From BlogNomic Wiki
1.1 What is this?
It's a Nomic (http://www.nomic.net) - a game whose rules are changed by the players as the game progresses. Using weblog posts, players submit proposed changes to the game, suggesting whatever they like, and the other players cast votes in comments to that post. If enough vote in favour of a change, we update the rules (which are kept on this wiki page) and carry on playing. Whenever anyone wins the game, we reset the rules, pick a new theme and start again.
For a general overview of how the day-to-day game works, read our Newbie Guide.
1.2 Can I join in?
Yes, the game is always open to new players.
Click this registration link (http://blognomic.com/member/register/) to create an account on the BlogNomic blog. Fill out the information and click the link in your verification e-mail. Then make a post to the blog (http://blognomic.com/update/index.php?C=publish) announcing your arrival and your formal intention to become a player. At some point after that, one of the Admin players will take your request and process it - when you've been added to the list of active players in the sidebar, you can start casting votes, making proposals and playing!
1.3 Do I need to have my own weblog?
No. Players were required to have a weblog in the very early days of the game, but that rule was eventually repealed, and BlogNomic is just a nomic that happens to be run within a weblog, these days.
1.4 The ruleset seems very daunting - is it always like this?
No, the game restarts periodically. Whenever anyone wins a round, the ruleset gets cut back to the very basic proposal-making rules, and the winner gets to pick a theme for the next round.
1.5 How will I know when the next round starts?
You can be alerted by email - just subscribe to our Ascension Alert Service (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/blognomic-alert) (or join by email (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org)), and we'll send you an email when a new dynasty starts, or an old one is about to end.
Alternatively, point your RSS reader at the Ascensions RSS feed (http://blognomic.com/blognomic/feed_ascensions/) and whenever anyone posts an Ascension Address (ie. whenever a new Dynasty begins), you'll be told about it.
1.6 How do I become an in-game admin?
Submit a proposal asking to become one, once you've joined the game. (Have a look at Rule 1.2 in the Ruleset.)
2.1 I'm having trouble registering. Help!
Click here (http://blognomic.com#playerlist) or scroll down the BlogNomic front page (http://blognomic.com) to the list of users. Then click on an admin's user name to go to their profile and e-mail them from there with your problem.
2.2 How do I get the blog to recognize my posts as being proposals?
When you're writing or editing the post, select the "Categories" tab and choose the "Proposal" category. Your post will then gain the appropriate formatting and appear in the pending list in the sidebar. It is not necessary to type "Proposal:" in front of your subject, the blog software will add it automatically if it is in the correct category.
2.3 How do I get the name on my posts to match my BlogNomic name?
Change your screen name in your profile. Click My Account (http://blognomic.com/member/profile/) at the top of the page while logged in to edit your profile. Note that once you're a player, you can (at least at the time of writing) only change your name legally via proposal.
2.4 How do I get the dotted boxes around text, in proposals?
Just put a <blockquote> tag before it, and a </blockquote> tag after it.
It'll look something like this.
2.5 Is there a BlogNomic RSS feed?
Yes. There's an Atom feed (http://blognomic.com/feed_atom/) and an RSS feed (http://blognomic.com/feed_rss1/). There's also an RSS feed purely of Ascension Addresses (http://blognomic.com/feed_ascensions/), should that be more to your taste. Or another one composed exclusively of comments (http://blognomic.com/blognomic/feed_comments).
If you're using LiveJournal (http://livejournal.com/), you can add the LJ feed (http://www.livejournal.com/users/blognomic/) to your friends page. And Twitter users can follow @blognomic (http://twitter.com/blognomic).
2.6 Are there any quirks I should know about?
The "Alert me when a new dynasty begins" profile setting hasn't ever worked.
There is a config setting ("Log Email Console Messages") that allows email sent through ExpressionEngine to be read by users with admin privileges. This is normally turned off (and we keep a careful eye on it during dynasties where there's a lot of private information being sent through the EE interface), but players should be aware that it could be turned back on. A message on the email box warns that emails may be read by admin, even if the setting is turned off.
Also, when you're writing a new blog post, the "Quick Save" option doesn't save your post for future publishing, it posts it for everyone to see. If you're writing any sort of gamestate post (like a proposal or CfJ), you shouldn't the "Quick Save" button, as it means your half-written version will be posted and reacted to.
2.7 Why has my "sticky" post disappeared?
Posts can be marked as "sticky" if a player wants them to remain at the top of the blog, rather than being bumped down by later posts. Strictly speaking from the perspective of ExpressionEngine, though, "sticky" just means "if this would show up on a page, put it at the top" - if your post is more than a week old, it will have dropped off of the front page, and won't show up any more. (Rule 1.10 will usually prevent you from just changing the timestamp to bring it back, but a legal solution is just to make a new sticky post that links to the old one.)
2.8 What does the "arrow" voting icon mean?
The arrow icon, represented as , was used in the ruleset of a couple of dynasties in 2009 - it was a supplementary vote that meant "this proposal has good flavour text or theme", and the then-ruleset awarded points for arrowed proposals. Although most dynasties do not use the arrow icon, one or two players still use it as a shorthand for "good flavour". You can use this icon by typing :ARROW: in a comment or post you submit.
2.9 What does [unfamiliar phrase] mean?
Some players use terms which aren't explicitly defined by the ruleset, such as "self-kill" or "CoV". Some of these are explained on the Blognomic Jargon page.
3.1 How do I register to edit the Wiki?
Due to spambots, new accounts can only be created by existing wiki administrators: if you need a wiki account, please contact one of the admins (via email, a BlogNomic comment or a private message) and ask them to visit Special:Userlogin and create an account for you. (Admins: to get the user's email address when creating an account, just do a member search (http://blognomic.com/update/index.php?C=admin&M=members&P=member_search).)
3.2 The wiki isn't reflecting changes, what should I do?
- Double-clicking the refresh button should solve your problem (in Mozilla or IE). This is being worked on.
- If you are registered and logged on, click on the Preferences link at the top of any page in the Wiki, then select "Misc Settings" and check the box before "Disable page caching". Save your settings.
3.3 How do I track changes in the Wiki?
At each page you want to track changes for, click on the watch link, usually on the top of the page. Alternatively, when you edit a page, you can check the Watch this page box, near the Save page button. That will mark that page for tracking.
Afterwards, the my watchlist link will keep track of changes in those specific pages.
3.4 How do I create a new page?
The easiest way is to go to the URL your page would be at (eg http://blognomic.com/wiki/index.php?title=This_is_a_test for a page called "This is a test") - if the page doesn't already exist, it'll say "(There is currently no text in this page)" and you can click the "edit" tab to start writing.
4.1 How can I connect to the IRC channel?
If you know how to use IRC, just join #nomic on irc.slashnet.org. If not, just visit this page (http://kevan.org/blognomic/irc/chat.html) or this page (http://www.slashnet.org/webclient/nomic) to chat.
Type "/nick yournickhere" to change your nickname.
5.1 Hey, how about having self-killed/vetoed proposals failable immediately?
This comes up occasionally, and is a contentious issue; here's a CfJ from January 2010 that proposed such a change (http://blognomic.com/archive/stuck_in_transit/). To quote a commenter:-
- "A problem with removing self-killed proposals from the queue immediately is that there’s less incentive to get proposals right the first time, if you can just kill them off and try again straight away. It would actually make self-killing proposals the optimum strategy, in some situations - if my perfectly good proposal overlooked something, I could either wait for it to enact, get a slot back and propose a fix, or I could just self-kill it and propose a fully fixed version immediately, which may well enact sooner. There are some environments where this would be okay, but it isn’t great in a date-ordered list of blog posts that everyone has to read through, and where comments are split between blog posts.
- Whether vetoes should be immediate is a separate issue, and comes up as a separate issue. For me, it seems odd that if your proposal was so bad or dangerous that the [Emperor] had to veto it, you’d get a pat on the head and your slot back. But if your proposal was merely unpopular, controversial or broken, you’d have to sit out until the queue caught up with you."
On the other hand, in a proposal to allow vetoes to be failed immediately (http://blognomic.com/archive/yet_another_proposal_to_change_veto_speed/):-
- The usual reason stated not to do this is “why would we want to punish bad proposals by taking away slots, but rewarding terrible proposals by freeing up the slot immediately”? Well, I was around last time this rule was in place, and things didn’t happen that way; if a proposal is terrible, it’ll just get a load of AGAINST votes. The only times that vetos are needed are when proposals are reasonable enough to get a preponderance of FOR votes, but either a fatal flaw’s discovered last-minute (in which case the queue timing change is basically irrelevant), or the proposal doesn’t fit into the [Emperor]’s idea of the dynasty (this only comes up in dynasties like arth’s most recent, where the theme is secret; in such a case, punishing people for bad theme-guessing seems wrong). However, with such a rule in place, the veto gains another use: the [Emperor] (who can be assumed to be relatively fair, due to having no way to win) can return slots to players for the good of the dynasty (e.g. when a player is having lots of ideas towards the start, and needs feedback on them, but other players don’t like them protosing). This was used quite a bit in several of the dynasties where the “fast veto” was available, including [ais523's] first.
And in a comment to that:
- Yes, this mostly meant “self-kill your proposal and the Emperor will benevolently veto it” in practice. Which was effectively just “self-kills can be failed immediately” with an extra step, and some wheedling and grumbling in comments if the Emperor wasn’t quick enough to veto a self-kill, or if they vetoed it but didn’t also admin its failure.
- We may as well just say “self-kills can be failed immediately”, and take the pressure off the Emperor. I don’t think I’d want to see the game sped up that much, though.
- (As for the “only times that vetos are needed” - there’s also the case where a proposal is found to be world-endingly broken within the first couple of comments. I’m sure you wouldn’t expect an Emperor to restrain from vetoing it on the expectation that it would go on to get plenty of unchanged AGAINST votes.)
In June 2010, a proposal (http://blognomic.com/archive/procedural_vetos1/) passed which allowed vetoes to be failed immediately if the Emperor included the word "procedural" with their vote. It was repealed five months later by this proposal (http://blognomic.com/archive/that_time_of_the_year/), its proposer reasoning that:-
- When the fast veto is available, some players are going to think that they have the right to a new proposal slot if a proposal of theirs is found to be flawed (incidentally, if you think that this is always true, cut out the middle man and propose to allow insta-selfkills), and will grumble in the comments if the Emperor doesn’t comply, or responds too late to their liking. What message does the Emperor send by explicitly not giving them their slot back?