Forum:Wikia visit

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So now the moment everyone has been waiting for. The week Simsilikesims and Romartus spent at Evil Wikia HQ in midtown San Francisco.

For newcomers to Uncyclopedia, in January 2013 there was a split between those who chose to leave this Wikia hosted site to go elsewhere with a copy of the database and articles upto to the 5th January 2013 and those who decided to stay and maintain this site. This article isn't to go over that ground again but one result of the split was that Wikia decided to invite two admins on the Wikia site to come over and examine the 'belly of the beast'. This trip happened in the last week of July 2013.

Wikia as the name suggests is related to Wikipedia in that both were founded by Jim Wales. Wikia has since developed into a major host for many user generated content - the 'wikis' - since 2006. Uncyclopedia was originally a site hosted by Wikia until they bought the domain name from Chronarion (the original co-founder of Uncyclopedia). The current CEO is Craig Palmer. Both Sims and myself had a long talk with him..more of that later.

The visit gave us a chance to meet Sannse in person. Sannse is an employee of Wikia but she was also involved with both Wikipedia and Uncyclopedia from the start. Therefore Sannse has been Uncyclopedia's main contact for anything people here have asked about. Whether tech issues, problem images and legal issues over content (not that many but there have been some). Wikia's offices are inside a converted warehouse with a large main room and other meeting rooms dotted around. These are the meetings Sims and I attended:-

  • Community Support at Wikia in general and regards Uncyclopedia
  • Met the technical team responsible for maintaining, improving and protecting the websites.
  • A newly tweaked version of the Oasis skin as used by Wikia (Uncyclopedia retains the Monobook skin option which is the one that imitates the look of Wikipedia). This is called Darwin. This doesn’t directly affect Uncyclopedia.
  • The importance of the mobile platform. Uncyclopedia has 30% hits via mobile devices including iPhones, Ipads etc. This is increasing rapidly.
  • Maintaining a separate user name database. Wikia users cannot log into Uncyclopedia unless they make a separate account.
  • Overhauling the website, updating it with the Uncyclopedian community. This can be minor or major depending on the community here.
  • Competitions with prizes to encourage participation on this site. In future there could be competitions with other comedy websites.
  • Images uploaded on this site that are not used have always been deleted when located. Porn, shock and suspected cyberbullying images have also always been removed on sight. Wikia has changed their guidelines to allow some nudity etc, if used in context (i.e. it's funny).
  • Videos. Wikia now has its own video library you can use.
  • Marketing. Working with advertisers who want to become involved in content.
  • Wikia has no intention of 'giving up' their hosted Uncyclopedia. The site remains active and growing.

Sims and I also met Craig Palmer. He informed us that Uncyclopedia is an important part of the Wikia group, it has a strong name recognition. He came to Wikia in 2012 and said he had considered it important that Wikia met the people who were were maintaining and adding new content to their hosted websites.

For taking part and to see how the site works on an iPad, Sims and myself were given iPads as gifts. We also received teeshirts, USB sticks, a mug and a trip round San Francisco Bay in the evening mist.

This forum page has been protected against anonymous I.Ps and newly registered users. All Uncyclopedians are welcome to leave their comments, whether they active here or on the other Uncyclopedia website.

--LaurelsRomArtus*Imperator ITRA (Orate) ® 15:31, October 3, 2013 (UTC)

So now can we have the money for the Poo Lit Surprise? --The Sieger of Dungeons Lord Denza Aetherwing Inventory 15:51, October 3, 2013 (UTC)
ScottPat's reaction:
I am very glad that this event occured as it will hopefully benefit both users and wikia hosters. Here are some points on it though:
Did you get any figures or any idea about how many people actually still visit this site? It would be useful to know how popular we still are. Many forums on other websites I have seen give the impression of a meme that has been and gone and many websites in general, including wikipedia, seem to hint that the site has either fully moved to Uncyclopedia.co and the wikia version is no longer used, everyone good has moved there, or Uncyclopedia.co is the official site (this includes wikipedia's page on Uncyclopedia).
Also I like the idea of promoting Uncyclopedia and trying to make it a proper comedy website again that people check daily and provides top level comedy. I believe the way to go about this is that over the next year we need to check through all the articles on this site and VFD the non-humourous and memish ones. This has already been started on VFD but needs to continue. I think that every active, almost-daily writer on this site right now produces the kind of comedy articles that the public as a whole would want to read and find funny but these are spoilt by the huge number of unfunny and bad articles on this site which give us a bad impression. I feel we must redeem ourselves from public view to not just being the awesome website we once were but even better.
Finally nice to know you got free iPads while the rest of us suffered.
Please share these thoughts. Thanks.Sir ScottPat (talk) White Ensign Scotland Flag 1 Compassrose VFH UnS NotM WotM WotY 16:20, October 3, 2013 (UTC)
ScottPat, Wikipedia's article on Uncyclopedia says no such thing. I have been involved there since the Fork to ensure that it remains neutral, in the face of virtuoso manipulation and threats by Forkers including Lyrithya. But just this week, another editor (unfortunately armed with a hyperactive 'bot rolling back edits to links) has claimed that taking a copy of our encyclopedia and setting up a private shop is the "unofficial" and non-notable thing.
Separately, I caught a game-used baseball at a stadium this summer and will put it in the post to you if you believe you are undercompensated for your work here. In the meantime, don't believe everything you read on Forums at the Fork. Not even that I ban everyone on a whim. Spıke ¬ 16:32 3-Oct-13
For god sake Spike by "forums on another websites" I was not refering to the fork. I do not feel undercompensated. If I wanted money I would not be writing here. The last line was a joke. What I mean is serious and I am surprised that you take it as a self-promoting speech when I never implied so. I take back the wikipedia thing thought, I have checked and you are right. I just though I remembered I'd read it there but it might have been somewhere else. Sir ScottPat (talk) White Ensign Scotland Flag 1 Compassrose VFH UnS NotM WotM WotY 16:42, October 3, 2013 (UTC)
If Scott does not want money, I can have his part.
I partly share Scott's opinion about other people thinking that we are not a real website anymore. I visited several forums on the fork and saw that many of them criticize wikia, but some of them have gone even further: they wanted to talk to Google staff about the fact that this site is a "dead" one, so when you type uncyclopedia, it should link directly to uncyclopedia.co, and they were about to begin this anti-wikia campaign.
Finally, it is all very cool and, of course, we should write original comedy. And how many sites (approximately) does Wikia take care of? Anton (talk) Uncyclopedia United 16:56, October 3, 2013 (UTC)
I would like to make it clear that blogs and forums on other sites that are not the fork share the opinion that both sites are been and gone. That was my point. Sir ScottPat (talk) White Ensign Scotland Flag 1 Compassrose VFH UnS NotM WotM WotY 16:59, October 3, 2013 (UTC)
About 100,000 sites. No site is dead if people are contributing to it.--LaurelsRomArtus*Imperator ITRA (Orate) ® 17:12, October 3, 2013 (UTC)
No it is dead if no one looks at it. Then the contributions are wasted. Sir ScottPat (talk) White Ensign Scotland Flag 1 Compassrose VFH UnS NotM WotM WotY 17:16, October 3, 2013 (UTC)
I was writing before I found Uncyclopedia. No contribution is wasted unless it is garbage. Some Uncyclopedians have moved on because they got paid work elsewhere. --LaurelsRomArtus*Imperator ITRA (Orate) ® 17:21, October 3, 2013 (UTC)
No, it is dead when it does not breathe anymore. 100,000 sites! And they still take so much care of us. Uncyclopedia is one of the biggest diamonds in the crown, then!
Even though Uncyclopedia was a way more popular than now, it was something more than a site for people who want to laugh at each other, but less than the site where the main purpose is to write comedy. Right now there are plenty of fake encyclopedia wikis and parody wikis and many of them are made and filled with juice just for fun. So, as for me, a good way out is to aim higher, i.e. not to follow someone else but to constantly make our own "intelligent" comedy - that is how we will differ from all the others - and, at the same time, to allow people to do (not "make"; I do not mean articles) something funny for themselves and for their friends - that's how we will be popular. Anton (talk) Uncyclopedia United 17:34, October 3, 2013 (UTC)
I wrote before Uncyc too however my audience was small. I came to Uncyc to give the oportunity for more people to see and judge my comedy. I think comedy is better provided free than paid for. It is a necesity of daily life that everyone should be given the oppurtunity to enjoy. Sir ScottPat (talk) White Ensign Scotland Flag 1 Compassrose VFH UnS NotM WotM WotY 17:46, October 3, 2013 (UTC)
That this website is dead ("seemingly abandoned" is the claim they made at Wikipedia last February) is the Fork's only strategy for success. The campaign to lobby Google to favor the Fork over us is also months-old. Unfortunately, favoring one site over another is Google's core business; that is, it is what Google does in exchange for payments, and the Fork's driving force is the belief that payments are incompatible with artistic freedom, likewise truth, likewise its duties to victims of theft of intellectual property under the DMCA.
Nevertheless, youse are saying that the key to this website is the desire to please the reader, rather than idle self-indulgence, and indeed that is what makes us unique in the comedy-wiki universe. Spıke ¬ 17:52 3-Oct-13
I agree. Let us unite on VFD!!!!! Sir ScottPat (talk) White Ensign Scotland Flag 1 Compassrose VFH UnS NotM WotM WotY 18:03, October 3, 2013 (UTC)
This site is not dead...not even close. But it certainly has had the wind knocked out of it and we all ought to admit it/face upto it. We all know what the problems are and most users (especialy spike) are working crazy hard to improve things. The biggest loss of all is the lack of peer reviewing and editing and platforms to help us improve our writing. Currently only two or three of us are giving critiques...minimal critiques...and we really must find a way to reboot peer critique. And also maybe drop the whole formal Oxford tone in the forums (myself included). Which is why I just cut the cheese and am running away for my life. Suckers. --ShabiDOO 11:21, October 4, 2013 (UTC)
ps don't think we aren't jelous romartus and sims. I've cursed you both and you will wake up tomorrow with the chicken pox and a missing eyeball. And also your finger nails will fall off and you will loose your lovely kareoke voice. Sorry. --ShabiDOO 11:24, October 4, 2013 (UTC)
Well what didn't happen was that Wikia site didn't come home for the 'crickets' to recall a quote from EMC/Hotadmin. The user base here is smaller and perhaps it can be a bit too formal in comparison to the other Uncyclopedia. Both sites have an active community of people who come there to write and try to amuse others. I see this Wikia hosted Uncyclopedia as place to encourage or nuture new talent. I would like to in the future do more of that as being an admin and generally checking the site, changing this and that can be like another job to do. There has to be a balance and I am glad the other Unc has seen the return of Gerrycheevers who is already working on some impressive new articles. That in turn should encourage people here to do likewise. --LaurelsRomArtus*Imperator ITRA (Orate) ® 11:42, October 4, 2013 (UTC)
Important questions - what was it like meeting another uncyclopedian? did you get on like a house on fire speaking using only in-jokes, or was it all awkward, like bumping into an acquaintance at the VD clinic? Did you pay for that flight to San Francisco yourself? How did you prove you were really Romartus? Leverage (talk) 16:21, October 5, 2013 (UTC)
It all came down to tattoos in the end. --LaurelsRomArtus*Imperator ITRA (Orate) ® 20:13, October 5, 2013 (UTC)
For an in-depth interview about the event please read the last UnSignpost. Sir ScottPat (talk) White Ensign Scotland Flag 1 Compassrose VFH UnS NotM WotM WotY 21:07, October 5, 2013 (UTC)
You mean the 'latest' rather than the 'last' one ScottPat? --LaurelsRomArtus*Imperator ITRA (Orate) ® 16:06, October 6, 2013 (UTC)
Yes, that I meant. My common obscenity agaisnt our language is saying "last" when I mean latest. Sir ScottPat (talk) White Ensign Scotland Flag 1 Compassrose VFH UnS NotM WotM WotY 19:11, October 6, 2013 (UTC)
PS - That and poorly spelling "against!"Sir ScottPat (talk) White Ensign Scotland Flag 1 Compassrose VFH UnS NotM WotM WotY 19:13, October 6, 2013 (UTC)
I've been meaning to comment here, but as Romartus and Simsilikesims can now attest, we work ever second of the day here, and never ever slack off to go and try to see Golden Gate Bridge in thick fog ("mist"? "MIST!"? You challenge the pride of San Francisco sir!)
So, on deadness, or lack of it. On one level, that's pretty easy to see. There are people here editing, and admining, and vandalizing, and fixing vandalism, and (most importantly for any wiki) arguing pointlessly about all of those things. So certainly not dead.
And on the less visible side, the wiki gets more than 3 million pageviews a month, from more than a million visitors. That's way down from the wiki's heyday of 2009/2010, where we were often well over 9 million pageviews a month, or the visitor peak of around 2 million in early 2012 (I wonder what happened then? Pageviews weren't proportionately high, so that means a peak of visitors coming in just to look at a page or two.... anyway, I digress.)
I don't have any information at all on the fork's traffic. Quantcast has stopped providing as much info as it used to, except to site owners (who pay for it). And Alexa shows they have a global rank of 428,476 - but doesn't show uncyclopedia.wikia separately from the rest of the network.
Anyway, I'm not certain that comparing this site with the other is really the point here, interesting though it is... The main thing is that there's life in the old gal yet, and the site isn't in bad shape either. -- sannse@Wikia (talk) 23:14, October 10, 2013 (UTC)
Oh, and also, if one of the admins wants access to the stats, please contact us (after signing up for an account on Quantcast) -- sannse@Wikia (talk) 23:16, October 10, 2013 (UTC)
I have never said the site was dead. Just informing you. Anyway it's cool that there is a company that wants the site to be better.[1] Anton (talk) Uncyclopedia United 16:50, October 11, 2013 (UTC)
  1. My quote: "they wanted to talk to Google staff about the fact that this site is a "dead" one".
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