The number of pages which internally link to a page, as seen on its "related to..." button. These are the lifeblood of our trope articles — they place an article within the troper hivemind's awareness, channeling the Wiki Magic its way.
The term is not a back-formation from "wiki," like it might seem; it's named for troper Morgan Wick, who made lists of inbound links before the software automated the process.
There seems to be a magic minimum number of inbound links that determines an article's survival. More links are perfectly fine, so long as they are not forced. Go below the threshold, however, and the article withers, lost thousands of edits below Recent Changes's surface, only to see the light of day in redundant Trope Launch Pad queries.
If you feel like doing a good deed, check out the list of pages with twenty-two or fewer wicks to see if there's some constructive linking you can do.
Note: These refer to links within the site, not externally.
The P-Scale of trope health is outlined below: (1 IL = 1 Wick, with the requirement being 25% as high if the trope is newly made, 50% as high if it's 1-3 years old and 100% if it's 4+ years old)
|Wick Range||Rank||Action Needed||Special|
|0-23 (0-5 if newly made, 0-11 if 1-3 years old)||Starvation||See if the trope needs expansion. Link it to related tropes and series that give examples. May require lumping with similar tropes. If this is a newborn trope, renaming holds little consequence and might benefit growth. If it's been around for more than a few months, further investigation into why it's failing to thrive is in order. Put this on Pages Needing Wicks (exception: indexes).||A lot of administrative and policy pages like this one have very few wicks. They are something of an exception as they are either referenced within discussions or specifically sought out by people looking through the indexes.|
|24-55 (6-13 if newly made, 12-27 if 1-3 years old)||Standing||Further refining and linking. Try to avoid letting splitters have their way this early.||This is the minimum level for a healthy trope.|
|56-277 (14-68 if newly made, 28-138 if 1-3 years old)||Healthy||None, just let it grow naturally.||A good Series entry will have this many references around the wiki.|
|278-999 (69-999 if newly made, 139-999 if 1-3 years old)||Renowned||No action needed, though discussion may deem a split necessary — renaming a trope in this range should be done only on good evidence that there is misuse or confusion (this means bad wicks — wicks that are incorrect. Like links to heroes if Heroes is meant.) (The Funny, Heartwarming, and Awesome Moments don't count.) Enough work has gone into it and it has too much name recognition (perhaps even outside the wiki) to screw around with it.||One of the better-known tropes or series on the wiki. Expect a lot of discussion and work to have gone into the page, and people will be watching it like a hawk.|
|1000-2499 (unaffected by age)||Kilowicked||For a series, vet out weaker examples that might not fit. No real work needed.||The most popular series and strongest tropes go here.|
|2500+ (unaffected by age)||The truly awesome||Stand back and stare in fear and/or awe.||The really popular tropes as well as super-popular works like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Doctor Who, Mass Effect, and Discworld.|
Occasionally, a wick will appear on a page's "Related" tab, but the page in question doesn't actually contain the link listed. In fact, sometimes nonexistent pages will appear to have this nonexistent link. This is called a "ghost wick": it is a ghost haunting pages past. There are a couple of ways these wicks could've surfaced, which are related to administrative/mod deletions and reversions. The details aren't important.
To rid a ghost wick, there are a few options:
- On a nonexistent page: Go to the Locked Pages thread and make a request to recreate and cut (re-delete) the page. A moderator there will take care of it. This bypasses the usual Cut List process—recreating and cut listing the page yourself also works but takes more steps. The thread is also the way to recreate and cut pages in the Main namespace, since pages there (i.e. tropes) cannot freely be created.note
- On an existing page:
- If the page is a redirect, make a null edit. It might force earlier changes to the page to register. Please leave an edit reason so others know what's going on. If that doesn't work...
- If the page has content but no internal links at all, make a link. Wicks only update if there's at least one wick on the page, so adding one will make the ghost wick disappear. If you feel there's nowhere to place a link, add a link arbitrarily, save the edit, and delete it after. Please leave an edit reason so others know what's going on.