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Wikis within wikis

I've been spending my online time exploring the internal workings of wiksipaces wikis.

As of March 2008, [Wikispaces] had more than 920,000 registered members and hosted more than 390,000 wikis.By March 2009, that number had increased to over 2.2 million registered members and more than 900,000 wikis.
While I have used and valued wikispaces for a few years now,  and have kick started at least maybe 15 wikis there, I only now found an excuse to see how well they hack.Maybe that's not the correct word, but when you create a feature  that's not supplied by fiddling with the code, you are hacking.

So when  I started doing this I was mightily impressed with what wikispaces wikis can do.As I keep telling anyone who'll listen: get yourself a wiki. Store all your stuff there. Any group projects, use the wiki to collaborate

That still applies. It's a very useful , very generous free account or a valuable paid one  The Socialist Alliance Wiki I've been working on for the moment bears all what I have learnt about  fiddling with wiki design and attributes. I've also learnt that I can import one wiki's pages into another's -- so a good part of the Activist Toolkit shares  doorways in the SAwiki.

How's that? Wikis within wikis....

There's a lot of stuff said and written about new media and the potential of the web. Much of it is business hype or a sort of political speak designed to deflect you from your demands.

But with wikis, which only a few years ago was a new platform -- WikiWikiWeb was the first wiki created by   Ward Cunningham in 1995.-- the concept has impacted on many other platforms as the sharing side of the web took off. While Wikipedia may be most people's experience of them -- and, I need to say, not necessarily a good experience -- now that there are a few key wiki platforms that are settling in, the tool is becoming sharper and some kickarse things are being created by teams of designers.

Wikis democratize knowledge by allowing any number of people to create and  ( it must be also said) manipulate it in a way that has infinite possibilities that transcend the way hard copy publishing has previously been deployed in our cultures.Knowledge moves. It doesn't stand still. It is constantly being updated and reviewed.

In a very real sense  wikis are the weapon par excellence of the knowledge wars that were fought in  the sixties -- because they invest those who create history -- the people -- with the tool to also collectively write it.

Even the history of wikis was a war between opposing programmers and users   with competing concepts of what a wiki should become.

It does indeed make the concept, "written or designed by a committee" , a reality.

Whole towns or universities, schools, professional communities, gamers, huge corporations and fans (example list) now pull their collective knowledge together through wikis. And we are still only in early days of the take up spiral.

However the corporate take up is interesting because it addresses management challenges that are reflected in any organisation -- like a political party for instance.
* A wiki invites all users to edit any page or to create new pages within the wiki Web site, using only a  Web browser without any extra add-ons.
* Wiki promotes meaningful topic associations between different pages by making page link creation almost intuitively easy and showing whether an intended target page exists or not.
* A wiki is not a carefully crafted site for casual visitors. Instead, it seeks to involve the visitor in an ongoing process of creation and collaboration that constantly changes the Web site landscape.
*Wikis allow users to glue information via quick-and-easy-to-create pages containing links to other information systems, .
* Wikis avoid e-mail overload. Wikis allow all relevant information to be shared by people working on a given project. Conversely, only the wiki users interested in a given project need look at its associated wiki pages, in contrast to high-traffic mailing lists which may burden many subscribers with many messages, regardless of relevance to particular subscribers.
* Wikis organize information. Wikis allow users to structure new and existing information.
* Wikis build consensus. Wikis provide a framework for collaborative writing.ref




Need I say more?

These patterns are well worth considering as you begin your wiki journey.

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