Wikis: A Beginnerís Look

Harnessing the Collective Intelligence

Computers in Libraries


Meredith Gorran Farkas
Norwich University

March 23, 2006

What is a wiki?

A wiki allows a group of people to collaboratively develop a Web site with no knowledge of HTML or other markup languages. Anyone can add to or edit content.

Wiki means quick in Hawaiian.

  • Easy to use
    • Web-based
    • Simple syntax
  • Anyone can make changes
  • Free and open source options
  • Flexible and extensible
  • Disorganized
  • Too open
  • Not enough control
  • Vandalism and spam

Wikis aren't for everyone! If control is really important to you, then a wiki probably isn't the right tool.

Uses of Wikis: Community Guide

Roc Wiki

Uses of Wikis: Subject Guide

SJCPL Subject Guide Wiki

Uses of Wikis: Internal Library Wiki

Norwich Public Service Wiki

Uses of Wikis: Content Management System

Aiken Library

Uses of Wikis: Conference Wikis

ALA Conference Wiki

Uses of Wikis: Knowledge Base

Library Instruction Wiki

Other uses of wikis

You're only limited by your imagination!

Starting a Wiki is Easy!

Step 1: Choose software and configure wiki Step 2: Protect wiki from spam

Step 3: Add content

Step 4: Encourage community members to add content (marketing)

For more information

Boeninger, Chad. "A Wiki as a Research Guide" Library Voice. July 13, 2005.

Farkas, Meredith. Wiki World podcast Part 1 Audio | Part 2 Audio | Slides from OPAL.

Farkas, Meredith "Using Wikis to Create Online Communities." WebJunction. Sept 1, 2005.

Farkas, Meredith "So You Want To Build A Wiki." WebJunction. Sept 1, 2005.

Farkas, Meredith "ALA Wiki: What I learned and what I'm doing with it." Information Wants To Be Free. July 5, 2005

Lamb, Brian. "Wide Open Spaces: Wikis, Ready or Not." Educause Review. Sept/Oct 2004.


Meredith Gorran Farkas
Distance Learning Librarian
Norwich University
mfarkas at norwich dot edu
AIM: librarianmer
Information Wants To Be Free

This presentation was created in HTML using CSS. There was no PowerPoint involved in this presentation except as a nagging bad example. The layout and stylesheet are available to borrow via a share and share alike creative commons license. Template created by Jessamyn West.

Wiki Way Arrow courtesy of Ross Mayfield. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial.

slides | printable