What is a WIKI? Brief introduction to the tool for participatory document writing
A group of 10 scientists spread all over the world working together on a joint proposal… A group of program administrators developing common procedures on how to handle programs or office visitors… A secretary assisting five scientists, organizing and facilitating their travel and work plans... Laboratory technicians developing manuals of laboratory procedures… How do they handle these tasks (at CIMMYT)? Imagine the situation:
Now, imagine the situation: …all members of the group have instant access to the most up-to-date version of the document… At any moment in time they can: make changes see who is making changes be alerted whenever the document is changed recover any of the previous versions attach any reference materials (files) link to other pages / documents / files print, send and export the document in a user- friendly format
…all that without knowing much about web page creation, languages, technical issues, etc…
A wiki is a collaborative website which can be directly edited by anyone with access to it. Public Wiki x Private Wiki A wiki is essentially a program (database) that allows users to create, comment on and change one another's text in a simple markup language using a web browser. Development started in mid 90s. Today wiki is increasingly adopted by businesses as collaborative software. Some companies use wikis as a replacement for static Intranets. Common uses include project communication, Intranets, and documentation, initially for technical users. Wiki can help!
What do wiki critics say? “These systems could be easily tampered with.” “ It sounds like offering free spray cans next to a grey concrete wall.” But is it really happening? Is there a way of protection? What do wiki proponents say? “The community of users can catch malicious content and correct it immediately.” “ There are enough examples that it works very well.”
What does that mean for CIMMYT? CIMMYT’s wiki is a private one. (Do you already have your username and password?) A critical mass of users is needed. If you DON’T HAVE serious commitment of all group members to use wiki (instead of email attachments), than don’t use wiki.
Wiki is not a repository for documents … Some examples of public wiki spaces: http://miniproject-FS.wetpaint.com http://miniproject.wikidot.com The most well-known wiki website: www.wikipedia.com Join wiki family! Become a happy ‘wiker’ !
To login into CIMMYT’s wiki go to: http://cril.cimmyt.org/confluence/login.action To learn basics about CIMMYT’s wiki see the flash tutorial !
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