As you might suspect, given my affinity for wikis, I’ve a personal wiki. This is running at the un-announced shared hosted site that I won’t mention by name, but I will provide a link to it. I plan to do a complete write-up about this at the work blog in the new year when we announce the service, but by then this gorgeous Christmas theme Damien built will be obsolete. I’m using the Pro version of this service, which gives me 10GB of storage, a custom domain, and custom HTML regions that allow me to injects ads, widgets, Google analytics, whatever into the site. It’s a killer service. I use it a lot for taking notes, sharing files, aggregating content in one view from all over and for keeping private communications. The Pro version is only $60/year. The free version is ad-free and limited to 100MB of storage, but I think we’re going to drop that down to 15MB of storage. I suspect this service will cut into some of the competitors’ market in the shared hosted/software as a service wiki offerings that are charging several thousands of dollars for a weaker feature set, user limitations, and quite frankly an inferior wiki. This is the best damn wiki you can find, you can do mashups, you can run your own ads, and you’ve got the richest enterprise wiki feature set available. For free…or $60/year.
We’ve intentionally kept this service quiet since the Holidays crept up on us while we were still working out some last minute kinks in the service. Announcing it now would be pointless because it would just get lost in the Holidays. Moreover, we’ve still got some minor kinks to get around and we’re already getting a lot of traffic to the site just through the word of mouth of the community. In fact, we’re all pleasantly surprised by the number of Pro registrations we’re getting a day. I’ve seen lots of churches, schools, Universities, orgs, and some businesses going Pro in the last few weeks.
This wiki service is a great extension to a blog because it provides a fully customizable, persistent and collaborative authoring tool. For example, let’s assume you blog about online marketing. Well, your blog is a tool for you to publish time sensitive information on the subject. However, frequently there is the need for a more persistent information architecture. Also, the wiki can provide a medium for building a community around your blog by which you allow your audience to participate in the conversation in a more meaningful way than allowed by comments. It’s important to note that this particular service also allows you to easily and automatically aggregate content from all over the Internet on particular topics. Moreover, you can easily create rich application mashups to serve as interactive extensions to your blog posts. These can include interactive maps, charts, graphs, forms, countless widgets, flickr, news feeds, video, search tools, and more… I’m certain it will soon be the case that all bloggers with a community they’re looking to engage will have a wiki extension to their blog sites to facilitate a richer engagement with their audience and to provide persistent and more robust information sharing.