Several years ago I launched a wiki for a desperate purpose. Now I ponder its fate, and ask you, dear readers, for your thoughts. Consider this a case study in evolving social media.
Here’s the story. Back in 2007 I traveled a great deal (and still do), which meant (and means) spending a lot of time in airports. Among the many indignities airports inflict upon the suffering traveler is bad food, especially in the form of few and often lame restaurants.
Late one night, after a long trip and facing another delayed flight, I found myself
within view of the melancholy House of Usher in front of a Portuguese restaurant. It had good food, china service (!), and friendly waitstaff. I couldn’t wait to share the news of this discovery. But how?
A wiki was the logical choice. That way I could add information incrementally, as I moved from airport to airport. Better still, other people could join in, building up a collective wisdom of crowds. I blogged about this idea on Infocult (ah, back in the day that was my general blog base) and received some support. And so it came to be, what is now the Restaurants in Airports Wiki.
Within a few days people added content (for example). Over the years the wiki grew further. People contributed notes from airports around the world. I edited in my own discoveries and uploaded the occasional photo. People used this resource as they flew and hungered.
However, at some point interest flagged. Well, my interest flagged. I think it was partly because I kept flying the same airports (curse you, PHL!). Partly because fewer comments came in. Maybe because Twitter and Facebook took up some of our desire to jot down short observations from life. And, to be honest, I lost track. Brian Lamb chewed me out about this (but I can’t find the post now). Content remained on the wiki, but some gradually outdated.
Other things have happened. Mobile services have taken up some of this need. And, to be honest, the food situation has gotten marginally better in some places.
So now it’s 2015 and I’d like to revisit this project. I copied the wiki to a new location (http://bryanalexander.pbworks.com/w/page/92787006/Restaurants%20In%20Airports).I asked around social media for feedback. People on Facebook and Google+ were positive, generally, although at least one commentator thought Yelp was doing a good job.
What should be done? I see the following possibilities.
- Keep the wiki at its new location. Update it and spread the word.
- Let it go. The food in airports situation no longer calls for a wiki.
- Move the wiki to Google Docs, which is a more popular wiki platform and doesn’t require account creation for most people.
I’m ready to do #1, and can easily do #3 with the miracle of copy and paste.
What do you think, gentle readers?