Attempts to compete on Facebook (Facebook) have risen and fallen many times in the past, but WT: Social has something that others have not had: behind it is Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
The social network has been active for just over a month, and is in fact a new incarnation of WikiTribune – a news site founded by Wales two and a half years ago together with Israeli lawyer and human rights activist Orit Koppel. That venture, which sought to be a collaborative alternative to Wikipedia for news sites, was unsuccessful, so Wales and Coop decided to replace it with a social network for sharing news from existing sites, focusing on encouraging reliable and original content.
To do this, surfers on the new social network can share links to articles, and edit the information to show who the authors are, what the source is and what evidence is based on the story. In this way, Wales argued in an interview with the Financial Times , it is possible to encourage real and meaningful dissemination of information, not just one that is designed to attract clicks.
A social network without advertisements
“The business model of companies running other social networks, based on purity of advertising, is problematic – it turns out its main winner is poor quality content,” he said, noting that like Wikipedia, the new site will be based on donations, collected separately from those of the Wikipedia Foundation (Wikipedia operator ).
Meanwhile, about 50,000 users have joined the social network, and in the two days since the publication of the Financial Times, a waiting list of another 50,000 people awaiting their registration has been created. Wales targets tens and hundreds of millions, but not immediately.
Anyone who chooses to donate to the site $ 13 (NIS 47) a month, or $ 100 (NIS 356) a year, will have immediate access without waiting for him and another 200 members. In addition, everyone who subscribes to the network receives three sharing links – to family, friends and co-workers. Anyone who signs up through one of the links will automatically be a member of all other subscribers through the same link, to shorten the process of locating members after signing up.
The network lets you track SubWikis – a sort of topic-focused group as well as tagging. This is in addition to tracking the links shared by the user’s friends, displayed in torch and organized by upload time, from new to old. Subsequently, the site intends to allow article rankings to allow particularly high-quality stories to appear over less-quality stories shared after them.
Meanwhile, Wales says, some 200 people contributed to the development of the site, and he does not expect the site to be profitable, but will put in about the amount needed to maintain it. However, it’s important to keep in mind that Wales’s projects are known for always finding what to spend more money and demanding more donations.