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The Wonderful World of Wikis


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01/2008 version of the handouts for Michael's wikis workshop.

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The Wonderful World of Wikis

  1. 1. Michael Sauers Technology Innovation Librarian, NLC
  2. 2. <ul><li>Name </li></ul><ul><li>Library </li></ul><ul><li>Job </li></ul><ul><li>Do you or your library use wikis? </li></ul><ul><li>Why are you attending this workshop? </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Overview of Wikis </li></ul><ul><li>The user experience </li></ul><ul><li>The content provider experience </li></ul>
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  5. 5. <ul><li>A Wiki or wiki (pronounced [w I ki] , [wiki] or [viki] ) is a website that allows users to add content, as on an Internet forum, but also allows anyone to edit the content. &quot;Wiki&quot; also refers to the collaborative software used to create such a website. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Easily updated by anyone </li></ul><ul><li>(X)HTML knowledge not required </li></ul><ul><li>Page History/Change tracking </li></ul><ul><li>Reversion </li></ul><ul><li>Instant hyperlinking </li></ul><ul><li>Searchable </li></ul><ul><li>How? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Non-linear storage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Relational database </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. “ god only knows. On the disk somewheres” Brion Vibber, Chief Technical Officer, Wikipedia In answer to the question: where is the text of the elephant article actually stored? Everything is Miscellaneous , Weinberger, 2007, p99
  8. 8. <ul><li>Anyone can edit </li></ul><ul><li>Minimal markup knowledge needed </li></ul><ul><li>Automatic hyperlinking </li></ul><ul><li>Automatic change tracking </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Can be too open </li></ul><ul><li>Can be too unstructured </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Resource Collections </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Good resources to answer reference questions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>FAQs </li></ul><ul><li>Project Management </li></ul><ul><li>Discussions </li></ul><ul><li>Procedures </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Leaning more toward “informal” procedures that are more likely to change </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. &quot;Wikipedia works in practice but not in theory.”
  12. 12. “ I still marvel at how Wiki communities, which seem at first glance to be so fragile, are actually very resilient. They work because everyone can do their part. One lesson, then, is deceptively simple. When you remove barriers to changing things, you also remove the barriers to fixing what’s broken. –Dan Gillmor, We The Media , 2004
  13. 13. Sociologist Elinor Ostrom “found that some system to monitor and sanction members’ actions was a common feature of every successful community. Monitoring and sanctioning is important not simply as a way of punishing rule-breakers but also as a way of assuring people that others are doing their part. Many people are contingent cooperators, willing to cooperate as long as most others do.” – Howard Rheingold, Smart Mobs , 2002
  14. 14. <ul><li>The power of the many vs. the power of the few. </li></ul><ul><li>“ A common defense against persistent vandals is simply to let them deface as many pages as they wish, knowing that they can easily be tracked and reverted after the vandal has left.” </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>“ The New York Times apparently copied an erroneous Wikipedia entry into its news pages today. From the NYT’s article on the Marburg Hemorrhagic Fever outbreak in Angola.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Lucian George, 12, from north London, found five errors on two of his favourite subjects - central Europe and wildlife - and wrote to complain.” </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>“ The John Seigenthaler Sr. Wikipedia biography controversy occurred after an anonymous editor posted a hoax in the Wikipedia entry for John Seigenthaler Sr. in May 2005. In September… an old friend of Seigenthaler's, discovered the entry, which suggested that Seigenthaler may have had a role in the assassinations of both John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy. Demonstrably false statements in the article included claims that Seigenthaler lived in the Soviet Union from 1971 to 1984, and that he was the founder of a public relations firm.” </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>“… an expert-led investigation carried out by Nature — the first to use peer review to compare Wikipedia and Britannica's coverage of science — suggests that such high-profile examples are the exception rather than the rule. The exercise revealed numerous errors in both encyclopaedias, but among 42 entries tested, the difference in accuracy was not particularly great: the average science entry in Wikipedia contained around four inaccuracies; Britannica, about three.” </li></ul>
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  19. 19. <ul><li>Unofficial Internal Documentation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Commonly asked reference questions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Time to clean the fridge </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Recommended Resources </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Online reference sources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Local resources (restaurants, clubs) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Book Reviews </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Staff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Public </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Teens </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Game cheat codes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Where to go, what to do” </li></ul></ul>
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  29. 29. <ul><li>Views </li></ul><ul><li>Rendered Output </li></ul><ul><li>Wiki Syntax </li></ul><ul><li>HTML </li></ul><ul><li>History </li></ul><ul><li>Special </li></ul><ul><li>Search Results (3 types) </li></ul><ul><li>Talk </li></ul><ul><li>Watchlist </li></ul><ul><li>User </li></ul><ul><li>Sandbox </li></ul>
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  39. 39. <ul><li>Learn the WikiSyntax </li></ul><ul><li>Preview before you save </li></ul><ul><li>Include your “signature” on talk pages </li></ul>
  40. 40. <ul><li>To revert to a previous version, open the previous version in the sandbox and save it. </li></ul><ul><li>Any changes made since the reverted version will be lost. </li></ul>
  41. 41. <ul><li>MediaWiki </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The top of the line. It runs Wikipedia. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Opensource. Web server, PHP, & a SQL server </li></ul></ul><ul><li>QwikiWiki </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Requires no significant installation work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PHP & Cookies, no database required </li></ul></ul><ul><li>PeanutButter Wiki </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Make a free, password protected wiki as easily as a peanut butter sandwich.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Free Web service </li></ul></ul><ul><li>TiddlyWiki </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Small enough to fit on a 32mb flash drive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Like a blog but without publishing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Comparison of Wiki Software article on Wikipedia </li></ul>
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  55. 55. <ul><li>Michael Sauers </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>