As you may have seen, Wikia (aka FANDOM, which is apparently their new name) has been working on a new program for the last several months which will see the implementation of fandom videos on all the wikis. They officially launched it back in October on the South Park wiki, and are now proceeding to implement it with a focus on the top 1000 active wikis. As of right now, we're ranked at 178 and as you can see on the War table article, they've begun their project here.
While they're promoting this as a way to better wikis, their basic goal in this is to reduce ads on wiki pages by using these new auto-play videos with advertisements in them. It remains to be seen how effective this is going to be, but it is eventually going to be mandatory on all wikis.
We have a few choices on how we want to handle this as a community. We can do nothing, and wikia will create videos for us by their staff members. The downside of this is that the people creating the videos may very well not be familiar with Dragon Age at all, and the video quality will likely suffer for it. If you look at the video on the war table article, it's got some grammar errors, and is basically just a wall of text already on that page disguised as a "video". I have no idea if whoever wrote that script actually played the game or if they just copied what they read on the article. Based on comments by other wikis, lots of videos being posted on their sites are subpar.
On the other hand, we can become actively involved in the program. This is where you guys come in. They are asking for volunteers to help with the creation of videos. You don't have to be knowledgeable about making videos to be able to volunteer. What they're looking for right now is people to review/edit scripts written by their staff, as well as people to think up and write new scripts that they'll then produce. Eventually they want to be able to let the communities create their own videos, and are forming some sort of partnership with youtube as well.
So! Let me know if this is something you're interested in doing. It'd definitely be in our best interest if people who actually edit/have edited this wiki get involved on some scale--at the very least to review the scripts they've written before they make the videos. Otherwise, I have a feeling we're going to end up with a bunch of junk videos. If you want to volunteer to either review scripts, or write scripts let me know here so I can get us set up with them.
A few helpful links:
- http://community.wikia.com/wiki/Help:Featured_Videos wikia article on Featured Videos
- http://community.wikia.com/wiki/User_blog:Brandon_Rhea/How_You_Can_Participate_in_FANDOM's_Community_Video_Program Brandon Rhea's blog post asking for participants
- http://southpark.wikia.com/wiki/Kenny_McCormick An article on the South Park wiki showing a video with a script written by a community member (I think you can see how superior that video is to the one on the war table article).
And to reiterate: adding these videos to the wiki isn't something we have a say in. It's going to happen whether we are active in it or not; comments are welcome, but the main goal of this post is to see if anyone's interested in helping out. I'm not entirely sure if we get to choose which articles get to have videos, but I know they're at least going to be on several of the high-traffic articles.
♫ Kelcat Talk 06:04, December 8, 2017 (UTC)
UPDATE: After further contact with wikia, they currently have 11 videos in the queue for the Dragon Age wiki. They have scripts for 10 of them that they can send to me (one is already in post-production). If there are people who want to review these scripts let me know and we can discuss the best way to do that. --♫ Kelcat Talk 23:17, December 8, 2017 (UTC)
- Have you been told for which pages these videos are for? I have a bad feeling about this... 20:48, December 9, 2017 (UTC)
UPDATE: Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts got a video too, presumably the one in post-production Kelcat was talking about. 12:45, December 10, 2017 (UTC)
To be fair the War Table video isn't terrible but the whole concept goes against the encyclopaedic approach which we as a wiki try to achieve. It cheapens the content making it look like the IGN's Dragon Age Wiki than let's say, wikipedia.
While I am not interested in contributing in this project I think as a community we need to explore the possibility of speaking to Wikia and demanding to have a say on which articles they get this mandatory top-placed video. See also my response here about what other (bigger) wikis did for this matter.
- I agree with Victoria about approach and style. I also note that Adblock Plus works just fine on them. DaBarkspawn (talk) 16:47, December 8, 2017 (UTC)
- @Viktoria: Users can report bad videos at any time using the contact support form. If a video outright contains wrong or outdated info, we should definitely report them.
- As far as having any kind of say on what articles these go on, while we may be able to suggest articles that would benefit from videos I can almost guarantee that we will have no kind of veto power whatsoever. Their goal here is ad revenue; if they think they can make money off having a video on Solas' page, they're going to put a video on Solas' page, period. Wikia is not historically open to suggestions to remove features that they've decided to implement. I've banged my head against that wall more than enough times. And, our having any kind of leverage here is going to depend on how much we contribute. We can't really say we're not going to help, but then turn around and make demands of them. Like you, this isn't a project I personally can take on, but I do hope there are at least some people who would be interested. --♫ Kelcat Talk 21:59, December 8, 2017 (UTC)
I absolutely hate these videos on the Rick and Morty wikia. They spoil everything. For example, Evil Morty is a minor season 1 character. But the video on the top of the page shows him becoming president in season 3. Which is a big twist ending. They better not have a video on Solas beginning with him being described as Fen'Harel. henioo (da talk page) 11:21, December 8, 2017 (UTC)
- After some contemplation, I've come to a few realizations. The first is that I still don't like these videos as intrusive and ugly. The second is that the way in which Wikia went about this pisses me off as much as the videos themselves: we have a non-choice to either be subverted into the process or have crap shoved down our throats. I've also realized that these videos violate Dragon Age Wiki:Videos. I am therefore making a choice and an edit. The choice is that I am going to have nothing to with this process, will not volunteer to review scripts and will continue to use Adblock to remove this idiocy from my viewing of the wiki. The edit is on the videos policy page and moves "articles" from "no" to "yes". DaBarkspawn (talk) 16:32, December 10, 2017 (UTC)
- I completely understand. I hate this new feature, too, and have been resisting it for awhile now. We were contacted months ago to be test subjects during their beta phase and I turned them down. If it was something we could change, I would, but I can't. And I don't blame you for not wanting to be involved. I'll take a look at the video policy page; we should probably add something about how Featured Videos are the exception to the rule.