Saturday, April 02, 2005

Wikis for structured information

I've known about wikis for some time and have even done a little editing on the Wikipedia myself, but so far I haven't done any of my own wikis. The main feature of a Wiki is the concept of collaborative editing, where one of us authors an article and another person can then edit the article.

One of the primary differences between a blog and a wiki is that the blog has a simple chronological nature to it, whereas a wiki has a logical or conceptual structure.

I am working on a hyper-linked glossary for software agent technology, but presently it's all my own work and I'm thinking about how to make glossary entries machine readable at a finer level of detail, so a simple Wiki doesn't seem to add any real value there, at least right now.

And if you do want to create your own wiki, you have to keep an eye on it since there is already some degree of "wiki spam" going on. Of course there is blog comment spam as well.

-- Jack Krupansky


At 9:32 PM EDT , Blogger steven edward streight said...

Another diff is the fact that on a wiki you generally get to alter, revise large sectors of text, not simply post a comment.

You can edit the original article by the originating author, yet administrators can revert to original if necessary.

A wiki is a collaborative site.
A blog is an interactive site.

At 2:23 PM EDT , Blogger Jack Krupansky said...

RIght now, wikis and blogs are distinct beasts. In the not-too-distnat future the features of the two will begin to blend and finally merge (if we're lucky).

Businesses are starting to use blogs as a way of enhancing collaborative efforts.

As I've noted, Wikis really do take some thought and effort to pull the collaborative thing off.

I hope that in the near future Wikis will support blogging, if for no other reason than to encourage intensive feedback since not everybody who has an opinion is also a good editor.

I would also like to see wikis have variations for individual articles, so that two or more conflicting views really can be presented at the same time without requiring a "winner take all" override.

Finally, I think there is a need for a new beast that's half-blog and half-wiki.

I think we also need to have polls integrated with both, so that distinctions can be quantified.

-- Jack Krupansky


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