Monday, September 19, 2005

Man Bites Dog! Aggregator Posts Wiki! Alacra Tries on Social Software to Build a Content Community

Well, at least one of the exclamations above is true. While the press release will not go out until Wednesday Alacra, the business information aggregator, has launched another progressive stab at communicating with professional content consumers and producers - the AlacraWiki. The initial motivation behind AlacraWiki was to recycle lots of the profile information on publishers and aggregators that Alacra had collected through its years of licensing content for use in its products, using this as "seed" content to attract further information and postings - nice bait for people wanting to know more about these companies, many of which are included in the Alacra product itself. But interestingly AlacraWiki also includes snippets of profiles on prominent figures in the B2B content industry and postings from weblogs covering this space on its home page (clever way to get folks like us to write about it ;-)).

For a company that's trying to find new angles on how to appeal to its primarily institutional content buyers, the AlacraWiki provides an interesting way to draw some of the industry's dialog to its own doorstep as a focal point - and hopefully some sales and licensing discussions in the process. While vendor directories of this kind have failed oftentimes in the past due to lack of interest or industry-wide "gravitas," the addition of other industry content does create the classic "watering hole" effect that none of the contributing publications has managed to provide individually. This may not turn out to be the most trafficked wiki in the world, but it serves as a very interesting example of how aggregators can look at their industry role in new and refreshing ways. When your business is attracting people in a business community to an up-and-coming product it helps to be able to engage major players in that community in a way that makes them feel like they're a part of a peer conversation. There may be some interesting lessons for B2B publishers of all kinds to consider from this exercise in their efforts to reach and engage professional audiences. Thanks and a tip of the hat to Alacra CEO Steve Goldstein for pushing the outer edges of the envelope yet again.
Post a Comment