Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Live from Ad:Tech SF, Jimmy Wales

The good news is that Ad:Tech cares enough about the concept of "social" to go out and get one of the original consumer generated content guys in Mr. Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia fame. His session is titled: Wikipedia, Wikia and the Future of Consumer Generated Media.

The room is fairly crowded (3rd FL of Moscone West). We're about 2 minutes from showtime...

Jimmy is walking through background data on Wikipedia (what it is, what it isn't) as well as its global reach. One thing that is fairly impressive is the fact that Wikipedia is the fourth ranked Website on the internet (behind Google/Youtube, Microsoft and Yahoo). He predicts that by next year, Facebook will move up into top five. Interesting stat - 4th largest Web property in the world has 25 people that work for it full time. I guess this makes sense when you think of the thousands of people that volunteer to contribute all of the content.

A few high level thoughts/data points:
  • Amazing that Wikipedia was launched in 2001 (in the thick of the dot com crash). Wales said the tough economic times drove a lot of the innovation behind the genesis of the site.
  • "Most brands have been afraid to be associated with user generated content." This is changing with growth/penetration of YouTube, Wikia and Wikipedia content.
  • "Online advertising has gone down the rathole of direct response marketing.'
  • Brands might want to start taking a look at advertising against user generated content.
Oops... gotta run to my next meeting. For a continuation of this and other Ad:Tech activity (#AdTech), go here for the live search feed.

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