FanHistory.com 2.0 and you!

November 30th, 2009 by Laura Leave a reply »

Greetings All –

Allow me to introduce myself, I’m he who goes by the handle (Username) of “ShakataGaNai“. You may have seen me around the FH Wiki as of late, seemingly popping up out of nowhere. I met Laura a while back at Recent Changes Camp, even became admin on here for a time, then dropped off the radar. Now I’m back and I’m here to help fix up FH and keep it running smoothly.

First Question: What dastardly designs will you discover?

Well, you may have noticed in the last few days that the Fan History Wiki looks a little bit different. In fact, it received a complete overhaul on the back end. Hopefully, for you, the end user, you don’t notice too much of a change (other than the appearance). Basically, everything should work the same way it did before, just better. I made a point of fixing as many of the glaring issues with the wiki as I could. I also took some time to try and speed things up, though this will be an ongoing process (one in which I would appreciate constructive feedback, i.e. NOT ohgodohgodohgodwereallgoingtodie). You may notice some extensions are no longer installed at all, either because we (Laura and I) felt that they weren’t necessary, or simply because I could not find updated copies of the source code (if there is something you can’t bear to part with, find the code, point me at it, and I will see about getting it installed).

The single largest change you will notice is the different skins. FH now looks similar to other wikis, most notably Wikipedia – in wiki-parlance this skin is called “Monobook”. While we all appreciated the previous distinctive look, this one is well maintained and has better compatibility across browsers.

In addition you’ll notice the advertising setup has changed, fairly significantly. Personally, I’m not a big fan of banner advertisements, I don’t think too many people are. The problem is that FanHistory.com still costs money to keep on the air – servers aren’t free after all. I talked with Laura and setup an Amazon Associates account, which you can see a banner for on the left of the wiki, under the standard toolbox.

Why Amazon?

Well, because I think it is a win-win situation, especially if you shop on Amazon regularly. Simply clicking through that banner (or other referral links that might get setup at a later date) does not affect your shopping experience in anyway, but Fan History gets paid a small commission. And since I have seen this question asked in other places, let me explain something: You pay the same, no matter what – clicking on the banner simply tells amazon that you came from FH Wiki and want the wiki to get a slice of whatever you bought.

To review: you get your stuff, FH gets a little money, everyone wins.

Plus, I personally believe that the Amazon ads are less annoying than most. That being said, Laura very much wants to keep advertising out of the content space. We’re going to be experimenting to see what works the best, gets the most clicks, annoys the users the least (this being one of the more important aspects), and allows the site to keep operating (this being one of the other more important aspects).

You might not see me on the wiki, but I’ll be around, tinkering. I’m happy to help with any technical issues you may find around the Wiki. So please feel free to leave a message on my talk page, email me or find me on IRC.

-ShakataGaNai, the tech guy.

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  • I did not suggest Amazon and I am glad you did. I was not sure per past discussion w/ Laura about Google Adsense and FH. Project Wonderful was a temporary solution, but even as I had applied it only my own blog, I have found it lacking in many ways (I will be blogging about it soon.)

    I have noticed the ease in using the site. I do want to suggest unique changes in merely the CSS, and would love to work w/ you on that to give FH its own look, rather than a dull yellowy look... in the future, after all the priority issues have been tackled.

    Thank you for the hard work on FH.

  • Jon

    I figured the ad setup was worth changing around... and people actually use it, it could be potentially worth a lot of money. Buying one Kindle through it right now is a $29.99 referral payment. A few of those would cover the months bills, that's for sure.

    I'd be more than happy to work with ya on CSS'ing up the site. It only looks like it does because that setup was already there and I need something to replace the previous skin, which was sadly broken.

    You can find me as ShakataGaNai on irc.freenode.net in #fanhistory generally 24/7 or email me - jon @ fanhistory.com.

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