They're coming after you, Wikipedia.
The latest company to throw the book at Wikipedia is Barnes & Noble
As TechCrunch points out, spamming opportunists have already invaded Quamut, posting self-serving articles and outgoing links. That happens all the time on Wikipedia, but the site's high traffic plays perfectly into the perpetual updating by its users. In other words, spam is usually detected early enough and corrected within the community. How quickly Quamut can respond with a self-policing approach remains to be seen.
You can't blame Barnes & Noble for trying. Booksellers like Barnes & Noble and particularly Borders
The real winner in all this is actually Google. Knol, Squidoo, WikiAnswers, and now Quamut all monetize their sites through the placement of relevant text ads through Google's AdSense program. Wikipedia has balked at the commercialization process, even if it means having left substantial sums of money on the table.
Google-monetized competition is great for Google if a legitimate competitor to Wikipedia emerges. Instead of a Wikipedia user who doesn't generate any sponsor leads through Google, the success of any site -- even if it's not Google's own Knol -- will be a win for Google in the wiki age.
So I wouldn't worry too much about the initial spamming at Quamut. It's actually a feather in Barnes & Noble's hat if lead-hungry spammers see the site as promising enough to deliver traffic and higher search engine rankings their way.
Barnes & Noble will get it right, creating one more threat challenging Wikipedia to stay on top of the masses while keeping its ad-free integrity intact.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz can't remember the last time that he cracked open an actual encyclopedia for reference material. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.