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But surely that is not the whole purpose of the wiki, or is it? One thing is how a trope works in general, another how a trope works in certain mediums and genres, and yet another is how a work is using it in the context of that specific work.
What is the purpose of making lists if we're not exploring the items in said lists?
edited 15th May '12 8:27:47 AM by Mazz
That is the point of the analysis tab. It doesn't go where the trope lists are as these would be cluttered up with analysis - other than the amount necessary for a good example.
The Analysis pages are, by and large, worthless anyway. It seems like it would make more sense to describe why/how a trope's used while we're talking about that trope, ie where the tropes are listed.
Ninja, emphasis mine:
edited 15th May '12 8:23:41 AM by BoundByTheMoon
(moved to a new post)
Also, look at how woefully abandoned the Analysis tabs are in most works. The only Analysis page I remember seeing with words in it is the one for Gunnerkrigg Court.
Treating Analysis pages so separately and making close to no encouragement to fill them up is not working.
And Reviews... I'll be honest, the content isn't that good in those ones. I'd say that about 30% -as a rough estimate- of the reviews are actual reviews instead of "nooo this sucks because it did things I don't like" or "I love this you should watch this because it's awesome".
We need to encourage more the users to make analyses and to make connections and criticisms and so on.
Exactly! If you only encourage the users to make lists and stop there in the Main page, then why should they be bothered to do any more than that? This approach isn't working and is stagnating the wiki when it could be an incredible tool for academics, creators and the general populace, where producing, consuming and analyzing media is concerned. We're missing a great opportunity.
We are in the perfect position to fill a gap created by the formal and notable extremes of Wikipedia and formal papers, books, analyzes from professionals, etc. and the reviews if you find scattered through all the internet in forums, blogs, etc.
We can cover all sorts of media in one single website, for everyone to see.
edited 15th May '12 8:29:53 AM by Mazz
There are threads here in Wiki Talk and over in Special Efforts dedicated to Analysis pages.
And they aren't working.
There is such a disconnect between wiki users and forum users, you have no idea. Most users don't even know that the forums exist! The website's layout needs to be improved, badly, to address this huge sectionalism between users and between goals.
And we need not just graphic design overhauls; we need direction and encouragement overhauls. We need to make making all those cool things like discussions threads, reviews, analyses and so on more accessible and attractive to all the users.
edited 15th May '12 8:32:29 AM by Mazz
It's the forums that are considered inaccessible. The wiki has had no problems gathering users.
The reason why analysis is so empty is because it requires time, effort and patience. Most people aren't interested in doing grunt work stuff. We can encourage them, but not force them.
We've given the Analysis tabs time and patience. They're not working.
Also, we're not really encouraging people to use them. I look at a work's page and see a bunch of tabs and buttons to all sorts of places, and say, "well, the important, main stuff is right here. I'll leave the other stuff to other people. I'm not sure I understand what all the distinctions are, anyway".
The layout, the decriptions and instructions, they're not encouraging to use the Analysis tabs at all.
Really? Because I look at all the buttons on work tabs. The main page often has no tropes, especially on large works.
It's not that we need to give the analysis tab patience. It's that writing it requires work, and most people aren't interested in such work. I know a work which has insightful analysis on its analysis page. The first step to fixing the issue is to contribute to analysis, not complain about how underused it is.
"Because I look at all the buttons on work tabs"
So do I! But not all the users do. The vast majority don't.
That's why I say that we must make it look more attractive. The word "Analysis" sitting there by itself sounds daunting. "Create a new page" sounds daunting. It makes it sound like a lot of work. Yes, it is a lot of work. But creating all the pages that exist now were a lot of work as well, and yet people eagerly hammered away at those, and even now are eagerly trying to launch new pages for works and tropes.
We need to make analyzing and putting critical thinking into the wiki easier, more accessible, more attractive, not just wait for someone else to start working as it is now.
"The main page often has no tropes, especially on large works."
It really depends on what pages you stumble into, but I keep seeing a lot that have insane amounts of tropes listed in the examples, and in the YMMV tab — because they were moved there from being originally in Main, actually —, often has some stuff in Headscratchers, but no Analysis. If you're lucky, it might have a few reviews. If you're very lucky, a few of those reviews might have anything interesting or useful to say.
edited 15th May '12 8:56:52 AM by Mazz
Sure. Do you have any ideas how? I know I've seen bits and pieces of analysis on work pages. The analysis tab is meant to be an insightful collection.
Incidentally, we've been talking about encouraging use on the mod forum.
Glad to hear that!
My best suggestion is to not make it a separate tab. Make analyzing tropes a more integral part of the work page.
As an example for what I would like to do:
You make the main page with the description of the work. Then, instead of the examples list right beneath it, you list the links to the examples in other pages.
I'll use Gunnerkrigg Court as an example:
The examples are divided in folders named Setting, Narrative / Themes, Characters and Meta. (You could probably make even more sections, but those work very well that way.)
You make a page for Webcomic/Gunnerkrigg/Setting (or whatever would work best with the website's code), and list the Setting tropes there.
And another for Narrative / Themes, another for Characters, another for Meta, and so on.
Because now each page has less characters and is less likely to crash the server, and now has more breathing room, because the attention is all in it and not distracted by the description or other sections, now you can make mini-analyses for each trope.
Eye Tropes: There is a lot of emphasis in the eyes.
Beneath that, you explain how there is an emphasis on the eyes, what they usually signify or indicate, what is so interesting about them, how they are used through the webcomic, etc. It really doesn't need to be terribly long, especially if it's a collaborative effort between various tropes, who each adds bits and pieces to it, so it shouldn't be that difficult.
The stuff in the Analysis page of Gunnerkrigg Court is about themes, so you can move that to the Themes tropes examples page.
If something gets too big, you split it again. If something is out of place, you move it to its correct place.
If people want to start doing an analysis that is more about comparing a work with another, you make a different section for it. We have tons of pages (like the ones about Web Comics, or other media, or the trope pages themselves, etc.) that can be used for these purposes, if you don't want to create a whole new page just for that.
Of course, this is but one approach. I'm sure there are many more ways to go about this, and I'm sure there are even better ways to go about this.
edited 15th May '12 9:12:26 AM by Mazz
You know, if I see long paragraphs of analysis in an example, I move it to analysis. Is that right?
Under the current disposition, yes, but what I'm proposing is that we stop doing that, because it is discouraging analysis by shifting all that hard work to a relatively unseen place.
"...merely listing the tropes and leaving it at that."
AFAIK that is the point of This Wiki. Analysis is interesting but secondary.
edited 15th May '12 9:33:59 AM by rodneyAnonymous
From the Home Page:
Here are the Special Efforts thread and the Wiki Talk thread on Analysis. While I would support to have a central thread to deal with all subpages that need some creativity, the subpages aren't the topic of this thread.
The page for Central Theme is another case of something that could and should be helpful, but isn't. Having a cogent concept is what separates a work from an amalgam of devices and tropes, and yet it's just a list of works with one-sentence summaries of what the theme is. Central themes aren't just one-sentence summaries, this is some seriously important shit. I'd propose dissolving that page while we're here, and including central themes in this proposal about revamping analysis.
And as for Analysis proper, half the pages there (being generous) aren't even analysis, but just random trivia that doesn't fit neatly into a trope.
edited 15th May '12 9:35:23 AM by BoundByTheMoon
Tropes are mentioned in the start of the second paragraph: "Tropes are devices and conventions that a writer can reasonably rely on as being present in the audience members' minds and expectations."
edited 15th May '12 9:43:09 AM by MagBas
I'm not sure why we're continuing this discussion. Analysis goes on the analysis tab, for the reason given. We don't want the Main pages devolving into debate. The storytelling purpose of the trope is all we want. Everything else, all this "why" and "how well" you want is conjecture and it will always devolve into debate.
Always. We have been at this for eight years and have learned this lesson over and over.
Nothing wrong with debate. It is why built discussion pages, Analysis pages, and the forums. It just does not go in Main.
If you wish to improve the content of Analysis pages, please feel free to do so.
edited 15th May '12 9:45:24 AM by FastEddie
Such discussions very rarely have unanimous results. That isn't what the Main page is for anyway. For works it is a description of the work and a list of tropes it invokes and to what purpose. Too positive ("gushing") is also bad.
edited 15th May '12 9:57:43 AM by rodneyAnonymous
@Bound: You can talk about the analysis on the Discussion page, certainly. It's fine to do so — encouraged, even. But the results of said conversation would go on Analysis.
edited 15th May '12 9:59:56 AM by Fighteer
Like debates come to an end. This is not academia. The term never ends, nor does the peer review commentary. There is no time limit, nor any authority who can just call a halt.
"The storytelling purpose of the trope is all we want."
"(...)all this "why" and "how well" you want is conjecture and it will always devolve into debate."
Mr. Eddie, the "why" and "how well" are part of the storytelling itself. Not reactions to it. Not our opinions. It's already there. We're just pointing out that they exist.
If things devolve into petty discussions, you zap the nonsense out of the page and ban the responsible parties. It's as simple as that.
RE: Central Theme page:
I agree with Bound By The Moon, we don't need to fragment the wiki even more than it already is. Put all that in each work page, not scattered all throughout the wiki.
edit ninja'd: Well, you could say the exact same thing about the wiki. It is not a finite thing either.
edited 15th May '12 10:01:20 AM by Mazz
There doesn't need to a time limit, we don't need to agree on every little detail. If we did, then YMMV shouldn't even be a thing, but it's become evident that it is a thing, a thing worth noting, so it has stayed.
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How well does it match the trope?