We’d like to take a moment to talk about the Phone Encyclopedia. While it is a very popular part of the site, we’re in the middle of some ongoing spring cleaning. And, we thought it would be a good point to tackle what to do with the Phone Encyclopedia for the future.
Obviously, there have been some hostilities with Wikipedia, but we believe that that is merely a minority of Wikipedians acting out of order. We believe that Wikipedia is a valid, source, and the Phone Encyclopedia is better because of Wikipedia and its underlying MediaWiki software.
Going forward, we have a few choices here. We’d like your input in the comments as to how to move forward.
Option 1: Hand over the content to Wikipedia. This is our least preferred option, as much of the content surrounding downloads/hacks/tips/tricks/etc is generally not accepted content on Wikipedia. However, it would be the fastest route for us to donate the content and combine databases.
This option is only viable if the WIkipedia community amends and reaches a consensus on our content. De-banning our site from Wikipedia would be a good fence mending step there to explore how that could work. With thousands of pages of content, this would require lots of effort from both our staff, and WIkipedians.
Option 2: The community steps up. We assign community leaders, pay bounties for top contributors, and generally hand over leadership to key community members to help grow the arena and make sure new phones are added consistently.
We’d of course match this effort with major renovations to sorting and indexing of phones, and mirror improvements that the Wikipedia phone categories have made recently.
Option 3: TechNews.biz integration. We haven’t really been bullish with TechNews.biz, but we have big plans for it later this year. Launching new technology news sites is difficult, and it requires considerable soft launch time these days before resources can be dedicated to make it… awesome.
One idea on the table is to use the technology and code we’ve added on top of MediaWiki, and roll the Phone Encyclopedia, into a Gadget Encyclopedia for all consumer electronics.
This is the option we’re most excited about. However, it’s also the most resource-intensive. It would require a lot of the community stuff in Option 2, and we’d need plenty of people who can really dedicate a few hours each week (or, a few people that have no life whatsoever, either way).
In a lot of ways the Phone Encyclopedia is already a “critical mass” element of PhoneNews.com. But, we need you to chime in on the comments to help us decide what the next step should be.