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Why Wikis Are Awesome

I think the reason that Wikis are so heavily used and effective in the workplace and in society in general today is because of the variety of information sources and the ability for them to be easily updated on a daily basis. When I was reading the article about the Geek Squad, I felt that it offered a good explanation of the ideas that you can get out a group of like minded, intelligent individuals with common interests. Instead of hiring engineers to come up with ideas for Geek Squad branded products Robert Stephens enlisted his own “geeks” to come up with ideas and they produced many of their most successful products.

I think this relates to Wikis because instead of just one person composing and managing the information like on a typical website, a Wiki allows for tens to thousands of common people with all levels of knowledge and different forms of information to collaborate what they know or understand about an issue or idea. This helps develop a more complete information source with all sorts of view points and ideas embedded in the page, not just the viewpoints and ideas of a single author.

Also due to the ease of editing a Wiki, it is easy to update information on a daily basis. On Wikipedia for example, the same day that information is released or becomes available to the public it is almost immediately put on Wikipedia. For instance, at the Grammys on February 8, 2009, Blink 182 announced that they were getting back together, making a new album, and going on tour. That information was put on Wikipedia that same night and there is extensive information on the happenings since then including information from as Associated Press interview that happened as recently as February 19th. And like I mentioned earlier Wikis are a collaborative resource. Instead of having to see the Grammys that night and read the Associated Press to find this information, you can find it all in one spot on a Wiki.

Comments

You touched on a big advantage of wikis that I think a lot of people actually missed this week - their ease of use. Not only are they easy to navigate and for locating information, they're easy to update and add on to and revamp. The simple nature of wikis make them a great tool for compiling mass amounts of information in one place. I think one of the reasons wikis are so popular is because of this reason. They're simple. However, we have to assume that because they're so easily updated and they have such advanced collaboration qualities, it might be difficult to implement a filtering system that ensures only reliable and accurate information is getting onto the site. Just one minor pitfall we have to watch out for in wikis.