Reducing list fandoms
enchantedsleeper brought this up on Talk:List of Video Game Fandoms, but I want to move the discussion here since it's more relevant to a lot of other list pages. What I've gathered from Sleeper's comments is that "list of x fandoms" pages are redundant and lists for the sake of lists, and are better covered by the Wishlist and individual categories.
While I first understood Sleeper's comments, I was at first erring on the side of list pages, since adding categories manually is a tedious, time-consuming process. However, after some mucking around, I got AutoWikiBrowser and HotCat working on Fanlore, and both work without a hitch. The ability to semi-automate or fully automate mass adding and removing makes me open and supportive of the proposal to switch from "list of x fandoms" pages to categories. Pinky G Rocket (talk) 03:16, 15 April 2022 (UTC)
- Oh, hello! I was mid typing up a reply to Quaelegit's message on the List of Video Game Fandoms Talk page when Fanlore finally notified me of this discussion xD It probably is better to have that general discussion here rather than further add to the LVGF Talk page. However, Quaelegit's point about "list pages" being easier to browse than categories is a fair point that I want to address. I also want to make the point that although creating and adding new categories is easier with the tools you mentioned above, we should still make sure that the new categories make sense for Fanlore and fit into its existing hierarchy. For example, Fanlore is more likely to narrow things down by fandom than by genre or type of media (Action Adventure video games, or video game publisher) because we're a fandom wiki, so we want to major on how things are categorised by fandom and not what genre of game or publisher they are. While we do have the Fandoms by Canon Type category, we usually only split that up by very broad classifications like Video Games and then go into fandom subcategories.
- Could we change that or add more specific canon type subcategories if we wanted to? Sure, but we'd need to make sure these were changes/additions that made sense for Fanlore as a fandom wiki and how people will want to find that information. Does it make sense to group all action/adventure games together from a fandom perspective? Etc. Sometimes the answer is yes, like having a subcategory and fandom page for Nintendo, but that depends on how fandom organises itself, so it wouldn't always make sense to have these subdivisions.
- Quaelegit also brought up the point that categories are not as browsing-friendly, because you can't always take in fandoms of X type at a glance because some will be in the top section due to being subcategories, and others will be in the bottom section due to simply being pages in that category. So I think the use case for list pages is as follows: it's helpful to be able to see what type of pages Fanlore has for (X thing), and in the process you might go "oh, I know that fandom" and click on the page, and then wind up adding a bit to it. (Or you might just read it and go down a different type of rabbit hole xD) You can also see at a glance which pages are redlinks, and then some enterprising editor might think "ah, I could make this!" or get some friends together to tackle the absence.
- Categories cover Scenario 1, with the limitations that Quaelegit mentioned of not always being great for "at a glance", but they definitely don't cover Scenario 2 because we're not in the habit of pre-making categories that don't have any pages to go in them. The Wish List can cover that scenario because it's designed for red links and pages that need fleshing out, but it's been mentioned that it's super unwieldy in its current form - fair enough. Here's what I'd like to propose:
- We overhaul the Wish List page in a manner that would suit the use case that List Pages on Fanlore are currently being used for, namely the ability to see at a glance what kind of pages Fanlore has on X, with whatever scope of X we think is helpful to have. We can chop it up into subpages or more specific Wish Lists, and if those start getting too unwieldy, chop them up as well. (Call them something like "Wish List of Video Game Fandoms"). The other half of what I propose we do differently is this: we include all pages of a type on the wish list page, even if they're not "obvious" Wish List candidates, with a summary of what needs doing/adding to the page. Every page needs work in some way, and we can use section headers or bullet point lists to indicate what's needed, e.g. character pages for X, Y and Z.
- The reason I think these pages would work better as a form of Wish List pages is because then they would have the explicit goal of "here's where we want more of X page". Right now the List of XX Fandom pages are treading a kind of awkward line of "What are these for and why do they get made?" Pages in Fanlore's main namespace are geared towards documenting fandom, which is why I was pressing for what exactly we're trying to document with them. If they're just for ease of browsing Fanlore, my worry is that we'd wind up with a lot of list pages that only contain fandom names and no other info, with endless debates on how to organise them. We also don't really have a way of determining what gets made into a list page, and the ones we have so far are kind of random, so that limits their usefulness from a browsing standpoint. But if we make this part of a project to revamp the Wish List page, then we can make these into pages that aid with browsing and show where content needs adding, and we can imagine them in whatever way best serves the purpose of showing where things need to be added and worked on.
- I'm going to stop now, because this is already horrifyingly long, for which I apologise xD Wordy is my forté and I tend to figure things out as I talk. Hopefully it's not too long for anyone to reply to. Feel free to reply to specific chunks inline if that's helpful. --enchantedsleeper (talk) 08:37, 15 April 2022 (UTC)
- Thank you for typing this up!! It is pretty long but I found it helpful to follow your thought process as you "figure things out by talking", heh. I still feel that you're not understanding what I find useful in that specific Video Games list page vs. the "Category: Video Games" page, but I'm struggling to find a way to explain it right now. Also, I think *do* understand the browsing process you outlined and I think that it will work for most of the goals I have when I access the list page. I guess I'll try to think on it more and hopefully make another reply in the future that explains what I feel is being left out (and whether it's important enough to me to argue for keeping the list page).
- More importantly, I definitely see your concern about list pages that obscure their purpose and lead to wasted time arguing over categorization (you could argue that we're already falling into that over the Video Games page, haha). I've never used the Wish List myself but I think overhauling it to make it less unwieldy is a good idea in general. If we could get them more functional, and get more people using them, that would really bolster the argument for deletion (of some list pages). I also really like the idea of having red & blue links on Wish List pages. In addition to completely replacing the current list page (from an editor's perspective*) it would be helpful to have some bluelinked pages to copy formatting and content organization from -- basically the first thing I do when I create a new page from scratch is find an already extant page to crib from.
- *From an editor's perspective: This is specific to the "List of Video Games fandoms" page (let me know if you want me to move back to that talk page) but as a reader trying to learn things from Fanlore, I like those genre categories. I don't think they belong on a Wishlist (which should be organized by what kind of work is needed probably?) and I don't think they should be elevated to Fanlore Categories b/c it would be a nightmare to organize. I guess that's an answer to your question of "what is this page for" -- it gives a sense of how the media is organized in the minds of fans, in these genre groupings that aren't always specifically defined, have a lot of overlaps, and even change a lot over time, but are still useful for driving fan discussion and getting an understanding of the medium. Quaelegit (talk) 10:19, 16 April 2022 (UTC)
- I think it's potentially confusing to create a lot of very specific canon-type categories based on trope or genre present in the canon. It could undermine how the category structure helps to reinforce Fanlore's emphasis on documenting fandom and fan activities as opposed to canon. Plenty of wikis, including TV Tropes, already cover all the canon information, and new editors have a tendency to think along the same lines, add too much canon info, and then get discouraged when other editors remove it. I think those "List of X Fandoms" type pages exist because people kept listing out all the canons on the trope pages, drowning out all the information about how the trope is used in fanworks that the page was supposed to cover. Listing canons by trope is a fan activity in itself, and I think it serves as a helpful reminder of what's available on Fanlore already as well as a wishlist for fandom pages not created yet. As pages they fit in the Fandoms by Canon Type category without cluttering up the category structure with a lot of canon-focused categories. I think the List of Video Game Fandoms page is an outlier and the others are a lot simpler and easier to maintain.--aethel (talk) 16:56, 17 April 2022 (UTC)
Proposal: Merge Fandom Lists with article pages, or create subpages
I think very few people realised these lists existed before the discussion started on the Video Games List, and I do think that's a problem. I didn't realise they existed! I did some editing on the Vampire page but completely missed the List of Vampire Fandoms. Because the page name starts with "List of", its way down the search results.
There are a lot of topics where we have an article page as well as a list page, and I would suggest that the list be merged with the article page or the List become a subpage of the article page (if the article/list is already very long). This is just for organisation and visibility - keep the information together and make sure that these lists are more visible in search results. Where a genre or genre element doesn't already have a Fanlore page, I think we should create a stub for it. Because we want to document how fandoms interact with this genre, as well as creating lists of fandoms in this genre.
Before I found this discussion I already edited Witch, to add the List of Witch Fandoms onto that page. So that's an example of merging. We don't have an example of a List on a subpage yet, but the Vampire page is a good candidate for that. The List could be moved to a subpage, which would be called Vampire/List of Vampire Fandoms. This would be more likely to appear in searches for the word Vampire, and the subpage can be added to categories (if there's agreement on which category to use?)
There may be drawbacks to this approach. Redlinks/stubs on these lists wouldn't necessarily appear on the Wishlist as well (unless someone put them on the Wishlist). And there may be other drawbacks that I can't see. Let me know what you think?--Auntags (talk) 20:17, 18 April 2022 (UTC)
- It's a great proposal and I can't see any downside to that suggestion either, I agree with Auntags -- Ellakbhesse (talk) 21:39, 18 April 2022 (UTC)
- Moving these list pages into subpages is fine, but would it increase their visibility? I think the main page would have to be edited to include a template that displays the subpages. Otherwise they'll be just as invisible as before. The important thing is to have a link to the list from the topic page, however that's done: the Witch page could have a "List of witch fandoms" section, and the content of that section would be "See List of Witch Fandoms."--aethel (talk) 22:27, 17 July 2022 (UTC)
- There would definitely need to be a link to any subpages or lists on the main article, and we do have a page which does that already. So on the Vampire page, after I or someone else realised the List existed, a link to the List page was added. That's in the Fandoms with Canon Vampires section. But then that brings us back to the notability issue - should we have a short list on the main page, and if we do, how can we decide what fandoms are on the main page vs list/subpage, when Fanlore doesn't have a notability requirement? I don't know the answer to that one, and that's part of the reason I was leaning towards merging the full list, or in the case of very long lists, create a subpage and add a link (In this case, the list of fandoms with canon vampires was already on the page, before the link was added) --Auntags (talk) 19:23, 21 July 2022 (UTC)