like a ninja from heaven (deriksmith) wrote,

The last helicopter out of Wikia (intro)

"For all things change, making way for each other."
     —Euripides, Heracles


Wikia is the for-profit sister/cousin project from Wikipedia. 6000-odd dedicated-subject wikis- mostly dedicated to sci-fi and fantasy such as Star Wars, Star Trek, Marvel, DC and Warcraft. (To name some of the biggest.)

Unlike the not-for-profit Wikipedia, Wikia supports its endeavors with ads. This June there was a push to monetize Wikia's initial investment. That can be good or bad, but since they've managed to piss me off I'm going to compare it to a similar push at ShopNBC a couple years ago; which at one point had their phone reps constantly harassing customers with "Could I also interest you in..."'s because investors got tired of 'slowly building customer loyalty' and mandated that every every possible cent be wrung out each purchase... and to hell with the customer experience.

A new layout that removes functionality from the program in favor of making it 'friendlier to new users,' ads at the top of articles instead out outside of them- then ads inside articles screwing up their layout, then ads appearing randomly inside articles.


Basically, Wikia is looking more-and-more like a spamblog (complete with broken content,) and yesterday when I discovered that the newest version of their ad-script hadn't been checked against Safari and was vomiting HTML across articles if you used that browser, I dropped my opposition to the movie.
It's kinda emblematic of Wikia's handlig of their userbase. Their june layout stopped working if tyou didn't have Javascript turned on- but their development team didnt' consider that a problem because "our research shows only 1% don't have Javascript turned on."

Basically, it's shit, and getting shittier, and the attitude towards the people generating the content they're making money off of has been to lie, pacify, misdirect or condescend to them.
The Transformers Wikia has decided to leave.

I'm terribly irritated about this- the entire reason I wanted to stay with them is because it meant THEY were providing the logistical backdone and I didn't have to dedicate time I'd rather be spending actually editing articles managing shit like the site's 2 gigabyte sql database.

But it's done, so there's no use crying over it. I've decided to document the work I'm going in the hopes that it's useful to others who are decamping from Wikia-- so THEY can spend their time editing articles instead of coding.

Should be fun...

Chopper #1 - Usernames

Chopper #2 - Removing export-spam

Chopper #3 - Moving Day
Tags: adblock, anarchy, disgust, monaco, monetization, wikia, wikicities
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