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All About Wikis

The name “Wiki” was inspired by the Hawaiian word wiki or wiki-wiki, which means “quick” and is often used as a term for taxis and airport shuttles.

What makes wikis work:

  • collaboration
  • community
  • links

Wikis at their core are all about a collaborative movement to provide information on topics that can be viewed and edited by anyone who visits the wiki.

“A wiki is nothing but a collection of Web pages interconnected with each other through internal links” – How Wikis Work.

The openness of wikis turns many people off from them.  They think the web is a big bad place where people will mess with the text of your wikis and edit it negatively but this isn’t necessarily true.  When learning about wikis I thought of how much simpler a wiki would be for communicating with classmates rather than a Facebook obnoxious message.  Out of all the web pages in the world, I doubt any trollers would go out of their way to mess with some college kids wiki about their next class assignment.

Does a wikis possibility of being altered make it unreliable?  Well not necessarily.  The key thing that makes a wiki work is its community.  Contributors to a page can use tools to in a way moderate pages for vandals, dummies, and spammers.  The community, the web sites regular visitors, work collaboratively to edit pages and create well-written articles.

“Changes to a wiki will with be accepted, altered, or rejected by the community.  In that way, pages on Wikipedia are expanding and changing all the time.”  Wikis Wikis work because of the community of people who contribute to it and make it successful.

Why they don’t work

  • revisions
  • accurateness
  • reliability

Not everyone is a expert in a topic, even though they think they are and these people could revise text and make it incorrect.  But this is a double egged sword, just as someone could change the information to make it wrong other community members can make the information accurate.  Or at least we think it is accurate, there is no actual stamp of approval on a wiki that insures us that the information is reliable.

Working with wikis

For my future work with wikis I found these Wiki Social Norms to be helpful.  Always be respectful.  I’m best at learning hands on so once we start contribute to wikis I will become more informed about thread mode and document mode.

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