Throughout the week at work I thought about doing a blog post here. I haven't posted on my LJ since November and I honestly haven't felt much of an urge to post there even now, yet there are still some things I want to get off my chest. It's been a rough few months for me; April especially. For those who don't know, I work full-time with the IRS now as a clerk. Much as I'd like to tool around here during my breaks, most wiki sites and public areas are blocked from my computer at work. Oddly enough, Bulbapedia and the Bulbagarden forums are still accessable, so I spend a lot of my time there as well as writing my giant fanfic while direly needs an update.
Anyway, I've gone through some tough times both at work and online. It's made me feel a bit detached from the 'net; I use places like these to escape the strife real life brings me, but if I'm being trashed online as well, then there's really no place for me to turn to. Thankfully, a lot of you guys here have treated me very well. I was a bit discouraged with some comments I saw with users wanting my beaurocrat status removed due to my lack of consistent activity, saying that I haven't done all that much for the wiki. That did honestly hurt my feelings, because I've put tons of work into TDW. The TDW logo? I was the one who came up with the design (someone obviously improved on it, but that's fine). I contributed tons of images to this site; I was the first one who used the character stock art for everyone's profiles, and back then the stock art was not at all accessable, so I had to actually go into Teletoon's site, zoom in on each character (all of them were moving, which made this especially difficult), and printscreen parts of them to put together manually. Naturally, since the characters were constantly in motion, the parts often didn't line up right, I had to rectify that manually as well with my own vectoring. It was hard work putting together those models, so needless to say I was very displeased when I saw this very disrespectful, overly-critical analysis of my work. It's old news, I know, but it's an example of the disrespect for my hard work around here.
Several of my images have been replaced either by official art the Total Drama Blog or better-quality pictures ripped from DVDs or better-quality videos. While it saddens me a little to see a lot of my hard work disappear, I know it's for the better. I've since gotten the TDI DVD and made a few improvements of my own, but everyone else is clearly way ahead of me and I realized I wasn't needed at TDW as much as I once was.
I didn't just contribute images; I also wrote several articles. I've chronicled the events of TDI through the midway point of TDA and did consistent quality checks for whatever was added or altered. I did my best to keep trivia sections tidy and I was mindful about the articles' aesthetics; when an article had too few pictures or too much. I wrote large chunks of the general character bios, as well as the interaction pages. I even screencapped and wrote about the small stuff, like the Gilded Chris and Gwen's Friends.
I don't want to say I did more work than this-or-that user, and I won't deny that I got a bit lazier once I became an admin. Admittedly I was a bit burned out, and over time as I looked at TDW now and then, I realized I wasn't really needed. There's a full, competent staff maintaining order and people have access to picture sources I don't have, or sources that everyone has (such as the Australian airings of TDWT that came about long before the episodes reached the US and Canada). Every now and then I do a little quality control, but overall I can see that I'm not the asset to TDW that I used to be. I can accept that; I just don't want to see anyone else saying I didn't do my part in TDW's development. I've been with this wiki since December of 2008; longer than the vast majority of the users here now. And I don't want to come off as arrogant or condescending, but I do want to feel proud of the work I have done here without feeling the guilt-trips of people who complain that I'm not here 24/7.
Lately, things have just been going downhill for me, and it's not related to this place. I pride myself on a good reputation and good behavior, and a clean record. That was sullied on the Bulbagarden forums because I was baited and lost my patience, which really messed with my head when I ended up with a temporary ban. I couldn't think straight at work, I ended up driving on the wrong side of the road twice in one day... you could say I'm emotionally sensisitve, I guess.
Then I stumbled upon another wiki... one that seemed primitive, yet still developing. They relied on shoddy screencaps for character pages when the series it focused on had tons on better-quality stock art that would suit the wiki better for these purposes. It took a long time for me to upload the new, better-quality images but the pages ended up looking much better. But then, for no apparent reason, my edits were reverted. I asked why, and they told me that they prefer using screencaps because "they can be confirmed to be real". This series has a lot of convincing fanart that's usually a no-no to use on a wiki of all things, but I always already aware of that. Total Drama itself has very convincing fanart as well. I was careful with my selections and when I looked over the rules, their position on stock art was basically A) make sure it isn't fan-made, and B) make sure it isn't ruined with a watermark. The stock art I posted had neither of those qualities. Then, all of a sudden, the stock art I was uploading was getting deleted! I received a new message that told me to stop uploading stock art, or else I'd be blocked. Problem was, I was already blocked. Thankfully I had a right to contest this, because naturally you shouldn't block or ban anyone before they have a chance to explain themselves and especially you shouldn't block or ban anyone before they even get the warning. It took me ages to find a way to contact the admin, but I managed it and they agreed to unblock me, but then I was autoblocked again due to my IP address. Apparently no one knows how to rectify that, so I'm still locked out all because an admin was in a rush to block me.
For some harebrained reason, they're staunchly against using stock art unless it's for very specific cases, but that was not mentioned in their code of conduct. There were tons of unnecessary rules, and I even asked before being blocked why using stock art was looked down upon when it only serves to help the wiki. The answer I got was "we like using screencaps and we're going to keep it that way and if you don't like it you can leave."
Does that sound like a professional admin response to you guys? Because for my limited experience as an admin, I'd say no. Sure, it's their right to run the wiki however they want, but there's absolutely no logic behind their rules and regulations. Like they're so set in their ways that they don't want to see anything different that can improve the wiki. My intention was only to try and help make the wiki better, because honestly, it does need a ton of work. To be shot down so ruthlessly and being treated like a nuisance really damages my self-esteem. I suppose it doesn't bother me all that much because I think the way they run that wiki is completely insane and they're just being stubborn for the sake of being stubborn, but I hate it when my long, time-consuming efforts to help are shot down and treated as misconduct. It's just another example of people being rude and disrespectful towards my good intentions.
I guess this blog post came off as a lot of whining, didn't it? I actually wanted to make a blog post about my stance on the whole Gwen/Duncan/Courtney thing, but I guess I'll do that next time. I feel I have some alternative views on the highly-controversial love triangle that I spoke of on the Gwen and Duncan talk page, and I'd like to share them again so I can have, perhaps, a more mellow and slightly less-biased audience who'd be willing to read my thoughts on that.
Until next time...! If there is a next time...