30 October 2004

Wikis for some, tiny American flags for others

/. has an entry on Wikis. A Wiki [Wikipedia] (pronounced "wicky" or "weekee") is a website that allows any user to add content [and] allows that content to be edited by any other user. The /.ers suggest that Wikis will replace Lotus Notes. Although Notes and Wikis share the feature of document repository, Notes IIRC is also scriptable groupware [Wikipedia] used as a collaborative management tool. With Notes, documents not only are editable by the group, they can automatically be passed from person-to-person as their responsibility is completed. Admittedly, any company I've seen using Notes is using it primarily as a Wiki (and hating every minute of it).

The /. discussion also covered whether or not the wiki model was valuable. I.e. correct information is not always democratic, so collectively created documents will more often veer towards collective ignorance than rare truth. I understand the argument, but it's proved wrong over at Wikipedia--and in fact I've never seen any example from the 300,000 article Wikipedia to support that fear. Collective information can be wrong, but one smart person can correct it for everyone by keeping that information open and in one location.

I've only begun to comb through the different wikis that are out there (as provided in various lists from the Wikipedia article). One that could be very useful is the travel wiki World66. We could've probably referenced it for our trip to Athens and Santorini.

Wikipedia lists freely available groupware. Many of them are Web-based, and some of the wikis are discussed in the /. article. MediaWiki, the engine behind Wikipedia, seems to be the favorite. There's some contract work I may be starting in a month or so, and I am considering coordinating project documentation and status through a wiki. It sounds very painless, and it would be a good way to give the client confidence by having full access to information.

[ posted by sstrader on 30 October 2004 at 11:26:28 AM in Science & Technology ]