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Wiki facts

Last modified by Anna Bauer on 2013/11/11 14:32

Leave 25? facts with sources about wikis:

Wikipedia is top web site nr 6 (November 2013). Source:
Wikipedia is top site nr 9 (September 2013). Source:

The largest number of active editors  (more than 100 edits per month) on the English language version of Wikipedia was in March 2007: 4800. Source: Wikipedia statistics

There are 287 language versions of official Wikipedias (created under the auspices of the Wikimedia Foundation) Source:

Number of active editors (more than 100 edits per month) on the English language version of Wikipedia Sep 2013: 2862 Source: .

Dohrn, Hannes, and Dirk Riehle. "Design and Implementation of Wiki Content Transformations and Refactorings." (2013):

Since then wikis have evolved many new features, however, two features are still painfully lacking in most engine implementations: (a) a powerful abstraction of the content stored in articles that facilitates visual editing, content transformation, querying, data exchange and storage and (b) automated transformations that aid authors and maintainers in applying modifications consistently within one article or over multiple articles in a wiki

Today most wiki engines are faced with the fact that working with the content in their wikis is extremely difficult due to a format that does not lend it- self to processing by a computer program. Since computers are barely able to access the wealth of information stored in WMLs, features like visual editing or automated content transformation are only slowly entering the world of wikis.

Davies, Jonathan. "Wiki brainstorming and problems with wiki based collaboration." Report on a project submitted for the degree of Information Processing in the Department of Computer Science at the University of York. Retrieved April 20 (2004): 2009.

One potential tool for asynchronous distributed collaboration is wiki. 

The wiki concept was invented by Ward Cunningham in 1995 (“Wiki History”, C2 Wiki, 2004 )

Put simply, a wiki consists of web pages where everyone has rights to edit everything, and editing is not discouraged but encouraged. They provide a means to develop collaborative web pages by allowing users to freely edit both the content and the structure


without constant attention and input, wiki can build up areas of redundancy and out of date information that turn the positive feedback mechanism based on process satisfaction, trust in the community and wiki content into a negative feedback mechanism where these effects are reversed. Wiki facts

Building and maintaining momentum is therefore critical and while there is potential for wiki to be largely self propagating and self maintaining, achieving this state may require a certain amount of dedicated attention in the early stages.

establishing a wiki and an on-line community are two entirely separate things and the latter is clearly vital to the success of a wiki-based collaboration. This study highlights the fact that
failure of wiki collaboration is usually little to do with the technology itself but is instead due to the lack of a strong wiki community.

A good level of understanding promotes trust and belief in the system. A particularly important aspect of this was that users should have a good understanding of the concept of distributed ownership, whilst also being clear on the need for, and nature of, specific collaboration modes, like ThreadMode, that allow more individual style comment.

Until now, trust in new collaborative software has meant gaining trust in the technology, but trust in wiki requires not only trust in the technology but also trust in an on-line community.

The wiki concept was invented by Ward Cunningham in 1995 (“Wiki History”, C2 Wiki, 2004 ).

The suggested guidance points based on findings of this study are:

A) Ensure users have an appreciation of the key drivers of the wiki cycle as elaborated on in the
project conclusion.
a. Understanding - of the social and technical aspects of wiki.
b. Trust - in the technology, the contents and the community as well as belief in the wiki
c. Value - of the wiki to the users both as a community as a whole and as individuals
within that community. This requires progress towards common and individual goals.
B) Initial careful seeding of the wiki structure and content by a core of wiki users. Content should
be meaningful and of value but care should be taken that the content does not get so much that
users lose ownership over it.
C) Ensure training for all users in both the technical and social aspects of wiki - incorporating
explanation and building up of a shared language of potential styles and modes of wiki
collaboration. Both the framework developed from the study of social psychology in traditional
brainstorming and the dynamics of wiki shown in the developed wiki cycle could be beneficial
when designing training or guidance for wiki, though, unless highly simplified, they would be
unlikely to form a part of the training itself. Wiki users should ultimately become good ‘wiki
citizens’. (“Good Wiki Citizen”, C2 Wiki, 2004)
D) Make written guidelines available following training on wiki concepts, culture and etiquette -
covering wiki styles and modes of use.
E) Promote success – by giving examples of successful wiki use and by being prepared to answer
all user concerns with confidence. Wikipedia’s ‘replies to common objections’ page may be a
good place to start with this. Be ready to counter users that reject the idea from the outset.
(“Replies to Common Objections”, Wikipedia, 2004).
F) As suggested by Mark Neff, use the tool and lead by example.
G) Ensure a core number of active users are present in order to keep up momentum of the cycle.
H) Promote distributed governance but with careful facilitation to plug the gaps – possibly ‘stealth
facilitation’ to add value and some ‘promotion facilitation’ to promote the development of the
on-line community.
I) Promote creation of personal pages/NamePage’s and perhaps use these to increase value to the
user, to create a sense of community and introduce an element of informality. 

Park, Jack. "Knowledge Gardening as Knowledge Federation." Proceedings Knowledge Federation (2008).

Jean-Claude Bradley [24:] describes a generalized sensemaking process he calls
Open Notebook Science. He coined the term to avoid ambiguities associated with the
name Open Source Science. He describes a process wherein a traditional lab notebook
is implemented within a wiki platform, and blog entries are used to tell stories about
events and findings in the notebook

24= Bradley, Jean-Claude (2008). “Open Notebook Science: Implications for the Future of
Libraries”, slide presentation at the University of British Columbia School of Library,
Archival and Information Studies (SLAIS), April 2, 2008.

Examples of companies using MediaWiki: Novell, Intel, Gartner, NVIDIA, Linden Lab (Källa: WMF rapport. Source: 

About websites and content in general:

"ongoing weeding is crucial. Running a web site is a process of continuous improvement. It is not about launch and leave"

Book: The Stranger's Long Neck: How to Deliver What Your Customers Really Want Online
Source: Gerry McGovern
Publisher: A&C Black, 2010
ISBN: 1408134292, 9781408134290

Created by Anna Bauer on 2013/10/03 10:33

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