Prettier Wikis? Tool Reviews

Last week I wrote about wikis and their e-learning potential. I like wikis, a lot. However, my main gripe is that they are generally rather ugly and not very user-friendly.

Recently James Farmer, who writes the e-learning weblog Incorporated Subversion, evaluated some wiki tools (hosted services and standalone applications) for possible use in a wiki he wants to build. More tools were recommended and described in the comments to that entry. Well worth reading.

I’m especially intrigued by one wiki service Farmer describes…

EditMe is a hosted service that allows non-techies to build and host editable Web sites with multiple authors. This could be applied to online projects such as Web sites, intranets, project collaboration, weblogs, or wikis. In December 2003, EditMe won the PC Magazine Editor’s Choice Award for wiki services.

Sounds like something I might want to try. It’s inexpensive, and the demo was fun.

Not everyone likes EditMe, however. The Tuttle/SVC blog recently commented:

“[EditMe’s] wiki-nature is rather weak. It has a WYSIWYG editor, including sophisticated features like table layout, but it isn’t obvious how you can create links that will automatically generate new pages… It is possible, but I had to drill into the documentation to figure it out, which sorta undermines that intuitive thing. I just wonder if more ‘sophisticated’ wikis are going to become progressively less wiki-like.”

Interesting question. It occurs to me that maybe the characteristics that define “wiki-like” will evolve over time, as the tools improve and the community of wiki users users grows larger and more diverse.

On a slightly different topic: I just found this Web Writing Wiki. It supports web design and content writing courses at Bemidji State University. MC Morgan appears to be the professor in charge. It’s interesting to explore. It hasn’t been updated in more than a month (I guess classes are out for the summer), but it’s an interesting project to watch.

3 thoughts on Prettier Wikis? Tool Reviews

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  1. It is a wiki world after all – well nearly
    Much of our work recently has been on developing blogging tools for use in the corporate environment; to date we have had very little interest in Wiki’s. But that would appear to be changing. We recently were pitching for some…

  2. Wikis grabbing attention
    The business blog Cutting Through reports conversations with a client… [quote reformatted for space] And do you know which element of all this grabbed their attention the most? Wikis. Which coincides with the volume of postings on wikis over the…

  3. Wikis grabbing attention
    The business blog Cutting Through reports conversations with a client… [quote reformatted for space] And do you know which element of all this grabbed their attention the most? Wikis. Which coincides with the volume of postings on wikis over the…