Wikipedia – an online encyclopedia, written and edited by user volunteers, that is now nearly 100 times as large as the Encyclopedia Britannica. Check out this brief history:
Wikipedia launches in an English-language version on January 15, 2001. That’s five and a half years ago.
By the end of 2001, it offered 20,000 user-created articles in 18 language editions
By the end of 2004, it offered 161 language editions
As of this month, Wikipedia offers more than 5,000,000 user-created articles in 229 different language editions, with 16 different languages offering at least 50,000 articles. There are more than 1,300,000 articles offered in English.
On to MySpace‘s history:
The current MySpace service was founded in July 2003. That’s three years ago. MySpace is a user-submitted network of blogs, profiles, groups, photos, music and videos.
There are now 105 million MySpace user accounts, and more are being created at the rate of 230,000 per day. MySpace is the 6th most popular site in the world, and the MOST popular site in the United States.
On to YouTube:
Check out their brief self-description: “YouTube is a way to get your videos to the people who matter to you. Upload, tag and share your videos worldwide!” Note all those “you”s and “your”s.
YouTube is even younger than the other two sites – it was founded in February 2005. That’s one and a half years ago. YouTube has 50 employees. That’s fifty. Total. It’s getting 20,000,000 visitors a month, is one of the fastest growing sites on the Web, and is already the 13th most popular site in the world.
So the thing that made me finally write this particular post is Today’s news story about Yahoo Answers, The secret to Yahoo Answers’ success. The article is by Susanna Hammer of Business 2.0 Magazine. Check out the relevant subtitle: “The search giant has stumbled lately, but its popular Q&A service shows that getting people to create their own content can really pay off.” Umm… Yeah. 😀
Check out this highlight:
An online Q&A service, Yahoo Answers has become the second most popular Internet reference site after Wikipedia, according to Comscore. In June, Yahoo Answers attracted 12.3 million unique visitors, a 35 percent spike from the previous month. (For comparison, media sensation YouTube had 13.4 million visitors in June.) During the same period, 947,000 people clicked on Google Answers, down 4 percent from May.
The secret to Yahoo Answers’s success?
Get your tens of millions of users to create your next hot product – and then give it away. On Yahoo Answers, anyone can ask any question, from the inane to the articulate, and get a response from, well, just about anyone. For free. It’s a MySpace for know-it-alls and the perpetually clueless.
Here’s a fun highlight from Yahoo! Answers, which has been its own little news phenomenon all by itself:
Stephen Hawking (yeah, that Stephen Hawking) asks the world “How can the human race survive the next hundred years?”
Cool, ain’t it? So: why am I blogging about user-created content in my blog about games? Well, because user-created game content is exactly what we’re building KPL and Phrogram for, and we believe that at the moment noone on the planet has made that possible for more people than we have, with Phrogram. It also, by the way, is what GarageGames, our partner, is all about. And it’s what Microsoft’s XNA Game Studio is all about. It’s been a long time since development and gaming technology were such that hobbyists and end-users could make their own games. Way too long.
So we see how amazing the data is – and the social phenomenom is – around user-created content at Wikipedia and MySpace and YouTube and Yahoo! Answers. And if you’re here, you probably know how amazing the data is on games and gaming.
What’ll happen when we those two amazing trends come together? On more levels than one, it’ll be fun to see.