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Alternatives discussion

Lots of people have been posting different ideas for alternatives to the new ad format. Nobody likes the idea of having ads in the content area, pushing down design elements that we want people to see, like pictures and infoboxes. The amount of time and energy that people are putting into coming up with other options demonstrates how much you care about the wikis.

There's one thing that has really constrained our options, and that got us to the current format. Maybe I haven't made it clear enough, so I'll try to explain.

For Wikia to survive in the long term, we need to move from relying on click-through ads to impressions ads. "Impressions" means that the advertisers will pay just to have people see the ad. Nobody clicks on ads, so the big advertisers have all moved to paying for impressions.

It's like a billboard -- nobody expects you to get out of your car and click on the billboard. They're paying for that ad because they know that a certain number of people will see it as they drive by. But if they're going to go to the trouble of putting up a billboard, then they want to put it where lots of people will see it. They won't put the billboard close to the ground, or facing away from the road.

The ad space that we're creating on article pages is a billboard. Nobody likes billboards, but we need them to pay the bills, so we have to live with them.

All of the advertisers and ad networks have told us the same thing: They want a 300x250 ad at the top right of the page, inside the content area. They're paying to make sure that everybody sees the ad, and that's the place where they're sure everyone will see it. There are a lot of other websites that they could advertise on. If we want them to advertise on Wikia, then we have to offer them the ad space that they'll pay for.

If we don't -- if we decide to take a stand, and refuse to do what the advertisers want -- then they'll take their ads somewhere else, and Wikia will go out of business.

Therefore, some of the suggestions that have been made just aren't practical. We can't hide ads at the bottom of the page. We can't shrink ads to logo-size and put them at the top left. We can't allow admins to choose the size or placement of ads. We spent a lot of time talking to ad people, and they all said the same thing: 300x250, top right, in the content area.

So that's what we have to do. We're not happy about taking up content space. We know people don't like that, and we know that it disrupts the experience that people want their readers to have. We're listening to all of your comments, and we take them very seriously. Unfortunately, we're not in a position to allow users to decide where the ads are going to go on the page. That has to be determined by what the advertisers are willing to buy, and we got a very clear message from the advertisers that this is the way we have to go.

That being said, once the new format launches, we're going to be looking very closely at what this does to the actual user experience. We'll be looking at the impact on how people read the pages, and how much they contribute. If the whole site tanks, as some people are prophesying, then obviously we'll need to make drastic changes. But we need to see how it works first. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 23:05, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

If advertisers like the 300x250 box ads in the top right corner more than banner ads at the top, why not let wiki users flag particular pages to always have the box ads and never the banners? On pages where the box advertisement would fill what is currently empty space, the box advertisement would probably look better, anyway. It's easier to design a page to look nice around one particular ad placement than around two different placements. Or do advertisers insist on randomness in ad placement, too?
Even if there must be an ad in the top right corner, why not let page editors pick whether it will push content down or to the left? A lot of pages have a picture in the top right corner, and pushing the picture down makes the page look catastrophically awful. Pushing the picture to the left into what is now just white space would look fine. Let the advertisers have their preferred placement if you must, but give wiki editors more options on how content fits around the ads. Quizzical 23:49, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
The placement won't be random... On article pages, there'll be a 300x250 ad on the right side. The exception is on pages where that box would break a table at the top of the page -- on those pages, there'll be a banner ad. So I think there may be more predictability than you think. Check out Communitytest to try it out -- copy over some pages from your wiki, and see how they'll look.
It's a pain to change your design to fit this new element, I know. But you do have options about how to do it -- and I suspect that we may see some new page designs emerge. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 00:49, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
New Monaco alternative ad placement

Ad placement alternative. 215x210 red box is 60% of the "demanded" 300x250px area. Prominence of location on screen is not diminished.

Thank you Danny for the further clarification. You really are between a rock and a hard place! You wrote that:

All of the advertisers and ad networks have told us the same thing: They want a 300x250 ad at the top right of the page, inside the content area. They're paying to make sure that everybody sees the ad, and that's the place where they're sure everyone will see it. There are a lot of other websites that they could advertise on. If we want them to advertise on Wikia, then we have to offer them the ad space that they'll pay for.

What companies want and what they need are not always the same thing. The advertisers need content creators to create and maintain interesting wiki sites that:

  1. attract and keep new visitors & contributors
  2. retain existing regular visitors
  3. retain existing contributors

I do not for one minute believe that the specification, "300x250 pixels; top right of content area" is a deal breaker. Wikia management ought to push the 215x210 pixel logo area at the top of the left-hand nav-bar space (red box in image) and hold sacrosanct the principle that advertising not encroach upon content. If that red box needs to grow by 66% to 360x210 (orange box) to yield the same advertising area then I think that remains a better solution than the current proposal.

The wikia site branding can easily relocate to a 30x515 pixel area (green box in image) to the right of it's current position. Finally, as I have argued before, the logo for each wiki community is of questionable value in that prime screen location. This is especially true with the now well established favicons. Besides, site admins have other placement alternatives that they may consider for a community logo.

FYI: It was not my intent to demonstrate it however, in that screen shot you will notice how one or both of AdBlock or NoScript appears to be defeating the delivery of the 300x350 ad box in the top-right of content area. One of the risks you face from wiki site creators who use such browser plugins is that they continue to create content that looks OK in their ad-free browser without realizing that the experience is very different for those users who do not benefit from such plug-ins. That may not be a result that you want.

Najevi 01:29, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Najevi -- I'm not sure how I can be any more clear. In order to make Wikia attractive to advertisers, we need a 300x250 ad in the top right, inside the content area. We can't use any other alternatives to that. I know that that's not the answer that you want to hear.
I think you may have the wrong idea about Wikia's relationship with advertisers. This isn't a situation where the advertisers are coming to us and begging to advertise on our site, and we have the power to set the rules for them. There are lots of interesting, popular websites that advertisers can place their ads on. Every single one of them has a more flexible ad format than we do. Our job in this case is to offer an ad format that people want to buy. If we offer them an ad in the top left, they won't buy it. We can't make them.
So, yeah, this is hard. It violates a principle that people think is sacrosanct. However -- this is the way that Wikia is going to look, starting next Tuesday.
To address your last point, we don't encourage people to use AdBlock to block the ads on Wikia. If using AdBlock means that you can't design pages the way that you want to, then you can turn it off. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 03:08, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Oh I'm sure bit by bit visitors will eventually learn to use Adblock and NoScript to stop undesired/flashing messages from being shoved in their face, especially when the ads are right next to something useful they actually want to read. GHe (Talk) 03:51, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
I don't use AdBlock, so I have a question. If someone is using AdBlock, does the "impression" still count for the ad? --LordTBT Talk! 07:26, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Ad blocking filters are implemented at the browser by the site visitor. We have been told that Wikia advertising revenue will no longer be dependent on ad click-through. A paying advertiser will have no way of knowing if site visitors are viewing or blocking their advertisement. Is this win:win or win:lose - you decide for yourself but here's how I see it playing out:
  • so long as Wikia get paid for placing the impression ad, Wikia win (hoo-yah!)
  • so long as we content creators and regular community members employ adblocking filters at their browser, we win (right on!)
  • casual browsers who already use ad blocking filters win (what's the fuss about!)
  • if and only if content creators float a table in the top right corner of content pages to force the banner style ad instead of the 300x250 style ad then
    casual browsers who do not use ad blocking filters will simply see a banner ad similar in size to the existing banner ad but in a different location: (approx. status quo!)
  • if content creators are too lazy to do this (or more likely, we forget to do it) then these casual browsers will see intrusive 300x250 advertisements. Some casual visitors will be put off by this but others will tolerate it. (maybe this ambivalent population is precisely who advertisers are wanting to target in the first place!)
  • Finally, so long as advertisers are satisfied that enough browsers are unsophisticated or lazy enough not to block ads then I suppose they win too. (congrats)
I honestly do not think that paying advertisers are this naive and so I am waiting for the other shoe to drop. What is phase 2 of this advertising model?
You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink.
This comment and my earlier comments have been provided in the spirit of constructive feedback on how the Wikia team might have brought content creators onside as partners in what could have been an advertising joint venture. I will embrace a solution that seeks to satisfy our differing needs. However, when one party starts unilaterally dictating terms then the relationship breaks down. I do not see Wikia staff as the dictators but I have to say that I do see the Wikia management team as failing to successfully facilitate a satisfactory meeting of the minds. I do not plan to lose any sleep over this since the end game is clear to me now.
Najevi 11:39, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

"Why Monaco?"

Seriously would it kill you guys to call a spade a spade? you have an entire section of politely worded justifications-- but no mention that you feel Monaco is designed to maximize the monetization wikia's content and keep your business model solvent.

You are not arguing, or pleading your case, your are steamrolling regardless of people's wishes to the contrary. And all the while you're telling people "Oh no, you have a choice, look at all the choices we're giving you! this is better, the only reason we're doing it is because it's better! Please step out of the way, we really must keep going..." It's like being stuck in the room with one of those obnoxious Disney-parody tour guides who will refuse to admit the sky is blue if it's not on-message.

The fact you won't even admit that aspect exists- "look, we know you're not happy, but it's part of our economic model. We have to show monetization. Try to work with us huh?" ...is massively annoying. We understand. We sympathize. The fact you are lying, and lying badly destroys any sense of understanding or sympathy we have. You are eroding and pissing away community good will for no gain whatsoever.

C'mon! Glasnost! -Derik 23:58, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

I think the part about the ads is pretty clear on that page and in all of the discussion that's followed. That section on the page lists the other reasons why we think Monaco is a better skin for Wikia. Both of those things are true. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 00:52, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
And you don't feel conflating the two things is anything other than helpful and honest? Similarly, ignoring the big ad block in the "New Monaco" area comparison graph is entirely clear and above board. - SanityOrMadness 02:17, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
I think it would be dishonest to not talk about both those things. We have been very clear in saying that we have two sets of customers (users and ad buyers), and there are aspects to this skin that are designed for each of those. And that we fully understand that the aspects designed for the ad buyers are not going to be liked by the users. We are upfront about both aspects of this change -- sannse @fandom (talk) 11:54, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Ads, in the corner

Putting the ads in the top right corner, causing them to push down images, is a terrible idea and will negatively impact the looks of articles.--Skyglide 00:07, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Indeed - articles with many images, which is at the limit at this moment, would be ruined by this new system. Shame on those who came up with this. -- Realismadder 00:19, 14 June 2008 (UTC);
See Forum:Wikia's_New_Style#Fixing_image_alignment_to_article_text najevi 19:53, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

*sigh*

As much as I like to see Monaco stay the way it is, the advertisers have apparently set the future for Monaco. I always have looked at the top bar if that could count as Impression advertising. Hell everyone sees the top ad, but I realize that advertisers are not realizing that most of the people look at the top ad. But the advertisers have clearly stated that they want ads on the right, and I cannot fight that. I'll have to cope with the change and figure out a way to make my pages work with the new ad format, looks like everyone will have to adapt to the new ad format. I could just block the ads using AdBlock Pro and NoScript but that would deprive Wikia of funds for those using Firefox and the method. The only thing I don't like is the new monaco header which could be like the old monaco header. That's the only thing I want the same now, everything else can change. It's obvious that the community can't force Wikia to change their minds, if Wikia defies the advertisers then Wikia would cease to exist as Danny said. I am ceasing all efforts to stop New Monaco and going to try to accept the changes, if not then I'll probally won't be with Wikia no longer, iI still belive that there might be an alternative might exist but I'm not going to be pursuing it.

Thank you. --Taylor Karras talk contributions 00:05, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

The new banner ads aren't aimed at readers, they're aimed at annoying editors. You have to reach over it to hit the discussion buttons. We get ads on preview pages- if you preview 10 times, you get 20 impressions! And by people who are PAYING ATTENTION to the page, not quick skimmers! Brilliant!-Derik 00:23, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
The ads are on preview pages so that you can see how the page will actually look once you hit save. The preview wouldn't do much good if it didn't show you the final page layout. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 00:53, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
But you didn't answer the question about whether Wikia gets impression credits... By the way, have you ever worked in public relations? You seem very good at giving minimal, tailored information without answering many questions. Actually, I guess that was a dumb question. You're obviously doing public relations. --Fandyllic 02:54, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
We are trying to answer as many questions as possible, but we sometimes it's better to answer a group of questions with a wider and more general reply, sometimes don't have the detailed information and sometimes, as in your last question here, it seems better not to answer questions that appear rhetorical or provocative rather than useful. We've been accused of using "PR speak", but I won't apologise for trying to be persistently helpful, calm, and professional. Although I fully understand that whatever our words and our tone at the moment it is likely to be grating.
On impressions, my understanding is that it depends on the ads. The the top level ads we are trying to attract, there is often the requirement of "unique impressions", that is, once an ad is viewed by a particular user/IP, it's not counted again. Others work on impressions in total, others may limit the impressions to "5 per IP" or something similar. I don't know whether there is also a technical side to this... that is, whether the ad server counts repeated previews as one "serve" or not.
But as Danny's reply indicated, it's not the issue here. The reason for ads on preview pages is so you can check the formatting. I'm certain more people would be annoyed if it didn't happen, and they had to save each time to see if the edit worked out right. We removed ads from all utility pages, but this seems a clear case where it's important for editors to see the final page. -- sannse @fandom (talk) 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Regarding "unique impressions", it might be worth figuring that out and actually not serve ads that won't be paid for - not having ads on all pages, at all times, might be another layer of sugar coating for the contributors.
Regarding ads on utility pages - I actually wouldn't mind massive advertisement on those pages (if and only if it meant less advertising on article pages, of course). After all, it's "just" an utility page. But, probably, the main reason for not having ads there is the fact that not as many people see them there. -- Cid Highwind 12:23, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Images don't have to go down farther

If there is an image on the top of the page, only if it is shifted right it will have to go down, not if it is shifted left. I'm not sure if Infoboxes can be shifted left. Also, I'm sure content could go between the ad box and the image. That solves one problem, assuming that people don't consider it ugly. MarioGalaxy2433g5 {talk/contribs/Logs} 01:27, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

The correct wording for this is " floated left " or " floated right ". I've considered this possibility as soon as the new layout was published. But thinking about it dont mean it can happen. Only time will way. — TulipVorlax 13:46, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Explain this whole advertisers thing to me

So we're told that "the advertisers" demand top-right ad boxes of 250x300px. This means that Wikia Must Have Them. Explain why that's true. Just why are advertisers utterly unwilling to buy any other form of ad? I see plenty of other ads on other sites -- why is Wikia a special case? Exactly why is this the only ad form that works? I want something more than "The advertisers (and just who the hell are "the advertisers" anyway?) want that kind, end of discussion." Is this their preferred form, or is it really The Only Form Anyone Will Buy? Is this the only kind that will bring in enough money to keep Wikia solvent, or is this the kind that will make Wikia the most money over the screaming objections of its users? It would really help the users understand just what the hell is going on if you would actually explain these things. Especially the part where Mandates On High from THE ADVERTISERS (voice of God effect plays) now determine anything and everything on everyone's wiki, universal opposition be damned. And Danny, I know you've said you're not a money guy. Truth be told, it shows, badly. The explanation for what's actually going on here financially is incoherent when it exists at all. Find the money guy, get him out of the doughnut shop, and get me the goddamn money guy to explain things. I think we deserve at least that much. Havac 01:26, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Well said, I feel for Danny et al who are caught in the middle here. Najevi 01:37, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
I would feel sorrier for Danny if I had not had to interact with him. We nicknamed him Monorail Guy for a reason. -Derik 02:19, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Havac, I've spent a lot of time over the last five days talking to people about these changes. I'm very happy to continue having these conversations, and explaining things as well as I can. However, I think it's fair to ask that the people that I'm talking to maintain a level of respect and civilized discourse. I understand that you're upset, but it's difficult to have a conversation with someone when they repeat your words back to you using Ironic Capital Letters. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 03:04, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Like someone mentioned previously, I think this sort of tone and aggression should be expected when a relative well-respected company (at least before this whole issue) suddenly pulls off a fast one like this. If all this frustration weren't shown, Wikia would already be running on the "wonderfully enhanced" skin that 99% of the people here apparently hate. (In which case, the global notice would probably be delivered after the unexpected switch or not delivered at all, seeing how the delay and notification was the effect of the users' protests.) Also, if the initial announcement and the initial responses were answered fully, sufficiently, and acceptably instead of salestalk/pleasantly sounding responses that give "minimal, tailored information without answering many questions," then the outrage would probably be slightly lower. From the look of things, I think being an advertiser is a wonderful profession since the godly advertisers get to dictate the appearance of over 5000 sites and ruin community relations at the same time. GHe (Talk) 03:51, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
With what due respect Danny, when you rolled into town on Teletraan-1 hard-selling Monaco you lied about Memory Alpha plan to transition to lend strength to your argument, then broke our custom templates when you did a shit-sloppy job porting things over because you used the wrong names for the files-- and then refused to acknowledge that they were broken when told about the problem in specific detail We finally worked out how to fix things on our own two weeks later.
For the wikia's new style, you traded on the good name of our community, fraudulently citing our increased traffic on the eve of the annual Transformers convention as proof of Monaco's efficacy despite having been previously confronted about how those numbers could in no way be called representational. This is you using dodgy numbers to make your case with full knowledge that the numbers you were citing were invalid.
Perhaps if your words and conduct did not invite Ironic Capital Letters you would Recieve Them less Often?
This is central to Wikia's problem rolling out New MOnaco. You sound like you're lying all the time. At a certain point we stop caring whether or not you actually are because the result is indistinguishable. -Derik 04:15, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Some of the timing issues -- the first e-mail on Friday, and the week's delay for the release -- were based on the fact that we had some problems setting up Communitytest properly. We wanted people to have time to check things out on Communitytest before the changes went live on the site, and our intention was to have that site ready when the first announcement went out on the mailing list.
When it turned out that Communitytest wasn't quite ready, but the scheduled release date was approaching, we decided to send the mailing list message out on Friday so that people could at least get notified about what was going on. As it turned out, there were still problems with Communitytest, and we didn't really get it working exactly the way we wanted until Monday. We put off the site-wide message until we were sure that Communitytest was working.
So with all of those delays, we knew that it was impossible to do the release on Tuesday as scheduled. We didn't want to send out the message on Monday and then do the release on Tuesday. We decided to move the release to next week, so that everybody would have the chance to experiment with Communitytest, and give feedback before the release.
Meanwhile, we made some changes to the plan based on the feedback that we were getting. For example, we took ads off of short pages, and removed the fixed width on main pages. Those were issues that were coming up in the feedback that weren't essential to the format, so it was possible for us to make those changes. Of course, that meant we had to change things on Communitytest, so that was a little more of a delay, which is why we didn't send the site-wide message until Wednesday.
This is a really complicated process that involves a lot of different people at Wikia -- senior management, ad sales, designers, engineers and community team. The technical part is complex, and there are always bugs that need to be fixed. It was even more complex because some of this happened over the weekend, and some of the people involved live in different countries and time zones.
As the people responsible for the communication part, Sannse, Angie and I have had to make a lot of decisions on the fly. We want to keep people informed about what's going on. At the same time, we don't want to confuse people by saying something that we know might be changing but aren't sure exactly when or how. We want to be careful not to promise things that we're not sure we can deliver. There are also some things that would just be irresponsible to answer, like legal questions, or questions that ask for specific financial details about the company.
Also, as you can see many times on this page, there are a lot of people who are frustrated and upset about the change, and it's natural for people to express that in ways that are difficult for us to respond to. Some of the people who are giving feedback don't have a lot of experience with running a business -- for example, some folks are having a hard time with the difference between a non-profit organization and a for-profit company. We knew going into this process that we would see a lot of hurt and angry reactions. It's our job to respond to that in a way that's responsible and professional.
There are a lot of different channels that we've been responding on -- e-mail, forum pages, Communitytest, talk pages, community portals, and IRC. If you look at all of those channels, you'll see that we've been providing pretty much 24/7 coverage, from early morning to late night, for about a week. I think Wikia contributors are getting a level of consistent, responsive "customer service" that I've never really seen anywhere else.
But we know that that's not enough. Nothing would be. The ad format change is driven by financial needs and ad-market pressures. The ads are intruding on article space, and that's annoying, disruptive and ugly. The people who have spent years working on their wikis are upset about it. The people who are the most upset are obviously the people who care the most and work the hardest on their wikis. I'm one of the people who's given a lot of my time to the wiki that I created -- I've been working on Muppet Wiki since 2005, and I've made more than 60,000 edits there. I understand the impact that the ad format change will have, and I understand how worried and sad people are.
Still, somebody needs to make the hard decisions that are necessary to keep Wikia healthy in the long term, and somebody needs to go out and talk to people about it. We knew that meant that people would be angry with us personally, because they have to be angry at someone, and here we are. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 14:08, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Do you understand that, while people do dislike the ads, at least 40% of what they're responding to is the way they are being treated? Like children or mushrooms (to be kept int he dark and fed bullshit.) Wikia's communication strategy has been to evade unpleasant questions, recite canned statement, and keep pushing statistics of dubious providence while trying to pretend user resistance doesn't exist. It's that attitude that really pisses people off. because it really seems like if you thought you could get away with completely ignoring user complaints, you would.
Christ Danny, Teletraan-1 found dealing with you last time so unpleasant that no one wanted to do it again. I was named our Wikia go-between as punishment. (Whether for me or for you I'm not entirely sure. probably both.) -Derik 18:11, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Big Impact

All I can see is that Wikia's New Style is going to destroy wikia itself. Many citizens of the wikis say they will leave the wikis because of this change. And if the new ad layout is supposed to make more people see the ads, and huge loss of users occurs, what is the point of the ne layout. Petition against Wikia's New Style at here. <<UDK>>-<<Talk>>-<<Contribs>>-<<YCM>>

I'm not going to leave my wikis - if anything, my wikis will leave Wikia and the community will follow, and the Wikia copy will remain as a dead fork. Ausir 15:51, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

THANK YOU, WIKIA!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks very much, Wikia, for finally making Monaco like it is going to be soon! It will fit the best on my wiki. But, will we still be able to customize it?

(-:,

Jonathan "Asoue1286" Snicket

Leave Me a Message! / Email Me! / See My Contribs!


Some part of your face is very brown right now. --Fandyllic 02:47, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Fandyllic I think you are missing the subtle point here. The New Monaco really is a better skin than Old Monaco was - but only if your browser is filtering ad content for you. With AdBlock Pro working for you the Old Monaco left a blank white space to the right of the site logo where the ads are supposed to appear. There was no collapsing due to the size of the site logo. With the New Monaco as demonstrated at communitytest.wikia.com the article content that is supposed to be pushed down by top-right or banner ads does slide upwards after AdBlock does it's sweet job.
  • I personally look forward to the new Monobook without RH advertising margin because even with AdBlock Pro working for me currently, that margin does not collapse to allow the main content area to expand.
What I anticipate the immediate response by many sites to be is twofold:
  1. an infobox positioned top right of main page strongly recommending that new visitors save themselves the indignation of being force-fed unwanted advertising by installing a plugin such as AdBlock Pro to "enhance your wikia browsing experience".
  2. a dummy table floated to top right of every page to force the banner at top style alternative. This essentially means that no existing page need make any changes to coexist with the new ad delivery model. Content simply slides down to a point on the screen where it already is today if you happen to be using the Old Monaco skin as your site default.
Item 1 is not necessarily detrimental to Wikia's cash flow since Wikia will be collecting revenue for so-called "impression advertising" and not "click through advertising". It isn't Wikia's problem if a growing percentage of site visitors employ plug-ins to filter ads. The article on click through ads suggested that 4-5 people out of 1000 click on those click through ads. At least that was measurable. It will be a whole new challenge to go measure what fraction of one percent of people are no longer using AdBlock style plugins to filter advertising.
To further the billboard analogy used elsewhere in this brier patch of feedback that Wikia staff are hopping through with such admirable agility: Wikia are planning to sell "impression advertising" on a billboard but the grass and trees in front of that billboard are not within Wikia's power to cut or prune. ... It makes me wonder what phase two of this roll out will involve.
Najevi 04:03, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Some discussions archived to oblivion?

There was a change noted as "archiving" that deleted my section "Is the Wikia's New Style article up-to-date?", but now this section doesn't appear in either Archive 1 or Archive 2.

Did someone forget to paste after they cut? --Fandyllic 02:46, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

It's possible that there was an edit conflict when I did the archiving. It's also possible that I made a mistake. Which piece is missing from the archive? -- Danny@fandom (talk) 02:59, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Okay, I made a mistake, the section is just higher on the page and was not archived. Sorry about that. --Fandyllic 03:45, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

True article area comparison?

True-area-comparison

See at right... I made this as an attempt at correcting the version presented on Wikia's New Style, since it did not show the area covered by the ad in the content area which can't legitimately be called "article area".

Does this seem right?

Area-comparison

The original is from Changes to Monaco section shown at right.

--Fandyllic 03:45, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Someone uploaded my image over the original, so you can't see what it looked like anymore. --Fandyllic18:16, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Oh good, someone reverted the original. --Fandyllic 19:29, 17 June 2008 (UTC)


I like how Danny fully protected Wikia's New Style, where Image:Area-comparison.jpg is shown. GHe (Talk) 03:51, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Good catch. To be complete though you should show the New Monaco content area rectangle (~330x770px) when banner at top ad delivery is triggered by a table floated to top right of article. You ought to see a box that is very similar to the Old Monaco (~270x770px) purple/violet box. Najevi 04:12, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
I think he was a little thrown when people began disagreeing with the picture of reality he was presenting. With citations. -Derik 04:18, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Danny's protection. There is plenty of discussion space, but we need that page to be "Wikia's message". It's best that anything you disagree with is discussed here (in the particular case, Danny has said he will find a different source for stats) -- sannse@fandom (talk) 13:12, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Actually, it'd be best if you didn't cite fraudulent traffic numbers from our wiki to support your proposed change. Then sourcing them to put them in context wouldn't be necessary. -Derik 14:52, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
They were the figures as we saw them and as we understood them. But as I said, Danny will be reviewing them. -- sannse@fandom (talk) 17:40, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for using my updated image on Wikia's New Style. This adds back a little credibility, even if only for about 5 days. A Wikia person didn't do it, but they didn't revert it either. --Fandyllic 18:08, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Nevermind, someone reverted it. So much for credibility. --Fandyllic 19:30, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Choose of advertisements or limitation of advertisements

It is good that we can have a balance between advertisment and contents. In additional, I'd like to know if wikia owners can have more controls over advertisements distributed. For example, it would be good if our wikia (http://babyish.wikia.com) can have those advertismenets about immigrating to USA, gambling and lottery related advertisements as well as advertisements with female showing half of their breasts or their cleverages removed. Some users of my wikia will find these advertisements offensive. I noticed that Wikia is using OpenX to distribute the advertisements, so I believe it is possible to do so, right? -- Tomchiukc 03:41, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

If you have any complaints about particular ads that are appearing on your wiki, please report them to JSharp. He takes care of that stuff. We don't want offensive ads to appear on the site either -- and often, the contributors see stuff before we do. Just let Jae know. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 03:43, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Me don't like...

I am a bit disappointed. I don't like the ads pushing the infobox, images down. It draws attention to the commercial. I was hoping that layout would never happen here. I've seen it on many other sites. But I guess Wikia cannot do anything about it :(. I've always used monobook and when Quartz and Monaco came in I left Wikia because I thought they had sold it off and completely changed the layout. Anyway, I hope the change doesn't affect users who choose Monobook in preferences. Chicken7talk 06:20, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

It won't change straight away, but the same ads will eventually be on all skins (the current right sidebar on monobook would be removed) -- sannse@fandom (talk) 13:27, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Then i will leave Pierlot McCrooke 13:55, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Does it mean the change will affect uncyclopedia an its sister languages then?--Rataube 19:45, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
No, not at the moment. There are likely to be changes to Uncyclopedia in the future, nothing stays the same, but the "parodying Wikipedia" aspect means that we need to look at Uncyclopedia and its sisters individually... and not yet -- sannse@fandom (talk) 09:48, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Option for Paid Wikis

Instead of ads, couldn't we (the users/editors) just opt to pay Wikia directly instead, similar to Livejournal's business model? They allow people the option to donate to friends. I'm sure people here would be more than happy to make donations to an individual wiki to keep it ad-free. --mnenyver 07:58, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Edit: Checking the archives, I see this has already been discussed to death. However, the arguments against paid accounts are specious and show a real lack of understanding of just what you have here. Support the community, ask for help working out any issues you have, find a way to make it work and you will be overwhelmed with the outpouring of community support returned to you. --mnenyver 08:32, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

  • It has been suggested (I think it was on Wookieepedia) that Wikia simply put a donate button in. I think this is a good idea but Wikia may disagree as itgives them no definate income. However, if they do it and then find that they aren't getting enough then they can always come back to this idea, and if that does happen, people will not be able to complain as much as it's partly their fault for not donating enough - Kingpin13
    • A donate button, or just go to flat-rate accounts. Other wiki hosts do this -- I don't see why it can't be done here. However, right now, the most appropriate solution for the wiki I work on is to move it somewhere with non-disruptive ads or ad-free hosting. The current ads on Wikia are disruptive enough. Having them inside the article area is just too much. --mnenyver 03:04, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

This might sound kinda rediculous >>sigh<< but since we're seemingly stuck with the banners, I'd be willing to pay to have a text banner (like we saw earlier today) vs having a full graphic banner for free (like we're seeing now). Wouldn't that make up for any lost revenue from not having the full graphic without stifling the advertisers ability to advertise? Wishful thinking, I suppose, but it beats the alternative. Tim Donahey 03:31, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Ouch

I'm really considering moving my wiki to a different host after this change. Pushing ads into the content area is just going too far.

Also, Monaco is one of the worst wiki skins I've seen. One of the problems is its approach to interwiki links - because they're now in a scroll-down list, I'm not able to middle-click them to open them in a new tab, and I do check progress of international versions of my wiki pretty often.

One more question - will these new ads appear only in Monaco, or also on Monobook and other skins?

I have a feeling that this is going to just drive people away from Wikia or towards AdBlock. Ausir 10:31, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

About the Monobook skin, look elsewhere on this page. MarioGalaxy2433g5 {talk/contribs/Logs} 12:13, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

I hate it. Metroidhunter32 13:29, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Dismissing advertisements after they have been displayed

Is it going to be allowed to add some Javascript to the project's common.js which would let the handful of unfortunate users who still do not use ad blocking dismiss the advertisement with a mouse click and restore the normal look of the page? Drennan 14:09, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Request to edit the protected page

Someone please fix the broken link to Communitytest's main page under item 5 of the "Changes to Monaco" section of the Wikia's New Style page. The bar | in the link should become a space. I cannot edit the page because it is protected. --Kernigh 14:23, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Okay, I got it -- thanks for catching that! -- Danny@fandom (talk) 14:29, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Wikia

Wikia, please do not listen to adventisers who want 300x250px ads Pierlot McCrooke 17:59, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

This is ridiculous

This is ridiculous! Ads in the content of a page? What happens to infoboxes? Look at this. There's an infobox in the top right corner, which is gonna be moved somewhere; left? down? It looks best where it is right now thanks. More ads are sufferable, but please for sanity's sake, put them in better places. (Check out UESP, it has ads on every single page, but they annoy no one.) {{SUBST:User:Game_Lord/Sig}} 18:07, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

This is insane.

Why are we fighting about this anyway? And, if I recall, you were fighting about the switch to Monaco, Quartz, and the first Slate and Smoke skins. You guys must really love to argue... Sanawon 18:18, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Because the new style has ads in the content area and it's even worse then before. Wikia is now trying to turn us into their money makers and obviously people don't care for that. WillSWC 18:46, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
And I still hate Monaco and Quartz for their treatment of interwiki links. Ausir 18:47, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
On a similar note, the treatment of interlanguage links is particularly unfortunate in Monaco. It is impossible to know at a glance that there is another language available, since all pages display an enabled dropdown box with the current language. Most people will therefore block it out as a static part of the webpage. In my view, the language box should not exist if the current language is the only language. --GreenReaper(talk) 18:56, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I agree, it shouldn't show if there is one language. I'll get that change requested. I think long term, the best way would be an option between two types of boxes, a long list for those that want it all visible at once, and a dropdown for those that want to save space. I'll suggest that too -- sannse@fandom (talk) 19:42, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
I actually wholeheartedly embraced the initial change to Monaco. --LordTBT Talk! 19:47, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
THIS IS SPARTA! But seriously, it does seem pretty trivial. Just keep things how they are. Runer5h 20:18, 12 June 2008 (UTC)Runer5h
I said "This is insane.", not "This is madness!" :P sanawon 16:01, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Hey, welcome to the human race ;). If things stay the same then Wikia won't be making enough money. - Kingpin13 on Wookiepedia

Please, show to us the **REAL** ads

Yes, we have CommunityTest to see how articles look with ads, but those ads are google ads, not the ads that will be shown.

We will have ads like that? [1], [2], [3]

If all of we complain with ads on the article area, imagine if the ads would be like that... --Ciencia Al Poder (talk) -WikiDex 20:11, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

The ads that you're showing there are the kinds of ads that we're trying to avoid. Switching to the new ad format will help us to attract a higher class of advertiser. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 06:14, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
I personally highly doubt wikia would have those style of adverts showing... esp the epileptic causing ads... Daworm 11:52, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
Those ads were shown on our wiki some months ago: [4] and [5]. I only want to see examples of ads that we would see. --Ciencia Al Poder (talk) -WikiDex 13:29, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Edit preview bug: always shows block style ad

For a page that will trigger the 90x730 banner style ad the edit preview window will always show the 300x250 block style ad.

For an example see this page on communitytest. Najevi 02:19, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

You're right; it looks like that's a bug. Thanks for letting us know; I'll pass it on so it can get fixed. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 06:15, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for that prompt fix. Next layer of the same onion is for the edit preview to correctly detect when a page is too short to warrant either type of ad. Example:
  • Open 7200_Final_Duel_I for edit
  • Click preview and you'll see the block ad is displayed
Off topic: kudos to whomever fixed the auto dismissal of the link suggest feature upon press of the right-arrow key. It would be great if ]-key and |-key had the same effect. najevi 20:20, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

I'm still waiting

So . . . wait, Danny. I use Ironic Capital Letters to Poke Fun at a problem while asking a Completely Legitimate Question, and you become Horribly Offended (Oh no, Ironic Capital Letters!!!!! [Oh no! Ironic Capital Letters Again! It's almost as if you Brought This On Yourself!]) and use it as an excuse to completely avoid actually answering the question. Why do I get the feeling Wikia doesn't want to answer the question? If I were going to disrespect you, I'd be doing a hell of a lot worse than using capital letters to mark phrases. You've taken a lot worse disrespect, yet you don't comment on that. It's only when someone asks a hard question that all of a sudden, "Ooooh, I'm not going to answer that! You sounded kind of mean!" So here, consider this politely asked: Please explain exactly who "the advertisers" are, explain why it is that apparently only this ad form will do, or get someone on here who can do the above. I don't know how you expect anyone to genuinely understand the situation without providing that information, and I can't think of any reason Wikia wouldn't want to give it other than that they want to keep their users in the dark to make it easier to railroad changes over them. Maybe if Wikia showed any respect for us, if it did anything to earn any respect, it would actually get some. Until then, Wikia's pretty much forfeited the benefit of the doubt. I'm not sitting here going "Fuck you, Wikia! You're ruining my life!" I asked a necessary question and did it in the same mildly snarky way I did everything. Answer it. Havac 03:14, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Havac, I'm sorry... I'm not trying to avoid your question; I'm just having a hard time understanding it. You're asking, "Who are the advertisers?" I'm not sure how to answer that. Are you looking for a list of names?
We have someone working full time on ad sales. He talks to a lot of people, and offers our ad space for sale. I've been using the phrase "the advertisers" because it isn't a specific set of people -- it's a lot of people. You'll start to see some of the new ads starting next week, when the new format launches. It's not appropriate for me to provide a list of companies that we're talking to about ad sales, and I'm not sure why that would be helpful.
Your other question is, "Why is it that apparently only this ad form will do?" The answer is that as we've approached companies about advertising on our site, many people have told us that they would like to, if they could get a 300x250 ad at the top right. If they can't get that, then they're not interested. It's a very common ad format now, and they can find lots of other websites who will provide the ad format that they prefer. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 03:48, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Well, I wanted to know what you mean when you say "The advertisers". Apparently it is a large group of potential advertisers the sales people speak with. OK. And they say 300x250 or nothing. OK. Are there other advertisers who would be willing to buy non-250x300 ads? People do buy those elsewhere. If not (and I doubt that), why are we being asked to propose alternate systems, none of which (except the rather-good-but-now-bumped-to-archive ad-in-the-top-right-outside-content solution, which I would like to see more discussion of) would work? What I want is to try to get some facts and explanations so I can understand what's going on rather than engage in superficial bickering. Havac 04:14, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
So just to clarify Danny (and I think this is what Havac was asking) did the advertizers ask for such an ad on the top right of the page (which I can agree would seem liek a pretty common request!) or did they ask for such an ad at the top right INSIDE THE ARTICLE? Because it's the 'inside the article' thing that seems to be borking people here.
We realize that ads within the article body are probably more valuable to you, but when pressed abotut he decision you always say that 'the advertisers demanded it,' without saying WHAT the advertisers demanded. Hovac seems to think that the advertisers demanded ads there, and rather than designing a page that would accommodate ads of that size, in that location (such as by rearranging the controls...) which is of course what the advertisers meant, you've instead taken this as an opportunity to created much more valuable ads in that location than they would have been proposing and shift all the blame for the resulting user backlash onto the advertisers. "Don't blame us, we hate it too! It was the advertisers! We had no choice, feel sorry for us!"
Havac, is that what you're getting at? "You keep saying that advertisers burst into your office and told you that Wikia would be shut down unless you put spam in the MIDDLE of the article," is the scenario he paints, and you... um... what's the word... simply don't believe that's a credible picture of reality? -Derik 05:13, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Derik, the short answer to your question is: Yes. Prospective advertisers that we've approached have told us that they would be interested in buying ads that are inside the article space. That's the current practice for internet advertising, which you can see on virtually every other content site. I posted a list of six examples above, including one wiki. The advertisers that we're trying to attract are smart. They know that people ignore and block their ads. Therefore, they expect to place ads in places where people are less likely to ignore them -- like inside the article space.
However, you are correct in one respect: We have not had advertisers bursting into our office and threatening us with foreclosure. Office-bursting is not typical business behavior.
To answer Havac's question: People are not being asked to propose alternate systems. People have been making proposals, but we haven't invited it, or said that we would follow through with the suggestions that are being made. I tried to make this clear above, under the heading "Alternatives discussion", as well as several other places.
We know that the new ad format is intrusive, and we're not happy about disrupting the format that people are used to. This has been a difficult decision to make, and we knew that people would be upset. As an active wiki founder myself, I'm not happy to have to redesign pages, and have ads appear in the content space. But I'm also an adult, and I know that sometimes you have to make compromises in order to achieve a goal. In this case, the goal is for Wikia to earn a profit, remain healthy as a company, and provide a home for wikis on any subject that people want to write about.
I think part of the problem that you and I are having in communicating about this is a misunderstanding of the difference between a non-profit organization and a for-profit company.
Non-profit organizations, like the Wikimedia Foundation or Amnesty International, use public money -- government funds, charitable grants and public donations. They have a special tax status, which is granted by the government in exchange for making their financial information completely public. Non-profit organizations use public funds -- and therefore, it's their responsibility to prove to anyone who asks that they're spending the money that they receive in an appropriate way. Non-profits are audited once a year by the government, and they produce annual reports that are open to the public, in which they document every line item in the budget.
Wikia is a for-profit company. We don't receive public funds; our money comes from private investors, and from advertisers who buy ad space. We're not required to make details of our finances available for public view. In fact, to do that would be very inappropriate and unwise. For-profit companies have competitors. We have to keep the details of our business confidential. This isn't unusual or sneaky -- it's what every company does, to protect their information from being used by competitors.
Now, Wikia is an unusual company, because we have multiple "customers", and we're responsible to all of them. We're responsible to the contributors, who write the content, design their wikis and manage their communities. We're responsible to the readers, and we're always looking for new ways to encourage them to read more and join the communities. We're responsible to advertisers, in the sense that we need to provide ad formats that people are interested in paying us for. Finally, we're responsible to our investors, who provided us with our initial capital, and who are expecting a return on their investment. Each of those groups is important to us, and it's our responsibility to balance those differing needs.
We take our responsibility to the contributors very seriously. You can probably see how seriously we take that commitment when you look at the time stamps on my own posts over the last week. I've been waking up every morning to respond to people on this page and elsewhere on the site, and I'm still here talking to people late into the night. That's a level of personal customer service that I think is very rare, for any company.
However -- just because we're listening and responding to people doesn't mean that we have to follow everyone's suggestions, or answer questions that would be inappropriate or impractical to answer.
In an earlier post, Havac demanded that I "get you the money guy" so that he could answer your questions. The money guy is busy. He's trying to get us some money. If you have some money, and would like to buy some ads on Wikia, then I'll be happy to put you in touch with him.
If not, then I have to assume that you're a community member, in which case you talk to the community guy. That would be me. Hi, Havac. Hi, Derik. What can I do for you? -- Danny@fandom (talk) 05:48, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Thank you Danny, for actually talking to us like adults for once instead of obfuscating and snowjobbing. It's incredibly refreshing. I'd like to see it more. It would make people happier, and probably cut this little shitstorm *points around* by 40%. what can you do for us? That's pretty much it, it's what we've been asking for and not getting up until now. -Derik 06:33, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Any time, Derik. I'm all about making people happier. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 06:38, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

top-RH block style ad vs banner style ad

We are shown two ad formats at the communitytest wiki site. Both appear in the content area below the page title but above or aligned with the first line of an article.

  1. a 300x250 pixel block style ad in the top-right hand corner
  2. a 90x730 pixel banner style ad across the top

Are your paying advertisers equally satisfied by both impression advertising locations and sizes or is one format a compromise that Wikia hope the paying advertisers will agree to? Najevi 03:31, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

The advertisers that we've talked to expect a mix of ad inventory, leaning towards the 300x250 block ad as the most common. That's the mix that we're using with this format. On most article pages, you'll see a 300x250 on the right. When there's a collision that would break a table at the top, you'll see a 90x730 leaderboard. This format allows us the flexibility to provide the kind of ad sizes that people will pay for.
If we were going entirely for what would sell the best, then it would probably be a 300x250 top right ad on every page. But that would break some pages, so we're offering a mix. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 03:40, 13 June 2008 (UTC)


Sorry if this has been asked or answered, but it's hard to tell when we have this page + 2 archives now. At any rate, Danny your level of customer service is to be lauded, and you must certainly have a lot of Red Bull near your desk. Does the new ad system (banners and what I'm just going to call "the box") include the rollover-expanding ads in it's selection? E.g. I roll my mouse over the banner or the box, and then it expands to a half-page style ad I have to X out? If it doesn't, would you potentially sell these types of ads Thank you. --LordTBT Talk! 06:44, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Yucky. — TulipVorlax 08:21, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
My turn to answer... (although Danny seems to have drawn the short straw on either time-zone or site activity or both, and is getting most of the questions ;)
This is hard to answer, because we have no idea of what the future will bring for Wikia. So I'm not going to say that this or that won't happen ever, because I can't predict that fully, and it wouldn't be honest to pretend I can. But I can say that there are no current plans for this type of ad, and that we are very aware that this would be even further intruding in to editors space. We've seen the reaction to the current plans, we certainly don't want to go further down that road. -- sannse@fandom (talk) 10:04, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
We all don't want to go further down that road, but all this seems inevitable, doesn't it? This is amazing; I somehow predicted that Wikia would go as far as making this change, and now I'm proven right! Something like that change basically hints that Wikia is planning pop-ups in the future, probably because Wikia doesn't feel that even this new monaco ad deterioration will be "sufficient", both in acquiring revenue as well as turning off potential contributors. And I guess the change now is to deter future arguments regarding timing. For example, in the future, if a user notes "OMG you pulled another fast one with the switch to popups!", Wikia would simply say "Well, we modified our Terms of use, which had said that 'Wikia will never host pop-up adverts.' for over 2 years (2004-12-24), back on June 14, 2008, so there!" I thought the word "never" would hold for at least a good 5 to 10 years but ... guess not. Next thing you'll know, the staff Cabal will oversight or manipulate the database to hide or alter previous revisions to censor the fact that that phrase ever existed in the first place in the Terms of use. I will laugh so hard if that does eventually happen. GHe (Talk) 20:31, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
Someone reported seeing an expandable 728x90 banner ad on Muppet Wiki last week before she logged in. She also had a problem in which the expanded frame of the banner wouldn't close in her browser. The problem with the broken "close ad" button was reported and, I assume, resolved. But, regardless of whether Wikia plans to continue the practice, it looks like expandable ads have already been sold on some wikis. -- Peter (talk) 16:17, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, I took out the line about never hosting pop-ups. We're starting to talk about the terms of service, and we noticed that that specific line made a promise that we weren't comfortable with. That line was written back in 2004, when the business was very different. In general, it probably isn't a good idea to write the word "never" in your terms of service. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 20:50, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
hehGHe (Talk) 02:32, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
Popups would solve the "impressions vs clicks" issue without affecting the layout of the article content, so it stands to reason that they would have been discussed.  I thought of proposing them myself, but then I saw that sentence on the terms of use page!  On the other hand, I can see why advertisers might prefer embedded ads, since AFAICT it requires much more effort on the reader's part to fight them off, and most readers (including me) wouldn't bother.    Ryan W 21:49, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Common sense says...

Hey, Wikia. Notice how nobody on this forum wants the ads-in-the-content thing? That means don't do it. Period. It's as simple as that. Don't think about it, don't think how the advertisers won't like it, just don't do it. The ads where they are right now are fine. Leave the content area alone. Okay? Good, glad we all agree. --From Andoria with Love 10:13, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

  • Congratulations, you've just made ana rse out of yourself. At least read all the information before telling Wikia what I want, yeah? {{SUBST:User:Jasca Ducato/sig.css}} 12:57, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

I kinda figured that would be the response I'd get, lol! My apologies, I was in a particularly bad mood at the time. Still don't agree with the change, though. :/ --From Andoria with Love 08:21, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Reaction to Top-Right Adbox

Ad suggestion

I looked through the archive, but I couldn't find any official Wikia reaction to the suggestion for a top-right ad box outside of the content area (shown at right). Is such a layout not possible with the current advertising contract? Is the ad required to be in the primary content area? --TarrVetus 13:23, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, this is what I wrote in the discussion called "I'm still waiting" above:
Prospective advertisers that we've approached have told us that they would be interested in buying ads that are inside the article space. That's the current practice for internet advertising, which you can see on virtually every other content site. I posted a list of six examples above, including one wiki. The advertisers that we're trying to attract are smart. They know that people ignore and block their ads. Therefore, they expect to place ads in places where people are less likely to ignore them -- like inside the article space.
We're actually not talking about a current contract... We're talking about various companies that we've approached to sell ad space over the past few months. We've been told by many advertisers that they would be more likely to buy ad space if they could get a 300x250 ad in the top right, in the article space. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 14:02, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Double-dipping on mainpages.

Is there a specific reason the mainpages have to display both a banner ad and a content space block ad? Because that makes a lot of mainpage info shoved down by advertising.--RosicrucianTalk 15:29, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

It's the same sort of reason as before: advertisers like main pages. So those are spaces they want, and selling two together means they can go as a block, very handy. It's part of the compromises we made, to put the size and type that sell best in the places they sell best... but remove them where we can elsewhere (none on "editors pages", none on stubs, less on logged in user's views...) -- sannse@fandom (talk) 17:35, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Also, so you know: The main page redesign won't happen immediately, so you don't have to worry about that page right now. When the new ad format launches on Tuesday, it'll only affect article pages, and not the main page. Community and content folks will come around to individual wikis over the next couple weeks to help you add the new column tags on the main page. If you want a head start on it, check out the Help article on main page column tags. You can also just leave it for now, and folks will be around to help you with it within the next couple weeks. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 17:37, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

What?!

I know that many people have voiced their dislike about the new ad placements, and now I must voice mine. Having ads in the content areas completely destroys the page itself, and even when the ads are blocked, it's simply a huge blank space in the middle of a page, which makes no sense. And also, if they want the ads Wikia must have them? What? Kevin-020 17:06, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Wikia is supported by advertising. That's how we make the money that we need to stay open. If we can't sell advertising space, then Wikia goes out of business, and all of our wikis close.
It's a big change, and not a pleasant one for our communities. It's just a step that we have to take in order to stay in business. Please check Communitytest to see how pages will look using the new ad format, and feel free to copy over pages from your wiki to check out how they'll look.
There's been a lot of discussion about the rationale behind the change on this page. For example, see the "Alternatives discussion" and "I'm still waiting" threads above. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 17:42, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
How about paying contributors then? That's what TheForce.net and the other websites crammed with ads do. Do you expect to find many volunteers wanting to work gratis while seeing Jimbo and wikia get all the money? And don't say you're short of cash, cuz if you are, you should have taken the credit card away from Jimbo before. 12344321 19:05, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Personally I don't see what the big fuss is about. Everyone should go away, drink a cup of tea, come back and see that they have been having a paddy about nothing. So there is going to be some ads in the article, sure, I don't like it and I'm going to do my best to find a better solution but some people are over reacting a little bit - Kingpin13

My perspective

Whatever needs to be done to keep Wikia in business will be done. I understand that. I support whatever it takes to do that, even if I hate the changes themselves. But increasing the advertising space on the pages means to me that the existing ad spaces have not been generating the clicks necessary to provide the revenue stream needed to pay the expenses of the servers and personnel costs associated with providing the service. Wikia is a for-profit business. If they don't make the revenue to pay their expenses, they go out of business, and 6,000+ communities will need to find a new place to collaborate.

All that said, I believe that this change to increased ad space on the pages and within the content space of the pages says louder than anything else that the advertising model of revenue generation in general is a failed strategy. I wish Wikia would look into other methods of generating revenue as alternatives. For those communities that are willing and able, subscriptions could replace advertising. Or have people sponsor a page. Or have community fundraisers of some kind. There are alternatives to advertising that we should be looking into, and I hope that someday we will be. Chadlupkes 17:39, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Chad, I've seen some of your suggestions on the Central mailing list. I know that you've thought about this a lot, and it's nice to see how committed you are to finding alternatives. Unfortunately, many of your suggestions are more appropriate to a non-profit organization than a for-profit company. The investment plan that you talked about in your e-mail was for a non-profit... It wouldn't work the same way for a for-profit company. Page sponsorships and community fundraisers are also more appropriate for a non-profit.
It's okay for non-profits to exist more or less hand-to-mouth -- their job is to recoup their operating costs, and put all profits back into the organization. A for-profit company has investors and shareholders, so the rules are different for us. I wrote some more about this above, under "I'm still waiting." -- Danny@fandom (talk) 19:01, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Non-profits do business with for-profits all the time. If Star Wars would set up a non-profit status for themselves, and offered to pay Wikia for hosting their site, would you do business with them? Advertising as a business model is killing this planet, Danny. That's just my personal opinion, but I'm pretty serious about it. Chadlupkes 20:16, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Wikia has always been ad-supported; that's been clear from the beginning. Everyone's participation on a Wikia wiki has been made with the understanding that Wikia is a for-profit company that is supported by advertising. What you're seeing now is an adjustment in the size and location of the advertising. That's a change in the design of the site, but it's not a change in the way that we do business.
It sounds like you feel uncomfortable contributing to a wiki that's hosted by an ad-supported for-profit company. I'm not sure that I can help you feel more comfortable about it. The only thing that I can say is that it's not possible for Wikia to become a non-profit organization. Wikia is not a charity; it's a business. That hasn't changed. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 22:27, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
No, Danny, you're not getting what I'm saying. I'm trying to think outside the box. There is nothing preventing a for-profit company using the methods of non-profits to produce an income. Ok, there is one thing preventing it. We have to think outside of the box. If for-profit companies refuse to explore new ideas, our culture will continue to be eaten and destroyed by advertisers. Wikia could do things beyond advertising. You're not going to. I'm just as comfortable now as I was before. Just more annoyed with our overall culture. Chadlupkes 17:29, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Increase in user logins

When wikis have switched from Monobook to Monaco, they've seen huge jumps in the number of readers, contributors and user logins.

That's probably because people wanted the Monobook skin back. Zeldafanjtl 18:48, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Is the New Monaco Skin mandatory?

I really hope not. The consensus at Illogicopedia is that we, and I personally, would like to keep Monobook. I'm all for Web 2.0 implementation but we're losing the visual association with Wikipedia and hence interface familiarity is lost. -- Hindleyite 19:04, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Yes, this will be the default skin for all wikis (with some very specific exceptions and delays). Monobook will stay available as a personal choice though -- sannse@fandom (talk) 19:24, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Huh, Special:ProblemReports/10845 --Ciencia Al Poder (talk) -WikiDex 19:39, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
That looks like an IE6 issue. If you are using IE6 upgrade to IE7. --GAHOO t/ c 19:46, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
No, that looks like a Monaco issue. So we use Monobook. There are many users who still use IE6. Upgrade is not the solution. --Ciencia Al Poder (talk) -WikiDex 20:00, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
I'll take that as a yes. --GAHOO t/ c 20:15, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
For reference: WikiFur (a site with an unusually high proportion of Firefox users) still has 40% using IE, 25% of which are using IE6 (i.e. 10% total visitors). --GreenReaper(talk) 20:23, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Yup. FFXIclopedia is about the same. --GAHOO t/ c 20:30, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Also, there are "hard-coded" texts in monaco that we can't translate. --Ciencia Al Poder (talk) -WikiDex 20:21, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
As far as the problem report goes... that's a technical issue. Clearly, there's something in the Monaco skin that's interacting with that specific template on IE6. We try to anticipate every situation on every browser, but obviously, things come up that we didn't know about. Now that we know this one, we can figure out how to fix it. That's a service that Wikia provides. Thanks for letting us know about the problem. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 22:14, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Although it is a good thing to upgrade, we must also think of users and investors alike. It IS good to change things around, due to the fact that it catches the eye of both investor and prominent new members alike, but wears away the origional authenticity of the users that were previously here. The new style looks great, but switching but switching things around can become quite a hassle (even more so when you have to look for the new search bar day in day out). Therefore, why not make it support both? we have random spawnings within set pages on here that always catches one's eye already, let's make a list on the side allowing us to go "Classic Wiki Monobook Style" or something of the sort? That way, we can have the appealing displays for the investors, yet all those who have been loyal to wiki for a while can still be able to find their way around in the style they remember so dearly. Investor and user solution alike if you will.Bloodgreaver 18:10 13 June 2008 (PDT)
Yeah, absolutely. You'll still be able to use Monobook as your own personal skin. If you like seeing the search box in the familiar Monobook place, then you'll be able to do that with no problem. You can choose your own skin in the Preferences. The change that's going to happen is that all wikis will have Monaco as the default skin for new readers. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 01:15, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
Just to clarify- you've got a bug that causes major visual layout problems for 10% of your userbase... and your response it to force them to upgrade their software- which their hardware may-or-may-not support (why else stll be usign such an old version) rather than track down what's wrong with Wikia's CSS? (And it HAS to be a CSS problem, because this works in your other skins.)
Seriously. you suck. -Derik 18:58, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Derik: That wasn't our response. Gahoo doesn't work for Wikia, and his suggestion to upgrade was his own opinion. My actual response was that it was a bug, and now that we know about it, we'll fix it. Please be sure to read carefully before you jump to conclusions about Wikia's responses. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 19:03, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

*re-reads* Oh, hrm, I thought you echo'd his 'register so you can change your skin' response. Oh well, my bad, won't be the last time. -Derik 20:11, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
To be clear. I was merely pointing out that that bug is an IE6 bug that was fixed in IE7. I know about it since I use IE6 on some computers out of necessity - and hate that bug. I did not intend to suggest that it should be ignored and that the 10% of users using IE6 should be left behind - to the contrary those who know my involvement with FFXIclopedia know that I am always checking templates in IE6 to ensure full compatibility. That said... if you can upgrade you should since IE6 is particularly buggy and out of date. As for my not working for wikia - that's of course true. And if i did I would have been fired by now since there is no way I'd be able to take what Danny et al have been taking and not react more violently. --GAHOO t/ c 22:29, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Commmunity Test wiki

I think that Puppies is more appealing than Kittens. ;-) Najevi 01:47, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

My View

I can understand Wikia has to show a profit to its shareholders (you guys have plans to go public any time soon?) and Board of Directors, so I can understand the changes being made here. And the Wikia staffers fielding the questions are right. A lot of websites do now have ads in the content area. And of those sites, Wikia's placement of the ads are the cleanest I've seen. Some sites have them crammed into the content area wherever they can get them (this is especially prevalent on tech help forums). So, I can understand the need to put the ads where you're going to get the money, the narcissistic tendencies of some advertising companies aside.

The first problem we're having here seems to be arising from the Wikia's New Style page. To be quite frank, I think it's poorly written. Even I, who has enough experience building websites (not just articles) to know how things should be placed to catch attention to important areas, was confused. After first reading it, I might have thought both the leaderboard and 300x250 ad were going to be on all pages. Even after researching it more, I still wasn't quite sure how it was all going to work. How were pages really going to look with infoboxes as compared to just pictures, and what exactly does constitute an infobox, anyway?

It wasn't until I did experiments with my own content that I understood. And to be quite honestly, for 2/3 of the content people have on article pages, the placement of the ads isn't that bad. As people can see on this copy of my Constructed world's main page, the presence of the infobox forces the leaderboard instead of the tandem ad. No 300x250 box shown. So far, most of my other pages that are not about people don't have images. So, as can be seen here, the right box does show up, but it doesn't really make the page look bad. Plenty of whitespace, no clutter of content and ad; in a word, pretty good.

The problem comes - and I think this is what most people have an issue with - when you use a simple picture. When I made this page originally, the picture was pushed down, as expected. When you want to represent something visually right away, the presence of the ad suddenly takes away from that flow. Obviously, the advertisers want this, since people will see their ad right away instead. Now, the apparent solution (the one the Wikia staff seems to promote) is to float my picture on the left side of the preamble, but here's my issue with that. I have never, in my time editing wikis, seen that done. Never. There must be a reason for that. Wikipedia doesn't do it, and I've seen it at none of the wikis on this site, or any wiki at any other site for that matter.

I think that the reason people never float the beginning picture to the left is that it looks as bad as putting the ad there. When scanning webpages on the Internet to see if they'll be interested, people have a tendency to go in an backwards S shape down the page. They'll start at the site logo, and then go from left to right, until they reach about the spot where your tandem ad will be. Putting an image on the left before where a large block of text starts will break concentration, given our left to right society. It might work on a wiki where the text goes from right to left, but not here.

So, people are going to want their first image on the right, where it won't break people's concentration. Pushing that image down will end up forcing people to view the page in an unnatural way, which is good if you're an advertiser, but not so much if you're an editor wanting to make an article look good.

So, take a look at what I did at my last example. I have a feeling that forcing the tandem ad on this style of artilce page will end up backfiring on you, because people will try to stop it by trying to trick the ad code into thinking an infobox is there. So, I tried to see what it would take to trick it, and found that it pretty much takes only one nested table to force the ad to switch to the leaderboard.

Now, I'm not a fan of circumventing how things are meant to be, but I think you're going to have lot of people trying to circumvent this so that the flow of their pages are not messed with. You'll have people coming up with a hidden nested table, or a caption for their pictures in a nested table (like I did in my test page), just so that they won't have to get the tandem ad and have a break in the flow.

I think that we're seen time and again that people just don't like "in your face" advertising. Anywhere, not just Wikia. They in fact usually react quite negatively to it as you've seen here. And I've seen that the negativity actually usually comes from the lay reader most. First we had pop-ups and pop-unders (and still do, but not as much), then we had the java/flash ads that pop up and they're often hard to close, then ads that move across the page to attract attention and are impossible to close, and now the in-content ads. Of them all, these are probably tied with popups in annoyingly irritating behavior, except for instances with multiple pop-ups.

So I have no problem with the infobox forcing a leaderboard on top of the content, and even think the tandem ad on a non-preamble picture page is pretty brilliant. On the other hand, I'm with other people on the tandem forcing simple pictures down the page, and think it's going to backfire in one way or another, as I've shown.

Thank for reading! --Dymero 05:34, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Hi Dymero. When you say image leading on the left, do you mean like this? Because I think this works well. Additionally I'm interested in what exactly is forcing the banner ad at the top...because for this article I get the box, whereas in your example I get the top banner, and both have infobox-style templates...--LordTBT Talk! 06:52, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure it's because of the fact there's a nested table within the main one. If you take it out, the ad gets changed back to tandem. Although in your example, there is no ad because your page is too short. As for the left floated picture, on looking at your example, I guess it's not too too bad, but try telling that to most people. --Dymero 09:26, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Too many ads?

Look [6]. One ad box at the top-right inside the content, other at the end of the article inside the content and other on the bottom-left of the page, outside the article.

The pay-by-impression ad inside the article content doesn't give wikia enough revenue? How did Wikia remained healthy as a company until now, with only one pay-by-click ad? Remember that those ads will become more intrusive, being replaced with image ads with animation. Those ads seems to give a lot more revenue that the current ads, so the other ads seems unnecessary. If not, either Wikia or the wiki contributors are being deceived with that. Yes, I think that's abusing. --Ciencia Al Poder (talk) -WikiDex 08:53, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

I'm only seeing the top-right tandem ad. Am I missing something? --Dymero 09:33, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
This is what I see (both without a page reload): --Ciencia Al Poder (talk) -WikiDex 13:25, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
http://img515.imageshack.us/img515/6206/treatyofbarrion1xi7.th.png http://img505.imageshack.us/img505/5343/treatyofbarrion2qs3.th.png
The present ads have not been funding Wikia's expansion and would be unlikely to support its current operations. Wikia has, up until now, been funded mostly by "angel" funds and venture capital - about $20 million, I believe, some from Bessemer Partners, some from Amazon, and some from the original founders. At some point, this money will run out. I suspect Wikia would like to be making money before then - at least some significant proportion of their costs, to justify further investment. --GreenReaper(talk) 17:00, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

That is very odd! I do not see the ads you show at the bottom of content or on the LH navbar. In my LH navbar I see an "Our partners" box and an empty "Wikia Spotlight" box but no googlesyndication ads. (I doubt browser should make a difference but in the interest of being thorough ... What browser are you using? Mine is Firefox 3.0 RC3.)
The only filter that might be affecting my screenshot below is my OpenDNS category filtering however when OpenDNS blocks a portion of a page I always see evidence in the form of a box with an OpenDNS branded announcement in the location where the objectionable material would otherwise have appeared.

http://img74.imageshack.us/img74/4992/barriongs6.th.png

Maybe you viewed your test page at the communitytest wiki at a time when staff were experimenting with alternative ad placement or perhaps you caught a glimpse of phase 2 of this invasive advertising. najevi 16:40, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

It seems that those ads are not always shown. Reloading the page, sometimes shows one ad and sometimes three. The page [7] also shows 3 ads for me. --Ciencia Al Poder (talk) -WikiDex 17:00, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
Are the extra ads you sometimes see also served up by googlesyndication.com or are they from some other domain? najevi 18:35, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
I think the "Ads by Google" inside the ads on the screenshots I'd provide gives you the answer. But yes, I confirm that. --Ciencia Al Poder (talk) -WikiDex 18:49, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
The difference is whether you are logged in or out. Ciencia, you must have been logged out when you saw the extra ads? As it says on the introduction page:
  • Ads will be running in various sizes and placements on article pages. The ads will automatically be placed in text areas using the same logic that adding an image does – the text will wrap around the ads, and they won't disrupt templates or tables. Distracting movement in the ads will be kept to a minimum.
  • Logged-in users will only see one ad unit on article pages; a 300x250 ad unit at the top right. (Example) On pages where a 300x250 ad would disrupt a table, the ad will render as a banner ad. (Example) Logged-in users will not see any other ads on article pages – no banner ads, no ads in the sidebar, and no ads further down in the article area.
If you weren't logged out, there may be something wrong. Please let us know if that's the case - sannse@fandom (talk) 18:53, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
You are right, I was logged out. --Ciencia Al Poder (talk) -WikiDex 19:18, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Sannse, I am sorry, but I ruined your example links with my earlier edits to illustrate a different point. However, bunnies remains unadulterated!

I know you appreciate that it has been tough enough keeping in mind those wiki visitors viewing pages with 640x480, 800x600, 1024x768, etc desktop resolutions not to mention IE versus Firefox browsers (and FF2.0 behaving very badly with table borders - that fortunately get's fixed in FF3.0RC3) ... we now have to concern ourselves with logged in versus logged out views being significantly different. I hope that you will work with my wiki to reach a happy middle ground that doesn't steer away potential regular visitors. najevi 20:10, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

The differences are in the sidebar, and at the foot of the article. The top ad is the same with both views, so this shouldn't interfere with page design. The aim was to giver logged in users less ads, so wherever possible we removed them for logged in users -- sannse@fandom (talk) 21:02, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Stupid

Excuse my French, but why the hell do we need a flipping ad section anyway?? It's stupid! Wikipedia doesn't have one, nor does any other wiki I've been to, it's stupid. They get in the way, just like pop-ups, which are also stupid, so why do we need them?? Akira Otomo Talk | Contributions 15:20, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Servers cost money. A lot of money. So do the people to run them. How do you pay for them? Wikipedia relies on donations. Wikia does not. --GreenReaper(talk) 15:29, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Personal .css

From what I've been told, it seems there the only way for a logged in user to change the monoco skin is to have a personal .css. The wiki I edit at has a bit of a younger audience, and we have few users who know anything about .css. Does wikia have any .css guides or tutorials that we could possibly show users? Thanks, Tesfan 15:55, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Admins can customize the Monaco skin on their wiki using the page MediaWiki:Monaco.css. There's instructions on Help.wikia to help you customize the skin. That page needs to be updated a little bit to reflect the differences between the old and new versions of Monaco -- but there aren't many differences, and most of the information will stay exactly the same.
There are a bunch of wikis you can look at for examples of customized Monaco skins, including Wookieepedia, Age of Conan, Marvel Movies and Indiana Jones. Let us know if you want help customizing your wiki's skin; we'll be happy to help. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 17:29, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
There's also a wiki called Code Snippets, which is meant as a place to share useful bits of code and wiki markup. If anyone is interested in sharing knowledge of css for Monaco, that's a great place to contribute -- sannse@fandom (talk) 18:57, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

The New Monaco isn't very good

Well it needs some time because I was able to certemvate a banner ad into an article using some handy code. I think your technical team needs time to fix this. --Taylor Karras talk contributions 16:27, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, we're aware that people can use an empty table at the top to force the banner ad. We're taking a hands-off approach to that right now. There are some people who will be determined enough to put something like that on the top of every article on their wiki. Most wikis won't bother. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 17:33, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
  • I think a template to force a banner ad might be a good idea for small articles that are "just a bit to big" and will have ads on them, I've been told there is no ad on this article yet I see it everytime I view the page. The Lego Star Wars Wiki has a lot of pages like that and ads would ruin those articles unless there is some way to get a banner on them. I'm not saying I would add a template like that to every page on the wiki... I'm just saying that there might be some small articles that are "just a bit to big" and will have ads on them that will push the infobox down to where there is no other content because the ad is about as big as the content area is... --Jedimca0(Do or Do Not, There is No Try) 18:39, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
I think it might be an Infobox Template interfering with the ads and incorrectly determining it not to be a stub. Is there any way you can program the ads to not include the ({{ }}) template links determine an articles size. --Taylor Karras talk contributions 18:50, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
Jedimca0, are you able to take a screenshot of that article with ads? If you could upload it to communitytest, and let me know where it is, that woul dbe a help. Thanks -- sannse@fandom (talk) 19:04, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
I'm not getting an ad on that page either... It looks like you're getting an ad there that's aimed at people in the Netherlands, so maybe there's a bug that has to do with international ads. Can you give us more information about where you are? Is it possible that your laptop is registered as being in one country, and the other computer isn't? I'm just brainstorming at the moment... -- Danny@fandom (talk) 14:24, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
  • I'm not sure if both computers are registered as being in the same country, I think they are... and I do live in the Netherlands. After checking it, that's one of the few pages where I get that many ads aimed at people in the Netherlands, on the other pages I get more or only English ads. --Jedimca0(Do or Do Not, There is No Try) 15:38, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Remember the Content Creators.

This is... rather frustrating, and it's frustrating for a very simple reason. We create the content.

Wikia trades on the content we create The only reason it is a viable advertising outlet is because people like myself constantly generate new content. When a new Transformers episode airs, people rush to add content about it. This in turn allows READERS to read about the episode. Without us constantly updating, there would be no reason for readers to come back to the site.

We don't get paid, and now we don't even get acknowledged as having a say. Without us, you HAVE NO COMPANY. But you're making changes that will make the content we've produced less appealing, less eye-catching and less entertaining. It would be fine if wikia was intending to rework every single content page that is affected by the new design. But they won't -- they CAN'T, it's an insane thing to ask.

So it falls to us editors to do it.

Do you see what I'm saying here? Without us you have no content. Without us all you have is a bunch of servers. Maybe it's time you started paying us -- perhaps a few cents an update or something. That would be nice. Maybe you could pay us a few cents a word, just like old pulp fiction magazine writers.

You can't, of course. If our feelings are hurt by the changes you're making, you should listen.

We're going to have to go back to the drawing board now. We're going to have to work with an ugly, horrible page design to try and make our content be still entertaining and interesting and engaging. We're going to have to compete with obnoxious ads that try and steal the readers' attention. The whole environment of Wikia has suddenly become less pleasant for we, the editors.

I for one, as a person who likes this place as an escape, a hobby, kinda resent that. If you're going to turn this into work, maybe it IS time you started paying us. Jhiaxus 18:14, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Content is created by the common user everywhere. Asking Wikia to "pay" you is an understatment because we contribute because we feel like we have information to contribute to these wikis. If people were to contribute for money, then the whole "balance" would be ruined. I don't see any reason why Wikia should pay you or anyone else for contributing. Contributing is only a hobby, nothing more, nothing less. --Taylor Karras talk contributions 18:34, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
Taylor is right that it's a balance... And, yes, one side of that is that we need to make sure the site stays a place where you will enjoy contributing. And although this is a difficult change for many of you editors, we believe that's this can work, and that Wikia can continue to be a place that you want to come to and build the sites you love. Wikia staff will do all we can to help with the transition, so please let us know where and when you want help. We'll also be coming around to wikis in the next few weeks to help with main pages, to ensure they stay well formatted around the new ads. -- sannse@fandom (talk) 19:21, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
Jhiaxus, it's true that the contributors create the content that people come to Wikia to read. It's so obvious that the contributors are important to the site that maybe we don't say it as loud or as often as we should. You're absolutely right -- without the contributors who write content, design pages and manage the community, there's no wiki. If there are no wikis, then there's no Wikia.
That logic also works the other way around. When we have technical problems and the database slows down, then the contributors complain -- and rightly so. That means we need community people who pay attention to the communities and see the complaints. We need engineers who can identify the problem and fix it, as quickly as possible. We need operations people who can analyze what happened and take the appropriate steps to reduce the chance that it'll happen again. We need managers who can coordinate all of this, and make sure that everything is running smoothly. We need offices and bookkeeping and occasional air conditioning. All of this costs money, just to make sure that when the site slows down, we can speed it back up again.
So the relationship works both ways: If there's no Wikia, then there are no wikis.
You said (in a previous edit), "Maybe it's time to stop throwing the, "We're a company and have to stay solvent" thing back in our faces. We're the only reason you could possibly stay solvent." You could just as easily turn that statement around. Wikia's solvency is the only reason that your wiki exists, and will continue to exist in the long term.
It's true, we don't pay contributors to write content. On the other hand, contributors don't pay Wikia to host their wikis.
I've noticed that a lot of people over the last week have told us, quite proudly, that they use AdBlock, and will continue to use it. That means that you're using this site for free. We've taken a really hands-off approach to that, because we recognize that the people who are telling us that they use AdBlock are providing value to the company in other ways -- by creating and managing their wikis. But I think it's important to recognize that if you use AdBlock, then you're using the site for free -- and that means that somebody else has to pay.
Everybody who uses the service that Wikia offers does so with the full knowledge that this is a for-profit company that's supported by advertising. The new format does change something -- but it's not a fundamental change in the way that we do business, and it doesn't require a fundamental change in the relationship between Wikia and the contributors.
So I agree with you -- You contribute to your wiki because you enjoy it, because it brings value to your life, and because it's exciting to build something that you love. It's your choice whether you want to work on a wiki, and it's your choice whether you want that wiki to be at Wikia. If the new ad format damages your experience in a way that makes it not worthwhile anymore, then you can choose to stop contributing here. I hope that's not the case, but I understand that it's a possibility, and it's entirely up to you.
Whatever choice you decide to make, we're committed to helping you. As Sannse said, we'll be coming around to individual sites to help everyone adjust to the new format. If you decide that you don't want to contribute to your wiki anymore, then we'll make sure that Wikia stays solvent and healthy, so that the wiki will be here for you if you ever change your mind. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 19:57, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
It is not true that all these wikis need Wikia. They need a hosting service (pay or free) and they picked Wikia for various reasons. I know that WoWWiki (the 2nd largest Wikia wiki and closing fast on #1) moved to Wikia because the maintainer of WoWWiki was contacted by Wikia and, as far as I know, a deal was made before he did alot of searching for alternatives. That said, Wikia has been a good hosting service in the past and this is one of the few missteps I've experienced from Wikia. However, it is a misstep and until a post further down on this thread the reasons for the timing and various other things that will soon be imposed on editors and readers were not clearly explained. I thnk many of us want to continue to work with Wikia, but it is not the only wiki hosting service that is free and giving us reasons for looking for alternatives is a bad thing and can't be good for Wikia even if they think they will be around a long time as contributors come and go.
This attitude that Wikia will be here if we change our minds expresses a kind of hubris which doesn't sit well. You would be surprised how much an impact a few people can have in the small community that wikis comprise. Many companies have gone that road and it got washed out. Many of us who built these wikis may be here when Wikia is gone, just as you believe Wikia may outlast us. --Fandyllic 00:29, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Danny, I can't speak for others so this is my perspective only. My explicit mentioning and demonstrating of various workarounds in these early days is to point out flaws in the reasoning that has been communicated to me via the wikia staff's initial announcement as well as their responses in this forum.

I do not believe for one nanosecond that advertisers are ignorant to the tools which savvy browsers may use to avoid being bugged by ads. That is why this current advertising campaign is destined to have a limited shelf-life. Sometime in mid-2009 we'll be going through a similar ordeal as studies then show that fewer than 5 people out of every 1000 are not using ad filtering tools or intelligent DNS servers. (NoScript, AdBlock, Proxomitron, OpenDNS, Hosts file, etc.)

If you would just stop defending the (arguably bad) decision and began a dialog that starts something along the lines of:

  • These are our needs ...
  • What are your needs?
  • Are we speaking the truth?
  • These are our priorities ...
  • What are yours?
  • Is this point a deal breaker or a deal sweetener?
  • What do you think?
  • What else could we/you do?
  • Fair enough so how about this compromise?
  • Is it fair to all concerned?
  • Will it benefit all concerned?
  • Will it foster good will?
  • Do we have a meeting of the minds?
  • etc.

The absence of (and apparent unwillingness to enter into) this type of process is what I was referring to about leading a horse to water but not being able to force it to drink. It might appear from my posts that I don't want to see ad revenue at wikia spike upwards. Actually no! I have no problem with ads at Wikia. I do want to see them placed in a way that they can be embraced by the content creators rather than be shunned, detested or circumvented.

Just about every wiki site hosted here is using some form of logo to "brand" their site. Some do this because it's cool or because it's what they see every other site doing. That branding area of the UI is prime screen real estate for time shared advertising.
Your current Monaco skin does something very close to this time sharing thing with the widgets bar sharing space with the advertising banner at the very top of the UI.

Here are a few ideas your marketing and design experts might want to give some thought to:

  1. allow a content area ad to be dismissed once viewed
  2. auto-dismiss an ad placed within content area after some fraction of a minute
  3. figure out some user activity detection script that restores a dismissed ad after several minutes of inactivity and then either allows a one click dismissal or auto-dismisses after several seconds of activity.
  4. revive and market the wasted screen real estate at the bottom of the LH navbar! You claim advertisers don't like that position so engage us content creators and encourage us to write articles that are longer (reward those of us who already do). I don't mean financially I mean make the ad placement a trade off decision that you automate like you do today for block ad vs leaderboard ad! If an article is so many "em"s long then you don't get either the the block ad at top RH corner or the leaderboard ad you get the LH navbar ad underneath (or above) Wikia Spotlight.
  5. develop and sell the site logo time share idea

If I can rattle off these few ideas working in a relative vacuum then just think how many more ideas you'd have if Wikia's Community Development Manager or Operations Manager actually took on the project of facilitating that type of brainstorming and review process with even your top 10 traffic-by-volume wiki communities. That is what I mean by facilitating a meeting of the minds.

You/we need to arm your marketing manager with an arsenal of reasons why wikia's proposed ad placement is better than anything they'll get elsewhere and here are the twenty reasons why.

Now the wiki site that I contribute to pales in significance and traffic when compared to wookiepedia, muppets, wow and others so I don't realistically expect any special say other than what noise I make in a forum like this one. What troubles me about this current debacle is that I have not read of any credible evidence of consultation with any of the big players here on Wikia!

GreenReaper's very early response and Gil's reply made that quite clear. When somebody earlier asked you to start treating us with respect and talk to us like adults the process I described above is the kind of approach I imagined they were meaning. (I might be wrong.)

So please go and reread what you have written about web browsing members of the public who choose to use any of the various filtering tools available. The insinuation is that these people are shirking some sort of responsibility to view impression ads. That is utter rubbish and I think you know that in your heart. So please stop with the spin doctoring. It isn't doing your credibility with me any good.

najevi 21:38, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Najevi: You're right. I think that your ideas are really good, and they're things that we should look at. There have been a lot of ideas and alternatives posted here in the last week. Some have been practical, some haven't. Yours are very practical, and worth investigating.
So, speaking the truth: We need to try this out, because we need some real data. We need to see what the actual impact is -- on the page designs, on the communities, on the readers and on the ad sales. And we need that data now, because advertisers are buying ads this month that will run through the end of the year. If we don't try something early this summer, then we lose out on Christmas ad sales, and that's a big potential loss.
As I said a few days ago, we'll be looking closely at all of that data. What launches on Tuesday will almost certainly not be exactly what we see six months from now. There will be bugs and loopholes that we'll have to fix. Somebody will have a good idea that makes things work better. We'll get some response from the community that makes us see things in a different way, and that'll lead to a better system.
There are two ways to have that period of deliberation and discovery. You could do it before you make any changes at all, and delay any changes until you've got a system that everyone agrees with. Or you could come up with an educated guess, put it up on the site, and give people something to play with and poke holes in.
One thing that tipped the scales towards "put it up and see how it works" was the time pressure around Christmas ad sales. But even without that, I personally think it's a better method anyway. If we started a conversation the way that you proposed, I think it would be very easy for people to ignore it -- it's not real until something is actually happening. It would also be easy for folks to take extreme viewpoints in the hopes of delaying any decision at all, and preserve the status quo.
As I've said before, I think the communication you're seeing from the community staff indicates the level of commitment we have to the community. In case you haven't noticed: It's Saturday afternoon. I don't know where you live, but here in San Francisco, it's 67 degrees and sunny. I'm not outside enjoying the day, because I'm here talking to you.
I'm fine with that -- I like talking to you, and it's an important thing to do. But if you expect me to listen to you and engage with you in this conversation, then please keep in mind the whole Saturday-afternoon thing, and cut me a little slack. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 22:08, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
This is one of the few direct and honest posts I've read here. Why did it take so long? Why isn't this reasoning in Wikia's New Style? I hope Wikia has learned from their "experiment", but it remains to be seen. If we had seen some of this honest feedback initially, I'm sure the uproar would have been much less. The problem is this info will scroll off to the archives in a day or less and people will complain based on what they see on Wikia's New Style and miss important parts of the story. Oh well. --Fandyllic 00:17, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Fixed Width

I think that is always been a design problem of every media-wiki based site: Why has the skin a variable width? on a widescreen i have around 240 keystrokes per line. that is nothing but a bad layout. the new skin should have at least a maximum width--Shimas 19:28, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Fixing image alignment to article text

If image alignment to text is the only thing that bothers you then you are fortunate because a fix for that is trivial. It has been alluded to in several comments posted in this forum and has been demonstrated at the communitytest wiki on at least a few pages that I know of. The simple fix forces the leaderboard style ad which is not the advertiser's first preference but it is reportedly an acceptable alternative for those cases where page content would otherwise be adversely affected.

So what's the fix?
At the first line of any affected page insert an empty table using:
{|
|}

Variations on this theme can be seen at communitytest but you need to look for them. That's why I like puppies (and even grover) better than kittens. Danny has stated that for now Wikia staff are taking a hands off approach to this fix.

Danny I am grateful for this initial position statement however, I would very much prefer to hear that this is Wikia's long term policy rather than just an initial response. Many people actually do respect such things as "Terms of Service" especially when the service provided by Wikia is generally very good. So for those of us who do think this way it would be nice to know that we are not running afoul of any such current or planned TOS. najevi 19:35, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

That's a really good question. The reason why I say that we're taking a hands-off approach "for now" is because we need to see how it plays out. I completely understand why some people want to find a workaround that preserves their page designs. At the same time, I expect that the contributors understand that if that workaround substantially damages Wikia's ability to sell advertising, then we'll have to take a different kind of approach.
I'm being vague about this, because it really depends on how things work out -- how many people use a workaround like this, how often they use it, and what the impact is on our ad sales. I can't make promises about long-term policy, because I can't predict what people will choose to do.
I know that it's a part of internet culture (and wiki culture) to create hacks and workarounds. That can be a really positive thing, and it's led to interesting design breakthroughs on lots of wikis. Wiki people love to make choices, and customize things.
It's also part of internet culture to "game the system", and see how much you can get away with. It's fun to get things for free that other people have to pay for. It feels good when you're clever enough to figure out how to bend the rules.
That's why we expect Wikia contributors to act in good faith. We expect people to be mature, and understand that sometimes you have to compromise. We expect that the people who are smart enough to "game the system" are also smart enough to know that they are part of the system. Everyone's interests are interconnected here, and the choices that you make spread out like ripples in a pond. In the long run, what you do on your own wiki affects everybody on every wiki.
So I can't give you a policy statement about this right now, but I can give you a suggestion: Use this workaround sparingly.
I totally understand why you'd want to use it on certain pages. I've already thought about using it myself, on the Sesame Street Episode Guide pages on Muppet Wiki. It would be a huge pain to reformat those pages, and forcing a banner ad would make life a lot easier there.
So yeah, if this workaround helps you to preserve a complicated design for a particular category, then it can be a really useful tool. On the other hand, if it turns out that all of the biggest wikis use bots to add this workaround to every single page on their wiki, then that's going to damage Wikia's ability to sell ads. Ultimately, that hurts everyone, because it means that either Wikia goes out of business, or we have to find even more aggressive and intrusive ways to make money.
I think it's in everyone's long-term interest to act in good faith, as mature adults who have the same shared goal. We all want the wikis on Wikia to be popular and attractive and amazing, and we want them to be around for years and years. We can all work together towards that goal. It requires good faith and understanding from everyone. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 20:35, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
Thank you. That is understandable and sage advice. najevi 21:54, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
It's really no different than the old arrangement with the ads- it was possible for wiki admins to use their global css file to make wikia completely ad-free. It wasn't even hard. ...but that was against the Terms of Service, which require a wikia to in good-faith preserve the ads. (Individual users were free to hide them using personal css files and I don't think that has changed.) As danny says- we currently have the power to jam the ad system... but hand-in-hand with that we have a good-faith responsibility not to. The ads switch to banners in order to be NICE and preserve page layout. There's a trust there that we won't use this power (provided for our discretionary use) in a blanket manner (lacking discretion.) Over on Teletraan 1 our main 'article notice' templates use tables, they always have. They're at the top of a lot of articles. That means a generous percentage of the articles on the wiki- including the most active, biggest, most in-progress ones... are gonna feature the banners not the adblocks through no action of our own. Wikia's probably not thrilled with that-- but they respect that it's really THEIR problem, not ours. On the other hand- if we went through blocking every page on purpose... then it's very MUCH US that is the problem.
Let Wikia be the problem. You'll feel better with the moral high ground. -Derik 19:13, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Boycott list reminder

Just reminding people that I have a Forum:Boycott Wikia's New Style page. Read it and decide on your own. If you agree with me, sign it. If you don't, don't sign it and leave a comment if you like. --Fandyllic 23:37, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

How times have changed

Read this and drown in the irony. "We're hosting free-content on open-source software, making it very easy for people to leave if we piss them off. It would be stupid for any company to risk that." I miss that attitude. Perhaps we'll find it somewhere else now. -- Darth Culator (Talk) 02:30, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, that sure is interesting, isn't it? Note the emphasis there: "Wikicities will never have pop-up ads!" And yet, see the interesting change Danny made on Saturday to the Terms of Use. No pop-up ads? Don't count on it, my friends. Got anything for us here, Danny? ElasticMuffin 15:48, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
He addressed this above. --GAHOO t/ c 16:00, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
Good catch. It's impossible to find this stuff in this useless muddled forum format. Oh well. I don't imagine me pointing it out again will hurt. ElasticMuffin 16:11, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Want more? From [9]:

  • By Angela: Rather than have an advert right along the top of the page like that, you could join Wikia and see only one small ad in the top corner which isn't even visible when you scroll down the page.. Hilarious, isn't it?.
  • By Angela: The money you would make from advertising on this wiki might not even cover the hosting costs of the wiki. They have only one google ad at the very top of the page, outside the content, and you can easily hide by scrolling down. And the ad covers successfully the costs of the server and the other sites hosted there:
  • By Archaic: at this point in time, it appears that the google ads will pay for more than double our existing hosting costs for the entire Bulbagarden network, if we maintain our current level of revenue.. And here seems like we are indebted with Wikia, even with ads. They are very lucky of not being hosted by Wikia! --Ciencia Al Poder (talk) -WikiDex 18:23, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
The scary thing is that wasn't even 1 year ago. -- LordTBT Talk! 21:43, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Edit preview bugs : related to ads in content area

Elsewhere I reported two edit preview bugs related to ads within content area. The first was fixed within 24 hours the second bug was reported over the weekend. Please check that post.

Here are two more edit preview bugs:

First
The label, Preview and the red font "This is only a preview; changes have not yet been saved!" ought to be moved to a point above the Page Title or at least to a point above the leaderboard ad.
Previously this did not matter to page layout and for pages where a leaderboard ad will be displayed, it still does not matter. However, on pages where a block ad will appear the true effect on article layout cannot be seen with the way a page edit previews today.
  • A satisfactory alternative would be to align the top of the block ad with the top of the first line of preview content instead of the top of the Preview heading.
Second
When editing an article section that appears mid-way down a page the edit preview still insists on inserting either a block ad or leaderboard ad depending upon the layout of that section. Of course this is not the intended purpose for displaying an ad in edit preview. ... is it Danny?  ;-)

najevi 04:45, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for those, I'll get them both reported (not sure how the second is going to work out, could be tricky to do - not that I'm enough of a techy type to know for sure) -- sannse@fandom (talk) 09:07, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Edit preview feature request

It would demonstrate Wikia's stated desire to preserve the appeal Wikia offers to content creators if the edit preview displayed a gray or transparent rectangle in place of the block ad or leaderboard ad. This rectangle serves the necessary function of keeping an editor mindful of the effect of specifically the block ad on article layout.

Please think about this carefully before reacting with a knee jerk. I have two reasons for requesting this feature:

First
Since last week's announcement I have disabled NoScript so that I can see these ads. I have worked on the communitytest wiki both logged in and logged out so what I am suggesting here is based on that first hand experience with ads in the edit preview.
Creating content and developing that material to make it appealing to a target community requires a degree of focus or concentration. As an editor, you often scan a page preview and mentally note 3 to 5 items that need a touch up or correction. Usually it is easy to remember that many items as you switch your attention back to the edit box. An undesirable consequence of displaying live ads in the edit preview is that an editor's concentration can be broken by a distracting ad. The live ads in edit preview are a distraction to that edit process that was not in the focus field of view before now.
This makes it easier to forget 2 or 3 of those half dozen points you planned on touching up.
  • The live ad(s) in edit preview are an impediment to productivity.
Second
Today I was adding a section to our site's [Help:Why_create_an_account] page and found myself preparing this simple table. I may have been brainwashed by one too many of Danny's posts in the past week so you might recognize a little marketing spin in the comparison presented by this table. ;-)
UnRegistered Registered Advertisement placement
X  browsing interface: left-hand navigation bar below the widget boxes
X  browsing interface: page footer below the article content area
X  editing interface: left-hand navigation bar below the widget boxes
X  editing interface: page footer below the article content area
yikes!uh-oh! edit preview: article content area as described below
XX article content area: depending on page layout either:
  • a block ad in top RH corner or
  • a leaderboard style ad across top of article below page title and above article text
XX main page content area: both ads as described above
Of course this page and this table is all about encouraging the casual visitor to create an account. I realized that I cannot honestly claim that the editing user interface is free of advertising because of the advertising being displayed during edit previews.
  • So my second reason is that I'd like to be able to turn uh-oh! into an empty cell.

A gray or transparent box will serve the same function of making an editor mindful of the effect on article layout of ads placed in the content area but without breaking the editor's focus from the all important task of creating quality content.

As I review this for the Nth time I am thinking, yikes! Even an unregistered user should not suffer the distraction of advertising while previewing their edit. If an unregistered editor makes a careless mistake due to such a distraction then it may go unnoticed by them and so create additional house cleaning for one of the regular, registered users. On the matter of edit productivity, there should be no discrimination between registered and unregistered users.
najevi 04:46, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

I'll put this forward, I think it will be a matter of practical considerations - Christian and the other guys working on this will know more -- sannse@fandom (talk) 09:14, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

It goes into effect...

Does New Monaco go into effect GMT (a matter of hours), or EST? -- LordTBT Talk! 21:26, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Current plan is to release around 9AM UTC tomorrow, but it may be a little earlier or a little later. Will update this post if we know anything more precise angies@fandom (talk) 21:55, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Ads on Image & Category Pages

Perhaps this question is a little late, but it seems most have been caught up in the ads appearing on articles, and we forgot that they're also appearing on image and category pages. Looking at this image, the ad appears broken...is this right?

Also, where will the ads be on category pages? -- LordTBT Talk! 23:29, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

On categories they are in the same place as on articles... see w:c:communitytest:Category:Community for example. On image pages, they are under the image, where the text starts. Are you seeing that broken? -- sannse@fandom (talk) 23:54, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
So is this correct? The ad overlaps the file history bar...[10] --LordTBT Talk! 02:12, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
Humm, I think it's as designed, but maybe the formatting could be better... I'll see what can be done -- sannse@fandom (talk) 05:42, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Skin choice / consistent look and feel / ad placement

Would you please tell us more about the reasoning behind the "consistent look and feel" requirement.

As you know it was communicated in the announcement and on this forum that consistent look and feel is an advertiser driven requirement. Was that the whole truth? recap:

We have to standardize the way our site looks across all wikis, using the Monaco skin for anonymous users. In the past, communities have used various skins – Monaco, Quartz or Monobook. That's a luxury that we can't afford to offer any more, as advertisers strongly prefer a consistent look-and-feel.

I am having a difficulty understanding why that is important when the locations for ad placement are:

  1. content area: top-RH block style below page title
  2. content area: leaderboard style below page title
  3. Skin: below content area
  4. Skin: below LH sidebar widgets
First of all, have I omitted any current or planned ad placement locations from the above list?

The only ad placement in the above list that could possibly be affected by the freedom of choice between Monaco and Monobook skins as the site default is the fourth one. This is only due to the narrower width of LH sidebar for Monobook (155px) relative to Monaco (215px).

  • Am I missing some other subtle point here?


What is the obstacle to selling LH sidebar ads that fit within 155px? 
These would also be usable in a 215px sidebar albeit with a 30px border on either side.
What is the obstacle to selling LH sidebar ads in two width formats? 
The 155px width ad format would reach a wider audience (i.e. fetch a premium price) since they can be viewed by entire communities which freely choose between either Monobook or Monaco as the site-default skin. The 215px width format would reach a smaller audience but might afford some other benefit (that I can't imagine right now.)

The sales opportunity for the first three ad placement locations are equal and independent of the choice of either Monaco or Monobook as a default skin.

  • Do you now understand why more words need to be communicated about the reasons for mandating Monaco and deprecating Monobook as the default skin for a wiki community?


LH sidebar widgets
Now I suspect that the whole truth behind the mandated Monaco skin has more to do with plans for widgets in the LH navbar than it has to do with advertising sales opportunity. I can well understand that supporting widgets in two width formats would present a burden to wikia's engineering team.

  • Is this the true reason behind the "consistent look and feel" requirement?

najevi 23:42, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Najav, I feel we are getting into a level of detail here that is unsustainable. Much as we want to be clear about what's happening, we can't sit with you here and micro-analyse our every decision. As has been said before, one of the reasons for the "consistent look and feel" is that it will help us with advertisers. And another reason is that it's easier and more cost-effective to maintain and develop wikis with one skin. That's not some sort of hidden "real truth", but a part of the whole complex decision on the skin. -- sannse@fandom (talk) 00:14, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
A skin that has withstood the test of time (Monobook) is no longer available as a site default. The reasons given are twofold: advertiser's preference and cost-effective maintenance. The first reason has been brought into question in a thoughtfully considered and very reasonable way. Those questions remain unanswered.
As far as maintaining two skins is concerned. Wikia needs to do that in any case because it has been clearly advertised that registered users will continue to be able to select Monobook as their personal skin preference. It is incongruous to cite cost-effective maintenance as a reason for mandating Monaco while deprecating Monobook and yet still advertise (and in good faith I take you at your word on this point) that the Monobook skin will remain accessible to registered users who wish to select it.
That kind of lip service leads the uninformed (and yet patiently and politely enquiring) among us to assume/suspect/wonder/fear that Monobook might be discontinued as a user preference at some point in the future. Forgive me if this view is too cynical. Skepticism tends to creeps in when fair questions go unanswered.
najevi 04:23, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
There are no plans to remove monobook as a personal skin choice. But future features may not work on monobook, as is the case with some recent features such as Edit Tips. -- sannse@fandom (talk) 06:09, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Just to clarify...

The terms of use currently state "No user shall remove the advertising, or sponsored search features from the wiki in a way which means other users can not view the advertisements." Now this is taken to mean that we can't alter the site-wide skin files to eliminate the ads, but what about posting instructions for how our users can remove them on their end? If I would put up a sitenotice pointing users to instructions for using Firefox with AdBlock, would Wikia staff be compelled to take it down? -- Darth Culator (Talk) 23:49, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Well... we would ask you to take it down :) We have had exactly that situation in the past, and that was what happened. I think it's not to much to ask that you don't sabotage the source of income that keeps the wiki going. -- sannse@fandom (talk) 00:18, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
  • And I think it's not too much to ask that you not sabotage the look and feel and flow of our content, but we seem to disagree on that. -- Darth Culator (Talk) 00:45, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
It's fine to be unhappy about the ads - angry, even - but there's no need to be passive-aggressive about it. If you feel the ads are a problem for your readers and/or editors, it's best to confront the issue - either find some other stable source of revenue for Wikia, or move. Asking Wikia exactly how far you can push them before they throw you off the site is not likely to lead to a happy ending for anyone. --GreenReaper(talk) 00:52, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
My two cents here, but Wikia appears to have negotiated a better deal than they at first showed us. The 'intelligent' ads--only placing the giant corner boxes of doom on some pages--were a change for the better. Wikia is pinned between trying to please the ideal of an ad-less Internet, and dealing with the cold reality that if they don't have money for the servers, the servers will shut down. From what I can see, they've done the best they could given the situation. --TarrVetus 13:34, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
What use is a site that few people would like? No one likes ads, but they weren't a problem before until now, where they appear in places that no other decent site would ever think to place. Could not solve it by placing more ads in the bottom in place of the wikia spotlights (leaving only 1 or 2 in the side menu) and leaving the one in the top in the side of the logo like before? Also, could make a ad space in the side that sizes to the page size: The bigger the article, more ads in the side. It seens that two wikis ([11] and [12]) are planning to leave, and I would not be surprised if more appear. If this is the best they could have done, I don't want to imagine the worst... Placing tons of stupid ads in the bottom would be much better them this. --18:57, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

June 17th Changes

I wanted to update everyone on where we are with the new ad format change and where we're going. We'll make the first part of the switch to New Monaco tomorrow -- Tuesday, June 17th. This will affect all wikis currently on Monaco, but not those currently on Monobook. We'll be helping wikis on Monobook switch over in the coming weeks.

We've made a number of changes to the original plan based on your feedback and the live tests on the Community Test wiki. We can't take up all your suggestions, or remove the need to make these big changes, but you should know that we continue to read your feedback and act on it where we can.

What you're going to see on the site tomorrow isn't set in stone. We need to see how this works on the site, identify any bugs, collect more data and hear more feedback. Then we need to look at both sides of the equation and figure out the parts that aren't balanced right. We're committed to making Wikia work - both as a company and as a community.

Wikia staff will be around tomorrow to collect feedback and bug reports. Please let us know if you see anything broken or if anything in the new skin doesn't seem to work for your wiki. Thanks for your passion, your suggestions and your patience.

Gil (talk) @fandom 05:50, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

I don't like the fact that the bar with edit, history, move, etc. doesn't line up with the side bar at the top, that should be sorted and isn't too hard. And the ads have screwed the appearance of wikis right up, you could at least chuck 'em at the bottom under the articles? Andre666 09:27, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
I will expect any and all available staff members to redesign my wiki's main page and ensure all other pages look good with this change for me. I will not spare what little free time I get just to fix something that isn't broken, to make sure the first page most of my visitors see isn't overlapped by some ads only every other time.
Furthermore, this will be the last time I still stick around Wikia to "see what develops". I have done this numerous times in the past and I have always been disappointed. This is more than disappointing and I'm frankly fed up. "We need ads to survive and be the best out there", "surely with every change some people are bound to leave". Thanks, that helps! Wow, I feel better already.
Where's my voice? All Wikia does is for its own ends or to promote their biggest wikis, to make the successful more successful. Where's the GW link on the Wikia main page? Where's the music hub? Where are the contributors? Seeing as Monaco is so proven to create contributors out of thin air, I expect this force-feeding to yield some results. By the end of August, we should have about 20 active contributors and about 500 pages. I can't wait!
Bottomline: Wikia would do just fine with one banner ad. If people are to click the ads, they will click them. The in-your-face technique has never worked in internet advertising and I fail to see how it makes my viewers contributors. --Sysrq868 10:32, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

It sucks

The banner adds under the article title are not tooo bad, but I hate the square box on the right. The square box messes with the formatting on the page and pushes the primary picture of the page down. That picture should be the primary focus or at least be visible which it hardly is. I feel this just makes the wikia look cheap and unprofessional. -- MadYoer (Communicate!) 09:33, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

I agree with you. I'm going to need to do some major overhaul with TalkShoe Wiki in order for it to look it's best under New Monaco. Admitidly, some wiki's loog good under New Monaco, but I dislike the ad in the conent. It cheapens Wikia as a whole, just saying. --Taylor Karras talk contributions 09:40, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
Totally agree, unprofessional wikis are not going to be visited. Wikia you've forgotten what you're supposed to be about!! Andre666 09:42, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
No. The content is professional. The ad placement isn't. --Taylor Karras talk contributions 09:44, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

While we have to put up with this agonising change, where do I upload my logo now? Andre666 09:42, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Image:Wiki.png. --Taylor Karras talk contributions 09:43, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
Logo info --Uberfuzzy 11:59, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

More Money for You

We make free content and you make advertising dollars off it… then you get greedy and want more money so you start messing with the content that we all created... Try and keep it simple... we make content you make money...not a lot but enough.

Makes me want to do more work at Wikipedia...-- MadYoer (Communicate!) 09:49, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

We are doing this so we can make the enough you speak of, to continue to host and support the wikis. Kirkburn (talk) 13:08, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
No, Wikia does not make money... The starting investments was what Wikia has been running off of, the amount of money generated by past ads is so insignificant that those investments were being constantly drained and would one day run out. ~NOTASTAFF Daniel Friesen (DanTMan, Nadir Seen Fire) (talk) (tricks) (current topic) Jun 17, 2008 @ 13:37 (UTC)
The actual google ads give Wikia enought revenue to maintain the site, but Wikia wants more. That's the truth. --Ciencia Al Poder (talk) -WikiDex 18:23, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Bug report: Banner overflow covers controls on image detail page

Picture of bug on image detail pages, banner ads are overflowing into the controls if the article div is smaller than the ad. (They're overflowing tot he left of the box, you probably want them to overflow to the right) Presumably a minor fix. -Derik 10:26, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Thanks Derik, that's been fixed -- sannse@fandom (talk) 10:39, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
*checks timestamps* Ha, 10 minutes. I was right. Nice turnaround! -Derik 16:45, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Box? Banner? Is this a bug?

Sometimes articles show a box in the upper-right, sometimes a banner, but the problem is that I can never anticipate which is going to appear. I was going to start reformatting templates and such for the new skin, but I can't predict if the top of the screen or the top-right is going to be consumed by the ads. Is this a bug? --TarrVetus 11:35, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Having checked a few articles on Wookieepedia, it looks to me like a feature:
  • User pages, project pages, templates, and very short articles have no ads
  • Most long articles get the by now infamous box in the upper right corner, unless they are:
  • Articles which start with certain templates (like Wookieepedia's ubiquitous character/spaceship/battle/etc. infoboxes) that need banner ads instead because the box would upset the formatting.
Do I have this right? If so, I have to say the changes look a lot better than I had worried they would. —Silly Dan (talk) 11:56, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
After spending a while browsing through the wiki, you're right--the box doesn't appear on every page. That's great! My biggest problem with it was the conflict between the box ad and traditional right-set infoboxes. --TarrVetus 13:14, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
Yes, that's right. Special pages and talk pages also have no ads, and depending on how things work out their could be changes to the logic (for example, the box could sometimes be a banner even if there is no clash), but at the moment it's set for "box unless there is a clash". -- sannse@fandom (talk) 13:21, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Ads on short pages

I keep getting ads on the short articles on the Lego Star Wars Wiki, the ads keep pushing down the info boxes and they end up below the rest of the content.
here are two examples:

It makes the pages look ugly and weird. I tested one of the above pages on the CommunityTest Wiki a few days ago and I was the only one who got ads on this page then, I uploaded an image of that page with the ad, which can be found on the talk page. I think it's the fact that the infobox counts as content too, I feel it shouldn't. The infobox gets pushed down by the ad while there are only one or two lines of "real content." The Lego Star Wars Wiki is a smal wiki, for now. But many of the articles wil never grow to be very big, like the ones about the smaller sets. --Jedimca0(Do or Do Not, There is No Try) 12:23, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

From what I can see, these pages are just on the borderline between "long" and "short". Depending on your screen resolution and monitor size, they may be long enough to trigger an ad. On larger monitors, they probably won't -- sannse@fandom (talk) 13:22, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
Window size? Wowzers! Are these things really that sensitive? That must have been tricky to negotiate! --TarrVetus 13:30, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
And I'm seeing the exact same thing on the Half-Life wiki. WHITE SPACE MUCH? That's not the only problem, the ads are also stuffing up image placement, sometimes causing images to bleed over into the text. Example.
Thanks a lot for alienating your contributors by screwing up their work, Wikia, I'm packing my bags and I'm not making another non-discussion edit until this trash is removed from the article area. You clearly haven't really listened to any of the complaints, examples or solutions the community has put forward. Trying to reason any further is a waste of time. --MattyDienhoff 13:43, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
We chose to use length of the page as the defining factor for "short" pages, so if the page (without the ad) is longer than the limit, then an ad will show. We need some sort of cut-off, and I'm afraid there will always be edge cases.
On the images bleeding... I don't see it in your example, is it possible for you to post a screenshot so we can see what you see? Thanks -- sannse@fandom (talk) 14:36, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
Here it is. On length, infobox code shouldn't be considered part of the article length, it's not a reliable indicator as this page shows. --MattyDienhoff 15:04, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
MattyDienhoff, I must agree with you. All the hard work... Thanks! The whole layout is messed up, I'm not amused. It can not be true that you really like pages to look like this? What's the improvement there? --Wild Whiphid 14:17, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
This would just be a total disaster. Some weird looking ads with a black rectangular in front of our pages? What's going on here? Not only will this keep visitors away with these ugly and unrealiable ads, it could also scare away users from many Wiki's ... Not amused ! --Sompeetalay 14:20, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

For short pages with an infobox, like this one, no ad or at least a banner ad would be better. Is it possible to "ignore" the infoboxes, I mean... they should not be considered content... I think that would solve this problem. --Jedimca0(Do or Do Not, There is No Try) 18:44, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

This is one of the major things I don't like (besides excessively flashy ads). Wikia should not count infoboxes as content. w3stfa11 23:01, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Objectionable ads

So now that we have an even more diverse array of crap shoved in our faces, is there a central location for reporting ads we find offensive? -- Darth Culator (Talk) 13:59, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Please mail community@wikia.com or leave a message on User talk:JSharp. Thanks -- sannse@fandom (talk) 14:41, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Ads Are Pushing Infobox-Like Templates Down

They're pushing them down. Simply put, the page now doesn't look that great. The templates are custom made, and look better than what an infobox would in that case, but it doesn't trigger the box ad to go to a banner. It just pushes it down, and makes the template go below the content. Is there any way to make it so it doesn't without resorting to using Infoboxes for that? Look: There's the page. it should still have the ads pushing it down... It just doesn't look great. --Omega Blademan Sound Check Contribs 14:06, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

I'm running into exactly the same problem at the StarCraft wiki. Did wookiepedia find a way around this? Kimera 757 (talk) 00:54, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

  • Apparently, our pre-existing infobox templates incorporate some sort of "table" code which stops the box from appearing and replaces it with a banner. This wasn't a response to the new skin (we've had our infoboxes like that since the Monobook days), but it has gotten rid of the one thing which annoyed me most about the new ad placement. If you check one of our few long articles with no infobox, you'll see that we have the box ads too. —Silly Dan (talk) 01:34, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

For which wiki? (You're on a bunch of them.) Kimera 757 (talk) 20:27, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

Did you seriously....

...just put a banner for gay fitness on the top of my strength training wiki?

I have to say it again, just because it sounds so rediculous you might think I'm joking. You just put a huge banner for GAY FITNESS on my STRENGTH TRAINING WIKI. Are you out of your fracking skulls?! That is uncool on many, many levels.

I guess the good news is I was only working on my wiki for a couple weeks before this AMAZING UPSET, so finding a new website won't be as difficult a transition for me as it is for some of you guys. But dissapointing just the same.

Tim Donahey 14:27, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

I guess it's not just girls that find a strong, muscular man attractive. *chuckles*
Also, if it's a Google ad, bear in mind that the ads shown might depend on the person watching. When I go to that wiki, I get an ad for an internet application development conference. --GreenReaper(talk) 15:24, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

It looks like either the banner changed or google changed my sexual demographic, whichever one, it now shows a different banner for me. Oh man though, the other banner was seriously obnoxious.

Anyhow I don't particularly appreciate the lack of control over the content of my wiki and so I've already begun exporting the wiki to a new host, one where I can PAY for the privelage of contextual authority. It sucks though since I'd already begun promoting the wiki and had a virtually pre-wrapped audience visiting it.

This business with the banner has me 31 flavors of pissed off. Oh well, live and learn.

Tim Donahey 17:08, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Tim - I've enjoyed working with you on the wiki and helping you ge t itoff the ground

Yeah, we're seeing some problems around the site with ads that are sort of low-quality and inappropriate. We're looking right now at changes that we can make in the ad server configuration to get more appropriate ads on the site. You should see a change soon-ish -- I would say by mid-day today.
The quality of ads is definitely a problem that we can fix work on. This is the beginning of the first day -- so keep telling us what's wrong, and then please give us a minute to fix it. :) -- Danny@fandom (talk) 17:12, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

I appeciate you looking into this, but it seems clear that I have no control over the ads being displayed, and worse yet, Wikia has no control over them. This is a flaw too serious to overlook, imo. If there were the opportunity to pay for an ad-free wiki I would happily take it, but since no option exists I feel that my wiki has been fuzzily handcuffed to whatever the implications of todays (prominent) ads are. No offense to anyone, but my wiki isn't a fanboy site, it is a serious tool for people training to get stronger. The things that they take from my wiki will actually be applied to peoples' lives, and I cannot stand to have the wrong impressions being made. My wiki also has the backing of Mark Rippetoe (the author) and as it were I am representing him and his body of work, and that is a very serious charge I carry. It also has the backing of crossfit.com, another gigantic fitness community that I represent. I am effectively speaking for (and to) all of these people and I am accountable to them first and foremost. I can leave nothing to chance.

I obviously haven't deleted my wiki yet, and I will wait at least another day before doing anything irrevocable.

Tim Donahey 17:32, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Tim - I've been enjoying hel you work on the wiki and get it off the ground. It'd be a shame if that all went to waste over the ad situation, so thanks for not deleting it right away. Like Danny said, this is a few first teething problems with the ad system, and he's a Wikia wizard, so wait a bit for us to do some fixing to make it right. Shawn (talk) 18:11, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
I've enjoyed working on the wiki with you too. At this point, I don't know... You'll have to ask me again tomorrow. Tim Donahey 01:27, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Just wanted to say that I'm staying. Tim Donahey 18:16, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Ads

WTF? It looks more the pages have spam instead of ads. No one cares for ads and now we are forced to see something no one cares?

It mess with templates placed in the top and bottom of the pages, compacting or pushing them.

I want to know people's opinion about it:

What you think about the skin?
 
5
 
61
 

The poll was created at 01:29 on June 18, 2008, and so far 66 people voted.


I definitely agree! Why are we forced to have so many stupid ads shoved in our face? When the ads were outside of the content box it was okay, but with ads inside the content boxes it looks terrible and can be confusing. Swannietalk to me 17:07, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Somebody voted for the new skin by accident, lol. Tim Donahey 00:44, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
  • I do not care if there are ads on our wikias, just do NOT put them IN articles! I'm sorry, but I don't really see what the big difference is with the previous version of Monaco. It had an ad at the top of the page as well?? Now, the only thing they've changed is to switch the article title and the ad, what's the use?? The ad was always at the top of the page already... And those square boxes contain exactly the same 3 links that used to be in the top of the page, ABOVE the article... (at least at my wikia). So there are no MORE ads, the ads are still at the TOP of the page?? Only difference seems to be that ads now mess up the layout we've been working on so hard to make it look nice. The pictures we place in our wikias aren't there for no reason, they are coupled to the text next to them in most cases..! I really dislike the way that people with money (Google, damn capitalists) can dictate more and more of what we should do... --Wild Whiphid 08:38, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Totally agree with you. The ads IN article just feel like an invasion! They don't seem to serve any other purpose. It's very upsetting. - Vixen 11:11, June 18, 2008 (CT)
  • Ok, we have to have ads, just don't stick them in our nice articles! Well said Wild Whiphid. Hunterj|My talk 17:12, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Comments

I have been farily neutral on this whole thing. I've seen people talking about it on Wookieepedia and Transformers Wiki, but to be honest, I use Wikipedia skin, so it doesn't affect me. However, I will point out a signle problem with the staffs insistence on keeping this. It's the same problem that the British Empire employed with Inida, and the same one Gandhi recognized would not work: there are more contributers than there are staff. You cannot force us to like this skin. For all the power you have, we...are legion. And if the people don't like it, you have a serious problem. You may try to retaliate by revoking my user rights on the wikis I contribute to, but this sad fact remains: unless you accomodate us by putting in some sort of add closer, you are going to see a massive withdrawl from Wikia. And if there is no one working on the wikis, there is no one looking at the adds. Think about it. I'm not threatening anybody here. I'm just point out a problem. As Boba Fett said, "reality doesn't care if you believe it." -- SFH 17:05, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

SFH: Monorail guy's said that Monobook will have the same ads as Monaco will. So it WILL affect you.... - SanityOrMadness 17:13, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
  • I know. Eventually it will. But my point remains. There is another thing I want to point out. The contributers are saying they're going to leave.
    They said nothing about leaving the information behind. -- SFH 17:16, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Ads Without Borders

I just found the following ad (see c:muppet:Image:fraggleringtone.jpg) on Muppet Wiki for Fraggle Ringtones. The 728x90 ad is on a white background with no border, which makes it look like content, especially since the ad is contextual about a Muppet product.

While there are no IAB standards that mandate borders on banner ads, many sites require this from their advertisers to separate advertisements from content. This wasn't an issue before, when the 728x90s were outside of the main content area, but I suggest that you institute this requirement. I work for a major advertiser at an online ad agency, and we put borders on all of our banners to meet minimum site requirements and appear legit.

There are other options, of course: creating a bordered template for all ads to live inside, or doing what sites like CNET and AOL do and have text above or below the ads identifying them as such (i.e. "Ad Feedback"). Hyperlinking this text also allows users to report inappropriate or problematic advertisements. -- Peter (talk) 17:33, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, you're right on that one. That looks bad. We're currently re-jiggering the ad server -- you'll see different ads right now than you did an hour ago. If the no-border ads are still a problem, then we'll work on fixing that. We knew there would be some problems on day one, and we're working hard to correct everything we can. Thanks for the feedback, and for your patience. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 17:55, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
Is it not possible to put the ad banners either at the very top or very bottom of the page outside the actual wiki. It's the difference between putting an ad campaign yard sign in the yard vs in the living room. Tim Donahey 19:28, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

New Monaco Comments

Perhaps maybe it was stated in the past, I'm not sure, but if Monobook is a personal skin choice, why can't Old Monaco be a personal skin choice?

Second, Wikia stated that these new ads would not be "distracting" - and to be perfectly honest I find a huge colorful banner incredibly distracting - isn't that the point, to distract you into buying the product? -- LordTBT Talk! 17:41, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

New Monaco isn't a whole new skin, it was an update of old Monaco. So the old version has gone, and it would require a lot of work to make it a separate skin.
I think you are right that ads will distracting to some extent, but hopefully we can keep that to a minimum. As Danny says above, we are currently changing the ad sever setting to try and improve the quality of the ads being shown -- sannse@fandom (talk) 18:01, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
Maybe the ads could be put in pages if your not logged in? --From TrekkyStar Open Hailing Frequencies 18:36, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
That's very disappointing then...I really liked Old Monaco...I would've even been happy with Old Monaco having the box ad. =( -- LordTBT Talk! 19:01, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
Have you considered moving the text area down to show the banner then? That's possible with css/js changes. The down side is that the ads would still be in the same place, and that's not balanced with the content starting higher... but you can do this if you choose to -- sannse@fandom (talk) 19:20, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
I've considered that myself but then there would be nothing. There's no way to get Wiki_wide.png to replace Wiki.png and we can't do alternate advertising due to the fact that it's against Wikia's ToS. --Taylor Karras talk contributions 20:29, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
Also I'm not sure if this is a legitimate complaint, but I have spotted a flashy animated Doritos banner ad, as well as a flashy in your face Eve computer game banner ad. Given it was stated "Distracting movement in the ads will be kept to a minimum" [13] I'm not sure I would describe missiles fired from gunships for a computer game "minimum". --LordTBT Talk! 21:05, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
I doubt, despite what may have been said, that "flashy" ads will be kept to a minimum. There's a reason the program used to create most banners is called Flash. In today's market, Wikia probably won't be able to limit the animation in banners like that and still sell the space to advertisers. It's wishful thinking, in my opinion. -- Peter (talk) 21:27, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
We didn't say there won't be any movement. We said that we would keep it to a minimum, because we know how important it is not to distract people from reading and writing. There are active discussions going on at Wikia about what kinds of ads we should and shouldn't have. Finding the right balance is going to be an ongoing process. I would expect that as we figure that out, you're going to see ads sometimes that you think are really annoying -- I hope not that often. Keep telling us when you think something is over the line. That'll help us figure out where the line is. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 21:40, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
Honestly, besides just the "text" banners, they're all pretty annoying, which is, in itself, a distraction. The worst part is when I reload the wiki and there's a second or two before the banner loads, when the wiki looks exactly how I'd like it to look, and I think maybe this time it won't appear, maybe this time... and then it does... so basically everytime I reload my wiki I get my hopes up and then consequently dashed within a second or two... and that's a second or two that I didn't spend thinking about how I can improve my wiki. Actually today is the first day since I began my wiki that I haven't made any revisions... there were things I wanted to do today on it... but I haven't so much as added punctuation. I think I'm depressed. Tim Donahey 01:13, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Forums

The ads show on the forums. Is that a glitch or what? MarioGalaxy2433g5 {talk/contribs/Logs} 19:04, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Wierd. They are also on image pages. MarioGalaxy2433g5 {talk/contribs/Logs} 20:48, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
"7. Ads will only appear on article pages, image pages, preview pages and category pages."
Sorry Mario. --Fandyllic 22:02, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

True article area comparison reprise

True-area-comparison

See at right...
I made this as an attempt at correcting the version presented on Wikia's New Style, since it did not show the area covered by the ad in the content area which can't legitimately be called "article area".

Does this seem right?

Area-comparison

The original is from Changes to Monaco section shown at right.

--Fandyllic 19:32, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Not really. The new ad format launched on New Monaco first. Once we make sure that it works properly on Monaco, we'll be adding the new ad format to Monobook as well. The right sidebar on Monobook will be taken out, and articles in Monobook will have ads in the content area. So the comparison that we posted will apply once it rolls out completely. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 19:38, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
Without the ad sidebar, Monobook would be wider than Monaco, not narrower as depicted on the diagram. --GreenReaper(talk) 19:44, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
Sounds like I need to do some more editing of my image. Can we at least agree that the original image presented in the Changes to Monaco section is misleading by counting space taken up ads as available for article content?
By the the way, I didn't change the original image... some other people keep doing that. --Fandyllic 21:57, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
Fandyllic, I'm not sure I understand the purpose of going over the same ground. New Monaco launched today. I know that you're not happy with it, and I'm sorry about that. But it looks like you think that you can argue it away, and that's just not the case. If you're having a problem with the new format on your wiki, please let us know, and we'll be happy to come help you out with it. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 22:46, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
So, you don't want people to have an accurate understanding of what you're doing? Sounds like you just don't want to be honest because it will make people even more unhappy. How is presenting an accurate diagram of the new style "going over the same ground?" You must be getting tired of getting beat up on. I'm sorry for that, but maybe you should change jobs or something.


True-area-comparison2
Anyway, I made an update image that reflects the alternate top banner version of New Monaco for people's edification... --Fandyllic 23:17, 17 June 2008 (UTC)


Hide option

Is it possible to include some sort of hide option within the ad box, so that we can hide it if we don't want to look at it? -- SFH 22:53, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

LOL ← paraphrased Wikia response for brevity. --Fandyllic 00:24, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Yeah, I'm actually more interested in a genuine response instead of something from the guy whose dug in his heels. -- SFH 00:48, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
    I hope you're willing to wait. --Fandyllic 06:42, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
This is one of a number of ideas we've taken from this forum for consideration. I don't know yet which, if any, we will be able to use. This is one that's near the top of my personal list of preferences, but it will depend on the opinion of those that know a lot more about the business than I, as well as what information they have on what effect it will have, and possibly some testing of different versions. Sorry not to be able to give a firmer answer than that -- sannse@fandom (talk) 11:34, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Preview Pages

PreviewError

I'm experiencing an issue with the Preview pages. I know that the ads are supposed to show up there so we know what the page will look like with them in place, but as the image on the right shows, the ad is showing up too high on the page and doesn't give an accurate reflection of the final page. Can someone please look into this? -- Peter (talk) 23:17, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Peter that bug has been reported and acknowledged. najevi 01:40, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. I've been trying to keep up on all parts of this conversation, but I missed that. Just want to make sure it's still on someone's radar. -- Peter (talk) 14:38, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

The most honest opinion about New Monaco

I have never been dissapointed in my life. I don't get why this had to happen, well I know what happens because advertisers who now perfer annoying us with ads right over for just telling us that something is available. This is why New Monaco seriously sucks and why this is going to seriously be one long rant which you should read, in fact you should read every bit of it because i'm PISSED AS HELL WHICH IS WHY I'M NOT TYING IN CAPS RIGHT NOW. And now I'm slightly less pissed, for the fact that New Monaco works on a few wikis where the look feels... right. Everywhere else. It's just a freaking mess, just look at my wiki which now looks like a mess and now I'll have to enlist some help but I can't get some because EVERYBODY FREAKING HATES ME RIGHT NOW!

Now I know what your saying, but Taylor, why don't you use Firefox with AdBlock Plus and NoScript, or why don't you just block the ads. Simple it is because it is so simple... BECAUSE WIKIA NEEDS AD REVENUE TO SURVIVE and this is the worst way to gain revenue, advertisements like this would make people want to block them and prevent companies from surviving. You do know that the more people block ads the more a company dies. Especially when an ad is so intrusive and so freaking disrupting. If I were someone else. I would not want to see an ad pop up or an ad having sound or an ad that disrupts content. No because these "advertisers" want more ads distrupting content and that these advertisers don't have much thought in them in order to design an advertising solution that does get more clicks and isn't distruptive as hell. I mean I do not 'want' TO BE INTERUPTED WHEN READING AN ARTICLE. Why can't the advertisers just think instead of using brawn, brawn never works because it's stupid, it's worthless and it's unnecessary.

Speaking about the advertisements, whatever heppened to the staff you know. They used to be honest but now they seem to be lieing to us, now I know they might be lieing to us about the advertisers but if the advertisers have any brains in their thick skulls then they would think that this is completly unnecessary and completly distracting. Which is what apparently advertisers want, big, disruptive and stupid. Oh this is defiantly what our pea-brained imbisols want. To look at an ad and buy our products. When I first looked at New Monaco. I thought how this would affect my wiki since it's designed specifcally for Old Monaco. When the changes hit. I was shocked to see that it was uglier then before, as you see previously. This marks a low for Wikia which used to be prominent in Wiki design but has hit because they don't think about how it affects them. If I had a wiki that was perfect the way it is. Would I change it? No! I would only change it slightly by adding new features but the point is is that if someone is happy with the way a wiki looks then they would want it to remain the same. Not have some person go and say. HEY, THIS ISN'T RIGHT LET'S CHANGE IT!!!. That's what a freaking idiot would say. And my behaivor on the IRC is influenced by this. Probably Danny's and Sannse's beahiveor because what they're saying is that they're trying to reafirm me when in reality they're thinking "We know that you hate New Monaco but we're just saying how good it'll be but in reality we don't care about you and we only care about ourselves and our company and not the guy who has the opinions, oh look, he impersonated someone he must be a troublemaker, we don't care so BAN, BAN, BAN!. The way they treat this makes me act the way I am. "HUMAN BEINGS HAVE FEELINGS AND THOUGHTS TOO YOU KNOW, WE'RE NOT SOULLESS ROBOTS WE'RE HUMANS!". The way I've been treated and the way I am acting makes me certain that I do not want to be a part of this Wikia community any more.

Also to those guys who say "Your just afraid of change, and your just a baby, and your just an idiot". Stop It, Stop It! Just Stop It!!! That could not be any further from the truth. Change is good when it's good, but change can also be bad when it's planed out poorly. Take for instance how Wookieepedia used to look, there used to be something majestic. Now I see what appears to be a snowy hill. So... WHERE'S THE AT-ST MAN?. This is what I hate about people who think advertising over design. They don't think about how it's going to effect us or effect the wikis. Sure there's the "But why not move the content down?". Easy, because moving the content down would of course leave a blank space where something should be place like say I don't know... "ADS !?!?!?"". Because Wikia put their ads in articles. They also made it nearly impossibe to put an ad in a header which looks better then content ads because these ads makes people want to block them. It's simple because peeople like to get annoyed and they say no many times and yet they keep coming up. That's the process of annyoance which is to annoy someone until they buy it, but instead these guys want to get rid of the ads because it is sooooo annoying. Did you ever think about the wiki's that had heavily customized Monaco skins that took advantage of Old Monaco. Did you?

The reason New Monaco sucks is because the ads are so freaking instrusive. That's the point I've been getting accross here. The ads are intrusive, it's annoying and it's ugly to to it. As I said before, New Monaco looks good on some wiki's But what about the other wiki's that don't look good under new monaco? Also please try to be honest and give us some honest answers instead of giving us what seems to be symphamy and compassion. I want the truth and so does everyone else around here, I'm not attempting to stir up drama or at least give the impression that I'm stupid but let's try to stop that K? I know I may get blocked or superblocked for writing this 5 paragraph rant or opinion on how New Monaco sucks but at least it'll give people some *thought*, well I'm calm now. --Taylor Karras talk contributions 23:28, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Seriously, no one has read this at all? --Taylor Karras talk contributions 07:08, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
Hi Taylor -- We did read this -- we're reading everything that people are writing. We just weren't sure how to respond to it. The ad format change is making you really upset. Are you still feeling the same way now that a couple days have gone by? -- Danny@fandom (talk) 15:28, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
I just looked at all 27 of your articles, and with two exceptions they look good in New Monaco. Note that 2 of your articles are too short and have no ads, and 15 have the banner ad, leaving only 10 with the adbox. Of those 10, 8 look perfectly fine. On only these two is the adbox a potential problem - and could be fixed in much less time than it took you to write your post above. --GAHOO t/ c 15:46, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
I'm slightly upset but I'm really upset that Wikia decided to place advertisements inside content. Especially that 300x250 box on the right and in forums and to the left. The reason I'm upset is this. TalkShoe Wiki conforms to a specific design that's specificly designed for Old Monaco, I got angry because they announced the change And I'm afriad that the wiki would loose it's unique look. And I was right, because the header was expanded and the image repeated. The image created specially for Monobook was now being used there and mostly the menu is pushed down and the content is pushed up. Don't get me wrong, New Monaco is great if you actually design a wiki around it but the wiki's that were designed around Old Monaco may want it back like Wookieepedia. Also the idea of actually distracting readers so that they can look at the ads is horrably designed and thought out by advertisers. Nobody clicks the ads because they sorta-look uninspired and dull, so they're not going to pull in clicks, some might click but they will always ignore Google ads.
Also the invasive ads will make people sign up and use some code that disables ads. Mostly advertisers think "Hey, so people aren't clicking. We'll just interrupt them into looking to our ads by placing it on the tight." Cause invasive advertising never works. It'll just annoy people into blocking the ads therefore threatening the existance of a company. Now I don't have New Monaco, and I will say it that New Monaco is good if and only if the ads are disabled via code. I didn't care about Monaco being the new default skin cause I though "Hey, Monaco is a good and stylish skin, and I've rarley seen a skin like Quartz or Monobook enabled on some Wikia's" But the advertising makes people angry and leaves a dishonest feeling in them because Wikia betrayed them. I liked Old Monaco because the ads were on the top outside of content. And I know the story about Advertisers perfering ads in content. Well you guys need to stand up to them and find a different advertising partner, someone like Yahoo or Microsoft, someone that isn't Google. Cause they assume that everyone on the internet is stupid, we are not stupid. We have intelligence and we have opinions and the internet is the way to voice them. This announcement is crazy enough to make people do crazy stuff. (and impersonate Danny and if Danny is reading this then I'm sorry) but it's just that we have to try to adapt to the change when some wiki's don't wanna change at all. I'm talking about this because only one wiki, I don't care about the other wiki's. Are adpted for a specific look, and if these wiki's have to feel like they're forced and cheap then people "will" leave. And if you want to keep you and your users happy then you should try to find an alternate advertising partner that's not google. Thank you. --Taylor Karras talk contributions 06:59, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

My View, Part 2

I made a fairly long post a couple days ago expressing my general support for this change, given my understanding for why it's happening, but also expressing some concerns. My chief concern was with single images being moved down; but, honestly, that's not an incredibly big deal.

After reviewing some more of my articles using New Monaco, I found a problem: infoboxes. They really don't look very good when pushed down by the tandem ad. Last time I asked what it would take to cause an info-box type table to force the ad to the leaderboard. Turns out that when you have nested tables, that seems to be the criteria for pushing the ad to a leaderboard.

So, technically, everybody could make a nested tabled infobox for all their articles and never see a tandem ad. That would probably be considered violating the TOS, but I expressed my view last time that it may be a possibility that would happen.

These nested table infoboxes were already a reality on some wikis, like the oft-mentioned Wookiepedia. I doubt they're trying to circumvent the system, and that these were already in place, but doesn't that show a flaw in this new system? I'd venture that most articles on Wookiepedia use an infobox that has nested tables, thus forcing a leaderboard. Surely such a high traffic wiki like WP is going to cause a problem with the advertising system you've worked so hard to put in place?

I'm not saying I am mad at them for having most of their articles with nested table infoboxes ads, just pointing out a flaw in your planning with wikis that already have a good number of articles like this.

Are you going to force them to change their infoboxes so that more of their articles show a tandem ad, or will they be allowed to keep them as-is? I think your decisions on these popular wikis will set precedent. Just saying... --Dymero 02:10, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

I'm using empty tables to force a banner ad where the article would look ugly with a 300x250 ad. --Taylor Karras talk contributions 02:39, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
I posted about the force-banner-ad loophole a couple days ago, but it's archived now, so I'll repost it:
It is possible to put an empty table at the top of a page and force a banner ad instead of a 300x250. We're taking a hands-off approach to that for now, because we need to see how it plays out. I completely understand why some people want to find a workaround that preserves their page designs. At the same time, I expect that the contributors understand that if that workaround substantially damages Wikia's ability to sell advertising, then we'll have to take a different kind of approach.
I'm being vague about this, because it really depends on how things work out -- how many people use a workaround like this, how often they use it, and what the impact is on our ad sales. I can't make promises about long-term policy, because I can't predict what people will choose to do.
I know that it's a part of internet culture (and wiki culture) to create hacks and workarounds. That can be a really positive thing, and it's led to interesting design breakthroughs on lots of wikis. Wiki people love to make choices, and customize things.
It's also part of internet culture to "game the system", and see how much you can get away with. It's fun to get things for free that other people have to pay for. It feels good when you're clever enough to figure out how to bend the rules.
That's why we expect Wikia contributors to act in good faith. We expect people to be mature, and understand that sometimes you have to compromise. We expect that the people who are smart enough to "game the system" are also smart enough to know that they are part of the system. Everyone's interests are interconnected here, and the choices that you make spread out like ripples in a pond. In the long run, what you do on your own wiki affects everybody on every wiki.
So I can't give you a policy statement about this right now, but I can give you a suggestion: Use this workaround sparingly.
I totally understand why you'd want to use it on certain pages. I've already thought about using it myself, on the Sesame Street Episode Guide pages on Muppet Wiki. It would be a huge pain to reformat those pages, and forcing a banner ad would make life a lot easier there.
So yeah, if this workaround helps you to preserve a complicated design for a particular category, then it can be a really useful tool. On the other hand, if it turns out that all of the biggest wikis use bots to add this workaround to every single page on their wiki, then that's going to damage Wikia's ability to sell ads. Ultimately, that hurts everyone, because it means that either Wikia goes out of business, or we have to find even more aggressive and intrusive ways to make money.
I think it's in everyone's long-term interest to act in good faith, as mature adults who have the same shared goal. We all want the wikis on Wikia to be popular and attractive and amazing, and we want them to be around for years and years. We can all work together towards that goal. It requires good faith and understanding from everyone. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 04:39, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

I know this is probably....

...beating a dead horse here, but since we're seemingly stuck with the banners, I'd be willing to pay to have a text banner (like we saw earlier today) vs having the full graphic banner for free (like we're seeing now). Wouldn't that make up for any lost revenue from not having the full graphic without stifling the advertisers ability to advertise while still retaining the default skin? Wishful thinking, I suppose, but it beats the alternative of possibly relocating. Is there any room for compromise? Tim Donahey 03:38, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

I kinda like the banner ads. --Taylor Karras talk contributions 04:02, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
Me too - at least those that are professional. I dislike the adsense ones, and even more so the cheap flash ones. --GAHOO t/ c 04:09, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
Good ads that catch my eye make me want to click that ad. Cheap and annoying ads don't. --Taylor Karras talk contributions 04:14, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Isn't Wikia's altered AdSense code against Google AdSense policy?

Google's AdSense policy very clearly says "Any AdSense code must be pasted directly into webpages without modification. AdSense participants are not allowed to alter any portion of the code or change the behavior, targeting, or delivery of ads.". Doesn't Wikia's delivery of Google AdSense ads as such constitute an alteration of the code and isn't Wikia therefore in violation of AdSense policy on any wiki using AdSense ads? --Pcj (TC) 05:44, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

No, we work with a Google representative. All is well here -- sannse@fandom (talk) 11:46, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Distracting Movement

At some point Danny said something about keeping movement to a minimum, several ads I've seen so far seem to make whatever was said sound rather hollow. The movement seems to me to be the most destructive thing Philralph @sca21 07:26, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

We are trying to keep it to a minimum. But for several of the advertising providers we can't choose the ads specifically in advance (hopefully future ads will give us more options here). so if you see an ads that's moving horribly, please let JSharp know, and he can look at blocking it. Thanks -- sannse@fandom (talk) 11:49, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
Well, that's not really true, is it? If Wikia were running a TV station or a magazine, it would have the ability to control whatever advertisements were running. If it ran commercials for party lines or print ads for escort services, it would be by choice. A website is the same thing. If certain advertising providers aren't letting Wikia review banners in advance, then Wikia has the power to choose providers that will. So saying Wikia "can't" control the advertising on its network of sites is misleading. Either it can't afford to or it won't.
As I've stated before, I'm not complaining about ads with "distracting movement" - that's just the nature of Flash banner ads (with the exception of things like those vibrating banners that someone posted about elsewhere, which I think Wikia should specifically aim to eliminate from rotation, if only because they're unprofessional). But if Wikia is going to run advertising on its site, then it has to be willing to claim responsibility for the advertising it chooses to run. -- Peter (talk) 17:53, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

[edit] link thing

Right now, that link gets bumped down if it interferes with an ad, and makes pages somewhat annoying to edit. Do you think you could get the ad to bump them to the side? - TLB (Tick Tock) (Contribs) 17:21, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, thanks. this is a known bug that is on the list to fix. This also happens with images (when they interfere with h2 headings). angies@fandom (talk) 17:27, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Issues with leadup to Monaco change

All the issues with New Monaco aside, I have a number of complaints about the leadup to the change.

First, the change to old monaco on Teletraan I without editor concensus. There was a discussion about it, but it had stopped while many editors (and hald of our admins) were out of town at BotCon. The chande was not made by one of the Teletraan I admins, but by wikia staff member who also managed to break a number of out templates.

Second, part of the reasoning we were given to switch to Monaco was that the advertizers wanted banner ads at the top of the page instead of skyscraper ads on the right. If this was the case, we wouldn't be dealing with poptart ads in the article that only manage to push every main image below the fold. If we had known we were being lied to, our admins wouldn't allow the switch to Monaco in the first place.

Third, Teletraan I was initially displayed as a success story for the switch for Monaco, and this chart was used as proof. However, saying Monaco is the reason for the upswing is similar to saying the lack of pirates is the cause of global warming.

  • The big 300k spike? That's when the subtitle for the next TF movie was announced.
  • The spike at the end of may? The day SUV: Society of Ultimate Villainy had it's english -language premire (on YTV in Canada), & A Fistful of Energon had it's US premire? Yea, that was totally from the switch to Monaco.
  • The plateau from June 3 onward? That's when English-language Transformers Animated episodes world-premieréd for three days in a row on Nicktoons UK, with corresponding worldwide downloading, and non-downloaders wanting to spoil themselves.
  • The raise in early May? Post-BotCon combined with the Dubai airings and the corresponding firestorm, that died down as all the BotCon stuff got played out and Animated pages started getting protected against anons.
  • Weekdays in the middle of May? That's when nothing much was being announced or shown, and the skin wasn't pushing anyone to check much out.
  • The spike at the end of Arpil when the switch to Monaco was made? One Word: BotCon. That's when Hasbro unveiled much of the produce for the upcoming year (READ: articles need toy section updates, or for new characters, full articles), early showings of upcoming episodes (READ: these get articles to), various panels with interviews (updates on topic articles and interviewee articles), the convention comic (come on, guess).

Because of the ads messing up our content, but mostly because we were lied to and because the wili statistics were twisted to support switching to Monaco, most of our editors (including the wiki admins) are seriously considering packing the wiki up and moving to a place where we won't have in-article ads that screw with out content. There have also been discussions on Wookiepedia and Memory Alpha about doing the same. If this does pan out, you will have lost three of your most popular wikis and the ad revenue they bring. --FortMax 18:22, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Hi FortMax, I've replied to your email. There is also some more on the Transformers Community Portal. As I said there, things changed and new decisions were made... that's not ideal of course. There was no intent to deceive, so I'm sorry it came over that way. On the switch, it was done when ItsWalky said do it!... perhaps that was a misunderstanding, but I think an understandable one. The stats stuff has been discussed above, they seemed to show the effect we described... but when Transformers people gave a different interpretation, they were removed.
I know this change is hard, and I know users at Transformers and elsewhere are angry... all I can do is repeat what's been said and try to make this necessary change as smooth as possible -- sannse@fandom (talk) 20:37, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Seriously WTF

Tell me how much money you want a month to remove this crap from my Wikia and I'll pay it. Seriously, check how much money your new obnoxious advertisements generate from my Wikia in the next week... multiply it by the next 20 years and I'll send it you in PayPal right now to change it back. --ZorgLegacy 22:17, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

If you're interested in advertising on Wikia, you can contact our sales department, who will be happy to quote you rates. I imagine that if you wanted, you could buy all the ads on your own wiki and replace them with images of your choice. A 20-year contract sounds great. Feel free to contact the ad sales department at your convenience. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 06:02, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

In case a community was seriously willing to do that and buy out the ad space on their wiki, would there be any guarantee that you won't add another layer of ads in the future? Drennan 07:16, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

One thing I've learned during this process is not to make any guarantees about the future. Still, if you became the advertiser on your wiki, I'd assume that you get to call the shots about what happens there. The sales department can give you more specific information than I can. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 15:24, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Self buying the ads? Hope, this was a joke. With 5 to 20 USD per month we can setup a low cost server and host our wiki self there without ads. That's our option we came from and we can go back. -- HenryNe 20:56, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

Comments

Okay. I posted before how I very much dislike the New Monaco in which the ads are all over the place, in your face, and distracting. First of all, can't Wikia just stick with one skin (Old Monaco). Many, many people liked the Old Monaco and designed their wikis according to the skin. I had just redesigned my wiki to fit with Old Monaco, and I liked it. I did this two days before New Monaco came out, and frankly, some parts of the wiki now look like crap. I've sort of been working to make things look better, but with all of the ads shoved in my face, its kinda hard to figure out what's gonna pop up next! So now I have a dilemma. Should I change my wiki's style to fit New Monaco and expect that it's going to stay the same? What if Wikia has another grand idea to change the skin, then what am I going to do?

Next, the new skin seems to be upsetting a lot of people (umm...how many archives of this page are there now??...). Isn't anyone at Wikia concerned about people leaving the site to go somewhere else to start collaborations (etc.)?

So, my point is that if Wikia needs to change the skin over and over again, at least think of the people viewing and writing the pages. Nobody wants to have a dozen ads shoved in their face at once, and no one wants to be distracted during their entire visit to a wiki. Thank you. Swannietalk to me 22:50, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

This is serious PEOPLE WANT TO MOVE

I have browsed a few similar threads like this on the Wook as well as on the swfanon wikia and have so far come across no staff members commenting about the fact that this new skin is so objectionable by editors and mods that the three biggest wikias, (Wookiee, Memory Alpha and Transformers IIRC) are seriously considering of moving, which means a lot of your revenue that you wanted to get from these new ads will just not happen.

And the thing is, we don't really want to move, we like it here and like editing and stuff but for these new changes you've sprang on us almost without warning.

Now, I hope I can speak for most Wikians here, we probably have no objection to advertising on wikia. We realise that you guys do need to make money to keep up the site and keep guys like us on here. I have seen quite inventive suggestions about where to put the ads so they don't compromise content, yet nothing from wikia staff to suggest they are even considering listening to us.

Are you guys willing to consider changing the placing of the ads? If not, I reckon there's going to be a massive exodus from wikia and this stint is just going to be another episode in the many stories of fans going against corporations.

Worst page I've seen so far is one of mine on the swfanon wikia Rhadé Sarasvati Nalanda where the entire article is pushed half way down the page due to these ubiquitous ads. Katana Geldar 23:47, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

  • Actually, most of the administrators and users on Wookieepedia agree that moving away from Wikia would be a bad mistake. Drewton (Drewton's Holocron) 00:04, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
    • Do not attempt to speak for the administrators of Wookieepedia. We're not discussing it quite as openly, but the fact is that Wikia needs Wookieepedia more than Wookieepedia needs Wikia and moving is not off the table yet. -- Darth Culator (Talk) 00:42, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
      • All right! At least some news! Katana Geldar 03:11, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Hi Geldar. We are listening, but unfortunately we also need to listen to our other customers, the advertisers. We need to offer what they say they will buy. People have come up with ideas here that we are considering, but it's unlikely at this point that it will mean the ads coming out of the content area again. We've already made changes, including removing ads from stubs, and we will keep listening and talking -- sannse@fandom (talk) 11:33, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

That's OK for the bigger wikis who could probably afford to move. But you Wikia guys have us over a barrel. We want to be independent and such like but we're mere working class drones with 5p to our names, meaning it's very unlikely that, as much as we'd like to at Illogicopedia, we would move. Paying for our own hosting would cost a bomb and ain't gonna happen. Sob.
So... I will revert to pleading. PLEEEEEEEASE don't set New Monaco as the default skin. Pretty Please? I'll give you a Nutri Grain. -- Hindleyite 12:54, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

What is the duration of this experiment?

Has this experiment started yet? I've seen only a very small number of block ads. Only about 1 in every 4 or 5 pages displays a block ad. I have not seen any banner ads at all and this includes revisiting the w:c:communitytest wiki where both ad formats were clearly visible as recently as Tuesday morning my time (UTC+10hrs).

  • How many weeks or months is this experiment to run?
  • In what format would you like to see feedback?
  • Is there a date by which all feedback must be voiced?

najevi 03:01, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

"The experiment", in the largest sense, began in 2004 and will hopefully continue to run forever. Wikia is nothing but a connected series of experiments running concurrently. Feel free to voice your feedback at any time, in any way that feels appropriate. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 05:58, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
Danny your response is needlessly frustrating. It was you who first described this week's activity as an experiment in your post Forum:Wikia's_New_Style/Archive_1#A_response and again in your response to Forum:Wikia's_New_Style/Archive_3#Is the Wikia's New Style article up-to-date?.
So now that you are clear about the subject of my question would you do me the courtesy of an answer please? najevi 14:41, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
Najev, we are not avoiding this, although as I've said before it's not sustainable to keep answering infinite questions on each detail. We will be looking at the data as we go along... and looking at feedback, as we go along. I understand that you would like formal timescales and procedures, but that's not what we are doing here. -- sannse@fandom (talk) 18:55, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
How many weeks or months is this current experiment with advertising in the article content area to run? In the absence of a direct answer to a direct question the implication is that the duration is infinite or at least open ended. There is certainly nothing infinite about the question so please don't pretend that there is. najevi 00:08, 21 June 2008 (UTC)
I think given that New Monaco is considered an "upgrade", and that it's impossible to have an Old Monaco skin, the ad "upgrades" aren't changing back. -- LordTBT Talk! 02:06, 21 June 2008 (UTC)
Najevi: we are not implying it's open ended, we are saying that openly. We do not have formal timescales for this, we are looking at the data as we go along -- sannse@fandom (talk) 19:17, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

Ah-ha! The reason I am not seeing any ads even though NoScript and AdBlock have been disabled within Firefox and even when browsing with a vanilla IE6, appears to be that the various domains which are sourcing the ads have found their way onto one of several block categories centrally administered at OpenDNS. The most probable category being "Adware" although that is just one of thirteen community-managed block categories that my network's administrator has chosen to enable for this LAN. Googlesyndication was the last to be blocked even though those ads were not terribly obnoxious. I could not tell you the complete list of other domains as there are almost 1 million domains categorized by now.

FYI, the list of OpenDNS block categories enabled for this network is: Adult Themes, Adware, Dating, Gambling. Hate/Discrimination, Lingerie/Bikini, Nudity, Phishing, Pornography, Proxy/Anonymizer, Sexuality, Tasteless, Weapons. (that's sad company for wikia-ads.wikia.com to keep) See also: Blocking advertisements?

It was my plan to observe these ads and do what I can to make the articles I contribute to flow around any ads placed in the content area but that won't be possible now. The good news for Sannse and Danny is that the allegedly infinite spring of questions will dry up as I suspect I will grow ambivalent to the now invisible debacle.

In their short-sightedness, Wikia management has managed to estrange a portion of the contributing community and in doing so Wikia has missed a potentially great opportunity for a truly cooperative advertising venture.

  • Commiserations to the wider wikia community.
  • Good luck to Wikia. I really do hope that your cash flow reaches and remains in the green.

najevi 23:57, 22 June 2008 (UTC)

Two masters

The fact of the matter is this: the Wikia staff is trying to placate two masters who are unwilling to compromise. The ads may bring in money, but it is the community that the staff are ultimately accountable to. You can't serve two masters. At the moment, it seems that the staff is more concerned with the advertizers interests than the community. Its mainly due to silence on their part, not withstanding Sannse's efforts to try and mend fences. But ultimately, he's only giving stop-gaps that are doing little to ease community tensions, just the basic "we're trying to find a middle ground" and so forth. To be honest, at this point, I'd appreciate an honest answer, even if it's just a "you'll deal with the skin and like it" or something like that. We're tired of vague statements of good will. We're tired of ads messing up our wikis, which we took a lot of time and effort to be informative, up to date, and enjoyable. I love the wikia system. And I think that leaving Wikia is a stupid idea, on all the wikis I contribute to. But the staff needs to make a choice: who are you trying to help here? The community? The advertizers? You're going to have to make a choice. -- SFH 03:12, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Read the archives if you haven't. There have been tons of "straight" and "honest" answers provided by wikia. This mentality that threatening wikia is somehow going to scare the company into changing its business plan is growing old. And I say that not really in response to the above specifically (for example SFH's hide proposal was good IMO), but to all of these passive-aggressive threats. --GAHOO t/ c 03:22, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
SFH, I'm surprised that you see the situation as "two masters who are unwilling to compromise". A wiki is a collaborative work, where people with different needs and interests come together to create something better than they could alone. The ability to compromise is absolutely essential in a collaboration. That's what a wiki is all about.
You may not have thought of Wikia's advertisers as a group of people that you're collaborating with before... but that's exactly what you're doing. A wiki isn't a fixed set of pages that can be easily messed up. A wiki is a fluid, flexible work that changes over time, as new players enter the game. When you contribute to a wiki, you implicitly understand that you won't have personal control over everything that happens. A wiki is proof that collaboration and compromise makes us stronger. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 05:55, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
I may have missed it, but how exactly are the advertisers compromising here? Do they want ads to cover 50% of the article content, but they got around 25%? Seriously curious. --Fandyllic 17:59, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
I got a kick out of this cartoon and figured it may have some place here: http://www.blogohblog.com/the-world-of-annoying-ads/ A compromise means two or more parties come to a middle ground on an issue that is in conflict. I would also like to know what the "compromise" is? What has Wikia done to protect the user experience? Isn't user experience extremely important?? 207.67.87.34 18:58, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
I can point out a few things. #1. Logged-in users get fewer ads than logged-out users. #2. There are no ads on short pages. #3. There are no ads on special pages, user pages or talk pages. #4. When a 300x250 ad would collide with a table at the top of the page, it shows a banner ad instead.
The collaboration between contributors, advertisers and Wikia staff is evolving every day. Every wiki collaboration works better when the people involved assume good faith. Everybody involved is working hard to make things better. -- Danny@fandom (talk) 20:38, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
Speaking of that cartoon posted by the IP above, I'd very much appreciate if wikia could take a look at those ads listed below it, and keep every fucking one of them off their/our/whoever's wikis. - TLB (Tick Tock) (Contribs)
#1. "Logged-in users get fewer ads than logged-out users." - And how is this a good thing? Anonymous users make up the majority of every wiki's readers. Random passers-by are likely to be even less tolerant to ugly advertisements than regular contributors, who have something to lose by leaving. This misses the point as effectively as those who suggest the users who are so bothered by the ads simply block them, I don't write articles just for myself and the select few others who block ads to look at, I write them for everyone. I want them to look good for ALL USERS.
#2. "There are no ads on short pages." - That is bullshit, plain and simple. 'Short' pages simply have a banner ad instead of the usual white block, and even that functionality doesn't work properly. I'd call this a short article (two lines of text) but the system doesn't agree because it considers infobox code to be article content even though it doesn't manifest as such.
#3. "There are no ads on special pages, user pages or talk pages." - I don't know about user pages, but it wouldn't bother me if there were ads on special pages and talk pages, because they're behind-the-scenes functions to which rules of aesthetics don't apply. Has any contributor ever spent hours working on the talk pages on their wiki so the layout of the images and infoboxes in them all look right? No. The fact is, you've put advertisements in the very place where they're most disrupting and expect us to accept it as an 'evolution'. There are over a hundred formerly fine-looking articles on the Half-Life wiki that now need work to correct excess whitespace (like in that example above), displaced images and templates, broken image placement, and the like. So if and when all of these articles are corrected some time down the track, they'll still never look as good as they did, and you call this 'evolution'? It's true, wikis are fluid, ever-changing collections of information, and the information they contain and the methods by which that information is displayed evolves over time, but these advertisements are not an evolution, because they're not new useful information, they're not a wiki contribution, they are vandalism. They're graffiti on the park fence, and the fact that you expect us to swallow your argument that the staff-ordained defacement of thousands of articles is just an 'evolution' is analogous to teenage vandals saying the graffiti they sprayed all over the shopfronts and garage doors in a nice neighbourhood is an improvement because they like it. --MattyDienhoff 04:29, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

Magazine Wikis

How does the new system impact the "magazine wikis" (armchairgm, etc.) ? -- LordTBT Talk! 07:15, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

The simple answer here is: we don't know yet. We are concentrating on the main body wikis at the moment, and some on the "New York code" are being merged into the main code (hopefully that will happen this week). But there are still oddities that haven't been looked at yet. -- sannse@fandom (talk) 11:35, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
"The simple answer here is: we don't care. We are concentrating on making money with spam and don't care for the others opinions. No matter how odd it seens, and how many people complain." Fixed ;) --_11:45, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
What sort of talk is that? I may have been whining, but at least I'm not like that. And I have ads blocked now thanks to code, so the issue is over for me, thank the Force. Katana Geldar 11:57, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Revenue

I imagine Wikia will be making plenty of money now with these ad placements. 14:11, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

If Wikia was really in this to balance expense costs, they would provide wiki owners the ability for a subscription service to pay for an ad-free wiki. The fact that they do not offer this has me very suspicious... 207.67.87.34 19:23, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
That, or we could have a feature where non-sysop users can donate money to keep the site ad-free. Considering, not all sysops have a job. Some could just be teens, or even Elementarians (12 0r younger). Though it would be optional for sysops to pay, but some non-sysops are willing to pay, also.
<<UDK>>-<<Talk>>-<<Contribs>>-<<YCM>>
They couldn't be Elementarians...I was under the impression that Wikia policy is 13+ --LordTBT Talk! 01:50, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
You seems to have missed the conversation about this that is now in the archives. Wikia already stated why this cant really be done properly for everyone. I'm not here to repeat what has been said, go read the archive please. — TulipVorlax 02:04, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

Double banners

Hi All, we've had a problem with double banners showing for some people. This should be fixed now, so if you see this please press Ctrl and F5 (this will only be needed until the server's cache is fully cleared). If the problem still shows on that page, please let me know, and Inez will go bug hunting again. Thanks -- sannse@fandom (talk) 16:38, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Does Ctrl and F5 work for all browsers? That sounds browser specific. I recall Shift-Reload on some browsers. Fortunately, I haven't seen this problem, but it may not fix it for those where Ctrl-F5 doesn't do what you expect. --Fandyllic 18:02, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
On IE it's Ctrl+F5, but in Firefox i mostly always do both Ctrl+F5 and Shift+F5. Or same modifyer key + clic on reload button. — TulipVorlax 19:09, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
I use Ctrl and F5 for IE and Firefox, I understand it works for Opera too -- sannse@fandom (talk) 19:41, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
Ctrl and F5 works for IE. But the rendering is mostly buggy on IE6. I have problems on coLinux and similar seen on Green Wiki. Have recorded my screen as OGV file (12MB), and a lower quality MOV file (15MB) for QuickTime Player. All staticly errors I have summary on this screenshot. What is ngingx, "504 Gateway timed out"? Why incooperate your proxies with IE6, and have no problems on Firefox? -- HenryNe 21:38, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
I've sent the bug report on your problem to the tech team, Henry. Is anyone else seeing display problems on main pages with IE6? — Catherine@fandom (talk) 19:21, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry: The "504 Gateway timed out" was Spyware on this machine. After fresh installed XP, only the rendering problem still exist. Green and Starwars shows same problems. -- HenryNe 21:45, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

Interesting how Wikia makes tentative promises in order to acquire wikis (which cost money), and break them afterwards

Orly? I see three ads on a page: 1. top banner/box right in the face competing with the content 2. ad in left sidebar 3. advertisement at end of article (which conveniently uses the h2 heading used for wiki heading entries). I don't call that a decrease and I certainly don't call it an improvement to the original design (whether it be the single monobook right column ad or the former monaco ad outside of content area). GHe (Talk) 00:12, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

I think another more interesting quote from Jimbo in that first link is "We want to offer you some new features and skins, but that's never mandatory" --LordTBT Talk! 01:52, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
Better: "...and that Wikia does really well, is respect communities and work with people." Should be "respect advertisers and work with corporate superiors." GHe (Talk) 01:56, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
This one's quite good too. A totally different approach... a totally wiki approach... that is, unless wikia finds itself inexplicably unable to sell profitable advertising on a top 500 ranked website. One that owns an entire network of specifically targetable demographics no less. Perhaps wikia might be a lot better off just hiring a competent ad sales department? Spang 04:27, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
See also: Forum:Wikia's New Style/Archive 4#How_times_have_changed --Ciencia Al Poder (talk) -WikiDex 08:01, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

Can you please avoid ads like this one?

[14] Not sure if it's the same for everyone. I see a vibrating mock-up dialog window telling me that I am this web site's 999,999th visitor and I won. It's very annoying. 78.131.80.138 20:39, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

Mostly Wikia is using invasive advertising which many people do not like already. I left a post a few scrolls up. --Taylor Karras talk contributions 21:06, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

I will have to add a guide to our main page about hiding the ads at least until this is fixed. It scares people away. Ads like these only appear on shady "OEM software" sites, so if someone sees one of them, their first reaction will be to close the browser window.

I can't believe Wikia's sales department is so short-sighted. Advertising on the web is an area where the rule "less is more" applies exponentially. People tend to tolerate (non-animated, non-invasive) advertisements up to a certain threshold, but when that threshold is breached, they will just block them (and they will not look at any ads anymore, however non-invasive they may be). Drennan 06:42, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

Yes. You should see the actions that are being taken right now, such as users using Global.css to block ads. They might also use NoScript, AdBlockPlus and Firefox to block the ads, let me clarify this in big bold, italic, red, blinking text
The more annoying the ads are, then the more the people are going to block them!
And if more people block ads then the company will lose revenue causing the company to cease existing. Got it? Good kthxbai. --Taylor Karras talk contributions 10:20, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

Drennan, please can you report ads like that to Jae at community@wikia.com . For some of the ad networks we use we can only block ads once we see them. So please let us know of any problems. Thanks -- sannse@fandom (talk) 16:53, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

You seriously did not see the blinking text, now did you? --Taylor Karras talk contributions 19:53, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

Feedback

On SmashWiki, it said that my feedback was was wanted. Is it? Please tell me! ParaGoomba348 01:07, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

Yes, we are interested in hearing everyone's feedback. We may not be able to act on it all, but we are listening and doing what we can. -- sannse@fandom (talk) 16:55, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

Way to fail

Here's the link to a community of people that know this is a mistake. Don't do it. 'Nuff said.--MP47

It's junk

The new style is junk. I've repeatedly been told that Wikia needs to compete with sites like http://www.gamespot.com . Take a look at Gamespot. They have 2 ads on their main page. The first ad you see is right at "the fold" but is still below it. The second ad is right at the bottom of the page. Both ads are in boxes that clearly state "Ad" right above it. Wikia is going south on the ad placement. Saying that the new ad placement is needed to get "quality" advertisers on the site is a load of crap. What is going on here is shady ad placement. Google adsense tries to get you to do the same thing - place your ads in the middle of content and have it blend in as best you can to increase the chance for accidental clicks. This will lead to 1 of two things. People will get pissed with the ad placement on the site and either stop using the site, or install ad blocking plugins to remove the ads from their view. Either way, your ad placement scheme fails and you spend more time and money developing a new skin to fix the problem. FFXIclpodia has a hard enough time convincing users that the repeated skin changes are "for the better", but when it's own admins can't even say that without cringing, how are the users supposed to be ok with it? --Ganiman 15:59, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

Wikia's at it again

About a week ago, Wikia made a controversial change to their Terms of use which has since been reverted. Now Wikia's at it again, removing "tacky, misleading ads" from what they consider a bad advertisement. Apparently tacky and misleading ads are ok for Wikia. Perhaps still more mysterious is that both of the above changes had no edit summary, and one was marked as minor, as if they're hoping no one will notice? Pinky Talk 16:20, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

Gah, I only did that because it was too broad a generalisation (which I myself wrote only a few days before). "Tacky" means surprisingly little. You can still report them! Kirkburn  talk  contr  @fandom  16:31, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

It destroys the layout!

What the hell is the matter with these huge, fat advertisement windows in the upper right of articles? I had to switch back to monobook, because these stupid ad-windows were destroying the article layout completely, and also are extremely annoying. I know you have to do ads, but can you at least make it the way that it won't intrude so obnoxious into the articles themselves? --Tribun 18:30, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

Not Wikipedia

Why is it that every wikia wiki except Wikipedia (en) has undergone this change? I mean, Wikipedia is by far the largest wiki site on the web, and definately the most visited, yet Monaco isn't even an option in preferances. Someone care to explain? {{SUBST:User:Jasca Ducato/sig.css}} 15:14, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

  • Wikipedia is an independent non-profit entity operated by the Wikimedia Foundation. Wikia is a for-profit corporation. They share a few of the same staff and run on similar software, but are completely different things. -- Darth Culator (Talk) 15:31, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
Just to clarify that a little - we don't have the same staff, we are entirely separate. In the early days there was some cross-over between people with positions at Wikimedia (not staff, but board members and so on), but that's not the case now. -- sannse@fandom (talk) 22:59, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
. . . except for Jimmy Wales, who as far as I know remains chairman of Wikia and chair emeritus of Wikimedia - right? --GreenReaper(talk) 23:49, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
Yes, he's not staff on either, but as (co)founder of both, he does still hold positions on both -- sannse@fandom (talk) 06:58, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Visitors

I realize that this probably wont happen, but it would be kind of nice to have lmited adds for Visitors to the wiki. It turns people off when they see a bunch off adds (not that wikis have that many) . Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with the new adds I don't see why people are so upset about them. They don't have much annoying animation and i have never found one that is unrelated to the wiki i'm on. (the google adds) At the very least it would be nice to not have an add on the main page, but maybe on the most visited instead? Thanks, — Mary (talk) 18:19, 25 June 2008 (UTC)