On October 26, I attended the iStrategy conference in Amsterdam. Here is part 2 of the account of Jimmy Wales’s presentation on Wikipedia and Wikia.
To gather all the parts of this post together, just type: http://bit.ly/walesvm2!
[slide: a screen capture taken from WIKIA]
what the future holds
The future trends for the foundation, according to its founder are twofold:
- on the one hand, it’s about expanding Wikipedia’s language capability and namely the most popular languages of India (in India there are over 20 different languages!”). In order to do that, keyboard issues will have to be overcome; “this will be a challenge!” Jimmy Wales added,
- on the other hand, the future is also about a new project name Wikia. “If Wikipedia was the beginning, i.e. an encyclopaedia, wiki is much more ambitious platform; it is meant to be a library!” declared Jimmy ‘Jimbo’ Wales.
[slide: le languages of India, well … some of them at least]
Jimmy Wales gave us a few example of new projects developed from the platform, in order to give us a flavour of what the future holds:
The Guttenplag wiki (http://de.guttenplag.wikia.com) for instance, is a full-fledged critical report of the Ph.D. dissertation of Karl Theodor Freiherr (Earl) zu Guttenberg in which the authors of the collaborative project demonstrated that 371 pages of that dissertation (i.e. over 60% of the whole document) were actually copied from other sources. This led to the resignation of this gentleman as defence minister of the Federal Republic of Germany (for details refer to “Karl Theodor zu Gutenberg: “baron without a title” BBC.co.uk 18th of February 2011). Hundreds of people, not just journalists, took part in this project, Jimmy pointed out. In essence, one could comment that what this Wikia platform is bringing the power of wikis to the people.
Lost is a TV series (as I am not watching TV that much, please forgive my ignorance and my misunderstandings of the context). Apparently, Lost is a very complex programme and the Wikia project was used in order to help clarify certain aspects of the elaborate script or to help fans debate about interpretations of the script or other issues related to the programme. The creator of the show is reported to have said to Jimmy Wales that “the lost staff was crazy about lostpedia” and that “the team used it a lot for creation to”.
Wikia is already very strong on mobiles, with 10% of visits from mobile devices. Jimmy added that this represents a 10% increase in market share in the past two years. Wikia currently has 51 million monthly visitors (versus 20 million in 2010) and this enormous growth is very promising according to Wikipedia’s founder.
So now you know what the next big thing is all about!