"It's a form of brainstorming that's bigger than one person standing at a flip chart," Ward Cunningham.
The word 'wiki' comes from the Hawaiian term for "quick" or "super-fast".
A wiki is a special kind of website which enables collaboration. It allows visitors to the website to freely create and edit (at any time) the website's content using any Web browser (for example Firefox, Internet Explorer, etc.) and no other special tools.
'Wiki' usually refers to the entire website (or online database) within which there are pages containing articles.
Sometimes the term "wiki" can be used to refer to the software itself which is involved, which can be a little confusing, but essentially, wikis are:
- OK for nontechnical users
- Anyone can contribute to the wiki. No knowledge of software or programming is required.
- Instant publication
- Content can be changed and INSTANTLY published.
- Most content can be modified
- In most wikis all or most of the content can be modified by users.
- Integration and interconnectedness
- Most wikis contain large amounts of hyperlinks leading to high degrees of interconnectedness.
- Most wikis offer at least a title search, if not a full text search.
- Also online communities
- Sharing information, collaborative authoring, and peer review leads to online community
- Essentially a simple concept but with profound and subtle effects
- A wiki has been described as "The simplest online database that could possibly work."
- Users can affect not only the content of the website but also how it is organised.
- Open editing: "encourages democratic use of the Web and promotes content composition by nontechnical users"
"One way to see it is as a way for many individuals to collectively write a web "site". Another way to see it as the most efficient policy process, the most efficient documentation sharing, the most efficient test balloon for a radical idea."
Sustainable Nova Scotia
Example wiki - Wikipedia
(This section needs updating)
Perhaps the most famous example of a wiki is Wikipedia.
Wikipedia describes itself as a free, open-content, online encyclopaedia.
Started in January 2001, Wikipedia is currently both the world's largest encyclopaedia (over 1 million articles) and the fastest-growing, with articles under active development in over 100 languages. Nearly 2,500 new articles are added to Wikipedia each day, along with ten times as many updates to existing articles.
Wikipedia now ranks as one of the ten most popular reference sites on the Internet, according to Alexa.com. It is increasingly used as a resource by students, journalists, and everyday researchers. Wikipedia has also been cited thousands of times in a diverse array of documents and publications, including news reports, books, academic studies, and even legal documents.
Wikipedia is created entirely by volunteers who contribute, update, and revise articles in a collaborative process, and has gained recognition as a website for community interaction.