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Realizing our Wiki’s Potential

I thought it might be a good time to step back and review our wiki’s potential.

The Academic Commons Wiki publishes many kinds of writing – individual and group projects, grant proposals, shared lesson plans, research ideas, repositories of useful links, solutions to common problems, ideas on course management…

Our wiki lets people to work together and share knowledge.

There is something empowering when you create a wiki page.  You add some headings, and a little information, and see a table of contents automatically created for you.  Then you link to a page, and are able to create it automatically.   You quickly enter some related content, and then maybe tag your pages, and now you have a sub-category, with an automatically generated index, listed in alphabetical order.  Cool…

External links are easy to add, and you can even get a little fancy and include other media – pictures, video, PDFs, powerpoints…  Get other people involved, and they can add to what you’ve done, and suddenly something much larger has been created.

According to Wikipedia, the term “wiki” comes from the “Wiki-Wiki” shuttle buses that connect the terminals at Honolulu International airport.   They are quick and simple, open and transparent.  With their ability to return to prior versions, authorship anxiety is lessened.  Don’t like the current version?  You can always go back to a previous draft.  Wikis are easy to revise, and they motivate people to work together.

Wikis encourage contribution.  Whether it is to share research, identify best practices, publish project reports, or aggregate technical tips or lessons learned, the Academic Commons Wiki is a great way to organize and centralize ideas.   Give it a shot!

1 thought on “Realizing our Wiki’s Potential

  • Speaking as a former sometimes-Wikipedia editor, the real magic of a wiki is that you can start something, leave it for a few weeks, and then come back to see it grown and changed into something new and better than what was there before. In a place like Wikipedia this sometimes happens in a matter of hours, as the user base is so big. In a place like the Commons wiki I imagine that the process of collaborative development will be much slower (even now most pages have at most three or four editors) but it also has the potential to be much more meaningful, as our commons bonds and goals as members of the CUNY community are so much more robust than those of random Wikipedia users.

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