Week 5: Wikis

Watch this videoclip (blip.tv alternative version) for an introduction to the concept of wikis or have a look at the Library Success Wiki overview. You might like to look at both of these.

Wikis are built by their contributors - readers who add, remove and edit content. This typically goes one of two ways - an open model where anyone (and we mean anyone) is invited to contribute or a closed model where a select group are invited to contribute. Either way, it is an exercise in collaboration and trust - whomever contributes is expected to meet certain standards of quality and accuracy and should expect, should they not reach these standards, that another participant will edit their contributions. The goal is to use a wiki to create a collaborative piece of information, sharing the knowledge of all contributors.

The collectiveWikipedia is the best known example of a wiki - anyone can participate in contributing and editing entries. Wikipedia does, however, employ staff who will freeze a topic if foul play is reported by readers. Errors and obvious fakeries are often (though, not always) corrected very quickly.


But if anyone can edit an entry how reliable is the information? A recent survey by Stern found that the German language version of Wikipedia was more accurate than the leading German language encyclopedia, Brockhaus. “The study reviewed articles for accuracy, completeness, up-to-date information, and ease of reading. In 43 out of the 50 articles, the German Wikipedia came out on top.” This Information Today article also offers a range of opinions.

Communities of interest
Wikis can be used for sharing knowledge in a community of interest, for example :


Workplace applications
Wikis can also be used in the workplace, for example the CIA developed Intellipedia - a collaborative intranet tool.

Some libraries have adopted intranet based wikis for their procedure manuals. Here is an example from Antioch University, New England. Please note many wikis like this one would be hosted on an intranet for staff only access

Government
Some governments are using wikis as ways of consulting with the community or for interdepartmental collaboration. The New Zealand Police Act review wiki is an example of a wiki being used for a legislative review.

Discover: Take a look at least 3 of the below:

Create a blog post about your findings. What did you find interesting? What types of applications within libraries might work well with a wiki?

Explore:
Still another variation in the world of wikis is where your wiki lives - you can install wiki software on a server at your institution (like we do with our website and email) or you can use a service that hosts the wiki for you. For today's exercise, we'll be doing the latter - our NSW learning 2.0 wiki was set up with a service called PB Wiki. Look at the PB Wiki tour.

Once you have viewed the PB wiki tour add information or edit an entry in the NSW learning 2.0 wiki. E-mail nswpln@gmail.com to be added as a writer to the wiki[Hint: PB wiki works best using Firefox as a browser. ]

This wiki is built using pbwiki (also a free wiki website) and features Examples of Possible Next Generation Catalogs. Look at the PB Wiki tour.

Adventure:
Look up the entry for your local town or area in Wikipedia. How could it be improved? Edit the entry. [hint here is the Wikipedia tutorial to get you going] For ideas see the entry for Mosman, New South Wales.

30 comments:

Bambino said...

Wow! I have learned so much more about Wikis than I knew before. I have used Wikipedia of course and I had thought about version control, and people adding bogus information, but didn't realise spam was such a problem. I had no idea about how one would go about setting one up. I always liked the idea of using Intranets and chat in a business setting but I found Intranets often disappointing. Often the info was way out-of-date and it seemed like no one took the time to 'tend the garden' regularly (to borrow the spade idea from Intellipedia). Chat was good but not so good for collaboration and it seemed to me that no-one ever used the expanded benefits of software like Lotus Notes. I can really see that wikis would work well, and I anticipate our library will jump on board very soon! I love the ability for everyone in the library to contribute easily, even those who aren't so hot with computers. I can see how the wiki could be the 'hub' for the library online with resources linking off from it. It is all VERY interesting to me!

BTW, I really enjoyed the Information Today article - academia has some fabulous opportunities if it would only grab them. Just a question: why is pbwiki's logo a sandwich???

tracy24 said...

The example in the videoclip was really great. I see myself using it to co-ordinate joint activities across branch libraries. I must admit, we've done the back and forth email thing. Love the idea of using a wiki to co-ordinate. Now....just have to convice I.T. that it's worthwhile.

Annie said...

A really great idea. The Tasmanian Library webpage is worth a look. Its fresh and uncluttered.

pls@slnsw said...

In reply to Bambino - pbwiki actually stands for peanut butter wiki so I think the logo is a peanut butter sandwich because setting up a wiki is as easy as making a peanut butter sandwich.

Ellen

Jalen said...

I was surprised to learn how easy it is to contribute to or edit an article appearing in the Wikipedia. You don't even have to sign up or sign in. And you remain anonymous as well.

Kind of scary if you think of medical information! How reliable is the information on a specific medical condition you're after? But I guess this fear has no place in the library profession. No librarian will deliberately post information in the Wikipedia that is incorrect. Even if it does happen, the 'mistake' can easily be rectified by people "who know". How good is that?

Runnerslegs45 said...

Library Book Clubs would enjoy the
application of the wiki. The nasty bit with all of this though is the possible use of vandalism etc. with
the wiki being an uncontrolled environment.

pls@slnsw said...

You could choose to have some way of managing access - like the "invite key" so it is a closed community.

Ellen (PLS)

Alex Lantana said...

We just tried to set up a common calendar, so we all know what's going on. Having just started to play with this I can see how an internal wiki could be really useful. Especially when there are multiple sites.

Event planning and distribution of minutes don't have to rely on email. This get around the problem of not all staff having access to the email system.

All we need to is commit! and that means everybody. Now that is the hard part.

Alanina said...

The Wiki experience has been really informative - so many links to follow! I agree with Annie re the State Library of Tasmania webpage - also loved the Aquabrowser at Queens Library site and contents. A scary thought to edit a Wikipedia entry - haven't tried that yet!

yiyia said...

This was a really interesting session. I learnt alot and it was really fun. I too set up a pbwiki and found it very easy to do.

Marg Trundle said...

I have found this so interesting. I can see many applications in the Library,especially talking to other peaole in other branches. Very easy for organising anything that involves more than one person.Also with community meetings , instead of having face to face meetings we could talk to each other through wikis.

Lossy said...

I liked the example of the Procedure Manual on a wiki. We use a daily diary book and I can see a wiki on our staff computer could be useful.

Dreamers said...

Liked the way it was easy to edit information, my only concern would be controlling who edits the information. Best use for this would probably be something like a procedures manual etc.

Jerome's reading said...

I think wikis are a great idea. A free and open encyclopedia of knowledge on any subject for people to commemnt on. People still need to have sound knowledge on the topic, which is reasonable, as one doesn't want information that is incorrect to be published. The fact that any person with a keen interest in a topic can contribute, is a great resource. A public library can use it a wiki for their readers' advisory group or other special interest, like local studies.

Bibliophile Wonder Woman said...

It all looks great, I would love to have a wiki set up for my library to allow patrons to leave book reviews and set up a meaningful dialogue about what they want from the library...still being on dail up is a challenge though!!

Corplib said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Corplib said...

I found this very interesting & can see benefit for book clubs etc. The video gave me more ideas of how this an be used by the general public (me included), had always thought Wiki's a trend, but now realise very useful.

As our IT will not allow access to wiki create sites will have to follow up from home.

Corplib said...

Finally managed to get access to nswlearning2 wiki.

This could be very useful information tool for library service.

Possibility of use for Local studies, for the public & library to share/update iformation.

WillC58 said...

Wikis are wonderful. All we have to do now to add to our skills we have acquired this week is to become dedicated Wikiians (What else do you call a Wiki creator or builder or contributor?)

I do not know if there is such a word as Wikiian/Wikiians, but then again there was no such word as Wiki a few years ago. If this word takes off I claim the credit for inventing it???

L-Blogger said...

Well, I've survived Wiki week 5, must say I felt better about our training this week. Feel like I have gone on an incredible journey, contributing to our learning 2.0 wiki and to wikipedia and enjoyed editing my home town info. Wiki applications certainly will open up another chapter in communication, with so many possiblities in our library arena

golb said...

At this point cannot see that wiki's would replace email as the ubiquitous email has such a grip on our work/life. The functionality of email's out of office auto replies, calendars, delivery receipt confirmation, contacting multiple recipients etc still make it a very useful method of communication.
However wikis as information sites seem to be ideal as it is very powerful to be able to publish on the web so easily rather than being reliant on the "webmaster"

monica.swrl said...

The YouTube clip by Lee Lefever explained Wikis so well ! Nice and simple !

lw3526 said...

I think the idea of using a wiki across a number of branches could be really useful its one port of call instead of sending a heap of different emails...

Mobilelibraryman said...

This module was good for me as our library uses a wiki for information , ideas and communication amongst the staff.
We have also created a Mobile Library wiki that has been introduced to all mobile libraries in NSW and will later be shared around Australia and then the World. ( I hope).
They work well if they are used. They don't reach their full potential if no one interacts with them.

bloggersbeware said...

Wiki's seem to be a good place to find info on different business and organisations, it will be a great way to keep in touch especially if you want to share the same infor to heaps of people all at one time

Elizabeth said...

Tuesday 22nd May

More work on the Wiki Tour

I was unable to brosw the PBwicki tour. I noted the suggestion to use Mozilla web browser. However as I am using a "shared computer" I haven't got permission to install this browser unfortunately it looks like I can't contribute to the wike - that is a shame.

I did have a look at the place names. Where I live in Nelson has no entry at all. Box Hill is mentioned but acknowledged that there are no entries.

The Rouse Hill one is off to a good start, but there is so much more that could be written about it.

The visit to the "possible Next Generation Catalogue" was extremely interesting and worthwhile. I think that the people who contributed are very passionate about their jobs and very committed. It was a real pleasure to read the entries. I was disappointed that I was not able to contribute to a more local wiki site.

Elizabeth said...

Tuesday 22nd May

More work on the Wiki Tour

I was unable to brosw the PBwicki tour. I noted the suggestion to use Mozilla web browser. However as I am using a "shared computer" I haven't got permission to install this browser unfortunately it looks like I can't contribute to the wike - that is a shame.

I did have a look at the place names. Where I live in Nelson has no entry at all. Box Hill is mentioned but acknowledged that there are no entries.

The Rouse Hill one is off to a good start, but there is so much more that could be written about it.

The visit to the "possible Next Generation Catalogue" was extremely interesting and worthwhile. I think that the people who contributed are very passionate about their jobs and very committed. It was a real pleasure to read the entries. I was disappointed that I was not able to contribute to a more local wiki site.

Monica

Brea said...

I found this to be very interesting and I have learnt a lot.

supasal said...

I found the session on Wikis really interesting......lots of useful info on a variety of ways to use a wiki. I expect the usual problem would be getting everyone concerned to participate.

supasal said...

I found the session on Wikis really interesting. Lots of info on the variety of ways to use Wikis. One problem I can foresee would be getting everyone to contribute.