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 >
If you happen to stop by Wikia's office today, don't be surprised if you are welcomed by Lady Gaga's smile, Darth Vader's light saber, or Twilight's Team Edward's fangs. Wikia's staff have embraced the Halloween spirit, and are sporting their favorite wiki-themed costumes. Among the ranks, are a WOW warrior, Uncyclopedia's Oscar Wilde, Sailor Moon's Usagi Tsukino, and Pulp Fiction's Vincent Vega. You can also spot some sweet threads, crafted from Vintage Sewing Patterns wiki, Jaws and his latest victim, as well as the never ending nuisance of Spam. Looking for your own last minute ideas? Search through Wikia's wikis for inspiration. A great place to start is our ghoulishly themed Entertainment section.
If any other wikis have spooked out t…Read more >
Hello Wikia Community! My name is Sarah Manley, and I am a new member to Wikia's Community Team. I am very excited to be joining the team, and helping to support the ever growing number of wiki communities. I have a background in the environmental and mapping fields. In my past positions, I was an educator at a green non-profit in New York City called Solar1, and a community ambassador for the OpenStreetMap project, which is a wiki map of the world.
Here at Wikia, I am currently participating in the Green Wiki, Recipes Wiki and most recently started the Canning Wiki. I just started canning, and would love advice and recipes, so please let me build out this new wiki!
I look forward to learning more about other wiki communities, and assisting…Read more >
- Use the magazine creator widget on the left to access the MagCloud toolbar. Just browse the wiki and add any articles you'd like in your magazine by clicking the “add” button.
- Rearrange your articles in the perfect order - Klingon weapons, favorite NASCAR drivers, best COD weapons or whatever you like!
- Design a cover, either by using our easy cover generator or uploading an image of your own.
- Then, publish your magazine directly to MagCloud. From there you can order as many copies as you like for you and your friends!
Read more >
Magazine Creator is live for most English-language wikis that use the Monaco skin. As always, if you have any thoughts / questions, please leave a comment below!
This Wednesday, we are tentatively planning to release a new search for Wikia called Lucene Search. This is the search engine that Wikipedia has been using for quite some time, and provides a number of significant advantages:
- Short words are properly indexed (the old search ignored words with fewer than 4 letters).
- Numbers are indexed.
- "Common words" are indexed (words such as "from", "with", and "what" were previously ignored).
- Search is no longer case sensitive.
- Relevance should be dramatically improved--results are ranked by how the search terms are used within the page, number of incoming links to the page, and a number of other factors to provide the best possible results.
- Results display the rendered text of the pages rather …
Today we are improving three aspects of Wikia: blog articles, emails and article sharing.
- Blog comments and the watchlist
- The main change for blog articles is to improve the connection
between the watchlist and blog comments.
- If you have "Add pages I edit to my watchlist" switched on, commenting will add the blog post to your watchlist.
- If you have "Add pages I create to my watchlist" set on, creating a new blog post will add it to your watchlist.
- This all leads up to: if you have a blog post watched, and you have watchlist emails on, new comments will send you an email! Find out immediately when people are discussing your post :)
- We have also condensed all blog comments into a single group on the enhanced recent changes list.
- HTML e…
- Track how many times you have seen a given ad: Many advertisers specify that they only want you to see a given ad one or two times per 24 hours. Sometimes Wikia sets similar restrictions to improve user experience as well.
- Provide better-targeted ads: Some advertisers collect anonymous data to provide you with ads that might be more relevant to your interests. For example, I recently did a search on Google for "toshiba battery", and now I'm seeing more Google ads on Wikia for toshiba.com.
Neither Wikia nor any of it…Read more >
We're launching a new feature on Wednesday -- My Home, a home base that helps contributors see what's happening on their wiki. My Home gives new contributors a way to get to know the community on the wiki, and it gives experienced contributors some new information that they haven't had access to before.
My Home includes a lot of new elements:
- Activity feed is a friendly version of Recent changes that shows the latest activity on the wiki. The Activity feed adds some new information that you can't get on Recent changes, including thumbnails for new pictures and videos added to a page. You can also see your Watchlist using the new Activity feed layout.
- Hot Spots is a new way to see what's happening on the wiki, showing the articles that have been…