Wiki Essentials

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Summary

"Wiki" is a Hawaiian word that means "quick" or "fast." It is also the name of a new kind of website that enables you to add, modify, and delete its pages, all from within your browser. This tutorial will introduce you to the wiki as a tool for collaboration, and give you some advanced tips on creating your own wiki content

Experience Needed
  • None
Software
  • No special software required, just a web browser to view online tutorials
Files
  • N/A
Learning Topics
  1. Wiki Essentials: Introduction to Wikis
  2. Wiki Essentials: Wikipedia
  3. Wiki Essentials: Watch the Growth of a Wiki Page
  4. Wiki Essentials: Free Content for All
  5. Wiki Essentials: Explore Some Popular Wikis
  6. Wiki Essentials: Wiki Formatting Tips
Resource Sites

1. What is a Wiki?

"Wiki" is a Hawaiian word that means "quick" or "fast." It is also the name of a new kind of website that enables you to add, modify, and delete its content, all from within your browser (Think: half Website, half Word Document).

Introduction to Wikis— http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,4149,1402872,00.asp


2. Wikipedia

Wikis are great for any situation that requires a large group of people to review and update certain material. The most famous wiki in the world is the Wikipedia, an "living" online encyclopedia that invites users around the world to add and modify its entries. It runs on the MediaWiki engine, the same software that runs the Globaloria Wiki for your country.

Wikipedia — http://www.wikipedia.org
Try selecting your language, then searching for "wiki"


3. Growth of a Wiki Page

Having an encyclopedia that anyone can change may sound like a recipe for confusion, but the encyclopedia is patrolled by a large group of its members to make sure nobody does anything malicious (like delete the entry for "Ice Cream.") Also, the wiki software logs every change made, so that even if someone tried to cause trouble, the wiki can be "reset" to what it looked like before the disturbance took place.

Watch the Growth of a Wiki Page — http://weblog.infoworld.com/udell/gems/umlaut.html
Here is a flipbook-type example of the growth of a wiki page over time. Remember that everyone who visits the page can make a change, including the original author.


4. Free Content for All

You may be wondering...if anyone can add or modify the content of a website, then whose website is it? Wiki culture is driven by the idea of "Free Content for All." Check out the GNU Free Documentation License, the rule book for how information on Wikipedia is governed, for an in-depth look at how content is protected in a wiki.

GNU Free Documentation License — http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html/


5. Explore Some Popular Wikis

Globaloria Israel Wiki — http://www.globaloria.org/israelwiki
The official wiki of Globaloria Israel. Check regularly for team updates and schedules, upcoming events, and extended discussions of MyGLife activities and functionality.

Wiktionary — http://www.wiktionary.org
Same idea as Wikipedia, but a dictionary instead of an encyclopedia.

Project Global Village — http://www.wikiville.org.uk/index.php/Main_Page
Project Global Village invites you to add a page to its wiki about you and your hometown.


6. Wiki Formatting Tips

Now that you are familiar with the look-and-feel of wiki apps, you should consider learning some tricks to make sure you are a top-flight editor. These resources will help you master the basics of communicating in "wiki."

Globaloria Wiki Tutorial — http://www.myglife.org/israelwiki/index.php/Help:Contents
Helpful tips for getting the most out of the Globaloria Wiki, written by members of the Globaloria team. If you don't see a tutorial that you think would be helpful to others, feel free to add it!

Wiki Formatting Cheatsheet — http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Cheatsheet
This "cheat sheet" has all the popular formatting commands for the MediaWiki engine in one handy reference. Try experimenting with "headings" to organize your content, and image formatting to display your images properly on-screen.

MediaWiki Manual — http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Help:Contents
This is the full guide to the MediaWiki software. Hopefully, it should answer any questions you have about browsing, creating, and formatting wiki content.