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Wikis Archives

May 3
Does Your Blog/Company/Idea Deserve A Wikipedia Entry?
Yesterday I created a Wikipedia entry for blogtipping in order to help others understand how and why to blogtip, but it's probably going to be deleted because it doesn't (yet) meet Wikipedia's criteria for publication.  I didn't know how the process worked and now that I do, I'm happy to see the entry deleted.  However, I believe that in a few months' time, when hundreds more of you have gone blogtipping and can vouch for its significance, it will deserve a (small) place in the annals of Web history at the greatest Wiki of all.

My question for you is, what ideas, blogs, companies do you have or work with that you think deserve a place at Wikipedia?  What ideas are you working on that are important enough to someday be remembered by many as genuinely inspiring?  (Hey, if Janice Myint likes it, how inane could it be?)

After my lesson-learning at Wikipedia yesterday and today, I recommend that you think twice before creating an article referencing your corporate blog, a meme you've created or even a simple explanation of your business.  However, there are many other places to stand on your soapbox and spread the good word about your work.

I'd be happy to hear your experiences with Wikipedia or other places where the importance of blogs, memes and other things is evaluated.  What do you think would be the tipping point for blogtipping to merit a place at Wikipedia?

Apr 5
More Fortune 500 Companies Are Blogging - Barely
Chris Anderson (he of "The Long Tail") notes that a few more Fortune 500 companies are blogging now - to be exact: 27 (5.4%) of the Fortune 500 are blogging as of yesterday (up from 18 four months ago).  Check out the Fortune 500 Business Blogging Wiki for more details.

On that note, I really want to start a wiki about corporate blogging.  Any ideas?
Stewart Mader: You Either Get It (Wikipedia) Or You Don't (Britannica)
Note by Easton: Thanks go to Stewart Mader for this guest post, which forms part of the Know More Media Guest Blogger Week event.  Stewart has also posted about wikis twice this week at this blog (see "Wiki vs. Blog" and "The Difference Between Steve Jobs And Bill Gates; The Zen Wiki").

Chartreuse wrote a great post called The New Hotness (Or the Encyclopedia Britannica's Guide To Becoming Internet RoadKill) on the Know More Media blog, and he's right on.

Every time something new and revolutionary comes along, some refuse to acknowledge it, others cast it off as a fad, and some attack it in the most virulent terms. Those who refuse to acknowledge it are preoccupied with day to day routine and unable to see it coming. Those who cast it off as a fad at least have the ability to see a larger picture, but stand to lose more because they discard that potential foresight. The third group loses the most, because, by attacking the new and so firmly planting themselves against it, they establish themselves as anti-new, and therefore, stiff, resistive, and out of touch.

Britannica has just joined that third group. By virulently attacking Wikipedia, they've planted themselves on the wrong side of the line, and by taking so long to do so, they've made Nature's case better than Nature could. In business, and education, you must be fast, know who you're competing with, and be agile. The bottom line is, I used Wikipedia this morning, and I can't remember the last time I used Britannica.

by Stewart Mader
The Three Coolest Tools I Found On The Web 2.0 Awards List
I scoured the entire new Web 2.0 Awards list for useful business blogging tools that I hadn't heard about.  I discovered the following excellent tools:

Eurekster Swicki - Lets you add a smart little search engine ("swicki") to your blog that anyone can use collaboratively to generate focused searches on topics that are important to you.  Comes with a buzz cloud that shows you what people are searching for on your blog!

TagCloud - This pulls keywords from RSS feeds you specify and displays them according to prevalence.  So you could publish a tag cloud that shows your readers what topics are most popular at your blog.

WetPaint - Allows you to place wikis on your blog where people can collaborate by sharing information and ideas.
Stewart Mader: Wiki vs. Blog
Note by Easton: Thanks again to Stewart Mader for guest posting here. He also posted on wikis yesterday. This special guest post is part of the Know More Media Guest Blogger Week effort.

In my last post, I made a comparison between Bill Gates and Steve Jobs - not so much to be critical, but to illustrate a point about the online world. "Today" is central to the growth of technology because the tools and services you can use today are the ones that will have the greatest immediate impact on your work. They'll also better prepare you to be agile and adopt the newer, better services available in the future. After my post yesterday, Easton commented to me that, "there's an important connection between blogs and wikis - both offer incredibly easy publishing capabilities. Smart businesses and smart educators will know how to use both to enhance their offerings." This is the perfect segue to today's post, which looks at the distinction between blogs and wikis.

As web communication and collaboration tools evolve, the distinction between them has become subtle at the outset, and greater as the use deepens, like a fork in the road. Blogs and wikis might not seem that different on first glance, because they both enable communication of information by a person or group of people, and provide a platform for feedback. Blogs do it in the form of comments, while wikis do it by letting users directly edit the contents of a given page. This is where the distinction becomes more apparent. For example, businesses are increasingly using wikis to allow users of their products to write documentation, and the result is better, more comprehensive documentation than a product manager or engineer could write. Here are examples from Merlin Systems and Mozilla. A blog wouldn't work as well for this, because direct editing of pages is necessary for users to alter the same text when correcting errors, improving clarity and flow, and adding new information. A blog would be useful for announcing a new product, and the comments feature would allow people to react to the announcement by posting questions, asking for further details, etc. A wiki wouldn't work so well here, because the text of the announcement needs to stay stable in order to communicate accurate information to as many people as possible. The same general principle applies to education - blogs are a better communication tool when you want to get information out to people, and want to enable feedback, but keep the original text intact. Wikis are better when you want information to be touched - and enhanced - by as many hands as possible. Attached to my blog is a wiki documenting uses of wiki in education - see if you're inspired by the ideas already there (many of which apply equally to business), edit them if you like, or contribute new ideas - that's what technology today is all about!

by Stewart Mader

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