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> Setting up your own wiki encyclopaedia
A User
post Fri 8th January 2010, 4:48am
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Can anyone recommend any sites that show step by step how to set up your own wiki encyclopaedia?
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wikademia.org
post Fri 8th January 2010, 5:17am
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sure! great question!



http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Installation

http://wikipediareview.com/index.php?showtopic=24097



I am personally a bigger fan of the later link; but that is just me being narcissistic and vain. <3 smile.gif
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wikademia.org
post Fri 8th January 2010, 5:28am
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you do know about Encyc.org, right?!
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A User
post Fri 8th January 2010, 5:35am
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QUOTE(wikademia.org @ Fri 8th January 2010, 4:28pm) *

you do know about Encyc.org, right?!


Yes, thanks for the links. Just reading through it atm.

This post has been edited by WikiWatch: Fri 8th January 2010, 5:35am
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A User
post Fri 8th January 2010, 9:14am
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QUOTE(wikademia.org @ Fri 8th January 2010, 4:28pm) *

you do know about Encyc.org, right?!


I don't think Encyc.org will challenge wikipedia anytime soon. All their articles are basically one to two sentence stubs.
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Emperor
post Fri 8th January 2010, 12:53pm
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QUOTE(WikiWatch @ Fri 8th January 2010, 4:14am) *

QUOTE(wikademia.org @ Fri 8th January 2010, 4:28pm) *

you do know about Encyc.org, right?!


I don't think Encyc.org will challenge wikipedia anytime soon. All their articles are basically one to two sentence stubs.


I disagree, but...

MediaWiki installation is not user-friendly at all. But don't be intimidated, it's not quite as bad as the documentation makes it seem. The key is to do as much as possible yourself, so when things go wrong you have a fighting chance to fix them and aren't relying on tech support.

My recommendation is to keep everything as similar to Wikipedia as possible. So if Wikipedia makes your pages look like http://encyc.org/wiki/Example, you make it that way. The same goes for encoding choices.

Once you're finished, you'll be wondering why you thought it was such a big deal the whole time.

Thanks to Wikipedia's ever increasingly complex code and template obsession, easily sharing free content is a thing of the past. Most imports have to have a good amount of human TLC before they'll look right. (Encyc is trying to fix this situation. Feel free to stop by and give us another chance.)
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Cock-up-over-conspiracy
post Fri 8th January 2010, 2:16pm
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QUOTE(Emperor @ Fri 8th January 2010, 12:53pm) *
MediaWiki installation is not user-friendly at all.


Why use Mediawiki? It is too difficult to use for newcomers and non-technical users, and is fairly clunky for even medium-rate techs. It might perform great on multi-server installations but as a simple tools, it lacks polish and a good development community.

Have a look at Foswiki (http://foswiki.org), or some of the other more simple options.

What is the end result you are after ... what do you want to do?
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thekohser
post Fri 8th January 2010, 3:14pm
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QUOTE(WikiWatch @ Fri 8th January 2010, 4:14am) *

I don't think Encyc.org will challenge wikipedia anytime soon. All their articles are basically one to two sentence stubs.


WikiWatch, who are you? (If you're disclosing.)

What are you trying to accomplish? Trying to challenge Wikipedia with an alternate venue? Do you have at least $1,000,000? Because those are the bare minimum table stakes to create a site that will get into the Alexa 1000.

What is your unique proposition that will make your site a challenge to Wikipedia?

On my site, I dreamed optimistically that editors' "ownership" of articles about yourself or your business, plus transitory ownership of articles about other legal entities, coupled with the ability to earn AdSense revenues (keeping 100% of them for themselves), topped off with the wonders of Semantic Web architecture for search engine optimization and internal multi-layered search capabilities, would have me at 3% of Wikipedia's market share within two years.

Well, after two years, my site earns 0.000856% of the English Wikipedia's page traffic, as the 37,789th most visited site on the Internet, among Americans.

Although (according to Alexa), my site has a wider global reach than the web home of the Brazilian government (brasil.gov.br), as well as the home page of the 10th largest company in America (Valero.com).

So, while you're pooh-poohing Encyc.org, let me just say that your asking how to install wiki software suggests to me that you likewise don't have what it takes to "challenge Wikipedia anytime soon".

This post has been edited by thekohser: Fri 8th January 2010, 3:15pm
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CharlotteWebb
post Fri 8th January 2010, 5:42pm
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Installation is fairly easy. Choosing a catchy domain name and a hosting plan that won't eat your lunch, deciding the ways in which your project should differ (favorably I'd hope) from Wikipedia, and enticing a critical mass of editors to jump ship and participate will be rather more difficult.

If you've got all that figured out, good for you. Next step is to get the neighbors' kid to install MediaWiki for you in exchange for an admin account and a pack of smokes.
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Emperor
post Sat 9th January 2010, 4:13am
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I'm still quite fond of PmWiki. It's a nice system if you have a small group of trusted contributors. It's easily customizable, easy to install, and very fast.

Where it's weak is on account management, vandal-fighting, and how it handles images. Also the community is somewhat moribund. And I'm not crazy about how it shows revision histories.
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A User
post Fri 12th March 2010, 3:40am
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Anyone recommend a decent web hosting service?
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dtobias
post Fri 12th March 2010, 4:08am
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Dreamhost has built-in installations of MediaWiki among other programs.

I use it for my sites, including MPedia, the encyclopedia about Mensa.
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A User
post Fri 12th March 2010, 4:35am
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QUOTE(dtobias @ Fri 12th March 2010, 3:08pm) *

Dreamhost has built-in installations of MediaWiki among other programs.

I use it for my sites, including MPedia, the encyclopedia about Mensa.


Not bad. What's your Mensa IQ score? smile.gif
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MZMcBride
post Fri 12th March 2010, 4:56am
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There are a very large number of considerations to make in order to create a viable Wikipedia rival. I started on a list of questions to consider a few weeks ago, but got sidetracked. Perhaps I'll publish it at some point.
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A User
post Sat 13th March 2010, 12:26am
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QUOTE(MZMcBride @ Fri 12th March 2010, 3:56pm) *

There are a very large number of considerations to make in order to create a viable Wikipedia rival. I started on a list of questions to consider a few weeks ago, but got sidetracked. Perhaps I'll publish it at some point.


Yes please do.
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John Limey
post Sat 13th March 2010, 12:41am
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QUOTE(WikiWatch @ Sat 13th March 2010, 12:26am) *

QUOTE(MZMcBride @ Fri 12th March 2010, 3:56pm) *

There are a very large number of considerations to make in order to create a viable Wikipedia rival. I started on a list of questions to consider a few weeks ago, but got sidetracked. Perhaps I'll publish it at some point.


Yes please do.


I'd like to shamelessly promote my own thoughts, which are sort of connected to this (see On Citizendium, which niftily is one of the top 10 google results for the search term "Citizendium"). Basically, I think that an effective Wikipedia rival is essentially impossible. In the post linked, I introduce the concept of the "paradox of Wikipedia" - that the same factors that make Wikipedia a successful web community and attract editors make it inherently unreliable and that the same things that make Wikipedia stronger as an encyclopedia weaken it as a web community.

I think that it's really impossible (without incredible financial backing) to beat Wikipedia by emphasizing the encyclopedia over the community. Citizendium tried to do that and has, well, failed. If you overemphasize the encyclopedia you lose the hordes of free labor that make Wikipedia work. I think it's also pretty much impossible to beat Wikipedia by going in the other direction - emphasizing the community aspects at the expense of the encyclopedia. Wikipedia already has enough problems as an encyclopedia, and (at least around here) no one wants an even less reliable version. If Interpedia were worth mentioning, it would be worth holding up as a failure that went too far towards community. That leaves the option of striking about the same balance as Wikipedia between encyclopedia and community (perhaps with some twists), but in this arena Wikipedia has all the power and momentum and (short of massive backing) your little project won't stand a chance.

You could always do something radically different - an entirely new paradigm, but then you probably wouldn't be asking about wikis.

This post has been edited by John Limey: Sat 13th March 2010, 12:42am
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Milton Roe
post Sat 13th March 2010, 1:25am
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QUOTE(John Limey @ Fri 12th March 2010, 5:41pm) *

QUOTE(WikiWatch @ Sat 13th March 2010, 12:26am) *

QUOTE(MZMcBride @ Fri 12th March 2010, 3:56pm) *

There are a very large number of considerations to make in order to create a viable Wikipedia rival. I started on a list of questions to consider a few weeks ago, but got sidetracked. Perhaps I'll publish it at some point.


Yes please do.


I'd like to shamelessly promote my own thoughts, which are sort of connected to this (see On Citizendium, which niftily is one of the top 10 google results for the search term "Citizendium").


It's actually the top three, but the WP article on Citizendium is #4.

Here's an article on why Sanger is growing tired of Citizenium and wants to leave.


http://blogs.ft.com/techblog/2009/08/citiz...y-to-jump-ship/

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MZMcBride
post Sat 13th March 2010, 2:43am
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QUOTE(John Limey @ Fri 12th March 2010, 7:41pm) *

QUOTE(WikiWatch @ Sat 13th March 2010, 12:26am) *

QUOTE(MZMcBride @ Fri 12th March 2010, 3:56pm) *

There are a very large number of considerations to make in order to create a viable Wikipedia rival. I started on a list of questions to consider a few weeks ago, but got sidetracked. Perhaps I'll publish it at some point.


Yes please do.


I'd like to shamelessly promote my own thoughts, which are sort of connected to this (see On Citizendium, which niftily is one of the top 10 google results for the search term "Citizendium"). Basically, I think that an effective Wikipedia rival is essentially impossible. In the post linked, I introduce the concept of the "paradox of Wikipedia" - that the same factors that make Wikipedia a successful web community and attract editors make it inherently unreliable and that the same things that make Wikipedia stronger as an encyclopedia weaken it as a web community.

I think that it's really impossible (without incredible financial backing) to beat Wikipedia by emphasizing the encyclopedia over the community. Citizendium tried to do that and has, well, failed. If you overemphasize the encyclopedia you lose the hordes of free labor that make Wikipedia work. I think it's also pretty much impossible to beat Wikipedia by going in the other direction - emphasizing the community aspects at the expense of the encyclopedia. Wikipedia already has enough problems as an encyclopedia, and (at least around here) no one wants an even less reliable version. If Interpedia were worth mentioning, it would be worth holding up as a failure that went too far towards community. That leaves the option of striking about the same balance as Wikipedia between encyclopedia and community (perhaps with some twists), but in this arena Wikipedia has all the power and momentum and (short of massive backing) your little project won't stand a chance.

You could always do something radically different - an entirely new paradigm, but then you probably wouldn't be asking about wikis.
I guess it depends what your goal is: to destroy Wikimedia or create something better. Both are possible and both will very likely happen, though the increased financial backing that the Wikimedia Foundation is receiving guarantees that projects like Wikipedia will linger, in some form, for a long time.

Eventually, a moderately successful rival to Wikipedia will emerge. The Chinese have Baidu Baike as a rival to the Chinese Wikipedia. Something like that to rival the English Wikipedia is possible. The issue, as you note, is finding a way to make money from the site or get outside financial support. I don't think the obstacles are insurmountable, though it certainly wouldn't be an easy feat.

I think an examination of the other Wikimedia projects would be interesting. Wikipedia has been successful, but look at Wikibooks or Wikiversity or Wikispecies or any of the other non-Wikipedia Wikimedia projects. Even looking at some of the Wikipedias outside the top ten would be interesting.

Now, if the goal is to simply destroy Wikimedia, well, there are plenty of ways to do that. In all honesty, I'm surprised some of the people who regularly post here haven't made any noteworthy efforts to do so. smile.gif
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A User
post Sat 13th March 2010, 9:10am
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QUOTE(John Limey @ Sat 13th March 2010, 11:41am) *

I'd like to shamelessly promote my own thoughts, which are sort of connected to this (see On Citizendium, which niftily is one of the top 10 google results for the search term "Citizendium"). Basically, I think that an effective Wikipedia rival is essentially impossible.


I think you are right - they have had such a huge head start in terms of time, articles and development, that everything when compared with WP afterwards, is just simply overwhelmed by the task at hand. Had there been a CZ or a Knol, in 2001, instead of years down the track, there may have been a viable rival, but it's too late now. Not that people will keep trying though.

The only way to create a wiki that will get noticed on the internet is perhaps to go into a speciality area first and expand out in that area, rather than starting as a broad-based compendium.
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John Limey
post Sat 13th March 2010, 10:31am
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QUOTE(WikiWatch @ Sat 13th March 2010, 9:10am) *

QUOTE(John Limey @ Sat 13th March 2010, 11:41am) *

I'd like to shamelessly promote my own thoughts, which are sort of connected to this (see On Citizendium, which niftily is one of the top 10 google results for the search term "Citizendium"). Basically, I think that an effective Wikipedia rival is essentially impossible.


The only way to create a wiki that will get noticed on the internet is perhaps to go into a speciality area first and expand out in that area, rather than starting as a broad-based compendium.


I think that's exactly on target.
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