Hello, I am Kuirem one of the moderator of the Don't Starve reddit. Lately we've receive some complaints about how the wiki is so full of ads that some computer just can't handle the load without AdBlock and a discussion started to know if there was a way to solve that.
I don't know how much control you have on that or if it is all managed by Fandom but Klei contacted us to help as well so it would be good if one of the wikia Bureaucrat or Admin could join as well to give their opinion on all that.
Unfortunately, we have no control over the ads on the wiki. All of them are managed and placed by the staff at Fandom. In addition, anonymous users get more ads than registered ones, so that probably has a contribution to the problem. All what you said at the thread was true.
I've tried using the wiki after opening an incognito Chrome window to get a feel of what it's like. It is slow - really slow - and the ads are seriously annoying at this point. I've been getting a top banner, a space on the side above the "Help us grow" (which as far as I know, we don't place either), Fandom's own column of trending articles, another space below that and a large space with up to 6 ads above the comment section. That's way too much.
When I'm logged in, on the other hand, the top banner only appears at the home page, and on any other article, only Fandom's own ads are there.
So far, AdBlock seems to be the best solution, but I'm personally fine with moving from Wikia to a different site, especially if it will be associated with Klei. There are more ads than content on some pages here when browsing anonymously.
Hey this is Corey from Klei! I was the one who replied in the Reddit post. We'd love to talk with you and any other main contributors here about your experience with this Wiki and if you have interest / suggestions in moving. Ultimately, we'd like the players and contributors to decide where the Wiki lives, but if we can provide some resources and support to improve it we're happy to discuss! If you email support[at]kleientertainment[com] and say you're from the wiki and ask to speak to me we can link up. Please include anyone else on the email that you feel is a main contributor! Let us know if we can help, we know a lot of people love the work you do on the Wiki.
Hey, Corey! Thanks for your support. I'd love to chat with you, too. But first, which platform would you prefer to use: here, or on Reddit? The main advantage of discussing here is that I can very easily get you in touch with the other main contributors here (or even all of them if necessary!) in an environment not too different from Reddit, while on Reddit I think it will be easier to talk directly in addition to the absence of all the ads, but I won't be able to get you access to everybody here. To help deal with the ads here, feel free to create an account and/or use AdBlock. Looking forward to the discussion and its results, and keep up the great work on the game!
Here is fine if it's easiest for you. We can also email if you like.
Basically, just looking for feedback from the admins / main content contributors on the state of Wikia. We want to ensure a DS wiki remains run and moderated by players, but we're happy to assist with migrating to a new platform if that's what they'd like to do.
We've been contacted by Curse before, and people seem to generally keep suggesting that platform. We're open to other suggestions and providing resources to make sure the players have the features they want in a wiki, and an ad free (or ad-lite) experience. We have contacts at Curse that we could revisit and put in contact with admins / contributors here if that's something everyone is interested in.
Seems like a good place to me. I'll contact the other contributors now and let them share their thoughts.
There aren't many active people, though, so I think we should gather up everyone using a highlighted thread. But I prefer to keep this for last and let the discussion grow with the main contributors first.
The main ad problem seems to be the full page ad that goes into the background. Aside from that one, the page loads fairly quickly (in my experience at least). I've checked Curse (via Minecraft wiki: http://minecraft.gamepedia.com/Minecraft_Wiki), which seem to have as many, if not more ads, but no full page ads. They do also have better features to be able to provide content better, Wikia can be clunky at times.
I have no objection to moving the wiki elsewhere, or looking at our alternatives. My main concern is the problem of moving the content. I've seen this couple of time, where a wiki is moved, but without moving the content (simply asking people to edit the new location). This seem to end up in a state where there is one wiki with outdated information, and there is another with up to date information, but has a lot of missing data. An automated way of moving the content would simplify things if we choose to move.
I also think we should follow up with Fandom to express the concern. I remember seeing pop-up notifications on the bottom right about how Fandom is trying to make the ad experience better. But I've never clicked on it to see what exactly they are doing.
It's a frustrating experience to work hard on making this wiki more user-friendly, while all effort is being undone by things out of our control. Trying to look something up here as an unregistered user/with ad-block disabled is not fun at all.
I feel like I can not make an informed suggestion/decision wether moving platforms would be a good idea, mainly because this is the only wiki I ever worked on, and I have no experiences with other platforms. Also I have no idea, how moving the content would actually work. Would it be just automatically copy and paste, or would it be re-building the wiki (and therefore maybe also a chance for revising its structure considering the fact that it's actually about two separate games now)? Would moving affect the Don't Starve wikis in other languages?
What I think should be absolutely avoided is ending up with two wikis on different platforms, like it happened with the Long Dark survival game.
In the end, I will gladly support whatever the majority decides is best and be ready to work hard, wether on moving content or improving this wiki. Not only because of the awesome game this wiki is about, but also, and sorry for going a bit off topic here, because working together to list new content, discussing structuring of articles and pages with all you guys, and making a team effort to improve this wiki, is tremendous fun! So count me in! :P
These are very good points made by MMueck, and we've had similar concerns when approached with offers to move the Wiki before.
If everyone does want a new platform, we could discuss assistance with migrating content as it would not be 100% automatic, so there would likely be an opportunity for everyone to restructure some stuff.
Also just to let you know I've emailed Wikia / Fandom to see if something can be worked out to remove all ads from this wiki. Also, I've reached out to my contact at Curse to discuss what migration might look like in terms of automation, or assitance etc.
A lot of people have been suggesting moving out of Wikia ever since it was renamed to "Fandom". Sure, moving is not easy and will be a lot of trouble, but with the site's current state, perhaps it will be worth it.
I also doubt Wikia will do anything about your email, Corey; it's been a while since they've done something like this, but if they do something, that's going to save us tons of trouble, so it's worth a shot. Fingers crossed.
Also, a suggestion just came into my head: perhaps Klei can host a site and let the community handle it, but I don't think this will help because it has its problems, too, including:
The costs of running the site and the trouble of building it.
The fact that it will technically be official, and thus resulting in exactly what Corey said that Klei doesn't want to do:
“Don't Starve by design gives you very few instructions outside of the title of the game. The core gameplay mechanics are rooted in exploration and discovery. We feel that an "Official Wiki" or strategy guide can go against that, and even be seen as a spoiler to some. We don't ever want to tell people "the right way" to play Don't Starve, and love the discussions of strategy that happen when we're not involved. That being said, we know that the current Wiki is critically important to some player's enjoyment of the game. They just like the game a lot more with the Wiki open and that’s great. Just like player mods, if that's how they choose to play the game, that's wonderful and we're happy for them to do so.”
–Corey, on the linked Reddit thread above
So I don't think that's the best solution, but I'll just leave it here; who knows? Maybe we'll need it.
The cons and pros for me are too balanced for me the one to decide wether or not to move.
I'd totally compromise myself to suport the change, a aesthetical renew is always extremely attractive and, at some extend, fun; but the same can bring more problems, like leaving some stuff that make this wiki special or cause some kind estrangement to current .
Thanks, Corey. For everything
Sorry If this feels completely pointless to say, I spent a good chunk of time yesterday talking about these pros and cons, but then my internet stopped working and I lost my work. Also, Stl and MMueck kind of already said everything I'd have said, but I couldn't let you guys think I'm completely unaware of what is happening and what I think about it.
Hey all thanks for the comments and feedback. Here's an update.
I emailed Wikia with the concerns about the ads to see if something could be worked out, they have not replied to me yet.
I also spoke with my contact at Curse, they seem to be the best bet if people are interested.
1) They have a migration tool to automate migrations, and can provide assistance. Everyone's points / edit and contribution credits will be transfered as well. They also have a badge system, but the customization would need to be redone for those.
2) They have a Slack channel for all admins / mods to chat directly to Curse staff and amongst each other (on top of the usual contact methods)
3) Their ads are simple banner ads, no pop ups, auto play videos with audio etc. I asked about an option to remove all ads, and they do not offer that at this time, but they are pretty light from what I saw, even with ad blockers turned off.
They reccomended if we wanted to move we take the conversation off Wikia at this point, and I agree. We want to make sure everyone who's a contributor has some kind of non-wikia contact with each other until the move happens and to coordinate.
Ben, my Contact at Curse, is available to chat with any / all mods that want to be part of the move. I think a discord server is probably the best place to setup the migration. If people are okay with Discord, Ben will join and answer any questions you all have.
After the migration I will shut it down, but this is probably a lot cleaner communication than here or email (this way people can stay anon or username only if they prefer). If you do join discord, please use your Wikia screen name so myself and Curse know who is who in there VS on the Wikia currently.
I would love to hear your feedback. Ultimately, we want you all to decide if you want to move, we will support whatever the community wants to do and provide resources to migrate if you wish. If you have questions for Curse, drop them in the Discord and I'll gather them up get them to Ben and invite him in for Q&A chat access.
There is one thing that is bothering me, what about the new wiki visibility? Let's say we move all the wiki to Curse and everything go well, someone look for Wiki Don't Starve in google (which is probably the way most people reach it), won't they just came back on wikia and keep using it even if it's outdated. Of course I will make sure the reddit community is aware of the change but it's far from being the whole DS community.
I see you joined the discord but just to answer here, yes at first people searching for a Don't Starve wiki will continue to find this one. Once the content is moved and the reddit and our forums etc. start posting about it, the SEO will convert to the newest one especially if it is the most up to date as new content rolls out.
The existing page was setup because the community expressed interest in having one, they set it up quite some time ago prior to contacting me. But it will be deleted / converted to the new one. That will be discussed with Curse upon migration.
Also in the interest of transparency and options, Wikia did email me back. Here is the mian snippit below addressing the ads specifically.
Thank you very much for reaching out! It's always great to hear from game developers, and to see them interacting with the fan communities.
So, right to your point, we know the ad experience is a little overwhelming on Fandom and we're currently working to improve that as a high priority. Over the last few years we've shifted from relying mainly on network/programmatic ads to a position where we can better leverage higher quality direct-sold ads. This has allowed us to begin reducing the overall ad load on pages.
We recently posted a three-part blog series to our user community on this topic, and I encourage you to read it when you have a few minutes.
I wanted to chime in and make it clear that we're happy to have some focused conversations about the future, and how we can work together to make things better. Hopefully the blog posts that Corey linked to -- which some of you may have seen already, as a result of our notices -- paint an encouraging picture for the future. Please reach out to me here, or on my Message Wall, or via Special:Contact to talk more as needed. We very much want to keep the Don't Starve community on the Fandom network and make sure every user has a great experience.