Archive for the 'Yellowikis' Category

Weblistic moves up a gear

October 20, 2007

Great to see Dick Larkin and the team at Weblistic doing so well. I was particularly taken with this graph on their website:

YP takes a dive

Participation inequality

August 6, 2007

At last week’s Wiki Wednesday in London David Terrar started a group discussion about “Participation Inequality” and Jacob Neilsen’s 90-9-1 rule of user participation.

Neilsen observes that:

“All large-scale, multi-user communities and online social networks that rely on users to contribute content or build services share one property: most users don’t participate very much. Often, they simply lurk in the background…

  • 90% of users are lurkers (i.e., read or observe, but don’t contribute)
  • 9% of users contribute from time to time, but other priorities dominate their time.
  • 1% of users participate a lot and account for most contributions: it can seem as if they don’t have lives because they often post just minutes after whatever event they’re commenting on occurs.

Obviously “large-scale” (i.e. public wikis like Wikipedia, Wikia and Yellowikis) have different dynamics and motivations from those found in enterprise wikis but nobody at Wiki Wednesday really knew what levels of participation a business might expect behind a firewall – it also occurred to me that different wiki platforms might well show up different levels of user engagement.

Is this something that Cases2.0 might reveal?

Baghdad Open Street Map.

July 7, 2007

OpenStreetMap of Baghdad At Wiki Wednesday last night Steve Coast mentioned that the OSM team had used aerial images of Baghdad to create an Open Street Map of Baghdad – now they are trying to find local bloggers and wikipedians to add street names… Reconstruction the wiki-way. Hope we can follow the example with Yellowikis. Compare and contrast with Google Maps effort:


June 24, 2007

Michael Tiemann at the OSI has an interesting blog post on why open source should make good business sense. The last part is particularly interesting:

As for three “ideas” to avoid when building an open source business:

1) Believing that you need venture capital to start an open source business. In the same way that “Breast is Best” for rearing healthy babies, I believe that 95% of all venture capitalists will do more harm than good when it comes to investing in open source companies. I believe they will pick the wrong ideas, fund them for the wrong reasons, and then complain bitterly when their investments fail. Instead of trying to educate an industry that doesn’t understand open source (yet), look for ways to create your company organically. I would estimate that today there is 10x more money being knowingly wasted on poor proprietary solutions than is available for all software VC, and this suggests a remarkable opportunity to do well by customers who have already demonstrated a need and a willingness to pay. Convince them that you can staunch their losses with open source, and then spin out to success!

2) Per-incident support models.

3) The cynicism that making money in open source makes it proprietary. This is a toxic view for several reasons:

  • It leads one to justify creating proprietary software
  • It leads one to mingle, layer, hybridize, or otherwise infect open source with proprietary software
  • It confuses the fact that open source is a development model and making money is based on a value proposition. THERE IS NO VALUE IN BITS!

User generated maps/gazetteers

November 2, 2006

A slightly random link from led me to OpenStreetMap which took me to New Popular Edition Maps and then on to GeoNames. All three are doing interesting things. I love the way GeoNames allows users to edit and improve the quality of their data. Yellowikis needs a map based interface like this to make it easier to get started.

Door-to-door internet sales

October 18, 2006

Raj Kapor from the Venture Capitalist company Mayfield has written an interesting article in Business Week on-line where he mentions that Baidu (the biggest search engine in China) sell ads “door-to-door” – sounds like Yellowikis plan to recruit student editors – not to mention Dick Larkin’s new project.

Working at home publishers

October 4, 2006

Random Flickr links lead me to Steve Bowbrick’s blog which took me to Jay Rosen’s New Assignment.Net that led me to Paul Bass’ article on “Creating the New Haven Independent” on PressThink. Much of the debate in the comments was about revenue models which reminded me of The Best of and My Mag franchises. Sales and marketing people are just as interested in finding new opportunities as local newspapers dissolve in the face of Craig Newmarks’ lists.

Now I’m wondering if one of the big advertising groups would give Yellowikis $100,000 as a start-up gift like Reuters did for New Assignment.Net.