It’s been awhile since we announced that Fandom and Curse Media have joined forces, and we owe you some updates about what we’ve been up to in the last few months. Since then a lot of you have asked what coming together means for the future of Fandom, what our plans are, and a lot of other great questions that we weren’t able to answer yet. Today we’re excited to finally begin sharing some information about the progress we’ve been making and some of what you can expect to see happen in the coming weeks.
To start with, we want to introduce you to something we’re calling Project Crossover.
Introducing Project Crossover
The goal of this project is pretty simple: We want to encourage and facilitate knowledge sharing, cooperation, and collaboration between Fandom users and Gamepedia users. Part of that is looking at the big question of whether communities that cover the same subject should come together as one unified wiki. To do that, there are hundreds if not thousands of cases that need to be collected and studied. We’ve been hard at work on that.
It’s important to remind everyone that we’re committed to making this a thoughtful process where each resolution is reached with the input and consent of the affected communities. As we stated when we first announced the two companies were coming together, we have no plans to force any communities to do anything. We fully expect that some cases will result in deciding that two wikis on the same topic can co-exist. We also anticipate that this will be a long process, and it may be quite a while before we’re ready to approach this issue with larger or more active communities. That’s why we’re starting with smaller or inactive communities, which I’ll get more into in a moment.
We did an early test of this in December, where we merged Gamepedia’s Diep.io Wiki into Fandom’s, making Fandom’s Diep.io Wiki the Official Wiki for the game; and merged Fandom’s Encyclopedia Gamia into Codex Gamicus, which resolved a fork. We found some concerning issues in those cases about how domain redirection impacted traffic and SEO, and we needed to explore additional options to ensure that we’re making the best choices for our communities and ourselves as a business. On top of all of that, it’s simply been a very busy time for everyone at both Fandom and Curse as we work to form a combined organization and continue to learn more and more about one another.
The New Plan
Having studied the impacts of the last two crossovers, we’ve developed a new test plan that we believe should alleviate any traffic impacts from wiki merges that may be associated with this project. What this will involve is that, rather than using what are known as 301 or 302 redirects to funnel traffic from one wiki to another, the wiki that is being merged into the other will be locked to all editing and feature a large banner directing users to the new “home” wiki. We will then monitor and evaluate traffic over time. If we’re comfortable with the traffic impacts, we may eventually put a permanent redirect in place after a certain point, simply close old projects, or even do nothing if that ends up being the best approach.
The data we have suggesting this is a better tactic comes largely from looking at the redirect from gaming.fandom.com to gamicus.gamepedia.com. The traffic gaming.fandom.com used to have has not, as was initially expected, transferred over to gamicus.gamepedia.com. This indicates that the loss of traffic on Gamicus as a result of being a forked project is significant enough to overshadow any traffic being redirected.
Losing traffic is a negative for everyone. Consumers looking for information are coming up empty-handed, the editing community is losing out on readers and potential new contributors, and the company is seeing less traffic and revenue. In effect, we all come up short. We expect this new approach to resolve some of those issues and, at the very least, allow us to gather data and evaluate if we can continue with this plan or if we should look into additional alternatives before moving on to more potential crossovers.
With all of that out of the way, the part you’re probably most interested in is: What are the next steps?
Next Steps for Crossover
One of the most exciting parts of this process is seeing communities from Fandom and Gamepedia proactively starting discussions with one another about joining forces. Through those conversations, we’ve identified that the Conan Exiles and Magic: The Gathering wikis are two such communities. We plan to work with these communities to finalize plans for merging projects using the new approach outlined above, and then monitoring them to ensure that the solution is one that is beneficial to everyone.
At the same time, we will be seeking to identify other potential communities that are in a similar space. It’s important to emphasize that we will not be rushing into any additional crossovers, and so while we welcome communities to have these discussions amongst themselves, please understand that we will need time to ensure that we have the best plan to move forward. We are not going to make any commitments right now about future crossovers. Our commitment to you now is that we will learn what we can and then continue the conversation with communities about what’s best for them.
We’re also going to look at resolving more straightforward cases where a wiki on one side or the other is dead, which is to say has virtually no traffic and no recent edits, as well as forked communities like Magic: The Gathering as mentioned above. Our plan for these cases is to have a period of on-wiki discussion, even if there’s no active community, so all users have an opportunity to voice questions, concerns, or comments.
The entire team at Fandom wants to say thank you to everyone for your patience as we continue to work through this process. Now that we can start this conversation with you, we’ll do our best to communicate openly and candidly as we talk about these different cases.
If you have any questions or concerns about this approach, please post in the comments. Myself as well as Will and Benjamin, who are joining our combined gaming community team from Gamepedia, will be doing our best to answer.
Mira Laime Fandom Staff
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