Wikia

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Website
Name: FANDOM, Wikia, Wikicities
Owner/Maintainer: Wikia, Inc
Dates: October 18, 2004-present
Type: Wiki
Fandom: Multifandom
URL: http://www.wikia.com/, https://www.fandom.com/
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Wikia, known offically as FANDOM powered by Wikia or simply FANDOM, is a wiki hosting website. The site hosts a large number of wikis on almost any topic (as of 2017, over 360,000 wikis).[1]

In January 2016, Wikia announced a new media property titled Fandom. This new subset of Wikia combines original editorial content, curated links and content from wikis to form a new place for pop culture information.[2] Months after the introduction of Fandom, the site later ditched the lowercase name Fandom and retitled the subset as FANDOM.

Though initially, the Fandom editorial site and Wikia were separate entities, since its introduction, FANDOM and the Wiki community have gradually merged together. In September 2016, Wikia announced that the entire site would be named "Fandom powered by Wikia". This gained a largely negative reaction from Wikia users.[3]

Notable wikis hosted on Wikia

A full list of the top 5000 wikis hosted by Wikia can be found here.

FANDOM Contributor Program

Advertisement for the program

In late 2015, Wikia introduced a Fan Contributor Program, in which fans are given the chance to write articles about pop culture and fandom, and publish them online to Wikia's site.[4]

Any fan above the age of 18 is allowed to take part in the program[5], and once accepted must write at least one article a month pertaining to pop culture. Though Wikia (and by extension the FANDOM editorial site) is a for-profit company, Fan Contributors do not get paid for their writing. However, articles on FANDOM are guaranteed a high view count by internet users. Additionally, the program also offers the chance for editors to interview content creators and attend fan conventions.[4][6]

Wikia fans possess a special talent: a knowledge of and mastery over the pop culture landscape. Now, you can take your contributions on Wikia to the next level with this editorial training program. Being part of the Fan Contributor Program will allow participants to share their unique voices and perspectives on a new entertainment news and commentary destination created by Wikia that will reach millions of fans. This is part of a new Wikia.com homepage experience that offers fans a more complete source for their favorite fandom.[4]

Rebranding to FANDOM

In September 2016, Wikia announced that they planned to rename the entire site to "Fandom powered by Wikia". This was met with instant criticism and a largely negative response. On October 4th, Wikia officially rebranded the site as Fandom, against user's wishes. The logo and general design of the site were updated to reflect this change.[3]

What is Fandom powered by Wikia? Fandom powered by Wikia, or simply Fandom, is the new brand name for the largest entertainment fan site in the world. Fandom offers fan knowledge on wikis, news and stories (which will soon be launched in additional international markets and languages), and passionate conversations on Discussions. With 360,000 fan communities, 190 million global monthly uniques, 43 million pages of content, and original stories and videos capturing the most interesting and relevant pop culture moments, we are the fan's voice in entertainment.

Why are you rebranding? We want to enrich and grow the fan experience in ways that only being a media brand allows. Having one name—Fandom—that best reflects the broad experience rather than just part of it ties the whole site together under one powerful brand. And, we feel that the term Fandom best represents who we are: a comprehensive entertainment destination for fans to celebrate what they love.[3]

The rebranding gained a mixed response, though arguably more negative than positive. Much of the criticism was directed towards the use of the label "Fandom", and if such as word could be used to describe Wiki communities. Though a vast amount of Wiki communities are based on pop culture; some alternative communities also exist around different topics such as politics, food, medicine and general history. A common disagreement towards the rebranding was that communities like this cannot be described as fandoms.

Some confusion also occurred regarding the exact usage of the word "Fandom" on the site. For instance, some users mistakenly believed that the word "Wiki" would be changed to "Fandom" in site titles (such as the Harry Potter Wiki to Harry Potter Fandom). However, Wikia staff explained that only the entire site would be rebranded to Fandom, not the individual wiki communities.

There was also a reluctance by some users to use the word "Fandom" due to the name Wikia being used for several years prior. Various comments and posts containing "Wikia/Fandom" after the change was common, and so indicated both a reluctance and confusion over the current name of the site.

Additionally, some reluctance of using the new site name was based on the pre-existing meaning of fandom. As defined by Fanlore, "a fandom is a community of fans, participating in fanac and interacting in some way, whether through discussions or creative works". Though Wikia fits this basic principle, the word fandom is typically associated with Tumblr, LiveJournal, fan conventions and fanfiction. The word has had usage for years prior to Wikia's rebranding, and so many users felt the new usage of such a word was odd.

Despite the negativity, some users embraced the name changed and saw it as new and trendy.

Some reactions

I'm fine with this rebranding. Like 90% of all Wikis are created by fans for fans, so it makes sense. Just don't screw with the existing infrastrucure to try and force in new features to fit the theme.[7]
Really disappointed in Wikia. This place is Wiki - it is supposed to be collaborative information documented by users, and now it is run by, effectively, an organisation founded by a bunch of fan fiction writers, and not only that, but it's going ahead and globally re-branding the entire company? Really disgusted by this.[8]
The rebranding is terrible. It feels like it only promotes those fan wikis , but not the educational , music and lifestyle ones. Those three wiki types deserve to be part of Wikia.[9]
I don't normally talk about this on wikia, but I've been a part of various different fandoms for nearly ten years now (figuring that out made me feel old!) and I really don't think this name change is a good idea.

There have been various different companies/people over the years who have tried to make money from fandom and whilst I don't think that's entirely what you're trying to do - I don't like it and I don't think other fandom people will like it either.

Fandom for me is a social thing and a creative thing. Where people come together (largely, and for me completley, on the internet) to share their love of whatever it might be. But it isn't one particular website - it's people not a place and it certainly isn't centred on wikia or even wikis.

There is also the problem where calling yourself "Fandom" makes it seem like you are trying to speak for fandom or be fandom. You're not and you don't. You don't speak for us, you are not us. You are not a part of fandom you're a company.

This whole name change rubs me up the wrong way. It just makes me want to disagree with you. You're not fandom. You're not the home of fandom. You're a wiki farm. The word fandom has a meaning, it's not just something you can adopt and try to own[10]

I don't see why much people are still hating about this change. Earlier when discussions was announced everyone hated it, and now nobody cares to hate discussions anymore. People will forget to hate about this in the meantime.[11]
How can you not understand that Wikia is now a well established generic term that we all know means a collection of knowledge - which is exactly what a wiki should be about. Don't you understand that a fandom may be a wiki but not all wikis are fandoms ?[12]
I'm okay with the name change, but not so much to the name "Fandom." If anything, aren't these sites Wikias (or wikis) powered by fans (or a fandom)? Shouldn't it be the other way around if the word "fandom" has to be there? It's also a negative term to many, including me to some extent. Normally, when I hear "fandom," I think of the many Internet wars that have occurred between fandoms. Not a pretty thought.[13]
I joined Wikia to expand factual, informative content - it's a wiki hosting service. I don't like that Wikia has pushed so much for (often inferior) fan-created content lately. This new name detracts from the site's original purpose - wikis.[14]
Rebranding this as a "Fandom" from a Wikia will lessen its academic import. Where I was previously able to reference a research paper on my university's Wikia in my resume/CV, a "Fandom" brand publishing source is not going to fly for any academic reference. There are other academic and scientific uses of Wikias that this will alienate.[15]
I am the founder and admin of a serious, research-oriented hockey wiki. I would be embarrassed to mention my wiki to other hockey enthusiasts with the term "Fandom" plastered all over the site title. I'm sorry, but "hockey fandom" is not a term I have ever heard, nor do I want to. I'll be exploring my options to move on from Wikia eventually. The platform has drifted too far away from research, and mindless "fandom" drivel seems to be rampant and proliferating.[16]

See also

References

  1. ^ Archived link of the "Explore FANDOM" page
  2. ^ Introducing Fandom, Archived version, by Craiglpalmer, posted to Community Central on January 25, 2016
  3. ^ a b c Wikia is now Fandom powered by Wikia, Archived version, by Craiglpalmer, posted to Community Central on September 26, 2016
  4. ^ a b c Introducing the Fan Contributor Program, Archived version by Ericmoro, posted on Community Central (December 17, 2015)
  5. ^ Fandom Contributor Program FAQ, Archived version
  6. ^ Fan Contributor advertisement, Archived version
  7. ^ Comment by ChromastoneandTabby, posted on September 26, 2016
  8. ^ Comment by Monkeypolice188, posted on September 26, 2016
  9. ^ Comment by BrianTheFlannelGuy, posted on November 13, 2016
  10. ^ Comment by Amateur Obsessive, posted on September 26, 2016
  11. ^ Comment by MisterXenomorph, posted on October 22, 2016}
  12. ^ Comment by Runerox, posted on October 28, 2016
  13. ^ Comment by Kotoritachi, posted on September 26, 2016
  14. ^ Comment by Atvelonis, posted on September 26, 2016
  15. ^ Comment by Gethralkin, posted on September 26, 2016
  16. ^ Comment by Hockeyben, posted on September 27, 2016