the book as community: wikicities 03.29.2005, 10:09 AM
posted by kim white
Jimmy Wales, creator of the not-for-profit Wikipedia has launched a for-profit, ad-supported site called Wikicities, which offers users "free MediaWiki hosting for a community to build a free content wiki-based website."
In yesterday's Wall Street Journal, Vauhini Vara noted that gaming communities have been particularly enthusiastic. "Laurence Parry, a 22-year-old computer programmer, who co-founded a wiki dedicated to a computer-game series called Creatures and now spends up to several hours a day updating the site. Before the Creatures wiki existed, fans of the game swapped tips in scattered online forums."
The brilliance of this idea is it just might succeed in centralizing the online gathering place. Internet-based tribal communities that meet to discuss common interests can create their own "city" within the greater universe of Wikicities.com The communal spaces can be defined in the recommended "mission statement." Wikicities also gives users advice on "developing your community" and "setting boundaries."
In a recent Wired Magazine article Daniel H. Pink wondered if this is, in fact, a new idea.
It may feel like we've been down this road before - remember GeoCities and theglobe.com? But Wales says this is different because those earlier sites lacked any mechanism for true community. "It was just free home-pages," he says. WikiCities, he believes, will let people who share a passion also share a project. They'll be able to design and build projects together.
Posted by kim white on March 29, 2005 10:09 AM
Laurence "GreenReaper" Parry on April 7, 2005 11:07 PM:
Yeah. It really works. The cool thing is that even if someone leaves, for a time, the site doesn't have to just stop. It can go on getting better.
We (the Creatures Communuity) have forums, but they are hard to search and it's pretty much impossible to link information together in any coherent way. Wiki makes that possible, and it makes it permanent in a way that tips on scattered websites and forums never could be.
Wikicities has had the most success with those cities which can bring an existing community to the land of Wiki. It jump-starts the whole process.