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While I don't think anyone here asked for, as Cid put it, "a Wiki dedicated to manually answering search engine calls", we are stuck with it (as far as I know), and it does display on this wiki (and we can't remove it), even though we are hardly the source for the answers if any of the questions I've seen are an indication. The recent problem with ProfessorTrek just shows that someone other than our bureaucrats, who have the same powers over there, are not enough, since I don't think anyone here expects both of them to be keeping an eye on a wiki they don't edit all by themselves. With that in mind, I have a few suggestions:

  1. All MA admins should have admin powers there as well, because questions there are visible here, and admins here should be able to deal with that without having to go to someone else first every time. By the looks of it, the last user granted rights there didn't work out to well, so having more admins (MA's and their own) to go to should result in a faster turn around on any problems
  2. Some system should be put in place here to give users there sysop rights. The reasoning for us knowing about and approving these users is, again, these questions are visible here, and having a system to make admins there should eventually make the need for any intervention by MA admins a rare occurrence hopefully.
  3. Assuming 1 and 2 go through, a CSS file like the concealer can be created to force the answers box to display for logged in admins, since it currently only shows for anons, that want to keep an eye on the questions.

All these are completely optional of course, but since wikia doesn't seem interested in policing this mess, and god knows they'll never close it just because it's a haven for spam and other things, so those that are interested and already trusted to keep an eye on things should at least be empowered to do so, and those there that want to as well should have some forum to be given those rights. - Archduk3 22:23, February 22, 2012 (UTC)

I think doing something about this is reasonable, as are the ideas suggested(though I'm open to others)--31dot 22:48, February 22, 2012 (UTC)

This + Reference Desk? Edit

I'm wondering how this Answers page fits in with MA alongside the Reference Desk, which seems to serve a similar purpose(though the RD is limited to specific questions) Are we also "forced" to have the Reference Desk if there is no need for it? Maybe there is a need for it, but I thought I'd ask the question.--31dot 22:48, February 22, 2012 (UTC)

It might be a good idea to make the "answers" wiki the reference desk, up to and including "renaming" (not the site address, just the name displayed) and reskinning it to that end. This would be "taking over" that site though (which was what we were suppose to do anyway it seems), but since we were linked by wikia without our consent already, I'm not going to feel all too bad about it. - Archduk3 23:05, February 22, 2012 (UTC)

That's kind of what had occurred to me as well, and I would endorse such an action. Might be another reason to implement your suggestions above, too.--31dot 23:08, February 22, 2012 (UTC)

If we do this, we might want to implement some system of making sure these answers conform to our guidelines, since questions about canon are hardly answered with what we consider canon from what I've seen. Moving irrelevant talk to the talk pages and only leaving an actual answer might be a good idea, as well as some method of tagging similar questions so they can all redirect to the same answer (since the point of these seems to be creating a network of answered questions so people don't actually have to read our articles or be bothered to learn how Google works as well as their browser's search function). Tags would need to be created for incorrectly answered questions, as well as upgrading the current deletion tag there to actual be readable. - Archduk3 23:25, February 22, 2012 (UTC)
Also, the biggest issue with using the answers site as an extension of MA would be to make sure the copyright there is CC-BY-NC, not the current CC-BY-SA, which actually makes using any of our content there a copyright violation. If wikia is willing to change the copyright, we can do this, if not, the answers site should be linked to MB, which is CC-BY-SA, and their admins should replace ours. - Archduk3 23:53, February 22, 2012 (UTC)
Probably a stupid question, but how did Wikia link us to ST Answers (or vice versa)? -- Renegade54 13:54, February 23, 2012 (UTC)
The "Latest Questions Module" will display the "Wiki Activity" from the answers site here, and we can't remove it because wikia changed the Terms of Use, so we're stuck with it. As for how that module works, I don't know really, I'm just starting to poke it with a stick. Angela would have been the person to ask most of these questions before she left wikia, since she was the person to skin the answers site and add our bureaucrats, but I'm not sure who to go to now, especially since wikia doesn't seem to like to communicate anywhere other than central. - Archduk3 17:33, February 23, 2012 (UTC)
I've put a followup inquiry in, direct to staff. I'll report back on any findings. -- sulfur 18:46, February 23, 2012 (UTC)
Ahhh, I see... I still use Monobook, so I don't see that Questions block on my screen. I changed skins temporarily and saw what you're talking about. <grumble> -- Renegade54 19:26, February 23, 2012 (UTC)
Hi, if you would prefer to remove the module, that's not a problem - just let me know -- sannse WikiaStaff.png (help forum | blog) 22:57, February 24, 2012 (UTC)

So, do we want to have it removed(due to the copyright difference and the fact it was unasked for), or do we want to proceed as we started to discuss above? While I could see a role for it if we wanted it, as Archduk said above most of the questions don't really pertain to information we deal in and mostly request speculation("Could the Bortas be a Klingon counterpart to the Enterprise", for example) --31dot 03:15, February 25, 2012 (UTC)

I'd prefer just to remove the module.–Cleanse ( talk | contribs ) 05:23, February 25, 2012 (UTC)
I tend to agree, removing the module is the easiest solution, and I take it by Sannse's answer that there would be no resolution of the copyright issue. - Archduk3 17:03, February 25, 2012 (UTC)
Changing copyright requires getting buy-in from everyone that has contributed. -- sulfur 17:14, February 25, 2012 (UTC)

I will also support removal of the module.--31dot 21:40, February 25, 2012 (UTC)

Sulfur, that's only if there was anything there we wanted to save. Outright deleting and then restating that site was more inline with what I was thinking, since salvaging anything there worth keeping would most likely be more work than just starting from scratch. That actually seems to be an option, since if we can remove the module, we might be able to have wikia redirect it to a different, new answers site, as well as have it display even when logged in. I'm not sure that's worth doing, but we definitely shouldn't be tied to the current site any longer. - Archduk3 23:21, February 26, 2012 (UTC)

Oops, I removed the module a couple of days ago, and totally forgot to say "done". So... done! -- sannse WikiaStaff.png (help forum | blog) 18:34, March 1, 2012 (UTC)