Now, unless you've been sitting under a rock for the last month or so, you'll know that Wikia has introduced a few... less then appreciated features. Of course, I'm talking about the subject right now, the Global Navigation, and, moreso the New Article Layout.
Now, of course, both of these have their own supporters, however they are both generally disliked by most of the community. But this has all happened before. Wikia is not going to change it back because a lot of it's editors dislike them. Giving reasons why we don't like them is additionally not going to help. Of course, we must point out these flaws, but it's become apparent why they're not going to change it back. We're not the audiance.
For the sake of this discussion, there are three parties: The Editors, Wikia Staff, and The Readers. The editors are those who run and make wikis. We write the content that keeps this place going. Sure, it's the big wikis that matter more in what I'm going to talk about, but those are mostly built. And besides, Wookiepedia started with a click of a button and the writing of it's first ever page. Without the editors making content, there's no point to WIkia, and no revenue for the place.
Revenue. It's what these changes are for. But the revenue isn't from us editors much. It's the readers that make use of our content. These readers are mostly those who don't edit. Sure, we read to, but that's irrelevant for now. They come and read the content, and the adds and publicity Wikia has placed across the site is what helps.
The publicity. The word Wikia. First thing on the nav. And included in the second. And third. Only your avatar and it's drop down menu doesn't have it, which doesn't really matter if your a wiki contributor anyway. The global search directs them to new wikis, more adds, more content we create. It's not so we can find an article an editors is looking for (it only searches for wikis, thought I hope in the future an option to look for any article on any wiki is also included. This isn't priority, because they just need readers finding new wikis), it's for more wikis a reader is looking for.
Meanwhile, the new article layout. Adds could be in the articles soon, making it easier for people to click them not knowing what they are. And room for more of them. Publicity? Whitespace and lack of order. Your eyes are driven away from the content, and to the rest of the page. Which fits nicely with the publicity magnet that is the global nav, doesn't it?
These changes don't care about editors, they go the readers. Directly to the profit. Because of this, editors are literally abandoning the site, and are certainly less eager to contribute to it. Wikia seems to ignore this, but here's the main reason I'm writing this: They shouldn't. Sure, they'll have the big wikis and plenty of editors all the same, but your content flow slows down. These changes will milk the readers, but it won't keep up as it can at first.
You can only sell the milk if the cow makes more. And it'll only make more if you feed it. Will the content stop, or even slow to very low rates? No, of course not, with a site this big. But it's lost chances for Wikia every small wiki that finds another host, every member that decides to stop making content. It's less revenue.
Clearly, it's not in Wikia's interest to revert these changes. But, and I direct this to not the editors, but the staff, you simply have to let give us what we not. Not everyone. Think about it. If you put it in preferences, but don't allow any wiki wide customization, the editors can work with what they like, the readers have your new features, and this all works out even better for you, doesn't it?
Put the old header and article layout in the preferences, or maybe modified versions of these, but with editors and their complaints in mind. Color customization and scrolling options for the nav. Prescence of the right rail or not for the articles. Or what ever else you can think of. Just give us something we like, that only we see, and force this new stuff onto the readers, where it belongs. That's what it was desgined to work off of.
Sincerely, Myotragus. An editor of wikia. I do hope you take these thoughts and ideas into consideration, and perhaps execute something along these lines. I really do think it's in everyone's best interest to keep this in mind, and give the editors what we want, not give everyone what one side wants. No matter what that side is.