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Topics - Emeratu

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Site & Forum News / Expanding on SK.net's encyclopedia
« on: February 07, 2016, 06:22:17 PM »
Note: I know this isn't precisely the right place for this, but have placed this thread in the general Site & Forum News section for highlighting. Feel free to move it. Also, I want to once again thank Walter for admitting my registration upon request. Otherwise, I feel this post would have been postponed roughly a month's time.

Hello, SkullKnighters. I'm Emeratu, a newcomer to Berserk lore and now-avid reader of the series (jumping from point to point in the story without any direction, because it's fun and allows for further lore research). I wouldn't call myself an avid animanga fan overall, however, having only thoroughly read/watched roughly five animanga series overall (e.g. Naruto, Dragon Ball Z, Death Note, Bleach, and Monster). When reading those aforementioned series, I always love to look up extra information pertaining to what I've read; more in-depth content potentially offering a better understanding of the material in question. Narutopedia, Dragon Ball Wiki and Bleach Wiki still, to this day, are of great help to me, due to their well-documented content and thorough coverage. It's no wonder the wikis get so much traffic and daily visitors; they are useful repositories of information pertaining to some of the biggest animanga series in existence. The highly popular and frequently visited One Piece Wiki is also replete with great content, and was a nice reference when I used to read One Piece. Though not an animanga series, Nickelodean's Avatar series is supplemented with a five-star Avatar Wiki, which I often found myself checking out in the hot days of The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra.

As a scanlations reader atm, I'm prone to misunderstanding episode content. Quality wikis like the above are great for readers like myself who want a better understanding of the lore. With Naruto, DBZ, Bleach and (at times) One Piece, fans have exceptional wikis to refer to, in the advent of confusion or yearning for better understanding. ... With Berserk, we, in truth, have nothing; more precisely, nothing as well-compiled, built on and referential as Narutopedia, Dragon Ball Wiki, Bleach Wiki, One Piece Wiki, etc. It seems pretty awful that arguably the greatest fictional work in the manga scene lacks a reliable, rigorous, and dedicated wiki of its own for Berserk fans to peruse. Wikia's Berserk Wiki is simply in a state of... disarray and aperture (i.e. missing, misleading and at times inaccurate content).

A user by the name of ApostleBob succinctly put it quite well.

Just a friendly warning: The Berserk Wiki is woefully out of date and full of outdated speculation, much of which has been since debunked.  It's an okay resource but I'd put my money on SK.net any day over that.  There's a strict empirical 'no nonsense' approach here that filters out a lot of the garbage you'll see elsewhere.

Wikia's Berserk Wiki has some other shortcomings, in case anyone's asking themselves, "Why not just improve the wiki instead of complaining then?":
  • It's hosted by Wikia, Inc. "Why does that matter?" You ask? Well, Wikia is famous for their content-squeezing "Oasis" wiki skin and forced technical updates and implementations, all of which lend themselves to brining in more revenue via obtrusive ads. This ugly Oasis skin is forced on readers, offering limited space for content and a whole right side of empty, unused whitespace. In a nutshell: If possible, I'd rather avoid working on Wikia's network, in spite of the great wikis stationed there. Berserk deserves better than this, in my opinion. (example)
  • It has rather off-putting aesthetics. From the wiki logo and caption design, to the color scheme, templates and main page design, the overall aesthetics of the site are a bit lacking. The streamlined and rather dour design of SK.net fits Berserk's dark tone, in my opinion, and consistency and simplicity are always nice.
  • The community there lacks the dedication of SK.net. Quite a few entries in the site encyclopedia aren't even covered on the Berserk Wiki, and despite the goal of creating a reliable repository of Berserk info, the site has a surprisingly low amount of contributors; from what I've seen, most Berserk fans are present either on here or /r/berserk (Reddit).
"So what exactly are you proposing?" you may be asking right about now (sorry for the prose) . Well, I'm proposing SkullKnight.net create its own Berserk Wiki using MediaWiki software, under the name of "SkullKnight Wiki" (or any other name decided upon, in the advent of a green light). I know I'm a random new user who has come out of nowhere to the forum gun-ho with a rather large idea, but I truly do feel the site, as well as the Berserk community in general, would benefit from an SKWiki:
  • The compilation of Berserk info is more than possible. With a community as dedicated as SK.net, I do believe building the ultimate Berserk wiki would be a cakewalk for fans who have been following and discussing Berserk lore for a decade+ now.
  • Such a venture could potentially bring in more site traffic. As I will go into below, there are other forum sites with their own MediaWiki wikis. While the forum always attracts fans, wikis are surprisingly capable of doing the same, as seen with Berserk Wiki – some fans prefer to compile a comprehensive source of information about a subject matter rather than discuss it (hence the division). With its own wiki, SK.net could provide those fans with a self-reliant medium to build the ultimate Berserk resource, as well a forum for discussion. Said users would in-turn look to the forums at some point, and the overall site traffic would definitely increase, due to more readers and SEO. A popular and reliable wiki with a direct connection to the most prominent Berserk discussion site can only mean good things for the network and community overall (save for trolls, which are encountered on all wikis).
  • Other prominent, predominately forum-based sites are doing it. Feeling as if this is an anomalous idea with no potential or prominent implementation? Fear no more! Quite a few popular wikis on the net have a forum-wiki hybrid network in effect.
    • The Bulbagarden Pokémon forum has its own wiki in the highly successful Bulbapedia wiki.
    • (reversed) The popular UESP Wiki for the Elder Scrolls series has its own discussion forum, UESP Forums.
    • Forum site Westeros.org has its own wiki in A Wiki of Ice and Fire.
    • Two instances of this implementation exist in The Legend of Zelda scene: Zelda Universe has its own wiki in Zelda Wiki, and Zelda Dungeon has its own wiki site (the best implementation of a forum-wiki hybrid site I've seen thus far, might I add, with the universal top navigation and all).
  • SEO shouldn't be a problem. Due in part to point number one, SEO ultimately would cease to be a problem. With some wiki optimizing practices, increasing quality content and time, I feel the wiki would naturally gravitate to first place results for Berserk Google queries.
  • SK.net has loremasters. SkullKnighters possess varying degrees of knowledge on the Berserk series. The general consensus seems to be that, atop the hierarchy of Berserk understanding sits Aazealh – SK.net's resident loremaster. I've read through a many discussion threads since finding this site, and the preeminent question answerer has typically been Aazealh. I can't help but think that voracious SkullKnighers like that would only benefit from a medium to which they can collate their knowledge, one they could then in turn reference in discussions. (This self-referential nature would also help with SEO, come to think of it.)
  • A wiki would introduce a refreshing dynamic to SK.net. As good as Berserk is, there's no doubt it's unique from most popular manga series in that it's hiatus-laden and bereft of new information at times. (As I will touch on next...) A wiki would present SkullKnighters with something else to do, especially during dry spells, like this one in particular; at minimum, it would give the community something to truly work, improve on and be a part of while waiting for the new material..
  • A wiki is more modular, accessible and expandable than a mere site encyclopedia. (Expanding on some above points) A little semantic sugar: a 'wiki' is specifically designed to be edited by anyone, though it's still an encyclopedia. An 'encyclopedia'—as with SkullKnight.net's current Berserk Encyclopedia—is drastically more limited in who can contribute to it. I'd wager only the site administration here had a part in the creation of the Berserk Encyclopedia; as understandable as that is, it's limiting to other forum members nonetheless, in my opinion. MediaWiki software allows for the swift reversion of undesirable revisions and the like, and is easy to learn. I have experience with the wiki application, if assistance is needed with templates, design, extensions and the like (not extensive, but definitely enough to make a working, clean and efficient wiki). I personally feel accessibility for other forum members, rather than just the administrative minority, is the biggest convenience of and merit for SK.net developing its own wiki.
Those are the core reasons I have for proposing this idea. Should this become a thing, surely other things will need to be discussed, but for now, I leave SK.net with the general concept and its particulars.

I know that this may instantly get shot down, for technical, communal or practical reasons, but I found it an interesting idea regardless. Whatever is decided upon is ultimately fine with me.

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