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Alternatives

Lots of people are asking to see alternatives that we considered when we were working on this new format. I'll give you some examples of websites that we looked at, and you can see how they handle ads and spotlights.

  • Lostpedia: A very popular wiki. They use "ContentLink", which automatically highlights selected words as green links. When you mouse over those words, a related ad pops up. I personally argued to reject this option immediately, because I think it's horrible. It's ugly and distracting, and it creates a direct link between what contributors type and what advertisers sell. It couldn't be clearer there -- the words I type = money for the site. Still, it's a super-popular wiki, and I bet they make a profit.
  • The New York Times: A headline and a big picture on the first screen, but no article text. Six external ads on the page, including an Ameriprise button next to the search box and a Fox Searchlight button inside the article content. There are also three in-house ads within the article content, and six in-house ads along the side.
  • Slate: Twelve external ads on the page, including two in the article space, plus a separate search box sponsored by Ask.com. Three big in-house ads along the sidebars.
  • IGN: Four external ads on the page, including a big box at the top of the article space and a sneaky "Click here for more info" link that's part of the main infobox. It also has interstitials. The box in the article space has animation. At least five in-house ads around the content.
  • The Washington Post: Five external ads on the page, including one in the article content. In-house ads at the top right of the content space.
  • TheForce.net: Twelve external ads on the page, including a big box at the top right. The article itself is about six sentences long.

I can go on, but I think I've made the point. Every major content site on the internet has an ad format that's way more aggressive than what Wikia plans to use. This includes major newspapers as well as sites for fans and user-generated content sites. Across the board, Wikia has fewer ads, and less aggressive ads. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 15:01, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

Almost all your examples are inapplicable to this situation. People are paid to produce content for almost all of those sites. And since they are single, cohesive sites, and the content providers and web designers are all paid for their work for the site, a single look-and-feel is appropriate. You're trying to take a bunch of essentially separate sites where the content is provided by volunteers, combine them, and pretend that they're all one big community as a pretense for making decisions for them. There is a difference.
Also, the ContentLinks on Lostpedia are ugly but better in my opinion than mashing the page layout and content with giant ad boxes. ElasticMuffin 15:20, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
Showing other sites that look bad, does not make the proposed solution better. --Fandyllic 17:12, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
I was responding to Sky's request above: "I would personal advise Wikia to seek out websites of similar rank on Alexa or Quantcast and what not to see how they deal with advertising and location of content. What we need here and now is to be provided alternative layouts; other ways which Wikia has considered and thrown out the window." Those are all sites that we looked at when we were working on this process.
It's true that none of those sites fit Wikia exactly, because Wikia is unique. This is one big website that hosts thousands of different wikis, with all user-generated content, and we offer that service to everyone for free. As far as I know, there are no other sites like that, so it's hard to come up with an exact parallel.
Still, if anyone can find another example of a for-profit user-generated content site that you'd like Wikia to emulate, please post it for everyone to see. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 17:20, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
If the way Lostpedia advertises is an option, I favor it. Lostpedians aren't paid for content generation either, that's just silly. -- LordTBT Talk! 17:53, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
Note- I said "almost all".  :) ElasticMuffin 19:14, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
Then someone over there owes me a fat check. -- LordTBT Talk! 19:18, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
#Impression-ads: OK, but only on the top banner --Ciencia Al Poder (talk) -WikiDex 18:46, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
Most of the examples you cite create their own professionally done content. That leads to much higher costs that they have to recoup, as they're not merely hosting someone else's content that was provided for free. Getting professionally done content created by people whose full time job is to create the content and needed a lot of education and training to be able to do so also justfies far more invasive advertisements. Quizzical 19:20, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
The editors of these websites have more ways to structure their content; and for those news websites, much of the content is text. What is not text is usually relegated to a gallery that can be browsed without losing backlinks to the article the user came from. The content, if it is informative like that on the movie database, is chunkified and can be navigated using the sidebar. Put a nav based on the TOC somewhere that users can readily find it and I can design chunkified content. Give me gallery pages to hold our big skill reference table in full with (even without a sidebar) and I can possibly edit them out of the main text. Give me a fixed-width column and there'll be ways to making it work.
But frankly, is it worth the effort to convert all our templates? How much is the cost of that? Check the sizeable article base for layout problems? On a layout I can't even see in editing mode, don't want to use, and that randomly changes? You expect this work to be done for no pay and a worse design, as a matter of course. "We host, you edit" - that is the unwritten (written?) contract we're operating under here, but it's volunteer work. We don't like to be made to work. "Tech support, can you fix our articles?" ;) --mendel 20:11, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
As a wiki editor myself, I find that attitude to be surprising. As far as I know, we love designing and redesigning wiki pages. The only thing we like more than that is arguing with people on talk pages about stuff that nobody else understands. That's part of what making a wiki is about.
It's true that contributors put in a lot of time and work on their wikis, and don't get money for it. But what we get is something that matters to us -- we get an awesome wiki. We get a community of people to work with, we get to make friends with people that we've never met, and we get to spend our free time talking and arguing and writing in obsessive detail about the things we love the most. We don't do it because we expect to get paid for it. We do it because we love it, and because it's the most fun thing that we've ever had the chance to do.
I mean, I can't really speak for you. But I got into this wiki racket because I founded Muppet Wiki, and very quickly realized that this was my favorite thing in the whole world. I ended up loving it so much that I quit my old job and went to work for Wikia, because wikis are all I want to do. With this job, I get to work with different wikis all the time -- and I still go home at the end of the day and work on Muppet Wiki in my free time.
So, yeah, you don't get paid for working on your wiki. You do it because you love it. If the new ad format makes you stop loving it, then you don't have to do it anymore. I hope that's not the case, but it's your passion, and your choice.
But I've got good news for you... tech support won't help you fix your articles, but community support will. We've got a Wikia community team, an Entertainment team, a Gaming team and a new Hobbies team, and all of those people are happy to help you do any kind of redesigning that you need to do. Between us, we have about a hundred years of wiki experience, so we're happy to help you fix templates and infoboxes, make gallery pages, create fixed-width tables, and anything else you need. We can also help you program bots to take care of the repetitive tasks, so you don't have to do the same thing over again on every page.
[ End of my post edited because I'm getting a little silly. ] -- Danny@fandom (talk) 21:04, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
The points that you've missed are:
  1. Sure, we love editing, but not when we have to because our host is changing the site layout. At least I know I don't.
  2. I wasn't asking tech support to help me. I want you to consider doing the design changes for all the wikis on wikia with your staff. How much would it cost you? Who bears that cost now?
--mendel 22:44, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I'm not sure I understand. If the system works the way that it does so far on Communitytest, then there aren't any design changes that have to be made. On most article pages, the text will wrap around the 300x250 ad, and any picture or infobox will be moved down to accommodate it. On pages with big tables, the leaderboard will appear, and the design of the page won't be altered at all. Assuming that there are no technical glitches, the pages that you see on June 17th will be functional and readable.
If having that new element on the page means that you want to change your page design, then that's a choice that the contributors can make on any given page. As I said, if you want help with those changes, we're happy to help. If you don't feel like making any changes, then the pages will be fine as they are. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 23:00, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
Do people like fixing up a page to be better than it ever had been before? Sure, some do, and those are the ones that edit wikis. Do people like reverting 50 pages after a vandal goes on a rampage, or worse, hundreds of pages after a bot edits them all with slightly wrong syntax? No, actually, people don't like that, which is why we ban vandals.
Quite a lot of pages will look incredibly dumb if you stick a new 300x250 picture in the top right corner, and push whatever was already there down. It's likely that some very large groups of pages can be fixed by tweaking a few key templates to make sure that the box ads never appear, though even if this is done, if the way the template is inserted into a page isn't quite standard, it might not work everywhere.
It seems that the code sometimes does like to insert a box advertisement even when there is already a picture in the top right corner, and compensate by shoving the picture down. If you're going to do this, why not allow an option to move whatever was already in the corner left rather than down? That, I think, would look a lot better on some pages when there is just empty white space to the left of the picture in the top right corner, but not below it. Quizzical 19:45, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Proposal to make feedback easier to navigate

  1. Make a page for just feedback on the new style without any proposals to change the current plan.
  2. Make a page for proposed changes to the plan, excluding changes to the advertising placement.
  3. Make a page for proposed changes to advertising placement.
  4. Make sure changes to the plan are reflected as immediately as possible on the Wikia's New Style article.

I know this may make it harder to see everything at once, but the current gob of feedback is very hard to navigate.

Also see my Forum:Boycott Wikia's New Style. I include some proposed solutions or at least changes to the current plan. The current plan seems to be more like "let's please the advertisers and stuff the editors." --Fandyllic 19:50, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

Is the Wikia's New Style article up-to-date?

It seems like some dates may have changed and exceptions are being made for some wikis already (see [http://halo.wikia.com/wiki/Blog:Wikia%27s_new_look Halopedia blog, "Wikia's new look" and scroll to Forgottenlord's 2nd post).

It would be nice if Wikia's New Style were kept as accurate, up-to-date and detailed as possible. If Wikia is secretly making exceptions for some wikis, that is a bad thing. They need to open and transparent as possible. --Fandyllic 20:08, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

There are some exceptions that have to be made because of issues with specific wikis. Halopedia moved to a different Halo skin in February/March, as a test for some new social features like profiles and polls. They're currently running on a specific codebase that isn't the regular Monaco code. So that needs to be switched over to Monaco before it goes to New Monaco.
There may be some other small exceptions made, based on that kind of thing -- differences in code-base that make things take longer.
Also, in general, there's a difference between wikis that are currently on Monaco and those that are on Monobook. Wikis that are currently on Monaco will switch automatically to New Monaco next Tuesday, June 17th. Wikis that are currently using Monobook will be switched over by hand, so that we can help communities customize their new Monaco skin the way that they want. That process will probably run until the end of June.
This stuff isn't meant to be secret, per se. It's just not necessarily that interesting, so we haven't made big announcements about it. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 20:39, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
P.S. As far as I know, Wikia's New Style is accurate and up to date. I'll look at it again to make sure. The timeline there says that New Monaco will be released on June 17th, with main page changes and Monobook switches happening over the following couple weeks. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 20:41, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
You should put an exception list up unless Halopedia is the only one. It might also be nice to have some kind of status page that lists the stage that various wikis are at in the process. You could pick the largest wikis to start the list and let the others self report. --Fandyllic 21:26, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
And another thing. Someone mentioned above that ads may not appear on stub and small articles, but this is not explained on Wikia's New Style as far as I can tell. Also there are no criteria to describe what qualifies as a stub or small. If this is true, then Wikia's New Style is neither accurate nor detailed. --Fandyllic 21:31, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
That's a really good idea about the status page. I'll see if we can put that together once things start rolling next week. I'm not sure about the exception list... Uncyclopedia is another special case. I hesitate to say that those are the other two, because there may be more that I can't think of at the moment.
Thanks for pointing out the short pages thing; I added that to the New Style page. As you can probably tell, I'm spending a lot of my day responding to people's questions, so it's easy for an occasional detail to slip. Plus everybody around here keeps telling me to stop and take a break once in a while. If you see more omissions like that, let me know! -- Danny@fandom (talk) 21:49, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
I don't want to be finger-pointing here, but what qualifies certain wikis for "exceptions"? Article count? Activity? Amount of editors? Also is the 300x250 ad really necessary on main pages? Banners, ok, but the box ad on the main page? Also, if this is supposed to be somewhat of an "experiment" for Wikia, what data will determine whether it is a success or failure? If it is a failure, do things stay as they are with "New Monaco" ? --LordTBT Talk! 02:55, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
New monaco mainpage

The exceptions are due to special circumstances, like Halo using a different codebase that needs to be re-written specially. They have nothing to do with the size or the popularity of a wiki.

Our advertisers expect both a banner and a 300x250 ad on main pages. We know that most of the time, readers are looking at the article pages more than the main page, but advertisers love main pages.

I talked about the criteria Wikia will be looking at to evaluate the experiment here. When the new format goes live next Tuesday, we need to see:

  • whether the system actually works the way we expect it to, and it doesn't break page designs
  • the actual impact on ad sales and click-through rates
  • the community reaction -- how people feel when the changes are actually live on the site
  • the overall impact on readers and contributors, which we can evaluate by looking at the stats on pageviews, edits and active editors.

We'll be able to know some of these things right away. For others, it'll take a while to build up enough data to evaluate. We're definitely keeping a close eye on the things that are important to the contributors -- like whether the format discourages people from reading or editing. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 04:46, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

I figured this evaluation would take time, but what's the benchmark looking like? 3 months? 6 months? Longer? --LordTBT Talk! 05:01, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
It depends on which part we're looking at. Obviously, some changes have already been made before the new format has launched, based on some of the community reaction. Once things launch, we'll be able to see whether the system breaks pages or not. We'll be able to track the impact on readers and contributors fairly quickly -- anything dramatic will show up right away, and any longer-term trends will probably be apparent within two to four weeks. Assuming all of that goes okay, then we need to look at the impact on ad sales and click-through rates, which will take longer to evaluate. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 05:06, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
If advertisers are crazy about main pages, but you know they're not that great, perhaps you should use your statistics to explain to them why they're not?
I mean- yeah, we don't use the main page much- but it's a landing page, especially for new users. And trying to scrunch that kind of information into that small a space isn't going to be pleasant. The current Teletraan 1 frontpage is 3 columns. That awkwardly-sized chunk you're leaving us forces everything down into 1 column- turning the entire frontpage into one long list. That sucks. We just redesigned the entire thing to be 'big and spacious' to fit with Monaco's look after your guy told us that "small text means you hate anyone over 40, and that's what Monaco is out to fix!" -Derik 00:31, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Is this right?

(Tick Tock) (Contribs)  21:52, 10 June 2008 (UTC)]]

Also, while I'm complaining, I figured I'd ask about wikis with dark backgrounds and light text, like Darthipedia, for instance. Is there any way you could make the adverts conform to the wiki's look a bit, just so it doesn't stick out like the one here. - TLB (Tick Tock) (Contribs) 22:02, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

The main page for most wikis will have a top banner and a 300x250 ad. To accommodate that, we've got new column tags to help people create a fixed-width 300px right column. That'll take a few weeks for everyone to do, so changes to the main page won't roll out with the release next Tuesday.
I'm not sure why you're seeing them overlap each other like that, though. We've taken the fixed width off of the main page on Communitytest -- do you still see that overlap?
If your background is dark, we can adjust the background color of the ad. Check out WoWWiki for an example. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 23:30, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
Could there be some sort of special page to let local admin ajust color of text, link and background of the adsense ? That thing should not let us put equal values for background and foreground though.
Or, another method could be to use CSS in some way... That is just a sort of featured i've dream of since the start... — TulipVorlax 01:39, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
Is this right? On wowwiki, 2 flash ads plus 1 google ad.
Wowwiki
Also, I agree with another comment that said this should be given more time for sufficient discussion and feedback. Using Firefox 3 RC2. I'm off to have a P'zone Pizza. w3stfa11 21:07, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
No, that double-Flash ad is a bug. We're working to fix that right now... Sorry you're seeing it. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 22:11, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

It's a bit hard to tell without images, but it seems that a center aligned image at the top of the page does not trigger the banner, but instead calls the adbox, which pushes down the image (and whole page) since the image can't wrap. It would be nice if this would either (a) call the banner or (b) centered the image in the space to the left of the adbox (i.e. center-300px). See the old and new versions here on community test. --GAHOO t/ c 23:16, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

That's a good point; we may have missed that one. Thanks for the examples -- I'll pass this on, and we'll figure out a solution. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 23:31, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

In all seriousness

This New Monaco looks pretty bad, the main issues lie with it is this. It moves ads into the content area, now I don't know if these ads will help improve profitability. I don't know but it cheapens the overall feel of the wiki and our content, and it also makes people want to leave Wikia because they do not have control over conent. The next problem I have is this. The content moves up to where the Background Strip used to be, blocking whatever they did that was apparently beautiful.. I mean look at Wookieepedia, it's going to be ruined and look ugly because of New Monaco, the content will be forces up to the top next to the header which will make it look absolutly ugly, I kinda like the content and menu blending in with the Background Strip but this is inexcusable, I want a Wiki to have a unique style, not be filled with obious advertising that ruins the obious artistic value that the wiki had. And I don't like that we're now forced to create Wiki.png for every wiki. In the past we used to be able to create Wiki.png in our own style and our own leisure. Now we're forced to do it, I mean come on. Where's the dignity? Your ignoring the cries of the community for a newer version of monaco that tries to be monobook but obviously isn't monobook. I appriciate it that you're trying to make us feel like home, but I always felt that Monaco was it's own skin with it's own style, it shouldn't be something it shouldn't be. It should stay the same. Because it's perfect the way it is, it doesn't need any improving or any redesgin, it's perfect the way it is. And think about the community, actually listen to the community this time, we have opinions too you know. Just think of the wiki's that'll be affected by this. Wiki's that are using different skins and don't wanna change because it doesn't feel right. We're begging you to find a different alternative to this. What you are doing is alienating Wikia's audience. I hope you take the time to listen to the thoughts and opinions of the Wikia community.

Thank You. --Taylor Karras talk contributions 00:38, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

We are absolutely listening to you. One thing that I'm hearing is that you really like the way that Monaco is right now. Monaco only launched a few months ago, at the beginning of March. It looks like after just three months, you've already grown attached to the new skin.
So I'd like to suggest that you give New Monaco a chance. It's hard when things change just as you were getting used to the last change. But I think it's possible that three months from now, you might consider New Monaco to be "perfect" too. You might not, but your attachment to Monaco indicates to me that you're open to new experiences. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 00:56, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
"Perfect", I think not. Also you keep saying people like Monaco, but perhaps it's more that they don't hate it. It isn't demonstrably worse than Monobook and in some ways better. However, "New Monaco" isn't really new, it just has more ads in more obnoxious places. I would call it "Irritating Monaco". It will never be "perfect." --Fandyllic 02:20, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
Monaco is good. But the main problem of New Monaco is this, it's the customization. For those those wikis that make extensive use of Monaco customization. Most of us are afraid of this change because it'll ruin the look of our Wiki's. Especially Wookieepdia. I think that Wikia needs to look into customizing New Monaco so that it'll work well with Monaco customization. I'm not saying New Monaco is bad but I'm not convinced until it can look good when modified using CSS. That's all. --Taylor Karras talk contributions 02:29, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
Actually, New Monaco will use the exact same customization as regular Monaco, using the MediaWiki:Monaco.css file. The only difference is that the content area is moving up to cover the background strip. It's actually possible to use css to lower the article and reveal the background strip, if people want to. That moves the article down, though. It's up to the wiki to decide that. Otherwise, the same colors and backgrounds apply. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 04:38, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Maybe we need more ads...(yikes)

At the risk of being tarred and feathered... maybe there needs to be more ads rather than less? Just hear me out. I'm looking at the main page of ESPN.com. It's a busy main page for sure. Ad bar on top, and full ad column on the right (and that's ignoring the side panels). The thing is, the content area is a nice rectangle. Part of the problem with the adbox is that it makes a rectangular area into a polygon - which, let's face it, is not optimal when it comes to layout. If that column was all ads (or maybe a combination of ads and monaco widget space), it almost makes it easier on the eye. It tells the reader where the ads are vs where the content is. The box stands out less as in the "content space" and more as simply part of the ad space. Here is the test page on CW (grover is ads). If you could move the banner left so the ad-column moves up it might not look bad. It's kind of a page balance thing more than anything. IDK. Just kind of looking around the web and mulling it all over. --GAHOO t/ c 00:59, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

ESPN is a bad example and doesn't have that many ads. Look at this page. It has a top banner (which doesn't go 100% across the bage, btw for me) and some ads to the lower-right below the Also see "sidebar" of links. This is not great, but better than the Wikia proposal. --Fandyllic 7:16 PM PST 10 Jun 2008
Go the whole hog. 300px sidebar, ad at the top, navigation/edit links and widgets below that, maybe some small ad boxes with GoogleAds. The rest of the page, top-to-bottom content. The article headline right below the browser tabs. Site notices by our wiki admins could be using the top, or they could go in the sidebar, that ought to be a choice of the individual wiki admins. The content area on the pages would actually not change in size (it'd just change shape a little bit), it'll be wider at the top where it otherwise be squished between the sidebat and the ad, and with users adopting widescreen monitors that's the best way to go into the future. Only for the main page of a wiki an exception could be made to allow for ad space across the top if it really sells that well. Call the skin "Broadside" or "Broadway" and off you go. What do you think? --mendel 08:32, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

What Will the Casual User Think of This?

The more I look at the new skin layout, and the new (very prominent) ad position, the more I have to wonder what casual users will think of this new skin. In communities with a large user base there is a significant portion of visitors that will become discouraged or disgusted by ads being too visible, or a centerpiece of content. During running several wikis that depend on large, non-Wikia sites for community support--where they don't depend on our sites to exist, but we depend on them--we have to fight to remind our users and contributors that our site has the community and customer service in mind first, and showing them ads as a second priority. Such a large ad space, though, which interrupts user-created content, only makes them feel that what they contribute is secondary to advertising.

I'll quickly admit that the whole point of Wikia is to have users create content that will bring hits to pages with advertising. However, the giant ad box in the new skin sends a clear message to visitors of any contribution level--casuals to those of us volunteering part- or full-time hours into our wikis each week--that their contributions are secondary to advertising. After reading through these posts, that message's prominence appears to be a root of this discussion, as very few Wikia users want to be reminded that their work has a lower priority than advertising revenue.


The reason for this new skin is obvious: Wikia needs more income. The cost of business is high, and they need to find new ways to keep the company making, instead of losing, money. The need to survive and grow is completely understandable, and it would be an injustice to the business' shareholders for Wikia to not try to be profitable. With what I see, I am not convinced that increasing ad space and possibly alienating a portion of the user base is the best answer, though. As one of many volunteer editors that puts in a job's worth of time on Wikia each week, I ask the Wikia staff this (likely very controversial) set of questions in hopes of finding other ways to help Wikia continue to operate:

  • What has been done to cut operating costs for Wikia?
  • How much server space--or servers, themselves--and bandwidth is taken up by unused or small and extremely-low growth rate wikis?
  • How many work hours are spent by paid employees to establish and support failing wikis?

I know I'm asking rough questions, but I do so with the utmost repsect. Thanks for your time! --TarrVetus 12:53, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

  • Are you suggesting Wikia should delete smaller wikis with few users?... because I feel that might be even worse then ads in articles... Most Wikis start as small wikis with few users and grow to be larger over time. The real problem for most people is ads in articles, and I feel there are better ways to solve that. There is one idea I particularly like, but I don't know if everyone feels the same way. --Jedimca0(Do or Do Not, There is No Try) 13:27, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
    • I'd probably suggest that Wikia delete irrevelent and unupdated wiki's that have not been updated and have no purpose on Wikia. I'm talking about the pointless wiki's. --Taylor Karras talk contributions 14:09, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
      • Yes, but which ones would be pointless? would there be a minimum amount of articles, users or edits for any given time? Because I think that would be bad for Wikia and it's contributors. I feel there has to be a better solution. --Jedimca0(Do or Do Not, There is No Try) 14:17, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
        • I'm not making policy, but my cutoff for declaring a wiki dead would be half a year without 'X bytes' of constructive edits, under 'X pages' in size, and efforts to reinvigorate the wiki (adopting it out, finding a new base community or direction) have failed. For many of those wikis the information could be moved to another, larger wiki. An example of this situation is the countless wikis for old video games that could have their content moved to broader wikis in a manner of archival, or the wikis for small social groups that could logically be part of a larger wiki for such groups to be housed in. --TarrVetus 15:39, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
(Why are you all indenting with *?) Anyway, I would guess that cleaning up the wikis like you suggest costs more than providing the scant resources it takes to keep an unused wiki on the hard disk. --mendel 15:53, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

I think I heard something to the tune of 83 servers being used to house everything for Wikia. Am I right on that number? That has to be a lot of cost. --TarrVetus 16:28, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

  • Making Wikia smaller won't solve the problem, at best, the problem will return after Wikia has gotten larger again and we'll be having this same discussion in a few years. What we really need is a permanent (or at least more permanent) solution. From what I've heard, these ads could be that solution, all we really need to do now is find the best place for them on the page. --Jedimca0(Do or Do Not, There is No Try) 16:59, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
    • Well, if the giant box ad is the solution, then I'm all for this. --TarrVetus 17:31, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
    • So spamming us with 15 billion ads In THE CONTENT area is a good idea? Screw that. You put these big freaken ads in, I'm never coming back. There are other places and other ways. WillSWC 18:36, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
      • Firstly... it's not going to be 15 billion ads... secondly... We're talking about not putting it in the content, no one wants it in the content... I feel that the reason we're all here, on this forum, is to try and come up with a solution that both Wikia and the contributors can live with and I've seen some really good ideas and suggestions on this forum. I'm sure we'll be able to come up with a solution for this problem. --Jedimca0(Do or Do Not, There is No Try) 18:49, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

demon lord

HOW —This unsigned comment is by demon lord (wallcontribs) . Please sign your posts with ~~~~!

  • Is that a question or a statement? - Kingpin13
Why are you indenting with * instead of :? MarioGalaxy2433g5 {talk/contribs/Logs} 19:34, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
Don't know, bout half the people on this page are tho.--AlariSig 19:41, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
  • It looks like a question mark to me. Must be somthing funny with one of our PCs - Kingpin13 19:44, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
To the left of the ? should be a : MarioGalaxy2433g5 {talk/contribs/Logs} 20:14, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Forced Default Skin Change

One of your staff members said this "Also, Monobook will have the same ads as Monaco will. The right sidebar on Monobook will go away, and Monobook will have the in-article ads. Monobook and Monaco will be the same ad-wise.", this means that the only rationale for forcing us to use the subpar Monaco is because your advertisers prefer everything to be the same, It's nice to see that you value your advertisers opinions above the people that do all the work for you.--AlariSig 19:57, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

  • The people who are doing all the work for them aren't paying them and they do care what we think or they wouldn't reply to messages on this forum and they would just go ahead and do it without trying to please us. The only way they are going to keep the people who are doing all the work for having a plave to do the work is by pleasing the sponsers - Kingpin13 20:01, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
What will the advertisers advertise on if wikia screws its writers? Mind you I would NEVER be a part of wikia had my wiki not been bought out for a large sum of money(now they are claiming to be loosing money on it, good financial strategy!). We were hosted by a stable system of a few ads and donations before, but now wikia decides to over stuff us with ads and ignore every single complaint!--AlariSig 20:07, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
  • They don't seem to be ignoring every single complaint to me, but they have to have a certain size box for advert or they will have to shut down, this isn't their choice. Wikia didn't decided to "over stuff" us with adverts, the sponsers did, I'm sure (99%) that Wikia isn't to keen on this idea either. If you want to complain about the advertisers be my guest just please stop dumping all the blaim on Wikia, admittadly there are certain things they could have done better, such as telling us about this sooner and thus allowing more time to discuss. - Kingpin13 20:20, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
Had you read anything in my last comment?--AlariSig 20:21, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Yes, it would be kinda dumb of me to reply to your post with out reading it. You said "now wikia decides to over stuff us with ads" I said "Wikia didn't decided to "over stuff" us with adverts, the sponsers did". You said "(Wikia) ignore every single complaint!" I said "They don't seem to be ignoring every single complaint to me". You said "wikia screws its writers" I said "please stop dumping all the blaim on Wikia" - Kingpin13 20:35, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

I'm going to agree with them

Wikia needs a solution that doesn't conflict with the content. I particually don't like the ads in the content because it makes Wikia look cheap and I don't want to use Charitwo's solution of AdBlock and NoScript as it many people would be viewing Wikia ad free and would prevent Wikia from operating. We need a solution that's perfect for both Wikia and Us. --Taylor Karras talk contributions 20:16, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

BAD idea!

This really sucks, you can't just force unwanted adverts into our articles! The infobox moves down and this will make the article look totally ridiculuous and out of proportion! Don't companies realise that NOBODY clicks on these ads?

Why do we need more anyway, there's already some in the top banner? Damn!

Furthermore, I don't like the fact that the logo is now a different shape and size, why does ANYTHING need to change? Wikia is fine as it is!! Andre666 20:25, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

  • Actually... Wikia isn't fine... Wikia needs money to survive and these ads seem to be the best way to get that money. --Jedimca0(Do or Do Not, There is No Try) 20:31, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
I agree. --Taylor Karras talk contributions 20:33, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
Wikia has enough money to buy out wikis and assimilate them, they don't need more money.--AlariSig 20:35, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
Because they have bought out other wikis before they claim they need more money.--AlariSig 21:19, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Why do you think they where able to buy those wikis out? Becuase they weren't making money, it seems Wikia isn't making money on them either. - Kingpin13 08:48, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Alari, I don't know if they have bought out other wikis or not and I'm not sure why or how you would know about this, but the fact that they can spend money does not mean they've got enough money to keep Wikia a live... Wikia needs more money in order to survive, that's a fact. I don't like this change either, but ignoring the fact that Wikia will change a bit won’t help. The best thing we can all do now is at least try to come up with a solution that both we and Wikia can live with. --Jedimca0(Do or Do Not, There is No Try) 09:02, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Idea

I have been reading this for a little while. I see most of the problems are about the ads, as would probably be expected. I'm a tiny bit annoyed at having to re-design the layout of the Wiki I'm an admin at, but hey, I don't mind as much... THOUGH, how about some of these suggestions?

  • Have it forum styled in terms of ads. SMF For Free seems to have gotten this good, they have two banner ads, one at the top, one at the bottom(There's another, but that's irrelevant, because you can't implement it into this really...), and don't waste space much, and it would let you design a header. Though of course it would basically add more space than Monaco does now...

Or, there are these...

  • Have the adboxes in WIDGETS instead of the content. Honestly, I think this should have been the way you displayed them... The widgets already seem to be the same size(I'm going to test that theory later), and it wouldn't affect the content... Plus, we've already got ads in them, like the Wiki Spotlight. What harm could it do to have a movable Widget for a random ad? It would be the same size and have the same stuff as the Content ads... Plus, there wouldn't exactly be a need to have a banner image on actual pages, because nothing would get displaced.
  • Have the main pages have the same overall layout, but with the Widgets suggestion for the content adbox.
  • Have banner ads at the BOTTOM of the pages/at the top, right under the simple original Monobook styled preferences thing. Another wiki service uses this style, and it seems similar to my forum styled idea.

These are just my suggestions, but I personally feel that even the widgets idea would be good. --Omega Blademan Sound Check Contribs 20:45, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Alternatives - intended as constructive feedback

I was genuinely encouraged when I read the article Wikia's_New_Style and saw the comparison of content area boxes for Monobook, Monaco-old and Monaco-new. Hey this wikia team really does listen to our feedback!

I was even enthusiastic when I tried a few pages at the community test wiki. Gee no big difference that I can see!

But then I realised that there were no ads showing and I wondered if this was some bait & switch tactic. My bad - I realized that the combination of my firefox browser's AdBlock and NoScript plugins together with my network's use of OpenDNS to block certain domain names may have been interfering with delivery of those ads.

So when I visited communitytest.wikia.com using a vanilla user account and browser and I saw the advertising content consuming the top right hand area of my page's content area my heart sank! My blood boiled! Then I went to have a bowl of cereal and a warm drink (it's winter here) just to chill out for a bit. An hour or so later I am re-reading this post for the Nth time before hitting save. My blood is no longer boiling and my sunken heart is now lifted by the prospect that maybe there is a happy middle ground that feels like a genuine win-win solution.

I very much understand the need for advertising at an otherwise free wiki hosting service. No argument from me on that point. Just please give the architects of the site some say in where and how. I don't expect to be given any say in what is advertised. That is very much wikia management's right and responsibility. I may be proven wrong but I strongly suspect that if wikia management were to involve site admins in the decisions about where and how advertising material is delivered on each wiki site then you would see a dramatic shift from defensive victims crying out bloody murder to appreciative and willing partners in advertising. Granted there will be some who object to advertising on principle but with all due respect, those people/communities should be using a fee-based wiki hosting service and not wikia.

What do I mean by choice in the where and how?
A few ideas in no particular order of preference.

As is with the Monaco-new
I am sure that some communities will embrace it and figure out how to live with that innovative use of content area for advertising.
Replace each wiki site logo at top left with advertising content
Those who reason that wiki sites are about content will have to concede that a site's logo has lower priority for them than their wiki site's content area. And if the logo really is important to a wiki site then it is within the capability of a site admin to cause their site logo to float to some position on every page.
Same as above only employ scripting to fade in and out between ad content and site logo every several seconds
This shares the top-LH premium position between the all-important advertising and wiki site/community branding/identity. There is a degree of poetic justice in the position:
"You won't mind if our paying advertisers timeshare with your site's logo will you? After all both serve to put a name/brand in front of visitors to your wiki site. I mean you really do enjoy the service that our team provides you enough to be willing to ensure they have a decent income, medical plan and retirement fund from this joint venture, don't you?"
Personally this is my preferred solution but I respect that some people simply hate animation of any type. I suspect that a fade or scroll approach is a reasonable compromise that resembles what you might see at many stadium hosted sporting events along the fence lines.
Allow your site admins to specify whether fade or scroll occurs
It might sound patronizing but when you engage the wiki site architects in your solution to advertising then we (admins) become a part of our decision as opposed to a victim of your decision.
Let ad content push left-hand nav-bar content downwards
Hear me out on this idea and the two follow up ideas. Given the choice of having my page content intruded upon by advertising or having the LH navigation toolbar intruded upon - site content will win every time - in my book. Others may have different opinions and that is OK too. (read on)
Same as above but allow site admins to choose whether ads occupy the top most or second from top position in LH nav-bar
This is intended to cater to those sites that feel very strongly about site navigation being readily accessible to visitors. A limit on the pixel height of such a prioritized box should be the same as whatever limit the wikia management team would specify for an advertising box in that same premium position. Once again this is a political gesture that says - we respect your choice and offer you the option to let ads take topmost or second from top position in that LH nav-bar. Earlier comments made about involving admins in this decision apply here.
Same as above but allow choice among the 3 topmost "slots" in the LH navbar
With reference to communitytest.wikia.com site:
  • Slot 1 is the site logo.
  • Slot 2 is the site navigation links with a Search box as a header.
  • Slot 3 is the box labeled Community.
  • Other boxes in the LH nav bar are labeled: Top Content, Languages, Our Partners, Wikia Spotlight.
Those top 3 "slots" are the premium positions in the LH nav bar. If I am given a choice of giving up one of those top-LH positions or giving up content area as is wikia management's current plan, then once again content area wins out every time - in my humble opinion.
The only reason that this last idea is not my #1 preference is because I honestly did read and understand the words in wikia management's Wikia's_New_Style announcement:
We have to standardize the way our site looks across all wikis, using the Monaco skin for anonymous users. In the past, communities have used various skins – Monaco, Quartz or Monobook. That's a luxury that we can't afford to offer any more, as advertisers strongly prefer a consistent look-and-feel.
This last idea does not strictly satisfy the "consistent look-and-feel" requirement. After all we site creators need to respect the wishes of our partner advertisers just as we demand that wikia management and our partner advertisers respect our differing wishes and priorities.

... and that's all I have to say about that.
Najevi 20:59, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

That's good. But I think that the following places should serv as potential places for advertisers.
  • The top, where the ad banner is already is.
  • The left, where the community box already is.
  • The bottom, where the 3 wikia spotlights are can be another banner ad that can be placed.

That's all. --Taylor Karras talk contributions 21:15, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Article on ad placement

Sannse linked to an interesting article the other day (now in archive). Here is another one that discusses ad placement and size in the context of eye tracking. --GAHOO t/ c 21:48, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

And this. --GAHOO t/ c 21:54, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
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