Home > Week 8 > #11 – Wikis

#11 – Wikis


If you’ve ever been to Hawaii, you might have heard the term “wiki wiki,” meaning, “quick quick,” and a wiki is a very fast way of making a  basic website that allows multiple people to collaborate on, add, remove, and edit its content. 

The ease of interaction makes wikis an effective tool for organizing content and collaborating on ideas. Wikis are considered a content management system since they share common elements with these types of applications.

The most famous wiki is the Wikipedia, an online encyclopaedia that was created by and is constantly being updated by thousands and thousands of contributors. We shall  be looking at Wikipedia in more depth in Thing #12.



Why make a wiki? 

  • Anyone (registered or unregistered, if unrestricted) can add, edit or delete content.
  • Tracking tools within wikis allow you to easily keep up on what been changed and by whom.
  • There are Blog-like areas for “talking” (e.g., comments, discussion, and/or news pages)
  • Earlier versions of a page can be viewed and reinstated when needed.
  • Users do not need to know HTML, Web design, or have Web page experience in order to apply styles to text or add and edit content. Most wikis are no more difficult than a Microsoft Word document.

Take a look at this short video:  Common Craft’s no-nonsense introduction to wikis.


There are a huge range of wikis available on the internet these days.  Here are a few suggested resources that you should spend time getting to know.  They are useful for your professional and personal lives.  You may even feel inspired to contribute to one or all of them!

1.  A fantastically useful wiki for librarians and lovers of learning new things is Wikihow .. This is a How-to manual that can be edited by anyone.  Things that you can learn range from How to make your own Soduku pattern to How to read a chest X-ray.  Categories of articles include health, Hobbies, Computers, Pets, Home and Travel.  Spend some time investigating this site. 

2.  Visit the library success wiki which was created to be a one-stop shop for great ideas and information for all types of librarians from all over the world.  Here is their opening paragraph which gives a flavour of why this wiki was set up originally:

 If you’ve done something at your library that you consider a success, pleasewrite about it in the wiki or provide a link to outside coverage. If you have materials that would be helpful to other librarians, add them to the wiki. And if you know of a librarian or a library that is doing something great, feel free to include information or links to it. Basically, if you know of anything that might be useful to other librarians (including useful websites), this is the place to put it. I hope this wiki will be a venue where people can share ideas with one another and where librarians can learn to replicate the successes of other libraries

3.  Libraries and Web2.0 is a relatively new UK based wiki, featuring various Public Library services and their response to Web2.0.  Note that Devon Libraries 23 Things programme is discussed on this wiki!

4.  Haven’t had your fill just yet of wikis and need to know more? Here are some additional links to fuel your interest:

       List of wikis  

       Wiki index – A wiki of wikis.  

       WikiMatrix – A tool that offers you the ability to compare side-by-side features and functionality of wikis 

5.  Time to blog! In a new post reflect : Are you wiki-fied!?! Record what new ideas were spurred as you learned and reviewed some, or all, of the wikis above.

How do you envision the different ways in which you might use a wiki within your workplace?

If you are unable to apply immediately to your workplace what you have learned, are there ways that you could apply what you’ve learned about wikis to your professional or personal life?

Are there any particular safety, privacy, or developmental issues to consider?

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