Tuesday, March 7, 2006

Wetpaint Makes Wiki Development Friendly and Simple

Wikis gained a lot of publicity last year, but successful communities built around wikis are not mushrooming with anywhere the speed of weblogs. This may be in part because up to this point wiki technology has been pretty geekish. No offense to some of the progressive-thinking people behind those early efforts but there aren't too many right-thinking people (don't count me in that camp) who want to muss with raw code these days to publish anything. We've tried to instigate wikis on a number of occasions and have met with huge indifference from executives when they are asked to contribute. A new tool called Wetpaint hopes to change that with a far more intuitive and easy way to add content to a collaborative database. As demonstrated in their Sandbox hands-on demo adding text, graphics and tags and additional topic pages is as easy as any user-friendly weblog interface. A sample finished wiki looks pretty nice and includes features for monitoring content via a watchlist account or email. Moderation controls, AdSense ads and popular tags are all part of the package, making it very simple to create powerful and effective self-monetizing collaborative content communities. A signup promises the ability to use this tool on one's own Web site. Wetpaint lacks some of the advanced tagging that some established tools provide (at least that are evident) but out of the box Wetpaint is a huge step towards helping people to create community content anywhere with far less hassle than in the past. Maybe this time execs will feel comfortable chipping in content.
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