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I just read Help:Founders but it only suggests to check admins' pages for the founder tag.

This would be very tedious to do on larger wikis with many people, as there might be dozens of sysops.

Founders also sometimes voluntarily revoke their bureaucrat rights. Auto-adoption actually strips those rights leaving founders as only admins. Even that can be removed if the adopter opts to demote the sysop.

To give an example: w:c:FairyTail:Special:ListUsers/sysop. This wiki was made in March 2008 but all the current sysops joined after 2010, and none have the founder's tag.

Is there some way to figure out who founded a wiki in circumstances like this?

All I can figure is Special:Log/rights and track the changes over time to the earliest? Yc 12:37, October 24, 2012 (UTC)

Generally all wikis have a Project:About in which the founder is mentioned. Seeing the earliest log is also helpful — Ultimate Supreme talk · wiki I · wiki II  15:30, October 24, 2012 (UTC)
Not necessarily true, sadly; the About page has to be manually created, and says only what the page author wants it to say, if anything. For instance, the Casual Vacancy Wiki About page is currently blank. -- RobertATfm (talk) 15:48, October 24, 2012 (UTC)
Thought that some answer was better than no answer. Some wikis do mention their founder's name there or in w:c:bleach:Project:Administrators. — Ultimate Supreme talk · wiki I · wiki II  16:16, October 24, 2012 (UTC)
Sadly there's no automatic way to see the Founder of a wiki (something that we have debated making more accessible to users but ultimately hesitated because some founders wish to be no longer associated with their wikis). What I would suggest is going to the user rights log and sorting by the earliest parameter. 90% of the time, the founder was the person who would have made the first promotion of another user. --DaNASCAT@fandom (help forum | blog) 17:13, October 24, 2012 (UTC)
Special:ListUsers also has the option to only list bureaucrats and sysops. I am not me (talk) 18:18, October 24, 2012 (UTC)
What I would do is go to the home page, find the first edit, and there it is. {{SUBST:User:Bnm786/autosig}} 00:33, October 26, 2012 (UTC)
Not always, on a wiki I use, the person created the wiki but didn't make a single edit. -452 02:25, October 27, 2012 (UTC)
Remember that not all founders actually have had anything to do with the wikis except for initial set up, since sometimes the actual "founder" is another person who requested help of a more experience user to found a wiki. -- 08:03, October 27, 2012 (UTC)

There is usually a welcome message left on the founder's talk page, so one way to find the founder is to find that welcome. I downloaded the full database dump from Special:Statistics to double-check what the earliest edits were. If DPL is enabled on your wiki, you could use it to list the earliest created pages. DPL statement:


The first pages listed with the same timestamp are automated edits. -452 02:57, October 27, 2012 (UTC)

Here's how to find the founder:

  • Go to Special:Log.
  • Search all public logs.
  • Click "earliest".
  • Turn on the "patrol log". It's a tiny blue hyperlink.
  • Go to the bottom of the page.
  • There should be a log entry titled

X (Talk|contribs) automatically marked revision Y of page User talk:Z patrolled

  • The blue letters are various possible text combinations and the red Z is the username of the wiki's founder.
  • Click on that last hyperlink to view the founder's talk page!

I hope this helps. :) Gregory (talk) 01:59, October 29, 2012 (UTC)

Nope, that didn't work for me. The wiki I tested it on was created in November 2007, but the first Patrol log entry isn't until April 2009. (edit: looking at all logs, and not just the Patrol log still doesn't find the Founder) -452 03:31, October 29, 2012 (UTC) (edited: 03:46, October 29, 2012 (UTC))
This wiki's first log entry was 01:59, November 3, 2004, the first Patrol log here was 14:20, September 5, 2008. (I don't even know if this wiki has a labelled founder.) -452 03:46, October 29, 2012 (UTC)
It might be simpler if you just told us the wiki for which you wish this information. Older wikis require more digging than newer ones. I have a feeling you're speaking hypothetically, though, because it doesn't take days to figure this stuff out.
However, the one approach that will probably work is the one that user:Tycio mentioned at the top of this discussion. Go to the User Rights Log and look for entries where bureaucrat rights have been removed. Unless you're talking about the earliest records of a really old wiki (i.e., one of the original WikiCities wikis), there's going to be a record of that removal. Since you say that you're looking for a founder who's no longer a sysop, that means that their bureaucrat rights would have been removed. So, yanno, look for what it is you're actually trying to find.
That said, there's also the possibility that you will not ever be able to retrieve this information. If you're talking about a user who founded the wiki outside of Wikia and then the wiki was moved here from another host, there's unlikely to be a good record of that (especially if the founder disagreed with the move and never edited here). Alternately, records of the sort of 2004-early 2005 period (when this was WikiCities, not Wikia) are variable. If someone founded in 2004 and also de-sysopped and de-bureaued in 2004, I'm pretty sure you won't be able to get that info.
By the way, w:c:fairytail's founder was almost certainly Retro7, because he's got the first upload (23.03.08) and the first user rights change (he/she made Shock Dragon a bureaucrat on 17.08.09). Then both users lost their bureaucrat and admin status by intervention of a Wikia staff member, Trellar, on 25.11.11 with a reason of "community vote". That community vote was at: w:c:fairytail:Forum:Administrator/Votes for Keeping Administrators. czechout@fandom    fly tardis 18:04: Thu 01 Nov 2012
I didn't start this topic, user:Tycio did. I know who the founder is on the wiki I'm using to test (They're still a sysop, plus there was a welcome message on the founder's talk page - which is why I suggested that either.), I'm just testing out each suggestion to see how well they work. (As I mentioned, the wiki I'm testing the suggestions on was created on in Nov 2007, so I don't know how well they would work on an older wiki, or a non-wikia wiki)
I'm happy for user:Tycio that you think his suggestion is possibly the best answer to his own question. As DaNASCAT pointed out, there is no 100% reliable method, so I'll continue to test any suggestions and report the results. Since no-one has said that my own solution doesn't work for them, I'll continue to suggest that as something to try.
"Since you say that you're looking for a founder who's no longer a sysop'
I said no such thing. -452 18:22, November 1, 2012 (UTC)
If you want a wiki with an unknown founder, try this one, as I already said. -452 18:25, November 1, 2012 (UTC)
Um, by "you" I meant the original poster. I wasn't addressing you, 452. czechout@fandom    fly tardis 18:27: Thu 01 Nov 2012
: < this is a colon, which is used in wiki markup to indent paragraphs. This indentation is used in discussions to indicate you who are addressing. I don't know why you have just used a single indent if you're addressing me this time.
But... if you were addressing user:Tycio, then this makes absolutely no sense: "However, the one approach that will probably work is the one that user:Tycio mentioned at the top of this discussion." -452 18:43, November 1, 2012 (UTC)
I've found that on mobile phones anything much past 3 colons (i.e. the 100 px of four colons) becomes hard to read because the total screen area is so limited. So all I tend to care about in most discussions is that I'm indented differently than the person above me. In my experience, this is the way that most people use them, as well. I've been using MediaWiki installations for a decade, and I've never heard of a theory whereby the number of colons indicates the person you're addressing. (Besides which, please don't be so picky. In my last post, I used your name. Obviously I was addressing you.)
I didn't even know who the OP was, or I would have used his or her name, as I did yours. Because Tycio used a different graf for each sentence, I apparently misjudged the end of the post. I thought the unsigned, initial post ended with "Is there some way to figure out who founded a wiki in circumstances like this?", and then Tycio gave an un-indented solution with "All I can figure is Special:Log/rights ..."
Clearly, I read that wrongly, but my initial interpretation is not completely unreasonable. Such sloppy construction happens all the time at the CC forums.
I appear to have awakened your snarkier side, and for any miscommunication I apologise. I honestly wasn't talking to you at all, and I find it's commonplace on technical help threads for people adding comments low on a page to actually be directly talking to the original poster. I'm not quite sure how you could have read my comments as being directed at you — as you pointed out, little of it applied to you — but I'll try in future to name my correspondent where possible. Of course, here I actually did think that the OP was not named, and it's taken a trip to the page history to confirm exactly what the first post was. czechout@fandom    fly tardis 19:51: Thu 01 Nov 2012
No snark, just genuine confusion. -452 19:59, November 1, 2012 (UTC)

Back on topic to justify the bumps to this post: Is there a method to find the founder of or is there not a defined founder? -452 20:04, November 1, 2012 (UTC)

It should be User:Angela, so there may be no founder flag set.--PedroM 20:05, November 3, 2012 (UTC)