Tools That Work: Wiki

In this brave new world where the internet is accessible 24/7 and you don’t have to be chained to a desk to access it, working collaboratively with people in far-flung places is more and more common. Plus, the days of gathering comments by emailing the same document from person to person is quickly becoming so 2005. The advent of tools like Wiki is making sharing and organizing information so much easier. The Excellence in Networking Tools (ENTS) working group has been using a Wiki to download their knowledge about web tools into a useable “document” that the entire COSEE Network will soon be able to access.

Most people are already familiar with Wikipedia, which is an online collection of information on practically any subject. Users can search for topics, change and edit pages relatively easily and track who has made which modifications. The beauty of Wikis, as opposed to a static website, is that they can be as current and up-to-date as possible, which, in this age where technology is constantly speeding ahead, is essential.

Although working on a Wiki requires knowing some specifics about the “language” used to make and edit Wiki pages, it is relatively easy to pick up. And if you can’t figure out how to code something, Google is your new best friend. I had never made changes to a Wiki site before joining ENTS, but once I got used to how my edits should be formatted, I was making tables and filling in information in no time.

Wikis probably aren’t ideal if you have one document that will only be shared by a small group of people. But if you have information that you’d like to be available to anyone for contributing at any time, and for an indefinite period of time, then a Wiki might be the way to go. Wikis are easy to set up and relatively easy to maintain. And if whoever is responsible for the Wiki moves on, you can just change or add administrators. It is a brave new world, and Wikis are one way you can organize it.

Contributed by Jane Lee