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Local Projects

We have four seperate local projects going at the same time. Cities, Travel and Local, and Tourism. We also have over 100 cities started as seperate wikis like SanFrancisco and Calgary.
I think it would be great if we could all find a way to work together and put as much of this into one wikia as possible. I'm looking for ideas or suggestions on how to do this?

--Gil 04:49, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

The main problem - I think - is that after all we still are a very small group.

And to "fill" Wikia up with knowledge, we would need some knowledge ourselfes, and I am sorry to admit, but without more users there is not much to do, is it ? But an idea to solve our problem would be to form groups, which individually handle a topic...

--Jan Gregor Triebel 13:08, 24 July 2006 (GMT+1)

Sustainable Community Action

very much concerned with local stuff (about sustainability) and so also interested in ways to work together better. Philralph 17:23, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

I don't think the problem is the size of the group, but that we are spreading ourselves out by multiple Wikia covering the same information.

This results in either too much redundant work (sort of silly when using hypertext) or gaping holes.
Each of these "place" (Cities, Local, Travel, Tourism) Wikias has a similar structure developing: pages for cities with regional categories, and sub-pages for things like transport, history, attractions, restaurants. Travel probably wouldn't cover school systems, but local and cities do. So rather than create the page for the T in Boston (the local train system) in at least three different Wikia, we could pool our efforts.
One option would be to decide that restaurant information goes into the Local Wikia. Then Tourism, Travel and Cities would link to the Local pages. Another option would be to merge the place Wikia. (Gil suggested the name World.) We could also merge in the individual cities that have not been able to generate much traffic on their own.
I think Sustainable Community Action is different enough to stay separate either way, but we could certainly increase the cross Wikia links.
--CocoaZen 21:57, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Yes, CocoaZen is correct. A smaller number of more general wikia will work better than a larger number of more specialist wikia. Reason being, more contributors per wikia. Mostly Zen Baby tao (talk) 11:08, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Why do it? Identifying & preventing redundancies. Improving linkage.

If we are to merge the local projects into one wikia, I think we ought to first make the case for why that's a good idea. What are the benefits? What are the disadvantages? What will it mean to editors, readers, and to Wikia?

  • Identifying redundancies might be a good place to start. Start with a major example of duplicate wikias, and show how merging them will make sense. Create a central list of Wikia that appear to be redundant, and which may benefit from closer collaboration among their editors. Notify the editors that their wikis have been added to the list.
  • Preventing redundancies. There ought to be a way to flag an editor when a page she’s trying to create already exists in Wikia. For example, the inputbox in Silicon Valley yields an error message when I try to create a page that already exists in WikiLocal. It would be good if in addition to that I could see a list of existing pages in other Wikia, followed by suggestions on how to deal with the situation (e.g. “you might want to link to this Wiki instead of creating another one”).
  • Shared categories. We might improve linkage if we had meta-categories shared by all Wikia. Currently, when I create a category within one Wikia, I’m not flagged if that Category (or a similar one) already exists in other Wikia. It would also be good if I could add a page in one Wikia to a category in other Wikias (there may already be a way to do that, and maybe I just didn't undertand the Help file). Is Wikias the plural of Wikia, or is Wikia the plural of Wikium?

LJR 12:25, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

'Wikia' is the name of a company that owns the wiki-farm that we are using. Each site hosted here is a 'wiki', not a 'wikia'. The plural of the word 'wiki' is 'wikis'. Hope that clears things up. David Shepheard 10:46, October 12, 2009 (UTC)
Uhm, three year old discussion? Ose TalkContribs 12:42, October 12, 2009 (UTC)
The advantage of watchlist notifications is that people who were reading it then may still be reading. :) Anyway, I use Wikia to mean both the company and a wiki on it, so you can say "a Wikia". sannse once suggested using lower case wikia to mean a wiki on Wikia but that has not really caught on so Wikia or wikia can mean 1 wiki, multiple wikis, or the whole thing. If you needed to be clear that you were talking about the company, you could always say Wikia, Inc instead. Angela@fandom (talk) 12:52, October 12, 2009 (UTC)
Oops. So it is, Ose. It was showing up as unread when I came here and I didn't check the date.
I'm suprised that Wikia is pushing for people to use the word 'wikia' to mean the same thing as a 'wiki'. This is exactly the sort of IP diluting action that Hoover and Durex fight against. I think that their position was that if you allow your name to be used as a generic word, then other companies can claim that they can use that generic word as if it is not a trademark. I've been needing to explain the difference between 'Wikipedia' and 'a wiki' and my wiki to some people. Some people get a bit confused and think that all wikis are one big thing. I think that I would always want to use Wikia to mean your company, wiki to mean a wiki (regardless of where it is) and 'Spelljammer Wiki' to mean my own wiki. I wouldn't want to ever call my wiki 'Spelljammer Wikia' as that would seem to imply that you own it, rather than host it.
Anyway, thanks for the clarification...and the free hosting. David Shepheard 13:43, October 12, 2009 (UTC)
No, a Wikia is only a wiki hosted on and/or by Wikia, Inc., not a wiki generally. In the same way that it's ok "to google" as long as you do it on Angela@fandom (talk) 01:43, October 13, 2009 (UTC)

Redundant Wikia

The more I look at what's there, the more I think that these 4 Wikia are redundant. It's not just an article that might be redundant, but the majority of the content. They are all intended to give information about multiple places. They all cover topics like how to get there, what to see or do when you are there, etc. Do you know which of the 4 has information about Boston? London? Poiria? Should you need to explore all 4 to find out?
I can see a scenario developing where Travel and Cites both have information about how to get too and from Agra. Tourism and Travel both have articles on the Taj Mahal. Local, Travel and Cities all end up with restaurant articles for Agra. And no one with an interest in Agra writes an article on local transport once you get to Agra about how to get to the Taj Mahal.
I'm not talking about isolated instances or things that apply to all Wikia (although your points about those may also be useful), but a specific case where we have several Wikia being set up that may have different uses (travel planning vs sharing favorite restaurants with neighbors) but where the content (in the example, restaurants) has such a serious overlap, that I think we need to do something about the way these specific Wikia interact.
I suggest we either merge the 4 or come up with some conventions about which topics belong where. I don't really think keeping all 4 is feasible due to

  • problems working cross 4 wiki all the time,
  • overhead of teaching the conventions (no, the article on the restaurant belongs in X, but the paragraph about the scenic attractions off the balcony belongs in Y)
  • critical mass

A different problem is what to do with all the 100 or so one-location Wikia. Some are totally inactive, while others are doing well. If someone wants to start a new one, should we suggest they use the 4 (travel, local, cities and tourism), one that is a merged combo? Or do we let/help them start a new one on just that place?
Right now, we don't have too much redundant content (mostly just things like the category pages), so a merger would be feasible. The primary "downside" that I see is the work of actually combining the existing content.
(By the way, I think Wikia is one of those words like grass or sheep, it is both the singular and plural form.) --CocoaZen 14:54, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

Nope, Wikia is the name of a company, so it is singular. We don't have 'wikias', we have wikis hosted by Wikia. If you want to give our wiki-farm a namecheck, then call your wiki a 'Wikia wiki'. David Shepheard 10:48, October 12, 2009 (UTC)

So what I hear is

  • We need a central directory of Continent, country, city, town
  • each page would ideally have a box for travel, box for local, box for info/history

Is that right?

--Gil 00:05, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Central Directory

That central directory is at cities:list. (It's over a year old.) Help us keep it comprehensive! Robin Patterson 01:13, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Organizing Structures

I agree that we need a central directory and some standard conventions. Some other potential organizing principles:

  • Cities seem to be the "basic" unit.
  • Larger units, such as regions, countries, states, principalities and continents are the categories (and may have some pages).
  • Cities have a main page with basic information and other articles -- history, internal transportation, sports (teams, stadiums), museums, transport to/from (airports, interstate bus or train stations, serving airlines), schools, hospitals, shopping centers, festivals, attractions (special items for tourists), restaurants, neighborhoods.
    • It could be boxes on the main City's page, but eventually some content will need its own sub-article. When the sub-sections have their own pages, it is also easier to put them in appropriate categories.
    • Some sub-category pages (e.g., restaurants) would apply to almost any city. Others (e.g., ports) would only apply to some.
    • The different sub-articles could be on different Wikia (internal and external transport on Travel, history and sports on Cities, etc.). (Personally, I don't like the idea of structuring cross-wiki, but I'll go with it if that's chosen as the organizational structure.)
  • Other kinds of pages for special purposes (Hard Rock Cafe article linking to all cities with one. Travel advice. Comparative cost-of-living.)

I'm sure there are other, alternatives. Most of these ideas come from experience on the Cities Wikia; it has not grown very fast, perhaps some adjustments would help?

--CocoaZen 04:21, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Districts, Citizen Journalism, Services

  • I think city districts should be the basic unit. I live in a biggish city, and am more interested in my neighborhood than in the city as a whole. I’d rather know what’s good to eat hereabouts than clear across town. I'd rather shop here than there. I get more attention from my city councilor than the mayor.
  • Districts would also make sense if we were to extend the local Wikia projects into the area of citizen journalism. CJ works better at this more micro level, where people can write about what matters to them – their schools, their events, their businesses, their potholes - without getting buried (as they would be in city-based wikia, traditional media, or WikiNews). [There you go CocoaZen – the plural wikia as in grass or sheep, but in lower case, as a common noun].
  • As to sub-categories, I think we should include Services – for those who serve the community, whether they’re people (gardeners, plumbers, mechanics etc) or organizations (e.g non-profits, my current area of interest).

LJR 13:38, 27 July 2006 (UTC)


Is there an easy way to create redirects between wikia sites? That might help as well. Chadlupkes 13:54, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

There isn't. Cross-wiki redirects were disabled, partly because they were used by vandals to redirect to potentially offensive images on Wikipedia, and partly because it's confusing to users to click on an internal link and end up on a different wiki. It causes problems if they don't realise they're on a different wiki and start adding off-topic content. Angela (talk) 14:01, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Travel -> World

Ok, I see that the Travel Wikia has now become World. There isn't a Category:Wikia descriptions for either, and no resolution to how ( if? ) the other related Wikia will be integrated. What's going on? There are many potentially successful ways to integrate them, but just changing the name of one isn't enough.  :-)
Please discuss, or at least announce, the resolution to those of us who would like to contribute. Thanks! --CocoaZen 14:23, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

It's in the process of being moved, but hasn't quite finished being moved yet (the mailing list is still at for example). Once it's all working, we will announce it properly. Angela (talk) 02:16, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
Ok, thanks, Angela. Would it be possible to move the articles from the other Wikia (local, cities, tourism) and merge them in? (I'm not asking that we do that, just wondering how hard it would be to do.)
Does anyone else think it would make sense to combine them, if feasible? Or am I just off-base about this? --CocoaZen 02:44, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
  • I think it sounds a good idea to merge whatever you think fits into the new "world" Wikia. Angela (talk) 02:47, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Like and support the idea of integration / convergence (of the 3 or 4, not sca, which as CocoaZen says is different - but integration would help make cross wikia linking / potential collaboration, eg between sca and world or whatever easier / better) Philralph 09:35, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Angela, Silicon Valley is the only one in the new local.wikia. I don't mind moving (maybe because I don't know what work it will take) , but where do I belong in World? LJR 12:43, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
Looking at both what you got, and World I'm thinking Silicon Valley would be a better fit for San Francisco or Cities, World. Reason I'm saying that is that World seems aimed at Travelers and visitors, while your Silicon Valley material appears to be aimed at those who are already there.--Kirk 00:11, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
Kirk - Part of the discussion is about whether Cities should be one of the Wikia merged into World. My contention is that much of the content overlaps. Do you want to keep them separate? --CocoaZen 00:50, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
Unless one is willing to adjust the focus of World, I question whether it would make sense to merge cities into World. While a fair amount does seem to overlap, other stuff is more local-centric than travel-centric.
Kirk/CocoaZen – Before I created Silicon Valley, I browsed through Travel, Cities, and specific place-based wikia such as San Francisco. I didn’t see a good fit, so requested a Silicon Valley wikia. In response, Lisa (Sannse) suggested that I build my wikia within the new local.wikia instead. Whether or not it makes sense to now move to World depends on how it’s defined and organized, and how much work it will take to move all place-based wikia there. - Leo LJR 13:20, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Part of the reason I started this conversation was that Cities and Local seemed to have exactly the same purpose/prospective content. Travel seemed to have a great deal of overlap -- different purpose, but the content is often the same. In fact Cities started with a purpose that I think is closer to your content -- what "good" things, community builing or supporting activities do various Cities have. That purpose didn't seem to be attracting wide participation, and I asked if we could broaden the purpose to about the cities.
One of my concerns here is the large number of place-based Wikia that are abandoned. I think we're spreading ourselves a bit too thin and making redundant Wikia about places. Maybe I'm trying to make them too broad (and I'm open to feedback on that), but I think that one common Wikia about places is appropriate.
I think that information about the zoo maybe of interest to someone in a place whether they are just visiting or live there. And I might want to hear how the hotels are in my local area -- even though I don't plan to stay at one. The reviews from other travelers may help me select a place to put up out-of-town guests. It's true that some sections might be of more interest to someone who lives in a place (recycling centers?), but that's ok. Everyone participating in a Wikia is rarely interested in all the articles there. --CocoaZen 19:17, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
I agree in principle that moving all place-based wikia to World makes sense. Death being in the details, maybe we can start determining exactly how that's going to happen. I'm too new to Wikia to map that out. LJR 12:42, 2 August 2006 (UTC)


LJR brings up an important point. Even if we all think these things belong together, there is an issue about how to move the content and another about how we organize the content once it's there. For instance, on the Cities Wikia we have a main article for each city named after the city, say Atlantis. Then related sub-articles are specified by city:topic, like Atlantis:Restaurants. On Travel Wiki, the sub pages use slashes, like Atlantis/Restaurants. Because the Local Wiki has only Silicon Valley content right now, it does not seem to have the context. So there's a Toys for Tots page. It seems to be specific to the Silicon Valley branch of Toys for Tots (a US national organization). On a World Wikia, Toys for Tots could be made national with additional content for local branches?
I think we should select standards. I hope that as pages are copied over, some standardization could be done with search and replace -- all "Atlantis:" file names changed to "Atlantis/" Or preface all the local pages with Silicon Valley with the selected separation punctuation? Some additional changes would probably need to be made manually.
Another question that has come up on Cities was what the main name/preface for cities that share a name should be (London, UK & London, Ontario; Huntsville, AL & Huntsville, TX). Does the larger, more famous or first one get to use the name? Should they all be more specific and the main page is for disambiguation?
Other standard? Questions? --CocoaZen 00:50, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

Point of technical reference. The colon when used as part of a name implies the use of a separate namespace. Depending on how it is implemented, it could facilitate searching for a specific page within a given locale. It could also facilitate localised page formatting for those interested in that kind of thing. Possible negative might be some kind of load factor that I don't know about. --Kirk 02:06, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
Similar question re standards or ways of organising categories. Also guess that some articles will have a national aspect, whilst others have a global aspect, and others a different geographical aspect to geopolitical boundaries. Also that these different 'coverages' likely to change over time. Philralph 06:26, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

World Wikia vs Wikitravel

World Wikia's Mission is to create the largest and most diverse travel guide in the world; Wikitravel's is to create a free, complete, up-to-date, and reliable world-wide travel guide. This seems terribly redundant to me, and Wikitravel has a 17,000-article head start. Is there a difference between the two projects, other than the fact that World uses GFDL while Wikitravel uses CC by-sa? Wouldn't it make more sense to join forces to create one open content guide? WikiTravel:User:Jpatokal 11:09, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

From what I read from Gil, Angela, and Lisa - Travel, Cities, Local, other place-based wikia will be merged into the new World. That's being discussed at Wikimania and appears to be the consensus. Your thoughts? Leo/(talk) 12:27, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
Wikitravel also limits you to one page per city, and doesn't let you talk about things like hotel recommendations, or other more diverse topics. This in typical wikia fashion is much more open and flexible, to let people express their passions about travel. Gil | Talk
If there's this proposal to merge "Travel, Cities, Local, other place-based wikia,..." from my perspective the essence or root of this is place rather than travel. Travel may not be as uncontentious an issue as place or location or locality. To travel or not to travel may be for some essentiallly a matter of choice although others will have less oportunity, means (e.g. in less developed parts of the world) or simply desire (if for example concerned about the effect of air miles on the state of the planet bequeathed to future generations). And although there may be some who are passionate about travel there may be others who see things differently but are not necessarily any less passionate. On the other hand, everyone lives, works or does whatever they do in a particular place or location. So from my perspective make it primarily about place (cause this is in essence more inclusive) and only about travel to the extent that there's appetite or consensus for it. Philralph 14:51, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
It's one page per city because that was a community consensus. One founder wanted to change it, but he was disuaded by the community.
Wikitravel encourages descriptive, non-neutral text about stuff like hotels (though we prefer to delete listings rather than bother with a negative review). Did you know that it has been proposed to add recommendations and forums as an add-on to the wikitravel articles rather than cluttering up the main guide with them? Is there something you think is missing if that was implemented?
Frankly, the duplicated travel part of this seems more of NIH rather than addressing a need -- as opposed to the local guides which seem like they could be useful by going into more and different details than would be desired in a travel guide. -- Cjensen 20:01, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
I got a very strong sense from the message that Gil left for me on my Wikitravel user_talk page that the creation of World was a reaction to recent developments with Wikitravel (i.e. it is now hosted by and the trademark is owned by Internet Brands, a for-profit corporation), and some misinformation about what that entailed. There's some understandable skepticism about IB's motives and concern about Wikitravel's future, but as far as I can tell, the ownership change hasn't changed anything (for better or worse) at Wikitravel. It's still free-beer (no adverts, although IB says they'll add some eventually), it's still free-speech (ye olde CC-By-SA), and it's still free-from-NPOV ("be fair" is the standard). I'm not trying to recruit here – anyone who finds Wikitravel's license, ownership, policies, goals, etc. unpalatable should certainly focus their efforts elsewhere, and I wish you the best – but before anyone makes any conclusions about Wikitravel, I encourage you to look at it yourself – read the license, the guidelines, the articles, etc. – rather than simply accepting what anyone tells you about it, or what you read on teh interweb. If this collaborative project here on Wikia is going to be something substantially different, go for it... but if it's another travel guide, and it's just getting underway, I'm left wondering "why?" - TVerBeek 03:27, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
I admit I am still a bit skeptical of Internet Brands, as they recently took content from Wikipedia without attribution. It appears to have been a naive mistake, but still hasn't been fixed, so I'm in wait and see mode. That said, as someone with 6 million frequent flier miles, I'm more interested in building travel content that can go in more directions that existing travel wikis, so that we can have specialty guides for pet lovers, luxury hotel lovers, and more. I also think directories may be very interesting additions, so our goal is to offer more choice and more flexibility. In adidtion our city guides need a home that may link well with travel so that travellers can see local information about cities. [User:Gil|Gil]
Could you please provide more info about the copyvio? Wikitravel fixes that kind of thing immediately and we don't need IBs permission to do it, but we need to either notice it ourselves or have someone point it out. Or did you mean some other IB project? -- Cjensen 07:42, 6 August 2006 (UTC)
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