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Wiki Basics and usage in


Wiki Basics

A Wiki is a set of pages editable by collaborators in your space. Using a wiki is almost as natural as using a blackboard in real time. No special knowledge of HTML is needed. Every page in a wiki can be amended, edited, or even deleted by anyone with a web browser.

From a user's perspective, the mechanics are simple. Typically each wiki page in, will have a set of links to:

  • Switch from the View mode to an Edit mode
  • Show the revision history of the current page - indicating the changes made to the wiki
  • Add categories to make the wiki page more search-able
  • Add Related Content to the wiki page
  • Attach files to wiki pages
  • Jump to the wiki's home page (This is the wiki home page)
  • Search the full text of all pages in the wiki

Wiki Usage

Wikis, due to their simplicity and flexible nature, can be easily used for applications like documentation, reporting, information management systems, project management, glossaries, dictionaries. Wikis facilitate collaborative creation, finding, shaping and sharing of knowledge.

Start structuring your Wiki:

To start with, the Wiki home page is a place where people first land and get an idea of the goal of the wiki, what are you trying to achieve and how you are going to put the information together in the wiki itself. This helps as people know what they are expected to do here.

Editing a Wiki Page

It's the Edit link that makes a wiki special. Click on that and you'll see the core content of the current page redisplayed in your browser, but now it's inside an editable rich text WYSIWYG editor.

Follow the steps below to create an index page with a list of links to other pages. As you outline the main hierarchy of pages in this wiki, it will act as a navigation for yourself and others:

  1. Click on the "Edit" link in the Blue bar above to start this wiki home page
  2. Simply delete the content here, add your own title, description and content
  3. The WYSIWYG editor lets you create stylized wiki documents
Adding useful content to a wiki should always be one of the main purposes of a wiki. Users should be encouraged to add information without worrying about making it perfect or polished. Don't consider a wiki to be the next great novel or a technical writing masterpiece. Start with a loose structure and modify content over time to define how the wiki is organized. The bottom line is to help others solve a problem or better understand an issue. If your information does that, then you've succeeded.

Creating Wiki Pages

Wikis make hyperlinking easy, and they enforce link integrity. As each user cross-references his or her contribution with other pages, you can get an expanding "cloud" of pages. Wiki pages in can be created in the following ways:

Using Wiki Linking

Wiki Linking allows you to create pages simply by putting [ [ double square-brackets ] ] around a word or phrase making it the title of the new page.

The wiki link appears with a + sign next to it, indicating that such a page doesn't exist yet and collaborators in this space can create that page by clicking on it. Once you click on the link, a new page will be created with the title as mentioned between the double square brackets.

If a wiki page with the title Introduction already exists, it automatically links to that page

Using the "Add" interface

The Green Add Button in the blue actions bar above, allows you to add wiki pages, without linking to them from within the content of the wiki page. These are the steps involved:

  • Click on the Green Add Button and select Wiki Page
  • Add a Title and Description for the new wiki page you want to create
  • Save the wiki page and once done, click on Edit to start writing on the wiki page
Regular Reviews: Make sure the wiki content is current and correct. It's important to have a moderator or the owner of the wiki, who reviews the content, structure and links to ensure the most interesting and useful content is easy to access. A wiki with updated and correct information will continue to grow and prosper. "Guide and nurture" instead of "command and control"

View all pages of the wiki

You can view all the pages of the wiki in the Contents tab on the wiki home. From any page in the wiki, click on the wiki home page in the navigation on the left.

Once on the home, click on the Contents tab in the blue actions bar and you will get a tabular view of all the pages in the wiki. Here, you can bulk manage the wiki pages like change workflow states, copy, move or delete.

Tip: You can also return to the home page of the wiki, clikc on the name of the wiki in the breadcrumb link

Adding metadata to the wiki pages

Some additional features help make the wiki more interesting and useful.

Adding Categories

A category in is nothing but a tag, that can be pre-defined during the information architecture of the entire system or can be added by the user who creates the wiki page. The categories are displayed at the bottom of every page and make the content more searchable.

The combination of folksonmony and taxonomy make the categorization in unique and very useful. To add a category to a wiki page, simply edit the wiki page and go to the categories section. Here, you can choose from a set of categories defined by other users or create your own, by typing them in the New Categories block.

Adding Related Content

Any content in the site can be linked with the wiki page to show other related blogs posts, images or files.

Description Wiki help content
Comments (7)
viraf Oct 01, 2008 09:10 AM

We do not support nested wikis

aliakbarian Jun 16, 2010 02:15 PM
how can I struct the metadata as key/values? And use these data for filtering contents...
(e.g. article_confrence_id=278)
dhiraj Jun 16, 2010 04:36 PM
@aliakbarian: That is a feature request, one that would be really cool to have. My +1

Consider adding a request in ODN with this particular feature:

There are possible known routes towards effort in this direction, and related features that are known. Consider approaching Cynapse for a commercial engagement if you wish to accelerate this.
aliakbarian Jun 22, 2010 09:43 AM
I think it is possible to include desired data pairs in the tags. But I wonder if it is possible to use wildcards.
For example I can add the tag "ProfileName:Johnson" to one article and similarly add "ProfileName:JohnSmith" to the other. If I could call the search query like "ProfileName:john*" it would be great. I think this would be a good solution.
dhiraj Jun 22, 2010 01:24 PM
Hmm... interesting idea. The ProfileName:john* search query would actually *work* if I'm not mistaken. Try it out.
aliakbarian Jun 23, 2010 02:25 PM
* works.
? doesn't work.
and it is possible to use - as NOT operator.
Are there further possibilities in the search query?
jcamargo Feb 15, 2011 04:15 AM
¿How can you link files (view mode) in the wikis?
I really want that when someone clicked to a file link, opens the /view url instead of the default "download" mode.