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July 1, 2011 / Rabbi Meir Wexler

Wiki-Wiki

I had a difficult time understanding the exact purpose and usage of a wiki until I started reading and realized wiki platforms can be used in a variety of ways. Creating a wiki can be very simple depending on one’s comfort level with websites and editing. The good news is one doesn’t need to worry about being versed in HTML code or be fluent in C++ (+?), Java and the likes. All the coding ‘stuff’ has already been taken care of. All one needs to do is think about the content, layout and over aesthetics of their wiki.

For content a person would create a paragraph heading followed by the actual content of that section. The links, widgets, and files a person needs to upload are very user-friendly and easy to do. I have found like most new sites that have already taken care of the programming aspect it helps to go through the different widgets to get a feel for what they do and experiment with them on your wiki pages even if you will remove them later. The more you ‘mess around’ the more comfortable you will feel inserting, uploading embedding, etc…

The layout of a wiki will depend on what the goal of your wiki is. For classroom wikis the teacher should make sure each page is clearly laid out with proper steps and instructions. For wikis that are a clearinghouse for other websites you will may find all kinds of links and tidbits for the other sites strewn around the page.

Aesthetically speaking a wiki should have an appealing look that is easy on the eyes yet attractive (or cool) enough to draw a person in. You will find wikis that have basic colors and will see ones which have bright, bold colors. Obviously these are all subjective in nature but one thing to keep in mind is that your wiki could be viewed as a reflection/projection of you and your personality- so plan accordingly!

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