A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

Wikis

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A wiki is a page or collection of Web pages designed to enable anyone who accesses it to contribute or modify content, using a simplified markup language. Wikis are often used to create collaborative websites and to power community websites, usually as a very simple form of content management.

 

101.
#25800

wikiHow

wikiHow is a collaborative writing project to build the world's largest how-to manual. With your contributions, we can create a free resource that helps people by offering clear, concise solutions to the problems of everyday life.

wikiHow. Resources>Documentation>Online>Wikis

102.
#36484

Wikis (Part 1): Getting Started

Wikis are easy to use, and they really do make possible new ways of thinking about classroom interactions. There are at least two good reasons to use a wiki: 1) the creation of dead-simple web pages (students can create and share multimedia pages without knowing any code), and 2) meaningful, easy collaboration.

Jones, Jason B. Prof Hacker (2009). Articles>Content Management>Education>Wikis

103.
#36482

Wikis (Part 2): In the Classroom

The thing to remember about wikis is that they’re platforms for super-easy collaboration, and that wikis in principle make all aspects of a site, including organization and navigation, user-editable. This gives users a remarkable amount of power to shape material to suit their ends–which may/may not align with a class’s.

Jones, Jason B. Prof Hacker (2009). Articles>Content Management>Education>Wikis

104.
#35490

Wikis and the Holy Grail of Content Independence

The concept of having control over your help content, to update it at any time, is what I’m calling content independence. Establishing content independence in your publishing environment may be a battle that can take years. For example, at a previous job, it took five years to finally convince architecture that we needed and deserved our own independent folder on a production server. In my current situation, I’ve pursued publishing routes in infrastructure that would enable on-the-fly updating, but for two years in a row I’ve come up empty-handed. With wikis, I think I’ve finally found the holy grail of content independence.

Johnson, Tom H. I'd Rather Be Writing (2009). Articles>Content Management>Single Sourcing>Wikis

105.
#28320

Wikis for Supporting Distributed Collaborative Writing   (PDF)

Wikis allow distributed teams to collaboratively write and edit documents through the Internet in a shared online workspace, without the need for special HTML knowledge or tools. The flexibility of wiki technology is a boon for increased cooperative work on large team projects. However, wiki technology also complicates notions of usable design as the information architecture of a wiki site may be created on the fly by all participants rather than by a dedicated technical communicator. This paper describes the basic technology of wikis, some advantages and disadvantages, and areas of concern with regard to information design.

Wei, Carolyn, Brandon Maust, Jennifer Barrick, Elisabeth Cuddihy and Jan H. Spyridakis. STC (2005). Articles>Documentation>Collaboration>Wikis

106.
#29707

Wikis for Supporting Distributed Collaborative Writing   (PDF)

Wikis allow distributed teams to collaboratively write and edit documents through the Internet in a shared online workspace, without the need for special HTML knowledge or tools. The flexibility of wiki technology is a boon for increased cooperative work on large team projects. However, wiki technology also complicates notions of usable design as the information architecture of a wiki site may be created on the fly by all participants rather than by a dedicated technical communicator. This paper describes the basic technology of wikis, some advantages and disadvantages, and areas of concern with regard to information design.

Wei, Carolyn, Brandon Maust, Jennifer Barrick, Elisabeth Cuddihy and Jan H. Spyridakis. STC Proceedings (2005). Articles>Collaboration>Writing>Wikis

107.
#36266

Wikis for Technical Documents: Interview With Alan Porter

Here is the edited version of Cherryleaf’s transatlantic Web interview with Alan Porter on wikis and their use for technical documentation.

Pratt, Ellis. Cherryleaf (2010). Articles>Interviews>Documentation>Wikis

108.
#35752

Wikis in the Workplace: a Practical Introduction

The wiki crops up in many companies' internal discussions about process improvements and efficient collaboration, but it is often shot down because so few people have exposure to good models of what a really successful business wiki can do. Ars is here to help with a practical introduction based on real-world examples.

Porter, Alan J. Ars Technica (2009). Articles>Content Management>Workplace>Wikis

109.
#37107

Wikis, Copyright, and Licensing

A question about wikis and copyright came through my email inbox this week, and I thought I’d share it with my readers. It’s a good question and a common misconception of wikis is that all content is always liberated once it’s put on a wiki. Not so, and here is additional explanation.

Gentle, Anne. Just Write Click (2010). Articles>Intellectual Property>Copyright>Wikis

110.
#36775

Wikis, Documentation, and Aesthetics

Quality content or appearance? My choice is the former. No matter how beautifully laid out and typeset a piece of documentation is, if the information that it contains isn’t accurate or useful fine typography and design can’t paper over those deficiencies. What’s wrong with a wiki? Overall, not much. But the problem with documentation that’s delivered using a wiki is that it looks like it’s being delivered using a wiki.

Nesbitt, Scott. Communications from DMN (2010). Articles>Documentation>Aesthetics>Wikis

111.
#37135

Writing Degree Binary: An Argument for Interscription   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Networked electronic text—fragmentary, mutable, connected, and instantly accessible from any computer or handheld device—challenges traditional notions of textual coherence and composition, offering affordances far beyond those possible in traditional, print-based texts, including those made available electronically. Such texts become tools, passively awaiting a user who activates, assimilates, and adapts their contents to his or her particular situation. This article explores the creators' role in such texts, roles that remain underappreciated, unstudied, and misunderstood as a new, and necessary, form of composition activity. Their work is not considered authorship in most traditional senses of composition; although it involves a number of traditional authorial tasks: the decision to connect certain fragments to others, to add affordances beyond those allowed by print, creates the potential for structural coherence and viability of a networked text, potential then realized by users, who themselves become authors of this continually changing text.

Berg, Christopher. Journal of Technical Writing and Communication (2010). Articles>Content Management>Rhetoric>Wikis

 
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