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GuildWiki:Community Portal/Leaving Wikia

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Leaving Wikia?[edit source]

GuildWiki is leaving Wikia because it seems that Wikia is heading in a new direction that makes it harder for this wiki to be a great Guild Wars resource and a fun place to hang out. If you'd like to contribute to deciding the future of this wiki, please join the conversation.

In anticipation of the move, some users are asking our sysops to delete their personal pages from this wiki if/when the move occurs. If that interests you, please read the terms of usage for {{Delete me from Wikia}}, then add the tag to your main userpage).

Why are we moving?[edit source]

Wikia has renegotiated the terms under which GWiki has lived at this site, largely defeating the advantages of being hosted here.

  • Wikia's new skin (to be forced on us 3 November 2010) will require a redesign of core functionality:
  • Wikia's new skin continues a trend of increased ads; when GuildWiki first moved to Wikia, Jimmy Wales (Wikia co-founder) and Gil Penchina (CEO) insisted that they intended for us to have fewer ads.
    • In the same communication, they promised GWiki that they would a) never force a skin on us, and b) report regularly on profitability (sharing any such profits with the community). Commitment b) has never been kept, and commitment a) is currently being broken with the imperative new skin.
  • Wikia is being extremely reactionary in regards to wikis that move. While they initially said they would support communities' decisions about forking/moving, they have repeatedly clamped down on attempts to inform said communities of the move, claiming that it is "advertising a competitive site." See this discussion at WikiSimpsons for an example.
  • As a wiki community, our efforts are better served by changes that we actually benefit from.
    • Recently, Wikia has been adding new features. Each change has required extra work to support or adapt to the wiki...or to disable. Some have even since been removed by Wikia (sometimes requiring additional work).
    • The new features have not generally been of value to this community.
    • The skin changes are only the most prominent of these types of changes; as GWW demonstrates, GWiki would work fine with Monobook as default skin from the start.

Wait, this cannot be so bad. Are other wikis this upset?[edit source]

Yes. Including PvX, WoWWiki, Dungeons and Dragons Wiki, and the Anti-Wikia Alliance.

Seriously? Isn't this just about people being resistant to change?[edit source]

Wikia's changes will force us to redesign hundreds of articles, tables, templates, and layouts. Even if Wikia offered us developer support to automate the process (which they aren't), we would still need to manually adjust nearly every affected page. Further, these changes will also limit our flexibility in making this wiki as effective as possible.

In the end, these changes impose a great burden and yet offer little (if any) benefit to this wiki, its readers, or the community of unpaid volunteers who make it possible.

So, it's just about the skin? C'mon![edit source]

No, the skin is only one symptom of a larger problem. Wikia's core purpose fits badly with GWiki's mission: we are a community dedicated to providing the best possible encyclopedic resource for Guild Wars (and enjoying our work to make it so). Wikia is moving away from being primarily an ad-supported wiki hosting site into a company that helps communities of all sizes organize, collaborate, and communicate. We will continue to have to work harder to be effective here than we would at some other host.

What is Wikia's timeline for implementing the new skin?[edit source]

October 6, 2010
All logged in users will be able to “switch on” the new look for themselves on any wiki they visit.
October 20, 2010
All users will see the new look on every wiki.
Logged in users will have the temporary option of viewing and editing wikis in Monaco.
November 3, 2010
The option to use Monaco will be removed.

What does a move mean to the average player/reader here?[edit source]

  • You would have to change bookmarks to the new site.
  • We hope we would be able to leave a site announcement at this site (any existing content here would remain).
  • Your Wikia username will be "reserved" at the new wiki for a certain period. When registering at the new wiki, you will need to provide the same password that you use on Wikia in order to register the same username. (You can change the password after registering.)
  • All content and history will be migrated.
  • Your Watchlist, if you use that feature, must be migrated manually. Open Special:Watchlist/raw on both wikis and copy it over.

Were other alternatives discussed?[edit source]

  • Yes, we attempted to work things out with Wikia in an attempt to re-renegotiate the terms of our hosting. We weren't able to find anyone who accepted the premise that there was anything to discuss.
  • We considered something to do with the the official wiki. However, the consensus opinion is that the two wikis are sufficiently different to make it worth the effort to preserve this community and its brand.

Letter to Wikia[edit source]

An open letter to Wikia was written by a member of our admin team. This letter expresses our specific concerns and issues with continuing to maintain GuildWiki under their jurisdiction. Users are invited to add their signatures in support of this on the letter itself.

This letter can be found here. A copy is being sent to the community management team at Wikia.

What hosting options are being considered?[edit source]

We considered a number of different options, including other free wiki farms as well as paying for our own private hosting. In the end, we decided to move to Curse.com, an MMO gaming community network that already hosts several smaller wikis. Guild Wars Guru is already part of Curse, and PvX Wiki decided to move there from Wikia, so we knew we'd be in good company. Curse will be purchasing a domain name for us, www.guildwiki.org.


Who is deciding this? Do I get any say?[edit source]

Ultimately, our admins and bureaucrats are going to make the final call because they have to do most of the heavy lifting (whether we remain or move). However, as with any other Big Decision for GWiki, everyone has a say. Add your thoughts to this page or pop an email to someone posting here so that we be sure to take your views into account.

Screenshot gallery[edit source]

Some examples of pages that would require work under Oasis.