Last night we reviewed Wikipedia as a business (cleverly using Wikipedia) and we looked that the other businesses that Wikipedia has created.
- Wikibooks – A collection of educational textbooks that anyone can edit.
- Wiktionary – Their version of a dictionary.
- Wikiversity – Content around learning resources and learning projects.
- Wikinews – User generated news.
- Wikispecies – Wikispecies is an open, free directory of species. It covers “Animalia, Plantae, Fungi, Bacteria, Archaea, Protista”
- Wikiquote – You guessed it. This is a collection of quotes. One of my favorites from Douglas Adams: “The hotel shop only had two decent books, and I written both of them.”
- Wikisource – A free library (user generated of course)
- Wikimedia Commons – Is a shared medium repository of images, videos, etc
- Meta-Wiki – This is a collection of all of Wikipedia’s projects and there are more than what is listed here. These are the primary ones.
From this list of projects, Wikipedia sure looks like acquisition fodder for Google. Not sure how they’d made money and sometimes not sure they care.
We also attempted to edit, create Wikipedia entries without much success. The theme that kept coming up was it has to be notable and factual. Factual is relatively easy. Notable in my mind gets a little more sticky. When we talk about niche celebrity, how many people know how Chris Anderson is outside of technology. I’m curious to see how the concept of notable changes with the deep dive the online world will take into local and micro-niche.
The goal reviewing Wikipdeia (the largest crowdsourcing project to-date) was to two fold.
- How hard is it to get something submitted to enable businesses to be discovered? Wikipedia entries come back on the first page of search results most of the time. For businesses this is more real estate on the search results page and therefore more opportunity to be found. (Another aspect of the corporate social graph and its impact on search.) Also, submitting materials across other Wikipedia properties may pay off as search results become more usable.
- How can I educate my potential customers about my business? This is a purely (non-salesy) way of educating users which is much more important in a transparent economy.