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#11 – Wikis

February 1, 2010 Leave a comment

 

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.

Activities:

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?

Categories: Week 8 Tags: , , , ,

#12 – Wikipedia

February 1, 2010 Leave a comment

 

Wikipedia is a free, web-based, collaborative, multilingual encyclopedia project supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Its name is a portmanteau of the words wiki (a technology for creating collaborative websites, from the Hawaiian word wiki, meaning “quick”) and encyclopedia. Wikipedia’s 14 million articles (3.2 million in English) have been written collaboratively by volunteers around the world, and almost all of its articles can be edited by anyone with access to the site. It was launched in 2001 by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger and is currently the largest and most popular general reference work on the Internet.

Wikipedia is written collaboratively by largely anonymous internet users who write without pay. Anyone with internet access can write and make changes to Wikipedia articles.

Every contribution may be reviewed or changed. The expertise or qualifications of the user is usually not considered. This is possible since Wikipedia’s intent is to cover existing knowledge which is verifiable from other sources, original research and ideas are therefore excluded. People of all ages and cultural and social backgrounds can write Wikipedia articles as most of the articles can be edited by anyone with access to the Internet simply by clicking the edit this page link (found at the top of every editable page). Anyone is welcome to add information, cross-references, or citations, as long as they do so within Wikipedia’s editing policies and to an appropriate standard. Substandard or disputed information is subject to removal. Users need not worry about accidentally damaging Wikipedia when adding or improving information, as other editors are always around to advise or correct obvious errors, and the software is designed to allow easy reversal of editorial mistakes.

Further information about wikipedia can be found here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:About   About Wikipedia

and here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:What_Wikipedia_is_not   What Wikipedia is Not

ACTIVITY

1.  If you’ve never used the Wikipedia, now is the time to visit it and take a look around!

2.  Search for a topic that you are personally interested in.  Once you have found and read the article, do you have anything to add to it?  Feel free to get involved and edit an article..maybe you can add references or citations, maybe you have additional information that might enhance the article.  Go ahead..after all this is what Web2.0 is all about..sharing and communicating with others.

3.  If you start to get really interested in the concept of wikis, you may ( and this is an optional activity!) want to set up your very own wiki.  Follow these instructions on wikihow on how to start up a wiki of your own

http://www.wikihow.com/Start-a-Wiki

4.  You are not required to create a wiki for this activity, but if you would like to try one, you could look at the website. http://www.wetpaint.com/.  This site allows you to create a free wiki on any topic or subject that you would like.  Other free sites include:

http://www.wikispaces.com/

http://pbworks.com/

5.  Blog about your views about wikis.  If you have set up a wiki of your own..provide a link in your blog so that others can get involved.  Or if you have edited an article in Wikipedia, tell us which article it is so that we can all benefit from your knowledge and experience.

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