For the past 5 months I have been working on the roll out of the MonmouthpediA project across Monmouthshire so I thought it may be time to explain my approach to this.

I want to quote one of my favourite marketers, Seth Godin:

There is no substitute because the attraction is that this is the famous one, accept no substitutes.

In this blog post, Seth talks about famous ‘things’ being successful because they are famous. They are so famous that there can be no substitute. They must be unique to be of value.

It is this principle I wanted to take with the MonmouthpediA project. The concept of MonmouthpediA is that it is a community project, built to engage local people and to create value in the town’s history and heritage.

This project put the small town of Monmouth on the map globally because it used the digital platform, Wikipedia to archive anything of note about the town.

The global success of this project was because it was unique. It is the world’s first Wikipedia town.

The local success of this project was the value that the project had to the local community.

So, when asked to roll the MonmouthpediA project out across Monmouthshire, I was excited to do so but this doesn’t mean that we will use the same model, or the same principles in other towns or villages. It simply means we will identify the needs and wants within that particular community, and identify a digital platform appropriate to deliver these on.

To simply build Wikipedia towns in any and every location makes existing Wiki towns lose their unique selling point it offers a substitute that may not be able to reach the success that happened in Monmouth. It also gives communities a product that may not be fit for purpose and therefore isn’t sustainable.

So, to finish up. I am currently working with 5 different community groups across Monmouthshire to build and develop digital solutions that are fit for purpose, and unique to their needs.


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