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:::Someone reported seeing an expandable 728x90 banner ad on Muppet Wiki last week before she logged in. She also had a problem in which the expanded frame of the banner wouldn't close in her browser. The problem with the broken "close ad" button was reported and, I assume, resolved. But, regardless of whether Wikia plans to continue the practice, it looks like expandable ads have already been sold on some wikis. -- [[User:Pantalones|<font color="Blue">Peter</font>]] ([[User talk:Pantalones|<font color="Blue" size="1">talk</font>]]) 16:17, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
 
:::Someone reported seeing an expandable 728x90 banner ad on Muppet Wiki last week before she logged in. She also had a problem in which the expanded frame of the banner wouldn't close in her browser. The problem with the broken "close ad" button was reported and, I assume, resolved. But, regardless of whether Wikia plans to continue the practice, it looks like expandable ads have already been sold on some wikis. -- [[User:Pantalones|<font color="Blue">Peter</font>]] ([[User talk:Pantalones|<font color="Blue" size="1">talk</font>]]) 16:17, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
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::::Yeah, I took out the line about never hosting pop-ups. We're starting to talk about the terms of service, and we noticed that that specific line made a promise that we weren't comfortable with. That line was written back in 2004, when the business was very different. In general, it probably isn't a good idea to write the word "never" in your terms of service. -- [[User:Toughpigs|<font color="Blue">Danny</font>]]<staff /> ([[User talk:Toughpigs|<font color="Blue" size="1">talk</font>]]) 20:50, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
   
 
== Common sense says... ==
 
== Common sense says... ==

Revision as of 20:50, 14 June 2008

Forums: Index Watercooler Wikia's New Style
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Please discuss Wikia's New Style here!

Communitytest is open! Check out how the new ad format will look.
Feel free to copy over pages and templates from your wiki, to experiment with the new format.

Alternatives discussion

Lots of people have been posting different ideas for alternatives to the new ad format. Nobody likes the idea of having ads in the content area, pushing down design elements that we want people to see, like pictures and infoboxes. The amount of time and energy that people are putting into coming up with other options demonstrates how much you care about the wikis.

There's one thing that has really constrained our options, and that got us to the current format. Maybe I haven't made it clear enough, so I'll try to explain.

For Wikia to survive in the long term, we need to move from relying on click-through ads to impressions ads. "Impressions" means that the advertisers will pay just to have people see the ad. Nobody clicks on ads, so the big advertisers have all moved to paying for impressions.

It's like a billboard -- nobody expects you to get out of your car and click on the billboard. They're paying for that ad because they know that a certain number of people will see it as they drive by. But if they're going to go to the trouble of putting up a billboard, then they want to put it where lots of people will see it. They won't put the billboard close to the ground, or facing away from the road.

The ad space that we're creating on article pages is a billboard. Nobody likes billboards, but we need them to pay the bills, so we have to live with them.

All of the advertisers and ad networks have told us the same thing: They want a 300x250 ad at the top right of the page, inside the content area. They're paying to make sure that everybody sees the ad, and that's the place where they're sure everyone will see it. There are a lot of other websites that they could advertise on. If we want them to advertise on Wikia, then we have to offer them the ad space that they'll pay for.

If we don't -- if we decide to take a stand, and refuse to do what the advertisers want -- then they'll take their ads somewhere else, and Wikia will go out of business.

Therefore, some of the suggestions that have been made just aren't practical. We can't hide ads at the bottom of the page. We can't shrink ads to logo-size and put them at the top left. We can't allow admins to choose the size or placement of ads. We spent a lot of time talking to ad people, and they all said the same thing: 300x250, top right, in the content area.

So that's what we have to do. We're not happy about taking up content space. We know people don't like that, and we know that it disrupts the experience that people want their readers to have. We're listening to all of your comments, and we take them very seriously. Unfortunately, we're not in a position to allow users to decide where the ads are going to go on the page. That has to be determined by what the advertisers are willing to buy, and we got a very clear message from the advertisers that this is the way we have to go.

That being said, once the new format launches, we're going to be looking very closely at what this does to the actual user experience. We'll be looking at the impact on how people read the pages, and how much they contribute. If the whole site tanks, as some people are prophesying, then obviously we'll need to make drastic changes. But we need to see how it works first. -- Danny (talk) 23:05, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

If advertisers like the 300x250 box ads in the top right corner more than banner ads at the top, why not let wiki users flag particular pages to always have the box ads and never the banners? On pages where the box advertisement would fill what is currently empty space, the box advertisement would probably look better, anyway. It's easier to design a page to look nice around one particular ad placement than around two different placements. Or do advertisers insist on randomness in ad placement, too?
Even if there must be an ad in the top right corner, why not let page editors pick whether it will push content down or to the left? A lot of pages have a picture in the top right corner, and pushing the picture down makes the page look catastrophically awful. Pushing the picture to the left into what is now just white space would look fine. Let the advertisers have their preferred placement if you must, but give wiki editors more options on how content fits around the ads. Quizzical 23:49, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
The placement won't be random... On article pages, there'll be a 300x250 ad on the right side. The exception is on pages where that box would break a table at the top of the page -- on those pages, there'll be a banner ad. So I think there may be more predictability than you think. Check out Communitytest to try it out -- copy over some pages from your wiki, and see how they'll look.
It's a pain to change your design to fit this new element, I know. But you do have options about how to do it -- and I suspect that we may see some new page designs emerge. -- Danny (talk) 00:49, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Ad placement alternative. 215x210 red box is 60% of the "demanded" 300x250px area. Prominence of location on screen is not diminished.

Thank you Danny for the further clarification. You really are between a rock and a hard place! You wrote that:

All of the advertisers and ad networks have told us the same thing: They want a 300x250 ad at the top right of the page, inside the content area. They're paying to make sure that everybody sees the ad, and that's the place where they're sure everyone will see it. There are a lot of other websites that they could advertise on. If we want them to advertise on Wikia, then we have to offer them the ad space that they'll pay for.

What companies want and what they need are not always the same thing. The advertisers need content creators to create and maintain interesting wiki sites that:

  1. attract and keep new visitors & contributors
  2. retain existing regular visitors
  3. retain existing contributors

I do not for one minute believe that the specification, "300x250 pixels; top right of content area" is a deal breaker. Wikia management ought to push the 215x210 pixel logo area at the top of the left-hand nav-bar space (red box in image) and hold sacrosanct the principle that advertising not encroach upon content. If that red box needs to grow by 66% to 360x210 (orange box) to yield the same advertising area then I think that remains a better solution than the current proposal.

The wikia site branding can easily relocate to a 30x515 pixel area (green box in image) to the right of it's current position. Finally, as I have argued before, the logo for each wiki community is of questionable value in that prime screen location. This is especially true with the now well established favicons. Besides, site admins have other placement alternatives that they may consider for a community logo.

FYI: It was not my intent to demonstrate it however, in that screen shot you will notice how one or both of AdBlock or NoScript appears to be defeating the delivery of the 300x350 ad box in the top-right of content area. One of the risks you face from wiki site creators who use such browser plugins is that they continue to create content that looks OK in their ad-free browser without realizing that the experience is very different for those users who do not benefit from such plug-ins. That may not be a result that you want.

Najevi 01:29, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Najevi -- I'm not sure how I can be any more clear. In order to make Wikia attractive to advertisers, we need a 300x250 ad in the top right, inside the content area. We can't use any other alternatives to that. I know that that's not the answer that you want to hear.
I think you may have the wrong idea about Wikia's relationship with advertisers. This isn't a situation where the advertisers are coming to us and begging to advertise on our site, and we have the power to set the rules for them. There are lots of interesting, popular websites that advertisers can place their ads on. Every single one of them has a more flexible ad format than we do. Our job in this case is to offer an ad format that people want to buy. If we offer them an ad in the top left, they won't buy it. We can't make them.
So, yeah, this is hard. It violates a principle that people think is sacrosanct. However -- this is the way that Wikia is going to look, starting next Tuesday.
To address your last point, we don't encourage people to use AdBlock to block the ads on Wikia. If using AdBlock means that you can't design pages the way that you want to, then you can turn it off. -- Danny (talk) 03:08, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Oh I'm sure bit by bit visitors will eventually learn to use Adblock and NoScript to stop undesired/flashing messages from being shoved in their face, especially when the ads are right next to something useful they actually want to read. GHe (Talk) 03:51, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
I don't use AdBlock, so I have a question. If someone is using AdBlock, does the "impression" still count for the ad? --LordTBT Talk! 07:26, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Ad blocking filters are implemented at the browser by the site visitor. We have been told that Wikia advertising revenue will no longer be dependent on ad click-through. A paying advertiser will have no way of knowing if site visitors are viewing or blocking their advertisement. Is this win:win or win:lose - you decide for yourself but here's how I see it playing out:
  • so long as Wikia get paid for placing the impression ad, Wikia win (hoo-yah!)
  • so long as we content creators and regular community members employ adblocking filters at their browser, we win (right on!)
  • casual browsers who already use ad blocking filters win (what's the fuss about!)
  • if and only if content creators float a table in the top right corner of content pages to force the banner style ad instead of the 300x250 style ad then
    casual browsers who do not use ad blocking filters will simply see a banner ad similar in size to the existing banner ad but in a different location: (approx. status quo!)
  • if content creators are too lazy to do this (or more likely, we forget to do it) then these casual browsers will see intrusive 300x250 advertisements. Some casual visitors will be put off by this but others will tolerate it. (maybe this ambivalent population is precisely who advertisers are wanting to target in the first place!)
  • Finally, so long as advertisers are satisfied that enough browsers are unsophisticated or lazy enough not to block ads then I suppose they win too. (congrats)
I honestly do not think that paying advertisers are this naive and so I am waiting for the other shoe to drop. What is phase 2 of this advertising model?
You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink.
This comment and my earlier comments have been provided in the spirit of constructive feedback on how the Wikia team might have brought content creators onside as partners in what could have been an advertising joint venture. I will embrace a solution that seeks to satisfy our differing needs. However, when one party starts unilaterally dictating terms then the relationship breaks down. I do not see Wikia staff as the dictators but I have to say that I do see the Wikia management team as failing to successfully facilitate a satisfactory meeting of the minds. I do not plan to lose any sleep over this since the end game is clear to me now.
Najevi 11:39, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

"Why Monaco?"

Seriously would it kill you guys to call a spade a spade? you have an entire section of politely worded justifications-- but no mention that you feel Monaco is designed to maximize the monetization wikia's content and keep your business model solvent.

You are not arguing, or pleading your case, your are steamrolling regardless of people's wishes to the contrary. And all the while you're telling people "Oh no, you have a choice, look at all the choices we're giving you! this is better, the only reason we're doing it is because it's better! Please step out of the way, we really must keep going..." It's like being stuck in the room with one of those obnoxious Disney-parody tour guides who will refuse to admit the sky is blue if it's not on-message.

The fact you won't even admit that aspect exists- "look, we know you're not happy, but it's part of our economic model. We have to show monetization. Try to work with us huh?" ...is massively annoying. We understand. We sympathize. The fact you are lying, and lying badly destroys any sense of understanding or sympathy we have. You are eroding and pissing away community good will for no gain whatsoever.

C'mon! Glasnost! -Derik 23:58, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

I think the part about the ads is pretty clear on that page and in all of the discussion that's followed. That section on the page lists the other reasons why we think Monaco is a better skin for Wikia. Both of those things are true. -- Danny (talk) 00:52, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
And you don't feel conflating the two things is anything other than helpful and honest? Similarly, ignoring the big ad block in the "New Monaco" area comparison graph is entirely clear and above board. - SanityOrMadness 02:17, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
I think it would be dishonest to not talk about both those things. We have been very clear in saying that we have two sets of customers (users and ad buyers), and there are aspects to this skin that are designed for each of those. And that we fully understand that the aspects designed for the ad buyers are not going to be liked by the users. We are upfront about both aspects of this change -- sannse (talk) 11:54, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Ads, in the corner

Putting the ads in the top right corner, causing them to push down images, is a terrible idea and will negatively impact the looks of articles.--Skyglide 00:07, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Indeed - articles with many images, which is at the limit at this moment, would be ruined by this new system. Shame on those who came up with this. -- Realismadder 00:19, 14 June 2008 (UTC);
See Forum:Wikia's_New_Style#Fixing_image_alignment_to_article_text najevi 19:53, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

*sigh*

As much as I like to see Monaco stay the way it is, the advertisers have apparently set the future for Monaco. I always have looked at the top bar if that could count as Impression advertising. Hell everyone sees the top ad, but I realize that advertisers are not realizing that most of the people look at the top ad. But the advertisers have clearly stated that they want ads on the right, and I cannot fight that. I'll have to cope with the change and figure out a way to make my pages work with the new ad format, looks like everyone will have to adapt to the new ad format. I could just block the ads using AdBlock Pro and NoScript but that would deprive Wikia of funds for those using Firefox and the method. The only thing I don't like is the new monaco header which could be like the old monaco header. That's the only thing I want the same now, everything else can change. It's obvious that the community can't force Wikia to change their minds, if Wikia defies the advertisers then Wikia would cease to exist as Danny said. I am ceasing all efforts to stop New Monaco and going to try to accept the changes, if not then I'll probally won't be with Wikia no longer, iI still belive that there might be an alternative might exist but I'm not going to be pursuing it.

Thank you. --Taylor Karras talk contributions 00:05, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

The new banner ads aren't aimed at readers, they're aimed at annoying editors. You have to reach over it to hit the discussion buttons. We get ads on preview pages- if you preview 10 times, you get 20 impressions! And by people who are PAYING ATTENTION to the page, not quick skimmers! Brilliant!-Derik 00:23, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
The ads are on preview pages so that you can see how the page will actually look once you hit save. The preview wouldn't do much good if it didn't show you the final page layout. -- Danny (talk) 00:53, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
But you didn't answer the question about whether Wikia gets impression credits... By the way, have you ever worked in public relations? You seem very good at giving minimal, tailored information without answering many questions. Actually, I guess that was a dumb question. You're obviously doing public relations. --Fandyllic 02:54, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
We are trying to answer as many questions as possible, but we sometimes it's better to answer a group of questions with a wider and more general reply, sometimes don't have the detailed information and sometimes, as in your last question here, it seems better not to answer questions that appear rhetorical or provocative rather than useful. We've been accused of using "PR speak", but I won't apologise for trying to be persistently helpful, calm, and professional. Although I fully understand that whatever our words and our tone at the moment it is likely to be grating.
On impressions, my understanding is that it depends on the ads. The the top level ads we are trying to attract, there is often the requirement of "unique impressions", that is, once an ad is viewed by a particular user/IP, it's not counted again. Others work on impressions in total, others may limit the impressions to "5 per IP" or something similar. I don't know whether there is also a technical side to this... that is, whether the ad server counts repeated previews as one "serve" or not.
But as Danny's reply indicated, it's not the issue here. The reason for ads on preview pages is so you can check the formatting. I'm certain more people would be annoyed if it didn't happen, and they had to save each time to see if the edit worked out right. We removed ads from all utility pages, but this seems a clear case where it's important for editors to see the final page. -- sannse (talk) 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Regarding "unique impressions", it might be worth figuring that out and actually not serve ads that won't be paid for - not having ads on all pages, at all times, might be another layer of sugar coating for the contributors.
Regarding ads on utility pages - I actually wouldn't mind massive advertisement on those pages (if and only if it meant less advertising on article pages, of course). After all, it's "just" an utility page. But, probably, the main reason for not having ads there is the fact that not as many people see them there. -- Cid Highwind 12:23, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Images don't have to go down farther

If there is an image on the top of the page, only if it is shifted right it will have to go down, not if it is shifted left. I'm not sure if Infoboxes can be shifted left. Also, I'm sure content could go between the ad box and the image. That solves one problem, assuming that people don't consider it ugly. MarioGalaxy2433g5 {talk/contribs/Logs} 01:27, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

The correct wording for this is " floated left " or " floated right ". I've considered this possibility as soon as the new layout was published. But thinking about it dont mean it can happen. Only time will way. — TulipVorlax 13:46, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Explain this whole advertisers thing to me

So we're told that "the advertisers" demand top-right ad boxes of 250x300px. This means that Wikia Must Have Them. Explain why that's true. Just why are advertisers utterly unwilling to buy any other form of ad? I see plenty of other ads on other sites -- why is Wikia a special case? Exactly why is this the only ad form that works? I want something more than "The advertisers (and just who the hell are "the advertisers" anyway?) want that kind, end of discussion." Is this their preferred form, or is it really The Only Form Anyone Will Buy? Is this the only kind that will bring in enough money to keep Wikia solvent, or is this the kind that will make Wikia the most money over the screaming objections of its users? It would really help the users understand just what the hell is going on if you would actually explain these things. Especially the part where Mandates On High from THE ADVERTISERS (voice of God effect plays) now determine anything and everything on everyone's wiki, universal opposition be damned. And Danny, I know you've said you're not a money guy. Truth be told, it shows, badly. The explanation for what's actually going on here financially is incoherent when it exists at all. Find the money guy, get him out of the doughnut shop, and get me the goddamn money guy to explain things. I think we deserve at least that much. Havac 01:26, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Well said, I feel for Danny et al who are caught in the middle here. Najevi 01:37, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
I would feel sorrier for Danny if I had not had to interact with him. We nicknamed him Monorail Guy for a reason. -Derik 02:19, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Havac, I've spent a lot of time over the last five days talking to people about these changes. I'm very happy to continue having these conversations, and explaining things as well as I can. However, I think it's fair to ask that the people that I'm talking to maintain a level of respect and civilized discourse. I understand that you're upset, but it's difficult to have a conversation with someone when they repeat your words back to you using Ironic Capital Letters. -- Danny (talk) 03:04, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Like someone mentioned previously, I think this sort of tone and aggression should be expected when a relative well-respected company (at least before this whole issue) suddenly pulls off a fast one like this. If all this frustration weren't shown, Wikia would already be running on the "wonderfully enhanced" skin that 99% of the people here apparently hate. (In which case, the global notice would probably be delivered after the unexpected switch or not delivered at all, seeing how the delay and notification was the effect of the users' protests.) Also, if the initial announcement and the initial responses were answered fully, sufficiently, and acceptably instead of salestalk/pleasantly sounding responses that give "minimal, tailored information without answering many questions," then the outrage would probably be slightly lower. From the look of things, I think being an advertiser is a wonderful profession since the godly advertisers get to dictate the appearance of over 5000 sites and ruin community relations at the same time. GHe (Talk) 03:51, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
With what due respect Danny, when you rolled into town on Teletraan-1 hard-selling Monaco you lied about Memory Alpha plan to transition to lend strength to your argument, then broke our custom templates when you did a shit-sloppy job porting things over because you used the wrong names for the files-- and then refused to acknowledge that they were broken when told about the problem in specific detail We finally worked out how to fix things on our own two weeks later.
For the wikia's new style, you traded on the good name of our community, fraudulently citing our increased traffic on the eve of the annual Transformers convention as proof of Monaco's efficacy despite having been previously confronted about how those numbers could in no way be called representational. This is you using dodgy numbers to make your case with full knowledge that the numbers you were citing were invalid.
Perhaps if your words and conduct did not invite Ironic Capital Letters you would Recieve Them less Often?
This is central to Wikia's problem rolling out New MOnaco. You sound like you're lying all the time. At a certain point we stop caring whether or not you actually are because the result is indistinguishable. -Derik 04:15, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Some of the timing issues -- the first e-mail on Friday, and the week's delay for the release -- were based on the fact that we had some problems setting up Communitytest properly. We wanted people to have time to check things out on Communitytest before the changes went live on the site, and our intention was to have that site ready when the first announcement went out on the mailing list.
When it turned out that Communitytest wasn't quite ready, but the scheduled release date was approaching, we decided to send the mailing list message out on Friday so that people could at least get notified about what was going on. As it turned out, there were still problems with Communitytest, and we didn't really get it working exactly the way we wanted until Monday. We put off the site-wide message until we were sure that Communitytest was working.
So with all of those delays, we knew that it was impossible to do the release on Tuesday as scheduled. We didn't want to send out the message on Monday and then do the release on Tuesday. We decided to move the release to next week, so that everybody would have the chance to experiment with Communitytest, and give feedback before the release.
Meanwhile, we made some changes to the plan based on the feedback that we were getting. For example, we took ads off of short pages, and removed the fixed width on main pages. Those were issues that were coming up in the feedback that weren't essential to the format, so it was possible for us to make those changes. Of course, that meant we had to change things on Communitytest, so that was a little more of a delay, which is why we didn't send the site-wide message until Wednesday.
This is a really complicated process that involves a lot of different people at Wikia -- senior management, ad sales, designers, engineers and community team. The technical part is complex, and there are always bugs that need to be fixed. It was even more complex because some of this happened over the weekend, and some of the people involved live in different countries and time zones.
As the people responsible for the communication part, Sannse, Angie and I have had to make a lot of decisions on the fly. We want to keep people informed about what's going on. At the same time, we don't want to confuse people by saying something that we know might be changing but aren't sure exactly when or how. We want to be careful not to promise things that we're not sure we can deliver. There are also some things that would just be irresponsible to answer, like legal questions, or questions that ask for specific financial details about the company.
Also, as you can see many times on this page, there are a lot of people who are frustrated and upset about the change, and it's natural for people to express that in ways that are difficult for us to respond to. Some of the people who are giving feedback don't have a lot of experience with running a business -- for example, some folks are having a hard time with the difference between a non-profit organization and a for-profit company. We knew going into this process that we would see a lot of hurt and angry reactions. It's our job to respond to that in a way that's responsible and professional.
There are a lot of different channels that we've been responding on -- e-mail, forum pages, Communitytest, talk pages, community portals, and IRC. If you look at all of those channels, you'll see that we've been providing pretty much 24/7 coverage, from early morning to late night, for about a week. I think Wikia contributors are getting a level of consistent, responsive "customer service" that I've never really seen anywhere else.
But we know that that's not enough. Nothing would be. The ad format change is driven by financial needs and ad-market pressures. The ads are intruding on article space, and that's annoying, disruptive and ugly. The people who have spent years working on their wikis are upset about it. The people who are the most upset are obviously the people who care the most and work the hardest on their wikis. I'm one of the people who's given a lot of my time to the wiki that I created -- I've been working on Muppet Wiki since 2005, and I've made more than 60,000 edits there. I understand the impact that the ad format change will have, and I understand how worried and sad people are.
Still, somebody needs to make the hard decisions that are necessary to keep Wikia healthy in the long term, and somebody needs to go out and talk to people about it. We knew that meant that people would be angry with us personally, because they have to be angry at someone, and here we are. -- Danny (talk) 14:08, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Do you understand that, while people do dislike the ads, at least 40% of what they're responding to is the way they are being treated? Like children or mushrooms (to be kept int he dark and fed bullshit.) Wikia's communication strategy has been to evade unpleasant questions, recite canned statement, and keep pushing statistics of dubious providence while trying to pretend user resistance doesn't exist. It's that attitude that really pisses people off. because it really seems like if you thought you could get away with completely ignoring user complaints, you would.
Christ Danny, Teletraan-1 found dealing with you last time so unpleasant that no one wanted to do it again. I was named our Wikia go-between as punishment. (Whether for me or for you I'm not entirely sure. probably both.) -Derik 18:11, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Big Impact

All I can see is that Wikia's New Style is going to destroy wikia itself. Many citizens of the wikis say they will leave the wikis because of this change. And if the new ad layout is supposed to make more people see the ads, and huge loss of users occurs, what is the point of the ne layout. Petition against Wikia's New Style at here. <<UDK>>-<<Talk>>-<<Contribs>>-<<YCM>>

I'm not going to leave my wikis - if anything, my wikis will leave Wikia and the community will follow, and the Wikia copy will remain as a dead fork. Ausir 15:51, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

THANK YOU, WIKIA!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks very much, Wikia, for finally making Monaco like it is going to be soon! It will fit the best on my wiki. But, will we still be able to customize it?

(-:,

Jonathan "Asoue1286" Snicket

Leave Me a Message! / Email Me! / See My Contribs!


Some part of your face is very brown right now. --Fandyllic 02:47, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Fandyllic I think you are missing the subtle point here. The New Monaco really is a better skin than Old Monaco was - but only if your browser is filtering ad content for you. With AdBlock Pro working for you the Old Monaco left a blank white space to the right of the site logo where the ads are supposed to appear. There was no collapsing due to the size of the site logo. With the New Monaco as demonstrated at communitytest.wikia.com the article content that is supposed to be pushed down by top-right or banner ads does slide upwards after AdBlock does it's sweet job.
  • I personally look forward to the new Monobook without RH advertising margin because even with AdBlock Pro working for me currently, that margin does not collapse to allow the main content area to expand.
What I anticipate the immediate response by many sites to be is twofold:
  1. an infobox positioned top right of main page strongly recommending that new visitors save themselves the indignation of being force-fed unwanted advertising by installing a plugin such as AdBlock Pro to "enhance your wikia browsing experience".
  2. a dummy table floated to top right of every page to force the banner at top style alternative. This essentially means that no existing page need make any changes to coexist with the new ad delivery model. Content simply slides down to a point on the screen where it already is today if you happen to be using the Old Monaco skin as your site default.
Item 1 is not necessarily detrimental to Wikia's cash flow since Wikia will be collecting revenue for so-called "impression advertising" and not "click through advertising". It isn't Wikia's problem if a growing percentage of site visitors employ plug-ins to filter ads. The article on click through ads suggested that 4-5 people out of 1000 click on those click through ads. At least that was measurable. It will be a whole new challenge to go measure what fraction of one percent of people are no longer using AdBlock style plugins to filter advertising.
To further the billboard analogy used elsewhere in this brier patch of feedback that Wikia staff are hopping through with such admirable agility: Wikia are planning to sell "impression advertising" on a billboard but the grass and trees in front of that billboard are not within Wikia's power to cut or prune. ... It makes me wonder what phase two of this roll out will involve.
Najevi 04:03, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Some discussions archived to oblivion?

There was a change noted as "archiving" that deleted my section "Is the Wikia's New Style article up-to-date?", but now this section doesn't appear in either Archive 1 or Archive 2.

Did someone forget to paste after they cut? --Fandyllic 02:46, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

It's possible that there was an edit conflict when I did the archiving. It's also possible that I made a mistake. Which piece is missing from the archive? -- Danny (talk) 02:59, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Okay, I made a mistake, the section is just higher on the page and was not archived. Sorry about that. --Fandyllic 03:45, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

True article area comparison?

True-area-comparison.jpg

See at right... I made this as an attempt at correcting the version presented on Wikia's New Style, since it did not show the area covered by the ad in the content area which can't legitimately be called "article area".

Does this seem right?

Area-comparison.jpg

The original is from Changes to Monaco section shown at right.

--Fandyllic 03:45, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Someone uploaded my image over the original, so you can't see what it looked like anymore. --Fandyllic18:16, 12 June 2008 (UTC)


I like how Danny fully protected Wikia's New Style, where Image:Area-comparison.jpg is shown. GHe (Talk) 03:51, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Good catch. To be complete though you should show the New Monaco content area rectangle (~330x770px) when banner at top ad delivery is triggered by a table floated to top right of article. You ought to see a box that is very similar to the Old Monaco (~270x770px) purple/violet box. Najevi 04:12, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
I think he was a little thrown when people began disagreeing with the picture of reality he was presenting. With citations. -Derik 04:18, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Danny's protection. There is plenty of discussion space, but we need that page to be "Wikia's message". It's best that anything you disagree with is discussed here (in the particular case, Danny has said he will find a different source for stats) -- sannse (talk) 13:12, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Actually, it'd be best if you didn't cite fraudulent traffic numbers from our wiki to support your proposed change. Then sourcing them to put them in context wouldn't be necessary. -Derik 14:52, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
They were the figures as we saw them and as we understood them. But as I said, Danny will be reviewing them. -- sannse (talk) 17:40, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for using my updated image on Wikia's New Style. This adds back a little credibility, even if only for about 5 days. A Wikia person didn't do it, but they didn't revert it either. --Fandyllic 18:08, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Choose of advertisements or limitation of advertisements

It is good that we can have a balance between advertisment and contents. In additional, I'd like to know if wikia owners can have more controls over advertisements distributed. For example, it would be good if our wikia (http://babyish.wikia.com) can have those advertismenets about immigrating to USA, gambling and lottery related advertisements as well as advertisements with female showing half of their breasts or their cleverages removed. Some users of my wikia will find these advertisements offensive. I noticed that Wikia is using OpenX to distribute the advertisements, so I believe it is possible to do so, right? -- Tomchiukc 03:41, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

If you have any complaints about particular ads that are appearing on your wiki, please report them to JSharp. He takes care of that stuff. We don't want offensive ads to appear on the site either -- and often, the contributors see stuff before we do. Just let Jae know. -- Danny (talk) 03:43, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Me don't like...

I am a bit disappointed. I don't like the ads pushing the infobox, images down. It draws attention to the commercial. I was hoping that layout would never happen here. I've seen it on many other sites. But I guess Wikia cannot do anything about it :(. I've always used monobook and when Quartz and Monaco came in I left Wikia because I thought they had sold it off and completely changed the layout. Anyway, I hope the change doesn't affect users who choose Monobook in preferences. Chicken7talk 06:20, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

It won't change straight away, but the same ads will eventually be on all skins (the current right sidebar on monobook would be removed) -- sannse (talk) 13:27, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Then i will leave Pierlot McCrooke 13:55, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Does it mean the change will affect uncyclopedia an its sister languages then?--Rataube 19:45, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
No, not at the moment. There are likely to be changes to Uncyclopedia in the future, nothing stays the same, but the "parodying Wikipedia" aspect means that we need to look at Uncyclopedia and its sisters individually... and not yet -- sannse (talk) 09:48, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Option for Paid Wikis

Instead of ads, couldn't we (the users/editors) just opt to pay Wikia directly instead, similar to Livejournal's business model? They allow people the option to donate to friends. I'm sure people here would be more than happy to make donations to an individual wiki to keep it ad-free. --mnenyver 07:58, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Edit: Checking the archives, I see this has already been discussed to death. However, the arguments against paid accounts are specious and show a real lack of understanding of just what you have here. Support the community, ask for help working out any issues you have, find a way to make it work and you will be overwhelmed with the outpouring of community support returned to you. --mnenyver 08:32, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

  • It has been suggested (I think it was on Wookieepedia) that Wikia simply put a donate button in. I think this is a good idea but Wikia may disagree as itgives them no definate income. However, if they do it and then find that they aren't getting enough then they can always come back to this idea, and if that does happen, people will not be able to complain as much as it's partly their fault for not donating enough - Kingpin13
    • A donate button, or just go to flat-rate accounts. Other wiki hosts do this -- I don't see why it can't be done here. However, right now, the most appropriate solution for the wiki I work on is to move it somewhere with non-disruptive ads or ad-free hosting. The current ads on Wikia are disruptive enough. Having them inside the article area is just too much. --mnenyver 03:04, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Ouch

I'm really considering moving my wiki to a different host after this change. Pushing ads into the content area is just going too far.

Also, Monaco is one of the worst wiki skins I've seen. One of the problems is its approach to interwiki links - because they're now in a scroll-down list, I'm not able to middle-click them to open them in a new tab, and I do check progress of international versions of my wiki pretty often.

One more question - will these new ads appear only in Monaco, or also on Monobook and other skins?

I have a feeling that this is going to just drive people away from Wikia or towards AdBlock. Ausir 10:31, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

About the Monobook skin, look elsewhere on this page. MarioGalaxy2433g5 {talk/contribs/Logs} 12:13, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

I hate it. Metroidhunter32 13:29, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Dismissing advertisements after they have been displayed

Is it going to be allowed to add some Javascript to the project's common.js which would let the handful of unfortunate users who still do not use ad blocking dismiss the advertisement with a mouse click and restore the normal look of the page? Drennan 14:09, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Request to edit the protected page

Someone please fix the broken link to Communitytest's main page under item 5 of the "Changes to Monaco" section of the Wikia's New Style page. The bar | in the link should become a space. I cannot edit the page because it is protected. --Kernigh 14:23, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Okay, I got it -- thanks for catching that! -- Danny (talk) 14:29, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Wikia

Wikia, please do not listen to adventisers who want 300x250px ads Pierlot McCrooke 17:59, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

This is ridiculous

This is ridiculous! Ads in the content of a page? What happens to infoboxes? Look at this. There's an infobox in the top right corner, which is gonna be moved somewhere; left? down? It looks best where it is right now thanks. More ads are sufferable, but please for sanity's sake, put them in better places. (Check out UESP, it has ads on every single page, but they annoy no one.) {{SUBST:User:Game_Lord/Sig}} 18:07, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

This is insane.

Why are we fighting about this anyway? And, if I recall, you were fighting about the switch to Monaco, Quartz, and the first Slate and Smoke skins. You guys must really love to argue... Sanawon 18:18, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Because the new style has ads in the content area and it's even worse then before. Wikia is now trying to turn us into their money makers and obviously people don't care for that. WillSWC 18:46, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
And I still hate Monaco and Quartz for their treatment of interwiki links. Ausir 18:47, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
On a similar note, the treatment of interlanguage links is particularly unfortunate in Monaco. It is impossible to know at a glance that there is another language available, since all pages display an enabled dropdown box with the current language. Most people will therefore block it out as a static part of the webpage. In my view, the language box should not exist if the current language is the only language. --GreenReaper(talk) 18:56, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I agree, it shouldn't show if there is one language. I'll get that change requested. I think long term, the best way would be an option between two types of boxes, a long list for those that want it all visible at once, and a dropdown for those that want to save space. I'll suggest that too -- sannse (talk) 19:42, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
I actually wholeheartedly embraced the initial change to Monaco. --LordTBT Talk! 19:47, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
THIS IS SPARTA! But seriously, it does seem pretty trivial. Just keep things how they are. Runer5h 20:18, 12 June 2008 (UTC)Runer5h
I said "This is insane.", not "This is madness!" :P sanawon 16:01, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Hey, welcome to the human race ;). If things stay the same then Wikia won't be making enough money. - Kingpin13 on Wookiepedia

Please, show to us the **REAL** ads

Yes, we have CommunityTest to see how articles look with ads, but those ads are google ads, not the ads that will be shown.

We will have ads like that? [1], [2], [3]

If all of we complain with ads on the article area, imagine if the ads would be like that... --Ciencia Al Poder (talk) -WikiDex 20:11, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

The ads that you're showing there are the kinds of ads that we're trying to avoid. Switching to the new ad format will help us to attract a higher class of advertiser. -- Danny (talk) 06:14, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
I personally highly doubt wikia would have those style of adverts showing... esp the epileptic causing ads... Daworm 11:52, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
Those ads were shown on our wiki some months ago: [4] and [5]. I only want to see examples of ads that we would see. --Ciencia Al Poder (talk) -WikiDex 13:29, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Edit preview bug: always shows block style ad

For a page that will trigger the 90x730 banner style ad the edit preview window will always show the 300x250 block style ad.

For an example see this page on communitytest. Najevi 02:19, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

You're right; it looks like that's a bug. Thanks for letting us know; I'll pass it on so it can get fixed. -- Danny (talk) 06:15, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for that prompt fix. Next layer of the same onion is for the edit preview to correctly detect when a page is too short to warrant an ad. Example: 7200_Final_Duel_I
Off topic: kudos to whomever fixed the auto dismissal of the link suggest feature upon press of the right-arrow key. It would be great if ]-key and |-key had the same effect. najevi 20:20, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

I'm still waiting

So . . . wait, Danny. I use Ironic Capital Letters to Poke Fun at a problem while asking a Completely Legitimate Question, and you become Horribly Offended (Oh no, Ironic Capital Letters!!!!! [Oh no! Ironic Capital Letters Again! It's almost as if you Brought This On Yourself!]) and use it as an excuse to completely avoid actually answering the question. Why do I get the feeling Wikia doesn't want to answer the question? If I were going to disrespect you, I'd be doing a hell of a lot worse than using capital letters to mark phrases. You've taken a lot worse disrespect, yet you don't comment on that. It's only when someone asks a hard question that all of a sudden, "Ooooh, I'm not going to answer that! You sounded kind of mean!" So here, consider this politely asked: Please explain exactly who "the advertisers" are, explain why it is that apparently only this ad form will do, or get someone on here who can do the above. I don't know how you expect anyone to genuinely understand the situation without providing that information, and I can't think of any reason Wikia wouldn't want to give it other than that they want to keep their users in the dark to make it easier to railroad changes over them. Maybe if Wikia showed any respect for us, if it did anything to earn any respect, it would actually get some. Until then, Wikia's pretty much forfeited the benefit of the doubt. I'm not sitting here going "Fuck you, Wikia! You're ruining my life!" I asked a necessary question and did it in the same mildly snarky way I did everything. Answer it. Havac 03:14, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Havac, I'm sorry... I'm not trying to avoid your question; I'm just having a hard time understanding it. You're asking, "Who are the advertisers?" I'm not sure how to answer that. Are you looking for a list of names?
We have someone working full time on ad sales. He talks to a lot of people, and offers our ad space for sale. I've been using the phrase "the advertisers" because it isn't a specific set of people -- it's a lot of people. You'll start to see some of the new ads starting next week, when the new format launches. It's not appropriate for me to provide a list of companies that we're talking to about ad sales, and I'm not sure why that would be helpful.
Your other question is, "Why is it that apparently only this ad form will do?" The answer is that as we've approached companies about advertising on our site, many people have told us that they would like to, if they could get a 300x250 ad at the top right. If they can't get that, then they're not interested. It's a very common ad format now, and they can find lots of other websites who will provide the ad format that they prefer. -- Danny (talk) 03:48, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Well, I wanted to know what you mean when you say "The advertisers". Apparently it is a large group of potential advertisers the sales people speak with. OK. And they say 300x250 or nothing. OK. Are there other advertisers who would be willing to buy non-250x300 ads? People do buy those elsewhere. If not (and I doubt that), why are we being asked to propose alternate systems, none of which (except the rather-good-but-now-bumped-to-archive ad-in-the-top-right-outside-content solution, which I would like to see more discussion of) would work? What I want is to try to get some facts and explanations so I can understand what's going on rather than engage in superficial bickering. Havac 04:14, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
So just to clarify Danny (and I think this is what Havac was asking) did the advertizers ask for such an ad on the top right of the page (which I can agree would seem liek a pretty common request!) or did they ask for such an ad at the top right INSIDE THE ARTICLE? Because it's the 'inside the article' thing that seems to be borking people here.
We realize that ads within the article body are probably more valuable to you, but when pressed abotut he decision you always say that 'the advertisers demanded it,' without saying WHAT the advertisers demanded. Hovac seems to think that the advertisers demanded ads there, and rather than designing a page that would accommodate ads of that size, in that location (such as by rearranging the controls...) which is of course what the advertisers meant, you've instead taken this as an opportunity to created much more valuable ads in that location than they would have been proposing and shift all the blame for the resulting user backlash onto the advertisers. "Don't blame us, we hate it too! It was the advertisers! We had no choice, feel sorry for us!"
Havac, is that what you're getting at? "You keep saying that advertisers burst into your office and told you that Wikia would be shut down unless you put spam in the MIDDLE of the article," is the scenario he paints, and you... um... what's the word... simply don't believe that's a credible picture of reality? -Derik 05:13, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Derik, the short answer to your question is: Yes. Prospective advertisers that we've approached have told us that they would be interested in buying ads that are inside the article space. That's the current practice for internet advertising, which you can see on virtually every other content site. I posted a list of six examples above, including one wiki. The advertisers that we're trying to attract are smart. They know that people ignore and block their ads. Therefore, they expect to place ads in places where people are less likely to ignore them -- like inside the article space.
However, you are correct in one respect: We have not had advertisers bursting into our office and threatening us with foreclosure. Office-bursting is not typical business behavior.
To answer Havac's question: People are not being asked to propose alternate systems. People have been making proposals, but we haven't invited it, or said that we would follow through with the suggestions that are being made. I tried to make this clear above, under the heading "Alternatives discussion", as well as several other places.
We know that the new ad format is intrusive, and we're not happy about disrupting the format that people are used to. This has been a difficult decision to make, and we knew that people would be upset. As an active wiki founder myself, I'm not happy to have to redesign pages, and have ads appear in the content space. But I'm also an adult, and I know that sometimes you have to make compromises in order to achieve a goal. In this case, the goal is for Wikia to earn a profit, remain healthy as a company, and provide a home for wikis on any subject that people want to write about.
I think part of the problem that you and I are having in communicating about this is a misunderstanding of the difference between a non-profit organization and a for-profit company.
Non-profit organizations, like the Wikimedia Foundation or Amnesty International, use public money -- government funds, charitable grants and public donations. They have a special tax status, which is granted by the government in exchange for making their financial information completely public. Non-profit organizations use public funds -- and therefore, it's their responsibility to prove to anyone who asks that they're spending the money that they receive in an appropriate way. Non-profits are audited once a year by the government, and they produce annual reports that are open to the public, in which they document every line item in the budget.
Wikia is a for-profit company. We don't receive public funds; our money comes from private investors, and from advertisers who buy ad space. We're not required to make details of our finances available for public view. In fact, to do that would be very inappropriate and unwise. For-profit companies have competitors. We have to keep the details of our business confidential. This isn't unusual or sneaky -- it's what every company does, to protect their information from being used by competitors.
Now, Wikia is an unusual company, because we have multiple "customers", and we're responsible to all of them. We're responsible to the contributors, who write the content, design their wikis and manage their communities. We're responsible to the readers, and we're always looking for new ways to encourage them to read more and join the communities. We're responsible to advertisers, in the sense that we need to provide ad formats that people are interested in paying us for. Finally, we're responsible to our investors, who provided us with our initial capital, and who are expecting a return on their investment. Each of those groups is important to us, and it's our responsibility to balance those differing needs.
We take our responsibility to the contributors very seriously. You can probably see how seriously we take that commitment when you look at the time stamps on my own posts over the last week. I've been waking up every morning to respond to people on this page and elsewhere on the site, and I'm still here talking to people late into the night. That's a level of personal customer service that I think is very rare, for any company.
However -- just because we're listening and responding to people doesn't mean that we have to follow everyone's suggestions, or answer questions that would be inappropriate or impractical to answer.
In an earlier post, Havac demanded that I "get you the money guy" so that he could answer your questions. The money guy is busy. He's trying to get us some money. If you have some money, and would like to buy some ads on Wikia, then I'll be happy to put you in touch with him.
If not, then I have to assume that you're a community member, in which case you talk to the community guy. That would be me. Hi, Havac. Hi, Derik. What can I do for you? -- Danny (talk) 05:48, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Thank you Danny, for actually talking to us like adults for once instead of obfuscating and snowjobbing. It's incredibly refreshing. I'd like to see it more. It would make people happier, and probably cut this little shitstorm *points around* by 40%. what can you do for us? That's pretty much it, it's what we've been asking for and not getting up until now. -Derik 06:33, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Any time, Derik. I'm all about making people happier. -- Danny (talk) 06:38, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

top-RH block style ad vs banner style ad

We are shown two ad formats at the communitytest wiki site. Both appear in the content area below the page title but above or aligned with the first line of an article.

  1. a 300x250 pixel block style ad in the top-right hand corner
  2. a 90x730 pixel banner style ad across the top

Are your paying advertisers equally satisfied by both impression advertising locations and sizes or is one format a compromise that Wikia hope the paying advertisers will agree to? Najevi 03:31, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

The advertisers that we've talked to expect a mix of ad inventory, leaning towards the 300x250 block ad as the most common. That's the mix that we're using with this format. On most article pages, you'll see a 300x250 on the right. When there's a collision that would break a table at the top, you'll see a 90x730 leaderboard. This format allows us the flexibility to provide the kind of ad sizes that people will pay for.
If we were going entirely for what would sell the best, then it would probably be a 300x250 top right ad on every page. But that would break some pages, so we're offering a mix. -- Danny (talk) 03:40, 13 June 2008 (UTC)


Sorry if this has been asked or answered, but it's hard to tell when we have this page + 2 archives now. At any rate, Danny your level of customer service is to be lauded, and you must certainly have a lot of Red Bull near your desk. Does the new ad system (banners and what I'm just going to call "the box") include the rollover-expanding ads in it's selection? E.g. I roll my mouse over the banner or the box, and then it expands to a half-page style ad I have to X out? If it doesn't, would you potentially sell these types of ads Thank you. --LordTBT Talk! 06:44, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Yucky. — TulipVorlax 08:21, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
My turn to answer... (although Danny seems to have drawn the short straw on either time-zone or site activity or both, and is getting most of the questions ;)
This is hard to answer, because we have no idea of what the future will bring for Wikia. So I'm not going to say that this or that won't happen ever, because I can't predict that fully, and it wouldn't be honest to pretend I can. But I can say that there are no current plans for this type of ad, and that we are very aware that this would be even further intruding in to editors space. We've seen the reaction to the current plans, we certainly don't want to go further down that road. -- sannse (talk) 10:04, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
We all don't want to go further down that road, but all this seems inevitable, doesn't it? This is amazing; I somehow predicted that Wikia would go as far as making this change, and now I'm proven right! Something like that change basically hints that Wikia is planning pop-ups in the future, probably because Wikia doesn't feel that even this new monaco ad deterioration will be "sufficient", both in acquiring revenue as well as turning off potential contributors. And I guess the change now is to deter future arguments regarding timing. For example, in the future, if a user notes "OMG you pulled another fast one with the switch to popups!", Wikia would simply say "Well, we modified our Terms of use, which had said that 'Wikia will never host pop-up adverts.' for over 2 years (2004-12-24), back on June 14, 2008, so there!" I thought the word "never" would hold for at least a good 5 to 10 years but ... guess not. Next thing you'll know, the staff Cabal will oversight or manipulate the database to hide or alter previous revisions to censor the fact that that phrase ever existed in the first place in the Terms of use. I will laugh so hard if that does eventually happen. GHe (Talk) 20:31, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
Someone reported seeing an expandable 728x90 banner ad on Muppet Wiki last week before she logged in. She also had a problem in which the expanded frame of the banner wouldn't close in her browser. The problem with the broken "close ad" button was reported and, I assume, resolved. But, regardless of whether Wikia plans to continue the practice, it looks like expandable ads have already been sold on some wikis. -- Peter (talk) 16:17, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, I took out the line about never hosting pop-ups. We're starting to talk about the terms of service, and we noticed that that specific line made a promise that we weren't comfortable with. That line was written back in 2004, when the business was very different. In general, it probably isn't a good idea to write the word "never" in your terms of service. -- Danny (talk) 20:50, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Common sense says...

Hey, Wikia. Notice how nobody on this forum wants the ads-in-the-content thing? That means don't do it. Period. It's as simple as that. Don't think about it, don't think how the advertisers won't like it, just don't do it. The ads where they are right now are fine. Leave the content area alone. Okay? Good, glad we all agree. --From Andoria with Love 10:13, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

  • Congratulations, you've just made ana rse out of yourself. At least read all the information before telling Wikia what I want, yeah? {{SUBST:User:Jasca Ducato/sig.css}} 12:57, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Reaction to Top-Right Adbox

Ad suggestion.png

I looked through the archive, but I couldn't find any official Wikia reaction to the suggestion for a top-right ad box outside of the content area (shown at right). Is such a layout not possible with the current advertising contract? Is the ad required to be in the primary content area? --TarrVetus 13:23, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, this is what I wrote in the discussion called "I'm still waiting" above:
Prospective advertisers that we've approached have told us that they would be interested in buying ads that are inside the article space. That's the current practice for internet advertising, which you can see on virtually every other content site. I posted a list of six examples above, including one wiki. The advertisers that we're trying to attract are smart. They know that people ignore and block their ads. Therefore, they expect to place ads in places where people are less likely to ignore them -- like inside the article space.
We're actually not talking about a current contract... We're talking about various companies that we've approached to sell ad space over the past few months. We've been told by many advertisers that they would be more likely to buy ad space if they could get a 300x250 ad in the top right, in the article space. -- Danny (talk) 14:02, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Double-dipping on mainpages.

Is there a specific reason the mainpages have to display both a banner ad and a content space block ad? Because that makes a lot of mainpage info shoved down by advertising.--RosicrucianTalk 15:29, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

It's the same sort of reason as before: advertisers like main pages. So those are spaces they want, and selling two together means they can go as a block, very handy. It's part of the compromises we made, to put the size and type that sell best in the places they sell best... but remove them where we can elsewhere (none on "editors pages", none on stubs, less on logged in user's views...) -- sannse (talk) 17:35, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Also, so you know: The main page redesign won't happen immediately, so you don't have to worry about that page right now. When the new ad format launches on Tuesday, it'll only affect article pages, and not the main page. Community and content folks will come around to individual wikis over the next couple weeks to help you add the new column tags on the main page. If you want a head start on it, check out the Help article on main page column tags. You can also just leave it for now, and folks will be around to help you with it within the next couple weeks. -- Danny (talk) 17:37, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

What?!

I know that many people have voiced their dislike about the new ad placements, and now I must voice mine. Having ads in the content areas completely destroys the page itself, and even when the ads are blocked, it's simply a huge blank space in the middle of a page, which makes no sense. And also, if they want the ads Wikia must have them? What? Kevin-020 17:06, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Wikia is supported by advertising. That's how we make the money that we need to stay open. If we can't sell advertising space, then Wikia goes out of business, and all of our wikis close.
It's a big change, and not a pleasant one for our communities. It's just a step that we have to take in order to stay in business. Please check Communitytest to see how pages will look using the new ad format, and feel free to copy over pages from your wiki to check out how they'll look.
There's been a lot of discussion about the rationale behind the change on this page. For example, see the "Alternatives discussion" and "I'm still waiting" threads above. -- Danny (talk) 17:42, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
How about paying contributors then? That's what TheForce.net and the other websites crammed with ads do. Do you expect to find many volunteers wanting to work gratis while seeing Jimbo and wikia get all the money? And don't say you're short of cash, cuz if you are, you should have taken the credit card away from Jimbo before. 12344321 19:05, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Personally I don't see what the big fuss is about. Everyone should go away, drink a cup of tea, come back and see that they have been having a paddy about nothing. So there is going to be some ads in the article, sure, I don't like it and I'm going to do my best to find a better solution but some people are over reacting a little bit - Kingpin13

My perspective

Whatever needs to be done to keep Wikia in business will be done. I understand that. I support whatever it takes to do that, even if I hate the changes themselves. But increasing the advertising space on the pages means to me that the existing ad spaces have not been generating the clicks necessary to provide the revenue stream needed to pay the expenses of the servers and personnel costs associated with providing the service. Wikia is a for-profit business. If they don't make the revenue to pay their expenses, they go out of business, and 6,000+ communities will need to find a new place to collaborate.

All that said, I believe that this change to increased ad space on the pages and within the content space of the pages says louder than anything else that the advertising model of revenue generation in general is a failed strategy. I wish Wikia would look into other methods of generating revenue as alternatives. For those communities that are willing and able, subscriptions could replace advertising. Or have people sponsor a page. Or have community fundraisers of some kind. There are alternatives to advertising that we should be looking into, and I hope that someday we will be. Chadlupkes 17:39, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Chad, I've seen some of your suggestions on the Central mailing list. I know that you've thought about this a lot, and it's nice to see how committed you are to finding alternatives. Unfortunately, many of your suggestions are more appropriate to a non-profit organization than a for-profit company. The investment plan that you talked about in your e-mail was for a non-profit... It wouldn't work the same way for a for-profit company. Page sponsorships and community fundraisers are also more appropriate for a non-profit.
It's okay for non-profits to exist more or less hand-to-mouth -- their job is to recoup their operating costs, and put all profits back into the organization. A for-profit company has investors and shareholders, so the rules are different for us. I wrote some more about this above, under "I'm still waiting." -- Danny (talk) 19:01, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Non-profits do business with for-profits all the time. If Star Wars would set up a non-profit status for themselves, and offered to pay Wikia for hosting their site, would you do business with them? Advertising as a business model is killing this planet, Danny. That's just my personal opinion, but I'm pretty serious about it. Chadlupkes 20:16, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Wikia has always been ad-supported; that's been clear from the beginning. Everyone's participation on a Wikia wiki has been made with the understanding that Wikia is a for-profit company that is supported by advertising. What you're seeing now is an adjustment in the size and location of the advertising. That's a change in the design of the site, but it's not a change in the way that we do business.
It sounds like you feel uncomfortable contributing to a wiki that's hosted by an ad-supported for-profit company. I'm not sure that I can help you feel more comfortable about it. The only thing that I can say is that it's not possible for Wikia to become a non-profit organization. Wikia is not a charity; it's a business. That hasn't changed. -- Danny (talk) 22:27, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Increase in user logins

When wikis have switched from Monobook to Monaco, they've seen huge jumps in the number of readers, contributors and user logins.

That's probably because people wanted the Monobook skin back. Zeldafanjtl 18:48, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Is the New Monaco Skin mandatory?

I really hope not. The consensus at Illogicopedia is that we, and I personally, would like to keep Monobook. I'm all for Web 2.0 implementation but we're losing the visual association with Wikipedia and hence interface familiarity is lost. -- Hindleyite 19:04, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Yes, this will be the default skin for all wikis (with some very specific exceptions and delays). Monobook will stay available as a personal choice though -- sannse (talk) 19:24, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Huh, Special:ProblemReports/10845 --Ciencia Al Poder (talk) -WikiDex 19:39, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
That looks like an IE6 issue. If you are using IE6 upgrade to IE7. --GAHOO t/ c 19:46, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
No, that looks like a Monaco issue. So we use Monobook. There are many users who still use IE6. Upgrade is not the solution. --Ciencia Al Poder (talk) -WikiDex 20:00, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
I'll take that as a yes. --GAHOO t/ c 20:15, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
For reference: WikiFur (a site with an unusually high proportion of Firefox users) still has 40% using IE, 25% of which are using IE6 (i.e. 10% total visitors). --GreenReaper(talk) 20:23, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Yup. FFXIclopedia is about the same. --GAHOO t/ c 20:30, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Also, there are "hard-coded" texts in monaco that we can't translate. --Ciencia Al Poder (talk) -WikiDex 20:21, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
As far as the problem report goes... that's a technical issue. Clearly, there's something in the Monaco skin that's interacting with that specific template on IE6. We try to anticipate every situation on every browser, but obviously, things come up that we didn't know about. Now that we know this one, we can figure out how to fix it. That's a service that Wikia provides. Thanks for letting us know about the problem. -- Danny (talk) 22:14, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Although it is a good thing to upgrade, we must also think of users and investors alike. It IS good to change things around, due to the fact that it catches the eye of both investor and prominent new members alike, but wears away the origional authenticity of the users that were previously here. The new style looks great, but switching but switching things around can become quite a hassle (even more so when you have to look for the new search bar day in day out). Therefore, why not make it support both? we have random spawnings within set pages on here that always catches one's eye already, let's make a list on the side allowing us to go "Classic Wiki Monobook Style" or something of the sort? That way, we can have the appealing displays for the investors, yet all those who have been loyal to wiki for a while can still be able to find their way around in the style they remember so dearly. Investor and user solution alike if you will.Bloodgreaver 18:10 13 June 2008 (PDT)
Yeah, absolutely. You'll still be able to use Monobook as your own personal skin. If you like seeing the search box in the familiar Monobook place, then you'll be able to do that with no problem. You can choose your own skin in the Preferences. The change that's going to happen is that all wikis will have Monaco as the default skin for new readers. -- Danny (talk) 01:15, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Commmunity Test wiki

I think that Puppies is more appealing than Kittens. ;-) Najevi 01:47, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

My View

I can understand Wikia has to show a profit to its shareholders (you guys have plans to go public any time soon?) and Board of Directors, so I can understand the changes being made here. And the Wikia staffers fielding the questions are right. A lot of websites do now have ads in the content area. And of those sites, Wikia's placement of the ads are the cleanest I've seen. Some sites have them crammed into the content area wherever they can get them (this is especially prevalent on tech help forums). So, I can understand the need to put the ads where you're going to get the money, the narcissistic tendencies of some advertising companies aside.

The first problem we're having here seems to be arising from the Wikia's New Style page. To be quite frank, I think it's poorly written. Even I, who has enough experience building websites (not just articles) to know how things should be placed to catch attention to important areas, was confused. After first reading it, I might have thought both the leaderboard and 300x250 ad were going to be on all pages. Even after researching it more, I still wasn't quite sure how it was all going to work. How were pages really going to look with infoboxes as compared to just pictures, and what exactly does constitute an infobox, anyway?

It wasn't until I did experiments with my own content that I understood. And to be quite honestly, for 2/3 of the content people have on article pages, the placement of the ads isn't that bad. As people can see on this copy of my Constructed world's main page, the presence of the infobox forces the leaderboard instead of the tandem ad. No 300x250 box shown. So far, most of my other pages that are not about people don't have images. So, as can be seen here, the right box does show up, but it doesn't really make the page look bad. Plenty of whitespace, no clutter of content and ad; in a word, pretty good.

The problem comes - and I think this is what most people have an issue with - when you use a simple picture. When I made this page originally, the picture was pushed down, as expected. When you want to represent something visually right away, the presence of the ad suddenly takes away from that flow. Obviously, the advertisers want this, since people will see their ad right away instead. Now, the apparent solution (the one the Wikia staff seems to promote) is to float my picture on the left side of the preamble, but here's my issue with that. I have never, in my time editing wikis, seen that done. Never. There must be a reason for that. Wikipedia doesn't do it, and I've seen it at none of the wikis on this site, or any wiki at any other site for that matter.

I think that the reason people never float the beginning picture to the left is that it looks as bad as putting the ad there. When scanning webpages on the Internet to see if they'll be interested, people have a tendency to go in an backwards S shape down the page. They'll start at the site logo, and then go from left to right, until they reach about the spot where your tandem ad will be. Putting an image on the left before where a large block of text starts will break concentration, given our left to right society. It might work on a wiki where the text goes from right to left, but not here.

So, people are going to want their first image on the right, where it won't break people's concentration. Pushing that image down will end up forcing people to view the page in an unnatural way, which is good if you're an advertiser, but not so much if you're an editor wanting to make an article look good.

So, take a look at what I did at my last example. I have a feeling that forcing the tandem ad on this style of artilce page will end up backfiring on you, because people will try to stop it by trying to trick the ad code into thinking an infobox is there. So, I tried to see what it would take to trick it, and found that it pretty much takes only one nested table to force the ad to switch to the leaderboard.

Now, I'm not a fan of circumventing how things are meant to be, but I think you're going to have lot of people trying to circumvent this so that the flow of their pages are not messed with. You'll have people coming up with a hidden nested table, or a caption for their pictures in a nested table (like I did in my test page), just so that they won't have to get the tandem ad and have a break in the flow.

I think that we're seen time and again that people just don't like "in your face" advertising. Anywhere, not just Wikia. They in fact usually react quite negatively to it as you've seen here. And I've seen that the negativity actually usually comes from the lay reader most. First we had pop-ups and pop-unders (and still do, but not as much), then we had the java/flash ads that pop up and they're often hard to close, then ads that move across the page to attract attention and are impossible to close, and now the in-content ads. Of them all, these are probably tied with popups in annoyingly irritating behavior, except for instances with multiple pop-ups.

So I have no problem with the infobox forcing a leaderboard on top of the content, and even think the tandem ad on a non-preamble picture page is pretty brilliant. On the other hand, I'm with other people on the tandem forcing simple pictures down the page, and think it's going to backfire in one way or another, as I've shown.

Thank for reading! --Dymero 05:34, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Hi Dymero. When you say image leading on the left, do you mean like this? Because I think this works well. Additionally I'm interested in what exactly is forcing the banner ad at the top...because for this article I get the box, whereas in your example I get the top banner, and both have infobox-style templates...--LordTBT Talk! 06:52, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure it's because of the fact there's a nested table within the main one. If you take it out, the ad gets changed back to tandem. Although in your example, there is no ad because your page is too short. As for the left floated picture, on looking at your example, I guess it's not too too bad, but try telling that to most people. --Dymero 09:26, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Too many ads?

Look [6]. One ad box at the top-right inside the content, other at the end of the article inside the content and other on the bottom-left of the page, outside the article.

The pay-by-impression ad inside the article content doesn't give wikia enough revenue? How did Wikia remained healthy as a company until now, with only one pay-by-click ad? Remember that those ads will become more intrusive, being replaced with image ads with animation. Those ads seems to give a lot more revenue that the current ads, so the other ads seems unnecessary. If not, either Wikia or the wiki contributors are being deceived with that. Yes, I think that's abusing. --Ciencia Al Poder (talk) -WikiDex 08:53, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

I'm only seeing the top-right tandem ad. Am I missing something? --Dymero 09:33, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
This is what I see (both without a page reload): --Ciencia Al Poder (talk) -WikiDex 13:25, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
http://img515.imageshack.us/img515/6206/treatyofbarrion1xi7.th.png http://img505.imageshack.us/img505/5343/treatyofbarrion2qs3.th.png
The present ads have not been funding Wikia's expansion and would be unlikely to support its current operations. Wikia has, up until now, been funded mostly by "angel" funds and venture capital - about $20 million, I believe, some from Bessemer Partners, some from Amazon, and some from the original founders. At some point, this money will run out. I suspect Wikia would like to be making money before then - at least some significant proportion of their costs, to justify further investment. --GreenReaper(talk) 17:00, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

That is very odd! I do not see the ads you show at the bottom of content or on the LH navbar. In my LH navbar I see an "Our partners" box and an empty "Wikia Spotlight" box but no googlesyndication ads. (I doubt browser should make a difference but in the interest of being thorough ... What browser are you using? Mine is Firefox 3.0 RC3.)
The only filter that might be affecting my screenshot below is my OpenDNS category filtering however when OpenDNS blocks a portion of a page I always see evidence in the form of a box with an OpenDNS branded announcement in the location where the objectionable material would otherwise have appeared.

http://img74.imageshack.us/img74/4992/barriongs6.th.png

Maybe you viewed your test page at the communitytest wiki at a time when staff were experimenting with alternative ad placement or perhaps you caught a glimpse of phase 2 of this invasive advertising. najevi 16:40, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

It seems that those ads are not always shown. Reloading the page, sometimes shows one ad and sometimes three. The page [7] also shows 3 ads for me. --Ciencia Al Poder (talk) -WikiDex 17:00, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
Are the extra ads you sometimes see also served up by googlesyndication.com or are they from some other domain? najevi 18:35, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
I think the "Ads by Google" inside the ads on the screenshots I'd provide gives you the answer. But yes, I confirm that. --Ciencia Al Poder (talk) -WikiDex 18:49, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
The difference is whether you are logged in or out. Ciencia, you must have been logged out when you saw the extra ads? As it says on the introduction page:
  • Ads will be running in various sizes and placements on article pages. The ads will automatically be placed in text areas using the same logic that adding an image does – the text will wrap around the ads, and they won't disrupt templates or tables. Distracting movement in the ads will be kept to a minimum.
  • Logged-in users will only see one ad unit on article pages; a 300x250 ad unit at the top right. (Example) On pages where a 300x250 ad would disrupt a table, the ad will render as a banner ad. (Example) Logged-in users will not see any other ads on article pages – no banner ads, no ads in the sidebar, and no ads further down in the article area.
If you weren't logged out, there may be something wrong. Please let us know if that's the case - sannse (talk) 18:53, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
You are right, I was logged out. --Ciencia Al Poder (talk) -WikiDex 19:18, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Sannse, I am sorry, but I ruined your example links with my earlier edits to illustrate a different point. However, bunnies remains unadulterated!

I know you appreciate that it has been tough enough keeping in mind those wiki visitors viewing pages with 640x480, 800x600, 1024x768, etc desktop resolutions not to mention IE versus Firefox browsers (and FF2.0 behaving very badly with table borders - that fortunately get's fixed in FF3.0RC3) ... we now have to concern ourselves with logged in versus logged out views being significantly different. I hope that you will work with my wiki to reach a happy middle ground that doesn't steer away potential regular visitors. najevi 20:10, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Stupid

Excuse my French, but why the hell do we need a flipping ad section anyway?? It's stupid! Wikipedia doesn't have one, nor does any other wiki I've been to, it's stupid. They get in the way, just like pop-ups, which are also stupid, so why do we need them?? Akira Otomo Talk | Contributions 15:20, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Servers cost money. A lot of money. So do the people to run them. How do you pay for them? Wikipedia relies on donations. Wikia does not. --GreenReaper(talk) 15:29, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Personal .css

From what I've been told, it seems there the only way for a logged in user to change the monoco skin is to have a personal .css. The wiki I edit at has a bit of a younger audience, and we have few users who know anything about .css. Does wikia have any .css guides or tutorials that we could possibly show users? Thanks, Tesfan Template:Signatures/Tesfan 15:55, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Admins can customize the Monaco skin on their wiki using the page MediaWiki:Monaco.css. There's instructions on Help.wikia to help you customize the skin. That page needs to be updated a little bit to reflect the differences between the old and new versions of Monaco -- but there aren't many differences, and most of the information will stay exactly the same.
There are a bunch of wikis you can look at for examples of customized Monaco skins, including Wookieepedia, Age of Conan, Marvel Movies and Indiana Jones. Let us know if you want help customizing your wiki's skin; we'll be happy to help. -- Danny (talk) 17:29, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
There's also a wiki called Code Snippets, which is meant as a place to share useful bits of code and wiki markup. If anyone is interested in sharing knowledge of css for Monaco, that's a great place to contribute -- sannse (talk) 18:57, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

The New Monaco isn't very good

Well it needs some time because I was able to certemvate a banner ad into an article using some handy code. I think your technical team needs time to fix this. --Taylor Karras talk contributions 16:27, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, we're aware that people can use an empty table at the top to force the banner ad. We're taking a hands-off approach to that right now. There are some people who will be determined enough to put something like that on the top of every article on their wiki. Most wikis won't bother. -- Danny (talk) 17:33, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
  • I think a template to force a banner ad might be a good idea for small articles that are "just a bit to big" and will have ads on them, I've been told there is no ad on this article yet I see it everytime I view the page. The Lego Star Wars Wiki has a lot of pages like that and ads would ruin those articles unless there is some way to get a banner on them. I'm not saying I would add a template like that to every page on the wiki... I'm just saying that there might be some small articles that are "just a bit to big" and will have ads on them that will push the infobox down to where there is no other content because the ad is about as big as the content area is... --Jedimca0(Do or Do Not, There is No Try) 18:39, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
I think it might be an Infobox Template interfering with the ads and incorrectly determining it not to be a stub. Is there any way you can program the ads to not include the ({{ }}) template links determine an articles size. --Taylor Karras talk contributions 18:50, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
Jedimca0, are you able to take a screenshot of that article with ads? If you could upload it to communitytest, and let me know where it is, that woul dbe a help. Thanks -- sannse (talk) 19:04, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Remember the Content Creators.

This is... rather frustrating, and it's frustrating for a very simple reason. We create the content.

Wikia trades on the content we create The only reason it is a viable advertising outlet is because people like myself constantly generate new content. When a new Transformers episode airs, people rush to add content about it. This in turn allows READERS to read about the episode. Without us constantly updating, there would be no reason for readers to come back to the site.

We don't get paid, and now we don't even get acknowledged as having a say. Without us, you HAVE NO COMPANY. But you're making changes that will make the content we've produced less appealing, less eye-catching and less entertaining. It would be fine if wikia was intending to rework every single content page that is affected by the new design. But they won't -- they CAN'T, it's an insane thing to ask.

So it falls to us editors to do it.

Do you see what I'm saying here? Without us you have no content. Without us all you have is a bunch of servers. Maybe it's time you started paying us -- perhaps a few cents an update or something. That would be nice. Maybe you could pay us a few cents a word, just like old pulp fiction magazine writers.

You can't, of course. If our feelings are hurt by the changes you're making, you should listen.

We're going to have to go back to the drawing board now. We're going to have to work with an ugly, horrible page design to try and make our content be still entertaining and interesting and engaging. We're going to have to compete with obnoxious ads that try and steal the readers' attention. The whole environment of Wikia has suddenly become less pleasant for we, the editors.

I for one, as a person who likes this place as an escape, a hobby, kinda resent that. If you're going to turn this into work, maybe it IS time you started paying us. Jhiaxus 18:14, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Content is created by the common user everywhere. Asking Wikia to "pay" you is an understatment because we contribute because we feel like we have information to contribute to these wikis. If people were to contribute for money, then the whole "balance" would be ruined. I don't see any reason why Wikia should pay you or anyone else for contributing. Contributing is only a hobby, nothing more, nothing less. --Taylor Karras talk contributions 18:34, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
Taylor is right that it's a balance... And, yes, one side of that is that we need to make sure the site stays a place where you will enjoy contributing. And although this is a difficult change for many of you editors, we believe that's this can work, and that Wikia can continue to be a place that you want to come to and build the sites you love. Wikia staff will do all we can to help with the transition, so please let us know where and when you want help. We'll also be coming around to wikis in the next few weeks to help with main pages, to ensure they stay well formatted around the new ads. -- sannse (talk) 19:21, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
Jhiaxus, it's true that the contributors create the content that people come to Wikia to read. It's so obvious that the contributors are important to the site that maybe we don't say it as loud or as often as we should. You're absolutely right -- without the contributors who write content, design pages and manage the community, there's no wiki. If there are no wikis, then there's no Wikia.
That logic also works the other way around. When we have technical problems and the database slows down, then the contributors complain -- and rightly so. That means we need community people who pay attention to the communities and see the complaints. We need engineers who can identify the problem and fix it, as quickly as possible. We need operations people who can analyze what happened and take the appropriate steps to reduce the chance that it'll happen again. We need managers who can coordinate all of this, and make sure that everything is running smoothly. We need offices and bookkeeping and occasional air conditioning. All of this costs money, just to make sure that when the site slows down, we can speed it back up again.
So the relationship works both ways: If there's no Wikia, then there are no wikis.
You said, "Maybe it's time to stop throwing the, "We're a company and have to stay solvent" thing back in our faces. We're the only reason you could possibly stay solvent." You could just as easily turn that statement around. Wikia's solvency is the only reason that your wiki exists, and will continue to exist in the long term.
It's true, we don't pay contributors to write content. On the other hand, contributors don't pay Wikia to host their wikis.
I've noticed that a lot of people over the last week have told us, quite proudly, that they use AdBlock, and will continue to use it. That means that you're using this site for free. We've taken a really hands-off approach to that, because we recognize that the people who are telling us that they use AdBlock are providing value to the company in other ways -- by creating and managing their wikis. But I think it's important to recognize that if you use AdBlock, then you're using the site for free -- and that means that somebody else has to pay.
Everybody who uses the service that Wikia offers does so with the full knowledge that this is a for-profit company that's supported by advertising. The new format does change something -- but it's not a fundamental change in the way that we do business, and it doesn't require a fundamental change in the relationship between Wikia and the contributors.
So I agree with you -- You contribute to your wiki because you enjoy it, because it brings value to your life, and because it's exciting to build something that you love. It's your choice whether you want to work on a wiki, and it's your choice whether you want that wiki to be at Wikia. If the new ad format damages your experience in a way that makes it not worthwhile anymore, then you can choose to stop contributing here. I hope that's not the case, but I understand that it's a possibility, and it's entirely up to you.
Whatever choice you decide to make, we're committed to helping you. As Sannse said, we'll be coming around to individual sites to help everyone adjust to the new format. If you decide that you don't want to contribute to your wiki anymore, then we'll make sure that Wikia stays solvent and healthy, so that the wiki will be here for you if you ever change your mind. -- Danny (talk) 19:57, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Fixed Width

I think that is always been a design problem of every media-wiki based site: Why has the skin a variable width? on a widescreen i have around 240 keystrokes per line. that is nothing but a bad layout. the new skin should have at least a maximum width--Shimas 19:28, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Fixing image alignment to article text

If image alignment to text is the only thing that bothers you then you are fortunate because a fix for that is trivial. It has been alluded to in several comments posted in this forum and has been demonstrated at the communitytest wiki on at least a few pages that I know of. The simple fix forces the leaderboard style ad which is not the advertiser's first preference but it is reportedly an acceptable alternative for those cases where page content would otherwise be adversely affected.

So what's the fix?
At the first line of any affected page insert an empty table using:
{|
|}

Variations on this theme can be seen at communitytest but you need to look for them. That's why I like puppies (and even grover) better than kittens. Danny has stated that for now Wikia staff are taking a hands off approach to this fix.

Danny I am grateful for this initial position statement however, I would very much prefer to hear that this is Wikia's long term policy rather than just an initial response. Many people actually do respect such things as "Terms of Service" especially when the service provided by Wikia is generally very good. So for those of us who do think this way it would be nice to know that we are not running afoul of any such current or planned TOS. najevi 19:35, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

That's a really good question. The reason why I say that we're taking a hands-off approach "for now" is because we need to see how it plays out. I completely understand why some people want to find a workaround that preserves their page designs. At the same time, I expect that the contributors understand that if that workaround substantially damages Wikia's ability to sell advertising, then we'll have to take a different kind of approach.
I'm being vague about this, because it really depends on how things work out -- how many people use a workaround like this, how often they use it, and what the impact is on our ad sales. I can't make promises about long-term policy, because I can't predict what people will choose to do.
I know that it's a part of internet culture (and wiki culture) to create hacks and workarounds. That can be a really positive thing, and it's led to interesting design breakthroughs on lots of wikis. Wiki people love to make choices, and customize things.
It's also part of internet culture to "game the system", and see how much you can get away with. It's fun to get things for free that other people have to pay for. It feels good when you're clever enough to figure out how to bend the rules.
That's why we expect Wikia contributors to act in good faith. We expect people to be mature, and understand that sometimes you have to compromise. We expect that the people who are smart enough to "game the system" are also smart enough to know that they are part of the system. Everyone's interests are interconnected here, and the choices that you make spread out like ripples in a pond. In the long run, what you do on your own wiki affects everybody on every wiki.
So I can't give you a poliy statement about this right now, but I can give you a suggestion: Use this workaround sparingly.
I totally understand why you'd want to use it on certain pages. I've already thought about using it myself, on the Sesame Street Episode Guide pages on Muppet Wiki. It would be a huge pain to reformat those pages, and forcing a banner ad would make life a lot easier there.
So yeah, if this workaround helps you to preserve a complicated design for a particular category, then it can be a really useful tool. On the other hand, if it turns out that all of the biggest wikis use bots to add this workaround to every single page on their wiki, then that's going to damage Wikia's ability to sell ads. Ultimately, that hurts everyone, because it means that either Wikia goes out of business, or we have to find even more aggressive and intrusive ways to make money.
I think it's in everyone's long-term interest to act in good faith, as mature adults who have the same shared goal. We all want the wikis on Wikia to be popular and attractive and amazing, and we want them to be around for years and years. We can all work together towards that goal. It requires good faith and understanding from everyone. -- Danny (talk) 20:35, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
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