The truth about wikis: A wealth of uses you may not have considered

Author Alan J. Porter explains how the platform transcends the encyclopedia, offering an array of solutions for communicators.

What’s the first thing that pops into your head when you think of the word “wiki?” Wikipedia? Or maybe Wikileaks?

If it is, author Alan J. Porter wants to change the way you think.

“The first thing when anybody suggests using a wiki is, ‘Oh, we don’t need an online encyclopedia,’ but that’s not what it is,” he says. “It’s an enabling platform.”

Limiting a wiki to the function of an encyclopedia is like equating a website to a shopping cart, Porter says.

In his book, Wiki: Grow Your Own for Fun and Profit, Porter explains that wikis have a wide range of internal and external communications uses. A wiki could be a collaborative knowledge-capture space, planning tool, document development tool, document archive, contacts directory, publishing source, interactive media source, event planning tool, e-mail replacement, project management tool, and on and on.

“The only limit to using a wiki and what a wiki can do is your own imagination,” he says.

Defining wikis

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