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Is There Money to Be Made in Wikis?

Venture capitalist alchemists are hoping to transform wikis into gold. VC Draper Fisher Jurvetson and eBay founder Pierre Omidyar have invested $4.6 million into Socialtext. The start-up aims to extend wikis into the enterprise as collaborative tools by offering some special features, including one that turns e-mail messages into wiki entries automatically.

No longer strictly off-the-cuff Web sites, wikis are being used in thousands of corporations, from the investment bank Dresdner Kleinwort to photo giant Kodak. They will get another boost when Microsoft introduces its wiki-enabled SharePoint 2007 server.

But Socialtext and its backers have yet to prove that wikis are a golden business model and not a handful of lead. --Robert Hertzberg, [email protected]