My Newcomer Discovery Report!Edit
Earlier this year I began contributing to several wikias and create one of my own, having learnt coding skills from my computing class hence hoping to practice my HTML/CSS etc skills, and also to build up these wikias and contribute as much as I can. These wikipedias are shokugekinosoma wikia, and eievui wikia, which I admin/manage under my same username. Despite several months since I started, my first experiences and complications are still very much fresh in my mind. Below are my experiences and comments, with several ideas on improving the Wikia experience and community.
At first, I utilised heavy HTML editting to design pages and their informations. Apart from simple mediawiki codes such as triple ' for bold and usage of templates, I was completely alien to most of Mediawki's coding features. Hence, much of my pages were filled with stacks of complicated HTML codes. These codes are especially lengthy, especially as I had no idea how to incorporate CSS for the HTML pages. In all honesty, to this date I still do not know how (to incoporate CSS). Such complications may be easily resolved from googling for information, but I hardly managed to find straightforward explanations or tutorials, as these complications were rather distinct and situational. Perhaps, links for guides/tutorials could be provided on the screen when editting pages, and helpful tips could appear while coding/typing, such as 'you seem to have a lengthy code/ reused code here. You might want to turn this into a template for easier editting/multiple codes. Click here to learn how...' This could be a feature that the user can choose to turn on or off.
It was not until other users came in and modified my pages into several different templates that I realised you could do such things, such as segmenting my home page into several individual template/segments for easier editting. Another issue I personally encountered was the provided left/right sidebar codes, where I instead used float left/right in my html for my easier editting. Also, due to my heavy HTML, sometimes the visual preview of the page could not be displayed. Most of the time I would re-edit the code until it can be displayed again, as the visual preview is very helpful in designing/editting the page.
I found the Wikia community for each page to be very interactive and enjoyable, from rankings, badges to comments, it boosts involvement between users alot, and encourages people to contribute consistently. I have a fellow admin on the Shokugeki no Soma wikia, and his consistent and amazing dedication to the wikia is extremely commendable and I have alot of respect for him, and he partly pushes me to continue participating and contributing. Shokugeki is a relatively small but growing wikia, and for largely wikias out there I am more than sure the community will be extremely robust with so much more people around.
One thing to note though is that the forum is however no very user friendly, and is rather diffirent from most online forum. A suggestion would be a forum portal for all wikias, with sub-sections for each wikia and their content/posts. Here, not only can users of individual wikias come and interact together, they can even learn about other wikias and be urged to contribute even more. Also, it would be easier to request for help through the use of such forums (eg a sub-helpforum) given the ability to connect with wikia's immense community across the globe. I believe this can be a strong idea to consider. This is especially helpful in becoming a center hub where all wikia contributers can come together and interact, and will definity help in myraids of ways such as first experiences and such by new and old users, ultimately becoming making Wikia a dynamic community with depth, urging users to return for the community as well!
That is most of my experience out of Wikia, and do tell me if I made any mistakes or my suggestions were in fact already in existence, but I would love to help as much as I can to improve this whole online sharing experience :)