02 April 2006

Wiki Wiki Wikia

Following one of my random wanders through the blogosphere I alighted recently on netbib. As the site's home page explains, this is basically about libraries, but there's much more than this might imply.

As a well as a couple of the obligatory wikis (one on public libraries, the other - the NetBibWiki - containing a host of diverse information, such as a nice set of links for German studies), there is also a useful collection of RSS feeds from the library world, saved on Bloglines.

The story that took me here was a post about something called Wikia, which turns out to be Jimmy Wales' wiki company (and a relaunch of the earlier Wikicities). According to the press release:

Wikia is an advertising-supported platform for developing and hosting community-based wikis. Specifically, Wikia enables groups to share information, news, stories, media and opinions that fall outside the scope of an encyclopedia. Jimmy Wales and Angela Beesley launched Wikia in 2004 to provide community-based wikis inspired by the model of Wikipedia--the free, open source encyclopedia founded by Jimmy Wales and operated by the Wikimedia Foundation, where Wales and Beesley serve as board members.

Wikia is committed to openness, inviting anyone to contribute web content. Authors retain their own copyrights, but allow others to freely reuse their content under the GNU Free Documentation License, allowing widespread distribution of knowledge and ideas.

Wikia supports the development of the open source software that runs both Wikipedia and Wikia, as well as thousands of other wiki sites. Among other contributions, Wikia plans to enhance the software with usability features, spam prevention, and vandalism control. All of Wikia's development work will, of course, be fed back into the open source code.

In a sense, then, this is yet more of the blogification of the online world, this time applied to wikis.

But I'm not complaining: if that nice Mr Wales can make some money and feed back improvements to the underlying MediaWiki software used by Wikipedia and many other wikis, all to the good. I just hope that the dotcom 2.0 bubble lasts long enough (so that's why they used the Hawaiian word for "quick" in the full name "wiki wiki").


Anonymous said...

Well... Wiki Wiki was developed in 1995, so it was a little before the dot com boom. Best, Mark

Glyn Moody said...

True. I was thinking more in terms of the new(ish) Wikia and version 2.0 of the dotcom boom, which may or not be happening now....

The Wiki Index that you link to with your name is an interesting site - I'd not come across it before.