Exploing Wikis: Mediawiki


The word wiki is derived froma Hawaiian word for 'fast'. A wiki is a collaborative website used by individuals and organizations used for the organization and management of knowledge. A wiki can be easily edited by all those authorized to edit it. Typically wikis make it easy to edit,add new pages, make changes to existing pages or revert to previous versions of pages in the wevbsite. To enable this functionality, Wikis keep track of changes made to them.

Individuals can use wikis for note taking. Students could use a wiki as a collaborative tool. At MIT the project teams I belonged to used Wikis for knowledge,schedule and status management. Organizations use wikis to track projects, maintain manuals, to brainstorm ideas and as a repository to share and access information.

A wiki can have one or more adminstrators who may set the access privileges(read or write) to all those who use the wiki. In these series of articles we will take a look at several tools used to create wikis.
Wikipedia is probably the most well-known wiki. Theoretically it is the
encyclopedia that anyone can edit. The reality is that there are only some authorized to make changes to Wikipedia. Dedicated administrators monitor Wikipedia and act as gatekeepers to its contents. In these series of articles we will look at different tools used to create wikis.

Do you want to make a wiki out of the same raw-material used to create Wikipedia? You can and you can do it for free. Mediawiki can help you set up the wiki. Earlier we took a look at XAMPP a software application suite that creates a website with the Apache webserver and has it running in minutes. Once you set up your Apache webserver with the MySql database, you can quicky install MediaWiki to it.

When you do install Mediawiki, you have a wiki that has the look and feel of Wikipedia. Lifehacker has a couple of great articles on installing and running Mediawiki. Mediawiki installed on a websever on your home network may be a great way to collaborate with family members and share useful information.

I plan to write about several tools used to build wikis. I'd like to if you have favourite wiki application and if you do what you like about it. Please answer this query in the comments below.
Related articles:
Customize MediaWiki into Your Ultimate Collaborative Web Site
Geek to Live: Set up your personal Wikipedia
Run Your Personal Wikipedia from a USB Stick

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