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Have you ever thought about building an online space where different people can easily share their expertise on a subject or project? If creating such a resource seems out of your league, you might want to consider building a wiki.
A wiki is a website maintained collaboratively by a community of contributors focusing on a particular subject or project. Software for creating wikis is easy to use and is available in both open-source and proprietary forms. If desired, different users can have different levels of control over sharing, editing, and removing information. Typical wiki communities are work groups within a company, educators and students, and hobbyists.
By far the most recognized wiki is Wikipedia. Wikipedia would not be possible without the support of its volunteer contributors, who help keep the site's content current. By relying on volunteers, Wikipedia can draw on anyone to share their knowledge on a topic, check facts, or accurately translate content. To manage the site and volunteer contributors, Wikipedia also enlists the help of volunteer administrators.
While you might not aspire to build the next Wikipedia, building a wiki is something anyone who has the willingness can do. Begin by identifying what your community needs and articulate what the purpose of your wiki is. Decide what software to use for your wiki.
Organizing a wiki team is much like organizing a volunteer or work team. You will need to identify who can provide or edit content and who can be enlisted to serve as an administrator. You will need to decide which volunteer contributors should be assigned which editing permissions. Wikis are meant to evolve, and building a strong community around your wiki will ensure that it remains useful into the future.
For more examples of wikis, and some tips for organizing your community of wiki builders, be sure to look at the following wikis:
Susan ChavezOnline Community & Social Media Team, TechSoup Global@Susan_Chavez
This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International License.
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