We have no idea how popular this is going to be at first, but I see the potential for a huge future here.
Recently, Conde Nast announced the closure of Gourmet Magazine. What happened there? It’s really very very simple: the traditional magazine has not kept pace with the needs of readers or advertisers. It isn’t that reading is going out of style – quite the opposite. It isn’t that people don’t care about quality – quite the opposite. The death of the traditional magazine has come about because people are demanding more information, of better quality, and faster.
Take a look at the web traffic rankings (according to Quantcast) of Gourmet Magazine’s site and Wikia’s recipes site.
How did this happen? How did a Recipes wiki become more popular than one of the most famous food magazines?
It’s because Gourmet offered a handful of recipes and articles per month, while Recipes offers literally thoughts of recipes on-demand anytime anyone wants.
But there still *is* value in the paper form-factor and there still *is* value in carefully selected “best of” content, delivered on a per-issue or subscription basis: and that’s where the MagCloud/Wikia partnership comes in.
Communities can now produce print magazines of higher quality, and of a more timely and customized nature than traditional print magazines can. YOU can publish your own cooking magazine or cookbook on Wikia. (Make one for your family, with all your great grandmother’s favorite recipes?)
I predict that this could end up having a huge impact on dozens of titles. How soon will car magazines be replaced by our auto wikis?
I’d like to hire the former publisher of Gourmet Magazine – and the publishers of many more magazines, because I think they will be valuable assets at a company which knows where the world is heading.
It won’t happen overnight. But the growth of Wikia appears to be on a trajectory as overwhelming and consistent as what Wikipedia experienced.
As Clay Shirky put it in the title of his book, “Here Comes Everybody”.