringement. From what I've seen on YouTube, the Workshop seems to leave Sesame clips alone, but Viacom was the one who got mad, because of the Noggin logo. I had mentioned to Jay my copyright concerns, and he said that his site is listen-only, so that's good, because I would hate for the Workshop to give up on making CD's of old LP's, thinking that collectors are just passing around CD's burned from LP's without paying for them, so why should they spend the money to make official CD reissues? Anyway, those are some of my thoughts on it. -- Ken (talk) 04:29, April 24, 2010 (UTC)

Really, we don't have to worry about anything changing as far as our wiki policies go. We have the links that we think are relevant and helpful, according to our own guidelines and taste. In addition to that, people can now buy sponsored links on the site. Those two things aren't connected -- we shouldn't take off links or add links to the wiki page because of the sponsored links. We don't need to worry about competition or anything like that.

About Sesamestreem: Again, nothing to do with us. If Jay felt like paying $5/month to buy a link on a page, then that's up to him; it's not our responsibility and doesn't affect us one way or the other. We're not responsible for setting Sesame Workshop policy or helping them make plans for releases.

So, in general: I think you're overthinking this. :) The links are there, and people can use them if they want. If it turns out that a specific problem comes up, then we can deal with it, but we don't need to worry about stuff that won't necessarily happen. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 23:50, April 26, 2010 (UTC)

Yeah, I probably am, but I feel better asking about it, and seeing how other people felt about it. I know our policy has evolved from the early days, when we said, "No links to buy stuff", so we should probably rewrite this page. -- Ken (talk) 01:53, April 27, 2010 (UTC)

New gallery toys

Wikia launched a new update to the photo gallery today, including a lot of features that we've wanted for a long time on this wiki. We've now got a special photo gallery editing tool that guides people through the steps of making a gallery. You can use it to create a new gallery in the edit window. For an existing gallery, you can click on the "add to this gallery" button straight from view mode, and change the gallery without even hitting edit.

The cool new toys include:

  • We can now link gallery pictures to article pages, hooray! So now we can set up pages like the Discographies so that people can click on the album covers and go straight to the article. This is something we've really wanted -- for disambig pages, categories, all kinds of stuff. You can do it through the gallery editing tool -- or if you edit in source mode, you use |link=Article name after the caption. I set up a Gallery test page -- you can see the code there.
  • For gallery pics that aren't linked to pages, when a reader clicks on the picture, it now pops up the bigger version in a lightbox view -- so we don't send readers to ugly, confusing image pages anymore. If we want to get to the image page, there's an icon at the bottom of the lightbox view that links there.
  • We can set captions to be centered or left-aligned by the whole gallery, rather than using cumbersome center tags on each caption.
  • Galleries now wrap automatically to show the correct number of pictures in a row for the browser screen, so we don't have to use perrow=3 anymore. They'll even wrap around floated pictures and infoboxes -- you can see that on the Gallery test page too. So that means we don't have to worry about what's next to the gallery anymore; we can just make galleries and let them wrap around stuff.

So that's all the good stuff! There are also a couple of bugs right now, cause there always are. One bug that's annoying for us: Perrow was disabled, and on our existing galleries that use perrow, there's a bug that makes the lines of captions run into each other. They're going to fix that, although it looks like it might not happen until Monday. So if there are galleries where that annoys you right now, the way to fix it is to take the perrow=3 out of the code. But they'll fix it in a few days, so we won't have to actually go around and fix it on the hundreds of galleries on the site.

Another thing is that the gallery editing tool only uses one number for size, instead of two -- just widths instead of heights & widths. So every picture is now a square, where we used to be able to make the frames fit portrait and landscape pictures better. They've gotten some negative feedback on that already, so the product manager responsible for it is figuring out what to do with that.

So -- I don't know about you guys, but I'm super excited about the ability to link from galleries. It's something I've wanted for years, and always felt was a huge problem on the site. So I hope you guys enjoy playing with the new toys, and continuing to make this the most awesome Muppet site ever created. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 05:46, March 26, 2010 (UTC)

21,000 pages!

For those who missed it, we recently crossed 21,000 pages. I think this is a pretty big accomplishment, since we just crossed 20,000 in November. Putting up a thousand new pages in 4 months is no small task. So congratulations to everybody who works on the wiki! -- Ken (talk) 05:27, March 26, 2010 (UTC)

Yay for us! Does that mean we're going to get to 22,000 by the end of the summer? -- Danny@fandom (talk) 05:30, March 26, 2010 (UTC)
We will if Warner Home Video and Lionsgate keep releasing new DVD's every month, and E1 Music makes more CD's! -- Ken (talk) 06:10, March 26, 2010 (UTC)

Henson, post 2004 (part 2)

This conversation has entered a different phase, so I'm moving this part up to the top. -- D.

I started a temporary Post-2004 category. That isn't necessarily a "delete" list -- some of it should be merged, and some of it is really just up for serious review. So that'll just help us to organize this and figure out how to proceed.

Looking at this stuff, I'm also realizing that there are lots of pages that have a combination of stuff we care about and post-2004 stuff -- performers or producers who have done some Muppet stuff and then were also in Hitch-hiker's Guide or Sam Plenty. As we go along, we'll probably have to go through that stuff and take out the post-04 material, or at least de-link it and de-emphasize it. This is going to be kind of a long-term project, but we've done long-term projects like this before. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 06:59, March 4, 2010 (UTC)

We don't have to talk about it now, but I wanted to mention one more thing so I don't forget about it. I've been looking through a bunch of stuff on the list above, and I'd like to keep the merchandise that's based on Jim's drawings and designs. I know it was made post-2004, but I think if we can draw a direct line back to Jim, that should count. -- Ken (talk) 07:16, March 4, 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, I'd like to keep that too; I just think we can merge it all into Jim Henson Designs. It looks like that project stalled after just a couple of products, so we could put all that on one page and we don't need a separate category for it. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 13:15, March 4, 2010 (UTC)
The category helps, but a few quick notes. Liam Aiken is actually from a 2003 movie, so it's not so much a post-sale issue as "actor from a pre-sale movie we don't like" (and in which case Kevin Nealon would also go), but in both cases their pages don't say a lot (nor does the Good Boy! page itself) so if it really seemed noteworthy, and we wanted to keep the connections (which Nate and I love), I'm thinking a "Production notes" section highlighting the really notable or amusing stuff for key cast might be doable in those cases (and in this case, it really comes down to maybe a couple of sentences and a return to outside Wikipedia links perhaps).
Several of the items covered are Creature Shop projects, which according to Scott's repeated suggestions in this thread wouldn't be messed with (apart from the issue of actors' participation, which I'd like to re-open but after we settle this conversation, as its own discussion; since looking at it now, bringing it closer in line with our policies for Muppet interaction as stated on Category talk:Celebrities makes sense; but several of those categorized voiced Creatures which we've been in favor of). So I personally don't see those pages as an issue, but if there are, there's a lot more Creature Shop stuff that would be in question. I'd just as soon keep that as is, though, with our standing policies (no character pages for non-Henson projects, etc.) The characters was the one loophole we'd previously agreed on (including not just Creatures but only if Jim Henson or the Jim Henson Company produced the film, not the Creature Shop as an outside effects house for another firm) and which so far really hasn't been abused, used on occasions when something tickles one, but I say that partially because I remain amused by Professor Charles Chicken and would hate to lose him.
On the other hand, I do like MirrorMask, but there even the Creature Shop involvement is "additional rendering," and beyond that it's just the fact that it was conceived as a deliberate attempt to create a Labyrinth-type cult movie (which obviously didn't quite succeed). So a one-page merge or deletion (depending on how much is actual useful info) makes sense (especially as there's a ton more merchandise we hadn't covered and so on, so it could indeed stretch out). Neil Gaiman should be safe though because we also have a mention in one of his stories, and though his page fails to mention it, his 1997 Neverwhere was optioned, so his page can be improved to be more interesting (and he's a celebrity unlike the other writers, and as such there's still lots of interviews and speeches and writings which could be culled for relevant stuff). -- Andrew Leal (talk) 16:45, March 4, 2010 (UTC)

One of the questions that I have is this. The Henson Alternative wiki seems like it is going to limit itself to just “adult” projects from the Jim Henson Company, while the Digital Puppetry wiki limits itself to just the digital projects. Where does that leave stuff like Unstable Fables and Where the Wild Things Are? Is there anyway of opening up the Alternative wiki to a Jim Henson Company wiki to incorporate more information about all their post 2004 projects? Just ideas I’m throwing out. I agree that a lot of the pages Danny listed aren’t major things that I personally would miss, but there are some things sprinkled in there that I would hate to lose on the Muppet Wiki. The list of Puppet Up puppets is really nice. Could we incorporate the puppet gallery onto the main page? I think a super big page with lots of good meaty information would be fantastic. Same would go with the four other pages in the Henson Alternative Charactrs category. Putting that character information on the project pages would make one nice big meaty fun filled interesting and informative page. -- Nate (talk) 16:53, March 4, 2010 (UTC)

And here's the fun part! This is why I wanted to put that stuff into a separate category, so we could know specifically what the pages are that might be affected by the new guideline.
First up, to clarify again for Nate -- nobody is suggesting that we delete all of the pages on these projects, or wipe information that we find valuable. I didn't suggest deleting Unstable Fables -- just merging the eight Fables-related pages into one, as Scott proposed.
Here's the guideline as Scott proposed it:

Muppet Wiki does not cover projects produced by The Jim Henson Company after 2004, beyond a single article. This means no separate pages for characters, soundtracks, books, podcasts, merchandise, etc...

Exceptions: I'm not proposing any change to the way we cover Sesame Street...

We cover new Fraggle Rock and Dark Crystal projects...

Creature Shop projects still get one page, and we apply the 2004 rule to the long-standing policy that already says no other pages connected to a Creature Shop movie unless Henson produced it.

Where the Wild Things Are, Five Children and It, Hitch-hiker's Guide and MirrorMask are Creature Shop movies; Sid the Science Kid and Dinosaur Train are Creature Shop TV shows. So the guideline that Scott proposed does say that all of those projects get exactly one page -- no merchandise, no Creatures, no voice actors.
Funny thing: Scott makes reference above to a "long-standing policy" that we only cover the Creatures in Creature Shop-effects movies, and not the rest of the movie. But when I was looking around, I realized that we never actually wrote that down or decided what it meant, and that we break that rule all the time -- for example, Max Records, Zooey Deschanel, Professor Charles Chicken. It's even more apparent in those instances, because they're post-2004 projects.
I totally understand the feeling of "... but I really like that page!" I like the connections too -- but I think they're more meaningful when we actually follow a set of guidelines, rather than adding people just for the sake of a connection. When we added the I Love Liberty guest list, we decided not to make pages for Barry Goldwater or Patty Duke, even though those would be amusing pages to have. They didn't interact with the Muppets, so they don't count.
Creating a guideline for what we include is hard, because it also entails saying that there are things that we don't cover. I think Scott's guideline helps us stay focused on what this wiki is about. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 17:56, March 4, 2010 (UTC)
Our long-standing policy comes from a 2007 current events consensus here, and reiterated here. It didn't pertain to actors somehow not being allowed (as I've said, that would be a seperate discussion) and it allowed all pages as long as the project was both a Creature Shop project (fitting our definition of having Creatures) and was produced by Jim Henson Company (that's why all the Hitchhiker's non-Creature pages were nuked, save Arthur Dent due to a reference). And Scott, could you weigh back in? Because I don't think that's what he meant (just no merchandise) and I really don't like the idea of nuking all ost-2004 Creatures and Creature actors. Dinosaur Train has no Creature Shop involvement whatsoever (like Unstable Fables, it's outsourced to India or some place; aha, it's actually Singapore) and Sid and friends aren't Creatures per our Muppets vs Creatures aesthetic decision (And actually, I just checked, not even that; the credits officially put them as being created by "Henson Digital Puppetry Studios," a separate outfit). So I think anti-all Creatures is still a bigger step than the rules against outsourced animation stuff and non-Creature digital animation/mo-cap puppetry or the Henson Alternative stuff (I also still want to go through Category:Creature Shop Movie Actors as a whole, but I think an "interaction with Creatures" or voice of one guideline still makes more sense, since the 2004 sale really didn't affect the Creature Shop itself, just the Muppets and everything else Henson is doing). -- Andrew Leal (talk) 18:06, March 4, 2010 (UTC)
I think Creature Shop stuff is different from the HDPS and Alt Henson stuff in that it's always been a separate thing from what the company was doing going as far back as Jim's days. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is just as dissimilar to the Muppets as Where the Wild Things Are. So I think we apply an exception for Creature Shop stuff on the grounds that it's consistently been its own thing and the policy we've been using for years has worked so well. —Scott (talk) 01:50, March 5, 2010 (UTC)

Okay, then... that actually makes less sense to me than I thought it did.

As I understood it, the guideline is: Henson sold the Muppets in 2004, and got farther away from our core interest (the Muppets). Therefore, whatever the company does after 2004 is substantially less interesting to us.

But if you're saying that we're still covering Where the Wild Things Are in detail, but not covering Puppet Up or Pajanimals... then I'm confused. I'm not interested in the Alternative or the Digital stuff... but I think it's obvious that Puppet Up has more in common with the Muppets than Wild Things. Most of the puppets in Puppet Up used to be Muppets.

So if we're just cutting the Alternative and Digital stuff, then I think Brad's right, and that's really just a matter of taste rather than a logical guideline. "We don't think Stuffed & Unstrung is funny, so we don't want to cover it; we think Wild Things is a cool movie, so we do."

The reason that concerns me is that there's a lot of extra junk in the Post-2004 category that doesn't fit in any of the buckets of Creature Shop, Alternative or Digital. There are Henson staffers like Eric Poticha and Halle Stanford; merchandising projects like Jim Henson Designs and Brandolution JHC; random stuff like The Jim Henson Honors. If we don't have a coherent guideline, then we won't be able to make decisions about how that stuff fits in.

Apparently, I'm the hardcore one here, saying: I don't care about anything that Henson does post-2004. I think it deserves one page per project, with "project" meaning any given TV show, movie or stage show. I think that guideline is sensible, and can be applied even-handedly without relying on differing personal taste. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 02:11, March 5, 2010 (UTC)

I'm just saying let's be consistent with the way we've handled Creature Shop stuff in the past. If it still doesn't make sense after we've cleared out the Henson Puppets stuff, we can look at it again. And for the things in the post-2004 category that don't fit into one of those descriptions, we'll just take them one by one. —Scott (talk) 02:15, March 5, 2010 (UTC)
Clearing out puppets that used to be Muppet characters and keeping MirrorMask merchandise makes no sense to me. If that's where we're going -- then I'd rather keep the Henson Alternative stuff. At least the pig from Tinseltown used to be on Muppets Tonight.
The only guideline that seems logical and consistent to me is to say -- post-2004 Henson projects get one page. If you guys are going in a different direction than that, then I think you're being inconsistent and weird. It makes me want to go back to making Sesame Street pages and let you guys do whatever you want. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 02:41, March 5, 2010 (UTC)
MirrorMask would be out anyway, since it was only digitally rendered by the Creature Shop. Nobody's arguing for that. (And Howard Tubman isn't the same as the Tinseltown pig). If we want to keep those puppets specifically who used to be Muppet characters but were reworked (and exclude all the new Muppets), that also makes sense. There's really nothing inconsistent in continuing to handle the Creature Shop the way we have (since many of these projects are in fact independent of Jim Henson the Company now run oddly by Henson Kids but consistent with Jim Henson's Creature Shop which Jim started back in the 1980s and which has followed a far less erratic path than the Henson Company, not really changing a whole lot except adding the spot of digital stuff and maintaining Muppets for Sesame, and all of that started pre-2004), since nothing relating to it was sold or affected by the events in 2004. So I don't see that as inconsistent and weird (and maybe I should have stayed out of it, so I'm sorry, but your list didn't match Scott's original guideline intentions, and I still fail to see why keeping Creatures around is somehow massively weird and inconsistent and somehow means we'd have to keep Sid and Dinosaur Train and bad Singapore stuff and Brandolution). Project page, Creatures, creature voices, that's been the way we've consistently treated them, and like I said, actors is another conversation (Max Records should go not because he was involved in a post-2004 Creature Shop movie, but because the page has two sentences). If we want to dump non-Creature character pages in Henson-produced Creature Shop movies, though like I said I'd miss some pages, that would be consistent (that was the one loophole, since we were then treating all Henson-produced Creature Shop movies in the same way we do Labyrinth and Dinosaurs and such), just focusing on the Creature portions and the actors, which is how we've done when the Creature Shop has been used for any other company (and the post-2004 guideline is basically to say that, after that point, the Jim Henson *company* became just that, and if we're concerned about, say, the fact that the Creature Shop created the puppet used in the Lost web thingummies, we go to the aesthetic guidelines, and actually since it was done for Disney he might almost count as a Muppet even, but basically that's how to keep it from expanding if Jim Henson's Creature Shop builds a giant Sid the Science Kid talking float to crush Tokyo). -- Andrew Leal (talk) 03:39, March 5, 2010 (UTC)

I talked with Scott offline about this a little bit, and I think I'm going to drop out of the conversation at this point. I understand that the guidelines you're talking about seem consistent and reasonable to you, and you guys care way more about the Creature Shop parts of this wiki than I do. You've all done me the favor over the years of letting me have my way on the parts of the site that I care about, so I'm going to step back right now, in the happy knowledge that you guys know what's best. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 04:33, March 5, 2010 (UTC)

Ok, now I'm starting to get confused. Creature shop productions get the same coverage as before. But Henson projects only get one page, even if it involved the creature shop ? So the only time when a creature shop production get full coverage are when it's produced by a company other than Henson? I thought the idea was to keep it simple so that everyone knew what should get a page, right now it don't seem simple to me. Henrik (talk) 08:47, March 5, 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, that's a combination of misreading and a potential compromise point I was making to Danny. But if he's fine with us following as before, then basically it would be the same policy as before. Henson produced Creature Shop projects, with characters that fit our definition of Creatures (not just additional rendering or background smoke or something else), would get a page, page for the creatures, and the actors, as we've been doing. Pages for human characters from Henson/Creature Shop movies, probably fine for now (since there's generally only a few anyay), though that's really something we can examine later, and at this point, we'd be best off not creating merchandise pages for new Henson produced Creature Shop movies (which we've been doing anyway) or just putting it all on one page. We'll probably open the actors issue after this has cooled down (i.e. whether to give actors pages if they just appeared in a non-Henson Creature Shop project without even appearing with the Creatures). That way any changes or trims we feel are still needed can indeed be kept less confusing and taken as they arise in specific areas. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 20:01, March 5, 2010 (UTC)
Take a look at the MirrorMask page and tell me what ya'll think. I incorporated the merchandise pages into the main article, which will allow us to get rid of the three merchandise pages and the merchandise category for MirrorMask. -- Nate (talk) 20:08, March 6, 2010 (UTC)
I Just took a stab at Jim Henson Designs as well. I incorporated the City Critters and Running Man Shirt into one single article. I left the page for the Fearzogs, as that can still stand on its own as an article per our guidelines on unfinished characters. -- Nate (talk) 20:29, March 6, 2010 (UTC)
And I just reworked Unstable Fables as well. -- Nate (talk) 21:16, March 6, 2010 (UTC)

I didn't realize Brad was working on a Sandbox for Puppet Up!, but I merged some information on there as well. Puppet Up! -- Nate (talk) 02:21, March 7, 2010 (UTC)

Good work, Nate! I went ahead and deleted the MirrorMask book page. I think they'll need some pruning (the "Blank is a blank" form from when they were standalones is redundant, some of the detail or info boxes can be shortened). The Cafe Press gallery looks a bit much to me, I think mostly because they look a lot alike. Maybe shorten it to some representative buttons, mention the rest, and if you like, park the images on the talk page or your page so they're not lost? That's just a thought. We'll also have to start unlinking some connections, mainly for the few Unstable Fables voices who have no other relevance (since there's definitely no question on them), and I'll probably get around to MirrorMask cast later on (I'm not sure about Stephen Fry, since he also narrated Hitchhiker's, so that probably qualifies him), but I have a copy of the online presskit somewhere, or even just writing it ourselves, adding a "Production notes/about the cast" section to those pages wouldn't hurt (and would be the best way to note any connections; with Unstable Fables, it's not worth doing since the leads are all celebs who can be easily googled, outside perhaps of a trivia note or two on cross-overs with things like Frances). Anyway, we're slowly starting on it. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 02:57, March 7, 2010 (UTC)
I took some stuff out of the Post-2004 category, since I'd created it thinking that it would include the Creature Shop stuff as well. So I took out the Wild Things, Hitch-hiker's, Mee-Shee and Five Children and It pages. The pages that are in there now should all be related to Henson Alternative, digital puppetry stuff and some extra Henson Company projects. Hopefully that helps us focus on what pages need to merged/deleted. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 20:02, March 7, 2010 (UTC)
This is just a silly question, but I’m going to ask it anyway. Unless there are other references to a project from a project directly involving the Muppets or something pre-2004, we won’t do a page for it, correct? We know how much I love the tv, movie, theatre, celebrity and other reference pages, and I had one for ‘’Antiques Roadshow’’, but since the only reference was a spoof on ‘’Alt/Reality’’ there would be no page for it correct? And I do have another question too, shouldn’t we still have a page for ‘’Alt/Reality’’, since it is allowed with the one page per project rule? -- Nate (talk) 17:00, March 9, 2010 (UTC)
I meant to redirect Alt/Reality to Henson Alternative. I'm obviously not finished cleaning up those sections yet as they're in quite a mess. As for references, if we're not covering the thing they're referencing, there's really no point. Fortunately that means we don't lose a lot. I think Antiques Roadshow was the only one. —Scott (talk) 17:19, March 9, 2010 (UTC)
No biggie on losing Antiques Roadshow, it was fun, but I can sacrifice. But I guess I'm still confused as to why it would redirect instead of being a stand alone article with all the information contatined on a single page. Or could the page for Henson Alternative incorporate all the information on the show there? Like we did with Puppet Up and Unstable Fables. -- Nate (talk) 17:28, March 9, 2010 (UTC)
That's the idea behind the page, yeah. Alt/Reality is just kind of another non-project that Henson clumsily put out and/or is still trying to put out. How much do we really need to say about it? Right now the link on Henson Alternative goes to the page on the HAWiki. —Scott (talk) 17:34, March 9, 2010 (UTC)

Henson, post 2004

I'm proposing a new policy. Muppet Wiki does not cover projects produced by The Jim Henson Company after 2004, beyond a single article. This means no separate pages for characters, soundtracks, books, podcasts, merchandise, etc. 2004 is the year Henson sold the Muppets to Disney. From that point on, Henson has nothing to do with the Muppets. Exceptions:

  • Jim Henson's Creature Shop still maintains the Sesame Street Muppets. I'm not proposing any change to the way we cover Sesame Street.
  • franchises that were established before 2004. So we cover new Fraggle Rock and Dark Crystal projects, for example.
  • Creature Shop projects still get one page, and we apply the 2004 rule to the long-standing policy that already says no other pages connected to a Creature Shop movie unless Henson produced it.

So that means Tinseltown gets exactly one page. Puppet Up gets exactly one page. If someone wants to start a Henson Alternative Wiki, I would love to see people get excited creating pages for Alt/Reality characters and Del's Vegas Comedy Binge episodes.

Thoughts? Folks who don't usually chime in on this topic? —Scott (talk) 20:58, March 2, 2010 (UTC)

I'm OK with it. --Rankin (talk) 21:14, March 2, 2010 (UTC)
I'll start the Henson Alternative Wiki. Should I call it "HA! Wiki" or "Henson-Alternative Wiki"? --Rankin (talk) 01:48, March 3, 2010 (UTC)
I see you've already started it at ;) —Scott (talk) 01:53, March 3, 2010 (UTC)
That all makes sense to me, too. -- Ken (talk) 02:31, March 3, 2010 (UTC)
First, what is the focus of this Wiki? Muppets-only? Muppet and projects personally touched by Jim? Muppets, projects personally touched by Jim, and anything created by the Jim Henson Company when it owned the M-word? Why? The main page of this wiki says: "This wiki is dedicated to documenting, exploring and enjoying the enormous body of work that Jim Henson has created and inspired." And while Jim didn't personally have a hand in creating "Puppet Up!" or "Pajanimals," I would say are just as much a connected to his legacy as "Bear in the Big Blue House," "The Animal Show," "Animal Jam," or "Telling Stories with Tomie dePaola" (which Jim also did not have a direct hand in). They may not have the legal "Muppet" name (due to that word being sold to Disney with Kermit and the gang) but I think they are just as Muppet-y as many of the pre-2004 projects that we cover here (and we cover many pre-2004 projects that don't have the "Muppet" name…and in some cases, even a "Muppet" style).
We are interested in Muppets and Jim Henson (the man). So if (due to the sale of the Muppets) the Henson Company has become just a "generic family entertainment company that boasts Jim Henson's name" and thus their puppet projects are not Muppet-relevant, than I would argue that Jim Henson's Creature Shop is just a "generic effects company that boasts Jim Henson's name" and any non-Muppet work made after 1990 is just as irrelevant to our Muppet/Jim Henson focus as stuff made by any other effects house (it's not a Muppet and it wasn't done by Jim).
I understand the main focus of Muppet Wiki should be Muppets – "The Muppet Show", "Sesame Street", "Fraggle Rock", etc. But if we're striving to be "Muppet"-only, then why do we cover non-Muppet Creature Shop projects ("The Dark Crystal," "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," "Dinosaurs," "Farscape"...) or Jim Henson's early films ("Time Piece, " "The Cube"...)?
I don't understand why we've maintain articles for Vogons or Adolf Pigeon but we won't for Bobby Vegan or Piddles. They are all puppets created by Jim Henson's Creature Shop. Piddles is even a Muppet puppet (from Dog City). I see "Stuffed and Unstrung" and "Pajanimals" being more "Muppet"-y (and even "Jim Henson"-y) than "Farscape" or "Aliens in the Family" (and we give them multiple pages).
If we are limiting ourselves to "Muppets-only" – then let's cut all the non-Muppet stuff completely (not just the post-2004 non-Muppet stuff). If we are limiting ourselves to "Muppets-&-Jim-only," then let’s cut down at all the post-1990 non-Muppet stuff.
Secondly, I don't see the point in limiting ourselves to one page. If we don't want to cover this stuff, then let's not cover it at all. Merging all the Puppet Up! articles and information we have into one page and forcing everything we have to say about that topic to be on that page (I think) would result in one giant, overwhelming, messy, unbalanced and worthless article. I don't see the harm in organizing things on multiple pages - as long as we are creating actual meaningful articles and not just pointless stubs for the sake of populating categories.
We don't have a rule that says "all Muppet characters get 1 page only." Kermit the Frog has stuff broken off into many separate pages (a filmography, a list of guest appearances, a family page, an alternate identities, an evolution, etc) because putting all that on one page would become ridiculous. However we don't create similar pages for Lew Zealand, Marvin Suggs or Blind Pew because all their information can fit and be organized comfortably in one good article (rather than spread over 5 stubs). If we can cover everything about Pajanimals on one page let's do it (there is no point in creating pages on the 4 characters if they can be covered on the main page) – but if it makes more sense to organize it on multiple pages then let's do it. Whatever best accommodates, organizes and presents the information. I don't see cutting good information just because it doesn't fit onto or into one page. And I don't see the point in making our pages jumbled and crowded messes because we're limited to one page. -- Brad D. (talk) 02:51, March 3, 2010 (UTC)
I know I've been accused of trying to throw stuff under the bus with a "if you get rid of X you'll need to toss out Y" argument in the past. I'm not trying to have us delete any quality information or pages from the wiki. I just don't want to see us to gerrymander our rules of coverage just to accommodate what's easiest for us to enforce at this point in time. Or based on what would be the least amount of work to clean-up now. Or set rules based around our own personal taste or biases. I just want to make sure that we are being fair and clear in how we organize and balance our coverage of all the stuff associated with Jim Henson's legacy. -- Brad D. (talk) 03:04, March 3, 2010 (UTC)
I think I agree with Brad, but it all gets very confusing, I think. Stuff related to Puppet Up I think belongs here, but I don't personally think the Unstable Fables series really earn the same attention. That's a personal opinion, and I don't have to work on any Unstable Fables stuff. Henson Alternative makes sense on here, I think, based on the examples Brad gave. Heck, Sid the Science Kid kind of earns a spot on here as well. Again, not something I particularly want to work on, but it would fall into the same kind of area as Bear in the Big Blue House or Animal Jam, I think. Dinosaur Train is a little different because there are no Muppeteers working on it. The only real connection is that Brian and Lisa Henson produce the show. There's alot of gray area here. I think it's a little difficult to just say all original post 2004 Henson stuff shouldn't be here. --Justin 03:08, March 3, 2010 (UTC)
Justin, I'm not talking about excluding Bear or Animal Jam. Those both came before a time when no one cared about the Henson company anymore. But I'm curious, why do you think Puppet Up deserves more coverage here? —Scott (talk) 03:12, March 3, 2010 (UTC)
I'm not really sure, I guess. I mean, it's not something I'm particularly interested in. I suppose because of the crossover with performers and crew, the usage of puppets built for Muppet productions, things like that. I suppose there are some conversations I haven't seen that talk more about this and I guess that's why I'm a little confused about what does belong here... which I guess is exactly why you brought this up. --Justin 03:43, March 3, 2010 (UTC)
I was thinking the interesting Muppet related stuff we care about for Puppet Up would migrate over to the Recycled Puppets article. —Scott (talk) 03:45, March 3, 2010 (UTC)

Brad -- I absolutely 100% refuse to have the same circular conversation that we've had a dozen times before.

We have already had this conversation and we already have a guideline. Henson projects post-2004 get one page. Everyone else agrees with this guideline. This is not up for discussion.

You got over-excited this weekend because of the "Stuffed and Unstrung" news and you created five new character pages and a category for them. This was pushing it and you know it. You knew that someone would complain and you had your usual "throw things under the bus" argument prepared to copy and paste from last time.

You are a great wiki contributor and I love having you here. But you do this exact same thing every three months and it honestly drives me up the wall. WE HAVE BEEN OVER THIS.

So -- we are not having this conversation. You are going to put things back the way they were, with one page per Henson Alternative project, or I will do it myself. You are a fantastic contributor, but I can't imagine myself having this exact conversation again three months from now. In order to avoid that nightmare future -- I am willing to lose you.

Put things back. Stop fucking around. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 03:57, March 3, 2010 (UTC)

Or go to Henson Alternative wiki. --Rankin (talk) 04:01, March 3, 2010 (UTC)
So now we decide what we cover based on how much people like the subject matter? Saying no one cares about the Henson Company is false. I care more about the Company's current projects then I care about their output from the '90s or any of the international co-productions or dubs out there. Saying that we cover something because it "came before a time when no one cared about the Henson company anymore" is really bias and subjective. I hope you were being sarcastic. I would hate to think the reason we cover Bear in the Big Blue House but not Pajanimals is simply because you like one show more than the other. I mean why not stop covering Sesame Street post-1990 (because there are so many old school fans that don't care for the show anymore)? We need to be fair and not gerrymander our rules to fit our likes and tastes or simply what's easiest. -- Brad D. (talk) 04:04, March 3, 2010 (UTC)
No, it's not about how much we like the subject matter. We're laying down a guideline that says once Henson sold off the Muppets, their material no longer deserves the same amount of coverage that we give to the productions that were made during the time in which they did own the Muppets. It's a very clear line, it happened in 2004 and it's not too hard to differentiate what's what. —Scott (talk) 04:08, March 3, 2010 (UTC)
... That makes sense to me. *sigh* I think I just wembled. --Justin 04:12, March 3, 2010 (UTC)
Danny, I didn't think we're having the same conversation and I didn't think I was pushing the rules. Unlike the ruling on the HDPS stuff, I thought that last time the consensus for Henson's puppet projects was simply "don't create pointless articles just to populate categories" - i.e. everything we have to say about the four Pajanimals can be covered effectivly in one article. The two monkeys in SUDS can be covered on one page - the main SUDS page - because there isn't much we have to say about them or the show at this point and a "SUDS characters" category is just going to attract stubs. I didn't think we were limiting covering Henson's newer puppet projects - we were just limiting thin and pointlessly spread out coverage of it. However the additional articles created here are good articles - they have original and unique information (not just rewording what's on another page or stating the obvious) and they all extend with content below the fold (a simple sampling of the "Random Muppet" link shows that it's more than we can say about many incidential Muppet characters). They seem like good articles. Why wouldn't we want these? Where should the all information on Bobby Vegan go (Tinseltown or Stuffed and Unstrung)? Merging Puppet Up! and Puppet Up! puppets just seems to overload and crowd up the page - and I think they both work better as separate aticles (as does the list of Puppet Up shows). Does it hurt to have these as separate pages? And putting everything there is say about Piddles in that gallery just makes a mess. I didn't think that we had ruled to cut extended Henson coverage, I thought we had just ruled to cut crappy, half-assed coverage.
Scott, I understand something changed in 2004 when Henson sold Kermit and the gang. I'd respect not covering the new stuff (like Pajanimals) because they are not Muppets, but the thing is we do cover stuff that is not strickly "Muppets" (there are many non-Muppet Creature Shop and Henson things we do cover..why not these too?) We've decided in other situations that being "Muppet"-related is more than just the legal word. I think something that boasts the name "Jim Henson" in the title (like "Pajanimals") is just as relevant to us as something that boasts the word "Muppet" in the credits (like "Animal Jam"). Why do we care about the non-Muppet stuff they did before they sold the Muppets? Just because it was made by the company that owned the M-word, what makes it's more Muppety? Should we start covering all of Disney's post-2004 puppet projects now? Of course not. I don't see how just because "Farscape" was made by Henson when they owned the Muppets it's somehow more "Muppets" than if it was made by Henson after they sold the Muppets. Or what makes "The Dark Crystal" any more "Muppets" than "Puppet Up! "
I guess I understand what the line is that you're trying to draw here. I just don't understand why you're trying to draw it where you are - other than personal taste or because its the easiest to clean up now. I don't see the harm in what we have here. -- Brad D. (talk) 05:01, March 3, 2010 (UTC)
The reason to draw the line is that it just doesn't make sense anymore. Henson gets further and further away from what's worth covering, and the most logical place to draw the line is when they, in effect, drew the line themselves in 2004. —Scott (talk) 05:08, March 3, 2010 (UTC)
I think it's a little subjective to say what they're doing isn't worth covering, but I do get your point.
To step back for a second here: I'm not totally against cutting down the Henson Alternative coverage - I do enjoy covering it and I think it should have a place on the Internet - I don't want the information to not have a home out there. I just want to make sure we are organizing things fairly and simply. I don't want to over complicate things with all sorts of rules and exceptions and loop-holes which result in uneven and unclear coverage. We ruled on animated and non-Puppet projects by Henson post-2004 (Unstable Fables, Sam Plenty), and we removed the digital puppetry stuff a while back (Sid, Frances), now we're looking at puppet projects (Puppet Up!, Pajanimals)... I think rather than pick-and-choose parts we want/don't want we should just set a clear and unbiased rule.
I think we can agree that we should be covering Muppets and Jim Henson here. It makes sense to cover anything "Muppet" (Muppet Show, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, Bear in the Big Blue House,..) and it makes sense to cover all the other non-Muppet stuff made by Jim Henson (Time Piece, Dark Crystal, Labyrinth,...). I think our areas of difference lie in all the non-Muppet, non-Jim stuff...the stuff billed as "Jim Henson's" even if it doesn't have a single Muppet or any involvment from Jim.
I think the easiest and clearest way to draw a line (based on the direction we've been focusing this wiki) is to basically say if the franchise isn't "Muppets" or made by Jim we don't cover it. "The Muppet Show" and "Sesame Street" are both Muppets and made by Jim (we cover them). "The Dark Crystal" and "The Cube" are not Muppets but were both made by Jim (we cover them). "Bear in the Big Blue House" and "Animal Jam" are both Muppets but were not made by Jim (we cover them). "Unstable Fables" and "Sid the Science Kid" are not Muppets and were not made by Jim (we don't cover them).
Simply having "Jim Henson's" attached to the product doesn't make it made by Jim (that goes Muppet projects like Animal Show, Animal Jam, Bear in the Big Blue House; that goes for the Creature Shop's projects like Buddy or Farscape; and it goes for non-Muppet projects like Sid the Science Kid, Pajaniamls, Farscape, Buddy, Dinosaurs, Dinosaur Train, Unstable Fables, Sam Plenty, etc.) So the line for Muppets was drawn by the Henson Company in 2004 (any post-2004 Henson Company puppets aren't Muppets - so we don't cover them). The line for Jim was drawn in 1990 when he died (so with the few exceptions of a few things that were in development when Jim passed, anything post-1990 that doesn't have a Muppet in it is out too).
This would mean cutting down some of the non-Muppet, non-Jim areas we have - mainly some of the Creature Shop stuff (like MirrorMask and 5 Children and It and some other stray projects). Farscape seem to be the biggest area we have there (but there is a Farscape Wiki) And one could always start a Creature Shop wiki if they really want tocover all the creatures and actors and films that have worked with the effect house that boasts Jim's name. So it would mean cutting down some creatures or connections, but I think that's a clear and fair rule: the franchise must have "Muppets" (the legal trademarked name) or the involvement of Jim Henson (the man)... having "Jim Henson's" in the title or having one of the companies that carry his name involved doesn't make it Muppety enough for covergage here. This would not be as simple as just cleaning up Pajanimals and the 10 stray Henson Alternative articles, but I think it sets things clearly, will help us focus things here, and will help us avoid any future confusion down the road. -- Brad D. (talk) 06:32, March 3, 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, so there's two places where it would make sense to draw the line. One is when Jim died, and the other is when the Henson Company sold the Muppets, thereby relinquishing themselves of that part of their entity. I think it makes sense to go with the latter as the Company at least still had something to do with the Muppets in those years. 2004 is the most sensible cut off point. Anything after that, feel free to go nuts at henson-alternative.wikia.comScott (talk) 06:45, March 3, 2010 (UTC)

Brad, I am absolutely baffled by the continuation of this pointless circular conversation.

I am going to say this in really big letters because I don't think you get this.


That is the end of this conversation, now and forever. No more. NO MORE!!!! -- Danny@fandom (talk) 06:57, March 3, 2010 (UTC)

As a result of the continuation of this pointless conversation, I'm making the executive decision to remove all of the Henson Alternative material from the wiki. Now that I'm looking at it -- I can't believe that we had all of these pages devoted to Puppet Up and Henson Alternative stuff. Brad has been continuously, gradually adding page after page to this wiki, even though every other contributor has been telling him not to. It's enough. Brad, this has to stop. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 07:11, March 3, 2010 (UTC)
Well, would it be wrong to simply let Henson Alternative wiki contributors just move our old stuff over there?
And, since the conversation appears to be over, can I move the TMS Episode Guides conversation up to the top of the page? --Justin 14:59, March 3, 2010 (UTC)
Annnd... in the cold light of day, it's obvious that what I did last night was wrong, and I'm sorry. As you can see -- having this same conversation again makes me extremely frustrated and (at this point) angry. I think it's time for us to create a real guideline and close this long-standing heated argument.
However -- it is not my call to make one-man "executive decisions" and delete 100 pages from the wiki without asking anybody else. I contribute a lot here and I care a lot about the wiki, but this isn't *my* wiki and I can't act like it is. I just went through and restored all the things that I deleted last night.
I think the guideline that I was following last night -- that we don't cover Henson projects post-2004 -- is the right one for us to use. I hope that as we continue to talk about it, that's the decision that we make, and the stuff that I did last night can be done again, by a general agreement of the people who work on this wiki.
But it's so not my call to do it on my own. I can't make those kinds of big decisions completely on my own, and I hope you guys can forgive me for spending an evening pretending that I could. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 15:52, March 3, 2010 (UTC)
I normally try avoid the heavy debates on here, because this is my fun happy place, and I just don’t want to get involved in that sort of stuff (work and theatre is enough of that for me). But I guess I just sort of am confused, and want to make sure that I understand the decisions made and throw my input in. I really don’t want the stuff after Disney bought the Muppets and Jim died to not be on the Muppet Wiki at all. Having to flip between three different wikis (Muppet, Henson Alternative, and the digital puppetry one) is not fun when I just want to read about the projects. Disney didn’t die with Walt, nor has the Jim Henson Company with Jim. I think it’s a little neat they are doing new things with puppets, even if they aren’t “Muppets” (they still are to me). While some aren’t my cup of tea, if only because I might not have seen them yet, I enjoy seeing the information here. Especially when it comes to the puppet stuff.
I understand both sides of the argument to a degree. My question is, what does the Star Wars wiki do? Do they include the movies, books, and video games? Do characters from the books that aren’t in the movies get pages? Voice actors for the video games? I know it’s a little different, but I was wondering if we could look to them for a little formatting guidance in how they handle things. I agree that a bunch of short stubs on projects stink, if we can include everything in a nice big article. And if we want to link to the other wikis for more in-depth coverage (merchandise, producers, writers, etc.), that would be cool too.
I guess where I’m most confused is, where are the Muppets being built? Is it the same workshop making the puppets for Tinseltown and Kermit and Sesame Street characters? To me they are all Muppets because they are cloth and have a hand up them. lol. Especially if they are all made by the same people.
I understand the frustration. It makes my head hurt to think about it. I can’t imagine what it must do to the admins who have to make sure all these pages aren’t full of crap from vandals and such, so the more pages we have, the more work for them. I think the original suggestion was for one page per project, which is great since the information remains on here. What would then happen to the voice actor pages, actors pages, etc. Would they go to the other wiki? I personally don’t see the harm in character pages, if they can be filled out with performers and a little information about the character. They would be no different then the short character pages for all the other Muppet Characters, except that as I understand it, they are not technically Muppet characters correct?
I’m going to go take some aspirin now. Lol. Sorry if this was long as well. -- Nate (talk) 17:03, March 3, 2010 (UTC)
The new policy would say that we only have one page for each post-2004 Henson project. After this point, Henson lost the right to call their puppets "Muppets." The Muppets are now being built and handled by Paul Andrejco's company, Puppet Heap in New Jersey, under contract with Disney. Jim Henson's Creature Shop still maintains the Sesame Street Muppets (Sesame Street worked out a deal to continue using the Muppet name for their puppets). I realize that some folks are growing attachments to the new Henson stuff, but it isn't Muppets and we shouldn't be giving it full coverage here. We're not ignoring it, we're just saying no endless sub-cats, no pages for merchandise and episodes -- just one page for each project. —Scott (talk) 17:16, March 3, 2010 (UTC)
I like the idea of one page for the new Henson company productions. I also like that we finally seem to have a policy on the matter, we have had the need of drawing a line in the sand for a time now. There will of course always be pros and cons about were to draw the line, but it needs to be drawn somewere. Henrik (talk) 21:45, March 3, 2010 (UTC)
I'd rather have one page for each production than to loose all the pages. - Oscarfan 01:34, March 4, 2010 (UTC)

So, to clarify -- if we go with the guideline that Henson projects post-2004 get one page, then there are still some things that should be deleted. For example:

  • 2 pages in the [[:Category:Puppet Up! Merchandise|Puppet Up! Merchandise]] category.
  • 24 pages in the [[:Category:Puppet Up! Performers|Puppet Up! Performers]] category. Some of these are people who have worked with the Muppets; there are about 14 who have only worked on Puppet Up.
  • Several Henson staffers who started working with the company post 2004, including [[Allyson Smith]], Eric Poticha and Grant Baciocco. There are some who started working with Henson pre-2004, but their major role was post-2004, including Halle Stanford.
  • 17 pages in the [[:Category:Henson Company Actors|Henson Company Actors]] category, which is specifically for people who have worked with the company post-2004. Several of them have worked with the Muppets; about 10 haven't.
  • We have 4 pages in the Unstable Fables category; we should only have one.
  • We shouldn't have pages for actors in Unstable Fables movies, including [[Nolan North]], [[Tom Kenny]], [[Jesse McCartney]] and [[Steve Zahn]].
  • 3 pages in [[:Category:MirrorMask Merchandise|MirrorMask Merchandise]].
  • 4 pages in [[:Category:MirrorMask Characters|MirrorMask Characters]].
  • Voice actors from MirrorMask, including Lenny Henry and [[Andy Hamilton]].
  • [[Scott Land]], a puppeteer who worked on Forgetting Sarah Marshall, but not even on the puppets that the Creature Shop made, so -- really?
  • A number of Unfinished Henson post-04 projects that I would suggest we drop, including Laugh Pad, T.J. Bearytales and The Happytime Murders. It's one thing to say that we'll give a page to every project, but do we really need to have a page for the failed projects too?

This is the reason I got so upset last night as I started going through this stuff -- we have somehow gradually acquired more than 100 pages of detailed information about stuff that most of us never wanted to cover in the first place.

So -- the guideline of one page per post-04 project is a good one, but just saying that isn't enough. This isn't just about consolidating; we should actually delete a chunk of pages.

And then we have to be clear about what "one page per project" means -- "Unstable Fables" is one project, not four; Brandolution JHC is not a project; the Podcast is not a project; writers and producers and Henson Company staff are not a project.

In other words -- there are many aspects of the Henson Company's work that we are no longer interested in documenting in any way. We need to be comfortable with that idea if this guideline is going to work. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 05:45, March 4, 2010 (UTC)

Can we keep the Podcast? Some of their shows and interviews feature people and subjects that we do care about. I think it's a good resource, and some people wouldn't know about it if it wasn't here. -- Ken (talk) 05:52, March 4, 2010 (UTC)
That all looks good to me. I've been in bed with the flu all day, but I'd like to help migrate some of that stuff to the Alt Henson Wiki tomorrow. —Scott (talk) 05:56, March 4, 2010 (UTC)

The Muppet Show episode guides

I've been meaning to work on these for a while now, but I don't know if we've really come up with a set "look" for them. For Episode 223: John Cleese, the first one that was made, all of the pictures are set at 200px and there is a "Segments" listing. For Episode 107: Florence Henderson, there are no "Segments" listed and the pictures are all set at 300px. I had tried Episode 108: Paul Williams with 250px, which looked pretty good (changed to 200px today). What would be the preferred style? The original John Cleese version? Maybe something "completely different" all together? --Justin 03:15, March 2, 2010 (UTC)

This is an excellent question, and I'm sorry it's gotten lost under the Henson post-2004 discussion! I'm going to repost this at Category talk:Muppet Show Episodes so that it can get the attention that it deserves. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 20:51, March 4, 2010 (UTC)

Sesame episodes

In case anyone's missed them, Guillermo's uploaded a bunch of Sesame episodes. The password for each is the episode number. —Scott (talk) 01:56, February 24, 2010 (UTC)

New people/vandals

It seems like we've been having a whole bunch of new people lately who turn out to be new or returning vandals. I know making them sign in is supposed to weed out the people we don't want here, but is there any way of making them introduce themselves or something, before they start to edit? Apparently, signing in isn't stopping them; they go ahead and create an account, and then proceed to cause damage. I know we'll always have to deal with some vandalism, but it seems like it's been increasing lately. Anybody have any thoughts on this? -- Ken (talk) 20:00, February 20, 2010 (UTC)

I think this is something that we have to live with. The wiki is getting more popular, and Wikia is adding more features that encourage new people to edit. So we've got more people reading, and more people contributing -- which means more good people, and more bad people.
Unfortunately, we tend to attract kids with some degree of obsessive disorder. As they're growing up, obsessive kids tend to fixate on something that's around them, which often means Sesame Street and cartoons. Sometimes, that makes for good contributors -- I think all of us have a little obsessive streak in us. But when that goes too deep, it creates the vandalism behavior that we find so tiresome -- repetitive edits by someone who finds it hard to tell the difference between reality and what he wants to be real. The problem with the obsessive kids is that even when they're blocked, they keep coming back and doing the same things again.
Still -- we don't want to punish or discourage the good people. Everyone who comes in and makes an edit is a potential new friend, and we should treat them that way. Having people sign in isn't supposed to weed people out; it's supposed to help us make friends. The returning vandals are incredibly annoying -- but we shouldn't take it out on our new friends. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 09:57, February 23, 2010 (UTC)
I was also talking to Andrew today about blocks... I thought it might be a good idea to try writing some guidelines to help us figure out what to do when we block and revert. So I put some thoughts here: Block and revert guidelines. That's just a draft with some ideas, so please feel free to edit that page, or leave comments here... -- Danny@fandom (talk) 11:27, February 23, 2010 (UTC)
A great idea and a good page thus far, Danny. What's there all makes sense to me. Something I might add in later (but I'm not sure how to word right now) is to be especially careful, unless you can prove a claim is wrong (and I mean proof, not your opinion or your ear), when the editor in question has actually explained their edit in the summary, either some indication as to how they know (they mention a website or book or credits) or even the "I worked on this" thing (which happens), and if there's serious doubt, that's for the article or user talk pages, not getting into reverting wars. (Summaries like "It's so and so because it sounds like it" or "I remember it this way when I was six" are of course a different matter). Sometimes it's just a matter of paying attention to the edit summaries (since I know we can sometimes forget they're there and just focus on the text). I can't figure out how to condense all that into a more digestible form just now, though, so I'll work it in later. :) -- Andrew Leal (talk) 19:49, February 23, 2010 (UTC)
I like the new page, too! I just wanted to mention that when I said "weed out the people we don't want here", I didn't mean it to sound like I only want certain people in our "club". I just meant that it's easier to keep track of people who aren't here to be helpful when they have a username, so we can see their whole history in one place, instead of wondering if one set of IP numbers is the same person as another set of IP numbers. -- Ken (talk) 02:28, February 24, 2010 (UTC)
Ken -- yes, absolutely! :)
Andrew -- that's a really good point; we should definitely have something about that in there, and I look forward to seeing you add it. :) I think a lot of this is just taking your time with someone else's contributions, and making sure they understand why something isn't a helpful edit. We're so used to working on the wiki that it's easy to forget that a revert is a pretty big deal for someone. Correcting something or adding more detail to it is fine; just straight-up reverting the edit is a slap, and we need to be careful with those. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 09:18, February 24, 2010 (UTC)
Great idea to sketch out a policy like this, so that everyone knows what action to take in a given situation. Henrik (talk) 19:17, February 24, 2010 (UTC)

Galleries centered?

Is one of the new fangled things that Danny is trying out this week the automatic centering of galleries? I noticed on pages with one picture in a gallery, Lassie, Moose Head, etc., the single picture is automatically centered now, and I don't remember that happening before. -- Nate (talk) 16:50, February 19, 2010 (UTC)

Nope, that's not me, and I actually don't see it. :) Those pictures are on the left for me... -- Danny@fandom (talk) 16:54, February 19, 2010 (UTC)
Should I take a screen shot? -- Nate (talk) 17:45, February 19, 2010 (UTC)
They're showing up centered aligned for me too. -- Brad D. (talk) 17:51, February 19, 2010 (UTC)
Me too. - Oscarfan 17:54, February 19, 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, screenshots would help. Odd, I'm on IE (as is Nate) but I'm not seeing anything, so whatever it is, it doesn't seem to be browser specific. I checked Mozilla and it's fine there too. However, I'm also not using the default Wiki skin (that shouldn't make a difference, but right now it's the only difference that comes to mind). -- Andrew Leal (talk) 17:57, February 19, 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, the galleries are centered now. Just something I'm trying out. Are you guys seeing any collisions? —Scott (talk) 18:03, February 19, 2010 (UTC)
Aha, so it may also be tied to preferences, since I'm still not seeing it (and Danny wasn't), but I have custom preferences and "Let the admins override my skin choice" turned off. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 20:10, February 19, 2010 (UTC)

I'm not seeing any collisions, but I've not poked around much with the pages. Would they be colliding into the main picture on the article? Or would they be colliding with themselves Scott? -- Nate (talk) 23:06, February 19, 2010 (UTC)

They shouldn't be colliding anywhere. —Scott (talk) 23:17, February 19, 2010 (UTC)

Related pages box

Some folks may have heard that I'm in Poland for the next couple weeks, so I can work with the Wikia engineers on testing out some new fun features. We want to create and test a bunch of little projects really quickly, and so I'm "volunteering" Muppet Wiki to test the ones that I really like. :)

So! Today you can see the first one -- a new box at the bottom of article pages that encourages people to look at related pages. We designed and released it in two days, so it's exciting and experimental and potentially it doesn't work right, but it looks good so far. Right now, this is the only wiki that has it; we want to see what people think before we put it anywhere else.

How it works: For articles that are in multiple categories, it looks for articles that are also in those categories. So the box for Sweetums shows Thog, Doglion and Mean Mama; Shapes in My Room shows other Sesame songs about shapes; and Cookie Monster and the Cookie Tree has other Sesame Little Golden Books. Cool, right? For articles with one category, it'll pick random pages from that category.

So go check it out, and let me know what you think! -- Danny@fandom (talk) 17:21, February 16, 2010 (UTC)

I love it! It's not pleasing to look at though. Using Firebug, I played around with some of the CSS and it looks better with less space around the text, and less space around the bullets. Font weight should be normal as the bold makes it stand out too much, especially given that it's already inside a huge box with a grey header. For pages where the suggestions extend to two lines, it would look better if the second line were filled up to the end; otherwise all that white space looks clunky. If there's no algorithm to get that to work, then maybe indent the sides more and justify the text to the center of the box. —Scott (talk) 17:31, February 16, 2010 (UTC)
I really like this, but it seems to stand out more than anything else on the page. Is the font larger other than being bold? Otherwise, I love it. Would this do away with the "See Also" sections? --Justin 17:54, February 16, 2010 (UTC)
I think it's pretty neat too, but agree that it is a little ugly and stands out too much, but I'm sure all that will be tweeked down the line. -- Nate (talk) 18:17, February 16, 2010 (UTC)
It looks like a nice idea, but I'm kind of iffy on the box it's in. - Oscarfan 18:29, February 16, 2010 (UTC)

A lot of general observations and possible issues (mostly technical). So far, I'm noticing how pretty darn random it is, which I know is the intended effect to some extent, but it can have odd results. I was just editing Mr. Chatterly just now and struck by the random character list (chosen because they're all categorized as Sesame Street characters), none of which have a connection to the specific character beyond that (the Sweetums result works better). You get one recent AM, Elmo's dead uncle from the not out yet resource video who may only appear in a poser photograph, Oscar's teacher (a cute page), and two week "Name (Anything Muppet)" pages: Billy (Anything Muppet) (which is really repeated from "Just Around the Corner" and there just for a performer and pattern box, and Katie (Anything Muppet) (which could be merged, and the overlapping soap summary details covered on School in the Afternoon, as proposed somewhere). So in a way, since the randomness means it won't always showcase our best work, it might bring attention to improving, cleaning up, or merging articles that need it, so that's a good thing. However, in response to Justin, unless there's a way to actually make this intelligent rather than random or to tailor the box on specific pages (that is, let it randomly generate unless someone wants to replace it with a specific version, rather the way we've been using the portal character images on major categories), it definitely wouldn't replace "See also."

I'm looking at it in other areas as well. Stuart Pankin brings up an odd bunch from Category:Creature Shop Voice Actors, one Dinosaurs regular, two guest voices, the voice of Sir Didymus, and a The StoryTeller: Greek Myths voice. So given the way the search works, though the category isn't huge, it might be worth breaking up into subcats (as we previously did for Category:Creature Shop Actors, i.e. Dinosaurs voices, Labyrinth, Dark Crystal (and any other significant production with a large voice cast) and the rest as TV/movies. Or just leave as is, since it isn't a problem really, just random and disjointed. I'm generally seeing that either the smaller the category or the more narrowly defined it is, the better the results are as far as actually being directly related and not in a loose "they're all Muppets" way. Bob McGrath looks great (though I'm not sure why it picked Ruth Buzzi, the list otherwise is of the other long-term Sesame cast members and thus the folks someone visiting that page would be most interested in).

Also, it *definitely* causes issues with categories where we're mixing subcats and articles. Look at School in the Afternoon again. Since it was plunked into the larger sketch category (in this case we do have it fully subdivided, so it should be migrated to Category:Sesame Street One-Shot Sketches, but I'm leaving as is right now for demonstration), the related articles are just all the other categories, so on an article page it's ugly and off-putting.

Finally, a technical note, it's not appearing on every Quality article page (something in the code for the award, maybe?) Will Lee wasn't earlier but now it is. It's own related box is a mix of random Sesame cast members and other Quality articles, so the list is kind of dada: Linda Bove! Western Publishing! Lillias White! Sesame Street Singles! (Yeah, this one amuses me, and shows the agreeable kind of randomness). But it's not showing on Puppetman or China (the latter isn't showing the Quality image either). So that's a code issue, it seems. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 21:17, February 16, 2010 (UTC)

Awesome, thanks for all this feedback so far! This is exactly why I wanted to test this here, where I knew that smart and loving people would look at it and see the promise as well as the flaws.
I'm glad to get the immediate "this looks ugly" feedback -- one of the things we were testing was, is it worth spending more time making it look less ugly? The answer, obviously, is yes, so we will. :) Scott sent me some ideas off line, and we'll work on that tomorrow.
For Andrew's points -- yeah, there are some pages where you gasp and say, wow, that's spot-on, and there are some where you don't. Basically, it depends on the mix of categories on the article. Articles with multiple, precise categories give you that gasp feeling. Articles with a single mushy category gives you random-looking stuff.
Mr. Chatterly is categorized in Sesame Street Characters and Muppet Characters, and with the vast overlap between the two, he might as well just be in Sesame Characters. So what you get is five random Sesame characters, out of the 1,100+ in the category. If those are crappy characters, then we need to make fewer crappy character pages. :) It's the same thing that I used to complain about when I'd hit random page, just now it's more visible. If we don't want people to see Billy (Anything Muppet), then we should consolidate that with other pages and make the six small boring pages into one big interesting page.
So, yeah, if this challenges us (and everybody on all wikis) to make better pages and more coherent categories, then that's not a bad thing. We should remember, though, that we're going to be harder on ourselves than our readers will be. We can look at a list of five pages and instantly know "three of these are good and two aren't", but our readers can't -- they'll just zero in on whichever one is interesting to them, click on that one, and be happy.
By the way, you won't see the same suggestions on the same page all the time -- I think it changes every six hours, although it might be as long as twenty-four hours.
It does look like there are occasional glitches -- the box not appearing sometimes when it should -- which is one of the things that we're looking for. Also, thanks for pointing out the School in the Afternoon thing -- I'll have to talk to Inez about filtering out categories that include subcats.
So, this is great! More stuff to tweak tomorrow. Please give me more comments! -- Danny@fandom (talk) 22:09, February 16, 2010 (UTC)
I sent Danny some notes and screenshots earlier, but here's another version of where I think this could go. Categories have the misfortune of being overlooked on wikis. I think we have an opportunity to remedy that, make the related box less prominent and give it some context at the same time.
Placing the box below categories does a better job of explaining what that box is all about, and would help clear up any confusion readers might have as illustrated in Andrew's post. Putting the two boxes together also looks more tidy on the page. —Scott (talk) 21:52, February 16, 2010 (UTC)
I like that. Definitely cleaner and less confusing. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 22:03, February 16, 2010 (UTC)
I agree Scotts suggestion looks good. On a other note I have noticed that some boxes suggest other categories instead of articles a example are Jim Henson's Creature Shop. -- User:H rytter
I really like the design changes, and that's what we'll be working on tomorrow -- but I'm not sure about putting this below the category box. The idea of this is to give people some interesting pages to click on before they try clicking on the categories. Category pages are kind of depressing and awful for readers who just want to browse around the site. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 22:13, February 16, 2010 (UTC)
I don't think it matters. The related box is obviously the more interesting thing to click on, but without the context of the category box, it doesn't make sense or even look right. I'm not worried about people clicking on categories first. The related pages are obviously sexier. —Scott (talk) 22:31, February 16, 2010 (UTC)
I like the way it looks when it's under the Categories better. More aesthetically pleasing. :-P That may just be because I like Scott's design for the box, but it kind of makes more sense that the categories would be closer to the article. --Justin 05:03, February 17, 2010 (UTC)

Okay, we made some fixes to the Related pages box today, based on yesterday's feedback. The design is a little different -- there's four articles instead of five, they're centered in the box, and they're not bold. Hopefully that makes it look more interesting and less crummy. We also fixed the problem of having categories show up for some pages; it's now filtered so that only article pages appear in that box. What do you guys think of it now? -- Danny@fandom (talk) 16:39, February 17, 2010 (UTC)

I still love it a lot. But I understand how wikis work, and I don't think it's clear to a reader. The header doesn't tell me why they're related. For example, Why is Muppet*Vision 3D related to Will Lee? What does Playboy have to do with Sesame Street Magazine? How is Elmo's Monster Mash related to The Muppet Show: Season Four? I think we can clear up the confusion by changing the text on the header and linking it with categories (thus making categories friendly and relevant again). —Scott (talk) 16:43, February 17, 2010 (UTC)
Yeah there should be a explanation to why the articles are related. I was a bit surprised my self to see that The Moon, Italy and Hungary was suggested as related pages to Henson Townhouse. Henrik (talk) 16:59, February 17, 2010 (UTC)
Right. I think if we put the Category box first (which is less obtrusive) it will give some context to the Related box, which stands out more because it has a header and more interesting content. Then, the header could say something like "Other pages in these categories" which will explain why the articles are there. Otherwise, they don't make any sense in many of the examples posted here already. —Scott (talk) 17:02, February 17, 2010 (UTC)
Also I don't really like the related box on episode pages, in my eyes it clashes with the previously and next episode box. Henrik (talk) 17:13, February 17, 2010 (UTC)
They do seem to clash there a bit. I think it would look less so with the boxes arranged the way I've described. And the choices would make sense. A reader may wonder what Episode 1575 has to do with Episode 4204: "Aren't those episodes years apart? Oh, I see, they're both in the Sesame Street Episodes category." I can imagine that scenario for many of the choices showing up. —Scott (talk) 17:17, February 17, 2010 (UTC)

Okay, that's interesting. I'm not sure that it's as confusing as you guys are saying -- the examples that you're choosing are pretty unusual, based on specific catch-all categories like In Development and Quality articles. When I hit random page and look at the related pages box, the results that I'm getting are usually pretty obvious.

That being said -- it's good to know that you both feel that way. I'll talk to Inez tomorrow about changing the text on the box. I'm hesitant about moving the box down below the category box -- I think the gray category box defines the end of the page pretty clearly, and anything that's below that becomes wallpaper. If we're going to move it, then first I want to have a few days worth of data to see how many people are clicking on it in the current location. Then if we move it, we'll be able to see if that impacts the clicks one way or the other.

So -- thanks for your thoughts; keep 'em coming! -- Danny@fandom (talk) 17:33, February 17, 2010 (UTC)

I don't have time to bring up concerns (especially since most of my concerns have been brought up by others), but when "related pages" boxes change, do the changes also appear in "Recent changes"? That could become annoying, seeing many "recent changes" only to find that the only edits have been to the related pages box. --Minor muppetz 19:01, February 17, 2010 (UTC)
Nah, there's nothing there that should affect Recent Changes. —Scott (talk) 20:03, February 17, 2010 (UTC)
In order to de-randomize the picks of related articles and to make sure that there's a little bit more of an obvious relation between the article and the suggestions, would it help to program the feature to select at least one or two articles that can be found both in a shared category and linked to within the article itself? I realize that it might not work too well on shorter pages without much content, and that the whole point of this box is to showcase more than what can be found on the page already, but I thought it was worth the suggestion. — Julian (talk) 23:25, February 17, 2010 (UTC)

Current events

Is it possible to ad the opening for the Sesamstraat Exhibitian on March 2th? Schuif Gezellig Aan (Greetings Paul 21:56, February 16, 2010 (UTC))

Thanks Paul, I just added it. —Scott (talk) 22:01, February 16, 2010 (UTC)

Picture problems

Hello. Am I the only one having an issue with newly loaded/added thumbnails right now? They don't appear on the pages. Only the full-sized pictures. --Justin 04:58, February 16, 2010 (UTC)

Yeah, I'm seeing it too. I just opened up a trouble ticket with the tech team. —Scott (talk) 05:38, February 16, 2010 (UTC)
Fixed now, yay. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 10:22, February 16, 2010 (UTC)
Huzzah! --Justin 14:07, February 16, 2010 (UTC)
Almost fixed. Thumbnails for new images are loading, but some of them are loading old versions. I've updated the ticket and will post here when I know more. —Scott (talk) 16:48, February 16, 2010 (UTC)

Picture complaint

Hey folks -- We got a complaint from Paul Rudolph today about using one of his photos on the Tricycles page. Rudolph is a music coordinator on Sesame, and Leslie Carrara-Rudolph's husband. He's posted a bunch of behind the scenes pictures on his Facebook account which he'd rather we didn't post on the wiki. I apologized and took the pics down -- if there are any others on the wiki, we should take them down too. Obviously, if somebody doesn't want us to use their pics, we won't -- it doesn't happen often, but when it does, we're respectful and apologetic about it.

So -- just a heads-up for folks to keep an eye out for any pics that may come from that source. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 23:11, February 2, 2010 (UTC)

On my talk page, I've noted that these pics (if they're the ones I presume they are), come from the Muppet Newsflash Twitpic account; they didn't note the source. -- Zanimum 00:22, February 3, 2010 (UTC)
This might be a good reason to avoid using images from Muppet NewsFlash, then (twitter or website) unless we know where Greg got them. Of course it can happen to any of us (since here we don't always check), but Greg has a history of not sourcing things and sometimes outright plagiarism (though it's mostly improved), so unless it's in the context of an interview or images supplied to him by Henson (or even then), they're best avoided (and for that matter, anyone's personal Facebook unless they've been asked or it's clear that they don't mind; just the way we've stayed away from puppet builders' portfolio sites). -- Andrew Leal (talk) 00:38, February 3, 2010 (UTC)
Actually, I'm comfortable with how we currently grab pictures from almost everywhere. There's a general principle of "it's better to ask forgiveness than to ask permission" which has served us very well.
Right now, we've got more than 52,000 pictures on the wiki -- that's an average of 2.5 pictures per page. As a comparison, Marvel Database has a little over 1 pic per page, Memory Alpha has .7, and Wookieepedia has .5 pictures per page. I'm pretty sure we have more pictures than any other wiki on Wikia, which means that our wiki is more beautiful and more fun and just all-round better than anybody else's.
I think the key to doing that is that we don't care about licensing or sources; we just grab pictures from everywhere and hope for the best. The downside is that about once a year somebody complains; the upside is that we build the world's most beautiful wiki. I think that works out in the long run. So I didn't want to make a big deal about this one -- just wanted to put Paul Rudolph's site in the same bucket as Michael Schupbach's -- individual dude who doesn't want us to use his pics. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 02:26, February 3, 2010 (UTC)

New Create Page

Hi, guys -- Here's a heads-up on a new little feature that's on the wiki. We're making a change to the Create Page process, trying to make it easier for people who haven't made new pages before.

If you click the "Create a new article" link in the sidebar, you'll get a little pop-up window that asks for the name of the article you want to create, and then offers you a choice between a "standard layout" and a blank page. The standard layout has an image placeholder and two section headings. The pop-up also comes up when you click on a red link.

A couple things for the more experienced types: Creating a new page by typing it into the browser bar is unchanged. Also, if you use the pop-up and want the blank page to be the default instead of the standard layout, you can select that in your preferences, under the Editing tab.

So -- this is actually brand new and isn't on most wikis yet; I'm testing it on Muppet for a couple days first. :) It's going to go live for all the wikis on Monday. There's one bug that needs to get fixed -- it shouldn't give you the pop-up when you click on a redlink category, but it does right now. That should be fixed soon.

Anyway -- new thing on the site, and we're guinea pigs, hooray. Let me know if you've noticed any problems with it; I'm trying to catch any bugs before the sitewide launch. Thanks! -- Danny@fandom (talk) 22:12, January 28, 2010 (UTC)

One possible annoyance already: it can't distinguish between types of pages, so the same pop-up appears when you're editing a blank talk page or user's talk page. It's definitely a given that talk pages won't require that layout. Is there a way to tailor it for newbies (so instead of an article layout type, it shows a heading and an active talkbox, say, or something)? Otherwise, I'd suggest considering disabling it for talkpages, if that's possible, since I can imagine certain users might want to keep the preference when creating articles but find it a nuisance when trying to ask someone a question. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 22:36, January 28, 2010 (UTC)
Ah, good point! That's why I'm using us as the guinea pigs -- you always find things when it's live on a site. I've asked for it to be turned off for Category pages; I'll do the same for Talk and User talk. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 22:43, January 28, 2010 (UTC)

Preview of The Adventures of Kami and Big Bird

Found this sample video of The Adventures of Kami and Big Bird and had to share my findings with everyone again. Although I was hoping this is not the final version because Big Bird has a different voice in this animated series. However it is good to see a clip of this. - Steven 07:50, January 20, 2010 (UTC)

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