Argument Spurs Ritchie Bros. to Launch Equipment Wiki

Wed November 05, 2008 - National Edition
CEG



The idea started with an argument.

Ritchie Bros. employees Clay Tippett and Ken Duncan were strolling through a Dubai trade show and stopped to examine a CNH backhoe. The question came up as to whether its design was based on Ford or Case heritage.

Unable to determine the answer for themselves, they realized that someone at the show likely had that knowledge.

From that moment, RitchieWiki was spawned.

The free Web site, designed like Wikipedia, allows visitors to research, read, add to and edit equipment information.

“Dave Ritchie, co-founder of Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, has always wanted to collect the knowledge and expertise of our company and our customers and gather it in some sort of library or repository,” said Tippett, vice president of Internet Services. “There is a vast body of information about equipment in the world, but it was not all in one place and a lot of it is hard to access.”

Tippett said a wiki — a Web site that allows users to collaborate and share information online — was the best way to compile information and to ensure availability to the greatest number of people.

“The effect of a community of contributors is powerful, ensuring accuracy as the group creates and oversees the content, rather than just one author. Our goal is for manufacturers, associations, trade schools, equipment enthusiasts, industry journalists and authors, our customers and employees alike to embrace this new equipment wiki and give it that momentum,” Tippett said.

The site includes information on equipment, manufacturers, people, uses, projects and history, as well as specs for more than 9,200 different machines. A comparison feature allows a user to view four different models at the same time.

Ritchie Bros. will moderate the site to ensure only reference-quality material is used. It will not allow promotional, libelous or self-serving material.

Prior to its Sept. 22 launch, the site already had more than 2,000 pages, 650 photographs, 9,200 equipment specifications and 500 articles.

For more information, visit www.ritchiewiki.com.