Forum:First board meeting report
Hi Wikians and welcome to this long overdue update on Weird Gloop!
The first meeting of the board was held on 19th January 2019. The main focus of the meeting was to bring the newly elected board members up to speed on the current state of Weird Gloop. All of the board members were in attendance, as well as Jayden and Kitty who were invited to discuss the progress with the technical side of things. The meeting ran to nearly 3 hours in length and, as discussion jumped about somewhat, we have opted to organise these notes into the topics that were discussed.
The first order of business was to formally appoint the new board members who had been determined through the community vote. The addition of new members was proposed and passed by Gaz. Gaz explained the real life details (title, first, middle and last name; date of birth; nationality; occupation; correspondence and home addresses; and country of residence) that would be needed to add the new directors to the Companies House record for Weird Gloop Limited. The new board members will be providing these details to Gaz.
Transparency was discussed at some length at various points. Everyone agreed that public reports should be made available following each meeting and that discussion of their contents should be encouraged. It was suggested that in future the community should be notified of upcoming meetings, to allow editors to have input about issues that they would like to be discussed.
The issue of confidentiality was also discussed. There are times when the board will not be able to make all information known to the whole of the wikis’ communities. Situations where this would be applicable were identified as those where public disclosure would result in plans being jeopardised, or where we legally prohibited from doing so.
One particular example where this applies is our contract with Jagex, which we are not permitted to post publicly. Jagex are willing for admins of the OSRS and RuneScape wikis to see the full contract provided that they have signed an NDA. Many of the admins have taken the opportunity to do this, including all of the board members. Confidential information is also generally shared privately with the wiki admins, which gives additional oversight on these issues to ensure that any decisions taking in relation to them remain in the interest of the wiki communities.
We all agreed that information should not be kept private without good reason. We had some discussion about how it might be beneficial to have a permanent meta page about the structure of weird gloop and related other information.
Since the fork Gaz and Cook had been having a lot of difficulty setting up a bank account to be used to manage the company’s finances. The difficulties arose around trying to set up an account which would work with us having company directors based outside of the UK. As Weird Gloop is incorporated in the UK, a UK bank account had to be set up and UK banks seemingly made it infeasible to have non-UK based company directors while setting up an account. Most banks required multiple forms of ID to be provided in person by anyone currently on the board, as well as anyone who joined in future; Gaz and Cook considered this to be too much of a blocker for future directors. This issue was somewhat responsible for the delay in appointing new directors.
Gaz then found that the UK bank HSBC allows business bank accounts to be set up with only the ID requirements for current company directors. This would only be required for future company directors if they wished to be able to be signatories of the account. This provided a work around for the problem; in the form of Cook being temporarily removed as a company director. With Gaz temporarily being the sole, UK based director it was possible for him to set up a business account with HSBC.
Gaz currently has access to internet banking, and has just received a PIN to allow for debit card transactions. He will now be able to set up the ability to make international payments. As we have had no company bank account up until this point we have not been receiving our budget from Jagex and we have also not been reimbursing the system administrators for their work the Weird Gloop wikis. Cook has been covering the running costs in the interim. Once the bank account is fully set up the plan is to invoice Jagex for the budget that we should have received so far, to reimburse Cook, and to back pay the system administrators the money owed to them. Cook will be preparing an invoice of the costs that we have incurred so far to present to Jagex. A long term aim is for Cook to be added as a signatory to the account, but this will have to be done at a time when he is in the UK and available to visit HSBC with the required forms of ID.
In terms of migrating the editing community from Fandom, forking has been extremely successful; with all established editors choosing to move to Weird Gloop. Fandom wikis are seeing little editing activity. People still editing Fandom wikis appear either to be doing so out of bad faith, not knowing that the editing community moved away, or are Wikia staff. A few editors have attempted to plagiarise content from Weird Gloop wikis, in response DMCA take down requests have been issued by some of the admins (mainly Gaz and Spine). Fandom have been honouring these requests so far. We made a large amount of effort to talk page message editors and let them know that the community was moving around the time of forking, but Fandom became less tolerant of us doing so once the fork happened. The position on this is now that Fandom do not want us to let any new editors know about the Weird Gloop wikis. Several users have been globally blocked for attempting to do this.
Earlier in the month the PT-BR and RuneScape classic wikis joined the Weird Gloop wiki group, following successful meta discussions.
Our readership has been growing steadily since forking. There have been large spikes in growth around major updates: the Mining and Smithing rework on RuneScape and the release of Kebos on Old School RuneScape around the beginning of January caused the number of users viewing the wikis to roughly double in the days around the update. The Fandom wikis have very little coverage updates since we have forked; so we have a significant advantage when it comes to new updates.
Weird Gloop wikis are the top Google search result for most new content pages. This is significant as around 85% of wiki visits begin with users searching for something using Google. For existing content pages we fare less well. In the long term, we would like to improve our SEO, that is our visibility in search results, for these kinds of pages.
As the wikis’ traffic has increased the servers have had to deal with the increased load. Adjustments such as moving the weekly full database backups to low traffic periods have been made, but it is still difficult to do technical work without affecting the servers and the wikis’ users. There are occasional times where load times are slower and this causes a noticeable drop in the amount of users on the wikis.There is an issue with caching anonymous viewing on the wikis that is creating load (actively being worked on), as well as an issue with the poll extension (which has been disabled).
Grand Exchange price data is going to moved to a dedicated database to free up space - potentially meaning we can increase the frequency of backups as the GEMW data is the majority of the database. The current focus of sysadmins is addressing these issues and on optimising server usage. We briefly discussed if there was anything else that could be done. Jayden suggested that a dashboard or other monitoring service for current server load could be useful.
A brief discussion of OVH (our current server provider) vs AWS took place, concluding that while using AWS could be preferable (especially since we already use AWS for long term backup storage), vendor lock-in is a concern, and AWS can be very expensive. We have had no downtime due to any fault by OVH, and we could do much better by simply optimising what we have instead of switching. Images were also mentioned (i.e. our issues with thumbnails), and concluded that having a dedicated image server would not solve the problem; needs optimisation work.
As we are not currently using all of our budget each month, we suggested that the sysadmins let us know if there is anything else we could use it on in order to help with these issues further. Cook and the sysadmins will be working on technical planning and pricing of another server to primarily run the job queue and potentially be a third webserver.
Another focus of Cook and the sysadmins is on integration of the OSRS wiki with RuneLite, a popular 3rd part OSRS client. This integration would be beneficial for getting more players to use our wikis, and it also has some exciting prospects for information sharing. The owner of RuneLite has been sharing OSRS cache information with the OSRS admins; and there is potential in the future to introduce a loggers to the client, for example of monsters to allow data to obtained about drop rates. The OSRS wiki has already been integrated into the OSBuddy.
Our main contacts at Jagex are currently Mod Gambit, a community manager for OSRS, Mod Nav, and Mod Cam, a community manager for both OSRS and RS. Our support from Jagex so far has been largely around promoting the launch of our wikis, and subsequent reminders about their existence. Something which has been particularly helpful has been linking to our wikis’ pages in update newposts, which has been driven by Mod Shauny.
Another project is the potential to integrate links to the wiki ingame. There has also been some suggestions by players to implement (like the wikiorb suggestion on Reddit) which have proven popular. The idea has previously been discussed with Jmods and seems like it could be possible; they have even seemed willing to allocate some of their own development time to work on this project within the first quarter of 2019. Kitty is currently working on a new API to ensure that our pages can be accurately matched to game content through their IDs.
We suggested that there could more things that Jagex could be doing to help us - but we also thought that it was down to the us to identify and request what more we wanted. Some suggestions were sharing of game data, providing us with means to incentivise editing, such as bonds and encouraging jmods to edit the wiki (we currently have a Jmod user group but that idea hasn’t really been expanded on).
Cook is working on a report to present to Jagex about our progress so far and to have a meeting with Jagex in the next few weeks. Going forward the idea is to create a report every quarter to keep them updated on wiki progress.
For users without Google Analytics access, could we do an update on traffic for the three months since Forum:Weird Gloop week 2 update? Also, is there a better way (automatic, if possible) to notify users about new discussions on Meta instead of manually creating new threads?--Iiii I I I 08:13, 30 January 2019 (UTC)
- I like the idea of the different wikis having a permanent meta threads section on their forums, but I don't know how to implement that. IsobelJ (talk) 19:22, 6 February 2019 (UTC)
In regards to using bonds or other benefits to incentivize editing on the wiki, do we have a sense of how successful such a program would be? Has the existence of the Wikian title successfully gotten more people to edit the RS wiki? I haven't seen an incentive system like this on a wiki before, and I'm curious how we think it would turn out. BigDiesel2m (talk) 01:05, 1 February 2019 (UTC)
- In regards to your last sentence, the official Guild Wars 2 wiki gives out in-game gold for editing certain articles (supported by the game's developer) jayden 01:23, 1 February 2019 (UTC)