Wikis: A Comprehensive Overview 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: WikiWikiWeb • Developed by Ward Cunningham in 1994, and he installed it on the Internet domain c2.com on March 25, 1995. • ”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 software. • 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 editors. • 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.