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Wiki on how to use widgets: My good idea

How do I sort through the software options?

9:51 pm on May 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I've had a good idea. I don't get many. Discussed it with a bunch of friends, everyone agrees this could be good.

Widgets are complicated, and even the manufacturers give semi-useless instructions like don't operate electric widgets while soaking in a tub of gasoline and smoking. Books barely scratch the surface.

So the idea is to create a wiki on how to use widgets. Take every aspect and create the detailed manual. Recruit a group of friends to get the project off the ground, then let other widgeteers participate. I know the people, and have access to the publicity. Now all I need is the software.

How do I choose a good wiki platform? I searched G and looked at a bunch of choices, pondered some imponderable comparison sites and am perplexed. Now have less of a clue than before I started looking.

Something lightweight, simple, for this single purpose is all I need. Can afford to spend a few bucks if it helps, but I have no idea what is important here, and there seem to be a thousand variants out there. What are the important features? What makes a wiki easy to use and user friendly? Likely big mistakes? Can't live without features?

All thoughts appreciated! thanks!

2:54 pm on May 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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requirements and uses vary for each user, so there is no "one solution fits all" scenario.

however, i have always found the platform provided by mediawiki to be excellent. particularly for collaborative efforts.

and your idea does sound good :)

9:41 pm on May 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Thanks, I'll check it out.

Any other suggestions, especially of what makes these easy to use and maintain over time?

12:02 pm on May 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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mediawiki.org is a good platform,but there are a few others which you could consider,anyway everything depends on your detailed needs
12:33 am on June 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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but I have no idea what is important here

Ah, but without knowing what you need, you've already decided it must be a "wiki", thus potentially pushing some more appropriate tools off the table.

Do you really need the ability for random people to arrive at your site and spew potentially incorrect widget information onto your pages that visitors may see or the search engines may index before you have a chance to correct them?

Maybe what you need will actually end up being called a CMS. Somewhere in the area of loosened-up CMS's and tightened-up wiki's, the two categories begin to intersect.

Best to focus on exactly how you want the system to work, and then find the best tool that can do that, no matter what it's called.

If you tend towards wiki-style looseness in your specifications, do consider how you will handle a single rogue nut who takes a disliking to you and decides to use your toolset to wreck your site, by posting crud or (if allowed) wiping out your good content with his crud. Brute-force running around to clean up after bad eggs is something that Wikipedia has enough volunteers to do -- but you may not.


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