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Wiki service 'soft' launch

The wiki service is brought to you by the Collaborative Tools Project a team effort involving staff from numerous departments, which this week endorsed a decision to approve the "soft" launch of the wiki service with the following wording.

That it is open for anyone to use and that there is a commitment to maintaining the service and its content from here on, but that visibility should be kept low for a little longer as changes are likely and support materials are still thin. That is, the service will discoverable through word of mouth and via some IT Services web pages, but will not be fully advertised via news bulletins etc at this stage. In the meantime the focus will be on gathering feedback from early adopters.

If you are reading this - congratulations! You can count yourself to be an "early adopter". Please feel free to add your content in the knowledge that it will be maintained as part of this service going forward. But do also be aware that a few glitches and some changes in response to your feedback and ideas are inevitable during this initial period. The date of the full launch of the wiki service is still under consideration, but my personal expectation is early 2012.

Here's a quick roll call of those who helped put the wiki service together over the last couple of months. From Dave Surtees (Project Director), Andrew Male (Head of Web Services) and myself (Project Manager) a big 'thank you' to all involved.

Introducing the York Wiki

Welcome to the University of York's Wiki service.  A wiki is a collection of pages that everyone can edit. You can use a wiki to create documentation, develop content or share notes.  The Wiki is centrally managed by IT Services and is a live service, which means regular backups are taken and the service will remain online unless otherwise notified.

Any member of staff can login to the Wiki at https://wiki.york.ac.uk/ and any member of staff can create a Space, which is like a folder for pages.  Before you do, you can check the list of existing Spaces by clicking the Dashboard link and checking the list on the left hand side.  A new Space is a blank piece of paper, and the Wiki doesn't impose any structure on how you organise information - you can put everything on one page, or you can organise your information into lots of separate pages.  People often use wikis for:

  • documentation and procedures
  • knowledge base or encyclopaedia 
  • project and meeting management, including minutes and work plans
  • group collaboration on a particular subject
  • discussion using the comments feature

One of the great features of a wiki is that it's quick to add and change content, so if you have any idea or need to note something down, you can just go into your Space, click Add Page, and jot down some notes.  Wikis are usually informal, so your pages don't need to be tidy all the time, and the structure of wikis tend to evolve rather than being designed from the beginning.  Each version of a wiki page is stored, so you always go back to check or restore a previous version.

If you have any questions about the Wiki, visit the Wiki Support pages.  To see where the Wiki service is heading, visit the Wiki Roadmap, and if you have any suggestions, feel free to add them to the confl wiki pages (login required).  If you already run a wiki elsewhere and want to bring your content into the York Wiki, there's guidance on Importing content from other wikis.