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See also Archive:Wikipedia/Talk:Wikia.

This page is an archive. The original page Wikipedia:Wikia may have since been updated or removed. This content is licensed under GFDL and was last retrieved on November 2008.

Template:Infobox Dotcom company

Wikia (originally Wikicities) is a selective free web hosting service for wikis (or wiki farm) operated by Wikia, Inc., a for-profit Delaware company founded in late 2004.[1]

Wikia particularly targets communities, both those established offline and those with a purely online following. Wikia is free of charge for readers and editors and licenses user-provided content under the GNU Free Documentation License or, in the case of Memory Alpha (CC by-nc-sa) and Uncyclopedia (CC by-nc-sa), a Creative Commons license. The wiki software used is MediaWiki.

Wikia was founded by Jimmy Wales, Chairman Emeritus of the Wikimedia Foundation, and Angela Beesley, who serves on the Communications Committee of the Foundation and chairs its Advisory Board.


Wikia changed its name from Wikicities on March 27, 2006, saying that "the name Wikicities has often caused confusion, with many people believing it was a site for city guides rather than wikis about any topic."[2] Following this change, Wikia announced that it had received US$4 million in venture capital from Bessemer Venture Partners.[3] has invested US$10 million in Series B funding.[4] As a result, senior VP of business development Jeff Blackburn joined the company board.[5]

In November 2006, Wikia claimed to have spent only $5.74 on marketing, while generating 40 to 50 million page views.[5] Certain Wikia projects have independently spent money on advertising.[6] The company spent $2 million to purchase ArmchairGM, a previously independently hosted site on the MediaWiki software.[5] OpenServing was a short-lived Web publishing project owned by Wikia, founded on December 12, 2006.[7][8] OpenServing was abandoned in January 2008, and its closure was never formally announced.[9]

Topics and wikis[edit]

Wikia covers a broad range of topics; most widely scoped community projects are accepted, with the exception of ideas that compete with the Wikimedia Foundation's projects, which the Wikia founders are heavily involved in. Wikia requires all content to be licensed under one of many free content licenses, such as the Creative Commons Attribution and Attribution-Sharealike licenses or the GNU Free Documentation License. In comparison with Wikipedia, Wikia hosts specialized wikis that offer more detailed content. Also, because Wikia is not an encyclopedia, certain subjects that do not qualify for inclusion on Wikipedia due to lack of notability may be acceptable on the respective Wikia wiki. For example, a minor character in a certain video game may have its own article on Wikia but only a brief mention on Wikipedia.[10]

The project announced the creation of its one hundredth wiki on February 3, 2005.[11] As of July 2007, it had over 3,000 wikis in over 50 languages.[12]

As of February, 2008, its Alexa traffic ranking was about 400[13] (Memory Alpha and WoWWiki, two of their most popular wikis, are not included in this figure as they have separate domain names). The largest source of traffic is its hosting of Wookieepedia, the Star Wars fan information wiki, accounting for 17% of Wikia traffic as of May 2007.[14] The Wikia-hosted World of Warcraft Wiki gets even more traffic on a separate domain name.[15]

Some domain names that are not included in the figure stem from wikis that were founded separately from Wikia and incorporated into Wikia later. In the case of GuildWiki, this incorporation involved Wikia paying money and/or stock options to the previous owner of the domain name used for these wikis.[16]

Wikia Green[edit]

Wikia Green is a wiki operated by Wikia Inc. which focuses on environmental issues.[17] Jimmy Wales, head of Wikia, was motivated to start the project after a conversation with environmentalist activist and politician Al Gore, who suggested creating a green wiki.[18]


Wikia uses MediaWiki software on GNU/Linux servers, and claims to provide both technical and social support for all aspects of running a wiki community.[19]

Search engines[edit]


Wikia Inc. initially proposed creating a copyleft search engine; the software (but not the site) was named "Wikiasari" by a November 2004 naming contest.[20] The proposal became inactive as of 2005.

Search Wikia[edit]

Template:Main The "public alpha" of Wikia Search web search engine was launched on January 7, 2008.[21] This roll-out version of the search interface was roundly panned by reviewers in technology media.[22]


Wikia, Inc. is a company based in San Mateo, and San Francisco, California, U.S.[23] The company was originally incorporated in Florida in December 2004 and re-incorporated in Delaware as Wikia, Inc. on 10 January 2006. Angela Beesley has served since the beginning as Wikia's Vice-President of Community Relations.[24] Gil Penchina, a former vice president and general manager at eBay, was hired as CEO on June 5, 2006. Gil had previously been one of a group of angel investors in the company.[25][24] Michael E. Davis, a former business partner of Wales who served for years as a founding member of the Wikimedia Foundation board and was that organization's Treasurer, was named Treasurer and Secretary of Wikia in January 2006.

Wikia has some technical staff in the USA, but has also opened an office in Poznań, Poland in 2006. Explaining his choice of location, Wales commented "It's about reasonable salaries and high quality. You can find cheaper programmers in other parts of the world, but the quality's not there!"[12]

Wikia Inc and Wikimedia Foundation[edit]

Wikia has been referred to in the media as the commercial counterpart to the non-profit Wikipedia.[26][27] Both Wikimedia[28] and Wikia staff[29] dispute this description as inaccurate.

Wikipedia and Wikia were both co-founded by Jimmy Wales (with Larry Sanger co-founding Wikipedia, and Angela Beesley co-founding Wikia). In 2006, the Wikimedia Foundation shared hosting and bandwidth costs with Wikia, Inc. The Wikimedia Foundation received some donated office space from Wikia, Inc. during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2006. At the end of fiscal year 2007, the Foundation was owed US$6,000 by Wikia. In its earlier years, three members of the Foundation's Board of Directors also served and continue to serve as employees, officers, or directors of Wikia, Inc.[30]

See also[edit]



External links[edit]


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  1. (2005-03-13) The Book Stops Here. Wired News. URL accessed on 2007-08-01.
  2. Beesley, Angela (March 27, 2006). Wikicities relaunches as Wikia. Wikia. URL accessed on 2006-07-15.
  3. Hinman, Michael (March 10, 2006). Venture capitalists invest wiki-millions. Tampa Bay Business Journal. URL accessed on 2006-03-10.
  4. Private Equity Week
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Ryan Blitstein (2006-12-06). "Amazon puts faith – and money – in Wikia", Mercury News. Retrieved on 8 March 2007. 
  6. Parry, Laurence. WikiFur Ledger. URL accessed on 2007-03-08.
  7. "Wikipedia founder remakes Web-publishing economics", Reuters/USA Today (2006-12-12). Retrieved on 4 October 2007. 
  8. (2006-12-11) Wikia Announces Free Wiki Hosting. TechCrunch.
  9. (2007-10-10) Wikia's OpenServing Project Dies a Quiet Death. Mars Magazine.
  10. McNichol, Tom (March 3, 2007). With Wikia, a Wikipedia founder looks to strike it rich. Business 2.0 Magazine. URL accessed on 2008-06-24.
  11. Beesley, Angela et al. (February 3, 2005). 100 Wikicities. URL accessed on 2006-10-15.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Shannon, Victoria (28 September 2006). Wikipedia Founder Staffs For Profit Wikia Spinoff. International Herald Tribune. URL accessed on 2006-10-28.Template:Dead link
  13. - Traffic Details from Alexa. Alexa. URL accessed on 2008-02-10.
  14. - Traffic Details from Alexa
  15. - Traffic Details from Alexa
  16. GuildWiki: Wikia Move. URL accessed on 2007-10-20.
  19. Wikia, Inc.. Why use Wikia?. URL accessed on 2006-10-28.
  20. The name was derived from the Hawaiian word for "quick" and asari, Japanese for "rummaging search".
  21. Public alpha of Wikia search project
  22. (2008-01-07) Wikipedia founder's search engine gets bad reviews. URL accessed on 2008-01-07.
  23. (2006-12-06) San Mateo-Based Wikia Lands Investment from Silicon Valley Wire. URL accessed on 2007-03-08.; California Business Portal, Agent for service of process address; Go Daddy, Registered domain address.
  24. 24.0 24.1 Wikia, Inc.. Bessemer Venture Partners Funds Jimmy Wales' Startup Wikia. URL accessed on 2006-03-31. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Venture" defined multiple times with different content
  25. Wikia taps eBay exec as CEO. San Francisco Business Times. URL accessed on 2006-06-05.
  26. Wikipedia founder says to challenge Google, Yahoo. Reuters. URL accessed on 2008-02-26.
  27. Community websites take wiki path. BBC News. BBC. URL accessed on 2008-02-26.
  28. Wikia, Inc. is not the commercial counterpart to Wikipedia or the Wikimedia Foundation. Wikimedia Foundation. URL accessed on 2008-02-26.
  29. Wikimedia. Wikia, Inc.. URL accessed on 2008-02-26.
  30. Wikimedia Foundation 2006-2007 Audit page 9 says "The Organization shared hosting and bandwidth costs with Wikia, Inc., a for-profit company founded by the same founder as Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Included in accounts receivable at June 30, 2007 is $6,000 due from Wikia, Inc. for these costs. The Organization received some donated office space from Wikia Inc. during the year ended June 30, 2006 valued at $6,000. No donation of the office space occurred in 2007. Through June 30, 2007, two members of the Organization’s board of directors also serve as employees, officers, or directors of Wikia, Inc."