HRWiki talk:Guestbooks

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In January 2006, some users started a discussion on the guestbook situation, and formally proposed to get rid of guestbooks. This page is a record of the discussion that took place regarding the proposal.

The decision was made to end the practice of guestbooks.


These items are preserved here as an archive. Please do not add new votes.
If you'd like to add something, do so under a new topic heading.

[edit] End the practice of guestbooks

[edit] Support

  1. See reasons at the original discussion. Rogue Leader / (my talk) 00:11, 22 January 2006 (UTC).
  2. If it's for the good of the Wiki, guestbooks should go. Has Matt? (talk) 00:20, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  3. It's dot com 00:26, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  4. See Rogue Leader's comment. --videlectrix.pngENUSY discussionitem_icon.gif user.gifmail_icon.gif 00:33, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  5. I'll go along with this - don't have a strong opinion on guestbooks, personally. — Image:kskunk_fstandby.gif KieferSkunk (talk) — 00:37, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  6. See Venusy's comment. --DorianGray 00:38, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  7. If it's for the greater good of the wiki, I gotta vote to get rid of 'em. Thunderbird 01:00, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  8. See reasons at the original discussion --minibaseball.png Bkmlb(talk to me·stuff I did) 02:51, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  9. I want people to read my user page, not just to sign it without knowing what else is there. DBK! 03:17, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  10. Don't really see the point of them. There's nothing a gues book can do that a User talk page can't. -AtionSong 04:00, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  11. When it comes to the point that the only reason people come to the Wiki is so they can sign guestbooks, it's time for them to go (especially when people are trying to get a certain amount by a certain date.) I didn't mind guestbooks until Recent Changes had more "User:" edits than it did actual articles. We had this problem with the old wiki; nobody did anything except talk to each other and create fanstuff. This is not a free chatting site for other Homestar Runner fans, this is an encyclopedia. User pages are to make a brief description about yourself, not to have a blockquote with 20-something signatures in it. If you want to talk to other Homestar Runner fans, go create a Myspace or something. —FireBird|Talk 03:20, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  12. See my comment below. Elcool (talk)(contribs) 06:37, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  13. See comment below. – The Chort 13:57, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  14. They were fun at first, but now it's just taking up space. I would appriciate it if we could let them go. — Lapper (talk) 14:29, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  15. Ditto Ation. -אוקאלייליי (Ookelaylay)
  16. Homsad I agree with the guys at the original discussion. Delete them!
  17. small_logo.pngUsername-talk 17:01, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  18. teeeffoh! 17:50, 22 January 2006 (UTC) Yeah, I'm gonna have to go with Ation here.
  19. 19:44, 22 January 2006 (UTC) I don't want to shuffle through countless guestbook edits to find vandalism. If you want to compliment somebody, use their talkpage.
    Hey there, Do you have a user account? If so, you should use it when posting on this page. Thanks. Anonymous votes will not figure much (if at all) into the final tally. — It's dot com 19:46, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  20. I wouldn't mind not having guestbooks (even though I did like signing them, the wiki's better off without them). — Kilroy / talk 21:49, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  21. I have to agree with Kilroy. We are better off without them. Bluebry 21:50, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  22. They don't bother me, but if they bother other people, let's scrap them. I'm #22! WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! (that's what we're trying to avoid, right?) Trey56 03:50, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  23. They don't show that you like the site, it just shows that you can sign a guestbook. Nintendogs123 07:00, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  24. Homestar Coderhomestar-coder-sig.gif 09:30, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  25. TotalSpaceshipGirl3 10:39, 23 January 2006 (UTC) I stand beside all off you on this. DELETE THEM! WHEEEEEEE!
  26. For the reasons stated by Firebird above. —THE PAPER PREEEOW 14:33, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  27. Delort 'em. I only made one because I thought everyone else had one. The arguments to keep them seem to boil down to "hey, I like guestbooks, what's the big deal?" and "they encourage interaction". Seems to me they encourage a kind of interaction that is in conflict with the goals of a good wiki. Baleet 'em. — Bill 18:04, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  28. Mycroft Holmes 20:15, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  29. I've never seen the point of guestbooks, shoutboards, and other such features. If people want to holla at someone, let 'em leave a message on the talk page. The site will only get bigger from here anyway, and anything we can do to conserve space is okay in my book. - Octan 2006-01-23, 15:16 (EST)
  30. Powered by The Kate 02:53, 25 January 2006 (UTC) I have to say that they should be DELETED! I mean, it's nice to know that people have been to your page, but then they start getting outrageously huge and such. Yeah. And also, if people spend all their time signing guestbooks, they'll never take any time to, say, improve their own user page or make a good article about something. I like what Bill said, too.
  31. BazookaJoe 02:54, 25 January 2006 (UTC) This is an encyclopedia about Homestar Runner. This is not a place to hang out, chit-chat, and power-sign guestbooks 90% of one's online time. Keep the vast majority of your talk page edits here to relevant H*R- and wiki-related discussions. Chit-chat and sign guestbooks at myspace, message boards, AIM, xanga, IRC...
  32. Point7Q 00:51, 26 January 2006 (UTC) I use HRWiki only as a knowledge base. I have no interest or stake in guestbooks at all. If people want to do stuff that has nothing to do with the stuff I'm interested in, that's fine, but not when it starts taking significant attention (especially admin attention) away from the true purpose of the site. Also, after having read the entire page, I think I can safely assume that Strong Bad would mock us mercilessly for spending so much time and energy on something like this.
  33. This is enough. End guestbooks. The hrwiki isn't Wikipedia, and it is on a funny cartoon, but...IT IS A WIKI. Meaning that it is an encyclopedia. Not a place to mindlessly sign your name on the nearest available guestbook. Just wait ten days, do whatever you decide to do with the things, and forget it ever happened. And stop driving the poor patrolors insane. -Brightstar Shiner 22:10, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
  34. I have a gest book my self but I do realize that they are just getting to big. People should just have a favorit users section and put every body who asks them on there talk page on it.User:pieinbubsface/sig 17:18, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
  35. I'm going to have to agree that guestbooks should go. Even though I have one, always seeing people sigining guestbooks in the recent changes kind of gets annoying. Plus, the whole idea that they start relationships between people kind of got scewed by those who just sign them for the sake of signing them and don;t even read the userpage. Darthvader66 22:22, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

[edit] Oppose

  1. I want the sweet sweet guestbooks. They let other users know they are there. --TheThin 13:48, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    Amost all of the people I know on the Wiki are from my or someone else's guestbook. Guestbooks make relationships! Bluebry 03:11, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    Guestbooks make relationships, granted, but that's not the only way to make relationships. This H*R knowledge-base wiki is not designed to be a place to hang out and socialize. That's what the forums and IRC channel are for. The proper way to make relationships on this wiki is to make good edits; eventually people will notice you. One can supplement relationship-building through other venues while editing the wiki the way it was intended. —BazookaJoe 03:25, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  2. Probably not as strong a point, but I like knowing that people have at least visited my page. I don't have a lot to offer on my page and I would actually like some comments. Restricting them to the talk page is probably best. NFITC1 03:39, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    I think that would be a good point if signing a guestbook meant that someone had actually looked at the page. When it's just a game, however, to see how many you can find and sign, it loses all meaning. Also, notice the little counter down at the bottom (where it says "This page has been accessed n times"). You can track that number to see how many people are visiting your page. — It's dot com 04:03, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    I can't speak for everyone else, but I at least read a page before signing a guest book. I thought that was the whole idea of one: letting the user know who it was that read the page rather than how many people have. NFITC1 20:00, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    And we appreciate that you read the pages. Unfortunately, as illustrated by the snippet from the recent changes in the comments section below, those who sign after reading are now a dwindling few. — It's dot com 20:38, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  3. Is there anything wrong with guestbooks?-- Benol, aka Coach B 15:00, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    Benol, you should read the guestbook discussion below. – The Chort 15:22, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  4. The guestbooks aren't killing anyone, they're just fun. Why should we all act like a bunch of proper stuck ups on a Homestar Runner fan site? Now, if this were turning into a trend on Wikipedia, that'd be one thing, but this is a wiki on a silly, fun cartoon, and guestbooks are one of my fondest memories of this web site. What's next, will saying things like "ARROW'D!" be banned? Of course, I'm sure everyone is going to hate on me now and diss me like a bunch of geeks and nerds, just like what they did when somebody proposed that they could be saying "Strong Bad paints Marzipan" in Strong Bad is a Bad Guy. Darth Katana X (discussionitem_icon.gif user.gif mail_icon.gif)
    Just for info: I was the one who proposed that. I don't exactly recall being catcalled about it. --DorianGray
    Yeah, I noticed it was you right after I posted that. Well, I remembered everyone dissing you for that. There have been other times that users have been treated like crap for having a different opinion, though, and that wasn't a very good example, I guess. Darth Katana X (discussionitem_icon.gif user.gif mail_icon.gif)
    I agree, this may seem a bit extreme to some, but this part of the HRWiki family of websites is primarily for the facts. A more relaxed, "anything goes" atmosphere exists at the Fanstuff Wiki. Though this site isn't Wikipedia, we still strive to emulate their formal style, and attempt to limit most of our work here to building the Knowledge Base. Thunderbird 05:26, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    Yeah, that's a good point. We should probably be on the look out for more things in Homestar Runner to pick at until they're not even funny anymore. For a more formal atmosphere, how about we all strangle each other as we argue over fhqwhgads? Is she a wiffle ball? Are Urban Dictionary's theories true? And only we visiting the Fanstuff Wiki should watch Homestar for fun. Instead, let's try to find Homestar as boring as possible, so that all we can do is analyze crap.
    So, who's with me? Are we going to save the guestbooks, or are we going to suck all the life out of the wiki and make pages like Strong Bad Saying, "I Mean I (Did Something)" until nobody visits besides us? All right, perhaps I went a bit far. Anybody who's offended, no hard feelings. I just want sweet guestbook freedom. Darth Katana X (discussionitem_icon.gif user.gif mail_icon.gif)
    Uh, ok. Did you even bother to read the reasons why we wish to get rid of guestbooks? We are just trying to make life easier for patrollers. Besides, signing a guestbook does not mean that you are even remotely interested in their page. It just shows that you have a fast mouse and tilde finger. Rogue Leader / (my talk) 06:29, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    Look, I hate to have the whole site against me, especially since I probably won't have as much luck winning you guys back as Strong Bad does, but no, I didn't read the excuse list. Why, because I know it won't affect my opinion on guestbooks. In my experience, I've visited way more talk pages thanks to guestbooks, and I actually check out what's there, so that I can get to know a little more about these peoples before I post. But if you'd like to liberate the site from those ridiculous fan activities, go ahead. I'll keep doing what I'm doing even if it means getting banned! I feel a song, erm, rap coming on...
    (Do not tell me what I can and cannot do when I rock) WHEN I ROCK, WHEN I ROCK...
    DO, DO, DO, DO NOT! Tell me what I can and cannot do when I rock! Original material my crew nonstop! We're keeping it fly and we'll turn it out, y'all feeling some of that? No doubt! Yes, that's right, I'm keeping my guestbook up no matter what! And maybe some people will respect me for my independence, but I seriously doubt that. Darth Katana X (discussionitem_icon.gif user.gif mail_icon.gif)
    1) John Rue is a good man. 2) Breathe. Nothing's happening one way or the other for at least ten days. While persuasive oratory is called for, panic isn't; it's not like guestbooks are dead unless everyone's convinced in the next couple of hours. 3) You're not alone, per se; although I'm far from strongly supporting guestbooks, I don't strongly oppose them. 4) Since time isn't of the essence, do take the time to read the rest of this conversation (and also where it started). It helps to know what's already been said. 5) Although I'm sure the shock got your fight-or-flight reflexes going, so far no one is hating on anyone; the conversation so far has been civilized and non-angry. I really hope it stays that way through its course; please help it do so. 6) In closing, I'd just like to make sure it doesn't go unnoticed that a recent edit included the words "That's a big but." —AbdiViklas 07:18, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    Mr. Katana (or should I call you Mr. X?), Like a wise user once said to me when I was just new to the wiki and didn't have a username: "sarcasm doesn't exactly work wonders while attempting to argue a point". And now for the actual reply. We all want to have friends and meet new ones. If this fact was false we wouldn't have such sites as MySpace. Yes, the wiki is a way to make friends, contrary to what some people were saying here, and no, the Fanstuff is not the only place to goof around. But (and that's a big but) making friends through random signatures left on your userpage is not the way to do it. Some userpages told the signers to leave a comment next to their sig. While some posted things like "Thenks for helping me" or "We had fun that one time", alot of them left comments like "Yay! I'm number 27!" or "What? Another guestbook?!" showing that they don't really care about you, your userpage or how good your edits are. It just became a wall intended to be place for art pieces but ended up for ugly graffiti. If you want to make friends, have you thought of going to the chatroom? Having a project, a big one? Think about the wiki as school. An open one where you can make everything. Do you make friends by going to random people with a pen and writing something on their back? Or do you make friends by making something beautiful for all to see? Elcool (talk)(contribs) 06:58, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    First off, check what I posted before I was editing conflict'd. And second, too much ugly graffiti? I love too much ugly graffiti! No, seriously, where I come from graffiti is the finest art form around, but that's not really the point. This wiki isn't a school, unless it's the Crazy Go Nuts University, and I couldn't give a crap less whether people care about me or not, as you can plainly see. That's how I met basically everyone here, and that's how I met all my friends here who probably all hate me now. Anyway, even if it is a big waste of time, it's just freaking user pages, not actual articles, and from what I know, these guestbooks haven't caused any tragedy. So there, ban me for my guestbook. It's a Free Country, USA and I will not be silenced! Darth Katana X (discussionitem_icon.gif user.gif mail_icon.gif)
    1) Please see my most recent edit above. 2) Yeah, I've made the school analogy before, but I was just thinking "everything that's good or has the potential to be good about school, hopefully without the really crappy side effects." I.e. ideally it would be a place for creativity, spontaneity, and individual expression, plus communal, supportive collaboration, but without getting stuffed into lockers or simply called a dumb***. Hopefully it would not be a militaristic institution for the mass-producing of servile factory fodder either. 3) I'd be really surprised if anybody on the wiki hates you right now, including those with the opposite opinion on this argument. Guestbooks do make friendships (though meaningful talk page edits do so even better), and if the friends mean more to you than the guestbook, then even if guestbooks go the way of MXPX and the buffalo, you'll have what mattered in the first place. —AbdiViklas 07:28, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    Yeah, we're on the same page. Or, more accurately, we're on two different pages which are right next to each other, but that counts too. One thing though, I don't think MXPX will be taking the buffalo route any time soon - I just heard them on Burnout Revenge and all. So, to close it up, I'll halfta go check that out, and hopefully none of my friends will take my flames personally. You might want to check out the Fight for the Guestbooks on my talk page, anyway. Darth Katana X (discussionitem_icon.gif user.gif mail_icon.gif)
    Not long ago, before guestbooks were popular, we still managed to communicate, form friendships, plan projects, and so on... through the use of talk threads and IRC chat. No one is going to be asking you to stop communicating. No one is going to prevent you from reading user pages and posting meaningful comments on the talk pages. — It's dot com 16:11, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    The advantage of a guestbook, of course, is that it solicits input from other users, where as an "unadvertised" talk page isn't likely to get unprovoked discussion that often. I have seen several creative examples of snagging input (input beyond a signature) already in play, though: I mentioned Has Matt's list of things Homsar should say; Heimstern's recurring German H*R quote also springs to mind, as does Tony Stony's Frankenpic. These 1) provoke people to sign, 2) are H*R related and require H*R skillz, and 3) are fun. I think they'd do what guestbooks set out to do, but do so much better. —AbdiViklas 20:18, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  5. I think having a guestbook is a good idea; i would however support the concept of moving them to a subpage. DJTehCheat M-E-H! 16:38, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  6. Same here. I didn't see an option to vote for that however. That would clear up the problem of confusing the edits with userpage vandalism. smileyface.PNG11945 (Talk/Ctrbs) 00:05, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  7. I don't want to get rid of my guestbook. They let people know they've arrived. --The 386 My talk 17:07, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    Well, all it really lets you know is that they arrived at your guestbook. There's no real reason to expect—or even believe—that the person was on your page any longer than the time it took to type #~~~~. — It's dot com 17:13, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  8. I want 'em, but keep one only and keep 'em friendly, not competitive. LePorello / T / C 19:19, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  9. Marth 99 22:05, 22 January 2006 (UTC) I'm with LePorello. I've never been competitive about these, and besides, like Darth said, they're just fun. I don't feel they are interfering with the wiki.
    Perhaps you should see the recent changes snippet from earlier today in the comments section below (featuring none other than LePorello's edits). I'm wondering what your (and his) reply would be to my remarks there. — It's dot com 22:29, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    That's just one person. Although I agree with his statement, I don't agree with rapid signing. I, like Has Matt, look at a person's page before signing it. I give a short comment and I occasionally get a response as well. That works better that marathon signing. Marth 99 22:39, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    We wouldn't be having this discussion if it were just one person. When it comes to the point that you need an entire page devoted to a subject just to discuss it, that's indicative of an actual problem. Some of the replies in this section would make it sound like we're want to stop people from saying they like someone's page or from communicating at all. This is not the case. You would still be perfectly free to post comments in threads on the talk page, just like always. I think that's an even better way to get a response and start a dialogue that could lead to a friendship. — It's dot com 22:52, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    Ooooh. Didn't realize I was being a rapid-signing idiot there. Hence, I now resolve to actually read the user pages before signing guestbooks. (This doesn't change my vote. I'm still for 'em.) LePorello / T / C 23:26, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  10. "Countless guestbook edits"? I think some of the supporters are exaggerating a bit. SaltyTalk! 01:33, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
    Apparently, you do not read recent changes. Recently, there has been a huge spike in recent user page edits. This is problematic for people who patrol, since this was almost always trolling before guestbooks. Rogue Leader / (my talk) 02:45, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  11. Although I don't really care about them, they haven't been bugging me at all. I don't mind if they stay, personally. - Joshua 02:11, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  12. I agree with LePorello. Only one, keep em friendly. TheGreatLogini 12:47, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  13. I think we should be able to keep our guestbooks if we want to. NO!!! PLEASE... DON'T SHOOT!!! Tampo (T/C) AND SOMEONE GET THiS FREAKiN CURSOR AWAY FROM ME!!!!! 16:48, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  14. This is a bittersweet oppose. I have a guestbook and I like it. I like seeing who has read my page. I think I was one of the original 6 guestbooks and my guest book dates back to October. I have even put up cute things to try to get a few certain people **cough cough**JoeyDay, Tom, HomestarCoder, Phlip, Joshua, Jay, The Paper, DorianGray, FireBird **cough cough** to sign it. I wish we can roll back the clock or restirct the creation of new guestbooks (grandfather the old ones in). I think the reason that Userpage edits have skyrocketed is that TBC haven't put a lot out lately and frankly I'm bored. Today I logged in about 4 times (because its a monday) and once I saw that there is no new toon, I check out user pages of my comrads. As I seem to be seriously outnumbered, I will delete mine if it comes to that but I will be sad to see it go. I R F 18:47, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  15. I don't see anything wrong with guestbooks. The primary "problem" seems to be that it floods Recent Changes. Increase the number of things that appear in Recent Changes, then. Besides, it's not like other things don't flood Recent Changes (Image templates, category additions, bots, etc). The other problem was that there's an increasing number of edits that have to be checked for vandalism. As the wiki grows, there'll be more edits, user namespace or otherwise. It's not that hard to check edits for vandalism. And that's my six cents. -- Super Sam 10:47, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
    Read the page. The primary "problem" is not the recent changes. That's a side effect. — It's dot com
  16. Keep the guestbooks, they're cool to have. If you're so terribly worried about recent changes, then just move guestbooks to the talkpage or a subpage. And to the people who say that guestbooks should be banned because you think they are pointless, well that's the most retarded thing I've heard lately, if you don't care for them then JUST DON'T USE THEM! And the claims about recent changes flooding sound pretty hyped up, the same kind of crap I hear from the opponents of userboxes on Wikipedia. Yeltensic 14:31, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
    Once again, recent changes is just the straw that broke the camel's back. The real problem is that guestbooks have become a mere shell of what they were intended to be. Since there are real and better ways of communicating, we are going to do away with guestbooks in favor of talk threads. On another note, it's not like everybody doesn't know what the word is there that you "censored", and it is not appropriate for this discussion. — It's dot com 15:02, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
    OK, It's dot com, I removed it. Happy now? I just get tired of all this crap, all of these people who insist upon removing something others like, just because they disagree. OK, so use talk threads instead if you like, but why not just have both? Seriously, what's wrong with having options? Yeltensic 17:39, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
    Wow, two of my best friends here fighting, better grab some popcorn! No, seriously, when it comes to this one I just halfta "go Switzerland" - that's what my homies call it. So, Yeltensic, good job backing up the guestbooks, and It's dot com, good job keeping this site safe for everyone. There. Darth Katana X (discussionitem_icon.gif user.gif mail_icon.gif)
    Well, you can go Switzerland and still grab some popcorn. When I play a video game and two people do damage to each other at the same time, so that they come out still even, I call it 1812ing. Yeltensic Sign your name here 01:45, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
    Actually, the battle seems to be over, at least for now. So maybe you should wait on the popcorn. Yeltensic Sign your name here 01:47, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
  17. I think that we should keep the guestbooks. I mean, I always enjoy signing a guestbook. It's always fun to look and see who visited your page. I always enjoy it when people sign my page. It just lets you know that there are people that look at your page. I support them. They may be pointless, but they're fun and interesting. I mean, if you got rid of everything pointless, where would I be?--Image:Homsar-in-motion.gifhr.pngΨHomsarΨroksΨImage:kookysig.gifImage:Cheat-shrug-tiny.gif 17:17, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
  18. One word: "Overregulation". --NERD42  email  talk   h²g²  pedia  uncyc  03:12, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
  19. Seriously (Talk)
  20. Agree with Darth Katana X. Not to say the HRWiki isn't awesome ('cause it is!), but come on! Wikipedia has more "silly" "un-encyclopaediac" stuff like this, and Wikipedia is supposed to be an encyclopaedia, not a website about a funny web cartoon. Anyway, I'm fine with restricting guestbooks to one per userpage, and one signature per guestbook. But banning them is kinda pointless, guestbooks really don't do much harm (and yes, I did read the discussion below), and one can just filter out the "User" namespace on the recent changes if it gets in the way (which it really). «Rob» 06:45, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
  21. Even being a member of the Recent Changes Patrol, or something like that, I don't see what's wrong with guestbooks. They let people know they exist without vandalizing. Plus, if users just put in the summary that they signed the guestbook, we won't have to be as paranoid about it. Sure, they're pointless and take up space, but come on! It's not like this is the Encyclopaedia Brittanica Wiki. It's the Homestar Runner frickin' wiki! It's about a funny little web cartoon! Now, if there was an Encyclopaedia Brittanica Wiki, and this was it, sure, I would oppose. But this is the Homestar Runner Wiki. Laugh a little. Live a little. I mean, even Wikipedia has some pointless joke stuff. Now they would oppose guestbooks, sure, but that's because of the difficulty of checking recent changes; they make hundreds of edits in a minute. But on this wiki, edits are made much less frequently. We have time, people. We can mark things as patrolled nice and, uh, relaxily. Hoping they don't get rid of the sweet sweet guestbooks, Gnome o' Fury 21:44, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
  22. It's a great way to communicate on other user's pages without asking them to. Agree to oppose deleting them. Keep the guestbooks! --Nckinfn04 Talc! 00:02, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
  23. I like seeing everyone that visted my page so i can vist them its fun that way!--DJM1791 · (Sup | Stuff I Did!) 14:39, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

[edit] Comments

  • The primary objections seem to be 1) that they make userpage vandalism harder to spot, and 2) they make a lot of "empty" edits to check out in general. Stux suggested restricting them to User Talk pages; although it wouldn't solve the second issue it would solve the first. Although I don't like them, I'm not so sure they need to go entirely; they do have some benefit in community-building, plus banning them even from talk pages seems a little draconian. (If the defense were that they're not wiki-related talk, many of us would be guilty.) Certainly only one per user per lifetime should be allowed, but I'm not ready to vote to end them entirely and everywhere. —AbdiViklas 01:24, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    I think the reason that people are ready to get rid of them entirely is because they are not being used as real guestbooks. A signature on one does not mean that the user page was appreciated or even read. Some users actively campaign (via talk page spam) to try and get more signatures, which just drives up frivolous edits more. This is why I believe they should be eliminated, not just moved. — It's dot com 01:33, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  • I wish there was some way to keep certain guestbooks, such as the ones that were around before they were a fad, or the ones used actually as guestbooks, not as a challenge to see how many signatures they can get by a certain date... But there's not really a way to fairly decide that, is there? Thunderbird 01:02, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    Yeah, it's kind of like when one noisy student ruins the field trip for the whole class. — It's dot com 01:53, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    I hear you, Thunderbird. But yes, that would be quite difficult to justify reasonably: "Your guestbook is appropriately motivated; you can keep it! But your guestbook is a mercenary guestbook; you can't!" I personally don't find the argument of function compelling (not "proper" guestbooks); frivolous edit and talk page spamming are concerns, though. —AbdiViklas 01:50, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Since I seem to be saying a lot in defense of guestbooks, I just want to play the other side for a sec.: There's no reason people can't simply link to blogs or personal websites which have guestbooks of their own. —AbdiViklas 01:50, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    Just curious, but why are you saying so much in the defense of guestbooks? You don't have one. Almost none of the people with whom you collaborate most often have one. Have you ever formed a meaningful friendship through one? I myself have signed a few guestbooks (back when that's what they were), but nothing substantial came of it. Again, I'm just curious. :) — It's dot com 16:11, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    Right; not only do I not have one, but I've never bothered to sign one that I can remember. It's not just that I'm playing Devil's Advocate, arguing for them since there seemed to be few voices for them at first; I do actually feel that they don't necessarily need to go. Mind, I definitely think at the least "guestbook reform" is necessary, and would like to see their form and function not only preserved but improved; I just have misgivings about a cold-turkey crackdown. I'm certainly not going to be broken up if they go, since I don't think they're doing as much good or meaning as much as their owners perceive them to, but I'd like to keep the "anything goes in your userspace except" list no longer than necessary. —AbdiViklas 20:08, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  • If this thing didn't evolve to be a fad I would even fight for the right to keep them. But now they just litter the recent changes page. This days are the first time I had to use the MainSpace filter to a actually see the edits Elcool (talk)(contribs) 06:38, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Finally! I am so tired of this stupid fad! You sign one guestbook, another million pop up. They serve no purpose to the wiki and, frankly, they're now really unoriginal. Are we just owning and signing guestbooks because everyone else is? I mean, when it comes to taste, everyone just follows each other like sheep. Why else are the music charts here in England full of crap? – The Chort 13:57, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    By the way, if you haven't liked them, there's always been an avenue of dissent: not to sign them. I've never quite figured out the cases where somebody signs a guestbook and simultaneously complains about it. Seems to me by signing you'd just be helping them spread. (I know, there can be social obligation, etc. Just saying.) —AbdiViklas 20:08, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    Ok, I confess. Like many other users, I just sign guestbooks to increase the number of links to my user page! Yes, I know. It's a form of self-advertising. Stick your signature everywhere and more people visit your user page. Besides, all I put is "My autograph? Sure!", giving no feedback whatsoever. I use talk pages to do that. I should probably be locked away for such crimes. Anyway, the main thing is that these points alone probably show why we should get rid of them. – The Chort 16:37, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  • just because you consider it a fad, it's a USER PAGE. as in, the USER gets to decide what to do with it. and if they want a guestbook, it's not up for the wiki to decide. this sounds like a meaningless rule designed to give more control to a humble majority. "I don't like jumproping! nobody else can jumprope from now on!"DJTehCheat M-E-H! 16:39, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    Actually, user page control is not absolute. We do give quite a bit of leeway as to what you can put on a user page, but there are certain restrictions. If the community decides (and not by just a simple majority) that it's best if we eliminate guestbooks, then we will. But we're not taking this decision lightly—It has simply reached a boiling point. — It's dot com 16:49, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    Right; despite what I just said a few edits above about "anything goes in your userspace except," it's not your private property, and it is for the wiki to do decide. As is stated somewhere in the restrictions It's dot com just linked to, you can find unfettered freedom of personal expression simply by linking to an external site. You can even host a guestbook there and link to it! —AbdiViklas 20:08, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Is there a way to keep any user X's guestbook at "User:X/guestbook" and modify code somewhere to make it so that no changes made to to pages of the form "User:X/guestbook" would appear in the Recent changes log? (I understand this opens the door for unchecked vandalism.) Trey56 17:46, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    Well, it would be possible from a technical standpoint, but I'm not very comfortable with random users' edits not showing up in the recent changes. Besides, the recent changes flood is just an annoying symptom of the underlying cause (that guestbooks aren't being used as intended). — It's dot com 18:17, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  • These three consecutive edits illustrate the supporters' positions precisely: If you were a speed reader, you might could get through all three of those pages in less than a minute each, but would you have enjoyed the experience at all? I think not. Those who would read a user page are no longer signing guestbooks, and those who now sign guestbooks are just clogging up the recent changes. — It's dot com 19:52, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    I have to say that I am not a person that goes on a random guestbook signing spree, subsequently clogging up recent changes. If I find a user page which I haven't read, I read it, if I am interested and have time, and if that user has a guestbook, I sign it as well. I do not just look for the guestbook on a page and see how many I can sign in a minute. However, I know I can't speak for the rest of the Wiki, which is why we are having this conversation in the first place. You have to admit, whether you like it or not, guestbooks have affected this Wiki in a huge way; some think it's affected it for the good, some think for the bad. I know that a lot of friends have been made through guestbooks, and that they can be utilized to function in a positive fashion, but I also have to admit that they have caused a lot of problems in the Wiki as well. I am not a strong supporter or opposer of the idea of taking away guestbooks. It does seem kinda totalitarian and 1984-ish to ban guestbooks from the Wiki, but on the other hand, this Wiki's main purpose is not to have fun, but to document anthing and everything Homestar Runner. While there are a lot of ways we can have fun in the process of doing that, it seems as if guestbooks have ventured beyond the realm of a fun, innocent little thing that shows how valued you are to a way to get attention and compete to be the first one to sign. Has Matt? (talk) 21:10, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    i agree with the beginning of what has matt just said. not everyone just goes on for a guestbook, and if you think it clogs up the recent changes, deal with it. that is just the way it goes. i know lots of people have made friends, i would too if i felt like being an actual user. guestbooks are good. 00:43, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
    We have been dealing with it... for a while now. If they weren't being abused I would happily continue dealing with it. But since other, more productive ways to get to know each other can take their place (like talk threads), we'd rather stop dealing with it because we're tired of dealing with it. — It's dot com 00:52, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
    true, i must admit. it's just that guestbooks seem like, almost....icebreakers. you are not going to go to a talk page and type, "want to be my friend?" instead, you will have signatures that you will go to, and their you will laugh at the stuff they say. then you will eventually just leave notes on their talk pages, and it will be great. 01:00, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  • To be honest, I don't think the "Recent Changes Flooding" argument is a particularly strong one. Whenever I look at Recent Changes, the two things that catch my eye a lot more than Guestbook entries, even frequent ones, are the occasional flood of {{web-screenshot}} and similar edits that go on a lot of images all at once, and when users make a whole bunch of minor edits to their sigs, their user pages, etc., all at once. (I'm guilty of doing this myself now and then.) Very rarely do I see guestbooks as causing a lot of spam in the Recent Changes list, and they personally don't bother me. — Image:kskunk_fstandby.gif KieferSkunk (talk) — 05:15, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
    The web-screenshot floods are a necessary evil for us not getting sued (and I'm not getting into that now) and will stop the moment the project is done. If users would just learn to use the "Show preview" button before all those minor changes it wouldn't flood the RC page. The only thing that is left flooding is the guestbooks, and we are discussing those right now. Please don't try to change the subject or pointing the finger on other stuff. Elcool (talk)(contribs) 07:25, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
    Besides, KieferSkunk, the point I keep trying to make is that the recent changes flood is just indicative of a bigger problem. But never mind that for a second... You can easily hide image edits by switching the namespace to "Image" and pressing "Invert selection". (Also, once we finally get all the images tagged, we won't have those floods anymore.) I sometimes use the same trick with the "User" namespace just so I can see the "real" edits, but this isn't a viable option in the long run for patrollers because vandalism would go completely unchecked. — It's dot com 10:56, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
    I realize that, and I'm not trying to change the subject or point fingers. I'm just pointing out that, to me personally, the Guestbook-related edits don't bother me - they seem to take up much less room in Recent Changes (at least whenever I look at them) than other edits, and I just sorta tune them out most of the time. I don't see it as being as significant a problem as others do, apparently. — Image:kskunk_fstandby.gif KieferSkunk (talk) — 20:13, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Has it occurred to anyone that since a guestbook generally has its own subheading on a userpage, the word "guestbook" or some form thereof automatically appears in the edit summary, meaning that they can easily be distinguished from userpage vandalism on recent changes? And that's really the whole case against them, the recent changes problem, is it not? Yeltensic Save the guestbooks 19:06, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
    No, as Dot com explained in response to your comment above, the recent changes problem is NOT the primary problem. The primary problem is that guestbooks are not being used reasonably - there's too many instances of "I need to sign as many guestbooks as possible / get as many sigs as possible in the shortest period of time." Homestar Coderhomestar-coder-sig.gif 19:09, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
    Perhaps I should clarify. What I meant is that the recent changes problem is the only valid concern. The fact that you dislike them, or the way that they are use, is not a valid concern as far as grounds for banning them. For instance, I don't like rap music, does that mean it should be illegal? No, of course not, because other people like it. Yeltensic Save the guestbooks 21:10, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
    That argument would hold if we were trying to ban guestbooks from the Internet as a whole. This is the Homestar Runner Wiki, and we have lots and lots of policy as to what's allowed on pages. For example, you're only allowed two personal images. You're not allowed to put a blog on your userpage. You're not allowed to post fanstuff in the knowledge base. You're not allowed to say R-rated things. Nobody would stop you from creating an external guestbook and linking to it from your userpage. "Other people like it" is not a complete argument. Admin'ing on the H*RWiki has taught me that lots and lots of people like to go from page to page and replace the character names with "POOP LOL" but nobody thinks we should allow that. Homestar Coderhomestar-coder-sig.gif 21:24, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
    Um, yeah, but POOP LOL harms articles, guestbooks don't do that. Yeltensic Save the guestbooks 14:56, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
    Yeltensic, I find it ironic that by blindly signing as many guestbooks as you can find as fast as you can you are essentially proving the supporters' two main points. — It's dot com 19:53, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
    Good job, you just completely missed what I was doing. I was a) trying to fit in as many self-ads as possible before guestbooks are banned, and b) protesting this laughably absurd policy proposal. As I've wondered on my userpage, is there some conspiracy going on that spans two sites, Wikipedia and HRWiki? It's odd that the absurd "guestbook crisis" here was made up around the same time as the "userbox crisis" over there. Yeltensic Save the guestbooks 21:10, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
    What, because they're going to be banned within the next ten minutes? You've got plenty of time for that. If you're a Wikipedia regular, then perhaps you've heard of not disrupting the wiki to make a point. It seems that in the time you've spent griping about this you could have actually read those user pages in an effort to get to know the people. (By the way, nothing prevents anyone from picking users from the recent changes list, reading their user pages, and then leaving meaningful feedback on the talk pages.) This just goes to show that guestbooks do not promote anything more than their own perpetuation. — It's dot com 21:31, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
    Well, how familiar are you with my offline life? I have exams this week, and I might not have all week to sign them left and right. And I did actually read the pages, but later I'll go and read them more closely, by finding them in my contribs. Yeltensic Save the guestbooks 14:56, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
    Sorry if it seems like I'm picking on Yeltensic, but: Yeltensic's main namespace edits Yeltensic's main namespace talk page edits. No offense, but this is the sort of behavior we try to discourage - users who sign up to do nothing but edit userpages that never contribute to the actual H*RWiki pages, the reason we are all here in the first place. We're seeing too many users who sign up only or mainly to sign guestbooks / collect sigs in their own guestbook. There are lots of webpages devoted to that - try Myspace. Homestar Coderhomestar-coder-sig.gif 22:16, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
    Well if I ever were going to get around to editing HRWiki pages, I definitely won't now, with you acting like that. Methinks I'll just stick to editing my userpage, signing guestbooks, avoiding you, all of those fun things. Good-bye and have a nice day. Yeltensic Save the guestbooks 03:18, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
    Anyway, by joining lovely little discussions like this to defend guestbooks, I free up time for other users to edit articles instead of doing this. There are other ways to participate than editing articles. Yeltensic Save the guestbooks 14:56, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
I've said this before to other people, Yeltensic. This wiki is an encyclopedia about Homestar Runner. It's not a place to hang out and chit-chat about nothing relevant to the betterment of this encyclopedia. Guestbooks are only a side-effect of the main problem that I have. And it is people who bring IRC, the forums, and myspace to this wiki. People know this is why we are here, yet they continue to treat this wiki as something it's not intended to be. Your reaction to all of this, to Homestar Coder and others, just keeps pushing me further and further into the support category. I don't think the people who were willing to comprimise appreciate that very much. —BazookaJoe 02:07, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
Thank you, Bazooka Joe, for responding much better than I would have. I'm in the support category, but I feel bad about responsible users who contribute a lot to the Knowledge Base having to delete their guestbooks just because some people come here only for chitchat. Homestar Coderhomestar-coder-sig.gif 02:13, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
  • A teeny little bit of Devil's advocate here: So, there's a part of me that wonders if this fad would just go away if we left it alone. I find that, with the exception of those who are protesting this proposed ban, people are becoming less interested in guestbooks (notice how many people deleted their guestbooks right about the time Bubsty left). Maybe I haven't been looking at the right times, though. I guess I just wanted to get it out there that it might not be necessary to carry out this ban. Like I said, though, this is largely Devil's advocate; I'm not really against getting rid of guestbooks. Thanks for putting up with my rambling. Heimstern Läufer 20:03, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
    Then again, I'm just realizing now that the disapperance of some guestbooks (mostly by good users) means that a greater portion are of the existing guestbooks are frivolous. So, maybe that's a good reason to go ahead with the ban. Heimstern Läufer 20:09, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
  • I, like Heimstern, have been somewhat abstaining from voting one way or another in this issue. There are probably more people who are somewhat ambivalent to the issue. I, myself don't have a guestbook, but I have signed many in my day, as I've mentioned before. I think the hardest thing to swallow is having to part with something that been attached to and they pride themselves in (be it for frivolous reasons or not). When I first saw them, I thought it was a great idea. I didn't know it had become the nuisance it is now until i started reading this dicussion. Personally, I still feel like eliminating them altogether seems like a rather extreme solution to the problem. Of course, like Heimstern said, many good users have voluntarily removed their guestbooks and what remains are the seemingly fanatical ones. It seems that a tug-of-war has arised over the desire for some users to have as much freedom over their userspace as possible, versus the need for this wiki to grow as a community and in order to do so it must have some reasonable structure to it. The willingness of many established members to give up their guestbooks is a clear sign that there is a problem. I think if the remaining guestbook users can show and exercise some restraint over their guestbook presentation and signing (i.e. having only one guestbook, not racing over signatures, etc), the general guestbook atmosphere can change to where a compromise can be reached and instead of banning guestbooks altogether, a set of reasonable guidelines are established on proper guestbook etiquette. --Stux 23:39, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
    You'd think so, wouldn't you? You'd also think that guestbooks wouldn't have grown to the problem they are now, but they have. You'd think that now that this issue is front and center, users wouldn't still be racing across the wiki playing guestbook hunt, but they are. Guestbooks are neither are a longstanding feature of the wiki nor something irreplaceable, and they need to go. The culture developing from the racing guestbook hunters seems to center entirely on the user namespace, something that is at odds with the purposes of this project. Ironically, though these users must spend a lot of time on user pages, retention of the info there cannot possibly be very high when the total time spent on any one page is less than a minute. There are better ways to communicate than that. For more than a year we got by without them and we will get by once they're gone. You might note that you and I have collaborated on several projects and know each other pretty well (relatively speaking) without once ever having signed a guestbook on the other's page. — It's dot com 01:44, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
  • i don't think guestbooks do much on either side. the recent changes thing doesn't matter much. also, people have the right not read a page. really, in my opinion, this whole page doesn't matter. Seriously (Talk) 23:44, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Personally, I don't have one. They take a lot of space for those really popular folks, and seem to be a list of who all likes the person _BUT_ I still think they are a part of the user page and, while an easy target for vandalism, could also be used in a positive manner. The maintenence of a "clean" Guestbook should be the responsiblity of the User. Elvis 00:45, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
  • I think this is a bit of a waste of time, look how long this page has grown! If it's cloggin' up the recent changes your worried about, this page would have made it worse. :P But I have no strong opinion for either side. If people don't like these, I'll delete mine. - talk Sahm ribs 02:28, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

[edit] If the consensus is to end the practice, then what?

[edit] Delete them altogether

  1. It's dot com 00:26, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  2. Rogue Leader / (my talk) 00:29, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  3. DorianGray 00:38, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  4. FireBird|Talk 04:15, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    I'm having a hard time understanding this position. All the arguments against guestbooks, it seems to me, center around what happens when people edit them (clogs recent changes, etc.). Aside from the possibility that having them around might incite new ones (which the "closed" tag idea below ought to curtail), what exactly are they hurting? Even if deletion is necessary, is there a reason to go in and delete them by force with a "the notice has been up" defense rather than starting by asking the user to do so? It seems so... Vogon. —AbdiViklas 08:19, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    Keep in mind that almost nothing is actually ever deleted from the wiki. If people want to visit their old guestbook, it will still be in the history. You ask what they're hurting, and several people have said that they clog the recent changes. While I agree with this, it isn't the basis of my opposition to them because I think it is a weak argument and is only a side-effect of the underlying problem: namely, at some point in the not-too-distant past, guestbooks reached a critical mass and exploded. When that happened, they lost all meaning and became a game. In other words, if guestbooks were currently being used as they were intended to be used, then I would fight tooth and nail to keep them and to heck with the annoyance of the patrollers. But they're not, and I have no reasonable expectation that simply moving them would change the current behavior even one iota. — It's dot com 16:28, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    Oops—I wasn't very clear there. I meant what would "dormant" guestbooks hurt—i.e. something like closed STUFFs, with a little notice saying "This is from before we instituted our guestbook standard; please do not edit." (Elaboration below on how this could work.) Yeah, I think we're all pretty clear on what guestbooks currently hurt. —AbdiViklas 20:52, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  5. Homsad Delete them!
  6. small_logo.pngUsername-talk 17:04, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  7. Gafaddict Image:Gafaddict sigpic.gif (Talk | Contribs.) 19:49, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  8. DBK! 01:28, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  9. Homestar Coderhomestar-coder-sig.gif 09:30, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  10. TotalSpaceshipGirl3 10:35, 23 January 2006 (UTC) Burn them all!
  11. For the very clear reasons It's dot com stated above. —THE PAPER PREEEOW 15:21, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  12. The Chort 16:43, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  13. Bill 18:37, 23 January 2006 (UTC) — for the many reasons It's dot com has tirelessly explained (and, sadly, had to reiterate); the other proposals just aren't workable due to overhead, judgement calls, etc. The purpose of this website is not to provide a meeting place for people who are more interested in making new chat-buddies than in contributing to the encyclopedia. Let's get over our own egos and do what's best for the wiki.
  14. Mycroft Holmes 20:14, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  15. Pertmywert (Talk·Edits) 20:57, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  16. Point7Q 00:52, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

[edit] Move existing ones to subpages and lock them

  1. Has Matt? (talk) 00:28, 22 January 2006 (UTC) I think that if someone really really values their guestbook, they should have the option of moving it to a subpage and keeping it there for the sake of documenting history.
    Couldn't they copy it to their own computer? Also, they can still see it in their page history. — It's dot com 00:49, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    I'm just saying they should have the option. By the way, I'm saving my guestbook to my computer.
    I think we should fight subpage creep as much as possible. If we disallow guestbooks, then those subpages would no longer serve the project. But if someone just wants to see one, all they would need to do is look at an old version of their page. — It's dot com 01:33, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    There are other reasons for wanting to keep one than sentimental value. Guestbooks—like user pages in general—are excusable exercises in vanity. The whole point of one is so people can see how many people like you, or at least have acknowledged you. Though this may not be a particularly noble motivation, it's hardly unreasonable. —AbdiViklas 01:42, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    But again, it's not like the comments would disappear from the histories. Why add to the already growing problem of subpages? Talk page discussions are just as good as (nay, better than) guestbook entries, because actual thought goes into leaving messages. — It's dot com 01:53, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  2. Bluebry 03:20, 22 January 2006 (UTC) As said above - Most people I met were from guestbooks.
    *sigh* Once more, you would have a chance to copy the info to your computer, or look at it in your page history. (Broken record = me) — It's dot com 03:29, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    I know, but I want to meet more people, not ones from January. Bluebry 18:42, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    Have you tried looking around the wiki yourself? Like the recent changes page or talk pages? Elcool (talk)(contribs) 18:56, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  3. For someone who knows what it's like to have something that took a long time taken from him, I'm voting about sub-paging and locking. At least give them that. Elcool (talk)(contribs) 07:00, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  4. Guestbooks were and always will be a major part of HRwiki history (not to mention all these arguements). I at least think that we should leave them on the Wiki. Taking them off would be like TBC disbanding Teen Girl Squad: sure, it used to be minor, but it became a big piece of the big enchilada. teeeffoh! 17:58, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    *sigh again* Is anybody reading the previous discussion? They won't disappear from the histories. Hardly anything ever does around here. As for being a major part of our history, I would tend to disagree with you there. They're a fad. — It's dot com 18:17, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    I was reading the above arguements, thank you. But my point is that fads can make history books too. What about mullets? They were pretty big way back when. Now, I agree with the fact that they're not the biggest part of history, but maybe just have a little about them on the history page or something. Or keep some examples, like the ones that revolutionized guestbooks. Not trying to sound like a speech here, but, well, you know. teeeffoh! 18:27, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    Well, what goes on the history page is outside the scope of this thread (although whatever the outcome of this discussion is should definitely be noted there). Any links on that page can just as easily point to old versions of a page as anything else. By the way, by "revolutionized", do you mean "made a perfectly fine practice into a problem that then had to be dealt with"? — It's dot com 18:34, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    Your point has seeped into my brain. But what if people took a screenshot of their guestbook in its final state, hosted it on a site, and provided a link to it on their userspace? Personally, I think that's a good idea for (a)anyone who wants to preserve their guestbook and (b)anyone who still wants the world to see it. That way, it's not really cluttering the wiki. teeeffoh! 18:40, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    I suppose you could do that. Couldn't you also just put in a link to an old version of the page, kinda like this? — It's dot com 18:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    I guess it would be the choice of the user, then. Pages like this would load faster than an image (especially if you had dial-up like me). teeeffoh! 18:57, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    Heck, as long as you're hosting things externally and linking to them, you can keep your guestbook rolling (as I've mentioned somewhere else on this sprawling page). —AbdiViklas 19:51, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    i agree with abdiviklas. Seriously (Talk) 14:12, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

[edit] Other

  • Restrict them to talk pages; one per user; and require input beyond signatures. They could even be thematic; Has Matt's list of "Things I Wish Homsar Would Say" would be a good example (except in this scenario it would be on his talk page). The goal would be meaningful statements that would keep all the good aspects of guestbooks (recognition, friendship-building) without the qualities that started this discussion. —AbdiViklas 07:39, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    But who will decide what's meaningful and what's not? Some will argue that "YA!!! IM #143! =^^=" is quite meaningful. And if some kind of standard is reached, who will remove the bad stuff from the user's page? The user? Sysop? Having something you wrote removed can triger alot of flame wars. Elcool (talk)(contribs) 07:45, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    Yeah, good questions. First: once we're talking about talk pages, I for one would be cool with pretty much anything. As I've hinted earlier, some might not find discussions of the absoluteness of absolute pitch the most meaningful talk page content. But I think the policy could be stated fairly clearly: don't just leave your name; try to say something substantive that will make the user happy or tell him or her something about you. The fact that your #143 only makes you happy, and isn't a particularly intrinsic personal quality. Secondly: Whoa now, yeah. If this conversation results in a change in policy, then I feel like it should be implemented by leaving the owner a note asking to do it him or herself. He or she can then either delete or move and convert it (though the vast majority would need to just start from scratch—which isn't so bad, really). Rather than moving to subpages and locking, my proposal would be to add a tag to existing guestbooks telling other users not to add to them, and then enforce it with warnings. It's not like we're dealing with vandalism on the Main Page here; once somebody accidentally signs a "closed" guestbook and is warned, they're not going to continue. If they do, they need to be banned anyway. But closed STUFFs, for instance, survive just fine without locking. —AbdiViklas 07:58, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    I think what you said, Abdi, has much merit. Like I said before, outright forceful deletion seems rather, drastic. --Stux 17:52, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
  1. AbdiViklas 08:29, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
    That's a decent idea, but it definitely achieves rigamarole status. I vote for keeping it the way it is, but like I say, good one anyway. Darth Katana X (discussionitem_icon.gif user.gif mail_icon.gif)
    Oh-ho-ho-ho! (devilish laugh) Sorry about that, I just felt like this place needed a random Strong Bad quote. Okay, back on task. Why don't we just put something in the standards page that says something like, "Although guestbooks in the Wiki are discouraged, you are allowed to have one guestbook on a subpage or on your talk page." Just another idea I'm throwing out here. You'll probably find some problems with this idea one way or another, I just felt it needed to be mentioned. Has Matt? (talk) 14:39, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    I would not have a problem with comments restricted to talk pages, but why would an organized guestbook be necessary there? First of all, there's nothing that prevents someone from starting a thread: "Hey, I read X on your page and you rock!" I have done that myself several times. Second, as we have clearly seen, there seems to be something wrong with a structured list with the label "Guestbook" that causes certain people to go into a frenzy, which completely negates the whole reason to have people sign it (i.e. to indicate that the user page was read and appreciated). — It's dot com 16:11, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    How about this. If the guest book bannination is accepted. how about we give people with guest books 2-3 days to move to a sub page and have a sysop lock it. If they fail to do this, I think we should just delete the guest books that are left. And Has Matt?, I kinda think that that defeats the purpose of this vote. Rogue Leader / (my talk) 16:17, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    Yeah, we're way past the point of simply discouraging them. Also, if we permitted them on subpages at all, then we'd might as well just move them to a subpage for them. — It's dot com 16:25, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  2. My vote's with AbdiViklas's suggestion. — User:ACupOfCoffee@ 19:42, 23 January 2006 (UTC) EDIT: And by that, I mean the suggestion of "Restrict them to talk pages; one per user; and require input beyond signatures." — User:ACupOfCoffee@ 09:06, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
  3. I go for this option i'm voting for, but here's an idea: why not have a global hrwiki guestbook, for those of us that like to sign guestbooks? We lock all guestbooks except for this page where someone can sign their name in for the entire wiki? Strange I know but it just occurred to me. Another q: if guestbooks are totally deleted, yes they remain in the page's history... but what about guestbook subpages? (like the one that USED to be User:Kilroy/Guestbook)? Their histories are lost. Just like that last page I mentioned. --Stux 20:25, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
    Even though it might look deleted, it's not. The only things that are really deleted when it says deleted are images. If someone needed the code from one of those subpages (for example, to archive locally), it could be undeleted long enough to take care of it. — It's dot com 20:38, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
    Ohhhh! Tight paaants! That is good to know! :) --Stux 23:32, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Start a one-day race for everyone with a guestbook to amass the most names. At the end of the day, everyone's guestbooks are deleted, and the winner gets a nickel (via PayPal).
    1. Trey56 03:46, 23 January 2006 (UTC) Everybody wins: guestbook proponents get one last day of unbridled mayhem, and guestbook opponents get eternal relief from their patrolling woes.
      Better yet, winner gets $100. Supplied by Trey56 of course. :-P Thunderbird 04:10, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
      i think that's a great idea. i don't even have a guestbook, but i would like to sign some. Thatkidyoualllove 13:21, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

[edit] If the consensus is to end the practice and delete them altogether, when should that happen?

  • About ten days after the consensus is reached here, they should be deleted. A notice should be put up on the Recent Changes page and at the top of watchlists.It's dot com 00:26, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    1. It's dot com 00:26, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
      And the notices have been put up. Has Matt? (talk) 02:25, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
      (Notices of the current discussion, that is, not of deletion.) —AbdiViklas 02:29, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
      Right. Up there I meant that similar notices would be put up saying something like "Now would be a good time to archive that locally before it's gone" or something. — It's dot com 02:29, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
      Do you think you could put a notice on the Main Page as well, like we did for donations and NSMC? Has Matt? (talk) 02:56, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
      The thinking is probably that this is an issue that doesn't really concern IPs; if someone's a user they'll probably see it either on recent changes or when they log in (it's on the "successful login" page). —AbdiViklas 03:04, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
      Yeah, this isn't something we need to bother people with who are just here to read. — It's dot com 03:26, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
    2. Homsad 17:00, 22 January 2006
    3. Yeah, what counts as a guestbook? I mean, I have things like Favorite Sbemail, and the occasional poll. Bluebry 18:47, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
      Bluebry, polls are different than guestbooks. Many people have guestbooks, while not as many people have polls. Polls won't last forever, and aren't as annoying as guestbooks. Most people leave their guestbooks up forever. Polls are temporary. Now, people with two guesbooks, on the other hand, are more of our focus. *wink wink* teeeffoh! 18:51, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
      Yeah, Bluebry; see my comment near the end of the long Oppose section advocating the practice of Healthy Non-Guestbook Interaction Practices. Making good Peer-to-Talk page choices. —AbdiViklas 20:56, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
      Yeah, um, sorry for having TWO guestbooks. Ummm, yeah. Bluebry 18:54, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
      well, i think that it should be done in two weeks. that leaves users with plentiful time to get as much sigantures as possible.
      One week is plenty. Rogue Leader / (my talk) 21:15, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

[edit] Original discussion

This disscussion was originally found in HRWiki:Da Basement

Guestbooks started out as kinda cute. Then they became a fad. Now it seems that everybody's user pages are being edited by other people. I remember a time when such a thing was vandalism nine times out of ten. Having guestbooks is really becoming a nuisance for recent changes. I think we should do away with them. I don't even think moving them to a subpage is a good idea, because it seems most people just go around blindly signing them, without actually reading the page in question. I would prefer, if someone had read my user page, that they just made some kind of meaningful comment on my talk page. — It's dot com 04:24, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

I am going to have to say that I agree. At the very least, all current guestbooks need to be moved to a subpage. Guestbooks now are just for signing them, not to show that someone reads a guestbook owners userpage. Rogue Leader / (my talk) 04:27, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
I concur with Ben on all counts. -- Tom 04:30, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Yessir. It's Dot Com hit the nail on the head. —FireBird|Talk 04:33, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, you guys are probably right. I have to admit, I'm also guilty of owning a guestbook, but if that's what it takes to do away with this pointless fad, I'll give a vote towards getting rid of all guestbooks, including my own. Thunderbird 04:50, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
I like signing guestbooks. I don't have one but I like signing them. About 75% of the time I do end up reading the page in question too! I hope I'm not the exception. Perhaps they can be restricted to the user's talk page? --Stux 05:02, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
EDIT CONFLICT:Agreed with everybody. Signing a guestbook doesn't say that you like that page, or that you enjoyed what they wrote. I agree with Dot com, leave a message with some thought if you want to say that you liked a user page, not put your sig on their userpage. I don't think guestbooks are bad, they're just pointless.--minibaseball.png Bkmlb(talk to me·stuff I did) 05:03, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
When we come to a point when (and I don't want to name names) there are two or three different guestbooks on the same userpage for no reason at all, or that there's a "guestbook race" where users race to see who could sign it first, or even when a user picks up a deadline for getting X signatures before a certian date, it's time to get rid of that fad. I hate seeing users who have more then 500 userpage and usertalk edits, but less then 20 mainspace edits. Elcool (talk)(contribs) 07:37, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Stux: That wouldn't make a difference. It's not about where it is, it's the fact that it clutters Recent Changes up and makes patrolling edits a nightmare. —FireBird|Talk 07:41, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
I agree, although guilty of signing a few. It's become not only a fad, but a competition. Who can sign the most guestbooks, who can sign the fastest, whose is longer, who can reach the most by such and such date--even who has the most. I personally wouldn't mind seeing them go. --DorianGray
That page made me agree with getting rid of them. In fact, I'm gonna go get rid of mine right now. — User:ACupOfCoffee@ 03:50, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
{sigh} It's sad it got to this point. It's really kind of like The Geddup Noise, isn't it? We've gone from "Guestbooks used to be cool!" to "Corporate Guestbooks still suck". I hate the thought of them being banned, but it probably has gotten to that point. I'll support it. Heimstern Läufer 04:01, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
Guestbooks are dying with their original creator, Bubsty. I'm taking mine out too. DBK! 04:13, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure exactly who started the fad, but my money's on Smileyface11945. Both his and my guestbooks predate that of Bubsty's. Still, I think Bubsty ammased the most sigs, and I belive it was his' that influenced the inordanant influx of guestbooks. Thunderbird 05:24, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
His is gone. 23:44, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
Also, Bubsty never started guestbooks. He said he got it from RJMT somewhere. 23:48, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, I just meantioned that. His' is still around, just not really linked to much. And RJMT's guestbook only goes back to Novermber 9th, which still post-dates both mine and Smiley's. Thunderbird 00:38, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
I think this is an interesting point... --DorianGray
Heh. That is interesting. But guestbooks clearly died out at some point (perhaps when we switched to MediaWiki), and have only recently resurged. — It's dot com 01:02, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
Yeah. I'm not sure if anybody remembered his or not to start the MediaWiki generation of Guestbooks, but that's beside the point. We're getting a bit off topic now (mostly my fault). The question isn't who started them, it's should we keep them, and/or what should we do about them? Thunderbird 01:05, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Dot com. (I know, I left, but I was finishing this killerdynamo and admin-hating thing up...) About 2-3 weeks ago they weren't that big of a deal, but now it's gotten kinda... insane. Especially if everyone starts getting more then one. They started out being cute, but now they're just plain annoying. (I feel kinda bad though, seeing as a lot of users see mine and think "Oh cool! I want one!"). I'm taking mine off. — talk Bubsty edits 05:47, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

This is an archive of the original discussion.

[edit] Litigation Jackson strikes again!

are peoples still allowed to have guestbooks on the fanstuff wiki? --NERD42  email  talk   h²g²  pedia  uncyc  00:55, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

The fanstuff is a much more informal environment (I mean, you can make up your own Strong Bad Email if you want), so yes, if they don't have a problem with it there (and as long as it doesn't interfere here somehow), then it's fine. — It's dot com 03:04, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
As of right now, the Fanstuff Wiki has no problems with guestbooks. (Heck, I don't even think there are any on it yet.) So there's no problem there... - Joshua 18:52, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
Well then all the complaining can stop as of now. All people have to do is link to their page on the fanstuff wiki, and keep their guestbook there. :) --NERD42  email  talk   h²g²  pedia  uncyc  03:37, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

[edit] needs "protected" template

Shouldn't this page have the mprotect template on it since it's been protected? — User:ACupOfCoffee@ 02:59, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

No. Not all pages need them. It would just be a distraction. Nobody really needs to edit it, anyway. HRWiki:Guestbooks, that is. —BazookaJoe 03:01, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
Also, it'd be the vprotected template anyway. --DorianGray

[edit] Guestbook replacement activities

I've made the following points elsewhere on this page, but since they kind of get lost in there, and I think this might be helpful for users who had been in favor of guestbooks, I'm giving them more prominence here.
In the arguments for guestbooks, several users pointed out things that guestbooks were good for. Even post-guestbooks, I'd like to point out that there are still ways to fill the same functions; in fact, I'd suggest that these practices fill them much better than guestbooks ever did. So: a crash course in Healthy Peer-2-Teen Guestbook-Alternative Choices!

  1. "Guestbooks made friends; they helped break the ice and gave you an excuse to make contact with someone you might not otherwise." Replacement: It's part of the wiki philosophy—"be bold"! There's no rule against editing strangers' talk pages; to make it more meaningful you could comment about their userpage or some edit you saw them make on an article. Some examples: (1), (2), (3). Note that it's not alright, though, to simply post the same message on a bunch of different people's talk pages, even a "hi" message; that's spam. Personalize it!
  2. "Guestbooks were a way to get people to edit your userspace." Let's face it: unless you advertise in some way, people will typically only sign your User talk when some issue comes up. First of all, that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Most of our interaction should be on article talk pages anyway, talking about things that matter to the articles. But if you're missing the love... Replacement: Many users have come up with other creative ways to get people's input into their userspace. Many have "interactive" features on their user page that give you riddles or puzzles to solve, or invite you to contribute an idea of some sort. A great example is Heimstern Läufer's periodically-renewed competition to translate a German H*R quote. Tony Stony's Frankenpic is also a good example, since it required actually thinking and maybe researching its elements. A good feature would be 1) H*R-related, 2) calculated to get in-depth, thoughtful answers (something that can't be responded to in 5 seconds or 5 words), and 3) fun! Keep in mind: To prevent the same recent-changes problems that were associated with guestbooks, responses to the feature (or the feature itself) should be directed to your User talk page, not your User page (so that you'll be the only one editting the latter).
  3. "Signing guestbooks helped you get noticed." True, it got your signature onto a page and your name into recent changes. But—Replacement—contributing to an article's talk page does too! Remember: this guestbook decision and its discussion highlighted beliefs about what this wiki should be and what it should be for. Officially, it's supposed to be a place where the average schmo can go to find information about Homestar Runner. It is also a place where H*R fans can have fun and enjoy a community of shared interest, but that purpose is secondary and takes a back seat to the first one. (As has been pointed out often, there are the forum and the fanstuff wiki—as well as other fansites—where these are primary purposes.) This means that the best way to get noticed—"best" as in "goodest" and "best" as in most effective—is to edit articles and talk about them on their discussion pages. (After all, even the most popular userpages don't get seen nearly as much as the latest email's page!)

In conclusion: The end of guestbooks doesn't have to mean the end of friendship, interaction, and fun: it can actually mean even more of each! Be creative, be bold, and have a Guestbook Replacement Bar and a sensible dinner. —AbdiViklas 02:44, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

(note: this comment originally followed section 2 above) Don't forget Bluebry muffin's "add your own" and vote sections. I think other peoples might have em too. SaltyTalk! 03:48, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
Indeed, and there are many more. I picked those two in particular, though because they required slightly more in response (as opposed to polls) and were very H*R-related (as opposed to hidden-link Easter-egg hunts)—and because they recieve their responses on the talk page instead of the user page. No offense intended to the Honorable Muffin, though, or to any users with polls or egg hunts; they aren't a bad thing. —AbdiViklas 22:11, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
Please note that you should not encourage people to edit your user page, for any reason. If you want to make a page of activities at a corresponding user page on the Fanstuff and link to it, then that's perfectly fine. Also, our forum is full of people who want to chat, and there is even a games section. I recommend that you check out both of those places. — It's dot com 00:47, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
I don't like the guestbook replacement activities. They are really just guestbooks incognito. I managed to build friendship on the wiki without these guestbooks. If you really miss your guestbook, than I recommend that you go to the forum or Fanstuff. Rogue Leader / (my talk) 01:05, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
I really like the option of having guestbook activities. These communities are different enough that this wiki doesn't need to be so cut-and-dry about certain things. --Stux 01:09, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
In response to Rogue: I think I understand your point, and would like to remind everyone that the above suggestions are by no means required or even necessarily encouraged; I've never had a "feature" type feature and don't particularly plan to. However, without completely rehashing the entire above page, it seems to me that the problems with guestbooks were either that they made userpage vandalism harder to spot or that they failed to function meaningfully as guestbooks. The debate also highlighted some discrepencies among users' beliefs about how much activity unrelated to the content articles should take place on the wiki. I don't want to put words in your mouth, but it sounds like you're hinting at a "we're here to work, other resources exist for play" stance. My response to that is going to be a little too long to be relevent on this page, so I'll elaborate on my talk page, but summarize it here: yes, the wiki's job is "giving the wiki," and non-productive activity that threatens that purpose should be curtailed (as just happened here)—but my inclination is to let what doesn't threaten remain—and I argue that much that would seem non-productive does in fact have redeeming value. But, returning to the "replacements" above: I'd ask that you examine them again closely. Of the three, the second one is certainly the most guestbook-like and the one I wouldn't emphatically encourage. The first one, however, seems to me fairly uncontroversial; if there's no room for simply being friendly, I would imagine the wiki's work would in fact suffer. And the third point I would hope is undisputed, as an exhortation to simply get into the work of the wiki. Together they're offered as a recognition that the users who expressed needs that guestbooks filled were not simply making these desires up, and although they might not be needs that some users have ever felt (you pointed out you made friends without the aid of an "icebreaker"), I felt they weren't invalid or irrelevent. —AbdiViklas 02:59, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

[edit] Still Needs protection?

Looking at this page I just realized, since it's been a year since the original storm, I don't think this page needs to be protected any more. Even if it won't be edited, our precedent has been to use the least amount of protection necessary. --Stux 22:06, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

Sounds good. Done. — It's dot com 22:15, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
Cool! Thanks! --Stux 22:33, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
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