Well, I'm back and rested from my trip to San Francisco. The trip was great - the travel there went smoothly and everything went well checking into the hotel. After getting situated in, I spent a good portion of the night sleeping and got up early the next day for the trip to Wikia headquarters.
It was a rainy morning, but I had my umbrella and I made it in without getting too wet. Things cleared up somewhat later in the day and it stopped raining.
At Wikia's headquarters, I was introduced to the tool that they use to create videos upon request. It's a neat program that has access to a lot of video, including all of the Harry Potter movies. Unfortunately, that particular service was acting rather flaky at the time (the fault of the third-party company, not Wikia), so I didn't get to make as many clips as I had hoped, but I did get to make a few.
I had several presentations throughout the day about both videos and various wiki features. One thing I discussed was the use of videos on the Harry Potter Wiki, both in the past and in the future. Now that we have access to the full library of Harry Potter films to make clips, I think this is something that could really take off. The clips would work well within certain sections of the articles, and we also have access to some neat behind-the-scenes material for things like the actor pages. You may have also seen it mentioned on my other blog post, but there's potential for things like video galleries, as seen at the Pirates of the Caribbean Wiki. If you haven't taken a moment to check it out already, I recommend it, because it really looked great. I also mentioned that it would be neat to have access to material from the games, because there's a lot of things like spells and characters that don't currently even have pictures at the moment. That's something they're looking into.
Another thing that they mentioned that's still in the early stages is a revamp for the visual editor. The visual editor has certainly caused some issues here with things like images ending up out of place or the issue with the character names in the infoboxes. I can't say too much about it at the moment because it's still in the earliest development, but I think it has the potential to really make things easier for new users, while at the same time providing a useful tool for quick edits when we don't really need the full-coded interface.
One thing that I'm very excited about it is Wikia's plans to develop more media connections with people associated with the Harry Potter franchise. While nothing is certain, there's the chance that we could be seeing things like getting access to interviews with people actually involved with the development of the Harry Potter films and such. And while it certainly isn't necessarily likely, I threw the idea out there of possibly even having some sort of interview or chat with J. K. Rowling herself. So cross your fingers - you never know! I can certainly think of several things I would ask if we actually had a chance to talk to Rowling - such as what she considers Lavender Brown's fate to be, and what is Remus Lupin's patronus? (I imagine a werewolf, but the point is, we don't know.)
We went to lunch at a place called The Local. I had their burger and fries (pretty good), and I got to meet Wikia's C.E.O., Craig Palmer. He's a nice guy and we had a good chat. You can learn more about him here.
I also got to meet Danny Horn, who is Wikia's Senior Project Manager. For those that have never talked with Danny here on Wikia, he is Toughpigs, the founder of Muppet Wiki, one of Wikia's largest and most successful wikis, on which he has an astonishing over 100,000 edits. I first "met" Danny on Muppet Wiki under another username and also recommend his website, ToughPigs, as an excellent resource for information about both everything Muppets and pop-culture in general.
I'd like to give a special thanks to Sena Roth for being my contact and for guiding me throughout the day, and to everyone at Wikia for their generosity and enthusiasm.
After leaving Wikia headquarters, I visited the area of AT&T Park (being a baseball fan), home of the San Francisco Giants and purchased a World Series program from their shop (the Giants are the 2012 baseball World Series champions.) After this, since I work at a library myself, I visited a branch of San Francisco's library and got an out-of-state library card. While I can't actually use it at the library there (since I'm back in Ohio) now, I can still use their downloadable collection, and it also makes a nice souvenir. Finally, before heading back to the hotel to rest for the trip back the next day, I visited the Disney Store near my hotel. I was pleased to see it, as the Disney Store at the local mall was removed a long time ago. I was hoping they might have some Kingdom Hearts merchandise. They didn't, but I did buy a plush Special Agent Oso.
The trip back the next day was interesting. My first flight connected through Chicago and on the flight to there, there was nobody sitting next to me in either seat, so I essentially had all three seats to myself. The second flight was supposed to be just a quick hop from Chicago to Dayton, but when I got there, the flight was reporting as being delayed about 40 minutes and it had also moved to a different terminal. As the wait continued, they kept tacking another 30 minutes onto the delay until the flight ended up being delayed by around 2 and a half hours. It turned out, though, that there was another flight going to Dayton with seats available, so I managed to get onto that and I actually ended up with a bit of an upgrade because a seat in Economy Plus happened to be available, so I got a cushier seat with more legroom. From what I read, the other flight did eventually arrive - I imagine anyone that stuck around pretty much had the run of it, as I think most of the people that were on the original flight transferred to the one that I ultimately got on.
Here's a gallery of the photos I took while in San Francisco. I actually took quite a few more, but I wanted to keep these related to the actual Wikia-related photos. If you want to see the rest, leave a comment or send me a message and we'll work something out.