Talk:The Great Suburb Group Massacre/2013

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Almost that time again

Hey y'all, since we didn't have a GSGM last year, I went ahead and created the one for 2013. It seems these normally get off the ground in late January, but I'm actually really free right after New Years. Does anyone object if I get this started shortly after the first? Bob Moncrief EBDW! 14:45, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

As Aichon asked last year, do we need one this year? Most of the victims of GSGM where 1-5 man survivor groups that edited the wiki for a few weeks, then vanished from the face of the earth. There has been a distinct shortage of them ever since. I applaud your enthusiasm (and it strengthens my impression that you may be sys-op material), but I doubt that there is a need for it currently. -- Spiderzed 21:45, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
Using what I call the Pitneybank test, I would say schedule it for the end of 2013, not the beginning. If you're after a horrible job, I've got one for you. --Ross Less Ness Enter Stranger... 22:49, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
Although having it annually is (and I think everyone agrees on this) a terrible idea and a waste of time, I don't like the idea of having one every twelve months for two-plus years and then waiting almost thirty-six months for the next. The game (and wiki) aren't dying that rapidly, I hope. I also did read through Aichon's (and others') comments from last year, and I do think things need to be done differently this year. I think that Aichon's questions are ones that need to be discussed and addressed. But I'm of the opinion that it's better to discuss these things now and make a clear plan, rather than declare GSGM a boondoggle and shunt it off eight to twelve more months.
Other notes: I tried locating the discussion "in Iscariot's userspace" that Aichon refers to here, but I can only find this brief discussion and an even briefer one above it. Can someone point me in the right direction? And Ross, if you have any horrible jobs, feel free to drop them on my talk page and I'll see if I can get to them. Bob Moncrief EBDW! 23:05, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
Here's the discussion in Iscariot's namespace I was talking about. What you need to be aware of is that the first GSGM occurred when Pitneybank had something like 50 groups listed in it. The list was unusable. The second GSGM came before we were ready, but it was still necessary since the lists had grown unwieldy again, though it was mostly just maintenance, not the massive cleanup that the first one had been. Every one since then has been of questionable necessity, since the group listings are still very usable, and the number of new groups being added to them is matched rather closely by the number being removed, since folks have been good about maintaining the lists on their own these last few years. I tend to agree with Ross that later in 2013 would probably be ideal.
That said, I do think it's a good idea to plan things out in advance, so we should definitely hash out the issues and set a date in late 2013, that way no one jumps the gun this time and we can finally (and perhaps for the last time, honestly, since I doubt we'll need any more after this one) do it right. Aichon 01:26, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

Suggested format for this time around

In the interest of keeping the ball moving that Bob got rolling (and this was good timing to get the thinking started), I'll lay out a few suggestions as a starting point, that way we have some stuff to discuss.

1) We should reorganize pages a bit. We should make the main GSGM page that we link everyone to even clearer than it already is (e.g. have headers for "Was your group de-listed?" and "Were you just contacted?"). To keep confusion to a minimum, I'd also suggest moving our actual checklists and organizing to a place like The Great Suburb Group Massacre/2013/Volunteer Organization, rather than having it on the main page where people might see it and think they have to do something complicated.

2) Most importantly, our goal this time around should be to not only tell which groups are active, but to also identify which suburbs they are in, that way we can clear out listings that are for active groups but are in the wrong suburbs. We can likely also combine the radio massacre, so we can accomplish everything in one fell swoop. To do it, we'll need a list of every single group that's listed in the suburb group listings and/or registered with a radio frequency, as well as what suburb(s)/frequencies they are tied to, before we can start.

Doing that is actually rather simple, believe it or not: we simply make a checklist of all the suburbs, a similar checklist of radio frequencies (broken up into 10 or 20 ranges maybe?), and then we have our volunteers check off items on the checklists and add any groups they find to a master list we'll keep at the volunteer organization page in alphabetical order (e.g. I go to Darvall Heights and add all of the groups I find there, or I look at the Radio frequencies and add, say, all of the groups from 26.00-26.50 to the list). When a group gets added, it'll have the suburb or frequency it was associated with added after it (e.g. "Soldiers of Crossman - Darvall Heights"), and as more suburbs or frequencies are found by other volunteers, they'll be added to that list (e.g. "Soldiers of Crossman - 26.43, Darvall Heights, West Becktown"). Doing it this way means it's easy to break up for our volunteers (e.g. a volunteer can simply add all of the groups from a range of frequencies or a few suburbs), which has been a bit of an issue when trying to tackle this problem in the past, since now we don't need to worry about multiple people contacting the same group.

3) We should brainstorm more ways to feasibly reach groups. Clearly, we aren't going to be going in-game to contact groups we don't hear from, nor will we be checking out forums or IRC channels for activity. But at a minimum we should be listing info about the GSGM in the news section for every suburb, since history has shown us that many groups do not check talk pages regularly. We should probably also have some folks announce it on major radio frequencies in-game, post it to the front page of the wiki, get it posted in the UD Facebook group, etc., that way we can try and reach as many people as possible. Giving them more time to respond (maybe a month) may also be helpful.

4) We need to figure out how we're going to deal with certain types of responses and how we can phrase our request to make things as direct and simple as possible. For instance, if we ask them to confirm their activity by listing the suburbs they are in right now, and they respond with, "Yeah, we're active", we need to figure out what to do (e.g. extend their deadline since they're clearly active, but then repeat our request that they list suburbs). We also need to be consistent in what we ask. Just because we know a group is active doesn't mean that they're still using their radio frequency or are still in all of the suburbs they say, so we should check.

5) As Ross suggested above, I'd push this off until late 2013, but I'd definitely pick a date now, that way no one jumps the gun early. I'd suggest a planned start date in October, since it's late enough that we'll be able to clear out the flash-in-the-pan summer groups but early enough that we don't bump up against Christmas break and the lack of activity that brings with it. Plus, we seem to have a bit more activity around Halloween since people love zombie stuff around that time of year.

Finally, we need to remember that this is a necessary evil that harms innocent folks every single time, and not just a bland maintenance task that needs doing. As such, we should do everything we can to make this as easy as possible for them, rather than for us. We have time on our side and we're in no rush. Let's do it right and make sure we do our best. Aichon 02:11, 19 December 2012 (UTC)


TLDR version: Make a list of groups in advance with all of the suburbs and frequencies they are in/use, reach out in-game via radio as well as in news sections for suburbs, start late in 2013, plan it out in advance, and remember that this thing sucks for the people who are victims, so we should be striving to make this simple and obvious for them. Aichon 02:13, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

I definitely second everything Aichon said above. I'm up for around October 2013, although my only timing concern would be that groups might be used to this happening around January or February (although since it didn't happen this year, that may not be an issue). If we get a consensus on procedures, I can start setting up the redlinked pages above and getting things in order over the next month or so. Bob Moncrief EBDW! 04:05, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

Timing Discussion

There's been a proposal above that we should get things organized sooner rather than later, but officially begin at a later point in the year. Aichon suggested a start date sometime around October due to activity levels etc. There have also been suggestions to extend the duration within which groups can respond from two weeks to a month or some other time limit.

I would agree, saying a month is better to give groups enough time to respond. Maybe we should frame the timing around Halloween, say from October 15 to November 15? Having it from October 1 to 31, ending on the always-eventful Halloween, might be a little to chaotic.

Any thoughts/comments? Or can we get consensus on timing? Bob Moncrief EBDW! 20:18, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

Mid-October sounds good to me for a start. Keep in mind that it usually takes 2-3 days to contact all of them at the start and then about as long to follow up at the end, so we'll want to make sure that we don't end up encroaching on American Thanksgiving (fourth Thursday of November) by going too far into November. Aichon 23:47, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

Questions to Discuss

The below sections are some questions which I've culled from last year's discussion and the 2010 discussion. They regard various policies and procedures we need to get agreement on. Please discuss below. Bob Moncrief EBDW! 20:27, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

Messages to groups

To quote Aichon,

Aichon said:

How do we deal with groups that are listed in multiple suburbs?

  • Do we ask them to simply list the suburbs in which they are active?
    • What do we do if they say suburbs that they are not currently listed in?
    • What do we do if they indicate activity but forget to list suburbs?
    • What do we do if they say something like, "every suburb" or even just "every suburb we're currently listed in"?
  • Is there an alternative way to deal with it that's better?

What exactly should we ask groups on their talk pages? (This may involve revamping the templates.) We need to come up with wording that incorporates both the individual suburbs and the radio frequencies on which a group is listed. Also, what is our policy if a group fails to respond with all the appropriate information? Please discuss. Bob Moncrief EBDW! 20:27, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

I think a good idea for what we should say would be a template with wording kinda like this: "I'm a volunteer helping to do some janitorial work on the suburb pages of the wiki. As part of that, we're double-checking in which suburbs each group is active. Currently, you're listed as being in 3 suburbs, in addition to using a radio frequency. If you would like to continue being listed, then please respond within the next month with the radio frequency you are using and a list of every suburb where you are currently active. If we don't hear back from you or we can't get the information we need, we'll be removing you from the lists, but you're welcome to re-add yourself later. Thanks."
After that, if they respond with something other than a list, we might extend their deadline by a few weeks while clarifying what it is that we're looking for, but we wouldn't let it slide completely. If they say something like, "we're active in SW-2", however, I'd let that go, since that's a well-known set of suburbs and isn't silly like saying "we're active in every suburb". Aichon 23:13, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

Visibility

Aichon said:

How can we make more people aware of the GSGM?

  • Isn't one of the system messages that sysops can edit capable of displaying a message at the top of every page? Would that be appropriate?
  • Should we be posting in the news for every suburb page?
  • Should we merely use the contact on the group page as a first effort, then try to follow up on the ones that we missed via forums and the like?

What is the best way to make groups aware of the events? Some ideas:

  • Sysop-created messages (see above).
  • Suburb page and/or talk-page listings (see above and:)
Iscariot said:
Have check stations on suburb talk pages as well - Some group members might not have their own group's talk page on their watchlist, this way with a small bit of duplication we potentially reach a wider audience.

Other proposals? Bob Moncrief EBDW! 21:28, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

As I recall, the sysop-created message has some issues in different themes on the wiki, and it can also be obscured by stuff like custom titles. Still though, it may be worth looking into, so long as it won't get in the way of anything. If someone wants to look through the system messages and see if they could track it down, that'd be awesome, since I don't remember which system message it is. I'd definitely also post in the news section for each suburb, since that is a place we know people check. And as I said about, I think that reaching out via in-game radio would be a good idea, as well as reaching out via the Facebook group and maybe on a few of the major message boards.
As for the suburb talk page, I'd avoid it. We did that check-in idea of Iscariot's for the 2010 and 2011 GSGMs, and while it worked for how things were set up then, it didn't get much attention from anyone and doesn't make as much sense when we're trying to do cross-suburb organization, which is what we're doing this time around. A single master page for check-in makes a lot more sense. Aichon 23:18, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

Face and Layout

Should we, as suggested above, maintain a special page so that those with questions can have them easily answered without being bogged down by the organizational side of GSGM? If so, what should be its layout and what should be included? Bob Moncrief EBDW! 21:28, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

Basically what it is already, but broken down into sections instead of being a block of text, and give them specific instructions for how to respond to various things. Aichon 23:19, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

Suburb Pages

Aichon said:

Should we eliminate lists of groups on suburb pages (e.g. East Boundwood and Yagoton), clean them up to match the group listing, or leave them alone?

As above. Bob Moncrief EBDW! 21:28, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

I definitely think so. In fact, I'd probably just remove them outright. Most of those lists are out of date and some even pre-date the group listings on the side of the suburb pages, meaning that they were obsolesced years ago. And there's no reason we need to wait for the GSGM before we do that cleaning either. We can do it at any time. Aichon 23:23, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

Organization System

I do like the idea (and I think we're in agreement) of having a separate page for the organizational side of things. How should it be laid out? (I'm actually planning on creating a proposed layout in just a little bit in my userspace, so please go check that out.) If there are other proposals, feel free to create them or discuss them here! Bob Moncrief EBDW! 21:28, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

Okay, I've made something here. Unfortunately I don't know the first thing about wiki tables. But do let me know what y'all think. Bob Moncrief EBDW! 21:51, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
I'd keep it simpler. Maybe just have three headings of Uncontacted, Waiting For Reply, and Completed, with us moving groups through the headings as we go, that way we have a sense of progression. As we go through the checklist of suburbs at the very start, we add groups (along with their frequency and suburbs) to Uncontacted. In October when we reach out, whoever contacts them would move the group's info to Waiting For Reply and then would add a bullet point under their name with a signature that would indicate when they were contacted. As groups reply or fail to reply, we handle them appropriately then move them to Completed and add another bullet point with info. A final listing might look like:
Soldiers of Crossman - 26.43, Darvall Heights, Chudleyton, East Becktown, Gatcombeton, Eastonwood, Roywood
*Contacted: Aichon 23:39, 15 Octiober 2013 (UTC)
*Group is active: Aichon 13:42, 20 Octiober 2013 (UTC)
That way we don't need to worry about people breaking tables or being put off by them (we've had wikinewbs help out with GSGM in the past, so the less complicated, the better; my uber-template from a few years back was nice to look at and relatively easy to use, but it was nowhere close to as simple as just plain text, nor was it nearly as friendly to inclusion limits on pages...it was flashy for the sake of being flashy, which is something we don't need). Aichon 23:44, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

Easier solution to all your problems.

Blank all the suburb listings. Advertise the hell out of it beforehand, then sit back and watch the fireworks. That's a massacre. --Rosslessness 23:40, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

Yeah...I don't think we'll do that. Aichon 23:50, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
I think the bigger issue is less about active groups, but more about group location. I don't see why we can't reach out more this year and try and give it a more personal touch. --Rosslessness 00:01, 3 January 2013 (UTC)
We're already going to have more stuff to track this year than we have in the past. That said, I wouldn't be opposed to trying to reach out to groups via forums or the like if we don't hear back from them after two weeks, with the plan still being that we process them after a month has passed. Aichon 00:12, 3 January 2013 (UTC)

Starting the process

Based on the discussion above, I've created a page over at The Great Suburb Group Massacre/2013/Volunteer Organization, and I'll be working on the setup/wording for the next little bit. If anyone wants to help out, come visit! Bob Moncrief EBDW! 15:57, 15 August 2013 (BST)

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