Community Central


Is Wikia Staff showing it's real face?

WikiPim November 8, 2011 User blog:WikiPim

This blog post isn't a positive one. So if you feel like it, read somewhere else. It's also not very delicate in it's approach.

Sadly, i have a strengthening feeling about the fact that Wikia Staff is either not very dedicated, sloppy or downright failing to do what is for the best interest of the community.

Harsh words. But i will try to explain why i am getting that feeling.

A few weeks ago, i accidentely landed on Community Central when trying to find out where to get information. Help contents where too poorly organised and not expanded enough for me to find what i was looking for, so i started digging further.

I came to CC and i was almost blown away with the sheer amount of options presented to try and find the info you are looking for. Used to a bit of clutter (am a social worker who specialises in working with people at a low level of life quality, usually making life harder on themselves by not cleaning up trash around them) i didn't mind wading through. I am used to dig into and get to where i want to go.

So i got used to how things are organised a bit around here, found my way around here and on occassion stumbled upon some new information. Got information on several informative but poorly organised wiki's (hard to get the information you are looking for but i got in, dug deep and got it anyhow).

What struck me was when someone, i don't know who and where, notified me of forgetting to attribute pictures. I read through there, figured out that it is actually required by the Terms of Use. (Yes, i also 'agreed' to that, but never read it).

To my surprise, i found out that with the time passing by, blogs from staff where containing pictures not being attributed. At first i was like: must be a minor mistake. But when i dug into it, i soon found out that it's actually common practice for most staff members to 'forget' it. And that they only do so when asked, a few members set aside.

Well, since it's not a big deal with copyright infringement obviously, i led it go. Sloppyness was also on my side so who am i to judge.

I noticed that there had been a major discussion about a new to implement feature. The feature was criticized by many, but also quite a few where eager to give it at least a try. The shear force needed to change the attitude from Wikia Staff was quite amazing. It was something which did strenghten my view on staff not quite up to their task on communication.

After that (some time went by) i read the thread about the demotion of a well known and very dedicated admin on CC. A person who has spent thousands of hours volunteering for various projects, including fighting spam/ vandalism and such.

The demotion itself wasn't what bothered me. Must be a good reason for that. Such things aren't considered lightly. Or are they? Things stirred up quite high very soon after the demotion was discovered (and with a pretty active community, where such a person is highly visible, such things get noticed quickly.)

I almost fell from my chair when i saw the reaction posted by the person in question. It wasn't soon that he responded, it took him about 24 hours to respond in that thread. More then enough time for Wikia to say something in public and cool the situation down.

And the response from staff members to his reaction didn't put the fire out, no... it ignited it to a raging wildfire.

Carelessness was what it felt like the way it was handled after that. A weekend passed, and not a single staff member felt like adressing the several viable issues brought up by community members. Instead they kept fueling the mood by keeping secretive and non informative. Hence the sloppyness displayed in it's full.

Or isn't it sloppyness. Is it worse. Is it actually an agenda which hasn't yet been disclosed.

I doubt now that Wikia Staff are actually that dedicated to this community. That they actually care about it. They have bitten into the hand which feeds them several times, and they done it really hard.

I know those words are harsh. They aren't nicely written and i do play cards here on the table which might get people offended. As such, i might be subject to ban myself too. Who knows.

But maybe, yust maybe, i am wrong here. Did i see it entirely wrong and was the actual sloppyness of staff something which i took the wrong way, was there a good explenation of the way staff handled implementation of a debatable feature and did they go in a proper way with the demotion from a well known volunteer.

Love to hear your opinions about this subject.


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