I’ve been doing some research for a seminar on collaboration using blogs and wikis, as an alternative to more complex content management systems like Sharepoint or Documentum. It seemed like this might be an ideal place to capture some of the information.
Products such as Sharepoint and Documentum are both content and document management systems. They store unstructured content, links, and documents such as Word files or Excel spreadsheets. They allow documents to be checked in, checked out, and otherwise controlled. Different user privileges may be assigned to different content areas.
Blogs and wikis are adhoc repositories of unstructured content. They do not typically store documents, though some products allow documents to be stored as attachments, but the documents are not controlled. User privileges are typically reduced to either having access to the entire system or to none of it.
Definition: A blog is essentially a series of informational items displayed in a reverse chronological order.
Definition: A Wiki is a collaboratively-edited website which many people also view as an anarchistic publishing tool. The distinguishing feature of wikis is that they typically allow all users to edit any page, with full freedom to edit, change and delete the work of previous authors.
Examples of collaborative wiki projects:
About RSS and Atom:
Definition:RSS (Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary) and Atom are formats for syndicating news, or the entries in blogs and wikis. The syndicated information is typically read in news readers.
About News Readers (or Aggregators or RSS Readers):
Definition: A application or website which allows a user to read syndicated information. Rather than read entire websites, users can opt to read only the new entries. This allows users to read many more sites efficiently. I read over 450 sites per day in this fashion.
Tools for Finding Blogs and Wikis of Interest:
Definition: Subscribers receive regular audio programs delivered via the internet, and she or he can listen to them at her or his leisure.
Well that’s a start. At some future point I’ll probably delve into this more deeply, and then post the results.
Update: I added Confluence wiki software at the suggestion of Bound By Gravity.