Wiki's are dead - long live the Wiki community model

 

As part of our CE 2.0 project we have deployed a large Wiki for our technical community called CEpedia.
In just a few month it got very popular and the contributed content is nearly doubling every month.

So why are Wikis dead ?

Let's have a look at the history of the  Wiki phenomenon . It started in 1995!  as the WikiWikiWeb 
and in 2002 wikipedia, the most famous Wiki was born.

The main  characteristics of a Wiki are:

Objectives
How it is implemented
Easy to contribute
any user can contribute/edit a wiki page
Easy to edit
Wiki markup language
Easy to structure
Categories
Easy to manage
versioning and easy  rollback

This looks all great but the technology is over 10 years old and the Internet technology has evolved quite dramatically.
It seems that some of the obvious advantages like "easy to edit" turns into the opposite direction AND we  might create a certain legacy to maintain Wiki markup and HTML!

An example - I had the pleasure to train some of our  management on how to use CEpedia and how to author a wiki page.

While it should be  not a problem for a technical person to use the Wiki markup language - for a non technical person it is a night mare!  Just try to explain  how to  create   a table in the Wiki markup language.....

Today you would use a simple WYSIWYG editor and publish it to your Wiki system.
This is a nice thought but we have not yet found a WYSIWYG editor for a mediawiki which can properly scope with Wiki & HTML markup...

and is this the right approach ? Should we really support various markup languages to create/maintain web content?

o.k - here are my predictions:

Objective Wiki
Web 2.0+ 
 Easy to contribute
any user can contribute/edit a wiki pageWiki or Web Content Management System (CMS) with ACL and ATOM feed
 Easy to editwiki markup language
HTML+ and ATOM feed
 Easy to structure
Categories
Tags, folksonomies, (Ontologies)
 Easy to manage
versioning & rollback

Wiki CMS, WEB CMS (like Drupal) & ATOM feed

Conclusion: The Wiki community model will stay - the technology will change  

 

Technorati Tags: web2.0 web_n+1 web3.0 CE2.0

Comments:

Peter, I'm not sure what you are trying to say in the Web 2.0+ part of your table because you don't describe the technologies or how they will help improve the problem with wiki editing. As a Sun employee, I have tried to put content on the cepedia and found that it's like going back to stone knives and bearskins. I have no interest or time to learn another tagging system. At least the blogging system has some spell check and WYSIWYG editing. CEpedia has a long way to go. A description of ATOM, ACL, CMS would be useful.

Posted by Jim Laurent on March 07, 2007 at 09:38 AM CET #

Lots of things that are > 10 years old don't suck. Don't really understand why a CMS is some kind of magic bullet here - plenty of Wikis have access control these days. With a CMS and a Wiki, what matters is the content - the less markup you support the better in a lot of cases. It makes the content much more portable too.

Posted by Dick Davies on March 07, 2007 at 01:07 PM CET #

Jim, Dick - Thanks for your feedback. The main message I want to get across is that Wiki markup language will be replaced with standard HTML and Categories with Tags. This means we can use a standard HTML editor plus a simple tagging services to author Wiki content and we don't have the problem to deal with various markup languages and (incompatible) categorization systems.

Posted by Peter H. Reiser on March 09, 2007 at 04:14 AM CET #

Hi Peter, sorry, I don't see HTML as the future of anything :) Having to have a html editor around to edit content is a big step backwards imo (especially if you want to repurpose that content as PDF or whatever).

Posted by Dick Davies on March 09, 2007 at 04:18 AM CET #

I usually agree with Peter on most things, but I keep having a problem with user tags / folksonomies. I like enabling users to use terms (tags) that make sense to them. What I don't like is the current implementation, which has many different places these tags may be defined (technorati, flickr, del.icio.us, etc.). I also don't completely "get" tag clouds with no way to organize them - I think a hierarchy or taxonomy makes things easier to find, at least in some instances . So whether it's web 2.0 or 2.5 or 3.0, I keep advocating that we have to do something with all these various wonderful technical advances to make the users' lives easier to both store and find information - it's not clear that is happening yet.

Posted by Paul Diamond on March 22, 2007 at 12:23 PM CET #

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