ToyPedia fishing for help

So I got an email the other day from someone associated with ToyCollector.com. He was announcing/asking-for-help-with their new project, ToyPedia. This is a project to catalog every toy ever made. Their estimate is over a million items that could possibly be included.

I clicked over and had a look, but there's precious little content there so far, and the organization is pretty thin even in well-defined areas such as Hot Wheels.

The problem is that you can't just put up a wiki and then open it up to the masses. You have to bring something more to the table than just an idea and hosted software. You need:
  • An organizational layout. Categorizations. Trees. Some areas which are well defined as an example.
  • Some content. You need to have something that will draw people in such that they will get something out of the visit without requiring them to contribute.
  • An editorial staff willing and able to ensure that the organization stays consistent, follows through and cleans up the contributions so that the contributers see the point of helping while making sure that the overall quality and polish of the site stays up... which unfortunately will require chasing off the trolls.
Without that, all that, all you have is yet another hosted idea. The best sites are ones where a small group of people add the initial content, and then through word-of-mouth (and google searches) interest grows naturally. You can't just go from "idea" to "cool, useful project". There's a lot of work and pain in between that can't be skipped over.

Personally, I don't much see the point of yet another wiki. The "gold standard" is always going to be Wikipedia and its individual spin-offs. In my case, the Hot Wheels Wiki is where I occasionally add content, even though I don't really like the layout and categorization rules they have chosen.

So, good luck ToyPedia -- I'll check in on you in a couple of years to see if you've managed to get anywhere.