Wikia has surpassed DIY social network competitor Ning for monthly unique visitors. Since July 2008 the company's traffic has more than doubled from 2.8 million to 6.5 million unique US visitors per month. Despite abandoning Wikia search in early March, it seems Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales has built another great company. As of this evening, Wikia's CEO Gil Penchina is announcing the company's profitability due to its custom sponsorships program.According to this year's Comscore stats, consumer publishing platform
Says Penchina, "I'm sick and tired of hearing about these dead pooled companies. In this type of economy we're excited to announce our growth and profitability. I think we're about to see a bunch of success stories. Silicon Valley is finally getting its mojo back."
Best known for its "enthusiast" wikis, Wikia hosts more than 50,000 fan sites including the Star Wars Wookieepedia, Harry Potter Wiki, Twilight Saga Wiki and World of Warcraft WoWWiki. In addition to some of the larger fan sites, Penchina also points to the Cannon Hacker Development Wiki, Recipes Wiki and Pet Diabetes Wiki as great examples of Wikia contributors.
While Wikia hosts nearly 3 million pages of content with a number of niche community sites, it's the fan pages that drive the majority of advertising and marketing revenue. Wikia's small team of less than 10 sales staff create packages that consist of everything from branded banner ads to embedded shows and contests. In addition to sponsors like World of Warcraft, a number of television studios are also in partnership talks.
Says Penchina, "In many cases, these sites are like small franchises and the editors are really dedicated. The input we've had from editors regarding advertising are suggestions I generally agree with." In the World of Warcraft Wiki the community has asked that no advertisements be permitted that might negatively affect game play. For this reason, Penchina's team does not allow advertisements for WoW gold.
By providing an environment where die hard fans and premium brands can coexist, Wikia is doing a great job maintaining its authenticity while also turning a profit. While the service has struggled to establish itself as a separate brand from its Wikipedia origins, it appears that the fan communities have done everything they can to make it a success from the ground up.