Tuesday, April 11, 2006

33 Wikis: # 19 -- ArmchairGM -- Channeling Your Inner Oscar Madison

This is the nineteenth installment in "33 Wikis," a close look at best practices in wiki-based collaboration. Each day -- for 33 days -- we look at one wiki and briefly describe what the wiki is for, why we like it, and what we all can learn from it. If you want to nominate a wiki, please let us know. On day 34 we will post a public wiki featuring info on all nominees.

What this wiki is for: ArmchairGM is a collaborative site for sports enthusiasts who believe that blogging is not enough. From the "about" page: "Most fans don't have the time to commit to running a blog nor the inclination to promote, design, and manage it, and these are the minimums needed for an effective web presence. You have to write well, write often, promote yourself, have an effective and pleasing aesthetic, and manage criticism and technical difficulties well. And you have to do this constantly: It takes a long, long time to build a readership. But it takes only a few days of idleness and disrepair (or one day of idiocy!) for it to crumble."

Why we like it: All good wikis have motivated, opinionated communities. We can think of no community as opinionated and as motivated -- e.g., to share their opinions -- than the millions of armchair coaches, general managers, and would-be Oscar Madisons of this world. This new site -- with has logged close to half a million page views in less than two months -- enables sports fans to post news, opinions, and, of course comments. Because it's a wiki, almost anything can be edited. You can't edit comments, of course; and we wonder how participants will feel that their opinions -- as opposed to news -- can be edited. But what we like most about this site is the Digg-like "voting" feature which determines the rank of an article based on reader ratings.

What we all can learn from it: Two things: first, the voting feature is something that we expect many other media sites -- traditional media and new media -- to follow. Not only does this democratize the process of placing stories -- an approach that communities respect -- but it also makes good business sense (think of the implications for advertising). But another lesson for all: there are other worlds where fans enjoy talking/arguing with each other at least as much as they enjoy talking/arguing with professional commentators. There are other markets for this kind of approach.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did see a wiki article about that this morning and it was wikipedia article

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