|SettlementAtWork wiki Help|
What is a Wiki?
A wiki is a web page that anyone can edit. A wiki is a web application designed to allow multiple authors to add, remove, and edit content. The multiple author capability of a wiki makes it an effective tool for mass collaborative authoring. The wiki can be used for a community to review definitions or documents and collaborate on revisions or changes, such as developing the wording around directives, standards, or guidelines.
The word wiki is a Hawaiian word meaning "quick". Wikis and the software supporting them are designed so that content can be made available quickly and easily.
Visibility and versioning problems with e-mail collaboration
"Many people collaborate on projects via email. But e-mail threads can be cumbersome, attached documents can get lost, and who has the latest version anyway? Wikis solve all that by allowing everyone who has access to a page to read and change it." Joe Kraus, CEO, JOTSPOT
- Wikipedia serves 10 billion pages each month with peak traffic of 50,000 requests a second (reference: ars technica, October 2008)
- Wikipedia has 75,000 active contributors working on more than 10 million articles in 250 languages (reference: ars technica, October 2008)
- Wikipedia attracts more than 684 million visitors per year. (reference: ars technica, October 2008)
Collaborative Content Environment
The wiki exists as a tool for collaborative content creation. Similar to a Blog, it allows writing of content directly to a public space on the web or intranet. However, unlike a blog, rather than just commenting on the content the audience can modify and contribute directly to the content. By its very nature a wiki sees the author and the audience participant as the same thing, and it is the exception rather than the rule that an audience member will only have read access to the wiki. Wikis have been a dominant web based collaboration tool for a number of years, and have seen service in many environments and have been customised for many tasks. In recent times they have been the tool of choice for online reference stores, the best example being Wikipedia, the ubiquitous online encyclopaedia.
Wikis allow anyone to edit pages, but keep a complete track of version history. As such it is easy to compare differences across versions and to roll back changes. While it seems counterintuitive, this opening up of editing capability to everyone typically allows the best possible quality content to emerge. Where people spot something they believe to be incorrect they can fix it immediately, rather than going through a lengthy editorial process.
Generally wikis are seen as a fast and easy to use collaborative tool, however new users can find them frustrating due to wiki formatting. Content displayed in a wiki is formatted using a type of markup; users are expected to mark up portions of text using patterns of punctuation marks inline with content. The purpose of this markup is supposed to make wikis more accessible to people not familiar with HTML. The popular solution is training and good documentation, however some more recent wiki implementations provide editor interfaces that emulate word processors. See: Help:Basic editing
What can a Wiki be used for?
This video is a good introduction.
- Wikis as an internal IT Service
- 5 Uses for a Wiki at Work
- 15 Productive Uses for a Wiki
- Commoncraft: Wikis -- the creators of the Wikis in Plain English video listed first under Videos
- How CIOs can introduce Web 2.0 technologies into the enterprise
- How Wikis Work
- Put Your Wiki to Productive Use
- Wiki books
- WikiPatterns -- support for a book of the same title
- Strategies for Choosing an Enterprise Wiki