Let's talk QBWiki sucking

Dormant threads from the high school sections are preserved here.
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Re: Let's talk QBWiki sucking

Post by Magister Ludi »

RyuAqua wrote: While there's a lot of information still missing, I think contributors to QBWiki could do a better job accurately gauging the importance of topics, including their own selves, to quizbowl as a whole when they figure out how much text is needed to describe them. A QBWiki page doesn't have to be a comprehensive biography unless the person has one, and it's easy to mistake fluff for things that seems important (the tournament at which you were inspired to get good while playing on the C-team, "noted" finishes below 1st or 2nd place).

I also think that pages tracking individual players' tournament playing histories, especially when outdated or particularly long, help to make individual pages look gratuitously long. If people are interested in keeping an online record of the tournaments they played, and with whom, maybe it's possible to make a "List of individual playing histories" with alphabetical shortcuts at the top.
I've been meaning to block out some time to write some more wiki articles, but I agree with Bruce that we shouldn't waste any energy to censoring players who want to try write over-detailed, personal profiles. In the same way people agreed that a little bit of humor was acceptable in the wiki, I think part of the wiki's charm is observing how hilariously unself-aware some of these pages are. The primary focus of people editing the wiki should be devoted to writing/expanding the profiles of legitimately important players and issues, rather than worrying about overly long articles or removing data that is already on the site.
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Re: Let's talk QBWiki sucking

Post by Matt Weiner »

I think the most valuable thing people can do for the Wiki is interview people who were around between 1970 and 2000 to try to get information about archaic-era quizbowl before more figures from that era die or lose contact with anyone else in quizbowl who knows how to find them.
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Re: Let's talk QBWiki sucking

Post by bsmith »

Matt Weiner wrote:I think the most valuable thing people can do for the Wiki is interview people who were around between 1970 and 2000 to try to get information about archaic-era quizbowl before more figures from that era die or lose contact with anyone else in quizbowl who knows how to find them.
In addition to this point, I encourage university students to make use of their access to library archives of local newspapers, several of which are digitized into an online searchable format. For example, searching for "Reach for the Top" in a Canadian archive I had access to yielded articles on roughly 2/3rds of Reach's national champions and many other teams. A lot of that info made its way into the wiki during my spare time back then.
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Re: Let's talk QBWiki sucking

Post by Stained Diviner »

Fred is doing great work on collecting info on high school tournaments, and now is a good time to help him in that area. In case you normally avoid the college forums, see this.

To add on to Matt Weiner's comment, it would be helpful if anybody with knowledge of the people listed here or here put in some information about them.
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Re: Let's talk QBWiki sucking

Post by tinioril »

What was the sailor scale?
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Re: Let's talk QBWiki sucking

Post by Matt Weiner »

Hey I'm going to revive this thread to note that a cool thing people can do for quizbowl is to collate information from newspapers and defunct Internet resources onto the Wiki, as alluded to by Ben Smith et al above. If you have an unpredictable amount of time do to things, if you aren't good at question-writing, if you want to do something quizbowl-related that might plausibly impress a person teaching you history or research skills, this is the thing you can do.

Also, I'm going to ask Jonah or whomever else it may concern to bless a policy of "yes, you SHOULD edit in your personal recollections of events," especially if you are someone who was around before 2000, since that is oftentimes our only source for things and seems like the most useful thing this website can accomplish.
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Re: Let's talk QBWiki sucking

Post by jonah »

Matt Weiner wrote:Also, I'm going to ask Jonah or whomever else it may concern to bless a policy of "yes, you SHOULD edit in your personal recollections of events," especially if you are someone who was around before 2000, since that is oftentimes our only source for things and seems like the most useful thing this website can accomplish.
Absolutely. I added a note to that effect on the home page; let me know if you think there are other useful places to note that.
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Re: Let's talk QBWiki sucking

Post by bmcke »

How would people feel about content being added to the wiki where every source is an HSQB thread?
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Re: Let's talk QBWiki sucking

Post by jonah »

bmcke wrote:How would people feel about content being added to the wiki where every source is an HSQB thread?
I have no objections, and suspect that this is the only way to have any kind of "source" for lots of things that are worth writing about.
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Re: Let's talk QBWiki sucking

Post by Matt Weiner »

While I remain opposed to any Wikipedia-esque sourcing guidelines, I will encourage people who add things based on particular posts from various fora or from newspapers to cite them and, when possible, reproduce them in case not everyone can access the same material.
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Re: Let's talk QBWiki sucking

Post by The Bold Ideas of Bernie Sanders (I-VT) »

Will the Encyclopedia of Charles Hang be expanded to include last year's ACF Nationals?
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Re: Let's talk QBWiki sucking

Post by vinteuil »

merv1618 wrote:Will the Encyclopedia of Charles Hang be expanded to include last year's ACF Nationals?
Building on this, it strikes me as a good idea to set up some sort of loose guidelines or structure for player/team pages. Looking at http://www.qbwiki.com/wiki/Special:LongPages
we end up with
http://www.qbwiki.com/wiki/Nolan_Winkler
http://www.qbwiki.com/wiki/Loyola_Academy
etc. (nota: this is not meant as a criticism, just a remark!) vs.
http://www.qbwiki.com/wiki/Special:ShortPages
such as
http://www.qbwiki.com/wiki/Bill_Yeh
http://www.qbwiki.com/wiki/NCSSM
and zillions of other examples.

I guess the two points of contention would be
a) Do we need any sort of thing remotely close to a standard for these two types of pages?

I say yes, just because these (along with tournaments and organizations) comprise not only the vast bulk of what qbwiki is, but also the most likely part to expand. A great player like Graham Moyer has a page that's (rightfully) acknowledged as a stub, displaying prominently how out-of-date it is (i.e. future tense combined with "Fall 2011").

b) What kind of standard would that be?

We could start with the templates that already exist, but have those include the categories that have to be added manually right now. There are certain headings that seem to be popular for both of these kinds of pages: alumni, players, brief (BRIEF) history, etc. I'm sure there are people with much stronger feelings on this than me.

It seems to me that if we acknowledge some standard, a style guide would be in order; it seems that such documentation is in order in general on QBWiki, although I appreciate the relative freedom and overgrown nature of the wiki. It would be nice to get similar style guides in order for many things (like the naming conventions page advertised on the main page), although I realize that I am displaying my style-guide fetishism.
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Re: Let's talk QBWiki sucking

Post by ValenciaQBowl »

I think the most valuable thing people can do for the Wiki is interview people who were around between 1970 and 2000 to try to get information about archaic-era quizbowl before more figures from that era die
Heh. Just saw this 18-month old point by Matt. I'm certainly open to interviews, though I plan to outlive most of you.

But to be actually on topic, what types of things from the 1988-93 era would people want to know? I don't really remember tournament results or anything, but I was in the Southeast and got to suffer beatings from Jim Dendy and Georgia Tech and Robert and Bronson and Tennessee.
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Re: Let's talk QBWiki sucking

Post by Stained Diviner »

Anything would be good. Here is the entire content of the Jim Dendy article:
Jim Dendy used to coach Georgia Tech.
The Georgia Tech "article" is possibly worse than that.
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Re: Let's talk QBWiki sucking

Post by Matt Weiner »

The site seems to be down.
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Re: Let's talk QBWiki sucking

Post by Stained Diviner »

Dreamhost had a bad day.
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Re: Let's talk QBWiki sucking

Post by jonah »

It's back up now.
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Re: Let's talk QBWiki sucking

Post by jonah »

The administrator of the Pennsylvania State Academic Competition recently registered for the QBWiki and made some edits to the article on that subject. Among the edits was removing the following two paragraphs:
This is the tournament which not only included the infamous question "What kind of colleges are best for women? Answer: Women's colleges" to begin with, but recycled it from one year to the next. Another question from this tournament was "Cetology is the study of whales. For 10 points, who wrote Moby Dick?" Looking only at tournaments with state championship implications, this one may take the crown for actually having the worst questions out of many, many bad local question writer options.

2003 was notable for having at least 4 different questions on characters from Catch 22 as tossups in different rounds, as well as at least 4 different questions on ranks in the US military in different rounds.
I asked her if that information was factually untrue; she said that she "did a search of our entire question database and none of those questions even exist in our database. I believe whoever wrote this was attempting to make a general statement about the questions and made up examples to suit his or her perception of them."

Does anyone know who added those paragraphs? (They were on the previous incarnation of the QBWiki, the history of which I don't have.) If that person is available, where did the information come from?

I find it hard to believe that these examples would be invented out of nowhere, and if they're true I want them on the QBWiki, but of course if they're not true they shouldn't be there.
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Re: Let's talk QBWiki sucking

Post by Mike Bentley »

I was a witness to that tournament and wrote the section about 2003.

I cannot comment on the other stuff.
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Re: Let's talk QBWiki sucking

Post by AKKOLADE »

I'm not sure why the passage:

"There are some small number of preliminary matches followed by a semi-finals and final match for the top 9 and 3 teams respectively. The semi-final round was introduced at some point between 1999 and 2007. Prior to that time each team played two preliminary matches. Of the teams which won both preliminary matches, the three teams with the highest points per game were selected to play in the final match."

Became:

"The day's preliminary matches are followed by 3 semi-finals and final match for the top 9 and 3 teams respectively."
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Re: Let's talk QBWiki sucking

Post by jonah »

Grams's Go-Go Boots wrote:I'm not sure why the passage:

"There are some small number of preliminary matches followed by a semi-finals and final match for the top 9 and 3 teams respectively. The semi-final round was introduced at some point between 1999 and 2007. Prior to that time each team played two preliminary matches. Of the teams which won both preliminary matches, the three teams with the highest points per game were selected to play in the final match."

Became:

"The day's preliminary matches are followed by 3 semi-finals and final match for the top 9 and 3 teams respectively."
Neither am I. Both pieces of removed information have been restored.
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Re: Let's talk QBWiki sucking

Post by Nine-Tenths Ideas »

My favorite thing about the article on UMD is either that it has a subhead for "Past Members," "Current Members," and then "Former Members," with no distinction between 1 and 3, and that all but one of the current members are gone.
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Re: Let's talk QBWiki sucking

Post by vinteuil »

Emily Krok wrote:My favorite thing about the article on UMD is either that it has a subhead for "Past Members," "Current Members," and then "Former Members," with no distinction between 1 and 3, and that all but one of the current members are gone.
You could, of course, you know, always fix at least that last thing.
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Re: Let's talk QBWiki sucking

Post by Nine-Tenths Ideas »

That would, of course, you know, always require having an account [that I could remember the login to].
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Re: Let's talk QBWiki sucking

Post by pajaro bobo »

There's bound to be stuff on the QBWiki that's out-of-date since only a handful of people bother editing it.
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Re: Let's talk QBWiki sucking

Post by vinteuil »

Hey so I'm working on at least improving maybe the most important part of the site, which is the "intro" pages, because it would be super-awesome to have one site to be able to send new players to and for that site to not be a total mess in every way (especially visually and navigationally). Any commentary on the changes I've made (http://www.qbwiki.com/wiki/Template:Intro and the pages linked to it) would be welcome.
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Re: Let's talk QBWiki sucking

Post by Adventure Temple Trail »

A cool idea. I worry that you probably shouldn't make huge changes to some of the titled "How to" or "How...Works" articles, though, because those were written as whole articles by specific people a while ago and I'm not sure how they feel about changing them. (Though some of them could use some touching-up with the consent of the original author; e.g.: Jerry, I love your "How To Write Questions" guide to death, but the listing of bonus types other than "For 10 points each" and reasons not to write them has been obsoleted. Progress!)

It seems like many parts of the site are still stuck in approximately 2008 (in some cases, still reading as though CBI isn't defunct) due to extremely sporadic updating. Another big problem that I see is that many ostensibly new-player-friendly parts of the site are still written in a very insider-y tone, failing to explicate basic things without presupposing a lot of knowlege on the reader's part. ("How Quizbowl Works for Journalists" introduces the terms "neg" and "PPG" without explanation; obviously it's fine to keep those terms as is on things like individual players' pages, but we ought to think more about how information is presented on the really basic articles so no one gets confused.) It's also worth considering that some of the very most basic notions of quizbowl are not covered on the site at all. There was no article on "coaches" until I made one just now.
Last edited by Adventure Temple Trail on Wed Jul 10, 2013 5:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Let's talk QBWiki sucking

Post by vinteuil »

RyuAqua wrote:A cool idea. I worry that you probably shouldn't make huge changes to some of the titled "How to" or "How...Works" articles, though, because those were written as whole articles by specific people a while ago and I'm not sure how they feel about changing them. (Though some of them could use some touching-up with the consent of the original author; e.g.: Jerry, I love your "How To Write Questions" guide to death, but the listing of bonus types other than "For 10 points each" and reasons not to write them has been obsoleted. Progress!)
I was worried about this, but I honestly can't tell if the only article I made major changes to (for that reason!), "How Collegiate Quizbowl Works" is in fact a monograph, because of the loss of version history when the wiki was transferred to its current home. It might be nice to link or include several of the other question writing guides out there (Subash Maddipoti's is pretty out of date, but Seth Teitler's is great, and there are many others) and other such resources. I think all the other changes I made were aesthetic, e.g. changing level 1 headings (a wiki no-no) to level 2 and so on and so forth.
RyuAqua wrote: It seems like many parts of the site are still stuck in approximately 2008 (in some cases, still reading as though CBI isn't defunct) due to extremely sporadic updating. Another big problem that I see is that many ostensibly new-player-friendly parts of the site are still written in a very insider-y tone, failing to explicate basic things without presupposing a lot of knowlege on the reader's part. ("How Quizbowl Works for Journalists" introduces the terms "neg" and "PPG" without explanation; obviously it's fine to keep those terms as is on things like individual players' pages, but we ought to think more about how information is presented on the really basic articles so no one gets confused.) It's also worth considering that some of the very most basic notions of quizbowl are not covered on the site at all.
Yes, and this is a lot of what I was working on in the above-mentioned article—again, I'd love to change such things without damaging their creators' intentions.
ether a go-go wrote: changes to the layout of the Intro template
Could I hear your rationale for why you restructured it in this fashion? I tried to structure it so that more esoteric and less important things go farther down, so people read, for instance "How Collegiate Quizbowl Works" before "NAQT," which is oddly now placed in a different section from ACF (?). Maybe you're working from a HS perspective and I'm trying to organize the "collegiate intro" pages? Could we make three different introduction series, one for quizbowl in general, one for high school and one for collegiate? Only a few additional pages would need to be created. Actually, I really like this idea, although it would require major surgery on some of the pages to make them non-level specific—e.g. splitting "How Collegiate Quizbowl Works" off partly into "How Quizbowl Works" and then adding "How High School Quizbowl Works" and I guess Middle School too eventually but I know practically nothing about that.
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Re: Let's talk QBWiki sucking

Post by Stained Diviner »

Of course, feel free to make changes to what I did. I think this is a good addition and added it to the front page. I tried to make it so that relatively new high school students and coaches clicking the first few links would find important information while also leaving the introduction to collegiate quizbowl easy to find. I put the pages specific to collegiate quizbowl in a separate section, which is why NAQT and ACF are now separated. I figured that an article directed to journalists didn't have to be too prominent, since most people aren't journalists.
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Re: Let's talk QBWiki sucking

Post by vinteuil »

ether a go-go wrote: I figured that an article directed to journalists didn't have to be too prominent, since most people aren't journalists.
This is actually the only page on the wiki that offers a nice, concise, easy-to-follow explanation of gameplay.
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Re: Let's talk QBWiki sucking

Post by AKKOLADE »

I like the new layout, though I cringe whenever TU/B is treated like it's the only match format that is legitimate (it's not).

Maybe the journalist page could be reviewed to see if a different title is applicable, like "How Quizbowl Works, For New Players, Staffers, and Journalists"
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Re: Let's talk QBWiki sucking

Post by Stained Diviner »

Actually, I think Matt Jackson is taking the best approach to the problem stated by Jacob: He is making some of the cornerstone articles suck less.
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Re: Let's talk QBWiki sucking

Post by vinteuil »

ether a go-go wrote:Actually, I think Matt Jackson is taking the best approach to the problem stated by Jacob: He is making some of the cornerstone articles suck less.
This is some seriously great stuff.
Last edited by vinteuil on Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Let's talk QBWiki sucking

Post by vinteuil »

Gram's go-go boots wrote:Maybe the journalist page could be reviewed to see if a different title is applicable, like "How Quizbowl Works, For New Players, Staffers, and Journalists"
I'd definitely appreciate this change, and I don't see why the current page wouldn't fit that description.
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Re: Let's talk QBWiki sucking

Post by Stained Diviner »

Is it OK if I just change the name to How Quizbowl Works?
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Re: Let's talk QBWiki sucking

Post by vinteuil »

ether a go-go wrote:Is it OK if I just change the name
I think "move" permissions are sysop-only by default on MediaWiki.
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Re: Let's talk QBWiki sucking

Post by jonah »

I moved it.
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