Wiki Integration at an Early Stage

Wikis are web sites for bringing together user contributions, though they are designed to be more radically collaborative than blogs. According to the Wikipedia, a wiki is as follows:

A website that allows the visitors themselves to easily add, remove, and otherwise edit and change available content, typically without the need for registration.10

The ideal scenario for wikis is allowing anyone to edit pages, combined with a lack of broken links. That is, when a user follows a link to a page that doesn’t exist, the user is not given a 404 error but rather the opportunity to create that page.

I mention blogs and wikis together in this chapter because they are siblings. Indeed, there are hybrid blogs/wikis—or at least experimentation to bring them into hybrid structures.[95]

You have seen some complicated ways in which the tools and data involved in blogs aren’t being mashed up. Although the potential for wiki mashups is great, there are a lot fewer examples of such mashups. Much of the technical foundation is in place (for instance, many wikis have APIs and plug-­in frameworks[96]

The closest thing to a mass phenomenon we have in the world of wikis is Wikipedia. It’s not surprising then to see some mashing up of Wikipedia, though not as much as you might expect. Let’s look at one example of a remix of Wikipedia, FUTEF, which is a custom search engine that draws content from Wikipedia (

  1. Go to, and type Bach into the search engine.

  2. Study the search results that come back, their order, and the categories listed.

  3. Compare what you see in FUTEF with what you get from the same search in Wikipedia. In Wikipedia, you get an immediate redirection to the article on Johann Sebastian Bach. For other Bach-­related terms, study the Bach disambiguation page.[97]

Curiously, FUTEF has built its own API that it has invited others to use.[98]

Other places to look in terms of integration with Wikipedia is in authoring tools akin to blogging clients and in bots that have been written to support the editing of Wikipedia. You can find a list of such editors here:

And you can find a discussion of Wikipedia bots here:

[96] for MediaWiki and for PBWiki, which is a popular free wiki host provider