Everipedia: Wikipedia with a blockchain twist
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Everipedia, Wikipedia’s blockchain rival, has recently raised $30 million and will be moving onto the EOS platform. One of the benefits is that this makes the website impossible to censor, so countries that cannot use Wikipedia will finally have access to it through Everipedia. We talked with Mahbod Moghadam, co-founder of Everipedia about the decision to use blockchain, how Everipedia works and more.
Everipedia = “crypto-Wikipedia”
JAXenter: Everipedia is “the online encyclopedia reinvented for the modern age.” What is the difference between Wikipedia and Everipedia?
Mahbod Moghadam: When my cofounders Theodor Forselius, Sam Kazemian and Travis Moore first started the site, they wanted to build a Wikipedia that was modern and easier to use. The first ideas they had for improving the system were in software/UI — making the site more similar to modern knowledge sites like Quora, or my previous site Genius.
It seemed strange that Wikipedia is the 5th largest site and has not been updated for over a decade. As the site started growing, we kept coming up with cool ideas — having “IQ points” to track users’ contributions. Having “verified accounts” for celebrities to be able to edit the site.
The latest idea, which is huge, is moving the site onto blockchain. The site will have its own currency, IQ, which users will earn for contributions. IQ is exchangeable for money, and also buys voting power on the site! It is going to be revolutionary — Larry Sanger, the co-founder of Wikipedia, has joined us as Chief Information Officer because of the blockchain project. He says that blockchain technology will culminate the original vision he had when building Wikipedia!
JAXenter: Why was Everipedia created?
Everipedia is about the same difficulty to use as Facebook.
Mahbod Moghadam: My cofounders showed me my Everipedia page when I was giving a talk at UCLA, and I got really excited because I had always wanted to have a Wikipedia page about me, but when someone made one, Wikipedia had deleted it because I’m not important enough.
I felt like if I have been denied a Wikipedia page, and I’m so upset about it, then there are probably millions who feel the same way I do. Now, almost three years later, Everipedia is one of the top 1000 sites in the U.S. The traffic mainly comes from people searching the word “wiki” on Google for things that do not have Wikipedia pages.
JAXenter: Can anyone become an editor?
Mahbod Moghadam: Anyone can request an account invite, and then you are vetted based on what you make on the site! You still need to be a very smart person to be a good contributor, but at least you don’t need to learn a difficult markup language like you do to become a Wikipedia editor. Also, you actually earn a stake in the site for your contributions!
There is a “how to” page that explains our syntax for adding links and citations, which are the two main building blocks for creating an encyclopedia entry. It’s really not difficult stuff! I think Everipedia is about the same difficulty to use as Facebook.
JAXenter: Why did you decide to use blockchain?
Mahbod Moghadam: Blockchain technology is, in my opinion, ideally suited to knowledge projects. It lets you turn points — like our IQ points — into money. The top blockchain site right now, Steemit, is a knowledge project. It is “crypto-Reddit” in the same way that we are “crypto-Wikipedia”.
Everipedia will be impossible to censor.
Another big advantage for us in using blockchain is moving the site onto the EOS platform. EOS is “digital real estate” which means your site actually is hosted on the tokens. This is a more environmentally friendly solution than other blockchain protocols since it uses electricity more efficiently. Also, it means that Everipedia will be impossible to censor! Since Everipedia contains all of Wikipedia, this means we will be bringing Wikipedia to China, Iran, Turkey and 17 other countries that currently censor Wikipedia.
JAXenter: Is blockchain the solution to end censorship?
Mahbod Moghadam: It is going to be revolutionary! Everipedia already has a major following in Turkish because Turkish users were the first to catch on that they can access Wikipedia through Everipedia.
JAXenter: Do you intend to use blockchain for something else in the future?
Mahbod Moghadam: IQ tokens are going to be the governance mechanism for the site. That is where their inherent value lies.
JAXenter: What are your plans for 2018? How do you plan to expand Everipedia?
Mahbod Moghadam: Building the community is the top priority. Everipedia is picking up steam in many foreign languages, a lot of people are joining the site. Our community is at about 500 now and we have a full-time team of 14 people.
It is just the beginning! I think Everipedia will eventually be as big as Facebook — it will be one of the pillars of the internet.