When I first joined this site, there was some business with my adding several pastas to the Images category with the intent of helping out the wiki because the Category Listing page described the category as one to be given to any pasta with images. I was not aware, and had no way of knowing, that the tag had since been depreciated and was no longer used--this status was not updated on the Category Listing page. Needless to say, this caused a big headache for the staff who had to clean up and remove this tag from the dozens of articles I added it to, all because this information was not made available to new users.
I recently discovered (with much less harm done) that the Original Content tag had been depreciated and was no longer in use, as well as the Shock Ending category. The former was, once again, not noted in any way on the Category Listing page. The latter is tagged as "depreciated," although I had to ask a member of staff to find out what the hell this word meant, as it was not elaborated upon anywhere on the page or in the site rules (Category section here).
I'm posting this thread to discuss two things. Firstly, that what I've just described above is a problem. At the VERY LEAST, the Category Listing page must be regularly updated, and CLEARLY, so that new users will be able to understand it and avoid messes like these. This is the minimum action that can be taken. I'm proposing a little more than that.
Before I go into anything more specific, let me explain the second reason I'm posting this thread. I've noticed a handful of discussions depreciating categories since joining this wiki, and while I can't remember specific examples aside from Original Content, I do believe it's happening too often, and is a short-term solution to a long-term problem. I cite, as an example, the Shock Ending category--while I can't find a discussion relating to its depreciation (we really need a forum search feature), I can assume it happened because of rampant misuse of the category. Rather than simply banning the category from use and effectively shoving it under the rug, however, I think the problem can be addressed much more directly just by making it absolutely 100% crystal clear in its descriptions, both on the category page and the Category Listing, what precisely it is to be used for, and what qualifies a pasta as a member of that category.
That's ultimately what this thread is about. Specify, specify, specify. We need more clarity, more elaboration, and less room for error on these kinds of pages, especially categories and pages relating to them. There's no reason an official site protocol page like the Category Listing should have gone this long without being updated.
I'd also like feedback on whether the Shock Ending category should be reinstated. I think it's an extremely useful category when people use it properly, and am willing to bet that most improper use is the result of people not understanding what the category is supposed to be used for, not of any kind of malicious intent or trolling. If we clarify its proper use in its descriptions, misuse of the category will be hindered and the depreciation made unnecessary.
They've been like that for a while. I've been busy with other stuff (such as Trollpasta, sadness, etc) that I do know that I have to read these all by myself, and prove which one stays or goes on the stories. Can't just really "pick" the category out, since this wiki is trying to get the content not to be something like what you would find on Fan fiction.net or DeviantArt. But, like I said, I've been busy.
There wasn't really a discussion about it. But then again, there wasn't a discussion about removing the Series category either. Death, eh... death can still be confused, maybe, unless if you do know how to clarify it specifically, rather than saying "people dying." As for shock ending, I don't really like that category to begin with. Shock Ending will probably be abused, unless if we make it admin/RCaDC only. But either way, if you're a person, like me, who scrolls down to see the length of it, then sees the categories, it would be a disappointment to see that category tagged in it, because it removes the fun in reading the story when you already know that the ending is going to be a shocker. Why have the fun removed? It's fun to not know that the story you are reading has a shocked ending.
Death is just too common a theme in creepypastas to be used practically. In about 90% of creepypastas, someone dies. And is there anyone really looking for pastas wherein someone dies as a form of criteria? It doesn't serve much purpose, so that would be a case of a category we don't really need.
Conversely, however, if a pasta is more than a page or so, like many people, I'll skim it. In many cases I'll go straight to the ending to see if reading the whole thing will be worth the payoff. If the whole point of the pasta was, like XoRax, to guess what the pasta is referencing as you are reading it, then I wouldn't want to do that. Skimming it would ruin it for me. Thus, if I pasta had the Shock Ending category applied to it, I would immediately know not to skim, and to read the whole thing in full.
I don't think the Shock Ending category ruins a pasta at all. It almost makes it into a game. It makes you want to try and guess what's coming, which pastas like that usually want you to do anyway. They want to see how long it takes you to figure out the source material. It's a challenge, like a word game. Now, having the Legend of Zelda tag applied to XoRax? THAT ruins it. THAT completely kills the surprise.
Anyway, my point is that the category does serve a purpose for individual pastas. Even more than that, if I read a pasta like XoRax (which I keep referencing simply because it's one of the most well-known) and wanted to see more of that nature, it would make them a LOT easier to find to have a category gathering them all together. If having the tag there hurts the story for you, then I feel for you, but that drawback is SEVERELY outweighed by the benefit of being able to find all of those "game" pastas in one place, which is the whole reason Categories exist. I know I'd sure like to be able to find more easily.
You are actually kind of right on other tags ruining an article. Because when I read The Traveler and the Child, I didn't know that it was a BEN Drowned article. And to some who are actually reading this for the first time will not know that it IS a BEN Drowned article.
Pretty much, you do, kind of, have my vote to actually keep the category, as long as it is an admin/RCaDC category. But I want to see the other staff members opinions on this matter, rather than being the "Be all, end all" on this wiki.
The lack of response tells me that no one really seems to... well, care about this in the slightest. So unless there are any objections, I'll go ahead and start cleaning up the category listing/pages, add more specific definitions, and reinstate the Shock Ending category more clearly starting tomorrow or so.
Usually these threads aren't really that well spotted towards the community, I guess. Since I already agree with you, and I do know that this site doesn't have to be a carbon copy of the Creepypasta wiki, and I have to be the "Be-all end-all" again, so the category stays. OC, and Death are not going to stay on the wiki, because we had made a thread for removing OC, and the category was voted out. Death can be confused very easily, judging from the use from the Creepypasta wiki, and your response to having death be a well-known theme in these articles. So, I'll make the category admin/RCaDC only, and start removing most of the categories today.