The 'Shroom:Issue LIII/Interview
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Interviewby Super Mario Bros. (talk)
Hello 'Shroom readers, SMB here. New Super Mario (talk) had to quit for certain reasons, so I decided to carry out an interview (that I was hoping to get done almost a year ago) with RAP!
So without further ado, here is the interview. It should provide good insight into RAP's history as a user and provide some good opinions on things that have happened throughout the wiki's history.
- SMB: Hello, 'Shroom readers! Today our interview will be with the one, the only... RAP! A user with a long history in our community, RAP has played a role in many community functions... the wiki itself, The 'Shroom, NIWA, Awards, and much, much more. I will be asking him questions about his long history here to get a look into his experiences and to see how the community has changed over the years. How are you today, RAP?
- RAP: Dandy as a flipping flower sitting in the dirt! (laughs) I'm doing good today, I woke up a bit earlier and I'm well rested.
- SMB: Awesome, glad to hear! So, tell me, RAP: you joined the Super Mario Wiki on January 27th, 2007. That's about four and a half years ago! What was the wiki like when you joined? How did you come across the wiki, and what were some of your first contributions to the site?
- RAP: I first came to this very wiki by accident, I was throwing a bunch of ideas and partipicated in the continuing development of a fan game that has been played for years - Super Mario War; it was during the time the community was thriving. I simply typed "www.mariowiki.com" and bam, I came across to that wiki. When I saw the main page, first reaction - "How come it lacks some kind of cool looking, attractive main page?" I suppose the wiki is still developing and stuff. For creating an account, it was one of the very first times I attempted to face myself amongst hundreds and hundreds of annoymous faces, even if I didn't have that MUCH internet experience - you know, getting used to flaming, cynicalism, and such; and even I don't have that mindset. I was actually shivering...it's like...you're really going to a different world apart from where you live per say. Did you ever felt like that when you come into the internet SMB?
- SMB: I actually forget, to be honest. My memory isn't... I suppose you could say really too great, but I do remember sitting in my livingroom with my sister on that night in March 2008. I just spammed my page and stuff and left. x_X But do go on.
- RAP: Ah. Spamming on your userpage? Silly SMB! For my first contributions, according to my "Contributions" - first one is the Game Guy Space article...and it was also my first article created. Take a hellaload of seeing this. Just to note: I don't even know what is a wiki, or have any wiki experience. Compare the very first edit on that article to today's article. Man...it sure evolved! Why that very first edit? It was during the time that my mindset is "Mario Party" all the time. (laughs) And seeing that wiki lacks the coverage for that, I figured that I go ahead and tackled that coverage for the next couple of years. Mario Party...the main core of it is mini-games. 8D Or is it the sweet core? I dunno. (laughs again)
- SMB: Ha. Yes, so that was just the beginning, wasn't it? Just a few months after your joining, you were promoted to Sysop on April 8th, 2007. What did you do in those months leading up to your promotion, in addition to the Mario Party article work you had done?
- RAP: I mainly did more Mario Party articles, particularly those mini-game articles! Those group of pieces increased the article count for the wiki. And after that, I started contributing more in the image area by uploading some images that are begging to be shown in the wiki, common or rare. For it's earliest times, it was a great perk of mine and I had the advantage to go forward. And hmmm... I think there's one more thing that REALLY put me into the map of being a staff member of the Super Mario Wiki... Oh yes! Licensing! Lots, and lots of licensing! Man it was a ton full! I actually had to license anywhere from 750 - 1,500 images in that time. With some guidance and help from dear ol' Knife (see this link for example). Just man...it was crazy, but I did it.
- SMB: Glad to hear. Somebody needed to get it done, and you were the one who took up the challenge. But meanwhile, around the time of your promotion, you began writing the Entertainment Section of The 'Shroom, starting with Issue IV (released on April 5th, 2007). How did you get involved in The 'Shroom at that point in your wiki history? What was it like to write during this time?
- RAP: I actually don't know how I got into the Shroom...hmm...maybe Wayoshi suggested I should join? Looking that section I wrote in the first time, just wow. My attempt on covering anything entertainment regarding the Mario series is half-decent. It was during when I was still perfecting the English language, and that year in 2007 is where I improved this skill very greatly. Of course, I think that showed up in later articles I wrote, and later Shroom issues.
- SMB: Alright. I also just remembered something- you joined the forum on March 11th, 2007. What did you do over there on the forum during this time in the community?
- RAP: Nooooooooow that's the part where I don't know what the flip happened. As I recall per say, I didn't socialize very much there, therfore, most of the time I ignored it. The chatroom? Yeah, I hanged that thing out more. XP It was when it was unregluated by the acursed-- I MEAN the beloved moderators. (laughs) Me, and Plumber (which I marked his leagcy with the nickname - PLUMs) hanged out there and spammed the hell outta it. (laughs) Good times.
- SMB: Heh. Sounds like fun times indeed. What exactly was also going on in the community during your first few months? I see mentions of the Wiki Alliance and things like from records back from that time- did you participate in the 2007 Wiki Alliance DKWiki or WarioWiki? I understand it was shut down sometime in early- or mid-2007, so you obviously did not stay too long, if at all.
- RAP: To tell you the truth, I never heard of that going on before back then. I thought those two wikis are complete seperate bodies! BOMB that damn question! XD (not literally!)
- SMB: Haha. Alright. So the wiki was fun, and you did quite a few things around the community. August rolls around, and you participated in the first Awards Ceremony. What was this time in the community like? I also understand you were in the Awards Committee. What was it like being in the Awards Committee in 2007? Was planning the ceremony and everything significantly different from how it works now?
- RAP: I was actually one of the first people to hear the details of the MarioWiki Awards from Wayoshi BEFORE it was annonuced. With enough people in the community to join in the fun, there is potential into this. I saved a script of this chatter but it got lost. ;( For my partipication for the Awards Committee, I suggested the idea for a Favorite Soundtrack - because dude, a video game wouldn't be rememorable without some good, fresh tunes that we can remember easily and cherish it by listening it over, and over again! That thing got accepted...the very first award! I squealed with happiness! The community during that chatroom was smooth sailing, it was a first and so far it was going well. As for the plannings and stuff, don't think the process is too different, but it's definitely a lot more stricter now than I imagined. In fact, I remember that Girrrtacos (as I quoted "The greatest MarioWiki hacker ever!") attempted to make a series of videos for the MarioWiki Awards for ol'Wayoshi...until it got jacked and decided it should be made into some movie. And there goes the raging Wayoshi! It's like someone spilled his Wayonaise and decided - one very, very tiny piece of dust would enrage him. That's how it got strict somehow...mannnnn. As of today, I don't know if Girrrtacos accomplished that task. My gut says he said "Screw it", and that's because he was busy with RL (real life) stuff.
- SMB: Yeah, I think I remember that... But yes, the Awards were a hit, and the year also comes to an end: say hello to 2008, a year of many happenings. And to pretty much kick off with a big event in your wiki history, January 25th, 2008: RAP becomes a Bureaucrat. How did you feel about this? Being involved in the community and carrying out the work you did, it's understandable why Porple promoted you.
- RAP: All I can say is "WUUUUUUUUUUUUUTT?" I pushed along with the power of maintenance so that the wiki runs more more smoothly, and find out ways to make sure that the ball's rolling with some new ideas going on board.
- SMB: Ah. Many things were soon to follow. Userpedia, founded in the previous year, would actually rise up in 2008. What was your opinion on Userpedia during its rise to popularity? It grew so much, even Wayoshi agreed to let the Userpedia Awards take place during the Awards (one of the users that resents Userpedia the most even had to acknowledge the rise of Userpedia). Were you active on Userpedia during 2008?
- RAP: I am not very much involved in Userpedia matters at all. My position on the thoughts of that wiki...not much; I can say that it's a fun dumping ground for all the fan content to be shown (from comics, to fanfics, to pics?), and yet - it is also some kind of history book that tries to remember everything that happened in the MarioWiki community, and anything related to it - from users, to events, to wikis. My only good contribution is that I compressed those PNG images and rearranged some of the sprite sheets to make it so it saves space, and compresses more.
- SMB: Ah, alright. So you pretty much focused on the Super Mario Wiki throughout 2008: what did you do on the wiki during the range of time from your promotion to about August of that year? I know the Awards Committee was one thing you participated in again, as well as maintenance work and The 'Shroom. But what else did you do during this period of time?
- RAP: Hmmm... I periodically updated those eight big lists: Games, Characters, Places, Items, Species, Allies, Enemies, and Special Moves. I think it could've been more automated by just using the categories itself, rather than just having a manual list. Oh well...maybe a proposal will do? I also attempted to update the templates to make it look similar to Wikipedia, but still retain it's color; and look more professional. Take a look at this. If people took on this, it would look nice, and professional for the wiki. Hmmm, what else...category reogranization, image compressing (a major perk in the wiki), and plainly more maintenance. Personal image handling, even userpage cleanup...I think that's it. The interview getting too long? XD
- SMB: Nope, not too long at all. :P I still have a few more planned questions. And from your response to my earlier question, it sounds like you had a lot to do. So come November, and I notice the beginning of what I have observed was a rough time for the wiki... In November, Userpedia crashed. Come December, and Wayoshi threatens to use NukeDPL on the wiki. The 'Shroom was suggested to have shut down. The list of things that happened at the end of 2008 and in the beginning of 2009 goes on.
- RAP: Userpedia - sad to see that data go poof. I don't think even over half of the content is restored. In fact, before Userpedia just got shot due to the Scribblewiki servers dying in a fire, I first created a comic called "RAP's Crazy Adventures" during my time as a crat. It was the first comic that consists of my handmade drawings; particuarly the time that I try to get hang around the stuff as possible. The first issue I have would be VERY long, in fact - it would probably 50 pages worth of it, and I only did about 20 of them before I abandoned it because it was damn long. XD As for Wayoshi attempting to bomb MarioWiki - I felt indifferent for some reason. Oh well! Porple would have recovered it ASAP. XD The Shroom - there was a time that I resigned from contributing, and then came back again - now covering NIWA News due to the fact that my main focus in NIWA, and the NintendoWiki (NWiki for short!) So I'm not sure how to react to that...I probably didn't hear it enough.
- SMB: Alright. Moving along, 2009 is on the horizon. Although you are not a Bureaucrat anymore at this time, you still are a Sysop, and are contributing hardcore to the Super Mario Wiki. I know for a fact you did a lot of category work and the big lists work from 2008, and it carried over into 2009. What else did you do?
- RAP: I hit big on contributing on the Merchandise article a lot. Sooooooooooooo beautiful! I worked on this one at various points of the time, regardless if I'm a user, a sysop, or a crat. I still managed to help it grow somehow. x3 What else... I also did big on this article. Also worked on it periodically, when I first attempted to tackle it - it was radically different than today. See this for instance. Looking it now, I realized that it SHOULD'VE BEEN integerated into the game articles, instead of just having a list; and it should've have uploaded video files in the form of ".ogg". And maybe other reference articles as well, but that's for another time.
- SMB: Yeah. Also during 2009, the compressing of images you carried out over at Userpedia gained you a promotion on that wiki to Patroller on April 20th, 2009. You were even considered for Sysop, if I've researched correctly, but in the end, you were demoted on September 15th, 2009 due to inactivity. So what happened? Was it mostly just a short-term stay at Userpedia you had in mind?
- RAP: I wasn't too invested in attempting to maintain Userpedia's operations. It felt more like a place where users from MarioWiki can hang out and chill instead of worrying about the stuff back there (aside from the peoples' thoughts between MarioWiki, and Userpedia). It wasn't very fun for me IMO. But opinions are opinions, and decisions are indeed decisions. Investing more time into MarioWiki will help on the long-term to breed new users.
- SMB: Alright. So 2009, just as 2008 was, a mostly MarioWiki-focused year for you again. You also didn't do much with The 'Shroom during this year if at all, and you also were sure to invest time into the Awards Committee again (as you have been able to do every year). So 2010 has rolled around, and I feel this is probably a busy year for you. In addition to all of the work you did for the Super Mario Wiki, NIWA was also thrown in the mix at this point. Or late 2009, I honestly forget.
- RAP: The mixing bowl continues to work its charm! (laughs)
- SMB: Ha. But you got pretty involved with NIWA and still are to this day. You became the leader of one of NIWA's first in-house projects: Nintendo Wiki. After your demotion on the Super Mario Wiki from Sysop on July 25th, 2010, you also ended up becoming a Global Moderator at the NIWA forum, while still investing time into editing at the MarioWiki (which earned you Autopatrol editing status).
- RAP: Autopatrol! Not too many were given out. They gave it to me because of my experience correct?
- SMB: Pretty much. On August 27th, 2010 (I forgot to mention the date above), you were given Autopatrol status for your experience and the good edits you made on the wiki.
- RAP: Over the years. x3
- SMB: Also, something I forgot to mention, NIWA also brought you back to The 'Shroom: Issue XLI (released on August 15th, 2010) was the debut of NIWA News, written by RAP!
- RAP: Yes, it's because Tucayo stopped making coverage for the NIWA. Sad to hear that, pray for the best Tucayo...with ponies!
- SMB: Haha, but yes, I'd argue overall that you've had quite a spot of success over at NIWA. You've become an instrumental figure in their affairs, and I feel that you're doing a great job. But to come back to one last topic before our interview comes to a close: after a period of inactivity, you've recently returned to the Super Mario Wiki with loads of edits. Does the activity pretty much depend on school and stuff? In other words, what does the future hold? Should we expect to see more edits from you in the upcoming months? Or will school starting soon dip into possibly activity on the porjects you participate in? (Happens to me every time school starts. x_X)
- RAP: School and real life situations unfortunately plays a role in my life. It's not just me, its other peoples' lives for those who are still sticking to education. Balance is tricky between keeping your body up for tons, and tons of edits - to the essential focus on education. Infact, I'm still in summer school, but thankfully it's the last week (interview was conducted on 7/26/11). However, due to that - my attempts to work on NintendoWiki have been cut by half, and NIWA as well. As for MarioWiki, I'm sure that I'll come back and edit some more. The very reason I made my contributions by uploading images last week is that I'm clearing out my MarioWiki full of unused images. Still need to clear the damn thing out! XD So while my presence will be in NIWA, and NintendoWiki - there is certainly no denying that I will intend to contibute to MarioWiki as much as I can...because it is the first wiki that I have partipicated in. I may not go there much, but I love to see it develop more. The ups and downs reflected me on how I act there. Good and bad, WTF and uglyness aside - tis the crazyness that fully makes its personality bearing.
- SMB: Haha, alright. Glad to hear you intend to continue contributing. Through thick and thin, I feel that your heart will be in the projects you've devoted your time to, and it's great to see that. So to wrap this up, I thank you for allowing me to interview you, RAP. Do you have any last comments for the readers?
- RAP: Well ladies and gentlemen. I'm sure you guys have heard about me once or twice, or even contacted me before - hear stuff about me from a positive, or negative view. Maybe I made a bigger impact than anyone else...or not. But regardless, I have made a mark on the community of MarioWiki, and I encourage you users new and old to make a mark as well; take on a big project, cover a topic that's underrepesented in the wiki, fix a bunch of mistakes, upload images, partipicate in proposals, and so on. I'm sure there are a variety of ways that users will contribute to MarioWiki. I hope the wiki will grow more larger, and maybe, just maybe, take on Bulbapedia just for laughs. If you guys don't know, I'm the creator and owner of the NintendoWiki. I have some news regarding this: while my time primarily focused on summer school, over the many months I've been working on some kind of archive project that will help stablize, and make the wiki grow. I can't tell you all the details, but it's coming soon! So while you may think the wiki is empty, I suggest you guys help out and contibute in NintendoWiki. Also, there's going to be a dedicated Nintendo Wiki board opening into the public soon! I just need to clear some stuff in the NIWA forums. Please join in and partipicate! But I would like to end with this, in the immortal words of Pinkie Pie: "...and that's how Equestria was made!"