Wednesday, May 03, 2006

33 Wikis: #31 -- WikiIndex: The First "One Stop-Sign Town" in the Land of Wiki

This is the thirty-first installment in "33 Wikis," a close look at best practices in wiki-based collaboration. Each day -- for 33 days -- we look at one wiki and briefly describe what the wiki is for, why we like it, and what we all can learn from it. If you want to nominate a wiki, please let us know. On day 34 we will post a public wiki featuring info on all nominees.

What this wiki is for: From the homepage: WikiIndex is "a wiki of wiki, wiki people and wiki ideas, a WorkInProgress. This is part of a continued effort to self-organize information collaboratively, started by WardCunningham a decade ago." In an email exchange with eastwikkers, organizer Mark Dilley noted, "my main goal is to have this be the first one stop sign town for wiki. People come here and add their wiki, tag it, maintain it like a front lawn and ask wiki related questions."

Why we like it: there are other indexes and lists that purport to do the same thing -- or similar things -- but WikiIndex is the best of its kind. The "33 Wikis" project is all about finding best-practices in wiki-based collaboration, and we couldn't have managed this project without the timely info that WikiIndex maintains. Among many of the useful pages on this site: wikis arranged by category, wikis that are vibrant (subjective judgment -- a wiki is vibrant if it "has significant content, or is very interesting, or has a high volume of traffic, or is valuable in some way to the Internet community"), and wiki noding, a "project that will ultimately allow users to discover entire wiki worlds by traversing the node network."

What we all can learn from it: Like Meatball, WikiIndex is a valuable resource for all citizens in wikidom. Lesson is not so much how to replicate what it does well; it's more about becoming knowledgeable in how wikis are being used, what works and what doesn't, and what's new from a use-case perspective. Oh, yeah -- be sure to add your own wiki, and, as Dilley recommends, maintain it nicely for all the folks who pass through town (the traffic is heavy).

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