SpongeBob Universe's logo created by SpongeBabe
|November 1, 2012
|January 1, 2014
The SpongeBob Community
|Director in Chief
Aquatic Nuggets (2013-2014)
|Director of Wiki
Loyal Customers (2013)
Representative Board of SBC (2012-2013)
SpongeBob Universe was a network of SpongeBob sites, composed primarily of The SpongeBob Community, SpongeBob Wiki, and SpongeFan database (Fanon). The earliest stages of SBU trace back to June 2012, when tvguy approached AMK152 about a possible project. AMK152 came up with the name 'SpongeBob Universe' and purchased the domain. SpongeFan was later pulled in as the third major party in the SBU ecosystem; SBU was officially bound together on November 1, 2012 when representatives from each site voted in favor of the project. On of January 1, 2014, due to lack of progression, SpongeBob Universe was dissolved, with each member of SpongeBob Universe again becoming independent sites. SBU was succeeded by a similar, more loosely connected network called SpongeBob Infinity that failed to gain traction.
Initially proposed by tvguy to AMK152 on June 25, 2012 via email, SpongeBob Universe was imagined as an ecosystem for SpongeBob fans consisting of a variety of fansites. Its original mission was to spread the word of the inclining quality in new Season 8 and 9 episodes of SpongeBob, through the uses of features such as SpongeBob University (a feature that would display full-length episodes of Season 8 and 9 episodes). SBU was supposed to include The SpongeBob Community, the SpongeBob Wiki, SpongeBobness (a content-rich fansite), and several big-name SpongeBob-based Tumblrs, YouTubes, and various other social media accounts.
The idea of a creation document was first proposed by AMK152, and after writing and revising, a large document, dubbed the Creation Document, detailing the ideas and policies of SpongeBob Universe voted upon on November 1, 2012 (http://thesbcommunity.com/forums/creationdoc.pdf). The document called for a democratic hierarchy based off of the existing staff system in place on The SpongeBob Community, and the central positions were filled in by members of both the Wiki, SBC, and outside areas. The document describes a democratic administration with an Executive Staff consisting of heads from each branch of SBU. The head of the entire network is the Director in Chief, with the four other primary executive positions being Deputy Director, Head of Innovation, Director of SpongeBob Wiki, and Director of Publicity. However, the position of Director of Publicity was never adequately used by its only occupant (Wumbo) due to the lack of any social media sites required for the position of Director of Publicity to serve any purpose. Power was balanced between the Executive Staff and the Representative Board (elected officials from SBC, the Wiki, and the Fanon, although the Board was only ever occupied by representatives from SBC). The Executive Staff and Representative Board were both present during every staff meeting in SBU history, voting on matters simultaneously and usually as a single unit, versus independently as the Executive Staff and as the Board. The Board had the power to veto anything the Executive Staff did, although the Executive Staff could in turn override any veto enforced by the Board, but with a large majority of votes.
Director of SpongeFan emerged as a much more vital role in the political infrastructure of SpongeBob Universe.
Octerror Fest 2012 took place on both The SpongeBob Community and the SpongeBob Wiki as the first major SBU event. Several designs were reviewed before several decisions were made on the final design, with a launch date set for January 1, 2012. A meeting was held on November 1, 2013 that officially created SBU and gave the SBU staff administrative power over the Wiki, SBC, and the Fanon. The SpongeBob Wiki was to be renamed SpongeBase and be moved onto SBU servers, along with the network homepage and SBC.
The New Year Launch
A launch party was held on New Years Eve, counting down to the launch of SBU, paralleling the countdown to 2013. A new version of Orca was released, SpongeBase was released, and the SBU homepage went live. Praise was overwhelming for the new SBU-updated Orca design on SBC, and praise was initially positive for SpongeBase. However, bugs plagued SpongeBase and it became evident the site had been rushed. Controversy soon arose afterward; a giant notice had been posted on the SpongeBob Wiki in the hours leading up to SpongeBase saying, "The Wiki is shutting down!" resulting in a community of angry Wiki editors, who did not want the Wiki to close.
AMK152 dealt with the damage, elaborating on what would be happening: the Wiki would not be closing, it would be moving to SBU servers and be renamed SpongeBase. Behind the scenes, drama ensued as staff were angered at the notice, saying it was misleading. SpongeBase's bugs were never fixed, and it fell into a state of disrepair as the Wiki on Wikia remained vibrant.
Second Attempt and Collapse
A second attempt at launching SBU again failed on July 20, 2013. An updated homepage was released, and a new SBC version (Oceans) was released. However, Oceans was criticized for being a poor successor to the universally lauded Orca.
After yet another failed attempt at creating a simultaneously working ecosystem, cracks began to appear. SpongyNews was stuck in limbo, the Wiki had yet to be moved and the community on the Wiki was generally opposed to SBU, and Oceans had flopped. On August 20, 2013 a referendum was held on the SpongeBob Wiki (http://spongebob.wikia.com/wiki/SpongeBob_SquarePants:Proposal_to_Abandon_SBU) in which Wiki users voted in favor of withdrawing from SpongeBob Universe, repealing the Creation Document, removing the powers of the Director in Chief (tvguy), Deputy Director (jjsthekid), and Technical Executive (Mr. Dr. Professor Patrick) over the Wiki, and removing all SBU links on the Wiki. The motion was passed.
Several attempts were made too salvage the Wiki, including trying to create the United Network of SpongeBob Fansites, a looser and more inclusive version of SBU that would include the Wiki, SBC, SBM, and a larger quantity of SpongeBob sites than SBU would have. Although SBC voted in favor of entering UNSF on September 20, 2013, no forward movement was ever made by the Wiki (the leading party in UNSF) and nothing ever transpired.
SpongeBob Fanon Wiki (although partnership was quickly dissolved due to collapse of wiki)
New Orca SBU design.
An unused homepage mockup.