Better monetized online encyclopedia

Thoughts here build from this other thread on how a public domain film project might work: The Free Film Project

Revisiting public domain films and remixing them seems like an application of a bigger concept. Fundamentally we’re talking about monetizing a value-add to public domain content. Why stop at films?

Could a new differentiated wikipedia-style site earn a substantial revenue by leveraging and improving wikipedia and/or the online encyclopedia ecosystem?

What is wikipedia weak at? My first thought is they don’t offer much rich media content. Getting content creators engaged to produce rich media content for popular pages might be worthwhile.

For example, it seems very worthwhile how Investopedia adds animated explainers to so many pages.

Essentially what I’m seeing is a site something like Investopedia that covers a wider breadth of content (perhaps even a generalized online encyclopedia like Wikipedia).

The top X number of most popular pages could feature a short documentary film or podcast to go along with standard print content. Content creators can earn tips and a share of the project’s overall revenue. Once the scope of the content was decided, we could just start by creating new pages for whatever topics happen to be the most popular ones on Wikipedia today (or on the web overall).

The scope of the project is big enough that if successful it could lead to substantial Interledger adoption. The site would push readers to grab a browser wallet extension (or new browser) and subscribe to Coil or something similar.

Why is this a bad idea?

Hi Sal,

It is not a bad idea. In fact, it is a very good one and has a lot in common with the platform I am developing. It is called Memeing and it repurposes the dictionary as a system for the creation and discovery of content.

By repurposing the dictionary content, format and adding modern metadata content classification, Memeing will offer a nearly limitless source of creative ideas and a highly adaptable format organised into channels and categories covering every conceivable interest. Creators can define and upload to any word or topic that interests them where it can be discovered by those with who share that interest.

Social media can be an incredibly alienating space for artists. Memeing is being designed to fit the creative process. In effect, each word, idea, or topic acts as a creative brief. When the work is published together both creators get to engage with peers on both a creative and cultural dialogue around a common interest. There will also be the option to nominate other creators to reinterpret or remix their work.

You mention both Wikipedia and Investopedia. Memeing is highly adaptable and we envisage having channels and categories covering all types of information. Visual content will be married with text, essays and even audio.

We are heading toward beta-testing now and have applied for G4W funding. In our infancy we plan to use our landing page as a publication, to which we publish collections of content by early adopters. For now, our focus is on existing creatives in the UK but that will expand as we go live.

You correctly posit that there is the possibility for substantial uptake on WM through such a platform. All content will be Web Monetisation enabled and in user testing so far, the prospect of micropayments has been enthusiastically received.

As things progress, we will be looking to provide funding or generate funding for larger projects. The format also gives us plenty of scope to create issue driven content which will allow us to provide space for marginalised voices and communities.

Feel free to respond here or DM me to chat some more.

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I need to work to drive traffic to the arts crowdfunding platform I’m working on (culturepledge.com). Maybe we can help each other. For example we could assist with content generation for your site in exchange for links back to our site. How far away are you from releasing something public?

We will be going public sometime between November and early January.

Had a look at your post about Culturepledge.com, there is definite crossover in our areas of interest. Early content on Memeing will be from selected creators around chosen topics. I will also be writing some accompanying blog and social media content. For instance I will be producing content around what it means to work as a professional creative in the attention economy. I imagine this type of content would have appeal to Culture Pledge.

I’ll keep you posted and we can work something out closer to the time.

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