UCNISS/Sport Wiki Academy/Creating your own sport wiki
Hosting your own sport wiki is a great way to promote your organization, league, team or athlete. It allows you to control the content, who can edit and who can view your wiki in a way that you cannot do on Wikimedia Foundation related projects. Below is some very brief information about a couple of options for setting up your own wiki. Additional information on wiki hosts and software can be found at http://www.wikimatrix.org/. After that is some advice on how to get started creating content on a wiki.
PB Works allows its users to create free basic wiki workspaces, or have access to more advanced features if they subscribe to a premium plan. Workspaces can be public and open to everyone, or private and only accessible to those that the wiki founder chooses.
Advantages: PB Works allows you to have better control over who can view and edit your wiki. Multimedia video, images and sounds can easily be integrated into the page. You do not need to use a Creative Commons license.
Disadvantages: The wiki is not powered by Mediawiki, which can create a learning curve for some users.
Wikia is a wiki farm that allows anyone to create a wiki about whatever topic they desire. The wikis on their site are open to anyone who wants to edit them.
Advantages: They host and provide technical support for your wiki. They can help you promote your wiki, especially if they think it can get a lot of traffic. Wikia also provides some assistance in mediating on wiki conflict and with community management. They have a solid relationship with Wikipedia and getting links to your Wikia hosted wiki on Wikipedia may be easier.
Disadvantages: You do not have control over all the content, cannot install your extensions and it may be difficult to leave if you find Wikia does not work for you. Wikia also forces you to use a Creative Commons license.
If you want to create your own wiki and have control issues, you may want to install wiki software on your own server.
Advantages: This software is the most popular wiki software out there. It is the software that backs Wikipedia. Because of this, it has a lower learning curve for potential contributors. There is a large number of developers who can help support Mediawiki. If necessary, they can be hired to create skins for a Mediawiki install, create extensions to do customized things, and program bots to help automate some content related issues.
Disadvantages: The software requires some knowledge to install and maintain. If you aren't comfortable with that, Mediawiki may not be a viable solution.
Wagn is a structured wiki software project written in Ruby on Rails. It incorporates a wiki, a database, and a content management system. It was created with the help of a grant from Meyer Memorial Trust and its first larger scale implementation was for Connectipedia, a wiki for nonprofit organizations in the Pacific Northwest region of America.
Advantages: Wagn is powered using Ruby on Rails. This programming code is very popular at the moment and many people are interested in seeing web projects using it to succeed.
Disadvantages: Wagn can be confusing to edit at first. Many contributors may not be used to it, which presents a barrier to contributing.
Advice on starting a wiki
Once you've chosen your software or host, there are a few things to consider:
- What copyright are you going to use on the wiki? (This decision may be made earlier, when choosing a host.) How will your copyright impact who will contribute to your project?
- What is the content focus of your wiki? Is it about sharing ongoing research in my academic department? Is my wiki going to be about the history of the sport I am involved with?
- Who is the audience for your wiki? Who do you want contributing to your wiki? Is your wiki only for people inside your organization? Is your wiki intended for only local people? Are you targeting everyone interested in the sport your wiki is about? Do you want any web visitor to contribute? Do you want only people inside your organization to contribute? Do you want to be the sole contributor?
- How will you create policy? Will you create a set of clear rules from the start? Will you allow the rules to be created and evolve as the wiki grows organically?
- How will content be organized? What sort of category structure will you use? How flexible is that structure? Will you create templates with the idea of encouraging people to organize on article content in a certain way?