Week 7: Wikis

Please listen to this short online video presentation to explain Wikis
(a youtube video created by Common Craft)

A wiki is a collaborative website and authoring tool that allows users to easily add, remove and edit content. Wikipedia, the online open-community encyclopedia, is the largest and perhaps the most well known of these knowledge sharing tools.
With the benefits that wikis provide, the use and popularity of this tool is increasing.

Some of the benefits that make wikis so attractive are:
Anyone (registered, or unregistered if unrestricted) can add, edit or delete content.
Tracking tools within wikis allow you to easily keep up with what has been changed and by whom.
Earlier versions of a page can be viewed and reinstated when needed.
And users do not need to know HTML in order to apply styles to text or add and edit content.
In most cases simple syntax structure is used.
As the use of wikis has grown over the last few years, libraries all over the country have begun to use them to collaborate and share knowledge. Among their applications are pathfinder or subject guide wikis, book review wikis, conference wikis and even library best practices wikis.

Discovery Resources:
Use these resources to learn more about wikis:
Using Wikis to Create Online Communities – a good overview of what a wiki is and how it can be used in libraries.
For information on how to create a wiki, using PBwiki, visit - http://pbwiki.com/academic-library.wiki

Discovery Exercise:
1. For this discovery exercise, you are asked to take a look at some wikis and blog about your findings. Here are a few examples to get you started:

UL library Scratchpad Wiki - UL Library's Cataloguing Department wiki
Book Lovers Wiki - developed by the Princeton Public Library
Library Success: A best practices wiki
http://www.idc.ul.ie/idcwiki/index.php/Wikis_for_teaching#Free_wiki_spaces_available - an example of a lecturer's teaching wiki

2. Consider different ways your library could use a wiki and blog about your thoughts.

3. Try setting up a wiki that would be useful to library staff or customers.

Once you've finished this week's exercises, you can take a break from Learning 2.0 for a little while - as well as the Easter break, we are giving everyone a catch-up week and we'll be back with the exercises for week 8 on Monday 27 April 2009. Well done to everyone who has reached this stage!

1 comment:

  1. I haven't created a wiki. I've looked around and seen what they can do, and Claire's UL Library Cataloguing wiki is a good example of how they can work well when done well, but because so much of the literature is suggesting that wikis' day has gone - e.g. this article from The Chronicle asking 'Have Wikis Run Out of Steam?' http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/article/3744/have-wikis-run-out-of-steam - I'm reluctant to invest the time. It's interesting that the Princeton Public Library's Book Lovers wiki (recommended on the LNSS blog) hasn't been edited in the last year and has a note saying "We did not create a wiki for the 2007 version of the PPL Summer Reading Program, Read Around the World. We upgraded our catalog to include reviews. Thus reviews for summer reading are now being entered directly to our catalog. Hope you will join us! "


Useful comments!