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LindseyHart is writing an aticle about wikis for her senior thesis. These questions are for anyone (everyone?) here to answer. TedErnst pointed her to Meatball and suggested public interviewing.
What impact do wikis have on the world today?
- For me, the impact is the idea that we don't have to rely on the "experts" because we are the experts, collectively. We don't need gatekeepers or hierachies. We can work together right now.
- Improved Collaboration, yes, but wikis are also an excellent repository of ongoing changes in an individual's knowledge. A diary of learning.
- Not much impact at present. Printed reference works are feeling some impact, and some interest is being aroused in a few people.
- Business is picking up steam with them, recently the movie "Slevin" used one to keep track of financing for the movie.
- Very little compared to to the impact twenty years from now.
How do they affect the way we use the Internet?
- I use email a lot less.
- Contribute and add, don't just passively receive.
- Greater persistence of the conversation.
- I use the internet now because of wiki, prior I had no interest
- Who is we?
What impact will wikis have in the future?
- Broadcast type websites may start to look old fashioned.
- Self organization of knowledge is very exciting to me. I think the potential is there for people to reshape what it means to be a citizen.
- People will expect that they can contribute and be read (heard).
How will wikis be used in the future?
- Companies are beginning to set up wikis on their private networks to make R&D more efficient.
- They will become the norm for group self-organisation. Already happening with registration for events, so people will come to expect that they have a right to contribute and collaborate at the planning stage perhaps.
- There are at least twenty wiki applications types. This number will grow.
Will wiki functions be incorporated into non-wiki sites?
- They already are. I predict that the word "wiki" will lose it's meaning as people use it for their attempts at modifing other kinds of software to allow easier collaboration.
- It may also be the other way around: that non-wiki functions are incorpated into wiki. They already are.
What are the benefits of using wiki technology?
- CamelCase as a short-hand for the lengthy html "href ..." strings.
- The different perspectives that are posted can be a source of additional insights.
- Brainstorming is possible.
- Members can act as a Trusted (known) Audience that serves as a "sounding board".
- The rewards of sharing knowlege are built in, while knowledge hoarding is penalised. The technology thus promotes better social attitudes.
- You know that feeling you get when you hit the "send" button on email, then suddenly you remember one more thing you should have mentioned, or you see an obvious typo? Wiki lets you fix that typo and add one more thing.
- Easy linking, possibly helps people understand what the "true" potential of a hypertext internet could be.
- Normal person get a power-boost compared to organisations and corporations.
- Dialogues can get a new quality, they can go much deeper.
Will wikis need to become more attractive for mainstream America to adopt them?
- What is mainstream? English Wikipedia has over 1,000,000 articles.
- I don't think so. Some wikis are already very visually attractive (graphics, layouts based on CSS), and the functionality is what will drive adoption.
- Why should I care about what happens in parochial America?
- Wiki will become more attractive anyway, because lots of developers compete with their wiki engines. Whether some "mainstream" needs that, wants that, or not.
Will the name "wiki" continue to be used in reference to the wiki technology or once wikis become more mainstream, will the name "wiki" be dropped?
- Good question. It's an appealing word (short, phonemically different) and has become well-entrenched as representing editable web pages, but it may become eclipsed by a myriad of Web 2 offerings. Over the long-term the names used by the new Web 2 applications might take over.
- Fashionable usage of language is probably a complex adaptive system and thus unpredictable.
- Possibly, but then again, I think it describes a different way of thinking about being online, so I think it is possible it will stick.
- Yes, I think so. I remember powerful attempts to "proprietize" the wiki idea: MarkGuzdial? and his CoWeb, IBM and its QuickPlace?. They all got nowhere. Wiki is a term like "e-mail". It will stay as one of the fundamental technologies.
How much credibility should we give content on wikis?
- We should always verify what we read, and not simply take it as true because of it's source. That's always been true and continues to be true with wikis. Wikis bring that point our of the closet and make it plain. The NYT has errors, maybe even blatently made up stuff. Britannica has errors. These are information sources, like Wikipedia.
- Forget about "information source" wikis. Wikis are about collaboration. How many workgroups are using wikis to track their progress instead of email? Is credibility an issue there? Not at all. We're working with the people we choose to work with. Wiki is just one way we do that.
- Quite a bit, since the content has been subjected to a kind of peer review.
- Exactly the same credibility as to other real world content ... less than we usually do.
- Which wikis...
Are there any other questions about wikis I have not asked yet?
- Yes. See below, and feel free to add to them
Additional Questions Section
How many wikis are already online?
- The overall number (100.000-1.000.000?) means as little as the total number of Blogs. There are probably a few thousand wikis that have a community and contain more than a few hundred pages. There are probably a few hundred wikis that contain more than a few thousand pages.
What is the biggest challenge currently facing wiki?
- There is no big challenge. Wiki is unfolding slowly and steadily. Maybe: to understand that WikiPediaIsNotTypical.
What did we learn from the Wiki:WikiMindWipe ?
- Probably that WardsWikiIsNoShowCase?.
How long does it take to set up a new wiki?
- Many answers: 3 minutes technically. 3 hours if you build an indiviudal layout. 3 weeks to do proper community design. 3 months for seed posting and have a start. 3 years to grow a real community and build trust.
Why is it important to UseRealNames or be anonymous, rather than using pseudonyms.
- Real names are important to build trust among contributors. Pseudonyms enable certain persons to talk who wouldn't if they had to use their real names. The difference betweem "anonyms" and "pseudonyms" are exaggerated, pseudonyms are mostly handles for anonyms. The conflict between "bionyms" (real names) and "anonyms" is unnecessary.
Can you think of an analogy or an explanation for a wiki that would make it easier for a non-technologically savvy person to understand?
- AndresStreiff uses the analogy of wiki as a swiss army knife, wiki as a flexible tool for a range of functions.
- BeatDoebeli uses the analogy that a wiki is like a blackboard at school. Everybody can read what is written, everybody can write and edit what others have written, and its cheap and simple.
- I cannot make wiki easy to understand but I can help elucidate why it is not easy to understand. Wiki is not a simple thing, a simple pattern, but a MultiPattern (like "book" or "building"). Because wiki can be used in so many different ways, to solve so different problems in different contexts, therefore it's hard to impossible to define what a wiki is. See [wiki applications]