My name is Shahid, and I'm a product manager at Wikia - among other things, I work with the team here on Wikianswers.
Wikianswers is a question and answer wiki, where anyone can answer a question and get an answer, wikified. So instead of crawling through a list of opinions, you get one answer - the best combination of contributions from the community. It's also one of our most active wikis, with 1,385 active users per month.
We're delighted that we've reached a milestone: 100,000 answers! Congrats to the community for being amazing :)
We've also recently redesigned the front page so you can clearly see new questions - they're coming in right now, and they're coming fast, with a new question every few minutes! If you have any kno…
Read more >
Hi, we have to reboot a router in our San Jose datacenter. We have redundant network connections but we haven't tested failover properly yet. We are rerouting the traffic to Iowa during the interruption, Iowa will continue to send traffic to San Jose unless something happens. If the worst happens the site will go read-only automatically during the reboot time.
--- UPDATE ---
All clear! Restart went well.Read more >
Hi everyone! With the Fall season about to wrap-up, it's time for another update!
In October, a record 54,000 editors made a record 1.6 million edits to a record 3.1 million content articles! Do you sense a record breaking theme?! More than 26 million people visited Wikia, making it the 75th most popular website in the United States. Furthermore, Wikianswers skyrocketed from 50,000 questions in the last update to over 400,000 questions today. Wikianswers is now one of the five most-visited sites on Wikia. Have you seen it?
To make sure you know what's going on at Wikia, we created the Wikia Staff Blog and invited staff members from various positions to post updates. More to come, so be sure to check back on a regular basis. While we are work…Read more >
We've been working on some major upgrades to the rich text editor, and wanted to share our progress and a preview of some of the changes. We would also like to invite a few communities to join our beta testing team and be the first to try out the improved editor.
We are looking for 3-5 communities with 500+ articles, and at least 2 highly active admins. If you meet this criteria and are interested in learning more, please let us know in the comment section below. I will get in contact with you to discuss specifics.
Please note, your wiki must be okay with keeping the editor on for about a week-long testing period so we have time to get good feedback (critical issues excepted, plus logged in users can still opt out, of course).
Read more >
This week we are starting a new volunteer program at Wikia. The Spam Task Force will be a group of users with access to tools to help them find and clean up spam across Wikia. They will be able to delete pages, block spammers, and to limit commonly used spam titles. However, they won't be admins - local issues will still be the responsibility of local admins. The Task Force will only get involved when there is spam or vandalism to help clear up, and will not be involved in user disputes or any of the many other admin tasks.
The first volunteer will be Eulalia, who will then be able to help those who already track down spam problems. If all goes well, more volunteers will be added in the new year.
Because this is a pilot project, we aren…Read more >
Update: The second part of this test will be tonight (Monday 23 November) at 11pm EST. This involves physically disconnecting the main datacenter, so there will be a short time of unavailability for some users until the Iowa datacenter takes over. Once Iowa is serving all pages the site will be read-only until the test is over. Thanks for your patience with this essential testing!
Our Iowa datacenter is nearing completion for automatic failover. To test this ahead of time we are going to do a controlled failover to Iowa at 11:55 PM PST on Wednesday. Since Iowa is a backup, it is configured as read-only, meaning you will not be able to edit anything. All pages should however render correctly.
What we are going to do is, in a controlled en…Read more >
The first version of a mobile phone skin for Wikia will be released on Wednesday. When browsing Wikia on your iPhone, Blackberry or other mobile device, you will automatically view it in a new, mobile-specific skin. Mobile viewers will no longer be served the usual Monaco skin, but instead one based on MediaWiki's Chick skin.
The new skin was created to provide a cleaner and more simple interface for mobile users to read Wikia. We hope this will help in reading on-the-go while you are commuting, visiting a museum, or simply just away from your computer.
In the future, this skin will also provide an easier mobile editing experience. For now, you will go back to Monaco when editing, but this is just the start and we hope to build a whole new w…
Read more >
Those of you using custom skins on your wikis may have noticed the blue tint on the header of the new "Latest Activity" box, and the gray footer. These work well with the basic "Monaco Sapphire" scheme, but not so well with some custom looks. This blue is also used for the user page masthead, and will be used for future skin elements as well.
What we forgot to do, was update the help files to tell you how to change this color, and to send out a message to let you know of the adjustment. Some wikis have made the change already, and are looking great! But some of you may want to update your css pages to match the "tint" and "neutral" classes to your overall color scheme.
If you use one of the pre-set schemes, then you don't need to …Read more >
Today we are launching two new products on Wikia. We've been studying what users click on around the site, and consistently the highest clicked links on the skin and My Home are recently changed articles. To surface that info more prominently to everyone, we have been working on two changes:
The first is a new section in the sidebar called "Latest Activity".
This is a streamlined version of the Activity Feed that displays only changes to content namespace articles, and replaces the "Community" box on the sidebar.
The second is a form of the Activity Feed that can be embedded in any article using the tag
We believe that the ideal place for the activity feed is on a wiki's homepage so that new visitors will see that yo…
Read more >
This past Sunday at around 6:00 pm PST (GMT -8), Wikia suffered the worst kind of outage. Our network completely died in San Jose and we stopped being able to serve pages -- kind of. First some background;
Wikia has four data centers. Three data centers are currently involved in serving traffic: Our primary in San Jose (SJC), our backup in Iowa, and a cache node in London (LON). We use a DNS service from Dynect for our Global Load Balancing (GLB). The GLB will return the IP of the closest data center when you lookup www.wikia.com. This is used for failover if a data center goes down, and for performance, routing users to the closest data center. London makes anonymous page access in Europe about three to six times faster than fetching the…Read more >