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Revision as of 17:52, February 3, 2009 by Coobra (Talk | contribs)

Status update

So, the community decision appears to be keep www.wowwiki.com as the primary domain and for Murph and I to represent the community in deciding alternate means of increasing revenue for Wikia based on other changes to WoWWiki.

Currently, I'm trying to set up a meeting with Gil (trying to shoehorn it around my work schedule). Most likely it will be Monday (Jan 19, 2009) in the afternoon (Pacific) at Wikia's San Francisco office. I'm not sure how Murph is going to participate, but we could set up some kind of conference call, Skype or something. --Gengar orange 22x22 Fandyllic (talk · contr) 12:56 PM PST 16 Jan 2009

The meeting is currently scheduled for Tuesday (Jan 20, 2009) at 3-4 pm Pacific. --Gengar orange 22x22 Fandyllic (talk · contr) 2:19 PM PST 17 Jan 2009
Info and notes from meeting at WoWWiki:Working with Wikia. --Gengar orange 22x22 Fandyllic (talk · contr) 5:16 PM PST 22 Jan 2009

Proposal & Vote

See the Village Pump for terms and conditions, described by Gil (talk)@Wikia. This vote is about the domain of the website, being discussed primarily for advertising/funding concerns, potentially the very future of the wiki. The primary discussion of the topic can also be found at the Village Pump.


Vote yes if you would like to keep the current domain (www.wowwiki.com). If you vote yes, please nominate or support an existing nomination as a representative.

Vote no if you would allow wowwiki to move to a wikia domain (*.wikia.com).

IF YOU WISH TO PARTICIPATE, PLEASE VOTE ON OR BEFORE JANUARY 31, 2009.


Votes

Yes
  1. Yes Sky (t · c · w) 21:01, 31 December 2008 (UTC) - (See response in discussion.)
  2. Yes PcjWoWWiki admin (TDrop me a line!C62,301 contributions and counting) 23:05, 31 December 2008 (UTC) - (Fandyllic)
  3. Yes User:Gourra/Sig2 23:12, 31 December 2008 (UTC) - (Fandyllic)
  4. Yes Murph (talk · contr) 05:40, 1 January 2009 (UTC) - (Fandyllic)
  5. Yes Trainergossipicon Armagone (Gossipgossipicon Bindergossipicon 14:04, 1 January 2009 (UTC) - (Fandyllic)
  6. Yes SWM2448 04:41, 2 January 2009 (UTC) - (See comment.)
  7. Yes User:Coobra/Sig3 07:44, 2 January 2009 (UTC) - (Fandyllic)
  8. Yes Mikk (T) 08:23, 9 January 2009 (UTC) - (no comment)
  9. Yes SDKP (T) 9:30, 14 January 2009 (UTC) - (no comment)
  10. Yes slxception (me/speak) 21:42, 27 January 2009 (UTC) - (no comment)
No
  1. No foxlit (talk) 22:00, 5 January 2009 (UTC) - ("Not yes"; Murph)
  2. No Mordsith - (talk|contr) 16:40, 6 January 2009 (UTC) - ("preferable to more ads")
Neutral
  1. Neutral Howbizr (talk) 18:05, 31 December 2008 (UTC) - (Nominated)
  2. Neutral Ragestorm (talk · contr) 18:16, 31 December 2008 (UTC) - (no comment)
  3. Neutral CogHammer Ose talk/3721 16:40, 1 January 2009 (UTC) - (See comment.)

Status

Under our voting policy, Yes has won as of 14:04, 4 January 2009, by holding 5 votes to 0 (and 3 abstentions) for 3 days. If one side outnumbers the other by five votes for three days, that side is declared the winner.

Having said that, I think it would be in the best interests of the community to leave the vote open until at least 15 January (or even 31 January, but that's probably not necessary, unless anyone feels strongly that we should do so), due to the significant nature of this vote. We don't want to leave anyone feeling excluded, particularly since the festive season has only just ended, so some may not have returned from any absence. --Murph (talk · contr) 08:23, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

I've changed the vote to "Accepted" as it's met our official vote acceptance criteria, and I believe that sufficient time has now passed to allow the community to respond. Additional comments are still welcome, if anyone has anything to add. --Murph (talk · contr) 20:14, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

Can I ask why this decision appeared so hush-hush? I visited WoWWiki alot in January but I dont recall seeing a header on a page I was viewing or any information on the front page. The consequences of this decision affect all WoWWiki users. When I first saw the new add on the Hunter abilities page I assumed it was some spammer. I really dislike seeing adds on any Wiki. I would have gladly had voted for the domain change. So, why was there no header on the pages directing the community and users to vote on this important issue? Ifandbut (talk) 21:48, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

A reply can be seen at Spam or sponsor?. User:Coobra/Sig3 17:52, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

Comments


I'm alright with either direction, but I didn't get that impression from everyone else. So if the community decides to stay with our current domain, I'd like to nominate Gengar orange 22x22 Fandyllic (talk · contr), if he would accept the responsibility, to be our non-Wikia representative. -Howbizr (talk) 18:05, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

I don't care either way, but I concur that Fandyllic and either PCJ or Sandwichman should be representatives.--Ragestorm (talk · contr) 18:17, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
I also concur with Fandyllic, and think I'd probably lean more toward Murph, for having gotten this whole thing started as well as the spirit of finding the middle ground. --Sky (t · c · w) 21:00, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
Since Gil mentioned 1 or 2 reps, should we pursue that course of action, I'll second Murph as well. -Howbizr (talk) 22:51, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
While I am honored and understand why the representatives are being chosen, I have little idea what I would actually do if selected. That said, I third Murph, second Pcj, and also nominate Gourra.--SWM2448 23:49, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

I honestly wasn't looking for an official position for myself in this, but I'm happy to accept the nomination, and do my best to represent the community. I'd like there to be at least 2 of us in this role, as it's a controversial subject and really needs more than one person to carry the responsibility. Two reps is probably sufficient, although I've no objections to there being a 3rd, and I can't see Wikia objecting to that if it's presented as a team that will endeavour to present a consistent message. I've nominated Fandyllic above, although I'd be happy to work with any of the admins on this, if selected. --Murph (talk · contr) 05:50, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

If we're voting/nominating representatives while we're at it, I support Fandyllic,as he is a long time contributor and admin and Murph as he has been very involved in this discussion. CogHammer Ose talk/3721 16:40, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
Right, that's 8 for Fandyllic, 4 for Murph, 2 for PCJ, and 1 for Gourra, feel free to check my math and update. --Ragestorm (talk · contr) 16:46, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

I'm scared. What is it that I'm representing again? Anyway I can serve as an advisor, but I'm not sure what message we want to communicate. I am actually not opposed to having a *.wikia.com dprimary domain with www.wowwiki.com or wowwiki.com as a redirect, but I'd like more time than Wikia has given (like 2 weeks from today rather than "I now have a date for when this is planned: Jan 7th." --Kirkburn). I'm not going to vote, since I've already gotten alot of votes as a representative. --Gengar orange 22x22 Fandyllic (talk · contr) 2:10 PM PST 5 Jan 2009

The "Neutral" votes puzzle me greatly -- they're not for "keeping the current domain", and yet, somehow not for "allow wowwiki to move to a wikia domain". The way the vote is phrased makes this a fairly binary choice: either "keep" or "don't care" -- not quite sure what would be more "Neutral" than "don't care". -- foxlit (talk) 21:46, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

It's the epitome of apathy! --PcjWoWWiki admin (TDrop me a line!C62,301 contributions and counting) 21:48, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
I see the Neutral votes as more or less "Don't care, but I don't want to counter a Yes vote". --Murph (talk · contr) 09:29, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

Note, while I'm aware and watching this, I'm taking a backseat for a while due to my obvious conflict of interest :) Also, you don't need me rehashing my talking points :P Kirkburn  talk  contr 14:01, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

In my own case, a vote of neutral means "I don't give a Kobold's rear whether or not the change goes ahead, but if it doesn't this is the appropriate solution."--Ragestorm (talk · contr) 15:25, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
In the interest of consistency I won't change the phrasing, but I was trying to capture several points into one vote, and be close to the beaten path for how votes were done in the past.
  1. A large portion of the historical discussion specifically mentioned a negative feeling, an opposition to the move.
  2. In terms of moving domains, this was never something that came from within, but was rather imposed (or proposed depending on your outlook) on us. In trying to be positive/neutralish 3rd party kind of language, I wanted it to feel like "yes I'll go along with the move" because there never was a "we need to move domains" movement to speak of. It was the best I could come up with... sorry it was awkward but I did give it some thought.
  3. I just couldn't get myself to vote Yes or No. Basically I probably should have explained "neutral" the way yes and no are explained, but I didn't. To me, I was intending it to express the mostly silent or implied comments that myself and others were saying, "I will support the community and do not intend to leave no matter what happens." In contrast to "perhaps wikia is better for us - let's do that" which is a yes vote. -Howbizr (talk) 21:39, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
I think we all understood you Howbizr. I almost put my name under neutral myself. I didn't, and I'm not going to change that, but I understand. I think we all care about the wiki or we wouldn't have even voted in the first place.
I came here again to say more than that - to address the issues Fandyllic mentioned on the Village Pump. I didn't vote for a representative yet, and even though it looks like he's the frontrunner anyway, I'm throwing my vote in for Fandyllic. Also, if something happens to swing this vote around (not looking likely at this point) I would vote for wowwiki.wikia.com. Wowwiki is a brand of a sort, and I think that if we had to add on the wikia part this would be the least disruptive. -- Mordsith - (talk|contr) 02:40, 8 January 2009 (UTC)


Foreseeable effects of domain change...

This post also appears in the middle of the Domain name thread on the Village pump, but I'd prefer discussion happen here.

Yikes, I take a short break from WoWWiki during the end of the year and a monstrous thread like this appears! Anyway, although I understand the sentiment of not wanting to change the primary domain from wowwiki.com, I'm not has vehemently opposed to it. I think we should ask ourselves the question (and try to answer it): What will be the observable effects of changing the primary domain? I will try to give some answers, but I'd like others to pitch in. After we get a reasonable list, I'd like to discuss how truly harmful these effects would really be.

  • You will see *.wikia.com (* being warcraft, wow, wowwiki, etc.) instead of wowwiki.com in your URL address on your browser.
  • When you try to go to a wowwiki.com/rest of URL link manually it will probably go there, but then the address will change to something starting with *.wikia.com.
  • If you lose DNS access or have a DNS problem, wowwiki.com/rest of URL may not work.
  • Traffic rank sites will no longer give stats based on wowwiki.com alone and instead give *.wikia.com aggregate statistics (which I think is what Wikia really wants).
  • We might see ad links to WoWWiki use the *.wikia.com address rather than the wowwiki.com address.
  • Somehow (although I suspect unlikely), people will start to refer to WoWWiki based on the *.wikia.com address more than they used to as either wowwiki.com or just WoWWiki.

So that's my off the top of the head list. Anything heinous that I missed? I'd also like to ask again that Kirkburn or some other Wikia representative start a vote on alternative *.wikia.com domains (warcraft, wow, wowwiki, etc.) which I did earlier and seems to have been forgotten or lost. --Gengar orange 22x22 Fandyllic (talk · contr) 2:37 PM PST 5 Jan 2009

I haven't voted yet because I'm having trouble seeing the problem other than a sense of losing power and identity, which may or may not be unfounded. Thank you Fandy for making a succinct list. Can anyone that has a problem with any of these things... or anyone that wants to add to the list, please comment? They don't seem that bad to me, but I wonder if that's because I'm a little clueless about things like DNS issues. It would be kind of sad to see "WoWWiki" lose site ranks, but the only way to prevent that would be to break off from wikia and strike off on our own again which would require someone to take on the enormous amounts of time and financial responsibility that comes with that. If people can type in the old URL and get redirected to the new site, I think I'm ok with the move. Unless someone can point out a strong reason why that's bad? -- Mordsith - (talk|contr) 21:52, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
Wowwiki.com is part of our identity. Would you still visit Wowhead at www.geocities.com/~wowhead? I wouldn't. --PcjWoWWiki admin (TDrop me a line!C62,301 contributions and counting) 21:57, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
Assuming you could still use the wowhead.com URL, I wouldn't care about something as petty as the contents of the browser address bar while I browse the same content. -- foxlit (talk) 22:02, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
It's a matter of respect towards a website, too. You certainly get a different amount of visitors when your url changes. For example, my old bookmarks contained about 300 websites. WoWWiki was never one of them because i just typed the url by heart. I'm a lot more likely to visit a good website if it has an url i can remember after the first time I leave it, rather than 8 months later going back in my bookmarks and finding it.
It's a pretty solid reason why domain names are quite a big business, why domain parking exists, why it's important to have short urls... (and why php sucks). Adys 07:05, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
Am I wrong in thinking that www.wowwiki.com would still be active? I thought someone said that somewhere. And users who typed that in would just be redirected to the new domain. If that remains the case, there would be no problem with old bookmarks or remembering a new url. -- Mordsith - (talk|contr) 15:44, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
As a random website user: If I could get there by typing www.wowhead.com I don't think I would even notice. At least not at first. And if the site looked and acted the same, I don't think I would care.
As a wowwiki editor: It feels like we'd be becoming more subservient to wikia, but I think that's just a feeling. As long as wowwiki looks and acts the same as it always did, I don't see how we lose anything that we haven't already given up by transferring the site to wikia in the first place. -- Mordsith - (talk|contr) 22:06, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
Here are the key negative points as I see them to changing the domain. I think this is probably moot, however, due to the likely outcome of the vote above and the proposal by Gil to allow us to keep our domain, but work with them on making the advertising more successful.
  • Loss of public credibility. We might be the same site with a changed domain name, but we lose one of the key things that a major web site should always have - a second level domain which is consistent with the site branding. I can't think of any large, independent, and serious web sites which accept domain branding of site.someone-else.com.
  • Competitors / peers. Our most important peer sites (effectively our competitors, although nobody is directly competing with us, that I know of) are wowhead.com, thottbot.com, allakhazam.com, wowinsider.com, and various other warcraft-something.com / wow-something.com sites (apologies to anyone missed there, I can't list you all). We are currently on an equal footing to them in URL space.
  • DNS failures. If wowwiki.com was just a redirect to wow.wikia.com, a DNS problem or failure with wowwiki.com might go unnoticed for longer (by major contributors who are better placed to get something done about it). When it's our primary domain, it would be unlikely to go unnoticed for more than a few hours.
  • Brand regognition in external links. When browsing other web sites, I often look at where a link points to by hovering over it and checking the browser status bar (it's not always obvious from the link text). I often make my decision to visit a link based on the domain it's pointing to, and I'm fairly sure a significant number of end users will follow a similar process. Initially, this wouldn't matter, as all external links pointing inward to us should currently use wowwiki.com. In the future, however, people creating links to us would end up linking to wow.wikia.com (assuming they use the canonical URL from their browser address bar, then cut and paste it). We already have instant recognition of our domain in the vast majority of our target audience - it would take quite some time for wow.wikia.com to gain the same recognition. wikia.com does have brand recognition with end users, but I don't think it's anything like the same level with the majority of our audience. This also applies to Google search results - levels of spam in the results causes savvy end users to put equal weight on the domain of the result as the page title.
  • Wikia brand promotion. We don't need to change our domain to help Wikia's brand recognition - the new default skin does that already. I think we are already providing about the right level of promotion for the name Wikia and wikia.com, helping them gain recognition, but if any changes are necessary to help them, the skin is the place to do it. Hell, I'd even be for making a minor tweak to the old monobook-derived wowwiki skin to add a discreet "Wikia Gaming" logo/link beside our logo, as long as the left column width remains unchanged (sorry to say it, but I still love the old skin over the new). Tweaking the old skin, probably isn't necessary, I'm just thinking out loud there.
  • Brand dilution. It dilutes our brand due to the common practice of people using the URL hostname as the site brand in conversation, regardless of the actual branding within the site. I think this is a more important point than you anticipate, Fandyllic. Our existing brand built on wowwiki.com is sufficiently well recognised, respected, successful, and powerful that it's used by Jimmy Wales and by Wikia as a reference case (yes, he's co-founder of Wikia, but he has also spoken of us when acting more as (co-)founder of Wikipedia than of Wikia).
  • Negative community reaction. We've already seen plenty of this, including from some significant contributors. There could easily be others in the silent majority which have similar feelings to those who are prepared to stand up and be counted.
--Murph (talk · contr) 09:27, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
I understand the opposition to being branded. I wasn't around when this site was transferred to wikia, so I don't know what all was involved in that deal. I'm actually kind of surprised we've had as much freedom as we have. With them taking care of all of the costs involved in maintaining this site, we have given them power over decisions like this. They seem to be going out of their way to work with us though. In this situation, the only alternatives I've heard from them involve more ads and bigger ads which I think is worse than redirecting users to a new domain. If we had a real choice here, I would of course vote against a domain name change. But I'm not hearing any good alternatives. -- Mordsith - (talk|contr) 15:38, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
Going by the current state of the vote, it looks to me like sticking with wowwiki.com (good), but with increased advertising (bad, but something has to fund us) is the current compromise we are likely to be going with. It's rather early to speculate just how far the ads will need to go to meet the needs, but some of the changes need not be too intrusive (336x300px vs current 300x250px for the box ad, top right of the page was something Gil mentioned on the pump thread). It also seems likely from what's been said so far that registered users will not be seeing huge quantities of ads, quite possibly none (as at present). That's all speculation, of course, we need to see what Wikia propose for ads once this vote is concluded and reps have been appointed to work with them on the way forward. As long as the ads don't actually prevent the primary functions of the site from working reasonably, they are a necessary evil. The only way that WoWWiki could realistically be completely ad-free is if we found funding/sponsorship from an interested corporation (e.g. Blizz) or a rich philanthropist that wanted to fund public knowledge resources (much as Carnegie did with the public libraries, in his day). --Murph (talk · contr) 16:10, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
I know Uncyclopedia is considering a Wikimedia Fundation-like thing but I don't think the non-profit scheme is for us. The only way I see that sort of funding is from Blizzard (unlikely) or a ZAM-like corporate entity, which may or may not be worse for us than Wikia. --PcjWoWWiki admin (TDrop me a line!C62,301 contributions and counting) 16:14, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
A note regarding voting No as "preferable to more ads". There's no guarantee that we wouldn't need to increase the size and number of ads anyway, if we were to move. Personally, I think that would be an equally likely thing to happen if we did move, as I don't think the move itself would solve the advertising revenue issue on its own. I certainly do not seek to influence your vote - it's important that everyone votes according to their own considered opinion, and not those of others. --Murph (talk · contr) 09:50, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

I would normally say Loss of public credibility is not much of valid point, but a similar thing did happen when worldofwar.net was changed to wow.IncGamers.com. They saw how it affected their recognition and traffic and wisely changed it back. I think the following are actually all the same thing: Brand recognition in external links, Wikia brand promotion, and Brand dilution, but just different aspects. From what I can tell Wikia's real problem is that they can't quite follow through with cooperating with communities. Their timing is consistently bad and proposals appear to be seriously PR-crippled. Oh well, I guess if they get burned enough times, they might learn. I just wish WoWWiki got the percentage of attention in proportion to how much of Wikia's business it represents. I don't sense it does. --Gengar orange 22x22 Fandyllic (talk · contr) 11:47 PM PST 6 Jan 2009

I don't see how much better the traffic goes if Wikia does change the domain name - sure, it means more traffic for *.wikia.com, but in general the traffic will probably go down as people browse Wowwiki, not warcraft.wikia.com or whatever. It's very, very bad publicity if Wikia goes with this move, and I don't see why it's such a good move. Could some Wikia representative give some real arguments to why Wowwiki should move? User:Gourra/Sig2 07:15, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
No, I've never been convinced that moving our domain would actually achieve what Wikia were hoping for (increased advertising revenue / improved advertising marketability). Personally, I believe what Gil has said in his two long posts on the village pump, that they believed that moving us to *.wikia.com would improve advertising revenue and their negotiating position with advertisers. I believe that's what they were going for, just I don't personally believe it would work. It seems to me (based on Gil's second post and the current status of the vote above) that we're currently in the position of sticking with wowwiki.com, but working with them to improve advertising revenue from our site, or have I missed something? If we're in that position, are the arguments for moving not largely moot? It is useful, however, for us to document the key points for not moving, and their significance. --Murph (talk · contr) 09:28, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
How the heck does it give more revenue? Moving it to a *.wikia.com domain will attract less visitors, which means less money because less people see the ads. We're having enough problems with the ads right now (see: Problem reports) and I don't think it'll be that much better if we move. I just hope it'll be better if we stay. User:Gourra/Sig2 10:08, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
I don't think that it would have increased ad revenue, and I never have believed it, that was just the Wikia point of view, as I understand it. They thought that the combined stats for *.wikia.com and wowwiki.com under one domain would allow them to sell to higher paying advertisers. I don't believe that for a minute - I reckon premium advertisers are not stupid and would see it as just the same opportunity (i.e. if they won't bite now, they still will not bite at the combined site). I won't re-hash all the reasons that I posted at length on the pump threads, that's just the key point here.
You are absolutely right that moving could have been highly counterproductive and actually reduced both traffic and revenue. There's always going to be some issues with ads, but hopefully the ongoing working relationship that we are establishing with Wikia will help that to an extent. I think the general issues with problem ads will remain the same whichever direction we move in, but a good working relationship gives us a better chance to do something about them.
It would be wonderful to be either completely ad-free or nearly ad-free, but the only way we could do that is to find an alternative way to cover the hosting costs, and I'm not holding my breath on that (although I'm quite happy to listen to ideas, if anyone has any that have not been voiced recently). As it stands, the active members of the community are going to have to work together (via the reps appointed here) to improve the revenue performance of the ads, without significantly damaging the integrity of the site (something which we would probably have needed to do anyway, a few months after moving domain).
--Murph (talk · contr) 11:25, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
My heart and gut feeling is that the right decision is to stay with the domain we currently have. But being a young person, not being a CEO, not being experienced in advertising, having limited marketing and sales experience, I feel very unqualified to give solid reasoning against a CEO, who hopefully has some or all of these qualifications, or at least has advisors who do have these experiences on their resumes. And yet the cynical part of me won't ignore the reality of businessmen. This may be largely based on ulterior motivates (promoting the wikia brand) or some broad "wikia vision" to have everyone under their reign for their own gain and not necessarily ours. -Howbizr (talk) 23:55, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
It annoys me to be devil's advocate, but the counter argument that contains, "I don't think this will help Wikia make money" vis a vis the domain change needs to back up statements with some actual evidence or facts (info/quotes from a web advertiser or related person). It is obvious to me that rolling Wookieepedia into the *.wikia.com stats makes a HUGE difference and rolling WoWWiki stats into *.wikia.com will probably make even a bigger difference. Almost all the counter arguments to this change are psychological and riddled with personal opinion. You may trust your gut, but I don't. I don't even trust my own gut.
I was around when Rustak handed over the reins of WoWWiki to Wikia and it was barely running because his little server (not sure if he used an external hosting company) was swamped and the potential cost of maintaining it was looking astronomical. In some ways Wikia was a white knight that prevented WoWWiki from basically being a cool, but unusable and overloaded resource. WoWWiki may not serve all 11+ million WoW players, but even if 10% visited it a month, it probably would have collapsed without professional, server-farm-like support.
So please, let's have some more concrete reasons for opposing this rather than vague "feelings". --Gengar orange 22x22 Fandyllic (talk · contr) 6:45 PM PST 7 Jan 2009
Well, I can't provide any direct quotes, my opinions are based on personal experience from being on the net from the earliest days of the web (approx late 1992 when I first had regular real access to the Internet on a daily basis), and from riding an Internet startup from boom to bust a during the big bubble around the turn of the century. I do agree that Wikia solved a huge problem for us back then, and I remember the server issues before the move. To me, it's just basic common sense that any serious advertiser looking for a premium opportunity is going to look beyond a fundamentally flawed metric such as the Alexa pagerank and see that wikia.com is actually a large number of websites. At that point, one of two things is going to happen:
  1. They are going to decide that the opportunity as a whole is large enough for them (and if it is, there's no reason Wikia shouldn't be able to present combined stats with 3rd party verification today, proving the size of the opportunity, no domain move required). Wikia has the necessary credentials where it should be able to get a meeting with potential advertisers without requiring that they first meet a particular external criteria.
  2. They are going to look within the collection of web sites and see it for what it is, realising that the aggregate rank & stats is a flawed way of measuring such a collection, and make their decisions based on the top individual sites within the collection.
--Murph (talk · contr) 02:29, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
Replying to Howbizr's comment above.
The interesting thing about Wikia is that the whole business is a relatively new niche where free, freedom (as in speech, within community limits), and community spirit are the key factors behind it (not completely new - free software is in a very nearby niche, and has been seeing some commercial success for about a decade now). Our type of wiki just wouldn't work with anything like the same level of success on a subscription model, so the only real option to generate revenue is advertising. So, while traditional business skills are essential, they don't mean you have all the answers, as the larger part of the production (the content) is largely not under the control of the company. In some ways, the communities need to teach the business folk about what is and isn't going to work for them, and we're seeing some of that happening here (I hope). There's no doubt that Wikia are out to make money - they are a commercial company with 2 rounds of venture capital behind them, and those investors are looking for a return on their investment at some point in the future.
The balance in the equation to hopefully keep things reasonably in our favour comes from roughly 3 places - the community, and the 2 co-founders of Wikia. Jimbo and Angela appear to believe in the wiki community spirit almost as if it were a religion, so while they are no doubt interested in making some money from it, they should be more aware than anyone that it's all over if the community spirit is lost or sustains too much damage. In short, Wikia and its investors can only make the profits they seek with the continued support of their communities. For us, the communities, we get the server farms, bandwidth, sysadmins, and technical support, all of which can rapidly become beyond the means of a small group of individuals to provide. In theory, Wikia should also have an economy of scale in the infrastructure which no individual wiki could hope to achieve (outside of the Wikimedia Foundation).
Here are the relevant Wikipedia pages, if you're interested in reading more about the key people and the company: Jimmy Wales, Angela Beesley, Gil Penchina, Wikia. There's obviously also About Wikia.
--Murph (talk · contr) 02:06, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

Gourra - I will try to provide some context here based on our learnings to date. Big advertisers (MSFT, EA, Doritos) like buying from BIG CO's. It makes them feel good, it makes them feel safe, they like having partners that are reputable. It may not make sense to me, but it is how the world of advertising works. So as the size of Wikia.com grows in the rankings (alexa, quantcast, Comscore) we become more appealing to advertisers and they become willing to spend more with us. So by having Wowwiki on the Wikia domain, wikia can get more for the same amount of impressions (admitedly over time). By staying on Wowwiki.com, we rely more on ad networks to pay our costs. That's ok too - but with the current economy - what ad networks pay us for the same impressions is a small fraction of what BIG CO's pay and is starting to slowly decline.

So what I am really asking for is your support. Jimmy has slowly been teaching me the wiki-way, so when Murph made his impassioned speech about the domain change, I decided the best thing to do was to give you guys as much information as possible and defer to the community on what the right thing would be for the Wowwiki community. I don't think there's a perfect answer - it a question of trade-offs unfortunately between these two options as present

  • Move to wikia.com to help our long term attractiveness to media buyers so we can get more money for our existing ads. We believe there will be no long term impact on Wowwiki's traffic - but it is certainly possible that there would be. I've read the points about "brand" and to be honest, they feel legitimate, I just can't quantify how big the impact would be. I showed some data on the wookieepedia and how limited the impact appears to have been there... but it's a complicated world, so I don't pretend to really know
  • Help us experiment with monetization like wikihow (ads as sections within the content), lostpedia (had kontera green underline links) or testing bigger ads that would allow us to increase reveneus WITHOUT moving the domain. I actually don't know which will work, so I am asking for your help and patience in allowing us to TEST a variety of ads in consultation with your appointed representative. See my original note on the pump here: The proposal

Gil (talk)@Wikia 22:40, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for continuing to work with us Gil. While I think that the actual method and type of ads by which WoWWiki is allowed to remain at its own domain should be handled by the nominated representatives and Wikia, I believe the consensus of WoWWikians is so far clear that we remain. Personally, I don't think Kontera links would be a good solution because we already have a lot of tooltips popping up. --PcjWoWWiki admin (TDrop me a line!C62,301 contributions and counting) 22:45, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
I want to point out that as a representative, the only clear mandate I know I have is that we want to keep wowwiki.com. However, I'm also generally against Kontera links because they often bring up bogus popups because they don't appear to have a context mechanism. Oh, and I hate the word "monetization". --Gengar orange 22x22 Fandyllic (talk · contr) 10:00 PM PST 8 Jan 2009
I'm with you on hating the business buzzwords, Fandyllic (plain English is my preference unless there's no other way to get the point across). As for the mandate, I personally interpret Gil's proposal which led to the vote as "keep wowwiki.com, but work with Wikia to improve advertising performance through adjustments to how the advertising is done on our site", so the site ads are a key part of it. I do wonder about suitability of the Kontera links as I'm not sure how much of our text is suited to them, but still happy to consider them and see if they would work in our context. --Murph (talk · contr) 08:17, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

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