Wikis 2009

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Leabharlann UCD An Coláiste Ollscoile, Baile Átha Cliath, Belfield, Baile Átha Cliath 4, Eire UCD Library University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland Ros Pan Head of E-Strategy and Innovation, UCD Library Web 2.0 & Social Media WIKIS
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Presentation forming part of WIKIS class for SILS course at University College Dublin SILS IS20090 Web 2.0 and Social Media: an introduction

Transcript of Wikis 2009

Slide 1

Leabharlann UCD

An Coliste Ollscoile, Baile tha Cliath,Belfield, Baile tha Cliath 4, EireUCD Library

University College Dublin,Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland

Ros Pan Head of E-Strategy and Innovation, UCD LibraryWeb 2.0 & Social Media WIKIS

CoverageThe key characteristics of a WIKI and making it workHistory of wikisCharacteristic features of a WIKISoftware options hosted or stand aloneWhat are they used for ExamplesWikipedia and reference wikisA selection of other examples from medicine, educationConcluding thoughts

Technology is just a tool..There are numerous social media and Web 2.0 options for people to try which ones they end up using regularly will vary from person to person There are 1000s of dead or not very successful WIKIS about. HOW CAN YOU GET PEOPLE TO WEAVE USE OF WIKIS INTO THEIR DAILY ACTIVITIES which is what need to achieve, use as freely as texting or e-mail?

Technology is just a tool..Simon Revell, enterprise 2.0 manager at Pfizer pharmaceuticals:There have been so many instances where people have built great communities, but then without providing reasons to join, [the communities] fall flat on their face,. From the beginning, we have taken great strides to think about a plan to garner usership and provide value.Ground it in the realities of the average userDo not offer a product, offer a solution to some real life challenge or problemBenefit from champions or WIKIHEADS in the larger organization to take the idea forward and encourage colleagues to participate

Wikipatterns (available online via library catalogue)By Stewart Mader, Copyright Wiley Publishing, Inc. 2008, Publisher: John Wiley & Sons (US)

STAGEDESCRIPTIONAttractionThe wiki needed to be infectious; it needed to support Google and other site ranking services to ensure that the wiki has prominence when relevant criteria are searched for. It needed to support short and human readable URLs to its pages unlike content management systems.InterestOnce the site is reached, the seeker needed to be encouraged to stay and explore more. DesireThe wiki needed to be engaging so the seeker explores more deeply into the structure of the site and develops a strong commitment to the idea that the wiki can provide meaningful solutions to the seekers needs.ActionThe wiki needed to encourage the seeker to engage, commit, and contribute to the content on the site.RetentionThe wiki needed to be sticky. It needed to provide real, social, and psychological benefits to return to the wiki often, to participate, contribute, and possible integrate into their day-to-day workflow.ExpansionThe wiki needed to be infectious; it needed to encourage and support the existing participants to bring in and engage other researchers and contributors who can enrich the project.

Reading the content YES but also.. Editing (with version histories) of pages Comments and threads Adding of sections, pages, resources, and attachments Provide links to other relevant websites, readings etc What do wiki owners want people to do?Taylor, Chris. Why commercial wikis dont work, Business 2.0 (23 February 2007) study of various WIKI projects that failed and why LA Times, Penguin, Amazon

WIKIS weapons of mass collaboration

Will wikis overtake blogs in popularity or will everyone stay on their pedestals so they can live safely and unchallenged within the walls of their opinions?WIKI Playbook, p. 42Collaborative knowledge creation differentiates a WIKI from a blog

What is a WIKI?

A wiki is simply a website in which users can create and collaboratively edit pages, and easily link them together. From Mader, Wikipatterns, Chapter 1

CharacteristicsType of website, can be made to look very like a standard website if spend time on thatCan add sections, pages quite flexibly compared to blogs rigid and linear format flexible architectureCollaborative working and editing is key, not restricted to just threads of comment as are on blogs with one main author you can edit the main entriesEasy editing tools included, web-basedInstant updating to live site (sometimes)Share with a group range from closed approach with small team only to entire wiki available for all to both read and edit globally on the webCommunity is largely self organising and self-policing. Self-organizing group behaviour in action

Hard to define a wiki concept has been developed in all sorts of directionsCan get totally closed wikis which are just another way to manage a hosted website Can get personal wikis for the individual desktop WikidPad, TiddlyWIKI are examplesCan get blend of wiki and blog, the BLIKI, coined 2003 Can get blend of wiki with structured database Twiki is outstanding example of that approach Enterprise wiki products extending to include all the main Web 2.0 tools and functions from the wiki centreRepackage for the mobile device the MIKI or mobile wiki e.g. for your iPhone/iPod touch

Open or closed wikisOpen wikis where all can read and editMixed wikis where all can read but only some can editClosed wikis where only group can view or editthere may be greater use of wikis behind firewalls than on the public Internet

Where is the software hosted?Wiki farms or hosted wikis cluster of servers that host wikis, some free some pay forPbworks, Wetpaint, Wikispaces Stand alone wikis - Wiki application running on your own servers

Mediawiki (wikipedia)Confluence (Sun wiki)

30+ Solutions to Start Your Own Wiki by Sean P. Aune

Brief history

A. Invented by Ward Cunningham 1995 with wiki wiki web platform2001 book on the topic

B. With launch of wikipedia in 2001 wiki idea is centre stage and use growsthe concept of wikis became much more well known from 2001 wikipedia launchstill had to have a web server up and running and load the WIKI application locallyBeyond many people/organizations to do thatVery popular in engineering, technology and software development companies from 2001Need to set up servers and use a simple wiki mark-up language was no problem to these groups

Jimmy Wales (left) founder of WIKIPEDIA and Ward Cunningham, inventor of the WIKIPhoto by Ross William Hamilton

C. As Web 2.0 concept takes shape, WIKIS change nature and spreadWeb 2.0 term coined at OReilly conference in 2004WIKI idea fits in well now see a web-hosted option, social, collaboration and participationServer-based applications continue but see launch of easy to use web-hosted WIKIS just register and go Hosted wiki or wiki farmAlso see launch of WYSIWYG wiki editors so users do not need to learn WIKI mark-up languageExplosion of awareness and use takes place 2006-March 2007 term WIKI entered the Online Oxford English Dictionary

What are WIKIS used for exactly?

Sowhat are they used for exactly?You can utilize wikis for nearly any purpose, ranging from writing a collective online encyclopedia to building personal Web pages.

Sowhat are they used for exactly?Social and personal individual usageEducational and research information resources | teaching and learning collaborative environmentBusiness both as a marketing and team working tool

Sowhat are they used for exactly?WIKIs for Dummies categorisation:Content-focused wikis A subject or many subjects is theseProcess-focused wikis Write a book, manage a projectCommunity wikis People with shared interestEase-of-use wikis as a website solution A web site in an easy way for wide range of uses

Sowhat are they used for exactly?Intranets and/or extranetsResearch spacesCollaborative projects organized and managedCreating documentation, meeting notes, manualsEditing texts of all kinds together

Gathering requirements and feedbackDiscussion and problem solving togetherMarketing and communicating initiativesGetting team members involved

Team builderMeeting and project managementDocument storeShared working on documentsLive Library wiki for the Bibliometrics working group

As teachers, we can use wikis . . . for instructions, manuals, glossaries for a class or group project with a bibliographic format for a letter or statement presented on behalf of the class for a handbook or textbook to build a guide to correct punctuation for any project not requiring one responsible author to run a classroom, with students collaborating online to contribute to group projects with members from geographically diverse locations to collaborate on ideas and organize documents and resources from individuals and groups of students

As teachers, we can use wikis . . . as a presentation tool where those who attend a workshop can contribute to future versions of the workshop as a group research project for a specific idea to manage school and classroom documents as a collaborative handout for students for writing purposes, such as student-created books and journaling (i.e., Wikibooks []) to create and maintain a classroom FAQ as a classroom discussion and debate area as a place to aggregate web resources [From Rita Zeinstejer The Wiki Revolution: A Challenge to Traditional Education ]

A selection of example uses in more detail

Examples 1 Wikipedia and other reference resources minute talk from July 2005 on wikipedia and how it was formed

Wikipedia history & featuresMost famous wiki and currently on Alexa site Wikipedia is world no 6 web site in terms of trafficSprawling online encyclopedia launched January 15th 2001Anyone could edit and anonymously as well soft security with an audit trail BUT in 2009 have had to tighten up due to abuse August tightened up on pages for living peopleOriginally intended as a feed site to feed into Nupedia, a peer-reviewed online encyclopedia launched in 2000 with a 7-stage editing process, idea was these Wikipedia posts would be vetted and then included in NupediaNupedia folded in 2003 with just 24 articles in it, Wikipedia got 18,000 in first year and continued as a stand-alone product

Wikipedia history & featuresNot for profit ventureNo advertising8.2 million articles in 200+ languages, 3 million articles in EnglishOver 1 million registered users and for many articles anyone can still edit anonymously just based on IP addressRejecting the traditional method of having each article written by an expert and subjected to review, fact-checking and editing, they took the opposite tackThe neutral point of view (NPOV,in Wikipedia shorthand) is a touchstone of the Wikipedia community

Features of wikipedia to noteBring up an entry e.g. LalibelaEasy editing mode I can do it as anonymous person Versioning can work backwardsLink to particular versionComparing versions to see where the changes have been doneArticle discussionsThe vandalism area where serious offenders listedCategorisation of quality of item from stub upwards


Wikipedia easy editing by anyone

Wikipedia versioning available & ability to move to an older version and compare

Wikipedia discussion on each article

Wikipedia warning & vandalism area

Wikipedia warning & vandalism area

Wikipedia blocks on editing

Open editing issues1. Mass deletion deletion of all contents on a page2. Offensive copy: insertion of vulgarities or slurs.3. Phony copy: insertion of text unrelated to the page topic.E.g. on the Chemistry page, a user inserted the full text from the Windows 98 readme file.4. Phony redirection: Often pages contain only a redirect link to a more precise term (e.g. IBM redirects to International Business Machines.), but redirects can also be malicious. linking to an unrelated or offensive term. Israel was at one point redirected to feces. Note that a phony redirect implies familiarity with Wikipedias editing mechanisms5. Idiosyncratic copy: adding text that is related to the topic of the page but which is clearly one-sided, not of general interest, or inflammatory; these may be long pieces of text. Examples range from Islam where a visitor pasted long prayer passages from the Koran, to Cat where a Reader posted a lengthy diatribe on the Unix cat command [ examples from ]

Cure or preventionWikipedia is probably the most vandalised wiki on the planetCure philosophy = Change patrol volunteers who check all recent edits and take suitable action to remove errors and vandalism, post warnings, arbitrate disputes and blacklist repeat offendersMany errors, vandalisms or attempts to spam by putting up adverts and links to irrelevant websites etc are picked up in a matter of minutesDARWIKINISM concept been coined for very rapid way that errors and vandalism get picked up and corrected or rolled back to earlier version

Any fully open WIKI is vulnerable here the Atlassian WIKI for Confluence users has some inappropriate material added to the wiki

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair's entry was edited to state that his middle name was "Whoop-de-do", while the article page of John Seigenthaler, a renowned American journalist, was edited to suggest that he had been involved in the assassination of US President John F Kennedy.

And in 2007, Ryan Jordan, one of Wikipedia's most prolific editors who had amended more than 20,000 articles, was found to be a 24-year-old college dropout rather than the professor of theology he had claimed to be.

Wikipedia has more than three million English language articles, covering everything from episode guides for the television series Lost to accounts of important historical events. It is one of the most popular websites on the internet, used by around 65 million people each month. Wikipedia had to tighten up in 2009

Wikipedia had to introduce a buffer for edits after a series of howlers in 2008/2009 of which the last straw was an indication that Ted Kennedy had died when he was taken ill at the inauguration of Obamasome pages get a check before edits go liveand plenty of warningsRead Aug 26 2009 news item Not all pages now offering this edit choice

Britannica gone the other way and offering editing options but checked first

Other serious reference WIKIS launched

Responses to WikipediaInsist authors provide a real name and biographyOnly allow certain vetted registered users to editSplit into vertical subject areas with a lot more detail in them, rather than a general encyclopediaAdd-ons to the software to make it more sophisticated and capable to display and edit specialized graphics and characters, pull in data from external database sources etc.

General titles

Citizendium Started by wikipedia founder Larry Sanger who became disenchanted with itHere have to give real name and biography to edit entries but public can participate alongside expertsEditor control on who participates and editors mark articles approvedSlow growth 12,305 articles progressing toward editor approval or re-approval

Scholarpedia the free peer reviewed encylopedia uses same software as Wikipedia, mediawiki, but differs from Wikipedia in some very important ways: Each article is written by an expert (elected by the public or invited by Scholarpedia editors). Each article is anonymously peer reviewed to ensure accurate and reliable information. Each article has a curator -- typically its author -- who is responsible for its content. Any modification of the article needs to be approved by the curator before it appears in the final, approved version.

ScholarpediaAddresses vandalism issue but ALSO the expertise issue in a more conservative model overall.Each article is written by an expert (invited or elected by the public). Currently restricted subject rangeEach article is anonymously peer reviewed to ensure accurate and reliable information. Approved entries are archived in a journal that carries an ISSN and hence can be cited exactly as articles in other peer-reviewed journals canEach article has a curator - typically its author -- who is responsible for its content. Any modification of the article needs to be approved by the curator before it appears in the final, approved version.

Vertical subject specialist titles


In the wikipedia tradition butSpecialist and narrow subject areaIntroduced a custom graphical editing toolUse PathVisio which provides basic palette of objects and annotations needed to represent biological processes.Integrated various databases into the applicationkey point is the level of sophistication that can be built into a wiki approach.

WikitravelOne of Time magazines top 50 websites in 2008Same Mediawiki software as wikipedia and many other examples useAnybody can edit the entriesNarrow focus on travel guides

The closed community WIKI for vetsYesterday saw the launch of the WikiVet project ( at an event in Newcastle University. This is a joint initiative between four UK veterinary schools with funding from the Higher Education Academy and JISC. It is based on the development of a veterinary version of Wikipedia. However it has a number of features which distinguish if from it's big brother: all the content has been written by veterinary students and graduates from the participating vet schools the content is peer reviewed by recent veterinary graduates and subject specialists in each vet school access to the wiki is restricted to registered users who are either students or recognised veterinary graduates

Examples 2 Medical and health care wikis

Example wiki medicineGANFYD Get A Note From Your Doctor can readMedical practitioners can editFree medical knowledgebase

Example wiki medicineFlu wiki can editHas separate discussion forum areaNarrow focus on planning locally to cope with epidemicsTaken on a new significance this year

Medpedia February 2009

Seeking individual and corporate involvement Aims to be the most comprehensive medical resource in the world Control on authorship

Examples 3 - Wikis in education

Wikis in education In teachingAll levelsAs part of the course delivery at whatever level = a student participation and learning tool Teacher/Lecturer support discussion, pooling workbooks, textbooks, classroom tools and ideasPart of general active learner philosophy

In researchSharing of research resultsBuilding knowledge basesPart of Open Science movement in many cases where they are open wikis

Part of a view of learner-centred, participatory light a fire not fill a pailIn a one teacher/many students situation, there is very little room for individual input and interactioncompare this againstinteractive online spaces, sites, and tools that are very attractive, energizing, and simply more engaging to students than humdrum drill/kill activities found in the typical classroom.

[From Wikinomics Playbook, p. 32]

Wiki in education teaching examplesBrowse examples from

Examples 4 WIKIS and academic researchOpen science is a shorthand for technological tools, many of which are Web-based, that help scientists communicate about their findings. At its most radical, the ethos could be described as "no insider information." Information available to researchers, as far as possible, is made available to absolutely everyone.The openness at the technological and cultural heart of the Internet is fast becoming an irreplaceable tool for many scientists, especially biologists, chemists and physicists allowing them to forgo the long wait to publish in a print journal and instead to blog about early findings and even post their data and lab notes online. The result: Science is moving way faster and more people are part of the dialogue.[Blog entry accessed Sept 6th]

WIKIS and academic research example WikiProteins

WIKIS and academic research example WikiProteinsOver one million Knowlets of biomedical concepts are present, selected from authorities such as the Unified Medical Language System (UMLS), UniProtKB/Swiss-Prot, IntAct and the Gene Ontology (GO). By adding information to concepts in WikiProfessional, scientists expand an evolving knowledge base with facts, relations, associations and conceptual information.

Open Notebooks UsefulChem Project running at Drexel University

Examples 5 - Wikis in business & enterprise

Wikis in business and enterprise33% of enterprises already using wikis Jan 07 and another 32% plan to do so within 2 years Interesting to see if that has happened (Economist Intelligence Unit survey, January 2007)

2 main uses in enterprise for wikis: internal team collaboration and information management tool to reach out to clients and gather feedback

The hidden WIKISA lot of enterprise WIKIS are only for employee groups, most run on local servers not hosted systems, less examples to see While Wikipedia has garnered headlines and generated tremendous mainstream awareness of wiki technology, wikis may have their greatest impact within the enterprise. Unlike previous knowledge management and collaboration tools, wikis provide an easy-to-use, flexible tool that can enhance existing workflow and processes, rather than requiring re-engineering. As such, wikis present an opportunity to revolutionize collaboration within the enterprise much as email has revolutionized communications. From pbwiki white paper

The enterprise approach to wikisCan be a through the backdoor approach with individual groups using web-hosted tools and often starts like thatDont want just a wiki as a point productWant COHERENCE in all these tools including wikis into a Collaboration support marketWant persistenceWant good security and authenticationWant linkage to other corporate systems e.g. portal, document storage, e-mail, sign-on

Enterprise wiki applicationsSocialtext

blueKiwi Jive Clearspace Customer Vision Mindtouch Deki Ramius TWiki

Enterprise products wikis move on..

Wiki as part of enterprise packageWiki collaboration Blog publishing Integration with email, chat, presence and more Advanced search, tagging and organization Simple file management Personalized and customizable navigation Access control and administration Advanced features for flexible, remote access and IT integration integrate easily with existing IT infrastructure such as directory services and enterprise portals, like Microsoft SharePoint.

WIKI-centric Web 2.0 approach in enterpriseFrom An Osterman Research Position PaperPublished June 2007Why Web 2.0 is Critical to Your Business

a. WIKIS in enterprise B2C usesEnable voice-of-customer Assess trends and changes in customer needs Gain customer insight on how to improve and develop products and services Humanize your brand through direct interactions with your customers Empower customers to solve their own and each other's problems Identify and empower passionate customers as brand advocates Connect prospects to a supportive and engaged customer community

Business to Client wikisAdvertising agencies. Web design companiesReplace constant round of e-mails with attachments, phone calls, in-person meetings with WIKI to cover a lot of thisFirst, using a wiki or workspace addresses the fact that people are tired of the ping-pong type of information exchanges they get from voicemail and email.Second, wikis address the need to accommodate people on the team who may not be technologically savvy and who wouldnt participate if asked to use a tool that was complicated or intimidating.

Business to client is a leading provider of call center solutions and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems. While wikis are used internally to improve team collaboration and the efficiency of employee communications, launched a customer- and partner facing wiki in late 2006. Among other capabilities, this external wiki allows customers and partners to view and enhance the companys technical documentation by providing use-case examples or post their own content on IVR best practices.

b. Internal enterprise wikisRead some of the case studies of enterprise usage in Wikipatterns, gives good feel for benefits foundTeam buildingSharing knowledge and contributingStoring knowledge in a permanent baseImproving buy-in and moraleOverall efficiency gains in projects and deliverables

b. Internal enterprise wikis Pfizer pharmaceuticalsUse blogs to communicate across time zonesRely on RSS for news related to their jobsWIKI is used for Pfizerpedia element - workers post to private wiki Pfizerpedia, 10,000+ articles and how-to videosInitiated at grassroots level and spread virallyPfizerpedia is now an official part of the Pfizer IT landscapeStarted with small projects targeting narrow groups of employees to overcome resistance

b. Enterprise wikis - WACHOVIALarge US bank, 100,000 employeescompanys wikis, blogs, instant messaging and other new collaboration tools are all anchored by Microsofts Sharepoint Server. The collaborative environment is seen as critical to attracting and retainingyoung employees who expect access to web 2.0 tools at work, says e-business director Peter FieldsThe bank's first effort was a wiki designed to capture and define the numerous three letter acronyms used throughout its operations, quickly reached 900 entries created a wiki dedicated to ideas to help it go paperlessIt's now piloting a full, encyclopedic wiki and also plans to roll out tools that will allow individual business units to quickly post wikis for individual projects.

Challenge lack of fit with organizational cultureIs a culture shift. One of main issues is in a traditional hierarchical set up where normally you talk to manager above you only and they do the same up to the top, in such a bureaucracy the wiki may be underused by employees who think they could get in trouble and feared by managers as undermining the whole managerial set up of the company and their own role.

Challenge flattening management structuresMove from hierarchical forms of organizational management to flatter more equal and self-organising approaches in areas that are not mission-critical (not suitable for accounting, or security or overall IT infrastructure areas) is a threat

[from WIKINOMICS, Chapter 9]

Finally Finding wikis

Finding Aids there are not that many compared to blogs searches in wikisSearch index of wikis at or browse at do a Google search and if you dont want wikipedia exclude it thus: wiki* swine flu -wikipedia

Final thoughts

Consider the pros and cons The cult of the amateur About sharing power, knowledge, responsibility and wealth A Web 2.0 gimmick A pool of tinkering genius amateurs The future of enterprise collaboration 1,000,000 monkeys with computers A cornerstone of Enterprise 2.0 processes A platform for employee empowerment for critical decision-making The diffusion of decision-making to the point where no one is accountable CutnPaste research A facilitator of teams with purpose The liberator of talent The avatar of mediocrity [From the Wikinomics Playbook, p.8]

people are increasingly seeing how the wiki combines simplicity and power in a radically different, paradigm shifting way. In fact, I might venture to say that the wiki is the most significant development on the Internet since the web browser. Where the web browser enabled people to access online information in a radically different and better way that sparked the widespread growth of the Internet, the wiki enables people to directly and easily edit information in a way that encourages increasing participation and exponentially faster growth of online information.we are moving from passive readers to active participants From Mader, Wikipatterns, Chapter 1 enterprise use of wikis

*************************************************Here have to give real name and biography to edit entries.Editor control = slow growth but up to 8,100 articles and claim to be gaining.****To do with biological information, also quite a new launch. Interesting article in some depth as to how this wiki model will make it easier to cope with the deluge of biological data by placing all the processes required to curate the data into one interface, rather than the current system where the various stages of the process are in silos of authoring and editing quite separateSpecialised database integration, added in graphical editor, can download to a local software package. Whole level of scientific complexity been introduced in there to the wiki concept.************Million knowlets link the protein information together, very high end academic resource interesting popups and linkages, launched May 2008************************