State of the Worg and call for donations – February, 2017
(There are three writeups.org donation drives a year – February, June, October.)
Ever since June-ish 2016, the activity reports on writeups.org tend to be repetitive. They are endlessly dominated by the current quality/feature sweep through the entire content.
1/ The Big Sweep
Said sweep makes it so that every writeups.org profile features :
- A Context section to welcome and orient readers.
- Short paragraphs, not-too-long sentences, frequent subsection breaks and other ways to make reading easier and more pleasant.
- Hyperlinks to other writeups.org articles and to outside content for people who want to understand what is being referenced (including our glossary).
- Video sequence if applicable/useful.
- Fixing typos, grammar issues, clarity issues, particularly in the oldest profiles on the site.
- Various backstage semantic declarations for SEO.
Right now a third of the site — the most frequently read third — has been swept, which took a bit more than 6 months. I’m currently taking a vacation from that, but we can reasonably expect two more 6-month blocks and thus the entirety of 2017.
Of course, the Big Sweep (it’s a joke ) takes place on the heels of the previous grinds that led to the new version of writeups.org last year. I’m not sure since how long I’ve been in full-time grind mode, it all blurs together at this point. 2014 or 2013, I guess.
2/ The updates
I’ve settled for packs of at least five new or revised articles every ten days (around the 10th, 20th and 30th of every month, though sometimes they’re a day late. The next one will be on the 13th of February, frex). So far it’s been a good, workable pace.
As of this writing our publication backlog is still dealing with articles that were discussed by the community in late August. It’s slowly catching up, though.
There’s still a higher-than-usual density of video game material, reflecting my video game breaks during the never-ending grind.
There’s still an emphasis on rewriting the articles that no longer meet our quality standards. You may have noticed that such reworks have been a strong percentage of the updates in recent months.
The “pure rules” content for DC Heroes has finally reached its target organisation, which also made it possible to recreate a chunk of content that used to be in the old site’s FAQ. The rest of the old FAQ will continue to be brought back, but some bits will be entirely redone as articles that’ll take quite a while to redo.
No real issue on this front, though there are occasional stretches where a search fails and needs to be refreshed to display properly. This is caused by load, which has two causes :
- A persistent erroneous call in a plugin, that regularly creates zombie queries that clutter the queue until they time out.
- The number of attacks on the server, that has been unusually high for years. All servers get attacked a fair bit, but we get more than the usual share.
For 2017 I hope to fix the first, as well as implement various improvements in the display of search results. This is currently the least finished part of the site, and it can be made to look better. However, as with almost everything on writeups.org that hinges on the free time and energy of a *very* busy volunteer.
4/ Other improvements
There’s plenty planned, but they do not make sense as long as the Big Sweep isn’t done.
For instance, having our profiles properly link to one another (say, the first time Titania is mentioned in an article, her name is clickable) is a bare minimum. Working on making the site more explorable when this bare minimum isn’t in place would be odd.
I’ll add a few more “Top Ten” lists in the right-hand column of the homepage for variety’s sake, though. Such a list appears randomly whenever the homepage is displayed. And some of you may have noticed the site’s footer has a new selection by another contributor.
We now offer both Patreon and Paypal. So that’s big-brand, standard online payment solutions that support both one-off and recurring donations in a few clicks.
The donation pages also include a bit more material about donations themselves. You totally should check it out. We are highly dependent on donations to keep this site up.