Liz Gannes

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Wikia Says It’s the Biggest Site Nobody — Including Its Millions of Readers — Has Ever Heard Of (Video)

The user-generated media site Wikia has been profitable for three years and grew traffic 42 percent last year to 47.6 million global unique visitors.

Part of Wikia's extensive interactive map of the Skyrim game

Wikia’s traffic in the gaming category is second only to IGN, with comprehensive and constantly updated databases about games like Skyrim.

The new Wikia management didn’t have much to do with that — CEO Craig Palmer and other execs only joined at the end of last year. But they’re trying to channel the momentum.

Palmer said he thinks the next step for the company is to get better brand recognition, as its content is currently spread across more than 200,000 wikis.

“Our readers get siloed,” Palmer said. “People don’t know the brand except for those who edit.” And the editors are a small minority.

Hilary Goldstein, a 10-year editorial veteran of IGN, also recently joined Wikia to manage its gaming category. His industry relationships will help Wikia’s top contributors get early access to new games.

Goldstein said he thinks Wikia’s ever-evolving wikis are a far better source of information for gamers than the static, single-author articles found in traditional gaming media.

Palmer said he is also overseeing a plan to create content hubs and direct visitors to related programming. He described it as similar to YouTube’s new “channels” strategy — though Wikia’s volunteer writers would still be unpaid. Another direction for development is mobile, where Wikia content could serve as a “second screen” while a user plays a game.

Palmer and Goldstein stopped by our office last week to give their pitch on the promise of “collaborative media.” Here’s a video interview:


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work