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Page history last edited by johanna janhonen 11 years, 10 months ago


How Mini treasures wiki was started?


*Updated in Nov 2011*





I am Johanna Janhonen from Finland, a miniaturist and the founder of this site and I am about to tell you the story behind our beloved Mini treasures wiki.


When I started doing miniatures in 2000 I did not know any other miniaturists so I went to Internet to find them. First I joined Yahoo! discussion forums and then started photo albums, a forum, web pages, blogs and a wiki in Finnish - all dedicated to dollhouse miniatures. So from the very beginning of my dollhouse hobby it was a digital one and now I have two dear hobbies: miniatures and social media.


I have now made a career from my other passion - my company (called Hidden treasure - Piilotettu aarre) is consulting organizations in using social media tools in a professional way. I am also a researcher in Tampere University of Technology studying social media usage in B2B companies. The dollhouse world is my sandbox where I test tools and services before I introduce them to my customers. But who knows if some day I can make my living from Mini Treasures World... One needs to have big dreams to success :).


I had been blogging using Yahoo services since 2005 but in 2009 they were closing. I started a professional blog called Hidden treasure 2.0 in Blogger for blogging web 2.0 (aka social media) and to continue the treasure theme my dollhouse blog was named "Mini treasures".


Soon after that I realized there where no English wiki for dollhouses - the Finnish one I had started already in 2006 so I decided to start one myself and went to PBwiki (now PBworks). To get started I needed a name for the wiki. The obvious names Dollhouse, miniatures etc were already taken ages ago - and never really used. What a disappointment! Then I remembered my new blog and stole the name from it - that's how we got the name Mini treasures wiki.


At the moment I am quite happy with Mini treasures as this wiki is not only about dollhouses - it is  meant for all miniaturists and doll and toy lovers in the world aiming to be our "Wikipedia of Miniatures" sharing all the information related to our hobby, products, shops, museums, books etc. And like Wikipedia we are offering this wiki in variety of languages too - thanks to Google translator :). Usually dollhouse miniaturists work in 1:12 scale but here we have a variety of scales from micro minis to fashion dolls as I do believe in diversity - we can be inspired by others even if we have different scales.


My Finnish mini friends helped me to promote the new wiki e.g. in their blogs and I left some comments on some English forums too. I also started to use other social media services for spreading the word and ask help from different specialists and I continue doing it.


Linda McD from Canada found Mini treasures wiki just 4 months after I had started it. It was the first wiki she edited but she was very eager to learn the tricks as she had a problem: she had frantically saved all sorts of tips, sites, pictures throughout the years, but had great trouble locating the info. With help of the wiki she can both save links to specific subjects on pages as well as share that info with others.


I of course had had the same problem before I started the first wiki. I was e.g. maintaining a list of Finnish dollhouse sites and people asked me to add this and remove that and to save my time for more important (like making miniatures) I wanted everyone to be able to edit themselves.


I soon realized what a treasure Linda was and made her my colleague and now we are together e.g. planning the actions, organizing wiki and removing spammers.


The aim of Mini treasures wiki is to connect miniaturists in a new way


I have a dream of how Mini treasures wiki works at its best so I am sharing an example. Let's say there are 10 miniaturists in the world at the moment working on miniature project inspired by the Toy Story movie.

  • Some of them are blogging (one in Spanish, one in Finnish and one in Danish)
  • Some of them (a Japanese and a Dutch) are active in Flickr or YouTube
  • Some only read messages from forums.

It is hard to imagine how they will learn about themselves. A Google search doesn't help much, since they are not sharing their news in English, and with Toy Story search you get a lot of hits not related to dollhouses at all.


But then they all come to Mini treasures wiki and a wonder happens.

  • One of them starts a new page for toy_story and adds links on that page to her Flickr album.
  • The others notice a new wiki page and start contributing too, they add links to their blogs and YouTube videos, they add details about the movie and they use the comments section of that page for questions and tip sharing.
  • Maybe they even arrange an international Toy story miniature swap!
  • A lot of  inspiration in miniatures comes through pictures, not through words so for them it doesn´t matter if they understand each others languages.
  • And then there's a a doll maker who has just created Toy story dolls. For her it is very easy to reach the potential customers by adding the link to her shop.


At the moment there´s more than 1000 pages in our wiki. Maybe you collect miniature frogs, or are passionate for cushions. Maybe you do Harry Potter scenes or build a cafeteria. The wiki offers you colleagues from other countries, tips and ads for theme related miniatures for sale.


And what is best the usage of the site is free of charge, also for sellers


So read more about using the wiki from the FAQ and ABC and start having fun here :).


How is my own dollhouse hobby doing then? During the past 11 years there have been many phases from collecting to swapping, from DIY to trash minis, from making photo stories to web to writing the first Finnish dollhouse book with friends, from starting clubs to selling at mini fairs, from 1:12 to 1:6 and 1:16 and 1:24 and 1:144... I love modern and vintage projects most and at the moment I make roomboxes as gifts for my family and dream about the day I have again more time for creating stuff. I have e.g. a shop selling cat related things and a Japanese restaurant above that and two houses for Moomin characters. I collect old Lundby furniture from fleamarkets and love my Momoko and small old Bluebox house. There are a lot of stories behind the dolls I have, a replica of my family, a young rock star living in a colourful house with his wife and kids, a young artist, a white which, an adopted kid, twins... My projects include tiny collections from Donald Ducks to silverware, masks, Hello Kitties, Re-ments, sunflowers and so on and so on. Been there done that and while I am now on some sort of break I collect ideas for the future and store the ideas here where people can work on the same link collections.


Anything else you would like to know about our site? Leave a comment below and I try to answer!



Comments (1)

johanna janhonen said

at 7:30 pm on Feb 21, 2010

Anything you want ask from me? Use the comment section :).

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