Raise your hand if you have a wiki with a list of Web 2.0 sites. Ok, put your hands down. Now raise your hand if you have a wiki with a list of internet safety links. Ok, put your hands back down. Now raise your hand if you have a wiki with a list of good blogs to read.
Get what I’m saying? The best part of a wiki is that ANYONE can edit it (barring a password issue). So why do so many people create the same wiki’s instead of finding one that’s close to what you want and adding on to it?
I think part of it is an ownership issue. If it’s someone else’s wiki, maybe they’ll take it down or put up something you don’t like. Maybe you just want all the credit and want to take advantage of that catchy URL you just thought of. It’s a strange phenomenon though. If we wiki’d well, we’d all be contributing together and building them out, instead of building more of them.
Is it just a matter of immediacy? When you have a new idea for a wiki, it’s SO much quicker and easier to just go to wikispaces and create one than it is to actually hunt to see if a similar one already exists. That would take time and effort that could be spent typing and hyperlinking! Of course, finding one that’s close to what you want already could save you hours, but that’s a different story.
I think part of the issue is thinking too narrow. For example, how many wikis do you need? For the vast majority of people, I’d say the answer is one. For example, do I need one wiki for Web2.0 sites, another for presentations and another for that collaborative project I’m working on? Well, not really. That’s what navigation is for. A single wiki will work well for all of them, and will also help promote interconnectiveness (which I don’t think is a word).
I’m starting to think that’s the problem with the proliferation of Web2.0 tools and free resources. Makes it too easy to just jump in without thinking ahead.
I know, I know, I’m a total hypocrite. I do that all the time. But just because I do something doesn’t mean it’s the RIGHT thing to do!
So think about the wiki’s that you have or have worked on. Could they be combined with someone else’s? Consolidated? Eliminated? Merged with some of your own? And the next time you get the urge to create a wiki, perhaps consider looking for one that you can add on to instead. No reason we can’t all just share is there?