Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Some brief notes on OPAL Workshop about Wikis

Here is another set of notes. This is from the Wiki World presentation by Meredith Farkas on January 12, 2006. You can find it in the OPAL Archive, under Special Events. These are just some of my notes. Readers can go over to OPAL and get the presentation recording as well as the link to the wiki Ms. Farkas made for the presentation. My notes then:
  • Wikis allow for collecting the diverse knowledge of many people in one place. They allow people to collaboratively develop a website without any HTML knowledge. Anyone in the wiki community can edit these pages.
  • A problem may be in the format standards, depending on the software used.
  • Wikis are different from blogs. A blog belongs to the author(s), who own the content. Blogs have reverse chronological order of presenting entries, and they are great for disseminating information.
  • Concern over maliciousness. Often the wiki community enforces norms; they watch over the wiki to keep it in good order. Some wiki creators make their wikis fully open; others restrict them to members of a particular community.
  • Some uses for libraries include: community wikis (city guides, a library's page), subject guides, a library teaming with a community wiki to provide content to the larger community.
  • Wikifying the library catalog? Adding this functionality could mean adding reviews and other information of interest to patrons.
  • For information literacy classes or other classes, a wiki could be used in lieu of course management software.
  • A library can have a wiki for internal use (for manuals, guides, for a knowledge base where each subject librarian makes contributions).
  • It is important to remember that a wiki must have a purpose. Some guidance and instruction is needed to get other people involved. Also, a library wiki needs to make a disclaimer that they do not create all of the content, especially if it is a fully open wiki. Also, those who maintain a wiki need to actively prevent spam and have a copyright license.
  • For single users, a wiki is a good way of collecting and presenting information over a period of time.
I got some good ideas out of this workshop. I have been doing some reading on personal portfolios, and I am wondering if a wiki may be a way to go for me on that regard. There are also some other instructional materials I would like to make that may be suited for wiki use. Overall, some good food for thought here.


aleah marie said...

Yes, this is a great starting place for a discussion on wikis in libraries. Blogs seem to be all the rage, but I don't hear much about wikis anymore. Thanks for sharing!

Angel, librarian and educator said...

Aleah: Thanks for stopping by. The online workshop was just excellent. If you missed it, you can go to their archive and get the presentation and materials. It did give me a few ideas. Interesting that you mention about blogs given that lately a few places have been proclaiming the death of blogs. I am sure not ready to bury mine, since I am just getting started. By the way, went over to your blog. Will add it to my reading roll. Best, and keep on blogging.