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Before anything is said, please look here, here, here, and here. If you need the situation summed up in a nutshell: Wikia's looking to change the page layouts for every wikia with the hopes of inviting new users to actually participate. "No, Wikia, don't do it! We'll hate it!" say lots of Wikia users with years of editing. That's all fine and good; everyone has their designs they like and don't want to change them. This is not what I really want to stress here.
To put this into retrospect for Koei Wikia, would the new look really be a good change? Will it invite more people to edit if everything was just visually simplified with a sleek design? I'm curious for responses to this because I know from experience a majority of new Wikia users only sign up to read articles without the ads plastered everywhere (which is a bit depressing but completely understandable). Frankly, I don't know about the new changes. I am not repulsed by the idea for a redesign -except for the horrendous hover bar idea they have planned, but I am not sure if the new look will perform its intended goal well.
I think it's really more about the content that Wikipedia wouldn't care about that I find more interesting about Wikia. As a user who used to visit and edit articles at Wikipedia regularly, I can truthfully say that Wikias were generally understood by users who read the rules (slandered lightly as "elitists" or "pricks") to be "the escape".
Since they are focusing more on encyclopedic value over what fans like to emphasize, they focus on how a character will actually affect the people who don't care for said franchise. To put it in the blunt, rude, and lazy American manner, a character that has years or pages of backstory would be shrunken down into meaty yet short string of sentences if they didn't have a charity or a marathon dedicated to them. Half the time there were oh-so-many-weepy-drama discussions over whether a character article should be entirely deleted or plastered onto a page for lacking such information. People who cared would scramble to find the data asked for the article to stay, stretching every little word that another critic or expert said to the extremes to make it seem like it was informational and encyclopedic.
Wikipedia vets, who took the time to read the rules and knew them better, would eventually boil down to say something like, "I understand your feelings, but what (characters or terms) do/does in (fictional source) doesn't matter as much as what they contributed to (various terms for subjective social or cultural impact). If you want to write/read more about (fictional source), please make a personal Wiki." Maybe it's different now, but a shot in the dark tells me it's likely not.
But then, I can't assume that every person has had that same experience when they venture into Wikia. In fact, I'm pretty sure a large majority of readers probably don't even know about the rules for fictional topics on English Wikipedia.
Perhaps this is the main reason why I can't relate to Wikia's new layout stressing author credits and community. Image attribution for users in every image they uploaded? Shouldn't that really go to the ones who originally created the image in the first place? Isn't that a little offensive to the people who worked hours on a single image just to have it falsely credited by someone who posted it within a few seconds? User comments for an article of information? Would it encourage people to write something for the article, or does it encourage them to spend more time saying "I love (character or game)!" like a forum or any other social interactive network? Large sidebars emphasizing events at Wikia and user notifications? Doesn't it seem a bit more distracting when all I'd like to do is read or write? Chopping down sections of writing in favor of images and simplicity? Why should design take precedence over information?
Do you feel like these changes would actually work to liven the editing community here? Are they really essential? Is it really that intimidating to try to create a Koei centered wikia without all of these accessories? Some input would be nice. Sake neko 09:19, September 1, 2010 (UTC)