Posts Tagged ‘Wikipedia’

Wikis, Google Docs & ooVoo

March 12, 2008

Social Media class discussed wikis today. Not just Wikipedia, but wikis in general. What’s a wiki? Here’s the definition from (where else) Wikipedia:

A wiki is software that allows users to easily create, edit, and link pages together. Wikis are often used to create collaborative websites and to power community websites.

That’s a little hard to understand, but let’s put it this way: You and anyone you choose to invite, can put whatever information you want on a page, as well as edit it. And you immediately think: Why aren’t we using that in our projects more often? Wouldn’t it cut out the hassle of email?

The thing about wikis is, with most new technologies, everyone has to know how to use it. I don’t mean know how to bold or underline text, I mean to really use it and gain the synergies that it offers. That’s where the tough part comes in. Will we be spending more time editing our wikis, or focusing on what really matters, the sharing of ideas, information and knowledge?

I know it’s hard. A few friends of mine used to have our meeting agendas on Google Docs, but gave up after awhile because we weren’t using it efficiently enough to get rid of email. As with all technology advancements, the new offering must offer significant benefits over the old, otherwise the switching cost is just too high.

Which brings me to ooVoo, a webcam-chat programme that allows up to 6 people to converse at once. Good for short meetings right? Would you use them? I personally would, but I’m not sure whether productivity would be higher or lower than if we had meetings face to face.

On a separate, curious note: does anyone know what happens if 2 people try to edit the exact same portion of a wiki at the same time and both save their changes?

Follow Up On Google/Wikipedia Ban

January 15, 2008

There’s another post over at Marketing Pilgrim touching on the same article I posted about yesterday (original article here).

I think Marketing Pilgrim says the same thing as Seth Godin, in that obviously Googling something for hard facts is normal, but Googling for critical thinking is just going to fail. If people use multiple Google/Wiki sources to pool together their essay/paper and help structure it, it shouldn’t be a problem. But just taking the first search result from Google and repeating that definitely isn’t a good idea.

Can Google Be Your Friend If It’s Banned?

January 15, 2008

Search Engine Journal, a site I started reading regularly when doing my Google research, posts an interesting article about a Professor in Brighton that has banned Google in favour of traditional research like hardcopy journals. She says “Google is filling, but it does not necessarily offer nutritional content.”

This actually echoes something posted by Seth Godin in October, called The Wikipedia Gap, reacting to a similar incident where Wikipedia was apparently banned in research.

Note that in Godin’s post, he doesn’t claim that Wikipedia is a credible source of information (indeed, I’d never use that as a formal annotation), but it does provide good groundwork for knowing and appreciating the subject, before heading off to “serious” research.

I do wonder what would happen if this came to SMU.