I have been a Wikinvest Wire supporter and fan since the plugin was launched last year. Today though the plugin has become a easy way for Wikinvest to obtain easy linkbacks to its site and shamelessly promote its own services.
When the Wikinvest Wire was first announced and launched in September of 2009, the idea was very straightforward and genuinely useful. The concept was to connect investment bloggers together by sharing their best content with other users of the Wire. The Wire plugin would automatically find related content from other Wire users and display between 2 - 4 links after each post.
The plugin maintains this functionality but now also displays numerous links to the Wikinvest site while promoting new products and site features. In my epiphany of how worthless the plugin now is, I realized that on average the plugin displays on average four outbound links to Wikinvest.com. Here are some example screenshots of the plugin taken from today before I uninstalled the plugin:
Example 1, Total Wikinvest links = 4
Description: The "what's this?" and "Read more at Wikinvest" were always standard. Note though the huge plug, "PC World...." and the lead in to more content after "Read more on..."
Example 2, Total Wikinvest links = 4
Description: Instead of plugging a new product via review of Wikinvest they instead decide to increase the font size and draw your attention to another Wikinvest feature, real-time quotes.
Example 3, Total Wikinvest links = 6!!!
Description: Alongside another massive plug right at the top (degrading what would be clicks on the real related posts) there are three "read more on..." links alongside the standard link into the Wikinvest homepage. Seriously?
Overall I've always been a fan of what Wikinvest has to offer and the idea behind what the company is about. The handful of staff Ive worked with and continue to talk to are all really nice. Heck I've promoted new product launches in, the, past.
To me though taking a really useful product and turning it into a spam fest defeats the whole purpose. Sharing quality related articles from other Wire bloggers is no longer the focus which is now very apparent to see.
While I support Wikinvest and many of its offerings, this is one I definitely am not a fan of anymore. Even though Wikinvest is financed by venture capital, I hope the ideals of its two founders are not continued to be lost in product development and site growth.