Encyclopedia SpongeBobia (ESB for short) is a SpongeBob SquarePants fan site and knowledge base.
Encyclopedia SpongeBobia is a wiki, which means anyone is allowed to edit. When the website was first established, anyone could edit whether they had an account or not. An IP block occurred for a short time, but later ended in 2010. This was changed again when Fandom powered by Wikia modified their policies to disallow anonymous editing on wikis with young audiences. The website allows anyone to edit if they create an account on Fandom powered by Wikia.
The website contains a staff of administrators and bureaucrats who must go through an application process to be promoted. There have been 49 different administrators in the history of the wiki.
Before establishment (2006 — 2007)
Encyclopedia SpongeBobia has its roots in the WikiProject SpongeBob SquarePants at Wikipedia, formed on June 6, 2006 by ForestH2, and developed by ForestH2 and AMK152. The WikiProject grew, and was able to keep track of and improve all SpongeBob-related articles on Wikipedia. The WikiProject grew to over 100 members within a year. The project focused on reverting vandalism, formatting, and expanding articles.
In 2006, there were two failed attempts at creating a separate SpongeBob SquarePants wiki. AMK152 had requested that a SpongeBob wiki be created on Fandom powered by Wikia. However, his request was denied on August 26, 2006, because Fandom powered by Wikia didn't believe that a SpongeBob Wiki would be large enough. Instead, Fandom staff pointed toward the Nickelodeon Wiki as a means of accomplishing the goals. AMK152 made another request in December 2006, but this request was denied on December 10, 2006. Without a separate SpongeBob SquarePants wiki, focus remained on Wikipedia. WikiProject SpongeBob SquarePants continued to grow. However, the project ran into several problems when users outside the scope of the SpongeBob SquarePants-related articles did not consider some content to be relevant to Wikipedia. These guidelines would prove to hinder any progress to expand a SpongeBob SquarePants knowledge base.
Crisis on Wikipedia (2007)
In 2007, there were a series of events unfolding on Wikipedia that threatened many of the articles and content involved. The concern was over articles of works of fiction, and there were claims that individual episode articles were not relevant to Wikipedia, with the exception of certain series. On May 8, 2007, the issue was brought to the articles regarding SpongeBob SquarePants. The members of WikiProject SBSP fought to preserve those articles on Wikipedia. A heated debate engulfed the WikiProject and several contributors of SpongeBob articles, even after the May 14, 2007 redirecting of all articles to the episode list article. This, of course, put the now orphaned title cards and related images in jeopardy. AMK152 was able to save every image he could before it was deleted from Wikipedia. Eventually, those images were deleted.
On May 8, 2007, a crisis began that threatened the status of the episode articles on Wikipedia. A Wikipedia user made an argument that individual episode articles on Wikipedia are not notable enough for their own article.
Single episode articles do not need to exist for most series. Only certain shows of high regard (The Simpsons, Doctor Who), that can have actual information, need them. An episode needs to be capable of having more than just a plot summary; along with a nice, concise plot summary, they need to have at least well sourced development, and reception sections. Examples of this can be found here, here, and in any of the episode articles here. Obviously, they won't just pop up for every episode article, but it is easy to tell that this is very unlikely to happen for this series. I plan on doing this in five days if no concerns are brought up. If they are brought up, I will address them.
The Proposer (May 8, 2007)
AMK152 and one other Project members tried to counter the argument and negotiate with the proposer. AMK's opening arguments began like this:
SpongeBob is as high regard of a show as the Simpsons. It is a very notable and popular show, and many of the episodes are notable as well. What about all the work put into the episode articles, plot summeries [sic] and some production details? People have put in a lot of effort on trying to improve these articles. Yes, quotes belong on Wikiquote. Trivia is trying to downsize. Some trivia even includes production details. I have looked at some Simpson episode articles and saw that they look pretty much the same as SpongeBob, except the name of the show and that the Simpsons includes more production details. SpongeBob does have information on production details, and if you look at a few of the articles you'll see them.
- AMK152 (May 9, 2007)
AMK offered a compromise, by creating an article for each season. However, the proposer scrutinized what he called fan "cruft."
There really is no point for season pages. All of this can easily be stuck under the current episode list. You do not need to list cast for single episodes; it's pointless cruft. Each episode needs a three line plot summary at most. That and the basic information is all it needs. No images would be used either. Scene removals are trivia; they do not constitute the true information needed anyways. You need deep analysis of how the plot was devised, what went into it, and stuff like that.
The Proposer went on to say that only AMK and other user were concerned with the episode articles. The discussion continued into AMK's 16th birthday. AMK advocated for the need to preserve the information, while the The Proposer scrutinized the mass amount of SpongeBob information as "pointless" and that "few people care."
On May 14, 2007, The Proposer redirect all SpongeBob episode articles to the main episode list. This, in turn, threatened all SpongeBob-images that became orphaned. Over the course of the following week, he managed to save all the orphaned images, mostly title cards, to his computer. Once the redirection occurred, other contributors SpongeBob article joined in on the discussion.
Among those who joined this discussion were SpongeSebastian, who made an incredibly great argument for the usefulness of the SpongeBob articles:
SpongeBob SquarePants is a very popular show, why it always comes in the top 15 Neilson ratings. Obviously, it deserves its own episode articles. People would want to find out more about SpongeBob episodes, so they'll turn to their favorite source of information: Wikipedia. However, they instead find themselves being redirected to an episode list. The episode list itself isn't helpful at all. It only provides the episode title, a brief summary, an airdate, and that's pretty much it. The examples of a proper Wikipedia episode article from House and The Simpsons are featured articles. What do you expect? It's not like the only goal of every Wikipedia article is to gain featured status. That's only for a few articles. All of the vandalism that goes on in the articles has nothing to do with anything and can be easily fixed. As for images, I am trying to encorage people to upload proper screenshots so that the articles look good, but I don't have a DVD-playing computer or a video capture card so I can't do that myself. Images just give a helpful illustration to support the article. Some people may say that you can easily go to TV.com and use their information, but believe me, most of the articles that Wikipedia had contained more information than what TV.com provided. TV.com is mostly helpful for reviews and such. Wikipedia articles are supposed to be helpful, not perfect. It's ridiculous to fight over whether something's perfect or not. I didn't see anything wrong with SpongeBob having episode articles and so didn't most of everyone else. This discussion not that shows of high regard should have articles. What makes you think SpongeBob isn't of high regard? Read what I said earlier please. Anyway, I said all I wanted to say. I'm just saying that SpongeBob episode list is pointless without episode articles.
- SpongeSebastian (May 18, 2007)
However, as time went on, hope for continuing to expand SpongeBob SquarePants-related articles on Wikipedia disappeared.
Origins at Wikia (2007)
While the Crisis was going on at Wikipedia, Dark Assassin, a user of Fandom powered by Wikia, made a request for a SpongeBob Wiki at Fandom.  However, there was another request (that made by Haldir) that had been made, so Dantman denied Dark Assassin's request on April 11. In April 2007, Haldir's request for a SpongeBob Wiki was granted, and the SpongeBob SquarePants Wiki was born.
On May 29, 2007, AMK152 returned to Fandom powered by Wikia to discover that a SpongeBob SquarePants Wiki had been created by Haldir. Haldir, however, was inactive. AMK152 made very few edits on the new wiki during the summer of 2007. After seeing that it was almost impossible to bring back the articles on Wikipedia, AMK152 proceeded to do a massive project involving the migration of all SpongeBob-related articles from Wikipedia to the new SpongeBob SquarePants Wiki. After the articles were successfully migrated over, their preservation was more likely to succeed. Although activity was slow at first, a few editors joined and soon there was a transition of the articles from a Wikipedia-looking article to our own SpongeBob version.
Without success on Wikipedia, AMK152 decided to embrace Fandom powered by Wikia and the new SpongeBob SquarePants Wiki. He began to seriously migrate articles on on the afternoon of August 27, 2007. The bulk of the migration took place in late August. He migrated several articles over the course from late August to early October 2007.
Haldir, the only administrator, was unable to spend a lot of time on the wiki, and so the wiki did not develop over the first month. On October 7, 2007, after a vandal began to wreck havoc, with no active administrator, AMK152 was unable to keep it under control without sysop powers. He made the request to Fandom Staff, and was appointed administrator. 
The Early Days (2007 — 2010)
On October 6, 2007, AMK152 was migrating more articles to the wiki. A day later, a user named Fad began to vandalize and upload inappropriate images on the wiki. With Haldir (the only administrator of the wiki) inactive, AMK152 had little control over the vandal. With the help of a member of Fandom's staff, AMK152 was granted sysop powers the same day. He continued to migrate articles off of Wikipedia, and soon contributors at the wiki began to help out with the articles.
On January 19, 2008, Andrewrox of SpongePedia sent a message to AMK152, requesting help at SpongePedia. The conversation further turned into a request that the SpongeBob SquarePants Wiki merge with SpongePedia, but AMK152 declined the offer.
In early 2008, Rgoodermote joined the wiki with several ideas on how to improve the articles. AMK152 became a bureaucrat on February 4, 2008 and promoted Rgoodermote to the administration.
In 2008, the wiki adopted the Monobook skin. Activity increased and more users joined the administration.
In February 2009, Rgoodermote joined the staff as a second active administrator. Rgoodermote brought several ideas to the wiki, which helped to bring more discussion within the community. Since there were multiple administrators, AMK152 and Rgoodermote were able to work together to bring the wiki forward. In March, Greennave, and Mallinois joined the administration. They were followed by TheEd in August 2009.
In March 2009, an incident arose with allegations that some users were taking title cards from SpongePedia. Rgoodermote investigated the situation, which was soon resolved.
Following 5 unsuccessful administration requests, Rgoodermote closed requests on March 22, 2009, being satisfied with the number of administrators. On May 18, 2009, administration requests were opened again, this time with a 1,000-edit requirement, so as to only discuss experienced users' requests. Greennave resigned from the administration on July 11, 2009. Because of the lack of administrators, Rgoodermote promoted TheEd on August 10, 2009, bring the administration back up to 4 members.
Growth (2010 — 2012)
2010 marked a larger increase in the wiki's growth. In mid-March 2010, the wiki's size had grown to a point where AMK152 decided it was time to have a bot. From March 22 to 24, a discussion occurred, and after which, AMK152Bot became the first bot for the wiki.
In April 2010, the ban on all IP editing was lifted, and this brought a sharp increase in editing activity, which in turn, brought a need for more administrators. Dave Lopo was given a temporary appointment. Rgoodermote left the wiki on April 10, 2010, leaving AMK152 the only active administrator.
From April to September 2010, there were a total of 45 administrator requests, of which only 4 were successful: Shroomish7 (June 9, 2010), IKnowAll (July 7, 2010), GojiBob (July 9, 2010), and General5 7 (July 31, 2010). On October 28, 2010, longtime contributor Airhogs777 became an administrator, bringing the administration to 6 members.
On May 6, 2010, after AMK152 made the request, Uberfuzzy redirected inactive SpongeBob wikis on Fandom to this one, which became the the wiki's first acquisitions:
In October 2010, AW10 joined the wiki, quickly becoming an administrator in December. He brought several significant design changes to the wiki, from the skin, to templates, and functionality.
2011 and 2012 saw continued growth of the wiki's size, contributors, and administration.
Collaboration with SBC (2012)
In late June 2012, Dylan posted at the forum of the SpongeBob SquarePants Wiki about a collaboration with SpongeBob Community Forums (SBC). Dylan contacted AMK152, and they began corresponding over the summer and fall of 2012. Very early on in the discussions, on June 25, 2012, AMK152 gave the suggestion of "SpongeBob Universe" to be used as the name of the collaborative project.
On June 27, 2012, the wiki adopted the "tabs" system created by AW10. This helped navigation throughout the wiki, especially on episode articles.
Ultimately, the concept of SpongeBob Universe helped to boost community involvement.
SpongeBob Universe (November 2012 — August 2013)
SpongeBob Universe became official on November 1, 2012, when the founding document was accepted. The same day, a discussion into renaming the wiki for SpongeBob Universe was initiated.
In anticipation of SpongeBob Universe, on November 12, 2012, Project Cleanup was formed to address formatting and design changes to the wiki's article content.
Discussions and preparations were made for a January 1, 2013 launch of SpongeBob Universe, which was not ready by the time New Year's Day arrived.
With SBU on hiatus, the wiki began to focus on Project Cleanup at the wiki, in order to improve the articles and design. AMK152 and AW10 came up with several proposals and AW10 with several designs, which continued rapidly throughout the spring and summer of 2013.
SpongeBob Universe was going to have another attempt at launching in July 2013. A new wiki was created by MDPP, and AMK152 migrated several articles to the new wiki. However, as July and August went on, there was no progress in SpongeBob Universe. Another relaunch attempted was scheduled for September 2013, but, ultimately, the feelings in the wiki were not very well with SBU.
On August 20, 2013, it was proposed that the wiki abandon its part in SpongeBob Universe. The proposal was supported, ending the following day.
Post-SpongeBob Universe (August 2013 — April 2014)
After SpongeBob Universe was dissolved, the wiki turned its focus toward Project Cleanup.
In late 2013, community involvement in discussions began to increase, creating more input and more ideas for the future of the wiki.
In January 2014, ESB's first major crisis began with controversy from SpongeBuddy Mania complaining about copied transcripts. Policies were established to prevent copying, but misunderstandings and arguments led to the demotion of Seactus and temporary suspension of 120d. By late January, the dust had settled, but intense discussions become more frequent with regards to the way 120d carried out his administrative duties.
In March and April 2014, the wiki underwent the final stages of a renaming process. Additionally, administrator Spongebob456 proposed the idea to have a Twitter account for the wiki. This was accepted, and Spongebob456 was named account manager in April.
Brotherly Times (April 2014 — August 2014)
A last collaboration attempt started when AMK152 reached out to the SpongeBob Fanon Wiki. ESB users set up an "embassy" through AMK152's SBFW talk page. However, the users saw SBFW to be quite displeasing with the wiki unknowingly hosting trolls such as Fanon. Within two weeks, collaboration with SBFW ended peacefully. On April 29, 2014, AMK152 made an adoption request for spongebobfanon.wikia.com at the same time OnioNS did. AMK152's request was successful, and AW10 came up with the name "Fanonia SpongeBobia." However, ESB learnt SBFW and adopted the URL spongebobfanon.wikia.com. The purpose of the wiki came as a branch of SpongeBobia in which users can post their SpongeBob fan fiction. AW10 worked on developing a set of templates and layouts throughout. When SBFW learned of this, some users targeted and harassed users who had made more edits at ESB. Although the majority of admins on both wiki's tried to stop the crisis, there was no use. A treaty meditated by the VSTF was signed by SBFW in four months.
Encyclopedia SpongeBobia (April 2014 — present)
On April 5, 2014, after 16 months of discussion, Encyclopedia SpongeBobia became the wiki's new name. The name officially took effect on the wiki's 7th anniversary, April 25, 2014. That weekend, there was a celebration, which mostly occurred on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. The chat room was full, and three rounds of trivia were played.
After months of intensive conversations, debates, and arguments, administrator 120d was suspended, and after a week, was officially removed from the administration. The crisis remained tense in the days that followed, but the community began to move on, especially with overwhelming support for a new administrator, JosephHawk.
Throughout the spring of 2014, the SpongeBobia community continued to grow, as the chat room became more active. The wiki proceeds to grow and improve to the present. The administration is constantly discussing new ideas for the wiki's future.
In June 2014, the User of the Month process was implemented and AMK152 won for July 2014, while JosephHawk won for August 2014.
On July 30, 2014, after many years of loyal service and contributions, 120d retired from ESB, and was blocked by request. Additionally, several administrators lost their administrative status in August 2014 due to inactivity and/or retirement: SpongeyTube, GojiBob, Puppets, and SpongeBob EditPants. In it's aftermath, the entire administration was reduced by 33%. Additionally, the crisis in the chat room was averted with the demotion of three chat moderators.
SpongeBob Galaxy, another SpongeBob SquarePants wiki on Fandom powered by Wikia, was started. Not understanding the reasons for its existence, administrators at ESB suggested that SBG merge with ESB. Through misinterpretations, both communities were plunged into a massive argument that came to a boiling point in mid-August and led to a failed peace treaty on the evening of August 19, 2014. In the aftermath of the failed peace treaty, it was decided to ignore the drama and let each community move on. This worked, and the drama subsided. A forum post called for the end of the drama. During this time, Administrator JosephHawk resigned and Bureaucrat CalzoneManiac removed himself as a bureaucrat.
In the aftermath of the drama, ESB entered a rather quiet period, in which the wiki continued peacefully, with little discussion, and a cancelled meeting. The period in late August marked the first time since early January 2014 in which little to no drama existed.
In the aftermath of the drama, the introduction of tasks greatly changed the tone of the wiki, turning its focus back to content-building.
During this time, JosephHawk returned to ESB, and his adminship was reinstated.
On October 3, 2014, 120d posted a thread on his message wall stating that he missed editing the wiki, and would like to return. AW10 granted his request, and he was unblocked. That was AW10's last activity before his retirement and his removal of his rights.
Well, few days later, longtime administrator and bureaucrat AW10 retired from the wiki due to the huge editing-block he experienced.
Soon after that, at the beginning of November 2014, JosephHawk went on a hiatus from Fandom powered by Wikia and thus stopped being an administrator.
In the meantime, requirements for admin rights were removed, resulting in a lot of users becoming an admin in period that occurred after that. That has brought a lot of light to the wiki.
More, after slowly recovering from the huge editing-block he experienced, AW10 returned for a full time on March 1, 2015, and month after his return, he requested and got his admin rights back on April 8, 2015.
Also, 120d has greatly improved since he has returned on October 3, 2014, resulting in him becoming an assistant and, on April 5, 2015, administrator again.
On April 25, 2015, the wiki celebrated its 8th birthday.
On April 25, 2016, ESB celebrated its 9th birthday.
Encyclopedia SpongeBobia has a high Google rank for searches related to SpongeBob SquarePants.