I am wanting to get Wiki software installed for several projects I am working on, as well as to enable others to start using Wikis. I ran across the article “Exploring with Wiki: A Conversation with Ward Cunningham” tonight, which is an interview with the man credited with inventing Wikis.

That article is interesting, and gives some history about wikis that some may consider valuable. I found the pages “Why Wiki Works” and “WhyWikiWorksNot” to be even more valuable. These are pages on Ward Cunningham’s wiki, “Wiki Wiki Web.”

“WikiDesignPrinciples” is also a worthwhile read: concise but powerful in its simplicity.

A perhaps contextless statement I found worth noting from the “Why Wiki Works” page is:

Deleting wiki pages is about as much fun as removing water from the ocean using a coffee cup.

The rest of these quotes are also from the same “Why Wiki Works” page. This paragraph is wry and also worth noting:

The master and authority here is you, GentleWikizen. Your job is to make this Wiki better, not resist its reaction to your constant complaints about what it is not. This Wiki is not out to get you. WhatYouResistPersists. None of us share secret messages to plot against you. We all deal with misdirected energy the same general ways because this is how a meritocracy works.

This research by IBM on the growth and development of WikiPedia over time, including incidents of vandalism, is also very interesting. Very nice use of graphs in this report.

This statement on the simple power of Wikis being their secret to success resonates with some truth:

I believe Wiki works because it is simple. It doesn’t require you to think about how to speak your mind, just to think about it, and then write it down like you’re using a piece of paper. When you have to invest a lot of effort to simply speak your mind, you lose the energy to speak it as well as you otherwise could.

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