Steve Rubel of Micropersuasion is blogging, via a MediaPost article, that Best Buy and T-Mobile are sponsoring a new, ad-supported gaming wiki trhough IDG. The wiki, Wiki Strats, is available on Gamerhelp.com, if gaming is your thing.
I’m of two minds about this development. On the one hand, I really like the Wiki experience. Anyone can help out the community and contribute content and the editing process is very egalitarian and democratic. Wikipedia is the oft-cited and, in my opinion, best example of distributed information-gathering to date.
But I also think that corporate involvement in Wikis, specifically the Wikipedia, can be troublesome at best, catastrophic/tragic at worst. I’ve written two lengthy post [one] [two] on the subject already, so no use treading that same path again.
This new Wiki Strats site, though is something different entirely. This is a new wiki built by a reputable game content site and sponsored by two very large advertisers. Will it work? Can the advertisers and the site get pure, quality content?
Steve says that the advertisers should contribute content. Me, I think they should have started their own wiki. Erase any line of sponsorship of some third party and do it your own damn selves. I mean, how hard is it to create gamewiki.bestbuy.com and build you own unique wiki community.
In this way, I think I agree with Steve. Let Best Buy and T-Mobile jump into the conversation by truly owning the conversation. This way, even if anti-sponsor content gets deleted, the actions of the sponsor are much clearer and transparent.
You want to play in the new media pool? Jump in with both feet. Don’t wade in with a sponsorship, that’s so 20th century. Build your own game strategy wiki and prove your worth with your devotion and contributions.
Anything less offends the sensibilities of the contributors and the community.
So, yes, in the case of the Wikipedia I’ve argued that advertisers/marketers/sponsors/PR should stay away, but in the case of new Wikis, I think they should make their own. I guess it’s like blogging in that way. Rather than comment somewhere else, create your own space and join the community.
My 2 cents.