Two major Wikia RPG wikis have split off

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Two major Wikia RPG wikis have split off

Post by Big Mac » Thu Nov 04, 2010 4:06 pm

I don't know if you have been visiting any Wikia wikis, but they have applied a new skin recently that makes them all look really ugly to people who are not logged in.

On top of that Wikia are imposing more inter-wiki features which is starting to make it look more like a big "wiki of everything" rather than a farm of separate wikis. As well as wiki pages being plastered with external adverts, they are now covered with ads for other Wikia wikis.

In the last 24 hours I have learned that both WoWWiki and PathfinderWiki contributors are so unsatisfied with Wikia, that they have forked their projects and set up rival wikis elsewhere. Both wikis will remain on the original Wikia locations, but will probably grind to a halt as the community moves to support the new independent wikis.

WoWWiki has moved to Wowpedia. I learned that in our own World of Warcraft forum. But today, I got a ping from my PathfinderWiki account and found I had been invited to the new (non-Wikia) version of PathfinderWiki.

According to WoWWiki, the move to Wowpedia occured as recently as 20th October:
WoWWiki news section wrote:20th October 2010 - WoWWiki branches to Wowpedia

As a reaction to changes imposed by Wikia on WoWWiki, a number of administrators and contributors are now instead contributing to Wowpedia.org, which was a 100% copy of WoWWiki as of October 18th. Wowpedia is a completely separate site not affiliated with Wikia. WoWWiki will continue to be hosted by Wikia and will continue to run as normal.
According to PathfinderWiki, they moved on 3rd November:
unsigned comment on my PathfinderWiki page wrote:We're moving! Edit href= Edit

Hi, this is an automated message from the wiki's administrators. Recently, it became clear that we as a community weren't as "in-charge" of our own destiny as we'd like. Because of that, we've decided to move to a new host for the wiki that we are completely in control of. Our new home is at pathfinderwiki.com. You are welcome to keep contributing to this site, but many of of the community's members have already made the decision to move, and we hope you'll join us. All edits made before November 3, 2010 have been moved over automatically, and we will continue to grow the wiki at pathfinderwiki.com. If you decide to join us (and again, we hope you do), you'll need to make an account at pathfinderwiki.com. If you use the same username as you used here, your user page and edit history will be there waiting for you. Things may be a little messy looking at pathfinderwiki.com for a bit while we get settled in, but we hope you'll join us.
(It was a bot that posted that message - meaning that it was wiki staff that sent the bot. But I can't find the name of the bot any more, as Wikia have hidden the button that lets me look at the history of my talk page. :roll: )

In theory, people could edit both the Wikia wikis and the independent wikis, but it looks like this will be a VHS vs Betamax type battle to the death. One wiki will stagnate and the other will advance. I suspect that the new wikis will survive and thrive.

I don't know if any other roleplaying wikis have moved, but I hear a lot of rumours that there is mass dissatisfaction with Wikia. So the departure of these two wikis may just be a coincidence, but it might also be the start of a mass exodus.
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Re: Two major Wikia RPG wikis have split off

Post by dfryer36 » Sun Nov 07, 2010 5:59 am

I don't doubt that these two are just the first of many.
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Re: Two major Wikia RPG wikis have split off

Post by Havard » Sun Nov 07, 2010 6:04 pm

Thanks for keeping us updated on this development Big Mac! :)

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Re: Two major Wikia RPG wikis have split off

Post by Big Mac » Mon Nov 08, 2010 9:32 am

I found out about Wowpedia from Bonetti, who posted it in my [resource] WoWWiki (a World of Warcraft wiki) thread.

I found out about PathfinderWiki, when someone posted a message on my talk page and updated the [resource] PathfinderWiki thread.

Having done a bit of research, I've found out that:
  • Both WoWWiki and PathfinderWiki started off as independent wikis and then merged with Wikia,
  • One admin from WoWWiki (Kirkburn) became a Wikia employee,
  • WoWWiki "sold" or "signed over" their URL to Wikia, but PathfinderWiki moved to a standard "project.wikia.com" name and retained their URL,
  • All the WoWWiki admins, except Kirkburn, voted to leave Wikia, but Wikia refused to allow the WoWWiki community to move their wiki away*,
  • Not being able to move WoWWiki the admins created a "fork", called Wowpedia, and started to inform users that the project had moved to the new URL,
  • Sansse promoted an ex-WoW player to be an admin on WoWWiki (to back up Kirkburn) and also asked the existing admins to stop promoting Wowpedia on user talk pages,
  • Someone vandalised WoWWiki during Halloween and this wasn't fixed for a while. Sansse used this as an excuse to demote all the old WoWWiki admins (except Kirkburn) leaving the project with just two admins,
  • The PathfinderWiki admins also decided to leave, but did so without a lot of fuss,
  • The PathfinderWiki URL is owned by a (retired) PathfinderWiki editor and he is happy to point it wherever the community wants it pointed (i.e. because Wikia didn't buy/take-over the URL they could go back to it),
  • PathfinderWiki have kept their name (meaning that the two "forks" have the same name - they even have the same branding) and
  • PathfinderWiki has the backing of Paizo (and other "official" Pathfinder projects) and this backing is probably going to be removed from the Wikia fork and transferred to the fork using the original URL.
* = It now seems fairly clear to me that Wikia have got some sort of "Hotel California" policy, where you can merge existing wiki into their wiki farm, but they will never allow you to take a wiki off of Wikia. So if you decide to leave, you are forced to "fork" and they will keep a copy of your project and attempt to attract new editors to it. I suppose that makes sense, from a commercial point of view, because both WoWWiki and PathfinderWiki contain a large amount of high quality pages that show up in Google results and can be flooded with adverts.
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Re: Two major Wikia RPG wikis have split off

Post by night_druid » Mon Nov 08, 2010 12:11 pm

Heh, I have a feeling that the reason the Pathfinder move isn't nearly as contentious as the WoW move has to do with scale. Pathfinder is probably a minor blip, while WoW is an enormous source of traffic.
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Re: Two major Wikia RPG wikis have split off

Post by night_druid » Mon Nov 08, 2010 12:41 pm

Also want to note that the best thing, to me, about WoW wiki moving from Wiki is the LACK OF ADS!!! Freak'n A, its so good to be able to visit and not have to worry about virus-infected ADs popping up and trying to destroy my PC.
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Re: Two major Wikia RPG wikis have split off

Post by Big Mac » Mon Nov 08, 2010 4:00 pm

night_druid wrote:Also want to note that the best thing, to me, about WoW wiki moving from Wiki is the LACK OF ADS!!! Freak'n A, its so good to be able to visit and not have to worry about virus-infected ADs popping up and trying to destroy my PC.
Don't get too excited about that. Curse.com have said that the wiki will be ad-free for a couple of months, to help get it up and running. But then they will need to add adverts to help pay for the bandwitdth. They have promised that ads will not mess up the content and will not flood the wiki. (And I doubt that Curse.com would allow "gold farming" adverts and the like.)
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Re: Two major Wikia RPG wikis have split off

Post by Bonetti » Tue Nov 09, 2010 1:13 am

Big Mac wrote:They have promised that ads will not mess up the content and will not flood the wiki. (And I doubt that Curse.com would allow "gold farming" adverts and the like.)
They'll probably be along the lines of their existing ads in the curse add-on update utility, which are usually generic gaming ads (other MMOs, etc.). Tolerable and appropriate.
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Re: Two major Wikia RPG wikis have split off

Post by Big Mac » Wed Nov 10, 2010 8:26 pm

Bonetti wrote:
Big Mac wrote:They have promised that ads will not mess up the content and will not flood the wiki. (And I doubt that Curse.com would allow "gold farming" adverts and the like.)
They'll probably be along the lines of their existing ads in the curse add-on update utility, which are usually generic gaming ads (other MMOs, etc.). Tolerable and appropriate.
I don't actually mind on topic adverts, unless they:
  • Automatically play video,
  • Launch popups/popunders,
  • Refresh after time,
  • Throw up video or new windows if I pass the mouse over something.
But traditional text or picture adverts are OK with me.
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Re: Two major Wikia RPG wikis have split off

Post by Big Mac » Wed Nov 10, 2010 9:22 pm

Dungeons and Dragons Wiki has also split off from Wikia. (They have been asked, by Wikia, not to put a link to the new wiki on the homepage of the old wiki.)
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Re: Two major Wikia RPG wikis have split off

Post by Havard » Wed Nov 10, 2010 9:30 pm

Sounds like there is some kind of revolution going on?

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Re: Two major Wikia RPG wikis have split off

Post by night_druid » Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:12 pm

Havard wrote:Sounds like there is some kind of revolution going on?
Heh, probably. Guess the question to ask, is it just these three wikis, or are we seeing a mass-exodus of other wikis as well, such as ones for various shows (Naruto comes to mind) and others?
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Re: Two major Wikia RPG wikis have split off

Post by Big Mac » Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:26 pm

Havard wrote:Sounds like there is some kind of revolution going on?
I don't think there is universal dissatisfaction. Some wikis seem to be talking about how to change their pages to fit in with the new skin.

But then, it does actually take a certain level of resources in order to be able to move away from Wikia. Perhaps the wikis that have enough talented people are more likely to leave than the smaller projects.
night_druid wrote:Heh, probably. Guess the question to ask, is it just these three wikis, or are we seeing a mass-exodus of other wikis as well, such as ones for various shows (Naruto comes to mind) and others?
NetHack Wiki has also left.
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Re: Two major Wikia RPG wikis have split off

Post by dfryer36 » Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:21 am

night_druid wrote:
Havard wrote:Sounds like there is some kind of revolution going on?
Heh, probably. Guess the question to ask, is it just these three wikis, or are we seeing a mass-exodus of other wikis as well, such as ones for various shows (Naruto comes to mind) and others?
So far as I know neither Wookieepedia or the Transformers wiki have moved off. I don't visit a lot of wikis though.
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Re: Two major Wikia RPG wikis have split off

Post by Big Mac » Sun Nov 14, 2010 7:08 pm

dfryer36 wrote:So far as I know neither Wookieepedia or the Transformers wiki have moved off. I don't visit a lot of wikis though.
I don't visit a lot of wikis, but the ones that are online encyclopedias of campaign settings are very useful (if correctly citated) for finding source material and working out what is going on with the setting. I'm more interested in what they do, than in what Wikia wikis as a whole do.
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Re: Two major Wikia RPG wikis have split off

Post by dfryer36 » Sun Nov 14, 2010 8:19 pm

I am beginning to wonder if the new skin was applied based on the popularity of the wiki. The Dark Sun wiki is still on Wikia but doesn't seem to have most of the annoying features that I have come to loath on other wikia sites.
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Re: Two major Wikia RPG wikis have split off

Post by dfryer36 » Sun Nov 14, 2010 8:21 pm

Big Mac wrote:
dfryer36 wrote:So far as I know neither Wookieepedia or the Transformers wiki have moved off. I don't visit a lot of wikis though.
I don't visit a lot of wikis, but the ones that are online encyclopedias of campaign settings are very useful (if correctly citated) for finding source material and working out what is going on with the setting. I'm more interested in what they do, than in what Wikia wikis as a whole do.
I mainly used the Star Wars wiki when I was running my Star Wars campaign. I check the Transformers wiki on occasion because I keep thinking I would love to write some Transformers fan-fic, but I never have the time.
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