Why A Wiki

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Why a Wiki

Some sites are discussion board (forum) dominant with lively discourse leading to knowledge.

Some sites are blog oriented with an emphasis on timely, current information, news, opinions, and sometimes speculation.

How a Wiki is Different

On a typical wiki page the knowledge has risen to the top. The most highly evolved version of the answer is always the first thing you see. A wiki, like a forum is largely self-correcting, but you do not have to experience the process unless you want to.

In a typical forum discussion the answer is somewhere near but rarely at, the end. Finding the answer is a treasure hunt and you pretty much have to follow the clues and hope you recognize it if or when you stumble upon it.

A forum discussion

  • starts
  • takes on a life of its own
  • sometimes reaches a solution / conclusion
  • carries on and devolves, digresses, gets sidetracked or dies

Someone looking for answers can

  • start a new discussion
  • wait for the answer to emerge


  • search for a discussion that looks relevant
  • read through the unfolding story
  • try to identify the answer if it is there
  • try to recognize the point of diminishing returns, devolution, digression, sidetrack or death

Some people want the answer, some people enjoy the journey.

Wiki References

Why Wiki - University of Wisconsin Course