What a week it’s been over here on Community Central!
I wanted to reach out, first and foremost, to thank you for your passionate feedback regarding Message Wall. We’ve read, shared, and quantified every single one of your comments and have replied to a good number of them as well. I know we’ve taken a bit of heat for not replying to every comment, but we have to make judgment calls or else we would have to work around the clock and other important tasks wouldn’t get completed. Here are a few things we’ve learned this week:
Posting screenshots to a Staff Blog without a working prototype is less than optimal.
We didn’t give you much to react to other than a few static images and a bunch of text. Having a major product like Message Wall up and available to play with would have been a much more effective announcement. As Dopp mentioned in her post, we’ll be releasing Message Wall to a small number of wikis next week (let us know if you want to be a part of this test!) and we’ll be releasing it on Community Central shortly thereafter. Once we have Message Wall out in the wild, we’ll be tracking and analyzing both usage metrics and your feedback to make ongoing adjustments and improvements.
There are two things to know about why we’re not releasing Message Wall in Labs right now:
The product we release to test wikis next week will not be feature complete — we expect it to have some bugs, and development will still continue. That being said, we haven't decided for sure yet if we'll put it in Labs at all. One of the reasons for our hesitation is that the act of going back and forth between talk pages and Message Wall is likely to cause a mess of your communications, and we don't want this to be more difficult than it needs to be. The product and development teams working on Message Wall are deeply focused on getting ready for the first round of tests — after the first tests are live, we'll have the information we need to make this decision. Dopp or I will keep you posted.
When we originally made the announcement on Monday, we understood that turning Message Wall on and off was not technically feasible. We’ve since learned that it is possible to turn the feature off and on (and, with our help, the test wikis will be able to do so).
Admins will be able to edit the archived talk pages.
We made this change based off your feedback, and we're certainly not done iterating on Message Wall.
We love our passionate Community Central readers — we really do! However, until we see a wider release of Message Wall, we won’t make any determinations about how this product will work simply based on the number of “No!” comments received in the previous blog post. (As of my last check, the over 1,100 comments on Dopp's post were made by just ~300 individuals.) We literally have millions of users on Wikia. Once Message Wall is live on Community Central, we’ll post a global sitewide message inviting everyone to come see, use, and give feedback on it. We really do believe that once you have a chance to see Message Wall in action and use it, you’ll find that it's a really great addition to your experience on Wikia.
UPDATE: Hey all - we're closing comments here at this time since we don't have any further information for you regarding Message Wall release plans. We're listing the main points we've heard from you on a public page. We know the list isn't complete, so we'll continue to update it as we process your responses. As we move further into the testing phase, this is also where we're keeping track of bug reports for you. We'll keep you posted with relevant developments.