December 17, 2008
I'm pleased to announce that Lostpedia will be joining the Wikia family of wikis. Over the next few days a migration will be taking place and I'd like to share with you a few of the factors that went into the decision and also properly set your expectations.
I had the honor of meeting Jimmy Wales a year ago at the Wikia offices. He made it clear that he was a fan of Lost and a fan of Lostpedia and offered to help us if we needed anything. Since then I've had the pleasure to meet the rest of the Wikia team. The more I learned about them; the more it made sense to work together.
Here are a few of the benefits of moving Lostpedia to Wikia:
- As the Lostpedia community grows larger and stronger, site stability will become more and more important. By moving, Lostpedia will be on Wikia's world class geographically distributed hosting platform, which should increase speed and reliability for all users World Wide.
- Access to the entire Wikia team which includes: Programmers, System Administrators, Graphic Designers, Spam Fighters, etc.
- Due to Wikia's scale they receive better rates on their advertising and lower costs on operations. As a result we are able to immediately remove the "in text" ads and remove most ads for logged in users!
- We will have access to all of the Wikia custom wiki modules such as their new Visual (WYSIWYG) editor, Multiple Image Upload tool, and Spam protection tools
From a community perspective, nothing will change. Our current team of Sysops will stay in place and Wikia will support us in every way they can. They want to see this community thrive as much as we all do.
We will switch to their servers on Thursday morning. Although I am anticipating a smooth transition, your understanding and patience during this time will be appreciated. Please rest assured that we will all work together to quickly iron out any bugs or snags that pop up. During the transition the wiki will be put in read only mode.
Thanks, --Admin 16:54, 17 December 2008 (PST)
Why Wikia? Wikia hosts most of the largest public wikis (except for Wikipedia of course) so they have got the experience Lostpedia will need as it grows to make sure it stays online and can grow without limits. Wikia has been running for more than 4 years and is a stable company that Lostpedia can rely on long into the future.
Will my user account change?
Lostpedia's user database will be merged with Wikia, giving you the advantage of single login to more than 10000 wikis! If you already have an account on Wikia and you use the same email address there as in your Lostpedia account, we will try to merge this with your Lostpedia account. Your personal preferences, user access permissions, and settings should stay the same. In the case of name clashes, some users will unfortunately need to be renamed. In most cases, this should not apply to active users. If you are renamed, your new account will be LOST-OldName. For example, Joe would get renamed LOST-Joe.
If you are an active user who got renamed and you would like either your old name back or a different name, please leave a message here.
Will the site content or policies change?
Wikia will not be making any changes to these. As always, decisions about content and policy are in the hands of the community.
Will the skin change?
The default skin for unregistered users will be Monaco. All registered users are welcome to select any skin in their preferences, but please note that some functionality will no longer be available under Lostpedia's own Lostbook skin, which is no longer being developed. The default color skin for unregistered users can be changed by any admin in their preferences and changes can be made to the CSS in the normal way via MediaWiki:Monaco.css.
Will the URL change?
The main URL for the wiki will be lostpedia.wikia.com. Wikia will endeavour to maintain lostpedia.com and lostpedia.org as permanent redirects.
Will the site be faster?
We hope so! Lostpedia will utilize Wikia's geographically redundant hosting platform. Wikia's support staff are working constantly to speed up the wikis.
Will we get any new features?
Wikia has dozens of extensions, some of which are enabled automatically, and many more than can be turned on on request. For example, Wikia has extensions that make it easier to add images or embed videos, as well as lots of anti-spam tools and emergency anti-vandalism tools to negate the effects that malicious users might have on the site. Some of the new features that we can roll out over the next few weeks include a new rich text (WYSIWYG) editor and blog features. All of Lostpedia's existing extensions will continue to work.
Will the ads change?
Yes. Some of the ad placements will change and the main page layout will need to change slightly to account for this. Registered users will see fewer ads. Wikia will remove all of the Kontera ad links, and remove most of the other ads for logged in users, as well as most ads from the Lostbook theme.
What about the forums, IRC channel, and blog?
No changes will be made to any of Lostpedia's other services. Kevin will continue to host the forums. The IRC channel will remain with GameSurge. The blog will continue to be hosted by Blogger.
What about other languages?
Wikia can create new language editions of Lostpedia very quickly on request at http://requests.wikia.com/. As requested, a new edition in Hebrew has just been started at http://he.lost.wikia.com and will move to a Lostpedia URL shortly.
Will Lostpedia's content merge with Wikia's existing Lost wikis?
No. Wikia's English Lost Wiki uses a different license, meaning content can not be shared between that and Lostpedia. These two wikis will continue to operate independently from each other. Wikia's other language editions have few articles and will be replaced with Lostpedia's versions.
What about MediaWiki upgrades?
Wikia stays up to date with the latest stable release of MediaWiki, so upgrades are regularly done, and in a way that does not affect the wiki. You should not experience any downtime as the result of an upgrade.
Will Lostpedia be promoted on Wikia?
Yes. Lostpedia will be cross promoted with other Wikia site, which should lead to more users, more editors and better content.
Where can I discuss this?
Please visit Project talk:Move to Wikia to discuss the move. If you would like to ask Wikia's staff any questions about this move, please contact Angela, Wikia's co-founder (talk page / email: firstname.lastname@example.org / skype: beesley / google talk: email@example.com). For technical questions, TOR can help. Uberfuzzy will also be available, especially for helping out with any queries on the talk page.