All wikis face many of the same types of problems - like dealing with trolls, keeping an active admin team, holding on to an active user base, and so forth. However, some things are unique to certain types of wikis. With an encyclopaedia wiki, its purpose is to deliver information about its subject, whether about books, movies, TV shows or games. But what happens when the new information comes to an end?
A book series finishes, a TV show is cancelled, the game series ends, etc. It gets to a point where a wiki is simply maintaining old information, guarding from trolls and vandals and serving as a hub for people to find information. It’s sad when wikis start to feel less like an active thriving community, and more like they are just going through the motions, barely hanging on.
I have only been on Wikia for a little over three years, but in my time here I’ve seen quite a few book wikis where they have no new information coming out, and feel less like a community of users and more like a stopover place to grab an answer, stop a vandal, and head back to doing other things. For those wikis, that could use a breath of fresh ideas, here are a few I’ve compiled, that have the potential to help a wiki survive after the books end.
- Regular blogs: Have administrators or users write monthly blogs that spark new discussions about the books.
- Always look for new, creative or innovative ways to showcase the information: Things like keeping the main page fresh, updating the community corner, keeping the navigation bar up to date. These things can help show potential new users, that the wiki is still very much an active community.
- Hold monthly polls, events or activities: Perhaps even showcasing articles, images or users each month.
- Promote a lively and safe chat environment: Chat can be a great tool to help a wiki long after new information stops coming out, as well as helping a wiki feel more like a community instead of just a glorified encyclopaedia.
- Try to keep a decent amount of active Administrators, Rollbacks, etc to be available to help new users: Maybe even try to be proactive about welcoming them personally when you see a new user edit.
- Embrace roleplay: Another thing that could help, if you have a lot of creative users who love to write or even roleplay, either affiliate with a fanfiction or roleplay wiki base on the books, or if you can’t fine one, create one. When writing stories or creating characters that are based on the books, users always need to have a consistent source of information about the books.
- Consider a merger: Sometimes a merger could help, though I know many wikis prefer to keep things like the movies separate from the books they are based on, but even if you want to keep your wiki's information solely about the books, it would still be helpful to affiliate or create if there isn’t one, a wiki that is based on other media versions of the books.
I’m sure there are ideas I either haven’t thought of or haven’t included here, so please share them in the comments! But the point of all this, is to not let a good wiki slowly waste away into oblivion, just because the books are no longer putting out new information.
As long as there are fans, and an active user base, there are always ways to keep a wiki thriving.