• Crucially

    Iowa datacenter test

    November 10, 2009 by Crucially

    Update: The second part of this test will be tonight (Monday 23 November) at 11pm EST. This involves physically disconnecting the main datacenter, so there will be a short time of unavailability for some users until the Iowa datacenter takes over. Once Iowa is serving all pages the site will be read-only until the test is over. Thanks for your patience with this essential testing!

    Our Iowa datacenter is nearing completion for automatic failover. To test this ahead of time we are going to do a controlled failover to Iowa at 11:55 PM PST on Wednesday. Since Iowa is a backup, it is configured as read-only, meaning you will not be able to edit anything. All pages should however render correctly.

    What we are going to do is, in a controlled en…

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  • Sarah Manley

    The first version of a mobile phone skin for Wikia will be released on Wednesday. When browsing Wikia on your iPhone, Blackberry or other mobile device, you will automatically view it in a new, mobile-specific skin. Mobile viewers will no longer be served the usual Monaco skin, but instead one based on MediaWiki's Chick skin.

    The new skin was created to provide a cleaner and more simple interface for mobile users to read Wikia. We hope this will help in reading on-the-go while you are commuting, visiting a museum, or simply just away from your computer.

    In the future, this skin will also provide an easier mobile editing experience. For now, you will go back to Monaco when editing, but this is just the start and we hope to build a whole new w…

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  • Sannse

    New css customization

    November 5, 2009 by Sannse

    Hi All,

    Those of you using custom skins on your wikis may have noticed the blue tint on the header of the new "Latest Activity" box, and the gray footer. These work well with the basic "Monaco Sapphire" scheme, but not so well with some custom looks. This blue is also used for the user page masthead, and will be used for future skin elements as well.

    What we forgot to do, was update the help files to tell you how to change this color, and to send out a message to let you know of the adjustment. Some wikis have made the change already, and are looking great! But some of you may want to update your css pages to match the "tint" and "neutral" classes to your overall color scheme.

    If you use one of the pre-set schemes, then you don't need to …

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  • Kirkburn

    Good morning!

    Today we are launching two new products on Wikia. We've been studying what users click on around the site, and consistently the highest clicked links on the skin and My Home are recently changed articles. To surface that info more prominently to everyone, we have been working on two changes:

    The first is a new section in the sidebar called "Latest Activity".
    This is a streamlined version of the Activity Feed that displays only changes to content namespace articles, and replaces the "Community" box on the sidebar.

    The second is a form of the Activity Feed that can be embedded in any article using the tag <activityfeed/> .
    We believe that the ideal place for the activity feed is on a wiki's homepage so that new visitors will see that yo…

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  • Crucially

    This past Sunday at around 6:00 pm PST (GMT -8), Wikia suffered the worst kind of outage. Our network completely died in San Jose and we stopped being able to serve pages -- kind of. First some background;

    Wikia has four data centers. Three data centers are currently involved in serving traffic: Our primary in San Jose (SJC), our backup in Iowa, and a cache node in London (LON). We use a DNS service from Dynect for our Global Load Balancing (GLB). The GLB will return the IP of the closest data center when you lookup This is used for failover if a data center goes down, and for performance, routing users to the closest data center. London makes anonymous page access in Europe about three to six times faster than fetching the…

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  • Sarah Manley

    If you happen to stop by Wikia's office today, don't be surprised if you are welcomed by Lady Gaga's smile, Darth Vader's light saber, or Twilight's Team Edward's fangs. Wikia's staff have embraced the Halloween spirit, and are sporting their favorite wiki-themed costumes. Among the ranks, are a WOW warrior, Uncyclopedia's Oscar Wilde, Sailor Moon's Usagi Tsukino, and Pulp Fiction's Vincent Vega. You can also spot some sweet threads, crafted from Vintage Sewing Patterns wiki, Jaws and his latest victim, as well as the never ending nuisance of Spam. Looking for your own last minute ideas? Search through Wikia's wikis for inspiration. A great place to start is our ghoulishly themed Entertainment section.

    If any other wikis have spooked out t…

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  • Sarah Manley

    Hello Wikia Community! My name is Sarah Manley, and I am a new member to Wikia's Community Team. I am very excited to be joining the team, and helping to support the ever growing number of wiki communities. I have a background in the environmental and mapping fields. In my past positions, I was an educator at a green non-profit in New York City called Solar1, and a community ambassador for the OpenStreetMap project, which is a wiki map of the world.

    Here at Wikia, I am currently participating in the Green Wiki, Recipes Wiki and most recently started the Canning Wiki. I just started canning, and would love advice and recipes, so please let me build out this new wiki!

    I look forward to learning more about other wiki communities, and assisting…

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  • KyleH

    Introducing: Magazine Creator

    October 14, 2009 by KyleH

    • Use the magazine creator widget on the left to access the MagCloud toolbar. Just browse the wiki and add any articles you'd like in your magazine by clicking the “add” button.
    • Rearrange your articles in the perfect order - Klingon weapons, favorite NASCAR drivers, best COD weapons or whatever you like!
    • Design a cover, either by using our easy cover generator or uploading an image of your own.
    • Then, publish your magazine directly to MagCloud. From there you can order as many copies as you like for you and your friends!

    Magazine Creator is live for most English-language wikis that use the Monaco skin. As always, if you have any thoughts / questions, please leave a comment below!

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  • KyleH

    Lucene Search launching soon

    October 5, 2009 by KyleH

    Hi everyone,

    This Wednesday, we are tentatively planning to release a new search for Wikia called Lucene Search. This is the search engine that Wikipedia has been using for quite some time, and provides a number of significant advantages:

    • Short words are properly indexed (the old search ignored words with fewer than 4 letters).
    • Numbers are indexed.
    • "Common words" are indexed (words such as "from", "with", and "what" were previously ignored).
    • Search is no longer case sensitive.
    • Relevance should be dramatically improved--results are ranked by how the search terms are used within the page, number of incoming links to the page, and a number of other factors to provide the best possible results.
    • Results display the rendered text of the pages rather …
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  • Kirkburn

    Good morning,

    Today we are improving three aspects of Wikia: blog articles, emails and article sharing.

    Blog comments and the watchlist
    The main change for blog articles is to improve the connection between the watchlist and blog comments.
    If you have "Add pages I edit to my watchlist" switched on, commenting will add the blog post to your watchlist.
    If you have "Add pages I create to my watchlist" set on, creating a new blog post will add it to your watchlist.
    This all leads up to: if you have a blog post watched, and you have watchlist emails on, new comments will send you an email! Find out immediately when people are discussing your post :)
    We have also condensed all blog comments into a single group on the enhanced recent changes list.
    HTML e…
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