Why Wiki

From VbzWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The idea for setting up a wiki for an online store came about partly as a result of the frustration I experienced dealing with many business web sites. Many of them seem to hide their contact information, trying to side-track you with layers of Frequently Asked Questions which usually don't contain the information you need, before graciously allowing you to fill out a web form which will supposedly send a message to a human being at the site. Not that you necessarily have any evidence of this; many of them don't send you back a copy of what you sent.

Part of vbz's mission (largely unwritten at this point; planning to remedy that via this wiki) is to use new information technology to provide better service, and hopefully improve business practices in general. This wiki is an experimental foray in that direction. I don't know of any other online stores which provide such a service; if anyone knows of such a thing, I'd be very interested in hearing more.

Related News

2006-05-14: there is now ShopWiki, which is sort of a combination wiki and price-shopping engine. The wiki features seem a bit wobbly and more constrained than I'd prefer, but the idea is certainly intriguing. Also Amazon has added a "wiki" feature to their product pages, but I'm not sure it really qualifies as a wiki.

2005-06-19 Just two days before this wiki went online, the Los Angeles Times launched its own wiki -- this is the first instance, to my knowledge, of a substantial-sized business attempting to do such a thing. As might have been expected, the response was so overwhelming (including, apparently, some deliberate spamming) that they had to shut the site down later that day. Before that event, I had been tempted to predict that wikis will soon become a Very Big Thing; it now is beginning to seem obvious, though I suppose a lot of people will initially see the LA Times experiment as a failure. Hopefully the LA Times won't, and will restructure their wiki just a bit to allow for more intensive traffic than most wiki sites have to deal with, and reopen soon.


Any store, even online, is part of a community: there are people who run the store, people who make or supply the items sold, and of course the people who buy those items, or who might be interested in buying them. Most of what we sell is of an artistic nature, so there are also the artists who create the designs, and the people who appreciate the artists' work, and the artists' agents... and in many cases, you have musical artists whose work helped to inspire the visual works, and their associated communities (often quite large).

2006-05-28 We now have an IRC channel available for general VBZ-related discussion; see the contact page.

Eventually, I may add a BBS or other interactive content-management stuff to vbz's infosphere; for now, though, the wiki was easy to set up, and is tremendously flexible.

I do, however, want to avoid this.