Wikipedia, Wikia & Wales

Sounds like a lawfirm, eh?

WikiaThe latest Biz 2.0 has an excellent article about Wikipedia, Wales new , for profit venture Wikia, and provides a good bit of insight into Wales himself.

One of the articles best quotes comes from Gil Penchia, CEO of Wikia, commenting on the company’s mission:

“We are a for-profit company, but our investors and employees are equally focused on the social mission,” Penchina says. “We hope to prove that you can build a sustainable business without copyrights, to serve our communities, and to enable advocacy on important topics like politics.”

The article also has a great sidebar called “The Wales Rules for Web 2.0”. There are 5:

1. Be Proactive

“I find the term ‘crowdsourcing’ incredibly irritating,” Wales says. “Any company that thinks it’s going to build a site by outsourcing all the work to its users not only disrespects the users but completely misunderstands what it should be doing. Your job is to provide a structure for your users to collaborate, and that takes a lot of work.”

2. Be Transparent

“When you build a social network, you’re asking people to use your facilities to build a community,” Wales says. “If you have a lot of secret mechanisms that regulate your site, people aren’t going to feel comfortable. It’s about building trust.”

3. Be Frugal

“You don’t build a community by just pouring money into it. It takes time. You have to grow it in a healthy way,” he (Wales) says.

4. Be True to Your Brand

“Really successful businesses and organizations build something so that people immediately know what they’re about,” Wales says. “You’re building a level of trust so that people know what they’re getting.”

5. Be Trusting

“Some sites have a lot of controls to prevent bad behavior,” Wales says. “But they end up preventing spontaneous good behavior.”

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