What is a wiki?

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Wiki wiki sign outside Honolulu International Airport. (Image courtesy of A. Barataz)

What is a wiki?

  • Watch this commoncraft video Wiki's in plain english This video provides one explanation of how a wiki can be used. In this example some friends have used it to plan a private camping trip. In this way a wiki can be used privately among friends and family to share plans, photo's and stories etc. In some wiki's such as wikispaces you can have your own space which is protected. It can be seen by everyone, but only space members can edit pages. As the space organizer, you may change your space's settings, look and feel or permissions and members. You can also change your subscription options.
  • Wiki's are also used by organisations and institutions in a more public way to facilitate collaboration between members within the organisation or community. The pages are usually open for editing by anyone - hence the collaborative nature of wiki's. The community grows as more people choose to become editors and contribute to the project. Wikieducator is an example of this type of wiki.

Uses for wikis

  • Collaborative learning resource development.
  • Subject related discussion.
  • Easy to maintain currency of online resources.
  • Relatively easy way to build a website.
  • This website is a wiki.

For further explanation of wiki's go to this page What is a wiki.

Where do you find wiki's?

There are literally thousands of wikis around the web on a diverse range of subjects and supporting many communities. Here are a few wiki platforms that you can use in a collaborative way with your friends and colleagues ...

Some wiki platforms are now large projects which receive government and other funding. Examples of these include Wikieducator,Wikinews, Wikimedia Commons, Wikiversity, Wikiquote, Wiktionary, Wikibooks. The largest and most talked about Wiki on the Internet is Wikipedia.

This unit is taught in the following courses: