Bulbapedia's logo, the bulb of Bulbasaur with a Poké Ball superimposed on it
|Run||2005 - Present|
|Date opened||February 14th, 2005|
|Number of Articles||28,227|
Bulbapedia is a community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia that is based on the wiki concept, meaning it may be read and edited by anyone. It is similar in spirit to Wikipedia, but is focused solely on documenting the Pokémon canon and the fandom surrounding it.
Its name is a portmanteau of Bulbagarden, a Pokémon website which runs Bulbapedia, and encyclopedia. It is affectionately known as the 'pedia among its contributors. Both Bulbapedia and Bulbagarden get their names from Bulbasaur, notable as the first Pokémon, according to National Pokédex order.
For a number of reasons, such as a reputation, waiting to add facts until they are confirmed by official sources, and a wide array of information, Bulbapedia is generally accepted as the most in-depth site within the Pokémon fandom. Images for the website are stored at the Bulbagarden Archives, which also supplies artwork, photographs and screenshots for Bulbanews, an affiliate news site also run by Bulbagarden.
Bulbapedia is by no means the first Pokémon wiki; indeed, there are several that predate Bulbapedia.
Bulbapedia was set up by Zhen Lin on December 21, 2004. The original period of development sought members of the Bulbagarden community to write for "a collaborative and open work environment which makes interacting with other staff and looking up information very simple." This proved unsuccessful, but Bulbapedia proceeded with a dozen or so contributors, and reached 100 articles within three weeks. It eventually opened to the public on February 14, 2005, marketed as "Bulbagarden's Valentine's Gift to the Fandom". At least 21 new articles were created within the first 24 hours of operations, and within three months 1,000 articles had been written. The 10,000th article was created 3 years later, on June 29, 2008. Currently, it is the largest English-language Pokémon wiki.
Like every wiki, Bulbapedia's development was dependent on the community, and in the years that passed since its opening, many thousands of users have contributed to its success. In the summer of 2007, when the subject of starting of publishing advertisements on the website to maintain its costs came up, the entire community was given the right to vote on the matter, eventually deciding to agree to the advertising.
evkl was the first Editor-in-Chief of Bulbapedia, and remained in this role until early 2006, when he made way for Bulbapedia founder Zhen Lin to take the helm. evkl remains the Deputy Head of Bulbagarden. During his time as Editor-in-Chief, evkl's primary goal was to build the foundations of Bulbapedia.
Zhen Lin remained Editor-in-Chief until 2008, when TTEchidna (who had until then been the Deputy Editor-in-Chief) took over. Zhen had a background in coding, and remains responsible for much of the technical operations of the wiki, despite currently being on hiatus. TTEchidna's reign has continued to grow and develop Bulbapedia, and he is largely responsible for the bold colored, round-bordered templates that are now associated with Bulbapedia.
From the early days, Bulbapedia has been overseen by an editorial board that collaborates on all executive decisions, including the making of Bulbapedia policy. There are also many administrators and other staff who oversee the day-to-day running of the site.
Bulbapedia offers information on every aspect of the Pokémon franchise. Projects exist for many areas, where editors can work together to grow Bulbapeda. The anime, Trading Card Game, games, and manga each have their own Project. One of the newest Projects, Project Globe aims to increase Bulbapedia's international content, an area that was previously scarce. These Projects are run by Project Leaders, whose job is to manage their Projects and make sure the Projects move forward.
Featured articles are articles that have been recognized for their high quality and completeness. Featured articles are featured on the Main Page of the wiki on a one-month rotation, and can be voted on and nominated by every member of the community.
In the initial stages of Bulbapedia, images were hosted on the same site. Nowadays, they are kept on the Bulbagarden Archives, which allows interaction with Bulbanews as well. From early 2009, the Bulbagarden Archives has been running off a separate server from Bulbapedia; this has reduced stress on and sped up the site.
The majority of images on Bulbapedia are recognized as "fair use".
Due to the interactive and collaborative nature of the site, Bulbapedia is prone to vandalism. This is often quickly seen and reverted by good-faith contributors, but two incidents have stood out in the site's history. The Great Bulbapedia Turkey Shoot is the first, and has been documented for its historicity. The second, more recent spate is unnamed, although it was once jokingly referred to as "The Great Bulbapedia Turkey Shoot II: Back for Dessert".
Vandalism, of course, is not tolerated on Bulbapedia and accounts performing such actions will be blocked permanently.
Relations with other sites
Bulbapedia is a founding member of the Encyclopaediae Pokémonis, a multi-lingual group of wikis documenting all aspects of Pokémon. As a part of Bulbagarden, it is also considered an affiliate site with all Bulbagarden affiliates.
Bulbapedia also co-founded the Nintendo Independent Wiki Alliance. This network comprises fan-run wikis from seven Nintendo franchises.
Relations with The Pokémon Wiki, of Wikia, have not been as promising. This is to no fault of the Wikia administration, but due to Wikian contributors misunderstanding the various clauses of Bulbapedia's Creative Commons license, which prohibits commercial use of Bulbapedia information, and the redistribution of it. This has been a problem with other sites who wish to profit off Bulbapedia's volunteer staff, such as the makers of one iPhone application. An attempt was made by Wikia early in Bulbapedia history that would have seen Bulbapedia become part of the Wikia enterprise. It was, clearly, unsuccessful. Since then, Wikia has made a number of offers for Bulbagarden, most recently in April 2010. All of them have been rejected in a rather emphatic fashion.
As a wiki, Bulbapedia is always growing, expanding, and evolving. Despite the thousands of articles and hundreds of new users each week, it still remains incomplete; but as the nature of any wiki, anyone and everyone is welcome to help contribute to the site. With a constant stream of new Pokémon games, anime, trading cards, manga, merchandise, and more being released every month (not to mention the ever expanding fandom), Bulbapedia's job will never be done as it continues to be the #1 Pokémon wiki in the world.
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