What is a wiki
What is a Wiki? The answer to this question has three parts:
- Wiki as a piece of software (Tool)
- Wiki as a way to collaborate on content (Process)
- Wiki as a concept to empower individuals as they participate in a larger system (Culture)
Wiki as a piece of software
From the tool point of view, a wiki is the simplest way to edit a web page. A wiki is a “content management system” (CMS) that allows you to create and edit information easily on a website.
There are two common ways to update a website. The first is to use a tool such as Dreamweaver, where you edit files locally on your computer and then upload them to your website. The second is to use a CMS that lets you edit the website "online". You do not have to upload or download or check files in and out. You simply update the page you want in one step.
Common examples of web-based Content Management Systems include WordPress (a blogging tool), Drupal, and Joomla. Because wikis are simpler than other CMS’s, Peder believes that as a tool they have a distinct advantage over other Content Management Systems.
Wiki as a way to collaborate on content
From the process point of view, the wiki allows many people to collaborate on a given document or idea. (See Figure 1, below, or Figure 2 for a video explanation.) Unlike email, where a document bounces back and forth, and multiple versions exist in a confused mess, a wiki provides one central place where people can edit information and add notes and even attach media such as pictures, music, or video as content.
Wiki as a concept to empower individuals
From the culture point of view, a wiki can be an effective means for knowledge management within a system, whether that system is a business, or a single a project. A wiki can impact the culture of a system when it achieves “critical mass”. It is at this point, Peder believes, that Information becomes Knowledge. The most practical example of this is the free online encyclopedia, Wikipedia. Peder provides a process and tools to allow the success of Wikipedia to be duplicated to scale within a business.