Usually my blog posts only feature video reviews of this week's comics, but this time I have some news for you.
In case you don't know me, my name is Nathan, and I'm one of the Administrators here on the database. I'm usually the guy making fancy templates and modifying things to make them more fun and specifically useful for us.
In any case, Wikia is working on a new feature that will be a pretty major change, and they've asked if we'd like to be an early testing wiki. I said we'd be glad to, since it's a great opportunity to help develop an upcoming tool to best meets our needs. Are you all up for helping out?
The feature is called "Message Wall" and it will be taking the place of our existing User Talk pages. If you're unsure what a User Talk page is, it's one of the main ways of communicating between people on a wiki, and one of the oldest as well. (Here's mine as an example).
Unlike the user talk pages, Message Wall is not a wiki page, but will still allow full wiki text within the messages. It's being designed to handle and enhance the kinds of discussions we're already having. For instance, we'll be able to follow specific conversations instead of entire pages, we won't have to worry about archiving long user talk pages anymore, and new users will 'get it' immediately, so there'll be no more having to explain how to add a signature to messages, or how to reply in a way that notifies the other person.
The test will probably go live next week. When that happens, the biggest change we'll see right away is that our existing user talk pages will be archived and protected, to prompt us to switch over to the new system and give it a good, honest try. Wikia Staff will be watching our activity pretty closely to learn from us as well as help us out, answer any questions, and work on any bugs we find. They're especially interested to find out how we use the system, and are excited to show us their hard work. If we absolutely can't make it work and change our minds about trying it out, it's possible for them to turn it off and let us go back to talk pages, but I'm hoping that we'll be able to stick with it. This feature will eventually go live to all wikis, so this is a great opportunity to help shape the way Message Wall looks and works.
I'll be helping them post more details when it goes live, but keep an eye out for new blogs posted by Wikia Staff as well.
Does this sound alright with everyone? Let me know what you think! :)
Thanks for your help!
Check out the Wikia Staff breakdown at: User_blog:Dopp/Communicate_Easily_with_Message_Wall