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Moving off Wikia

Moved from Talk:Geek Feminism Wiki

To Skud: I know you have been approached about this; puzzlement told me that you're opposed, primarily due to spam protection concerns, but I think that this deserves an open discussion and we're better off leaving Wikia. My primary concerns are intrusive ads in the content area, bloat with useless "features" that actively impede usability, and the streamrolling nature of the changes Wikia makes, over the heads of the users and admins of its hosted wikis.

Soon, Wikia is going to roll out a New and Improved skin with even less content space and even more space reserved for clutter. You can see how this very page will look here. In short, it's eye-searing. Weird choices of colors, large icons in different places, useless "social" cruft that belongs to a site like Facebook more than an informative wiki, fixed width and a huge sidebar that squeezes the actual content into teeny-tiny space.

The Anti-Wikia Alliance page maintains a list of alternatives and a list of wikis that have switched or plan to switch. This page lists more reasons to drop Wikia like a hot potato.

Spam protection is a concern, but it's manageable. There are different possible options. Shoutwiki is a leaner, meaner alternative to Wikia; it has some of the same drawbacks as Wikia (namely, ads and a subdomain), but at least it doesn't force a custom bloated skin and uses Monobook (still customizable with CSS). For spam protection, they have CAPTCHAs and a hidden input field. Their technical support stuff also gives me the impression of being friendlier and less uptight than Wikia's.

Another wiki farm worth looking at is Wikkii, which provides a comparable service.

Yet another option would be hosting a MediaWiki installation on geekfeminism.org. That would require us to install anti-spam tools ourselves, but it's completely doable, and there are many owners of standalone MediaWiki sites to ask for help with setting those measures up.

One drawback that I see is that the Wikia-hosted site will remain here, and will outrank the new one in search engines, at least for now. At least on geekfeminism.org, links can be updated everywhere to point to the new wiki. - Sikon 09:13, October 14, 2010 (UTC)

  • Sophie here from the #gf IRC channel. I don't think self-hosting will have too many problems with spam - on all the wikis I've hosted, defeating spambots is as easy as making sure that it's only editable by registered users with *verified* email addresses. (Or, as MediaWiki puts it, "authenticated" email addresses.) Of course, I understand that that won't allow for unregistered editing like this comment itself, so, hmm. --86.153.155.239 12:34, October 14, 2010 (UTC)
  • I already maintain (sottily) several MediaWiki installs and would rather not have yet another to keep healthy. This wiki's already in place and the ads or colors don't seem too intrusive to me. - Liz H.
  • My thoughts are similar to Liz's: the trouble is commitment. We need to find someone (volunteer(s), paid hosting) that would be demonstrably willing and capable of doing the hosting, updating and support for several years to make the hassle of a move worth it. It's one thing to say "not that hard", it's another thing to say "and I will do it, and I will do it for a long time." It's not that hard but... I don't see anyone volunteering to do what work there is. Thayvian 22:13, October 14, 2010 (UTC)

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