Community Central

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Community Central

Hey gang!

As Brandon promised on Tuesday, I’m here to talk about a new video content type Fandom has been working on for several months now. We’re calling this Interactive Video because the name really says it all, it’s video content that is interactive with the wikis.

Some Background

In the nearly 2 years since we announced that Featured Video would no longer be the future of video on Fandom, we have been conducting research, doing experiments, and looking at how The Loop compares to Featured Video content in terms of viewership and other user metrics. Through this investigation, it became very apparent to Fandom that videos grounded in the community are the future of on-wiki video options. Videos like The Loop, CRAM IT, Honest Trailers, and Fandom 5 have a more community focus than our previous effort with Featured Video, but we have additional opportunity to go deeper. That opportunity is Interactive Video.

Back in March, we showed off some proof-of-concept work for Interactive Video at Community Connect, three experiments which demonstrated the potential for using video to immerse users into these imagined worlds with a deep connection to the wiki content. We had a Star Wars video that focused on different types of starfighters, a Halo Infinite video that focused on the lore of the Halo universe, and a Zelda video that focused on the map of Hyrule in Breath of the Wild. Each video gave the user the opportunity to explore top-level concepts and dive deeper into the wiki pages to learn even more about Y-Wings, Jiralhanae, or Zora’s Domain. The reception to this was very positive, especially from some very outspoken community members who have been quite critical of our past video efforts.

Why Interactive Video is important

As Brandon mentioned in his blog, video content for pre-roll advertising is important for Fandom’s future and helps us provide you with a great platform that can evolve to meet your needs and expand your content. Finding the right balance between that and making video more centered in our communities is critical, which is why we’re really excited about Interactive Video. The content type is firmly centered within the community. Done right, it can be far more evergreen than Featured Video was and more relevant to a specific community than The Loop, while also providing value to the community with deeper engagement, like encouraging readers to visit more pages. We’re still measuring the impact on community metrics of our first forays into Interactive Video, so we don’t have data to share with you yet on that front.

Some early examples

For the launch of Diablo II Resurrected, the video team recreated the game’s Book of Skill to provide readers with a surface-level introduction to the world of Diablo II and allow them to dive deeper into classes, characters, and lore on the Diablo wiki. You can check that video out here.

Another type of Interactive Video the team is working on is called Interactive Trailers. They take trailers for upcoming releases and inject them with opportunities to dive deeper into the lore of the content through the wiki page. One of the first examples of this is for the new Hawkeye series on Disney+ that is coming out in December. You can check that video out here.

Next steps

A key facet of Interactive Video is how grounded it is in the community content. In his blog, Brandon mentioned that we’re working with a select group of well-known wikis to develop Interactive Videos for their readers. We first approached the Minecraft Wiki team about this opportunity a few weeks ago and just had a really great brainstorming session with their admins last week. The video team is now working on an Interactive Video that provides useful information for beginner Minecraft players, like introductions to the different block types, materials, redstone mechanics, tools & weapons, game commands, environment, and more. This is a big milestone, as Minecraft will be the first historically Gamepedia wiki to get on-wiki video content from Fandom and it will be a collaborative project.

We are also working with Memory Alpha and DC Database to make Interactive Videos for their readers too. This sort of collaboration allows Fandom to gain a deeper understanding of the subject material and opportunities for each community. For example, the initial pitch to the Minecraft admins was a recipe book and their feedback allowed a strong pivot into this beginner player overview that will provide great value to a big segment of the reader community on that wiki.

We’re still only in the pitch phase for these initial communities, so over the coming weeks we’ll also be identifying how best to include admins and editors in the writing and producing of the video. This will help us inform the best collaborative process moving forward as we create even more of these videos in 2022.

How can you get Interactive Video on your wiki

Given the resources required, Interactive Video creation is currently focused on wikis with very high traffic, but Fandom hopes the creation process will get easier over time as efficiency with the creation tools is gained. Admins for eligible wikis interested in an Interactive Video can contact a Community Manager or other Fandom staff to indicate that their wiki would welcome an Interactive Video. If selected, based on the team’s evaluation of the opportunity, the process to complete a video takes 6-8 weeks.

I’ll be happy to answer your questions now.

Fandom Staff
Will is the Global Communications Lead at Fandom. Previously, he was the Community Manager for Gamepedia and the Gaming Community Manager for Imzy. Outside of work, he hangs at the beach, explores breweries, plays golf, and lifts big weights for fun.
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