Lord Maitreya's Internet Marketing Adventures

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Hey everybody, use Wikia!

I was doing my whole “lounging around with foreign supermodels” thing again last night, except this time I was drinking seven-and-sevens instead of puffing on my fine tobacco.  I decided to take in some leisure reading, because my day was so exhausting, what with fighting terrorists and headbutting robots all day.  Once again, I delved deep, deep, DEEP into the masterpiece of our age, The Social Media Bible and was surprised that, during the reading, I came across a spotlight of one of my favorite online resources:  Wikia.

For those of you who have never used Wikia, I think it would be in your best interest to start doing it right now, or perhaps build a time machine and go back in time so you could have started using it earlier.  Wikia is the shiznit, as the kids say these days (they say that these days, right?).  Imagine something very similar to Wikipedia (the same guy who created Wikipedia created Wikia), but think of a completely different format.  Instead of just one page that gives a good amount of relevant information, imagine a freaking encyclopedia of user-generated knowledge pertaining to a subject in its entirety, with entries detailing individual pieces, Wikipedia-style.  Allow me to demonstrate.

(Image courtesy of oblivion.wikia.com)

The picture that totally just rocked your face off comes from the Wikia page for Oblivion, the groundbreaking RPG from Bethesda Softworks that came out a few years ago.  It’s the fourth installment in the absolutely beautiful Elder Scrolls series of stat-based role playing (basically runs on D&D rules.  You’re not still wondering why I’m single, are you?).  Because this game can take (literally) over a thousand hours of your life from you (its predecessor, Morrowind, could do even more damage), it’s pretty safe to say that there is a LOT of stuff to do in this game.  With hundreds of quests, thousands of people to meet and have full voice conversations with, and seemingly millions of items to collect, it’s a daunting task to get acclimated in the world of Tamriel without a proper guide.  You don’t want to accidentally try to make a healing potion with flax seed or inadvertently insult a big and scary Nord, do you?

Yes, this game is exactly as epic as it looks. Pick a direction and start walking.

(Image courtesy of xbox.kombo.com)

KABOOM!

Enter Oblivion’s Wikia page.  This is essentially your embassy in the world of Tamriel (the setting for Oblivion).  Information for newcomers is widely available.  There are pages for the basics like controls and the flow of the game.  You can get tips on how to create an effective character class and how to properly level your skills.  For more advanced players, there are walkthroughs of… EVERY. SINGLE. QUEST. IN. THE .GAME…  At last count, that number was approaching like 500.  You want to know some history?  Why go to the imperial library in the capital city and (literally.  No, I’m serious) read history books.  You can go on Wikia, and just go to the “Lore” page, and learn about the battles of Mehrunes Dagon, or learn about the Aleyid ruins that dot the landscape.  Research weapons or potions… the list goes on and on, and the Wikia page makes navigating to, finding, editing, and reading all this information almost criminally easy.  It gets REALLY specific too.  Look at this page on the Oblivion Wikia detailing the location and pharmacology of just one of hundreds of plants (and entries) in Oblivion.

More information on an imaginary flower than you'd ever want to know about a real one

(Image courtesy of Oblivion.wikia.com)

But here’s the beauty of Wikia.  Take a game like Oblivion, which has hundreds of characters in the game, many of which play important roles in various quests or sell specific items, or even have secret quests to give you.  Take that ludicrous amount of information… and make a portal online with full backgrounds on every character in the game, every conversation you could possibly have, lists of items that every merchant sells, a REAL FREAKING GOOGLE MAP OF CYRODIL that shows where every quest, dungeon, and secret can be found.  All of these things are under simple tabs that allow you to easily access the information.  Let’s say you just ran across an Imperial named Caius Cosades.  Just go on the Wikia page, type in his name, and up pops a whole profile of that character, and every possible way you could interact with him.

Well, I suppose this is one way...

(Image courtesy of guide2games.org)

Of course, there are other uses for Wikia as well.  I’m a big fan of the TV show Lost. There is a rather large (and very well done) Wikia portal for the show, that has in-depth synopses of every episode, up-to-date histories of each character (and I mean REALLY up-to-date and in-depth), and in-depth analysis of events, people, places, and anything else that has happened on the show.  The smoke monster, Benjamin Linus, the Island itself… they all have entries, allowing you to get the rundown on anything pertaining to Lost that you could ever want to know.  There are areas for discussion, as well, where people can post theories, predictions, fan art, and so on and so forth.

You thought I was kidding?

(Image courtesy of images2.fanpop.com)

And this is all a community of people adding information to create the most complete picture of anything.  There are Wikias for sports teams, television shows, musicians, countries… WHATEVER.  The great thing about this format versus Wikipedia is that Wikipedia is a one-page-at-a-time deal, while Wikia is a smattering of pages that all pertain to one over-arching topic, like Lost or Oblivion.  If you’re a fan of something , there’s likely a Wikia page for it.  Movies, people, places, games, companies… if you really want to get the run-down on something and learn a sickening amount of in-depth information, Wikia is probably the place to go.

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April 3, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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