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Wikification Now: Planeta.com Reports Record Visits to Wikispace

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Publication date: April 2008

Wiki Stats - April 2008 Screenshot

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Planeta.com announces record visits to our wiki from January to April.

Launched in late 2007 as a complement to the Planeta.com website, the Planeta Wikispace has been used to develop features on climate change, geotourism, engagement, food, jaguars, plastic, things to do in Capetown, an eco city guide to Barcelona, Earth Day and Australian wildlife and slang. "The growth has been exponential," said Planeta.com founder Ron Mader, directing those interested to the public usage statistics and the 2008 Summary.

"As electronic publication continues to evolve, we are seeing a trend toward wikification," Mader said. "This is an exciting time to develop collaborative work. The process of suggesting edits, new links and developing projects of mutual interest is much easier using a wiki than the traditional cycle of exchanging emails."

One example -- comments posted on Wiki Australia, for example, can be edited and incorporated onto Planeta.com's Australia guide.

Planeta.com is using its wiki to provide updates for the Tourism Educators Conference. Conference organizers are editors. Previously the wiki was used to document the Kerala Conference on Responsible Travel.

Planeta's wiki also provides an explanation and applications for various RSS news feeds.

WHAT'S A WIKI?

What's a wiki? "A few years after this software was introduced, the concept still confuses people, particularly those who want to have control over editorial content," Mader confided. "We are attracted to the idea since Planeta.com has evolved with reader feedback. By using a wiki, we are able tow work with long-time contacts in developing and improving features without the tedious exchange of documents via email."

The philosophy behind Wiki is that text is fluid and can be edited, illustrated in the popular video The Machine is Us/ing Us. The process is collaborative, following the logic that 'two heads are better than one' or the more the merrier!'

Wiki collaboration leads to happiness is a 2008 blog that visually documents the simplification of using a wiki over email in editing text.

"Our use of wiki-style editing the past four months has surpassed every goal I had," Mader said. "The process has been fun and reflects natural world partnerships that are friendly and informal. There's no better evidence of this than the guides to the English language co-written and edited with friends who are sharing their expertise."

CO-CREATION AND COLLABORATION

"At this time we are selecting editors on the basis of colleagues we know first hand or have had ample time with," Mader said "Wiki has reached the point in which a critical mass of web-savvy and content-savvy people have joined forces to develop collaborative work online." It would be good to work with some digital natives."

Similar projects using Wiki editing are documenting Oaxaca, Mexico and journalism in Mexico.

OTHER WIKIS

"We started focusing on Wiki during the 2007 Ecotourism NZ Conference and the presentation Strategies for using Web 2.0 for Travel Operators and Visitors," Mader said. Keeping an eye on New Zealand, Planeta.com developed links with the iJump Social Media Wiki and faculty from the ecotourism program launched their own Ecotourism NZ wiki.


AUTHOR

Ron Mader is the responsible travel correspondent for Transitions Abroad and host of the award-winning Planeta.com website.



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