AboutUs.org – A Wiki Business/People/Idea Directory

A lot of user frustration is caused by unreliable information experiences. Contact and location information is often ill-placed or absent on business websites. Because of this, the user spends an unnecessary amount of time wayfinding instead of contacting the business. This leads to user frustration and business losses, not to mention time lost on the side of the user.

Enter AboutUs.org. It’s like Wikipedia/Phone Book/Search Engine/Social Networking – all in one. It provides a consistent and cheery user experience, while data mining the needed contact and location information that a user needs…quickly and quietly.

Plus, users can augment every page of the site to expand information about a business or topic, because AboutUs is a Wiki. Users can have profiles, interests and groups. They can find others based on their interests/edits. They can upload photos and stories about themselves in Wiki format.

AboutUs.org is based in Portland, too! In fact, I recently visited their location and was terribly impressed by their corporate environment. Being there gave me renewed ambitions for what Japanense futurist Mr. Masuda wrote about in his book about the future: The Information Society as Post Industrial Society.

AboutUs looks like it could be another step towards a bright future of coworking and cocreation of knowledge and ideas.

Meeting Ward Cunningham

Tonight, my friends Heather and Max and I went to the WikiWednesday Open House event at Portland’s AboutUs.org. We met Wiki Inventor Ward Cunningham.

The event consisted of a networking session followed by a conference in critical thinking led by Ward. We discussed the current manifestation of Wikipedia, the future of the Wiki, and it’s limitations. The notes I took there will form the basis of a new series of posts and a few papers.

After the conference, Ward talked about AOL, the endless September of the Internet. Before the net was open to the masses, college students used to have to deal with the new waves of college students that were just learning to use the Internet every September. After a month or so, the Freshmen would learn how to use the Internet correctly and everyone would continue to improve the system as a whole.

Then AOL arrived on the scene. The September never ended. Not everyone ever figured out how to use the web like the generations of college students before them. Thus, AOL became termed as the “endless September”.