Wiki - Information Wants To Be Free

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Wikis

Basics, Tools and
Strategies

Meredith Farkas

October 22, 2006

Internet Librarian

What you will learn


What a wiki is


What wikis are good for, what
they’re not so good for


How libraries and other groups are
successfully using wikis


How to get started with wikis


Tips on developing a successful wiki

What is a wiki?


Content management system


Allows people to collaboratively
develop a Web site without any
tech
-
savvy


Wiki = quick (in Hawaiian)


All community members can add to
or edit the work of others

Wiki background


Ward Cunningham and the Portland
Pattern Repository


Wikipedia


Conference wikis, fan wikis, wiki
knowledgebases


Wikis in the library! Still often
controlled access.


Organizations jump on the wiki
bandwagon

Wiki Structure


All wikis start off as a single blank
page


Pages are created and connected by
hyperlinks


No ownership of pages; anyone can
change the work of others


Wiki Components


Pages community members can add
to or edit (
example
)


Discussion area for each page


List of all of the changes made to a
particular page (version control)


List of all changes made to all
pages.


Wiki Syntax


Ways to format text, change color,
create links, create tables, etc.


Wikipedia editor’s guide


Not difficult to learn, but
different


Differences for each wiki


WYSIWYG is the future

Wikis vs. Blogs


No one owns
content


No specific
organization
(hyperlinks)


Anyone can
edit other
people’s work


A person owns
their post


Organized in
reverse chron.
order


Only author can
edit their own
work (others
can comment)

Wikis vs. Blogs


Perpetual work
in progress


Good for
collaborative
group work


Posts are
permanent


Good for
disseminating
info/starting a
dialogue

Why wiki?


Easy to use


Web
-
based


Anyone can make changes


Findability (with database wikis)


Many free and open
-
source wikis


Flexible and extensible

Knowledge management (KM)


All organizations want to make the
best use of organizational
knowledge


Most are really bad at it


Wiki is a great KM tool

Wiki = quick


No editing in Dreamweaver, no
FTP
-
ing into the server.


No waiting for the Webmaster to
update your page.


Different people can be responsible
for different content areas


Collaboration


Wikis are a great way to get
patrons/colleagues to participate in
building a Web space


Resource guides


Conference


Book reviews


Area guides


You can learn a lot from your
patrons and colleagues!

Why not wiki?


Too open (trust issues)


Concerns about ownership of content


Disorganized


Vandalism and spam


Wikis aren't for everyone. If control is a
major issue with the site you're
developing, then a wiki may not be right
for your project.


Wikis in Practice

How libraries can use wikis with their
patrons


Community wiki


Subject guide wiki


Wiki as courseware


Wiki as Web site


Wiki for capitalizing on the collective
intelligence


Community wikis


RocWiki

(Rochester, NY)


Davis Wiki
(Davis, CA)


Arbor Wiki
(Ann Arbor, MI)


PGHWiki

(Pittsburgh, PA)


Wikis that build community


ICANN Wiki


Tax Almanac


Mandriva Club


Subject guides


Ohio University Library’s
Biz Wiki


St. Joseph County Public Library
Subject Guides


Wiki as Website and courseware


University of South Carolina Aiken
Library Web site


Bull Run Library


Bemidji State University
eRhetoric
course wiki

Capitalizing on the collective
intelligence


Resource guides and book reviews


ProductWiki


wikiXbox360


Princeton Public Library’s
Book Lovers
Wiki


Wyoming Authors Wiki



How librarians can use wikis


Staff Intranet


Collaborative document editing


Collaboratively
-
developed manual


Conference wikis


Knowledgebase


Planning space for conferences

Wiki as Intranet for info sharing


Most are behind the firewall or are
password protected


SUNY Stonybrook Health Science
Library Wiki


University of Connecticut Library


Norwich University Library Public
Services Wiki

Collaborative document editing


ZohoWriter


Writely



You could even just use something
like
PBWiki
!

Collaboratively
-
developed manual


Print manuals are really hard to
update!



Antioch University New England
Library Staff Training and Support
Wiki



Conference wikis


ALA 2005 Chicago Wiki


ALA 2006 New Orleans Wiki


CIL 2006 Wiki


IL 2006 Wiki


Wikimania 2006


Wiki as professional knowledgebase


Library Success: A Best Practices
Wiki


Library Instruction Wiki


Qwiki: Quantum Physics Wiki


The New PR Wiki


Planning space for conferences


Hard to plan a conference with
people from all over the place.



HigherEd BlogCon


BarCamp


PodCon

Wiki Tips

How to develop and maintain a
successful wiki

Wiki Tips: Software


Popular options for wiki hosted on
your server


MediaWiki


PmWiki


Twiki


SocialText

($$$)


XWiki


Confluence

($$$)

Wiki Tips: Software (cont’d)


Popular Options for wikis hosted by the
software company


PBWiki


WetPaint


SeedWiki


If you want control, no ads, etc., host the
wiki on your server.


If you don’t have server space, need the
wiki for a small time
-
limited project, or
are scared of maintaining a new tech, go
with a hosted wiki.


Check out the
WikiMatrix

when thinking
about which software to use

Choosing software: What to consider


Programming language


Ease of installation


Security


Permissioning


Spam prevention


Ease of use


Cost




Version control

What to consider (cont’d)


Syntax


Ability to hold discussions


RSS


Ability to change look


Extensions


Trajectory of development/support
of development


Wiki Tips: Seeding the wiki


No one wants to add to an empty
wiki


Also, people often don’t know what
to add


Add some content to the major
categories before going live


Creating an organizational scheme
will prevent orphan links and chaos


Wiki Tips: Documentation


Wikis need lots of info for novice users


What is a wiki


What can you do with this wiki


How to edit the wiki


FAQ


Whom to contact for more help


Prepare for lots of questions!


Wikipedia has lots of good documentation
for MediaWiki users

Wiki Tips: Content development


Do lots of marketing


Blogs


E
-
mail lists and forums


Publications (write an article on wikis!)


Partner with groups/people related
to your mission


Give the wiki a grassroots feel,
make it welcoming.

Wiki Tips: Management


Security


Should you require registration?


Dealing with spam


Install spam
-
killing plugins or blacklists


Bad Behavior

plugin rocks!


Monitor the wiki several times a day


Get to know and love RSS


Find lots of dedicated helpers!!!


How to deal with posts you don’t like


Guidelines


Limit to on
-
topic posts


Take a note from the
Wikipedia’s
policies and guidelines


Get a committed group of
volunteers to patrol a public wiki


If you need to delete something
-

use discussion area to explain why
things were deleted.

Questions? Comments?

Meredith Farkas

mgfarkas at gmail dot com

http://meredith.wolfwater.com/wordpress/

AIM: librarianmer