Good morning! Kirkburn here...
For various reasons, Wikia is planning to move our primary URL to a subdomain of our choice on wikia.com.
The main reason for this is that having WoWWiki separate from wikia.com means that visitors to wowwiki.com do not get credited towards wikia.com. Large brand advertisers (who happen to present more relevant and less annoying ads) only talk to very large sites, and they use the single-domain US comScore unique visitor statistic to determine if a site is large enough to talk to. Neither wikia.com nor wowwiki.com alone have the mass to get their attention; however, advertisers are happy to talk to sites that are the size of the two combined.
Naturally, I'd prefer to not have to be making this change. We have tried a number of alternatives, such as combining all of our domains in to an aggregate total, sending them other (arguably more accurate) statistics, and trying to explain our situation more thoroughly. Despite all that, we keep hearing the same thing from the people who know brand advertisers best: ad buyers receive literally dozens of calls from Internet startups every day, and they can only make time to talk to sites that they can quickly determine are worth their time. In the end, it'll also improve our Alexa rank (though it'll be for all Wikia, there are other sites that give subdomain stats which can replace it) and it should be minor change for end users. I'd be surprised if many people noticed unless they are told!
By combining the wiki totals it gives us more pulling power in terms of ads, and allows us to run better ads - that is, more targeted to the users, more interesting, and better paying.
What effect will it have on me?
For end-users it will result in no changes to content, administration or presentation - only to the apparent URL in the address bar.
This change won't be happening immediately, and I am trying to ensure as little change as possible - for one, we shouldn't be getting the /wiki/ bit that most other wikis use. So, wowwiki.com/Dwarf would become something like wow.wikia.com/Dwarf - and the former should redirect to the latter. In effect, the change is only a small tweak to the URL.
What domains can we choose?
There are a large variety of choices for names - e.g. wowwiki.wikia.com, wow.wikia.com, warcraft.wikia.com, etc. - but all will redirect to the chosen place (the examples given already redirect to wowwiki.com).
I'm not sure how we'd want to choose a name to move to - a free vote, perhaps? I can see reasons for moving to any of the above, so it's important to find out what the community thinks is best.
What are Wikia doing for us?
Now, I know there are some feelings that with Wikia it's all been take, take, take. As many of you know, I've worked for Wikia for about a year (currently as an Associate Product Manager), and I can assure you it's not. While it is unfortunate that the new skin and increase ads had to occur, it was needed in order to maintain and develop the business.
For a quick review of what Wikia have done for us in the past few months, you can see WoWWiki:Upgrades ... however, I thought I might take the opportunity to highlight a few recent things. Special:WikiaStats has launched, Blizzard have started advertising on us, we can now take advantage of the help pages on Wikia Help (this may require a little work on our end, but I think it's worth it), and we've seen a whole bunch of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) improvements.
For the future, we're also working on a blog style addition to user pages to expand the tools available for RP players and those who just like to blog about various subjects. It'll still be very "wiki", and I should be able to bring you more information about that in the future. I want WoWWiki to be one of the first wikis to try it out :)
Thanks for your time!20:33, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
To discuss this, please use WoWWiki talk:Domain name.