modular innovation review user experience

Wetpaint wikis. Should you dip in?

wetpaint-logo (part 3 of 7) Wikia, Wetpaint, PBwiki, Google Sites, and Versionate. There are literally hundreds of different wikis available, each offering unique online experiences and presenting different interpretations of what it means to be wiki. Within this series we explore and discuss the top 3 most popular, free, online wikis and 2 (of many) notable up-and-comers — and, in the end, announce the winning wiki experience.

Website: Wetpaint

Briefly: Wetpaint launched as recently as June 2006. Since its launch, Wetpaint has undergone numerous upgrades, now resulting in its ranking among the top 3, free, hosted wikis, as determined by Alexa popularity ranking, in April 2007. (read more)


  • Wetpaint allows for the editing of a wiki’s pages with their WYSIWYG editor, aptly named, EasyEdit. EasyEdit presents an inline editing experience (including robust table manipulation) that is user friendly while not overloading the user with too many additional choices.
  • The ‘Add a To-Do’ feature comes in very handy for such items where specific questions exist or more content for a wiki page is needed. The To-Do’s enable the abandoning of a common wiki habit of inserting “ToDo” flags throughout pages and replacing them with a more structured and integrated To-Do mechanism.
  • The Discussion Forum facilitates group conversations and brainstorming. New subjects can be started as stand-alones within the Forum or attached to a specific wiki page, with updates optionally received via email.

Disappointing or Unsatisfying

  • Drop-downs and pop-ups are used throughout the interface disrupting the usually positive experience and flow of the page. (read more about drop-downs and other disruptive User eXperiences in ‘Reveal More‘)
  • While Wetpaint comes with several widgets for simple inclusion within the wiki pages, the set of options available leaves one wanting. The built-in set includes widgets, with a very focused scope of options, are geared towards both social and fun endeavors(e.g. video, pictures, chatting).
  • As wikis grow, keeping tracking of all of the changes and additions made becomes increasingly complicated. In order to be notified of changes the user can either subscribe to an RSS feed with very high-level information, or subscribe (“watch”) to every individual page – one at a time, after you find the page that has been created.


In the next post of the series I will be exploring the #3 popularly ranked wiki, PBwiki.

Think & Share…

What features do you think should be in a socially oriented wiki? a business oriented wiki?

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Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

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