First Wiki Notes JKaufenberg

What is a Wiki

First and foremost, Wiki is not Wikipedia.
Wiki is a collaborative medium that allows for the dissemination of knowledge and experiences. Pages are created as content grows and expands to meet the needs of the WikiUsers. In essence, Wiki is a community that works together to build the informational pages started by individuals. Anyone who knows how to access the login page, can thus access WikiPages and potential added to, remove, or edit the content of any WikiPage. Looking at the concept behind Wiki and the open platform, there is a refined culture and etiquette that is engrained into the WikiCommunity as a whole. It is assumed that as individual WikiUsers move through WikiPages they will edit and contribute to content making it better and more accurate. New Wiki users may be hesitant in editing content, often afraid they will offend the original creator, this in general is not true. WikiUsers have an understanding of the etiquette the community as a whole and know when it is appropriate and not appropriate to make changes to WikiPages. WikiSignature help assist the reader, informing them of when material is personal or may be specifically related to an opinion. Beware: Wiki is an open form and a signature does not provide ultimate protection from editing by others. If you are in search of protecting your work, it would be best to keep it in your WikiHomePage; or find another medium or forum that offers individual control of content.

Helpful pages for developing an understanding of Wiki; OneMinuteWiki, WikiSignature, StealingIdeas, IntellectualProperty

Wiki Credibility and Academics

Research is always the perfect place to start when you need to develop a deeper understanding of something unfamiliar. The word “research” is very academic and often throws many of us into a spiraling trip back in time to various high school and college writing classes that forced us to find five or more sources to support or claims, thoughts and ideas, as well as thesis statements in general.

When in reality, if we step back and look at the world we live in, we are constantly researching something. Even if we are simply searching for an answer to a question, instructions on how to build a treehouse, a recipe to make a red velvet cake, looking up a movie review, or looking for a political blog we go through the same motions required to find evidence and support for a research essay. The key is that we have to differentiate if a source is credible. What site are you going to trust? If you are building a tree house, you want to find a website written or sponsored by someone who knows construction. When reading a movie review, you may want a review that presents the movie as a whole so you can determine if you want to go see the show. On the other hand, you may trust a blogger’s opinionated view of a movie. The problem arises when we have no background knowledge or have little to no understanding of a topic.

Taking a deeper look at our eternal connection, to technology and how we are wired into a variety of platforms, we can see how “research” plays a key role in our everyday lives. With this understanding, we need to have a starting point. Wikipedia and WikiPages can provide us with an initial place to start searching for information, basic reference material used to become familiar with a topic. The fluidity and continual evolution of these spaces, allow for real-time, up to date information on topics that provide a jump off point to start looking for supporting evidence or details from credible sources.

The WikisAndCredibility page is good place for more information on Wikis and Credibility.
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