What's a Wiki?
A Wiki is a website that allows users to create, edit, and publish content collaboratively through a web browser.
Individual wikis are referred to as "Spaces." Each space can have one or more administrators, and access can be given to individuals, groups, all of Harvard, or the entire world. Within each space, pages serve as the primary way of creating and sharing information. Each page has its own URL, page history, access restrictions, file attachments, and comments. Pages can include text and multimedia files, comments, macros, and links to external as well as other wiki space pages. All of this can be created and edited collaboratively.
Since the release of the Harvard Wikis to the Harvard Community in September 2011, hundreds of users have created spaces and found ways to integrate Wikis into their teaching and research. Faculty members, librarians, and students are just some of the users who have adopted Harvard Wikis to create, collaborate, and share information across their organizations.
For some more information about how the Wiki is being used at Harvard, check out some recent stats here.
Wikis at Harvard
By using an existing product from an outside vendor to support the basic features of a Wiki, the iCommons group is able to focus its efforts on enhancing and customizing the platform to meet the unique needs of the Harvard Community. This is accomplished through school-level support, customized trainings, and the installation and use of macros and plugins that meet the needs of Harvard's users. For a schedule of upcoming trainings as well as a sign up sheet, click here.
As of Summer 2013, Harvard is running version 5 of the Confluence software.
For more information about the most recent release, read the blog post.
There are a few help resources available from Atlassian, the vendor of Confluence:
- Release notes on both version 5 and version 4.3
- A comprehensive user's guide and tutorial videos
- Getting Started documents, and
- A training program to become a "Confluence Ninja."
Because Atlassian provides this extensive documentation, this help section will focus on Wiki basics and what's specific to Confluence at Harvard.
How do I get started?
To begin using the Wiki, you first need to create a space. After you have a space created, you can start making some basic pages, and after you have a few pages you can have even more fun by doing some advanced editing with macros and plugins.
Click the "Next" link below to learn more!