User talk:J. James Beaudoin

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terms of service[edit]

RE: [1]

Hello J. James Beaudoin,

I noticed your recent contribution to Talk:Anti-Wikia Alliance and I thought I would inform you that advertising competing services on ShoutWiki (such as your offer for wikis moving off of Wikia) is against our Terms of use and as such I have reverted your edit. If you have any questions about this, feel free to ask on my talk page or on IRC. Thanks, --Skizzerz ShoutWiki Staff 19:50, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

ADDENDUM: For you and everyone else reading this -- Please do not take the preceding message the wrong way. We (the ShoutWiki staff) are not opposed to you listing alternatives to Wikia and ShoutWiki, it is just the particular way this message was worded sounded like a promotion encouraging users to not only leave Wikia, but ShoutWiki as well. For an example of a good spot to list this, see Anti-Wikia Alliance#Are there alternatives to Wikia for hosting?. Note how other entries in that table factually state what that alternative offers without any other text that emphasizes the fact that one host is better than another. --Skizzerz ShoutWiki Staff 19:56, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

message on user anno 1404 page
Please see User talk:J. James Beaudoin for why I removed that edit. Note that we are not opposed to people listing alternatives to Wikia here, we just would like their features worded in an objective tone so as not to imply one host is better than another, and that talk page message was very obviously not worded that way. --Skizzerz ShoutWiki Staff 19:59, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
Sorry Skizzerz, I did not realize your were staff when I reverted you.
I respect the Terms of Service and understand why you would revert this.
I am spending $22 a month to host my wikia.
From where I am coming from, I would like to have database access on my wikia (mostly so I can use two extensions: one to drag and drop images and I can have html code in my wikis).
Another editor I am negotiating with to leave wikia must have monaco skin.
I don't think shoutwiki offers either. :(
In addition, battlestar wiki seems to have faster servers. I just left godaddy because they are so damn slow, and I notice that shoutwiki can sometimes be slow in loading (but faster than godaddy).
I think the idea of a expanding the list of options out their is a good one. Editors who left wikia but did not sign up for shoutwiki for any list of reasons, can offer to host other wikias, listing features. Maybe other wikis have features yours may lack.
But that is all up to you, Skizzerz, you are hosting that site. Let me know here what you think.
Is it okay if I list battlestar wiki on the front page? As I have the others?
I will still recommend shoutwiki, because quite frankly you are much more established and there have been nothing but positive reviews about you guys. Anno1404 20:27, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
Feel free to list it, including all of the features that it offers. My point in removing the edit in the first place was the way it was worded in that it sounded more like an advertisement and less like an objective list of features that the alternative offers. I realize that my edit sparked a bit of controversy, and that is because this was really a borderline case -- J. James Beaudoin was making a valid (and perfectly within our Terms of use) statement about another alternative to wikia that exists. However, the way he worded it in making it sound like it was better than other alternatives (beyond simple feature comparison, that is), could be construed as advertising, and I made a decision that it fell into that category based on input from some of the other staff. We don't want to censor you from stating alternatives, especially if they offer unique features that even we may not (currently) offer, but we would like you to exercise discretion in how you write down your words. --Skizzerz ShoutWiki Staff 20:38, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

Joe's response[edit]

Hi, Skizzerz: Thank you for the fair hearing, and for being willing to discuss this.

I didn't mean to run afoul of your terms of use, which is not at all clear on this specific issue. Yes, sure, it falls generally under the large blanket of "advertising" that's been worded in your TOU. However, that is so general that a favorable opinion on a MediaWiki extension or type of server (Apache vs. IIS) could constitute as "advertising." (I suggest you revise that wording, removing all the weasel terms from your TOU so that things are crystal clear.)

As such, I strongly feel that you are massively overreacting to my offer. It speaks to your defensiveness over being threatened by my offer. For one, that was never my intent, so I apologize. My intent was two-fold: 1) to inform people of Wikia's past deeds, and 2) to offer my assistance and another option. Nothing more, nothing less.

My belief was that the AWA was meant to help all people who wanted to a migration path off Wikia and to something that was friendlier and more in line with their unique needs. It was not my intent to say that "one server is better than another," as that is a value judgment. (If you want to talk about implications, the very existence of this website directly states — going well beyond the implication stage — that there are better alternatives than Wikia.) Each service has its own strengths, as well as its own weaknesses, and should be judged by the people who we are offering these things to. Not by you, not by me. By the people we are trying to help.

Now, if you're helping people just to create a startup that will rival Wikia for your own business purposes and nothing more, then at least be honest about it. I can respect that. Clarity in communication will avert a majority of further potential misunderstandings. Such as this one. :)

As to the chart that compares other hosting methods, I note that Shoutwiki is "recommended" with no star rating, while the other alternatives have star ratings. I'm going to call a spade a spade here and, since I'm taking it upon myself to be so blunt and I've been put on the defensive by your abrupt removal of my offer, will point out the obviously clear bias: your chart clearly implies that one host (Shoutwiki) is better than the others. And frankly, the very existence of that bias is far more damaging than my offer.

As I am on that topic, who decided the star ratings? What were the criteria? Who or what group of folks decided that Shoutwiki was so distinguished that it doesn't need a star rating? These questions lead to this major question: is that rating system honest at all? Let's talk about that, because I believe it is dishonest (not by malice, but by a short-sighted decision) and, as a result, extremely biased.

Now, I'm also fine with my offer being reworded in such a way that it isn't negative. Could you please tell me which parts of it you saw were negative against ShoutWiki's services, and why?

Also, it is not my intent to start up a rival Wikia, since we are a small group of people and we really don't want to be responsible by several hundred wikis. All we're offering is an alternative, so I believe Shoutwiki is safe. :) After all, choice is a good thing. One size does not fit all. Frankly, that's is the primary reason why we never went to Wikia in the first place. Their ethics and ours didn't sync, their offers were an insult, and their meddling actions would have damaged the website that took five years to build and refine. BSG Wiki would not be the well-renowned resource today if we had gone to Wikia. I know that for certain.

So, since you want something more clinical and with specifics, then I can offer that. My intent was to offer that after seeing what the response would be, as I will not mismanage my time by supplying details to something that might a) not be received and b) might be removed by the admin after they are posted for whatever reason. (Point "b" certainly applied here. Of course, I understand that it is your site, and you are free to do with it (and whatever content people post upon it) as you wish.

Anyway, since there is an interest in my proposal, I will write something up and repost it. I'll make sure to take care in my wording, as well, since I do believe that I'm offering a unique service here. Again, the point is that it is an offer, we're not going to go Wikia on your butts. :P

Thank you for the fair hearing. -- J. "Joe" James Beaudoin 21:24, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

Hey Joe, thanks for replying. You raise a few valid points, so I'll try to reply to all of them (apologies if I miss one, I only had half an hour to write this and there's quite a lot of content you wrote). First, in regards to me "massively overreacting," I agree in retrospect that I could have handled this a lot better. At the time when I saw your edit, I felt that ShoutWiki needed to make a stance on how far we'll let things go before considering them "advertising" under our Terms of use. Your case was incredibly borderline, in that nothing in it was a blatant advertisement, but it had (to me at least) implications that could be construed as advertising. I realize that it was likely not your intent to do that, and indeed the two points of your intent were valid and perfectly fine under our Terms.
Next, I cannot speak for the purpose of AWA in general as I am not a part of its community, but I can speak on behalf of ShoutWiki that our staff is not manipulating the content here in order to put ShoutWiki as "better than the rest." From as far as I can tell, AWA is a haven for the community that is (in general) disgruntled with Wikia and are striving to offer alternatives and advice for wikis that wish to leave Wikia. While it would certainly be better for our business if we censored out everything but ShoutWiki, that goes against what we stand for. Our motto here is "Express yourself and be heard!", and that's hard to do when you're getting censored by your host. A wiki such as this one should be able to list as many other alternatives as it wishes, as well as the pros and cons of those alternatives, even if an objective feature and usability comparison of the alternatives would not go in ShoutWiki's favor.
As for the star ratings, I honestly can say I have no idea who came up with those or what they even mean. If you wish to change them, I recommend discussing with the rest of the community on a system to more accurately rate various alternatives (if you need a voting extension installed, ask me and I can enable one). I also agree with you that the star rating system currently seems very biased, but is up to the AWA community to fix that, not the ShoutWiki staff.
As for the parts of your post that I felt were "advertising", it was more of the mood of the post than the content. The way you worded it, it sounds like you are promoting your server ("rock solid server", "tons of bandwidth", "In fact, we're very laissez-faire, and the only thing we really ask"). While I don't dispute the factuality of any of those points, a more apt description would be one worded like the ones currently on that chart. For example "High bandwidth, database access, ad-supported with the editors keeping a share of ad revenue". I'm not saying it has to be worded exactly like that, but you may be able to see how it has a much more objective tone.
Hope that answers your questions, and sorry for the wall of text! --Skizzerz ShoutWiki Staff 21:50, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
Hi Skizzerz! Yes, this answers my questions, and obviously I'm happy that you waded through my wall of text!
I'm addressing the issue of the rating system with its originator. I believe that there needs to be a clear disclaimer on the ratings, as well as specific criteria for those ratings. (What makes a "four star" host worthy of those stars? What can they do better to gain that fifth star? Etc.) Otherwise, it places Shoutwiki in a bad light, and clearly that's not your intent.
In the future, I believe that anything borderline or questionable needs to be discussed first on the corresponding talk page before a removal. (I could see if it was spam, or something against the law, then I would have agreed with the decision.) The real thing that had irked me was that I had brought up the hosting on a talk page. Had it been the main / article page, I could see it being removed. Optimally, once it had been removed, it would have been placed on the talk page for the issue to be discussed amongst the contributors. I would not have minded if my claims were questioned, as I was hoping for further discussion.
Anyway, what's done is done, it's a learning lesson for us all, and hopefully the community here can grow another inch because of it. :) Good night! -- J. "Joe" James Beaudoin 23:55, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

Stars and recommendation[edit]

First off James, I think your wiki needs a better spokesman. You come across as overly defensive, with allegations you should never say without understanding the context which only makes you alone look bad.

I think Skizzerz is being very fair, he apologized, and he will allow us to mention your site. I think another editor from your site should oversee this James, someone who is a little more diplomatic.

Origin of stars and recommendation

Okay, desperately needed background. First off, I have ZERO affiliation with wikia other than here on this page. I am just a disgruntled editor from wikia who has around 50,000 edits there.

I created the graph. I came up with the star system. I did not add most if not all of the stars though, that is other editors who came here after I created the graph. You can go through the history if you like, something you should have done before making allegations.

Finally, I made shoutwiki the recommended site. Why? Because of the comments on the talk page, the extremely helpful staff I have talked with when I was considering moving my wiki, and the experience that they have.

I needed an simple way to convey to the computer illiterate who feel trapped on wikia, that a site can make their transition off of wikia painless. Only shoutwiki offers all of the above.

The future of battlestar hosting

Maybe someday we as a community can change the graph to your site being recommended. If so, that is great, that would make shoutwiki work even harder for editors and advertising revenue.

But the way you have overreacted here gives me pause, a lot of pause. I don't think I will email you after all to transfer my wiki from linode/wikia to your site. That said, I will add your site to the list, with no stars (blank), as I believe I did with everyone else on that list (check the history). I will let the community and your future customers decide what level of services you provide.

For the good of your site, I strongly suggest you have someone else speak for your wiki though, not only here but anytime you advertise your site anywhere.

I want to end on an upbeat note James. We are all on the same side here. Really. We may have different reasons, but all of us want to help editors leave wikia.

Anno1404 22:19, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

Addendum reading over Jame's message I don't see this:
"it is just the particular way this message was worded sounded like a promotion encouraging users to not only leave Wikia, but ShoutWiki as well."
I see one editor who is disgusted with wikia too, as we all are.
The word "shoutwiki" is not even in his posting.
That said, this is shoutwiki's site. So they can prohibit what they choose, and I am grateful for them allowing this list in the first place.
Keep in mind James, I reverted Skizzerz at first, and listed reasons why the message should stay. Only when I realized he was staff did I re-remove the whole section.
I think this is a learning experience for everyone, Skizzerz will probably word his comments differently in the future, (you can use this link as an example of what is allowed [2]), I will hesitate to revert, and James will not jump to conclusions. Anno1404 22:40, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
Hi Anno, I think there's a lot of emotion here on all sides (including you), so I'm just going to cut right to the chase. I appreciate your opinion for what it is, further I thank you for your honesty, and understand your point of view. Even if I do agree with most of it. I was basically put on the defensive certain members of this board, and so I was already disadvantaged. Nothing I could really do about that. As for being "diplomatic," I think that depends on your definition of diplomacy. When my edits are removed from a page with little discussion until after the fact, it doesn't put me in any other position other than being defensive. It's extremely difficult, if next to impossible, to be diplomatic and accommodating when you're not really given a chance to defend yourself before an action is taken. That's a fact. Take it however you'd like.
I appreciate your willingness to see both sides of the issue, your attempts to be diplomatic yourself, and your honesty. I understand the history of your actions, and the actions of everyone involved.
Let's take a moment for me to offer a means to discuss potential issues with contributors and content: On the wiki I oversee, we discuss things before we take an action, whether it be a page edit that can be viewed as contentious to an action another user has taken that may be viewed as potentially disruptive. This helps everyone understand what can be done better, and irons out any policy issues, particularly if they are borderline. (Now, if I'm reading right, Skizzerz did discuss this internally... but that doesn't help me or anyone else, as there was no room to discuss or offer a defense of the post.)
Anyway, having open and transparent dialogue creates a learning experience for everyone involved, helps build a community, and ultimately helps people get to know one another. These things are what any community needs to be about in order to survive and, furthermore, thrive. At least, that's what I've learned over the past five to six years of Wiki editing. (For the record, I was an admin on Wikipedia, until I became fed up with the bureaucracy and those who enabled Wikipedia's counter-productive policies.) Doing otherwise creates an environment that created Wikia and the problems it now faces.
Now regarding the star rating system, I called out the many of the shortcomings of your system. Obviously, you take great pride in your work, and that's something I can definitely appreciate. Further, I understand that you are a disgruntled Wikia editor, and that you view ShoutWiki as being the cream-of-the-crop because you have a positive experience with them. I respect that, too. Actually, I'm gratified that you care, because we need more people like you that do care. I appreciate your desire to make things easier for the layman who doesn't understand the technical process of moving a website from one server to another.
However, at the end of the day, it's one person's opinion, and one person's opinion doesn't make fact. If you'll stick with me, I'll explain what you can do to change that, and to avoid any further misunderstandings. Such as this one. :)
First, here's where I differ with you: no one should have to crawl through the history of the page to see how the system was made. Only admins, contributors, and bureaucrats should make use of history pages. Here's something everyone needs to know: visitors who read your page once will not track down how the rating system was made. They will not dig through a history page. People's time is valuable, and it is an unrealistic expectation of editors to expect users and visitors to dig through a history page unless absolutely necessary. Here's what I suggest: There needs to be note / disclaimer about the system, as it stems from the strong bias of one person. (Even if people came in later and added the "star rating system.") Basically, anything like "This system was devised by members of the AWA community and constitute the opinion of AWA users. Subjective ratings content in this graph are not necessarily the opinions of ShoutWiki or its affiliates" would work. That would alleviate any questions on whether or not Shoutwiki had anything to do with that list.
Further, the present system seems to be lacking, well, criteria. I agree that it should summarize each host's benefits, but the rating system needs to have its criteria listed somewhere. Unless I'm not looking in the right place, I'd like to know what constitutes a "four star" host vs. a "three star." How about a "five star?" What makes a host "recommended" by the community? I understand having a chart in layman's terms, but it would help if there were a link that says "Click here to read a detailed review" as well as links to automatically rate the hosts. There are MW extensions for polls that can help gather polling data, and they should probably be utilized.
Anyway, I agree that we're all on the same side and this has been a learning experience for everyone concerned. :)
For what it may be worth, I'm sorry if I've put anyone off by any abrasive nature of my comments. I speak honestly, and ask the questions that I feel need to be asked. I just hope people can understand that. -- J. "Joe" James Beaudoin
thank you for your comments. I apologize if I came across badly also.
I could go through the talk page and compile all the positive comments about shoutwiki, and the negative and positive comments of others -- indeed, there is always something more a person or community can do. I think the original stars for shoutwiki, which if I recall, were not added by me, was 5 stars. Again, that is what I love about wikia - a better system is always possible.
Your right, the average user should not have to go through the edit history, but the average user probably doesn't care about the steps taken to reach the page where it is now. I know of no wiki that does what you are suggesting, documenting the history and evolution of a page. I suspect your wiki doesn't either. Indeed, you seem to have a vested interest in this system, more than the average user who just comes here because they are disgusted with wikia. there is nothing wrong with having a vested interest, or making money on what you love. I just want to be straightforward.
If you are interested in making a new system, you are welcome to add or change it as you wish. But keep in mind your own biases: which we all have. If you feel like shoutwiki should not be recommend, or we should go back to five stars, be bold, or comment on the main talk page.
Where do you think you would fall on this list? I felt, and maybe I was biased, that your offer is promising, but you are a new server provider, unlike all the others listed. That is why I put you on the list, but at the bottom. You maybe the most incredible service ever, but without the history, it is hard to judge.
Anyway I have talked too much already. :) Anno1404 17:45, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

Big wikias staying because they were paid?[edit]

The reason I came back to your page is I just had a thought, based on what you said about being offered $2500 -- are the big wikias staying on wikia because they were originally paid off? This is something I would like to ask World of Warcraft...Anno1404 17:45, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

See: Anno1404 17:59, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
Some owners / admins of certain Wikias get a revenue share, others are just set up for free by users. The creators / main owners of larger wikis are given money offers and a cut of the ad revenue, and that may be why they are staying. Further, Wikia forces the owners of larger Wikis that they've purchased to sign a contract if they want to be hosted on Wikia and receive the monies. While I'm not sure what the exact terms within the contract are, part of it is that Wikia gets ownership of the domain name (should they have one like "" instead of the ""). This obviously prevents people from moving to another host. So, if you don't control the domain name, then it's harder to direct people to the new server. Since Wikia "owns" the domain name, and has the final say on anything on Wikia, they have near-absolute power to impede on anyone who tries to notify the [X] Wiki community that the [X] Wiki has been forked. It's utterly insidious. -- J. "Joe" James Beaudoin 18:03, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
Well, thank you, I was indefinitely blocked today. (bottom of talk page has details) Good riddance. user:anno1404 05:16, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
From WowWiki? If so, I can't see it on their blocklist. (Ah, I see it now.) Anyway, their blocking any dissent doesn't surprise me. They're trying to head off any dissension before it damages their "enterprise." -- J. "Joe" James Beaudoin 17:57, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
I think they overstepped their bounds. With shoutwikia offering monaco now, I think they will eventually change the skin to accommodate users. Anno1404 00:59, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Yes, they did overstep their bounds. And, yes, they should fix the skin to accommodate users or offer users ability to use different skins. -- J. "Joe" James Beaudoin

Your comments opened up a whole new world of inquiry and investigation for me. Thank you. Anno1404 17:37, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

You're welcome. Hopefully, we will learn more about Wikia and the truth about that company, and its practices, comes out into the light. (Whatever that truth actually is. I'm just not sure what to believe about that group of folks.) -- J. "Joe" James Beaudoin 17:41, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
I do not think they were paid. They may not leave because of many reasons like they can`t possibly afford a new hosting and the existing wikia farms does not have the required functionality/no database dump/etc. I highly doubt wikia would pay anyone that much money (2500$) for staying. AWAMember 20:16, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
They have bought out owners of Wikis before. If you actually do your research, you'll know this to be the case. Now, there are other reasons why other Wikias have stayed put, as you've suggested: hosting costs, functionality issues database dumps, differences of opinion, etc. I'm only telling you what I've found out (and what I've been offered for selling out). Also, $2500 isn't much money; the ad revenue and potential is at least 10 times that, and they knew that. For the record, I can tell you that ad revenue and operating costs for the Battlestar Wiki are, at least, 5 times that per year.-- J. "Joe" James Beaudoin 20:28, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
(ec)Many wikias were paid before to join wikia.
Granted, the cases maybe small, only a few of the largest wikias, but it does happen, the guildwiki was talking about an editor getting paid a quarter of a million dollars. I find this unlikely, but since Jim Wales himself was in the discussion and did not deny buying out wikias, I accept it as true. Anno1404 20:32, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Wikia has tried to keep the fact that they pay people off a bit under the radar, but people have talked. Also, not every Wiki was paid off. Some people were merely offered free hosting. The offers vary on a case-by-case basis. -- J. "Joe" James Beaudoin 20:43, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Wikia buying out wikis[edit]

This is the beginning of a page on this.


Forum postings about Wikia trying to buy out "Bulbapedia": [3]

An alleged email from Angela: [4]


$62,000 and $3,000 in stock for gamewikis.


First Things First: Are You Getting Paid For This

Short answer: Yes.

Long answer: Wikia gave me some cash and company stock in exchange for all of the related GameWikis URLs, a data dump of all of our content, and the discontinuation of my hosting of the sites. As you're probably aware, GameWikis has had suitors before. This is truly not about the money.

"We want to offer you some new features and skins, but that's never mandatory." -- Jimbo Wales 03:24, 17 September 2007

Anno1404 21:27, 3 December 2010 (UTC)