Bobbie Johnson’s in-depth piece in today’s Technology Guardian explores the trends and contributor numbers for Wikipedia as the online encyclopaedia marks the posting of its 3 millionth article in English.
For the last few months at ItsOpen we’ve been telling clients that focussing on a particular social media tool generally won’t help them to develop an effective social media strategy. Social media is moving so fast and new tools and trends seem to be developing on a weekly basis. Why use up all your energy on Twitter when a new microblogging tool might come along next year that is far more popular, or suits your needs better?
Organisations are much better off concentrating on the general principles of social media; open, conversational, personal communication, rather than reacting to the impact of a specific tool.
The Wikipedia example may be about to help us demonstrate this idea. Johnson’s article suggests that Wikipedia’s content growth may be stalling. Of course this may be down to the fact that at 3 million articles the contributing community of ‘Wikipedians’ may be running out of things to write about! It may also mean that these early adopters have found another tool to use to share their knowledge.
Only time will tell… but if in a year’s time you have discovered an exciting new tool allowing online communities to share their knowledge (Wikipedia II..?) remember that you read it here first!