If you’ve spent any measure of time on the internet over the past two decades, you have likely stumbled upon Wikipedia. Known as an online encyclopedia for every topic, Wikipedia is actually just a form of ‘Wiki’, which is a word invented by Ward Cunningham. A wiki is simply a website that offers users the ability to edit and modify content over a web browser. Wikis are a quick and accessible compendium of information that can be curated by a team from every corner of the globe.
History of the Wiki
The very first Wiki ever launched was WikiWikiWeb, brought to life by Ward Cunningham from a small house in Portland, Oregon. Originally launched in 1994, WikiWikiWeb was chosen because it was an alliterative substitute for ‘quick’.
We can see the impact that Wikis have had in every aspect of our digital experience. From learning about our favorite celebrities to performing research on entrepreneurs through Wikidata, Wikipedia’s open data platform, the sky is seemingly the limit for what this technology can offer.
While Ward’s early work was formative for the Wiki websites we know of today, it was not the one that brought Wikis to the forefront of our attention. Instead, Wikipedia would launch in 2001 before quickly entering the top ten most popular websites in the world. By the early ’00s, Wii had become one of the most popular websites on the internet.
How Does a Wiki Work
As we’ve already alluded to above, a Wiki is simply a website that is editable by members with a computer, a web browser, and a connection to the internet. With a focus on simple and accessible syntax, Wikis are a great way for individuals without HTML experience to create and provide content on the internet.
While creating a Wiki can be done for a variety of different purposes, the only software you will need is your internet browser. Wikis offer active updates on all text modifications, allowing collaborators to keep track of where their contributions have been added, changed, or otherwise deleted.
Benefits of the Traditional Wiki
Wikis provide a world of benefits to students and business professionals alike as they offer the following benefits:
Flexible Content – Wikis are the ultimate flexible source of content as each individual page can be adjusted as needed.
Access and Coverage – Wikis are also a key source of information and advertising for entrepreneurs and business owners alike. Putting your name in a Wiki lends legitimacy while also giving your prospective partners or customers a wealth of knowledge.
Open For All – Wikis are a collaborative tool that is meant to provide a sense of shared ownership to all contributing users. Anyone can add content and help you with your work at any time.
Wikis are more than just guidebooks brimming with key insights and nuggets of information. Additionally, Wikis have utility in our day-to-day lives up to and including inside of the classroom and in the workforce.
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