Wiki characteristics and history...#1b

These topics are discussed in two separate, but connected, pages of Wards Wiki, also known as WikiWikiWeb!

Wikis are very much a contemporary tool, but to my surprise they have been used for more than a decade. The first one was born on March 25, 1995 as a supplement to Portland Pattern Repositiory, a computer programming group (most of us in education were just getting access to the Internet and e-mail around that time period – that in and of itself is hard to believe!). Led by Ward Cunningham, the web site was so named to stand for “quick” editing in their computer project.

Now he says, “Wiki has turned out to be much more than I imagined! That is not to say I didn’t imagine a lot.” (Wiki Design Principles, 2006). He then specifies characteristics of wikis to include:
  • Organic: both the content and the structure are open to development

  • Universal: uses the same organizational and editing tools as a writer would use, so very little learning needed to contribute

  • Observable: the editing can be observed and monitored by any viewer

  • Trust: As Cunningham states, “this is at the core of wiki…Everyone controls and checks the content.”

  • Sharing: a collective repository of information and ideas

In addition to the recognition that this web-based collaborative tool has been around longer than I’d imagined, I was surprised to see that it is still active! Both pages cited below were changed yesterday – the endurance of such a project is truly extraordinary! As well, I’m still intrigued by the concept of trust – the belief that the visitor will only edit with “good intentions” and that recognizing that doesn’t always happen, there will be a monitoring. I’m beginning to build a solid base of the background of wikis…Getting the breadth, and now want to get some depth on some of these principles.

Wiki Design Principles. (March 13, 2006). WikiWikiWeb. Retrieved March 14, 2006 from http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?WikiDesignPrinciples

Wiki History. (March 13, 2006). WikiWikiWeb. Retrieved March 14, 2006 from http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?WikiHistory


At 10:18 AM, Blogger M. Yates said...

I agree with you the issue of trust is the first one that comes to my mind when I think of an open source like Wikipedia which everyone can edit.
It seems to work! As I said before I really don't know anything about Wikipedia but from visiting it today it seems to be successful and farely accurate.
I might have my students collaborate using Wikipedia but they would only be allowed to quote it as an opinion. This really can't be trusted as fact.


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