Friday, 19 April 2013

Wiki project

Wikimania ;) if not Wikimedia is on our doorstep as our own online collaborative wiki project has started in class this week. We’d do good to keep our “ICT Applications in LIS” caps firmly in place for the next few weeks at least.

As Wikipedia is the pioneer of wikis, I chose their definition: "A wiki (i/ˈwɪkiː/ wik-ee) is a website which allows its users to add, modify, or delete its content via a web browser usually using a simplified markup language or a rich-text editor". Libraries are using wikis (the word comes from Hawaii and means fast or quick) for all kinds of reasons: for knowledge management community websites and intranets, which may permit control over different levels of access.

As Nambitha and myself work in academic libraries it makes sense that Sandy wants us working together on a wiki appropriate for our library environment – we’ve heard it should be at least 10 pages which amount to 3 pages each, so we'll have to decide which are pertinent topics we'd like to cover in the wiki, but social colloboration tools should definitely feature to my mind.

Francoise may join any one of the groups and has chosen our group, so all three of us have our work cut out this week as the wiki content planning process – as with any website planning - needs thinking to get us to an outline of topics first before hitting any ‘edit’ button on

I've implemented a wiki on SharePoint for our library staff who can all access, modify and update to allow for creating, sharing, keeping and updating various snippets of information that we need to refer back to when performing our duties, but this is a very simple style in-house wiki which do not really compare with the project ahead. 

It was interesting to read in Wikipedia that Ward Cunningham (see photo on LH), the developer of the first wiki software, WikiWikiWeb, originally described a wiki as "the simplest online database that could possibly work." That is exactly how I will describe our library's wiki for the staff. Nothing fancy, but it works!

Back to our assignment... can one call this work? Apart from the time we have to set aside for ICT Applications assignments, I find it enriching to read, explore and have a web presence in the field of ICT with our blogs and the Twitter account. The short, but rich tweets reaching me on various ICT issues and how “technological librarianship” is crystallising out in today’s world, have exceeded my expectations. But enough of Twitter for now….

We decided the aim of our wiki will be the support and (information literacy) training of postgraduate students –to support their information needs and to push tips and appropriate resources to them via the wiki. We had a look at the literature as well to help us focus the wiki topics to that which postgraduates students struggle with most.

Looking forward to this online collaborative wiki project!

More on wikis

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