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.
Flossmanuals.net is a new wiki help authoring/publishing tool hybrid that, as far as I know, is completely unique. The site is more than a wiki. It allows groups of authors to create specific chapters independently. You can then remix the chapters into any arrangement and selection you want through a drag-and-drop interface.
This paper examines user-generated metadata as implemented and applied in two web services designed to share and organize digital media to better understand grassroots classification.
For the last couple of months, I’ve been developing an online list of major trends that are transforming public relations, with links to sites, articles and quotes that in one way or another prove the point and that I know I’ll someday want to get back to. It’s something like my own personal tagging system, maintained in a wiki.
Regardless of the overlap problem, combining a forum with a wiki and blog has tangible benefits. It helps solve the participation problem with wikis. Users are more comfortable asking a question in a forum rather than changing the original content of an article. Wiki admins can harvest information from these forum threads to strengthen the information of the wiki. Significant new wiki information should be announced to users on the blog.
As wikis mature, we’re using them for more complex business cases such as technical documentation, business analysis and project management. It’s becoming more and more interesting, if not essential, for wikis to support the import and export of content to and from other formats. Most wikis allow you to convert their pages at least to PDF and HTML. But what of other formats, and what about tools for getting content into wikis as well as out of them?
Rarely does anyone articulate an actual business reason why the speaker feels that a wiki isn't a worthwhile tool for collaboration in his or her environment, such as a lack of need. When I ask deeper questions, I invariably find that the objection isn't to the wiki technology itself, but instead to the concept of collaborative authoring and a perceived loss of control over the content.
Provides a recap of how the online, wiki-based Carolina Communique evolved and won an Award of Excellence in the Newsletters: Web & Online category of the 2008 APEX Awards for Publication Excellence
An ongoing tension within Wikipedia is characterized as the inclusionists versus the exclusionists. The inclusionists argue that one of Wikipedia's core values is that it should be open to all ideas, that truth emerges from a variety of directions. Better to include than exclude. The exclusionists see Wikipedia's utilitarianism diminished if too much froth clouds the valuable information inside. These people delete material they consider inappropriate. The case offers students a chance to understand issues such as how online cultures are made and maintained, the power of self-policing organizations, the question of whether the service is drifting from its core principles, and whether a Wikipedia-like concept can work in a business setting.
If you're a professional communicator, chances are good you've already asked yourself whether it's time to start your own blog. But there's another tech question that you probably have not yet asked yourself, and perhaps you should: Is it time to start your own wiki?
There’s a place for a lighter touch in much of the online documentation we write. It’s a delicate balance. On the one hand, it’s important that the writing style does not annoy or offend the reader and does not detract from the content. We also need to be aware of people whose first language is not the one we’re writing in. On the other hand, the occasional touch of humour or personality can focus the reader’s attention onto the page.
Much documentation and training is delivered in one direction—the writer provides content, and the user consumes it. Perhaps this is one reason that technical communicators are looking for ways to create a conversation. It’s easier to address user problems when you can ask follow-up questions and get details. In a one-way delivery, you have to hope that what you provide will cover what’s needed. In a conversation, you can constantly get more information and react accordingly. Still, in an instant message, chat, or forum conversation, it can be hard to be clear.
If we can solicit user participation in a Web 2.0 knowledge community (a volunter wiki documentation, for example), we might have a powerful means for creating high quality content. But how should this process work?
While the content of what I write at work is not all that interesting, and even the paradoxes or other conundrums about technical writing sometimes dull, I really get excited about the technology side of my job. New technologies are emerging each day at a rapid rate. It’s like we’re living in the internet era before the dot.com burst. This is a Web 2.0 land, where even Google threatens to become the next operating system. I am really eager to use a wiki to write my next set of documentation.
For all the hand-wringing over whether Wikipedia is a legitimate source for completing college assignments, some professors are quietly incorporating it into their classrooms and even their research. Others, noting features of the Web site that contribute to inaccuracies and shortchange the value of expertise, are building variations on the model that are more amenable to academics and to peer review.
A question that technical communicators frequently ask about wikis is "How do I get the documentation out of a wiki?" A simple answer: "Don’t worry about it." Because the wiki is the delivery method.
User-generated documentation is a big issue in technical communication circles. If properly done, tapping into the knowledge of users can improve the quality and breadth of your documentation.
A wiki is a web site that anybody can change. You may have already visited a wiki without even knowing it. Wikis are poised to become one of the most important online communication tools we’ve seen in a long time. While blogs are justifiably getting most of the attention paid to the online world these days, wikis are quietly weaving their way into both the external and internal communication world.
Rating sites empower people to make better choices. Obviously they are subject to abuse (either from the competition, from the the slandered source, or from biased friends). But even in the possible exaggerations from the participants, the ratings raise awareness of issues that you might otherwise not carefully examine.
The importance of single sourcing the long print manual is becoming less of a demand (have you handed someone a 100+page manual lately that someone accepted with eagerness? ) I predict that in several years time, we’ll see a major shift towards web-based tools in tech comm, especially wikis.
This study examines the revision histories of 10 Wikipedia articles nominated for the site's Featured Article Class (FAC), its highest quality rating, 5 of which achieved FAC and 5 of which did not. The revisions to each article were coded, and the coding results were combined with a descriptive analysis of two representative articles in order to determine revision patterns. All articles in both groups showed a higher percentage of additions of new material compared to deletions and revisions that rearranged the text. Although the FAC articles had roughly equal numbers of content and surface revisions, the non-FAC articles had fewer surface revisions and were dominated by content revisions. Although the unique features of the Wikipedia environment inhibit strict comparisons between these results and those of earlier revision studies, these results suggest revision in this environment places unique structural demands on writers, possibly leading to unique revision patterns.