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I am Joannes Vermorel, founder at Lokad. I am also an engineer from the Corps des Mines who initially graduated from the ENS.

I have been passionate about computer science, software matters and data mining for almost two decades. (RSS - ATOM)

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Sunday
Feb042007

WetPaint is far too expensive, migrate or die

WetPaint is a hosted wiki solution. Although Wetpaint still lacks from "professional" wiki features like being able to insert custom HTML or scripts, it's a nice, simple wiki application with a great look&feel. I have triedWetPaint, I did even use it for while for Lokad.com; but looking back, it turned out to be a really BAD move. I have finally manually removed all the content from my wetpaint wiki (because there is no "Remove my wiki" feature available); and I have migrated all the content to community.lokad.com, a wiki powered by ScrewTurn.

It can be argued that moving to ScrewTurn may not be the optimal solution (they are tons of open source wiki software available out there, see the wiki matrix ); but moving away from Wetpaint is the only solution that can be considered if you fall into the WetPaint trap. Yes, to all the people using WetPaints, I strongly suggest to re-consider and start thinking about moving your wiki somewhere else.

WetPaint owns your traffic


For those who thinks that wetpaint is a "free" wiki, it's not. It's neither free as in "libre" nor free as in "free beer". Wetpaint inserts Google Ads in your wiki without providing a paid subscription plan to remove them. Let's look at the problem this way: if the traffic of your wiki stay low, then any $2/month hosting solution will be sufficient to host your website; but if your web traffic starts to go up, then WetPaint takes 100% of the advertising profits generated by your content.

No matter how you look at it, the content of your wiki is worth more than $10/month, the price to get an hosted wiki. As, Jacob Nielsen pointed out long before me, free solutions have terrific costs. If you think that the wiki that you are starting is not even worth $10/month; then starting a wiki might not be a good idea in the first place.

You end-up advertising for your competitors


The worst part of the WetPaint ads is actually the accuracy of the Google Ads system. Indeed, the Google algorithm are really efficient to optimize the ads displayed on your wiki. But what are the ads the most relevant to your wiki content? Well, it's simply the ads of your competitors. Choosing WetPaint means that you are granting your competitors the right to advertise on your website.

This is the WetPaint trap; and I have been sufficiently foolish to fall for it for almost two weeks. Actually WetPaint people are smart, thus, as long as they are able to track you (through Cookies), WetPaint don't display any ads. The longer it takes to realize the situation, the more painful the migration. Migrate now or you will soon experiment the true cost of this free application.

Reader Comments (3)

Thanks for sharing your experiences. Can you suggest, how one can backup and migrate an existing wiki from WetPaint?

September 10, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAmar

Unfortunately for me, at the time there was zero feature to migrate your data. The only (yet painful) solution was to cut, paste and reformat all the content to my new screwturn wiki.

Hope it helps,
Joannes

September 10, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterjoannes

Now!!! That's Painful :-(. Thanks a ton!! :-)

September 11, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAmar
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