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The Power Users Are Revolting

pitchforks-torchesDigg, which in its heyday was effectively run by its power users, is dying. Wikitravel is probably joining it: two-thirds of its admins want to jump ship to the greener grass of the Wikimedia Foundation. Who in turn have their own people problems–a stubborn gender gap and a diminishing number of active admins. Meanwhile, across the Web, people are asking “Is StackOverflow being ruined by its moderators?”

There’s a common thread here. Site starts up; site scales; a power-law minority of its users become its key community, and if/when that community withers, the entire site is endangered. The examples above are edge cases who explicitly assign admin rights to unpaid users, or take the power law to its extreme. But they indicate a larger point.

Like it or not, we live in the Age of Social Media, and the wars for dominance have just begun. Facebook bought Instagram as a defensive move. They’re clearly in Google’s sights–and before you laugh, bear in mind that Google+ traffic is apparently up 43% since December and now surpasses LinkedIn’s. Path is gunning for Facebook too, whether they admit it or not. App.net just set its sights on Twitter. Meanwhile, Reddit is rampant, Pinterest just erupted out of nowhere, and Quora continues to underachieve.

But how do you conquer an enemy social network?

Hey, Wikipedia Spammers, Start Getting Worried — Datasift Has Built A Tool To Track You

wikipedia-categoryDatasift, the social-data platform which specialises in realtime streams, has done something which is going to make PR people quiver in their boots and journalists sit up and notice. They have turned any changes on Wikipedia into a realtime stream which will be searchable and customisable. The implications are that you’ll be able to changes changes and the people making the changes in a far more user-friendly manner. The stream will be available here on Datasift, but also surfaced at a new site, Wikistats.

Datasift founder and CEO Nick Halstead told me at the Le Web conference in London: “As news breaks on Twitter, it filters through the web to find a home on Wikipedia, for example – 3 minutes after the Microsoft Surface was announced, its Wikipedia page for it was created. With around 12-million edits every day, researchers and corporates now have a simple way to tap into this huge stream of content being created daily to identify trends and updates”

Wikipedia’s Mobile Apps Drop Google Maps for OpenStreetMap

openstreetmap_logoIn the world of online mapping, it feels like things aren’t quite going in Google’s direction these days: Apple switched away from Google Maps to OpenStreetMap when it launched iPhoto for iOS. Foursquare, too, announced a similar switch just a few weeks ago and today, Wikipedia switched to OpenStreetMap in the latest versions of its iOS and Android apps.

As our own Josh Constine wrote last month, Google’s plan to charge high-volume users for access to its Maps APIs could backfire and this most recent defection is yet another clear signal that we will probably see quite a few more of these moves in the near future.

The Growth of Social Media [VIDEO]

Did you know that if Facebook was a country, it would now be the third largest country in the world? It passed the U.S. earlier this year and is now…