Wikis are Us

Readings and activities for WeblogsAndWikis, spring 2017.

This week, you'll have the opportunity to get some background on wikis in a few readings and then explore some wikis and develop some notes and observations on wikis.

Required Writing for the Week: FirstWikiNotes

You're posting to the wiki for this week's writing rather than your blog.

As you explore the wikis in the material below, draw up some notes, observations, considerations, on the wiki. Not an essay. Notes. Those notes, however, call for close observation, including close reading of pages and some inference of how those pages are developing. But you've been doing observation in your posts so far in this class, so you're used to it.

Advice: Two browser windows: One to read in. One to write in.

To set up a new wiki page to work in

Make two passes at your wiki notes: one by Friday midnight, the second by Monday midnight. No reflection this week necessary.

Post notes on
Use headings and sub-heads to organize your observations, to distinguish observations from considerations.

Create new pages from your FirstWikiNotes page by using a CamelCase title.


Explore: Getting Oriented to Wikis

With wikis, we look at a collective and collaborative writing space - a different social model of knowledge than we see in the distributed network of blogs. On a wiki, participants cooperate to produce collective multi-paged hypertext documents. These pages are co-authored, even to the point of anonymity - a point where the authors of the page are no longer concerned about who contributed what. Wikipedia and the wiki you're reading now operate the same way.

Wikis tend to be more project oriented than blogs. Wikis tend to be more exploratory than blogs.

Some reading

Three primers to get a sense of what wikis are and how they work.

A chapter from a book about wikis. Writing in wiki spaces is not the same as writing with paper in a private space

Next, a tour

Here are some wiki pages about wikis. With these you can begin to develop questions and frameworks for more consideration.

Wikis are local communities of shared interests. They have developing customs and styles and values and approaches. These tend to be laid out in the local style guides (Ours is the StyleGuide). When you first visit a wiki, you're a visitor. Have a look around to get a sense of the customs.

Wiki pages are always in draft and under refactoring, so they may not be laid out and organized as you would expect in print. Wiki pages are occasionally experimental, and are exploring new not-yet-formed conventions of layout and composing. This part of the activities gives you a chance to get used to that and read through it.

(If you don't like the organization of a wiki page, you can change it. Go ahead.)

As you read these wiki pages - a reading that includes following links - make notes on how the pages are organized, what state they seem to be in. Watch for uses of DocumentMode and ThreadMode, watch for ways the contributors identify their work, and for text that has become part of the collective wiki. Watch for calls of RefactoringPages. Watch, that is, for what the writers are doing.


at MeatballWiki

[W]e are PublicArt. We strive to be beautiful. We want to shimmer and make people smile, and we want to do this by attracting and showcasing life.

A look at co-operating in a writing space, and how wikis address multiple perspectives.

A few pages on our wiki

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