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Painter's Servant: Grand Opening

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As chosen by you, my column will be forever forward:

Painter’s Servant

Painter's Servant

For viewers reading my articles, you’ll notice that I cite the MTG Salvation Wiki rather often. I find it to be the closest thing we have to a Magic archive. The mothership at DailyMTG.com often has broken links from years past, and it’s damn near impossible to find anything quickly. I always end up trolling through four or five pages before finding an exact quote from Matt Cavotta.

I’ve decided to do something about it. While I don’t have a personal page with easily-referenced articles on the Salvation wiki, I don’t know if folks would even want that. My ego might want that I guess. I suppose I don’t know the majority of my audience’s needs.

Legacy Weapon
Some readers have been here since 2011, and for others, well, hello there! You’re new! I have art articles, color pie/flavor articles, and populist articles. I always thought I would write more on storylines, but with books being totally dead, there really isn’t much story to talk about as of late.

I have this for finding my past articles.

I know—there are pages upon pages! I listed all of them below for a reason: to begin building an archive of sorts. My poll from a few weeks ago had overwhelming votes for naming my column Painter’s Servant, and if I’m to continue, repeating myself will be entirely necessary as the game keeps doubling the player base and folks won’t carry the historical knowledge or references I keep talking about. I hate continually making that apparent, as enfranchised people in the know will be bored to tears and click to a forum instead. So, they’re below. You will notice some of them missing. That’s for a future article.

I’d love if Gathering Magic had a section of must-read articles, but it’d be gigantic. The MTG Salvation Wiki is the logical choice, so others can cite and read them, too. I work for a nonprofit theater, and frankly, whenever we bring in new guests, we can show off our history by simply walking him or her through our lobby.

Online content sites can’t really do that, but we can give bite-sized things to chew on to give readers benefits right away. Limits will have to be placed on what will be included in the archives and on who moderates additions on these third-party sites as a result.

Organizing

Walking Archive
There are no strict rules for organizing an archive. I tried to remember as I sorted through material not to mix the records of one kind with another. Content I have below is of all my articles here at Gathering Magic. No podcasts or other vital documents—like my running tally on Magic’s entries into Spectrum—are included. Chronological order works for now, so I went with it.

Determining what material should be included in an archive relates directly to the space, staff, and resources available for any archival program. The most immediate concern of the archives should be the preservation of the most-often-cited articles on the site and making them easily accessible. Which ones do you think are most needed?

A more difficult question is that when this article becomes a month old, how can we, as a community, use older articles of mine—and how can this serve as an example for others? Should I just go back like MaRo and self-score? I mean, should I really? My ego doesn’t need that, but someone in the community would need one thing or something else from certain articles.

Preservation

Any content needs to place its records in a safe area. Websites go down, and people change jobs. A deleted article is utterly gone in a digital environment. It’s funny; we can store digital material easier and easier, but transferring old data to new is becoming increasingly difficult. Try to find articles that Flores constantly refers to on The Dojo or old Duelist issues. (I have them all if you ever need a scanned reference for a school paper.) I can refer to them constantly, but if a bus hits me, content can be lost.

Wrap Up

In summation, I feel I have twenty articles that could considered as worthy of reading to a lot of people. As Painter’s Servant focuses a little more, I think if I whittled down to five to ten articles, I hope some of those could be given to artists or to folks who want to know what in the hell I write about each week in the past as a cleaving point for the future. Next week, we talk art, podcasts, and short videos.

We will move forward from here. We must.

Mike

P.S. As always, if you find an Alpha art piece, let me know! (More info here: A 2013 Alpha Project Update.)




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