The Complete Guide to Wikkis, Chapter 1 notes

  • Defining a Wiki. A wiki is a page that allows the user to make changes and corrections. A wiki can be factual or fictional, and about any topic.
  • Where It All Began. In 1994 Ward Cunningham began programming a wiki engine. It was a modified verson of Apples Hyper Card System. His plan was to build a database that could be used and modified by anyone. He was ten years ahead of the times. inititally wikis had. A central data base, could be editied by anyone, where easy to edit, had simple formating, a history page listing all changes. later wikis got, private access to be used inside schools and hospitals, versioning so that past versions can be brought back if a major change is made, attached files to make sharing info easier, backlinks, change alerts so that you can see recent changes, printable pages.
  • How people start wikis. untill 1996 there was no standard wiki format. It was much easier to use a wiki than run one. People who had wikis had to have their own server for it and a lot of programing knowledge.
  • The Big Kid On the Block-Wikipedia. Jimmy Wales tryed using a non wiki format to create is first online encyclopedia and it bombed. Wikipedia took off instantly.
  • Ahead Of the Web 2.o. Sites like wikipedia, myspace, and utube are considered web generation two because they allow us to share massive ammounts of info rather than just consume it like web 1.0.
  • It’s very easy to contribute to a wiki. Most sites make you register so that if you vandalize it or place false info they know who did it.
  • Using Wikipedia. Wikipedia does not allow any original research, and if you don’t have citations you will be deleted. Many teachers don’t allow the use of wikipedia because nothing on it can be proven easily, and everything is subject to change at a moments notice.


Chapter 2: creating a wiki.


  • When creating a wiki you must decide, What it will be about, (SEO factor) private or public server, Be sure you enjoy your topic.
  • Types of Wikis, content wikis are the most common and include wikipedia, wikiquote, wiktionary, wikihow etc. process wikis are best suited for businesses and organizations because they are better at collaberating. uses include wedding planning, reuniting hurricane victems with project backpack, sourcewatch etc. Educational wikis. collaboration has been important for education in many countrys for years. Our class wiki is probobly a good example.
  • Community wikis help people who enjoy the same activitys to connect such as college wikis or the local wiki.
  • Researching Wiki Content. Personal experience is usually the best research for a wiki. Research begins with users but doesn’t end there. A wiki may be inacurate and everyone involved may be content with it being that way.
  • Finding Collaberators. The successful start up of a wiki requires the help of others. Some people may hire contributors while others may count on friends and family to provide a large ammount of content in a short period of time. Content wikis are very hard to start and probobly can’t be done alone. Your supposed to be a database of knowledge and 50 pages isn’t gonna cutt it.
  • conclusion. the goal of a wiki is to bring togeather a group of people who are intersted in a similar topic.


Chaper 7 Wiki Structure and Ontology

  • A wiki is nearly useless unless it’s organized and user friendly.
  • Structuring a Wiki effectively. wikis are compared to both dictionarys and spiderwebs. If you don’t put into place good ontology and structure you’ll have a mess. You can use natural groupings, charts if your a business, Actions like writing printing and copying, alphabetical order, space and time or geographic location.
  • Patterned linking, easy linking is putting links in a page that take you to a page about a topic as it’s being discussed.
  • creating the navigation structure is planning how you’ll get arround your wiki. The front page of a wiki is a vital tool that showcases and allows navigation of your content. You’ll also have to keep in mind who your audience is as you design. Section pages are the pages on which you create links to various pages and categorys.
  • navigation tools. sidebars footers and headers can be navigation tools. Header and footer suffice for most pages navigation systems.
  • headers should use bread crumbs which allow people to see where they’ve been, tags that show which category you’re currently in and where you came from, a search box to find content fast, and jump boxes that allow for fast printing and edditing of the page.
  • footers are usually the same as or a stripped down version of the header.
  • a side bar can take many forms and can include support pages, FAQ, a search box, recent changes info, the ability to sign up for newsletters or notifications, subsrciptions to things like rss feeds.
  • Visiual changes to your wiki. Wikis can be dressed up in many ways. Themes and skins are like templates for a wiki. there are many color options for your wiki but your should have a reason to use them. No one looks down on simple black and white. Make sure your color ads value to the page. Templates help simplify contributors efforts.
  • conclusion. setting up your wiki to utilize its built in tools well helps make your wiki easier to use and brings in more visitors. When building a wiki it’s important to keep a steady pace of growth and keep an eye out for organization problems.


Chapter 8 : Linking and Categorizing Your Wiki.

  • When you start linking and categorizing you need to establish a basic format that will always be followed in your wiki.
  • Linking pages on a wiki. Links on a wiki are easier and more powerful than on a normal website and are completely different wich causes people to make fundamental errors.
  • page names. Each wiki page need a completly unique name.
  • Two types of linking. Camel Case linking was created by ward cunningham and is less versatile than form free linking which uses brackets and allows for case sensativity.
  • Stub Lists. When you create a link to a page that doesn’t exist yet your creating a stub list. You must create a list of these stubs so that they can be completed.
  • Linking to outside urls is very easy[]
  • when adding files, images or video, your wiki may have an uploading tool, or you might have to use an html caller. Files is <a href=”file root”>Text</a>  Images are <img src=”file root”> embedded files are
  • Linking and structuring. You must know how to include your pages within categorys. [[CategoryName|Page Name]] allows your to place a page in a category. You can add several categorys to each page.


Wide Open Spaces: Wiki Ready Or Not


  • Once the web was a boundless Borgesian “Library of Babel, but now it’s a shopping mall.
  •  Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the internet. His dream was for it to be accessable and editable by anyone.
  • Wikis are wikis because anyone can change anything, they use simplifyed hypertext markup, page titles are mashed togeather, the content is egoless and timeless.
  • wikis are used for many things. The factulty of applied science instructional support usues wikis so their teams can brainstorm and collaborate. Carreer services uses a wiki for job posting.  academic research units on a campus used a wiki for planning a technoculture conference.
  • The standard objection is that anyone can edit and therefor destry a wikis content. But soft security is a wikis security plan. People flow in after an act of vandalism and edit it back to health.
  • a wiki in the hand of a healthy community works. a wiki in the hands of an indifferent comunity fails.
  • wikis are often more disorganized than most people are accustomed to.
  • wikis are ugly because they adhere closely to the original spirit of the web.
  • wikis are springing up in educational environments like mushrooms. they are proving very useful
  • pedagogical challenges. wikis don’t lend themselve perfectly to the education environment. Tracking an individuals work in a wiki is apparently very difficult. there are ways of organizing a wiki into a learning system but then you risk damaging what makes a wiki such a valuable learning tool in the first place.
  • It is very difficult to track intelectual property on a wiki. For this reason their usefulness in schools may be limited.
  • technical considerations. As wikis become more popular we’ll come to depend on them. But servers can fail and then all will be lost or postponed.


Above and Below the Double Line: Refactoring and That Old-Time Revision


  • using a wiki means returning periodically to see how a thread is developing.
  • thread mode is a discussion of a topic. threads can jump around however the contributors see fit.
  • document mode is written in the third person and is the collective understanding of the wiki. Some authors sign them but most don’t.
  • refactoring is a cencentious technique for developing a page. Over time pages get posted on and become redundant and or nearly unreadable untill they are refactored taking the new comments into account. It’s hard to refactor and please thread participants.
  • double lines are from meatball forum and are a technique for refactoring. page patterns is another technique. Morgan preffers double lines because it keeps all the material togeather in the same space but keeps it readable.
  • below are terms useful in refactoring.
  • successfully refactored material/loose ends, discussion, suggested changes
  • stable/volatile content
  • opening statement/discussion
  • generalization/specifics
  • principle/examples
  • thesis/support
  • argument or structural pattern/discussion on pattern.
  • ThereforeBut
  • ThesisAntithesisSynthesis
  • TentativeSummary
  • ThereforeBut StillOnTheOtherHand
  • ThereforeBut SeeAlso
  • GivenThis … ThenThat … ButIfYouConsider
  • A pattern for listing alternatives
    • HowDoWeDoX
    • ByThisMeans
    • OrByThisMeans
    • OrByThisMeans
    •  . . . 
  • A pattern for stating and considering dependencies
    • ItDependsOnThis
    • AndOnThis
    • AndOnThis
    • WhichDependsOn
    •  . . . 
  • A pattern for stating if-then, with an option
    • IfThenOtherwise or IfThenElse
  • A pattern for breaking an explanation into several parts, with qualifications
    • IfThisAndThisAndThis … ThenThis
    • ButIfYouConsiderThis … ThenThis
  • A pattern for articulating parallel points or reasons in a series
  • ThisAndThisAndThis … LeadToThis

  • A pattern for organized composing with a gloss
  • OnOneHandThese … ButOnTheOtherHandThese … AndSoThis
  • a wiki is like a chalkboard
  • Online Chalkboard

    When we write threads we scribble ideas as if we were writing with chalk.

    They need no order

    If the chalk keeps moving the brain keeps working

    Chalk comes in many colors

    You can make pictures with chalk

    A chalkboard can be taped over and posted to

    It’s easier to read a chalkboard from a distance

  • when we’re done we can read what we wrote and erase that which does not matter.