ok, here's a question that's been with me for years now: so uh, what exactly is the history of the tfwiki? why is it comedic in nature? im not complaining, its just that the tfwiki is so different from all other fandom wikis that i'm curious how it got that way. did it start as a regular wiki before someone added a funny caption as a joke, and it just went from there? or was it always going to be comedic? who created it? why? forgive me if this has been asked before, but google is useless here.
“Teletraan I, the Transformers Wiki” was originally founded on Wikia (then called “Wikicities”) back in May 2005 by a user named Nova81426, with the intention that he and a friend of his would work on it as a hobby. The week after opening up the site, however, the pair were offered a big job opportunity (to take over the running of a comic book store), so their planned project had to be shelved so they could devote their time to that.
Nothing much happened to the wiki for a while, until April of 2006, when it was discovered by longtime Transformers fan David “@itswalky“ Willis. The editing of Transformers articles on Wikipedia itself had been increasingly troubled for some time thanks to the efforts of one particularly terrible editor, so Willis determined to turn “Teletraan I” into the “proper” Transformers wiki as a way to have a good online resource free of that nonsense. He chose to make it a little humorous, and the first few editors who joined him in working on the site - being from a similar era of fandom as him, and sharing a similar sense of humor from being in the same fandom circle - rolled with it.
And y’know, it might’ve ended there, with the site being somewhere these guys had fun while documenting Transformers, but instead it just kept growing and growing as more people joined up to contribute. And as popular as we are for our tone now, back in the early days, whee-OOOH, there were some folk that HATED it, and were really out to get the site! But as our main talkpage still says, “THE FUNNY STAYS,” and eventually history got on our side. :)
To complete this recap of our history and answer the other big question that’s often asked - “why are there two wikis?” - we’ll jump ahead to 2008, when Wikia was in the process of redesigning itself to look less like Wikipedia, leading to the incorporation of an increasingly ridiculous number of ads. You’ve seen what Wikia (or “Fandom,” as they’re call now) looks like these days, right? This was the move toward that. The Transformers Wiki had no time for the talking auto-play adverts that were being shoved into their page layouts, forcing text and images off the screen, and as the Wikia administrators were not willing to compromise on the issue, it was decided that, in order to preserve itself, the site would go independent, moving to its own server, owned by Willis. That was when we were rechristened “TFWiki,” and where we remain today, while the previous Wikia wiki still exists in a largely-abandoned state.