Whats a Wiki

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There has been loads of publicity recently about the wikis after the wikileaks scandal. Wikipedia.org is another wiki which is often talked about as a leading examples of wikis. But what exactly is a wiki. Yes it is a website, but it differs from standard websites in certain ways. Not only is it an example of a Web 2.0 website, but in fact it is the most democratic and applicable example of Web 2.0. Lets get you more familiar to what a wiki is all about.

What is a wiki?

A wiki is a page or a collection of web pages designed to enable anyone who accesses it to contribute or modify content. A classic example of this is wikipedia.org.

Wiki works like a simple online database with a software that allows users to freely create and edit web page content using any web browser. “Open editing” gives a wiki some characteristics were unique to it.   It is exciting because it encourages democratic use of the web and promotes content composition by nontechnically inclined users of the internet.

When was the first wiki created?

The first ever wiki site was created for the Portland Pattern Repository in 1995.

What are the purposes of a wiki?

A wiki is used to share information with other people, allowing anyone to add, edit and manage the content.

What are the pros and cons of having a wiki?

Pros:

  • Collaborative and can have multiple authors

  • Accessible anywhere

  • Archives page revisions

  • Immediate

  • Inexpensive

  • Draws and collects expertise from untapped sources

Cons

  • Open editing

  • Can become unstructured

  • Structural and design limitations

  • Requires more sophisticated internet and oprganisation skills

  • Lack of authority so the information may be inaccurate

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