Wikis are websites that use special software to enable users to create or edit linked hierarchical pages. They often take the form of a table of contents, with higher-level pages that lead to specific subpages. Wikipedia is the largest one, but there are thousands of them in existence, with new ones popping up every day. They have been around since 1995, and are still growing in popularity.
Wikipedia models itself after an encyclopedia, but that is not the only way that wikis can be used. Some libraries use internal wikis to manage their policies and procedures. Many companies are replacing their old Intranets with wikis. Some individuals use them as personal knowledge management software. Since most wikis allow discussion and comments on page changes, they can lead to dynamic, vibrant communities of users.
For Thing 18, we are going to take a look at wikis, and create some pages of our own.
Start out by going to Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org.
Wikipedia is a giant encyclopedia that anyone can add to or edit. It handles multiple languages, and is the largest wiki in existence.
In the search box, enter a subject of your choice. It can be anything that interests you.
You should get an article on that subject. Read through it, paying attention to how the information is organized. Do you agree with everything that is said there? Are there any warnings on the page relating to the quality of the information?
At the top of the article will be a tab called Discussion. Go to it to see comment people have left about various changes they (or others) have made to this page.
Now go to the History tab to see how the page has changed over time.
Let's try out hand at creating some wiki pages! First go to
This site has been set up for us to practice making pages. You do not need an account to make changes or additions to this particular website. You can add or edit pages, but can not delete any, even if you created them (an unfortunate side-effect of setting it up to be easily editable to everyone). If you create a page and then decide you want it to be deleted, please just let us know through the comments on this post.
Read the introduction on the main page, and then browse through the other pages on the site. They should be listed hierarchically in the box on the left of your screen.
When you are done, click on the Home link on the left side of the screen. That will take you back to the main page.
Now you are ready to create your first wiki page, as a subpage under the main page. Don't worry - it's easy. I promise!
On the left side of the screen, click on the Add a New Page link.
Use your first name as the page title. You may notice that I have already set up my page, titled Jesse.
Enter some basic information about yourself. Treat it as a special introduction page where you can let your fellow students know a little bit more about you.
Under that page, create sub-pages on your hobbies, interests, career, or anything else you would like to share with others. Create at least 3 sub-pages so you can see how Wiki hierarchies work. Make sure you are on the "parent" page (the one that you want to add sub-pages to), and then click the Add a New Page link on the left hand side of your screen.
To save your work after editing a page, use the Save button in the EasyEdit Toolbar.
See, I promised you it would be easy!
Have fun, and feel free to add pictures, if you would like to do so.