6-11/12: Wikis


The first Wiki was developed by Ward Cunningham in 1994 as a collaborative database for software developers.

The name was inspired by his memories of the Wiki Wiki Shuttle at the Honolulu airport. Wiki is the Hawaiian word for quick. The website was successful and other alternative wiki applications and websites developed.

The original ‘Ward’s wiki’ evolved adding features and developing a unique ‘wiki culture’ of collaboration.. By 2000 this wiki had developed a lot more content from its original purpose.

The website Wikipedia, a free content encyclopedia began in January 2001. It quickly became the most popular wiki. By 2007 it was listed in the top 10 most popular sites.

For more information on uses of wikis here is an interesting article: http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ELI7004.pdf

Wikis (pronounced \’wi-ke, ‘we-\) are a good excellent collaborative tool. They are designed to allow a number of users to contribute and edit content in the same workspace.

Advantages to using Wikis

  • good collaboration tool
  • easy to edit
  • good information storage option
  • edit history area showing what changes have been made
  • easily to retrieve deleted information
  • many good free wikis available

Disadvantages to using Wikis

  • free versions can be difficult to customise
  • needs to be constantly managed to keep it organised.


Wikipedia, perhaps the most well known wiki of them all, is a good example of a wiki in full-action, with many Wikipedia entries constantly being added and updated by contributors all over the world.


Scholarpedia uses the same features and layout as Wikipedia but it a peer-reviewed version. You have to be invited to contribute and contributors are all subject matter experts.


WikiAnswers is a Q&A wiki where anyone in the world can ask a question and anyone can answer. Answers to questions are “living” meaning that it can be edited and improved by other users.

Cross-organisational collaboration

The Better Beginnings wiki supports The Better Beginnings Family Literacy Program which is coordinated by the State Library of WA and delivered through public libraries to support parents as their child’s first teacher. It’s a place for public libraries to share their ideas, events, etc with each other.

Better Beginnings Wiki

(Public Library system)

Information Literacy Instruction

IDNT3361-3362 Wiki: This wiki was created by Pam Barnett from the Medical and Dental Library to aid her information literacy instruction to third year dentistry students. The aim was to encourage communication and resource-sharing amongst the students.

Trip planning

“Kit, Mary, Sue and Simon are off to India in February – and this is how we’re organising it!” This wiki is an example of a group of friends planning an overseas holiday. They used the wiki to share itineraries, booking details and ideas to keep everyone in the loop.

There are many different applications of wikis in both the workplace and daily life. Some interesting disasters experiments have taken place to see just how wikis can be used to…

Write a novel…A Million Penguins was a project by Penguin Books to develop a novel “wikinovel” written collaboratively by many wiki users. The huge number of edits and vandalism meant that the project had to be brought to an end. Read more.

Write an editorial for a newspaper…The Los Angeles Times introduced a feature called “Wikitorials” in which readers could collaboratively write the paper’s editorial. It only lasted 3 days. Read more.

Share classified information across the intelligence community…The CIA Wiki has around 10,000 classified pages. Of course, it is not open to the public. Read more.

  • 1. Use the details e-mailed out at the beginning of the week to access the 23 Things Master Chef Wiki.
  • 2. Add 3 of your favourite recipes to the Wiki under the relevant headings. Remember to add an image of the finished dish! (If you haven’t brought a recipe with you, just find one online you can use).
  • 3. Edit 3 other recipes by other participants. You might want to suggest variations on the recipe, etc.
  • 4. Reflect in your blog about this.

1 Comment »

  1. […] Added one new topic and edited on topic on the 23 Things Wiki (week 6) […]

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