Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Breaking the Chains of User-Created Content Exploitation

Ok, I believe strongly in user created content. Heck, its the best way to get a lot of things done. Seriously, look at Spore!

But sometimes user-created content gets exploited. And that's the situation with Wikia, a wiki-hosting company that, up until now, hosted the Transformers Wiki. In short, because their advertising system was made to support a lowest-common denominator system, they began imposing increasingly limiting rules on how people ran their wikis, to the point that those hideous animated, noise-making ads started being put within the body of the wiki entries themselves.

That's right. You go to read about, say, Blitzwing, or, say, me, and there would be a two-inch square screeching monstrosity howling at you to buy Pringles like some rabid baboon. And this would be displacing, and in some cases, covering up content.

Well, it was Wikia's servers, so one might argue that they were within rights (though not ethics) to change their rules constantly and outright mislead their contributors (who, BTW, make their money for them.) But it was also within the rights of those contributors to beat feet outta there. And they did. The whole thing is now located at, thanks to bold culture heroes like David Willis (the Shortpacked dude, as some know him). The wiki has taken control of its own destiny, and that to me is what the internet experience is all about.

I don't do much contributing to the wiki, since I currently have a hand in producing TF fiction. But I did write their press release for the move, I support their move and the motivations and principles behind it, and I encourage everyone to check them out. This isn't your standard dry wiki: its informative and irreverent, the way the internets/interweb/tubes/webway/snarkzone/that Tron Place ought to be. After all, nothing that considers me worthy of an encyclopedic profile probably shouldn't take itself seriously.

Really, check it out:

Trent Troop @

And no, I didn't create my own page.

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