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Main Page for Non logged in users

Hello Wikia, the main page is the mostly entered page, and you destroyed the "keep it simple" principle. I can live with Monaco, also with "tandem" ads on main page. But I have a list what is wrong on this style.

  1. Please disable random messages for not logged in users in top of every page.
  2. The top banner and a message for non logged in users is shown some seconds (2 ore more) after loads the rest of page. A user is reading the first lines on main page, wand to click the entry and just in the moment the Google ads is under the mouse cursor you have clicked. That is very odd. The server should calculate the reserved space for ads before sending datas to users browser. It's an html tag "height=... width=...". Please not move or reformat the content area after loading.
  3. We have two buttons "Create an account". Ones left and an other on top line. You can not force users to login, if an user is just anonymous browsing for informations (see also 1.).
  4. The Font and the menu bars are to big. The content is the most important, not the edit line and not the menu and not the additional informations on left side.
  5. The left menu should be half of the size. - The width of the logo (135pix).
  6. Frame around the top banner ads, that stick inside the content. But it would be better to have the ads not inside the content!
  7. Disable the box "Community"

It's some of this changeable by Monaco.css‎?

It is perhaps a definition question: What are short pages? Can a Main Page also be a short page without ads? Our main page is viewed with 60-75% non content relevant add ons (Wikia, Google and menus) in a screen resolution 1024x786, 25-40% is our content that includes the logo and an other picture (40% only in F11 full screen mode). On a bigger or smaller screen resolution the added space are many more. On a screen 800x600 with IE in full screen mode (key F11) we have 100% ads, 0% content! Only the logo and the site title is seen, not more. All the viewed are from Wikia and Google. User must scroll to see any fuzz of article content.

The "tandem" ads are not on all Wikia Main Page. Some pages have only a top banner. Why we have it?

I ask your, why the page is mostly set as Start- or Search-page in browsers, in comparisons against other search sites, for example Check it self. -- HenryNe 20:34, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

Mainly some main pages have a Banner Ad only. But they need to find another solution. --Taylor Karras talk contributions 02:43, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
With regards for the disable the "community" box idea, that would be a bad idea. It is quite useful for checking recent changes from users without having to go to Special:Recentchanges. MarioGalaxy2433g5 {talk/contribs/Logs} 23:34, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

My intension was more to delete the top half of Community box with button "Create an account", total pages and so. All this messages stays also on Main Page. Loged in users have the same menu ("My page | My talk | Widgets") in top right user menu ("More"). And the last changes are in the widget "Recent Changes". For me, the "Community box" has all this texts in double. Without this box nothing would be missing. By the while I have hacked deep in css to have a lightway Monaco with more content space. ;-) -- HenryNe 00:11, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

The total pages count on there updates faster than Template:NUMBEROFARTICLES. MarioGalaxy2433g5 {talk/contribs/Logs} 23:44, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
HenryNe your lightway Monaco is very cool and the closest approximation to Monobook I have seen emulated within the constraints of the Monaco skin. Thank you! najevi 12:36, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
Yeha, but today Wikia has changed the skin to releases_200807.1 and the layout around the Logo is broken now. -- HenryNe 20:14, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
Nice, Wikia has corrected the Logo size quirks. Thanks. :-) Removed my workarounds got it ok again. -- HenryNe 22:48, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
Wikia pointed me into Terms of Use, and to remove it. That't not welcome. Here is a screen shot, how it was. -- HenryNe 23:31, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

Nonciclopedia can't change skin

I'm putting here the opinions of Nonciclopedia users. Let me be straight: we need our skin to remain as it is, because we're a satirical copy of Wikipedia, so we have to stick to their style; I guess that other wikia-hosted uncyclopedias have the same concern. Plus, we've worked hard to customize our Monobook and other single-page css's - we just can't waste all our efforts.
I read somewhere that it is possibile for Wikians themselves to buy the advertisement space on their own site. So, I'm asking you: if we do buy our ad space, will you let us

  1. keep Monobook for all users, including anonymous
  2. have no banners inside the articles (or at least let us hide them with css)?

If both (and I mean both) of our requests cannot be accomplished, I'm afraid that we'll have to move to our own server: everyone of us agree with that. I would be sorry to do that - I think Wikia offers a great service, even with more ads; but it's not what we need for our purpose. --Sanjilops·Disk2.jpg 17:22, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Yes, Nonciclopedia (and all the Uncyclopedia sister languages) have special requirements around parodying Wikipedia. We know of this, and so they won't be included in the changes at the moment. That's not to say that there won't be changes in the future, but we need to give this individual thought and attention. So for the moment, these changes won't happen for you. -- sannse (talk) 17:59, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
All right, I'm glad to hear that (in your face, non-Uncy Wikias!) --Sanjilops·Disk2.jpg 18:45, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
It's comments like this that cause me strongly question why certain Wikias get special treatment. --LordTBT Talk! 03:45, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

"Short" page determination fundamentally flawed.

Reference Fixer Bug for an example of what I at least think would qualify as a "short" article, made longer vertically by its box ad pushing its image down. This would, of course, be avoided by a banner ad, but the ad logic has deemed that this is a "long" article instead and thus merits a box.--RosicrucianTalk 21:33, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

The article length is measured without the box ad. Looks as though this article is right on the threshold of short article cuttoff. This Cybertron Questshort article does not have an ad angies (talk) 16:40, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
Angies, "Cybertron_Questshort" article doesn't exist. I see a system message: "Oops! Teletraan I: The Transformers Wiki does not have a page with this exact name. ..." - This is without any ads. But does no matter here, because we talk about real articles.
Sorry, my cut/paste messed up. The article name is Cybertron Quest. angies (talk) 05:37, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

Old Monaco Look

How does FFXIclopedia still have the top bar Old Monaco look? -- LordTBT Talk! 06:44, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

Wikia has perhaps not switched. This wiki use an older "stylepath". -- HenryNe 12:28, 29 June 2008 (UTC)
FFXIclopedia is on a different code trunk b/c they were testing the social tools. FFXI being migrated back and changed to New Monaco this week. angies (talk) 05:40, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

Check the screen above - google advert - "Enlarge Your Penis Today Got a small penis? Want it bigger? These guys really helped me out!" - lol... doesn't it make wikia ESRB rating Mature 17+? Erm... I think it does - this category above allows "sexual references" s. Ok, maybe ESRB norms are for computer games only, but that's just to show the problem - Imagine that some girl, 6yo comes on Barbie Wiki or any other kids-related (eg. Teletubbies, Alvin and the Chipmunks, whatever) and sees such advert... lol. SkywalkerPL 10:09, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

(Moved up to help people see the new info below)
Eep! not what should be showing. I'll get Jae to look into that urgently! He may be in touch to get more info from you -- sannse (talk) 11:37, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

Got something similar on Sega Wiki's main page. Quote: "Penis Enlargement: Want a bigger penis? Increase your penis size naturally in 2 weeks!" Eeks... Wikada - Talk Contributions 11:59, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
Please can someone get us the URL of the advert? That is, of the ad itself, not the page it's on. We can't track this down without it. Thanks -- sannse (talk) 19:02, 30 June 2008 (UTC) was the link on my website. EDIT: The advert itself seems to link to though. Both of them probably shouldn't be advertised. Wikada - Talk Contributions 19:13, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the links, these'll come in handy. There is no way to misconstrue that. —ǥrɩɳsɧƴɖɩđđɭɘş 14:25, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
We need the actual URL of the ad. There are instructions on how to find this at w:c:help:Help:Bad advertisements. I've tried repeatedly loading pages on the wikis where this has been seen, but haven't found one yet... it may be they are only being shown to people in one area. So the URL will help a lot -- sannse (talk) 16:24, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
Here is list of very long links -- HenryNe 00:50, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
I've clicked your link to an image page where you put the text of the bad add link in the description of the image and that bad add has show up for me in the 300px ad space but the URL for the add was not the same so i though it might help if i post my version :
TulipVorlax 02:37, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

I have seen that stupid penis ad today! it was on NS wiki and on this wiki {{SUBST:User:Pierlot/HT}} 12:14, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

So how does one report ads that make the page not load? I don't know how to get the URL from a page that won't load. GuildWiki has had some problems with such ads last night and today. Or rather, pages there often haven't been loading, and someone blamed it on ads, and blocking the ads fixed the problem for me. Quizzical 20:24, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

Probably last notice about boycott...

See Forum:Boycott Wikia's New Style. --Fandyllic 16:29, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

How to test Mainpage ads?

Is there a way to 'force' the ads Mainpage to display on wikias they haven't been rolled out for yet in order to test them? Is there a schedule for when wikias are going to be transitioned? (We're getting banner ads on our main page now, and rather than try to redesign the entire page blind in preparation for the new content- I'd like to force it to display so it can be part of the design. But I have no idea if the ads are actually 'there' already and are just being "bumped" to banners by our table structure, or aren't displaying because they're not implemented yet.)

This makes it kinda hard to initiate any sort of page redesign without being able to tell if it works, and I'd rather not sink a lot of hours and community discussion over something that's goignto have to change because we can't tell if it works. Tangentally- it'd be better for the community (which is probably decamping-- I think this is a bad idea) if they could see what the new design was going to look like with the adblock as it's developed, rather than build up an expectation of th new design without the in-column ad that then gets shattered when they're rolled out, pissing people off about the whole thing all over again. Can't Wikia just piss us off once, rather than doing it in a series of small insults? (This is part of why I want to redesign now, to ease our community into the new ugliness rather than having it thrust upon us all at once.)

So basically-- "How do I test the mainpage ads?" Can I make a sub-page of communitytest 'behave' like the main page? (I'm guessing you don't want me to overwrite the existing one for development purposes.)

(Ah, there's a discussion about maybe nuking ads for logged in users! I shall see if I can cool TT1's wikia rage with it...) -Derik 17:58, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

We can help you redesign the main page... We can set up a test page for you on the wiki that uses the column tags. We've been leaving Transformers alone for a minute, on account of the rage. Let me know if you want someone to come help you with a main page sandbox. -- Danny (talk) 18:00, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
That's probably wise. Could you set up Main_Page/test, Main_Page/test2 and Main_Page/test3 to use the mainpage adblocks? (In case there's some debate about the best approach, so we can have multiple concepts up and working to look at simultaneously.) I'm assuming by 'test page' you mean 'page that will actually display the ads,' though it's not clear from your context.
You're probably right about the rage BTW- I dont' plan to push it right away either- but once the test pages are set up it means they'll be ready to be used when people are ready. Our main page needs a redesign regardless of whether we stay with Wikia or not, and there's one or two other users interested in a (long-overdue) redesign of many of our basic templates that might be coaxed into fiddling with layouts... which could (hopefully) turn it into a creative positive thing for the community instead of a something being forced on us.
(I'm a bit disappointed by the quick reply. My backup plan was to just start editing the Muppet Wiki's main page until I got a transformers layout I liked... ^_^ ) -Derik 18:15, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
If you look at this page you'll see a draft I did for Doctor Who where I forced a blank box in the ad spot. It does help people get a feel for the design I think.. The code that puts that box in is the first thing on the page... -- Wendy (talk) 18:11, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
Ah thankee, i shall look into it! -Derik 18:15, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
Hrm, so it looks like the adblocks render as the first item after "mainpage-rightcolumn-start." Do they render imemdiate after the tag ends, or do they wait for the first newline? (Can we put something above it like a header?) Not saying we'd want to- just want to know what's possible. Will tables-within-columns break the adblock like tables at the head of pages to, or do they just brazenly push stuff down since they don't have to worry about being floated anymore? -Derik 18:49, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
Wendy's been doing lots of the main page designs... She's the person I was going to recommend you talk to. So if you want, she can help you figure out how to use the column tags. -- Danny (talk) 18:24, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
By the way, if you have some ideas for redesigning the Muppet main page, that would be great... I've been thinking that it needs some freshening up for a while. Feel free to post a draft. -- Danny (talk) 18:26, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
Heh, I meant using it as a testbed for the Transformers page Danny. ;) -Derik 18:34, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
Well, maybe they have a lot in common... -- Danny (talk) 19:20, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
The ability to force the tandem ad (right aligned banner and adbox) would be nice for drafting new main page layouts without having a full beta site set up. --GAHOO t/ c 21:18, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
The adblock I put in is just a dummy "spaceholder" if you will. You would take it out in the final "live" page. In real life the ad renders last, and will simply slide the whole column down. You can have tables or divs in that column under it as long as they close properly :).
I just made a test. Anything written before the start of the column tags will be re-positioned into the left column (below the banner) when the ads render. Anything written after the right-column tag, but before the newline, simply gets moved down the page under the ad. So I'd have to say that there's no good way to put anything above the ad. The only other thing I can think of is a site-notice, which I think goes up above the banner ad, although I'm not sure.
Gahoo, you will see the banner ad display on sandbox pages, and you can put in the dummy placeholder for the adbox to help you draft a new page layout. -- Wendy (talk) 01:09, 2 July 2008 (UTC)


Wikia, please go back to the advertisers and say that ads in the content area destroy pages. Until that is done you must use the old ad placement system ~~

Separating two issues - article flow around the ad box vs. advertising content within the ad box

I may be misreading some of the feedback on this "preview as anon" idea but it seems that some people feel a need to preview an actual advertisement to fully appreciate the effect of the ad on their article. I think that is a futile exercise and I would like to explain why.

Article flow around the ad box
When creating or editing an article you need to see how that article flows around a box in the top RH corner that will contain an ad. This point deals solely with article layout and for this a white or gray rectangle or a site admin specified 300x250 placeholder image is all that is necessary. This preview of article layout around the ad box should be the only thing the edit preview should have to deal with when it comes to ads placed in the article content area.

Ad content
The actual advertising content displayed in that ad box is impossible to know or even to reasonably sample because these ads are randomly sourced and we can expect the content to change from day to day. If you have concerns about advertising content that might be shown at your wiki site then I suggest to you that burdening the edit preview page with live ads is not the place to assess such potential conflict.

If the distraction factor of the ad content or suitability for your wiki community is what you want to preview or check for then an ad gallery that allows you to rapidly cycle through all the currently possible ads is what you should be asking Wikia for. Along with that ad gallery you might consider requesting a button to tag inappropriate ads that should not be displayed at your community's wiki.

  • Personally, I would not use such a tool because as a practical matter, I don't come to a wiki to sit and censor advertising content. Therefore I am not asking for this feature. I only describe it to illustrate my point about separating "layout" issues from "ad content" issues and to strongly recommend that the edit preview focus only on the layout issue.

What to do about inappropriate ad content
If a visitor finds inappropriate ad content at a wiki then the responsibility for reporting this to Wikia staff (User:JSharp sounds like the "go-to guy" for this) should not fall to a site admin. Instead, every visitor should be empowered to easily report an inappropriate, unsuitable or unreasonably animated or audio-enabled ad directly to Wikia's go-to guy for this type of issue. A link in one corner of the ad box might tag the ad to not be shown at that particular wiki. This might remain in effect until the go-to guy has inspected the list of tagged ads to confirm or overturn this visitor's vote.

The mechanics are not so important as the principle that it is not reasonable to expect that:

  1. site admins funnel complaints about specific ads to Wikia staff
  2. casual visitors post a complaint at some forum thread like this one

I hope that this separation of the issues makes good sense to some readers.

najevi 15:45, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

Some notes in my edit conflicted comment above.
As for reporting, Wikia has a nice "Report a Problem" feature, perhaps a tweak to the message telling someone that if they are reporting a bad advertisement, they need to give certain bits of information. Though, do note that having the system do this itself is not really feasible, the url and other needed info is dynamically generated and can sometimes even be inside of an iframe that cannot be accessed even by JavaScript so it's nearly impossible to create an automatic report, not to mention that with varying services it's nearly impossible to find one way that just works, the actual things that need to be traversed will vary greatly and likely periodically fail, and also need redesigning by the techs every time that Wikia finds another ad provider to try out. ~NOTASTAFF Daniel Friesen (DanTMan, Nadir Seen Fire) (talk) (tricks) (current topic) Jul 2, 2008 @ 17:07 (UTC)
Ads are generated using JavaScript, so the urls could be retrieved by JavaScript and posted inside the problem report. About iframes, the JavaScript object of the DOMInspector has no problem on showing all the properties of the iframe and the entire sub-document, at least in Firefox. --Ciencia Al Poder (talk) -WikiDex 20:03, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

Petition anti dirty ads

Please See

Epic fail

If ads appear inside articles and it ruins the format, it's obvious people will want to block the ads with Adblock or other way, so it would be better if only the "banner" ads appear, and remove the "ad boxes" that appears in the right and left of any part of the page to avoid this. Until it's not solved, here is something useful to add to the top of the pages: <br style="clear: both;"/> -- 13:16, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

It also seems that it's making my browser crash, many operation aborted and blank pages around... --Taylor Karras talk contributions 15:35, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
The operations being aborted is happening to me too. I have IE 7. MarioGalaxy2433g5 {talk/contribs/Logs} 22:20, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

Infoboxes pushed down...

Is there a tutorial anywhere for how to create infoboxes that aren't pushed down by ads (instead having banner ads)?

I noticed that on multiple wikias (such as Star Wars) that all of a sudden infoboxes are being pushed down when this wasn't happening just a couple of days ago.

(Also, has anything significant changed when it came to ads to explain this?)

Kimera 757 (talk) 00:30, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

Ads obscuring article content

Advertisement rendering the page unusable

The bug affects category pages, too

It's in all system pages now

This is something new. It happens randomly, ctrl-refresh sometimes gives top banners, sometimes this. If it doesn't go away in an hour, I will temporarily have to disable ads on Rappelz Wiki as it renders some pages unusable. Drennan 06:20, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

I added a "close ad" button instead, which is in keeping with the terms of service but still allows people to use the wiki. Please notify me if this is unacceptable. Drennan 08:01, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

Have also seen many times on all wikies. -- anonymous 09:08, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

Not always a banner in pages using infoboxes

Infobox moved to the left ??

I don't know what happened, but as of today there seems to be problem regarding the banner ads on pages using an infobox. Where previously all pages using an infobox where forced to have a banner in stead of the square box ad, now it seems to be a random choice. I get banner ads in half of them, and square boxes in the other half. After refreshing a page, the type of ad will sometimes change from banner to box or the other way around.

It is really annoying to have those big square boxes in the pages using infoboxes. As you can see in the picture included here, the ad doesn't force the infobox to move downwards, but rather it moves to the left, creating a very narrow column of text on the left of the infobox and a "nice" blank space on the right of it (when the infobox is longer than the ad).

Anyone else had this problem? It seems to me this might be some kind of error, since I haven't seen it before today. Any help/explanation here would be nice. --Wild Whiphid 10:42, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

Yes (I mentioned having the same problem just a little further up this page). Kimera 757 (talk) 12:20, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

This should be OK again now... an accidental missetting. sorry about that - sannse (talk) 17:01, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

It is very simple

Can not wikia just...

1. Remove the adds from the content. There are many places they can place them instead (remember the first version of Monaco?)

2. Remove the ads in the Main Pages (i insist... The first impression is the very important one)

3. Limit the ads overloading: I.e: May be users receive ads each three pages they visit instead every single second

Apollo of Parnassus 20:53, 4 July 2008 (UTC)


/me pats Apollo of Parnassus in the head with a brick rock. You know, if I wasn't banned from the #wikia IRC channel right now. I would get a staff member, make him/her post in this thread that "Wikia needs to suit it's advertisers and that advertisers." How many times would the Wikia staff and everyone have to repeat this to you. Maybe if I made the text bigger, bolder, italicer and blinkier. Then you would notice it more. I think I just lost a few brain cells talking to you. --Taylor Karras talk contributions 01:16, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

...or possibly wikia needs to suit those who actually draw any ad-views, i.e., us? Yes, they need to be able to pay for bandwidth, but there's also the important consideration that most of the way they've been handling this situation is a slap in the face to the people who actually make their sites worth the advertiser's money (and who are doing it for free, unlike many other service-client situations). I can say that, unless it was completely ridiculous like a genital supplement ad, I would generally click on the ads. You don't get people to buy things by hitting them for not doing so.KrytenKoro 03:54, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
Hi KrytenKoro, please see above where we are proposing removing ads (except on the main page) for all logged in users -- sannse (talk) 15:31, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

At 800x600 desktop resolution leaderboard style ad covers Login window

FF3 RC3: login hidden by ad at 800x600 desktop resolution

IE6: login hidden by ad at 800x600 desktop resolution

screen 1265x811

screen 1280x1024

1024x768 display resolution may be the lowest common denominator nowadays so this may be a relatively low priority. I was checking our wiki pages at an 800x600 desktop resolution today and noticed that an anon visitor is not able to easily log in due to the leaderboard style ad covering the input boxes for the Login window.

This was observed using both FF3 RC3 and IE7.

At a separate PC also at 800x600 resolution but running FF1.5 and IE6 the leaderboard ad does not cover the Login window.

Sorry I can't be any more specific as I no longer have access. najevi 02:28, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

  • It was discussed already - and looks like there won't be any change in that matter. Wikia isn't now for anyone using 800x600 screen (so about 10% ppl in my country...) SkywalkerPL 13:33, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Banner overlaps Login also on bigger screen resolution 1265x811, just here in the forum. -- HenryNe 16:21, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
For some reason I can't reproduce this, but I've reported it anyway, and it's marked as high priority... hopefully the tech guys will be able to fix it quickly. -- sannse (talk) 16:52, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

Flash animations are the problem! You can see it, if a Flash doesn't go into gray after clicking the big green button "Log in to Wikia" in top line. Here is the screen and the URL to the flash -- HenryNe 20:15, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

Good or badly adversing?


If Wikia has no control about the ads, then it can go into wrong direction. Should we following the Link? ;-) -- HenryNe 03:05, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

Bug causing Operations to be aborted

On pages with banner ads, occasionally I receive a message saying that the operation was aborted and it sends me to a page saying that there is a problem with the site. It was mentioned above, but nobody answered. MarioGalaxy2433g5 {talk/contribs/Logs} 20:42, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

JSharp is looking into this, it seems to be related to a known bug on IE. It's with the tech team now, hopefully they will find a way around this soon -- sannse (talk) 07:33, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, this has been attacking myself and several other IE users for several days now. But the existence of the ads triggered it; on other occasions, the page would load but not the ads, usually with a "Done but with errors" note at the bottom. Given the message, and that it happened on every page including the main page, I don't think it was an ad blocker issue. In general, something about either the ads themselves or how Wikia has coded to include them is wreaking havoc on IE. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 05:30, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
A while ago, the ads loaded, but with the "Done but with errors" note at the bottom. The details about it said that "Strcreative is not defined" or something like that. Maybe that bit of info will help. MarioGalaxy2433g5 10+ {talk/contribs/Logs} 20:34, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
We've made a change that might have fixed this... please let us know if you see the "operation aborted" notice. Thanks -- sannse (talk) 21:05, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

Snap Keylinks

Is it me, or do the Snap Keylinks ads essentially consist of 2 regular size banner ads stacked on top of one another? Isn't that a bit large? -- LordTBT Talk! 22:16, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

Yes, it is. Snap Keylinks and Ads by Google are 728x90, some older animated gif are 468x60. Newer gif`s are bigger, for example 728x90. Wikia has not written how big the "Leaderboard" would be go. That's, why I shocked on a 1024x768 screen resolution about the 40% size for content and 60% non content. -- HenryNe 23:04, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

Special treatment

Tell me Wikia, why are parodies of Wikipedia, especially uncylopedia, so much more important then other wikis with real non humor content?

Wikia, you are benefiting the few (or maybe just one) at the expense of the many, and that is something I do not support. --Whachsul733 03:05, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

It's certainly not a about importance. And it's likely there will be changes for Uncyclopedia in the future. But we are putting that aside for now, because we understand that Uncyclopedia has particular needs for parodying Wikipedia. I personally believe that can be done with Monaco, but that's a discussion for another day -- sannse (talk) 10:47, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

New Monaco features decrease quality!

The new Monaco features are decreasing the quality of articles at the SpongeBob Wiki.

The main page looked much better before. The main page actually had to be adjusted not because the content needed to be placed a certain way, but the advertisements had to be palced a certain way. How is the the ads more important than the content now?

Look at thss ad! Why is it under the page title? It looks like part of the article! People new to wiki might try to edit it and remove it, but they can't! Oh, andit looks like it's part of the article!

The stupid box ad pushed the infobox down and now the article is all screwed up.

It looks liek part of the article!

Well, there's my opinions. I would like it if we went back to the original Monaco skin. If that can't be done, I'm going to brign it back to Wikipedia-style skin. I really like the sidebar thing on the Monaco skin. However, I prefer to reduce ad problems over easier navigation through the site. -AMK152(talkcontribs) 15:51, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

"How is the the ads more important than the content now?"
Maybe because the add are paying the hosting of the wiki and without it you would need to "buy" a domain name and get a "commercial" hosting like i have for my personnal web site ( My hosting doesn't cost much. 50$ can per year. But it could not host a wiki with thousan of image files, a big data base and an always increasing bandwidh usage.
That said, Wikia already said they plan on reducing add for loggin users. Is that enough to solve your problem ? — TulipVorlax 16:13, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
Meanwhile, the anons who view the content are going to have to put up with those ads! I'm not with the SpongeBob Wiki, but that only sloves the issue with 1% of wikia users. What about the 99% who are going to put up with these terribly intrusive ads?! WHAT ABOUT THEM WIKIA?! --Whachsul733 17:06, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
I would recommend you read the archives of this forum, you're about 1 month late. --LordTBT Talk! 21:40, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
I wasn't criticizing the advertisements' existence. I understand why they are there. I just don't like it that the new placement of the ads is worse than the original. -AMK152(talkcontribs) 22:19, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

Costs and benefits

Okay, I just have to get this out. Wikia claims that the ads will benefit the wikis more than it costs. I have to ask you, how? The ads are intrusive, they're interfering with loading the pages, and a number of adds range from offensive to detrimental to the Wikis purposes. Not to mention the fact that the majority of the community sees red when they think about it. I really have to ask you, is this really worth all of it? Just for the increased revenue? Any business knows that costs cannot outweigh benefits. I'm beginning to wonder if Wikia understands that concept. -- SFH 17:58, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

They are just going to tell the same ######## that they have since this whole thing about the new style begain! They treat consumers like THINGS, those adverstisers! --Whachsul733 18:33, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

Turn back, turn back! We want the original Monaco back!

I am serious when I am saying the number of new contributors of my wikis (specially creative sci-fi) have plumbed down with this new ad-inside-content approach. People (when still anonymous) look at the wiki and thing it is a sort of blog, not a serious project.

In conmyth, lots of articles have lost their original format "thanks" to those new ad boxes... and I am not going to repair over 500 articles just because someone had the terrible idea of creating those buggy boxes.

The only thing Wikia will get is to kill minor and new wikis that still have no defined community, breaking out their growth with this new model.

I do not matter where you want to put the ads, but... please... kick them out from the article body, it is confussing and bloaty, and it is killing the format. Please! Please! Please! Please! Please! Please! Please!

At least place them above (and not beneath) the title of the page, that is really confusing for new users, I tell you.

By the way.. I do not know why so many logged users want the removal of the ads for themselves... We do not matter compared to the 99% of anonymous that are being affected by those ads. There must be alternatives, I guess. I really do not know what was wrong with the original Monaco.Golden Eagle 22:45, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

Possible changes for logged-in users

First, thank you for all your feedback. We have been responding where we can, and reading everything, so now we want to look at where we can adapt things to make them work a bit better for all of us. Obviously that doesn't mean that anything has changed about the need for ads, or in our conviction that the ad spaces that we have introduced are the ones we can best sell. As I said to some of you on this: "there may be wiggle room, but there isn't waving-arms-around room".

So, what options are there? One thing that people have said is that the ads are distracting for contributors and likely to dissuade people from editing. That's an important issue, and something we have been looking at closely. The number of logged-in users is actually very small compared to the number of logged-out users, only about 1% of users actually log in. So we have been considering what changes for this group might be helpful to encourage editing, while not affecting the income from ads more than we can bear.

One possibility we are examining is to remove ads from the content area, or even remove them completely from article pages, for logged-in users. Do you feel this would help reduce distraction and annoyance for those of you who contribute frequently or daily to the content of the wikis?

Would it help if we add clear messages to visitors that they can "log in to see pages without ads"?

We understand that this is not a solution that fixes everything, of course you are worried about the view that anons see and want the wikis to look good for everyone.

One consideration, is how would you (logged-in users) know how your edits are affecting a logged-out view? One solution might be to show "placeholder" boxes on preview pages. Another (which would take more time to develop) might be a "preview as anon" button alongside the current preview button. Or maybe we could add an option to switch ads on and off so you can see the changes. Or are new features necessary? As we remove the last bugs from the ad placement system, we hope you can begin to be able to trust that the proper box or banner ad is being placed, and that content is flowing properly around them.

So, I'm asking for opinions on this idea, and feedback on the best way to work around any downsides. I know there are a lot of other suggestions out there, and we're still discussing the practical ones, but for now we'd like a discussion on how this change would affect you. Thoughts? -- sannse (talk) 08:46, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

  • Well, first of all: The idea of removing ads for logged-in users is lovely! Far more than I expected :D :D :D Can't wait to see this. And about previews with ads - I prefer "preview as anon" button added option, but still think it could work wall as simple preview without any ads - if someone want to see page with ads then just save the article and logout. In most cases ads (even this ave-distracting square google ad) don't make more changes in page layout than resolution-change does. (ofq that's if we forget for a moment about moving the infoboxes by ads) SkywalkerPL 09:51, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
(Edit Conflicted) The placeholders might be alright, though it's not to reflective, hard to determine differences... Rather I think 3 things would be useful combined together:
  • A user preference defaulted to off to enable ads even when they are logged in.
  • A url parameter &useads=0|1 which can override the user preference and let some advanced users just look at the current page (whatever it is, edit or not) and see what it would look like with or without ads.
  • And finally, a checkbox beside 'Watch this page" saying "Show Ads in Preview" defaulting to the user's preference on whether to show ads or not. That can be used when editing to checkout the differences.
    • However as a difference that "preview as anon" something more like the placeholder, and with a bit of JS. It would be possible to add that ad as a simple box which can be toggled on and off without reloading the page.
~NOTASTAFF Daniel Friesen (DanTMan, Nadir Seen Fire) (talk) (tricks) (current topic) Jun 30, 2008 @ 10:13 (UTC)
Removing ads for logged-in users is an amazing idea! I'm quite sure we'd get many more users logging in and maybe that would encourage them to edit a little more. Also, you said that 1% of users log in, so there will still be a lot of ad views because not everyone will want an account. But if possible if we could make a "Turn ads on/off" control in the widget under the logo (maybe a button next to recent changes, what links here, etc.), it may help admins and users checking page design, so if we quickly want to check a page to make sure it looks good for logged out users, we don't have to edit and preview the page first, or go and change it in the preferences tab. Other than that, thanks for listening to our concerns, and I hope a reasonable compromise between all parties is found in the near future. Wikada - Talk Contributions 11:55, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Edit preview with white or grey placeholder rectangles where ads will appear is my preference. I can't see the virtue of preview as anon since any one live ad that is displayed is purely random and not representative of the color or animation or subject of all possible ads that an anon user might see. The only information of value is the size and placement of the ad rectangle. So a white or gray rectangle without any advertising content satisfies the need to check article flow around the ad. If an editor really wants to preview a page as anon then they can easily log out and view the page as an anon visitor. To your credit you have made logout and login very easy at Wikia.
  • Informing anon browsers that by registering they may view wiki sites without ads is a great idea! However, if this is merely a bait and switch tactic then you'll have more egg on your face in six or twelve months time when Wikia membership has increased to the point where you feel compelled to show ads to registered wiki members who you enticed to register by promising no ads. That would not be a pleasant PR experience.
najevi 13:45, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Yes, I guess you may be right about this "bait and switch tactic" but since all the time it's best solution I've heard. So even if it would be temporary solution - it's worth the effort.
Anyway: It would be good also to make advert more predictable and less article-layout spoiling like centered horizontal banner appearing all the time in articles... SkywalkerPL 17:46, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
Najevi, we have learned not to make promises that we don't know if we can keep in years to come. So we are not saying there will never be ads for logged in users. It depends on more factors than we can guess at right now. We have considered other ideas, such as removing ads for people with over 1000 edits, or for those that edit at least once a week... and perhaps we will have to revisit them one day. But we believe this can work, and hope people will feel it gives a better balance between revenue needs and the needs of contributors. -- sannse (talk) 19:29, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
As far as I understand this - the issue is not about that if wikia says "logged-in users won't ever see the adverts" but rather that people login/register cause they see text "log in to see pages without ads", and then, after a year or so, adverts are back for logged-in users and people are mad. The issue is not that you promise to not give adverts ever, but rather that people THINK that they won't ever see the adverts.
The idea with removing adverts for people who edit once per week is very very great - it could greatly improve the quality of wikia wikis as people would be encouraged to edit form accounts, and -if they would be lazy- they still would make some useful edits, as fixing grammar or some other easy tasks which are still precious. IHMO it's far better than 1000 edits border as this could cause massive increase of spammers who make some random pointless edits (like write something stupid, then remove it - got only 998 edits to remove adverts; or other example: People who write article 2kb long making 15 edits - it's more than horrible.) just to remove ads, and after that would become completly inactive (in matter of editing). SkywalkerPL 08:34, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
Placeholder Image: could this be taken from a default wiki image, like Image:Ad-placeholder.jpg on our wiki? That way, the wiki admins can decide what works best for them: grey, white, black, whatever. Could even be a site notice for editors only. --◄mendel► 20:49, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

Typically, those who edit wikis already know how to hide or block ads, so hiding the advertisements for them would not change a lot. A clear "log in to see pages without ads" message would most probably only increase the number of inactive registered users, but still, it would be a nice way to get rid of the ads for people who do not have the knowledge/expertise to block them themselves. Drennan 08:53, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

That defeats the purpose of having ads in the first place, then. Removal of ads should be the incentive that gets people to log in. Getting the option to turn them off while you're not logged in is still getting something for nothing, and brings Wikia back to the original problem of not getting enough ad impressions. And even if a large part of those people who join and log in are inactive, it still gets new users logged in and experiencing the editing process - and a number of those people will become regulars. Shawn (talk) 19:30, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
  • remove ads for logged-in users. Yes please Philralph @sca21 09:00, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
  • add clear messages to visitors that they can "log in to see pages without ads"? Yes please Philralph @sca21 09:00, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
  • some kind of switch to see with/ without ads. Yes please Philralph @sca21 09:00, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

Additional issue to do with ads: doesn't seem to be 'slick' enough way of identifying ads, when problems - make ultra ultra easy helps. Also from a more positive angle is not theoretically impossible to like some ads eg on sca /green wikia etc there may be a particular green product or service that users approve of being advertised, similarly with ultra local advertising. Again ultra ultra ease of identifying - something like a tick box? - might be a help Philralph @sca21 09:00, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

Remove ads from content for logged in users: Yes. Log in to see pages without ads message: Yes. Preview as anon: Yes. Although, if no ads are an option for logged in users, I'm really wishing the Old Monaco skin could be an option too. --LordTBT Talk! 09:31, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
Clarification & one question for non-wikia staff
  1. User:SkywalkerPL correctly interpreted the intended meaning behind my "bait and switch" comment.
  2. Sannse wrote:
    One solution might be to show "placeholder" boxes on preview pages. Another (which would take more time to develop) might be a "preview as anon" button alongside the current preview button.
    • I very much paid attention to the highlighted words in parenthesis. Rather than investing engineering resources to implement "preview as anon" I would prefer to hear that those resources are being invested to support the Monobook skin as a permanently available option for a wiki site's default skin. With ad placement inside the article content area there is no good reason why Monobook should not be available as an admin specified default skin for unregistered visitors. If there is a good reason then it has not been clearly communicated. Other higher priority (IMHO) projects are support of Monobook style Printable version and Permanent link special urls for the Monaco Link Toolbox.
    • Request of one of the non-Wikia staff advocates of the "preview as anon" idea. Would you please explain what benefit you see from "preview as anon" and why that same benefit cannot be got from previewing your article edits with a plain rectangle "placeholder ad"?
  3. Sannse, if the "placeholder ad" was served from within then domain name filters would not prevent the "placeholder ad" from appearing and so the all-important article flow around the 300x250 block ad could be accurately previewed even for contributors who have advertisement serving domains blocked.
    • I also like User:M.mendel's suggestion for sourcing that "placeholder ad" from within a project's Image namespace.
  • Triple. Blocking in the space used by the ad is all fine and good, but a white rectangle doesn't really give you a feel for the visual footprint of a ad that's trying to distract you from the article. This would let the individual communities decide how obnoxious they want that block to be for their previewing purposes.
  • (Side note, is there a standard place you can report talking ads? I remember hearing someone complain about one friday-ish.) -Derik 18:32, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
  1. I am not a fan of the proposed 1000 edit count criteria or weekly edit frequency criteria for registered users to not be shown ads. If you register then by default you should not have to suffer the ads. If you register and you want to see the ads then you should be able to enable the ads via your user preferences. User:Dantman suggested using CGI parameters to enable ads on a one time basis. That idea also has merit.
najevi 12:27, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
I like the idea of an ad toggle option in the profile area. I don't mind the new placement and would just as soon turn the option off in order to see what the other 99% see. If I am doing some intensive and not layout specific editing, I can toggle the ads off to speed up the process. That said, I too am worried about the bait and switch issue. It would be a problem is anon users signed up because the box says "log in to get rid of ads" and then a week later it changes on them. What if once per month a logged-in user needed to click something (not hidden but easily visible in profile) to get rid of the ads for 30 days - and that button plainly says that this is a limited offer. Then, wikia could more easily remove that option one day. IDK - just an off the cuff idea. --GAHOO t/ c 15:53, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
Thank you guys so much for considering this. Personally, I feel like this option gives a little back to the wikis' main contributors for all their hard work. (I do realize you could log in and not contribute, but I wouldn't think that would be all that often). That being said, any of the above ideas to view the ads while considering layout design would work for me. I personally don't have an opinion as to how this is done. Thanks for doing this in advance!
--Nathan (Peteparker) (Earth-1218) (talkcontribsemail) 16:06, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
This is pretty much a win situation, we get to keep hosting our wikis for free, it'll encourage more people to login to the sites. Plus, it gets rid of most of those ads. :) -- Phillip (talk) 16:21, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, this is the best situation. I think it'll make a big difference, especially if every wiki really touts it on the front pages as a feature - nobody likes ads, and I don't think I've seen a site that allows users to turn them off simply by signing up and logging in for free. Shawn (talk) 19:24, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Definite support of this idea. A good step by Wikia in rebuilding some of the strained community relations. I do like the idea of the ad placeholder as well. Atarumaster88 talk page 22:38, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
I'm definitely one of those who has been discouraged from contributing (especially images and new articles) by the new system (I uploaded some stuff a few days ago, ansd have frankly been depressed and reluctant to try to mess with it, especially on short pages with images, which look incredibly horrible), so this is definitely good news. I might add, by the way, that as a contributor, the banners don't bother me much. It's working around those horrible invasive boxes that's incredibly discouraging. As for the "bait and switch" concerns, here's a thought. There actually are people who register and never ocontribute, or vandalize or so on, so if necessary, maybe a system which would sort of "reward" active use, multiple edits and new pages, with the ad free set up rather than discourage it. It's just a thought, no idea if it would work, but it's a possible compromise. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 03:42, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
Those who think that removing ads for registered users would get everyone to register and then have to be changed so that someone sees the ads are greatly underestimating the difficulty in getting people to register. If Wikia were to give out $100 to anyone who registered (this is a hypothetical example, of course, as actually doing so would be impractical for quite a few reasons), a substantial majority of those who visited the site yesterday would probably still never register. Quizzical 09:19, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
I'd have to agree. Removing the ads for registered users likely wouldn't help (much) in getting new people to register. But, frankly, I'm for whatever option helps get rid of those square ads that show up on the right-hand side, as those are the only ones that continually frustrate my editing. And any incentive to register, however small, is great. GrnMarvl14 02:59, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
I don't see this as a solution. I'm currently an intermittent editor at the Transformers wiki, but before that took off I frequently used Memory Alpha (well, and still do) as a reference. It never would have occurred to me that I could or should log into Memory Alpha myself; I don't have the depth of knowledge about Trek to feel comfortable as a contributor, and why would I log in if not to contribute? I think that most non-editors would feel much the same way; why am I going to log in just to READ something? It's counterintuitive and weird. The bottom line will be that the non-editors, the readers, the people we're doing this FOR, would still have huge trashy ad boxes in the middle of the content. That's going to drive away our audiences something fierce.
I realize that people use wikis for different reasons; some are by and for the editors, as a community thing, and this will work for those wikis. But if you're doing a wiki with an eye to sharing content with an audience, this doesn't accomplish much of anything. Chip 15:48, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
Coming from this standpoint, can you make some recommendations on how we can get more people to register and contribute?! -- LordTBT Talk! 20:35, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
Full agreement. I know whenever someone links to a messageboard thread that I have to log into just to READ, I just wait for someone to paste the relevant info someplace I don't have to. I avoid some messageboards altogether because the admin don't put restrictions on sig images, resulting in massive screen-wide obnoxious images under a line of "content". I'm not going to log in if I'm not going to post. Plus... frankly, the trust isn't there. Logged-in users may be 1% of the userbase as the claim goes, but what's the pagehit percentage they make up? The more prolific editors will spend hours a day on the wiki, on countless pages, re-viewing them many times to check their edits, checking the edits of others, making small corrections... the casual browser only a few minutes looking up a few things, resulting in far fewer pagehits... and isn't pagehits what the advertizers are looking at? Won't advertizers want that percentage? And what are the odds that Wikia won't capitulate to that demand like they have before, and we're all right back to where we are right now, if not worse? I'm sorry, but this isn't a solution. It's not a "win-win" situation. It strikes me as a desperate plea to keep wikis from leaving by offering a glimmer of a hope for a fragile, probably-short-lived reprieve. --M Sipher 17:00, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
(Edit conflicted) Just a few notes on najevi's #2 comment:
From my understanding of the code Wikia is using to display the ads, the issue of displaying a real ad vs. a placeholder isn't the issue here (In fact in the SVN repo there is already code to allow use of a ParserFunction to insert an ad into a page, quite likely just something added for testing purposes, but it just shows that ads themselves can be inserted as easily as placeholders). The issue is the preview feature itself. The code being used to display ads, or for that matter the code for determining sizes itself, is all coded to take effect on page views, not on previews. MediaWiki's code for viewing a page is extremely different than it's code for generating page previews. I believe the real issue here is that it'll take time to alter the page preview system in a way that allows for the system to place even a placeholder inside the preview correctly depending on what is in the page, much less even insert something into preview.
As for "there is no good reason why Monobook should not be available as an admin specified default skin", there is, the whole reason this is being done. Just to break down the whole issue with the ads:
  1. Wikia needs ads that go by page impressions because Cost per Click ads don't generate any revenue to keep Wikia running.
  2. Advertisers want a number of things if they are going to pay by impression:
    1. They want ads in a visible location:
      1. They don't want something thin in the sidebar (yes, that column in Monobook is thin)
      2. They don't want a banner in the header
      3. There are considerably fewer advertisers that will by a banner than those who will buy a box
      4. They don't want the footer
      5. They primarily want something inside the content area
    2. They want the style of the site that the ads are being offered to be consistent (From their PoV Wikia is the site, not the wikis themselves). If Wikia offers some wiki in Monaco and others in Monobook, they will consider Wikia's style to be inconsistent.
  3. If Wikia skips out on any of these, then they will not want to buy the Ads, and we're back to square one because CpC ads don't work.
Oh, btw, a note on the bit on people registering just to view without ads. Only anon views are replied by Squid/Varnish, if anyone is logged in then all their pageviews come directly from the Apaches, not the caches. If the number of users viewing Wikia using accounts the weight on the Apaches is going to grow, and Artur's work on switching from Squid to Varnish would be ruined. (last time I asked, by his stats one Varnish can handle as many anon users as 20 Squids, and does not slow down under low load like Squid does) Wikia's hardware costs will end up rising if they need to run more Apache servers because of page views. Just a note though, and this applies whether or not you need contributions to not see ads. If anon users think they can login and not see ads human mentality does not dictate that they are going to log back out when they see that they still see ads, there will plenty who just continue to browse.
~NOTASTAFF Daniel Friesen (DanTMan, Nadir Seen Fire) (talk) (tricks) (current topic) Jul 2, 2008 @ 17:07 (UTC)
Thank you Daniel, for that insight into the mechanics of serving up pages to anon users versus registered users. I don't look as closely under the hood to see how Wikia does things as you appear to. Also, I choose not to second guess Sannse when she states that "preview as anon" will take more time to develop than "placeholder ads".
The reasons Daniel lists for why Monobook should not be available as site-default skin even for anon browsers suggest either great insight into Wikia's corporate thought processes or considerable inference based on the scant reasons offered by Wikia staff both within this forum as well as in the initial announcement. It is because a "300x250 ad unit at the top right" is a new requirement for both Monaco and Monobook skins that makes the phasing out of Monobook as a site-default skin so unreasonable! From an ad placement perspective the only negative that Monobook presents is the narrower left-hand Nav bar and yet Wikia staff have repeatedly stated that the LH Nav bar locations are not favored by advertisers. On that point one Wikia community has already demonstrated how the width of the LH nav bar in Monaco may be reduced to the same 130 pixel width (edit:Is no longer viewable [1]) as the Monobook skin presented to anon users in the past. Gaining back 80 pixels horizontal space for article content goes a long way toward compensating for the 200 pixel intrusion by the block ad in top RH corner. I suspect this Monaco customization by HenryNe may become popular among sites who sorely miss the virtues of the Monobook skin and are facing up to the death knell for the Monobook skin here at Wikia.
Perhaps I am missing some subtle point but it seems to me that
  • locating ads within the article content area should only strengthen the case for allowing/supporting Monobook as a site-default skin choice.
Previously, Sannse explained that maintaining and developing both Monaco and Monobook skins is not cost-effective. That is a practical reason that is easy to understand and respect. I had that explanation in mind when I wrote that there are higher priority tasks wikia's design engineers could be working on than developing the Monaco edit preview to support "preview as anon" type complexity.
With all the commotion about ads my concern is that
  • the original issue of waning support for the Monobook skin (as a site-default) is being forgotten.
najevi 18:57, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
Just a note about the narrowed Monaco sidebar -- I'm afraid that code can't be used in the site-wide MediaWiki:Monaco.css stylesheet. We build tools, spotlights and widgets that rely on the default width in this column, and we ask that you don't change that part of the layout for all visitors; HenryNe and I are discussing changing it back for coLinux.wikia. You are of course welcome to use this type of code to your personal stylesheet at User:USERNAME/monaco.css on your wiki, so that you can use the narrower layout for yourself; you can also change User:USERNAME/Monaco-sidebar and User:USERNAME/Monaco-toolbox to customize your own view, if there are links you use every day.
While we'd like the sidebar width to remain fixed, there are still a ton of other interesting customizations that can be done there -- just check out some of what has accomplished! — Catherine (talk) 05:39, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
Catherine, your mention of the widgets for Monaco is a refreshing change of spotlight from all the talk about ads. Thank you for that.
Here's the thing with Monaco widgets. I have kicked the tyres on every one of them in the past month since the now infamous Monaco New style announcement was made. Frankly, there is no "killer app" in the arsenal of widgets that compels me to proclaim Monaco as the best thing since sliced bread or ... pick your favorite idiom. Monaco may promise wikia a consistent look and feel but it doesn't promise readers anything that they can't happily live without. Quite to the contrary (and not to overlook the more germane virtue of Monobook's leaner navigation and edit bars) there are two fundamental features that are sorely missed:
  1. Printable version
  2. Permanent link
I've quoted Stepen R. Covey before and I'll do so again for emphasis:
  • "The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing!"
  • Guess what? The article content is the main thing.
  • A distant second are the navigation links for navigating the various articles.
The skin and the widgets are not the main thing. The ads are not the main thing either. Even the edit buttons, user page links, history links, voting buttons, site logo and so on and so forth are not the main thing for anybody except the ~1% of visitors who actually log in and contribute to the content. The minority who are motivated to contribute will find a way and frankly those who can't find a way might not have all of the qualities (patience, discipline, RTFM, etc.) that are desirable in an article editor.
  • You referred readers to, I now refer you to the official forum for that game. You don't need to spend much time browsing the recent posts at that forum (or even the stickied posts and guides) to realize that the caliber of material published and maintained at the wiki is head and shoulders above the caliber of even the best guide maintained at that forum. (That type of difference is what I suspect KrytenKoro was expressing concern over wrt "surly editors".)
If it is part of Wikia's business plan to allow and even encourage your hosted wikis to metamorphose into blogs, chat rooms, bulletin board style forums or some other social networking style site then by all means be overt about that but please don't presume that one skin (Monaco) should be used for both purposes.
I can well imagine that for one of those other types of communities the "main thing" might very well be one of the widgets that can be located in the oversize Monaco sidebar. To that point I say vive la difference! But for heaven's sake, please, let there be a difference! ... fair enough?
najevi 00:48, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
A response to M Sipher's comments...
People don't need to log in to read. They need to log in if they don't want to see ads. If people are fine with reading the site and looking at the ads, then they don't need to log in. This system will give people a choice about their reading and editing experience. If they don't want to see ads, then logging in is free, and it takes less than a minute.
We're aware that heavy editors look at more pages than average. Right now, logged-in users make up about 1% of the people, and about 5% of the pageviews. We're okay with not showing ads to that group.
We've actually done this before -- on the Quartz skin, logged-in users didn't see any ads. At the time, we didn't see a huge rise in logged-in users on Quartz. This is a different situation -- the ads are bigger and more intrusive now, so we'll probably see some people logging in to avoid the ads.
Still, even if the number of logged-in users rises a lot, it's okay. We want people to log in anyway. Logged-in users are more likely to contribute, and feel like they're part of the community. That's why we've put big green candy-like login buttons on Monaco -- because we know that having people log in is good for the wikis.
As for the trust issue... That's a big deal. I totally understand that you feel burned. I think that the process that we've been through over the last few weeks demonstrates that we're trying to listen to the community, and make changes to the plan to make things work better. Trust is something that needs to be earned, so we'll keep working on it. -- Danny (talk) 18:43, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
Question: How does this affect the ads on the main page, if logged in users don't get ads? -- LordTBT Talk! 20:35, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, it looks like that wasn't clear enough in my message above. The main page would be an exception to this - it's article pages (and other internal pages) that we are talking about here -- sannse (talk) 21:06, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
This is great news, I thank Wikia for this. --Taylor Karras talk contributions 21:43, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
...this is a horrible idea. You're basically using the stick to "encourage" those who just want to be readers into creating an account. Not only is it dishonest, but it's going to create a lot of surly new editors who are now able to get around page-protections.
From my experience, the main problem with the ads is that some ###### thought it would be a good idea to design them so that they rip apart page layout - and since the entire point of these wiki's is to conveniently inform and please the reader (NOT to massage the ego of the editor, as some seem to think), the reader still ends up screwed, unless they give out personal information and become a surly editor. What you are doing is slapping the face of 99% of your userbase in order to get slightly higher revenue.
The best solution, I think, is not to make the problem worse - just redesign the ads so that they don't disrupt the page layout. Have them as even banners that just move the page down a little, as they were before. I know you think "Any publicity is good publicity" - but believe me, creating giant disruptive banners that make a mess of content is NOT going to convince people to do more clicking. Hell, even nicely designed and integrated ads are lucky to get a lot of clicks.
Because, the way this is headed, a lot of prominent wiki's are discussing simply moving to different servers and "slash and burning" the wikia version - erasing everything and locking the pages to make it more difficult for you guys. I may not agree with this course of action, but it seems pretty inevitable that more and more people are going to figure "why let wikia keep sodomozing us?"KrytenKoro 19:36, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
The rationale for why the ads work the way they do has been discussed a lot over the last few weeks -- you can check out the "Nobody clicks" thread for an explanation.
I'm not sure why you think the new logged-in readers would be surly, or why this is a dishonest system. Reading and writing on Wikia is free, and once this change is implemented, it'll be ad-free for people who log in. The system gives people a clear choice -- log in and see the site with no ads, or don't log in and look at the ads. It's up to the individual user to choose what they'd like to do.
I've also seen a discussion of the "slash and burn" concept, and I'm a little puzzled by it. Wiki editors know that it's pretty easy to protect a site from vandalism. Blanked pages can be restored; locked pages can be unlocked. Editors who "slash and burn" a wiki can be blocked from the site to prevent further vandalism. It would definitely be unpleasant if the people who spent years building up a wiki decided to vandalize their own site, but it wouldn't actually shut down the wiki. It would just be handled the way that any vandalism is handled. -- Danny (talk) 21:05, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
Vandalism has a cost, but it can be managed. A bigger issue is likely to be the more subtle problems such as inaccuracy, libel or privacy concerns that were previously handled by volunteers. These must now be dealt with by paid staff, or not at all. Wikipedia has an out for this kind of thing because they can rely on third-party references, but most wikis hosted at Wikia rely on editors with specific domain knowledge. --GreenReaper(talk) 21:35, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
Yes, vandalism has its cost. But the way I saw it discussed, it would have to be reversed by an admin, and I think it's quite possible that anyone you tried to "volunteer" to that position would just say "to hell with it", and go to to the new, offsite wiki.
I've also seen a discussion of the "log-in solution", and I'm a little puzzled by them. If you honestly don't think the new users would be surly, then I'm sorry, but you've spent too much time in an ivory tower. I can tell you from experience that when someone is forced to subscribe, even for free, in order to not get shafted, they will be in an extremely bad mood - and you can hardly expect that the 99% un-logged readership we have will suddenly create accounts to get rid of the ads. So, this creates several problems, whether they login or not.
  1. If they do all log-in, then what? You'll have no ad readership, so what are you going to do? You're going to renege on this deal, and shaft us all up the ### again.
  2. They just leave, and stay away. You'll (again) have no ad readership, and you will again shaft us up the ###.
  3. They stay. And since the point of this project is (again) not to massage our ego's and let us pretend we're "experts", but instead to help the readership, you're forcing all the admins and editors to restructure every single page.
By the very nature of the "deal" you're offering, wikia will either go back on its word, and say "#### you" to all of us, you're asking us to be ######## ourselves, or you're asking us to do a gigantic amount of work to fix a formatting problem.
Now, as was said before, the biggest problems with these ads is that they rip up the page format. In my experience, this is because most wiki's use that area for the lead image. As you've said before, you don't even have that many advertisers committed yet.
There are several solutions to this:
  1. A large-scale "slash-and-burn" and boycott which shows the advertisers that the ads are a losing proposition, and they pull out anyway. This can be done by the admins, forcing those you appoint after they leave to clean up after them. This could be done by persistent vandalism from new and anonymous accounts, which you would be unable to prevent except by removing the main draw of wiki's (that everyone can edit). This could be done insidiously, by "factual" vandalism that bots could not catch, that only the most obsessed editors would consistently catch (and you've got to admit, a lot of these would be among those leaving), and that would in some way or another leave most visitors disgusted with, and cause them to leave. This could be done by one editor posting instructions at the top of every page on how to remove the ads from your personal css (this could even be done to even out the page, and remove the formatting problems!). This could be done by making every page have a header at the top that lied below the ads, and have all links to a page point to that top header so that the ads were never seen. The editors who hate the ads REALLY hate the ads, and would very likely put the work into making wikia feel the pain, even if it ruins it for those saints who are willing to put up with wikia's jackassery.
  2. You move the box to the left. This would still muck up the layout, but the top left is almost always used for text, and the displacement would be much less destructive. I also can't imagine the advertising companies being that obsessed with the box being on the right.
  3. You even out the top. You would still have the ad be the first thing people see, and you would even have more space for ads. This would erase the formatting problems, and so the only remaining complaints would be the standard "I don't like having to look at ads at all" - which few people on the Internet still complain about, since most know they can't do anything about it.
So, no matter how you try to spin this "deal", it's still sodomy. ("When you put some grease on it, it doesn't hurt so much to shove a rusty, burning shovel up your rear!") You can go on and on about how the editors who are angered or boycotting wikia over this are "not listening to reality", or are just in denial, but the simple fact is that it is WIKIA which is refusing to listen to anything.KrytenKoro 23:42, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

In the long term, I think wikis are robust enough to withstand even a sustained period of vandalism. But in the short term, you're right -- if someone is absolutely devoted to vandalizing a wiki, it can be a real pain in the neck, and it can be very discouraging for the community. I would hate to see a wiki tear itself apart because one group of editors decides to declare war on the rest.

I think we can rely, as we always do, on the good sense and maturity of our users, to choose collaboration over destruction. That's what a wiki is all about. On a wiki, threats and insults will never be as powerful as patience, mutual respect and an assumption of good faith. -- Danny (talk) 00:32, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

The option logged-in users can select own skin and viewing how non logged-in visitors would seen this side is nonsense and non practicable. Last days I was logging in and out or have used two different browser sessions to see the view from non logged-in and edit on the other side as user. It's horror in handling. A: You are an user to edit pages, then must set the view as anon. B: You wand to see as logged-in style, then must set the option off.
Now, you needs permanently switching? Badly idea. Permanently switch on the "visit as anon"? Ugly, why we need than that option?
For me, I'd like to see the same view as the anonymous visitors.
If Monaco is the only supported skin for all visitors, then new site requesters and wiki admins (like me) would be select the wiki-hoster by layout. -- HenryNe 21:32, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
I'm apparently coming late to this discussion, but I'm not sure that the benefits of this plan outweigh its flaws.
The main attraction of the new plan is, of course, removing banners from the articles for logged-in users. This seems to be a nice concession to faithful editors who don't want to be faced with banners in the editing process, but what does this really accomplish? It is very unlikely that the ratio of logged-in users to unlogged-in users is going to change drastically. You don't log into Amazon if you don't plan on buying something, and you don't log into Wikia if you don't plan on editing. Casual users are very used to seeing advertising on the Internet these days, and I can't see ad-free page views being a big enough carrot to entice many non-editors to take the time to create an account.
The main problem, as I see it, is that this new plan encourages navel-gazing among editors. From reading this thread, I can tell that a lot of people are excited about this change because it solves a short term issue: I don't want to look at ads, and now I won't have to. But what I think is inevitable, long-term, once you create two different user experiences is having 1% of editors designing pages for the 1% of editors and no longer for the vast majority of unlogged-in users.
I just logged in to Muppet Wiki and saw that Wikia has already removed ads for logged-in users. But there's no "Preview as Anon" system in place yet -- which is not surprising, seeing as how Wikia still hasn't fixed how banners appear on regular Preview pages. So now, there's no way to see how pages look to unlogged-in users while editing without using multiple browsers or continually logging in and out.
Ignoring how the pages look for the vast majority of people who visit Wikia isn't going to solve this problem. But having the "Preview as Anon" button really won't fix it either. It's just too easy to ignore what the regular viewing experience of the site is. If 99% of users are going to see the banners, then I think it's in Wikia's best interest to have the experience be the same for 100% of users. -- Peter (talk) 17:06, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
Peter, I'm not sure why you're seeing no ads for logged-in users right now... The change hasn't happened yet, and I'm still seeing ads. We'll announce any changes here -- and if some pieces happen before others, we'll explain the expected timeline for the other pieces.
It's always been the case that some readers see the site differently. People have different browsers and screen sizes, and we're always finding things that look like they work on one screen but don't on another. Luckily, on a wiki, if one person sees things don't look right on their screen, they can fix it, or alert other people about the problem. It's easy for one person to navel-gaze; it's harder when there's a dozen, or a hundred, and everybody has a different navel.
Part of the idea here is for wikis to encourage their readers and contributors to log in. That's always been a goal for Muppet Wiki, and for lots of others too. It's true that lots of people won't choose to log in just to read; it's their choice how they want to experience the site. If logging in = editing, then maybe encouraging people to log in (to turn off the ads) will also be a subtle encouragement for people to try editing. -- Danny (talk) 21:02, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
Danny, Peter has perhaps seen the same bug, like me: After Logout the Cookie was not cleared and all next pages can see with my default skin. Peter, have you Monaco as default skin? If not, the we can see some interesting side effects. That's why I say: Give logged-in users and anonymous visitors all time the same layout. This would never be bug free. -- HenryNe 21:16, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, I guess I experienced a bug yesterday -- I definitely wasn't seeing ads at all on multiple pages, but they're back now. I just figured that the change had been announced elsewhere and I'd missed it.
I also wanted to add that I realize "navel-gazing" was kind of a loaded word. Clearly, no editor can view each page on every possible browser-resolution configuration. And the more people you have editing a wiki with more of these configurations, the better equipped you'll be to notice glaring problems. I still think that if all editors are logged-in, then that comes with a certain amount of risk, as it essentially doubles the number of possible configurations while putting extra steps in the path of editors to view the version of the page that most people will see. But you're right -- in the end, managing that risk would be up to every individual wiki whether or not there were ads involved.
About something I said about "if all editors are logged-in" -- on Muppet Wiki, there's no difference these days; you have to log in to edit. I'm so used to conflating the two (editors and logged-in users) that I forgot for the moment that unlogged-in users can edit most wikis. So yeah, I can see how this change could definitely contribute to a higher quantity of logged-in editors on other wikis, and that's a good thing. Also, it doesn't hurt to throw content creators a bone once in a while. -- Peter (talk) 04:32, 8 July 2008 (UTC)