18 October 2011

Dick Eastman on Wikis for Genealogy

One of Dick Eastman's presentations at the Ohio Genealogical Society Fall Seminar (01 Oct 2011) covered the topic of Wikis for Genealogy. Here is a brief overview of that presentation.

What is a Wiki? According to www.dictionary.com, it is defined as a web site that allows anyone to add, delete, or revise content by using a web browser. A wiki is a publishing system. A wiki can be used to publish nearly any kind of information.
A wiki works very well as an encyclopedia. A prime example is Wikipedia, which has a vastly greater number of articles than the former standard: Encyclopedia Britannia.
Why use a wiki? 1. Because it is simple. 2. Anyone can do it. 3. Anyone can contribute. 4. Every subject can include hypertext (e.g. Ohio Genealogical Society, links to Library of Congress, other related subjects).
Eastman suggested that a wiki is a great replacement for a society's publications. It could be available to everybody. It would be relatively easy to create, and it could have many contributors. Also it can updated and added to. A wiki typically is set up so new information goes to a review block, which is reviewed by a panel of administrators, before it is uploaded to the live wiki.
How much does it cost to create a Wiki?  Anywhere from free to $10 per month.

Some wikis in genealogy: Encyclopedia of Genealogy, WeRelate, and WikiTree.

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