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.: September 2007 --> How to successfully seed a new wiki

How to successfully seed a new wiki

» William Hertling—who has created 2 successful wikis inside organizations that weren't necessarily interested in having wikis—reflects on what it takes to get people to rely on (and contribute to) a new wiki.

When I launched my first wiki, I thought...I would put a few documents in the wiki, and presto - everyone would start using it. Of course, that wasn't enough. Odds are that people in the community of users that you want to attract are already sharing information - even if they're doing it in a disfunctional way. So it's not enough to put a few tidbits in there. You've got to make it compelling.

I disagree with Will's conclusion about Britannica, by the way, because I think it misses the point. Britannica is interested in selling information, not giving it away. My idea (and I've shared this with them) is that they should offer yearly (or even monthly) subscriptions to Britannica online, and they should focus on selling these subscriptions to their customary audiences: schools, libraries, and parents.

The price point for the individual subscriptions should be slightly below the cost of a basic cable television package—and that's the way they should advertise it. This would not only enable them to sell many more units to individuals than they ever have before (encyclopedias on paper are notoriously expensive), it would gain Britannica mindshare with the next generation, who would learn to associate "reliable information" with their brand.

 [ 09.13.07 ]



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