Rob Johnstone is the Director of Product Marketing at FANDOM.

In January 2016 we launched FANDOM News and Stories, an editorial site that had a simple idea: putting fans at the center of entertainment and pop culture by combining fan reporting with the greatest moments in pop culture.

With the success we've seen so far, we're getting ready to launch the next phase of News and Stories, which we'll talk to you about on Thursday. Before we do let's take a look back at where News and Stories came from and where it's taken us so far.

What Wikis Are

Collectively, you and your communities have used wikis to build the largest entertainment fan site in the world. Wikis are amazing at cataloging a large body of knowledge and building upon that knowledge over time, but they can't do everything to meet the demands of fans looking for content. For example, wikis generally see the most amount of traffic after their subject is released. Look at the traffic for the sixth season of Game of Thrones:

Game of Thrones stats

That green arrow shows the spike in traffic to Game of Thrones Wiki once the sixth season premiered. Before then, there was not as much traffic—because wikis deal in facts, not speculation.

Post-release information is not the full fan experience. We knew the site needed to evolve to deliver on everything fans want to know and talk about.

What Wikis Are Not

In years past, when we wanted to find new ways to engage our audience, we developed wiki features designed for social interaction or opinion-sharing. There was a common piece of feedback: people felt those features weren't supposed to be there and that it changed what a wiki was meant to be.

It's fair to say that wikis aren't designed for lots of pre-release content based on limited speculation, or sharing the perspective or opinion of an individual contributor. So we asked ourselves, if someone wants to share their individual opinions or fun stories they experienced at Comic-Con, how can we do that without fundamentally changing our wiki communities? Do wiki contributors want to share their knowledge and perspectives in other ways? How can we provide a complete fan experience?

The answer to those questions: FANDOM News and Stories.

News and Stories

This launch allowed us to provide timely content to fans, such as news, pre-release analysis, reviews, and opinion. Content could be timely. We could focus on individuals' perspectives and knowledge with a FANDOM Contributor Program designed to develop aspiring writers. We could build a modern experience designed to be read on all devices. And we could do all of these things while letting wikis to continue doing what they do best.

Since its launch in 2016, thousands of News and Stories articles have been written. Nearly 40% of them have been written by fans like you, as part of the FANDOM Contributor Program. The program gives individuals the opportunity to share their voice in a way that wikis don't offer. This is great for fans who want to be known as writers and have interest in being seen as authoritative on their own. Individual success stories have been huge. Five FANDOM Contributors have had their articles read over 1 million times!

News and Stories combined with the wikis helps complete the fan experience. Our testing with the Trending FANDOM Articles module shows us that fans are fans of lots of things. Someone who lands on Call of Duty Wiki can still be interested in the new Star Trek series. We've seen that wiki readers flock to News and Stories in large numbers to find perspectives beyond strictly-factual information.

What's Next?

On Thursday, we'll be talking to you about a brand new design for FANDOM News and Stories. Like Wiki Modernization, this is another exciting evolution that factors in everything we've learned about News and Stories from its inception. We'll be talking to you about the new design and experience, the different ways of finding more kinds of editorial content, and the improvements we are making to how that content is promoted across the site.

Check back for more information about these exciting changes to News and Stories and how you can get involved!

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