The world of Warcraft is shaped by the people in it. Even though each server is a carbon copy of every other, the people who fill it give it its real character. A great addition to any server page is inclusion of famous (or infamous) members of the server who, for one reason or another, have risen above the dreary loneliness of normalcy and embraced the blessings and curses of celebrity.
A people list can celebrate each server's iconic characters and add a dash of professionalism to a server's article. It can serve a practical purpose by warning others of convicted ninjas, or it can serve a vanity need by logging PvP rank achievement, or it can simply serve as a source of hilarity by chronicaling some of the off-beat personalities your server has produced. Whatever the occasion, a people list can give a server more character than it had before simply by listing a couple of its own.
Types of lists
Many servers already have one or more people lists of their own. Some popular ones include:
- Famous Ninja Looters -- Chronicals the obvious.
- Infamous People -- Those who are particularly evil, infamous, or sometimes just funny.
- Drama Kings/Drama Queens -- The people around whom the drama never seems to end.
- Forum Characters -- People who seem to post more than they play.
- Grand Marshals/High Warlords -- Those who have made the top PvP rank on the server and the date they made it.
A server's people lists could also include exceedingly helpful individuals, community contributors, or even an "employee of the month" category. Get creative. The possibility of recognition means more people will strive to compete for positions on the boards, and well-thought categories can shape what type of competition occurs.
Who to include? What to write?
The above section gives you the freedom to pick any category and run with it, but remember that you also have a responsibility to keep those people lists from becoming artificially inflated. Nobody has respect for a test where everyone gets all the answers correct, and no one cares about a list that everyone's on. Remember, you're not creating a phone book of character names. Being added to the list has to be prestigious (or punishment), so it has to mean something.
Be sure before you include someone on one of these lists that they really, really fall into the category you're adding them for. Screenshots are good for evidence. Silly descriptions (especially verifiable ones) are also good. Keep obvious personal opinion out of it. The truth should be enough, since truth is usually the most entertaining. Overall, be critical, be conservative. Don't let just anyone on these lists. Only the ones who have truly earned it... The very worst (or best) ninja looters; the most infamous, bone-chilling character names; the names that were so often followed with "crymorenoob." Keep these lists as high quality as possible so they can be used as a true rewarding ground for your server's finest (or most villainous) members.
In order to keep your lists professonal, your format should be as standard as possible across all lists. Based on your needs and the aesthetic sense of your server's community, this could take many forms. The easiest is usually to make a section relevant to the list and then list the characters beneath, usually with a short description attached. A possible format could look like this:
Famous People List Examples
If you do happen to link someone's character name, it would be best to put their guild in front of it. As an example, for me:
- [[Element Zero:Montag|Montag]]
If not guild, then User: should work fine, too. This way, an article created through clicking on them won't be mistaken for a Warcraft game- or lore-related item. Remember to add the | or |Name after the name so the links look crisper.
No need to start items with "is," since these are understood. An example would be:
Johndoe - Is the most anonymous player.
- Johndoe - Most anonymous player.
The more prestige your list holds, the more likely it will be opened up to vandalism. Stay on top of the edits to this list. Since this is a wiki, anyone can add themselves to the Sexiest Character category or add an enemy (or a friend if they have a sense of humor) to the Most Botched Ninja Attempts category. It's up to the server's community to police its own article. The accuracy of the information you present on your server's page is only as good as how well you check up on it. Especially for ninja looters, have screenshots available if possible, preferably off-site links since personal photos should never be uploaded to WoW Wiki's servers.
The lists should reflect the position of the server's community wherever possible. If you're a frequent editor, don't give preference to your friends. Make the lists worthwhile and people will be more likely to give them meaning. Above all, have fun. Come up with interesting ideas and make people want to get on these lists. It's amazing what you can get people to do when you promise you'll recognize them for it.