I admit it – this is a Web 2.0 application that I have next to no experience with, other than using a few for information-gathering. I can definitely see the use of wikis in collaborative environments: education, businesses, even social networking groups.
It wasn’t until after I’d viewed the wonderful short video “Wikis in Plain English” that I found myself quite excited about wiki possibilities for my work as an independent info pro. I don’t do many projects that require group input, other than report generation. Generally, we’re an ad hoc group of consultants and researchers brought together for a specific project. Each new project is a different topic, not requiring an ongoing collaborative effort. I’m thinking the next time I have a receptive group working on a project with me, I’ll create a wiki and see if it’s adopted as a useful productivity tool.
I wonder, after looking at the suggested resources for this week, if a private wiki with various apps and widgets could make my life easier. As an example, I used Google maps a while ago to check on where a Rally Obedience trial was being held just outside of Vancouver. If there’s another trial there in a year or two, I’ll have to look it up again – but if I had a personal wiki, I could save the file there and not have to do the search again. I could add a calendar, task list, etc. But – I’m not quite convinced yet.
A few items of interest to health librarians:
- A 2007 article published in the Journal of the Canadian Health Libraries Association by two Vancouver health librarians, Eugene Barsky and Dean Giustini outlines some of the issues of concern for health libraries considering wiki development (Introducing Web 2.0: Wikis for Health Librarians).
- The School of Library, Archival and Information Studies has a wiki set up for their health librarianship course. The table of contents gives an overview of the wiki’s focus and breadth. I especially like the biographies of Canadian health librarians section.
- Gafyd is a medical wiki which is readable by anyone and to which any registered medical practitioner can contribute.
- The McGill Library Global Health Resource Guide is a collaboration of the McGill University faculty, clinicians, researchers and students who are working the area of global health.
Of the wikis mentioned in the SLA’s 23 Things page, the ones I found most interesting include:
- WikiHow – a wiki of “how tos” which includes such topics as removing red wine stains, overcoming procrastination with self talk, descaling a kettle, and suppressing the gag reflex
- Art Tutorials Wiki – the Anatomy & People Linkshttp://artwiki.wikidot.com/ page leads to many examples of anime, manga and fine art drawing instruction
I also found the wikipatterns.com site interesting to explore. This site talks about wiki development, use and adoption – ways to make a wiki successful. They provide a “how to” starting at “Grassroots is best.”
Lastly, several wiki directories to explore further:
- List of wikis – a wikipedia entry listing a small number of notable wikis (worth further exploration)
- Wiki index – a searchable directory in wiki format
Next step for SLA 23 Things is to create a wiki.