QUOTE(Nalates @ Sep 16 2008, 10:51 AM)
I've PM'd him and you about a thread at GoMa on making Myst info more available to new and novice fans.
One of the things I am looking at is getting better searches for forums and wiki's. I believe one cannot beat Google's engines. I though that Google had not indexed DPRW.net. a search on 'cartographers site:www.dprw.net' says nothing found. A boarder search using just 'cartographers guild' does not have DPRW.net in the top 30 listings. But the format of DPRW.net links should allow Google to index the site.
But as much as I search, I was surprised to find I must use a search like: cartographer site:http://www.dpwr.net/forums/ (with or without 'forums/' works).
Not to be mean, but it does help if you spell the name of the site correctly (it's dpwr, not dprw)
. Then searches for [term] site:dpwr.net
The curse of the TLA being largely unsearchable has stricken DPWR's forums as well (with the added side effect that "uru" itself is also unsearchable), but this does not apply to the Archive, which operates on a separate search engine from the forums and utilizes a different set of tables in the database to store everything. Since the vast majority of the content on DPWR people would likely be searching for is in the Archive in the first place, I would suggest using the built-in Archive search to find something you're looking for if you're already here, rather than hitting up Google. DPWR's Archive search has the added bonus of being able to filter your results by tag, so I think you're more likely to get the result you're after than you are by just hitting up Google.
One thing that I think will dramatically increase the discoverability of content - and I really do need to light a fire under my own butt to get this going - is cross-linking to other sites with related material. For example, the GoG has a walkthrough for Eder Kemo, the GoC has a map of the Age, the GoA has a summary of the Age and its history, and the DZS has information on the plants and animals (well, mostly animals) found in the Age. Just going to any one of these sites won't give you the full picture, and if you don't know that there is more information to be found, finding it is going to be really hard. If each site links their page to other relevant pages in the Guild network, however, it's a lot easier to pick up more information about a specific topic.
On a similar note, if the GoA is going to be HQ for information-finding on all manner of subjects (not just Myst canon), it would likely be a good idea for any group in the community to ensure that they have a detailed article in the Archive describing their group, and with direct links
to any resources, information, or projects on their own sites that might be of interest to those researching that group, in addition to the generic homepage link that most group articles provide. I generally hate foisting responsibility on others for stuff that's located in an Archive that I run, but those involved with the group are far more likely to be able to contribute useful information and links to their own articles than I would, so I encourage anyone in a Guild or other group (i.e. the DZS, DLF, SAPS, TGT, TCT, etc.) to make sure their article in the Archive is detailed and up to date. If you don't have one, by all means feel free to make one! With DPWR's fairly decent Archive search (it's better and more flexible than a forum search anyway) and a collection of detailed group summary articles in it, finding info on any project or group should be fairly easy to do. At that point, the hardest part would just be finding DPWR on the wide wooly internet. Perhaps I should prod Tweek into giving it a more prominent placement on the MOUL site
In most other cases, I think "threads of interest" as defined by Arctic and Shevek could either easily be added as links to existing articles - since most of them pertain to an Age, concept, etc., or be added as articles all of their own (for example, the "Official Communications" tag is a great place to catalog posts from Chogon, RAWA, etc. with links to the original thread), and the rest is just news, which DPWR also covers (as do a number of other sites)... admittedly the news search here is non-existent... something I need to work on fixing eventually. Personally, I don't think a lot of the stuff under Section 4 of Arctic's threads of interest topic is stuff that is vital information to a newcomer to the community... they're often good reads, but I don't think it would be a good use of resources to devote Archivists to crawling the forums looking for highly-subjective "good read" threads to post links to (entertainingly, this could easily turn into a dreaded "list of lists" list, which would largely defeat the purpose of making information easier to find...).
For stuff like news, it would be ideal if Cyan actually gave us the ability to update the MOUL website (or did so themselves) with links to reviews, articles, or press releases related to MOUL/MORE, rather than cramming all of that stuff into the forum with the rest of the conversation. I think the majority of the information problems this community has relating to Uru just comes down to the game's own website not saying diddly-poop about what's actually going on. Compared to WoW, EVE, or any other MMO out there, MOUL's site has always kind of sucked at this. I might have to poke Tweek about more than just DPWR's prominence... though any discussions with him about the site will likely still need to go through someone actually at
Cyan (since Tweek's remote "interning") before anything comes of it. *grumble*