Three years ago Michael Ivanov and I started the Davis Wiki with a simple goal: collect all the interesting and amazing things we'd learned about Davis in one spot, and let other people help and build on what we knew. The Davis Wiki has become an awesome success, and today provides an invaluable resource in ways we couldn't have even imagined when we started.
Lots of people asked us about doing similar things for their communities. Other people, living in different places and having different interests, wanted to set up wikis for their communities. We helped a few people set up wikis, and helped provide a home to the Rochester Wiki (http://rocwiki.org), Santa Cruz wiki (http://scwiki.org), a housing co-op (http://ant-hill.org), Chico Wiki (http://chicowiki.org), and the Pittsburgh wiki (http://pghwiki.org).
As time passed, more and more folks came to us and asked us about wikis for their communities. We took some preemptive steps toward helping out more communities, and helping out the Davis Wiki in turn, when we fundraised and purchased a server last year. Even then, though, we didn't really have the proper infrastructure to accommodate all of these different communities and do so in a way that let them have complete control over their wikis. What we've been working on will do just that.
We're calling this project Wiki Spot. It's a non-profit effort to let communities anywhere in the world initiate, maintain, publicize and fund wikis. We hope to provide a trusting home for wikis, encourage development of collaborative software, and promote adoption of the wiki as a tool for enriching communities. Basically, we're going to be doing what some of us have been doing all along, but with better, stronger infrastructure behind us.
After seeing the amazing things we've accomplished together with the Davis Wiki so far, I think we've all come to realize that wikis can be an invaluable asset for communities, and that's why we've been working hard to make sure that every community can do what we've been doing in Davis. We want the only barrier to success to be drive and vision — not technical know-how. We think that it's important that our communities have a safe, non-commercial home, too.
There's a lot of really terrific things we could talk about that make Wiki Spot special — like the way we're focused on making it easy to share and connect among communities — but you should go check stuff out for yourself, and read up about Wiki Spot.
Here's to the next three years of Davis Wiki — and to the very new Wiki Spot!
A special thanks goes out to the following individuals who have helped make this project a reality (in no particular order):
David Poole, Arlen Abraham, Brent Laabs, Graham Freeman, Amit Vainsencher, Zac Morris, Mike Ivanov, Jon McKamey, Jack Haskel, Reid Serozi, Eric Talevich, Charles McLaughlin, Adam Dewitz, Jason Aller, David Reid, Heather Carpenter.
What's new on Davis Wiki?
Okay, now for some major changes you'll notice here on the Davis Wiki:
- The old Davis Wiki map is now gone — but it's been replaced by something new. The new way to add a location to a page is to use [[Address]]. Check out Help with Maps for a lot more about the new system. The downside to this is that we didn't convert over all of the old pages, which means we'll have to work to fix up and add addresses to a lot of the pages on the wiki. Most will probably find the new mapping system, which currently uses Google Maps, to be a big improvement.
- You can now double click on nearly anything to edit it! Check out the explanation of Quick Edit.
Big idea: Interwiki community
One of the big ideas behind the Wiki Spot network of wikis is that we are an interconnected group of wikis. We've made it really really easy to watch changes on a bunch of different wikis you find interesting, and as Wiki Spot grows and provides a home to more communities you're bound to find this more useful.
You can watch the recent changes of many wikis at once using the Interwiki Recent Changes page and you can watch all of your bookmarks on the Interwiki Bookmarks page! Just click "watch this wiki" by your name in the upper right hand corner to, well, watch a wiki! You can do a lot of other cool stuff, so go explore!
You can all now create a wiki, though you probably knew that, if you got to this point, reading wise.
Interwiki links look slightly different, and are more like normal wiki links. They're now written with "double quotes" around the page name. For example:
[wiki:wikispot:A_Page_in_the_Wiki A Page in the Wiki]
[wiki:wikispot:"A Page in the Wiki"]
which displays as:
You might have noticed the interwiki icon looks different too. That's because all Wiki Spot wikis get their little logo included in all interwiki links. Non-Wiki Spot wikis keep the old icons, the interwiki community dudes. If you want to get complicated, you can even do interwiki redirects in much the same way (see Help with Linking).
Help Files (e.g. Help on Editing) have generally been moved from constituent wikis to the Wiki Spot hub — see Help with Editing there. The general reason is that it makes it much much easier to update if we ever add new features. Which we will. Most of these help files have been renamed and rewritten as well to remove the Engrish.
Links now work in Headings. Interwiki links too, even though they look a little funny.
Page Includes have gotten much simpler, and [[Include]] has basically replaced all of the functionality of [[IncludePages]] without being so damn confusing. See Help with Macros for details.
User Pages are now in a separate namespace — every user's homepage is now in ["Users/PersonName"]. This is done partially because Wiki Spot may get a ton of users, but it also makes the distinction between public pages and user pages more apparent, as this was a continual source of confusion here. You can choose to set up a single user page in User Settings.
Quick Edit is so awesome it gets its own page!
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 is the new license, as we have upgraded from 2.0. (All content before this date is still available under Creative Commons 2.0.)