Wiki Dives Underwater; Fish, Corals now Web 2.0-Savvy

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The wiki software platform takes yet another step into the mainstream with the launch of, which promises to become the "Reef Aquarium Encyclopedia."

Last week, the wiki quietly stepped into the water for a romp among the clownfish nestled in their anemones and a rainbow of living corals. It hardly made a splash, yet the launch of signals a trend where the wiki, a collaborative web site platform popularized by WikiPedia, will hop from its quaint little tide pool into the vast ocean that is the mainstream Internet.

ReefPedia focuses on the marine and saltwater aquarium hobby, promising to become “The Reef Aquarium Encyclopedia.” Such a small niche may seem an unlikely contender for the next big wiki. But according to founder Travis Staut, the online aquarium landscape is ripe for such a bold move forward.

“There’s already a spirit of collaboration there,” Staut remarked. “These hobbyists can’t get enough of online forums.” One such reef aquarium forum, Travis points out, has amassed over 6 million posts and 100,000 members since 1999. “There are a lot of knowledgeable hobbyists who are not only willing to share that information, they want to do it. It’s a tough hobby, one you can spend years with and still never feel like an expert. Combine all those factors and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a successful wiki.”

ReefPedia is off to a solid start, indeed. The site officially launched January 10 and has had contributions from many hobbyists already, with articles covering subjects from fish and corals to seahorses and invertebrates. "So far, the response has been terrific,“ adds Travis. “I can’t wait to see what comes next."


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Travis Staut
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