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Success is Relative

I decided to consider the question of success in terms of past work I've done on websites. Generally we gauge the success of a site based on the number of hits it receives. Since attention is the new currency as we have heard in both the books Connect! and Wikinomics, the number of hits a site accumulates directly correlates to the revenue it produces. However, the more I thought about what would constitute success for our wiki the more I believed that it would very from my typical understanding of success.

i think that the wiki will be successful if it accurately presents the plethora of information, regarding the bridge collapse, found on the web. The wiki will no thrive on the number of the people who visit it but rather the number of people who contribute to it. The better we are at adding and organizing information the more successful it will be. If it's only purpose is to help one person understand the true magnitude of the bridge collapse then it will be successful. If each of the 14 of use involved in the course contribute, it will fill that position and be successful.

I'm not sure we will actually know if it is every successful. It is hard to measure it's value to those who visit it. However, we will be able to measure both the quantity and quality of information contained in it. The success will ultimately rest on the quantity and quality of the information we contribute to it and the usability and understanding it will provide to those who visit. While we can measure what we do we will never really know the impact it has on the readers.

Comments

I agree that the hit count of our site is a good measure of success primarily because we are not profit-driven. On the other hand, high numbers of hits could mean that our site is informative and useful which is our primary goal and purpose. However, I agree that ultimately, it would be very difficult to measure the real impact the site has on users. As a result, I think that raises the importance of those factors we can measure: quantity, quality and usability. I would add that another important measure of success is simply the experience of collaborating on this project and what we learn in the process.