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This guest blog post is from a member of the Wikia Stars program, a group of Wikians selected for their leadership and dedication to their Wikia communities. Learn more about Stars here.
Things have moved pretty quickly for me in the Wikia world. As a huge fan of The Walking Dead, I used the Walking Dead Wiki as a resource for facts and trivia for a long time before making an account. When I finally did, I was welcomed into the community and saw lots of room for improvement. About four months later, I became an administrator.
Being an administrator is fun and very rewarding for me. Not because it makes me “in charge” of my community, but because I am proud to be a leader who pushes my community to increase both the quality and quantity of our content. After being an admin for eight months, I was invited to attend the Chicago Comic Con and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) and participate in an expert showcase panel about The Walking Dead. I could write a dozen blogs about my first con experience, but I’ll save that for another time. In short, it was incredible.
I must have done alright at the panel, because a few weeks after, I was invited to become a Wikia Star, a new program Wikia began a few months prior. I was honored and happy to join the program. Lastly, in mid-June of this year, I was offered an internship with Wikia. I jumped at this opportunity and started in less than two weeks.
I have learned so much from my experiences as an intern, Wikia Star, admin, and as a regular editor. The most important aspect I have witnessed is the collaborative effort that is needed to make Wikia run, on all levels.
At the top ranks, Wikia employees need to communicate effectively with one another and between departments to get long-term and short-term projects done on time and correctly. Wikia Stars need to be open to new ideas and be willing to try experimental projects. Admins need to be thoughtful and detailed in setting policies for their community, while also making sure the rules are not too harsh. Regular editors need to be kind to one another as well as to anonymous users in order to expand the community and create a place where people feel comfortable to contribute.
As a leader in my community, I attempt to put this knowledge to use by reaching out to the many different types of people any Wikia community offers. Some users like to focus on images and videos, uploading hundreds in only a few days. Some users absolutely love writing, and patiently wait for new episodes and issues to come out so they can update and create pages. Others simply prefer to chat and create blogs about the latest story developments.
As an admin, there are a lot of tasks to complete, so I don’t have time to do everything myself. Including others in your community is a great way to complete projects faster and brings more ideas to the table. If I notice a certain gallery is lacking a sufficient amount of photos, I’ll contact editors who I know love uploading pictures, and ask them to help out. This engages more people and gets the job done much quicker than if I did it alone.
No matter what your position is, whether it be a CEO or an intern, a Wikia Star or an admin, a regular editor or an anonymous contributor, we all have the same goal of making Wikia a better place. Many people all striving for a common goal is a powerful force, so take advantage of it! Reach out to your fellow contributors and ask for some assistance. You might make a friend along the way.
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