Power of the Wiki
Wikinvest, a research portal where users can contribute information on company profiles, investment concepts or chart analysis, is built on the open-source MediaWiki package that was originally written for Wikipedia and is now customized for its use. But Wikinvest co-founder Michael Sha agrees that the platform itself is not the value-add any more. It's the user-generated investment and research content on its site that brings value for the Web 2.0 firm."It opens up a huge opportunity for us to provide people with free investment research, something they had to previously pay a financial services firm for and, on the business side, advertising is now a potential good source of revenue for us," he told eWEEK. Wikinvest will also soon launch a new data service that compares the productivity and performance of specific companies in various sectors. Much of this content will also be user-driven, the company announced in January at the Money:Tech conference. Another Web 2.0 company in the financial space that is taking advantage of user collaboration, is Covestor, a no cost sharing service that lets self-investors share their investment decisions and earn fees by helping others. All the data is private and anonymous, and membership is free. Members of the service plug in their online brokerage account information, their portfolio shows up on the site and then the system creates its relative performance to the broader indices, sector indices and a risk profile, CEO Richard Tahta told eWEEK. "Other members can see a person's holdings as percentage of their portfolio, along with charts and other relevant data, and can track their investments in a social networking-like environment," he said.
The Wiki is a new and transparent tool that facilitates the creation of good content as numerous people work on a single document. So far the startup has had more than 2,000 people contributing content, and there has been more than 100,000 edits.