Wikia is launching a free, fully editable worldwide guide of places to go and things to do. The guide, World Wikia, is now online at http://world.wikia.com/ and is open to contributions from all travelers. Additionally, Wikia announced the appointment of Bill Kaufmann as the founder of World Wikia, a collection of city guides devoted to serving the interests of world travelers.
Kaufmann joins Wikia following a lifetime of extensive travels—including trips to over 40 countries and all seven continents. With work experience as diverse as his travels, Kaufmann has held positions in Internet, software, finance, energy and non-profit organizations.
“When I’m planning a trip online, I often feel as if I’m being sold something—when what I really want is to understand the ‘on-the-ground’ feeling of what a place is truly like, what the locals do there, and how people live in that region,” said Kaufmann. “With World Wikia, we are looking to both residents and to people who have been there before to provide that ground’s-eye-view of cities throughout the world.”
Today, World Wikia includes a diverse set of city guides for locations such as New Orleans, London, San Francisco, and more.
“I am someone who travels all over the world to visit with community members,” said Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia and chairman of Wikia. “I find that traditional travel guides never tell me what I really want to know. The best times I have had are when local people take me to do the things that they know are best, instead of the tourist traps, or when I have stumbled open a real travel story on the web and followed the advice of an ordinary person. I look forward to sharing with and learning from the millions of passionate travelers out there.”
Partners contribute to free, travel-specific content movement
For the first time, multiple commercial publishers have agreed to open-source content to benefit the traveler community and let anyone edit the information. SmarterTravel.com, which offers an industry-leading travel tool that provides those looking to earn free travel quick and easy access to a database of mileage and point-earning offers and opportunities, is one example. As part of an overall effort from SmarterTravel.com to combine expert travel advice with user-generated content, World Wikia users now have the ability to both search for and post mileage and point-earning opportunities from a single location.
In addition, HostelsClub.com has contributed some of its best city guides to the project.