Wikis: A Comprehensive Overview By Brian McFarland, Alex Wolfe, Becker Jeung, Victoria Burges,

Wikis: A Comprehensive
By Brian McFarland, Alex Wolfe,
Becker Jeung, Victoria Burges,
Paul Weidinger, and Hang Zueng
Definition Of Wiki
• According to Oxford English Dictionary,
wiki is defined “A type of web page
designed so that its content can be edited
by anyone who accesses it, using a
simplified markup language.”
• Wiki means “fast” in Hawaiian language
History of Wiki
• In 1994, the very first “Wiki” tool was
created by Ward Cunningham on his
website, Wikiwikiweb.
• In 2001, Wikipedia, the largest open
content encyclopedia was launched.
How it was developed
• First Site:
• Developed by Ward
Cunningham in 1994,
and he installed it on
the Internet domain on March 25,
• ”The simplest online
database that could
possibly work."
• Origin of name: Cunningham,
remembered a Honolulu
International Airport
employee telling him to take
the "Wiki Wiki" shuttle bus
that runs between the
airport's terminals.
• Inspiration: Apple's
HyperCard. Apple had
designed a system allowing
users to create virtual "card
stacks" supporting links
among the various cards.
Cunningham developed this
idea by allowing users to
"comment on and change one
another's text”.
Wiki Growth and Uses
• Early 2000s: Wikis were increasingly
adopted in enterprise as collaborative
• Common uses: project communication,
intranets, and documentation, initially
for technical users. Wikis are used in
business to provide intranets and
Knowledge Management systems.
• Wikipedia: a collaborate encyclopedia;
one of the best-known wikis.
How Wikis Work
• The Wiki model allows anyone to edit, and
relies on a large number of wellintentioned editors to overcome issues
raised by a smaller number of problematic
• No article on Wikis undergo formal peerreview process and changes to articles are
made available immediately.
The Good Things about Wikis
• Wikis are incredibly easy to use and flexible.
– Its creator actually referred to them as “the simplest online
database that could possibly work.”
• Since anyone can access and edit the information,
wikis allow for rapid updates to keep up with the times,
and can amass large amounts of varied information.
– Faster and more efficient method for group communication
than sending thousands of emails back and forth
• Provides a common ground for collecting, organizing
and sharing knowledge and experience.
• Faster, more widespread, and efficient communication.
Criticisms of Wikis
• Wikis have been criticized because their easy writability
leaves them open to vandalism by anyone on the internet.
• Their pages are not necessarily well monitored, and it can
be easy for a living person to be defamed by their page on
a wiki, with no chance to respond.
• The anonymity of the internet means that those who
perpetrate these acts of vandalism or slander cannot be
held accountable.
• The point of view of articles in wikis can often be slanted in
one direction or another, despite attempts to ensure a
“Neutral Point of View”
Our Recommendation
• We the Wiki group hereby state that wikis
are an excellent piece of technology worth
of our interest, and formally recommend
that wikis be given a more prominent place
and society, and recognized as places of
information every bit as legitimate as more
traditional sources.