<SMB> Welcome, 'Shroomers! This is SMB coming to you... Well, the interview is live right now, but when you read it it won't be. x_X So for this interview, the interviewee is... Bean! Say hello to everybody, Bean!
<SMB> So, tell me Bean, when did you join the MarioWiki?
<Bean> I joined on February 12, 2007.
<SMB> Oh cool. February is one of my favorite months. :P What was the community like when you joined, and what was it like compared the modern community? Although you aren't too active on the wiki nowadays, you are still around in chat and such.
<Bean> Well, it was moderately active, there was the occasional troll, but they would be blocked within minutes, after all warnings were ignored, of course. I do recall almost being blocked by Knife and Paper Jorge, who thought I was a sockpuppet of my brother. I had edited his page on my account per his request. After that, Porplemontage made it so other users couldn't edit one's page. It was a humble, good-humored community. Users such as 3Dejong and Aipom were recognized throughout the wiki, for their comics and good humor. I remember Wayoshi was still a sysop, and he was revered for his skills at wiki coding. It's changed a lot since then. Most of those users have left, and now we leave the contributing to the younger users. At that time, many new Nintendo games were being released, such as Super Paper Mario, and loads of contributing needed to be done.
<SMB> I see. It sounds like everything was pretty nice and relatively calm. Trolling has certainly increased from the "occasional troll." We actually have admins blocking almost every day, whether it be due to trolling or sockpuppeting or whatnot. Did trolling ever become a major problem throughout your time on the wiki?
<Bean> Yes. There was one particular user whose main handle was Peachycakes. She would oftentimes create the "Super Princess Daisy" article, claiming that it was going to be released. When we didn't believe her, she would assert that her father was a developer at Nintendo, and that they were working on a game for Daisy. There was another troll that some of you may know of. His name was Willy on Wheels. He wouldn't contribute spam, per se, but would create tens of hundreds of sockpuppets in an hour. This also happened on Wikipedia. Naturally, his IP address was blocked, but he'd return every few months or so. There were also times when users would become angry with the community, and begin trolling, whether they made sockpuppets, hacked into the main page, or threatened to mass-delete articles. This was how the "Willy Event" started. Most of those events occurred in the original chatroom, and as far as I know, no one logged it. It was a rather shocking event, to be honest. A guest would come in and paste in disturbingly inappropriate paragraphs, and to add to that, the font was bold red. They would proceed to quit after that, leaving those without the ability to read IPs unable to kick/ban them. A few months later, the culprit came out, and that led to a little depression in the wiki. It made some of us distrustful, and we now started using chatroom clients with the ability to track IP addresses.
<SMB> Ah yes, I heard of these events.
<SMB> Didn't "Willy on Wheels" try to marry you once? I may be mixing up people here, though. x_X
<Bean> Not Willy, but Wayoshi, who pretended to be Willy in the chatroom. He even made the main page so that it had a "wedding announcement", along with shocker pictures from around the internet that had rule 34 written all over them.
<SMB> ...Oh wow. That sounds rather interesting. Wayoshi eventually admitted to all of this after a while, and resigned. What was your reaction to this... uh... "arranged marriage" and how did you feel when he resigned?
<Bean> Well, being just a kid in elementary school, and having seen all of those extremely inappropriate photos, I was really shocked and felt incapacitated for a while. When he admitted it, I decided to forgive him immediately, because I knew I couldn't really change what had come to past. Fortunately, he hid the revision of his hacked version of the main page. I felt a bit sad when he resigned. I knew that he was great at contributing and fighting off trolls from harming the wiki and its users. At that time he was under a lot of pressure, because he had been promoted to Bureaucrat, and he started to become very grumpy and stressed, leading up to the events that occurred in Chat.
<SMB> I see. I'm actually of a similar opinion. I actually asked him to step down from leading the awards due to his lack of involvement with the process and such (and because he was too busy to really deal with it properly). This eventually somehow lead to a coup lead which put Ralphfan in charge... However, I will always admire what he has done for the wiki (without a doubt, we probably wouldn't be where we are without him) and he deserves respect for where he has brought us.
<SMB> I also want to put myself on better terms with him, because I'm not sure if we're on exactly good terms since I asked him to step down. :/
<Bean> Hmm. :/ Well, I talked to him a few weeks ago. He had come on Paperchat, and seemed to be doing fine.
<SMB> Oh, okay. I'm glad to here that he's okay. I had sent him an e-mail a while ago, and he hadn't responded. So I'll see if I can't talk to him one of these days and (hopefully) clear things up...
<Bean> Ah. I'm sure you can contact him on AIM; he's usually online there...
<SMB> Alright. I actually think Plumber told me this as well (I should remember these things x_x).. But yes, anyway, Wayoshi had resigned. What was the overall mood of the wiki after this had happened? Obviously, no matter what the mood was at this time, the wiki moved on anyway and Wayoshi eventually became a sysop later on. Were you happy when he had became a sysop again?
<Bean> I suppose. He had changed since the Willy Event. He was more quiet on the wiki and mostly fixed templates or other things like that. People still didn't trust him as much as they used to, even when he tried to make a change.
<SMB> Hm... Even though he didn't have as much trust as he did the first time he was sysop, he certainly gained a following... Several people supported his coming back to power, and even Porple allowed him to rejoin the administrative team despite of what happened.
<SMB> So he must have certainly made some impressive changes during this time.
<Bean> Yes, he apologized to everyone, and made a promise to never do anything like that again.
<Bean> It was a really big turnaround, though some were unwilling to forgive him, he slowly but surely gained his respect back
<SMB> Yes. Anywho, I suppose I'll just change the focus of the interview to another topic, if you're okay with it: The 'Shroom.
<Bean> Okay :)
<SMB> When did you start writing for the paper?
<SMB> And what section? :O
<Bean> I started writing for the 'Shroom in the fall of 2007. I hosted the Trivia section of the paper, which gave out facts from Nintendo's games and their development history.
<SMB> Oh! I actually think I remember seeing your sections when browsing through archives of the paper a while ago. :P But yes, you had started writing in Fall 2007. Later that year (for one issue) you became the Editor-in-Chief. The issue after that, the position was abolished, which is also the last issue that Plumber directed. What was it like being EIC?
<Bean> Well, Plumber was mostly in charge of getting each section and proofreading it, so I wasn't able to do much. In fact, he didn't tell me he had appointed me as EIC for a long time, and when I had found out, the position was abolished soon after.
<SMB> Heh. What is your opinion on the position's usefulness? The position was actually brought back 2 years after it had been abolished (it was gone from December 2007 to December 2009, which it returned with Yoshario at the post).
<Bean> Well, it's always helpful to have someone looking over each section to make sure everything is proofread and clean, so it's a good position to keep.
<SMB> Alright. Did you write any other sections for The 'Shroom?
<Bean> No, I only wrote for Trivia.
<SMB> Alright. And for how long?
<Bean> From Issue VII to Issue X.
<SMB> Ah. What was The 'Shroom like during this period of time?
<Bean> It was pretty well-known and read often by a vast majority of the users. There were times when one would be unable to turn in their section, but we gave some leeway to them and would add that section once it was ready.
<Bean> But it was something to look forward to reading each month.
<SMB> Do you think it was different from how it is now? We have a few systems in place which make t a bit more strict, but this is after many users started plagiarizing, submitting sections in extremely late almost every issue, etc.. Do you think the strictness of the paper will ultimately prove to be effective in making the paper better?
<Bean> Yes, it was quite different. Making the guidelines for submitting will certainly help the paper in the long-run. Instead of plagiarism, I hope that people will take their sections and make them more creative and original.
<SMB> Yeah. Speaking of systems and such, there is a Director Election coming with the December issue. What is your opinion on the election system? Do you feel there were any other practical options?
<Bean> Well, I think having a democratic system of choosing the Director is good. I mean, if it's the readers who elect, then they will choose someone who they feel will contribute to the 'Shroom and live up to its reputation. Perhaps the new director will bring something new to the paper each month, and that will hopefully attract new readers.
<SMB> Yeah, I completely agree. Having run in the 2009 Election, even though I lost, it was also a fun event and a wonderful experience. It also prevents forever-lasting takeovers that could potentially ruin the project and gives a reflection of the community.
<Bean> I agree. There's always room for change, and it's never good to have a takeover or a corrupt director. I hope that never happens.
<SMB> Indeed. Throughout the years, the elections have changed slightly. For example, a new iconic feature of the election introduced last year was a debate. The staff plans on hosting another one (probably even more) again this year. Do you feel advances such as these have improved the election system?
<Bean> A debate? Well, to be quite honest, I'm not sure how that would contribute to the election system. It makes the paper seem like a political vice. I think it would be more helpful if each candidate would make a statement of how they would contribute to the paper, and what new things they would bring.
<SMB> Oh, we actually do that too.
<Bean> Ah. Well, I have a question. What exactly did they debate over?
<SMB> We debate over general 'Shroom issues. I would actually venture to say it's not as much of a debate as much as it's like a debate-Q&A hybrid. Users pose questions to the candidates, and the candidates answer. If a candidate disagrees with another, they go into a bit of a mini-debate until it is time to go on. There is a user in charge of moderating the debate and keeping control over the crowd as well. I'd say it's kind of like an informal debate
<SMB> It's less political and also helps share ideas for whoever wins the election.
<Bean> Oh, I see. Well in that case, it's pretty helpful.
<SMB> Alright. Hm... The candidates for this upcoming election have been projected to be Marioguy1, Ralphfan, and me. Do you feel you'd support any of these candidates specifically? Also, what advice would you have for the potential candidates?
<Bean> Well, I don't have any preference over which candidate should win, as long as they uphold the paper's standards. My advice for them is that they remain humble if they are elected, and if not, then that they don't try to get back at the winning candidate. Also, I think it would be helpful if there was some sort of survey or comment section, so that readers may suggest new ideas for the paper.
<SMB> Hm... That is a pretty good suggestion (I think we've tried it before, and it was good, but we didn't stay consistent). Also, the three candidates are actually pretty good friends, so I don't really think that any of us will try to get revenge on one another. ;)
<SMB> Well, that's about all the time we have, Bean, so thanks for letting me interview you! And that's a wrap.