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Last night we reported on Tumblr adding an option to allow readers of Tumblr blogs to submit content. I noted that we would see more services offering options to add more content (i.e. aggregation) to their blogs and services without the owner doing any work.
Now wiki provider Wetpaint has announced the launch of news feeds. This option allows owners of Wetpaint-authored wikis to embed feeds from any source online. From the Wetpaint blog (backing up what I said above), “Feeds can display content from all over the web around anything really, so now you don’t have to worry about having enough new and relevant content to keep people coming back to your site right from the get go!”
Wetpaint authors only need to grab a RSS feed link, or can use a search result to create a new section of content in their wiki. The embedded items display links to the original source and part of the content (similar to SocialMedian). Most popular stories are displayed on the wiki’s front page. Naturally they allow commenting which is similar to Friendfeed and if you read CN regularly you know how I feel about comment stealing. I am quite certain this new aggregation option will be heavily used by Wetpaint authors.
Here’s a video on how the external feed option works:
Continue reading “Wetpaint Adds External Feeds and Searches to Wikis” »
Last week we reported on web creation service Jimdo working on a Geocities Lifeboat tool. Today they have announced that the Lifeboat service is live. Jimdo’s U.S. manager Powen Shiah noted, “This isn’t just GeoCities 2.0, and it’s not a static archive of the site: all the pages and content can be edited and managed using Jimdo’s WYSIWYG interface. There’s only one side-effect… the sites might not look exactly the same. Some might even be prettier. Sorry, we did all we could but some things just aren’t transferable!”
Today wiki provider Wetpaint has launched the Geocities Bailout. From their announcement, “To solve this problem, we announced yesterday our effort to help those in need of new hosting services, in the form of a G.A.R.P., a Geocities Asset Recovery Plan. The plan is a bailout for all the Geocities users who are seeing their properties being foreclosed by the fierce Yahoo! landlord and need a new place to keep their valuable content.”
Wetpaint has setup a dedicated site for the Geocities Bailout. They will be providing live chat all day to help users convert their sites and they are offering free domains as a bonus.
As I noted in the Jimdo post last week, these offerings are smart. It’s a bit shocking that all of the other webpage creation tools haven’t done the same thing. While it’s never cool to try to poach users, Geocities is closing so it makes sense to offer a replacement service.
Last night, Sara from q&a site Mahalo sent out the following email to all Greenhouse workers letting them know their services won’t be needed for the next 60 days. In case you aren’t familiar with Greenhouse, it was setup about a year ago to be the main place for Mahalo’s temporary workers to "pick up" pages that Mahalo wanted created.
For example, they might have pages listed for "How to get a good credit score" or "How to learn French". Typically the pages paid about $10, some of the pages that would take potentially days to write (e.g. a game walkthrough) could go up to $150.
We are going to pause Greenhouse SeRP submissions for the next 60 days. If you have an in-progress page, please submit it as soon as possible, no later than the end of day, Monday, March 2, 2009. Please do not claim any new terms–pages claimed today or later will not be reviewed.
We are revamping the system and will have a new opportunity for contributors in April 2009–please stay tuned for more details!
It looks like the game walkthroughs will continue - my guess is that these pages drive more revenue and make sense to consider.
Are they planning to shift the workers from $10/page on Greenhouse to ~$1/page on their Answers product? Might make sense considering their SEO and crowdsourced-content strategies.
I guess we will need to wait until April!
Video galleries – Wetpaint offers photo galleries currently and Devin notes that the video galleries will work in a similar fashion. I’ve posted a screenshot below of what the gallery page looks like.
More droplets – droplets are basically widgets that you can share anywhere. The idea is if you spend time creating a Wetpaint wiki, you will want to show it off on the social networks and on blogs/websites. It looks like the new droplet is called "Site at a Glance" and combines a variety of the current droplets to make one super droplet.
New organizational tools – looks like a variety of usability upgrades for users and content creators.
Discussion Forums 2.0 – Devin teases that the big upgrades for the forums will come in a future release. But for now they are upgrading the ability to make forum posts sticky and keep them on top.
Wetpaint has raised $40 million in venture capital funding to-date.
Wiki provider PBwiki has announced the launch of "PBwiki Professional Plus" today. Professional Plus offers full 24×7 support for their collaboration suite. They guarantee a response within one hour no matter the time of day. Professional Plus is an upgrade in support from their Professional plan.
From the release regarding pricing for Professional Plus, "PBwiki Professional Plus is available immediately, and costs $11/user/month. Existing business customers can choose to stay on the Professional Edition (which includes end-user support 6 days per week, from 7 AM to 7 PM Pacific), or upgrade to Professional Plus for an additional $3/user/month."
This new support model makes sense for customers who rely on their PBwiki site for public consumption. I am not 100% sold that a per user fee makes sense for this type of support – the majority of the time select users will be the contact for a software package with regards to enterprise support.
Check out PBwiki founder David Weekly’s startup tips.
Wikipedia announced today that they have hit the $6 million needed to keep the service going in fiscal 2009 (ends in July). This is certainly great news for all of the Web 2.0 celebs who have pages on the service! Apparently most of the funding will go to infrastructure for, what they say is, the 4th largest property on the Internet.
Founder Jimmy Wales has created a special thank you note on the Wikimedia Foundation website. He notes, "Since July 1, more than 125,000 of you have donated $4 million. In addition, we’ve received major gifts and foundation support totaling $2 million. This combined revenue will cover our operating expenses for the current fiscal year, ending June 30, 2009." Of course he is willing to accept any additional donations you wish to offer and would place them into a "reserve fund".
Svetlana wonders if $6 million will be enough as the amount needed to keep the site running rises each year. She notes, "But this $6 million budget will not be enough as soon as next year probably as the money Wikipedia consumes is rapidly growing from $3.5 million in 2007 which is almost twice the budget of 2006 as well."
I don’t use Wikipedia much but know many who do so it’s good to see the service continue through 2009.
Just back from a business trip to Europe and Asia, Mahalo CEO Jason Calacanis has decided to make some cuts, firing nearly 10% of the staff and has started to rent out space to other startups. From what we understand, the rentals started earlier as Techcrunch50 finalist CauseCast has been renting space for a while. It’s good to see Jason took my advice from last week.
The staffers who were fired today are absolutely the best of the best. In London at FOWA, Calacanis explained that he only hires the top, best possible talent. This should probably help the fired staffers with future job inquiries. Good luck to all of those who lost their jobs at Mahalo today and if I can be of any help, send me an email.
One of the questions I’ve wondered about and have been asked for my opinion a number of times over the past month is whether the startups that are firing staff are doing it because of the economy or because their business model concepts or actual ideas are the real issue. It’s a very difficult question to answer without getting a look at the information from the inside. I posed the question on Twitter and was pointed to Jonathan Gheller who recently closed his startup Fashmatch. He notes that it wasn’t the economy that pushed them to close.
I certainly can’t say which reason is at fault for Jason’s decision to fire staff today. I can only assume it’s economy related based on the fact that his entire team are the highest delivering employees possible.
My view on Mahalo is the same as it was day 1; to be successful they will need certain pages to drive the large share of revenue. While ads on the site now mirror exactly the other links on the page (this may actually confuse visitors), will that be enough to drive users to click on the ads? And how much does a page require to break-even? I’ve also started to see an overall drop in Mahalo’s standings in Google. What used to be instant page 1 status now has been pushed further back. Mahalo has $20 million in funding so they have some runway to continue to refine their business model as they continue to grow.
Mahalo Daily, the video show, also appears to be declining in viewership even with their SEO titles and excellent thumbnail work.
Ashkan summarizes the Mahalo business model:
Mahalo’s traffic strategy right now is simply to jump on the latest, breaking news, publish a page on it, and hope that Google’s super quick spiders index their page… It’s a gimmick, not a worthless one, but not exactly priceless either.
There’s been chatter about more Mahalo positions moving overseas. Our sources tell us that Jason has opened an office in Manilla. I don’t want to speculate on what positions are located there yet – we are still waiting for some final confirmation. We were provided this photo which was shot by a Mahalo staffer of what appears to be (unconfirmed) the Mahalo team in Manilla. I count 25 people in the photo.