I’ve been dabbling with wikis for a while and so far I’ve found them to be useful for collaborative writing tasks. For instance, I’ve edited a document with a group of colleagues and I’ve also had students build up a knowledge base on characterisation using Wiki. The ability to share and edit text online, without the need for cumbersome emailing of a document to-and-fro is truly amazing!
So, why isn’t everybody using them?
Well, for one thing, installing a Wiki isn’t exactly the most trivial and some have interfaces that are actually off-putting. My personal favourite is DokuWiki which I like for its simple installation (no MySQL database required) and clean interface. Yet, even with DokuWiki, setting up access permissions (i.e. limiting who gets to edit or read which pages) isn’t the straightforward process for more people.
And then I came across pbwiki – simple and clean interface, and no messy installation to deal with. It’s even easy to handle access controls. Most impressive, I must say. There’re quite aÂ few wikis up now, including:Â a Penn State Writing Program, a freeware roundup site and even a…free novel!
I’m going to explore the wikis on pbwiki a little more – this is really opening my eyes to the potential of a wiki!