Before this class, Wikis were something that I never thought about. At all. There was no reason to. Wikis, in my head translated to Wikipedia, a source that I have been warned against since middle school. I had no idea of the actual potential these wikis have.
But now I am seeing the light.I learned so much about wikis in such a short period of time. I now see the potential for collaboration and ease of use of Wikis.
I struggled a bit in the beginning. I felt similar to a child trying to learn how to use a fork, I was clumsy and the whole process was unfamiliar. Formatting the wiki in the wiki code type text that is used was especially challenging for me. As a geographer, I got used to the language that other geographers and GIS analysts use to name things. There is a system and a set of rules. Similarly, with my wikis, once I figured out the rules for formatting the text and once I got some practice using it, the language started to make sense and I could begin writing easier.
One of the most influential parts of this entire week was just being exposed to the world of wikis in general. I noticed the longer I worked on the wikis, that the possibilities of this medium are completely endless. There can be a page for anything and for everything. I was amazed at how extensive the information on a wiki can be. There is never an end to knowledge, people learn new things constantly, and similarly, there is never an end to wikis, a page can always be made to accommodate whatever the user’s needs are.
One of my favorite things about working on wikis this week was the way they look. I know that one of the biggest complaints about Wikis is that they are ugly, but I disagree with that. They are clean. Each page follows the same (ish) format. As I was writing this week I couldn’t stop myself from thinking about how useful wikis might be when taking notes in class.
Over all, I can honestly say that I have learned the most this week so far. blogs were new to me when we started using them, but they were easy compared to wikis. Wikis will definitely be a tool that I start using more often. I am thrilled to have been exposed to this new (for me) concept.