Omuse: The kinda blog like wiki thingy from

omuse.jpgOvertock has launched their first community building program with Omuse.

I've know about this for a while and have had a number of lunch discussion with 'the Omuse' Judd about Omuse and gaining users and traction.

Omuse grew out of a problem Overstock has with natural SEO, Judd's desire to build everything social, and his propensity to use 'web 2.0' in every sentence. Here's the problem and the premise.

Wikipedia is really run by a cabal of around 1600 heavy users who form a kind of click. New editors often run afoul of these guys and are turned of when their content is reverted or changed. (WikiReview is another startup 'opinion' alternative to  Wikipedia.)

Blogs of course are the prime mover in this type of social interaction space. But blogs actually take some time and effort. Not everyone wants to feel obligated or invest the energy to write a blog, but they have some content they'd like to share.

(My mother leaps to mind. She doesn't really get the whole 'blog thing' but there might be some content she'd like to share on specific topics... How to fire someone and still make them love you... Small town Utah recipes... How to turn your dog into an ankle biting terror... that kind of thing.)

So Omuse handles this by allowing anyone (or collaborative group) to write a 'guide' on any topic, but any other author can go right ahead and write a guide on exactly the same topic. Consumers can read these opinions and guides from different authors that might directly compete with each other. Users can then rate or promote the guides they like the best. If they don't like or agree with a guide, they can get editing permission or write their own guide. Unlike, the content is not dictated and opinion is welcomed alongside fact. The creative commons license lets others freely use this content.

I think Omuse will see that some bloggers use the site to generate SEO links and support other endeavors so they'll have to address that in some fashion. There will be a battle of spam on the site starting directly.

On another note, the site doesn't look that great and isn't intuitively easy to use unless you're already savvy with the wiki platforms. 

Here's the Omuse link to write a guide