Gojomo

2005-01-15
Edit This World: Wikia

Is there any information domain where the open, world-writable wiki model can't be beneficially applied?

We're sure to find out, as wikis and wiki-variants appear everywhere.

When frustrated with DMOZ, I've often wished for a more radically open web directory, with submissions and categorizations from anyone, at any time, like a wiki. Community moderation would curb the worst abuses.

Those wishes have been answered: the latest from the folks behind Wikipedia is Wikia, which applies the wiki philosophy to a search index of web sites.

It's very nascent. It appears to be more of a site directory -- like the early Yahoo and then DMOZ -- for now. But as it grows, it could take on more comprehensive search-and-ranking functions.

Why not let any contributor instantly add sites -- even individual pages within sites -- and reorder the results of any search based on users' perception of sites' appropriateness to the query? Well, spammers and system-abusers and ranking-wars, I guess. But could open feedback systems be devised that keep those problems suitably in check? It's worth a try!

After entering a couple sites into Wikia, I think it could take some ease-of-keyword-tagging lessons from del.icio.us.

Also notable: Wikia is not a project of the nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation, but the software and database are available under open source/open content licenses, and "[a] percentage of profits of Wikia are intended to be donated to the Wikimedia Foundation."


Comments:
Hi Gordon. I also found Wikia and had the same feelings about it - too restrictive. The trulyopendirectory is open, but plagued with spam, too many adds, and a difficult to navigate interface. So I launched one too - also based on wikimedia software. Take a look at Wikidweb, "the wiki directory of the web". I'd love feedback and constructive criticisms. I am implementing some different solutions for spam, and will keep it very open and editable in true spirit of the wiki form.

Thanks, Aerik
 
Hi,

Thanks for contributing. We agree with you that there's a bunch left to do to make wikis easier to use. The World Guide is intended to be open so people can add as many links as are relevant, so I think your Yahoo analogy is a good one. I encourage you to come back and help us build it! If you have specific technical ideas, my username is Gil and I'm the CEO - so I'd be delighted to brainstorm with you.
 
Hi, Gil. Long time no speak. (We did a conf call way back in late 2000/early 2001, set up by Eric Davis, about my community-content startup Bitzi.)

At the time I wrote this blog post, 'Wikia' was very different -- a pseudo-search/site-rating UI, not even based on MediaWiki.

Now it appears what was 'WikiCities' is Wikia and 'World' is just one travel-themed site. Best of luck, vertical wikis are a great idea.
 
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