Update: The site’s name and domain has changed to wikimobidex.org from wikimobipedia.org after a conflict with Wikipedia. To prevent confusion, we’ve changed the name and links in this story.
Editor’s note: Jamie Wells is the founder of wikimobidex.org, a user-generated index of mobile marketing suppliers and information. Wikimobidex recently turned six months old, and we thought it might be useful for Wells to offer an introduction.
The origins of the site can be found in the essay, “An Agency Guide to Monetizing Mobility,” hosted on Wells’ mobile industry blog, mobilestance.com. Wells, formerly National Director of Mobile Media for OMD Worldwide, is now the Director of Global Trade Marketing for Microsoft Mobile Advertising. (We covered Wells’ move in July.)
Sure, mobile marketing is gonna be huge. You know it, I know it. Even the guys in print media know it. Problem is, so do hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs… each one of them — business plan in hand — eager to tell you all about how it. Keeping track of the sheer number of players entering and adapting in this slipstream of marketing innovation is enough to bog down even the nimblest of organisations, never mind the larger and more powerful ones. Add to this the challenge of gathering and sharing best practices in an industry just barely old enough to have them, and you can start to see why marketers are struggling with the space.
WHAT IS WIKIMOBIDEX.ORG?
Wikimobidex.org is a user-generated index of mobile suppliers and insights – mobile advertising networks, case studies, rich media, content, apps, mobile video, SMS platforms, research, audience data, WAP site builders, and more. The objective of the site is to provide a centralized, dynamic resource for buyers of mobile marketing, advertising and related products and services — so that they can easily access the information they need to begin the strategic planning and/or purchase process.
I created wikimobidex.org when I was the US Mobile Lead at OMD. At the time my role was to stay on top of the mobile space on behalf of OMD’s roster of US media clients, which consisted of scores of fortune 100 companies, such as VISA, Pepsi, H&R Block, FedEx, Clorox, Lowes, Dockers… the list just went on and on. While originally conceived as an internal agency tool, the site has taken on a life of its own, and in a mere six months has blossomed into a fairly comprehensive guide to the US mobile marketing and advertising space — all fully searchable and indexed by specific content categories.
The challenge behind the site’s origin was simple one: The mobile space was simply moving way too fast for any one person to be able to accurately follow it, let alone circulate detailed knowledge of it to hundreds of media planners and strategists — all who needed to know critical information on the space, such as “who does what” (vendor details), as well as a industry best practices, case studies — basically the usual details behind a top level media recommendation.
The idea then was to create a self-populating mobile marketing knowledge base, and wiki model was selected as it was the open source framework that I wished to replicate: dynamic and scalable, with a self-selected user base that cared enough about the system to keep it afloat. The site’s design template was intentionally left to the original Mediawiki default settings so that users would immediately know how to use it. In only six months over a hundred leading mobile marketing and advertising companies have built out wikimobidex pages. Some, like Admob‘s, are incredibly rich in content — while others are a bit more bare bones.
The decision to make wikimobidex.org a public resource, rather than bury it behind the corporate Omnicom firewall was fraught with controversy. Preserving competitive advantage in the agency space is often a function of who you know, and therefore making the site freely open to the web was an inherently risky one on my part.
Truth be told, while the site is still heavily utilized by OMD strategists and planners, the site has indeed mushroomed beyond its original role as an internal OMD tool, illustrated best by Omnicom competitor Larry Harris, CEO of Interpublic Group’s Ansible Mobile, who recently endorsed the site as “quickly becoming the go-to search engine for mobile marketers to research and compare vendors and case studies within the industry.”
The site lives on as a personal project, with the idea that the mobile marketing industry will only gain in prominence only through the unfettered sharing of information between buyers and sellers. Ad-free and freely open to the public, it is only through the continued use of agencies, researchers and the mobile industry at large that Wikimobidex will continue to thrive as an mobile industry resource.