Normally I'd just edit rather than ask questions, but I'd like to hear people's thoughts:
- I think our trick descriptions are too emotional. We shouldn't describe tricks as 'nice' (since that's a matter of taste) and we need to be careful describing tricks as easy/hard (because readers skills will vary).
- Video descriptions are also too emotional. In some cases we might want to quote where in the video the relevant trick is. I'd also suggest we don't state who the video author is, since it's obvious when the video is viewed.
- The templates for trick instructions are great, but do we have to use them? The simpler the page is the easier it is to edit.
- Do we really need a trick infobox? Currently it just shows a very small amount of information and repeats a photo that is shown later on page. I think the articles would be more readable if we just started with an intro sentence instead.
As I have thought a lot about trick descriptions in the past weeks, it's nice to hear a few opinions. :-)
Emotion - The trick section on this site is imho meant to encourage readers to try out new tricks, to work on their skills. As practice can often be a frustrating experience, a little optimistic emotion can really help, as long as it stays within certain bounds. I must admit, that I am a very emotional person :-). When dealing with customers (I do consulting about automobile parts cataloguing and databases in general) I often use this to get relatively dry subjects across, and so far I got a lot of positive reactions about that from my audiences. As we are a wiki, we are somewhere between a forum and an encyclopedia. This gives us a little leeway and can make things a little more alive.
For expressing major pieces of personal opinion/experience, I would, however, like a better way of formatting. In the initial version of the Throw Down page, I also had references to my own learning process and how Dale Oliver helped me. I found these passages problematic when reading the page two years later, as this is not a personal web site but a community effort. So I took them out. I have toyed with the idea of adding a special infobox (we will touch the area of templates later) for inserting personal opinion without interfering with content. This would bring us a little bit closer to the liveliness of a forum. Having a means of inserting opinion (recognizably) into a main page could offer the same benefits, that e.g. a historical documentation on TV has when interspersing factual narrative and footage with personal statements from people involved, like "I only remember the ship tilting towards the bow and all the people around me screaming. Then my mother grabbed me and pulled me towards one of the lifeboats.". The same thing can be worked into a textual description, yet should be recognizable as a personal quote. Maybe I will put an experimental section like that up and get opinions on that.
I will also discuss the subject with my wife, who is a linguist (and also quite emotional.) :-)
Video descriptions - Basically the video descriptions are mini-descriptions/reviews of a video, usually written by the person who found the respective video worth mentioning and giving a reason for the mention. The rationale behind this is the same as behind a TV programme guide: many people like to read a few words about a film (including who stars in it) before they tune in. Compare the link list on Around the World with the one in Introduction to Chop Sticks Tricks. To me as a reader, the latter is a lot more appealing. Plus it adds a little volume to the article, which would also hugely benefit the former. :-)
A similar reasoning underlies the trick links on the Yo-yo Tricks page, where we also offer the reader a short description (albeit with a different emotion/description ratio) before he selects a link. I miss the same thing on our front page, but I will start a different thread for that.
Templates - The templates for trick descriptions are by no means mandatory, heck, I do not even really like the Trick Infobox. :) As you already noted, much of the info in the box is redundant or could otherwise be put in the page text. The Trick Infobox has one great advantage: it fills the gap next to the advertisements and thus pushes the page content down to where you can use the full page width. For logged on users this is not evident, but if you log out, restart your browser, and take a look at a page with advertising, this makes for a much better layout.
Layout is also the reason for the trick description templates. If in the future we decide, that we would like a different layout of sequential trick descriptions, we just have to change the template. Otherwise we would have to change lots of pages by hand. As Wikia is currently changing all Wikis to their new advertising layout, I expect them to offer some formatting guidelines in the future as to how best to arrange content, so that everything still looks good and nothing is hidden behind banners. This could mean reformatting for many pages, and having a template can really ease that work.
Ok, Lunch break is over, gotta get some work done. Read you. --HB 11:35, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
My two cents, For what it's worth it is good to get on the same page sometimes just for the sake of understanding each other and for the wikis future success.
- - There are some sites that rate trick as beginner intermediate and so fourth. It might be nice to compare other sites to see how a trick fits in and give it some sort of level. I mean we all know the tricks at the beginning of a sports ladder are easier than the ones at the end.
- Maybe as far as addressing the emotional aspect of a trick we could have something similar to what we have under the yo-yo Pages with a trick review where people could say what they feel about the trick like its merits and detractors.
- - Videos I personally would like videos that only have the trick described in the video. That way it does not get to confusing, even if that means we have to do the trick and upload it on YouTube ourselves. It may be worth setting up a special Youtube account called Yo-yo wiki were only a few of us have the password or designate a person to upload the videos
- - I like the TrickTemplate, which has a place for a picture that could show the crux(hard or best part) of the trick. As far as Wilfred saying “The simpler the page is the easier it is to edit”, I do like pages to be easy to understand. I like the pages to be strait forward but look professional. I also feel they should have as much relevant information as possible as long as it is organized and easily understood.
- - I do think HB has been doing a great job on adding tricks to the yo-yo Wiki, I love seeing all the new work he has been doing.
Hey, this forum thingie really takes off. :-) Thanks for your feedback, Rick.
Trick rating - As the perception of a Trick's difficulty can vary considerably, I am thinking about adding a rating section to the Trick Infobox, where multiple people can leave feedback about difficulty and coolness of a trick. This would also make the Infobox a little more interesting.
One trick only - This is an interesting point, that applies not only to videos, but to articles as well. I was meaning to ask how you guys feel about having more than one trick on a wiki page, like I have done on Introduction to Chop Sticks Tricks. For Double or Nothing I did something similar and put 3or0 on there as a variation, as well as the Absolute Zero dismount. For 3or0 I will put up a redirect link. As is probably evident by now, I have a preference for longer articles that also show a lot of information that fits the context. Any opinions? I also prefer an instruction video of the trick alone, but really like to point to additional videos that show the trick in the context of a routine.
Read you all. --HB 21:26, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
- As far as one trick per page I think as long they are of the same family then multiple deviations or variations are great. EX Double or Triple or nothing, Around the World or pinwheel, Variation on Iron Whip or Plastic Whip.
- I think the pictures you have for the Double or Nothing are solid and I like them very much. I think if you can get the right amount of sequential shots to show the trick in all it’s various movements in a clear way, then that is the way to go. I think YoYoGrams are great but the real thing is even better especially with the picture HB is taking.
- I wish I could help more with the trick names you are working on. I Know the tricks I just don't know the names.
Further (final?) thoughts
- Emotion on reflection I think you're right, a bit of encouragement is good. We probably want to avoid saying "I think" or "I found that" though.
- Video descriptions as Rick said, it's much more desirable to link a video which only shows the trick we are interested in. This keeps things simple. If we can't, then state the time that the trick appears.
- Templates I'm still not convinced with the infobox: here is what it looks with and without when logged out. As for the other templates, let's go for it there is no other solution.
- Difficulty again on reflection I rather like the idea of rating tricks as difficult. Rating them will be hard however. When I learnt split the atom the trick book said 'welcome to advanced yo-yoing' whereas now I would consider it fairly basic. Could we have some sort of numeric scale, where 1 is throw down level and 20 is rancid milk level? This would allow us to introduce harder tricks later if necessary.
- Page length absolutely agree. Better to have a few well collected longer pages than a load of too short ones. Larger pages are easier to navigate and less likely to get lost. If they get too long we can divide them up later, but we want them to be of reasonable size.
- Yoyograms are good, so don't just get rid of them if you have nothing else, but photos are better.
Thank you all for your input, time to get some work done. :-)
Right now I have a backlog of nearly 300 pictures on my disk. These will be incorporated in the following days/weeks. Once I have the basics covered, we can begin to bind them together in a training course.
Ideally, if this ever gets finished, we will be able to make a great how to yo-yo book.
--HB 19:25, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
Wow Wilfred! That is a great find. I tried to find one of those but the one I found didn’t work. This one looks great and works well. Great Find!
This might be a good time to think how many videos would be appropriate per page. I’m sure we still want to focus on the typed word with less attention on the video aspect. The video is more like a supplement to make the articles have more relevance...
Good work, Wilfred. :-) Just what I was looking for.
As to Rick's question, I prefer to keep it to only very few (<3) embedded videos at the bottom of a page, as they take away quite a lot of space. As an economic prsentation at the top, I have added little, rather prosaic, links in the infobox.
Does anyone have experience with how the embedded video does impact loading times on slower connections?
Read you, --HB 20:31, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
I think it would be appropriate to have 1 video per article but links to other videos. We can have per-article discussion reguarding which video we embed but I don't think there is any reason we should have multiple videos for any article. --Schalicto 00:06, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
I think we should put videos and images in all the pages and to add more tricks because some of the tricks are just impossble to learnMegaultrachicken 04:45, August 29, 2011 (UTC)