| Many users of GTA Wiki have moved to GrandTheftWiki.com.
You can choose whether to stay on Wikia, or join the new site
GTA Wiki has been hosted on Wikia since 2008. By 2010, many users were unhappy with Wikia's focus on advertising, an increasing amount of interference from Wikia in the operation of this wiki, and Wikia ignoring the community and its opinion.
Due to Wikia's ongoing interference and lack of respect towards this wiki's community, a discussion was held on whether to leave Wikia as the host of GTA Wiki. After discussion, it was agreed by the participating community and all of GTA Wiki's staff to move, and GTA Wiki changed host and moved to GrandTheftWiki.com.
Discussions were held on Wikia's copy of the site. Some administrators wanted to run this as a GTA modding wiki, in a mutually-beneficial partnership with the moved GTA Wiki; but Wikia refused and chose to run a copy of the wiki here, in competition with the departed GTA Wiki community.
As a user, you have a choice whether to join the GTA Wiki community at GrandTheftWiki.com, or to stay at Wikia and edit this copy.
The original proposal for the move is below, and the extensive discussion is on the talk page. Please read this through and make your own choice about where you choose to edit.
Original pre-move discussion
Oasis is the new skin that Wikia will be rolling out to GTA Wiki in October 2010, to replace Monaco. This new skin is mandatory, and we will be unable to revert back to Monaco or Monobook.
October 6, 2010 - All logged in users will be able to “switch on” the new look for themselves on any wiki they visit.
October 20, 2010 - All users will see the new look on every wiki. Logged in users will have the temporary option of viewing and editing wikis in Monaco.
November 3, 2010 - The option to use Monaco will be removed.
There are a number of new features with Oasis, but also a number of problems this causes. These include:
- Wikia will remove our CSS customisation options. All we can customise are a pre-determined set of colours and backgrounds. We are unable to have our distinctive banner or similar big logos or customisations.
- The content area is quite small, and filled with advertisments. The terms of service prevent us from altering this at all.
- This skin removes GTA Wiki's identity, and just makes us look like part of one central Wikia site
- This skin and the new terms of service prioritise advertising over content, even more than Monaco
- The narrow fixed-width layout (630px) breaks many of our pages and puts content last
- The skin still doesn't work properly, with many features and pages broken. It will destroy many of our pages, and it will take weeks or months to fix them
- The entire top section of every page is about Wikia and linking to other Wikia sites. The GTA Wiki logo and our navigation is placed part-way down the page, making it a lot less obvious
- The talk page button is now hidden. It's a tiny icon near the search bar, completely separate from the edit button.
Wikia claim that they have consulted the community about these changes. Whilst there has been a beta test running, they have only fixed problems rather than listened to the genuine negative feedback from hundreds of users.
The GTA Wiki staff fundamentally disagree with Wikia's priority of putting advertising and money before content and the community. It is the disregard for our opinion and the disrespect to our community and our content that is driving our upset.
"So, as of 20 October, I plan to stop contributing to any Wikia wiki. It's not because "I hate" the new skin. It's because Wikia's new direction makes me feel that I'm providing free content for someone else to use to make a buck." -- Tennessee Ernie Ford on GuildWiki
There are many advantages to leaving Wikia and becoming self-hosted, including complete control over the site, design, permissions and extensions. However, there are some major issues with this.
If we moved away, Wikia would not close gta.wikia.com. This means that the site would fork into two copies:
- This copy staying on Wikia, operated as a competitor to our site (gta.wikia.com)
- One copy operated by this community elsewhere (grandtheftwiki.com)
This means that most visitors (from Google etc) would continue to use gta.wikia.com after we move, singificantly reducing our traffic. We could post redirect messages across this wiki, but Wikia would likely remove them. So we would require the community to work together to make sure everyone went to our new site, not here. We also need to make sure that as many users as possible come with us, rather than staying here.
We can easily copy all content over to the new site, correctly licenced. We also have a server available and ready to handle the site. Whilst there would be a short period of problems (1-2 weeks), we would work solidly to get everything working. Whilst we might require funding in the future, this would be through donations or discreet advertising - NOT what Wikia are currently doing.
GTA Wiki will not move without discussion and input from the community. Unlike Wikia, we respect our users, and we see this as YOUR site, not owned by one person, and certainly not owned by Wikia.
We are asking our members three questions on the talk page. This is not a vote, as we have to weigh up all the options and make a sensible decision. But we respect this community and will act upon whatever the consensus is.
- What do you think of the Oasis skin?
- Do you think GTW should leave Wikia?
- If we moved, would you move with us, rather than staying on gta.wikia.com?