Bhamwiki talk:Messageboard/Archive 2008

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This is an archive of discussions from 2008. 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.

"Random page" time!

  • I think we should spend some time looking at the pages that are on BhamWiki and making sure there are no typos, glaring errors, tense issues and other problems. If you click on "Random page" to the left, in the "navigation" box [1] it will pop up a page for you to look at. I've come across some pages, especially ones that were added early on, that refer to things that will happen in the future, when in fact that date has come to pass. --Wheresdib 07:43, 4 January 2008 (PST)
  • A capital idea. One might also search for the terms "will" or "scheduled" to ferret out such anachronisms. --Dystopos 08:17, 4 January 2008 (PST)

New Category for articles with outdated statements?

  • Over the last few days, I've come across several articles that have outdated information (i.e., "the complex is scheduled to open in Fall 2007" etc) that I can't verify if it came to fruition or not. I would like to mark those in some way so I (or someone) can follow up on those statements. Would it be ok for me to create a "Articles with outdated information" category or something to that effect? --Wheresdib 20:51, 18 January 2008 (PST)
  • I'm not sure. I guess my preference would be to assemble a list without cluttering the categories section of the article. --Dystopos 21:28, 18 January 2008 (PST)
  • OK, that's fine with me. I wasn't sure how to proceed. I love working from lists but hate having to manually maintain them, LOL. --Wheresdib 06:33, 19 January 2008 (PST)
  • While I agree maintenance categories can clutter an article's categories to unusefulness, I doubt we'd reach ever reach that point here. I think a single "outdated" category could be useful, much in the way of the stubs category is. It's also a lot easier to apply a template to an article that would insert a notice and the "outdated" category than it is to maintain a list. That's my two cents. --Lkseitz 12:53, 21 January 2008 (PST)
  • That was sorta my thought to begin with. I started a list somewhere. --Wheresdib 13:00, 21 January 2008 (PST)
  • Has the "stubs" category proven to be very useful? --Dystopos 13:11, 21 January 2008 (PST)
  • That's a tough call. Maybe it is useful for generating interest in those who aren't signed up to create an account and edit that article. But for me, a regular editor, I don't think I've ever looked at the category "stubs". I still don't see why a single category called "Outdated", or whatever, is a big deal, but hey this is your baby, and my list is fine with me. Get another 10 or 15 regular contributors/editors, then we'll see. But between the three core contributors we have now, it's manageable since I am pretty sure you nor Lee haven't any burning desire to check on those type articles. I am not complaining at all, just making a statement. --Wheresdib 14:37, 21 January 2008 (PST)
  • It's your baby too. No one is obligated to abide by my stated preferences as long as they continue to abide by the User Agreement. --Dystopos 14:57, 21 January 2008 (PST)
  • The problem with the stubs category is, at least for me, most of the things I put in it are there because I'm unable to find any further information on the Internet. Not from lack of research. --Lkseitz 06:47, 23 January 2008 (PST)

Blizzard of 2008

  • What, no Blizzard of 2008 article? What did we get, like maybe 2 inches of snow, on a Saturday? (Completely joking, of course) --Wheresdib 08:12, 22 January 2008 (PST)

2nd Anniversary Party

BhamWiki turns 2 on March 15. I'm hoping some of you will join me for a celebratory dinner and casual brainstorming session. The tentative plan is to meet at Cosmo's Pizza in 5 Points at around 7:00 on Saturday the 15th. Let me know if you expect to come and if there are a lot, I'll make sure we have a reserved table. --Dystopos 08:13, 26 February 2008 (PST)

  • I'm asking the wife right now! If so, I'd probably have my 7 yr old with us, unless I talked my mom in to keeping him. --Wheresdib 08:41, 26 February 2008 (PST)
  • I think we can accommodate a 7 year old. As long as he likes pizza. --Dystopos 08:42, 26 February 2008 (PST)
  • I'll try to be there, if I don't book a gig. --Rreach 12:22, 26 February 2008
  • Barring unforseen complications, I should be there. --Lkseitz 10:20, 6 March 2008 (PST)


  • So far it looks like a decent group. I'm excited. I'll bring a couple of door prizes, too. --Dystopos 19:11, 27 February 2008 (PST)
  • In addition to pizza, chocolate mousse, beer, door prizes and great conversation, I will make a report on the status of the project and share some exciting ideas about the future. --Dystopos 15:34, 10 March 2008 (PDT)
  • I compiled some suggestions about parking at 5 Points South here. --Dystopos 14:56, 11 March 2008 (PDT)


Photo from anniversary dinner
  • So how did it go tonight? I hate that I missed it but I passed out around 4:30 and didn't wake up until around 8. This time change really kicked my butt this past week. I was watching the NASCAR race and apparently it lulled me to sleep. Oh well :( --Wheresdib 20:04, 15 March 2008 (PDT)
  • I had a good time. Users Dre, Gt9606a, Lkseitz, and BPL were there and we talked about Birmingham and media and stuff. The pizza was good, but damned if I didn't forget to order mousse. So I'll have to go back. --Dystopos 21:56, 15 March 2008 (PDT)
  • I enjoyed it, too, although I felt a little out of the loop because I've given up following the Birmingham news sites of late. And I also realized this morning, just before I uploaded the above photo, that we didn't get any mousse. --Lkseitz 04:41, 16 March 2008 (PDT)

Policy update

  • I've elaborated a little bit on our existing policies at Bhamwiki:Policy. --Dystopos 10:51, 29 February 2008 (PST)

Server change

  • Dreamhost has moved our MySQL server once more. (The new server name is "bagheera") So far the site's feeling much snappier to me. Let me know if you can feel the difference. --Dystopos 10:15, 5 March 2008 (PST)

Yahoo! maps

  • Yahoo! maps ( now has neighborhood data for Birmingham, visible at closer zoom levels. It's missing some labels and there appear to be some errors, but it might be useful to us. --Dystopos 13:57, 6 March 2008 (PST)

Jay Barker

We got tons of traffic from people searching for more information about Jay Barker. Help improving our coverage of topics in the news is always valuable (as long as it is, in fact, improvement). --Dystopos 22:13, 25 March 2008 (PDT)

Other local wikis

I signed up for the New Orleans Wiki in order to add an article about a former professor of mine. Although that wiki has 678 registered users, it only has 334 articles, many of which are little more than a pile of weblinks. My edit was the first activity since early March. It got me thinking about the progress of local wikis. I have to admit I don't know much about other projects -- I just assumed they were growing like mushrooms since it seems so obvious and since people seem to like being encyclopedians. After a few minutes of looking around, though, I started to think that maybe we're in the forefront of this wave. Do ya'll have any insight into where we might stand in the local-wikiverse?

The DavisWiki may be the grandaddy, with hundreds of users and 11,601 pages listed on their "recent changes" tab. (I don't know how to determine how many are actual articles). --Dystopos 14:30, 17 April 2008 (PDT)

  • All I can speak of is HSVWiki. I made a couple contributions and did some category organization (modeled on BhamWiki), but the site is not active and the owner has never contacted me. And I'm the only registered user besides him or her. You'd think with so much hi-tech business in town, we'd be able to support a great wiki, but until the owner of the site dedicates some work to it I guess no one else is going to make much effort to support it, including me. --Lkseitz 07:15, 21 April 2008 (PDT)
  • I added us to the Wikipedia article on City Wikis (WP:City wiki). According to their rankings, we're the 9th largest city wiki in the world and the 4th largest in the US. --Dystopos 08:34, 7 July 2008 (PDT)

Inspirational read

"Let's say [...] that people watch 99 percent as much television as they used to, but 1 percent of that is carved out for producing and for sharing. The Internet-connected population watches roughly a trillion hours of TV a year. That's about five times the size of the annual U.S. consumption. One per cent of that is 100 Wikipedia projects per year worth of participation." - Clay Shirky (April 26, 2008) "Gin, Television, and Social Surplus". Here Comes Everybody weblog.

Conflicts of interest

I have added a policy page on conflicts of interest. Suggestions for refining or improving the policy are welcome. --Dystopos 13:22, 14 May 2008 (PDT)

  • Looks good to me. Per #6, I invite others to review the article on my father, Karl Seitz. Although I don't think he's a particularly controversial subject, it is rather embarrassing that no one else has performed edits on that page. --Lkseitz 05:56, 15 May 2008 (PDT)
    • That's because there's nothing really there to edit. It's got a little more fluff than most of our articles, but no truly unsubstantiated statements and no opinionated statements that I noticed. For an article written by his son, it is pretty neutral in tone (IMHO). --Wheresdib 09:21, 15 May 2008 (PDT)


I'm experimenting with a Twitter feed to notify people about interesting new articles. --Dystopos 14:24, 6 August 2008 (PDT)

Those who failed to get elected

So, we now have a lot of red links to people who ran for office, but failed to win. I understand that some individuals might be notable enough, even in losing, to merit entries, but should we truly default to making all their names links? As you can tell, I think that's overkill, but wondered what other opinions are held here. --Lkseitz 12:53, 27 August 2008 (PDT)

  • Yeah, I have debated over what to do about these. There's no harm in having a bunch of redlinks, but it is probably in our best interest to go ahead and unlink them as we are updating the articles. We can always go back and link them if an article is written for them. --Wheresdib 13:08, 27 August 2008 (PDT)
  • I have nothing against redlinks myself. If ya'll want to go removing brackets I won't go putting them back in. --Dystopos 13:14, 27 August 2008 (PDT)

Streets and subdivisions

For residential streets in identifiable subdivisions, I think it would be best to start redirecting to articles on the subdivisions themselves, where there's a better prospect for meaningful content. (for example, Lucerne Boulevard should redirect to Lake Shore Estates). --Dystopos 06:55, 11 September 2008 (PDT)


  • The Encyclopedia of Alabama officially launched today after 7 years of development with about $3 million in funding from the Alabama Humanities Foundation, Alabama Department of Education, the University of Alabama, and federal grants. --Dystopos 13:28, 15 September 2008 (PDT)


  • Under the latest revision to the GFDL, content can safely be migrated to CC-BY-SA, which is Bhamwiki's default license (Wikipedia Signpost story). I believe that means we can get rid of the Template:GFDL. --Dystopos 11:34, 26 November 2008 (PST)

Winter Storm 2008

So is it premature to stub in the Winter Storm 2008 article? --Wheresdib 06:45, 11 December 2008 (PST)

  • Maybe I should put a flashing banner on the front page to urge people to stock up on milk and bread. --Dystopos 08:35, 11 December 2008 (PST)
    • How about a photo of empty milk and/or bread shelves at a local grocery store as the new banner photo? --Lkseitz 08:46, 11 December 2008 (PST)