Friday, December 22, 2006

Task 17 - Wikis

Wiki, the hawaiian word for "quick", is the name given to a certain kind of website, which is designed to make information easier to collect and display through collaboration. What really makes wikis different from blogs, or collaborative web applications like google docs, is the wiki has the perfect setup for cross-referencing everything. Notice how the Wikipedia links important keywords in each entry to their own individual entries within the wiki. The Wikipedia is probably the most well known wiki. Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia that can be edited by anyone. Users have the ability to create new entries, add on to existing ones, and discuss the entries themselves on a special "Talk" page that exists for every page in wikipedia.

Although well-known, Wikipedia isn't the only wiki out there. The WikiIndex tries to be the definitive list of Wikis available on the web. For example, there is a LyricWiki, which provides (suprise!) song lyrics. If you know the lyrics to a song that isn't listed, all you would have to do is create a free account (it helps keep spammers from adding junk to the wiki) and add a page with the song lyrics. It's that simple.

Your job: Try looking through the WikiIndex for wikis that look interesting to you, and explore one to get a handle on how wikis work. Think you've got it? Now go here to our own personal sandbox wiki, and add a wiki to the favorite wikis page. (The wiki password is "ncpltech".) If you're feeling brave, add a page and start something new! :)

(This will be the last task for a week. Enjoy your holidays!)

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