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Forums > Senate Hall archive > Wikia heads up

We've already had a big discussion about this over on Wookieepedia and there's ongoing brouhaha on it at the central Wikia, but everyone should be aware of some important changes Wikia is planning on making, with or without your approval. See this page and the related discussion for more details, also a Wookieepedia thread.

If there are staff/Janitors that spot any errors in my statement, please correct them and let me know. ;-)

Sound off on it, please don't A) Flame the staff. It might be amusing, but it's probably not and it accomplishes nothing. B) Make empty threats. Consider the bluff called. C) Misinterpret the issue. Read before you click that edit tab. And then read again and look at it from both sides. Atarumaster88 Jedi Order.svg (Talk page) 14:11, 9 June 2008 (UTC)


The new look of Wikia, as shown on the Muppets Wiki. Now just imagine a big adbox right on top of your favorite article on SWF and wince.

  • I'll leave this place for the SWF community to sound off. I personally am incensed and think Wikia has a lot of cheek to pop this on everyone without a bit more notification or requesting input from their communities. Atarumaster88 Jedi Order.svg (Talk page) 14:11, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

I normally maintain a bit of cool in situations regarding change, but WTH?!? Who in their right minds thought this was even a remotely good idea? More importantly, what can, if anything, we do about this? Sounds like they've made up their minds. NKsig.png Jesus Freak NK says NK's 'mazin' articles Sabersmilygreend.jpg 14:19, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

  • The best thing you can do is to let the staff, be it sannse, Danny, or any others, know how you feel about the changes. Atarumaster88 Jedi Order.svg (Talk page) 14:39, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

We'll certainly do that, but the upside is that we don't have to keep this skin if we don't want to, I assume. - President Brandon Rhea Presidentialseal.gif (Pressroom) (Record) 15:45, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

  • Depends on who you mean by "we". The official word seems to be that Monaco will be the default setting for all Wikia. Monobook will still be around, but I've heard they plan on implementing the ads there as well. Atarumaster88 Jedi Order.svg (Talk page) 16:01, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
    • I've spoken to sannse publicly on the irc at my outrage at this, and I propose a boycott of the Monaco skin if they go ahead with these, quite frankly, terrible plans. Darthtomsig.png My page iChat What I've done 16:11, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
      • Why do they think that shoving advertisements in people's faces will help anything? Nobody clicks on them anyway. -MPK 20:00, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
        • MPK's statement sums up my feelings. This is exactly why capitalism sucks. Smile.gif Unit 8311 20:02, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
          • Well, without capitalism, Wikia and by extension, SWF wouldn't exist. It'd be a state-sponsored mouthpiece with censorship, but why don't we just drop the political espousing? Anyway, MPK, the new ads are pay-by-impression (per view), instead of pay-by-click, like the sidebar ads we currently have. As such, though, they generate more money but advertisers want the premium space. Atarumaster88 Jedi Order.svg (Talk page) 20:09, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
  • I wasn't being serious, Ataru. Unit 8311 20:15, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
    • I twasn't either with that first bit. lol Atarumaster88 Jedi Order.svg (Talk page) 20:37, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
    • The philosophy of Wikia: Hello. Let us p** you off by shoving whopping great ads in your faces, so eventually you'll get annoyed enough to click them, just to make the damn things stop! Yet even then you'll have no rest... heh heh heh... Darthtomsig.png My page iChat What I've done

What annoys me most about this is that it's been worked on for quite some time and we're only just finding out about it right before they're going to implement it, and when we state our opinions we're being told that our feedback is valued. If that was the case, they wouldn't have waited until the last minute and sprung it on us like this. They would have consulted all Wikis throughout the development and would've found out that no one wants this. Instead, this whole "we're doing it no matter what" mentality, albeit shrouded in a "we value you" cloak, is reflective of the fact that they worked for a long time on this without saying anything, and now that they've found that we don't like it they don't care because their work would be going to waste. - President Brandon Rhea Presidentialseal.gif (Pressroom) (Record) 20:38, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

It's stupid, but I use monobook so it won't be a problem for me personally. However, regardless if they implement ads on monobook too, I have AdBlock. --Victor (talk) 21:23, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

Dear god, I return to find this!? This is complete madness. Lucky for me, I just downloaded adblock for firefox. I just want to say, I hate ads for the sole reason of slowing my internet to a crawl. More ads would just kill my connection. I'm sorry, but throwing them on the article itself is intruding on the author's work.--Nightmare975 17:17, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

Some more info

Hey guys. Brandon, yes, we were overly optimistic on the timing for this. We are delaying the release to make sure everyone has time to see the example wiki and comment. I think the main thing I need to say to everyone at the moment is please read the page about this on Central and the staff comments on the forum.

One think I'm not sure is clear, is that this about the default skin... if you use monobook you can carry on doing so as a personal preference. but yes, monobook will have future ad changes too (they aren't finalised yet, but probably the right sidebar will be replaced).

We've also make other changes that we've made from feedback.. for example stubs won't have adverts - we can see that they would overwhelm very short pages. And not that there are less adverts if you log in, and no adverts on as many pages as possible (recent changes, other special pages, edit pages, talk pages...)

So please let me know of questions and feedback, either here, or IRC or on any of the talk pages on this. Thanks -- sannse (talk) 21:26, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

I just read the entire page on Wikia and all I see is someone saying $$$$$$$$$$. I can't come up with a single justification for this other than profit, and the worst part about that is that by doing so it ignores what the people who are actually members on Wikis want. - President Brandon Rhea Presidentialseal.gif (Pressroom) (Record) 21:34, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

Sannse: Regardless of all that stuff, in my opinion, it's a pointless and really annoying idea. --Victor (talk) 21:35, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

Wikia is a for-profit company supported by ads. Or rather, that's what we will be once the ads actually pay for the service we provide! Obviously, a business that's built around communities is a bit different, we have two groups of customers: the advertisers, who actually pay, and the users who give them a reason to pay. So we have to try and please both groups. Now obviously you aren't pleased at the moment, but if we don't have enough ad space to sell to make this company a success, then won't attract out other customers, and there will be nothing to keep Wikia alive. I believe it's possible for this to work for both groups, or I'd already be out there looking for my next job! ;) -- sannse (talk) 22:21, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

I believe there's far better ways to do this than intruding on people's articles, and I have a feeling you guys feel that way too. I honestly don't believe that the advertisers are going to say "it must be above the infoboxes or we're pulling out", so I think you guys could come up with something a lot better than this. - President Brandon Rhea Presidentialseal.gif (Pressroom) (Record) 22:26, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

Obviously the motive to change the ad space is motivated by money. Thanks to capitalism, Wikia does need proper funding from advertisers to provide us with the servers and domain space to form a Wikia community. Wikia is now undergoing its industrial revolution: it's compromising quality to increase efficiency. The "new look" will be less masterful, but there are more opportunities to make money. Since Wikia is just as, perhaps even more, dependent on it's community members as industries are on their hired laborers, the inevitable consequence to a Wikia reenactment of the industrial revolution is a community reenactment of the rise of labor unions (see Darth Tom's comments). But instead of repeating history, let's learn from it. Businesses that make it a point to treat everyone fairly have a better image in the public, and therefore potentially more customers.

Wikia community members are bound to Wikia with a more fragile motive than to make a living. This is just our hobby, which can be quit with only mild withdrawal symptoms. We come here every day for no practical reason, we're here to indulge in the satisfaction of having added something to a greater cause. If our work is made more difficult, (i.e. we have to format our articles to make room for ads), what do we do? The laborers in the 19th and 20th centuries gradually asked for more rights and, by means of showing their bosses how important they are by not showing up, worked out compromises. Perhaps we can skip the strike parts and work out what we can do to give contributors the continued freedom to edit and add comfortably and still allow the advertisements to generate the monetary resources to make it possible.

So what does Wikia want?

  1. Money (gets from advertisers)
  2. Popularity (gets from contributors and browsers)
  3. Community (gets from contributors)

What do contributors want?

  1. Freedom to add their stuff easily (gets from Wikia)
  2. Ability to manage, organize, and contribute quickly (gets from Wikia)
  3. The satisfaction of having done something for the greater cause (gets from browsers, 'cause they're the ones that find it worth the bother of reading)

What do browsers want?

  1. Something worth reading (gets from contributors)
  2. Interface and tools that make something worth reading worth looking for (gets from Wikia)

What do advertisers want?

  1. People to see their ads (gets from Wikia)
  2. People to click on their ads and buy their stuff (gets from browsers)

We need to balance these four groups carefully. From the Wookieepedia and Wikia and Star Wars Fanon threads on this topic, it seems that the contributors feel that they've been tipped out by the boost for the advertisers. Potential consequences may go up to an imbalance in the whole system, which nobody wants. All of the groups I've listed are interdependent. As you can see, contributors and browsers don't directly depend on advertisers (though they do indirectly, because what they want is made possible by the revenue generated by ads), and therefore those two groups are of course the first to disdain at the prospect of some of their precious space being given to the commercials. It is apparent that much of the many Wikia community, including myself, think that putting ads in the actual articles interferes with the process of reading, writing, and management. While a decision to change Wikia to the "new look" obviously reflects a need to think about expanding Wikia's gains, which everyone on the list actually would support if it meant more of what they want. Emphasis on if it meant more of what they want. Give any group less of what they want and things might not work out smoothly. So let's sit down and see what can make everyone happy. I've thought of a few ideas, which I'm working on making into graphical representations, so let's get started. --C3PO the Dragon Slayer 6,000,000 forms of communication | Dragons I've Slayed Sabersmilyc3po.jpg 23:23, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

That's a great summary C3PO, thank you. Big changes will always be difficult, and big changes are needed. But I do hope that we can make them as painless as possible for as many as possible. Because, as you say, you contributors are vital to Wikia working. -- sannse (talk) 12:24, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

Meh going on strike, by not contributing, because this is waffle. I like this site cause it's ad free. X-Wing 327 23:32, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

  • A strike will do nothing. I have left a link to this page on the [1], to show our anger. Blast em!--AndeLeg.jpg Arav (talk) 06:13, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Oh, look what I have found. Tom, their is a boycott. [2].--AndeLeg.jpg Arav (talk) 06:22, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

I found this [3]. Look at the size of that add!--AndeLeg.jpg Arav (talk) 06:33, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

A note on that image... it's from the first version of this when part of the changes was going to be a narrower, fixed-width main page (with space either side).. That makes the ads look larger in relation to the page as a whole - the screenshot doesn't show the side space (if you still see the test tubes at, that's the old version). Because of the feedback so far, we've changed that, and the page will be full width. That should be shown on communitytest soon. -- sannse (talk) 12:24, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
  • [4]. I had this discussion with a Jaymach, he used to be an admin on the Star Wars wiki, he is currently a bureaucrat on the Stargate wiki, he also helps out on the White Wolf wiki and is a Wikia Janitor everywhere else. This is his oppinon, If you would like to see.--AndeLeg.jpg Arav (talk) 11:42, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
I think the only thing I would correct there, is that the answer to "How are we surving now?" is "by investment". That's normal for a young company like ours, we aren't expected to be in profit straight away. At first, investors give us money, and we make a loss while using that money to pay for our costs. But every company needs to move out of that phase, and become profitable. So all the time we are spending their money (yay!) we have to keep looking at what we are doing, how well that's taking us towards becoming profitable, and where we need to change. Mostly those changes are small and pretty much invisible to users, but unfortunately this one's a biggie -- sannse (talk) 12:24, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
  • By no advertises on stub articles, do you mean there will be no ads on articles under a certain length, or that there will be no ads on a page that has the stub template? Drewton Era-old.png (Drewton's Holocron) 17:45, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
The software will detect page length. It won't notice stub templates either way -- Sanns sock 19:54, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
Being in the world of work myself, I understand the need for advertising. As sannse mention above, Wikia cannot keep spending someone elses money without having the option of offering it back at a later date, if they did then eventually the companies supporting Wikia would simply give up, and WIkia would die a quick death. But there is also the contributors needs, I for one, do not want freaking massive ads smack in the middle of my articles, as soon as I see them i'm likely to just turn to another page; and whilst this achieves what the avertisers want (pay-per-view) it does f*ck all for the author of the article, or the contributors who are attempting to read it.
I for one don't see a problem with the current adds along the side of the article (take note I refused to use Monaco a long time ago, I have always used Monobook and will continue to do so regardless) which I assume are pay-per-view themselves, I definately notice them, but they do not distract from the article. Now, whilst there are many on this site who will definately support my admission that i'm not the calmest person here, as it doesn't take alot to get me angry I'm attempting to approach this logically and calmly. There is definately a number of ways to increase advertising space on each page without stuicking the advert right in the middle of the page. There is Jorrel Fraajic's idea, as proposed on Wookieepedia, so long as they don't take up half the page (like they seemed to do in the screenshot posted). Large adverts will only hem-in the writing, making the article longer, which in turn adds more adverts, which agen hem the writing in; it's a vicious circle.
Whilst I personally do not have a massive amount of suggestions for advert locations I do have a few. Frstly, not smack in the middle of the bloody articles. Secondly, perhaps below the sidebar? Or beneath the editing tool section of each page, each time someone edits they're gonna see it; which is what the advertisers want. Wikia need to decide if they want lots of adverts or large adverts, you cannot have them together. I'm not particularly keen on having "and then Darth Vader cut his enemy, the Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi in – Feeling itchy? By thrush cream!!!!!" plastered in the article; and it wont take many of those for me to say "no thanks" and leave for good. So Wikia, please, reconsider where you are going to places these adds. You have the entire page to play with without screwing over the contributors. Darth Abeonis Sith Council Sith Campaign 12:32, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Just so it's clear, the Wikia folks glorious leaders of the Wikia company have said that the current sidebar ads in Monobook are pay-per-click, not pay-per-view, which is why there's a need burning desire to introduce a new ad layout, so that they can fund Wikia while spending other people's money. Atarumaster88 Jedi Order.svg (Talk page) 14:06, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
I don't mind ads, and I realise Wikia has to pay for itself, but why oh why did they have to put them THERE??? Can't they at least be retractable? I know ads camn be made so they're hidden once you've seen them. Katana Geldar 11:15, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
Although i'm still an avid user of monobook I have had the oppertunity to sneak a peak at Monaco, and tbh I can't see that much difference besides the rather annoyingly placed Vista advert inbetween the article title and the article summary next to the infobox. It's more snnoying for me because i am already using Vista, so there is no need for me to see the advert. That said, they look to have dropped the whole 'advert in the middle of the article' idea as I can read the whole article without seeing a single advert. I'm hoping this is how it is going to remain, unless my advert blocker is being overly protective and I just can't see the ads :P. Darth Abeonis Sith Council Sith Campaign 15:59, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
That's your adblocker, I can still see the "ads by google" on mine. But look how these ads are reducing the quality of this wikia, my article Rhadé Sarasvati Nalanda is somehting I spent a lot of time on and will continue to update, but when I go into it now it goes halfway down the page these ads Katana Geldar 22:39, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Hi all. We've looked at all the discussions, and have a proposal about ads that we would like your feedback on. Perhaps you could call in to the Central Wikia and have a read. Thanks -- sannse (talk) 20:05, 30 June 2008 (UTC)