Thursday, February 26, 2015

Nupedia anyone?

Few people now know that the internet encyclopedia giant Wikipedia was actually preceded by Nupedia.

The key difference between the two was that Nupedia was designed for experts to submit articles, and had a 7 step review process before articles went live.  In its first year, the experts at Nupedia posted only 21 articles.  Not the type of encyclopedia that's very helpful.

Wikipedia started as a side project of Nupedia, a way to generate some more ideas and grow involvement.  But it quickly passed it by.  (Understatement!)  In its first year Wikipedia posted over 18,000 articles.

What changed?  Experts and reviews were no longer needed.  They took away the slowing "pinch-point" and it exploded.

What's the lesson?  It's almost scary to write this:  If you're the expert you might need to get out of the way.  You might be all about growth but have a "review process" that slows the growth you're seeking.

21 vs. 18000.  I'll let you decide.

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