Community Central
Community Central

Hey everyone!

We’re back in full force with Technical Updates. From user experience to development updates, we’re sure you’ll find something that piques your interest. We’ll continue to update the editor community on bug fixes, and product development updates bi-weekly!

Notable Changes[]

  • Theme Designer. Adding a background image in ThemeDesigner with “Use on mobile” checkbox wasn’t reflected in the preview window. Now, the background image shows up in a preview window for the mobile page.
  • MediaWiki1.39. Portable infobox "Example" output was incorrectly overriding "default" on Template pages. This was generally a good change, but it did not account for the <default> tags. We’ve made the changes so that The portable infobox Template page preview does not override the <default> tag.

Known Issues[]

  • Mobile Editor. When editing on mobile, users are experiencing a few challenges: text that is on the page is lost when saving in the editor, or text that was deleted from the page is restored after saving. We are currently working to resolve this issue.
  • Fandom Mobile. As users switch from Visual mode to Source mode in the mobile editor, all pending changes are lost.

Development Updates[]

Community Connect recap[]

We just got back from Community Connect 2023, where we overviewed many of our product plans and priorities for the rest of the year. You can take a look at those in the decks from our various presentations starting with 2023 Product and Experimentation Overview + Q&A, but one key thing to highlight here is the theme of experimentation.

A key idea we highlighted is that for 2023, rather than focusing on big product initiatives, we’re looking at site-wide improvements, new tools, and additions to the site based on what can help grow the core experience: wiki reference content. With a focus on areas where we’re already strong, like user-generated content (UGC), we’re going to be experimenting on quick wins and interactive improvements to elevate the core experience.

Throughout this and future Technical Update blogs, a key theme you’ll see reflected is experiments that we’ve run on the site. We don’t intend to announce most of them ahead of time, so as to not bias any experiment results, but we will let you know about successful experiments that we intend to fully release to the site, particularly from our User-Generated Content, User Experience, Traffic, and Return Visits teams. You’ll see some of those reflected beginning in today’s blog!

User-Generated Content (UGC) team[]

  • Mobile CSS. Mobile CSS is live and available to admins on the platform! We’ve seen some communities utilize the feature to make notable changes to their wikis and encourage you to take a look at the blog to inspire your next edit.
  • Default landing page. Currently, newly registered accounts have Discussions set as their default landing page with the option to switch over to the wiki’s main page or Recent Changes. With the UGC team focused on easier new editor onboarding and editor retention, we experimented to see if changing the default back to the main page would lead to more new accounts making their first edits. The experiment was successful, and we will be changing the default landing page preference for newly registered users to wiki main pages.
  • Thanks Extension. At Community Connect, we announced that we would add the Thanks extension to the platform. The Thanks extension provides a way for editors to click a button and automatically send a thank you message to other editors for their edits, a powerful way of showing appreciation to other community members. This extension, which has proven impactful for editor retention on Wikipedia, will allow any logged in user to send thanks to trigger an on-site and email notification. These are optional notifications, which can be turned on and off in your account preferences. It also replaces the ThanksMeToo extension on historically Gamepedia wikis. We chose Thanks as the most potentially-impactful extension on our community-curated extension nomination list and we prioritized it for being added to the platform. We’ll begin testing this extension on a small scale soon and will report back with our findings.

User Experience (UX) team[]

  • Recent Images module. We recently experimented with a Recent Images module, similar to the version on FanCentral, on the desktop skin for wikis to see if users would be interested in interacting with it. The addition of the module, placed in the right rail, met our success criteria so we will be releasing it to the entire platform on desktop.
  • Fan Feed improvements. We recently experimented with the Fan Feed by including only wiki-related recommendations. This successfully improved engagement with the Fan Feed on desktop, so we will release the change to the entire platform on desktop. Knowing that “every pixel counts,” this new version will start with just wiki recommendations but we will also test additional content types to ensure we only include what people are interested in.

Traffic/Return Visits team[]

  • GenAI Experiments. One of the big topics we talked about at Community Connect was Generative AI (or GenAI), in our presentation about potential use cases for genAI on Fandom. We received a lot of great feedback from attendees, as well as non-attendees who participated in our recent editor feedback survey, that showed an openness from most of the community to explore how genAI could be used to make things easier on wikis. Namely, these would be tools that we could provide to you to enhance your experience (as opposed to trying to create wiki content out of genAI whole cloth, which we are not interested in doing). We’re going to start launching some genAI experiments soon, and while we’re going to wait to share what those are until we see the results, we wanted to let you know that we will be testing genAI applications and will report back with our findings!

Platform team[]

  • MediaWiki 1.39 Upgrade. Community Central was migrated last week, together with all the tools and extensions used by the staff from this wiki. The first Gamepedia Wikis were migrated last week too, and we will migrate the first Cargo wikis next week. 80% of the traffic is served from 1.39 wikis, and we are close to finishing the upgrade in the whole platform!


  • COPPA Age Screening. Based on our continuing efforts to align with the most recent legal guidance relating to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), a United States federal law that governs the platform, we have decided to introduce an age-screening mechanism on wikis that are primarily directed to children. We have tested this on a handful of kid-oriented wikis to make sure it didn’t harm any user engagement, and are ready to roll it out in the near future. It will appear on the second pageview of a user’s first session after the introduction of the screening mechanism.
  • Fandom Compass. Fandom Compass is a circle of wikis united in showing Google and other search engines that they are the most authoritative answer to a question. The goal of the project is to recognize the work communities put into creating authoritative wikis, encourage more fans to visit, and hopefully inspire those fans to join these wiki communities. Jenny Uchisawa explains what Fandom Compass is and how your community can get involved. 

If there’s anything you still think needs to be fixed that hasn’t yet, please be sure to either contact your Wiki Representative or, if your wiki doesn’t have one, send us a bug report!

Fandom Staff
Hey I'm JP, Senior Community Manager, Creator Outreach at Fandom.
I'm a huge fan of Law & Order, VEEP, and a long list of anime.
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