Since I'm a huge fan of Wikipedia, and Wikipedia already has extensive information on tea, you might be wondering...why is this guy advocating for yet another wiki? And why for yet another informational tea site when he runs a tea site himself, RateTea? Will this not cause duplication of information?
Yes, wikiCHA is yet another wiki--specifically focused on tea, and yes, there will be some duplication of information. But I think there is a place for all these websites, as they have different standards and serve different purposes--they are complements. I also think that, given how much duplication of misinformation (especially on spammy blogs and the occasional carelessly written commercial website) there is out there on the web, having several more legitimate websites with more accurate information will certainly not hurt.
wikiCHA is run by Brandon of Wrong Fu Cha, but, like wikipedia, it's freely open to the public for editing.
Differences Between Wikipedia and wikiCHA:
Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, and appropriately has rather strict standards for the sourcing of material. (I find these standards, by the way, to be outstanding guidelines for quality scholarship.) Per Wikipedia's guidelines, all information is required to be verifiable in reliable sources, and a topic is only considered to be notable enough to warrant inclusion if significant coverage can be found in multiple independent sources. Although guidelines have some degree of flexibility, in general, company websites are not acceptable sources, as they are self-published. Similarly, blogs and other self-published sites are also not acceptable sources.
In the world of tea, this becomes slightly problematic, as tea companies are one of the main sources of information, and blogs can be another main one. Another problem is that a lot of the most relevant qualities of tea, such as flavor and aroma, can be rather subjective and are not exactly encyclopedic in nature.
wikiCHA is a valuable contribution to the "wikisphere" in that it is offers a bit more of a "free form" wiki. Although it may not be as rigorous as wikipedia, it provides a vehicle for adding and working with material that may not be suitable for inclusion on wikipedia, or that would be difficult to adequately source. Although it is still young and many parts of it are not thoroughly developed, I would encourage others to participate in it. When sites like this, which are democratic and controlled in a decentralized fashion, grow, it ultimately enriches the total body of information out there pertaining to tea.