Building a Tribe With a Wiki

Do you have a passion for a hobby that involves a lot of data?

  • Magic the Gathering
  • Baseball
  • Football
  • Cricket
  • Fencing
  • Basketball
  • Car Races
  • Fine woodworking
  • TV Shows

The list could be very, very long here, but the point is that there many niches out there which involve statistics, data and all kinds of other “stuff.”

How do you bring people together to share and grow a community based on a particular interest?

Start a Wiki.

As seen with wikipedia.org, excluding the occasional news items of biased data and hoaxes, it’s possible to round up a group of volunteers and to maintain a comprehensive array of information on any topic.

Take the card game Magic the Gathering. How about wiki cataloging all of the cards, including pictures, gaming clubs (if there are any still out there) and history? Not only does this provide an outlet for fans of the game, it also results in a powerhouse website which is viewed as an authority on the topic and is visited by people of a very targeted demographic.

How about a wiki for a town which allows locals to catalog local businesses, parks, public services, churches, and communities. By allowing the wiki to provide the infrastructure necessary to manage a bunch of people trying to work within a single library of content, you have the potential of building an influencial tribe.

As Seth Godin points out in his book Tribes, many people will actually NOT participate. This is even among those that sign up to be a part of the group. This is seen in just about any type of organization. It’s just the way it is. However, out of those who do actively participate, amazing things can be accomplished as each person grows the wiki.

The main wiki software base is MediaWiki. It might be a bit of a challenge for some people to install and maintain, but that’s the point of creating a tribe. Even if you don’t have the skills to manage the site itself, you can find someone who can.

Have you been thinking about creating a wiki? What niche would you like to cover?

1 Comment

  1. Matt Wiseley on January 27, 2009 at 9:57 am

    I love the idea of a town wiki. My town has a fairly dated-looking website operated by a single volunteer citizen. You’ve inspired me to contact him and suggest a wiki instead. His time could be spent as moderator instead of sole contributor and everyone would benefit.

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