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Author Topic: The Infosphere - Merge with Wikia's Futurama wiki?  (Read 1831 times)
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Svip

Space Pope
****
« on: 03-08-2009 23:51 »
« Last Edit on: 03-08-2009 23:55 »

In the past, I think most of you have run across The Infosphere, probably on here or elsewhere.

In case you haven't, this wiki was created by Buddy13 (a forum member of this site as well), and helped in large part by Quolnok (also a forum member), I consider myself a later member, but I think I did indeed contribute a lot to it.  This wiki has grown in size, and is by far the largest Futurama based wiki on the web.  Both in quality and in quantity.

There is really only one competitor left, and that is Wikia's Futurama Wiki.  Both in design and content, it is sloppy, its articles are not always thorough, up to date or sometimes incorrect.  Indeed, Wikipedia agrees that the only worth while wiki to link to from its Futurama article is our wiki, and not theirs.

But they remain a competitor, and despite their lacks, they have one advantage; they are part of Wikia.  That gives higher scores on Google, and it does provide with a lot more awesome hardware than we could possibly get our hands on.

So you may think; aaah, a merge with them would have several plus sides; no more competition, and better hardware!  Plus at no cost!

If only it only had pros, then we would have accepted long ago.  First of all, a bit trivial perhaps, one of Wikia's Futurama Wiki's design flaws lies in the Wikia design itself.  I may be old fashioned, but I prefer the common Monobook skin (you may remember it from Wikipedia).

Then of course, there is the real kicker for me, the ads.  I don't like ads, and I don't want them on my site.  I don't mind other site's having ads, but they are not for my site.  And I don't think Wikia is willing to let that slide.

Now you may think; but this wiki is not just your wiki, you even went at length to describe other noticeables at your wiki, what are their opinion?  They are pretty much the same as mine.  The intention for the Infosphere is to remain ad free, and to provide content in focus for Futurama fans and others alike.

In addition to that, we would loose control over the server, but however, I think we are willing to compromise on that.  It would be odd if we could not get the specific settings for our wiki, like other wikis of theirs have.

And now they have come and asked us (again).  So my question is, I am not really interested with the ads, and partly ideologically, I don't like its concept, but on the other hand, it would be better for readers and whatnot, should we consider a merge?  And on what condition.  Oh, and, on that part, I think we should keep our cards close, since we would have large probability in certain areas.

In addition, I would like to know if anyone else have had any similar experience, or know of someone who dealt with Wikia in the past.

As an appendix, here is a list of what my conditions for a merge would be:
  • Keep our domain (theinfosphere.org)
  • Keep our Monobook based skin.
  • Our content would be higher prioritised than their content (e.g. move all of Wikia's Futurama Wiki content into a category of its own, e.g. "Wikia:").
  • Ability to get some of our special settings (e.g. custom namespaces)
  • No ads.

Edit:  Oh dear, it seems I went a bit too early, our founder, Buddy13 made the following comment on the wiki talk page.

Quote
I'm about to sound like a dick, but I don't care: The Infosphere will never merge onto Wikia. A reverse merge would be fine, but we've got things pretty much perfect here. We have our own domain name, our own servers (yes, we've had issues, but I think things are better for now), and we have no restrictions, we don't answer to anyone. I think that's the way we likes it. We love the Futurama community, though, and welcome any new members, but I think any attempts to merge should move towards the infosphere (i.e., move from constraint into freedom). There's really no reason to move to Wikia. --Buddy 22:37, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
Additionally: We were the first and we are the biggest/best. In the business world (i know, bad analogy), the Microsoft is never absorbed by the Macromedia. --Buddy 22:39, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
winna

Avatar Czar
DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #1 on: 03-09-2009 00:42 »

I'd be against the merge to be honest.  All of the things you have a problem with would be forced upon the Infosphere if it was implemented into the Wikia network.

I like parts of the Infosphere layout, and dislike others, but that's beside the point.  You certainly have the content, and it's of a much higher calibre.
THM

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #2 on: 03-10-2009 23:56 »

Stay separate. I've never heard of the other wiki, and to be honest (and no slur on them), I'd just as soon stick with what I know. I think the status quo is fine, really. big grin

'Naked ladies, naked ladies, naked ladies, naked ladies!'

- Justice Snoop Dogg, Into the Wild Green Yonder
Gopher

Fallback Guy
Space Pope
****
« Reply #3 on: 03-12-2009 02:47 »

yes. Independence for the Infosphere. Getting more traffic is a mixed blessing, and as books said all the low-quality contributors that find wikia would just start mucking up the infosphere's quality. Discerning futurama fans find the Infosphere for all their futurama info needs, particularly since the futurama people on wikipedia finally accepted the infosphere as not-just-another-crappy-futurama-wiki and started allowing it to be linked as a resource.
Svip

Space Pope
****
« Reply #4 on: 03-12-2009 15:06 »

yes. Independence for the Infosphere. Getting more traffic is a mixed blessing, and as books said all the low-quality contributors that find wikia would just start mucking up the infosphere's quality. Discerning futurama fans find the Infosphere for all their futurama info needs, particularly since the futurama people on wikipedia finally accepted the infosphere as not-just-another-crappy-futurama-wiki and started allowing it to be linked as a resource.

A brilliant example of the terribleness of the Wikia wiki is this article:

http://futurama.wikia.com/wiki/List_of_All_My_Circuits_episodes
Svip

Space Pope
****
« Reply #5 on: 03-14-2009 16:44 »

Well, well, they are apparently not willing to let go.  Apparently, we are that important to them.  Now we have become the nay-sayers, eh?

In other news, partly in response to what winna said, we have just launched a new version of our design, so hopefully may like some aspects of it better now.
Frida Waterfall

Professor
*
« Reply #6 on: 03-14-2009 22:53 »

No offense, but I don't like the new design of the Infosphere. Most Wikis usually keep to a similar, clean, basic design mirroring the official Wikipedia of all the web. This new design makes the Infosphere look unprofessional.
Svip

Space Pope
****
« Reply #7 on: 03-15-2009 01:08 »

No offense, but I don't like the new design of the Infosphere. Most Wikis usually keep to a similar, clean, basic design mirroring the official Wikipedia of all the web. This new design makes the Infosphere look unprofessional.
None taken, but I feel our previous design was actually more unprofessional than the current.  And our design remains simple and clean.  It may be a different colour than white, but it is also a way to make the statement that we are not Wikipedia.

But I disagree largely that it makes us look "unprofessional".
Gorky

Space Pope
****
« Reply #8 on: 03-15-2009 01:18 »
« Last Edit on: 03-15-2009 01:19 »

I think the new design actually makes the site look sleeker. And it's not like the site navigation has changed; it's still reminiscent of Wikipedia. I say kudos, Svip and company.

So maybe I'm a kiss-ass, but at least I'm good at it. tongue
winna

Avatar Czar
DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #9 on: 03-15-2009 10:55 »

Well, well, they are apparently not willing to let go.  Apparently, we are that important to them.  Now we have become the nay-sayers, eh?

In other news, partly in response to what winna said, we have just launched a new version of our design, so hopefully may like some aspects of it better now.

I need to look at it again on my computer.... but umm.... Looks pretty cool! big grin

Just out of curiosity.... do you happen to know what black text looks like on the lighter blue color?  For the darker blue boxes, the white text works incredibly well.... but it might be better to use a darker text on the lighter backgrounds.

Anyways.... yeah, way better colors scheme and the elements mesh well together.
* winna now has no complaints of the infosphere. smile
winna

Avatar Czar
DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #10 on: 03-15-2009 10:58 »

No offense, but I don't like the new design of the Infosphere. Most Wikis usually keep to a similar, clean, basic design mirroring the official Wikipedia of all the web. This new design makes the Infosphere look unprofessional.
None taken, but I feel our previous design was actually more unprofessional than the current.  And our design remains simple and clean.  It may be a different colour than white, but it is also a way to make the statement that we are not Wikipedia.

But I disagree largely that it makes us look "unprofessional".

I agree... I think it looks a little more professional now... rather than just another wikipedia clone.  Still not sure on the text... it might look like crap in black on those backgrounds, and it'd mostly be a nitpick anyways.  Plus, the colors may look even better on my other compy.  Overall, fantastic nonetheless. smile
Svip

Space Pope
****
« Reply #11 on: 03-15-2009 16:48 »

I agree... I think it looks a little more professional now... rather than just another wikipedia clone.  Still not sure on the text... it might look like crap in black on those backgrounds, and it'd mostly be a nitpick anyways.  Plus, the colors may look even better on my other compy.  Overall, fantastic nonetheless. smile
Trust me, we tried black on the blue scheme, it didn't really work.  If you tried, you could read it, but it wasn't really easy on the eyes.  The white on the blue is a lot more flowing and to the extent where it is not too contrasty.

Besides, Wikipedia needs to look the way it looks, because it is Wikipedia, it is not something that tries to be fancy, we are not entirely either, but that doesn't mean we cannot decorate ourselves.
GalacticEntity

Crustacean
*
« Reply #12 on: 03-19-2009 08:32 »

I love the new design.  I always support darker backgrounds, and these have a very nice, solid feel.

I'm glad to hear you guys won't be going to them. I don't think you need it in anyway as far as the fans are concerned.
i_c_weiner

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #13 on: 03-22-2009 06:21 »

I must commend you on your job at The Infosphere, Svip. I definitely like the new design and have always liked the wiki over its competitor. By Zombie Jesus, that other wiki is so unprofessional and crass.
Quolnok

Starship Captain
****
« Reply #14 on: 03-22-2009 14:26 »

Always nice to see the positive reviews. I there are still some minor things to fix for the CSS, such as the userboxes, but most of them are lower priority than other things that are overdue.
Svip

Space Pope
****
« Reply #15 on: 03-22-2009 16:36 »

I must commend you on your job at The Infosphere, Svip. I definitely like the new design and have always liked the wiki over its competitor. By Zombie Jesus, that other wiki is so unprofessional and crass.
The real scary thing is, that we may even have an article about their wiki.  But we try to keep it professional.

Often, I sit and compare our wiki with theirs, though not with the intend to see if we are better, but to see if they have something we do not.  But I have to search hard to find some places where their articles surpass ours.  And most of it I have to go through is close to garbage.

Given their RecentChanges, most of what they deal with are either vandalism or strange policies.  Sometimes an actual edit seems to sneak in, like, the other day I saw they had created an article for the League of Robots!  Something we have had since June, 2008.

And then comes the oddity as you check out their version, what's that waste of space of white on the right?  Yeah, that should probably have been an advert, rather than box with information about the subject at hand.  Then, you can get an article of theirs with an infobox (I like to be fair): Yivo.  But maybe it is just me being picky, but isn't that infobox a bit... huge?!  It also contains a lot of irrelevant information and "planet lives on" is that even English?!

I mean, even Wikipedia has the ability to have "optional" parts for their infoboxes and so do we; http://theinfosphere.org/Yivo.

But hey, they could argue any day; "why don't you come and fix it then?  It's a wiki!"  Yeah, but guys, there is already a much better alternative, you are beating a dead horse, and your lack of ability to revive it will never make you win the race we won a long time ago!
Future Shock

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #16 on: 03-29-2009 14:43 »

Nope. Infosphere has to rule. It's called Infosphere... and it sounds... really cool, so that's... my favourite, I guess. (crouches away embarrased)
Svip

Space Pope
****
« Reply #17 on: 06-13-2009 17:02 »

Wikia makes my blood boil.  Once again, we have caught them in copying our content without giving us attribution, as clearly stated in our licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ and http://theinfosphere.org/Infosphere:Copyrights).  It's so simple; just give a link to use, and boom, there is no violation.

Of course, it is pretty embarrassing for them to admit that they had to copy our content to get something mildly decent, but I guess that's what you get for sucking.

Compared the following of "their" articles:

* http://futurama.wikia.com/wiki/List_of_All_My_Circuits_episodes
* http://futurama.wikia.com/wiki/Monkey_Sea,_Monkey_Doom!

With ours:

* http://theinfosphere.org/All_My_Circuits#Episodes
* http://theinfosphere.org/Monkey_Sea,_Monkey_Doom!

I have now contacted the Wikia Staff to look into this matter, because it is certainly an issue that isn't going away so easily, apparently!
speedracer
Bending Unit
***
« Reply #18 on: 06-13-2009 17:59 »



I believe this fellow can be of assistance.
Svip

Space Pope
****
« Reply #19 on: 06-18-2009 03:34 »

I have written an essay to describe the tone and a suggestion to Wikia:

http://theinfosphere.org/Infosphere:Dealing_with_Wikia%27s_wiki

I recommend more than just me read it.
Gorky

Space Pope
****
« Reply #20 on: 06-18-2009 15:50 »

Hmmm...this debate is getting pretty heated, Svip. I've expressed this opinion to you before, but I honestly think a merge would just be bad for the Infosphere. So more people visit Wikia; I don't think their disgust with its (lack of) content would translate into giving up on finding a reliable wiki. If you search "Futurama wiki" on Google, the Infosphere is the third hit--it's not like you have to look very hard to find it. Plus, you guys are linked at the bottom of Wikipedia's article on Futurama (as is Wikia--but, again, if people are aware of other options, they are likely to persue them).

I understand that two wikis shouldn't be in competition, but I think that providing people with choices is a good thing. The Infosphere is more comprehensive than Wikia--not to mention more pleasing to the eye--and I think, if you could get the word of its existence out there, Futurama nerds would choose your site over any other. But I don't think a merge is necessary to accomplish that. Like I said, your site isn't that hard to find (hell, I'd never even heard of Wikia until you mentioned it in this thread), and it's clearly better-maintained. And I think that counts for a lot.
Svip

Space Pope
****
« Reply #21 on: 06-18-2009 16:06 »

Hm.  I am sort of going away from a possible merger now and back to the way it was.  Mainly because of the heated discussion that occurred, and clearly not contributors I would like to see myself in company with.

But I have been pondering, it is interesting to note that there are no Wikia editors on PEEL.  Or at least they are not making people know that they are.
Gorky

Space Pope
****
« Reply #22 on: 06-18-2009 16:07 »

That's 'cause you're just so dang intimidating, Svip. I mean, your avatar has an eyepatch, for god's sake. It inspires fear, it does. tongue
Archonix

Space Pope
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« Reply #23 on: 06-18-2009 21:02 »
« Last Edit on: 06-18-2009 21:03 »

I'm terrified...

Anyway, I thought I posted this earlier but apparently I didn't.

A merger with Wikia on any level would be a bad idea. The big bad argument between the Transformers Wiki and their old Wikia counterparts are more than enough evidence of how Wikia operates. They aren't nice.

The first argument made on that talk page is bullshit as well. So they can't do an HTTP redirect, so what? Just lock the page, put in a very big header saying "this page has now moved" with a link to the Infosphere and that's all that needs to be done.
Svip

Space Pope
****
« Reply #24 on: 06-18-2009 21:21 »

I realise their arguments are bullshit.  And I know that a merger would probably be bad on some levels, but I am falling more and more out of the general idea of merger.

The more and more I read their arguments, the more I wish I had not proposed this.  Even their contributors aren't nice.
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