Ann Arbor's Wikipedia
For instance, it's hard to see ArborWiki's single most visited page-the list of local businesses with birthday deals-finding a home on Wikipedia. While that particular page is a more lighthearted use of the technology, it's also an example of what ArborWiki does best: compiling lists of information that are unlikely to be gathered in a single place elsewhere. Regular contributor Ed Vielmetti says other popular pages include lists of volunteer opportunities for teens and places to hold a public meeting. "There's really not anyone who's going to be writing [those lists] routinely as a news story," Vielmetti says. "So it kind of falls in the category of stuff that the Web does better than print."
The site had what Hampel calls "a really validating moment" in 2006, when the Ann Arbor District Library offered to host ArborWiki on its community projects server in perpetuity. "We've given it the digital equivalent of a space on the shelf," says AADL associate director Eli Neiburger. "It's just a really useful resource, especially for things that aren't here any more. For businesses that used to exist, and little bits of local history, it's a really easy place to find those things out."
The site also is a resource for locally oriented wiki pages worldwide. When Hampel started ArborWiki, he found only three similar projects online. Today, he's a board member of LocalWiki, a project providing a design template and software to ArborWiki and more than fifty other American community wiki pages, plus even more internationally.