Thursday, March 1, 2012

What's a Wiki? - More than an Encyclopedia!

Wikitravel - David, Panama
So, what is a Wiki? Well, first we should look at a little bit of history which will explain the term.

In 1995, during a trip to Hawaii, a website idea was created by Ward Cunningham. It was to be called WikiWikiWeb (a computer programming collaboration). Wiki means fast or quick in Hawaiian but also seems to have a second meaning of "what I know is". How appropriate for a online collaborative website. 

So basically, a wiki is an online website that allows its users to add, modify, or delete its content via a web browser. This collaboration allows users to share their knowledge, research and experiences. So most people know Wikipedia.. but what other wiki sites are out there? According to WikiIndex, there are 5,587 pages about Wiki, Wiki people and Wiki ideas! I will only highlight a few today.

Wikitravel - Want a place to get travel information from other travelers and not just a series of commercials? So far, they have 25,695 destination guides! Another source is Travellerspoint, a social network wiki where members discuss their travel experiences.

Wikipedia - Well know as a good source of general information. Although not recommended for most academia, the references may be a good source. 

WikiEducator - A fantastic resource for open source learning and educational projects. Along the same lines, WikiBooks is a source for open-content textbooks including WikiJr that is creating age-appropriate non-fiction books for children from birth to age 12.

WikiHow - Want to know how to poach an egg?  Check out the how-to manual that can be edited!

So it you are looking for a well rounded source, consider checking out a wiki and maybe even get involved in the development of collaborative websites.

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