Forum:First-time users are dumped into an advertising Hell

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Preparing for war if need be--Aleister 16:00 16 10

I just logged in with a user name made up during one of the times I was playing with someone on the site, and I was in Hell. There was a moving gif advertisement on top of the main page, a horrible ad for some contest on the left there, the navigation box all messed up and huge. I then looked at Disguise and the page included that contest ad, as well as not showing the ocrrect title on top (It is supposed to read: Disguise (click here to remove the mask), instead it said: Disguise click to edit. The user page was a jumble of ads, real-time edit list, etc. No wonder new people aren't flocking to sign up to this horror of a site. If I came the first time and saw this I would not have signed up. Does anyone else here have these moving ads, contest ads, etc., on their pages when they log onto the site? If so, I'll describe my regular name pages to you: Clean, no ads except tiny ones at the bottom, and a full navigation bar with no recent changes listed automatically. I know this is long, but this is horrible for me to see and discourages me about the site. If this is what people see when they come here, I won't say I'll leave but will join others in stopping it and cleaning up the viewing of the pages. And get that top ad off the main page. Discouraged, Aleister 3:18 16 10

Logged on again with the other name (I've never used it to create anything or vote) and checked my Aleister user page. Shocked. There's a huge banner at the top with a massive edit number. The page itself is scrinced by about a third, throwing off my formatting of articles, with the left side taken by ads for Wikia and their crap sites or whatever they are. On the main page at the top is a big Wikia banner about humor. Not good. Not good. Al, few minutes later.

I logged out and signed back on again. I did notice the recent changes were grouped but otherwise everything looks normal to me. MadMax 03:40, October 16, 2010 (UTC)

Eh, it's a skin problem. Probably some Wikia default or some such... just need to go to preferences and change your skin back to 'Uncyclopedia' if it shows that... well, if it still has any decent way to the preferences bit, that is. O_o ~ Pointy *shifty eyes* (talk) (stalk) -- 20101016 - 03:39 (UTC)
I know it's a skin thing, but why does that exist. What do average people see when they log on to Uncy. And it's normal to me too, on my Aleister account, but this other one shows me that Wikia actually has these ads running and the others things I mentioned. And a very relevant question. How in the hell is that monstrosity in any way similar to Wikipedia, which we are supposed to be parroting? I've never seen such ads on Wikipedia. Aleister 3:40 16 10
Normal is normal. The skins (unless malfunctioning...) should be default unless changed, and users only see changed ones when they change them... er... crap, I can't seem to connect with my sock. Bad sock! Bad! Cooperate! *smacks it*
Well, so much for that plan. ~ Pointy *shifty eyes* (talk) (stalk) -- 20101016 - 03:50 (UTC)
I know all that. My concern is that other people are seeing this stuff, massive ads and misshapen pages. That's my concern, not my own account. I don't want massive ads on my articles, and apparantly that's what some people see. Aleister 3:53 16 10
*nods* It finally let me log in, and... they overrode the default. They did. Asshats. ~ Pointy *shifty eyes* (talk) (stalk) -- 20101016 - 03:55 (UTC)
Hells, it's even still listed as 'default'... it's just... not. The default. Anymore. O_o ~ Pointy *shifty eyes* (talk) (stalk) -- 20101016 - 03:56 (UTC)
Well When I login it is the same as I always see it like you said Clean, no ads except tiny ones at the bottom, and a full navigation bar with no recent changes listed automatically. But then I logged in as a different user, and it was like when you go to wackypedia. Not good... --Tophat headless 04:04, October 16, 2010 (UTC)
Ah I see. I just logged off as looked around as an anonymous user. I don't have another account to sign into though. Is it possible someone could post a screenshot? MadMax 04:09, October 16, 2010 (UTC)
Make a new user. You'll see. Unless they put it back. *gets out shotgun, regardless* Nope, they didn't put it back. Do it! They overrode the defaults; be angry with us! ~ Pointy *shifty eyes* (talk) (stalk) -- 20101016 - 04:15 (UTC)
Er, along with us. At them. ~ Pointy *shifty eyes* (talk) (stalk) -- 20101016 - 04:17 (UTC)
This is really quite devious of them... after all, who makes a plethora of socks to check these things? Only the new ones seem to see it; anonymous uses the same skin as ever. So the maintainers wouldn't see it at all... -- Lyrithya's Sock 04:22, October 16, 2010 (UTC)


I knew that all the War Images and Soldier Images I was categorizing would come in handy someday. Aleister 4:06 16 10

Have replaced my user page with one. If you'd like one go to either Category:Soldier Images or Category:War Images. If this goes on, I may have to create a page to give back medals, i.e. John Kerry when he got back from Vietnam. And we should come up with a petition/letter for everyone to sign if this isn't rectifyed. I can't stay on much longer though, and will pick the discussion up in hours. Aleister 4:34 16 1-

The page

Does it looks like this to any of you? Because to me it does and I feel like it's more of a page you'll see on cheap amateur wikias where less then a dozen kids are l0ling and trolling each others on numerous animes... It's harder to browse in addition, it kind of disgust you from the website in fact, which is bad since it shouldn't be <_< --Drunkenshark 19:43, October 19, 2010 (UTC)


Thank you Drunkenshark. Yes, and worse, because the ads run up along the left side of the page too. And Drunkenshark is a long time user, and now she has this page. Discouraging, and why isn't Wikia giving us a full apology and changing it back to a clean page?? And what's with Wikia being listed first, if at all??? Aleister 19:47 19 10


I'm not exaggerating when I say that exaggerate isn't spelled the way I would expect it to be. And also...

Shitisfucked Shitisfucked2
...that default skin is bloody horrible. Sir Modusoperandi Boinc! 04:39, October 16, 2010 (UTC)

Naw, that's nothing compared to the horrible ads and moving gif ads they've put up. Aleister 4:41 16 10
Even in an installed but never used Interweb Explorer I saw no crappy ads. Why must you lie? Why?! Sir Modusoperandi Boinc! 04:45, October 16, 2010 (UTC)
So Modus, do you use that Norton bar often? Sir SockySexy girls Mermaid with dolphin Tired Marilyn Monroe (talk) (stalk)Magnemite Icons-flag-be GUN SotM UotM PMotM UotY PotM WotM 04:45, 16 October 2010
All the time. I use it so often that I have little to no idea what it does. It has something to do with Norton, I assume. And the green check mark is my grade. Grade A, obviously. For "Awesome". Sir Modusoperandi Boinc! 04:49, October 16, 2010 (UTC)

Depressing. That's one of the reasons I stopped editing on the AltHistory wiki. MadMax 04:43, October 16, 2010 (UTC)

This is the AltHistory wiki! (Dun-dun dun!) Sir Modusoperandi Boinc! 04:45, October 16, 2010 (UTC)!
If it comes to it I'd like to create a Medals page where we can give back our awards, like John Kerry did when he got back from Vietnam. We have to say "This Shall Not Stand" and everyone mean it. Only way to back them down from their ads and middle-of-the-night changes. Aleister 4:46 16 10
Middle of the night changes only affecting noobs, though, mind. That's just low. Even for them. We must not stand for it! ~ Pointy *shifty eyes* (talk) (stalk) 04:49, October 16, 2010 (UTC)
The name I use, well, might as well say it, I was London Underground during the "I want to be an admin" playground a couple of months ago, and that's not very new. I bet some of the noobies have or will see the ads and things I'm talking about. London Underground 4:54 16 10
Were you or was that someone else who had the wrong skin on earlier and couldn't sort out how to change it? ~ Pointy *shifty eyes* (talk) (stalk) 05:01, October 16, 2010 (UTC)
No, last time I logged in as London Underground was quite awhile ago, and the skin was the same as my Aleister skin. This time it was wackyhustlerfunhouse skin. London Underground, a.k.a. Aleister 5:03 16 10
...oh dear. That breaks the pattern, then.... what is different? Surely there must be something different... surely the patterns must hold. ~ Pointy *shifty eyes* (talk) (stalk) 05:11, October 16, 2010 (UTC) (UTC)
Maybe the pattern is I hadn't logged in since Aug. 29, so maybe if you haven't come by in X number of days they switch you to the hellskin. Going soon, going, OK AlnderLondon


Looking at this, maybe they thought this wikia skin would somehow be necessary to improve accessibility, for users with disabilities or something. Then again, it's probably something that happened accidentally[1] with this stuff about the New Wikia Look I've been hearing so much about. Sir SockySexy girls Mermaid with dolphin Tired Marilyn Monroe (talk) (stalk)Magnemite Icons-flag-be GUN SotM UotM PMotM UotY PotM WotM 04:32, 16 October 2010

Accessibility, my arse... I had to go through recent changes just to get here with my sock, and I have no idea how I even got to recent changes. Seriously, none at all...
Yup, this'll be another fun bout of them trying to pull fast ones, I just know it. And bloody now I cannot even get half the pages to load... including this one. I had to go through the bloody history. -- Lyrithya now can't connect to the bloody page while bloody well logged in 04:48, October 16, 2010 (UTC)
Pretty sure it was a glitch as the default skin is still the Uncyc one. I don't see it in either logged or unlogged. Does anyone still get it? ~Jewriken.GIF 15:49, October 16, 2010 (UTC)
The default never changed. What was happening was that new accounts were starting out with the 'default wikia' one, regardless of the uncyclopedia one still being marked and labelled as default. I'd say for sure if it's still happening, but it won't let me make another account, something about how I've already made two in the past day... *whistles innocently* You may want make a new one and test it yourself, though. ~ Pointy *shifty eyes* (talk) (stalk) -- 20101016 - 15:56 (UTC)


  1. Yeah, right.

The nature of the contract

As I understand it, Wikia gives us marvelous servers, with which to write and produce beautiful printed pages, and gives us the infrastructure to achieve instant, worldwide publication. (PS--Add: access to a large media library, including cover when some of us occasionally steal media from elsewhere on the Web.) In exchange, Wikia receives the rarest commodity in the world: talent (coughs, looks down), and without having to pay or provide Obamacare-compliant health insurance.

A known consequence is that Wikia is going to use us as bait to attract an audience to which to hump its wares: Its own corporate identity, plus any ads it can convince anyone to pay money to place. What about any of this is surprising to you?

Your assertion that new visitors are presented with a screen too cluttered, animated, or content-free to induce them to proceed is a shared concern of us and Wikia, which Wikia should (but is not obliged to) take seriously. Spıke Ѧ 16:11 16-Oct-10 post-edited

Well thought out, yet several major flaws. If uncy is supposed to at least approximate Wikipedia, having gif ads running along the top of the main page and down the left side of all pages (throwing width, article consideration, etc. into question), it is closer to wackypedia than wikipedia. My screen last night looked like wackypedia, and you know the tumbleweeds (imagine overused tumbleweed gif here. Well, maybe the tumbleweed gif with a Colgate ad running on top of it), this comparison fails. Wikia has, in essence, vandalized uncy's pages (Sannse infibanned for this just seems too logical to consider), without consideration of those writers. The blatant ads running on the screen, along with user content of uglyliness, imnho, would, as I said, have driven me away from the site on first viewing. How many discerning writers have we lost who've logged in and logged out within moments, as I've done other advertising sites? It's not enough to say that everyone does it, that's the bain of man's destruction of the forests and oceans. One wiki must draw the line, imnho, the sheep taking up metaphoric arms against any non-asthetic and corporate use of our work, not only for today but for what uncy will look like in five or ten years. One step at a time and we will easily fall to the sub-moronic level (sorry mom, I didn't mean to insult you and dad, now go watch your stories) in appearance which will then directly equate with quality of users, writing, and site readers. Aleister 17:25 16 10

I agree with your aesthetic, and I too have shunned nearby web sites for pop-ups, pop-unders, and even the insistence that I install add-ons or enable cookies; I normally run with Flash disabled and highly suspect that HTML 5 is secretly a way to let web sites deny us desired content until verifying that we have watched a TV commercial.

But my point (notably, in my final paragraph above) was the extent to which Wikia must respect our aesthetic--and my answer, to which you have not revealed any major flaws is: only to the extent that garish marketing hinders our shared interest in attracting traffic. Wikia and the creative staff (assuming the latter could act unanimously) are equally free to walk away from the deal, and I have seen it proposed before that we gather up our web pages and go elsewhere. (As the pages are unowned, I think Wikia would be free to retain a snapshot, or even archive our newer work as does. It would be fascinating to try to convince the casual viewer that we had moved forward since the time of that snapshot and that viewers ought to surf to us rather than our former owners. We might have to advertise.)

I don't agree with the pure anti-corporate aesthetic, particularly its extension to the "destruction of the forests and oceans." If that were primary, we should not have come to Wikia (or, probably, anywhere else that would have us), and if it were your primary goal that your work never be commercialized in the least, you should not have joined. But we're all having fun, so what's left of your argument is the possibility that Wikia is glitzing it up too much for either their or our good. Again, that is debatable and Wikia ought to be listening to the debate. Spıke Ѧ 18:33 16-Oct-10

Wikipedia does not have moving ad gifs, large blocks of ads on the left side, etc. If we are a wikipedia parody, then that certainly is not the way to go. We will lose potential writers who run at first sight, will lose current users who won't accept this change, and, bottom line, it will ruin the site. Once an inch is taken (let alone half the space) the next year two inches go, the next year ten. On and on. If you are in favor of any garish advertising we part company on this issue, there should be no breach of a clean page for everyone at least somewhere on the internet and I propose that wikia choose this site to make that stand against the intrusion of ads impringing on pages. That should make some news, if they announced that and stuck with that policy, and we would all love them for it. Aleister 19:35 19 10

That we have been induced to work for free does not mean that the rest of the world has to. Electricity, Sannse, The Suits, and all that booze in the filing cabinet cost money. Also, I disagree here, as in the UnNews debate, that the fact that a certain web site is the basis of our satire, means we must exactly resemble it physically. You cannot extrapolate and say that, "at this rate," in ten years advertisements will occupy 120% of the viewer's screen. At some point, Wikia will conclude (as even AM radio in the U.S. did) that turning the screws further exceeds "the point of diminishing returns." You'd be better off arguing that the point is sooner than that they should give us access to servers for free, gratia artis. Spıke Ѧ 19:49 19-Oct-10

A line must be drawn. Have you see the new skin the new users and older users who haven't logged in in awhile are stuck with now? Please look at it and try to use it before giving wikia support. This could be a death knell for the site, no exaggeration. It looks like wackypedia now. A little of this can be seen above, Drunkenshark uploaded a part of a screen shot but it's much worse on my sockpuppet account. Please make a sock and see what we mean, go the user SPIKE from you sock and look at your user page with the new skin. Do these things and you may take up arms too. Aleister 19:57 19 10

Try it

By the way, I understand that Wikia tinkering is dynamic and ongoing, but I just logged out, disabled my local style rules and restarted Mozilla, and selected an Uncyclopedia article as I.P. Anon, and saw none of what you are seeing. Spıke Ѧ 19:55 19-Oct-10

Note above comes first. You must open a sock account and then use it. If that doesn't "work" then it's only old users, but I think people have said using any new account shows the changes. Al minutes latef
I just logged in on the hell page, and the navigation bar is almost gone and unrecognizable now too. I went to User:SPIKE and saw the page as you will see it, and ran screaming from the room. I personally would not use the site as it exists there. Aleister 20:08 19 10
Yup, new accounts are still getting it. Also definitely not Lyrithya 20:12, October 19, 2010 (UTC)
Mordillo was in some kind of negotiations. Wonder how that's going? I've got a new war gif on my user page. Aleister 20:15 19 10
Yay, Mordillo... ~ Pointy *shifty eyes* (talk) (stalk) -- 20101019 - 20:17 (UTC)

Sorry, Al, didn't read your note completely. I tried it and my observations are at User talk:Spike sockpuppet--Basically, I saw a lot of blank space presumably reserved for garishness, but did not see the garishness, even after enabling Flash. Spıke Ѧ 20:30 19-Oct-10

Ah, you didn't stay long enough. The page was uploading, it takes longer with the ads and other wrecking balls on it. Did you check out the navigation bar? Aleister must sign off now 20:53 19 10

I waited until the Status Bar said "Done." As for navigation, all the controls were in the wrong place, and I could not edit my user page until I decided to see what my "Profile" was. I'll have nightmares tonight--if this wasn't one already. Spıke Ѧ 20:36 19-Oct-10

Horror, ain't it? And the stupid set-width thing is too wide for my monitor, on top of everything else... idiots, these days. Idiots the lot of them, the so like doing that... ~ Pointy *shifty eyes* (talk) (stalk) -- 20101019 - 20:38 (UTC)

PS--I went back in and not only did Mozilla say Done, Page Info listed all the media used on the page and there was nothing except my own graphics, and there was nothing from a site I had blocked. Perhaps this is one of the things that works differently on a 1024x768 screen.

PPS--The new-user default skin does come up on a screen as small as mine with a horizontal scroll bar. As the ads at the bottom of the page don't begin loading until I vertically scroll down there, it seems the skin is heuristic and might also not load the animations that drive Aleister crazy if it decides there is no room for them. This skin makes a number of style decisions that my skin doesn't and that I don't like, but I don't necessarily agree that it will repel the newbie. Spıke Ѧ 12:55 20-Oct-10

The problem seems to be not that you can't turn off the crap, nor that Anons are getting it, but solely that on User Devirginization, Wikia now selects a skin that makes you regret coming here. Spıke Ѧ 20:43 19-Oct-10

Yup. ~ Pointy *shifty eyes* (talk) (stalk) -- 20101019 - 20:53 (UTC)

Also, though, I read somewhere that any Admin has the power to change the default skin for new users. So, while Wikia is clearly plotting to pollute our screens with eye-catching flackery, and could decide that we are not merely the bait for the targets of the advertising but are ourselves the target (as though Uncyclopedians are a high-income demographic?!), the change that set off this debate might not have been made by The Suits but by a random Admin under the influence. Spıke Ѧ 12:55 20-Oct-10

The default is being overridden. ~ Pointy *shifty eyes* (talk) (stalk) -- 20101020 - 13:05 (UTC)

If this crisis is winding down, I'll give this forum a name that will let us find it later. Spıke Ѧ 13:23 20-Oct-10

I too

have opinions! Warrgergargle! how can I install an older browser now?  Avast Matey!!! Happytimes are here!* Happytimes.gif (talk) (stalk) Π   ~ Xkey280 ~  18 Oct 2010 ~ 04:44 (UTC)

What older browser do you want on what for what? Fnurdle. ~ Pointy *shifty eyes* (talk) (stalk) -- 20101018 - 04:46 (UTC)
I want Netscape 1.0. (I think I have an old AOL disk around here somewhere....) *rumageables around*  Avast Matey!!! Happytimes are here!* Happytimes.gif (talk) (stalk) Π   ~ Xkey280 ~  19 Oct 2010 ~ 05:48 (UTC)
Aside from the ads for other wikis on the bottom, I don't see any other ads, neither on the main page nor any other pages. However, this gives us an excuse to take out Wikipedia. I'll start a new Grue Army squadron dedicated to it immediately. --Meganew2 12:33, October 20, 2010 (UTC)
You have to sign on as a new user, put up a sock. Or if you haven't used your account for a few months. Next time Chronarion signs in he'll be in for a shock, aye. Aleister 12:37 20 10
Well, the horrific skin is still there, but I'm not seeing the adds anymore with it... now it's just a horror on its own... utter... horrificness. Damn, that's hideous. ~ Pointy *shifty eyes* (talk) (stalk) -- 20101020 - 13:33 (UTC)
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