hose wishing to track how well wikis perform in very public settings now have an ideal petri dish. Yesterday, eBay Wiki launched. The online auction giant is inviting community members to contribute to “fact-based articles” that relate to trading on the website. Built in conjunction with Jotspot, the wiki is quickly attracting both authors and editors. The eBay environment already provides admirable mechanisms for feedback and gauging reputations. It will be interesting to watch how well a wiki withstands inevitable attempts to game the system. Unlike many of the peer-production experiments currently underway, eBay is a testing ground on which players literally have a great deal to gain. The wiki is, of course, in beta. The first articles, seeded by eBay regulars, deal with issues as varied as restoring feedback percentages, a list of handy auction tools, and a set of tips for selling art. It was a brave move by eBay and one that will certainly have its messy moments, but it has the potential to be a true proving ground for public wikis.
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