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Hey everyone,

I just wanted to give those of you who don't watch the blogs a quick heads-up regarding two new blog posts today:

  1. My Home -- new feature launches on Wednesday: We are going to be releasing MyHome throughout Wikia tomorrow, and
  2. Changes to Wikia's Privacy Policy: We're making some changes to Wikia's privacy policy to clarify some of the practices that our ad networks use and provide our users with an opportunity to opt-out of behavioral advertising.

If you have any questions about either, please either reply in the appropriate comments section, or add a note below:

MyHome

Please comment on the blog post -- My Home -- new feature launches on Wednesday.

Possible to customize the activity list?

The my home thing is nice. I was thinking that for high traffic wikis it might be even more relevant to some users to have the option of seeing activity filtered by direct membership in a category or categories. ~ Phlox 16:51, September 23, 2009 (UTC) (moved from separate forum page)


Community corner

This a handy area for displaying messages targeted at users who have already created an account. I just finished tweaking w:c:vsk:MediaWiki:Community-corner to feature page create buttons for various types of page that are needed to grow that wiki. It also proves a useful place for showcasing certain widgets that have been tailored to the community. (e.g Tips and Wiki Page)

Compared to the screen space dedicated to the Recent Activty/Watchlist area the Community corner is a little narrow. --najevi 04:38, September 24, 2009 (UTC)

Recent activity

This feedback is from somebody already very familiar/comfortable with Special:RecentChanges so keep that bias in mind.

  • Basically I think that too much white space is wasted with the Recent activity section of the My Home page
  • I am a little concerned that the My Home page might eventually make redundant such pages as: Project:Community portal, Special:RecentChanges, sub-menus under the Top content navbar link, Special:Contributions/USERNAME and to a lesser degree the main page of the wiki .. to name the few that I have noticed on first look.

I wonder if enhanced Show/Hide style buttons might be incorporated to allow:

  1. More than one type of information to be displayed in that left hand column. e.g. transcluding the content from already existing community-oriented pages such as"
    • Recent activity (already there)
    • Watchlist (already there as an alternative to RA)
    • Top content sub menus
    • Contributions (already on page in RH column)
    • Forum index
    • Community portal (not quite the same as Community corner)
    • Community news (really just a section from the main page)
    • Featured article (ditto)
  2. Each user to show/hide those sections that are of interest to them.
  3. The enhanced aspect of the expand/collapse links for this idea would be that each user get's to save in a browser cookie exactly which sections of the My Home page appear expanded by default.
    • This way those of use who want to keep tabs on Recent changes can be taken to a page that looks much like the existing My Home page while those of us who would rather focus on Community portal or Forum content are free to do so. (e.g. For users who are new to a wiki I would prefer to see their My Home focus on Community portal content and perhaps Featured article content whereas long-time contributors are free to customize that page to focus on whatever tickles their fancy.)

Now if existing content from already existing pages is transcluded into the above named collapsible sections on each Special:My Home page then the good work that has been invested in those existing pages can be leveraged rather than being partially duplicated or otherwise made redundant.

Extending the above idea a little further and inspired by the Special:WidgetDashboard page, suppose the My Home page was constructed from widget-like building blocks. Some of those blocks would look best in the wider LH column while some (like the current set of widgets) would look best in a narrow column such as we have on the RH side.

--najevi 04:38, September 24, 2009 (UTC)

Number of edits at the current wiki

What is the virtue of displaying this number in super large font at the top right of the user_masthead? It is displayed in modest font at the left beside the user name and avatar. Shouldn't that be enough? --najevi 07:58, September 24, 2009 (UTC)

Agree - That giant text is what has made me look here (central) for this latest un announced (unless you live at central) change (improvement ?). All that gigantic text is likely to do is encourage users as happens on some forums to create lots of useless posts to clime the edit count league table ! in a battle of one-upmanship that will just swell the recent changes lists and reduce productivity of serious editors who patrol recent changes.
thats my take on it (bad move the small version was sufficient) - BulldozerD11 02:28, October 1, 2009 (UTC)
If you are sysop on that wiki, you can put this in MediaWiki:Common.css to hide the big number:
#user_masthead_scorecard {
	display: none;
}
--Ciencia Al Poder (talk) -WikiDex 18:17, October 1, 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for that suggestion Ciencia Al Poder. I might try that latter - BulldozerD11 20:57, October 5, 2009 (UTC)

What is the shortest URL to the main page?

By main page I mean that page which is accessed via the navigation bar link that uses the magicword "mainpage" in MediaWiki:Monaco-sidebar. Typically this is the link just below the search box but of course that can be customized.

I ask this because before the advent of My Home the very brief vsk.wikia.com would take users to the main page. (replace vsk with rappelz or central or whatever your Wikia hosted community is named). From this week however that short and succinct URL takes registered (logged in) users to their My Home page rather than to the main page.

The shortest link that I can come up with for the main page at the above mentioned wiki is vsk.wikia.com/wiki/Virtual_Skipper_Wiki

  • that's more than twice as long as the former URL

I could live with vsk.wikia.com/index or maybe vsk.wikia.com/wiki/main or similar but I tried: main, mainpage, home, index, project with and without the wiki/ prefix but none of those URLs lead me (a registered user) to the main page!

  • If I log out then I can use vsk.wikia.com to reach the main page and of course I am grateful for that.

It just occurs to me that users ought to be given the option for the xyz.wikia.com URL to take them to either the main page or to the My Home page.

  • edit: OK, I just found a checkbox on the Preferences:Misc tab where a user can disable the redirect. I did not read about this checkbox in the announcement or within the default text displayed in the Community corner. That might be a good thing to add! viz.
    Disable my redirect to My Home

--najevi 08:22, September 24, 2009 (UTC)

Ouch. I just tried that and you are right. I am in the habit of telling people "vim.wikia.com" (particularly since I knew I was going to change "/Main_Page" to "/Vim_Tips_Wiki" in accordance with recommended SEO procedures), and now that short URL goes to some weirdness. I can get used to the new exciting world of avatars and BIG ICONS (by ignoring them), but if Special:RecentChanges ever stops working, so will I. JohnBeckett 09:31, September 24, 2009 (UTC)
Ahh, thank you! So vsk.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page is the shortest URL to replace vsk.wikia.com
  • It's still twice as long as the old URL so if the engineers can dream up something shorter then that would be a good thing.
--najevi 09:56, September 24, 2009 (UTC)


Note the edit bullet added above.

I just noticed that www.wikia.com and central.wikia.com both redirect to www.wikia.com/wiki/Wikia however help.wikia.com suffers from the auto-redirect to help.wikia.com/wiki/Special:MyHome

It is probably not wise for a new user to be taken to a My Home page at Wikia's central help wiki.

I don't have a problem with the default state of the Disable my redirect to My Home checkbox being cleared. It is a convenient way to put a new Wikia feature "in the face of" users. A simple instruction added to the default text within MediaWiki:Community-corner informing users of this checkbox is all that is needed to remedy the situation however ...

... I have discovered that this preference takes effect for all wikis that I visit.

That is cool for informed users because we now know that we can follow the link to My Home because it is prominently displayed at the very top of each page. It might be convenient if the user could specify that they want to redirect to My Home only at specific wikis. Is there any way for a preference to be set on a per wiki basis? --najevi 12:42, September 24, 2009 (UTC)

Of all wikis, Central is where I would prefer a redirect to MyHome very much.--AB 01:19, September 28, 2009 (UTC)

Title displayed in browser tab and browser banner

I was just now reading and commenting on Toughpigs' blog announcing the My Home feature. I happened to have some other My Home pages open at the same time at various wikis but for my user name. It occurred to me that seeing MyHome or My Home on a page (or its tab or window header) for a user other than myself is just a little disorienting. If instead I saw Toughpigs Home then that would better aid my navigating of the 11 or so tabs that I happen to have open in my browser at the present time and suitably differentiate between My Home page and Your Home page, etc.

Not a terribly big issue but something to think about. --najevi 11:18, September 24, 2009 (UTC)

Toughpigs' blog page says "My home" in the title because it's part of the blog post title. That's not a bug. If "My home" were called something else, you could visit a page which start with that name and have the same problem. --Ciencia Al Poder (talk) -WikiDex 11:41, September 24, 2009 (UTC)
Ahh yes - I see that now. Thanks for setting me straight! --najevi 12:46, September 24, 2009 (UTC)

Disable by default

Could it be possible to disable the redirect by default on the wikia clubpenguin? A rollback (me), sysop (Seahorseruler), and bureaucrat agrees it should be disabled by default (but still can be enabled) or is lame/brain-dead. --Zapwire (Talk|contribs) 13:49, September 26, 2009 (UTC)

I agree with the above. The redirect to Special:MyHome should be disabled by default. --Michaeldsuarez (Talk) (Deeds) 20:06, September 26, 2009 (UTC)
As could probably be gathered from the blog comments, I also agree that the redirect should be disabled by default. -- Porter21 (talk) 20:52, September 26, 2009 (UTC)
Where have you guys been? Wikia doesn't disable "new" features by default. They never have. -- LordTBT Talk! 06:44, September 28, 2009 (UTC)
It's not about disabling the feature, it's about disabling the redirect. -- Porter21 (talk) 09:20, September 28, 2009 (UTC)
If you want people to disable the redirect themselves then advertise how to do so in the MediaWiki:Community-corner message. It is highly unlikely that the default state of the Disable my redirect to My Home check box will be changed because it really is the best way to draw attention to this redirect feature. If you think about it, it is a good thing to have your registered users to become familiar with the various customizations they can make in their Special:Preferences? So this is just another opportunity to direct them to those user preferences. --najevi 13:10, September 28, 2009 (UTC)
Just because it's the best way to draw attention to the feature does not mean it's the best thing to do. I don't really see how having people rummaging around in their preferences is going to help especially new editors. Plus I have yet to see a solid reasoning for forcing the redirect on users by default, while I have given reasons why I don't consider it to be good numerous times. KyleH was so friendly to explain the reasoning behind the feature itself (which I have no problem with), but all the few people I have seen argumenting in favour of the forced redirect have provided no other reason than "it's that way, live with it". Which is not an argument, it's simply a statement of apathy. -- Porter21 (talk) 18:40, September 28, 2009 (UTC)

Other languages version?

We like this new feature, is it possible to allow italian Memory Alpha to handle it? Thanks! Gifh (talk) 00:15, September 29, 2009 (local)

Talking 'bout that one; could this be globally activated on all Dutch Wiki's? Translations are already online on Messaging. Mark (Tedjuh10) - Talk 19:09, October 1, 2009 (UTC)

Is it possible to allow Russian language? Thx.Strizh 16:49, October 9, 2009 (UTC)

It would be great to see it active on Russian Wiki's! You can help by translating it here! As soon as this is done, it will soon be enabled on Russian Wiki's! Mark (Talk) • (Contribs) 16:59, October 9, 2009 (UTC)
Done.Strizh 21:55, October 9, 2009 (UTC)

Done also for italian version! Nice procedure, I'm hopefully! Gifh (talk) 13:50, October 10, 2009 (local)

Thanks for the translations! MyHome will be activated for ru and it shortly. If you both (Gifh and Strizh) are interested in further translation of upcoming (or not yet translated) features into your language, feel free to add yourself as "language contact" at Wikia:International. --Avatar@Wikia 11:19, October 13, 2009 (UTC)

Images

Not sure what is being followed here, the blog or this forum post, but here's my idea: Currently, clicking an image causes it to appear in a floating box. You can only close out of the box with the X. Clicking the image AGAIN imo should take you directly to the page. -- LordTBT Talk! 22:30, September 29, 2009 (UTC)

Where to post

Hi guys -- LordTBT asked a very good question above. I think it makes sense to have all of the conversation in one place, so I've really just been following the blog post, My Home -- new feature launches on Wednesday. If you have more comments, please post them over there. Thanks! -- Danny@Wikia (talk) 16:42, October 2, 2009 (UTC)

Yes would be a good idea but " Wikia management" have created this multiple places for the same thing by adding "Blogs" in addition to the forums section (as was pointed out by several users when the idea first emerged, that it would cause confusion for every body. IIRC). I also recall some users are expresing 'issues' with the simplified blog editing windows inability to preview posts etc, which makes the forums a better medium for detailed discussions which was the idea originally when it started. Blogs are for quick 'notes' or thoughts or is wikia trying to move more traffic to the blogs feature. ?
I will add that some of my earlier 'bugs'/ grips with updates to the system have been fixed. As central is so mixed up as to were to post things i will add it here as I am not spending time trawling threads for the right one (or what appears to be the right one to be then told its else were this week) ;)
  • Auto suggest now offers the multiple words again (Great fix - very usefull, makes adding links a lot easier (as it was))
  • it appears that images can now be renamed by moving them (again very helpfull fix/upgrade)
  • Think there was another id found but I forget what it was now.
So I take back some of my earlier criticisms about backward steps with these upgrades (posted somewhere on the forum section), and Wikia does listen and fix the bugs - well done. Cheers.
- BulldozerD11 21:24, October 5, 2009 (UTC)

Masthead

Dashboad

A tab for Special:WidgetDashboard on my own masthead would be handy.--AB 00:44, September 28, 2009 (UTC)

Inaccurate highlighting

When I'm on a (talk) subpage in my user namespace, the masthead highlights my user (talk) page as selected. Maybe this could get some rework?--AB 00:44, September 28, 2009 (UTC)

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