What is a Wiki?

According to Wikipedia, the world largest wiki site:

A Wiki ([ˈwiː.kiː] <wee-kee> or [ˈwɪ.kiː] <wick-ey>) is a type of website that allows users to add, remove, or otherwise edit and change most content very quickly and easily.

A wiki allows a group of people to collaboratively develop website with no knowledge of HTML or other markup languages. These people may know each other or they may be complete strangers who are all working together to create and edit a website.

Wiki, meaning quick in Hawaiian, was developed to allow for easy and fast collaborative development and editing of a website. Wikis usually start as a


blank slate and are developed by the community of users who choose to participate. Anyone in the community can add to or edit anyone else’s writing. In theory, the final content should represent some sort of consensus within the community.

Some wikis are open to everyone. This can become problematic when spammers or malicious people vandalize entries, but they are usually quickly fixed by concerned members of the wiki community. The community enforces behavioral norms, so that it doesn’t become a free-for-all.

Other wikis are open only to specific groups like librarians, software developers, or participants in a class. These are wikis that are used to fill a specific need, and that need is how to find a way to easily collaborate and share information.

Why use a Wiki?

A wiki is a quick and easy way to share and contribute informations on projects, research, manuals and documents that

  • require input from a number of different people
  • need to be quickly changed or updated on a regular basis

Wikis are often used for intranets, research spaces, collaborative projects, creating documentation, and editing texts.

In libraries, you could use a wiki for:

  • Manuals, Procedures and Documentation
  • Special Projects, especially when the project team don't all work in the same building or area
  • Information Desk Communication - use a wiki to track current problems or popular questions for that week
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