Museum of American Finance reaches out with 'Recessipedia' wiki

NEW YORK: The Museum of American Finance has launched a "live" exhibit—a wiki, at www.recessipedia.org, designed to document and help people learn from the current financial crisis.

NEW YORK: The Museum of American Finance has launched a “live” exhibit—a wiki, at www.recessipedia.org, designed to document and help people learn from the current financial crisis.

Modeled after Wikipedia, the wiki does more than track facts and information. It is inviting and posting first-person accounts of what happened leading up to and during the crisis—whether that is from former executives at firms like Lehman Brothers, to the general public who might have found themselves caught up in the mortgage meltdown.

“We have interesting exhibits and artifacts in our museum, but really, the heart of our mission is financial education and helping people take control of their financial lives,” said Kristin Aguilera, communications director, Museum of American Finance. “We feel we're helping people, by contributing a service, and not just displaying interesting exhibits.”

Aside from helping people understand the crisis, the goal of the wiki is to increase visitors to the museum, Aguilera said. Last January, the museum moved to a larger space on Wall Street from lower Broadway, and currently attracts about 200 visitors a day. A section now features a timeline of the crisis, and there are plans to install a computer kiosk where visitors can browse Recessipedia.org.

The Museum of American Finance developed the wiki with the help of PR and IR firm Makovsky & Co. The site has been promoted largely through media and blog outreach, and was covered by outlets such as The Wall Street Journal's MarketBeat blog.

Unlike Wikipedia, Recessipedia welcomes submissions from companies. “It will get on the radar screens of PR people in the financial services sector, because there will be companies telling their part of the story,” said David Rosen, group VP at Makovsky. “But instead of sharing it on a blog, they'll also be doing it on Recessipedia.”

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