Power of the People

An amazing new survey shows that approximately 53% of online adults use Wikipedia.  Here is an excerpt from the article (To read the whole article, click here):

San Francisco – More than half of all online adults now use Wikipedia, the user-generated online encyclopedia, according to a new survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. The news comes as Wikipedia, a product of the San Francisco-based Wikimedia Foundation, celebrates its 10th anniversary on Jan. 15.

The survey of nearly 2,300 adults also found that using the site is now more popular than sending instant messages (done by 47% of Internet users) or rating a product, service or person (32%), through still less popular than using social network sites (61%) or watching videos on sites like YouTube (66%).

The reality is that Wikipedia is run solely on donations from users and their content contributions as editors.  It is amazing that collective input has created a information behemoth that has reinforced traditional citation standards and occupied brain space in more than half of all people who use the internet.

Imagine what power talent and power we could create for brands by creating a tool that people can both contribute to and use.  For example, the North Face released the SnowReport app two years ago that was a smashing success.  Why?  Because it was useful for consumers.  Imagine a SnowReport app that took peoples’ most up to date weather reports from all over the world?  Or a traffic app on behalf of a car insurance company where people could input traffic patterns in real time to alert fellow consumers of where traffic is worse?

What would you subscribe to?  What would you contribute to?