Amazon.com Invests in Wikia

Posted on December 10, 2006

WikiaVentureBeat reports that Wikia has raised an undisclosed sum of money from Amazon.com in a second round of funding.
It is not clear how much traction Wikia company has gained. The company says more than two thousand wiki sites have been created on its platform, edited by 30,00 registered users. Wikia wants to users do everything outside of Wikipedia's collaborative encyclopedia process.

It enables "groups to share information, news, stories, media and opinions." Wikis are useful, because they let fans - Nascar fans, for example - find information and express themselves. But they are tricky to manage, and Wikia's format isn't exactly elegant. Wikia was founded by Jimmy Wales, the founder Wikipedia, which is one of the rare wiki success stories so far. Part of Wikia's round (amount undisclosed) includes the purchase of the sports community site, ArmchairGM for more than $2 million, underscoring how Wikia is having to reach out to acquire talent and technology. Wikia says it will use the ArmChairGM technology to help it incorporate user-generated news and voting into future Wikia fan sites. With Amazon behind it, Wikia could presumably be used to form wikis around various Amazon product lines. Wikia says it will look for more acquisitions.

Wookieepedia30,000 registered members is not very many but the 2,000 wiki sites might be significant. It is unclear whether the Wiki types of communities will be as popular as communities built using forums or social networking software but Amazon is at least willing to spend a little bit of money in case wiki communities catch on. Or, maybe Amazon.com just invested in it for the funny names like Wookieepedia, a Star Wars Wiki.