Bhamwiki talk:Messageboard/Archive 2010

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This is an archive of discussions from 2010. For other archived discussions, see Bhamwiki talk:Messageboard archives. Current discussion is at Bhamwiki talk:Messageboard. If you wish to expand on a topic here, it's best to open a new topic there and link to the prior discussion.

Wiki Wednesday / Wiki Weekend

  • Here's something to think about for 2010. Apparently participation for Bloomingpedia petered out quickly, but I could imagine doing a semi-annual or quarterly event, maybe with a theme (especially if we can hold it somewhere with accessible materials on site, such as an archive, local history museum, library, etc.) Just off the top of my head I'm thinking of maybe talking to Melinda about setting up a booth at the downtown library. If we can get 2 - 4 veteran Bhamwikiers (that's everyone reading this, btw) along with a couple of extra chairs and a stack of materials (and maybe a scanner) maybe we could spend an afternoon expanding the wiki and introducing strangers to it. Then we could go out for a drink afterwards. Thoughts? --Dystopos 15:24, 21 December 2009 (PST)
    • It sounds like a great idea, but due to family commitments and distance, I can't guarantee I'll be available to come. :-( --Lkseitz 21:40, 27 December 2009 (PST)
      • I should be able to help pretty much any afternoon after the first of the year. --Wheresdib 12:00, 28 December 2009 (PST)


  • I've spent some time overhauling a lot of sports categories (specifically collegiate sports and MLB players). Hopefully these categories are starting to make more sense. --Dystopos 17:01, 6 January 2010 (PST)

Google Earth historical photos

Maybe I'm just behind the times, but I just discovered Google Earth now has an option to see past photo data. For example, there's an aerial shot of Brookwood Village from just before the remodeling. Unfortunately, they don't seem to currently go back farther than the late 1990s. You can either use the button on the tool bar or select View > Historical Imagery. Then you'll get a slider at the top showing the dates of available photos of the area you're currently zoomed to. --Lkseitz 10:10, 14 January 2010 (PST)


"The 6,400th article was Lakeshore, added by User:Lkseitz on January 18." D'oh! If I'd known that, I would have held off. --Lkseitz 08:54, 19 January 2010 (PST)

  • I set the snare and you walked right in. --Dystopos 11:03, 19 January 2010 (PST)

Street categories

  • I had an idea this morning, that I'm trying out starting with Category:Spring Villa Circle. When a street is an obvious feeder to one (or a very few) larger streets, it can be a subcategory of that street. (I'm not sure I'm ready for "1st Avenue North" to a become a subcategory of every significant cross-street, though -- so this pertains to branching streets rather than gridded ones) --Dystopos 08:04, 28 January 2010 (PST)

Newspapers starting with "The"

I know we've discussed this, but I can't find it and it's bugging me. What's our reason for dropping "The" off the title of newspapers that include it? For (the biggest) example, look at the front page of The Birmingham News. It's got "The" in big fancy letters, yet our article is titled Birmingham News. It may be that we didn't have DEFAULTSORT when that article was written, but now we do. (Obviously, we should have redirects that don't include the "The", just in case.) Wikipedia includes the "The" and I think we should too. --Lkseitz 21:07, 4 February 2010 (PST)

  • Oops, I didn't see this until I'd already moved The Hoover Gazette to Hoover Gazette. Somewhere in Dystopos' style guides he says to drop "The" from names. It's just a personal preference I guess. It's like not naming the whole business in the name of the article, but in the meat of the article you should use its exact name. I dunno. --Wheresdib 18:22, 5 February 2010 (PST)
    • I need to be flexible. I've found it impossible to leave the "The" off of "The Club" and "The First 48", and difficult to leave it off of "The Nick" and "The Distortions". I don't know that I have a reasonable defense for having left it off "The Birmingham News", especially given that the pedant-party at Wikipedia has arrived at that consensus. On the other hand, my inner voice prefers to say "the 'Birmingham News'," instead of "The Birmingham News", which sounds to it like those smirking jocks at the beginning of NFL games that say "THE Ohio State University". --Dystopos 19:39, 5 February 2010 (PST)
      • PS: I just recall that I've witnessed a dispute at Wikipedia over whether it is proper for the full name of my alma mater to be used as the primary article name: "The Tulane University of Louisiana" (the "The" on my diploma is in big fancy letters, for what it's worth). --Dystopos 19:42, 5 February 2010 (PST)

  • Microsoft's search spider crawled all over us yesterday (to the tune of 54,000+ hits). Did you feel anything? --Dystopos 15:34, 8 February 2010 (PST)
  • They're still crawling us hard. Three of our heaviest days ever and the site feels fine to me. Makes me more assured that the suggestions Dreamhost was giving me a couple of years ago when things were slow and error prone was misdirected advice. --Dystopos 07:47, 10 February 2010 (PST)


It seems redundant to put a city's entry in both its own category and the county municipalities category that is that city's category's parent. (Did you follow that? If not, an example is Birmingham in both Category:Birmingham and Category:Jefferson County municipalities, which is a parent category of Category:Birmingham.) Especially since, when you go to the municipalities category, the sub-categories appear at the top, so users see those first and probably won't bother to scroll down after seeing the city name they're looking for. Just wanted to put my two cents in before Dystopos went and changed them all. --Lkseitz 14:31, 11 February 2010 (PST)

  • My thinking was that it's nice to have a direct link from the "Category:Jefferson County municipalities" to the articles about them, rather than having to navigate the extra step. The Category page nicely distinguishes between articles and subcategories. I've pondered this issue before in other contexts, and the right answer seems to flit back and forth. --Dystopos 15:29, 11 February 2010 (PST)
    • And you wouldn't be who you are if you didn't let things flit back and forth. --Wheresdib 04:17, 12 February 2010 (PST)
      • Thanks! Wait. Hey! well. thanks. I think. --Dystopos 06:19, 12 February 2010 (PST)

Largest city wikis

Name of Wiki
Location (City, State)
1 2004-06-24 DavisWiki Davis, California 12,561 16,563 248,737 9,368
2 2006-03-15 Bhamwiki Birmingham, Alabama 7,108 1,988 62,332 292
3 2007-02-06 Omaha Commons Omaha, Nebraska 7,086 1,408 39,767 622
4 2005-09-09 ArborWiki Ann Arbor, Michigan 6,072 766 39,992 909
5 2005-01-18 RocWiki Rochester, New York 6,040 3,003 75,019 3,101
6 2006-12-05 Mankatopedia Mankato, Minnesota 3,984 572 15,254 99
7 2006-02-27 Santa CruzWiki Santa Cruz, California 3,135 1,603 16,497 98
8 2005-07-18 Bloomingpedia Bloomington, Indiana 3,004 1,358 25,880 2,726
9 2006-07-19 Chico Wiki Chico, California 2,495 2,070 18,245 90

fun with statistics

  • Just for fun, I did a calculation and comparison on images per article. DavisWiki has 131.9% (averaging 1.3 photos per article), followed by Chico Wiki at 83%. We rank 6th with 25.5% and ArborWiki is last with 13.5%.
Then I did edits per user. We rank first with 205.8, followed by Chico Wiki with 202.7, and then Santa CruzWiki with 168.3. Bloomingpedia is last with 9.2. --Lkseitz 10:56, 23 February 2010 (PST)
  • Our "edits per active user" ratio must be in the range of 10,000:1 --Dystopos 12:12, 23 February 2010 (PST)
  • Recent stats show a gain of 0.5% in images-to-articles ratio and 0.9 more edits per user. --Dystopos 20:51, 2 March 2010 (PST)
  • We've edged up to 27.7% image saturation. --Dystopos 21:23, 18 June 2010 (PDT)
  • I've been trying to up our image saturation with some really horrible photos. Quantity over quality, right boys? --Wheresdib 07:34, 9 July 2010 (PDT)
  • That's the wiki way, something is better than nothing. But let me know if you want to do a photo walk sometime and we can share some tips. --Dystopos 09:50, 9 July 2010 (PDT)
  • Not using my cell phone's camera helps greatly, but I would love to do a photo walk some time. When it's cooler. --Wheresdib 10:58, 9 July 2010 (PDT)
  • We've edged past 29%, but it hasn't gotten much cooler yet. --Dystopos 09:12, 18 September 2010 (PDT)
  • We're still just over 29.3%, and the weather's beautiful. When shall we walk? --Dystopos 09:06, 18 October 2010 (PDT)
  • Now at 30.8%. Weather was cold, now getting warmer. Craving meatball sub at Sol's. --Dystopos 12:57, 15 January 2011 (PST)
  • Call me any time you want to go, Sol's is right next door to my office as you know. Five oh three, eighty-one hundred. --Wheresdib 16:10, 15 January 2011 (PST)
  • Edged over 41% now, with mugshots of the BOE members. --Dystopos 20:46, 10 April 2012 (PDT)

Down with Omaha

  • For the time being, we've surpassed Omaha in article count, making Bhamwiki the second largest US city wiki (and still the best!) --Dystopos 18:41, 17 July 2010 (PDT)

Bhamwiki 4th Anniversary

  • I'd like to propose an hour or so of face-to-face strategizing, planning and collaboration accompanied and/or followed by a nice meal and some imbibables. My suggestion is the Cantina at Pepper Place on Saturday March 13 or 20, or one evening that week. I am open to better suggestions. --Dystopos 15:50, 22 February 2010 (PST)
    • 13th works best for me. I tried Cantina once and wasn't impressed, but I'll go back if you insist. --Wheresdib 20:01, 22 February 2010 (PST)
    • Not sure which date works better for me, but we went to Cantina for dinner the night before my 20-year reunion. It was very, very loud inside and not very conducive to conversation. Outside is probably quieter, but probably not very warm in March. --Lkseitz 11:02, 23 February 2010 (PST)
      • I went there for lunch today and spent too much money. Maybe a triumphant return to James Beard nominee Jim 'N Nicks? --Dystopos 12:11, 23 February 2010 (PST)
        • JnN is fine with me. --Wheresdib 20:31, 24 February 2010 (PST)
          • Pencil in Saturday March 13 at Jim 'N Nicks. Maybe get an early start? 6:00 PM or so? --Dystopos 21:19, 24 February 2010 (PST)
            • Amy doesn't get off work until 6, so we'll be along shortly therafter. Save 2 seats and some cheddar biscuits for us! --Wheresdib 20:55, 4 March 2010 (PST)
              • You got it! (start time is now officially 6:30, anyhow) --Dystopos 05:40, 5 March 2010 (PST)
            • We plan to be there. --Lkseitz 12:58, 8 March 2010 (PST)


Photo from anniversary dinner
  • Thanks, Dystopos, for a great evening! Time to crack open these new books ;) --Wheresdib 19:49, 13 March 2010 (PST)
    • My pleasure. I'm told Mrs Durr is a very interesting woman and quite the story teller. I kept the signed copy for myself. --Dystopos 21:39, 13 March 2010 (PST)
    • What Wheresdib said. I just wish I'd had a camera on Sunday so I could have gone around and upped our photo stats. I'll post a photo from dinner once my family returns (with the camera). --Lkseitz 09:55, 15 March 2010 (PDT)


First, here's a bit of grammar rules regarding dashes. (Keep reading, there's more there than just comparing them to colons.) So, spaces around dashes are a style issue, although my beloved Grammar Girl recommends against them. Anyone have strong feelings one way or the other?

Also, I've let another issue regarding en dashes far too long. When I first introduced en dashes between birth and death dates for articles on people, it only listed the dates (e.g. "December 19, 1871–December 26, 1927"). Once we started introducing locations with those (e.g. "born December 19, 1871 in Elyton; died December 26, 1927 in Birmingham"), we really should have stopped using dashes, as we were no longer simply listing a range of dates. I believe the appropriate punctuation in this case is a semi-colon (as seen in my example), but I'm naturally open to discussion on this, too. --Lkseitz 09:47, 4 March 2010 (PST)

  • In honor of National Grammar Day I'll try to be a good boy. Having read H. L. Mencken's "The American Language" from cover to cover, I have, perhaps, become a bit cynical about the validity of "rules of grammar" as dictated by the busybodies of the 18th and 19th centuries and thereby tend to give more respect to the "cultural history of grammar" as it comes to us from actual usage. As a lazy person, this affords me the luxury of remaining ignorant of the details of systematic punctuating. That said, I have become fond of en dashes (and the spaces around them) for their aesthetic superiority to hyphens. Since the parenthetical date standard I have developed still falls short of presenting complete clauses, I defend the priority of aesthetics in making them parsable. As usual, I don't have a strong case for my preference and will therefore try not to interfere too much with the work of those who have other preferences. --Dystopos 14:19, 4 March 2010 (PST)
    • As far as the dates go, I like a comma instead of a dash or a semi-colon. I don't have a preference either way; my goal is consistency within an article, not necessarily for the wiki. --Wheresdib 15:40, 4 March 2010 (PST)
      • A comma works for me, too. The problem being they're not complete causes separately or together. As you can tell, I'm a big fan on consistency across the wiki, but I'll try to restrain myself from "fixing" entries as I see them. (Maybe I just need to start HuntsvilleWiki so I can rule supreme over my own little Internet kingdom! Bwahahahaha!) --Lkseitz 10:12, 5 March 2010 (PST)
        • As long as we're consistently growing and consistently maintaining accuracy, I can't get worked up over consistent punctuation. That's why I have volunteer editors, right? Maybe in the future we'll migrate to structured data and you can apply your own style sheet for display. --Dystopos 19:59, 5 March 2010 (PST)

A quarter of the way there

There's currently 27,150 redlinked articles on the site. The front page says we have about 6,671 articles written. That means we're almost 25% done! :-) --Lkseitz 13:16, 23 March 2010 (PDT)

  • I know a shortcut. Make them all into redirects. --Dystopos 13:29, 23 March 2010 (PDT)
    • That sounds good! There's not that much difference between 1990 and 1890, right? --Lkseitz 13:49, 23 March 2010 (PDT)
  • Oops, I messed up the math. We're about 20% done. --Lkseitz 13:48, 23 March 2010 (PDT)
    • Update: Almost four months later we're up to 7,110 articles, but 28,886 redlinked articles, meaning we've moved up from 19.72% to 19.75% done. --Lkseitz 10:34, 19 July 2010 (PDT)
      • Update: With less than a month left in 2010, we're up to 7,472 articles, but 30,210(!) redlinked ones, meaning we're only up to 19.83% done. --Lkseitz 10:31, 3 December 2010 (PST)


Tuscaloosa & overall scope

  • Hello all! Been inactive for a while, but after discovering that The Tuscaloosa News & The Gadsden Times are covered extensively in Google News, how much into these areas is within the scope of this project? I know we have some Tuscaloosa coverage (I personally am liking adding some stuff about T-town since I lived there), but what should the limit be if at all? Likewise with Gadsden? I just would like some insight on this issue before I add more Tuscaloosa-related articles. Thanks! Patriarca12 14:41, 18 April 2010 (PDT)
    • I'm inclined to bring most of Tuscaloosa County into our scope. Not every street address and business like downtown Birmingham, but notable institutions, figures and events. Gadsden is pushing it a bit, but I wouldn't mind seeing articles on some of the major topics there, either. In other words, proceed as the muse moves you. I'd rather have too much than not enough. --Dystopos 16:03, 18 April 2010 (PDT)

population & locator maps

  • I've taken advantage of the newly-released 2009 population estimates to go through and update the articles on Jefferson County municipalities. The amount of work is enormous. Therefore I propose the following mergers:
Adamsville should annex Maytown, Mulga, Graysville, West Jefferson, Cardiff & Brookside
Gardendale should annex Fultundale
Kimberly should annex Morris, Warrior, and Trafford (and get County Line to unincorporate)
Birmingham should annex Fairfield, Midfield, Brighton, Lipscomb, Tarrant, Pinson, Center Point and Irondale
Pleasant Grove should annex Sylvan Springs and Hueytown
Bessemer should annex North Johns
Trussville should annex Clay and Leeds
Homewood, Mountain Brook, Hoover and Vestavia Hills should merge into "Cahaba"
That would give us 8 nice-sized municipalities in place of 35 ridiculous little fiefdoms, and a lot less work for me. Let's get on it people. --Dystopos 21:28, 22 June 2010 (PDT)
    • I'll second that. Madison County only has six municipalities, six unincorporated census-designated places, and Redstone Arsenal. --Lkseitz 11:49, 23 June 2010 (PDT)
      • And let me just add that the jerk who replaced all the really nice locator maps with dumb pushpin maps on Wikipedia added a few more steps to the process. --Dystopos 21:32, 23 June 2010 (PDT)

Municipal elections

  • Pro: Allows categorization by municipality
  • Pro: Where more detail is available (controversies, etc), it would be easier to accommodate
  • Pro: Inflates article count, helping us put down our rivals in Omaha
  • Con: Requires extra work to categorize and link
  • As long as you're up for creating all those pages, then have at it. --Wheresdib 16:48, 21 July 2010 (PDT)
  • Con: More edits required.
  • That's true (see above topic for my recommendations) --Dystopos 17:08, 21 July 2010 (PDT)
  • I think you've outlined it pretty well. The question is whether the big con (extra work) outweighs the pros. --Lkseitz 10:12, 22 July 2010 (PDT)


  • Does Feedburner work automatically, or do you have to "stoke" it with new articles? --Wheresdib 11:16, 26 August 2010 (PDT)

Mayor categories

We seem to have been a bit inconsistent on how we name our mayoral sub-categories. I don't mind tackling it, but should the categories be "Mayors of X" or "X mayors"? (The latter is perhaps easier to parse when presented in an alphabetical list.) Also, do we really still need Category:Lists of mayors? What's listed there is no longer lists, but full (or stubbed) articles that sometimes contain a list. --Lkseitz 11:56, 10 August 2010 (PDT)

  • "Category:Birmingham mayors", etc. seems most natural. And you're probably right about the lists category. --Dystopos 13:20, 10 August 2010 (PDT)
    • I straightened up everything except the Birmingham category. --Dystopos 13:45, 10 August 2010 (PDT)


  • It's pure coincidence that we have new articles on both Tom Briskey and Tom Briscoe this week. I just noticed it now in our feedburner feed. --Dystopos 15:56, 17 August 2010 (PDT)

Articles about years?

The top-ranked "wanted" pages are years, beginning with 1978. Does this mean we should have an article for each year? What should be in the article? A chronology, "1978 in Birmingham"? — Rob 09:06, 26 August 2010 (PDT) (Moved from Bhamwiki talk:Community Portal by User:Lkseitz.)

  • We already have articles for several years. You can look to them as a guide. I'd suggest 1986 as a good one to start with. (Note the links at the bottom to easily go to other years.) When I do a year article, I typically start it, then open the "What links here" link (in another tab/window) in the toolbox on the left to find the information to put in it. It can take a while to add it all, but you can always save it and come finish it later (if someone else doesn't). Thanks for your help! --Lkseitz 09:43, 26 August 2010 (PDT)


Guess what I found collecting dust on my own beloved bookshelf. That's right! I didn't even know I owned it! I assume I acquired it in the late 1990s, or at least before my divorce in 2005. See Template:Lewis-1996 if you don't know what I'm talking about. --Wheresdib 22:01, 2 December 2010 (PST)

  • That's a good one. The photographic prints done by Melissa Springer are superior to the other photo books out there. --Dystopos 22:19, 3 December 2010 (PST)