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Wikia, also known as FANDOM powered by Wikia and formerly Wikicities, is now a collection of over 360,000 wikis—aka a 'Wiki Farm'—run by Wikia, Inc., and founded by Jimmy Wales - one of the founders of Wikipedia - and Angela Starling in October 2004. Its original tagline was "Create. Collaborate. Be Original." In 2006, Gil Penchina became the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and hopes to take Wikia to a new level as he did with eBay. As of late 2011, the current CEO is Craig Palmer. In late 2016, they rebranded the site as "Fandom" and launched the non-profit Wikia.org.
Wikia uses a unique and heavily modified creation of the MediaWiki wiki engine; and is visually different from regular MediaWiki sites in that it has its own custom skin, and most notably, complete with a range and variety of embeded advertisements. Wikia offers free hosting for an individual or community to build a free content wiki-based website. New wikis can be created instantly at http://create.wikia.com. Hosting and 24 hour customer support is free, in return for advertising placed on the pages; but users have little say over the advertisements their website displays. Support, on both the technical and community aspects of running a wiki community, is provided at Wikia Community Central (or one of the other language Community wikis).
Wikia staff and helpers have sysop powers throughout all Wikia wikis, as well as several types of automated detection and blocking tools to help deal with vandals and spam on individual wikis. This can be helpful for controversial wikis like Liberapedia that attract vandals.
Users with new 'talk' messages on any Wikia wiki will get a note about the message on any other Wikia wiki where they have a tab or window open. If a user has different usernames for different Wikia wikis, then logging into a different account for one can change the account for all.
The vast majority of Wikia wikis are currently released under one primary wiki license—the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 license (CC-BY-SA 3.0), as explained here. However, other licenses are available on Wikia; these include the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial (CC-BY-NC), as used by Memory Alpha, and the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works (CC-BY-NC-ND) licenses.
Wikia wikis are grouped under differing portals, or 'hubs', as shown in the bottom left corner of their page. These include:
- This section requires expansion with info on the Facebook Connect plugin which Wikia is now using.
The entire Wikia project is available as a backup file here . Individual Wikia wikis may also backed up, and their backup files are available near the bottom of their relevant Statistics page, as explained here. However, whilst all Wikia wikis have a Statistics page, complete with the 'Database dumps' section containing their backup file links, those Wikia wikis which show 'unknown' for the URLs definately have not been backed up!
- GreenReaper produces some very interesting and geeky Wikia IRC stats
- Wikistatistics.net produces graphical Wikia Interactive Statistics
- WikiStats by s23.org has a tabular list of top 250 Wikias
The exact date of founding of individual Wikia wikis will be at
List of wikis
10 largest wikis
- This section needs updating
- LyricWiki – music lyrics
- Wikianswers – general questions and answers
- Wookieepedia – Star Wars
- Familypedia – genealogy
- Marvel Database Project – Marvel comics
- EQ2i – Everquest video game
- The Third Turn – NASCAR
- Recipes Wiki – recipes
- DC Database – DC Comics
- RuneScape Wiki – RuneScape video game
Closure of Wikia wikis
Unlike other wiki farms, Wikia will generally not close a wiki if requested by the wikis' creator and/or community of editors. Wikia prefer to maintain inactive wikis in a dormant state, and actively seek others to 'adopt' said wikis. This will happen even when former wiki owners copy their entire wiki project and re-host it on another provider or wiki farm. Wikia wikis are only usually closed in exceptional circumstances, typically if the content or intent of the wiki breaches Wikias' terms of service.
Problems between Wikia and its users
For those registered users having problems logging into Wikia, a solution is to disable scripts from Wikia, then clicking on the 'Log in' link which will send you to Log in webpage.
Wikia offers free hosting for a community to build a wiki-based website based on a unique and heavily modified version of MediaWiki, in return for the display of advertisements. Some registered users complain that they have little say over the placement or content of advertisements their wikisite displays.
Logged-in users don't have to see the advertisements unless they choose to. Users may set their preferences to see advertisements on Wikia in order to see how a page looks to logged-out and/or non-registered Wikia users. A prominent advertisement is placed at the top right hand side of most pages, but when there is also a picture on the top right hand side of a page, the layout for users who see the advertisement can be poor especially on short pages. Logged-in users may not realize this when they add pictures.
Wikia currently uses the following types of ads on pages:
- A banner at at the top of the page;
- A large square ad in the sidebar which may often be a video advertisement;
- On large pages, a tall skyscraper ad is placed inside the end of the sidebar;
- On large pages, two large (or three slightly smaller) square ads at the end of the page before the footer;
- On various content pages, Wikia also sells "Sponsored links", which are a section of links that look like an "External links" page content section, but are placed below the category bar;
- Wikia places a floating social bar at the bottom of the screen for anon users—a square ad may pop out of the left of this bar;
- Occasionally Wikia may make use of take-over ads which replace the background image;
- They rarely show up, but have been more common recently—Wikia has tried placing in-text advertising in page content occasionally.
As of September 2012, Wikia is worth an estimated $13.93 Million USD to the advertisers, with a daily page view of more than 6,358,000; since all three links have nearly the same figures, it must be for the whole of Wikia. 
Until recently,[when?] registered users who understood how to use preferences could choose which skin they used, but even this choice will now stop.
The default skin for Wikia wikis used to be called 'Monaco', more colorful and customizable than the default MediaWiki 'Monobook' skin that Wikipedia uses. While registered users could view Wikia sites using the Monobook skin (by choosing it in their preferences), Wikia did not allow it to be chosen as a default skin for all wiki visitors, which was frustrating for some communities. Wikia says statistics show that Monaco encourages new registered users by making editing easier, but many Wikia left nonetheless.
Wikia has introduced a new 'Oasis' skin, which is widely unpopular with registered users, see To the people complaining about the new look. The new skin is now compulsory for all users. Because of this change, many Wikia users have now left, often taking their wiki with them.
Wikia also supports a mobile-view specific skin, designed to be used on smartphones and tablet computers. This version is automatically displayed when any Wikia wiki is opened on such devices, although there is the option to also view the conventional desktop version using the Oasis skin via a link at the bottom of the page.
In December 2014, Wikia introduced yet another skin, causing even more controversy among users.
ComplaintWiki has been set up expressly to look at problems that Wikia registered users have, and includes comments from communities that have left Wikia hosting; as well as other critics of Wikia and Wikipedia.
The Anti-Wikia Alliance wiki was set up to provide ongoing support and advice for a number of former Wikia wikis who are now hosted either independently or on another wiki farm.
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