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LIBR 246

Effective Wikis

Aesthetically, the simplicity of Library Success Wiki immediately appealed to me (http://www.libsuccess.org/index.php?title=Main_Page).  Of course it’s the one created by the author of our textbook, Social Software in Libraries. Ha ha.  It has a traditional Wiki look to it that quickly makes sense and feels intuitive to navigate.  It seems to follow Wiki inventor Ward Cunningham’s idea that Wikis should have “simple syntax and few text formatting options” (Farkas, 2007, pg. 68).  The only problem is, I felt like I heard crickets when I visited the site.  Even though Wikis are supposed to “seek to involve the visitor in an ongoing process of creation and collaboration that constantly changes the Web site landscape,” they often fell strangely inactive and Library Success Wiki is no exception (Farkas, 2007, pg. 68).  I checked the “recent changes” link, and there has been recent activity, but not a whole lot of content contribution (certainly better than the Alaska Association of School Libraries Wiki, which hadn’t been edited in nearly two years).

Maish Nichani’s online article “Sustaining Wiki Based Collaboration Projects” speaks to the Wikis advantages stemming from the “desperate need for collaboration in enterprise.” (http://pebbleroad.com/perspectives/planning-sustaining-wiki-based-collaboration-projects).  Wikis are quick and easy to manage, which helps get past the technology and onto the actual collaboration, but I can see how Wikis would also be fleeting; meeting a collaborative need and then sort of fizzling out.  Still, of the examples provided for this class, Meredith’s Library Success Wiki provides a create template for creating an effective Wiki.

Farkas, Meredith. 2007. Social Software in Libraries: Building Collaboration, Communication, and Community Online. Medford, NJ: Information Today.

Nichani, M. 2007. Sustaining Wiki Based Collaboration Projects. http://pebbleroad.com/perspectives/planning-sustaining-wiki-based-collaboration-projects

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2 responses to “Effective Wikis

  1. Amanda Heath March 13, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    I also heard the crickets chirping on the Library Success Wiki. By their nature there seems to be a point where enough is said. Although just because input has come to a standstill does not mean that the information the wiki contains is not being actively used. The quiet wiki still serves as an excellent reference point even if the collaboration it took to build it has run its course.

    • jjamesfield March 14, 2012 at 2:55 am

      Well said, Amanda, thanks for your comment. I like your description, “quiet wiki.” I agree they can still be effective. I guess they’re sort of like collaborative essays or something, where people can still reference them after they’re “finished.”

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