Democracy Downloaded

Why Wikia?

Posted by joevoeller on February 16, 2007

Today I spoke to Dan Lewis, Vice President for Business Development at Wikia, to ask him a few questions about Wikia’s new politics site.

I wondered, with so many political Web sites and blogs already on the scene, is there room – or a need – for another?

Dan thinks so.

And he has some interesting points to make about the blogosphere. Today I present Part 1 of the interview. (Note: I have edited this Q+A simply to shorten and clean up both the questions and the answers)

Democracy Downloaded: Who is the initial audience for a new site like wikia.politics?

Dan Lewis: The initial users are going to be people who have recently started political blogs but have seen them fail — not because they weren’t writing good stuff but because it’s not easy to get readers.

I think the reason they are going to find politics.wikia appealing is because  — the fact of the matter is — it doesn’t really matter how well you write or how insightful your ideas are necessarily — what matters is how good you are at driving traffic to your blog. And its a very, very difficult thing to do.

I think right now if someone were to start up a blog they would be doing something similar to what people were doing 5-7 years ago, which was try to find new media outlets to point to them. Some years before the 2004 elections, when political blogs like instapundit and dailykos were really starting off, they were looking to mainstream media to point to them to help them drive traffic. But what’s funny is that now you see small bloggers trying to get dailykos and instapundit to point to them to get their sites started.

And our take on it is — why bother? We’re going to let everybody write for the site. We’re going to bring everybody together to form a community of people who are interested in politics, ideally on a friendly level.

Next time I’ll let you know how Dan responded to questions about what role the site might play in upcoming elections, and his thoughts about whether the site might polarize or divide people according to party preference (a play off Shawn’s comment.)   


One Response to “Why Wikia?”

  1. […] for votes Filed under: Digital Democracy — stm16 @ 5:00 pm Joe interviewed Dan Lewis, Vice President for Business Development at Wikia, and asked him about Wikia’s new politics site. […]

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