Awiki Or Ablog

I work at a University and have been asked to research wikis and blogs. I'm not sure yet how the school wishes to incorporate them into the school site. I was wondering if anyone had some reasons why or why not wikis would be the way to go vs blogs. I'm concerned that too many students would rather deface the site then add to it. Since wikis are built on a sort of trust system, I don't know if students in college would be able to follow that well.

So is a wiki the wrong choice for this type of situation?

How can anyone tell? You haven't really said what you want to accomplish with the wiki or blog.

If your sole concern about wikis is lack of access control, then look to a WikiClone that offers some such means. MoinMoin, for example, lets you set up default access controls, but also allows you to override that on any page via the standard web interface.

Difference between a Wiki and a Blog

[You cannot compare blogs and wikis. They serve two different purposes: Blogs are diaries and wikis are for collective discussion of different subjects. It's like choosing between bringing the kids to a theatre performance or to the movies. Each has its own value.]


You can compare wikis and blogs, although it is like comparing movies and theatre performances. However, the difference is not between "diaries" (blogs) and "collective discussions" (wikis). There are many blogs that are 1) not diaries and 2) designed to act as "collective discussions" via commenting. Most politician-supported blogs (such as BlogForAmerica?) are like this.

The main difference between wikis and blogs is the authoring model. Blogs have a top-down authoring approach, meaning that a relatively small number of people have 100% control over the creation and editing of new content, which is then read and commented upon by the masses. Wikis, on the other hand, are read, edited, and managed by the masses, making it a bottom-up authoring approach.

So in the end, you need to analyze your publishing model. Do you have a small group of people who want a large amount of control over the content that is published, or do you want your site to be built and managed by your "readers"? Of course, there are wikis that can work in a blogish way and vice versa, but most people will save time and effort using the right tool for the job. -- TomPurl

What about a bliki? See http://martinfowler.com/bliki/ for example. I think the salient difference is that Blogs are linear by date and wikis are hypertext. I use a wiki for my blog.


Not sure who wrote the above comment. I also use a bliki and created a small WikiPage briefly describing what a bliki is and some possible reasons for using one: http://wiki.sourcextreme.org/index.php/Bliki.

My actual BlikiPage is at the following location: http://wiki.sourcextreme.org/index.php/Bliki:Jason.

Google can probably also tell you a number of people who use a WikiEngine for blogging. A number of other people use MediaWiki this way for example.

-- Cheers, JasonNocks


Tendency toward isolation

While not strictly relevant, I offer this as a data point: Another lecturer and I have used a wiki in a final year class on Artificial Intelligence, with a cohort of approximately sixty students. The students were required to submit an essay assignment as a Wiki page or set of pages. This was quite successful, with no deliberate defacement. The students appeared to respond well to this, and the feedback was positive. The most significant problem, if any, was that although we encouraged the students to cross-reference (link to) each other's work, they tended not to - with a few exceptions, each student's work tended to be a WalledGarden unto itself. Of course, this is true here as well. I frequently find myself scrambling to remember enough of a WikiPage I saw three weeks ago in order to search for it and create an appropriate link; often as not I can't find it and the concept or whatever remains unlinked. I'm sure there's a WikiWord that describes this effect in detail, but I ran across it three weeks ago and now I can't find it. -- DaveVoorhis

That was my reason to support the proposal of a wiki search page, where one could provide what clues one remembered of a page and hope somebody else would remember it (only after exhausting one's own search options, of course). But that proposal was turned down (with references to PleaseDoMyHomeworkForMe and WikiHelpDesk). I think that page doesn't exist any more (at least, I cannot find it any more). -- GunnarZarncke (I'd like to give a RefactoringHint? for these two paragraphs, but obviously there is no place for it any more.)

(db)The reference to PleaseDoMyHomeworkForMe is totally silly. You are not asking anyone to do your homework. You did your homework and this is as far as you were able to go. This is why you need help. Online communities are precisely set up so that we help each other. Brandishing a PleaseDoMyHomeworkForMe for someone who needs help is silly, inconsiderate and impolite. Often times when I program, I am stuck. I ask help from friends at a chat. They provide help. I'm thankful to them and the next time someone needs help, I help them. In this case, Gunar, not only didn't you get help but you were barred from getting help. Not acceptable.

PleaseHelpMeInMyWikiSearch

How does this work, Gunnar?

Quite well for the first question (AwikiOrAblog), but less so for my point (LostPageHelp?). :-)

Remembering links is getting much easier with tagging services like DelIcioUs which allows you to quickly associate any number of tags with a URL. Tagging works better for me than stuffing bookmarks into hierarchies of folders because it doesn't require me to remember the exact name of the folder (category) I used. Combined with one of the JavaScript applets available, it takes only about ten seconds to add a URL to del.icio.us and automatically get redirected back to the original page. Such a personal tagging feature might even make for a great addition to wiki. -- JuergenChristoffel
Hi, have a look at EDU is the short for 'education' and tiki is an abbreviation of TikiWiki. Since october 2002 TikiWiki is used in several educative contexts and this website is dedicated to help that use and gather useful components to make it easier.

''We are in the stage of improving the main collaborative webspace environment which offers AulaWiki?. This is a preliminary topic map. Please enhance it or suggest how to enhance it.''

and maybe this article is relevant to your research:
Related:
CategoryComparisons

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