Announcements:Issue 9 - You Never Return Unchanged
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Hello Blaseball fans,
The wiki has been locked for… much longer than we intended. Thank you for your patience as we did the work of personal recovery. As we've mentioned elsewhere, the wikiteam discovered the moment the Expansion Era ended that we were all severely burnt out, and what was supposed to be a simple one- or two-week lock to allow for backstage organizing became over three months. During this time, we've pondered a lot on how we got here, and how to ensure we don't end up here again. Our conclusion: we must change how we interact with the wiki pretty dramatically, and allow the wiki to change however it will as a result.
Recordkeeping: Then and Now
During the Discipline Era, the wiki was lauded for having concise, coherent, and centralized information about events happening in Blaseball that were worth noting. From major player changes to notable events each Season, we prided ourselves on our effectiveness as a resource, and the quality with which we performed that duty. What was initially chaotic and unreadable became organized, standardized; the wiki became a useful resource instead of a scattered collection of memes, lore, and the rare event someone cared to record.
Unfortunately, pursuing such high quality records also led us to centralizing editing in ways that were only viable when many of us were working from home, if we were even working at all. The wiki Discord server is probably the most emblematic result of this trend, as we asked outsiders to hold off on making edits in favor of using a cadre of trusted contributors to coordinate updates. As we look to the future of the wiki, however, we cannot perform that kind of organizational labor, nor ask people to always be on-call in the same way. The slow deterioration of records over the course of the Expansion Era is proof enough of that.
With this in mind, henceforth we will be acting like every other wiki on the internet, i.e. fairly hands-off and interacting solely through the wiki if possible. We're sure some will cheer to hear that, as we've been aggressive about who does and doesn't edit certain pages in the past to the detriment of others. We're sorry; if you're still around, we hope you'll be able to act as examples for future editors. It will take time to get used to this new culture, both as the wikiteam and as a typical user. To help this process along, however, we've created a few new pages.
We've discussed before our recordkeeping checklist for typical major events, and of course the Style Guide is available for providing guidance more generally, recognizing that much of the information contained within it is unpolished and from early to mid-Expansion Era. Recently, however, we have also set up Help:Desired Content to centralize writing desires for the wiki. We have already populated the page with a variety of requests and associated notes from our own recordkeeping plans, namely to expand the Timeline into the Expansion Era properly and to fully describe the events of Season 24. If you're looking to get involved with editing, we recommend starting there; just be sure to make full use of Talk pages as you edit, as these updates are extensive, and coordination with other editors will help the process along.
Additionally, we have historically kept the scope of this wiki fairly narrow: characters and events that are visible on Blaseball.com, and things that are one step removed from them. While we still stand by our guidelines on Help:Content Not Suited to This Wiki, we are removing our restrictions on "noncanon" events such as the BlaseballCares showdown
and the ongoing Short Circuits. We've created Template:Noncanon to help in identifying content discussing such events, players, etc. For the Short Circuits, given their status as canonical but not-as-closely-related timelines of Blaseball, we have developed Template:Short Circuits for marking associated content. We advise a within-page hierarchy of canon content at the top, then noncanon content, and then finally community reports.
Finally, some have expressed interest in documenting Blaseball as a cultural event. We've seen people ask for help understanding Blaseball memes, Discord fan cultures, and more. While we cannot create these resources ourselves, we have created the Community History namespace for this purpose. This section of the wiki can be used for pages related to Blaseball from an out-of-universe perspective, including the Discord and anything fan-created. Note, however, that this namespace is still subject to the same policies and guidelines as the rest of the wiki.
We hope that these resources will help you get involved in maintaining this wiki as a body of factual information about Blaseball, and improving it wherever you see fit.
Community Reports: Then and Now
While the wikiteam was perhaps most concerned with recordkeeping on a daily basis, we've also made no small effort to attract, organize, and arbitrate on the various places and characters that the fandom has generated around Blaseball, i.e. Blaseball lore. This, of course, saw the wikiteam getting involved in a variety of disputes when people couldn't play nicely together, trying to get people to work towards effective compromises and limiting our more direct executive decisions. As with recordkeeping, however, our role in these situations must also diminish.
Perhaps the most obvious change is that, while many of us will remain reachable through Discord and other platforms, we won't be entering heated situations on those platforms anymore. Instead, disputes should be occurring on Talk pages, where all readers and contributors can see their conclusions. While we cannot prevent people from having extended discussions on Discord, Twitter, or Reddit as part of these discussions, we will not be moderating events based on those off-wiki conversations. Instead, we will be limiting ourselves to events as they occur on the wiki to the best of our ability.
Beyond that, we continue to stand by our contribution policies when it comes to lore. We are, however, extremely tired of trying to get arguments to stop running in futile circles because individuals or groups refuse to compromise. As such, if we are getting involved in arbitrating a dispute, you can expect that we will be focused on making a judgement ASAP. If you mention a modmin in a Talk thread, we will come in and make a decision, and our word will be final — whether or not you agree with it.
The Wikiteam: Then and Now
Finally, what of the wikiteam? As we mentioned earlier, our role has historically been high in organizational and interpersonal work; however, that is no longer viable. Even with our latest addition to the moderation team (say hello to Pokeylope, our latest moderator), we can't sustain the wiki the way we used to. As such, our hope is that we can shift to a more advisory role, as wiki consultants & educators. We want to follow your lead on how you want the wiki to evolve, and ensure you have the resources to get there. We have institutional knowledge and access, but we must start entrusting it to you instead of hoarding it in the name of quality control. This is undeniably an aspirational statement right now, but, well. Either we will follow its guide, or burn out once more as we fail to learn our lessons.
Final Notes: Pre-History Players
We mentioned in our last announcement that we were temporarily preventing lore proposals for Pre-History players while Season 24 happened. Now that we're unlocking the wiki again, that moratorium is lifted. We expect contributors to acknowledge the unique nature of their history, but they are otherwise "normal" new players. We also remind you that Replicas of Pre-History players (aka Ancient Replicas) are being treated as though they are new players, with the following additional restrictions:
- They must be acknowledged as Replicas of a player.
- Their appearance, personality, etc must be "drawn from" (in-universe) the Interdimensional Rumor Mill, as their inevitably varying interpretations are being explained through the multifarious forms a player can take through the IRM.
- Their lore must end when they are Dusted, with no implication about their experiences within the Vault.
A new Era is coming, and we hope to use the ongoing Short Circuits to put this new approach to the test. We look forward to seeing what you do.
Update: We previously stated that Short Circuits were noncanon events. The Game Band reached out to us and clarified that, though the Short Circuits take place in parallel universes that are sufficiently far enough away from main Blaseball that they are effectively unrecognizable, they are still canon. Given the generally short duration of each Circuit, the uncertain nature of their mechanics, and the complications of reusing team names, we consider recordkeeping about them "low priority," and do not plan on automating aspects like player page creation unless directly requested.