Wikis are a form of collaborative software used primarily for the display of large amounts of related information. The popular online faux-encyclopedia Wikipedia is one of the best known examples, although wikis do not always have to be used for creating encyclopedia-like sites. In many cases, wikis are an excellent way to create resource guides, temporary project hubs, or easily editable repositories. They usually can be edited by anyone, although certain wikis have specific access settings for different users.
There are several wikis on the market including MediaWiki, DocuWiki, OPIN’s Knowledge Management Platform, and Xwiki. Each of these wikis is designed to help store and alter information in a particular way. Xwiki is a tool that can be used to collaboratively develop data-based applications, while OPIN’s Knowledge Management Platform wiki is designed to allow employees to build a collective pool of knowledge about company procedures and other industry practices. DocuWiki distinguishes itself among Wiki software by not requiring the use of a separate database to retain information. MediaWiki was originally developed for use on Wikipedia but has since been spun off into a separate program that allows users to quickly create community portals.
As demonstrated from the list above, a wiki can be designed for virtually any use imaginable. In a broader sense, wikis help businesses by providing a cost-effective yet comprehensive resource that is specifically tailored to their needs. Because the wikis are built primarily on information input by users, the specificity and relevance of a wiki can be extraordinarily high as compared to a more general resource. They can also be updated instantly, preventing them from falling out of date.
Because of this ability to rapidly update, wikis can collaborate with social media by creating a kind of user bank of information. Individuals from a variety of different social media platforms can use a wiki as a communal meeting place. This site may trade in information that is either more specific or secure than would be appropriate to share on a general social media site. Wikis are flexible, user-friendly, and ultimately provide an excellent and affordable resource for businesses.