Hi LyricWikians (that's you),
In the wake of the unfortunate news about having to weaken/kill the API earlier this month, I'm glad to finally have some good news!
Legally and technically accurate description: LyricWiki.org will be shutting down under its former ownership, Wikia (which has independently secured a licensing deal with Gracenote) will be carrying the torch for the community and since the new wiki is still a wiki, the entire contents of the former LyricWiki site and its revision-history (including usernames and which user did what) will be contributed to the new wiki.
In English: in essence, I'm pleased to announce that LyricWiki will be joining the Wikia family of wikis. We've been "friends" with Wikia for years now: exchanging code, linking to each other, and both contributing to the MediaWikia community (MediaWiki is the software that runs LyricWiki, Wikia, and Wikipedia among many others).
This move will come with a lot of advantages:
- The dream will live on - Yay! Wikia has arranged a licensing deal so that royalties can be paid to music publishers, which will avoid the nasty risk of the site being sued out of existence. It's good to know that our years of hard work won't be evaporating any time soon! This is a gigantic relief for me and I'm sure many of you as well.
- More uptime - They have way more web-servers than we do and they have a team to help keep those servers running. Over the last 3+ years I've been a bit of a bottleneck as the only person with the access to our servers and we've had our share of downtime (especially early on). This will be a nice change!
- Wikia Team - Access to the entire Wikia team which includes: Programmers, System Administrators, Graphic Designers, Spam Fighters, etc.
- No ads for logged in users - Pretty cool, huh? We've had an option in Special:Preferences to choose between banners and ringtone links for a while, but not everyone knew that was there. Now, when you log in, the banners just won't be there.
- New tools - We will have access to all of the Wikia custom wiki modules such as their new Visual (WYSIWYG) editor, Multiple Image Upload tool, and Spam protection tools.
From a community perspective, nothing will change. Our current team of Sysops will stay in place and Wikia will support us in every way they can. They want to see this community thrive as much as we all do.
Some changes you'll notice right away:
- The default skin will be changed to Wikia's Monaco skin (more info in the FAQs below)
- There will be uneditable "Gracenote" pages in their own namespace which will quite often duplicate LyricWiki pages. This is a requirement of the licensing. They will be linked to the corresponding community-editable page. We'll also have some other hopefully minor Gracenote requirements, so bear with us as we work through that.
At the time this message is being posted, the transition is currently underway and the wiki will be in read-only mode (so that no edits are lost).
There are some FAQs below which should help with some of the obvious questions (some links will be red until the migration is complete). As always, if you have any other questions, feel free to leave a message on my talk page or send me an email. (Please be understanding of the fact that I can't comment on anything related to any legal actions. I will be more than happy to answer other questions as quickly as I can.)
- Sean Colombo
Wikia hosts most of the largest public wikis (except for Wikipedia of course) so they have got the experience LyricWiki will need as it grows to make sure it stays online and can grow without limits. Wikia has been running for more than 4 years and is a stable company that LyricWiki can rely on long into the future. Wikia was founded by Jimmy Wales and Angela Beesley whom you may know from their involvement in Wikipedia... they definitely "get" the wiki concept. We're in good hands.
Will my user account change?
The user database from the former LyricWiki will be merged into Wikia as part of the process of contributing the edits (so that history can be contributed also), giving you the advantage of single login to more than 10000 wikis! If you already have an account on Wikia and you use the same email address there as in your LyricWiki account, we will try to merge this with your LyricWiki account. Your personal preferences, user access permissions, and settings should stay the same. In the case of name clashes, some users will unfortunately need to be renamed. In most cases, this should not apply to active users. If you are renamed, your new account will be LYRIC-OldName. For example, Joe would get renamed LYRIC-Joe.
If you are an active user who got renamed and you would like either your old name back or a different name, please leave a message here.
Will the site content or policies change?
Some functionality will change due to requirements dictated by Wikia's arrangement with GraceNote; however, the core features of LyricWiki will remain the same. Except as is necessary due to licensing, decisions about content and policy are in the hands of the community.
Will the skin change?
The default skin for unregistered users will be Monaco. All registered users are welcome to the traditional Monobook in their preferences. The default color skin for unregistered users can be changed by any admin in his or her preferences, and changes can be made to the site CSS by editing MediaWiki:Monaco.css.
Will the URL change?
The main URL for the wiki will be lyrics.wikia.com. LyricWiki.org will point there as a permanent redirect.
Will the site be faster?
We hope so! LyricWiki will utilize Wikia's geographically independent hosting platform. Wikia's support staff are working constantly to speed up the wikis.
Will we get any new features?
Wikia has dozens of extensions, some of which are enabled automatically, and many more than can be turned on on request. For example, Wikia has extensions that make it easier to add images or embed videos, as well as lots of anti-spam tools and emergency anti-vandalism tools to negate the effects that malicious users might have on the site. Some of the new features include a new rich text (WYSIWYG) editor (you can still edit the raw wiki-text if you want). All of LyricWiki's existing extensions will continue to work.
Will the ads change?
Yes. Some of the ad placements will change and the main page layout will need to change slightly to account for this. Registered users will see fewer ads. Wikia will remove the "Sponsors" section from the left side-bar, and remove most of the other ads for logged in users, as well as most ads from the LyricWiki theme.
What about MediaWiki upgrades?
Wikia stays up to date with the latest stable release of MediaWiki, so upgrades are regularly done, and in a way that does not affect the wiki. You should not experience any downtime as the result of an upgrade.
What changes will there be relating to licensing?
Due to the licensing deal that Wikia has with Gracenote, there will be some interesting changes.
- There will be uneditable Gracenote lyrics pages in their own namespace. They will link to the community editable version in case you notice errors.
- Highlighting/cut/copy/paste will be disabled for lyrics pages (and the corresponding edit-page).
- There are bound to be several other small changes that I've forgotten or am not aware of yet. Please be patient as we get this all working.
Will LyricWiki be promoted on Wikia?
Yes. LyricWiki will be cross promoted with other Wikia sites, which should lead to more users, more editors and better content.
Where can I discuss this?
Please visit Project talk:Wikia Migration FAQ to discuss the move. If you would like to ask Wikia's staff any questions about this move, please contact Kyle Harmon, one of Wikia's community managers (talk page / email:email@example.com). Sean Colombo (talk) is also available to answer any questions.