Saturday, January 29, 2011

Make your komiks a wiki...for fun!

Thus far, there are only two sites that count as komiks wikis: Komiklopedia (which funnily enough, was made around Wordpress) 

and the Philippine Komiks Encyclopedia portal at WikiPilipinas. 

For the most part, they are good wikis. You can look up information on different komiks artists, publishers, events, etc. They make good resources for anyone looking to find out more about the komiks industry.

But is that all wikis are good for? We may have taken the tagline "Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia" too seriously. As explained in Wikis: A Beginner's Look by Meredith Goldwater, wikis can be utilized in any number of ways, such as a content management system, private collaboration too or even just a personal notebook.

click to go to presentation

Of particular interest to komiks makers would be Wikia, a popular wikifarm/community that has been utilized to make wikis in a variety of topics. In particular, they've been used by fans to make wikis surrounding particular fictional universes.

But you guys probably already know that and use Wikia all the time already, to visit the Marvel Wikia for example. Or LostDoctor Who,GI JoeDragonballOne Piece and what have you. I personally love the MST3K  Wiki. For those curious,  the largest and most actively edited Wikia is for World of Warcraft.

So these wikis are a way for fans to find out more about the franchises and the fictional universes they inhabit. To a certain degree, they also make new fans out of people who want to know more about them. They do not supersede or replace other reference materials online or offline. To this end, they will contain spoilers and even story summaries, but rather than seeing this as a bad thing, I think it's a greater incentive to invest people in your universe and want to buy comics, movies, video games, merchandise, etc. In many cases, they are a labor of love for the fans to share their knowledge, in an accessible, entertaining manner.

So why not make wikis of komiks universes? If there's a wikipedia page of Mars Ravelo in Ilonggo, certainly there's enough fandom out there to make a Ravelo universe wiki. More contemporary komiks makers like Budjette Tan, Carlo Vergara, Melvin & Joanah-Tinio Calingo, etc. could certainly make wikis about them and their works. (I would especially relish the subwikis that would come out of  exploring Arnold Arre's graphic novels XD).

For the even newer and younger komiks people, this is the perfect medium to self-promote! Looking for a way to drum up interest in all 50+ characters in Bayan Knights? A wiki would give them equitable space. Does the QBCCC need a place to explain their publishing philosophy to be more accessible? Their wiki can feature articles on individual creators and stories, published and planned issues, and influences. Do you have an idea for a komiks universe, but looking for an writer/artist/both to help flesh it out? You can lay out your ideas in a private wiki, and then open access to people to see and give their own feedback.

If you want to give it a try now, you can try making a free wiki at Wikia, or PBWorks. PBWorks is private, so you can try that out if you're feeling shy. Use Wikia if you're looking for immediate collaboration, and want your wiki to resemble Wikipedia with all the bells and whistles (and ads).  Next week, I'll try making a wiki myself to make a short guide, as well discuss the different issues, opportunities, pros & cons of making wikis, etc.

Ad: If you haven't heard yet, TV5 is crowdsourcing for a few positions. I can't vouch if they're still available, but job openings include:

Graphic Artist (for web... needs to know flash also)
Programmer (better if has knowledge on Facebook/Twitter API's and has web dev history)
Online Advertising Associate (background in online ad sales)

Email your applications to If you have no prior experience, just send a resume with cover letter. Tell them plsburydoughboy sent ya!