Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Week 9 - Wiki, wiki, wack

Another web 2.0 phenomenon in the last few years has been the concept of wikis, and in particular Wikipedia. Wikipedia currently has over 3,300,000 articles in English and hundreds of thousands of articles in dozens of other languages. But it wasn't always so impressive: here's a glimpse back to 2001 when the site was new and had a mere 8,000 articles.

Wikipedia has been compared favorably to Encyclopedia Britannica, cited as a valid source in court cases, and been at the centre of controversies over accountability and accuracy. Most recently a software tool called Wikiscanner was created which shows which articles were edited by particular computer IP numbers. Try it out - you'll be amazed which pages were edited from TPL computers.

Of course Wikipedia isn't the only wiki game in town - just the most successful and fastest growing. There are tens of thousands of other wikis out there, since thanks to the Web 2.0 concept it is quick and easy to create your own wiki. A great example is the Web Tour wiki creates by Frances West and others at the Lillian H. Smith branch, and used for user education.

This week I've created a wiki at tpl23things.wikidot.com. Go there to see the rest of this week's assignment.

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