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Page history last edited by John Kepner 15 years, 3 months ago

What is a Wiki?


A wiki is a simple but powerful way for any group of people to collaboratively build a website. It is an ideal way to meet the needs so-far-identified by the Pesticide Working Group (PWG) "tools sub-group."


If that's enough explanation to satisfy your curiousity, you are already ready to find out how to add to the Wiki. If you want a little more technical and marketing information first, read on.


This wiki is free! Of course, there is no free lunch. The host company, PBWiki, makes money by showing discreet ads on the wiki, and by encouraging users to upgrade their wiki to the "Silver" version (or higher). The Silver version of PBWiki is $10 per month and offers benefits we would probably want if our wiki becomes very popular within Coming Clean's PWG.


Beyond a wiki, the next level of power in tools for collaboratively building a website would be a "content management system" (CMS). The leading CMS is Drupal, and — you got to love this — Drupal software is free! But that's just the software. We would still need a web server that can host the Drupal software on the web. Access to a web server typically costs about $10 per month.


The level of skill required for contributing to and managing a CMS is distinctly higher than the level of skill required for contributing to a wiki, especially a very streamlined wiki like PBWiki. So it does not — on balance — make sense to start with a CMS even if that might be where we end up. If we do outgrow this wiki, it would be relatively easy to import our pages into a CMS because all the pages we create are pretty straightforward html, the basic language of web pages.


Now you definitely know more than enough to move on to finding out how to add to the Wiki. At some much later date, after having gotten some practical experience collaborating with a wiki, you might want to read some advanced wiki theory and wiki history, or you might not.




The following organizations within the Pesticide Working Group contributed expertise at an early point when we were establishing the requirements for this web site, choosing the software that satisfies those requirements, and establishing the initial organization of the website (alphabetically):



Since then, many other people and organizations have helped with fleshing out the skeletal concept into something that is starting to be genuinely useful.


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