Hey, interesting. Ronald, you ask a good question. Frances, thanks for the input...I think your wiki shows promise.
From what I can tell, a wiki can be used for:
1. announcing and detailing events
2. holding a discussion
3. standardizing materials held by more than one members of a party (e.g., three researchers working on the same project)
Granted, I think that's barely scraping the surface. What have I missed?
I'm working on just these very topics at the moment, so I'd be interested in sharing ideas. I didn't find many useful posts when I searched this site so let me know if you find anything. I am currently beginning a departmental wiki and I want to get it right so that 'those who have little time to encode' do not just dismiss it. Have you any successful case studies? Library skills is another matter. I have been using 'rapid design software' like Camtasia to supplement some of them but so far I have no evaluations. Where do you work?
I'm very interested in using a wiki in my k-5 library. I'm planning to practice this summer with my daughter's girl Scout troop. Is a Wiki better than a Blog, and why? So far I've managed to glean two things; that a blog is likely to get blocked by a filter (thanks Frances!) and that you can't always upload a file to a blog, which is a feature I want to use.
Susan, I'd say Ning is more structured than a wiki. Wikis allows their members to add content however they like, in whatever context they choose, and that content is taken up into the wiki community. In Ning, you can add content, but only as a user-- you can't revise or delete posts by other people, for example.
A blog is great for announcements and for moderated discussions (e.g., like in a classroom, where a teacher directs discussion). But if you're looking for a less hierarchical exchange of ideas (i.e., round-table session, or "town hall" session), or are wanting to share information like text, images, video, or audio, a wiki is better.
I've started two different wikis for my library, one for our department to work on computer class materials, and one for teaching people how to use Web 2.0 software in library settings. I'm working on a presentation on the topic of taking computer classes to different sizes of libraries, for which i've started a blog/web page. You can get to the different things through the links below.
There seems to be confusion as to how a wiki is different from a blog. A blog is like a diary - it's very much tied to date, because older posts automatically receive demotions once a new post is added. A blog could be appropriate for a multi-person conversation.
A wiki is like a website but one anyone can edit. Wikis can be appropriate for documentation that people need to repeatedly consult in order to revise it. A wiki is good for collaboration when several people want to author a document. \
If you still have doubts, please go find examples of blogs and wikis and try to observe how they do and don't function.
Where I work we have had a wiki for nearly a year. It is just for the staff, and it functions in a number of ways, mostly to serve as a "handbook" where staff can find all the policies and rules. But it's dynamic, since we have staff meetings where issues arise and are resolved. We have committees that are in the process of creating new policies, web pages, and general ideas. All of this work goes up on the wiki where all staff can consult and revise it.
I've created a couple of wikis for my library system. One is basically our rolodex online - it's a reference tool for staff who work the call center. The other is a work in progress that involves putting our obituary index online. You can see it at scottsdaleobituaries.pbwiki.com . You can see we still have a long way to go on that one!
We've been talking about making an internal wiki for our policies and procedures, but it hasn't gotten off the ground yet.