Thursday, March 08, 2007

Wikis - A Brief Introduction

I feel bad for Wikipedia. On the one hand, I'm glad the news media had something else to talk about besides under fed singers and actresses in rehab. Wikipedia took a hit this week and I still hear the chorus of "I told you so!"

I just wish they dug a little deeper. It might have helped to first understand what a wiki is before you start ripping into Wikipedia.

A wiki is used by a group of people to collaborate on projects. The software makes it very easy for team members to share information and to make adjustments without having to tear down and rebuild a web page. It is almost (but not quite) as easy as using a word processor but with the added benefit that that the team members or users do not have to be in the same location.

In fact that is one of the major attractions. For example there will be a "un"conference called BarCampUSA that will happen in Wisconsin in August.

BarCamp, (WineCamps, CoffeeCamps and all other camp permutations) are designed to help people learn things one to one or in groups in a casual minimally structured setting. This originally happened in bars hence "BarCamp".

There are people who have never met each other who are organizing this national event. Check it out for yourself At BarCamp people volunteer to conduct workshops, get information about the event and put their two cents on what they want to see happen.

Wikis make it easier for people to collaborate who can't physically be together. Everybody has a voice and an opportunity for input. You might have heard terms like social networking and collaborative media. This is one form of it.

To learn more:
Other wikis to check out:


Mary Ann said...

Hi Gena,
i love wikis...I did one for the Council of Chief Librarians and then one for a campus technology committee that I am involved with. funny, no one else has used it yet.

I alsi did one for my daughter's 30th birthday so that people could contribute stories. It was so much fun!

Gena said...

Yeah, I'm kinda hooked on Memory Alpha and Memory Beta. I've spent too much time getting lost in my childhood passion.

I'm currently participating in a couple of wikis with people from around the world. Will keep the group posted when it gets time to announce.