Wikis: Enabling Collaboration in Libraries


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Talk for Quebec Library Association Annual Conference 2007 in Montreal, QC.

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Wikis: Enabling Collaboration in Libraries

  1. 1. Wikis: Enabling Collaboration in Libraries Meredith Farkas May 4, 2007 Quebec Library Association
  2. 2. What you will learn <ul><li>What a wiki is </li></ul><ul><li>What wikis are good for, what they’re not so good for </li></ul><ul><li>How libraries are successfully using wikis </li></ul><ul><li>Tips on developing a successful wiki </li></ul>
  3. 3. What is a wiki? <ul><li>Allows people to collaboratively develop a Web site without any tech-savvy (no HTML required!) </li></ul><ul><li>Like a content management system </li></ul><ul><li>Wiki = quick (in Hawaiian) </li></ul><ul><li>All community members can add to or edit the work of others </li></ul>
  4. 4. Wiki background <ul><li>Ward Cunningham and the Portland Pattern Repository </li></ul><ul><li>Wikipedia </li></ul><ul><li>Conference wikis, fan wikis, wiki knowledgebases </li></ul>
  5. 5. Wiki Structure <ul><li>All wikis start off as a single blank page </li></ul><ul><li>Pages are created and connected by hyperlinks </li></ul><ul><li>No ownership of pages; anyone can change the work of others </li></ul>
  6. 6. Wiki components
  7. 7. Discussion area for each page
  8. 8. All changes made to the page
  9. 9. List of changes made to all pages
  10. 10. Wiki Syntax <ul><li>Ways to format text, change color, create links, create tables, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Not difficult to learn, but different </li></ul><ul><li>Differences for each wiki </li></ul><ul><li>WYSIWYG is the future </li></ul>
  11. 11. Wikis vs. Blogs <ul><li>No one owns content </li></ul><ul><li>No specific organization (hyperlinks) </li></ul><ul><li>Anyone can edit other people’s work </li></ul><ul><li>A person owns their post </li></ul><ul><li>Organized in reverse chron. order </li></ul><ul><li>Only author can edit their own work (others can comment) </li></ul>
  12. 12. Wikis vs. Blogs <ul><li>Perpetual work in progress </li></ul><ul><li>Good for collaborative group work </li></ul><ul><li>Posts are permanent </li></ul><ul><li>Good for disseminating info/starting a dialogue </li></ul>
  13. 13. Why wiki? <ul><li>Easy to use </li></ul><ul><li>Web-based </li></ul><ul><li>Anyone can make changes </li></ul><ul><li>Findability </li></ul><ul><li>Many free and open-source wikis </li></ul><ul><li>Flexible and extensible </li></ul>
  14. 14. Why not wiki? <ul><li>Too open (trust issues) </li></ul><ul><li>Concerns about ownership of content </li></ul><ul><li>Disorganized </li></ul><ul><li>Vandalism and spam </li></ul>
  15. 15. Wikis in Practice
  16. 16. How libraries can use wikis with their patrons <ul><li>Community wiki </li></ul><ul><li>Subject guide wiki </li></ul><ul><li>Wiki as courseware </li></ul><ul><li>Wiki as Web site </li></ul>
  17. 17. Community wiki
  18. 18. Subject guide wiki
  19. 19. Wiki as courseware
  20. 20. Wiki as Web site
  21. 21. How librarians can use wikis <ul><li>Staff Intranet </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative document editing </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboratively-developed manual </li></ul><ul><li>Guidebook </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledgebase </li></ul><ul><li>Planning space for conferences </li></ul>
  22. 22. Staff Intranet
  23. 23. Collaborative document editing
  24. 24. Collaboratively-developed manual antioch_university_new_england_library_staff_training_and_support_wiki/
  25. 25. Guidebook
  26. 26. Knowledgebase
  27. 27. Planning space for conferences
  28. 28. Wiki Tips How to develop and maintain a successful wiki
  29. 29. Wiki Tips: Software <ul><li>Do you want your wiki hosted? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wiki Farms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Easier if you don’t have a server or don’t know what you’re doing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Examples: PBWiki , WetPaint , WikiSpaces </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Do you want to install the software on your own server? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More software options this way </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More control </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maintenance burden is on you </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Examples: MediaWiki , PmWiki , Twiki </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Things to consider <ul><li>Programming language </li></ul><ul><li>Ease of installation </li></ul><ul><li>Security </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Permissioning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Spam prevention </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ease of use </li></ul><ul><li>Cost </li></ul>
  31. 31. Things to consider (cont’d) <ul><li>Syntax </li></ul><ul><li>Version control </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to hold discussions </li></ul><ul><li>RSS </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to change look </li></ul><ul><li>For help choosing software, check out the Wiki Matrix ( http:// / ). </li></ul>
  32. 32. Wiki management <ul><li>Seeding the wiki </li></ul><ul><li>Documentation </li></ul><ul><li>Policies </li></ul><ul><li>Marketing </li></ul><ul><li>Dealing with spam </li></ul>
  33. 33. Questions? <ul><li>Just ask! </li></ul><ul><li>E-mail me: [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>AIM me: librarianmer </li></ul><ul><li>Visit presentation site: </li></ul>