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Wetpaint Injected Promises Social Publishing For All

The company's wiki hosting business decouples its technology so that Web publishers can add wikis -- rebranded "social publishing" -- to their own sites.

Thomas Claburn

May 19, 2008

2 Min Read

Stepping into the social services war being waged among the likes of Google, Facebook, MySpace, Ning, and Yahoo, Wetpaint on Monday announced $25 million in funding and the release of its Wetpaint Injected social publishing platform.

Wetpaint has taken its wiki hosting business and decoupled the technology so that Web publishers can add wikis -- user editable Web pages, now rebranded "social publishing" -- to their own sites.

"Widgets don't leave publishers with lasting value," said Kevin Flaherty, Wetpaint's co-founder and VP of marketing. "What we're allowing people to do is take the unique, interesting aspects of Wetpaint and inject it into their sites."

What makes Wetpaint's approach valuable to publishers, Flaherty said, is that search engines associate the social content generated using Wetpaint Injected with the publisher's site. The content is actually part of the Web page, thanks to the use of "server-side includes." Widgets, on the other hand, usually rely on iframes, an HTML element that provides a different, less search-friendly way to dynamically embed third-party content in Web pages.

"Search spiders can't look at a widget or an iframe," said Flaherty. "Without being able to integrate into the HTML of the page, there's no value to having that content on your site, period."

Flixster, IGN.com, and NuWire Investor are among the first commercial sites to begin using Wetpaint Injected.

Wetpaint CEO Ben Elowitz said he believes that soon every Web site will be social. "Until now, it was easy for publishers to ignore the trend," he wrote in a blog post. "They would argue that none of their readers wanted to contribute or the technology was too complicated and expensive to implement. Both of those excuses are gone."

About the Author(s)

Thomas Claburn

Editor at Large, Enterprise Mobility

Thomas Claburn has been writing about business and technology since 1996, for publications such as New Architect, PC Computing, InformationWeek, Salon, Wired, and Ziff Davis Smart Business. Before that, he worked in film and television, having earned a not particularly useful master's degree in film production. He wrote the original treatment for 3DO's Killing Time, a short story that appeared in On Spec, and the screenplay for an independent film called The Hanged Man, which he would later direct. He's the author of a science fiction novel, Reflecting Fires, and a sadly neglected blog, Lot 49. His iPhone game, Blocfall, is available through the iTunes App Store. His wife is a talented jazz singer; he does not sing, which is for the best.

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