Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 1:17 am
Location: Spokane, WA
|A quick note, followed by a few more project thoughts/comments/planning ideas... I've changed the name of this topic to better reflect the discussions going on here. Now, on to the rest of the stuff...
First, I sent this as a PM to jarelav, but since it applies to more than just the GoG, I figured I'd post it here, with some extra modifications taking into account some of the stuff I've read on the DZS forum since sending this:
My thoughts for a while now have centered around trying to make the information we each have on our respective sites more inter-connected, so that newcomers can find as much, or as little, information as they need on the specific subject they're interested in. For instance, DPWR's Archive has a lot of information about Ahnonay, but none of it is really what you could call a walkthrough. Similarly, the Archive doesn't have an awful lot of user guides for things like the KI either. This is all information that the GoG has on their site, but right now visitors to DPWR need to find the GoG on their own without prompting. On the opposite side of the coin, the Archive may have more "historical" information about the Age itself, or details about the history/development of the KI that are outside of the scope of a walkthrough or guide, but visitors to the GoG website have no indication of where they might be able to find that information.
What I'm proposing is a simple system of link-backs to various pages on our respective websites, so for example, DPWR's entry on Ahnonay would contain a link to the GoG walkthrough, and perhaps eventually a link to the GoC's map of the Age, should they release one. GoG's walkthrough and GoC's map page would both link back to DPWR's entry on Ahnonay in return (and perhaps even more ideally, link to each other as well), providing an interconnected resource of information that gives visitors and new players all of the information they need or want, without requiring them to stumble across all three websites on their own.
I do agree with you that there is a need to ensure that visitors aren't treated to a broken link when attempting to use one of these cross-links, and that is perhaps where most of the work will come in over the long run. However, I think good communication and cooperation will be able to head off many of these issues before they spring up. In addition, at least as far as DPWR goes, the Archive's URLs have only changed once in the past 4 years or so, and even those old links are still re-routed into the new system seamlessly, so I wouldn't worry about suddenly having to re-do all of your pages if DPWR goes through an update. I've put in a lot of work to make sure that things remain accessible regardless of what happens to the layout of the site.
One of the things that was brought up on the DZS forum was link "branding" – or perhaps "badging" would be a better term; basically, a way to visually indicate that by following a link, you would be taken to a different site for that information. This is something I hadn't given much thought to, but thinking about it, I really rather like it. It's a nice flag for the visitor, telling them they're moving to a new site, and it does give the content a certain "brand", so after a little bit of exposure, you have some idea of what to expect when you follow a link badged with, say, the GoG logo. Setting up the icons and all of the specifics will probably be the roughest part to start with, but I'd like to get started with it before we get too deep into this cross-linking idea's execution so that we don't have to do twice as much work in the end. I think the implementation of the badges is something best left for the various sites to determine on their own, since everyone has their own content management system to deal with, but I will note that I think I can rig a system for DPWR that is both flexible and immediately usable.
Secondly, I'm still looking for feedback on how to go about categorizing and organizing 10,000 years of D'ni history, as well as trying to reconcile that history across two disparate timekeeping systems. This is a really big undertaking, and I don't want to jump into it willy nilly, only to have suggestions tossed in when it's halfway finished and have to start over again. If anyone has any suggestions on where to look for help or advice outside of this forum, by all means, send me a link!
Finally, this was brought up at the Guild Communication Meeting yesterday, and I wanted to address it here as well. A while back, ireen had the idea for a comprehensive chatlog project to be included in the Archive. I think this is still a great idea, and would love to jump in with both feet to get it started right away. However, I've got enough other projects in the Archive to deal with right now, and don't think I could give this project as much attention as it would require. I'd therefore like to put out a call for a volunteer or two to head up this project. In addition, I'd like to define a few goals for whoever chooses to take the reigns on this one:
- Ideally, in keeping with the new structure of the Archive, chatlogs should be contained within a single tag or group of tags for easy searching and navigation.
- In addition to this structure, chatlogs should be linked to by whatever timeline/history-tracking system we implement, and perhaps even more ideally, link back to those pages as well. In this manner, chatlogs would be more tied to the rest of the history of the Cavern, and not just be isolated events.
- Chatlogs should be posted in a raw but readable format. In other words, no graphical emoticons would be present in the log, important names (and perhaps their lines of text) would be bolded, and other important lines would ideally be indicated visually as well. I know there are a couple of chatlog formatters out there... if we could standardize on one of them and establish guidelines for the settings we use for them, that would go a long way to making the chatlog archive a uniform resource for players. Perhaps the only thing we'd need to overcome is the variance in timestamping that occurs because the logs are recorded in local time, not Cavern Time.
- Whoever heads this up should be willing to work with any relevant branches of the GoMe to provide links to news stories and/or formatted/cleaned up logs of an event whenever possible, preferably with appropriate link-backs to the Archive's unedited version of the logs. I did a quick perusal of the GoMe website and didn't find a chatlog resource available, so perhaps this would be something that a joint GoMe/GoA "task force" could help get started.
If anyone is interested in helping with any of these projects (Website cross-linking, link badging, history cataloguing, or the chatlog project), please contact me either on this forum or through DPWR. If anyone has suggestions on where to take these ideas to get them increased coverage or attention, please let me know where to go with them. Thanks.
Guild of Archivists