Alison J. Harris



Information Sharing Using Wikis

I can still recall my first experiences with Wikipedia. When I introduced it to my then roommate, she stunned that you could edit pages so easily (she actually didn’t believe me at first!). Now, Wikipedia is frequently the first stop for people across the world looking for information everyday.

Both blogs and wikis offer users a shared learning environment to impart thoughts, ideas and information. I find that wikis are better at organizing and linking a large amount of information, but blogs are better for one professional (or organization) to share their experience with others. Wikis are more flexible as a collaboration tool as well, although cloud storage/computing services like Dropbox and Google Drive are also frequently used for this today.

The case studies an article from the Journal of Knowledge Management were particularly interesting, since it describes in-depth the process of implementing a wiki for different types of organizations. I was also unaware that eBay ever had a wiki (it sadly seems to be closed now). I was quite surprised by an article in Library and Information Science Research that found blogs and not social networking sites to be the most frequently used Web 2.0 application, especially concerning public libraries. Information sharing is one of the most important steps public libraries can take to promote services to the community. While blogs can be used for this, SNSs allow libraries to reach out and meet the community where they are, rather than reverse. I can only trust the trend has turned since the publication of the study.

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January 28, 2014 Comment

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