Why Wiki?

Why use a wiki over a blog?

Table of Contents

Why Wiki?

It's pretty odd to use a wiki for personal and professional work instead of a blog, flash site or portfolio, I admit. But to be honest, I think wikis are one of the best platforms for personal and professional work out there, in ways that not a lot of folk may have considered;

  • Wikis aren't beholden to the constant need for timeliness that blogs can be; blogs are structured to prioritise what is happening NOW, organised and arranged by how long its been from NOW that something was posted – and there's always pressure to make sure you keep up a regular posting schedule, 'cause appearing as though you haven't updated in a while can send the wrong message. With wikis, time is only important when it comes to recent changes or revision history – which are, by the design of wikis themselves, secondary and largely out-of-sight to most casual readers, but still available if you need the info.
  • As a digital encyclopedia, there's a suggestion that all there is to know about a given topic can probably be found on a wiki. Even if that isn't literally the case, it's an implicit suggestion that you're in the best place possible for exhaustive information about your favourite game, comic book universe, tv show or what-have-you – which is oddly satisfying, possibly for the same reason that “gather all 100 bits of pablum” missions and achievements in games are. Wikis feel aspirational, the ultimate quest being to record and catalogue everything that's important and relevant to the topic at hand.
  • Wikis are compelling in that you're navigating from one topic to the next based on its relevance to both you and the topic at hand. On blogs, everything is ordered by time – you're most likely to move through a blog in order of when the posts were published, which is only really beneficial for projects or topics that are dependent on a timeline, such as a travelogue, keeping people up to date with your progress on something, a diary or journal and similar; blogs that organise posts by publish dates and which are intended to be exploring a subject as fully as possible make it harder to find related information, unless you're also using special “Related posts” widgets and the like.
  • The fact that you're navigating from one related topic to the other also gives you a pre-established frame of reference for a topic which I'm confident – but don't quote me on this – is likely to make it easier for you to consolidate, memorise and recall what you've learned.
  • Wikis don't allow comments per default, which is an immense boon if you're working in an area that attracts trolling or harassment.
  • The format of wikis not only allows for editing posts after publishing, it expects editing to occur. It's almost considered a faux-pas to significantly edit a blog post after publishing, even in cases where you receive new information that would change your position; it's more likely you'd make a new post.
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