Wetpaint: Merging Wikis With Discussion Forums

I just discovered Wetpaint – a free wiki-hosting site that fully integrates a discussion forum into every wiki.

This site is very cool – it produces great-looking sites and has already attracted big names like CSI: NY, Food & Wine magazine, fuse.tv and Mythbusters as clients. According to a recent release, Wetpaint currently hosts almost 600,000 wikis.

The company announced last week that discussion forums are now integrated into every page of each wiki. As Techcrunch put it:

Posts can be tagged, the view expanded/contracted, there are email notifications of new messages, and the search feature works well. Any forum thread can also be turned into a wiki with a couple of clicks.

On top of that, all of each site’s posts (from every page) are also pulled together in one central forum, where you can view them by keyword tag.

Alongside the simple, easy-to-use interface and neat discussion forums, Wetpaint has a few other cool features:

  • Facebook Application: Lets users create wikis on their Facebook page
  • OpenID: Users can use their OpenID to sign in to any Wetpaint site
  • Google Analytics: Wetpaint helps users understand how their site is performing by tracking use through Google Analytics.

Ad-free wikis for educators are another nice touch. Wetpaint supports most of its wikis through ads on each site. However, they’ve introduced ad-free sites for teachers to let them use wikis in the classroom.

(One other thing – it looks like Wetpoint has a top-notch support team – a few people noted concerns through the comments on Techcruch’s coverage, and Wetpoint responded to each of them within a couple of hours.)

Why is this useful for marketers? Because it further reduces the barriers to consumer participation. By introducing a user-friendly, attractive interface and multiple ways to get involved, Wetpaint makes it easier to encourage contributions and start conversations.

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