Before I get to the interview, I’d just like to give a thanks to a few people. First off, I’d like to thank everyone who sent in questions. Without you, we wouldn’t have had an interview. It took an hour, but I am very happy to say that we did get through every question submitted. Next, I’d like to thank Frui, Thor and Lostris. You all answered the questions in such great detail and managed to put up with my constant nagging about this (especially HoT) so that deserves a lot of thanks. Finally, I’d like to thank my co-host Gligo. I didn’t think I would find anyone half as eager about this as me, but I did in Gligo. They were a huge help, and without them this just wouldn’t have happened.
An additional thank you goes to Blais, as though they didn’t end up participating in the final interview (though they did send in questions), they were a massive help when I was first coming up with the idea for the Q&A.
And that’s it! I won’t use up any more of your time. Below you will find an (almost) unedited copy of the Avatar Wiki Admin Q&A. It was held live on the AW Discord Server, which I strongly suggest you check out if you aren’t on it already!
AOAS: Hello all, and welcome to the Avatar Wiki Admin Q&A! Today we have HammerOfThor and Fruipit with us to answer your questions! Unfortunately, Lostris isn’t able to attend live, but she has answered all the questions sent in so you can still see what her thoughts are! Questions will be highlighted in bold so as to make them easy to see! The interview will start in two minutes.
Thor: Thank you for having us, and for taking the time to put this together
AOAS: The pleasure is all mine. Now, I believe @Gligo has our first question:
Gligo: So first off, we have a question from Discord user @MRX. They ask:
What are your thoughts on the consolidation of wiki hosting sites?
AOAS: Lostris wrote: ‘Eh, you mean the merger of Fandom with Gamepedia? I don't really have an opinion about it, since I never visited Gamepedia before, but there are some changes that I don't particularly like. VSTF being renamed to SOAP is one of those’
Fruipit: For me, part of me really like the fact that all the information should be easily available instead of jumping between Gamepedia and FANDOM - some FANDOM wikis were amazing, and some were... less so. Often it was either one or the other in terms of who had the best, most current, most reliable information. I play a lot of games and depending on what it is, I frequently wiki for help. Now I'll more easily be able to edit the communities I visit (in theory).
Thor: I have only ever contributed to Fandom-hosted wikis, so I don't really have a view on how it compares to other hosting sites. I will say that there were a lot of concerns before the merger with Gamepedia of a disconnect between staff and users; that issues weren't being addressed properly or there was a lack of communication. I think this has definitely improved after the merger, and staff are making more of an effort to engage with users. So in that regard, I think it has been good
AOAS: Thank you. Next, we have a question from Blais W. They would like to ask:
Why did you decide to start helping the wiki?
Gligo: Lostris answered: ‘I ... don't remember, actually. My first contribution to the wiki was also not to help outgrinning, it was to bitch about how much The Last Airbender sucked. After that, I left some comments on the fanon side. I think I just saw people edit and wanted to contribute? I don't know, I don't really remember. That was early 2011, sue me I do remember I was at my best friend's place when I got accepted to be part of the Transcript Team. I was so happy about that
Thor: In terms of contributing, it was just because I enjoyed the series and the community and wanted to be part of it. In terms of being a rollback and a moderator, the additional rights just helped me to do what I was already doing. Becoming an admin, I blame Lostris for forcing me to do it
Fruipit: I joined the wiki when I was still in high school, so for me part of it was definitely the community. I think my first edit was adding a link to the Fire Nation on a page; it was undone, because it had been linked above, but what actually stuck with me was that even though I had made a mistake, all the users already on the wiki were so encouraging. I decided to start helping the wiki because for me, as a teenager, I felt like I was kind of needed in a way that I wasn't IRL. It also helped that I absolutely adored the series and was so excited for Korra.
Gligo: Thanks. For our next question, we have a submission from Zacatero:
If you could change one major thing about the Wiki right now, what would it be and why?
Fruipit: Ooh that's a tough one
Thor: Denfinitely a tough question
AOAS: Lostris (rather hilariously) replied: ‘I'd crown myself Phoenix Queen and make HammerOfThor bring me coffee whenever I ask while saying that tea sucks. No, I actually don't really have a major irritation with the wiki. The Avatar Wiki is and will always be my baby. I came here in 2010, became active in 2011, and have since then always edits and been part of many of the big changes that made the wiki what it is about. I love how it is structured in general, how we're frequently cited and recognized across all Fandom as one of the best wikis, and I really admire how we're a place where community discussion actually works and gives results. There is such a level of respect among our members, it's so amazing to see and such a pleasure to work in and for such a community. If I had to choose anything, I would perhaps
Fruipit: .... oh my god the tension
what happens next??
Thor: I don't like it. Tea is clearly superior
Fruipit: I'd like to see the Answers wiki come back in some shape
AOAS: How did that work?
Fruipit: Honestly I kind of don't remember. I wasn't super active. But people literally posted or asked questions, and there were separate mods and admins (similar to how the fanon wiki operated before the merge) who would answer.
Gligo: “I don't like it. Tea is clearly superior."
@HammerOfThor Tbh I'm more of a coffee person, but tea is great as well
Thor: The Avatar Wiki has been around for a long time and all the iterations and changes it has gone through from all the different users have contributed to making it so amazing. If I was to change something, I would like to make it easier and better for new users when they first join and start contributing. There are some aspects that I think can be very daunting, so it would be nice to make that initial experience easier
".... oh my god the tension"
Fruipit oh wait I’ve just realised I didn’t put the end of the message on. Lostris finishes...
Fruipit: @Lostris just so she sees this. Ah I do agree with her, too
AOAS: ‘If I had to choose anything, I would perhaps would like anonymous users to be allowed to edit again, as that was blocked due to COPPA regulation, as that could possibly lead to more users editing and enjoying the wiki.’
Thor: As do I
Fruipit: My editing experience was initially anonymous
Gligo: It'd be a cool feature
AOAS: Totally. I have to say that I think all three of your points would be incredibly beneficial. But, alas, we should move onto the next question I think.
Gligo: Cool. Next, I also have a question. I’d like to ask:
How did you discover Avatar?
AOAS: Lostris said: ‘I think I saw the Dutch version on Nickelodeon once. Hated the dub. Couldn't discern whether or not the person talking was male or female. I reckon I just stumbled on the series when I was flicking through channels. I know I had discovered the series at the very begging, because sixteen-year-old me drew the bending symbols in typ-ex on her school agenda cover. Then I lost track of the series and discovered it again in 2007 or something when I was at university. No idea why I picked it up again.’
Thor: I started watching the series when it first aired in the UK, probably around 2006. It is so long ago, I honestly cannot remember what the first episode I saw was, but I distinctly remember thinking how amazing it looked. Baby-Thor was very impressed
Fruipit: In Australia, we have the option for 'free-to-air' TV, which is, as the name suggests, free. You just have to have a TV and electricity.
Now, Avatar was NOT available on free-to-air. You had to have Austar, a cable company, or if you were really rich, Foxtel. My sister and I did not have cable, which meant we could only watch Avatar when we went on holiday and the hotel room had cable. Usually there was a SpongeBob marathon on, but occasionally we would get lucky and Avatar would be on. It was one of the only shows we both actually liked, which made it easier for Mum and Dad.
Pretty sure the only episode they ever played was "Cave of Two Lovers".
I actually fully discovered it in high school with some friends. Knowing that Korra was coming out really brought it back to the forefronts of our minds, and the actual obsession started there (enough that I literally learnt Chinese at uni, and my first tattoo was a blue arrow on my left wrist).
AOAS: Thank you for the answers! Our next question again comes from @Blais. This time, they ask:
Have you ever met anyone from the Avatar Wikia irl?
Gligo: Lostris wrote: Yes, I have. I met Minnichi in San Francisco in September 2015, we toured the city for 2 days together, and I met Fruipit in December 2018 when she made a detour via Belgium on her way back home, so we too spent several days together. And Seliah Jade of course (although she's not active anymore), but she doesn't really count since she's one of my best friends and joined the wiki due to me. And her husband, but I don't remember his username thinking I've met some other Fandom folks as well, but they're not part of the Avatar Wiki.
Thor: Unfortunately I have not, at least not to my knowledge
Fruipit: Yes! I actually made a trip to America and visited Minnichi in 2017 (we went to NASA, it was great!) and another friend in a different fandom. Then in 2018, as LL said, I visited her in Belgium. I distinctly remember her using me to avoid talking to a charity salesperson... thinking. Plus she had to translate parts of Aquaman for me because while it was still in English, he spoke in Rrussian for one line and the subtitles were in Flemish and French thinking
Gligo: Wow. I've never been to NASA and probably never will, but that's really cool
Fruipit: it was definitely cool and I fully recommend it if you have the chance
AOAS: Interesting! Next we have a question directed at Lostris, from King Bumis Heir. Therefore, you two can take a back seat and relax for a minute or so. Then we’ll get back to bombarding you with questions:
This one is for Lostris, why did you choose to be the admin of the Avatar Wiki? Besides the passion for the show, was there anything else that factored into your dedication to it?
Gligo: Lostris replied: I didn't choose to become admin. "The wiki chooses the admin." When I was voted to become an admin, had been a very active member of the community for a good year and also served as a fanon admin when that position was still a thing on the wiki. I was one of those omnipresent users doing everything everywhere. I was also very present in the War Room to discuss any and all things regarding the wiki. I guess I just proved to the community that I cared and wasn't fearful to do the work that needed to be done on the wiki. I guess also having already been 22 when I joined the wiki and this wiki always having an older and more mature admin team didn't hurt either. I just got really sucked into the world of editing and sharing your knowledge
AOAS: And back to the grilling...
Gligo: Next, we have a question from Tono555:
What was your first profile picture?
AOAS: Lostris replied: ‘I've only ever had two. My current one, and before it was a very similar one but of a snow leopard that I had for the longest time mistaken to have been a tiger’
Fruipit: oh no. I don't remember at all. Usually it's a fandom thing, so it was probably avatar related but I'm not even sure...
Thor: My first profile picture when I created my account back in 2012 was a cartoon version of Iroh wearing his Jasmine Dragon outfit. I had that for about 10 days, and then when I actually starting contributing to the wiki I changed to my current profile image
AOAS: You've had it for 8 years! Wow...
Gligo: Well, it's a cool pic.
Thor: Is it consistency? Is it laziness? Who knows...
AOAS: Moving on. Our next question is from TheFanficKid. They would like to know this:
What brought you to the Avatar wiki ?
Gligo: Lostris wrote: ‘ A car accident I discovered the wiki in July 2010 after a bus vs car accident left me with a severe Lisfranc fracture and busted knee confined me to staying in bed for 9 weeks in the middle of my parents' living room. Such fun. So much privacy. That was awesome! (though that did save me from going to see The Last Airbender in the theater. Silver lining?) So, bored out of my mind, pissed, and hurt, I literally couldn't do anything but browse the internet. So I continued working on my own fanon story and while researching some firebending move (because firebending is the best!) I stumbled upon the wiki. I started reading the story Avatar: Wanted, and then some others, kept coming back to read until I finally started to edit in May 2011 and the rest is history’
Fruipit: I literally think I was just bored at school one day. I saw a thing I thought needed fixing, and edited. And then never stopped...
Thor: I started rewatching the series in late 2011, probably around the time The Legend of Korra was announced, and after finishing the series I searched for information about energybending and came across the wiki's article.
Initially I was just a lurker and didn't actually contribute at all, but eventually I started commenting on some fanons I was reading and then got into editing. The first articles I actually contributed to were Boiling Rock and The Boulder, and it was the messages I got from former users Vulmen, Annawantimes, and also from Lostris thanking me for my help that encouraged me to get more and more involved in the wiki.
Gligo: Next we have a second question from Tono555:
What is your go-to snack when editing or watching a show?
AOAS: Lostris said: ‘I'm not much of a snacker, really. But since I'm Belgian, I must go with dark chocolate. When I go to the theatre, it is either sweet popcorn (you can take your salty shit elsewhere) or nachos with a lot of cheese. There is no such thing as too much cheese. I have a weak spot for chips, so I just generally don't buy that, because once I open that bag, I eat it all, and I don't share food’
Gligo: Tbh I like sweet chocolate, but I love nachos too
Thor: I don't eat anything when editing, but I normally have a can of Monster Energy somewhere nearby. Generally I listen to music; something nice and soft, maybe some light jazz. Favourite viewing snack is probably crisps. Crisps and pork pies are my weakness.
Fruipit: I go through phases. I generally try not to snack while watching shows because I'm a boredom eater so I'll just keep eating and eating. Or, I'll try to eat a meal while watching something, like lunch or dinner. If I have to snack... I'm really into Tim Tams at the moment... and ofc SALTY popcorn at the cinema. It's the only thing we have here - we don't get the option. Wow HoT you're so British
Thor: Hot take; don't like popcorn
AOAS: Ahhh, crisps gazes longingly. Anyway... Our next question comes from @Sennit. They ask: What are your opinions about Korra losing her past lives and do you think that it would be a good idea for the Avatar to find it again or do you think it is permanent (in your opinion)?
Gligo: Lostris wrote: ‘I actually liked that twist and the meaning that Korra now literally had to be her own Avatar, make her own decision. I did feel for her as that does make it a lonely journey, but it opened up the possibility to reconnect with Raava, which I loved. I do think it's permanent--or at least should be, as I can't think of a workable reason how the post lives could be restored. Their memory was literally struck from Raava, shattered and dissipated. You can't recover from that. Only way is forward for Korra.’
Fruipit: I'm gonna be straight up... I've only actually seen LoK once and... uh... i didn't actually finish season 4 so that part is super murky
AOAS: Fruipit no. Really? Whispers same...
Gligo: I only saw it twice. Actually once and I am still on the first rewatch.
Fruipit: Without remembering any of the details, I like it. Korra literally is an avatar of a new age, and that's completely reflected in everything she is now
Thor: From a story standpoint I don't mind it since, as Lostris said, it makes Korra be her own Avatar and not rely on her past lives. I think it also make clear that The Legend of Korra is not Avatar: The Last Airbender. That said, I do think having access to past lives can also be interesting, since it gives us as viewers a way to learn things about past Avatars. Is it permanent; it seems it will be, but I'm sure it could also be undone in a future story with some wibbly-wobbly, spirity-wirity stuff, so who knows.
Gligo: I agree. Tbh I don't like her not being able to conect with them, but it's interesting for the story.
AOAS: Shall we move on to our penultimate question?
Gligo: Yeah. Next we have a question for HoT from SunnyFirelilly. This question is actually about being a discussion moderator:
What made you want to become a mod in the first place?
Thor: Fruipit, just for me.
Fruipit: Oh shoot. Uh that was a test.
Thor: I became a discussion moderator at a time when the position was first created by Fandom and the forums were all we had. I applied for the rights simply because I wanted to continue to help the wiki in moderating comments, and the rights helped me to do that more easily. I am not and have never been particularly active in the "commenting side" of the wiki, but I think I have done a pretty good job so far.
Gligo: I saw you a few times doing a great job moderating since I joined.
AOAS: And finally, I’d like to ask a question to Thor, not Frui.
Blais W: Lol poor Frui
AOAS: Ha, I'm joking. This is for both of you.
Fruipit: Oh lol, I thought you were serious.
Korra2000: What about Lostris? She can answer later after all.
AOAS: Eh... she's already answered...
AOAS: Note: Korra2000 and Blais W were not meant to be in this interview, they just messaged because they could...
AOAS: What do you think lies in store for the wiki in the future?
Gligo: Lostris wrote: UCP and then we all crash and burn. This fandom has been blessed to basically always had new content coming out. As long as that will continue, I don't see the future of the wiki changing much. After that, I actually don't see it changing very much either, since the Avatar-fandom is just that big and invested, though I do think the wiki will become more of a social hub and editing will take a backseat. But I do think that as long as there are motivated people around to keep improving on the pages, others will always follow.
Thor: Good question.
Fruipit: Honestly, I thought the wiki would die after Korra. It died down, sure, but it's still alive and kicking. I don't see that changing. As LL said, as long as there is new content - or new access to content - there will always be contributors. And that's all the wiki really needs, after all; people willing to take the time out to improve it. It will never be perfect, and I think that's a good thing.
Thor: UCP is obviously going to be a big change coming soon, and we will have to deal with that. We have two new graphic novels coming out that will keep things busy on the editing side, and there is every indication that we could also get more trilogies and Kyoshi novels. The biggest thing will obviously be the release of the live action series and how that is received, but either way there will be users still contributing and I don't see that going away any time soon.
Gligo: Well, I'm still pretty new, but I hope the wiki will be active for a very long time.
AOAS: And that, sadly, concludes the Q&A. Thank you to Lostris, Thor and Frui for taking the time to answer these questions, and thanks to Gligo as well for hosting with me. Thank you also to everyone who sent in questions, and I’m sure you’ll be happy with the answers you’ve received! This interview will be posted on the wiki shortly, so you will be able to find it there soon.
Korra2000: Gligo the question wasn't aimed at you.
Thor: Thank you AOAS and Gligo for a wonderful interview. It was a lot of fun. And thank you to everyone that sent in questions.
Fruipit: Yes! Thank you! The questions were really interesting and thought-provoking.
AOAS: Now myself and Gligo have the difficult job of turning this into a transcript...
AOAS: Anyway. One last thank you to everyone involved. Till next time!