Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Darby Wiki?

Our next assignment is to look at wikis. A wiki is a more formal information sharing tool (as compared to blogs, news feed collectors, or tag searching). A wiki has the form of an outline of a book, with organized subject heading or categories. The content of the "book" is then supplied by anyone interested in contributing to the wiki. The most famous wiki is Wikipedia, which is an online encyclopedia that is constantly growing as people add information about a near limitless list of topics.

I reviewed a few library-specific wikis, and it is clear that to have a successful wiki you need LOTS of interest and people with LOTS of time on their hands. Many of the wikis I looked at were very incomplete shells lacking content. This suggests that for a wiki to be successful you have to have a clearly identified purpose that a lot of people find valuable. It seems unlikely that you could build a fleshed out wiki if people don't want the end product.

Could a Darby wiki work? I don't know. I would certainly find it useful to have a single resource with information about all things Darby. But I'm doubtful that there would be enough people who would contribute to make it fly.

But what do I know? At least it's an idea to keep in mind. If enough people get in the habit of contributing online content, perhaps a Darby wiki would be a natrual outcome given all the interest in Darby generally.

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