I don't understand....

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MacCentris
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I don't understand....

Post by MacCentris » Sat Sep 04, 2010 12:47 am

Ok looking back at old posts and all, I noticed the site was "redesigned" http://thezorklibrary.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=333 sometime in 2009 , I came back in late 2009 or so to find that. Being a user of the board and the site for several years, this came as a shock.

The site had been down for many months, then I came back to find only the forum. And everything else that made the site so special was gone. It wasn't immediately obvious to me that the forum was the "portal" shall I say, to the previous content. To me a forum is a forum.

I've seen forums in the web that have content in some archives, it's just not the best arrangement for an informative site. To be more honest and trying to avoid bluntness, a white page with a list of links would be easier to browse (one of those links pointing to the forum as an optional part of the site). I myself had created many sites, I have many wikis just as well. A few years ago I started my site from a forum, but eventually it became obvious to me, forums have a bad reputation. Gossip goes on in them and some people don't want to deal with them.

So The Zork Library a big informative site, turned to a forum (in my mind). After a year of the re-design, I found that the original content of the site was hidden in the TZL News forum. It just wasn't apparent to me that it would be there, and I'm sure the big traffic drop TZL has suffered has a lot to do with that http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/thezorklibrary.com

Anyway, knowing how Google rates contents of a forum compared to content of an html page, Google will most likely, show relevant results about a search from an html page, rather than a forum. The Zork Library is very hard to find in Google, you just don't type "zork" and get the first few results as "The Zork Library" like it used to be as in when I found you guys several years ago!

The Zork Library DOESN'T even show up in the first page of the search!

http://www.bing.com/search?q=zork&go=&f ... H&qs=n&sk=

http://www.google.com/webhp?hl=en#hl=en ... 71bf89c8c4

My search history should at least kick in, the fact that I visit this site almost everyday lately doesn't seem to ring a bell in these search engines. Anyway what happened to The Zork Library? It may appear that to find stuff easily all one person has to do is do a search for it here in the forum... but then google search is what most people use, it's not quite obvious to come into a forum, search and you'll find everything you need about Zork.

In the Jolt forums, comments go around "The Zork Library is a bit complicated to browse", "a google search doesn't give you relevant results from their content". This is where "The Zork Compendium" is and most people have no clue how to find it.

Ok I think I have right to question these things - One, because I'm just one of the many people who believe in Zork so much, enough to come back here and chat about it, and I believe I have remained faithful to the TZL for long enough. Other members seem to have gone, maybe to newer gaming sites, maybe to Moby Games, to Facebook or to Wikipedia (which should be called "gaming-pedia" or "celebrity-pedia" since they seem to know those subjects better than anything else). Two - I still believe in this site, and I don't know what else to say; but I'm here.

Rather than giving up on the site, is there a way we can somehow make it stand out the way it used to? The site can't have a forum as a portal. I believe the forum should be pushed down a bit and the primordial things should be on top, the forum should be an optional part of the site, people shouldn't have to feel obligated to join.

I think I am correct, because even the forum had better days before the re-design. The site was homey, cozy, easier to browse. I also saw that at the time Java 6 updates may have been cause for the final decision of the re-design. Mac users were outdated (by a couple of months worth) and would be locked out, but the time and work to make the site "Mac-user friendly" wasn't worth the trouble. Well, my computer has always been a Macintosh, and I'm here (I have played 90% of Zork games in my Macs)... where are the Windows users? http://thezorklibrary.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=311

Anyhow, if there are still any of the old members around *looks around and sees no-one* can they come and post something, that they consider worth mentioning? Why aren't they here, how come they haven't come back, do they have anything to say? Please share, how can we improve The Zork Library?!

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Re: I don't understand....

Post by Siriusstar » Sat Sep 04, 2010 6:15 pm

I like the format well enough for myself. The trouble is that we never had a lot of people and the board seemed to lose several of its more active members during the long hiatus. I know I just got out of practice of coming here. For new people, having the website things arranged like a message board with year-old posts make it look like the place is dead, so no one is likely to bother looking around more. :-\

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Re: I don't understand....

Post by MacCentris » Sat Sep 04, 2010 10:19 pm

Thanks for replying, glad to see there are some faithful members around. My comment about the way Google rates content in forums was something I started researching when I was editing in Wikianswers http://answers.wikia.com/ one day I asked a question about how a wiki would be like if it was composed of templates: http://answers.wikia.com/wiki/Is_it_all ... most_pages

The answer explains how google can rank a website based on their content. A website tagged as "website" that has text, links, and images as content, will rank better than one that's a forum. And individuals can only do but so much linking to this forum from their sites. It is common for people to include a link in their signature in forums, but a "forum" link will compete with the content of that forum they're including it in. Anyway, I really want to see The Zork Library be what it used to be.

When I asked that question, I particularly was referring to my wiki The Maradan Chronicles http://maradanchronicles.wikia.com (267 articles strong) http://www.quantcast.com/maradanchronicles.wikia.com.

At some point I had the wiki and the forum link to one another until the Marapets team said I needed to get rid of the forum due to some rules in the site. The wiki though was something they said was great. I would be willing to build a Zork Library wiki, to be used in conjunction with this site. I know a little bit of html, wikicode, css, and javascript (I know more html and wikicode though) I designed the homepages in these sites:

http://pokemon.answers.wikia.com/ (logo made by the Wikia team upon request)
http://zelda.answers.wikia.com/
http://marapets.answers.wikia.com/
http://inquiringmoms.answers.wikia.com/ (logo and Q+A lettes made by the Wikia team upon request)

Anyway it would definitely bring more interest in the Zork community, and draw more users here. Wikia is a great target to search engines like Google and Bing. So I do believe the traffic will increase. I just need permission to use some images and perhaps some references. It would be great to get some help from other zork fans, a wiki can have many admins and two bureaucrats or so. Please do let me know, I'm willing to help out with expanding The Zork Library. Thanks!

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Re: I don't understand....

Post by lordskylark » Sun Sep 05, 2010 12:49 am

It shouldn't be too hard to remake the website into sometime more similiar like it used to be -- especially considering that most of it was simply links to infocom material which would be easy to simply upload and link to.

I do not like the wiki format at all, and when I did the Zork Compendium, I definitely did not want to have anything to do with it in a wiki format. I don't know if it is like that with all wikis, but in additional, I definitely don't like the idea of people being able to change entries whenever they want, as I want to have complete control over the content to avoid people adding stuff to the Zork canon that is not true (I've already amended several entries on wikis elsewhere where information was inaccurate for Zork stuff)

But I too don't like the main website to be a forum. I will try to see what I can do about making a new hompage and having this forum be a separate page -- but that is more up to the current site's maintainer than myself.

Blessings,
Andy

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Re: I don't understand....

Post by MacCentris » Sun Sep 05, 2010 4:20 am

I sure hope the site regains it's popularity, the talk about the site's near disappearance a few months ago was my biggest concern. I've been looking at many Zork related sites in the web, and the history of Zork is far from being dead. In fact, a huge amount of sites out there use references like "grues", "want some rye, 'course ya do", "my sword's blowing glue" and others, even when they're not talking about Zork. Which indicates the history of Zork is very much alive. I'm still concerned that searches for phrases like that in search engines should point to TZL rather than the whole web sea, of non-Zork related sites. ;)

I do appreciate your responses, they help a lot, thanks!

Edit: oh by the way, in Wikia they have plenty of anti-vandalism tools. One of them, you're notified anytime a user edits an article originally made by you. They also have one click "rollback" which undoes anything a user might have typed. Some people may think it's difficult, but it will take about 5-10 minutes to "inpect" the wiki, and even block vandals. I used to be terrified in the beginning and soon found out how it all works, I don't worry about it anymore since I'm great at cleaning up vandalism and untruthful edits. I only had 3 problematic edits by vandals in one whole year, so it's not as common as people think :D But any improvement is ok, it doesn't have to be a wiki!

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Re: I don't understand....

Post by KM3K » Mon Sep 13, 2010 9:43 am

Thanks for all the feedback.

Ever since taking over TZL, I have been thinking about these problems. The main reasons I took over is that I definitely don't want another outage like there was before and that I think there's room for The Zork Library to grow. I can understand how DAT wanted everything in one place when he redesigned the site to put everything in the forum, but I think the forum model doesn't feature the content as well as other options might. There's also the issue of separate user contributions, like my installation guides (http://www.kevinbecker.net/zorkguides) and LordSkylark's Zork Compendium (http://www.thezorklibrary.com/history).

MacCentris, I'm glad you like the idea of contributing to a wiki because that's one of the things I've been thinking of doing. My hosting plan offers automated install and upgrading of MediaWiki. I think that's what wikia uses, right? We can move the static informative content of TZL to the wiki and I'd be happy to move my installation guides to the wiki and merge them with the ones DAT wrote. I agree with LordSkylark in that a wiki may be more difficult to administer because of vandalism, but I plan on using all the anti-vandalism tools that are available like MacCentris recommends. I think it is useful to have dedicated forum members like yourselves contribute to the Zork Library's content. LordSkylark, if you wish to keep your content separate, that's fine with me.

In addition to a wiki, I think promotion of the site and the Zork content it contains is important. I think more can be done to promote TZL. One way to get people used to the new content organization would be to have a portal-style front page for http://www.thezorklibrary.com. It would have a little info on what Zork is, plus links to the Wiki, the Forum, the Zork Compendium, and initially my Zork installation guides, at least until those are merged into the wiki.

In addition to that, I think there's a lot of opportunity to promote the site in social networks. A facebook page would be the logical first step in my mind, but I think a twitter account would be useful as well. Both would be used to keep Zork in people's minds and inform them of what's new at TZL. Once we get some of these changes up and running, I think it would be a good idea to inform the Legends of Zork official forum about this to try and get some of them to come and talk here too.

MacCentris, you also talked about Google rankings. I wasn't aware of Google ranking forums lower, but that makes sense. I've found that my installation guides often rank higher than DAT's installation guides, despite thezorklibrary.com getting several times the number of visitors kevinbecker.net gets and there being many more links to TZL on the web. I think you're right that moving content to a wiki will improve the ranking.

Hopefully this gives everyone an idea of what I'm thinking about as the options I may pursue to improve The Zork Library. Would these be things you'd like to contribute to?

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Re: I don't understand....

Post by MacCentris » Tue Sep 14, 2010 3:36 am

KM3K wrote:MacCentris, I'm glad you like the idea of contributing to a wiki because that's one of the things I've been thinking of doing. My hosting plan offers automated install and upgrading of MediaWiki. I think that's what wikia uses, right?
Yes it's what Wikia uses, I've read about people installing it in their website and it seems to be a fairly easy process http://www.wikihow.com/Install-MediaWiki though it would require a lot of work to finally arrange all the existing content so basically I would not recommend turning an already-established site to a wiki. I think there are options on turning part of the site to a wiki format, however if you don't know MediaWiki at all (are you or DataAngel familiar with it?)... perhaps a free wiki would be ideal. MediaWiki does not offer support for certain features (this board for example). Opening external links in new windows by the use of (target="_blank") is completely ruled out and there are a couple of things on how the coding works that a regular HTML/PHP savvy will be stumped by. I've been using it for a year and six months and can say I'm in an intermediate level of editing at least. There are several free wiki options out there.
I agree with LordSkylark in that a wiki may be more difficult to administer because of vandalism, but I plan on using all the anti-vandalism tools that are available like MacCentris recommends. I think it is useful to have dedicated forum members like yourselves contribute to the Zork Library's content.
In addition to that, you can also protect pages so that only registered users or admins will edit them. I sorted to protecting pages that were very complicated to make at some point, then I'd just protect the ones in which someone happened to make a bad edit. However you will be surprised at how many people are willing to help and add a nice thing or two.
In addition to a wiki, I think promotion of the site and the Zork content it contains is important. I think more can be done to promote TZL. One way to get people used to the new content organization would be to have a portal-style front page for http://www.thezorklibrary.com. It would have a little info on what Zork is, plus links to the Wiki, the Forum, the Zork Compendium, and initially my Zork installation guides, at least until those are merged into the wiki.
This is probably the best we can do, the wiki would be a great opportunity for people to supply Zork fan art as well, I like the concept on Zork related comics and fan made anecdotes, there is always room for new stuff. :D We can also embed Zork related videos from YouTube, the wiki also has the option for YouTube video by using <youtube>video-code-here</youtube> tag.
A facebook page would be the logical first step in my mind, but I think a twitter account would be useful as well. Both would be used to keep Zork in people's minds and inform them of what's new at TZL. Once we get some of these changes up and running, I think it would be a good idea to inform the Legends of Zork official forum about this to try and get some of them to come and talk here too.
A great idea, please post links here for group in Facebook and Twitter once you create it, I use both so I'll add myself right away.
MacCentris, you also talked about Google rankings. I wasn't aware of Google ranking forums lower, but that makes sense. I've found that my installation guides often rank higher than DAT's installation guides, despite thezorklibrary.com getting several times the number of visitors kevinbecker.net gets and there being many more links to TZL on the web. I think you're right that moving content to a wiki will improve the ranking.
Any improvement at this point can help the rankings, if we can somehow generate 100 articles in the wiki once we have one (it takes time but it's well worth it) we can make a "spotlight" (it's a fancy name for button) which we can request Wikia to show throughout all the wikis, and since it works with google ads, it will reflect on Google searches immediately. But of course, this requires the wiki to be 100 articles at least. I had made about 80 in two months in my wiki and I was alone so with a little help from our friends maybe we can make many more.
Hopefully this gives everyone an idea of what I'm thinking about as the options I may pursue to improve The Zork Library. Would these be things you'd like to contribute to?
Absolutely, I'll try to make some time to help with anything that needs doing. Let me know!

Lil

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Re: I don't understand....

Post by KM3K » Tue Sep 14, 2010 9:17 pm

MacCentris wrote: Yes it's what Wikia uses, I've read about people installing it in their website and it seems to be a fairly easy process http://www.wikihow.com/Install-MediaWiki though it would require a lot of work to finally arrange all the existing content so basically I would not recommend turning an already-established site to a wiki. I think there are options on turning part of the site to a wiki format, however if you don't know MediaWiki at all (are you or DataAngel familiar with it?)... perhaps a free wiki would be ideal. MediaWiki does not offer support for certain features (this board for example). Opening external links in new windows by the use of (target="_blank") is completely ruled out and there are a couple of things on how the coding works that a regular HTML/PHP savvy will be stumped by. I've been using it for a year and six months and can say I'm in an intermediate level of editing at least. There are several free wiki options out there.
I don't plan on switching the entire website to a wiki. I think the forum should remain as it is and we could add a wiki as an addition to the website. We can slowly add content and move over info from the "Zork Files & Information" section of the forum, plus create new content.

I'm not very familiar with MediaWiki, but I've used it and other wiki software enough to get by. Dreamhost provides automated MediaWiki installs so I don't think setting up the wiki should be difficult. I don't know if DataAngel has MediaWiki experience, but I know he doesn't have that much time to work on the site anymore.

I'm not quite ready to start the wiki right now, but will think it over more and begin working on it in the coming weeks.
MacCentris wrote: A great idea, please post links here for group in Facebook and Twitter once you create it, I use both so I'll add myself right away.
I'm going to post this in the News section too, but here's the links: Facebook Twitter

I have some ideas on things to post and plan to feature Zork content from around the internet, as well as things that are going on here at the Zork Library.

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Re: I don't understand....

Post by KM3K » Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:54 am

I finally had a little time to work on Zork things recently and have been thinking about the wiki again.

MacCentris, when we last talked about this, I wasn't aware of the Zork wiki at wikia. I see you have done some work there. I originally thought of setting up a MediaWiki here at the thezorklibrary.com domain, but with all this good work already at the Zork wikia and the promotion from wikia you previously mentioned, it might be a better idea to contribute to this wikia instead. What do you think about the Zork wiki at wikia? Do you know who is in charge of that wikia? Maybe we could collaborate or have The Zork Library "sponsor" the Zork wiki at wikia.

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Re: I don't understand....

Post by MacCentris » Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:48 am

I saw the introduction of the links at the top, it's a great addition! I've only contacted MoffRebus a few times http://zork.wikia.com/wiki/User:MoffRebus. I suggested some changes a while ago for the homepage, due to it not being updated in years: http://zork.wikia.com/wiki/Project:Draf ... n=monobook but didn't quite get an ok to change it, because he said on my talk page he'd prefer the list to be "hierarchically indexed": http://zork.wikia.com/wiki/User_talk:Molokaicreeper

I tried a list of most notable articles to the best of my knowledge. The table's space is limited, all the links wont fit so anything that requires too many links will not be able to be included, also that's what the "all pages" link is for. So I have been thinking about making something satisfactory, unfortunately have no time to do it at all now :( A few months ago he also sent me this link by email to help me out http://infocom.elsewhere.org/gallery/ but like I said, been so busy with other things.

If you make an account in Wikia it will work for the entire network, and if you leave a message in talk pages is easier to get in tough with you if you have an account. I am not sure what plans he has with the wiki, and it seems he might be active in other wikis because I can see he's experienced with templates and wiki procedures (something I still need help with sometimes).

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Re: I don't understand....

Post by KM3K » Thu Apr 07, 2011 7:49 pm

I like the look of your wiki homepage draft!

I made an account there recently, but haven't done anything yet. http://zork.wikia.com/wiki/User_talk:KM3K I'll try to take a closer look at the wiki and send MoffRebus a message sometime soon.

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