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What is a wiki?

A wiki is a collaborative space that users can create, edit, and share content. A wiki can be accessed through an internet browser, so it does not require any additional software. The benefits of a wiki include multi-user collaboration, revision history, and ease of use. For more information on wikis, take a look at this article in one of the most famous wikis: Wikipedia

The University of Iowa's wiki hosts many wiki spaces used by departments, organizations, and classes. The wiki has a low barrier to entry and allows access by individuals not associated with the university. While wikis are known for their simplicity, the UI wiki has many, many tools that can help you build a professional, powerful wiki.

Understanding wiki Hierarchy

As you begin to use and navigate the wiki, it is helpful to understand the structure and terminology:

  1. Dashboard - the Dashboard is the top area in the wiki.  You can get to it from anywhere by clicking 'UIowa Wiki' in the upper left of any page.  On the Dashboard, you will see all of the wiki spaces that you have access to.  For additional help, see Navigating the Dashboard
    1. Space - a collection of pages devoted to one department or course.  A space is an area of the wiki that can be customized to your needs.  Spaces can be private or open, large or small.  Spaces have a spacekey which is a unique code for that space.  The spacekey is found by looking at the url of your browser and looking for the first section after wiki.uiowa.edu/display/.  For example, the spacekey for this space is 'help'.
      1. Page - A page is one single page of content.  A space can have many pages, and a page can have many sub-pages.  Each page can have comments and attachments that are specific to that page.
        1. Comment - A comment belongs to one particular page and is a way to respond to content on that page.  Comments can include any type of content that a page uses.
        2. Attachment - Files can be uploaded to a page for reference or sharing between users.
      2. Blog -  In addition to pages, a space can also have a blog.  A blog is a content area for news, notices, or other uses.  A blog consists of posts, or individual articles.  The blog will display all posts in chronological order, showing the most recent first.  A space can only have one blog, and a blog can have many posts.

To better understand a space's organization, select 'Pages' from the 'Browse' menu (upper right).  On this next page, select Tree view (underneath the tab menu) and select the plus signs to open a branch. 

 


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