Wikis are a valuable resource to hit the web. They are accessible web pages which can be viewed and changed by anybody with a web browser and permission to access to the page. This makes them perfect for collaborating. A notable ‘wiki’ is the collaborative information website: Wikipedia, which allows users to add or modify information to create a free, useful encyclopaedia.
Wikis are very attractive to businesses because of this collaborative aspect. They allow users to share knowledge and data; a team can input various ideas into the Wiki page, while any member can add new information.
Wikis can either be public or private; authorization is normally offered by entering the users email address. This means once you are an ‘admin’ of the Wiki you can invite others to view and collaborate on the Wiki with you.
They offer an advantage over files, in that Wikis save versions of the edited page to go back to easily, and synchronously producing real time updates. Files do not offer this, as versions can build up, and become cluttered, as well as not offering information on who updated the versions-and when. File recovery is also more complicated than simply going back to a previous Wiki version; this makes them ideal, not only for collaboration, but project management.
Wikis are also valuable in an educational setting, as well as a business environment. They can be used as an interactive media for both students and teachers, to learn and teach from. It can also be used as a medium for lectures and notes to be shared and accessed at a late date.
Wikis can also serve as a useful method for crowd sourcing. Collaboration itself is ideal for outsourcing tasks to people in remote locations other than the office. Wikipedia defines crowdsourcing ‘as the act of outsourcing tasks to a large group of people through an open call’.
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