Archive for the ‘wikis’ Category

Collaborative encyclopedias’ convergence ?

February 1, 2009

While Wikipedia continues to be the leader on the market of collaborative encyclopedias, it is no longer unchallenged. Other initiatives have emerged, like Citizendium and more recently Knol. In some ways, the fact that these new projects have been unable so far to compete significantly with Wikipedia is an additional clue that WP’s model is a success. Several reasons can explain why Wikipedia remains number one:

  • it can benefit from years of experience and content accumulation
  • it is very well indexed by Google
  • the media have covered Wikipedia extensively for years
  • Wikipedia is fun and enjoyable to use

In my opinion, the “fun factor” is the main reason why Wikipedia leads. No other project so far has managed to create the same excitement and sense of community. Yet, what I have found striking during the past few weeks is that the ideological divide between the various collaborative projects has shrunk . While Britannica has opened the door to user participation, Wikipedia is discussing the possibility of moderation on some articles edited by non-registered users (flagged revisions). The production and sharing of knowledge using wikis decidedly remains a very exciting subject. Larry Sanger’s recent post about this lists numerous areas of research on wiki knowledge and governance  and provides an interesting basis for discussion.

International wiki conference approaching in Montreal

September 9, 2007

WikiSym 2007The 2007 International Symposium on Wikis, WikiSym 2007, will be held October 21-23 in Montréal, Québec, Canada. This year’s theme is: “Wikis at Work in the World:Open, Organic, Participatory Media for the 21st Century”.

Leaders of wiki research and industry will attend and speak, such as:

  • Jonathan GrudinJonathan Grudin (Microsoft Research), one of the world’s leading researcher on Computer Supported Collaborative Work (keynote speaker)
  • Ward CunninghamWard Cunningham (AboutUs), inventor of the wiki concept, who will give the closing talk
  • Peter ThoenyPeter Thoeny (StructuredWikis), creator of TWiki, who will give a half day tutorial on wikis in the workplace
  • Jim PurbrickThe program also includes two headline speakers from ooPSLA, WikiSym’s host conference. Jim Purbrick (photograph) and Mark Lentczner, creators of Second Life, will talk about this collaboratively built 3D virtual world.

    Peter Turchi
    , award-winning author of “Maps of the Imagination”, will talk about the relationships between creative writing, making maps, and creativity.
    Maps of imagination

    More information and registration :

    When wikis meet business education

    July 20, 2007

    Andrew McAfeeAndrew McAfee, Associate Professor at Harvard Business School, has just launched Cases 2.0, a wiki-based repository of business cases about the impact of Web 2.0 on corporations. This is a very interesting initiative where you can contribute.

    Via Pascal Veilleux

    7 minutes to compare Wikipedia, Citizendium and Britannica

    February 28, 2007

    Wikipedia, Britannica, CitizendiumEven if you are deeply involved in Web 2.0, a summary of what has happened lately is always useful. Serena Altschul’s report for CBS News is the kind of video that can make you up-to-date in only 7 minutes! In that film, she reminds us of Wikipedia‘s challenges and achievements. She shows why Citizendium is different but also interviews a person from Encyclopaedia Britannica who insist on its primacy. The journalist succeeded in interviewing for one single report: Ward Cunningham, the inventor of wikis ; Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia co-founder ; Larry Sanger, Citizendium founder; a person from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Theodore Popus.

    First, the documentary reminds us of how major a phenomenon Wikipedia is: five million articles, a traffic doubling every 4 months. Jimmy Wales explains why Nupedia (Wikipedia’s ancestor) failed while a Wikipedian shares his opinion about the reason for Wikipedia’s popularity: contributing is not work, it’s play. The film makes it also quite clear that, surprisingly enough, the eldest of the 3 encyclopedias, Britannica, is perhaps the most modern, technically speaking, with online animations and videos. (more…)

    Wikis increasingly used in high growth companies

    February 24, 2007

    Stewart MaderStewart Mader reports on a survey by Massachussetts University showing that wikis are being used by a rising proportion of INC 500 companies. INC 500 is a listing of the first 500 corporations in terms of revenue growth. The survey also gives clues on the use of other social software, such as blogs, podcasts, online video, online social networks, etc.

    A detailed summary of the survey

    Lawrence Lessig, like an open book

    December 16, 2006

    Code v2.0The new book by Lawrence Lessig, creator of Creative Commons, has been released. Code: Version 2.0 is the second edition of Code and other laws of cyberspace, where Lessig shows why and how the Web is due to be a regulated place, as opposed as what many thought. This new edition, full of up-to-date examples, includes contributions made by volunteers on a wiki in 2005. Lessig re-worked the text and the result is this new book, published under Creative Commons, and rightly so.

    The whole book can be downloaded for free or bought at several online bookshops. All profits will go to the Creative Commons foundation.

    AgoraVox launches a wiki-based platform for citizen journalism

    December 11, 2006

    Wiki-based citizen journalismAgoraVox is a famous Web site in France gathering hundreds of bloggers who accept that their posts be re-published or choose to write directly on the site. Every day, a new edition of a collective digital newspaper is available for thousands of people to comment. In spite of the success of the site, which can be measured through audience and number of comments, one limitation was that many articles were still mere analyses or reactions on news available elsewhere. To go further, the initiator of AgoraVox, Carlo Revelli, decided to launch an additional wiki called WikiEnquête (“WikiSurvey”) where people can decide to work jointly on a topic, look for information, double check it, and release fresh information: in one word, do journalism. The site was launched 2 weeks ago and is still working on its work processes: should a chief editor be “officially” nominated to coordinate efforts on some articles ? Should he/she be rewarded by micropayment or are passion and reputation enough ? It will be interesting to see if a community appears and the solutions they will find.
    PS : there is an English version of AgoraVox but without such an initiative at this stage, as far as I can see.

    Wikisymposium 2006 (Austria) and WikiSym 2007

    November 26, 2006

    Next events in the wiki worldThe wiki world is getting busy! After the first wiki conference in China we mentioned last August, the second Wikisymposium will be held November 25th at the Austrian Computer Society in Vienna.

    More information on the symposium’s wiki (in German).

    Meanwhile, WikiSym2007’s, agenda is under construction and welcomes your contributions. This is the annual worldwide meeting of wiki researchers and users.

    Via Wikimetrics and


    November 1, 2006

    Google buys JotSpot
    Jotspot announced yesterday it was bought by Google. Larry Page and Sergey Brin are hungry! After Writely and YouTube, Google makes another decisive step on the path of cooperation. JotSpot data will be transferred to Google’s systems. As a result, it is no longer possible to create a new account for the moment. Current JotSpot users can cancel their account and retrieve their personnal information. Another pretty cool consequence : premium subscriptions are now free! Will they display advertisement ?

    Another question is: will the JotSpot brand survive or disappear, as Writely did? Should we soon say GoogleWiki ?

    Google buys JotSpot. Who’s next ?

    Wikimania 2006 starting August 4th in Cambridge (MA)

    August 3, 2006

    Wikimania 2006The second edition of Wikimania will be held in Cambridge, MA, starting tomorrow. During 3 days, Wikimania 2006 will be the place for many events, including presentations by Lawrence Lessig, founder and President of Creative Commons, Mitch Kapor President of Mozilla and Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia. The Wikimania Awards, will also be granted to the best, free writing and multimedia contents.

    Click here for more details