Four years ago, Jimmy Wales launched a free online encyclopedia that anyone could edit. Now, Wikipedia is one of the most popular sites on the Web, and Mr. Wales is building on its success with a new venture. This time, he intends to make a buck.
Mr. Wales’s closely held company Wikia Inc. has begun promoting its first for-profit endeavor, an ad-supported site called Wikicities.com that is based on the concept behind Wikipedia. Through Wikicities, groups of Web users can create their own free Web sites and fill them with, well, nearly anything. Among the topics being discussed on the nascent site: Macintosh computers, college hockey and real-world cities like Los Angeles, Beijing and Calgary.