What is a wiki?
You have probably used a wiki. Most individuals are probably familiar with the term and may associate it with Wikipedia. However, because they use Wikipedia primarily as an online information source, they may not recognize all of the capabilities that make Wikipedia the most widely used example of a wiki. They are not full-fledged ''participants'' in Wikipedia.
A wiki is typically a web site based on software that allows multiple authors to write, edit, upload, and delete multimedia content remotely using a browser. This is my own overly complicated definition generated in an effort to highlight most key features.
Here is a little more information concerning key wiki features.
- One of the first things you may notice when exploring a wiki is a prominent edit button - it is an invitation for you to make improvements. The ''opportunity for all visitors to edit'' existing content can usually be disabled or potential editors can be required to register before making contributions, but open access to create and edit content is the typical default.
- Easy modification is controversial. One reason advocates of open access are willing to allow anyone to make modifications is that ''previous versions of a wiki can be regenerated''. It may be a little difficult to conceptualize how this accomplished and it might be useful to compare the approach to what happens when a multi-undo button is available within a software application (e.g., Photoshop). Authors can "backup" through the sequence of changes that have been made to a product if they are dissatisfied with changes made to their version of a post. Some wiki software sends an email authors when someone else has modified their content. This notification gives them a chance to review the changes and see if they find them an improvement.