Yesterday I attended OMW with James Chong and Irene Owyang-Lim of Wigix as James was presenting a speech on the significance of community and community-building in e-commerce. He made an interesting point in noting that the original idea of community on the internet actually started long before the days of Facebook, MySpace and social networking. Indeed, the first vibrant communities on the internet were the streams of commentary and congregation around stocks. What people needed to find one another in the early days of the internet, were common themes of interest where they could share ideas, rumors, and opinions. What better draw than a stock symbol for a company? The stock symbol acted as a beacon to draw people together and millions flocked to read and post their opinions and ideas during the fledging days of community. Nowadays, community abounds on the internet – indeed every site that either provides content or commerce needs community in order to thrive. Wigix is a marketplace driven by the community – a site where users can post items for sale, items that they have they might sell later, search for manuals about products, ask other “experts” about their thoughts on a product. Just as the financial communities gathered around a stock ticker symbol, the community in Wigix can gather around a SKU or individual product. For example, a page on the iPhone lists various iPhones for sale by multiple people, discussions about the iPhone, reviews and manuals. Community, commerce and content can all be found in one place on Wigix.
If you’ve ever bought or sold anything on eBay, you’ve probaby encountered the surprise when you discover they charge you a fee for everything. Multiple fees, confusing descriptions, commissions – clearly eBay’s pockets are getting fatter at our expense. Unfortunately, there has been no other alternative to try, but that’s all changed this morning with the launch of Wigix. Wigix doesn’t have listing fees, and the fees they do charge are minimal and transparent. Plus, you can earn money without selling anything by describing a new product into their catalog – once you do that, you can earn 1% of the advertising and transaction fees every time that product is sold – even if you’re not the one who sold it. So do check it out (and yes, that’s me on the front page! ).