• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Finally, you can manage your Google Docs, uploads, and email attachments (plus Dropbox and Slack files) in one convenient place. Claim a free account, and in less than 2 minutes, Dokkio (from the makers of PBworks) can automatically organize your content for you.



Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 2 months ago

"The 'How' of Wikis" (Handout)

Starr Hoffman



  • wiki:
  • locally hosted:
  • remotely hosted:
  • formatting:


Handy URLs:


Easy Wiki Guide

  • content is everything!
  • the more users, the better (so push that password or make it public!)
  • you can always retrieve old information
  • be creative!


Presentation Outline

  • start a wiki
  • start a new page
  • formatting/composing/editing (fast!)
  • multi-user (easy collaboration!)
  • viewing/restoring old edits
  • ways to find pages (navigation)
  • choosing wiki software
  • locally vs. remotely hosted
  • different wikis look different
  • different wikis format differently (also WYSIWYG)


lecture notes

So, now that Chad has displayed the amazing capabilites of wikis, let's get down to how to start your own wiki. I'll give a hands-on demonstration of how to start, use, and edit a wiki. Then I'm going to briefly review some of the many options in wiki software and in hosting your wiki.


Start a Wiki

I'm going to show you how to start your own wiki and begin creating and editing content. In this case, I'm going to use a remotely hosted wiki service, as it's the quickest and simplest way to begin.


My personal wiki is a PBwiki. PBwiki provides basic wikis for free, or a version with enhanced features for a monthly subscription cost.



PBwiki advertises their basic, free wiki as the "30-second start-up wiki!"


Editing a Wiki

  • formatting/composing/editing (fast!)
  • viewing/restoring old edits


Starting a New Page

  • two methods
  • templates
  • optionally show how to leave comments



  • all pages (by name, by date)
  • when creating/editing a page, use the links to the right
  • other...



  • multi-user (easy collaboration!)


Wiki Software

There are a lot of wiki options out there, and each of them has slightly different features. One great tool to help you choose what wiki is best for you is Wiki Matrix:



You can select specific wikis and compare their features side-by-side, or you can use the Wiki Choice Wizard, which asks questions and then determines which wikis provide the features you need.

(three screenshots)


One of the questions that the Wiki Choice Wizard asks is a primary consideration: do you want to host the wiki software locally (on your organization's server computers), or do you want one that's remotely hosted by a service.


Hosting Locally

  • more control/customization of wiki
  • may have system requirements (Apache, MySQL)
  • will likely require some software installation experience
  • may require some programming experience (PHP, Java)
  • some popular choices: MediaWiki,


Hosting Remotely

  • no software experience needed
  • very quick set-up
  • less control over wiki
  • usually charged a fee for this service
  • some popular choices: PBwiki,


When making this choice, be sure to talk to someone in your IT department to get their input. They can let you know if your local servers meet any system requirements.


(give some suggestions for particular wikis)

MediaWiki: what Chad's library uses, what Wikipedia uses

PBwiki: I use for my personal wiki


Different Wikis (various software)

  • different wikis look different / format differently
  • also WYSIWYG

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