User talk:FanloreBot

From Fanlore
Jump to: navigation, search

Purpose of the FanloreBot

The general purpose of FanloreBot is basically to provide an account for automation of repetitive tasks via scripting.

The immediate task that I'm looking into automating is the creation of stubs for Yuletide fandoms, for the following purposes:

  • To automate the repetitive entry of fandom templates.
  • To encourage average Yuletide participants to come in and contribute to the wiki.
  • To make use of the much-refined Yuletide fandom/character database to capture:
    • ambiguities in fandom names between fandoms (eg, two different fandoms that might share the same name, which should likely be renamed distinctly)
    • ambiguities in fandom names within a fandom (eg, two different names for the same fandom, where one should be redirected to the other)


Example pages created while testing include:

(These have already in some cases been edited/renamed/redirected.)

Some notes

  • Doesn't touch a page if it already exists.
  • Only creates a page if there are actual Yuletide stories for that fandom.
  • Puts in RPF vs FPF templates.
  • Links to Yuletide quicksearch page for that fandom (esp attractive to Yuletide users right now while the archive is closed, as it provides a way to get to the existing stories).
  • For FPF, searches for and links to epguides or wikipedia entries for the fandom if they exist, to discourage people from summarizing the source rather than talking about fannish activity.

The current outline the stubs are using (shown with FPF template):

|textname= $fandom
|externallinks= links to epguides and wikipedia if they exist

== Overview ==

This is a [[Yuletide]] fandom with [link-to-yuletide-quicksearch-page stories available in the Yuletide archive].

== Characters ==

list of character names, comma-separated

(This page has been automatically generated by [[User:FanloreBot|FanloreBot]].)


  • What would be a good initial outline for an entry for a small fandom, to guide new users in editing?
  • Are the character lists valuable? Should they be formatted differently?
  • Any other external sites it would be valuable to link to? IMDB,, AOOO, lj interests search...?
  • Should there be more of a filter to have the page be created? (eg a requirement that a fandom has at least say 3 Yuletide stories.)
  • What is the ideal pace of stub creation? (eg, the bot could either create say 10 stubs a day all the way up to just creating them all in one fell swoop and getting it out of the way.)

Final Plan

(Based on the discussion below; still subject to change, but to gather up all the responses and propose a synthesis)

  • Bot will post 13 fandom stubs every eight hours -- this will get through all the Yuletide fandoms by Yuletide Day opening of the archive.
  • On posting the stubs, the bot will send email to those who have requested/offered the fandom, asking them to add information about the fandom IF any exists outside of Yuletide.
  • After Yuletide closes, if the stub remains unedited, the bot will:
    • Add a simple one-paragraph entry to an Obscure Fandoms page for that fandom.
    • Redirect the stub page to that one-paragraph entry.
  • Bot will use the following outline -- UPDATED:
|textname= $fandom
|externallinks= links to epguides, wikipedia, imdb if they exist


This page has been automatically generated by FanloreBot to encourage the creation of Fanlore entries for small fandoms such as this one during the Yuletide challenge. If you make substantial edits to this page, please remove this section! If you are only tweaking slightly, but not enough to feel like this fandom warrants its own entry, leave this section intact. If this note is still present by the close of the challenge, the page's content will be transferred to the Obscure Fandoms page, and the page itself will be redirected there. 

== Canon Summary == 

(Please keep this section brief and more about what things in canon are especially important to fans.)

== $fandom Fandom ==

== $fandom Fanfic ==

* [LINK $fandom stories] on the [[Yuletide]] archive.
* [LINK $fandom stories] on the [[Archive of Our Own]].
* [LINK $fandom stories] on [[]].

== Resources ==

* [LINK Communities and users interested in $fandom] on [[Livejournal]]
* [LINK $fandom-related entries] on [[crack_van]].

Seem like a good setup to all?

-- astolat Nov 10 2008, 02:45pm UTC

I like the final plan; I think if it actually produces pages with that template/info, those will be valuable pages. Thing is, we won't run OUT of pages, so as long as its producing good content, I think it's a good thing to have starter/orientation pages even for small fandoms. And I love the idea of promoting the wiki all through yuletide; hopefully by this time next year, we'll be doing the same for the archive too. --Speranza 04:39, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
I think it looks great! -Melina 05:00, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
Because I'm contrary like that, suddenly I'm thinking "Fanfic" should be a major heading. But I won't quibble either way. *g* For the "Remove This Section" section, I think the wording is a little confusing. I'd call it something like "Yuletide Editing Info" or something to get people's attention (and not induce them to remove it before they read it *g*). The paragraph is confusing me, as well -- is it this section that needs to be removed to avoid the bot's later action, or the stub template?
If it's the section per se, I'd suggest rewording to:
This page has been automatically generated by FanloreBot to encourage the creation of Fanlore entries for small fandoms such as this one during the Yuletide challenge. If you make substantial edits to this page, please remove this section! If you are only tweaking slightly, but not enough to feel like this fandom warrants its own entry, leave this section intact. If this note is still present by the close of the challenge, the page's content will be transferred to the Obscure Fandoms page, and the page itself will be redirected there.
If it's the stub template itself, I'd suggest rewording to:
This page has been automatically generated by FanloreBot to encourage the creation of Fanlore entries for small fandoms such as this one during the Yuletide challenge. If you make substantial edits to this page, please remove the {{Stub}} at the top of the edit page! If you are only tweaking slightly, but not enough to feel like this fandom warrants its own entry, leave the {{Stub}} intact. If it's still present by the close of the challenge, the page's content will be transferred to the Obscure Fandoms page, and the page itself will be redirected there. --Arduinna 05:05, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
Done! Edits above. --astolat 06:02, 10 November 2008 (UTC)


Any other comments/thoughts welcome!

--astolat Nov 9 2008, 4:46pm UTC

Adding sections for "plot summary", "fandom", and "resources" would work as a starting organization scheme and get across an idea of the sort of information the wiki is looking for. It might also help to clarify that the character list is of characters who have had stories written about them for Yuletide. --Esther a 21:37, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

Esther -- I like that outline suggestion. I would think characters would go under plot summary, possibly under a subhead, and then the fandom being part of Yuletide could be under "fandom". Though, FYI, the character list in this case isn't actually characters who have had stories written about them; it's just all the characters that have been listed as in that fandom by nominators. -- astolat Nov 9 2008, 11:23pm UTC

That's actually one big reason I think the character list may not be that helpful; the lists usually aren't comprehensive, and sometimes don't even include all the main characters, if people are only interested in one or two specific ones (or, alternatively, they're overwhelmingly complete, with every imaginable character listed -- Discworld lists something like 95 characters, etc.). I can see it inspiring people to focus more heavily on canon, rather than less, as they fill the character list in to be complete or give background on every single one.
So I'd go with a base structure of "Canon Summary" ("plot summary" sounds too book-specific to my ears), "Fandom" (better yet, "Source Name Fandom", if that's possible) with a subhead for "Fanfic" that includes the link to the Yuletide stories (and maybe also and aaooo?), and "Resources". For the external links in the infobox, people have been sticking mainly to non-fannish sites like IMDB, epguides, and official canon pages (wikipedia would be good too), leaving things like crack_van overviews or ship manifestos for Resources. --Arduinna 00:43, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Copying over another proposed ideas from email discussion: timing-out the stubs -- if no one has contributed to the stub after some amount of time (eg, a week, or perhaps after Yuletide is over), delete the stub. -- astolat Nov 9 2008, 11:23pm UTC

I'm definitely in favour of auto-deletion, and I'd also say a none-too-low minimum story count would make sense. Many "Yuletide fandoms" aren't really fandoms - there is no community around them at all, so I'm not sure how much sense it would make to have Fanlore entries for them if you can't describe any sort of fannish activity around those source texts. --Dora 00:13, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, I'm ... dubious, I guess, about having articles for source texts that don't really have fandoms in any sense, where the *only* fannish activity around them is Yuletide. I see the value for promoting Yuletide offers, but at the same time, articles are supposed to focus on fandom content, and if the only fandom content an article has is "this was written about for Yuletide," I'm just not sure that works for me.
I'm not sure how technically feasible a minimum story count is, but I'd definitely encourage deletion of bot-created stubs at some point if no one has any actual fandom content to add. Could we maybe redirect those to a page of "sources with stories available in the Yuletide archive" or something?--Penknife 00:21, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

I actually like the idea of having a Fanlore page for every fandom which has a Yuletide story. That way if someone comes to Fanlore searching for info on that fandom, they at least find a page which indicates that the fandom has a single story (or two, or six, or whatever) -- since sometimes Yuletide stories make up all that there is of a given tiny fandom.
That said, now that I've argued in favor of having a page for every Yuletide fandom, Penknife, I do see your point about having mostly-empty articles for source texts that don't really have fandoms per se. Maybe once all of the stubs are created, we could also put out a call to those who've done Yuletide in the past, encouraging us to come here and flesh out the stubs which were created for the tiny fandoms we've written in over the last few years, so the pages don't wind up devoid of content? Kass 01:15, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

I think you're right that there are advantages to having separate pages. I just still kind of want to argue for having Yuletide-only fandoms collected on a single page, with the articles for the individual fandoms redirecting (maybe after a period in which people have a chance to develop a full article about the fandom if it exists). I guess my main concern is that we've been pushing for pages to have mainly fandom content, and strongly suggesting that plot summary/description of canon be only a small percentage of pages, and I think articles for "fandoms" that are truly Yuletide only are going to necessarily be almost all plot summary/description of canon. Which doesn't necessarily mean they shouldn't exist! But I think it's going to make it harder to justify sticking the Needs More Fandom tag on other articles.--Penknife 02:06, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

I do think it would be a good idea to, when removing the stubs, have those names redirect to a "Yuletide Fandoms" page which could be fandoms which don't really have any activity outside Yuletide, or have so *little* activity they can be summarized with just a paragraph within the "Yuletide Fandoms" rubric.
Or actually, as I type, I realize this could more generally be an "Obscure Fandoms" page, with a section for media type and subsections for each text underneath, and if a fandom graduates to deserving its own complete page, it can be moved away again. Fandoms that haven't necessarily been nominated or written-for for Yuletide might still end up on this page. -- astolat 02:22, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Oh, I like the idea of a list of sources available in Yuletide, with redirects for Yuletide-only fandoms. I'd vote for waiting until a week or two after the Yuletide author reveal before doing it, though. Some of that Yuletide Madness buzzy energy could maybe go to filling in some fandoms here, when people are brimming with fresh info about sources they've just refreshed on. OTOH, some people won't want to risk revealing what fandom they've refreshed on, and will want to wait till after the author reveal. (I know last year I went hunting for stories in a source I picked up specifically because my recipient asked for it, and I found some in a few different places, but I was very careful not to talk about it because I didn't want to give anything away.) --Arduinna 00:43, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Oh, I like a fallback page of Yuletide fandoms a lot, Penknife! -- astolat 00:51, 10 Nov 2008 (UTC)

Um, yikes, I'm not even sure I'm chiming in on the right thread here, but I agree with a lot of what Penknife is saying. From what I understand, Fanlore is meant to collect the history of fannish involvement with source texts, and for some of these Yuletide fandoms, all you're going to end up with is a page that's mostly canon, with maybe a link to a fanfic or two. It'll be a severe case of "NeedsMoreFandom." A single Yuletide page or Obscure Fandom page might better serve people looking for that kind of thing. If they're just looking for a summary and a list of characters, that sounds like a job for wikipedia.--Punk 06:22, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, sorry, it's getting pretty messy in here. I've already tried to respond to these concerns -- see above in the "Final Plan" section? The stub specifically focuses the user on fandom rather than canon, and stubs that are not substantively edited will be cleaned up and moved to an Obscure Fandom page at the end. Any suggestions for further improvement welcome! --astolat 06:41, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Okay, I see the plan. Maybe some guidance/clues under the "Fandom" header so that new users will know what kinds of things to put under there? Like fanon or wank...or whatever happens in really tiny fandoms. *g* I'm just concerned that these pages will be nothing but lists of things with no actual content. --Punk 07:54, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

I also think a slow pace of page creation would definitely be preferable. Someone's going to have to look at all of them manually, if only to discover any spelling-related duplication (as already happened with the Grey's Anatomy/Greys Anatomy page), or if necessary to make the Yuletide article into another article's subpage (as should probably be done with all TV show RPS articles). Too many stubs at once will just make sure they get overlooked and forgotten. --Dora 00:37, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, this is my feeling as well. Also, I like the idea of pairing a staggered rollout with the timeout, to encourage steady and immediate response -- ie, post 10 stubs, post a link on the yuletide comm saying "stubs have been put up for these fandoms! going down if they're not edited before Yuletide ends!" and email people who have requested/offered those fandoms with the reminder.
If the bot posts 13 stubs at a time at 8 hour-intervals, that would get us through all the 1394 fandoms with stories posted before Yuletide reveal, so that might be a good pace. -- astolat 01:02, 10 Nov 2008 (UTC)

That seems a little quick to me-- at least at this point in time. Maybe 6 months from now when there's 1000 regular contributors, instead of a few hundred, but for now that seems awfully fast. Here's a suggestion, though-- would it be possible to have the fanlore-bot create entries based on *how many* stories a fandom has on Yuletide, starting with the most stories first? I feel like that would work a lot better in terms of creating starter-pages for fandoms that are actually fandoms, in terms of having activity outside Yuletide. -- Liviapenn 07:33, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Ooh, yes, good idea! I second starting with larger fandoms first, as that way there's a much higher chance of them actually having a fandom rather than just one fic in Yuletide. --Kyuuketsukirui 07:57, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

And then the other thing is-- maybe we could start with just the top 100, or 250, or 500 fandoms, instead of *all* the fandoms in the archive, but roll them out as per astolat's suggestion-- a certain number of stubs at a time, until a certain date. Then it wouldn't be quite so overwhelming in terms of stubs being created. I feel like that would be a good *test* of this system, to see if it's productive. -- Liviapenn 08:15, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
That can totally be done and a good way to prioritize. I do add, whatever speed we roll it out at, it will be a test in any case -- the bot can be stopped at any point along the way if it's not turning out to be useful, it's not that we set it going and are Inevitably Doomed to whatever it does.
Maybe a 5-stub set every 8 hours, to start with? That would be 15 in a day, which doesn't seem overwhelming. Astolat 15:07, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

The main problem I can see with the bot thing is that it feels like it's just doing what we criticise Laura for doing with her wiki, creating a bunch of junk pages with no info. So I like the idea of an auto-delete after a certain amount of time, to help counter that.
The other problem I see is that by saying to people "hey, go put info about your fandom in Fanlore to help people who might write it for Yuletide", it's going to encourage people to make canon pages, rather than fandom pages. So we're either going to get a bunch of stubs with no info or we're going to get a bunch of pages that need the "moar fandom" banner slapped on them, but because there probably is no fandom info other than "this had a story in Yuletide", there's not really any way to fix that.
There are definitely Yuletide fandoms that actually have fandoms outside of the fest, even if they are not really fic-producing fandoms, but I think the majority probably lack fandoms of any sort. --Kyuuketsukirui 04:53, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
I think something that requires consideration is whether the texts, etc, in Yuletide count as fandoms at ALL. I just posted to LJ with the argument that they're not fandoms, per se, just texts that the Yuletide challenge makes available for fanfic. I think listing texts that have one Yuletide story attached would be stretching and diluting the definition of "fandom" (which refers to a group of people engaged in a common activity, in general); also, it would soon become unmanageable. I mean, what about things nominated for Yuletide that never get ficced? Are those just "unparticipated-in fandoms"? If Yuletide is going to have a presence on Fanlore aside from its entry and related entries, I think we need new language to describe the texts, etc, drawn from for Yuletide, beyond simply labelling them "fandoms." Yes? No? --Sabine 07:08, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

I apologize for barging in without having carefully read all the posts (I skimmed, though!) but:

1. why is it "Fanfic" and not "fanworks" (with fanfiction a subheading of this)? Why limit the article to a Yuletide perspective? Ideally, the Yuletide info would just be the starting-off point for the article.
2. I'd argue there doesn't need to be an active fandom for a source text to warrant its entry into Fanlore. Some source texts are fannishly significant *without* having ever engendered much creative fannish activity. The article should then discuss *why* the source text is in any way fannishly significant -- at least this is what I've done for the "I'm no fandom, but I have passionate, dedicated fans!" RPG Planescape:Torment. --lian 12:01, 11 November 2008 (UTC)