Alston, CA, Apr 1 – In a shock move this morning, MicroWiki site owner Pierre d’Égtavie has announced his intention to shut down the popular micronational encyclopedia and shift back to the Wikia platform in the face of financial difficulties.
In an exclusive interview with the Times this morning, d’Égtavie gave his reasoning behind the shock decision.
“Our hosts have put the cost of running the site up to £35 [§39 7d/NZ$63.53] a month, up from the £19 [§21.55/NZ$34.49] I was paying for the site before. A year ago when the site was profitable, the costs could easily have been covered by the ad system – they were bringing in on average about £25-£30 a month. I’ve had to make the call to shut down the site because on average I’m only getting about £7 [§7.94/NZ$12.71] these days, and I can’t afford to run the wiki and all its subsites on that.”
“We haven’t had the best run with Wikia in the past, but at least we don’t have to pay for it. It’s got all the stuff we have now, like the Commons and Forums, so integration shouldn’t be too much of a challenge.”
D’Égtavie also confirmed his retirement from the position when the transition is completed, citing macronational obligations that required time to not be consumed by micronationalism.
Administration of the site will be shared between the administrators and community member Sebastian Linden, a former administrator with knowledge of site management.
Rumour had been circulating since late last night (NZDT) when d’Égtavie had mentioned that ad revenues had dropped in the popular Micropolitan 5 chatroom. Speculation grew when Bradley of Dullahan enquired if it would mean closing the site, to which d’Égtavie replied that “I’m not ruling it out”.
Premier Daniel Anderson, who serves as one of the site’s administrators, stressed that the site would not be merging back into its predecessor, MicroWikia, that the community largely abandoned in October 2010.
“We will be moving to microwiki.wikia.com, not the micronations.wikia.com site that many have thought. That site is too far gone to save, so it is better for us to create a new site and start from scratch.”
Anderson declined to comment on his personal feelings towards the shift.
The transition began at 4:01am NZDT this morning, with the main page and articles and files pertaining to 38 nations already having been ported. Full transition is expected to be completed by around 11am NZDT this morning.
Administration staff have stressed that no files or pictures will be deleted in the transition.
The announcement prompted a flurry of responses ranging from encouragement and enthusiasm to outrage and desperation.
Prsänëan leader James Wilary criticised the decision, citing the strong feelings against Wikia during the “Mass Exodus” of October 2010.
“We’ve come so far with this community, so why are we closing the site? If anything we’re better than ever.”
Juclandian King Ciprian slammed d’Égtavie, saying that “once again he just goes and does what he wants without asking the community first. I’m happy he’s going.”
Zealandian Grand Duke Håkon Lindström added that he would consider taking his nation out of the community in light of the news.
Unofficial reports have come in from Wyvern stating that their government has blamed the shutting down of the wiki on rising immigration and European Union bailout measures.
Linden offered to buy the site off d’Égtavie, saying that he would be able to secure payments, while Kozuc leader Riley Small offered to fund the site under d’Égtavie’s leadership through agricultural profits.
D’Égtavie declined, however, saying that problems with the host had also prompted his decision.
The so-called “MicroWiki 6” will formally open at 12pm NZDT (12am GMT) this afternoon, with the current “MicroWiki 5” closing down twelve hours later. Users are being advised to create accounts on the new site (links below) before the old site shuts down.
WHERE TO GO FOR THE NEW MICROWIKI
MicroWiki Commons: commons.microwiki.wikia.com
MicroWiki Forums: microwiki.forumotion.com