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There's never been a better time to be passionate about a specific IP as a fan. Take one digital step and you're surrounded by engaged and diverse communities with the tools to constantly interact with like-minded individuals globally.
Take a step further and you'll uncover granularity within different sub-communities that cover various aspects of each IP. This diversity of coverage encourages the seperate demographics of invested viewers to discover the frequency and level of discussion that appeals to them. In doing so, individuals self-sort into the communities that provide to them the most value.
Interacting with communities about passions you enjoy with the ability to segment your interests even further is inherently rewarding. It has the dual benefit of validating your own perspective and providing you the means to systematically explore your interests with like-minded people.
As a result, websites that cater to this demand have benefited immensely (Reddit and more surprisingly, Fandom and other wiki hosting equivalents). Have a look below - did you know that an entertainment wiki hosting service is the 15th ranked website in the world?
What is Fandom and why does it exist?
The Fandom offering is essentially a community led encyclopedia or 'wikipedia-equivalent' that allows readers to access niche information in much greater detail than what is typically available on actual Wikipedia articles.
Why does Wikipedia allow this to happen given the amount of traffic that could be captured (2.3b views a month)? This is predominantly due to Wikipedia's notability guidelines which dictate that Wikipedia articles cover 'notable' topics that have gained the attention of the world at large, and are independently verifiable.
As a result, those searching for high-detail and comprehensive looks into topics that are typically niche to begin with and non-independent (e.g. video games mechanics, book lore, strategies), have to turn elsewhere to fulfil this.
Community created wikis mesh perfectly into this unexpected content 'supply shortfall'. As Fandom wikis tend to be created by viewers/fans and not the original IP founders, it results in the most invested demographics steering the direction of these communities ensuring that quality remains high, content is sourced and viewers remain informed.
It's just like when you introduce your friend to a new TV series. You want them to enjoy it so you make sure you get them started in the most optimal way to hopefully end up at the same thought-process you are.
Example - Warhammer 40K
Warhammer 40K is a perfect example for this content 'supply shortfall'. Whilst most are aware that this is a table top board game, there is also an extensive authored library (The Black Library), a gargantuan scaled lore universe, multiple game titles & a model collection offering.
Due to the diversity of the entire offering, there are at least 70 subreddits on Reddit that cater to each layer of content (there are more, even I couldn't find a recent comprehensive list). The fan segmentation that exists within this IP is extensive and that's supported by basic traffic data comparing the two most popular fan wikis verses the official community website.
Official Warhammer Community (6.1m visits)
40K Fandom Wiki (2.7m visits)
Lexicanum Wiki (1.6m visits)
Even when excluding reddit data which would be substantial (page traffic isn't publicly available), fan created community traffic is only 30% less than official community forums created by owners of 40K, Games Workshop.
For every 10 individuals who spend time on 'official' community content, 7 others consume community-created fan wikis as they ultimately end up looking for deeper niche content which is best provided by those who are most passionate about the IP.
Still wondering what and why community wikis exist?
If there's an IP that you love, and you want to dig more into the possible sub-communities that may exist to cater to a specific niche, have a look at the associated fan-created wiki!
You'll find collaborative and fan-led content that combined every aspect of the IP into one easy to reference source. You'll find new niches that interest you, and who knows what awesome places those will lead you.
✅ My Wiki Recommendation
If you're into learning about fictional universes, you'll have your hands full with this. 6,146 individual pages as of this post and counting.
Hope you enjoyed the article and see ya next time 👋