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Thursday, February 01, 2007

February 1 - Wiki Wrangle

What better way to kick off the month than confusion? The world of wikis has provided just the right atmosphere...

The world of Wikis sits in utter confusion after this past weeks weird developments at . Let's start right from the beginning though.

Bought by John Gotts in 2006, 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 will be removed", and that Wikia had it's own plans to salvage "those customers". Wikia, is the orignally Florida based startup, co-founded by Wikipedia main-man, Jimmy Wales.

Up on the Wikia website, they have a wiki going, claiming that MindTouch, will be closing down for good, on or before the 25th January, this year. In a MindTouch statement, they said that:

" is not affiliated in any way with Wikia has no control or ownership of the domain This rescued wiki was created following rumors that was closing down. At the time, there was no indication whether 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 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, is now redirecting to Wikia! RWW rightly asks how this is even possible, if like Wikia claim, they have no control over the domain!

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.

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  Digg | Permalink | Posted by Davidat 6:47 pm. 5 comments


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude: Also, was only licensing MindTouch's software. MindTouch swooped in and save the day for tens of thousands of users when went tits up. All praise MindTouch!

4:44 am, February 02, 2007  
Anonymous Steve Bjorg said...

IMPORTANT: please correct your post. MindTouch is not shutting down, but is. These are two distinct business entities. agreed to transfer all wikis to MindTouch who provided the technology behind All wikis at have already been migrated to with zero content loss and existing site owners have been notified. If you had a wiki such as, it is now at

If you have trouble finding your wiki, please email us at We will gladly help you locate it.


- Steve
Steve G. Bjorg

5:44 am, February 02, 2007  
Blogger David said...

You heard the man! My bad!

8:48 am, February 02, 2007  
Blogger David said...

Just got a lovely comment.

"this website is a load of crap and i hate the guy who made it!!!!!!!!"

Much appreciated! Thanks a tonne man. :)

8:58 am, February 02, 2007  
Blogger David said...

No worries guys. Turns out that was just someone from my school being slightly...

'Odd' would be a good word here I think. ;)

4:26 pm, February 02, 2007  

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