Free Websites Combine Best of Blogs, Wikis, and Message Boards; Harris Interactive Research Reveals 82% of Online Adults Feel Internet Can Bring Like-Minded People Together
“Let’s face it, until now, starting a website has been a science project for most people — Wetpaint changes that,” said Ben Elowitz, chief executive officer at Wetpaint. “Now, starting or editing a website can be done by anyone. You don’t need a techie friend any longer to start a website for your parent-teacher group, the soccer league or the site on everything you need to know about fly-fishing.”
The launch of Wetpaint comes at a time when people seem eager to collaborate online. According to Harris Interactive research commissioned by Wetpaint, 82% of US online adults feel that the Internet is a good way to bring people together who otherwise wouldn’t meet — an important statistic considering 60% of those online adults believe our general sense of “offline” community is weakening. Wetpaint sites’ ease of use overcomes the difficulty many people cite in using existing tools to participate online.
Three Steps to Create Your Own
Creating a free Wetpaint site is an easy three-step process. After going to http://www.wetpaint.com/cyo , you simply choose a site name, pick a design template and create a Wetpaint profile. With your site created, you can invite friends or anyone who shares your interest to start adding content.
“The key to Wetpaint’s success is its ease of use,” said Carla Thompson, associate analyst with Guidewire Group. “Their user interface is technologically sophisticated, yet doesn’t appear so to the everyday user. If you can use Microsoft Word, you’ll find contributing to Wetpaint sites a walk in the park.”
Hundreds of Sites and Counting
During its three-month testing period, Wetpaint answered many requests from people around the world who wanted to start their own Wetpaint site. As a result, there are now more than 200 Wetpaint sites, the best of which are listed at http://www.wetpaint.com/more . People who have created their own Wetpaint site or contributed to others have responded enthusiastically with feedback along three themes: first, they applaud the ease with which they can edit Wetpaint sites; second, they like the way the Wetpaint user profile helps them connect with others; and third, they like the ability to leave comments or questions related to specific content on the site.
Steve Fitzpatrick was one of the enthusiastic early adopters and created a site called Kerrydale Street (http://kds.wetpaint.com/ ), which celebrates the Scottish soccer team Celtic FC. “We’ve been looking for a while to create a wiki for Celtic fans from around the world, but until now the software has been pretty user-unfriendly,” he explained. “When I found Wetpaint and saw how much it stood apart from other wiki platforms, I wanted it … immediately.”
Other sites recently created with Wetpaint include:
- Quilting Lovers (http://quiltinglovers.wetpaint.com): a site for quilters to share techniques, tips, experiences, and advice
- SimRacing (http://flyingpigpedia.wetpaint.com): a site about computer racing games in English and Italian
- Tuscan Wedding (http://tuscanwedding.wetpaint.com): a site created by a couple getting married in Italy this fall for their family and friends who will be attending the event
- Nobody Likes Onions (http://nlo.wetpaint.com): a site for fans of Nobody Likes Onions, a comedy show broadcast via the web and podcast
- Risusiverse (http://risusiverse.wetpaint.com): site for fans of Risus: The Anything Role Player Game written by S. John Ross
Since Wetpaint started its testing phase in early March, more than 50,000 contributions (including the addition or editing of text, photos, and links) have been made, resulting in a cumulative word count of nearly 1.5 million. No one has worked alone.