Sunday, September 14, 2008

SLA Toronto Event Report - Click U Live! Webinar: Best Practices for Setting up a Wiki

On September 11, SLA had an organization wide Webinar course on creating wikis. I had an opportunity to attend this Click U Live! course, as did other iSchool students free of charge thanks to SLA Toronto's Student Sponsorship Fund, which gives students an opportunity to attend all local events at no cost, whether they are SLA members or not.

The workshop definitely took a "no assumptions" approach, in that it covered many of the basics of what wikis are and why they are useful, which is information that many iSchool students may already be aware of. What I found most useful were the examples of wikis, comparisons of various wiki platforms, and suggestions of free web-based wiki software, including Wet Paint, Media Wiki (used by Wikipedia), and Wikispaces to name a few.

The following were the emphasized strengths of wikis:

1. They make collaborations to create content easy.

2. They remove bottlenecks and speed up collaboration.

3. They are easy to set up and maintain.

4. They are flexible and dynamic.

It is important to keep in mind that wikis are not always the best solution. The scope of the project, organizational culture and willingness of potential participants must always be considered.

Try WikiMatrix if you are interested in starting a wiki but are unsure which of the many software options to choose from. This site allows you to compare the functionalities, and join forums to get in touch with real users.

Join us at the next Click U Live! Webinar: The Year in Web Searching on October 8 at Queen's Park from 2:00-3:30 p.m. Take advantage of these events for the professional development and networking opportunities.


-Andrea Gagliardi