Submissions/The rebirth of Uncyclopedia - the story of a community that decided to take its hosting into its own hands

From Wikimania 2013 • Hong Kong

After careful consideration, the programme committee has decided not to accept the below submission at this time. Thank you to the author(s) for participating in the Wikimania 2013 programme submission, we hope to still see you at Wikimania this August.

Submission no.
Subject no.

Title of the submission
The rebirth of Uncyclopedia - the story of a community that decided to take its hosting into its own hands
Type of submission
Author of the submission
Kim Schoonover, Kunal Mehta
Country of origin
Uncyclomedia Cabal
E-mail address,
Isarra, Legoktm
Personal homepage or blog
Like Wikivoyage, Uncyclopedia recently left its former hosting and forked. Unlike Wikivoyage, Uncyclopedia did not have the backing of a major organisation with a vast community like the WMF - we had only ourselves, a channel on IRC, and some wikipedians who happened to be in that channel when we suddenly moved in on top of them. This is our story.
Detailed proposal
The English Uncyclopedia officially moved from Wikia on 5 January 2013, eight years after it was founded and later bought by Wikia.

Though while the idea of leaving Wikia had been tossed around for years, and other languages had left already, the English community was largely happy where it was. The reasons for eventually leaving, however, were largely things that have a way of adding up, and as the community dwindled, it became clear that something had to be done - but our hands were largely tied.

The decision to try was not a planned one: it just sort of happened. One day four admins were on IRC talking about the idea, what it would take, how hard it would be... and it occurred to us that we could seriously do it. So we did it - we got a server, we got a team, we got a pink fairy armadillo, and after conspiring over it for several months before anyone bothered to get any work done, we finally bothered to get some work done. After an alarming amount of in-fighting, yelling at perl, yelling at php, yelling at apache, yelling at java, yelling at python, yelling at postfix, and generally becoming very angry, it happened. We had everything set up to move the site.

That was where we screwed it up. We had originally decided to keep the move quiet due to Wikia's somewhat questionable way of handling such moves with other projects in the past, including at times banning those involved, but Wikia turned out to be far less of a problem than our own community.

Though in the end it worked out relatively well - the new Uncyclopedia is still up, and there are even plans to expand based on our existing Euroipods campaigns - it has been a dramatic journey. We will explore what worked, what didn't, and what, if anything, can be done to fix everything we broke, ruined, or let loose in the process.

  • WikiCulture and Community
Length of presentation/talk
25 minutes
Language of presentation/talk
English, AAAAAAA!
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Legoktm will.
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  1. Vogone (talk) 22:48, 30 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  2. CT Cooper · talk 19:33, 1 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  3. GastelEtzwane (talk) 15:50, 4 May 2013 (UTC) Very popular with some of my students![reply]
  4. Graham87 (talk) 13:24, 5 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]
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