Wikia's ArmchairGM: Wiki Meets Social Network

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Wikia, a for profit wiki site created by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, acquired ArmchairGM for $2 million last year and got into the sports fan business.

The site has been slowly rolling out new features. Wikia CEO Gil Penchina described it to me as “Wiki 2.0″ – because it combines the best features of open source wiki software with social networking features like adding friends, building a profile, meeting new people, create groups, etc. ArmchairGM also allows users to add “foes” in addition to friends, since a lot of sports rivalries are generated on the site.

The site also has a unique user generated virtual gift product. Unlike other social networks, users create the gifts themselves by uploading images. Other users can then use those gifts, too, and some become quite popular.

Wikis and social networks don’t exactly mix well. Parts of the network, like user profiles, need to be locked down so that only the owner can edit them. Other parts of the site remain wide open and allow anyone to edit.

And its growing, fairly rapidly. ArmchairGM alone is now at 1 million monthly page views. Wikia has also rolled out the ArmchairGM software for ten other verticals not included in that page view count – see, for example, Foodie, Gaming, and Politics. The company recently brought in the NFL as a site-wide sponsor.

Parent company Wikia continues to grow rapidly, says Penchina. They had 250 million page views in August.

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