FANDOM


I'll start this off with a quote from OvaltinePatrol on the Discord:

I've noticed this trend of fanon ghettos. I'm curious as to why people would come to a wiki that explicitly operates under the concert of a shared setting, only to ignore the content of other users.

For some instances in the past, it can simply be put down to a failure to read the rules or anything else, and those writers usually leave in short order. But it happens with people who stick around too.

There is a reason why; in fact, there are four that I can think of immediately. These are based on my observations of the site and its people in action, interactions with other members and my own experience running other fanon wikis.

1) Users do not care about the overall Tranquility Lane world. This is a harsh statement, but it is the truth. The site is called falloutfanon.wikia.com. It's a Fallout fanon wiki. People come here to write their personal Fallout fanon. New users aren't interested in joining a part of a joined, shared world and just want to write their own stuff. Your average new user has no reason to want to get involved with the greater Tranquility Lane world. In fact, there are a number of reasons why they might actively avoid it.

2) The staff do nothing at all to engage new users and make them want to be a part of the world. When a new user appears and starts writing content, one of two things happens. The first is that they are treated with utter indifference until such a time that they cross paths with existing content. At such point, they're basicallt told "conform or die". Alternatively, they break some rule and the staff come down on them with a "you broke rule X, fix it or else your article will be deleted". There's no effort at all at positive engagement or the like; no attempt to be civil or friendly towards newcomers or anything else. In fact, the standard reaction is to ignore them until they do something wrong. This is neither helpful or encouraging.

3) The Tranquility Lane World is too big and too cluttered. I know the project has been going for years and has spawned a zillion or so pages of content. That's great. It's also incredibly intimidating towards a newcomer. Likewise, it makes it hard to establish a foothold in a very cluttered world. In essence, a new user has to either hunt around for a free space or, alternatively, hope they can squeeze into an allready occupied one. A big part of the problem here is that there are a lot of old legacy pages from no longer active users that are not doing anything but cluttering up space.

4) Forced creative collaboration never works. You cannot force somebody to collaborate on a creative project and expect good results. Unfortunately, that's exactly how TL works at the moment. This ties in to point two above, but it essentially it comes down to essentially foricing users to compromise on their plans to accomidate others which is usually not going go down well with the user in question. Yes, they should not openly contradict another user's fanon, but at the same time the "you must acknolwedge X" approach is overly hostile.

Now I'm not advocating the idea of abandoning the TL shared world at all. However, there are two things that I think can be done in order to fix the problems outlined above.

The first is for better engagement, and this needs to start at the top. The staff need to be more friendly and outgoing towards new users and give them a reason to want to be a part of the TL universe, rather than just simply writing on their own.

The second is to be actively encouraging, rather than the current model which is reactionary and punishing. Rather than the "you must or else your page will be deleted" approach, try being more actively suggesting or helpful. Things like "there are some other articles that you might want to look at" helps here.

Finally, there is one other thing that needs to be said. Fanon Ghettos are not a bad thing. There can be plenty of reasons why a user might not want to engage with the content created by others, and that's okay. As long as they are not actively contradicting other users' content, then that's fine.