Posts Tagged ‘aboutus’

Laura’s link building philosophy

July 8th, 2009

I’ve been trying to get some jobs link building of late.  I do a lot of it for Fan History.  I really enjoy the process.  I really enjoy seeing the pay off.  The problem with getting a job link building is that different link builders have different philosophies about how they do it.  Why?  There are many possible paths to success.   My philosophy on how to link build also impacts how I would charge.  Total links doesn’t play in to it for me.  The bigger question is how many pages does the site have that they want to appear in a search engine? 1? 10? 50? 500?  One is really hard. 10 to 50 is less hard. 500 is fairly time consuming.  Thus, if I’m doing link building for you, my ideal way to charge  is a flat rate based around the number of pages you have that you want additional search engine exposure for.

My favorite way of link building involves using OnlyWire.  You use them for free by placing a widget on the site or paying $2.99 a month.  I’ve found it is worth the $2.99.  You just need to register for the accounts to set them up.  Every time I submit a link, I get about 7 to 9 links posted total.  There was ways to do more if you want to verify those submissions.  The more pages you submit using them, the better because it increases your visibility. If there aren’t a huge number of pages, say only 50 pages, the best solution is to time the links out to one a day to five a day.  (If you have several thousand pages, then 50 a day.)  This way when search engines look at your site, they see links continually coming over time.  You’re also less suspetible to a search engine peak followed by a massive fall off if your search engine visits don’t result in organic linking.

(Not all the services that onlywire links to are rel=follow.  Still, links on Twitter are valuable because they appear in search.  Fan History gets around 2 to 15 visits a day from Twitter search.  Links that are rel=nofollow stil have value of creating additional brand awareness.  They are also capable of getting visitors from clickthrough.  It is worth the time to build some of those.)

My second favorite way of link building involves ping.fm. ping.fm allows you to post to multiple microblogs, blogs and status updates.  This is helpful if you have established accounts with actual followers or friends.  You don’t want to abuse the status updates and microblog updates that often as your network won’t appreciate it.    Most of the links are nofollow but those links could be followed by your friends and followers.  Link building is generally all about search engine placement but you need to remember that getting those links in front of others in different situations could lead to the creation of organic linking that can help your SEO efforts.  The blogging option is best here in some ways.  Yes, there is the issue of content duplication leading to penalty but if you’re not making the same post 50 times, it shouldn’t be that problematic.  (You just shouldn’t post the same content to your own website that you’re posting using this method.)  More of those networks have follow links that microblogs.

After those methods, my next favorite suggestions for link building are finding relevant communities on LiveJournal and InsaneJournal and posting to them.  When you’re doing this, you should always make sure you follow the rules so that your post will stay.  These community posts help with creating brand awareness, getting rel=follow links and getting additional traffic.

After that, my next stop would be AboutUs.  There, I’d fix up the page about the website and get the links changed to rel=follow.  In addition, AboutUs does a fair job in driving some organic traffic.  I’ve found them to be better than Mahalo in that regards.  I’d also put the domain on articles similar to my domain in the appropiate section.  If there is content related to those other sites, I’d insert links on those pages.

I’d then go to SocialMedian and submit a bunch of pages.  They don’t give me much organic traffic because Fan History doesn’t have an audience that meshes particularly well with them.  Still, I’ve found that they work well in this regards.

If I’m doing some topic that is niche related, at this point I start looking for specific sites that cater to that niche that are similar to ones I like that have a fair amount of traffic.  There are niche sites for automobiles, for medicine, for fundraising.  These are where you really work on getting main page links submitted.

The next step really depends on the site in question.  Depending on the type of site, there are a number of places that I would add links to.  They include FanPop, AnimeNewsNetwork, Mahalo, Chickipedia, IMDB, Wikia, and Yahoo!Answers.  I’ve found that these sources can really help with getting organic traffic.   There is some search engine help but this is primarily about getting direct visitors.

After that, I’d go the route of finding relevant blogs and e-mailing (or tweeting at) folks.  I’d explain my site or project to them and ask if they could link to it in a blog post.  There are a lot of really nice people out there who will do that.

If I’m still going, I’d then try submitting to DMOZ and Yahoo’s directory.  Submitting a few doesn’t take much time but they may never add your links so it isn’t a high priority in terms of doing things.

If I’m still going after that, I post on Quizilla.  I start posting to MySpace groups, bebo groups, orkut communities, yuku message boards, etc.  You’ve always got to check the rules involved for that before posting though.

What is not part of my link building philosophy?  Commenting on blogs just to get link bait.  That is a waste of time and effort unless your comment is on point.  (That takes reading the actual post.)  If you sign with the name of your link instead of your real name, you are optimizing around the wrong term and you’re sending a signal to the blogger that you’re commenting spamming/link baiting.  It increases the chances of the comment being deleted.  It isn’t worth the time for a one shot deal.

My philosophy with link building is that you need to behave ethically, follow the rules where you’re link building and try to be a good citizen.

Help EncyclopediaDramatica!

May 11th, 2009

There are a couple of wikis who have been extremely supportive of Fan History. They include Wikia, AboutUs, wikiHow and EncyclopediaDramatica.

I was informed that EncyclopediaDramatica had some big cash flow problems, and they need your monetary support.  Yeah, they can be pretty wanktastic, mean and probably deserve some of the reputation they have… but as a wiki community, they can be pretty awesome and supportive of other wikis out there.  If you’re a member of the wider wiki community, please consider helping out.

The problems FanLore faces are not unique: Learning from Fan History’s experience

April 10th, 2009

At Fan History, we are always looking for ways to improve our content, increase contributions, and improve outreach to the greater community. As such, it is often useful to reflect inward on our own practices and to look outward, to look at other wikis, to see how they tackle these issues, as well as how they are perceived by the public.

Related to this continual practice of self-reflection and outward examination, Sidewinder recently brought a portion of this LiveJournal post regarding FanLore to our attention. It was instructive to go through and compare the problems that the two wikis have in common, and to enumerate the ways Fan History has been trying to deal with those problems ourselves. In some cases, the challenges are quite similar indeed, though our approaches to dealing with them differ. In other cases, the issues were ones we had confronted before and have worked hard in the past two years to improve upon.

http://nextian.livejournal.com/263577.html?format=light

To quote:

“On the one hand, Fanlore has a number of excellent, well-researched articles that are resources for discussions, fanworks, and historical projects. It is easy to edit, comes in multiple decent-looking skins, and has gardeners who are fantastically on the ball. On the other hand…

These are some of the things that FanLore has in common with Fan History. Both are excellent resources for the history of fandom, with some fandoms better represented than others on both. Fan History and FanLore have a number of different skins; Fan History has them available to registered members. Both wikis are easy to edit; Fan History’s templates are designed to give new editors a boost on organizing their materials. And both have “gardeners” or administrators who are involved and easy to contact.

My chief issue with Fanlore is that it is not, as it stands, a community project. There’s very little crosstalk,

Crosstalk takes effort and a commitment from those who are editing. It is why Fan History uses talk pages. It is why we ask people if they need help. It is why we create active talk pages to converse on how things are organized. These things need to be done openly, so that users can have input. We’ll admit that we aren’t always excellent at it… but we do try, and this is one area we have worked hard on improving. We know this is important to the success of a wiki.

Sometimes, crosstalk can be hindered on a wiki. We’ve found this to be a problem at times as some members of the fan community have had limited exposure to wikis. They don’t understand how wikis work. They might not understand the purpose – or even the existence – of a talk page. They might be used to a certain wiki or another project which doesn’t have the same idea of constantly sharing, constantly asking questions, constantly editing, constantly revising. There is a learning curve. As wiki administrators, we need remove those barriers to create crosstalk, to make the users aware of crosstalk. On Fan History, we’re still working on that.  Both FanLore and Fan History need to improve by using methods such as welcoming members, following up with one time contributors, and even changing the text on our talk tab – easy, since we’re using MediaWiki.

no central LJ comm,

We don’t have an LiveJournal community, either. We do have one on InsaneJournal that we use mostly for information sharing. The content, though, tends to be mirrored from our blog. Our recent changes are shown on our Twitter and identi.ca accounts. Our admins are also found on Twitter and they sometimes discuss organizational efforts with a wider community there. But neither our microblogging presence, nor our InsaneJournal presence are in any way really comparable to an off-wiki version of wikiHow’s New Article Boost.

We also have this blog on a subdomain of our wiki. You don’t have to be a member to read it. If you want to comment, you can, just by filling out the form with your name and website address. You can carry over your disqus presence when you comment. It’s our way of bringing our work to a greater fandom audience than the one found on LiveJournal.

We feel it is important that major news, discussions and policy matters are discussed on Fan History itself instead of on an off-site community such as LiveJournal. We try to keep those conversations on the wiki, announcing discussions and events on our main page, and then posting about them on the blog to make finding the conversation easier. Wikis need fewer barriers to help fans get involved.

Other wikis have different means of discussing their organizational and content objectives. wikiHow does their organizing with the wikiHow Herald . On it, they talk about projects they are working on. They highlight featured contributors. They encourage the general community through that and through wikiHow’s forums . A few other wikis on Wikia also have forums where they discuss policy issues, plan article and category improvements, and build a community for their wiki. AboutUs doesn’t really have forums, but they have a GetSatisfaction account where you can ask about policy issues, for article help, and find out how you can get involved in an off-wiki manner.

the chat has been empty every time I’ve gone in,


Fan History recently changed its chat server to
chat.freenode.net in #fanhistory. Unfortunately, it seems that the chat at Fan History is nearly empty, too. But chat can really help with community development. AboutUs, Wikia, wikiHow and EncyclopediaDramatica use it extensively. ED has their own server where people occasionally break out of the main room to work on side projects. wikiHow folks use their chatroom on chat.freenode.net to coordinate patrolling Recent Changes, for writing parts of the Herald, and for discussing improving projects like wikiArt. AboutUs has staff members and community members in their chatroom, ready to help people out who have questions or who are looking for information on how to contribute. It just takes a few dedicated regulars to make it workable.

and the Issues page is a masterpiece of passive-aggressive “well you
may be correct but I feel that possibly your face is stupid.”

Fortunately for Fan History, we seem to have fewer of those issues. We have certainly had articles and sections of the site which have been subject to edit wars and bias concerns, but we have tried to work with the parties involved to create as unbiased a history as possible in these cases. And when a administrator feels personally too close to a subject, that administrator will ask that others with a more neutral stance get involved.

Among other things, this means that there’s no clear outline of what needs work;

Well, they are wikis. If you understand wikis, you can’t really outline what needs to be done as this constantly evolves as a wiki grows. You can begin to outline what needs to be done on talk pages, or on how to lists, etc. The trick is less outline, more “How do you communicate with contributors outside the core to understand what their goals and intentions are for contributing to the project? How do you foster them and work them into your existing wiki work?” If someone comes in and makes an edit, you welcome them and ask how you can help them. Or say something like “Hi! Thanks for your edit on Lord of the Rings. We’ve been wanting to see it improved for a while. If you’re planning on sticking around for a while, we’d love for you to help the category structure there. It could benefit from some one who knows the fandom really well making it more fandom specific. [How does your fandom organize ships and what are the standard ship names? We've not touched those articles because we're not sure.]“

there’s no reward system for putting up a good page,

This is hard. Most bigger wikis like Wikipedia and wikiHow do BarnStars. But when there are just a few regular contributors, doing that becomes difficult. Depending on who is doing the editing, BarnStars can end up looking like a lot of self-congratulatory work.

What Fan History tries to do is to thank really great contributors on our main page and on the blog. We’ve also considered doing an extended featured article on the main page as a reward for the editors who do a lot of work on their own People article. There are other ways of giving those who create good articles and make good edits the feedback that keeps them coming back and continuing.

especially since (as yet) no one is using it as a resource;

This is a battle Fan History faces all the time: demonstrating our relevance. Something like wikiHow, AboutUs, Wikipedia, PoliceWiki even wikiFur and EncyclopediaDramatica have built-in audiences. Or the wikis have done a great job of demonstrating their relevance. wikiFur pretty much made themselves into THE furry portal through content selection and organization. They’ve worked with the community and created standards for writing articles about members. This has made it easier for the the wiki to serve their community peacefully. AboutUs has developed relationships with sites that provide domain information – to the point where you almost can’t get whois information without stumbling across them. PoliceWiki has done a lot of outreach to photographers and musicians to get permission to use their images and content on the site. Through the years, they have also worked to get those directly involved with the band to contribute material themselves as a way of presenting the most accurate resource for the fandom possible–and building good professional relationships. Getting a wiki recognized as a good resource takes concentrated effort, time and marketing. People need to know you’re there before anything else!

policy remains unclear in a number of important areas,

Making policy clear, and changing it when it becomes necessary is important in a collaborative effort such as a wiki. Fan History has been willing to do this, and has opened up policy changes for public discussion on talk pages, linking those pages to the main portal. It is vital to have clear policy on many issues in a wiki, such as privacy, deletion of articles, content relevancy guidelines, overall organization, and these things are best resolved then made clear to the public sooner rather than later.

such as cross-platform work with Fancyclopedia and the Fandom Wank wiki

In the past, we’ve cited the Fandom Wank wiki, but that in itself caused a lot of wank, so we’ve discontinued using it as a main source for information on new and existing articles. On a plus side, Fan History is “working” with FanLore by ?]" href="http://www.fanhistory.com/wiki/Special:WhatLinksHere/FanLore">linking to their articles and citing them as a source in more articles. We have relationships with a few fandom specific wikis such as PoliceWiki and RangersWiki to “mirror” articles relevant to both sites, helping to build cross-community work and traffic to both wikis as a result. We also allow some mirroring of articles with AboutUs. We talk extensively to others in the wiki community, developing positive and beneficial relationships so where we know we can turn for help when needed. This includes having open communications with people who run AboutUs, EncyclopediaDramatica, wikiHow, wikiindex, Richmond Wiki, Wagn, wikiTravel, Kaplak Wiki, Wikimedia Foundation and Wikia. They’ve provided us with assistance on things such as advertising issues, content development, policy creation and letting us use extensions they’ve developed. A lot of this is about becoming a good wiki neighbor, finding areas where projects compliment each other but don’t compete. It fosters the whole idea of the wiki Ohana that is a favorite subject at RecentChangesCamp.

– and, to my deepest dismay, it is not currently a wiki for all of fandom.

This may be an unrealistic goal for any overall wiki on “fandom”–at least if fandom is being defined as covering all aspects and types of fandoms, from sports to television to music to video games. Fan History currently has over 4,000 fandoms represented on our 595,000 plus articles. We don’t even begin touch all of fandom. Truthfully, we don’t think that it’s possible to reach and represent every little corner, every tiny fandom. But we’re trying, oh, we’re trying, and trying to make it easier for people to add those fandoms that aren’t there yet. We’re doing a lot of aggressive outreach, building a lot of stub content and getting people invested. The outreach part is critical but frequently, for many good projects outreach doesn’t get done. It takes a huge amount of time away from content development, and from working on the core goals of the wiki. It can be loads of no fun and requires the kind of commitment that people invested in only a small subcomponent of the wiki might not want to do.

Fanlore is, as it stands, a chronicle of the fannish experience of an extremely small subset of media fans. Have you seen the current incarnation of the Who page? The Harry Potter page? Compare that to the Due South page or the Sentinel page. Though the fandom sizes of Doctor Who and Harry Potter remain enormous, no one is working on them.

Fan History faced much of the same criticism early on, and still does. Some of our fandom pages and categories are great, and have received a tremendous amount of work–often from one or two very dedicated people. But our own Doctor Who and Harry Potter articles could use some work, too. Still, they are a nice representation of what is possible. It is also why we have “Move; don’t remove” as our mantra because as you develop a history, you learn that things must be placed into context, especially when you have large amounts of data.

Some of our administrators and regular contributors spend time building up stub articles and categories in fandoms that we know are popular, to try to make it easier for new users to add their knowledge and experience. But it all takes time and effort and only so much can be done in each day.

And I think that is self-perpetuating. I’ve stubbed out a number
of pages in large fandoms, including the Who version I linked
you to above, but it is not rewarding to do some work on a
collaborative project and receive no … collaboration.

Fan History, wikiHow, RichmondWiki and AboutUs all have a structure that makes it easy for people to come in and figure out how to add content. We try to have a structure on Fan History where people can easily slot things in with out having to worry about writing and editing large tracks of prose. As a result, creating article stubs that can be filled in more fully later isn’t as big of a problem as it could be.

As for collaboration, it’s definitely something that smaller wikis have problems with, but when it happens, it can be fantastic to see. We loved watching this happen with articles such as the Rescue Rangers article, the Shota article, the Draco/Hermione article, the Race Fail article and others. And if one or two people are creating content, they end up learning a lot about fandoms outside their own, which is always a plus. Because in the case of Fan History? A lot of what we are about is sharing knowledge with others.

I am not castigating the other editors for this — that would be somewhat absurd — but I do wonder why I have not seen Fanlore more widely linked to other communities, outside of the one that the founders of the OTW are members of.

This is not hard to figure out. People will link to an article organically if they see a need to or think contributing will benefit themselves. Fan History’s Draco/Hermione gets a lot of views because it has become a resource for finding old and influential fics. People also link to articles about themselves because they’re excited to see themselves mentioned in a wiki. It is another way that they can promote themselves and their work. One of the published authors on our wiki has seen twenty visits a month on the article about herself, which is an incentive to keep it updated and to contribute to our community. Other people contribute in order to control how outsiders view them. That can be seen on Fan History most clearly with the case of AdultFanFiction.Net and Rescue Rangers. Still others contribute to Fan History in order to promote conventions they are involved with, to try to up the standing of those authors and artists they love, or just for the LULZ. That latter one, we think, ends up indicating a certain amount of success if they think that Fan History is worth trying to get LULZ from.

We’ve also developed a large amount of links by linking them ourselves. AboutUs?  bebo? Chickipedia? Delicious? Facebook? FanPop? identi.ca? InsaneJournal? Last.fm? LinkedIn? LiveJournal? MySpace? Orkut? Plurk? Twitter?  Wikia? wikiidex? All of these are linked at Fan History. We also developed content that people would want to link to. Articles about the ordinary fan and fleshed out content on topics or relevant content that can’t be found elsewhere. And it is why our desire to get a few interns (are you interested in interning with us? Contact Laura!) is less for the wiki itself than the community outreach because we know doing that will lead to edits.

Fanlore should have extensive entries on “slan” and “Victoria Bitter,”
not just Laura and Bodie from
The Professionals.

Interesting that FanLore’s most edited article, the last time one of our admins bothered to check, was about Fan History and/or its owner. Here are our top ten most edited articles that didn’t have bot contributions:

  1. Harry Potter

  2. Draco/Hermione

  3. Bandfic

  4. Beauty and the Beast

  5. Supernatural

  6. Digimon

  7. CSI

  8. Rescue Rangers

  9. Doctor Who

  10. X-Files

We’ve been working to make certain our most edited articles are not our personal loves or the people we dislike. Why? It’s not conducive to building a community. We’ve learned this the hard way, admittedly, so it is not surprising to see that another wiki may be encountering the same issues. That said, being seen as a personal “grudge” site with too narrow a focus is not good for building positive public relations. It takes a tremendous amount of time and effort to rebuild trust after working the bias out of your more problematic articles.

I know the only answer to this is “edit it yourself,” but I feel that a stronger sense of community among Fanlore editors would make new editors more comfortable and allow a broader range of articles to arise.”

That’s a problem every wiki faces. But you have to learn from both your own mistakes and the mistakes of others. Learn what makes other wikis successful and adapt them for your own purpose.

We wish FanLore nothing but the best of luck in their endeavor. It is a long a bumpy road but one that be filled with tremendous personal satisfaction in creating a great tool for the greater fan community.

Happy Birthday Wiki!

March 25th, 2009

Happy Birthday Wiki! The folks at AboutUs wrote a terrific blog entry about the wiki turning 14 today. Go over there and give it a read. Or view the video below to see more about the celebration.

AboutUs: Best sites about fandom

February 27th, 2009

One of the guys at AboutUs pointed me at this list today: Best sites about fandom. Fan History is on it! :-D Very, very cool. There are a lot of other really great fandom sites on it including the following that I love:

  • Xenite.org
  • SF-Fandom.com
  • Theotaku.com
  • Acen.org

    So check out that list and go help AboutUs improve those articles. And then come back and help improve the related articles on Fan History. :-D

  • AboutUs article mirroring

    February 27th, 2009

    There are a lot of great folks over at AboutUs. I met a number of them at #rcc09 / RecentChangesCamp. ( If you haven’t checked out their wiki, do! It is a great resource for learning more about websites. ) I was chatting with one of the AboutUs guys last night and he wanted to mirror an article as he’s involved with a project involving creating articles about role playing game related sites. So to make that easier to do and let people know that we’re allowing that, ta da! An article box! So if you’ve written an article over on AboutUs, please feel free to mirror it on Fan History.

    #rcc09 Wikis as Business

    February 21st, 2009

    Taking notes as a presentation by Evan on wikis as business because I am not facilitating this session. Some random thoughts from this:

    Introducing money into the equation can change the dynamics of a wiki community.

    There is a fear that the wiki maintainer will profit off other people’s work. Wiki maintainers and owners need to really work on it so that they treat their contributors with respect, help with administration and provide services to the community. Communities need to own the project. The company owns the website.

    One wiki model that has worked is doing wiki farms but it isn’t really a software business in an interesting way because it doesn’t have the content issue and the community issues in that way.

    This may pose a question regarding a business model that is viable. How can you make it a successful business if you can’t generate revenue just through advertising?

    Ways to do that? Let the community pay for the platform… That may work well in some places but people are like “Why should I pay for the privilege of working for you?”

    Google Advertising can remove value because the value ends up only being in the words. Possible way is to go directly to the advertiser. It helps improve your return on advertising.

    Display Revenue takes a lot more organizational work than Google Revenue.

    For a site like vinismo, direct advertising may work really well because the content is very focused in its content and mission.

    WikiTravel declared that the far right column is for advertising. The ads didn’t appear in the wiki content.

    WikiTravel also generates revenue through being able to print up physical version in a condensed version for people to use in another medium where they sell that printed version.

    Most of the editors for the print version come from the WikiTravel community. They get hired for the print version. Being hired for wikitravel from with in the community helps maintain the community.

    Books cost between $12.95 and $25 and you get the most up to date version.

    Other mediums are about brand extension.

    Yellow Wikis got shut down because of trademark but they were similar to the yellow pages. Their business model was that businesses could pay to protect their page. It was partially succesful. It might have moved to Wikia.

    There is a question of if paying for ownership of a topic can be done in an ethical.

    AboutUs pays for the article to be written, the article to be featured, etc. Companies get follow links when they pay. (But everyone who does constructive edits gets their links turned on to follow. That is manually being done. That policy is still in the air.) The main page rank has a lot of good page rank so that they have good reason to pay in some reasons.

    There was a business that did a pay for improving articles on Wikipedia. The business that did that kind of got shut down because while they had the know how to write good edits on Wikipedia, the business didn’t interact well with the Wikipedia community.

    Some people still do paid article writing on Wikipedia. They just aren’t as obvious as about it, are good communities, etc.

    If you can show value to the community, that you aren’t taking anything away from the community, then it makes sense to do some monetization.

    Three basic components to monetize: 1) Software, 2) Content & Advertising services, 3) People side and how to wiki. (Steven Walling.)

    Dream Fish does a collaboration and co-working consulting business that is about establishing a collaboration culture. It is about practicing together. There is a paid content fee for some types of content. They help them find the appropriate wiki software to help them serve their goal. They help them figure out how they want to network and use collaborative tools. They also help people identify key people to help them implement their solution.

    Steward Meyner does wiki consulting.

    Microsoft has tried to put out white papers on how they use wikis.

    Portland created a wiki and later didn’t realize what they wanted to do with their wiki. They ended up backtracking because of that as a result.

    There is a need for a wiki for wiki consultants where you can get reputation, years of experience and involvement with types of software.

    Wiki is great for content based websites. It can be more cost effective with users generating content.

    GoogleAds wasn’t something that AboutUs originally feel was going to pan out but now they have changed their view because it now works and their Google Ads and they make money. It helps because they have really broad ads which works pulls them up which Google Ads helps serves up. They are also helped because they get a lot of traffic. They tried content categories for niche sales but for AboutUs it really hasn’t worked well so far. AboutUs thinks that Google Ads works well for random content where they can’t really target. It can be hard to sell specific ads for sections because it takes time and effort and people to sell ads across those categories.

    wikiHow has a very similar model to AboutUs. That works really well for wikiHow.

    LeadGen is a model about selling the ability to do surveys where the company does polls that they then sell that polling information to marketing companies. Leads can be worth $30 to $40. AboutUs learned about it from All Star Directory. That site has a lot of information about colleges and universities. People fill out forms with the expectation of being contacted about that information. It is online research, offline purchase. It can remove some of those issues involving community as your community isn’t going to get ad information they don’t ask for.

    Wagn is a company that gets paid to host and doing consulting services related to the wiki they are hosting. Wagn doesn’t have wiki competitor because of what they are doing.

    Mahalo has a micropayment service to reward for contributors where they can monetize it off. This might not work for everyone as people can be corrupted by reward. Alfie Cone did some research where kids were paid to play games and some were not. The kids who got paid stopped playing with toys when they told they were done. People get different things out of an altruistic activity. You need to consider some of that when you try things like that.

    Evan doesn’t see wiki software business as much different than other software selling businesses. The only thing that might be different is the admin type function.

    Wikia pays people to do some of that community maintenance. But that feels like doing it just to help generate community. Wikia also pays for wikis. They use a selling point of helping with community moderation to help prevent fights.

    Wagn has a possible selling point of maintaining things so that people wn’t have to worry about becoming them next magnolia. The person can have back ups easier than other places. Wagn can also sell on having structured data and yet behind collaborative. They can also show that they need to sell that the content can’t be behind a firewall because their software is so great. They also help people to help them wagneering/wikibuilding which helps those users get greater ownership in house.

    Ward Cunningham was told with in a week that he should patent the wiki idea. He didn’t necessarily see a way to patent it with out a wiki community being active. He didn’t see a business model off the first wikis. A few years later, he talked to entrepreneurs who paid him to do consulting and customer support where he found that it could make money in that way in terms of live organizational support and structuring. But the amount of support wasn’t necessarily right as it required almost a job to do that he wasn’t interested in. He now gives wikis to people for free. Ward calls his software The Wiki or more properly, Wiki Version 4. His big wiki is currently on Wiki Version 1. Wiki Version 4 is more modular. Ward did explore potential when was at its peak to sell the wiki. He talked to some people, went through some friends and some people might have been interested but the people interested would only have paid for the code based on how much it would have cost for the company to create the software themselves. The potential buyers were not interested in the community built on the site. Ward has made some money off Amazon Associated from the sale of books. He also makes money off the business card. He has never gotten any consulting work off of his wiki work… which is wow as he invented wikis. That might have been because he highballed the price. He was competing against Lotus Notes. The competitor might have looked at it as Lotus Notes vs. lone consultant and the end users doing the asking because they wanted to avoid Lotus Notes. The higher ups weren’t as interested in the user experience.

    Are we hard wired to get personal gratification for being altruistic? Can that be used to make wikis better? Maybe wikis can be used to help prevent donor fatigue.

    Some people may be hard wired to give and people might be emotionally hurt if they don’t give.

    How would be work differently if that isn’t hard wired but cultural? Maybe it wouldn’t make a difference at all.

    People might be financially rewarded for what they are passionate about. Though that might actually be hard to monetize.

    Ward Cunningham didn’t worry about money as much when perusing his passion. He might not have been positioned as well connection wise in order to make money.

    Wiki might not have been positioned correctly to get patented because when done it might have been viewed as something like herding chickens.

    The idea for patents is to encourage innovation but it might not do that because it encourages people to work in isolation. Rather, all it does is encourage people to make a business model around an idea.

    #rcc09 : Welcoming on wikis and edits

    February 21st, 2009

    I missed the presentation by wikiHow that talked about welcoming on wikis but I heard about it later when a small group from wikiHow and a few tag alongs like myself went to dinner.   If you’re not aware of it, welcoming on wikis is when people are welcomed to the wiki after they make their first contribution or register for an account.   Some of the wiki people I know do this because they think it helps to build community which in turn translates into additional edits to the wiki.  As wikis need edits to improve their content, this is really important.  Wikis should always be looking for ways to convert edits.

    At the session, wikiHow apparently talked about the effect of welcoming and their conversion rate in terms of helping to get more edits.  They did a student on the topic in fact.  They found that welcoming people to a wiki did not have a relationship to people’s edit totals or likelihood to edit more.  (I wasn’t there so I am probably missing more of it.)

    That’s kind of interesting as I know of a number of wikis that try that including AboutUs, EncyclopediaDramatica, wikiHow and some wikis on Wikia.  We’ve never really done it on Fan History because we couldn’t figure out how to automate the process and most people seemed to come in, edit their article and that was it.  Why waste the energy on it?  But at the same time, all these other wikis were doing it.   It seemed ingrained in wiki culture.  Why not do it?  Are we just being lazy?  It feels kind of nice o be redeemed and know it doesn’t necessarily help in terms of community development.

    I would be kind of interested to learn why it doesn’t convert to additional edits though.  Is the lack of conversion a result of how people view wikis?  Possibly not as a community?  Is it because people who want to edit will edit no matter what and some people just edit here and there because of subject matter expertise?  Lots of reasons probably and I want to learn more. :)

    Canonical URL by SEO No Duplicate WordPress Plugin