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Fall 2009 Update

KyleH December 2, 2009 User blog:KyleH
Quantcast Fall 2009
Quantcast Traffic
Hi everyone! With the Fall season about to wrap-up, it's time for another update!

In October, a record 54,000 editors made a record 1.6 million edits to a record 3.1 million content articles! Do you sense a record breaking theme?! More than 26 million people visited Wikia, making it the 75th most popular website in the United States. Furthermore, Wikianswers skyrocketed from 50,000 questions in the last update to over 400,000 questions today. Wikianswers is now one of the five most-visited sites on Wikia. Have you seen it?

To make sure you know what's going on at Wikia, we created the Wikia Staff Blog and invited staff members from various positions to post updates. More to come, so be sure to check back on a regular basis. While we are working on better ways for you to track blogs and blog comments, you can add the Wikia Staff Blog to your RSS reader using this feed.

Changes this Fall

MyHome Fall 2009
MyHome
As you may know, there have been some exciting enhancements recently to both the user interface and the back-end of the site. A few examples:
  • MyHome: In September, we launched MyHome, which provides registered editors with a new way of viewing information on the wikis they frequent. We're very happy with the results! The data shows us that new editors are now 67% more likely to return to Wikia after making their first edits than prior to MyHome's launch. In fact, the total number of edits made by new editors has increased 50% since launch! We have more MyHome enhancements planned, so be on the lookout.
  • Blog Enhancements: In September, we made a number of enhancements to blogs based on your feedback. Blog comments are now added to the same group within Enhanced Recent Changes and you can now watchlist blog articles and be notified of any new comments. Plus, we added a new "Share this article" feature on all pages to make it easy to tell friends about the great stuff you're creating.
  • Lucene Search: In October, we rolled out Lucene Search, which powers Wikipedia's search and provides dramatically better results than the old MediaWiki search engine. With Lucene in place, we've seen a 12% increase in search result quality (determined by whether a user clicks on a search result).
  • Mobile Skin: When we saw that iPhone users were responsible for over 1% of our total pageviews, we scrambled to turn on a new mobile skin to improve the browsing experience for all mobile users. The current version is based on MediaWiki's "Chick" skin, but there are a bunch of tweaks coming.

In the Pipeline …

Rich Text Editor Fall 2009
New Rich Text Editor
We also have a number of new things we're preparing. Here's a quick preview:
  • Rich Text Editor upgrades: We are working on a major upgrade to Wikia's Rich Text Editor. The new version will load faster and resolve many of the bugs pointed out by Wikia active editors.
  • Cross-Wiki Search: The next improvement for search is to enable searching for articles across all wikis at once. We'll start by adding this functionality to the search on Wikia's homepage (www.wikia.com).
  • Stability Enhancements: A few weeks ago, Wikia had an unplanned outage which affected users on the West coast. As a result, we've accelerated hardware purchase plans and have been conducting failover tests.
  • New Homepage and Central: We've recently kicked off a project to redesign the look and feel of Wikia's homepage and the rest of Central (www.wikia.com). As part of this, you'll see more community focused areas, a better search, and a more helpful Wikia Help. It's all aimed at simplifying wikis for new founders, editors and readers so they can write and read about stuff the love.

Thanks for all of your hard work and the tremendously helpful feedback you've given us over the past few months. There's some neat stuff coming out this winter and we looking forward to showing it to you.

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