Wikisphere - Communities

Communities

Many wiki communities are private, particularly within enterprises. They are often used as internal documentation for in-house systems and applications. Some companies use wikis to allow customers to help produce software documentation. A study of corporate wiki users found that they could be divided into "synthesizers" and "adders" of content. Synthesizers' frequency of contribution was affected more by their impact on other wiki users, while adders' contribution frequency was affected more by being able to accomplish their immediate work. In 2005, the Gartner Group, noting the increasing popularity of wikis, estimated that they would become mainstream collaboration tools in at least 50% of companies by 2009. Wikis can be used for project management.

Wikis have also been used in the academic community for sharing and dissemination of information across institutional and international boundaries. In those settings, they have been found useful for collaboration on grant writing, strategic planning, departmental documentation, and committee work. In the mid-2000s, the increasing trend amongst industries toward collaboration was placing a heavier impetus upon educators to make students proficient in collaborative work, inspiring even greater interest in wikis being used in the classroom.

Wikis have found some use within the legal profession, and within government. Examples include the Central Intelligence Agency's Intellipedia, designed to share and collect intelligence, dKospedia, which was used by the American Civil Liberties Union to assist with review of documents pertaining to internment of detainees in Guantánamo Bay; and the wiki of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, used to post court rules and allow practitioners to comment and ask questions. The United States Patent and Trademark Office uses a wiki to allow the public to collaborate on finding prior art relevant to examination of pending patent applications. Queens, New York has used a wiki to allow citizens to collaborate on the design and planning of a local park. Cornell Law School founded a wiki-based legal dictionary called Wex, whose growth has been hampered by restrictions on who can edit.

There also exist WikiNodes which are pages on wikis that describe related wikis. They are usually organized as neighbors and delegates. A neighbor wiki is simply a wiki that may discuss similar content or may otherwise be of interest. A delegate wiki is a wiki that agrees to have certain content delegated to that wiki.

One way of finding a wiki on a specific subject is to follow the wiki-node network from wiki to wiki; another is to take a Wiki "bus tour", for example: Wikipedia's Tour Bus Stop. Domain names containing "wiki" are growing in popularity to support specific niches.

The English Wikipedia has the largest user base among wikis on the World Wide Web and ranks in the top 10 among all Web sites in terms of traffic. Other large wikis include the WikiWikiWeb, Memory Alpha, Wikitravel, World66 and Susning.nu, a Swedish-language knowledge base.

Medical and health-related wiki examples include Ganfyd, an online collaborative medical reference that is edited by medical professionals and invited non-medical experts.

The four basic types of users who participate in wikis are reader, author, wiki administrator and system administrator. The system administrator is responsible for installation and maintenance of the wiki engine and the container web server. The wiki administrator maintains wiki content and is provided additional functions pertaining to pages (e.g. page protection and deletion), and can adjust users' access rights by, for instance, blocking them from editing.

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Famous quotes containing the word communities:

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