Words of Wiki*

March 9, 2008 at 4:48 pm (wikis)

As has become customary in the last few topics, my first post is a collection of terms that I uncovered over the course of my exploration of a web 2.0 tool, in this case wikis.  This week I thought about how my post relates to effective vocabulary instruction.  Research has demonstrated that the majority of words are learned through repeated readings in context.  A glossary dedicated post does not help to understand words in context.  Specifically teaching a manageable number of vocabulary words before reading is a strategy, however, there are far to many to be considered manageable.  I finally came to the conclusion that by posting the glossary first, it actually appears at the end so in the traditional sense it is where it would be in a conventional text.  At any rate, on with the gloassary!   


  • short for wiki-wiki which means quick in Hawaiian (Freedman, 2006; Richardson, 2006)
  • “a term that is used both for a piece of software and for an interactive Web site people use to collaborate online” (Braun, 2006)
  • WetPaint, Seed Wiki and pbwiki (as easy as making a peanut butter sandwich) are other free wiki options
  • examples include WikirecipesWikitravel, PlanetMath or even Star Trek Wiki  (Richardson)
  • Richardson suggested Webnote, virtual post it notes, that allow you to save quotes from webpages you visit, as a form of wiki as anyone can add, edit or delete notes if you share the link
  • “where else can you find so many people who are so passionate about knowledge? (A library, perhaps?)” (Leeder).


  • “online encyclopedia which is created, amended and monitored by members” (Freedman)
  • with 2.2 million articles (Baker, 2008), Wikipedia is the online encyclopedia of choice (Freedman; Badke, 2008)
  • “more people use Wikipedia than Amazon or eBay”
  • people who add content are called editors
  • those who guard the content are called deletionists (Baker)
  • began by absorbing 1911 public domain edition of Encyclopedia Britannica as well as others
  • At the homepage you can access other wikis such as wikibooks, wikiquotes or wiktionary 

Found at the bottom of incomplete wiki articles: “This article about X is a stub.  You can help Wikipedia by expanding it” (Baker, 2008).

unlike Wikipedia which is not-for-profit, Wikia is a hosted wiki option; a company or school hosts a wiki on their server and the community collaborates; examples include Calgary Wiki and Muppet Wiki (Carvin, 2008)


coined by saturist Stephen Colbert meaning “truth by consensus;” also created “truthiness” (Badke); David Warlick weighs in on this topic saying, “The term, TRUTH, has meanings to people that do not seem to fit in with a conversation about literacy.”

compare features of about 100 different wiki providers; Wiki Engines also lists different wiki options

strives to be more accurate than Wikipedia although that is questionable; editors use real names which is optional in Wikipedia

“a ‘wiki’-style supplement to National Geographic magazine’s feature stories.  Each GeoPedia entry provides in-depth background material on a given topic while maintaining National Geographic’s renowned standard of accuracy.  It’s a research tool with valuable links to the best resources.  Here, visitors can learn more about a subject area, ask a question, and submit a link or a story.  User-generated content will be edited by expert editors in the field, such as top researchers, journalists, and professors.” 

I wonder if this is really a wiki?  Or is it, as Tony Dokoupil writes in “Revenge of the Experts” for Newsweek, the dawn of Web 3.0, which adds an editorial layer to the grassroots base?  Does this mark the beginning of the demise of Time’s Person of the Year: You?  Personally, I think revenge is too strong a word to describe what is happening.  Time will tell. 

“wiki tool used by Wikipedia” and other wiki sites; is beginning to include social networking as part of the wiki which will allow for more detailed user profiles (Carvin, March 1, 2008)

Written by Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams, it “explains how to prosper in a world where new communications technologies are democratizing the creation of value”

Other Related Terms

social software
category comprised of blogs, wikis, podcasts and social bookmarking

social computing
the application of computer technology to facilitate interaction and collaboration; emphasis on social part of social computing (Horizon Report, 2006)

distributed groups
collaborating with people in different places (Horizon Report, 2006)

collective intelligence
“the ability to pool knowledge and compare notes with others towards a common goal” (Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture)

“affinity spaces”
“informal learning cultures” (Gee (2004), quoted in Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture)

organized by the participants in real time in a wiki such as EduBloggerCon

hosted wiki
one that is saved to a locally maintained server rather than a remote web one

Speed or Lightening demos
demonstrate a Web 2.0 tool to a group in 5 minutes or less (from EduBloggerCon)

*a play on “words of wisdom”; no wisdom if words are not understood


1 Comment

  1. Social Networking « InfoTech4Lrng said,

    […] to in a previous post as social software which falls under the umbrella of social computing – see Words of Wiki) it doesn’t matter because they get you to the same end […]

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