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Super excited to have this going now! Ok, now I regret all many bullet points, because it's a little hard to respond to all those things. Oh, well, my mistake. I'll try and group some of the ideas here. I'm sorry, but fair warning: it's going to be an essay of sorts.
First, I guess we're game for starting the main page from scratch. I'll try a draft on one of my project pages, since the Traverse Town Project has slowed down for now. We can pick that up later.
- Wiki News and Projects: Includes Trinity Archives, Command Board, Helping Out, Clean Up of the Month, Wanted/Popular Articles, Current Happenings, Traverse Town
- Probably the biggest part of the entire page is what to do with these sections, some of which seem redundant. During the June Roundtable, I brought up the potential to bring back Clean up of the Month as part of the Traverse Town Project: Reconstruction, which the wiki accepted. I think it'd be great to merge and add the Command Board and Helping Out sections to Traverse Town. Thus, we'd make Traverse Town a hub for getting involved and getting work done, which I think is a great idea. If we do merge the sections to Traverse Town, then it makes the merging them together irrelevant. Plus, we'd get more traffic to Traverse Town, which could get these sections more relevance and help get work done. Regarding the Wanted/Popular Articles, it'd be good to do something similar to the Clean-up of the Month and rotate a list from Special:WantedPages. As for Popular Articles, such a thing exists in one of the pages of Traverse Town, so we could not add this to the main page. I feel we should remove it all together, because, as you noted, there isn't really a good way of determining popular articles. Trinity Archives, I think, definitely belongs on the side, especially since it already takes little space as far as text goes. Current Happenings seems to be the Wiki's version of the Trinity Archives (which I guess is more game related), which seems redundant because the Trinity Archives does the same thing anyways.
- Navigation Bar: Includes Navigation Bar, Search Bar, Toolbox, Community Bar
- When I said remove the navigation bar, I actually meant moving it to the top of the page, as in the top of the site. Much like Wikia or, as in the example, NIWA, have done it. I concur, the ideas related to these items should be rejected. It's not that I don't want them, it's that they're more an entire-site issue, and we're only dealing with the Main Page. However, I feel that we should keep in mind that, that some of the items on the Navigation side bar are often ignored or forgotten. Like the main page and Traverse Town, the side bar should probably be made somewhat more prominent/emphasized so that we use the items there. But that's for a different day.
- Self explanatory. Portals were a popular topic/addition in the previous discussion. What kinds of portals do we want? Content portals like the Fanon Wiki has? Or Game Portals like the Zelda Wiki has? The Fanon Wiki has these for their portals: Characters, Enemies, Stories (which would be replaced with "Games"), Worlds, Weapons, Abilities, Images, and Templates. I think Xion expressed support for Game portals over Content portals, which makes sense. Like she mentioned, the content items have their own links on the side. The games do as well, but they're a little more hidden. I personally prefer the Game portals. If it was noticed (and I'm sure Xion remembers, because she was the one who deleted it), I made a timeline image (of sorts) as a image map that linked to the games. Would that be effective? (NOTE: If we do that, we'd no longer have a use for this article, not that it ever really took off, no matter how many times I tried) What else do we want from these portals?
- General Aesthetics and Content Layout: Includes Font sizes, Color theme, Background color, Images, Content Layout
- Pretty general. Definitely a slightly bigger font, so that the words we use on the page are less like an article. I like the idea of using a background color, it should be a color that matches the current theme (in this case, it'd be some light gray of some sort). I think it should be much like the Bulbapedia home page, as far as that goes. Definitely more images all around, which seems to be an agreed-upon point. As far as content layout goes, I'll elaborate on this below.
I'm really sorry to keep extending this, but I feel we need to get all the cards on the table (I'll be honest, you won't tell from the timestamp, but I've been wording this response for a good part of the day). So, here are the existing contents. Tying with the Content Layout, I think it's time to determine what we want to keep and what we're hacking down to inexistence with the Keyblade. I'm open to adding new content/sections, if we want to.
- Mirage Arena
- Featured Article
- Featured Media
- Featured User
- Helping Out
- Command Board
- Trinity Archives
- Current Happenings
- Did you know?
- Quote of the Moment
Now, here are some of my ideas regarding the Content Layout part. Much of this is in agreement with FM and Xion's suggestions.
- Welcome: Center it across the top of the page.
- Mirage Arena: FM suggested making this a community events box, which I totally support. It would contain the Mirage Arena and the Magazine. FM said to add the podcast, but I feel that's taken care of by the Magazine link, since the Podcast is hosted in the Magazine. Perhaps we'll leave space empty but ready for other events, since I know we'll soon have a competition and Let's Play, right?
- Featured Article/Media/User: Definitely keep. We're getting this up and running, and I think they work fine right now. At the end, these sections only work as long as we keep voting. One thing is moving the Featured User section out of the side bar. It's a...little squished. Of course, I could just stop writing long descriptions, but I don't think we want to go there....
- Helping Out/Command Board/Current Happenings: Please see above, especially if you somehow skipped the first part of the essay. I feel we should kill these sections off, because they're a little redundant, and recreate them as part of a new section called Traverse Town. I'll elaborate on that below.
- Trinity Archives: Again, see above. Only suggestion is to move it to the side.
- Did you know?/Quote of the Moment: Kill it, kill it with fire. Especially "Did you know?". This was a concern in the previous discussion, the fact that the trivia facts would quickly be memorized, which is true. I don't even notice it anymore because I already know everything that could show up. As for Quote of the Moment, I personally love it still, but there's no use for it. So, I feel I will just give up the fight and let it die, unless you guys want to keep it. It's just a fun thing. Unlike the Did you know?, Quote of the Moment actually has a lot of sources to get content at (see all the Quotes pages).
- SEIWA: I don't know what to say about this. Kill it? But then, what about the alliance that, from what I gather, the wiki helped create? But it's dead. But we made it. But, but, but. It's like choosing between Donald Trump and Rahm Emanuel, it's hard for me to choose one of the two (thanks, Jon Stewart, for that comparison).
- Traverse Town: A new section I'm proposing. I feel that if we move Command Board/Current Happenings/Helping Out to Traverse Town, then they no longer have a use on the Main Page, at least not separately. So, I propose we re-write these sections as part of one section called Traverse Town. The section would introduce the Community Portal, give information on helping out, and what not. I feel that this would probably take up a good part of the space, though.
Holy cow, that was a lot. Again, I apologize for this wall-o-essay (Dang it, should have submitted this to my English teacher before graduation...). I look back at this post and wonder if I had this all bottled up somewhere secret in my head all this time. I hope we can get this rolling now so we can get people here and interested!