What is a wiki?

"Communities can't be manufactured, but you can design the conditions under which they are most likely to emerge, and encourage their growth when they do" (Rheingold, 1998).

  • Social software
  • Collaboratively create, edit, discuss, and share multimedia content online using a web browser
  • Free, online
  • Small fees for additional features such as ad-free spaces (except for educators), a customized appearance, or increased security options
  • Simple sign-up


  • Websites - Centralized, usually a single author/editor, audience cannot edit, presentational communication to an unknown audience
  • Blogs - Chronological, multiple authors possible (but not typical), audience can comment but not edit, limited interpersonal communication
  • Wikis - Distributed, multiple authors, audience can edit content and structure, simultaneous presentational, interpretive, and interpersonal communication possible

Who uses wikis?


Archer, Allison, & Wehunt, Wes. (2007, December 7). We are the world. We are the world - PBWiki. Retrieved March 16, 2008, from http://wearetheworld.pbwiki.com/

Bender, Walter. (2007, April 24). One laptop per child wiki. Retrieved November 14, 2007, from http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Home

e-Democracy.org. (2007). 35W. E-Democracy.org. Retrieved November 14, 2007, from http://pages.e-democracy.org/35W

Elsevier. (2007, August 16). Main page - WiserWiki. WiserWiki - Media Wiki. Retrieved March 26, 2008, from

Goodnoe, Ezra. (2005, August 8). How to use wikis for business. Information Week. Retrieved November 14, 2007, from http://www.informationweek.com/industries/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=167600331&pgno=3&queryText=

LeFever, Lee. (2007, May 29). Wikis in plain English. CommonCraft: Explanations in Plain English (on YouTube). Retrieved March 12, 2008, from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dnL00TdmLY&

Mattson, Melanie. (2005, June). Flu wiki - about. Flu Wiki - PM Wiki. Retrieved March 26, 2008, from http://www.fluwikie.com/pmwiki.php?n=About.About

MediaWiki. (n.d.). MediaWiki logo. MediaWiki. Retrieved November 14, 2007, from http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki

Montgomery, Cherice. (2007). Map of the content and structure of a wiki. Websites as Graphs. Retrieved October 2007, from http://www.aharef.info/static/htmlgraph/ (by inputting http://languagelinks2006.wikispaces.com)

Pbwiki. (n.d.). Pbwiki logo. Pbwiki. Retrieved November 14, 2007, from http://pbwiki.com/

Pbwiki. (n.d.). Pbwiki Sign Up. Pbwiki. Retrieved November 14, 2007, from https://secure.pbwiki.com/signup.wiki

Rheingold, H. (1998). The art of hosting good conversations online. Rheingold's brainstorms: Rheingoldian writing. Retrieved December 19, 2007, from http://www.rheingold.com/texts/artonlinehost.html

Wikispaces. (n.d.). 100,000 wikis in the classroom. Wikispaces. Retrieved November 14, 2007, from http://www.wikispaces.com/site/for/teachers100K

Wikispaces. (n.d.). Wikispaces logo. Wikispaces. Retrieved November 14, 2007, from http://www.wikispaces.com/