Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Wikibon, The Improvements Needed

As I mentioned previously, Wikibon project is very interesting and schedule permitting, I plan to monitor its progress. I see the value of collective intelligence and bringing down the barriers in market research and industry analysis segment. If the approach succeeds, it will revolutionize this industry, the way Wikipedia did to Encyclopedia business.

The intent of this post is not to dismiss the initiative as another hype of social networking era. All new experiments go through a phase of trial-and-error before finding their footing and niche. I feel Wikibon is currently in that early phase where Dave and his team are trying various things to see what sticks, what not and what will make them realize their vision.

The objective of this post is to help them during this early phase by making two very specific suggestions for improvements.

Lead with Content

Overall, Wikibon started with a good web presence. Only design suggestion will be to lead the presence with content and cleaner interface otherwise it just take away the community and participatory feel of the initiative. Some annoyances:
  • Too many choices and information crammed in to home page.

  • Unnecessary and excessive use of text boxes, fonts with different colors and sizes and slide style boxes and graphics.
As Chris Evans commented and I agree that to gain any type of mindshare, Wikibon need to highlight the content not the people.

Do you really need Wiki format?

It is great to see 340 articles on variety of topics already posted on Wikibon. Most articles seem to be "independent" in nature, written by individual authors containing only their opinion with very little scope to modify content by others. I found content to be more fitting for blog format instead of wiki.

This is a typical challenge in most wiki projects. Is the topic and content conducive to modifications by others? If content is more conducive to be commented by readers instead of modification then it is more fitting in a blog format. I am sure you will also be able to see the content that is likely to be modified and added with new information and the content that is likely to receive comments.

Compare the Wikipedia Backup page with following Wikibon pages for Backup articles. It doesn’t take long to identify pages that are more likely to be modified or content added by someone other than the original author/creator.
Implementing fail proof backup and recovery
Backup and recovery options
Backup and recovery techniques
Sizing up backup and recovery options
Data de-duplication and the low-end backup/restore choice
Checkout the storage market prediction trading feature at Wikibon. It is an excellent feature that has potential to leverage the power and knowledge of the community.

Time permitting, I may review Wikibon further.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the suggestions Anil. We're working hard on making improvements to the site.

    Blog v. Wiki is interesting. Maybe the answer is the so-called 'bliki.' As a research analyst and collaborator, please don't take away my ability to 'edit this piece!'