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Wikis can been used in a wide variety of ways. Currently, most wikis act as knowledge repositories and chatter-boxes.

Wiki Abuses

There are also some inappropriate or just bad uses of wiki technology.

I wonder if there's a difference between a KnowledgeRepository? and a Wiki dedicated to creation of a nebulously-defined end product. Examples of the latter might include WikiPedia, OpenGuides, or other WikiMedia projects, but the one I'm thinking of in particular is WikiTravel (surprise surprise). In particular, Wikitravel's goal is not to create a wiki, but to create text. That text can be served through the wiki -- preferable and great -- but also may be re-used for offline purposes. A CD or print version of WikiPedia would be the same thing. Wiki is a tool to create, in these cases, but not an end in itself. One parallel from ArtificialIntelligence is the BlackBoardModel -- various simple agents work together to solve a problem (see http://www.pcai.com/web/ai_info/blackboard_technology.html). Maybe BlackBoard? is a good name for this use of wiki? --EvanProdromou

I usually call this use WhiteBoard? instead of BlackBoard?, I don't know why; it seems to be a more common name for this sort of thing. Maybe also CollaborativeWordProcessor?.

-- BayleShanks

Yes, WhiteBoard?ing is the common name for real-time collaborative editing. I like the BlackBoard? name because it echoes the BlackBoardModel, which is a little more apt -- whiteboarding tends to be just brainstorming, not actually creating a document. But, hey -- let's run it up the flagpole and see who salutes. --EvanProdromou

I scrubbed the abuses part of this page and started making it more parallel to the uses. The uses were about uses of wiki for a community, while the abuses were abuses of wiki by an individual. I tried to reframe the question in terms of uses by whoever founds the wiki, and abuses by whoever founds the wiki. There's probably a good place to list ways that wikis can be abused by individuals; I figured it wasn't here. --EvanProdromou


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