Supernatural Wiki

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Name: Supernatural Wiki,, SuperWiki
Owner/Maintainer: Hope
Dates: 2006-ongoing
Topic: Supernatural
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The Supernatural Wiki (SuperWiki) is a wiki for the TV show Supernatural that invites fans of the show to document both canon material and information about the Supernatural Fandom. It runs on MediaWiki software.

Established in 2006, the Supernatural Wiki has a high volume of day-to-day traffic and over 450,000 hits to its home page (at time of writing, 2008/start of SPN season 4).

The Supernatural Wiki is known for its obsessive and sometimes awe-inspiring documentation of the finite details of Supernatural canon (an oft-cited example is the Laundry List).

It's also become known as one of the most reliable and topical sites to access fan-generated content, in particular its collection of pages on Conventions relating to Supernatural, which are largely driven by administrator Missyjack. The Convention pages on the Supernatural Wiki make an effort to collect and publish links to as much fan-generated material on conventions as possible - include con reports, amateur video, photographs, media articles and so on. It is not uncommon for a convention page on the Supernatural wiki to have thousands of hits per day around the time the convention is occurring; Super-wiki's convention pages take up many slots at the top of the wiki's "Popular pages" list. [1]

The Supernatural Wiki continues to gain size and momentum; the start of season 4 saw an unprecedented number of editors contribute material moments after the first episode had aired.

The Supernatural Wiki is listed in the acknowledgments of a pair of Supernatural tie-in novels by Keith R.A. DeCandido.

Administration & Hosting

The Supernatural Wiki is hosted by Hope, who heads its admin team of five: Leandra, MissyJack, Vanae and Newredshoes. It is a non-profit project, and runs no advertising. Hope foots the bill for hosting, though welcomes donations directly to hosting costs.

History & Development

Super-wiki was initially established in by Hope in June 2006 as "Super-canon". Super-canon was built as a simple single-author website model - initially, Hope had done the transcription and analysis work solo. As the resource expanded to include information collected by other fans as well, Hope teamed up with fellow SPN fan Leandra, and they decided together that the site would better function as a wiki.

In August 2006 it was converted into wiki format, which not only allowed better organisation of the rapidly proliferating information, but opened up the field for any fan to contribute their knowledge.

Hope and Leandra drove the initial population to establish a solid base of pages in the wiki. At that time they also decided to expand the scope of the wiki to encompass the Supernatural fandom as well.

The wiki continued to grow at a rapid rate, attracting more attention, visitors and contributors. Mid-2007, Hope recruited some more of the key contributors to the wiki, Jules (Missyjack) and Vanae, to form an admin team to better ensure the wiki functioned as effectively as possible. In 2008, Newredshoes also joined the team.

Shortly after the team was formed, an overhaul of the wiki took place, resulting in a more unique URL-; a name to match – Supernatural Wiki (while maintaining the Super-wiki nickname); and behind the scenes, a more structured organisation of the information contained within.

Creator Comments

From a January 1, 2007 interview with Hope:

I love the Super-wiki. I've been building and managing archiving websites since almost the very beginning of my time in fandom (since LOTR back in '01), and find the wiki format a godsend for managing fan material. The free-for-all of contributing information is a crucial element of fan communities, I think, removing the potential elitism and/or intimidation of a moderator or editor who you have to submit information to, or who gets to choose what's archived or not. Also, it's a helluva lot easier to manage when people are putting their own stuff in, instead of leaving all the updates to me!

The sheer volume of the Super-wiki makes me incredibly happy, as does the traffic it gets (over 15,000 visitors just since Season 2 started airing), and to know that people are using it — whether out of curiosity or research for fanworks — definitely makes it worthwhile. I'm really glad of the decision to make it a fandom 'archive' as well — I think it's probably the aspect of the Super-wiki that I'm most proud of. Not only does it provide a place for all these things that characterise and individuates the Supernatural fandom to be recorded, but it does so alongside (and within, too, I think) the documentation of the 'canon', or officially provided/sanctioned text. It acknowledges the existence and validity of the fandom, its history and the fanworks created within it, rather than being shy or ashamed about it, or trying to remove/hide things like the existence of slash from the 'public eye' of fans who might not engage in such creative fanworks.

I hope, too, that structuring it like this encourages pride in other fans, too — that their enjoyment of Supernatural is no less valid than fans who take a different approach. I think the Super-wiki is much richer for including fandom in its collation and dissemination of information. [2]

From a 2010 interview with Hope and fellow creators:

Jules said: Relationships are very important in fandom, and the Super-wiki has worked hard to earn a reputation as a good fandom citizen. We always acknowledge the source of material or links, whether from individual fans or other Web sites. We are there to document other sites and to link to them when they have content of interest, without favoring one over another. It's a reciprocal relationship, and I think as a result of the unique nature of the Super-wiki, there is no other site doing what we do, which means that we aren't seen as competition for the audience of other sites, but rather complementary. [3]

From a 2015 interview with Jules, the maintainer:

All of it! I have no secrets. Well, I do have secrets. I have secrets but everyone knows them. Um, let’s see. I was, I’m about the same age as Dr. Who and slightly older than Captain Kirk, which doesn’t mean I’m over a thousand years old, but, so I’ve been a fan since fannishness was around, been involved with Supernatural Wiki–scuse me, Supernatural fandom since is started, um, I discovered the show when it started airing in Australia which was about three or four months after it started in the US. I was already on LiveJournal, so it took me about two clicks to find the Supernatural fandom, which was already just exploding, it was incredible for a show no one knew anything about, you know, three or four months into the first season. The amount of fic particularly was just incredible, and we were really lucky that we had some–a lot of fans from other fandoms, um, Smallville, Lord of the Rings, DC–we had a lot of DC comics fandom people who are amazing authors, who also knew about setting up fandoms, which I think was really important. So what a friend of mine called the “husbandry of fandoms.” So how to set up communities, how to nurture nascent challenges and do this sort of stuff that fandoms need at the beginning... I should say I didn’t start the Supernatural Wiki, it was started by another Australian fan, coincidentally, who I didn’t know back then called Emily, and she originally started a website called “Super Canon,” and her idea was to document all the myths and legends and mythology of the show and I got involved doing some transcribing and stuff for her and coincidentally she started doing her honors thesis on Supernatural fanfic in the beginning of 2006. So she was in at the ground floor! I think she might be the first Supernatural aca-fan. But she came, I suppose, from a very… brought a queer feminist approach to wanting to run a site and a community. She realized that if she set up a wiki site, what it meant was it was open to everyone. And that that meant that it brought in that sort of community and collaboration that she valued about fandom, rather than it being her project and her inviting her friends to be part of it. So I think that was a key thing and it was a key motivating force behind her dropping the website she’d just set up and going “oh, I’m going to set up a wiki.” And remember, this was back in 2006, so there weren’t a lot of models around. The main fannish websites at that time were the traditional websites. So there was OneRing and Leaky Cauldron, and the sort of places… [4]

From a 2015 interview with Jules, the maintainer:

And, um, it’s funny because a lot of people say “well why aren’t you on Wikia” and, well, it didn’t exist at the time, and also it gave us total control. There were decisions made at the beginning such as the fact that we would never have advertising. Because we didn’t want that interference, either that visual noise or that idea that we might be beholden to, you know, what advertisers like and don’t like. The other big decision she made at the beginning was that the wiki would document and be part of fandom alongside the show. And that, that was quite unique. So it was not just episode entries and transcripts and stuff about the characters and mythology, it was anything and everything about fandom. It was shipping and fanfic and videos and conventions and all that as well. And not just having them there, but having them integrated, so you can go to a character page and it’ll list the roleplaying Tumblr sites for that character as well as all the stuff from the show. And I think, you know, I think that’s a very feminist thing, because it was valuing our fannish input and creations as much as the show’s creations. [5]

From a 2015 interview with Jules, the maintainer:

Just to say, I’m always trying to be reflective about what that position in fandom means. I mean, I have 70,000 followers on Twitter and I have to continually remind myself that whether I like it or not, that gives me a big voice in fandom, and that’s something I continually work with. Because you know if someone says something mean to me on my personal Twitter, and I might retweet them and go “what a dick,” that’s one thing. But if you do that when you have 70,000 followers, it’s a very different power differential. And I’m continually, people are continually calling me on things like “Why are you saying that on the SuperWiki twitter, that’s your point of view, you should be there to represent the SuperWiki” whatever that is, but I suppose I don’t have a–there’s no formula for that but I’m continually trying to reflect on what that means and what, what responsibility I feel that brings in fandom. And people will say “oh, you represent fandom.” Now that’s a construction of–what they’re saying is “you have a loud voice.” As I do even anywhere! And so the things I say get heard by more people. And I think I owe myself and I owe fandom to be reflective about those things, because I’m not just, I’m not only a regular fan, so obviously you touched on something if you think that too! Basically I was really badly behaved on that panel and– [6]

From a 2015 interview with Jules, the maintainer:

... the wiki was set up by a queer feminist and that’s always gonna be in its DNA, it’s been inherited by a queer feminist in myself, that’s always gonna be important to me. And, and, I think the wiki lives that in very practical ways in the way it continues. My main job now is helping people access the wiki in terms of learning how to code on it or learning how to do entries or whatever and for me that’s a feminist project in helping that community and that collaboration and actively seeking out the voices that aren’t represented, whatever they may be, and again that’s a very feminist project. I think again representing fandom alongside the show was, you know, there from the beginning and I love that because it means–the wiki is used by the people who make the show... It’s used by the writers, it’s used by everyone, yeah! Everyone from the, well, because it’s an electronic–they don’t have electronically what we have. They have a copy of every script, but they don’t have an electronic database of transcripts.... They, the VFX department will go, “we’re doing a Vitalla [sp?] creature again. What did these look like last time? We can easily go to the Wiki and find out what episode it was in, in, like, in a minute.” Art department uses it. You know, at–and this is gonna sound incredibly boastful and it is–at the recent con Jared was saying he often references the wiki on set when they’re doing something to think “hang on, what was that episode where Sam did the thing with the thing?” So, that’s, one, I love the fact that Show uses a resource that fandom makes, that’s amazing. And also, it uses a show [sic] that fandom makes that has entries about Jared’s penis, and [general snickering & laughter]… [7]