Category Archives: curation


Chances are if you are into some sort of video game, anime/manga or TV show, you’ve been on a Wikia community before. Originally a spin-off of Wikipedia, Wikia now functions as an independent company and is a formidable growing community platform for fandoms that influence decision-making within each of the industries that Wikia engages with – which is a lot.

The front page has some stats on the website. Well, talk about impressive!


My encounters with Wikia previously were mostly restricted to landing on one of the Wikia communities after Googling the name of some obscure character in some TV show whose back story I had forgotten after abandoning the show for a few months. I knew that the content was generated by fans, so they were most likely accurate. What I didn’t know was the scale and the business model that Wikia runs on.

At the 2014 New Context Conference in San Francisco, I learned about Wikia during a pitch by CEO Craig Palmer, and it made so much sense that I became a fan of the company right there (even though I still don’t use Wikia as a contributor). It became as just a Wikipedia-like platform for fans to organize and curate information about their favorite things. However, over time, Wikia had developed strong communities that have even become ‘official communities’ recognized or endorsed by the companies that produce some of these ‘things’ that people are crazy about including games and dramas. What I liked best was how Wikia involves its Superfans (the tribal leaders within this collaborative intelligence ecosystem)

They have selected (or accepted applications in some cases) for Wikia stars who get to be the ‘leader’ of their respective Wikia communities. It is like the equivalent of earning a recognition or certification of ‘I’m your Number 1 Fan’. Wikia basically harnesses the power and potential of fandom.


Superfans are not just leaders in creating and curating content on the site. Sometimes they are even involved in the planning stages for the next big thing from the companies whose products they are fans of. With Wikia, the gap between industry and fandom has been brought closer together.

According to Palmer, Wikia believes that in order for a company to successfully interact and engage with superfans, they have to let go and give the fans:

– acknowledgement
– honesty
– trust
– attention
– authencity
– swag
–¬†somehow create an ‘insider feeling’

The fact that something like Wikia even exists and runs on such an interesting business model is just absolutely fascinating for me (so fascinating that I’m doing a Learner Lecture on it even though I just wrote this). Thanks to this talk I saw a lot of new possibilities within my own line of work as well. Wikia rocks!

Second Life

This has been sitting at the back of my mind since about two or three classes back when we briefly discussed virtual communities and environments. I recalled using some sort of really cool virtual environment for my freshman PWR class but couldn’t remember what it was. After some researching and contacting people, I finally recovered that missing piece of memory and rediscovered the awesomeness that is Second Life.

Like any other MUVEs, Second Life is a piece of software that connects online into a boundless virtual world. It functions a little like a cross between the Sims and Minecraft. You get an avatar you can dress up, talk to people and explore different world. On the other hand, you can also purchase (using an in-environment currency) materials and build your own world from scratch. Most of the places you can visit in Second Life are built by fellow fans.

When you first enter, you end up on this island with other recently born Second Lifers.



After wandering around, you end up at this portal that takes you to the Welcome Center.


Not sure why 15 minutes into Second Life I was already break-dancing alone in a club…


Other than wandering around, you can also choose to teleport to anything from places to events. Even live concerts and as you can see, ‘trivia in bars’!


I searched ‘Disney’ and somehow found myself in a beautifully constructed ‘Walt Disney’ museum. Here’s a fan-made curation of what she considers to be the history and progress of Disney.


Also, one of the coolest thing is that there is actually a Stanford within Second Life. This was where I had my first ‘virtual class’ in PWR class three years ago. If you look closely, there are black squirrels scurrying around everywhere! This is a virtual environment built by Stanford’s Libraries.


In our glamorous Second Life, Searchworks go on a huge life-sized wall, there are no less palm trees than in real life, and the fountains are still working.



I think running Second Life requires quite a fair bit of computing power, so my old, low-spec Lenovo froze on me after some time. However, I definitely recommend going in to Second Life for a very virtual yet very real representation of the power of curation and collaboration. Also, if you visit the Stanford Library in game, you get a virtual SULAIR T-shirt. I haven’t figured out how to put it on though…