This blog will comprise a collection of ephemera, mess and miscellaneous artifacts reflecting on the writer's life.

Monday, July 10, 2006


I love the word Wiki.
It sounds so subversive, somewhere between a witch and a wizard but definitely not too institionalized.
So I was interested to read this survey here, brought to us courtesy of Sheila.
I have been thinking about Vic's talk at this seminar on civic participation and I liked her take on it that you can insert your identity, as people do on Wikipedia, in these multifarious ways.
Civic participation is a word which normally makes me want to go to sleep, but Vic made it exciting.
I think it was because she made it more accessible, something that teenagers and women could do, not just men in suits.
It involves taking photos with your phone and being active in a kind of street, portable, web-engaged kind of way.
Some of the men in the audience (not all) didn't like her definition of civic participation but I think it was because her definition was a bit subversive.
Just like Wikis.

THis image is from Dr Joolz who is the ultimate Wiki person.


Chris Best said...

I still don't fully understand the WIKI phenomena - I should get in there and take a proper look!

Mary Plain said...

Yes, Vic did make it all really thought provoking. I think that the questions about whether this kind of participation will change things are fair enough- we will need to see how far traditional politics actually changes and joins in- but it is clear from Vic's work that this kind of civis participation is here to stay and far more popular than old style politics.

Joolz said...

Very nice DrKate. Someone told me that wiki stands for What I know Is.

I don't know if that is true, but I like to think so.

JP said...

I see. Subversive as in sexist.

Sheila Webber said...

Librarians are taking to wikis quite a lot, on the one hand in a "useful" rather than a "subversive" way; on the other hand sometimes the act of making different kinds of information accessible and organised for people's use could be seen as subversive (well, it IS seen as subversive by some governments). Sharing and contributing is part of the librarian culture, too, so it's not surprising they are taking to wikis. Amanada Etches Johnson explains why she's gone over to a wiki for a resource (library blogs) she maintains in her spare time, at
I meant to introduce wikis as part of a class last academic year, but didn't get round to it, but I must try this coming year....
Wikipedia says wiki comes from the Hawaiian for "fast" (wiki wiki), I've heard that elsewhere too.
That seminar series looks good!!