Wikis working for media

There have been several attempts by media to harness the beast of the wiki. It appears that so far the wiki has eluded mainstream publishers. It’s just proved too unweildy and scary for those that like to call themselves “the gatekeepers”.

Of course, the most famous of all attempts by a publisher to use a wiki was the LA Times wiki-editorial experiment that eventually degenerated into pornography. Publishers just haven’t been able to find the magic ingredient that makes the mother of all wikis, the famous Wikipedia, one of the most successful sites in the world.

So it’s with interest that I stumbled on Wired magazine’s “How to” wiki. I only noticed the wiki now, despite being a regular reader of Wired’s site and magazine — but it’s been around for while. Importantly, it hasn’t degenerated into nonsense. have obviously found a way to make it work, but also keep it in line with their editorial principles.

How, I wonder? Maybe it’s because they are a niche player (technology site) or perhaps they have a strong, watchful community behind it, which, of course, is wikipedia’s secret.

Matthew Buckland: Publisher


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