It may be quite clear that not every wiki is the same. They all have different topics, different layouts and different hierarchies, among many other things that separates a wiki from another. I wanted to look at two different kinds of wiki, those being a content-based wiki and a community-based wiki, to see how much they differ in the way they're visited, and to see how much they differ in local staff positions.

Note: I use multiple wikis as examples. These wikis are (in my eyes) extreme cases of wikis where it is heavily relied on either the content on the pages or on the community. I do not include the forums and/or discussions, since on some wikis, the forums have been replaced by discussions, which is separated from the wiki itself. This will also not be valid for all wikis on FANDOM, but I tried to cover as many as I could.

What are they?

Content-based Wikis

A content-based wiki is a wiki where the articles are the most important part. As the dictionary defines it, content is "information made available by a website or other electronic medium" or "the subjects or topics covered in a book or document". These pages usually have a lot of information on them, and the wiki's purpose is mainly to provide that information. This usually (not always) includes wikis about tv shows, movies and single-player games.

Community-based Wikis

A community-based wiki is a wiki where the community comes first. People don't come here to just add and/or read information about the topic, but they are merely here to talk to each other, or to make small projects on their own, or with a small amount of people (either through user blogs, article comments or contact-pages, such as chat or IRC). This can also lead to wiki-wide projects, such as competitions and user meet-ups. This type of wiki includes wikis about internet series, roleplay and comics.

What are the differences?


There are a lot of differences on how each type of wiki is visited. One of the ways I will use to explain those differences, is through Special:Insights/popularpages. On content-based wikis, the differences in the amount of page views of the top 5 or top 10 most popular pages in a week are relatively smaller than on a community-based wiki. I will try to make this clear with the most popular page and the seventh most popular page (because it's around the average of 5 and 10) on Doctor Who Wiki (a content-based wiki) and VS Battles Wiki (a community-based wiki).

On the Doctor Who Wiki, the most popular page of last week was the homepage with 11,946 page views. The seventh most popular page of the same week was Weeping Angel, which had 3,516 page views. This means that the 7th most popular page got around 3,516 / 11,946 x 100% = 29.4% of the amount of page views the homepage had.

However, on the VS Battles Wiki, this percentage is much lower. The most popular page on that wiki was the homepage as well, which had 19,505 page views last week, and the seventh most popular page, was Saitama, which 'only' had 1,772 page views. This shows that the lower-ranked page only had 1,772 / 19,505 x 100% = 9.1% of the amount of page views the most popular page had. This makes a difference of 20.3(!) percentage point.


Another way to see how the activity on a wiki is, is through Special:WikiActivity or Special:RecentChanges. I will use two other wikis as examples to explain this. For this, I will use the Game of Thrones Wiki (content-based wiki) and Cardfight!! Vanguard Wiki (a community-based wiki).

On the Game of Thrones Wiki's RecentChanges, it can be seen that most edits made are page edits. This usually means that information on a page has been added/altered, with the purpose to keep everything up-to-date, and to add information where possible.

On the Cardfight!! Vanguard Wiki's RecentChanges, it can be seen that most edits have been article comments. These comments are not with the purpose to criticise the editors who made the page, but merely to give an opinion on the topic of the page itself, without the need to change the information that is already available. These comments can also be off-topic in the case of a custom 'hub', often the most recent episode (in case of a television show or internet series) or most recent book (in case of a book series), where a community goes to "chill out".

Know that these are not all the differences between the two different types of wiki, but these are three ways that are easily accessible to everyone.

Local Staff

Some administrative roles are more useful on one wiki than on another. For example, promoting someone to chatmod on a wiki where Special:Chat is disabled, or where it's rarely used, is nearly pointless. On a content-based wiki, where people are on the wiki for the information that is available, a chatmod would be unnecessary, while a rollback or contentmod would be useful, in case someone makes a mistake.

However, on a community-based wiki, where articles are edited less often, a rollback (who can only revert or rollback page edits) should have to use his powers less often than a chatmod, and a discussions mod would be quite useful, to remove vandalism in article comments, wall threads and blog comments.

Examples I will use to show this, are The Walking Dead Wiki (a content-based wiki) and Animal Jam Clans Wiki (a community-based wiki). On The Walking Dead Wiki, there are 16 staff members, of which 9 are rollback, including 4 users who already have a higher role (administrator or bureaucrat). This makes for 5 users who are just rollback. There are also 7 chatmods, but this includes 6 users who have already been promoted to higher positions, such as admin, while still retaining their chatmod-status. So despite there being 5 users who are only rollback (content staff), there is only 1 user who is only chatmod (community staff).

On the Animal Jam Clans Wiki, there are 3 chatmods and 2 discussions mods (community staff), and there are only 2 contentmods (content staff). I do not include the users who are admin, since they have control over both the content itself, and the community pages (article comments, message walls, chat...). This means that there are 5 users who are community staff, and only 2 users who are content staff. That is including 1 user who is both.


There are a lot of differences between a content-based wiki and a community-based wiki. For both types, you could use Special:Insights, Special:WikiActivity and/or Special:RecentChanges to see how active it is, although these are only indications, and they might be misleading. It's entirely possible that Special:Insights/popularpages shows that a wiki has a lot of page views, despite there only being one or two active user(s), and vice versa. While the amount of pageviews might be encouraging for a content-based wiki, for a community-based wiki, it's usually more about Special:RecentChanges and the activity in chat or similar services, like Discord.

The staff on a wiki is also structured differently. While a content-based wiki (usually) has more content staff (rollback, contentmod...), a community-based wiki usually has more community staff (discussionsmod, chatmod...), although this also depends on the way a wiki is lead. It's more difficult to keep them apart if there are only admins, and if a wiki doesn't use smaller roles, like the four named earlier.

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