library joy

sharing the joy that the library brings

Thing #15 wikis 2008 December 1

Filed under: post-launch — nova @ 5:32 pm

yeah, uh, i don’t really like wikis all that much. i mean, i “like” them, but i’m not “in like” with them. first off, they’re ugly and and can be somewhat clunky. trying to get all your users up-to-speed if they’ve never used one before is hard to do. even trying to arrange your information clearly and concisely can be tricky. gee, am i creating a page or am i just creating another section on this page? do i use one bracket or two? the fact that they don’t use simple html markup is frustrating sometimes. i know editing a wiki can be easy, but i want it to be all html, don’t make me learn special markup just for wikis.

okay, wikis are not very pretty, either. give me fabulous headers and footers and pictures and hearts and flowers! i know i can make the wiki look pretty, but it still doesn’t seem to be enough. i mean, have you seen the wikipedia? BORING!

however, they do serve a purpose. they are very good for project work. the IT/DS wiki that we use here at work, while devoid of any pretty pictures or font, does have extremely important information in it all one place. in fact, it is the routine now to make sure you “update the wiki” when any changes are made to projects. so i do see the value.

as far as libraries using them, i love what St. Joseph County Public Library is doing with their subject guides, one of the reasons why i used them as examples for this Thing. however, did you notice… no pictures!! no pretty font, nothing!! maybe that’s my new mission: bring the “pretty” to the wikis!!!! so, i think using wikis as subject/reference pages is one library application that works well for them. i don’t think it’s practical to allow customers to edit the pages, however, at least not in this case.


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