Reuters Financial Glossary Wiki

    February 17, 2006

Reuters is hosting a Financial Glossary Wiki, a fascinating case study for the way enterprises will host professional communities.

For a major enterprise, this venture contains a degree of Risk:

The probability that an investment or venture will make a loss or not make the returns expected. This probability can be measured. There are many different types of risk including basis risk, country or sovereign risk, credit risk, currency risk, economic risk, inflation risk, liquidity risk, market or systematic risk, political risk, settlement risk, systemic risk and translation risk.

The Glossary was initially based upon their second edition, which is available for purchase. Then they baked it out with an internal soft launch. The value of this approach is you prototype in private while building a community of employees prior to launch. The opposite of the Wikitorial debacle. Content is licensed as Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial, a fundamental underpinning of the social contract, and they have adopted Wikipedia’s Neutral Point of View and other values.

A well hedged position. So what is the potential reward? Reuters is putting itself at the center of it’s industry in cultivating shared language. The renewable resource becomes a focus of attention that can be directed in respect of the social contract. The community that may form, their greatest challenge going forward, could contribute tangible word of mouth benefits. This is community marketing, people — an essential move as trust and influence shifts from institutions to peers. And very significant institutions are starting to get it.

Ross Mayfield is CEO and co-founder of Socialtext, an emerging provider of Enterprise Social Software that dramatically increases group productivity and develops a group memory.

He also writes Ross Mayfield’s Weblog which focuses on markets, technology and musings.