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Chronicles from a Caribbean Cubicle

2/07/2006

Going Wiki


Framework is becoming more and more wiki.

And, no, wiki has nothing to do with witchcraft (that's "Wicca.")

Instead, wiki refers to online collaboration - a way of creating new knowledge, meaning and information using internet based tools that allow up to millions of people to work together to share information in ways the benefit everyone.

For example, Wikipaedia is probably the best known application. Wikipaedia is an online encyclopaedia that is owned by millions of contributors, and therefore does not rely on the specialized knowledge of a handful of "experts." This is an eminently good thing, as I can vividly recall going on a boring shopping trip with a friend in the U.S., and finding a very old encyclopaedia from 1907 or so.

It was fascinating.

I was flipping around the pages until I got to the entry for "Negro." It had a line picture of something that looked like a cross between the ugliest black man I have ever seen and a massive ape. Furthermore, the explanation ran something like this:

"Negro: an inferior human, typically characterized by lazy, shiftless behaviour."

It went on in this vein for an entire column. So much for the "experts" of that time.

After months of hunting around I finally found a wiki application that we could use on Framework projects. The application is PBwiki (the PB stands for peanut butter... of course.) The link to their tour is here and the home page on the site is www.pbwiki.com.

I recommend the application for its ease of use and everyday pricing (some of the alternatives were ridiculous). It is quite easy to use, in keeping with the democratic of those of us who are "going wiki."

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