This info and discussion is based on followup to the vote on not changing WoWWiki's domain to a Wikia subdomain at WoWWiki talk:Domain.
Wikia made a request to the WoWWiki community, to help increase Wikia's revenue, on changing WoWWiki's domain to a subdomain of Wikia (*.wikia.com), but the community voted against that idea. Wikia said that they still needed to find more revenue generating opportunities, but would try to work with community representatives to come up with ideas, get feedback, and hopefully avoid ideas that that the community would hate. As part of the domain vote, Fandyllic and Murph were voted to be the community's representatives.
On Tuesday (20-Jan-2009), a meeting occurred at the San Francisco Wikia office involving Fandyllic (at Wikia office), Murph (via Skype), Kirkburn (via Skype), Gil Penchina (Wikia CEO at Wikia Office), and other Wikia staff (Doug and KyleH). At the meeting, various ideas were discussed and will be detailed below.
At the end of the meeting, we all agreed to have followup meetings as needed, but most likely via conference call, conference Skype voice, or conference Skype chat.
Notes from January 20th meeting
Guidelines for changes to implement new revenue improvement ideas.
Any changes will be evaluated on whether to be trialed, in two potential ways, with the intent to help support Wikia and insure the future of WoWWiki:
On WoWWiki directly.
- Usually in a limited fashion affecting a few highly trafficked pages or a subset of pages based on some criteria that will be announced.
- These changes will be reviewed by community representatives as having minimal disruption or are unlikely to cause broad community discontent.
- Feedback will be encouraged from the whole community.
- Some of these changes may be trialed before going live to all Wikia wikis (with usual exceptions).
On a test copy of WoWWiki or some other test Wikia site for 1-2 weeks.
- These changes may be more pervasive and affect all pages on the test site.
- Community members will be encouraged to visit the test site and give feedback on changes.
- Positively received changes may get re-trialled on the main WoWWiki site, if feedback is positive enough or a wider audience for feedback is needed.
- Future short term tests
- Most likely walkthrough type videos.
- Install on a few high traffic pages on WoWWiki.
- Test 15 second pre-roll advertising after .
- Ads within the content
- First build on the test site to see how they look.
- Ideally have ability to control/tune the ads by page, or across the site.
- Ad types will probably include: Killer Guides, Google ads with hints, and PriceGrabber ads.
- Target high traffic pages for the live site test after getting community feedback.
- Future Q & A feature
- Test question entry on skin at top or bottom of page.
- This feature will probably roll out to all Wikia wikis or most.
- More details to come.
- Postponed ideas
- List of commercial guides pages vs. directory of all guides should be a decision for the community. ** Not a lot of revenue here.
- Community to decide if this is something they want to do as a minor source of revenue for Wikia.
- Community can work on policy/guidelines for what is acceptable.
- Kontera links
- Try on a test site if we do try it.
- An add type that occurs while navigating between pages under certain conditions.
- General agreement that unlikely to be positively received by community.
- Try on a test site if we do try it.
- Other Wikia ideas
These would likely not require immediate community feedback or involvement.
- Reach out to Brady Games for a sponsorship?
- We reached out to Brady, Prima (for other games) Killer guides and now a bunch of other game guide companies
- Reach out to Fantasy Flight Games for a sponsorship?
- Blizzard advertising - we may get a modest ad buy from blizzard for new products they want to promote to existing wow users... they got excited about the in-content 500x250 placement currently being used to promote killerguides
First Tentative Execution of Ideas
An example of an integrated promotion for Killer guides, that could be relevant and non-obtrusive, yet still generate revenues through their affiliate program: http://www.wowwiki.com/User:Gil/project_space (we tested KillerGuides ads on wowwiki briefly and they performed above average in terms of viewer clicking). Can I please get feedback on whether this is ok to start experimenting with on the live site?
- Ok — here is the working list of pages below each sponsor ad. I finished up the first two tonight. Can someone volunteer to watchlist the pages to make sure they're not reverted? http://www.wowwiki.com/User:Greco02/project_space
- early feedback is that using content instead of ads is problematic
- at least one sponsor text was reverted
- problem report submitted about bad content
- no way to hide ad from loggedin users
- Footer ad above the skin (using google ads or killerguides to have the colors match wowwiki. This test will go live in early march. Going live likely this week. ---
- Interestingly, footer ad on left did well, footer ad on right did not
- Ads within the content - We have it on a DEV site http://travel.wikia.com/wiki/Pakistan - you have to logout to see the ads in content - we'd like to test it on the live site with only google color-scheme sensitive or killer guides (so the ads are not jarring). PLEASE alert me if this is a problem!
- This did not work well and has been discontinued. the quality of the google text ads was poor and the click-rate on them was extremely poor.
- Ads within content - Killer Guides V2. Based on your feedback, I'm trying to create ads that look like this http://www.wowwiki.com/User:Greco02/project_space#New_Example - where they have a prompt to login and also would not be seen by loggedin users as they would be inserted via the ad server rather than content
- Guide ads appear to perform well in-content. We need a system that allows people to login and remove them though (and adblock them) to be respectful to those who don't like ads
- Testing new guide ads in-content. Starting with JPG but will also test HTML
- Simple addition to flyout menu bar (but it feels like it's part of the menu)
- Testing google text ads on wowwiki search results - possibly as soon as later this week