On a basic level a wiki is a really easy way to make a website. The name wiki, meaning fast, comes from Hawaii; it is named after a bus shuttle that goes quickly between airport terminals. A wiki allows users to log on to a common page and add text, links, pictures, etc. to be posted live to the Internet. All of this information can be edited and changed by other users. An example that a lot of people have heard of is wikipedia, which is a really large wiki “encyclopedia” that can be edited by anyone from all over the world.

But a wiki can be much more than just a website; it can become a collaborative tool. Anyone can create and post to a wiki. In the last few years a lot of sites have sprung up that allow any user to easily create a wiki and add editors; these are generally referred to as “wiki farms.” This creates an opportunity for any web user to post material to the web or contribute to the wiki of another person. This can create a larger dialog where knowledge is created and shared by any web user. The ability to share ideas is no longer contained by the capacity of a person to write a book and have it published, contribute an article to a magazine or even limited to people with knowledge of html. Common knowledge is expanding and wiki is one tool that is helping it to happen!