Thursday, February 21, 2008

Thing Ten - Wikis

Hello people,

So I looked at some of the library related wikis. I'll state first off that I wasn't able to do any editing myself, which is probably a good thing since I don't really have anything useful to add, but the reason for this is due to verification necessity. All of the wikis that I looked at, required you to either have an invitation to edit that specific wiki, or create an account and have email verification to make any edits. What I did see looked promising though. A book lover's wiki with book reviews, would really be useful and practical to an extent for libraries to give recommendations and get user input at the same time. There was a wiki that had links to many other library blogs. I didn't see our library in that list, and I may actually add to that wiki in the future. One blog in particular that seemed really interesting to me was the library staff wiki. A wiki that's totally and only accessible to all the library staff, a sort of web 2.0 version of a bulletin board. I really think that could be a good idea looking to the future for our library.

I checked out the 23 things on a stick official wiki. I read in the comments that people were hesitant, even scared to change anything. So I took the bull by the horns so to speak and did some editing myself. I added a section called "Blog Contributions" and added a link and plugged my blog. The editing was very simple to do, basically if you're doing this blog yourself, you can easily edit a wiki.

They say that some teachers ban the use of wikipedia as a source of student research. Personally I have to agree with them to a degree. The way wiki's are setup, if you let just about anyone edit the information things are going to happen. People are going to lie, make stuff up to be funny or just to cause trouble. Obviously not every wiki is going to suffer from it, but having the chance of using misinformation as a source is reason enough not to allow it, at least academically.

While I believe wikis would be very useful internally at libraries, or the workplace in general, there is always the inherent risk of some people adding inappropriate things or change factual information around. There are pros and cons to every thing and this will likely have to be a case by case basis.