Friday, July 08, 2005

It's a Wiki World

While I enjoy blogging, I have fallen in love with wikis for solving those pesky collaborations which e-mail and other forms of electronic messaging just don't seem to meet. One reason I like it is that I can have a wiki formed in less than 30 seconds. Yes, I did say seconds. (This doesn't include web committee meetings to decide whether or not we want a wiki. That gets counted in weeks if not months.) I see value in both blogging and wikis for academic libraries because we often collaborate with a variety of people from administration to students and sometimes our methods stultify creativity and sharing instead of encouraging them. Wikis can help put everyone on the same level of contribution.
Currently, I'm working a wiki for our publicity/marketing campaign for next year and I have one set up for a computer class to try out with a jigsaw method (constructivist) for their assignment this year.
If you are interested in trying out wikis check out Meredith Wolfwater's two:
ALA Chicago 2005 Main Page - ALA Chicago Wiki
and Library Success: A Best Practices Wiki
If you want to create your own Wiki here are two of many companies with free software:
PBJWiki and JotSpot.Com

Currently our Faculty Senate has a partial wiki using Microsoft. I call it a partial wiki because it doesn't identify histories or edits or allow people to add to pages very easily but it does have many of the features, and at present only our IT department is able to set it up. However, it will do for the purposes we need for the Senate.


Lindsay Van Sicklen said...

Hi Linda, I'm intrigued. How bout showing us one of your Wikis... Will there be an ACL workshop on Wikis next year? Where do Xangas fit in?

Linda Jones said...

Well, Lindsay--
I don't want to show my wiki's until I've done more experimenting.
However, if you go to the linkfor best practices for libraries, you'll have a good idea about how it looks. while most of the time involved in a wiki is developing an outline for pages, the form a wiki takes is identical regardless of the company. An yes, I hope to do a workshop or a roundtable or at the very least a lunch discussion. :-)