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GuildWiki talk:Community Portal/Leaving Wikia/Letter to Wikia

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Any news on this? Or is there another place to check and I missed it? RoseOfKali RoseOfKaliSIG.png 01:46, November 4, 2010 (UTC)

If Jedi received a response, then no one but she knows about it - pretty sure it would've been a big deal on IRC. —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken.gif 02:03, November 4, 2010 (UTC)
My email reply was just "k, will look" or words to that effect. I've been talking this over with others in the office and am writing a reply - sorry for the wait -- Sannse<staff /> (help forum | blog) 03:48, November 4, 2010 (UTC)
Well gee, no wonder she didn't bother mentioning that to us. "We'll look into it" is PR-talk for "Let's ignore it and hope everyone else forgets about it." We went to the trouble of writing up a thorough, non-confrontational letter that clearly lays out our situation and states our grievances (as opposed to simply whining that we hate the new skin), and all we get from Wikia is a trite "We'll look into it" and a 2-week-plus wait for a real response? Wow. I think this, more than anything else, demonstrates exactly how unimportant wiki "communities" are to the new Wikia. —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken.gif 04:46, November 4, 2010 (UTC)
I wasn't expecting a response anyway. Felix Omni Signature.png 05:08, November 4, 2010 (UTC)
Neither was I, honestly, but somehow it feels worse now, knowing that they intentionally blew us off. And they probably only started writing this response in the last... oh, 12 hours or so. —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken.gif 12:45, November 4, 2010 (UTC)
I should apologize. Partially my fault. I think everyone assumed I sent this immediately. I wanted to wait for us to get more than just the admin's signatures on it and had other stuff going on IRL so they didn't get this until the end of last week. Sannse emailed me back on the 2nd.—JediRogue 17:19, November 4, 2010 (UTC)
=\ Felix Omni Signature.png 17:20, November 4, 2010 (UTC)
Well. That makes a big difference, then, doesn't it? I take back what I said above. —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken.gif 17:31, November 4, 2010 (UTC)
And sorry from me too, I wasn't clear above - the email pointed us to this page, my reply wasn't a brush-off, it was something like "OK, thanks for letting know of the page, I'll head over to look at it" -- Sannse<staff /> (help forum | blog) 18:05, November 4, 2010 (UTC)
Wait, wait, WAIT. Why did you need an e-mail to point you to this page? Do you have no one who at least hits recent changes on ANY of your wikis and at least tries to get a feel for the ebb and flow of a wiki? And even if you have no one that hits RC, I'm pretty sure this page has made itself known on "Wiki Activity." This just seems flagrantly disrespectful and neglectful. Do you really not feel the need to actually see what people are editing on the wiki that you need an email specifically pointing you to one page that is ABOUT you, and in fact, directly openly addressed to you? I recant my previous stance of "Failure from on High." This is a poignant and obvious example of simply not caring. This page was created on October 18th, 16 days ago total. You were emailed last week, assuming that Jedi emailed you on Monday of last week, that leaves an entire week for ANY wikia staff to have found this page. A WEEK. 7 days. 5 of these business days. Can you honestly tell me, in good faith, that in the 40 hours that I have given you, not one person who works for Wikia ever decided to look at this page, or tell ANYONE about it? No one? Perfect.--Łô√ë Roar.îğá†ħŕášħ is hosting a Card Creation Contest! 20:33, November 4, 2010 (UTC)
Your assumption that Jedi mailed it on Monday is wrong, she said above that "they didn't get this until the end of last week," which would imply she mailed it Thursday night or Friday.
Also, besides assuming that Jedi had sent this to Wikia 2 weeks ago, I also assumed that she had actually sent them the whole message, instead of just a link to this page, which is why I misinterpreted Sannse's "k, will look" paraphrasing. Seems like there's been major miscommunication from all sides here. —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken.gif 20:48, November 4, 2010 (UTC)
I was being as generous as possible on time frames. Giving them as much benefit of the doubt as physically possible is my attempt to remain fair. The point that no one in Wikia noticed this on their own however, still stands.--Łô√ë Roar.îğá†ħŕášħ is hosting a Card Creation Contest! 21:30, November 4, 2010 (UTC)
I think Giga's having way too high of an expectation. Wikia doesn't have thousands of staff members stalking the RC of all their however many wikis they got. I wouldn't even expect them to be constantly stalking WoWWiki's RC. Putting major pages on their watchlist and keep an eye on that? Definitely. Stalk all the recent changes? They might need to increase the number of ads by 100x to pay for the humanpower. -User:PanSola (talk to the Follower of Lyssa.png) 22:16, November 6, 2010 (UTC)
My reasoning behind my expectation is a vain hope for Wikia. The fact that they DON'T have anyone that can monitor wiki activities means that they have no idea what is happening in their wikis. Which is idiotic when you remember that Wikia is currently attempting to take complete control of the wikis they own. How do they honestly expect to improve or even mandate their own wikis, if they have no point of reference to said wikis? It's just sad to think that a company could fail so utterly at it's primary goal. (INB4 Wikia is about money, not wikis, noob. Wikia is supposed to be about wikis, take your parroting hate somewhere else.)--Łô√ë Roar.îğá†ħŕášħ is hosting a Card Creation Contest! 22:25, November 6, 2010 (UTC)
Giga, there are more than 170,000 wikis on Wikia. Even with most of those inactive, that's multiple edits a second... of course we don't see everything (especially as we are still a small company with a limited support team). We call in to various wikis, we have some tools that help volunteers check for specific problems like spam, and we have support email and a central community wiki. We see a snapshot and highlights of what's going on, but it's easy not to see specific pages or conversations until we are told of them. (and of course we are not trying to "take complete control"... that would make as little sense as trying to see all conversations on all wikis). -- Sannse<staff /> (help forum | blog) 20:27, November 9, 2010 (UTC)

(Reset indent) Ya'll at making me feel bad =(. I didn't send it right away because I wanted to get general support on it. Get some signatures and see if anyone was going to make changes. I sent an email linking to it on the 29th. I did originally plan on sending it earlier in the week but I had some personal stuff distracting me and I'm not a full time wikiist (new term!). Only a link because I wanted it to come from here and not from me.—JediRogue 13:23, November 5, 2010 (UTC)

It's "wikian," I believe. :P And I think you were right in trying to get a little more support and see if any more improvements are made to the article, as well as sending the link to the original letter, instead of copy-pasting. My only comment on that would be that maybe you should have made it clearer that this was important, but I don't think you did anything wrong. I do find it rather puzzling that nobody at Wikia noticed the page in all that time, as Giga pointed out. RoseOfKali RoseOfKaliSIG.png 15:15, November 5, 2010 (UTC)
Also, letting us know your plan beforehand would've eliminated the need for me to make any assumptions in the first place. :) —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken.gif 16:03, November 5, 2010 (UTC)
I thought I had mentioned it in IRC. Or meant to. My b. —JediRogue 17:22, November 5, 2010 (UTC)
I, personally, have never used IRC, and time zones make it so that many of those who do use it will miss the things that happen there as they happen.
Besides that, I really can't wait to see the resolution of this, because the current look of this wiki is unacceptable. The longer we wait, the more damage will be done in terms of losing readers and contributors alike, and believe me when I say that many (if not most) of them will not be coming back, even if we eventually manage to get exactly the look we want to have. And while we are waiting for this resolution, we're not doing much of anything (that shows, at least) to minimize the impact. When I load up the main page, I do not recognize it at all, I see next to nothing that tells me this is THE once awesome wiki that started it all, and this truly makes me sad. RoseOfKali RoseOfKaliSIG.png 23:02, November 5, 2010 (UTC)

The Wikia reply[edit source]

The main message I took from that reply is that Wikia still propose that their new skin is best for everyone (including us), and that with some minor fixes and adjustments everything will be ok.

We do believe this skin can work for this particular wiki and this community -- why do you believe that? The community certainly doesn't, and we think we know our audience better than you.

"It doesn't always make sense to introduce more exceptions (Uncyclopedia is a good example of the problems we've had in making them in the past)" -- I'd really like to know more about that, because it's the reason why we can't have monobook back.

"One of the major differences between this change and previous ones [..] is that it is much more data driven and more heavily tested." -- I'd like to see a report on the methodologies used: what data was gathered, and what questions were used to analyse it. Despite the many staff blogs, Wikia have failed to communicate to me what the advantages of this skin would be. With the data and tests, it should have been easy to point to particular benefits the change aims for. I got the impression that Wikia believes it would make readers more likely to start editing, but I've not seen any evidence to support this belief, or what it means exactly. --◄mendel► 00:16, November 10, 2010 (UTC)

Pretty much what I expected to see in a reply... Monobook and Vector is much more well tested than Oasis and saying "more data driven" is a real roundabout way of saying that they can't make money with monobook or vector because of the ad-unfriendly, tracker unfriendly, and social networking unfriendly environment. The new enviroment will foster a more "facebook" like wiki with almost "spammy" contents like on this wiki [1]. Could it work for guildwiki? It can if we "rebuilt" the entire site with new licensing that's not "nc", and to make it fit the format of oasis. --Lania Elderfire 16:29, November 10, 2010 (UTC)
Mendel: on Uncyclopedia, I'm not sure what else you want to know -- they are on a non-standard set-up that's extra work for us to maintain, and which doesn't allow the standard ad units we need. We made exceptions, and they have proved to be a problem in the long run.
On asking for the detailed data - I think you know what I'm going to say here... it's simply not sustainable for us to spend our limited resources in discussing the work we do in that much detail. The people working on gathering and analyzing that data need to do their jobs, not to spend time preparing reports for you and I :)
Lania: by "data driven" I mean just that... that the skin was created with a great deal of testing and data gathering, and that's still going on. Of course ads are a factor in what we do, we are a business and they are a necessary part of that. But the focus for this redesign was on usability and on encouraging users to become editors (as Mendel mentioned above). -- Sannse<staff /> (help forum | blog) 07:37, November 17, 2010 (UTC)
A bit off topic but I've said this already here and on PvX wiki. What are you going to do about the licensing conflict? [2] does not allow profit to be made by a 3rd party(wikia) from the content of the wiki created by wiki editors. Section 4c states "You may not exercise any of the rights granted to You (wikia) in Section 3 above in any manner that is primarily intended for or directed toward commercial advantage or private monetary compensation". Unless we all unanimously agree to release our contributions under a different license like CC-BY, there is a problem here whether you see it or not. I'm not sure if you are versed in the differences in the creative commons license but GuildWiki is built on the old license, not the new CC-BY-SA3.0 license that does allow commercial application and monetary gain from the work released under that new license. --Lania Elderfire 08:36, November 17, 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for the reply. I can see how selling ads on a different format than the main site is not profitable given the maintenance that goes into it, and since presumably GuildWiki serves another segment than Uncyclopedia, there wouldn't be much benefit in extending this exception.
I'd have enjoyed for you to spend an hour to sit down with someone from the usability team for an interview and write a cogent report about that background to the skin change -- it'd have not cost them that much time, and might have made your job easier by being able to give better answers to some the criticism and perhaps headed off some of it. Well, I guess we're going to find out what the New Look does for us when we start embracing it here. ;) --◄mendel► 08:48, November 17, 2010 (UTC)
I take it the perceived waste of time is also the reason we've never received the financial reports we were promised when GuildWiki first moved to Wikia? Way to prioritize. 19:11, November 17, 2010 (UTC)
If I recall, that was the Wikia argument re: the NC license: "We're not making any money off you guys, so we're noncommercial. Just trust us on this." (paraphrased to the best of my faulty recollection of something I read somewhere) --◄mendel► 19:43, November 17, 2010 (UTC)
That was their excuse for not providing said report in 2008: "GuildWiki is obviously still losing money for us (trust us, it's obvious), so there's no need for us to go through the hassle of compiling a detailed financial statement this year. Trust us. Maybe next year." I've searched everywhere I can think of, but I can't find the source for this. I don't think anyone bothered/remembered to poke them about it in 2009. —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken.gif 20:26, November 17, 2010 (UTC)
Last I checked, not making a profit does not make you non-profit. Felix Omni Signature.png 21:11, November 17, 2010 (UTC)
Felix is 100% correct on that. Monetary compensation does not necessarily mean making a profit. Also Wikia is not a publicly traded company so they have no obligation to release financial reports of anything, which means they don't have to file any reports to the SEC or to the public. You could be losing over 100+ dollars a month on hosting CC-by-noncommercial-sa 2.0 content, but if you get a penny a month from ad revenue as a private company thats in violation of the license. If Wikia was a 501c institution that was wholly supported by donations rather than ad revenue, that's a different story. Technically even before the wikia move, guildwiki wasn't 100% compliant with the license because the private owner of the server was getting some ad-revenue. In any case, I doubt anything will come of it because no one cares enough to spend money to hire lawyers to file a class action lawsuit against wikia. --Lania Elderfire 22:45, November 17, 2010 (UTC)
Wanna bet? Felix Omni Signature.png 23:16, November 17, 2010 (UTC)
Without intending to defend Gravewit, I want to disagree on your classification of "having ad revenue = for-profit". If all the ad-revenue is accounted for and are dedicated to paying for hosting costs of the server, meaning if there is any positive balance they are saved for the use of the wiki hosting and do not go into the pocket of the private owner, then I believe that wouldn't count as for-profit. Not to say that is what Gravewit did, I just have an issue with your classification. Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. -User:PanSola (talk to the Follower of Lyssa.png) 08:57, November 18, 2010 (UTC)
It depends on whether the use is "in any manner that is primarily intended for or directed toward commercial advantage or private monetary compensation" (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 section 4c), so if the money doesn't go into anyone's pocket, it's ok. We don't have a problem hosting NC content with a commercial service if that's all that's happening, i.e. we run the site noncommercially and the hosting service runs the server commercially (even a chartered non-profit can hire for-profit services). It's when this distinction gets muddled that we run into license headaches, because then you have to rethink who the publisher, i.e. the person who takes advantage of the license, really is. --◄mendel► 09:08, November 18, 2010 (UTC)