Thanks to Jasper Carrott I grew up thinking that 'Wiki' was Chinese for fish!
Little did I know that wikis would be an integral part of my adult working life and that they had absolutely nothing to do with fish... unless, I guess there are wikis about fish-mongering, fresh fish, tropical fish, fish and chips...
Anyway. What is a wiki? "A type of web page designed so that its content can be edited by anyone who accesses it, using a simplified markup language" -- OED
Wikis have been around for a relatively long time in terms of the Internet. OED states that the first mention of the word wiki was in 1995. Wikipedia is probably the most famous of all wikis and I use it a lot. I don't write content, but use it as a quick reference tool when classifying ( and doing the UL quiz!) I must admit that I would miss it if it suddenly disappeared into the ether. Even having heard rumours about it's misuse and unchecked posts, I still use it. But it was reassuring to hear from LottieMSmith , a volunteer Wikipedia editor, "that the majority of untrue and/or unreferenced material is pulled within hours if not minutes".
Wikipedia is a good wiki. It's useful, easy to use and the search facility is excellent, which it has to be with such a large database. That said, you can get bad wikis. A bad wiki is enough to put anyone off for life. What should be a thoroughly useful collaborative workspace can turn into a nightmare that saps your time and energy. These wikis should be battered and served in a Chinese restaurant...
My only editing experience was using a bad wiki, so when I recently signed up for the Cambridge TeachMeet using their wiki, it was like a long cool drink on a hot day: refreshing. Well done to the people behind the wiki: pbworks.com . It was easy to sign up and then find the login, easy to edit and navigate. Well done also to the TeachMeet bods who wrote the initial content which is nicely spaced with big headings like "when & where". Practical and useful. This is how a wiki should be.
If you are thinking about using a wiki in your library work, I would seriously consider it. Think of all the too-ing and fro-ing with email that you could save? For the next collaborative project, think wiki. But do your research and avoid badly designed interfaces.
Here are some free wiki sites to start you off:
Facebook Blogs Google_calendar delicious images photos tagging tags Blinkbox Flickr LibraryThing Slideshare Twitter Zotero cloud social_media Ange_Fitzpatrick CamTools Catchphrase Caveat_emptor Creative Commons Doodle Endnote Firefox Google_apps Google_docs Google_wave IE IGoogle Knighmare Librarian_in_Black Mendeley PDF Pageflakes RSS Roger's_adoption_Graph Roy_Walker Sound_of_Music StreamingMediaService TeachMeet Thing 1 Thing 10 Thing 11 Thing 12 Thing 13 Thing 14 Thing 15 Thing 16 Thing 17 Thing 18 Thing 19 Thing 2 Thing 20 Thing 21 Thing 22 Thing 23 Thing 3 Thing 4 Thing 5 Thing 6 Thing 7 Thing 8 Thing 9 Things Tony_Hirst Toy_Story VLE YouTube audio big_glasses blog_titles bookmarks browser calendars email embed extension feed feeds fish free freeware goodbye google_reader jasper_carrott lastfm license licensing linkedin marketing personal_info plugin podcasts reflection scheduling search share spiders startpages syndication thanks twitter_tag_types video wiki wikipedia