A wiki is an online resource that allows its users to create, edit, and connect web pages to share information is a collaborative, but asynchronous way.
The philosophy of dailycues is “Trust the Community.” By allowing most of our website to be editable by users, we empower users to share what they know, when they can, to the degree they are comfortable. While mistakes will happen, we trust the ability to others to revise, improve, and add to to the site.
Different than a Forum
Many websites, especially those providing support for families of children with special needs, rely on forums as a way to share information among members of the community. In forums, a user may post a problem or question and get responses or advice from other members. Benefits of this type of feature include:
- a virtual conversation between members who may live far apart and may be isolated
- conversations can be archived online and read later
- a variety of viewpoints can be provided
- people can respond, refute, or support others’ comments
There are also some disadvantages of online forums:
- a topic evolves with back and forth comments over time. In order to see the evolution of the topic, one must read through the entries. There is rarely any summary of any final resolution or concensus.
- some forums allow users to respond to a specific comment. This causes the conversation to branch into many, distinct threads.
- may require scrolling back and forth to follw a train of thought or understand a reference to a previous post.
- a topic can grow “cold.” By the time you get to the conversation, you may find that no one has commented for several years.
- In order to see the consensus of opinion, many people have to say the same thing or comment that they “agree.”
Why a Wiki Over a Forum?
This website elected to use a wiki (the iQpedia) over online forums. The advantage of this system include:
- topics never really grow cold. Edits can be made indefinitely.
- there is a single collaborative response. The information is organized into sections and is easier to follow.
- consensus is reached through revision. Extreme opinions tend to be edited out.
- behind-the-scenes discussion pages allow for clarification and interaction. This also provides a level of separation between the information being presented and any contentious interactions in regard to the topic.
- topics can be more diverse and specific.