Sunday, January 23, 2011

Does Runescape Wiki make RS fan sites obsolete?

Helm Lardar is talking about an interesting problem: fan sites loosing their competitive advantage due to the raise of RS Wiki. He is talking specifically about the items data base and how Sal's version of it can't compete with RS Wiki, but the problem is broader. W13 talked about it too, and I actually agree with both of them, RS Wiki is destined to overshadow traditional fan sites in many areas. Things like item and monster data bases, skills and minigames guides, descriptions of locations and NPCs. Eventually, maybe, even quest guides.

Is it a bad thing? I don't think so, RS Wiki is like a force of nature - it's neutral, there is no point in getting upset about it.

So... Should fan sites stop making all these guides and data bases? Absolutely NOT, and here I disagree with Helm Lardar. The fan sites should continue what they are doing now - after all this is what traditional fan sites are about! Working on this kind of content is not only about producing it - the process itself is very important for fan sites health. How to make this content useful (and used) is another question though. I think the answer lays in going beyond the traditional "let's create the content and people will see it" approach. There has to be some value add on top of that. Something that RS Wiki model is not suitable for.

For instance, personalized content. Similar to what Runewise has been doing all along, I do think that traditional fan sites will have to start doing more than what they have been doing so far in this area. Another example, opinionated guides and editorials - that would include RS news papers, of course, but also potentially RS guides that go beyond "dry facts" by adding personal touch to them as well as references to other content (especially personalized one). Also making services out of content. Imagine items data base turned into a "lite" service and used by other RS fan and clan sites. That'd be a meaningful use, don't you think? Making widgets for other RS fan and clan sites is another possibility. I am sure the list can go on and on, but that's what comes from the top of my mind.

So, is emergency of RS Wiki means death to traditional RS fan sites? No, it means an opportunity for a change, opportunity for providing even better services to Runescape players.
That's what I hope for, anyway.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for highlighting my blog, Vaskor!

IMO fansites should be concentrating on more personalized guides, such as "How to do Frost Dragons without a Pak Yak or Soul Split".

Helm Lardar

Anonymous said...

I prefer other fansites to RS Wiki.

Two, main reasons.
1) Rswiki completely murders my computer.
2) Despite the fact that RSwiki has a huge range of information, I much prefer more personal guides like Helm said. :)


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