The world of Wikis sits in utter confusion after this past weeks weird developments at Wiki.com . Let's start right from the beginning though.
Bought by John Gotts in 2006, Wiki.com went for an incredible $2.86 Million. The world of feed flares, XML divas, and XHTML validation is hip and cool. After purchasing the domain, Gotts contacted, and eventually partnered with Wiki vendor, MindTouch. The domain name came with a humongous price tag, but Gotts was convinced that over time, his investment would pay off, as the domain simply drew direct hits, and was a natural collector of mainstream traffic.
"With its easily identifiable name, thousands of people are visiting the site daily without the aid of a search tool, signaling increasing interest in the technology and the value of a domain that drives natural traffic."
All was fine, till earlier this week, when a public relations representative from Wikia contacted Read/Write Web, regarding a rumour that had been circulating the blogosphere recently. According to the un-named PR person from Wikia, "all wikis on wiki.com will be removed", and that Wikia had it's own plans to salvage "those wiki.com customers". Wikia, is the orignally Florida based startup, co-founded by Wikipedia main-man, Jimmy Wales.
"Wiki.com is not affiliated in any way with Wikia.com. Wikia has no control or ownership of the domain wiki.com. This rescued wiki was created following rumors that wiki.com was closing down. At the time, there was no indication whether wiki.com wikis would disappear or not, so Wikia made plans to migrate these sites to Wikia. Since then, MindTouch have said that they have begun migrating the wiki.com wikis to new servers and that the content of these sites will be made available on a new domain in future."
As if there weren't enough twists in the tale already, it seems that the website Wiki.com, is now redirecting to Wikia! RWW rightly asks how this is even possible, if like Wikia claim, they have no control over the domain wiki.com!
If anyone feels like helping me out here, or clearing a few things up, please go ahead… It seems that nobody quite knows where anyone stands on this issue. No news on John Gotts yet either.
My take? My opinion? The world of Wikis is going through a tough time, that will inevitabely shape it's future form. There's no doubt that Wikipedia will stand firm and strong, but what will happen to all of it's competiting Wikis? Will they run out of steam, as so many great ideas and projects have done before, and give up to the monopolising site in the industry? Or will these smaller sites stand firm, building their own, more closely knit communities, working together?
Personally, I'm a big fan of the smaller Wikis out there, but also like Wikipedia, because I know I'm almost guaranteed to find the information I want on anything, from the average number of spots on a ladybird, to the theory of relativity.
Sourced from RWW.