I was recruited to the founding team of Everipedia in January 2016, after I had known the guys for a few months and parted ways with my previous startup. Everipedia is pretty much a Wikipedia alternative with a better user interface that is easier to edit, has laxer rules with what sources you can cite, and anyone or anything can have a page. Most haters will come back to me and say that this is not needed because #1 Wikipedia is already not scholarly and we are even less scholarly since we allow people to cite *virtually* anything and #2 people never really realize what is missing on Wikipedia. I hope I can address all of these doubts with this article and truly display my intense passion for this project for all you.
Raise your hands if you have a Wikipedia page…. more than likely you did not raise your hand. Don’t feel left out though, because other people who did not raise their hands are the two dudes in The Chainsmokers, most reality TV stars (that we all secretly love), and a few major Silicon Valley founders including our very own Mahbod Moghadam, one of the previous founders of RapGenius (now Genius) that has done mucho traffic and raising and is in the top 1k sites in the world. Hopefully you can see the flaw here; most social figures lack pages, because of Wikipedia’s extremely arbitrary “legitimacy” rule.
Now some of you may have doubts as the societal value here. So the question here is, “Do people actually care about learning about “non-legitimate” figures, things, and events?” The world’s answer is a resounding yes. I will firstly throw in our company is doing over a million pageviews a month after less than a year live, in case you wanted to know the numbers, but I want to dive into posts from people sharing Everipedia links on Facebook. We have never met these individuals, we did not tell them to post these links, everything I am about to show you and tell you is 100% organic.
1) Tons of Bernie Sanders Supporters
Bernie lovers LOVE Bernie and his Washington Square Park rally was incredible! Mahbod had the pleasure of being there and despite not being a Bernie supporter he said he even shed some tears from how insane the aura was. The rally even shut down Twitter, but yet it’s not legitimate enough for Wikipedia, so instead people shared the Everipedia article. Posts in both English and Spanish sharing the article I might add!
2) Average Citizens
A man who just wants an Everipedia page to help promote himself (in an unbiased, cited fashion) shared his own page.
3) Happy Stories
A woman who was so incredibly proud of an African-American girl in the news for being accepted to a majority of the nation’s most prestigious schools wrote a lengthy post, and cited her sources from The Root and the girl’s Everipedia page
4) Strange Stories
A woman who wanted to inform her friends about a man arrested for allegedly abusing and raping a dog shared his page (and it got 126 shares as of April 27)
5) Sad Stories
A woman who was saddened by the death of a 16 year old girl shared the girl’s page stating “A wiki in Memory” (the post got 99 likes and 29 shares as of April 27)
6) Scientists and Doctors
A man introducing an esteemed doctor to his friend, dropped the doctor’s Everipedia page as a form of a bio
7) Happy Customers
A man tagged one of our founders in a post about how much he enjoyed and appreciated the crowdsourced experience
Everipedia is not a source for your term paper, but then again last time I checked, neither was Wikipedia. Everipedia is the place you go to learn things. We are a total knowledge aggregator that wants to teach you about everything in your world ranging from that guy you met at a party to the latest trending Bernie rally to the police officer who was killed in the line of duty and is on your local news channel. Where Wikipedia fails is that it tries to tell people what is and is not worth learning and what is and is not legitimate information.
I would be highly surprised if anyone has never thought about how cool it would be to have a Wikipedia page about themselves. It is just a natural reaction, we all want to known, remembered, and cool, whatever those words mean to us, whether it is social fame or winning a Nobel Prize. Additionally, we all stalk people online. Again it is natural. With all of the information online it makes sense that we want to either verify or just satisfy our own curiosity about the people we interact with. Furthermore, we all are extremely passionate about things and often these things are not “legitimate” passions and thus are not “real” passions in the eyes of Wikipedia. Finally, at the most simple level, we all want to be “in the know”. Think of a conversation in a group where you came in halfway and you just sit there with no idea what’s happening and think of that awkwardness and feeling of being left out. Wikipedia believes that unless that conversation is about a life-or-death matter, you deserve to sit there fidgeting.
Wikipedia limits what you can know and does not even do so in a uniform manner. I hope you can agree with me here that a site built in Jan. 2001 that feels like it has not had a facelift since, is a bit lacking in fulfilling our everyday information demands.