Compiled responses from fall, 2004.

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The Wiki may not be pretty, but it does serve a useful purpose. But it is one inwhich I really don't want to take part in when it comes to doing my project. I feel very comfortable in doing my Blog and I enjoy writing every day in it. There seems to be a lot to talk about at times and it allows me to vent some of frustrations out, too. I have used Wikpedia for my research and I think it's a great tool to use. I'm just not crazy about people going into a website and being able to tweak it to their liking. They may change the meaning of some point I was trying to make. I like, on the Wiki, how everything is broken into sections with hedders, bullets and other gadgetry, but Blogs is something I feel at home doing. I have to admit that the wiki does keep you focused, but the same can be said about the blog, too. A blog can be just as good of a scholarly tool than a wiki. A wiki, though, is easier to read. I still have a lot of questions to answer in my mind before I say I'll never use the wiki. I guess, I'm still pondering whether or not it's for me. Right now, until I really can get the technology down, I don't think it is. I'm getting better at pages, but still I tend to type on the wrong page. BillProznik

One of the key words is visual when it comes to wiki building. True, there may not be any colorful pictures or other gadgets to make it stand out, but it's how you stack things together that counts the most. When reading a book, you have to scroll gallons of ink and pages to find out what the points are to the story. In a wiki, you have bullets, headders, bold print and other things to set the highlights apart. You write in short spaces, not reams of pages. Also, with books, the written word is the gospel truth. It can't be changed. The written word is forever, while wiki's are constantly changing, evolving, into something that can take new shape or have a new meaning everyday.

I wanted to experience the full power of the wiki, so I went to the most potent wiki site I could think of--Wikipedia. To truly see how in-depth and detailed the information would be, I typed in "Star Wars," which I know a little something about (insert "nerd" joke here). I was pleased to see that the entry was highly detailed, without being too long, and there were a variety of related links. I was pretty impressed until I remembered I was at a Wiki site, presumably frequented by a bunch of nerds, and thus, would naturally have accurate, in-depth information on the [ Star Wars] movies.

So to counteract the "nerd factor" I typed in [ Randy Moss], my favorite football player, who I presumed the nerds would no nothing about. And I was wrong. The Randy Moss entry was extensive and informative, providing me with facts I never knew about the star wide receiver.

Go figure.


I've pondered the possibilities of how I might be able to use this new Wiki thing to further my philosophical and personal discourse. At first, it seemed to be little more than a space for me to post a crap-load of copy-and-pasted material, but now I'm thinking otherwise. I like the layout of this particular Wiki that we have access to. It's simple and clean. I need simple and clean when I write. It helps me keep my focus.

I really like the idea of being able to see recent changes and revert back to the originals or previous versions. I wonder how long these recent changes stay in the server cache though. Can I set it to stay for more than a month? Usually it takes me more than a month to get down to a reasonably polished draft of any sort. I'm noting this because I intend to do a few things with the space I'm provided here:

* I intend to use this space to begin working on my thesis. I was going to use my blog to work on it, but now I see that this medium provides more leverage for the writer with a goal of achieving an absolutely limitless number of "active texts" as those silly rhetoricians call it.
* I intend to use this space to work on other writing assignments besides my thesis: namely, my class notes for the College Writing I section I teach. This gives me access to my notes wherever I am. This is a good thing because I hate hotmailing my shit back and forth, and one can only bring their USB drive to so many places before it ends up lost or floating in a cup of coffee.
* I intend to use this space for good, not [ evil].


Isn't the entire purpose of the wiki for good? To promote knowledge. To support facts and to provide meaning to a subject. Unless you're Dr. Frankenstein or a member or the Klu Klux Klan, what possible motive can you have but good. I know it was probably a big joke, but PromotingEvil even in jest is not the purpose of this communication technology. If you want eveil, look at the websites for the terorists where they show beheadings and crimes against thier gods. WikiCommunities do not promote evil. We may think they do if they change our ideas, but even in a sick way WikiCommunities are doing their best to promote the product. They are trying to help us understand more clearer and in more ScientificMethodology. Is that evil? Or, is it a good thing that sometimes seems bad?/BillProznik

"Wiki is typing in a bunch of book titles and coming back a day later and finding them turned into birds in the Amazon" There are some truth to that, but I wouldn't be too sure that changing a post will guarantee it to be changed to an Amazon bird, more like a crow. You just have to be up for a challenge when you write a post.

Wiki gives you the option of changing a statement that may be "blah" and turn it into a masterpiece. The only bad part of it is that maybe the person who wrote the "blah" statement may think that it was a masterpiece, so therefore changing it could cause some anger. You MUST have an open mind when you work on a Wiki.

You must be willing to take ConstructiveCriticism as well as give it./BillProznik

I don't know how I feel about a Wiki and im still pondering if its good or bad, either way I have to work on one so I should just shush myself and do the assignments given.


Collaboration in writing is extremely important. Done in the right spirit, having many people writing a particular project at the same time not only improves the writing, but improves everyone's understanding of the topic. [ Wikipedia] is a great example. The fact that anyone can change, dispute, and explain the entries to their heart's content will in the long run make the entries more concise and informative.

That's why WikiCommunities are so important. Topics are more clearer when done in a collaborated effort. There's no misguidance and everyone is striving for the same make something MoreDefinitive and understandable for the MajorityOfWikkiCommunities to understand./BillProznik

One of the coolest things wikis can do is help to create a community of people. A wiki is nothing without a group of people willing to create and change it. It's not something you can effectively do by yourself. It requires that people come together to work towards a common goal, be it an encyclopedia entry, a piece of creative writing, or whatever else they can come up with. It encourages tolerance, abandonment of egotism, critical thought, and sharing of knowledge; all of these are, in my opinion, noble goals.

A good DefinitionOfWiki!/BillProznik

Wikis grow and change the way the <a target="_blank" href="<a target="_blank" href="">Internet</a>"><a target="_blank" href="">internet</a></a> was meant to in the first place, before all the commercial interests took over. They're simple to use and they could never exist without the people who use them, adding things, deleting things, changing things, and allowing them to grow organically. Pretty heady stuff.


I generally consider myself to be fairly tech oriented. I'm not a computer whiz or anything, but I do use my computer on a regular basis, love email, know some of Microsoft Front Page, and the like. When I heard we were using technology I thought it was pretty cool. I was able to figure out that CAL Dialogue was like a message board, but I had no idea what a Wiki was. All I knew was that we were encouraged to post our papers there for classmates to read or comment on.

I went home that Friday, excited to figure out what a Wiki was. I read some of the provided instructions, and immediately figured out how 'easy it was'. I posted a ton of writing, both old and new, and added a comments page and a biography page. I returned to class on Monday to see that Mark had viewed my wiki, and he commented that I "really went ape shit" on it.

Indeed, I had gone ape shit on this thing called a Wiki...

I continued to post my papers, and a few weeks later recieved a comment from MC Morgan that said: "I'll be looking for you in Weblogs and Wikis..." "Indeed you will," thought I.

And that, my friends, is how I ended up here, going "ape shit" once again.


Okay, I'm really hoping that I'm doing all of this stuff correctly. I'm not too sure that I am, but hey...I figure I can't screw anything up too badly, huh?

So, I figured I better get something down on this wiki page...since I had sort of forgotten we started with these on Friday. Yeah, it's been a long weekend.

I am always wondering whether or not I am posting correctly and on the right page. There have been times where I have gone somewhere other than where I was supposed to be, only to have Dr. Morgan rectify the error. You can't screw up badly, but sometimes you think you can./BillProznik

I'm not too sure about these Wikis. I think I enjoy the Blogs better. The blogs seem to allow for greater creativity and there's something very plain about these wiki pages. Obviously. And I'm not really sure why, but it sort of freaks me out that 'everyone' is writing on the same page and you can absolutely read anything anytime. And I realize it's basically the same thing with the blogs, but there just seems to be more of a personal, individual effort with the blogs and with the wikis it seems more communal, more collaborative. And that kinda freaks me out. Like I mentioned before.

And why are these pages so plain? Where's the color people? What about the graphics and things that would make this seem more interesting than just writing on a community whiteboard, huh? I'm not sure I like this. Not sure I like this at all.

It's unusually confusing for me. Why is that? I try to start typing this whole "first reaction" thing and end up going into some wrong page and typing up this whole other random thing that didn't belong there was just a mess. And now I'm all confused and all worked up about it. I'm not sure where I'm allowed to write stuff and what happens if I'm typing in some area that I'm not supposed to...

I need more structure here, people. This is just anarchy.


There is a completely different mindset in writing for the Web, and obviously, then, it breeds a whole different style of writing. I think it should be snatched up and utilized more in academic writing, because the "on the fly" style of it rids writers of that brain-freeze that comes from staring at an essay being written in a word processor. It also pulls out the initial thoughts rather than the over-edited, over-contemplated thoughts sometimes present in a word-processed paper.

Aren't we encouraged in academics to go with our "first instinct"?...But then again, will things be under-<a target="_blank" href="">anal</a>yzed if we're mostly writing "on the fly"? Wikis are 'created' on the fly, but the content is meant to be written and revised and edited to heart's content, so maybe it opens up possibilities of utilizing the best of both worlds: initial impressions that can be re-thought and changed if deemed necessary later.


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