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Wikis

Friday, September 15th, 2006 by | Filed Under: Computer Terms
 
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Q:
I heard the term “wikis” the other day. What does that mean?

A:
Ah, yes, the famous wikis term. I love this question, so thank you very much for asking. I think I love this question so much because of the answer, which just happens to be something I myself use quite often. It seems as if different types of wikis have been popping up all over the Internet these days, so some of you may have already briefed over this before. Either way, keep reading to learn more about the awesome things that make up wikis.

Just to give you an idea, the most popular wiki is called Wikipedia. (You may have heard of this one before). It is a huge online encyclopedia that always offers definitions, explanations, etc. on any term you look up through the Google search engine. Wikipedia offers up more than a million articles on all sorts of subjects. It is also among the Top 100 most popular Web sites in the world.

Now, back to wikis themselves. All the other wikis that are available today are massive online resources that anyone can have access to. They are just full of simple, plainly laid out information. The simplicity is their highest selling point, because people just flock to simple things. Don’t you? I know I do! I like to keep things as easy as possible in every situation. Along with the simplicity, wikis are easy to find for anyone who uses the Internet regularly.

The next thing that makes wikis so popular is that anyone who goes in and reads the information provided can edit it if they deem it necessary. If you feel there should be some changes made to an article, just click the “Edit” link at the bottom and you can type in or delete what you want. You and everyone else who use the wikis act as a community to keep the information factual to anyone who reads it. Everyone works together to keep spammers away and to make sure everything stays reliable. Editors, writers and the administrators of the wikis also work within this community.

Some of you may be hesitant to trust the information from these sites, but that’s where the community and the community tools come into play. The wikis provide a set of tools for anyone to use while they visit a site. Some of these include a revision history, a watchlist, a recent changes page, etc.

Some of the other popular wikis are WikiTravel, WikiHow, Wikitionary and SwitchWiki (and don’t forget Wikipedia). You can find any of these and more by doing a Google search online. If you haven’t already, check out some of these wikis. They are awesome sources of information and you may just be amazed at what you can find. Go get ‘em!

~ Erin

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