Hey gang. My name is Pete, and I felt it was time I stepped up from being a rader to more of a contributor. I'll be helping Tobias in doing a bit of planning for the Wiki as we approach the premiere of the Expanse in 50-ish days or so.
If you have an idea for how we can get the site ready for what I think will be a big influx of new visitors, let's start to collect them here.
I'll be working to build some standards of care for the Wiki, such as when we write in-universe vs discussing the books vs the show as a TV production. Also how to treat spoilers. That sort of thing.
If there is a particular fan-wiki on Wikia that you really like, let us know in the comments. I would love to look to a site that does this kind of thing really well ,and steal their best ideas :)
Speaking of particular fan-wikis, I really want to achieve making this a good one-stop wiki for both the books and the TV series. I'm not completely sure how to best do that, though, and how to separate the content. If anyone knows any wikis that cover both a book series and its TV/film adaptation (many have separate wikis, like GoT/ASoIaF), chime in. The Harry Potter wiki here on Wikia comes to mind.
Something that should've been done a while ago is finish writing synopses for more of the books. People have been asking for that every summer for the last couple of book releases, to read up on the previous books in the series.
Every summer I have been refreshing the theme here on the wiki to reflect the newest book, but now we should dress it up more like the TV series. I can look at finding a good background and get some colors up.
Another kinda minor thing I guess it's time to fix is the fact that I tried to be clever and initially created pages like The Expanse as category page with content. It looks good, it seemed smart and tidy, but I'm not so sure it's ideal after all (especially now that the book series isn't the only thing called The Expanse). Thoughts?
That's just off the top of my head, I know there's more I've been meaning to do lately before I got a kid and didn't have any free time for months.
I poked around a bit and I think the Walking Dead wikia might be the best one for us to chase. It's also based on books, and has the need to have the TV content, charaters, and plot be maintained separately from the books.
In particular, we'll need new templates. The season template from this page right away: http://walkingdead.wikia.com/wiki/Season_1_(TV_Series)
Nor sure how to make templates yet, but will try to figure it out.
From a planning perspective I want templates for blocks and overall pages for seasons, episodes, character, actors, ships and locations. These would be tempaltes that incldue the infobox at the top, as well as required sections within the page, and standards of entry and care. We ant a consistent tone and flow from one instance to another.
To imporve reasability, we might go with the book cover as a floating background image, but a lighter background color with black or darker text. This instead of white text on black semi-transparent background. I imagine once the show airs, we'll want to use high-res effects shots possibly instead of the somewhat abstract book covers.
WI added a new Season template, and have it working in the old markup. The new markup Wikia wants us to use is XML, so I will at some point start playing with that. Much more straightforward.
The biggest thing we should do next is to split up content that has both TV and book inforamtion lumped together. I want to chang ethe menu system to better reflect what the Walking Dead has done. There are completely separate menus and sub-menus that appear to be duplications, but one for the book universe and one for the TV universe.
We should identify what steps we need to follow to split up that content, and then be able to follow those steps repeatedly so we don;t break any pages or lose any content. Something like this:
1. Assume that all pages are book content for now. Much of the description of the major pages come form the books because of the absence of info from the show.
2. Rename them from "Page" to "Page (Books)"
3. Create the alternate page - "Page (TV)"
4. Cut and paste appropriate content from the book page to the TV page.
This will effectively double our count of character pages, and ship pages over time, and increasing others that appear as the series progresses.
I've made a lot of progress on splitting up TV and Book characters, and am now getting into the Categories.
The "Character" category needs to be deprecated, in favor of "Characters (Books)", and "Characters (TV)". Sub-categories as well, like "Male Characters" split up into TV and Books.
There is no way to rename Categories, so we need to locate all the pages tagged to "Characters" and deal with them one at a time. Once there are no more characters in the category, we can delete it.
Hmm, is going this far in splitting articles into separate book and TV articles so beneficial? What do we gain from that?
Most of the information is probably going to be identical anyway, but differences could probably be explained in the articles? If we split all articles in two, the wiki itself could just as well be split into two different wikis too.
I never really liked the subcategories for male and female characters, someone else added them I think, but it's not very important to me.
Now I've gotten some time to look over the wiki, and great work so far! You've really been at it, editing every day for two weeks and everything. Really appreciate it.
Still wondering if splitting everything in book and TV articles is the best way though... It seems slightly drastic, and as you say yourself, this means a lot of copy and paste. I see you linked to TWD as an example; I'm not too familiar with that franchise, but there seem to be a lot more media there? I mentioned the Harry Potter wikia, which combines book and movie characters into the same article, which I think makes good sense for a wiki as small as ours. But maybe there are some benefits I haven't thought of.
The issue becomes that each item from the books is going to be made current up to the most recent novel or novella. The equivalent character or location in the book is going to be different. There are already known cases - Holden has a different rank aboard the Cant in the TV series, Ade has a different last name and nationality in the TV series, etc.
Although all signs point to a faithful adaptation, they are not going to be identical universes. Those differences are going to grow over time as we see the episodes, and more seasons (hopefully) come out.
The best example of this is the Walking Dead. An ongoing comic series at the same time as an ongoing TV series. They both vary widely, and there is a need to split them up to accomodate both universes. The Wikia team for TWD have done an excellent job of unifiying the comic series, TV series, video games, spinoff series (Fear the Walking dead), recap series (The Talking Dead) and novels in one place.
In TWD characters die at different points, some characters are unique to each and don't appear in the other, storylines are based on the comic, but are not identical. The list goes on and on.
If someone follows the books and not the series, or vice-versa, there will be confusion if we try to lump them together. There will also be spoilers like crazy from the book side, despite our best efforts to use spoiler tags.
I agree with the male and female character subcategories. I ran with them because they were there, but should probably be ditched.
Oh - and regarding Harry Potter as the model, they do unify the characters, but at this point the books and movies are both finished. The goal of the movies was to reproduce the books. They have a couple of hours to drill down a huge volume of content, so their dilemma is to pickl and choose the stuff they want, and leave a lot out. Very rarely did they change things that were core to the book.
In the Expanse, we have 10 hours to tell a single book. Some of the content will not translate well to the screen, so while they have tried to remain faithful, there will be changes. We don't know what they are yet, but based on that assumption I figured making the break between TV and Books now was a the best approach because doing it later would mean a boatload more work.
Because we know reltively little from the TV series at ths point, the TV-focused articles are mostly stubs, but will grow over time with each episode.
What do you think?