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Wanted: technical advisor for Fanlore wiki
I'm forwarding this (below) on behalf of the Fanlore community, which is
seeking some volunteer help. Fanlore is an important archive for the
speculative fiction community. I'd appreciate it if someone could take
a few hours to help them with their current needs, and I'd be delighted
if you could mentor some of their volunteers so they could fix their own
long-term needs.

Sumana Harihareswara
Engineering Community Manager
Wikimedia Foundation

Fanlore ( is a wiki about fan culture and history that can
be edited by anyone who registers. The wiki is a volunteer project of
the Organization for Transformative Works (
It's a few years old now, and in need of advice on the technical

We're looking for someone who, basically, knows enough about MediaWiki
and wiki spam protection to know what Fanlore needs. We need a
technical liaison whose role would be to advise us (the OTW's wiki
committee) on what improvements are needed, and which
software/extensions we need to make those improvements. Someone with
knowledge about MediaWiki skins would be ideal. Our current default
skin, WordPress, has an unfortunate bug that prevents image centering,
and the skin is deprecated or soon-to-be deprecated in the most recent
versions of MediaWiki. We'll need to switch skins eventually, but
before we can do that, we need to redesign the infobox templates
because those were originally designed mainly to work with the default
skin. We already have people with knowledge of CSS and HTML, but no
one with advanced knowledge of wiki templates.

In addition to our current needs, long-term maintenance of the wiki
also involves investigating (rare) bug reports from users. The
technical liaison would investigate the bugs and determine whether
they can be fixed, how to fix them, and who can fix them.

We're currently in the testing phase for a MediaWiki upgrade, but it's
been plagued with various technical and personnel availability issues
and isn't going very quickly. The MediaWiki upgrade will theoretically
help our spam problem because better tools are compatible only with
the more recent versions. In the meantime, we're also testing
recaptcha and will use that to prevent spambots from signing up.
However, recaptcha isn't our favorite, and we're hoping we can revisit
our spam solutions once we upgrade MediaWiki.

Anyone who's interested in advising us on how to whip Fanlore's
MediaWiki installation into shape, please mail with any questions and we'll get back to
you as soon as possible.

Looking forward to hearing from you,

The OTW wiki committee

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